When the New World Order (nWo) officially formed at the Bash at the Beach pay-per-view (PPV) in July, it was clear World Championship Wrestling (WCW) had a hot angle that would help catapult it ahead of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the Monday Night Ratings war of the late 90s. But it would require a great deal of patience and planning, not to mention proper booking from a promotion that never inspired much confidence in being able to do so.
But, much to the surprise of pro wrestling fans everywhere, they got it right. In a big, big way.
The nWo was a heel stable and the only way to truly establish a strong heel group of rulebreakers is to put them over time and again. This seems counterproductive to business but it pays off later when the babyface(s) finally rise up. Plus, the nWo was that perfect mix of heel and cool that allowed them to straddle the line between selling merchandise and maintaining the antagonist role.
WCW went to the extreme to make the nWo the biggest and baddest organization in the industry. In fact, there was a time when the plan was to create an entirely new show using the strength of its brand, though that never occurred, thankfully. Just one month after the group was formed, its unofficial leader, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, challenged The Giant for the heavyweight championship at Hog Wild.
And it was on this date in history (Aug. 10, 1996) that Hogan won the title.
The match itself was garbage. It takes forever to get started and when it does, it features far too many rest holds in front of a bored crowd that can hardly appreciate what they're watching, seeing as it's just a bunch of bikers at the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota who didn't pay to get in. It ends, mercifully, after the usual run in from The Outsiders that helps Hogan clock Giant with the title and get the pin.
What happened after the match is far more infamous.
Hogan's longtime real life crony, Ed Leslie, working under the name "The Booty Man" at the time, came down with a cake and a gift for Hogan, seeing as it was his birthday the next day. The gift turned out to be a can of spray paint and after Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash laid Leslie out, "Hollywood" spray painted nWo on the heavyweight title.
It stayed that way for a very long time.
Watch the match in its entirety after the jump.