Everyone knows what a double-cross is. In the world of professional wrestling, especially during the infamous “Monday Night Wars” between WWE and WCW, there were many double-crosses in both companies. With that being said, I don’t feel it’s necessary to waste time with a giant set up, however I should point out that these are the top five double-crosses that stand out in my memory the most. Not once did I do a “Google Search” to come up with any of the following five examples, these are just the five — all during the Monday Night Wars — that stand out in my memory the most.
#5. The Finger Poke Of Doom
Some may argue that this wasn’t a double-cross, but if you look at things from the perspective of a fan watching the product at the time, it truly was a double-cross. The back-story is well known — Bill Goldberg went on an incredible run that seemed to come out of nowhere. He was undefeated in well over 100 matches. Finally, Kevin Nash ends “the streak” at WCW Starrcade. The very next night on WCW Monday Nitro, a match is made between Nash and Hulk Hogan. The bell rings, Nash tears the t-shirt off, “Hulkster” style and then it happened.
Hulk Hogan gave Kevin Nash “the finger.”
Hogan simply put his finger on Nash’s chest, Nash took a bump and a three-count later, Hulk Hogan was once again the WCW Champion. It was a total waste of the Goldberg streak storyline.
To make matters worse, Goldberg is accused of basically raping or harassing Miss Elizabeth. Tony Schiavone uttered the infamous phrase, “that’ll put a lot of butt’s in the seats,” informing their viewing audience with remotes in their hands not to “switch over to the competition” because Mick Foley was going to be winning WWE’s World Title. It was a ton of famous and infamous moments all in one night, and when you look back on it, it really was a giant “F-you” to the WCW fans who strongly got behind Goldberg, only to screw him out of the streak, make him look stupid the next night and start the beginning of the end for WCW’s reign as champions of the Monday Night War.
#4. Madusa Throws The WWE Women’s Championship In The Trash
This one wasn’t the biggest or most controversial simply because the WWE Women’s Championship — especially pre-Trish Stratus and Lita days, never really meant much. Regardless, it was a totally classless move on the part of Eric Bischoff and “the powers that be” in WCW to convince the former “Alundra Blaze” to throw a WWF belt in the trash can on live television.
There have been other examples in the past of titles being disrespected — or being the subject of controversy. I can recall vividly the sight of the blurred out “big gold belt” when Ric Flair left WCW to jump-ship to WWE pre-Monday Night War days. I can recall other belts being thrown in the garbage, but it was generally a company throwing their own title in the trash, or a lake, or what have you, not a company obtaining possession of their rivals belt and throwing it in the trash.
It was a total sign of disrespect and even if it wasn’t her idea, which it wasn’t, it was a double-cross on the part of Madusa to take a WWF title with her to the rival company and agree to throw it in a trash can on live television.
#3. Lex Luger Breaks His Word
There were several examples of talents jumping ship from WWE to WCW, or vice-versa, or even ECW being “raided” of talent by both WWE and WCW, but the one that started it off was “The Total Package” jumping ship in the middle of the night.
The story goes that Luger gave his word that he would be re-signing with WWE, back during a time when “your word was your bond” and when a “handshake was a handshake and could be trusted,” however WWE was apparently unaware just how serious WCW was going to be in battle.
WCW Nitro was set to debut on a Monday night when RAW was preempted due to the Westminster dog show. The previous night, Luger worked a non-televised WWE live event, and as noted, had agreed to re-sign with a company that spent tons of resources trying to get him over as the “next Hulk Hogan.” I mean, come on, who could forget “The Lex Express” bus tour? Or the “hero” music video?
Regardless, the gloves were off, and this was the first of many major talent defections from one side to the other. Luger broke his word, took a huge cut in pay and jumped ship from WWE to make a surprise debut appearance on the inaugural Nitro broadcast. The war had officially begun.
#2. Rick Rude Appears On RAW & Nitro On The Same Night
There were several examples of WCW taking advantage of the fact that WWE was a taped show at the time. One example was noted earlier in this column, with Schiavone saying the infamous “that’ll put a lot of butt’s in the seats” phrase when referring to Mick Foley winning the WWE title on a taped edition of RAW.
This, although often forgotten or simply not acknowledged, stands out in my mind very clearly.
Rick Rude, much like Luger, gave his word that he would be re-signing with WWE, however, he jumped ship to the competition. It’s been said that Rude made the decision to do so after a famous “screwjob” in Quebec, Canada (more on that in a moment) but he went about it in a very unprofessional manner.
WCW Nitro was live, RAW was taped. WCW would get RAW results ahead of time and counter their programming by making sure to put key stars or matches, promos and angles on to oppose the “high spots” of RAW. Basically, if you’re a fan with a remote control in your hand, WCW did their best to make sure that if WWE had something interesting or major happening, they would counter it with their best attempt at “topping” it.
One Monday night, however, both shows had the same person on at the same time. Rude, along with Sean Waltman, is the only person who can claim they were part of both D-Generation X and the New World Order. After jumping ship from WWE to WCW, Rude, appeared during the taped edition of RAW alongside his D-X buddies, however if you flipped over to TNT, you saw Rick Rude standing in the middle of a WCW ring live with the nWo. It was a shocker for sure.