Morning Star – September 11, 1996
By Ronald Jordan
First, there was one. Then, there were two. And along with the third one came devastation as the New World Order, made up of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan, wreaked havoc on World Championship Wrestling.
Now, the NWO apparently has a fourth member by way of Ted DiBiase, the millionaire man who for the last 10 or so years has used his money and influence to gain recognition, status and numerous titles in the World Wrestling Federation.
“The Million Dollar Man,” as he was known in the WWF, made his first appearance in WCW on “WCW Monday Nitro.” Like Hall and Nash before him, DiBiase entered the arena through the crowd, coming down from the stands and taking a seat on the front row near ringside.
Who DiBiase will join up with is a mystery.
Announcers openly suggested that might become part of the Four Horsemen, but it seems more likely that he will join the Outsiders.
More than likely, DiBiase will become the manager of the NWO. In that role, he can use his money and influence to buy whatever else it is that the group needs to become a “real” wrestling company. And based on what Scott Hall told me recently, the NWO is definitely aiming at becoming its own company.
I believe the fourth man will be Diamond Dallas Page for at least three reasons: he used to manage Hall and Nash; he just lost the “Lord of the Ring” title so there’s nothing keeping him in WCW; and he has a secret benefactor who is probably DiBiase.
He’s not Charlie Brown, but WCW referee Nick Patrick is sure feeling like it these days the way everybody has been picking on him lately.
“There’s been a few controversial calls, but they’ve reviewed everything I’ve done on tape and so far they have found nothing that I’ve done wrong,” Patrick told me last week back stage during television tapings in Orlando. Patrick was responding to recent accusations that he is secretly working for the NWO.
“I haven’t done anything wrong,” Patrick said.
Patrick suddenly became the center of controversy a few weeks ago when it appeared that he helped Hall and Nash win a match over Sting and Luger at the “Hog Wild” pay-per-view. Patrick stumbled to the mat after being kicked in the face. On the way down to the mat, it appeared that Patrick struck Luger on the leg, causing him to fall and get pinned by Hall.
During another match, Scott Steiner was about to pin a member of Harlem Heat to win the WCW tag titles when Patrick stopped the match because of outside interference. Hall and Nash had attacked Sting and Luger outside the ring and were battling several feet away from the ring at the time.
“Outside interference is a disqualification in any wrestling rule book anywhere in print,” said Patrick. “I made the proper call. If I didn’t make the proper call WCW would have fired me and I’m still here.”
Patrick said he is offended at the suggestion that he might be joining the NWO.
“I’ve been here for eight years. That’s half of my career,” said Patrick. “I’ve spent a long time building up my reputation to be considered the head official here. Why would I jump ship to run with three renegades that are trying to face off against the whole corporation?
“I’m not going to give up what I’ve got to do that,” Patrick said. “That’s ridiculous.”
Patrick said he blames his recent problems on announcer Gene Okerlund, who has openly criticized the referee and suggested that Patrick has been spending a lot of money lately on new cars, clothes and a new house.
“In eight years nobody has ever questioned any of my calls and now, all of a sudden, I’m the bad guy and it’s because of Gene Okerlund,” Patrick said. “He’s the one that blasts me on every television show and on the Hot Line, saying things that are not true. I don’t have all that stuff. I drive a Geo Storm with 111,000 miles on it. I’m not in no Corvettes, I’m not in no sports cars.”
Patrick said that Okerlund, who formerly worked for the WWF and has had strong ties with Hogan in the past, is a stronger candidate for defecting to the NWO than he is.
“He goes back with the Outsiders a lot further and a lot longer than I do,” Patrick said. “He’s known them forever. If somebody’s on the inside, I would look at him before you look at me.”