If you’re a wrestling fan, the name NWO could mean a lot of things to you. For newer fans, the New World Order is a product of a time passed by. You may know Hulk Hogan was the leader, and black and white were the primary colors, but that’s about it.
For fans that grew up during the “Monday Night Wars” between World Wrestling Entertainment and World Championship Wrestling, the NWO revolutionized professional wrestling. Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash made being bad look “soooo sweeeeet!” The NWO helped WCW beat WWE in television ratings for 84 consecutive weeks.
One thing the NWO became famous for was beating down the entire WCW locker room. Some of WCW’s biggest names from Sting, Lex Luger, Randy Savage, and the Four Horseman were on the wrong end of an NWO spray can. These beatdowns became so bad that rowdy fans would litter the ring with debris.
We’re going to take a look at the cream of the crop when it comes to NWO brawls. Some of your favorite wrestlers may show up more than once, and that’s okay. They just weren’t smart enough to learn their lesson the first time. Just remember, it’s NWO-4-Life!
15. NWO Destroy WCW Locker Room
I could have begun with a specific clash between WCW and the NWO, but there were so many that they all should be lumped into one spot on the list. A typical Monday Nitro would end with either the main event being interrupted by the NWO or a promo being interrupted by the NWO. WCW repeated this formula over and over again to tremendous success. Fans loved watching the NWO do what it did best – lay waste to their opponents.
This stagnation also played a factor into why fans got tired of the NWO act. After awhile, the NWO became so large because they would keep bringing new members into the fold. But as far as taking on an entire locker room, nobody did it better than the NWO.
14. NWO Wolfpac vs. NWO Hollywood
As is what normally happens with wrestling stables after they’ve been a unit for a long stretch of time, cracks in the foundation start to show. One member of the team becomes jealous of the leader and either that member is kicked out or the leader is ousted. A similar altercation happened in the NWO between Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash.
The two were founding members of the NWO so fans were excited at the possibility of the unit imploding. Instead of someone getting kicked out, Nash decided to leave of his own accord and take fellow wildcards Randy Savage and Konnan with him. This began the formation of the NWO Wolfpac, which sported the colors red and black. The Wolfpac became the trendier “cool” option to the white and black originals. WCW lifers Lex Luger and Sting even joined the group during its run, which would have been unheard of after the battles the two had fought with the original NWO.
13. NWO Takes It To The Steiner Brothers & Ted DiBiase
What’s humorous to see in retrospect is wrestlers who used to get jumped by the NWO go on to join the ranks. An example of this is with the Steiner Brothers and their manager Ted DiBiase. DiBiase and Scott Steiner would eventually become members of the black and white outlaw group, but here we see a time when they were on the receiving end of a sneak attack.
It started out simple enough – DiBiase led the Steiner Brothers out from the locker room to the ring for a tag team title match. Before the trio could make it off the entrance ramp, Scott Norton, Buff Bagwell, Scott Hall, and Konnan appeared to lay the boots to them.
The NWO saw the Steiner Brothers as a threat since they were the top tag team in WCW. Hollywood Hulk Hogan would join in the beating, using his weightlifting belt to pummel his adversaries, ending with the signature NWO spraypaint job. The brothers would go on to have a long feud with the Outsiders, Kevin Nash and Hall.
12. Rowdy Rowdy Piper Reveals Eric Bischoff Funded NWO
As far as fans knew, Eric Bischoff was an announcer for Monday Nitro. In reality, he was one of the figureheads behind the scenes of WCW. Another reality is he’s the man who brought the NWO together. This fact remained a secret long after the NWO’s formation. Bischoff would act appalled at the group’s constant attacks on WCW, even going so far as being threatened himself. Once Rowdy Roddy Piper entered the promotion to challenge Hollywood Hulk Hogan, he got to the bottom of who was really behind the NWO.
Piper made the shocking revelation in the center of the ring on Monday Nitro. Before Piper could truly get the words out, he was assaulted by the NWO. Hogan then called the newest employee of the NWO the former “Foundation of WCW.” Fans began to throw debris in the ring to show their displeasure as Piper did his best to fight back. While the show came to a close, Piper challenged Hogan to a match on pay per view.
11. NWO vs. Four Horsemen Leaves Ric Flair Looking Like A Skunk
The Four Horsemen used to be the elite stable in WCW. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson will go down in the WCW Hall of Fame for their contributions to the company. Once the NWO made their presence felt on television and pay per views, it was only a matter of time before the two entities clashed. And clashed they did, over and over and over again.
One particular battle took place on Monday Nitro in August 1996. Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash interfered in a match involving Four Horsemen members Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Chris Benoit. Mongo was sent crashing into the ring post, knocking him unconscious while Hogan spray painted “NWO” on his back. Benoit took a Nash Jackknife powerbomb in the center of the ring.
In came Flair and Anderson to assist their fallen comrades. The arena erupted as the duo slugged it out against the NWO. Just when it seemed the Four Horsemen would leave victorious, Hogan sprayed Flair in the face with his can of spray paint. If that wasn’t insulting enough, Hogan then used his can of black spray paint to sketch a black streak through the Nature Boy’s golden locks of hair, leaving him looking like a blonde skunk.
10. Sting Army Rescues DDP and Rowdy Roddy Piper
WCW wrestlers like Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) and Rowdy Roddy Piper were two of the high-profile defenders of the locker room from the NWO attacks. DDP went from a no-name wrestler to a superstar after a prolonged feud with Randy Savage and the NWO. One amazing quality DDP had was the ability to take a beating and come back for more. On one episode of Monday Nitro DDP won the United States Championship, but the referee tried to take the belt away from him. Piper made the referee bring the belt back to DDP to award him his rightful win, which brought the wrath of the NWO to the ring.
In an 8-on-2 beating, Piper and DDP didn’t stand a chance. Suddenly, multiple people wearing Sting masks made their way through the crowd to the ring. For a time Sting would utilize Sting clones dressed in his black attire, trench coat, and white facepaint as a form of mind games. Stings’ came from the crowd and the locker room, and the real Sting would blend in with the pack, waiting for the perfect moment to attack. One Stinger Deathdrop to Buff Bagwell and the real Sting was revealed.
9. NWO Finally Get Their Hands On Sting
At the beginning of the NWO’s dominance, Sting was a blonde-haired babyface who was working a surfer gimmick. After never getting the upper hand against the NWO, Sting vanished from WCW television. When he returned he sported a new look and change in attitude. Gone were the blonde hair and bright wrestling trunks, replaced with black and white attire, a trench coat, and long brown hair. Sting began channeling the movie character The Crow, even hovering in the rafters and repelling down to the arena floor.
A trademark move of Sting’s was to point his baseball bat at Hollywood Hulk Hogan from a distance as a form of taunt. This drove Hogan crazy. Slowly, their encounters increased, even becoming physical. On a November 1997 edition of Monday Nitro, Eric Bischoff and Hogan called out the Man Called Sting and he answered the call. The two wrestling icons stood face-to-face in the center of the ring. The moment was short lived as the members of the NWO came to their leader’s defense. What started as a highlight for fans in attendance and watching worldwide ended in standard NWO fashion.
8. Rowdy Roddy Piper Sacrifices A Hip For A Shot At Hogan
Rowdy Roddy Piper is one of the many superstars that traveled down south from WWE to WCW during the reign of the NWO. Piper was one of the few wrestlers who Hogan had never defeated, so it made perfect sense to have Piper face Hollywood Hulk Hogan at Starrcade ’96. At least if you ignore the fact that physically Piper looked worse than Hogan.
The contract signing took place at World War 3 1996. Piper was greeted to a standing ovation from the audience as he made his way down to the ring. Next was Eric Bischoff, Vincent, and Ted DiBiase, followed by the world heavyweight champion Hollywood Hulk Hogan. After the contract was signed, the NWO revealed Piper recently had hip surgery and targeted the area in an attack.
7. NWO Wolfpac Elite Attempt Murder On Ric Flair
Wrestling feuds can get strange once they leave the squared circle. Some of the best fights take place in parking lots or backstage areas. If you’re the NWO and Ric Flair, you take the fight to a dark state road out in the middle of nowhere.
A lot went into staging this scene, as we have a helicopter blasting a spotlight on Ric Flair’s limousine. For some reason, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Hollywood Hulk Hogan decided to wear ski masks when attacking Flair. Maybe because there was a cameraman there to record the criminal act?
At one point Flair calls this the “final act” between Hogan and himself. This was touted as the “Death of Ric Flair,” but it ends up being your typical NWO beatdown, as other members join in to level the Nature Boy. One thing you have to give WCW credit for is the production value.
6. Dennis Rodman Proves He’s NWO-4-Life
The NWO gained so much popularity worldwide that many celebrities wanted to be involved in professional wrestling. One was a close friend of Hollywood Hulk Hogan, NBA superstar Dennis Rodman. The eclectic Rodman would accompany Hogan and the NWO to the ring, and even got involved physically during one scuffle with the Giant.
Standing at 6’8″, Rodman looked right at home with the other stars of Monday Nitro. After knocking the Giant out with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, Rodman proceeded to drop elbow after elbow to the downed opponent, as fans littered the ring with debris.
5. NWO & WCW Brawl To End Monday Nitro
There are many instances where I could pick an episode of Monday Nitro where it ended in total chaos. One of the most memorable occurred between the NWO and various factions within WCW. You had the Four Horseman and the Dungeon of Doom fighting among themselves, as well as the NWO. A person can lose track of the number of wrestlers occupying the ring at one time.
Kevin Sullivan vs. Chris Benoit. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage. These are just a few of the feuds that spilled over into this massive brawl. The NWO quickly took the advantage with a strength in numbers. This night will be remembered for Sting coming down from the rafters to rescue Page in a stunning visual.
4. Giant Lays Out The NWO, Before Being Laid Out Himself
Giant had many turns during his WCW career. Starting out as a babyface, he eventually turned on his WCW teammates to join the NWO. His time with the group would be shortlived, however, as the outlaw group kicked him out after Giant refused to chokeslam Rowdy Roddy Piper.
On the January 6, 1997 edition of Monday Nitro, Giant stormed the ring for vengeance. He singlehandedly took out Kevin Nash, Scott Norton, Big Bubba, Vincent, the fake Sting, NWO referee Nick Patrick, and Syxx before setting his sights on Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. The Giant’s focus stayed on Bischoff for a second too long, which allowed Hogan to grab a chair and slam it into the big man’s back.
It became a numbers game, with the NWO will always have the advantage. After decimating Giant, the NWO stormed the announcer table to gloat over their victory. This brought out the real Sting, who entered the ring to give an unconscious Giant a pep talk, along with his trusty bat. The Giant would use the bat to gain the upper-hand on his former teammates.
3. Kevin Nash Jackknife Powerbombs Eric Bischoff At Great American Bash
Before the true introduction of the New World Order at 1996’s Bash at the Beach, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash appeared at the Great American Bash demanding to know which WCW wrestlers they would face at the Bash. Eric Bischoff wouldn’t give the Outsiders a straight answer, which led to him taking Nash’s signature finishing move.
What’s funny about watching this scene in hindsight is Bischoff would later be revealed as the mastermind behind the NWO. He’s the one who brought Hall, Nash, and Hulk Hogan to WCW. In order to keep his part in the NWO a secret, he had to appear as a victim. For this particular pay-per-view, Bischoff was a victim of a Kevin Nash powerbomb through a stage floor. Talk about taking one for the team.
2. Kevin Nash Throws Rey Mysterio Like A Lawn Dart
Fights and gang attacks in wrestling are nothing new. Stables like the Four Horseman are known for jumping wrestlers in parking lots and leaving their opponents a bloody mess.
Sometimes, a beating can have one of those “frozen in time” moments that you remember forever. One such moment happened on the July 29, 1996 edition of Monday Nitro during a six-man tag match between Sting, Lex Luger, and Randy Savage versus Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, and Steve McMichael. Hall of Fame manager Jimmy Hart ran to ringside to get the attention of the wrestlers, urging them to follow him backstage. After some hesitation, the six wrestlers followed. A camera crew backstage caught the Outsiders, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, standing over Arn Anderson and Marcus “Buff” Bagwell with baseball bats. Bagwell’s tag team partner, Scott Riggs, runs out of a trailer and gets drilled by a piece of equipment from Hall for his troubles.
This brings us to the highlight of watching Rey Mysterio pounce on a railing and dive at Nash. Nash catches Mysterio in mid-air and tosses him head first into the side of a trailer. Announcer Larry Zbyszko delivers his now infamous line, “He threw him like he was a dart!” The lasting image is Savage hopping on top of the Outsiders’ limousine as it sped away.
1. The Formation Of The NWO
1996’s Bash at the Beach is the day that changed professional wrestling. The main event was a hostile takeover match between Team WCW (Sting, Lex Luger, and Randy Savage) and Team NWO (The Outsiders Scott Hall and Kevin Nash). Hall and Nash came to the ring without a third member, leaving many to speculate who would be joining the outlaw stable.
During the match, Luger got hurt and had to head to the locker room. With both sides even at two, Hulk Hogan made his way from the back to the ring. Hogan had been off of WCW television during the time the NWO first appeared, so fans in attendance assumed Hogan was coming to help his fellow WCW wrestlers.
To the shock of fans in attendance and watching on PPV around the world, Hogan proceeded to give Savage his finishing move, the Hogan leg drop. The crowd went nuts as Hogan hit Savage with another leg drop and then posed in the center of the ring with Hall and Nash. Hogan revealed his true colors as the third member of the New World Order.