May 19, 1996 The backstage environment in the WWF was a powder keg following the events at the night's Madison Square Garden show. On that night, the Kliq had smashed kayfabe in front of the crowd. Faces and heels coming together on Scott Hall and Kevin Nash's light night in the company, hugging and standing together in a closing bow to the shock and anger of fans, wrestlers and management alike. In the middle of the powder keg was the lit fuse of Vince McMahon, who was on the verge of throwing furniture in his office. He had dealt with a lot of problems from wrestlers before, but this time these men had crossed a line and there was no turning back in McMahon's head. These four were traitors of the highest order. He made them and they spat on his company... Once he was calm, he turned to the others in his office and began hearing out their word on how to handle the current situation. It was one man who had gotten Vince's ear that night: James E. Cornette. Cornette, never a man to take crap from workers who thought they could put one over on him, already had plans for all of the men who had played their part in the MSG Curtain Call (barring Sean Waltman, who was undergoing rehab at the time.) First were the departing Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. At first they seemed immune to punishment due to their jump to WCW, but Cornette reminded Vince that he still had Nash's WrestleMania pay-off, which could easily go to the company that needed it more than him, along with other payouts owed to Hall. It was a risky move, but given that they were heading into huge guaranteed contracts for WCW, Vince was more willing to withhold. Next was Shawn Michaels. He was the champion, but that could be fixed. Cornette did suggest holding off on an immediate burial and to build up an opponent that could take the title from him, then they could spend the remainder of his contract having him lose to everyone else that Vince wanted on the main event. Helmsley was the easiest to discipline: He was fired right on the spot. He had only been there a year and was acting like he had run the place because he had buddied up to Shawn, Hall and Nash. He was getting the axe immediately without even a second thought. Vince, nodding and grinning sadistically, agreed and made his move to put this plan into motion.