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Trivia / WCW

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  • Actor Allusion: David Arquette parodying the "Wasaaaaap" ads during his heel rant. The ad was also referenced in Scary Movie, which is itself a parody of Scream (1996), which made Arquette famous.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Souled Out 2000 ended with a babyface getting the win: Benoit beat Sid clean to become world champ. See "Written-In Infirmity" for the reasons.
    • On July 9, 2000 in Daytona Beach, Florida, Vince Russo disrespected Hogan in a big way: He duped Hogan into agreeing to reenact the Fingerpoke of Doom (again) with Jeff Jarrett. Hogan pulled rank after Russo wanted him to drop the belt to Jarrett, citing that given the storyline they were doing that Jarrett going over would have made no sense (a point he was very much right about), and Vince was really steamed about it. After much arguing back and forth they came up with a solution they thought would satisfy everyone: Russo was supposed to come out, shoot on Hogan, and garner pops for the New Blood, and build to a match between a newly-crowned WCW Champion. Hogan would return in a few months to challenge the legitimacy of the new champion. Everybody wins, right? Wrong. Russo buried Hogan in front of his fans, to the degree that Hogan left WCW and filed a defamation of character suit. While it did give us Booker T as WCW Champion for the final few months of WCW, it was listed as yet another reason why AOL Time-Warner wanted to get rid of WCW as soon as they could.
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  • Christmas Rushed: The video game WCW Backstage Assault was considered just a spinoff whilst EA worked on WCW Mayhem 2, but ended up being the last WCW game ever. The roster captures the many people/gimmicks WCW had on its roster in 2000/2001 such as Tank Abbott, The Harris Twins, David Flair, Vampiro, Crowbar, Daffney, 3 Count, Kronik, Misfits in Action and even Vince Russo. Most of these would not be hired by WWF when it bought out WCW, though some would later turn up in TNA. The game showed WCW's cost-cutting and rushing, with only being able to fight backstage whilst the competing WWF SmackDown 2: Know Your Role featured numerous arenas, more backstage areas, more moves and better graphics. What makes this sad is, the preceding game WCW Mayhem had been regarded as better than its competitor WWF Attitude, and THQ proceeded to copy and refine its simplified style for its own WWF games whilst WCW actually managed to produce a worse game due to time constraints.
  • Creative Differences:
    • There were some signs (in retrospect) that WCW was in trouble, like The Giant and Chris Jericho jumping to the WWF, and Raven leaving for ECW. He was/is known to be lazy at times, but Raven refusing to shut up and just collect a paycheck was a crack in the foundation, looking back. There's no way he didn't at least inspire The Radicalz to do the same.
    • Bischoff's promotion from announcer to Executive Vice President led his co-announcer, Jim Ross, to quit in protest. He jumped ship to the WWF, a decision that very few would question these days. This happened way back in 1993.
    • As a wrestling mark himself, David Arquette fought the idea of becoming the World Champion. He donated the money he made for the angle to the families of deceased wrestlers Brian Pillman and Owen Hart and to Darren Drozdov, who was rendered a quadriplegic in the ring. He was the only person involved in the angle to walk out with a good reputation.
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    • Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan were battling each other behind the scenes and it often played out on screen. Hogan pitched the concept of Hall turning on Nash (which would give nWo Hollywood a higher hip quotient compared to nWo Wolfpac). Hall and Nash were vehemently against splitting up their act, but Bischoff pushed hard enough that Hall & Nash were in danger of breaching their contracts. Rather than end up where Ric Flair was, in the middle of a lawsuit with no paychecks coming & no option to join the WWF until the suit was settled, they went along with the storyline. Bischoff sold the idea to Hall & Nash by saying that they needed to shock viewers to get some momentum.
    • Politics brought an end to Bischoff's relations with New Japan, especially after WCW tried to negotiate a talent exchange with All Japan.
    • WCW's partnership with SMW was stillborn due to Eric Bischoff having personal issues with Jim Cornette and Ole Anderson, and some of the management side of WCW getting offended by the things Cornette had said about WCW in a promo which was supposed to kick off the angle. (The arc was conceived by Cornette and Bill Watts, Bischoff's predecessor, who had maintained a good relationship with Cornette.) A regime change later found Anderson fired, and Cornette taking his invasion angle idea to the WWF, which parlayed into a long term gig with the company.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • The Bischoff era was the most contentious, save possibly the Russo era. Actually, it's not even particularly contentious; almost everyone involved finds fault with it.
    • Truth be told, Schiavone wasn't that bad an announcer. He has all but distanced himself from wrestling since WCW folded, barring a brief appearance in TNA. And yes, he admits he would have changed the channel to see Foley win, too.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • Nash's entrance right before that Hogan match. It is a perfect representation of WCW at its peak, for better or worse.
    • In the 90s, everything got flipped upside-down. WWF were suddenly the guys putting over new talent and attracting southern viewers. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan turned up in WCW, instantly made Vader and Flair look like helpless chumps, and filled the roster with his friends. Hogan matches (where the outcome was never in doubt) were usually saved for the main event. Thousands of televisions switched to Raw at around nine o'clock.
    • Nash seemed to instinctively know that the nWo had its day in the sun and it was time to move on, reforming the original Outsiders to a positive reaction. Bischoff torpedoed all that when he returned in 2000, confident that tweaking the nWo a bit would make viewers love it again.
      Eric Bischoff: I hear that all the time, and it just makes me laugh. That kind of criticism is coming from people who really don't know anything about me or what my goals are. Yeah, Hogan was in the middle of things and — oh, by the way — it happened to work pretty well. And yeah, Nash was an important part of everything we did with the nWo, and — oh, by the way — it was pretty successful. I've used these guys, but I've had a fair amount of success with them. It's not like I excluded other people.
  • Defictionalization: Russo and Bischoff were looking to branch WCW off into new avenues since the downturn was being felt economically. David Arquette was doing a wrestling movie (Ready to Rumble) and offered WCW some parts for their stars in the movie. In return, he'd appear on the show. Once he and Russo and Bischoff became friends, they invited him to some shows, and eventually had him become an onscreen character in the lead up to the movie's release. Russo and Bischoff then had the grand idea to put the title on Arquette, since he was the star of the movie, and it'd be the ultimate PR move. We'll have press for MONTHS! Unfortunately, despite David's pleas to not win the title, they wrote it in one night while he was backstage, and put it on him anyway.
  • Dueling Works: Bischoff took advantage of the time slot by airing the show live and, in several instances, giving away the results of Raw which was often taped weeks in advance. Conversely, Thunder was moved to Wednesdays to avoid going head-to-head with SmackDown. They later cut the final hour of Nitro, meaning Nitro and Raw only went head-to-head for an hour on Mondays. It was pretty clear WWF was the "winner" by that point.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • Starting in the late '90s, WCW management decided to not allow the commentators to see the pre-taped segments, thinking that this would make their commentary "more spontaneous". What it ended up doing was making sure the commentators had no idea how to sell the angles that were taking place.
    • Bischoff was constantly working the wrestlers; to the point where, when asked about Benoit's relationship with Nancy Sullivan, Sherri recalled that everyone assumed their extramarital affair was also a work.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Jim Herd was president of WCW during the early part of the 1990s. He had no previous experience with wrestling, and despite Ric Flair being a world-famous World Champion, was convinced that Flair was too old to draw. First he tried to retool Flair into a Roman gladiator named Spartacus (to which Kevin Sullivan famously replied "while we're doing this, why don't we go down to Yankee Stadium and change Mickey Mantle's number?"). Then he simply fired Flair. The problem? Flair was WCW World Heavyweight Champion at the time. And since he had put down a $25,000 deposit on the belt, which WCW did not refund to him after he was fired, Flair decided he owned the physical title belt. He then showed up on WWF television with the WCW belt. Flair went on to be promoted as "The Real World Champion" by heel manager Bobby Heenan and work a critically and financially successful feud with Hulk Hogan. WCW, on the other hand, was devastated by the loss of their top draw and their inability to find anyone to replace him. At the nadir, fans were ignoring the actual matches and chanting "We Want Flair". Herd would eventually resign in disgrace.
    • The popularity of Nitro inspired Turner Broadcasting to order the creation of another show, Thunder, which aired on Thursdays on TBS. Bischoff was not happy about the announcement, as he was still neck deep in the Monday Night War and barely had enough budget and material to fill three hours a week, let alone five. But the show went ahead in '98. Thunder was eventually shortened and moved to Monday nights, effectively expanding Nitro to 4 hours 45 minutes, most of which consisted of the announcers talking, plus another 45 minutes of Hogan/Steiner vignettes. The filler became so prevalent, in fact, that the finishes would sometimes get cut on account of time (some of the local companies which hosted the PPVs had an automatic cut-off time of 11 pm). This even happened to a few of Hogan's matches.
    • In the 90s, Schiavone was an adequate, if not great, commentator with a habit of irrational exuberance and calling just about every move he didn't know a "sidewalk slam" or a "face jam". But as WCW began to fall apart, so did his commentary. He proclaimed every episode of Nitro to be "the greatest (moment/night/event) in the history of our sport!". He also proclaimed just about everything "the most shocking SWERVE ever" after Russo came in, which eventually became a Trope of its own. Part of it was an edict from WCW to make the commentary "more spontaneous": they never allowed them to see the pre-taped segments, so they would then not know how to sell them. Sometimes he wasn't even allowed to call a match.
    • Previously, Ted Turner had been in a position to tell anyone who suggested closing or selling WCW to stuff it. But after the AOL Time Warner merger, he was put in a figurehead position where he had no real power, which lead to an exec who'd never been part of the wrestling business named Jamie Kellner effectively ordering Bischoff to make WCW more family-friendly. They also assigned a Standards and Practices person to sit in all creative meetings. As ratings continued to slide, AOL's solution was to show Bischoff the door and replace him with more Standards and Practices guys.
  • Follow Up Failure: You can actually pinpoint the moment WCW starts to go south. It's the night Thunder debuted on TBS. Their entire roster started to feel like the midcard.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • Jim Herd attempted to make WCW into a product similar to the WWF. His efforts led to several horrible gimmicks with short shelf lives, including: the bell-ringing tag team known as the Ding Dongs, lumberjack Big Josh (the late Matt Bourne, known as the original Doink the Clown), and Ric Flair with a Roman gladiator gimmick named Spartacus. (See below)
    • Goldberg was reminiscent of a bulkier "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (especially with the black trunks and bald head) before his ring character became a rampaging force of nature with an ever-increasing win streak.
    • Tony's banter was a very weak attempt at Gorilla Monsoon.
    • It wasn't too long after Goldberg's streak died that Hogan went back to wearing the red and gold. It was '99 and WCW felt the only way to get back up in the ratings was Hulkamania. Raw had their own veteran stable in D-X, sure, but they also experimented with new and unusual characters like The Rock, Stone Cold, and Mankind—something WCW would not experiment with. They lost a lot of their novelty and with it their once-mighty audience.
  • God Does Not Own This World:
    • After several failed attempts to cross-promote with KISS, the Misfits and the rap group No Limit Soldiers, Time Warner said goodbye to Bischoff and brought in two former WWF writers: Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara. Less than three months later, Russo and Ferrara were shown the door as well, and the Kevins (Nash and Sullivan) were put in charge on Nitro.
    • Nash loves to repeat that the "Fingerpoke of Doom" was supposed to build a heel machine for Goldberg a la Hogan in the 80s, and he always references Goldberg breaking his hand, as though it's Bill's fault for ruining the angle. This is false: the Fingerpoke took place in early January '99, and the Salisbury show in question took place on 12.23.99, almost a full year later. In the interim, Nash's questionable booking caused WCW to go into a ratings tailspin, which culminated with his removal, the firing of Bischoff, and the hiring of Russo in October '99. Therefore, he hadn't been in charge for months at the time of the Salisbury show.
  • Jossed: Bischoff never considered Starrcade as the biggest show of the year, that was an old school NWA thing. Bischoff always said December PPV's didn't draw as well, and considered SuperBrawl to be the biggest show of the year. With that in mind, the endings to Starrcade '96 and '97 make a bit more sense. For instance: Piper vs. Hogan was never advertised as a title match, but pretty much everyone assumed that it was.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Saturday Night, Main Event, Worldwide.... not to mention the Mid South / UWF stuff, old JCP episodes and anything else WWE still has in their libraries. It's safe to say that WCW Saturday Night is probably not a priority on the schedule of uploads. Knowing the Network and their never-ending obsession with the Monday Night Wars, they'll upload every episode of Thunder before they get around to it.
  • Lying Creator: WCW rigged the polls on their website so that if fans voted for a "Match Of The Night" that made someone they didn't want to push look good, they would instead officially count it towards a more preferable choice.
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.":
    • People forget that Waltman was doing crotch chops in WCW months before D-X even existed.
    • Before his WWE career, The Undertaker appeared in WCW as "Mean" Mark Callous. Reportedly, it was Hogan himself who brought Undertaker to meet Vince McMahon, after they got acquainted when Mark was on the set of Suburban Commando. The rest is history.
    • WCW had just started a cruiserweight tag team division at the time of their closing, complete with a tournament which concluded at Greed, the final pay per view. One of the teams in the tournament was called Air Raid, a couple of flight suit-wearing guys named Air Paris and Air Styles. Air Paris never hit the big-time after the sale; Air Styles became AJ Styles and, well, let's say that he went on to have a rather phenomenal career.
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    • At the time of Hall and Nash's departure from WWE, there was something in the industry called "Sting Money". Basically, WCW top guy Sting made more money than anyone else did ($750,000). If you could get Sting Money, or close to it, you were among the highest paid guys in the business. But when Turner bought WCW, the talent budget exploded. There was also a Favored Nations clause in Hall's contract (and pretty much every top talent in WCW) which stated his pay would get bumped up to match whoever came in after him. So when Nash came in, Hall got a raise. Hall also said that when he was with WWF, he had to chase every penny from Accounting, whereas in WCW they gave him multiple checks per week, sometimes for reasons they couldn't explain, and the checks were always for more than he was expecting. The executives at AOL must have shit their pants when they opened WCW's books.
    • It wasn't the best use of Bret (and he agreed it wasn't a great debut), but Bret always looked like he was just visiting. He never seemed comfortable at all in WCW. On the execution of it, he wrote,
      "I was bedazzled enough by that sold-out Nitro that for the first time I felt that WCW might actually work out for me... Personally, I thought that appearing as a referee would be a lackluster debut, but what did I know? What did I care? I wanted to comply, to do whatever they asked to the best of my ability—win, lose or draw—then pick up my check and come home safe. Nobody would accuse me of taking this business too seriously ever again."
  • Name's the Same:
    • Not to be confused with World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW). It was a totally different promotion run by Fritz Von Erich.
    • Australia's major wrestling promotion in the '60s and '70s was called World Championship Wrestling. It was owned by American promoter Jim Barnett, who had a stake in the American WCW (the Georgia incarnation) before Black Saturday. He was also a consultant for the Ted Turner-owned promotion.
    • Look, it's Jumpin' Jeff Farmer! No, actually, that was a different Jeff Farmer. This Jeff Farmer was a body double for Sting, and was later part of an exchange with New Japan.
  • Network to the Rescue: WCW Saturday Night and Worldwide were cheap and easy programs for TBS, drawing even better ratings than TNA ever did. Wrestling's ratings also really helped TBS in those early days, and it's believed that Ted Turner felt he had a debt of gratitude to "the wrasslin'’ business." The narrative of the Monday Night Wars being a personal vendetta between Ted Turner and Vince McMahon is false, as well. There was some animosity there, mostly on Vince's end, but Turner had very little input on WCW (short of giving them prime time and putting Bischoff in charge). Turner had no desire to put WWE out of business.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • The Steiner Brothers and Harlem Heat were real-life siblings. A nice subversion of "Unrelated Brothers".
    • "I THINK THATH UNCLE FWED!" Cody Rhodes is the Shockmaster's nephew. His son is currently the timekeeper for WWE, making Cody his cousin. Dusty and Cody keep referring to him as "Uncle Fred", so one assumed the families were close, but not many people know that's literally his uncle.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor:
    • Scott Hall's alcoholism. Their initial response was to keep him off TV and get him to sober up. But for some reason, allowing a guy to sit at home with no work to do doesn't do much to discourage his drinking. WCW sent him home in early 2000 but hadn't released him yet, so he was able to hit the indie circuit. He did a couple house shows with ECW.
    • Dustin Rhodes lost his job because of the "King of the Road" match (WCW Uncensored '95). The match wasn't terrible, but every time Barry climbed the side of the semi...and at one point, he was hanging more on the outside than inside.
    • During the show, Mean Gene would air deliberately misleading teasers in order to dupe people into calling his 900 number. As soon as WCW's legal team caught on, they fired him because he was exposing the company to a potential fraud charge. (Hence the WWF making fun of him with those "Scheme Gene" skits.) In one "report", Gene gave the distinct impression that Ric Flair had died ("a 45-year old blond, charismatic world champion has recently passed away, and the wrestling world is stunned. Call now for details"), and it turned out to be some carny from Yugoslavia or whatever that nobody had ever heard of. WCW rehired him at a sharply-reduced pay rate, and they put him on a tight leash never again allowing him to do any of those crazy-dishonest teasers.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • Benoit was caught carrying on with Nancy Sullivan, who was then-married to Chris' boss. Steve Austin also met his future wife, Jeannie Clark, in WCW back when she was a valet.
    • David Flair dated Stacy Keibler for a while, which was the inspiration for the Daffney vs. Miss Hancock feud.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • Turner execs assumed WCW would be a cash cow, but it wasn't. They assumed that Ted would bring in people who knew the business, but he appointed cronies like Jim Herd instead. Still, they always had the Turner safety net, at least until the AOL merger. (Turner left the company and was no longer in a position to protect them.) The buyers then discovered that WCW had become little more than a money pit, so they immediately started cutting budgets. Remember, WWE only bought the name, copyrights and video library; AOLTW was still on the hook for the bloated contracts and continued debts. It's true AOLTW wasn't fond of wrestling at that point, but a stronger product might have survived.
    • Kellner himself was a great example of incompetence, and was forced out of his AOL Time Warner job in 2003. Selling the WCW library was one of the dumbest business decisions ever. WWE made their money back and more from The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection. Time-Warner could have aired the "Best of WCW" in the AM hours and put out a DVD set every few months, and the only additional cost would be an editor. Conveniently, the executive who set the price (Kellner) and screwed his investors had worked for this small upstart in Connecticut prior to taking the position...
    • For that matter, AOL Time Warner wasn't exactly not incompetent. As The Death of WCW phrased it, "Sure, WCW may have lost $62 million in one year, but did they ever lose $54 billion in one quarter?"
  • Sleeper Hit: The reveal of the "Third Man". The show itself only got a pathetic 0.71 buyrate and drew 8,300 people for a gate of $72,000, the lowest for a Bash at the Beach where WCW charged admission. The year before, it had been held at Huntington Beach, CA, where the "audience" was whoever happened to have been at the beach at the time.
  • Throw It In!: According to Jericho, they literally let him do what he wanted because they didn't care. There's a reason he was wanted by WWF at the time: he knocked it out of the park during his time in WCW. He even maintained a feud with Goldberg without Goldberg being involved!
  • Troubled Production:
    • There are so many examples that it could fill its own page. Or a book.
    • The MTV Ultimate Video Bash event in 1998. The entire event took place in the rain, and had to be cut short. That's the trouble with these outdoor events, in the Gulf Coast, no less.
    • The live feed of Halloween Havoc '98 getting cut. Not everyone was affected, but everybody felt the backlash of what came next. They had to air the main event, Hogan vs. Warrior, for free on TV because so many people had missed it.
    • Nitro and Thunder didn't communicate that well, either. The 6.21.99 episode of Thunder was supposed to feature a lumberjack match between Flair and Benoit. However, WCW forgot to tell Flair he was booked. When they saw he wasn't there at 6pm, they panicked and told him to get his ass to Syracuse. At the cost of thousands of dollars, they chartered a flight from Charlotte to get him to the arena on-time. The show was structured around Ric's promos which built to the Benoit match; as a time-filling measure, the decision was made to turn the Chris Kanyon-Perry Saturn singles match into a tag title match. However, Kanyon's partner (Bam Bam Bigelow) wasn't there either. So Kanyon defended the titles with Page. Ric finally arrived at 9:55pm, but they had run out the clock by then, so they told him he wasn't needed and to go back home.
    • The entirety of Hog Wild/Road Wild was this for Bischoff. He was a huge Harley fan and so chose the giant Sturgis rally as the place for a new PPV. But this meant there was no live gate proceeds (typically several hundred thousand dollars for a PPV) and the ring was surrounded by a bunch of drunk, racist bikers who didn't really give a damn about wrestling.
  • Unperson: Nowadays, Turner Broadcasting and WarnerMedia would much rather not bring up professional wrestling in their history, scrubbing any mention of WCW and its related entities from their press release archives and websites. A real shame, because broadcasting professional wrestling was a major factor in bringing Turner Broadcasting to prominence (alongside cable news, but that's another subject). The only trace either company has of WCW is Ready to Rumble, a film featuring prominent WCW wrestlers produced by then-WCW sister studio Warner Bros.
  • Wag the Director: This was during the times of wrestler power: you could always threaten to defect to the other team. The result was big pay packets, big egos and big demands. The advantage WWF had is that the boss is also the owner and commands respect from his employees. WCW's ownership was not around, and Bischoff was the opposite of a locker room leader.
    • Watch early Nitros and be amazed at how Macho Man would spend a match getting absolutely crushed by relative unknowns like Scott Norton, Chris Benoit, Kurasawa, Hugh Morrus, and Craig Pittman, while Hulk Hogan was busy having the entire Four Horsemen beg off from him and beating up EIGHT members of the Dungeon of Doom by himself.
    • One of the best line items on the WCW balance sheet is Lanny Poffo (Randy Savage's brother) — $150,000. They paid Savage's brother $150k a year, every year, and he didn't have to do anything. No travel, no wrestling. He wasn't even a backstage consultant. He just pocketed $150k a year for existing.
    • Tony was also a producer aside from his commentator duties and—according to Heenan at least—used his clout to hog the broadcast while Heenan and Mike Tenay sat on their hands and barely got a word in.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Pro Wrestling Wiki covers WCW.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants:
    • Russo has admitted this. Vince McMahon would ask "why" before it made it to TV, but Eric would ask "why" after. He just let the booking committee handle everything except the main event guys.
      Gene Okerlund: I confronted Eric on a number of occasions. "What the hell are we doing tonight?" He said, "LEAVE ME ALONE, I DON'T KNOW YET!" And I says, "My God. We're 10 minutes before showtime here. Ya better figure it out pretty quick, because we've got a show that starts at 8:00 and we don't even have a run sheet yet!"
  • Written-In Infirmity:
    • Sting brooding in the rafters and stalking Hogan from afar. Looking back on it, he had a torn knee in some kind of cage match with RoboCop, or something like that. They were actually lucky that Sting was hurt, because they had to slow down with the Crow gimmick, and build up to Starrcade with Hogan. If Sting had not been unavailable to wrestle, how they would have booked the Sting/nWo conflict? Probably not as well, and it would have fizzled out even earlier.
    • When Russo and Ferrara tried to turn the image of the company around, they were met with several setbacks, including Bret Hart's career-ending injury at the hands or, more accurately, boot of Goldberg - who then accidentally injured himself during a backstage segment two weeks later. (See below)
    • Prior to Souled Out, Bret Hart and Jeff Jarrett phoned the office to tell them they can't work, as they both had concussions. This took FOUR matches off the card. Jeff Jarrett's spot in Triple Threat Theatre was instead given to Billy Kidman, and Sid Vicious vs. Bret Hart for the World Title was replaced with Sid v. Benoit for the title.
    • Goldberg punching through a limosine window, cutting the hell out of his arm. WCW lost their biggest star at a pivotal moment in the Monday Night Wars for several months. WCW was left with a heel machine (nWo) and no one to run through it.


Example of: