Stone Cold Steve Austin (WWF 2000)

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How did Kurt Angle never do one of these ads?

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Horace Hogan vs. Billy Kidman (WCW Thunder April 26, 2000)

In early 2000, WCW decided that Kevin Sullivan’s booking style was not as successful as they had hoped and so it was decided that former WCW president, Eric Bischoff, and former World Wrestling Federation head of creative, Vince Russo, would be brought back to run WCW together.

On April 10, 2000, Bischoff and Russo appeared on screen and declared all WCW titles vacant and also announced a new stable known as The New Blood that would consist primarily of the younger wrestlers in WCW.  The New Blood claimed that they were being held back by the older, more established talent, the so-called Millionaire’s Club.

Six days later on April 16, at Spring Stampede in Chicago, Illinois, every title was on the line in matches pitting The New Blood against the Millionaire’s Club.  The New Blood won every title save for the WCW Hardcore Championship which Terry Funk captured.

It was a good idea in theory.  WCW hoped that by pushing the younger talent fans who had gravitated towards WWF would return, but the execution was somewhat less than perfect.  The New Blood, the young talent tired of being held back by the establishment were more or less depicted as heels as is evident in this Billy Kidman bout.

Kidman had been feuding with Hulk Hogan due to Hogan’s claim that, “The young guys like Billy Kidman that…if they don’t get the push they’re going their pack their bags up and go elsewhere. I’ll say the say the same thing to him I said before you couldn’t sell out a flea market on your best day.“  On the April 24, 2000 episode of Nitro Kidman and Mike Awesome had hospitalized Hogan after beating him mercilessly in a two on one handicap match.

That week on Thunder, Kidman came out in a Hogan t-shirt which he ripped in a mockery of Hogan’s ring entrance and then bragged about hospitalizing Hogan (Awesome had legitimately done most of the work).  He then issues an open challenge that Hogan’s legit nephew, Horace Hogan answered.  Horace Hogan dominates Kidman and the only reason Kidman wins is because of a distraction from Torrie Wilson and interference from Eric Bischoff because having to cheat to win against a guy who was more or less a jobber is a great way to get the fans behind someone.

WCW management were shocked that fans were cheering the Millionaire’s Club rather than The New Blood decided the experiment was not working and quickly put an end to the feud in early July.