Insights from Kevin Sullivan on Hulk Hogan/nWo and Bruce Prichard’s Doubts on Masked Champion’s Return

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On a recent edition of his “Tuesday With The Taskmaster” podcast, former WCW booker Kevin Sullivan discussed what Hulk Hogan and the nWo were to the success of WCW.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On the importance of Hogan to WCW’s success: “The reason why we got Nitro was because of Hogan. I remember when Hogan and Eric [Bischoff] came up to me and said, ‘We’re gonna run against Vince.’”

On how WCW would have fared without the nWo: “If Hogan had turned heel it might have sucked down some WWF babyfaces saying, ‘Oh, if I can work with Hogan, I can get those big paydays’… Now, could it have lasted as long as it did? No, the nWo was that special lightning bolt that crosses the sky once every generation.” The veteran also toyed with the idea of Hogan turning heel by himself without the nWo. “Him turning heel was the biggest turn in the history of the business. Him turning heel not with the nWo would have still been shocking. Now, would it have drawn? Yes. Would he have the props without Nash, and Hall, and Syxx? No.”

On people mentioning their Mt. Rushmore of wrestling: “Everybody thinks they can fit into every era. Sorry, you can’t. So, when you say ‘Mount Rushmore,’ you have to say the Mount Rushmore of that era. How can you say Mount Rushmore and have Hogan, Flair, Austin, and Rock on Mount Rushmore and not Roman? So, who gets dropped off?”

During a recent edition of his “Something To Wrestle With” podcast, WWE executive Bruce Prichard explained why a masked WWE World Champion is unlikely in the current era.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On whether a masked talent could have an extended WWE World Title run now: “With the internet and the ability to search and find who’s who and what they really look like and everything, I don’t know if that mystery could sustain in today’s environment. I think people would go search it, you’d have your dirt sheet writers [saying] ‘This is their real name! This is who they are!’ I think Rey [Mysterio] is kind of the last of that breed.”

On why he doesn’t think it’s likely: “I just think the audience has gotten a little more sophisticated. They want to be able to see who’s under that mask, and they can’t suspend their disbelief enough … I just think that the audience over-analyzes and take things way too seriously.”

The Importance of Hulk Hogan and the nWo to WCW’s Success

In the world of professional wrestling, few names carry as much weight as Hulk Hogan. Throughout his career, Hogan has been a major draw and a key figure in the success of various wrestling promotions. One such promotion that benefited greatly from Hogan’s star power was World Championship Wrestling (WCW). In a recent podcast, former WCW booker Kevin Sullivan discussed the significance of Hogan and the nWo faction to WCW’s success.

Sullivan revealed that WCW’s decision to go head-to-head with Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation (WWF) on Monday nights with their show, Monday Nitro, was largely due to Hogan’s involvement. Hogan and Eric Bischoff, who was the executive producer of WCW at the time, approached Sullivan with the idea of directly competing with McMahon’s company. This move marked a significant turning point for WCW and set the stage for the Monday Night Wars, a period of intense rivalry between the two wrestling promotions.

According to Sullivan, Hogan’s importance to WCW’s success cannot be overstated. His star power and popularity brought in a whole new audience and helped WCW gain a competitive edge over the WWF. However, Sullivan also acknowledged that if Hogan had turned heel (become a villainous character) without the formation of the nWo faction, it might not have had the same long-lasting impact. The nWo, which consisted of Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and others, was a groundbreaking storyline that captivated fans and propelled WCW to new heights.

Sullivan described the nWo as a “special lightning bolt that crosses the sky once every generation.” The faction’s rebellious nature and anti-establishment attitude resonated with fans and created a buzz within the wrestling industry. Without the nWo, WCW may not have been able to sustain its success for as long as it did.

The discussion also touched upon the topic of wrestling’s Mount Rushmore, a hypothetical concept that represents the four most influential figures in the history of the business. Sullivan argued that when considering the Mount Rushmore of wrestling, it is essential to take into account the different eras and their respective stars. He questioned how one could exclude current wrestlers like Roman Reigns while including legends like Hogan, Ric Flair, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock. This highlights the ever-evolving nature of the wrestling industry and the need to recognize the contributions of wrestlers from different eras.

In a separate podcast, WWE executive Bruce Prichard discussed the possibility of a masked WWE World Champion in the current era. Prichard expressed skepticism, citing the internet and the audience’s ability to uncover a wrestler’s true identity. He mentioned that Rey Mysterio, a masked wrestler who achieved great success in WWE, may be one of the last of his kind due to the audience’s desire to know who is under the mask.

Prichard also suggested that the audience has become more sophisticated and analytical, making it difficult for them to suspend their disbelief. He believes that fans over-analyze and take things too seriously, which could hinder the success of a masked champion in today’s wrestling landscape.

Both discussions shed light on the significant role that individual wrestlers and storylines play in shaping the success of wrestling promotions. Hulk Hogan and the nWo brought a level of excitement and intrigue to WCW that helped them compete with the WWF during the Monday Night Wars. Meanwhile, the idea of a masked champion raises questions about the evolving tastes and expectations of wrestling fans in the digital age.

As professional wrestling continues to evolve, it is crucial for promotions to adapt to changing audience preferences while also recognizing the contributions of past legends. Hogan and the nWo will forever be remembered as key figures in WCW’s success, while masked wrestlers like Mysterio will be celebrated for their unique contributions to the industry.