Hulk Hogan Heel Turn and the Fan Who Tried to Attack

The Formation of the nWo

Moments after Hulk Hogan turned heel turn and joined forces with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to create the nWo. WCW Bash at the Beach, 1996.
Photo Credit: WWE.

WCW Bash at the Beach ’96 was the site of the historic heel turn that saw Hulk Hogan join forces with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to form “the new world order of wrestling, brother!”

Right after Hogan revealed himself as the third member, one angry fan couldn’t handle what he was witnessing, so he bypassed security and jumped into the ring to attack. He soon had to face the consequences! Not long later, this “fan” had to deal with the harsh consequences!

Scott Hall Reflects on the Birth of the nWo and a Surprising Conversation with Bret Hart

Photo Credit: WWE.

In an interview with Inside the Ropes Radio (H/T: ‘Wrestling’s Glory Days’ Facebook page), Scott Hall opened up about how the nWo was formed and the fate of that troubled fan.

“We had no idea who [the third man] was going to be,” Scott Hall admits. “The whole ‘third guy’ thing came up by accident. I remember Kev’ and I called Bret [Hart], and we spoke to him, and we told him it was really fun working at WCW. It was really laid back, guaranteed money, it was easy.”

Scott Hall Reveals WCW Offered Bret Hart a Sweet Deal Post-WWF Jump

Photo Credit: WWE.

Not long before this, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash jumped ship to WCW from the then-known World Wrestling Federation.

“We were so used to being in a shark tank in [the WWF]. Coming to Atlanta was like being in a country club. It was really tame in the locker room in WCW compared to New York. We told Bret he should come down. Bischoff was interested. He was offering him a pretty sweet deal… but Bret wasn’t interested.”

Hulk Hogan Considered for Key Role in nWo Formation

Photo Credit: WWE.

With Bret Hart unavailable at the time, their eyes moved onto someone else: Hulk Hogan.

“We wanted [the third man] to be Hulk Hogan,” Hall explains, “but Hulk had creative control in his contract, so he didn’t have to do anything he didn’t want to do.

“I met Hulk briefly at WrestleMania 9, but I didn’t know him.”

Unveiling the Third Mystery Partner at Bash at the Beach: Behind the Scenes with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash

Photo Credit: WWE.

July 7th, 1996, had arrived, and it was time for Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to shock the wrestling world at WCW’s third annual Bash at the Beach by unveiling their third mystery partner. If things didn’t go to plan and Hulk Hogan was never to arrive, Eric Bischoff had a contingency plan in place.

The High-Stakes Moment Before Unveiling WCW’s Mystery Partner at Bash at the Beach

Photo Credit: WWE.

“We actually went to the ring in Daytona, and Hogan wasn’t even there yet. He was on a jet, flying cross country from shooting a movie. Bischoff wanted it to be Hulk Hogan, but before we went out he told us, ‘If Hulk doesn’t show, I’m gonna send out Sting!'”

How Hulk Hogan’s Heel Turn Incited Chaos at Bash at the Beach ’96

Photo Credit: WWE.

Hall continues, “When Hulk did come out and turned heel at Bash At The Beach in Daytona, he gave his interview, you know: ‘Hey, screw all you kids…’ People were buying it as a full-on shoot! People started throwing stuff in the ring, and if you watch the tape, you can see a fan hit the ring.”

A Fan Steps Into The Ring to Attack Hulk Hogan. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall Respond!

WCW Bash at the Beach, 1996
Photo Credit: WWE.

While Hulk Hogan played the role of turncoat to perfection, one “fan” took things to heart and retaliated. Scott Hall explains what happened next:

“Me and Hulk are on one side; this dude gets over the railing – past security – inside the ring, and there’s big Kev’ waiting… (laughs)

“Dude, you’re out of luck now…

“I can’t imagine what this mark was thinking…[yokel voice] ‘Wehl, I’m gunna git’ dose guys…’

Unplanned Fan Incident Leads to Unexpected Ring Encounter

Photo Credit: WWE.

“He probably thinks security’s going to stop him, so he can tell all his buddies, ‘Well, I tried to, man…’

“No, man…security didn’t get you – you’re in the ring; NOW whatcha gonna do?”

As for what happened to the fan? Well, “Kev’ knocked this cat OUT!”

Hall continued, “Now the dude’s down, and me being the prick that I am, I hear this commotion behind me. I look over and go, ‘Kev’ – is that a mark-?’

“I start putting the boots to this guy, full shoot! (laughs)

Scott Hall Reminisces on Fans’ Role in Wrestling

Photo Credit: WWE.

While Scott Hall laughs while looking back at this moment, it certainly wasn’t funny at the time. It could have taken a dark turn, or worse, had he and Kevin Nash not responded quickly enough.

“In my opinion, [the fans are] allowed to yell and cheer and boo all you want – you’re not allowed to touch the wrestlers, you’re not allowed to throw stuff at the wrestlers, and you’re CERTAINLY not allowed to go over the barricade into the ring.”

Scott Hall Reflects on Fan Invasion: The Risks and Realities Wrestlers Face in the Ring

Photo Credit: WWE.

Hall continued, “Once you come into the ring, we don’t know if you got a gun, a knife, or whatever. And guess what – that’s what I do for a living, man. Yeah, it might be ‘fake,’ but all I gotta do is turn the volume up a little bit, and it starts becoming REAL.

“So, that dude in Daytona, wherever you are – thank you. It was fun stomping on your face. I hope you learned your lesson.”

Wrestlers’ Safety and the Unpredictability of Live Performances

Photo Credit: WWE.

Performers do not know the intention of someone rushing the stage, or in this case, the ring, so Kevin Nash and Scott Hall acted as they saw fit. Rightfully so.

Mind you, this was about eight years before Dimebag Darrell was murdered on stage by a crazed fan.

Still, in a moment where an unpredictable spectator rushes into that sacred space between those ring ropes, you do what you have to do to stay safe by sending the following strong message: STAY OUT, OR PAY THE CONSEQUENCES!

For this fan, it was a beatdown he’ll be sure never to forget.

The Fingerpoke of Doom!

Hulk Hogan pokes Kevin Nash in the chest on the January 4th, 1999 episode of WCW Monday Nitro. It is a moment that has since been remembered as the infamous Fingerpoke of Doom.
Photo Credit: WWE.

HULK HOGAN: “It happened so fast. We really didn’t know enough about the business back then to take care of it.”

Ten days removed from WCW Starrcade 1998 (where Kevin Nash ended the infamous undefeated streak of Bill Goldberg), two significant blunders occurred: one involving Tony Schiavone and another involving Hulk Hogan, which led to the infamous Fingerpoke of Doom.

It is a moment forever burned in the minds of wrestling fans and considered by many the beginning of the end for WCW.

Learn more: Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and the Fingerpoke of Doom!

Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin Match Was Planned: Why It Fell Through

Photo Credit: WWE.

HULK HOGAN: “Was there some legitimate heat between Steve Austin and I? There was.”

Vince McMahon planned for the dream match between Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin to take place, yet it never came to fruition. Learn the surprising reasons behind why!

Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant – Their 8-Year Rivalry On and Off-Camera

While the iconic showdown between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant at the Pontiac Silverdome in front of 93,173* screaming fans (brother) was a unique attraction, it was certainly not their first rodeo. And outside of the ring, Andre hardly made it easy for Hogan. This is the story of their storied 8-year feud.
Photo Credit: WWE.

HULK HOGAN: “Andre beat me up every day for the first eight years. I was so nervous I used to puke on the way to the building!”

Although Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant forever changed the professional wrestling landscape at WrestleMania 3, it was certainly not their first rodeo. And outside of the ring, Andre hardly made it easy for Hogan. Learn the surprising story behind their legendary 8-year feud!

Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake: Troubled Beginnings

Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake go back to the 1970s. This image comes from a Classic Memphis Wrestling TV appearance on July 21st, 1979.

"It wasn’t worth it.”

Hulk Hogan and Brutus The Barber Beefcake have a long and varied history in professional wrestling. And as these shocking tales show, their start was anything but smooth!

Uncovering the Facts About the Musical Past of Hulk Hogan

'70s Florida-based rock band Ruckus featured the future Hulk Hogan on bass.
Photo Credit: Hulk Hogan, Ruckus.

“Chills were running up and down my spine!”

Before finding his calling in wrestling as Hulk Hogan, Terry Bollea was a long-haired bass player in a band called Ruckus. Little did he realize how much his life would change after playing a gig in Daytona!

Read Uncovering the Facts About the Musical Past of Hulk Hogan

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JP Zarka founded Pro Wrestling Stories in 2015 and is the creative force behind the website as editor-in-chief. From 2018-19, he was the podcast host and producer for The Genius Cast with Lanny Poffo, brother of WWE legend Macho Man Randy Savage. His diverse career includes work as an elementary school teacher, assistant principal, and musician, notably as a singer-songwriter with the London-based band Sterling Avenue. Zarka has appeared on TV programs like “Autopsy: The Last Hours of” on Reelz (U.S.) and Channel 5 (U.K.) and has contributed research for programming on ITV and BBC.