Wednesday, April 6, 2016

30 for 30 Shorts: Petty Blue World Order

In honor of the recent Wrestlemania show (tagline: “WWE: The Only Place With Whinier Fans Than IndyCar), let’s take a look back with ESPN’s acclaimed/self-important “30 for 30 Shorts” series at one of the most-memorable crossovers in racing and rasslin’ history.
The Bahari Racing Story

(Voiceovers as wrestling programs interspersed with Nascar programs float across the screen)—Hulk Hogan: “I got the man, I got Kyle” … Kyle Petty: “I didn’t know WCW even HAD a car!” … Scott Hall: “Big Kev tuned it himself”…

Title Screen: PETTY BLUE WORLD ORDER, a 30 for 30 short

Failing to promote Kyle's appearance
is the REAL reason why WCW is dead
Mike Mackler, Webmaster—Spade Racing, Racing & Rasslin’ Historian, Single: “Kyle Petty was no stranger to wrestling—in fact, he made a brief appearance at a JCP show in the early-80’s as a special guest judge.  But that was before Kyle Petty really became KYLE PETTY."

Mackler: “At that time, WCW had supplanted the then-WWF as the #1 wrestling show in the country, they had the stars, they had the media coverage, but more than anything, they had the nWo.”

George Newman, Personal Assistant to Eric Bischoff: “The nWo was this ‘invading faction’ of wrestlers who used to work for the then-WWF, and people were tuning in every week just to see what they’d do next—I mean, they’d take over whole tv shows, they’d gang-attack other wrestlers, but nobody—NOBODY—expected them to enter the world of Nascar.”

Louis: “The idea of a Nascar driver siding with a group of…well, BAD GUYS, it was unheard-of back then.  But still, if it was going to be any driver doing this, you just knew it was gonna be Kyle.”

Newman: “They announced that Kyle Petty was gonna be the driver of the nWo Racing car in the Nascar Busch Series…the reaction of the crowd that night was pretty electric when they revved that engine up in front of all those fans.”

Hulk Hogan, Actor—“Santa with Muscles”: “Then a few weeks later we brought Kyle onto the show, and he fit right in.”

Hulk Hogan (file footage): “My son, Nasty Nick, loves fast cars”
NOT PICTURED: M. Wallstreet

Hogan: “In retrospect I wish I hadn’t said that, brother.”

Mackler: “You have to remember that back then, people didn’t really know about the inner-workings of Nascar, mostly because they didn’t really care.  So yeah, there was a WCW car, and yeah, there was an nWo car, but they were the same company—Dan Shaver Racing.  And nobody was the wiser.”

Newman: “When you go back and watch that promo, Kyle fit like a glove with that group.  And he hung out there for the rest of the night…mostly because The Giant was blocking his way out.”

Louis: “It was some pretty heady days, but then…”

Hogan: “We really felt like Kyle was a guy we could depend on, but then, brother…”

Newman: “The story goes that the Steiner Brothers, Rick and Scott, went up to Kyle on pit road before a race.”

Scott Steiner, Psychopath: “Yeah, we went up to that son of a (CENSORED)”

Mackler: “And Kyle just ran off—to this day, Kyle refuses to talk about it.”

Louis: “I tried approaching the subject in my interviews with Kyle, and he kept changing the subject to how he put the Hot Wheels deal together—it’s still a sore subject with him.”

Mackler: “So then the Steiners pull off the wrap on the car—I mean, most fans still thought that most cars were painted!”

Steiner: “We tore the wrap off the car in eight and two thirds seconds, and that long haired (CENSORED) ran off lickety-split, (rest of interview CENSORED)”

Mackler: “And they ran the WCW car that day with Steve Grissom.  Now, obviously, Kyle had run away, but Steve Grissom?”

Newman: “So the real reason why Steve Grissom was our driver is that he showed up at the CNN Center (headquarters of WCW) one day and Eric (Bischoff) just gave him a contract.  I mean, it was that easy back then—just look at our roster at the time!  You think Roadblock earned his spot?”

Louis: “After that, the whole nWo thing kinda fell apart for Kyle.”

Hogan: “Kyle couldn’t run with the pack, brother, so we went our separate ways.”

Mackler: “Next thing you know, Kyle’s running his own team with Hot Wheels as a sponsor, back to being Mr. Nice Guy.”

Louis: “He might act like it was just a random sponsorship promotion, but I think it’s affected Kyle to this day.”

(on-screen graphic: Kyle Petty raced for over a decade before his affiliation with the nWo, winning 8 races.  Kyle Petty raced over a decade after his affiliation with the nWo, winning 0 races.  Kyle Petty declined to be interviewed for this piece.)