On May 19, 1996, the WWE and the wrestling industry was changed forever. It’s hard to believe it’s been 22 years since The Kliq pulled the curtain back on the WWE. As most fans probably know, WWE superstars Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, X-Pac, and Scott Hall all formed a backstage clique titled, well, The Kliq. They formed the group based on their exceptional love of professional wrestling, and because some members at the time were largely hated in the locker rooms (mainly, just “The Heartbreak Kid”).
Scott Hall was wrestling at the time under the moniker Razor Ramon, and Kevin Nash was known as “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel (they weren’t the best with nicknames back then). In May of that historic year in the WWE, Hall and Nash signed contracts to WCW. Before the dynamic duo parted ways with the company, they performed one last match in Madison Square Garden at a house show.
Nash, Hall, Triple H (then known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley), and Shawn Michaels were all involved in a steel cage match that night. After the contest concluded, in a then-shocking moment, the four WWE superstars all hugged each other goodbye in the middle of the ring—and fans in attendance went nuts! This was before social media and YouTube, so the thought of a video going viral was unheard of. But the news made its way through various publications and dirt sheets, and at the time, the WWE was not happy.
But as seen in the footage below with Triple H recalling the event, he points out that the WWE was behind the times. The very idea of a wrestling company fooling people that it was real was not realistic. Many people feel it wasn’t realistic from the very beginning of televised professional wrestling, but that type of kayfabe was certainly dated by the mid- 1990s. But what made it so shocking was not that it revealed that the wrestling business was a work, but that these WWE heels and babyfaces broke protocol publicly for the first time in the company’s history.
The WWE recently posted a Tweet commemorating the event, and while many fans celebrated the social media post, Jim Cornette threw his usual shade at the company. Cornette’s reply is too crude to post in this media outlet, but per his usual, he wasn’t shy on words. As seen below, the WWE stated in the tweet that the wrestler’s involved changed sports-entertainment forever. Jim replied that they misspelled a word, and he wrote that it’s spelled f-u-c, well, you get the idea. If explicit four-letter words don’t offend you, you can see Cornette’s tweet to the WWE here.
You can revisit the entire incident in detail by visiting the WWE Network and viewing the compelling documentary, The Kliq Rules.