The following article has been paid for by the new world order. Well, we are actually just diehard fans of the ground-breaking wrestling group. It is arguably the storyline that most ignited the Monday Night Wars and in the minds of many fans led to WCW’s dominance and then defeat; the nWo, in our opinion is one of the best factions of all time.
There are some facts that seemingly every wrestling fan knows about the infamous team. They debuted, as a trio, at the 1996 Bash at the Beach. Three former WWF stars served as their core and they forever changed the business. There are still some lesser known facts, that we found fascinating and look forward to introducing you to.
15. Celebrity Members
There is a very storied and successful history of celebrities and wrestling, working together for the greater good of everyone involved. Eric Bischoff, the man in charge of World Championship Wrestling, during the group’s heyday, included some famed non-wrestlers in the group, clearly, he knew his history well. The quality of those involved diminished far too quickly though
Dennis Rodman, basketball bad boy, fit in with his storyline allies perfectly. His highly controversial reputation, at the time, garnered headlines, especially when he skipped out on a Bulls practice to appear at a wrestling show. Kyle Petty, a NASCAR driver, drove a race car plastered with the black and white colors and emblem of the group, which advertised them to his many fans every time he hit a track effectively. So his official inclusion made a lot of sense. From there things got downright pathetic, however. Paul Gilmartin and Claud Mann, the host and chef on the TBS show Dinner and a Movie, were inducted, for one night only, at Clash of the Champions XXXV. We’re sure that did a lot for both brands.
In the annals of wrestling history, what makes for a moneymaking wrestling story has been generally agreed upon. A bad guy gets the upper hand over a fan favorite before getting his comeuppance via losing inside the squared circle. For whatever reason, that basic principle failed when it came to the never-ending battle for supremacy in WCW and eventually the actual performers got sick of it.
For years, a group of immensely talented, cruiserweight wrestlers started of all the company’s telecasts off with a bang. Fed to the always growing new world order over and over again, their matches would be interrupted which resulted in them being beaten down without notice, reprisal or reason. Banding together, to stick up for themselves, the Latino World Order, patterned themselves after the men who’d ran roughshod over them for months. Lasting just over three months, they disbanded after their leader, Eddie Guerrero, was injured in a car accident and his men were once again fed to their better-booked foes.
13. Unceremonious End
Brought into the WWE by Vinnie Mac, when Hollywood Hogan was utterly embraced by the fans who were supposed to hate him at WrestleMania, the writing was on the wall. Abandoning his allies, the group he, Hall and Nash created never recovered. Adding wrestlers like HBK and Booker T into the group, they could have been reinvigorated fairly easily, had the powers that be not given up on them.
Then Scott hall was fired, Kevin Nash suffered a serious quad injury while taking a step in the ring and hints about recruiting Triple H were abandoned. On July 15th, 2002, the group was forever disbanded by Vince McMahon, someone who was never an official member, which makes total sense. Right?
12. Inspired by New Japan Show?
On April 29th, 1996, at the Tokyo Dome, arguably the most famous venue not named Madison Square Garden, New Japan Pro Wrestling put on a show called Battle Formation. Attended by Eric Bischoff, the show featured talent from New Japan and UWF International, with an inter-promotional IWGP Heavyweight Championship match.
Wait a minute. That sounds awfully familiar. For years and years, it was an agreed upon fact that Eric cherry-picked that concept from his international partner and his best idea was born that night. In 2015, the always pragmatic Bischoff appeared on Legends with JBL, where he said he probably got the seed of the idea that night but stopped short of giving away full credit.
11. Ted DiBiase, Financier
Ever since Ted Dibiase became the Million Dollar Man in the WWF, he has been known for his evil, affluent ways. When he went to work for Ted Turner, as many former stars did before him, he became the first new member of the nWo.
Since the group’s beginnings, they were written to be an outside force bent on invading WCW. As a result, it never made any sense that they would dress in the back or receive time on the show to explain their plans or belittle their prey. So, in a pretty brilliant and original twist, it was explained that their latest recruit was paying for TV time. Without a doubt, it was one of the most creative twists, wrestling fans had seen in years.
When Scott Hall walked out in the middle of a throwaway match one night on Monday Nitro, he didn’t make his way down in a typical way. Instead, he walked down amongst the fans, jumped the barricade and spoke like he may have been sent there by his bosses in the WWF. When his pal, Kevin Nash, followed suit and appeared the following week, they never cleared up that misconception and Vince McMahon’s legal paid full attention.
Once it became clear to Bischoff that he wasn’t on sound legal ground to blur the lines the way he was, both men implicitly stated they didn’t work for the WWF during a pay per view. In their former boss’ view, however, their characters were still too similar to the ones he’d created for them and a lawsuit was filed. That legal action eventually resulted in a settlement that gave the WWE first rights to buy WCW if it was ever sold. The rest, as they say, is history.
9. TNA’s Knock Off
TNA or Impact Wrestling, whatever you call the company head up by Dixie Carter, one thing is clear, they have recycled far too many stories from wrestling history. The Band, a group that debuted in 2010, was very, very clearly meant to be a knock off of the new world order.
When Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff first took control over TNA, Kliq members Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Syxx-Pac (Sean Waltman) and long-time Hogan buddy Bubba the Love Sponge debuted as The Band. Overweight, drug addled or in the case of Bubba, utterly unqualified, most disappeared. Nash soon found himself joined by Sting, Eric Young and D’Angelo Dinero before all of the original members completely disbanded. Thankfully Kevin and Pac seem happy, Scott has cleaned himself up and who cares about Bubba.
8. Scott Steiner & Stevie Ray, Official Leaders
Over the years that the nWo existed, the men who were explicitly stated as leaders were amongst the biggest stars in the industry’s history. Hogan, Nash, Savage, Hart, we don’t have to tell you their first names and we know that any wrestling fan or even friend, spouse, or family member of a follower will likely know who we are talking about.
Of the nine people who have been specifically called out as being the leader of an nWo faction or iteration, there are two that are likely to surprise some. Scott Steiner is an incredible specimen who is better remembered for being a maniac than anything else. Far more muscular than seems naturally possible, Big Poppa Pump, as he christened himself was intimidating enough to make sense as a leader, we guess. Stevie Ray, a man who is best remembered as a tag team wrestler, brother of WWE Hall of Famer Booker T or a commentator who was so bad he was good is a different case. Named as the leader of the nWo B-Team, there is little debate the he is the least impressive nWo leader, by a long shot.
7. nWo Monday Nitro
It is hard to believe it now, but WCW came up with the idea of the brand extension, years before their competition put it into practice. Their version was far less successful since it never actually got off the ground. When World Championship Wrestling was making money hand over fist, their biggest cash cow, the nWo received their own pay per view, Souled Out. It made sense as by this point, WCW’s president was an onscreen member of the group. Yet it was really, really awful.
Of course, the idea wasn’t dropped and later that year an episode of their flagship show was taken over by the group to abysmal ratings. After the viewers spoke with their remotes, Eric Bischoff lost a match to WWE Hall of Famer Larry Zbysko for permanent control of the show. Had the ratings gone a different way, the plan was for WCW to claim Thunder and the nWo to have Nitro to themselves. In our opinion, that would have truly sucked.
6. Possible Third Members
At the 1996 Bash at the Beach, Randy Savage, Sting and Lex Luger were set to take on the nWo, which was made up of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and a mystery third man. When Hulk Hogan walked out, ostensibly to save his friends, only to embrace the dark side and become the biggest villain in the industry – it was perfect.
It wasn’t always a sure thing, though. When Hogan was first approached with the idea, he’d spent years as a vitamin eating, prayer reciting good guy. Even though his fans were disappearing by the week, walking away from what he knew was a massive decision and even the participants claim they were unsure what was going to happen that night. Bret Hart was one man who was considered for the role but when attempts to woo him over from the WWF failed another backup plan was made. According to Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff said that if Hogan hadn’t turned, perennial good guy Sting would have taken his place.
5. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels
The Hart Foundation vs. D-Generation X. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels. The Excellence of Execution vs. H.B.K. These two men are considered to be two of the best performers in the history of the industry as well as two of its biggest rivals. Magnificent in the ring against one another, their history of bickering is well documented.
Yet somehow, they are both official members and even leaders at different times of the nWo. Unsurprisingly, never coinciding with one another, Bret led the black and silver from the early 2000s, which was the final WCW version, while Shawn co-lead a WWE version of the group. Subsequently, the two men have made peace with one another, but prior to hugging one crazy night on Monday Night Raw, the two heated rivals had one affiliation in common.
4. nWo Japan
We’ve already looked at the idea that WCW’s greatest boon was inspired by a Japanese wrestling event but we didn’t mention that the nWo’s influence was felt in Japan as well. At the height of wrestling’s and the WCW’s popularity in North America, WCW had a talent exchange deal in place with NJPW, which resulted in the formation of nWo Japan.
Founded onscreen by Masahiro Chono, Hiro Saito & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, their version lasted for four years and came to an end in the same year, WCW’s final iteration went away. Later led by Keiji Mutoh, otherwise known as The Great Muta, seventeen different men joined up before it was dissolved. In fact North American wrestlers Kevin Nash, Scott Hall Syxx (X-Pac), Michael Wallstreet (I.R.S.) Buff Bagwell, Brian Adams, and Scott Norton appeared as nWo overseas.
3. WWF’s Fake Razor Ramon, Real nWo Member
When Scott Hall and Kevin Nash changed wrestling history by making the jump to WCW, they left behind their trademarked WWF characters. Never willing to leave a dollar unclaimed, the WWF made one of the most ill-conceived decisions in their history in September of 1996, when they had Jim Ross announce the return of Diesel and Razor Ramon. Recasting the roles, Glenn Jacobs, the man who would become known as Kane and Rick Bognar failed miserably to live up to the original performers.
A few months after Scott Hall’s last appearance for nWo Japan, the international version of the group brought in the man who is now known best as the Fake Razor Ramon to join the group. Suffering a neck injury five months later, he stuck around for another year but his ability never rebounded. Who knows how much he could have added to the Japanese franchise if he’d stayed healthy or if he’d been given a character all his own.
2. Seven Different Versions
Somebody could argue that with each new, major member of the nWo, the group underwent a metamorphosis that changed its makeup forever but ignoring that and there are still seven versions. The original incarnation, nWo Japan, The Wolfpac, Hollywood, Elite (nWo Wolfpac Elite), Black and White (The B-Team), 2002 (Black and Silver) and nWo WWE.
Sure, comparing the Original trio and the version from February of 1998, consisting of 23 different performers is ridiculous but we’re still considering them both as a part of the original group. The WWE’s Version? It went through seven different incarnations, including its final appearance to date at WrestleMania 31, but we’re counting all of them as one. There are, at the very least seven different versions. Oh, crap, nWo Japan had two generations really and the Bullet Club and TNA’s The Band and Wolfpac could be included in the minds of some. There really are far too many versions of the nWo.
1. Insanely Large Roster
Let’s make it clear, we are only counting people who have at any time been acknowledged by either WCW, New Japan or WWE as official members of the nWo. First, we’re going to acknowledge but not include Barry Windham, Rick Steiner, Goldust or Vince McMahon, all of whom were intrinsically associated with the group at one time or another, but were never fully indoctrinated.
The previously mention Dinner and a Movie duo, NASCAR racer and fifty other people have at one time been official members of the most important and possibly longest reaching faction ever. Hulk Hogan and Disco Inferno, are both founding members of one version of the nWo, for god’s sake. We still love the new world order but they sure muddied the waters by the end.