Greetings and welcome to you and yours! Welcome to the debut entry in the Hope From WCW column. For those who didn’t see my hype piece from the weekend, this column dives deep into the black hole of the final days of WCW and finds the gems for all to enjoy. Today, my focus is on the MIA.
Back when wild Russo’s and Bischoff’s running free, rarely did anyone know what was going to happen at any moment, or what idea was gonna be trotted out to see if it stuck to the wall. This time, they tried the “let’s kayfabe fire a bunch of guys that didn’t obey us, only to have them return as a renegade faction under new names” idea. And surprisingly, it was successful.
Pushing towards the end of the Millionaire’s Club vs New Blood storyline, the group consisting of Hugh Morrus, Lash LeRoux, Chavo Guerrero Jr, and others were berated by Eric Bischoff for not aiding the Millionaires against the New Blood. This group would be a pretty cohesive unit, saving each other from beatdowns and other ways you can slant a match. Enough was enough for Bischoff and he ‘fired’ this collective of lower mid-carders.
Now, this is when 15 year old me got very excited. Seeing a bunch of underutilized talents coming together and getting a push like this was awesome. And full disclosure, I was always a Lash LeRoux mark. So when he was a part of this faction, I was on board for sure.
The re-debut had the group in different colored military fatigues, and Captain Hugh G Rection (Morrus) had his troops fall in line and gave them new identities. Guerrero was now Lt. Loco, LeRoux became Cpl. Cajun, Van Hammer became Major Stash and they introduced Major Gunns for her…bombs. Eventually, Booker T would take the title of GI Bro and become a defacto leader of the group until promotion Rection to General. Also, Van Hammer was released from the company in 2000 and was shortly thereafter replaced by The Wall, now Sgt AWOL.
The group has some great feuds with different groups in the company. This short-lived faction had some rivals in The Filthy Animals, Natural Born Thrillers and my personal favorite matches had the tandem of Loco and Cajun against 3 Count.
This group wasn’t just over with the crowds, they were rightfully rewarded with championships as well. Two times Rection was US Champ, my boys Loco and Cajun won the tag titles, and Loco held Cruiserweight gold.
But just like all things, this faction fell apart around the year mark. Major Gunns defected to Team Canada along with a MIA ally in Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Loco hit a mean streak and left to pursue his own goals and even AWOL splintered off and turned on his brethren.
Let me just say, this was a major dice roll that paid off for WCW. We’ve all been witnesses to times that this kind of experiment has fizzled out a lot quicker than the year our loveable Misfits got. I’m looking at you, Social Outcasts. Whether it was truly seeing something in this group that made them want to try this or blind luck, sometimes you just get it right.
Until next time,
See you in the past