Throughout his career, Terry Funk has been a part of countless legendary angles.
This is not one of them.
The January 3rd Nitro promised to reveal a new commissioner. After the NWO promised that nothing would change, Bill Behrens came out to reveal the commissionerâ€™s identity â€“ Terry Funk.
Funk brought back Arn Anderson, whoâ€™d been fired by the Powers That Be. That was the NWOâ€™s cue. After they offered Funk a spot in the group, Funk was ready to start exercising his power.
First, a world title match between Goldberg and Bret Hart was scheduled for Souled Out. Funk set the stipulations that the title could change hands on a disqualification and Arn would be the guest referee.
For Jarrett Funk made a match against Sid Vicious that could only be won by powerbombing your opponent. After Nash threatened David Flair, the NWO backed off.
Later in the night, Nash and Steiner competed in a tournament to crown new tag team champions. They were facing the Harris Brothers. In the end the Harrises got jumped by the Varsity Club and the NWO had an easy win.
After David Flair and Crowbar defeated Buff Bagwell and Vampiro (who was replacing Kanyon, whoâ€™d been jumped by Bam Bam Bigelow), the NWO struck again and grabbed Daphne.
Next up was the powerbomb match. Sid powerbombed Jarrett but the referee was down. The ref came to in time to see Bret Hart blast Sid with a baseball bat, which disqualified Jarrett.
The main event saw David and Crowbar facing Nash and Steiner. While Scott Steiner was doing commentary, Nash was decimating David and Crowbar â€“ until Arn Anderson came down in a refereeâ€™s shirt. Arn nailed Nash with a tire iron and pulled David onto him for the three count and the belts.
As the show closed, the NWO attacked and stuffed Arn into a car trunk before driving off.
Thunder opened with the still-captive Arn being dragged into the building by the NWO.
Following a cruiserweight match, Juventud Guerrera (with help from Psicosis) tried to take over a seat at commentary. Funk came out, planted them both, and demanded that Arn be returned or heâ€™d handle things himself.
Jeff Jarrett came out and let Funk know that they had some demands and theyâ€™d be making them in about an hour. The NWO spent that hour beating up Anderson, while David Flair, who was watching on a monitor, grew noticeably upset.
Finally we found out what the NWO wanted (after Funk and David Flair attacked Jarrett after a match). There would be a match between Terry Funk and Kevin Nash at Souled Out, where the winner would become commissioner. Funk agreed, but the NWO could not interfere and it would be under hardcore rules. With the decision made, both groups exchanged their hostages.
Funk then went on to face Bret Hart in a non-title hardcore match for the main event. Hart leveled the referee and we saw David Flair take a referee shirt away from Arn Anderson, lock Anderson in his locker room, and run out to take over. The NWO then pounded on David and Nash powerbombed Funk through the set to end the show.
On Nitro, the show opened with Terry Funk climbing out of a limo. Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, and Paul Orndorff followed as Tony Schiavone informed us that Terry Funk would be booking the show as it happened.
The NWO, meanwhile, was celebrating Scott Steinerâ€™s birthday. And for his birthday, they gave him many, many prostitutes.
Funk came out and presented his group, naming them the Old Age Outlaws. After the NWO came out and the war of words got underway, Terry started booking matches.
First, since Jarrett was facing Chris Benoit in a Triple Threat Theater match at Souled Out, heâ€™d be competing in three warm up matches that night against three veterans of Funkâ€™s choosing.
As for Nash, he and Hart would be facing each other in a world title match in the main event.
And since Scott Steiner wasnâ€™t cleared to wrestle, well, Funk would just wash his mouth out with soap.
First Jarrett had a Bunkhouse Brawl match. Jarrett came down ready for the match and Funk revealed his opponent to be George the Animal Steele. Jarrett blasted Steele with a guitar when the Animal paused to eat a turnbuckle and Arn Anderson planted Jarrett with a spinebuster. Referee Chris Benoit then pulled Steele on top of Jarrett and made the quick three count.
Jarrettâ€™s next match was a wrestling match, and his opponent was revealed to be Tito Santana. While Jarrett and referee Benoit were distracted by a Buffalo Bills player, Orndorff hit the ring and nailed Jarrett with a piledriver. Benoit pulled Santana on top of Jarrett and counted the pinfall.
Jarrettâ€™s next match was a cage match â€“ against Superfly Jimmy Snuka. Things looked to be going Jarrettâ€™s way, since Benoit had been jumped in the back. Benoit came out and finally fought his way into the cage before attacking Jarrett. Benoit tried to climb the cage, but Jarrett stopped him and that was Orndorff and Zbyszkoâ€™s cue to attack. The match ended when Snuka hit a superfly splash from the top of the cage and Benoit landed a diving headbutt from the top of the cage as well. Superfly covered and Benoit counted the pinfall.
In the back, Funk was in Steinerâ€™s locker room with Steiner handcuffed to lockers. True to his word, Funk stuffed a bar of soap into Steinerâ€™s mouth.
In the main event, Hart and Nash were fighting when Sid Vicious came out and the cage came down. Sid chokeslammed Bret and Arn Anderson counted the pinfall. Outside the ring, Nash was on the mat when Funk used a flaming branding iron on him as the show closed.
Thunder saw Bret Hart coming out and quitting the NWO, which Nash took offense to. We also saw the Old Age Outlaws watching on.
After Nash and Jarrett faced Chris Benoit and Sid, Bret Hart staggered out. Heâ€™d been beaten throughout the show, his hair had been cut, and his tights had been burned. Arn and Funk came out and Arn threw a bucket of water in Hartâ€™s face, revealing that Hartâ€™s bruises were only makeup. That started the customary brawl. The show closed with Funk and Nash both grabbing for Funkâ€™s branding iron.
That brought us to Souled Out which, by all accounts and purposes, was a total and complete disaster due to backstage incidents. Bret Hart had suffered a severe concussion during a match with Goldberg at Souled Out that would end his career and he was out. Jarrett had suffered a concussion during his cage match on Nitro and he was out.
Backstage, Vince Russo made the decision to put the world title on Tank Abbott, thereby proving that WCW was unpredictable and you never knew what would happen. Russo was sent home and control of WCW passed to a booking committee composed of JJ Dillon, Mike Graham, and Kevin Sullivan. With hours to book the PPV, the committee decided to replace Jarrett in the Triple Threat Theater with Kidman (who would face first Dean Malenko, then Perry Saturn, and finally the Wall) and the world title would be decided in a match between Sid and Chris Benoit.
The Funk/Nash match went on as scheduled. In the end, a powerbomb onto a chair sealed Funkâ€™s fate and Nash was named new commissioner of WCW.
However, this time it was different. Funk and his band actually won some victories over the various NWO representatives. Going into Souled Out, it actually looked as if Funk may be able to neutralize the foe.
However, we wound up with Nash going over which meant that the New World Order was going nowhere. At least until the next booking change.