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Thursday, February 19, 2015

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"Great" Moments In Wrestling History, Volume One

No Limit Soldiers vs West Texas Rednecks
By True (@TrueGodImmortal)

Good afternoon and welcome to the debut of this column looking at the "great" moments that tend to go overlooked in wrestling history. The moments that are so unbelievable, they make you question why you are even still a fan of the business. The moments where you put your head down in shame as something ridiculous parades across your screen. Yes, those moments.

Today, I wanted to start with the feud that doesn't get enough credit in aiding the downfall of WCW, the No Limit Soldiers vs The West Texas Rednecks (hold your applause please). In professional wrestling, you have those very moments where everything lines up, the electricity flows, the crowd goes wild, and emotions run high.


None of that happened here.

How could this have worked? You have the West Texas Rednecks, comprised of some legendary wrestlers, going into this feud as heels--IN THE DEEP SOUTH--against a team of minority wrestlers (except for Brad Armstrong and Chase Tatum), backed by a famous multimillionaire rap artist. This was doomed for failure at the inception. The reality of this situation was that WCW was desperate to find a new audience after WWF had been kicking their ass in the Monday Night War for over a year at the time. Somehow, this led WCW to believe bringing in Master P was a great idea that would captivate a bigger audience. This was not foreign in WCW to see celebrities on their program in active roles. The inclusion of Karl Malone, Dennis Rodman, NFL stars (what up, Mongo?), and Jay Leno, all worked well in the past, but this was ill-advised.

The feud starts with Master P having an altercation with Curt Hennig over a supposed gift that Curt attempted to give Silkk The Shocker (it'd be nice if Curt gave Silkk the ability to rap on beat, but I'm grasping at straws here). The No Limit Soldiers are supposed to be faces in the feud, yet they start off with heel activities? Yep, makes sense for 1999 WCW. Konnan and Rey Mysterio joined up with The No Limit Soldiers as Hennig gathered Barry and Kendall Windham along with Bobby Duncum, Jr. to make up the West Texas Rednecks. The feud was on. This could have been epic, right? Exposure for the company in the mainstream from using Master P's brand, entertaining segments with talent getting over, and a chance to help WCW get back in position to compete. What could possibly go wrong now?

Everything.

The West Texas Rednecks created a funny song called "Rap Is Crap," seen above. This song bordered on being racist (fuck it, the whole feud was racist as is), yet caught on quickly with the WCW fans of the deep south. Rap was still seen (even more so) as the bastard child of music at the time apparently. So, with the demographic of fans in WCW, the sentiment of "rap is crap" was shared. To be honest, I doubt any rapper could have got that storyline to work against the West Texas Rednecks in the south. WCW booked themselves into a hole, and no one was happy about what was going on.

The feud wasn't necessarily terrible match-wise, as Konnan and Rey picked up a victory over Duncum Jr and Hennig at the Great American Bash, setting the stage for a huge 8 man elimination match at Bash At The Beach. Up until now, I've neglected to mention Master P's true motivation for this entire venture, but I think it was apparent to all those who watched: Master P did this entire angle just to get his cousin, known as Swoll, a shot in the wrestling business.

This...is Swoll.

Usually a wrestler has to go train, get better, improve, work their way up the ranks to get a shot, but not Swoll. Swoll walked right in and got himself a match at one of the biggest PPVs for WCW. Now, was Swoll any good as a wrestler? Not really. Instead, the No Limit Wrestlers relied on Rey, Konnan and BA (Brad Armstrong) to do the heavy lifting in the ring. As the feud came to a close, I think the question everyone involved (including the WCW higher ups who approved the feud) would have to ask "was any of this worth it?"

ANY OF IT?

A smidgen?

A piece?

The answer to this question is simply HELL NO. There are many ideas that should have been left alone, this was one of them. BA went back to being just Brad Armstrong, Rey went on to start the Filthy Animals, Chase Tatum (apologies to the dead, but who the fuck was he?) disappeared aside from a cameo in 2007's Who's Your Caddy, Master P went back to counting money (he got paid 200,000 per appearance he made), Silkk the Shocker went back to spitting his off-beat trash verses, and The West Texas Rednecks disbanded not too long after this feud took place.

Lesson learned here, folks. Some ideas are better kept as just that: ideas. Next time on " Great" Moments In Wrestling History, I'll take a look at what I like to call, "The Era of The Enhancement Guys." Oh yes, T.L. Hopper, Salvatore Sincere, Aldo Montaya, and many more shall be immortalized by the Immortal One himself.

Until next time, stay classy...or something close to that.

-The Immortal
@TrueGodImmortal

PS: For a different view, but similar outcome, on the WTR/NLS feud, check out an older SOTB!!! post on the feud here.

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