SLACKAMANIA DVD REVIEW – WWE: The Kliq Rules DVD Recap (Disc One)
WWE: The Kliq Rules
Friends 4 Life: HBK is asked why we are still talking about the Kliq 20 years later. He says he believes the five stood the test of time and remain friends and people find it fascinating, even if it drives WWE nuts. We then see the Kliq talking backstage present day on how Shawn became a Garth Brooks fan and into the country lifestyle hunting and fishing.
Forming A Bond: The origin of the Kliq started when Scott Hall met Shawn Michaels in 1985 over in the Kansas City territory and Hall was in the tag team American Starship. We get footage of them together from 1985, Hall & Michaels then went to AWA the next year and remained friends. Nash & Hall became friends during their time in WCW in the early 90s. HBK was a fan of Nash in WCW as Vinnie Vegas and he made him laugh watching him, so HBK requested to Vince he needed a bodyguard and suggested Nash, who jumped overnight from WCW to WWF without even knowing Shawn. Nash rode with HBK and Hall. They worked with each other within 2 ½ years. Sean Waltman had worked a program with Hall as the 1-2-3 Kid and won them over by putting super glue in the Smoking Gunns cowboy hats. The guys would watch WCW and laugh at how bad it was, but one guy caught their eye that they liked named Terra Ryzing, who joined the WWF a year later as Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Hunter interacted with guys and was polite and friendly and the 5 guys gelled on the road. HHH says the passion for the business formed their bond, Nash claims it was common interest. Waltman says it saved money and they’d get a van to all ride together. HHH says Hall wanted to talk about things other than wrestling, but 5 minutes later would bring up something else.
Strength In Numbers: They made an oath and promised to watch each other’s backs. Lex Luger calls it strength in numbers as they would go to the office together. They’d help each other sober up. HHH said they stuck together like glue and were best friends. Vince doesn’t think it was planned and that it just evolved. HHH says Steph calls HBK his road wife and he was with him nearly every day. HHH credits Luger for coining the name of the Kliq. Luger says Davey Boy Smith deserves credit for it as he would make a clicking sound as a joke when they were around. What started as a joke became known as their name. Waltman got the hand signal idea from a mafia known as The Turkish Wolf. HBK says the spots and positions never made them jealous towards one another. They were helping keep WWF afloat when business was down.
‘’Kliq Call’’ The Kliq talk about the backstage animosity they received when Nash & HBK won the tag team titles from The Headshrinkers the night before Summerslam 94 when Nash was going to drop the IC title back to Kliq member Hall at that show. Sunny and Vince Russo said everyone hated them. Billy Gunn said if there was a problem with them it would be whispered as backstage gossip but that it didn’t get back to the wrong person. Sunny said everyone took BS from them at times and believes it was due to egos. Bret Hart thinks it was a bad thing for the locker room as they controlled things for their own interest. Sgt. Slaughter says they would meet in the stands and talk about who on the roster should stay and go and advised Vince whether he liked it or not. Shane Douglas says the roster wasn’t scared of the Kliq as men, but scared of their power. Justin Credible says they were very opinionated. Bret was offered to join the Kliq for even more power but declined as he felt it was too controlling. Godfather says they were looking out for their own, but they were all talented. Waltman says they were the devil to the rest of the roster. Bret said they were best at backstabbing. JR said they were the sophomore jocks that played varsity, but were still 16. Russo says they distanced themselves from everyone else. They even had their own locker room as guys didn’t want to go in there with them and put KLIQ ONLY on the door as they said it was made a big deal and got heat from the boys. They complained to the locker room about payoffs which resulted in other angry guys in the locker room going to JR about it being screwed as well, which was getting played by the Kliq. Nash admitted they stirred the pot on payoffs. Vince said there was fact and fiction and the Kliq became reality. Other cliques were formed such as BSK (Bone Street Krew) that played dominoes every day. That was a nickname for bones. The group included Undertaker, Yokozuna, Rikishi, Godfather, Savio Vega, & Henry Godwinn. They got hats and tattoos and clothing with the BSK logo. The internet became popular at that time and rumors spread about the different groups. Credible says he loves HBK and helped him out a lot but he was prick at the time. Russo says he complained so much to Vince. Nash says HBK would get away screaming at Vince, but believes Vince respected HBKs passion for the business. Vince says they took him on a ride, and JR believes if Vince was a wrestler he would be a Kliq member as he could relate to them. Hall and Nash both say Vince asked could he be in it. Vince said they were good for a competitive atmosphere. Russo says no matter what Vince felt about you personally he loved you as long as you made money for the company. Guys were getting fed up with The Kliq. Shane Douglas quit the WWF so he wouldn’t have to deal with them any longer. HBK says he doesn’t hold a grudge with anyone that has a problem with The Kliq, but wished they would have addressed it to them or went to Vince over it. He questions their manhood for eating it and taking it instead of wanting to fight them or address management. JR said the buck always stopped with Vince regardless of the Kliq. The infamous meeting in Indianapolis is brought up where the Kliq called Vince over creative direction and Vince and Gerry Brisco flew to the show and meet with them behind closed doors where pushes and angles were discussed for the best direction of the company overall. Waltman mentions while they were for themselves one of the guys they felt deserved a push was Bob Holly, even though he wasn’t a fan of the Kliq. HBK says his biggest issue was some of creative. HHH says they wanted to be more real and get rid of plumbers, garbage men, and dentist characters. After another meeting with Vince and Brisco, it garnered more heat with the boys. HBK said generally with major complaints guys would be fired or let go, but he didn’t do it with them. HBK says the reason they never were they never said ‘’or else’ with Vince. Undertaker mentions HBK had Vince’s ear and he says that group was standoffish and arrogant as they felt they were the chosen ones. Russo says they set themselves apart from everyone else, and felt that was a reason Nash and Hall went to WCW because nobody was begging them to stay.
The Curtain Call: The Kliq are joking backstage at the 2014 HOF ceremony they are going to hold up Vince to double the HOF payoff. Hall says in early 1996 he wanted to elevate his spot and financial status. He asked Vince did he need to improve in the ring and/or promos and Vince said no he was pleased. Hall wanted big money. In a new interview, Eric Bischoff says Hall was tight with DDP and DDP was in his ear and they hung out all the time so he got Hall a big contract with WCW, and a week later Nash signed. HHH said Hall was going to WCW no matter what. HHH said Nash confirmed to him he was going to tell Vince he was staying with WWF because it was home. However his wife got him to change his mind the next day after hyping more money and family time. Hall and Nash both admit they didn’t want to leave. Nash says they weren’t going to a juggernaut and mentions how crap The Dungeon of Doom was, he said they left for the $$$. On May 19th 1996 the WWF had a house show at MSG. They have an exclusivity clause so Hall and Nash believed that it would be their last ever match at the prestigious arena. Wrestling fans Mani Mohtadi and Jason Cosmides snuck in a camera to the event and taped most of it as they liked taping shows for fun instead of for profit among tape traders. They had heard the rumors Hall & Nash were leaving for WCW but they didn’t want to believe it. Hall put over HHH on the undercard, and HBK was in the main event against Nash in a steel cage match for the WWF championship. Vince gave them permission to go out after the match; Vince says they weren’t clear conversations. HHH believes Vince thought a salute or applause from the rampage. WWF didn’t film the house show so only Mani and Jason’s footage exists of the infamous ‘’Curtain Call’’ HHH says Hall asked Vince could he go out after the match and Vince said I guess. Hall gave HBK the Kliq sign and hugged him but HHH followed and did the same thing which shocked many because he was a heel and HBK was a face. Eventually the whole Kliq did a group hug and playing. HBK says the crowd ate it up so it made them do more. Nash says they went from ‘’You Sold Out’’ chants to people crying in the audience. Mani says he never seen anyone break character before. Russo says in 1996 breaking kayfabe had never been done before. Bischoff says it was unusual and never been done before in WWE. Nash says the curtain call was also a passing of the torch to HBK and HHH. Russo said backstage it was a big deal, as Jim Cornette and Bruce Prichard acted like someone was murdered or the end of the world and the business died on that day. Vince said many considered it taboo. Nash said they had dinner plans after the show but Vince was upset and they didn’t do it. HBK admitted to Vince they got carried away with it. Hall said it was his chance to say thank you to the MSG fans and is flattered 20 years later it’s still talked about. Nash says it wasn’t done with malice and done for all the right reasons and today most view upon it as cool. Vince says there is a page to turn for new things and the audience could see and viewed characters with shades or grey instead of face and heel.
Divide & Conquer: Bischoff wanted something to never be done before and had Hall’s WCW debut by interrupting the match unannounced and cut a promo. He said it worked because many thought he was Razor Ramon and Vince sent him. The NWO changed the tide for WCW and it felt very real as they were portrayed as invaders. WWF was losing the war so a shift in the product next year resulted in DX with HBK and HHH. The crotch chop was a Kliq thing crated by Waltman. Luger compared the edgier product to how reality TV changed television. On the October 6th 1997 edition of RAW DX showed the footage of the Curtain Call during a segment. HHH says the Kliq talked about running both companies as him and HBK were Kliq North and Hall, Nash, and Waltman were Kliq South or as Hall calls it Divide and Conquer. Hall says he always wanted to return to WWE as it was the place to be. Hall & Nash weren’t just playing bad guys on TV, but behind the scenes in WCW as well. Dean Malenko said they were disruptive. Sting said their presence in the locker room was more cutthroat and that ‘’you better watch your back’’ Hall said they were hated due to the $$$ they were being paid. Jericho said they disrespected WCW like a car handed to you by your parents. Hogan admits they were cocky and distant and acted too cool to be around. Bischoff said there was concern throughout the locker room, as they felt spots would be taken. Luger says there were egos but that they brought out the best in guys. Rick Steiner says everyone was used to their spot in WCW but what was going to happen when Hall & Nash came in. Waltman puts over the WCW roster as performers but says they were better than talent in survival instincts and getting over. Hall compares it to a shark tank attitude in a country club and said it was a joke working for them compared to Vince. Nash says they always said ‘’Well in New York’’ and tells a story how they overheard Sting through the wall of a locker room tell Luger if I hear those guys say that one more time in which Hall yelled out ‘’Well in New York, you got to watch what you say’’ Despite the Monday Night War the Kliq remained friends. We get footage of HHH and Chyna with the Outsiders and Waltman in Muscle Beach which got him some heat. We see promos and signals about the Kliq from both sides and a fan asking HBK was he going to join the NWO but aid he was signed seal and delivered with the WWF. In 1998 Waltman was fired by WCW and rejoined the WWF as DX. Shortly thereafter DX invaded a WCW Nitro show on April 27th 1998. Nash said it would have been the all time greatest angle if they had opened the door and let them go down the ramp on Nitro.
Excess Baggage: Hall says the divide & conquer was exciting and they talk about how wrestling was growing in popularity. Hall said the thrill was amazing selling out arenas with friends. However there was a downside to that as there was heavy partying going on after the shows. HHH admits he always feared he’d get a call that one of them had passed away. HHH recalls the first time he went out with the Kliq that Waltman was so messed up he thought he would die, but woke up a few hours later ready to go like nothing had happened and thank them for saving his life last night. Hall says him and HBK running real hard and fast and not a good combination together with Waltman. HBK mentions how his back injury at Royal Rumble 98 was a blessing in disguise as he got off the Merry-Go-Round and got aware of what he was doing. He went home for 4 years and JR says he was burned out and not there mentally. During HBKs sabbatical WWF purchased WCW and brought back Hall and Nash in 2002 which HHH said worried guys due to the politics, but said it was great having them around but it didn’t last long. Vince says that Hall was a shell of himself as a performer and human and that it wasn’t going to work. Hall said he was miserable and decided to be miserable at home instead of miserable on the road. He was terminated in May 2002 and wasn’t seen again on WWE television for over a decade. Nash was solo and in a tough spot and brought HBK back in the summer of 2002. JR said the NWO/DX cross pollination didn’t work. Nash said that the top guys in WWE (Austin, Rock, Taker) refused to put the NWO over as they felt they were trying to put them out of business during the Monday Night War. Vince agreed with them and dropped the NWO angle. JR said there was little juice there and it was no more. Nash said it was dead in the water after Hall left and he tore his quad. At Summerslam 02 HBK defeated HHH in a great match. Vince thinks only HBK could leave for years and still have it like that. HBK solidified his status as one of the greatest performers ever and Mr. Wrestlemania and had defeated his demons. Vince said Hall and Waltman were followers, Nash and HBK were leaders, and HHH was the heir apparent. Taker believes with all the Kliqs ideas and knowledge helped HHH out as he didn’t party like them so he took it higher in the corporate world. HBK said with HHH married Steph the Kliq still has a line of supremacy in the business and you can go haha we won.
Resurgence: With the rocky past behind them, the Kliq solidified their legacy with Hall Of Fame inductions. HBK was inducted in 2011, but Waltman said they were bummed as they were all there but Hall. DDP got Hall clean and started to push him for a HOF induction at Wrestlemania 29 in 2013 and HHH thought at the time it was too fresh and what he would do on camera and wanted to see more results of him clean for it to happen. It did happen the next year in 2014. Hall said he got clean and in good shape and who would have believed it no one. Waltman said that was the first time all 5 had been together for a long time. Kevin Nash was inducted into the HOF this past Wrestlemania this year. HHH is a lock to be a future Hall Of Famer, and if not next year I believe Waltman will be inducted if the Wrestlemania 33 in his home state of Minnesota rumors are true in 2017. HHH said the bond is still there and is like old times. We see the guys ribbing HHH about not knowing anything about hunting. HBK says they love to make jokes about being old and bringing young guys now. JR says they were a pain, but also good for the WWE in many ways. They all credit themselves for standing up for each other as a reason for their legacy and success. We get a photo of them together at the HOF and then end with a flashback of a photo of them from the 1990s.
Final Thoughts: From the perspective of a casual fan of the era, I would imagine this is an interesting look back for those who probably didn’t know the Kliq was a real thing. Although I don’t think the documentary puts them in a positive light, you can’t deny their success and they are fairly honest with what went down without getting too heavy. But hey! Most wrestlers at their level are egomaniacs. I would imagine everyone knows that. For hardcore fans, I don’t feel it’s must-see because they don’t really uncover any new details. Thumbs in the middle for the doc.
NOW LET’S GET TO THOSE JUICY EXTRAS~~~!!!!
Posted on June 28, 2016, in WCW, WWE and tagged 1-2-3 Kid, D-Generation X, Diesel, Kevin Nash, nWo, Razor Ramon, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, Syxx, Triple H, X-Pac. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.