The New World Order is still discussed today for the impact the faction had on professional wrestling. WCW failed to truly compete with WWE for many years until the groundbreaking storyline. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash made the jump to WCW and changed the landscape of wrestling forever. The big contracts meant WCW had to do something huge with the two former WWE stars. Eric Bischoff decided to take the leap of faith by having Hulk Hogan turn heel for the first time since his Hulkamania days. Hall, Nash and Hogan gave us the original three that sparked the rise of WCW.
Fans gravitated towards the WCW product for the realism presented in the storyline of the nWo trying to take over the company. The cutting edge content provided the main reason for the Monday Night Wars to become red hot. Wrestling grew to new levels and broke all sorts of records across the board. That never would have happened without the presence of the nWo. The faction would jump the shark within a year or two due to too many members joining the group. We’ll take a look at the entire history of the group and all incarnations while breaking down the eight most underrated members and eight most overrated members of the New World Order.
16 Underrated: Randy Savage
Very few fans remember the tenure of Randy Savage in the New World Order. The legendary star joined after feuding with the faction and was initially secondary to Hulk Hogan once again. Savage did manage to have arguably the most entertaining feud during the era of the nWo. Diamond Dallas Page became a top star thanks to outstanding work in a long program with Savage. The work of Savage established himself as a relevant top name, but also put over Page as someone to treat as a credible star.
15 Overrated: Curt Hennig
Curt Hennig is absolutely one of the greatest in-ring performers in wrestling history. The second generation star was a genius in the ring and pulled off every move to perfection, earning the WWE name of Mr. Perfect. WCW had him work under his real name but made a drastic mistake putting him in the New World Order. Hennig actually debuted as the newest member of the Four Horsemen and it was a tremendous fit that allowed him to shine as a face.
14 Underrated: Ted DiBiase
The addition of Ted DiBiase to the New World Order is forgotten, but it was a tremendous choice at the beginning. Logic dictated that the nWo needed a financial backer to pull off the power they exhibited. The early days of the faction featured former WWE stars joining together to imply it was a hostile takeover of WWE coming to WCW. DiBiase recently left the company and WCW scooped him up for the role. His past gimmick of being the “Million Dollar Man” fit perfectly in the role as he retired from in-ring competition.
13 Overrated: Eric Bischoff
The decision to have Eric Bischoff replace Ted DiBiase as the mouthpiece for the New World Order was a controversial one at the time due to his lack of character experience. Bischoff shocked the world by having a tremendous personality and became one of the best heels in wrestling. The problem is he became too important, making most of the wrestlers less relevant. A large group having a non-wrestler as one of the top 2-3 members exposes the rest of the roster.
12 Underrated: Scott Norton
Many of the members of the New World Order were background players. They added way too many people to the mix and not everyone had a substantial role. Scott Norton was one of the stars to luck out by entering the group within the first year. That allowed him to benefit from a time period when the group was still red hot without getting completely lost in the shuffle. Norton was arguably the strongest wrestler on the roster.
11 Overrated: Konnan
Konnan was a legend in Mexico and wrestling pundit Dave Meltzer compared him to Hulk Hogan when discussing the biggest draws of the era. WCW zoned in and signed him to a much bigger contract in hopes of adding the international talent. Konnan became a fixture in WCW as a member of the popular cruiserweight division. The moment of him joining the New World Order featured the first cruiserweight of the bunch to get a coveted spot in the group.
10 Underrated: Syxx
WWE and WCW often saw talent go back and forth in the 90s looking for the best contract. Sean Waltman made the decision to join WCW when his friends Kevin Nash and Scott Hall formed the New World Order. WCW cleverly changed his name from the 1-2-3 Kid to Syxx and made him a member of the nWo to join his pals. The in-ring work of Syxx was unlike the other members of the group.
9 Overrated: Bret Hart
The addition of Bret Hart to WCW could have been a huge moment to completely take charge of the Monday Night Wars. WCW was dominating WWE and added the top star from the company that left on controversial terms. Hart technically never lost the WWE Championship by getting pinned or submitting and he literally punched out Vince McMahon on his final night in WWE. That should have led to huge things in WCW.
8 Underrated: Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner spent the majority of his career in a tag team with his brother Rick and they were outstanding together. The Steiners were arguably the best tag team in WCW history. Fans were stunned to see Scott turn heel on Rick and join the New World Order. Steiner’s new look of blonde hair and cartoonish muscles made him a tremendous heel once he started to embrace the unlikable aspect of his personality.
7 Overrated: Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is the first name everyone associates with the New World Order - and for good reason. The moment of Hogan turning heel to officially form the group is something no 90s fan will ever forget. It changed the world of wrestling and helped make the nWo a force to be reckoned with. Hogan rejuvenated his career and became an elite heel. The problem is he had too much power and used his creative control contract clause to call the shots.
6 Underrated: The Great Muta
The New World Order expanded outside of WCW and North America by adding Japanese wrestlers to the group. New Japan saw their own version of the nWo with members joining during their time in WCW. The most popular star to join the faction from Japan was The Great Muta. Between his excellent in-ring work and the fascinating look with his face paint, Muta brought his legendary status over to WCW.
5 Overrated: Sting
Sting is often known as the man who finally stood up against the New World Order and prevailed. The future would see him inexplicably join the Wolfpac version of the group months after his return to the ring. Fans loved the Wolfpac and they were definitely faces, but it made no sense considering Sting spent years battling everything nWo related after they ruined his life. Sting joining the cool new incarnation of the group just made him look like a fool.
4 Underrated: Dennis Rodman
Hold the skepticism. Dennis Rodman does deserve a lot of credit for his presence in the New World Order. The NBA superstar was one of the most popular athletes in the sport with his unpredictable demeanor making him a fascinating character. Rodman also happened to be on the legendary Chicago Bulls team under the leadership of Michael Jordan. WCW convinced him to not only appear on television, but become a wrestler.
3 Overrated: The Giant
The first wrestler to join Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in the New World Order was The Giant. Hogan defeated Giant to win the WCW Championship and Giant later stopped trying to beat the faction by joining them. The nWo added the biggest man on the roster to help establish more dominance, but Giant just looked sillier in the group. Instead of dominating other top stars, Giant fell into the background of the powerful faction.
2 Underrated: Scott Hall
Scott Hall’s debut on WCW television was the fascinating first step in creating the New World Order. The former WWE star teased something big was coming and everyone was put on notice. No one else could have pulled this off as well as Hall did. Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash each added something as special, but neither man had the presence or believability of Hall in the role as the first outsider talking about what was coming.
1 Overrated: Buff Bagwell
There has never been a wrestler more overrated than Buff Bagwell, especially when it comes to his time in the New World Order. Following years of underachieving, Bagwell received the break of a lifetime when booked to turn on American Males tag team partner Scotty Riggs and join the nWo. Bagwell continued his track record of failing to live up to the potential WCW believed he could reach. Unlike other members of the group, Bagwell had quite a few interesting storylines that always flopped.
Bagwell teamed with Scott Norton and Scott Steiner on different occasions in the group. Naturally, his partners carried him and he didn’t stand out in any way aside from his chiseled look and ridiculous top hat. Bagwell could not perform to the level of his peers in WCW. The worst part is he always got to wear the nWo colors and helped to cause the downfall. When people talk about the stable having too many members, Bagwell should be the first name mentioned, as he had no business being in the New World Order.
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