Whatcha Gonna Do When Huddersfield Town Runs Wild On You?
A couple of weeks ago I came across a WCW Monday Nitro T shirt.
My wife thought I was mad for indulging in a moment of true 90’s nostalgia as I emptied my pockets: “You’re like a little kid,” she huffed.
I tried the T shirt on and hummed along to the WCW Monday Nitro tune, as my wife once again lambasted my most resplendent purchase.
The bottom line is, however, the late ’90s were a good time to be a sports entertainment fan.
Both WCW and WWE (now WWF, of course) were at the height of their powers, as the Monday Night Wars raged as Nitro and WWF Raw went head to head.
Unofficially, however, the Monday Night Wars truly began over 20 years ago. In the middle of an irrelevant mid-card match, an individual dressed all in denim and chomping on a toothpick made his way through the crowd.
Wrestling fans knew him as Razor Ramon, a former Intercontinental champion in WWF who was one of the company’s biggest stars.
However, he was on a rival show, interrupting the proceedings to deliver a warning: An invasion was coming.
“You people, you know who I am. I got a challenge for billionaire Ted, for the Nacho Man (a derogatory nickname for the Macho Man) and for anybody else in WCW. You want to go to war? You want a war? You’re gonna get one.”
Later in that same broadcast, Hall appeared once again with another bombshell — he wasn’t alone. Scott Hall, as Ramon would be known in WCW, teased that he was part of a larger "we."
A much larger "we," it would turn out.
Two weeks after Hall’s debut, he introduced the WCW audience to Kevin Nash, formerly "Diesel" in WWF. Nash delivered a promo, in which he famously referred to the word ‘play’ as an adjective:
You’ve been sitting out here for six months, running your mouth. “This is where the big boys play,” huh?
“Look at the adjective ‘play.
“We ain’t here to play.”
“Where’s your three guys? What, you couldn’t get a palaeontologist to get out a couple of these fossils cleared? You ain’t got enough guys off a dialysis machine to get a team?”
Together, Nash and Hall would be known as the Outsiders, but they weren’t finished there. They demanded a six-man tag match at the next WCW Pay-Per-View, Bash at the Beach — yet they refused to reveal their third partner.
WCW gathered Lex Luger, Sting and Randy Savage to take on the invaders.
As the match began, the third member of the Outsiders was still nowhere to be found. Eventually, though, wrestling fans’ worst fears came true.
Hulk Hogan made his way to the ring, seemingly to support WCW. Instead, he hit Macho Man with multiple leg drops, embraced the Outsiders, and gave one of the greatest wrestling promos ever:
“Well the first thing you’ve gotta realise, brother, is that this right here is the future of wrestling. You can call this the New World Order of wrestling, brother. Whatcha gonna do when the New World Organization runs wild on you? Whatcha gonna do?
“New world organization,” “New world order,” — either way, the NWO was born. And WCW leaped to the front of the Monday night ratings war, beating Raw for 84 consecutive weeks at the height of Nitro’s popularity.
Unfortunately for "Billionaire Ted" and his company, WWF responded in kind with a shift into the Attitude Era, when the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock would re-establish the superiority of Vince McMahon’s promotion.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
You may be asking, what the hell was WWF and WCW got to do with Huddersfield Town?
Allow me to enlighten you...
The WWF/WCW Monday Night Wars sort of blurred the fictional cartoon world of wrestling with reality and gave me an insight into the world of sports entertainment marketing
I loved what was going on behind the scenes in the corridors of power and WWF and WCW as the commercial and creative sides of these two juggernauts going head to head, outsmarting each other, poaching talent, making money from pay per views and merchandise.
This was much more interesting to me than what was going on in the ring, as the company who made the most money would be declared the winner.
When both WCW and WWF were at the top of their games, they pushed each other to be more entertaining every week.
Once WCW was gone, there was no reason to really try anymore. The greatest stars of the era—Steve Austin and The Rock—moved on, and I got bored.
It was only until my 10 year old introduced me to Huddersfield Town, a Championship Club at the time, with some serious potential, a potential WCW, if you like, it was like the beginning of the Monday night wars again!
To my amazement, in true WCW and WWE storyline fashion, Town only did the impossible, got promoted to the Premier League and actually stayed up!
Huddersfield Town provided that bit of hope to Yorkshire’s finest and to many around the globe, who have anointed Dean Hoyle as the great hope, the man who can ensure the club helps rid us of the vast, empty expanse of sameness which some Premier League clubs represent.
Town is seen as a cool company that has made a very serious sojourn into football’s consciousness by doing things their own way.
I don’t know the guy well, but I will tell you this, for me, Dean Hoyle is in the same league as Eric Bischoff/Vince McMahon.
He is very street wise like Afzal Kahn, who I have worked with for over 12 years at Kahn Design/Chelsea Truck Company.
I am talking about two people you can’t BS as they have pretty good BS meters.
People automatically assume all PR people are great at BS, but I’m not a classically trained PR/HR man, therefore after I graduated, I had to practically earn my dues.
One thing I have learnt is that you have to have nerves of steel to work in our industry, it’s not for the faint hearted, only the strong survive, the rest are shown the door.
You've got to be aggressive. You don't have the luxury of a slow, analytical process if you want to stay on top of your game. You have to be very nimble. You have to take bold chances if you want to survive.
So any time the stakes are as high as they are in business in general, you have to have a committed, aggressive, take no prisoners’ kind of attitude, yet treat those who deserve to be treated with respect - like kings and queens!
Suppliers have tried ripping us off, so called competitors have tried bad mouthing us in true Walter Mitty fashion, but in wrestling speak, we have ‘rock bottomed’ them all.
The same goes for Huddersfield Town. If you’re sick of the big boys and you are looking for a real alternative, if you're wanting the return of true, honest, yet tough competition, look no further than the Terriers.
There is no chance they'll overextend, both on and off the pitch, leading to the same sort of death spiral which has befallen so many football teams, and off-course, WCW.
The big boys don't like competition and the fact that some of the coolest methods, techniques and strategies, the kind of creative fan retention and marketing parameters used to defeat WWF back in the day, have seemingly been employed by Town - many clubs look on enviously as more and more potential club partners pick up the phone and ask Sean Jarvis to sign them up.
I believe the Town product is competitive and is capable of standing on its own two feet, breaking the paradigm or to disrupt the traditional Premier League format that has been established for decades.
Rest assured I will be looking out for Town’s results and writing columns from time to time.
Although I believe the greatest ever pound for pound wrestler EVER was without a doubt, England’s very own Dynamite Kid (Tom Billington), as I’m still in my thirties, I am one of many from my generation who had the pleasure of watching the WWF’s attitude era and WCW Monday Nitro go head to head.
However, wouldn’t it be great to envisage central WCW/WWF characters such as Hollywood Hulk Hogan, ‘Big Sexy’ Kevin Nash and the ‘Bad Guy’, Scott Hall being replaced with ‘Premier League’ personalities who really challenge the status quo?
‘Huddersfield’ Dean Hoyle, ‘Big Money’ Sean Jarvis and the ‘Special Guy’ David Wagner are taking over, so this begs the question: “Whatcha gonna do Premier League when Huddersfield Town runs wild on you? Whatcha gonna do?”