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New World Order
NWo logo (wrestling).png
The nWo logo
Stable
MembersHulk Hogan (leader)
Scott Hall
Kevin Nash
Name(s)New World Order
nWo
nWo Hollywood
nWo Wolfpac
nWo Elite
nWo Black&White
nWo B-Team
nWo 2000
nWo Japan
Billed fromDaytona Beach, Florida
DebutMay 27, 1996 (Hall) July 7, 1996[1]
Years active1996–2000
2002
2014–present (reunions)

The New World Order (commonly abbreviated as nWo) is an American professional wrestling stable that originally consisted of "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.[1]

The stable originated in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) with the gimmick of a group of unsanctioned wrestlers aiming to "take over" and control WCW in the manner of a street gang. The group later appeared in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) after the purchase of WCW by the WWF.[2] The nWo angle became one of the most influential storylines in the mid-to-late 1990s success of WCW and was instrumental in turning mainstream North American professional wrestling into a more mature, adult-oriented product. The stable became the main driving force behind WCW competing with the WWF in the Monday Night Wars.

Fueled initially by the unexpected villainous turn of Hulk Hogan, the nWo storyline is generally considered one of the most successful angles in the history of modern-day professional wrestling, spawning several imitations and parodies, including the bWo, lWo and the jWo. The group dominated WCW programming throughout the late-1990s and continued until the dissolution of WCW in 2001, during which time there were several, sometimes rival, incarnations of the group.

In December 2019, it was announced that the nWo would be inducted into the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame, with Hogan, Hall, Nash, and Sean Waltman as the inducted members.

Concept

The nWo storyline was an idea created by WCW Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff, whose inspiration for the angle came after attending New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Battle Formation show at the Tokyo Dome on April 29, 1996.[citation needed] The show was headlined by a NJPW vs. UWFi match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, as New Japan's Shinya Hashimoto defeated UWFi's Nobuhiko Takada. Bischoff wanted to do an invasion-type angle where World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was being sabotaged by another wrestling group, initially insinuated as being the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), since the nWo's founding members had previously wrestled for the company.

The nWo was originally portrayed as a separate entity from WCW. Often, propaganda-style vignettes and product commercials concerning the nWo were presented in the style of a broadcast signal intrusion, with a voice proclaiming, "The following announcement has been paid for by the New World Order". Others, such as Kevin Nash, television director Craig Leathers, chief WCW booker Terry Taylor, and Taylor's assistants Kevin Sullivan and Paul Orndorff, all contributed their own ideas to the nWo concept.[citation needed]

Craig Leathers approached Disney/MGM Studios for a nWo logo. The designers came back with 6 to 10 examples, and eventually WCW management settled on the logo we know today.[3] Scott Hall is credited with the group's trademark hand-signals, and Taylor belatedly scrawled the group's most popular catchphrase, "When you're nWo, you're nWo 4 life," in one segment he scripted for WCW Monday Nitro in late 1996.

History

World Championship Wrestling

Formation

Main article: The Outsiders

Scott Hall, whose on-screen antics led the WWF to claim that WCW had infringed on their intellectual property
Scott Hall, whose on-screen antics led the WWF to claim that WCW had infringed on their intellectual property

On the May 27, 1996 edition of Nitro Scott Hall appeared in Macon, Georgia which was emanating from the Macon Coliseum while The Mauler and Steve Doll were wrestling, Hall emerged from the crowd and entered the ring, ending the match and asking for the microphone to the announcer. "You know who I am," Hall told a stunned audience, "but you don't know why I'm here." He had given the "Do you want a war?" speech, declaring that he and unnamed allies had a challenge to Eric Bischoff, Executive Vice President of WCW and any wrestler in WCW. As the episode drew to a close, Hall harassed Bischoff, who was also Nitro's main announcer at the time, in the broadcast booth and demanded that he tell WCW owner Ted Turner to pick three of his best fighters for "a war".[4][5] The following week, Hall said he had a "huge surprise" for wrestler Sting. In the following episode of Nitro, it is revealed that the "big surprise" was Kevin Nash. And both were dubbed The Outsiders, randomly showing up at WCW events to cause trouble and inevitably getting kicked out by WCW security.[4][6]

Despite the fact that both Hall and Nash were employees of WCW, the storyline implied that they were WWF wrestlers "invading" WCW, this was enough of a concern for the WWF that they considered taking legal action over Hall and Nash's actions. Hall was the biggest concern for the WWF, as he had not fully distanced himself from his Razor Ramon persona by still acting like Razor and speaking with his Cuban-American accent. WCW attempted to address these concerns at The Great American Bash in June 1996[vague] by asking The Outsiders direct questions. Bischoff promised them a match at the next event, and then directly asked Hall and Nash if they worked for the WWF, to which they said no.[7] The WWF, still dissatisfied, sued, saying that Bischoff had proposed interpromotional matches that could air on TBS associating the two companies with each other. Also at The Great American Bash, both Hall and Nash pressured Bischoff to name all three representatives from his company for their upcoming match. Bischoff said he had found three men who would answer his challenge, but he would not name them.[4][8][9] Bischoff held a drawing on the following Nitro to determine the WCW representatives, with Sting, Lex Luger and "Macho Man" Randy Savage being chosen.

Hostile Takeover Match

Main article: Bash at the Beach (1996)

The match that Bischoff promised, a six-man tag team match, was billed as a Hostile Takeover Match, and was scheduled as the main event of Bash at the Beach at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida on July 7, 1996.[10] At the event Hall and Nash came to the ring by themselves, leaving open speculation as to who the third man was. The WCW team then walked in with all three members wearing face paint as a sign of solidarity.

Luger was injured (in kayfabe) shortly after the match began and had to be removed on a stretcher. The match climaxed at approximately sixteen minutes, shortly after a late tag-in from Sting to Savage. Savage went on the attack, hitting The Outsiders with repeated punches. However, as referee Randy Anderson checked on a downed Hall, Hall grabbed his shirt allowing Nash to take a cheap shot at Savage, dropping both men to the canvas. With all four down, the referee had no choice but to give them the ten second count, as he did not see the low blow. As he began his count, the attention of the fans was drawn to the entrance area as Hulk Hogan entered and walked towards the ring to a huge roar from the crowd. Hall saw him and immediately fled the ring. Hogan, who hadn't been on WCW television in a while, entered the ring to chase Nash away, while ripping his own shirt, as he had done several times before.

With the fans wildly rooting for Hogan, he stood in the corner closest to Savage and then attacked him with his Atomic Leg Drop, leaving the crowd silent and turning heel for the first time since his AWA days in 1981. The Outsiders they returned to the ring to celebrate with their now-revealed partner as Hogan made his move on Savage for the second time, and after the three men shook hands. Hogan threw the referee out of the ring and hit Savage one last time. The official match result ended in a no contest and Savage had to be carried out of the ring by an exhausted Sting. Following the match, "Mean" Gene Okerlund stepped into the ring and interviewed Hogan.

Gene Okerlund: Hulk Hogan, excuse me! Excuse me. What the hell are you thinking?
Hulk Hogan: Mean Gene, the first thing you need to do is tell these people to shut up if they want to hear what I have to say!
Okerlund: I've been with you for many years, and for you to team up with these two men makes me sick to my stomach! And I think these people here (pointing to the audience) and many other people in the world have had enough of this man (pointing to Nash), and this man (pointing to Hall), and you want to be part of this group? You got to be kidding.
Hogan: "Well, the first thing you'll have to recognize, brother, is that the future of wrestling is here! You can call this the new world order of wrestling, brother!"

Hogan continued, reminding everyone of the "great northern organization" that Hall and Nash had come from and that he had been there as well and how he made said company a household name. Hogan followed through with his WCW contract signing in 1994.

Hogan: And then Billionaire Ted, man, he wanted to talk business with Hulk Hogan. Well, billionaire Ted promised me movies, bro. Billionaire Ted promised me millions of dollars. And billionaire Ted promised me world-class matches. And as far as billionaire Ted, Eric Bischoff and all of WCW is concerned, I'm bored bro!

He then stated that Hall and Nash were the type of people he truly wanted as friends and that together, the three of them would take over World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and destroy everything in their path. At that point, Okerlund asked Hogan to look at the trash around the ring and told him that he could expect more of this if he chose to team up with Hall and Nash (subtly suggesting to Hogan that he should reconsider one more time). Hogan ignored Okerlund and launched into a tirade against the fans while continuing to verbally attack Bischoff and some of the new talent the fans were cheering for.

Okerlund (pointing to the garbage on the mat): Look at all this garbage in the ring! This is what the future holds for you, if you want to hang out with people like this man (Hall) and this man (Nash).
Hogan: As far as I'm concerned, all this crap in the ring represents these fans here! For two years, brother! For two years, I kept my head up! I did everything for charities! I did everything for the children! And the reception I got when I got here, you fans can put it in, bro! Because if it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, you wouldn't be here! If it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff would still be selling meat from a truck in Minneapolis! And, if it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, all these rookies you see here, wrestling wouldn't be here! I was selling the world, bro, while they were putting gas in their car to go to high school! So how will things be now, brother, with Hulk Hogan, and the new world organization of wrestling, brother, me and the new blood by my side ... What are you going to do, brother, when the new world organization runs wild on you?[11]

Hogan, Hall, and Nash tried to attack Okerlund immediately; but they quickly let him go after Okerlund threatened to sue them if they didn't. The event closed with the three fighters continuing their provocation to the fans, who booed them and threw garbage. Concluding the event, a perplexed Tony Schiavone said, "Hulk Hogan, you can go to hell... Straight to hell."

The night after Bash at the Beach, Hall and Nash appeared on Nitro without Hogan, attempting to attack Sting, Arn Anderson and Randy Savage, but were held back by WCW security.[4] On the July 15, 1996 edition of Nitro, Hogan returned and helped Hall and Nash attack Lex Luger and Big Bubba Rogers during the main event of Nitro. He then made a challenge to then-WCW World Heavyweight Champion, The Giant for Hog Wild in August. On the July 29, 1996 episode of Monday Nitro, The Outsiders attacked Arn Anderson, the American Males (Marcus Bagwell and Scotty Riggs), and Rey Misterio Jr., whom Nash threw the latter into the side of a truck. WCW production before leaving in a limousine. The following week after getting fed up with the constant attacks from The Outsiders, both Sting and Luger teamed up to challenge them to a tag team match at Hog Wild.

Hogan becomes champion and Bischoff's secret is revealed

During his time with the nWo, Hulk Hogan became known as Hollywood Hulk Hogan, often shortened to Hollywood Hogan
During his time with the nWo, Hulk Hogan became known as Hollywood Hulk Hogan, often shortened to Hollywood Hogan

At Hog Wild, The Outsiders defeated Luger and Sting when referee Nick Patrick apparently fell on Luger's leg as he applied the Torture Rack to Hall, allowing Hall to pin him and in the main event, the newly renamed "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan (often shortened to Hollywood Hogan) won the match after knocking out The Giant with his belt. Following the match, Hogan renamed the title the nWo World Heavyweight Championship by painting the group's acronym in large letters on the center of the belt.[1][5][12]

After the events of Hog Wild, referee Nick Patrick was called into question for his actions in the following months. Nearly two weeks after Hog Wild, Ted DiBiase made his WCW debut, declaring himself the financier and spokesperson for the WCW. nWo, and was nicknamed "Trillionaire Ted".[13] On the September 2 edition of Nitro, the nWo got their fifth WCW member as The Giant, who two weeks ago lost his title to Hogan, The Giant betrayed his Dungeon of Doom teammates and attacked The Four Horsemen and Randy Savage. As the Fall Brawl event approached, WCW prepared for another battle against the nWo.

On the September 9 episode of Nitro, the nWo misled fans and wrestlers into believing that Sting had joined the nWo by putting wrestler Jeff Farmer into the group as a clone of Sting, complete with Sting attire and face paint. This point was brought into focus when Farmer, as the nWo Sting attacked Luger, who had been called by referee Nick Patrick to the parking lot. This led Luger, Sting's longtime ally and tag team partner, to publicly question him. On the other hand Randy Savage wanted revenge for the attack suffered at the hands of The Giant and challenged him to a meeting in Fall Brawl.

At Fall Brawl, while Team WCW was being interviewed, Sting told his teammates that he had nothing to do with the attack, but Luger didn't believe him. Prior to the match, only three wrestlers on each side had been officially announced: Hogan and The Outsiders from the nWo, against Luger, Arn Anderson, and Ric Flair from Team WCW. In the event The Giant defeated Randy Savage thanks to the intervention of the rest of the members of the nwo. Meanwhile Sting had been announced as the fourth man by WCW, but his participation was in doubt. The fourth man of the nWo was in fact nWo Sting, who convinced everyone (including the broadcast crew) that the real Sting was from the nwo. The real Sting appeared moments later as the last man on Team WCW and attacked the nWo on his own. After attacking Hogan, Hall, Nash and the nWo Sting, Sting left the ring and Team WCW, yelling at Luger who appeared to apologize, saying, "Now do you believe me?" The WCW team, now fighting a 4-on-3 handicap match, lost when the nWo Sting locked Lex Luger in the Scorpion Death Lock.

The following night on Nitro, an angry Sting lashed out at his wrestling friends, as well as the fans for doubting his true colors. He came unexpectedly, without music or pyrotechnics, and kept his back to the camera on purpose as he spoke:

Sting: I want to take the opportunity to explain something that happened last Monday night on Nitro. Last Monday night, I was on the plane flying from L.A. to Atlanta. When I got to Atlanta, I turned on Nitro on TV. And I thought I was watching a replay! It was a very convincing movie. Often imitated, but never duplicated! And what else did I see? I saw people, I saw fighters, I saw commentators, and I saw my best friends DOUBT... the Stinger. It's true, they doubted the Sting! So I heard Lex Luger say, 'I know where he lives, I know where he works out, I'm going to find him.' So I told myself, I'll go into seclusion. I'll wait and see what happens on Saturday Night, and I tuned in on Saturday night, and what do I see? More of the same... more DOUBT. Which brings me to Fall Brawl. I knew I had to go to Fall Brawl, and come face to face with the Total Package to let him know it wasn't me. And what I got was: 'No Sting... I DON'T BELIEVE YOU STING!' Well, all I have to say is that I've mediated, I've been Lex Luger's babysitter, and I've given him the benefit of the doubt thousands of times in the last twelve months. And I have carried the WCW pennant, and I have given my blood, my sweat and my tears for WCW! So, for all those fans, and all those fighters, and the people who never doubted the Stinger, I'm with you, if you're with me! But to all the people, all the commentators, all the fighters, and all the best friends who doubted me, you can stick it! From now on, I consider myself a free agent, but that doesn't mean you won't see the Stinger; from moment to moment; I'll show up when you least expect it.[1][5][14]

Syxx was the sixth person to join the nWo
Syxx was the sixth person to join the nWo

After this, Sting would stay out of the ring for almost fifteen months, and in the process, he would leave his allegiances on the table for either side to try to move him to theirs. The nWo attempted to recruit him, though they never removed the nWo Sting from the group. As Sting's character and look evolved, so did Farmer's character. On the same night that Sting gave his speech, the nWo inducted its sixth official member into the group, Syxx.[5]

With most of the WCW roster over in Japan, the nWo took over the September 23, 1996, episode of Nitro, including the broadcast booth and the ring announcer's role. On that same episode, the nWo introduced Vincent as their "head of security".[1] Meanwhile, The Giant stole the United States Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair and declared it his own. Faced with this situation, Jeff Jarrett, who had the intention of joining the Four Horsemen, told Ric Flair that he would take over the Giant at Halloween Havoc and that he would regain his championship.

In the following Nitro, another feud that was generated for the Halloween Havoc event was that of Syxx against Chris Jericho; On the other hand, The Outsiders had a feud against Harlem Heat for their tag team championships and a fight was agreed between them for the event. Leading up to Halloween Havoc, a feud broke out between Randy Savage and Hogan due to the nWo's interference in the previous event, with the two agreeing to a match for Hogan's championship. In the feud they involved Miss Elizabeth who was forced to join the nWo as Hogan's valet.

The nWo continued to dominate WCW, with Hogan defending the nWo World Heavyweight Championship against “Macho Man” Randy Savage and the team of Hall and Nash winning the WCW World Tag Team Championship from Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) at Halloween Havoc.[15][16] Also, at the same event The Giant defeated Jeff Jarrett via disqualification after Ric Flair attacked Giant during the match.[17] And Syxx also defeated his opponent when he was arguing with referee Nick Patrick about his slow counts, he took the opportunity to hit Jericho for the victory. After the match between Hogan and Savage, Roddy Piper, who had just been signed by WCW, came to the ring to confront Hogan.

Piper was looking to wrestle Hogan the following night on Nitro, in the storyline WCW only recognized Hogan, Nash and Hall as employees of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) due to them holding the WCW championships, and the other members of the nWo were not recognized as employees of WCW; due to this, they were unable to wrestle against other WCW wrestlers. This led to the nWo having a segment on Saturday Night, called nWo Saturday Night, where members of the nWo battled local jobbers.[4] The nWo also used its funding to buy airtime during WCW programming, which delivered low budget anti-WCW propaganda, or "hijack" the broadcast signal.

Referee Nick Patrick after several months of being called out for his actions, officially became the referee of the nWo after beginning to show more bias towards members of the nWo during their matches. Following the events of the previous event, it was announced on the November 11 episode of Nitro that Jarrett would face Giant in a rematch at World War 3.[18] On the same episode of Nitro, Patrick disqualified Jericho in a match against Konnan. when Konnan kicked Jericho into Patrick.[18] On the November 16 episode of Saturday Night, Jericho challenged Patrick to a match at World War 3, with Jericho's arm tied behind his back.

Then WCW Vice President Eric Bischoff, who in November 1996 revealed that he had secretly been a member of the nWo all along
Then WCW Vice President Eric Bischoff, who in November 1996 revealed that he had secretly been a member of the nWo all along

On November 18, 1996, Nitro was live at the Florence Civic Center in Florence, South Carolina and opened the show with Hall and Nash physically attacking The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags), High Voltage (Robbie Rage and Kenny Kaos), Cyclops, and Galaxy, later forcing Tony Schiavone to leave after they threatened him.[19] Following the attack by The Outsiders; The Nasty Boys and Faces of Fear challenged them for their championships at the World War 3 event. As the show entered its second hour, Hogan and his group harassed Bischoff at the dinner table. commentators and forced him to say that Hogan was better than Piper, who was still looking for a match against Hogan, but Bischoff had not yet made the contract. At the end of the episode, Piper and Bischoff were arguing in the ring,[19] while Piper continued to harass Bischoff, The Giant entered the scene and grabbed Piper from behind. He was followed by Syxx, Vincent, and The Outsiders, who entered to stop Piper from attacking Bischoff. Finally, Hogan and DiBiase came out and revealed to the world that Eric Bischoff, despite appearances, had been a member of the nWo all along.[19]

In World War 3 Jericho defeated the nWo referee Patrick, Giant managed to defeat Jarrett thanks to the interference of Sting who returned with a new outfit under a raven painting. The event featured a segment where world heavyweight champion Hollywood Hogan and Piper signed a contract for a non-title wrestling match at the Starrcade event in December.[20] In the penultimate fight The Outsiders defended their tag team championships against Faces of Fear and The Nasty Boys, the main event was the real battle where Lex Luger who was left alone with nWo members Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Syxx and The Giant. He was eliminated by Giant, as Luger eliminated Hall and Syxx and then applied his Torture Rack to Nash, after his carelessness Giant took advantage and threw both men over the top rope to win the battle royal.

The following night on Nitro on November 25, Bischoff permanently left the broadcast booth, and his character became an egomaniacal tyrant as Executive Vice President of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), as well as appearing as manager and replacing DiBiase as the spokesperson for the nWo while DiBiase handled the financing. On the show, Bischoff issued an ultimatum to all World Championship Wrestling (WCW) wrestlers: They must join the nWo within thirty days. As soon as he finished his promo The American Males came to the ring but only Marcus Bagwell (renamed Buff Bagwell) joined the nWo, as he attacked his partner. Faces of Fear continued their rivalry with The Outsiders after the previous event, leading to a match between the two teams for the World Tag Team Championship at Starrcade.

On the December 9 episode of Nitro during a match between Mr. Wallstreet and Mike Enos, Ted DiBiase approaches the ring with the intention of recruiting a new member of the nWo through a contract, first showing Mike the contract. just to distract him, taking advantage of Wallstreet to defeat him at the end of the match DiBiase gives Wallstreet the contract making him join the nWo. Giant's elimination of Lex Luger to win the battle royal led to the two signing a contract in the same episode for a match at Starrcade.

On the December 16 Nitro episode, Japanese wrestler Masahiro Chono initially introduced himself as an agent for Sonny Onoo, however turned his back on him and revealed that he was a member of the nWo, establishing himself as the leader of nWo Japan, a stable. brother who would appear in NJPW. [21][22]

Later in the central event there was a match between The Outsiders and The Faces of Fear, Big Bubba Rogers interfered in favor of The Outsiders attacking their opponents and joining the nWo, after what happened the other WCW fighters came to help them However, the other members of the nWo also appeared to match the attack, between the attacks of both sides the fighter Scott Norton betrayed the WCW and joined with the members of the nWo.[1][5][23]

At Starrcade The Outsiders defeated The Faces of Fear to retain their championships, at the same event after multiple attempts to get Diamond Dallas Page to join, Hall and Nash attacked Page in the final of the United States Heavyweight Championship tournament. United against Eddie Guerrero, costing him the fight. The nWo was left with physical possession of the title, which was awarded to Syxx. On the other hand Luger defeated Giant with the help of the bat that Sting had left in the ring and in the main event, Piper defeated Hogan.[24][25]

On the December 30 episode of Nitro, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan began to comment on his loss to Piper blaming Giant for not helping him, The Giant who had won the battle royal became the number 1 contender but was unhappy with how he was never given a match. opportunity for a match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship demanding Hogan, but Hogan had ignored him. Piper came out and went to the ring to confront Hogan before this the other members of the nWo appeared to attack Piper, including Giant who refused to attack Piper before this reaction Hogan got upset and started slapping his face making Giant get I get angry and grab him by the neck, in the end he calms down and releases him when Hogan proceeds to withdraw with the other members of the nWo, they return and attack Giant expelling him from the nWo.

WCW success and control

On the January 4, 1997 episode of Saturday Night, it was announced that Hogan would defend the WCW World Heavyweight Champion against Giant at nWo Souled Out. In the previous event, Eddie Guerrero had won the vacant WCW United States Champion thanks to the interference of the nWo, however in that same event Guerrero confronted Syxx and The Outsiders for interfering in his match being attacked Guerrero by the trio and stole his newly won title. It was later announced that Guerrero would defend the title against Syxx at nWo Souled Out.[25]

On the January 13 episode of Nitro, Giant faced Hogan in a non-title match that ended in a no contest when the other members of the nWo attacked Giant. By the month of November Eric Bischoff had given an ultimatum to the entire WCW roster that they would become targets of the nWo if they did not join the group arriving after The American Males to accept the offer, Riggs hesitated to accept it while Bagwell accepted. betraying his partner this set up a match between Bagwell and Riggs at Souled Out.

At the nWo Souled Out event presented by the nWo, Bagwell defeated Riggs, while The Outsiders lost their titles to The Steiner Brothers. Champion Guerrero retained his United States Heavyweight Championship against Syxx in a ladder match, and the main event between Hogan and The Giant ended in a no contest due to referee Nick Patrick refusing to count the pinfall as a result Hogan retained your title.[25]

By the month of January, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Hiro Saito who were both Chono's teammates in the Japanese company NJPW became founding members of NWO Japan, as Chono had joined the nWo in December 1996. In the episode on the January 27 Monday Nitro, Bischoff returned the titles to The Outsiders after stating that Randy Anderson, who came to officiate the match after Patrick was knocked out, was not the official referee. Bischoff subsequently fired Anderson for his actions.[16][26] Later that night, The Giant defeated Roadblock and challenged Hollywood Hogan to a rematch for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Lex Luger stated his intention to side with Giant against the nWo. Hogan was disqualified in the title match against Giant after outside interference from Outsiders, but Luger came to Giant's rescue, setting up an Outsiders title defense against Luger and Giant at SuperBrawl VII.

On the February 3 episode of Monday Nitro, Hogan challenged "Rowdy" Roddy Piper to a match, in which he agreed to put his WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the line. Later that night, Piper and Hogan got into a confrontation where Piper tried to leave the arena, but Hogan insulted Piper in front of his son Colt. After helping her son out of the ring, Piper confronted Hogan and accepted the challenge for the match at SuperBrawl VII.

At SuperBrawl VII, Syxx defeated Dean Malenko to win the Cruiserweight Championship, while The Outsiders lost their titles to Lex Luger and The Giant.[27] Later that night in the main event, Hogan successfully defended his title against Roddy Piper thanks to interference from "Macho Man" Randy Savage, who after weeks of hanging around with Sting as a "free agent", helped Hogan win. Savage participated in a post-match beating of Piper.

On the February 24, 1997 episode of Monday Nitro, Savage helped The Outsiders get revenge on DDP by attacking him from behind while they distracted him by officially joining the nWo, Miss Elizabeth who had already been with the NWO for months looked harassed and miserable. but when Macho joined the NWO, she seemed happier and started managing it. Bischoff later returned the tag team titles to the Outsiders, as Luger had been injured and was not cleared to wrestle the SuperBrawl match. Lex Luger and The Giant agreed to return the tag team titles they won at Superbrawl to The Outsiders in exchange for issuing a challenge for a "winner takes all" tag team match at Uncensored.

Two weeks later, on the March 3 episode of Nitro, Turner Sports Vice President Dr. Harvey Schiller "suspended" Bischoff for abuse of office. Also, Piper was confirmed to have her own team and participate in the tag team match becoming a triangle elimination match. On the March 10 episode of Nitro, it was announced that The Four Horsemen members Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael and Jeff Jarrett would make up Team Piper. And the WCW team was made up of Luger, Giant, Scott Steiner and Rick Steiner; however Rick was attacked before the match by the nWo and was unable to compete, leaving the WCW team down by a single man in the match.

In the month of March, nWo Sting joined nWo Japan in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and began splitting his time between NJPW and WCW. While in Japan, he began to gain popularity and became a prominent member of nWo Japan, as a result he would spend more time in Japan regularly teaming up with group leader Masahiro Chono.

At Uncensored, Team nWo consisting of Hogan, Nash, Hall, and Savage won the tag team match. In addition to winning, per a pre-match stipulation, the nWo was given the right to participate in any WCW championship whenever and wherever it wanted. During the nWo celebration after the match, Sting descended from the rafters and attacked the members of the nWo, indicating his allegiance to WCW.

After the attack he had received from Savage for the month of February, Diamond Dallas Page returned and challenged him to a fight without disqualification for Spring Stampede, Savage accepting the match. Like Page, Rick made his return teaming up again with Scott to confront the nWo after the attack he received last month, challenging The Outsiders to a match for the WCW World Tag Team Championship, which was confirmed days later.

At Spring Stampede, the scheduled tag team championship match turned into a singles match between Kevin Nash and Rick Steiner as a result of Scott Hall not showing up for the event. Nash was allowed to name an arbitrator and chose Patrick. Nash winning the match and thus retaining his championships. After the match, Nash continued to attack Steiner. Patrick changed his mind and tried to get Nash to stop. Ted DiBiase, also had a change of heart and tried, along with Patrick, to get Nash to stop. When Nash refused, both Patrick and DiBiase walked out on him. And in the main event between Page vs. Savage, Patrick served at the end as the referee counting out a proper pin for Page. After the match, Nash came out and attacked Patrick, kicking him out of the nWo. At the end of the match Savage tried to attack Page's manager, however Bischoff got in the way; and the show ended with Savage and Bischoff getting into a confrontation and both being forced to be put down by members of the nWo.

By the month of April the nWo began to lose several of its members, Ted DiBiase left the group shortly after Stampede out of remorse for some of the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) wrestlers who were victims of nWo assaults. On the April 21 episode of Nitro, J. J. Dillon, who was named commissioner of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) during Bischoff's suspension, had Big Bubba Rogers and Mr. Wallstreet removed from the nWo due to their contracts. they were not legal and thus forced to work under their WCW contracts. As the group dwindled, Ric Flair made his return after several months and teamed up with Piper, and guest pro football star Kevin Greene to challenge the nWo to a match at Slamboree. The challenge being accepted in the following weeks by the group and naming its three representatives of the nWo; Nash, Hall and Syxx for the event. At Slamboree, the main event was the nWo's match against Piper, Flair and Kevin Greene; Winning Flair's group by making Flair submit to Hall with his submission key.

On May 26 in Nitro, Sonny Onoo wanted revenge on Masahiro Chono after he betrayed him commenting that he had a surprise for him, later The Great Muta was revealed as the surprise for Chono and a fight was agreed between the two, at the beginning After the fight Muta began to have a strange behavior because he did not attack Chono, to which Onoo went up to the ring to yell at him and realized that Muta was looking at him to later attack him, joining Chono as well as nWo Japan. Following the events of Slamboree, Flair and Piper claimed a shot at the WCW World Tag Team Championships against The Outsiders at The Great American Bash in June. Later, it was announced that The Outsiders had accepted the challenge for the event. Additionally, Savage challenged Page to a rematch for the same event in a Falls Count Anywhere match, with Page accepting the challenge in the following weeks. At The Great American Bash, The Outsiders retained the titles against Ric Flair and Roddy Piper, and in the main event Randy Savage defeated Page thanks to interference from Hall, applying his finishing move to Page.

On the June 28 episode of Saturday Nitro, Syxx lost the WCW Cruiserweight Championship to Chris Jericho. In addition, The Steiner Brothers wanted an opportunity for the WCW World Tag Team Championships against The Outsiders but they rejected them saying that they did not deserve such an opportunity and that if they wanted to have it they had to defeat the team made up of Masahiro Chono and The Great Muta, The Steiners accepting the proposal and agreeing to a fight between both teams for Bash at the Beach.

Given the events that occurred in the previous event, Diamond Dallas Page confronted Savage about Hall's interference, while he reproached him, Scott Hall attacked him from behind and Savage joined the attack; the following week Page challenged them both to a tag team match at Bash at the Beach and that his tag team partner would be revealed on the day of the event. In the month of July, basketball player Dennis Rodman made his wrestling debut when he teamed with Hogan to take on Lex Luger and The Giant in a tag team match at Bash at the Beach 1997.[23]

At Bash at the Beach, The Steiner Brothers defeated The Great Muta and Masahiro Chono, earning a shot at the WCW World Tag Team Championship. Later, before his match against Savage and Hall, Page announced that his mystery partner would be Curt Hennig who was making his WCW debut; however, the miscommunication between the two caused them to defeat the members of the nWo, and in the main event Giant and Luger defeated Hogan and Dennis Rodman, after Luger forced Hogan to submit with his final key.

The following night on July 14 on Nitro Konnan who was nicknamed "K-Dogg" also joined the New World Order (nWo) after he attacked Rey Mysterio, Jr. while Kevin Nash and the rest of the nWo I looked at him. The following week on Nitro, after the attack suffered at the hands of Konnan, Mysterio, Jr. challenged him to a Mexican Deathmatch match for the Road Wild event, Konnan accepting the challenge. Flair also began a feud with Syxx which led to the two having a match scheduled for Road Wild. On the other hand, The Steiner Brothers who had won their match on the previous pay-per-view were given their shot at the WCW World Tag Team Championships at Road Wild. As Luger had defeated Hogan in the previous event he was given a title shot at Road Wild scheduled for August.[28] However, Luger chose to use his opportunity on the August 4 episode of Nitro, five days before the pay-per-view, and defeated Hogan to win the championship and set up a rematch at the event.[29]

At Road Wild, Konnan defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. via submission, later that night Flair defeated Syxx. The Steiners defeated The Outsiders but by disqualification, as a consequence not getting the titles as a couple. And in the main event, Hogan regained the title after Dennis Rodman, disguised as Sting, hit Luger with a baseball bat.[30][31]

After the events of Road Wild, the nWo began a rivalry with The Four Horsemen, marked by a skit in which they made fun of the members of the group. The Horsemen responded by challenging the nWo to a WarGames match at Fall Brawl. The representatives of both teams were announced in the following weeks as Chris Benoit, Ric Flair, Curt Hennig and Steve McMichael of The Four Horsemen and the New World Order (nWo) would be Nash, Syxx, Konnan and Bagwell. On the other hand, Luger was seeking revenge against the nwo just like Page and both joined together to challenge them to a tag team match without disqualification being answered by Savage and Hall; and a fight between both teams was announced for Fall Brawl.

At Fall Brawl, Page and Luger defeated Savage and Hall, and in the center event during the WarGames Match, Curt Hennig who entered the match for the Horsemen last due to an apparent shoulder injury revealed his injury to be a ruse. and turned against his team to ally with the nWo. The Riders gave up after Nash threatened to smash Flair's head into the cage frame with the door.[23][32]

The next day, on September 15 at Nitro Hennig defeated Steve McMichael to win the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship, Flair came out to the ring and challenged him for his championship at Halloween Havoc. Hall, who had lost in the previous ppv against the team of Luger and Page, challenged one of them to a rematch at Halloween Havoc, with Luger responding to his challenge on the condition that he appoint a special guest referee choosing Larry. Zbyszko for your meeting. The feud that had been generated between Randy Savage and Diamond Dallas Page continued this time, agreeing to a fight between the two of the last man standing for the Halloween Havoc event. Piper who still had unfinished business with Hogan challenged him to a fight inside a steel cage at Halloween Havoc, Hogan accepted the challenge but without his title at stake.

On October 13 at Nitro Nash is injured and the nWo invokes the "Wolfpac Rules" and names Syxx as tag team champion; the same day Hall and Syxx lose the WCW World Tag Team Championships to The Steiner Brothers and since Bischoff was not in power he could not do anything to return them.

At Halloween Havoc, Flair would get revenge on Hennig by savagely attacking him causing his disqualification, thus Hennig was able to retain his title. While the fight between Hall and Luger ended with victory for the latter, since Zbyszko, realizing the nWo's interference, sided with Luger and with his help made Hall lose. At the end of the fight Syxx began to attack him, and after a while Bischoff and Hall joined the attack and ended with Bischoff kicking Zbyszko in the head. Later at the event Savage defeated Page after Hogan disguised as Sting hit Page with a baseball bat and in the main event, Piper defeated Hogan via submission.

On the November 17 episode of Nitro, Rick Rude made his debut as a manager and member of the nWo. Before the attack that occurred in the previous ppv Hennig would challenge Flair to a fight without disqualification for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship in World War 3, Flair accepting the challenge. It would later be announced that the same event would host the battle royal, with the winner receiving a future shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

At World War 3, Hennig won the match to retain his title and in the main event of the battle royal, the match was also entered by WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan, who teamed up to prevent anyone from getting the opportunity for his title. Hall won the match after Kevin Nash, disguised as Sting, attacked Giant with a baseball bat and eliminated him before Hogan eliminated himself by running from the ring thinking he was actually "Sting".

On the November 24 episode of Monday Nitro, commentator Larry Zbyszko stormed the ring after an advertisement paid for by the nWo, only for the blurb to fall from the ceiling showing Eric Bischoff posing on him at Halloween Havoc. Bischoff, after repeatedly insulting Zbysko, finally got Zbysko to agree to a match scheduled for Starrcade.

On the December 1 episode of Nitro, Bischoff stated that he never signed a contract and would not wrestle unless control of Monday Nitro was on the line, which WCW Commissioner JJ Dillon agreed to later in the show. Later, Diamond Dallas Page challenged Curt Hennig for the United States title. On the December 8 episode of Nitro, Kevin Nash declared himself the "one true giant", dismissed The Giant's chokeslam as worthless, and challenged Giant to a match at Starrcade. Moments later, Giant stepped into the ring and told Gene Okerlund that he would see Nash at Starrcade and bring the chokeslam with him.

On the December 15 episode of Nitro Bret Hart made his World Championship Wrestling (WCW) debut and stated that he would not be joining the nWo, but was assigned as the special guest referee for the match between Bischoff and Larry Zbyszko at Starrcade. And it was agreed that if Bischoff won the match, the nWo would have permanent control over Nitro, but if Zbyszko won, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) would remain. Another feud that ensued was that of Sting who had shown his opposition against the nWo several months earlier, then challenged Hogan to a title match at Starrcade. On the Nitro before the event, the nWo completely took over the show by bringing down the set and chasing away the WCW commentary team destroying everything related to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and renamed it nWo Monday Nitro.[33]

At Starrcade, Hall came out and stated that Nash would not show up and could not wrestle The Giant at the event. The Giant then came out and stated that while he understood why Nash would be absent, he would wait for another chance to fight Nash and, after a verbal confrontation with Hall, applied his finisher. Later in the US Championship match, Page pinned Hennig after a Diamond Cutter to win the match and the title. Zbyszko later defeated Bischoff via disqualification by Hall placing a steel plate in Bischoff's shoes and Bischoff kicking Zbyszko in the head. And in the main event Hollywood Hogan lost the title to Sting. Hogan originally pinned Sting, but confusion arose when Bret Hart appeared at ringside and accused the match referee of doing a quick count and restarted the match with himself as the referee. Hogan then submitted to Sting's Scorpion Death Lock, and the entire World Championship Wrestling (WCW) locker room came out to celebrate Hogan's loss.[34]

On December 29 at Nitro, Lex Luger defeated Bagwell and then challenged Savage to a match. Luger then cost Randy Savage a match against Chris Adams by hitting Savage with a steel chair on the debut episode of Thunder. Later in the show, it was announced that Luger would face Savage at Souled Out.

Dissension: nWo Hollywood and nWo Wolfpac

Shortly after Hogan lost the title at Starrcade, the nWo started showing signs of division within the group. Because of the controversy surrounding Sting's title win, J. J. Dillon vacated the title on January 8, 1998 on the inaugural episode of Thunder.[35] In addition to the title being vacated, Scott Hall was still slated to face the world champion at SuperBrawl VIII as per the stipulation surrounding his World War 3 win, and this also would have to be resolved with the vacant championship. New WCW commissioner Roddy Piper resolved that at Souled Out on January 24 by declaring that since there was no champion for him to face at SuperBrawl, he would face the winner of a second Hogan vs. Sting match at Uncensored in March. Later that evening, the feud between Hall and Larry Zbyszko came to an end when he defeated Hall by disqualification when Louie Spicolli, who had just signed with WCW a month earlier, interfered. After the match Dusty Rhodes, who had been in the broadcast booth that night and who Zbyszko had asked to come to the ring with him, joined Hall and Spicolli in attacking Zbyszko and joined the nWo, where he served as a mentor to Hall.[36]

The nWo continued to expand their ranks into the new year as former WWF star Brian Adams jumped ship to WCW and joined the nWo. Hogan gained a second bodyguard when Ed Leslie, who had previously tried to join the nWo at Road Wild in 1996, debuted as a barely recognizable bearded biker dubbed "The Disciple".[1]

Scott Steiner joined the nWo at SuperBrawl VIII
Scott Steiner joined the nWo at SuperBrawl VIII

At SuperBrawl VIII, the nWo had a mixed array of success. Hall and Nash regained the WCW's world tag team championship from The Steiner Brothers after Scott Steiner unexpectedly turned on his brother Rick and manager Ted DiBiase. Scott handed the championship belts to Hall and Nash after the match and celebrated with The Outsiders and Dusty Rhodes, marking his induction into the nWo.[37] However, Hogan lost to Sting in a match for the vacated WCW World Heavyweight Championship and was attacked by Savage late in the match. After SuperBrawl, Savage then made his intentions clear and declared that he no longer needed the nWo's help to win matches, that Hogan had dropped the ball, and that he was going after Sting to try to bring the world championship back to the nWo. Hogan and Savage tried to one-up each other on episodes of Nitro and Thunder over the next few weeks,[35] which led to a steel cage match at Uncensored in March which ended in a no contest. Earlier that night, Hall lost his World War 3-earned title match against Sting.[38]

The rift between the different factions of the nWo grew wider after Syxx, who had been out injured since October,[citation needed] was released from his contract and sent to rehab for his ongoing alcoholism. Shortly thereafter, Hall was removed from television; this led to a confrontation between Kevin Nash, Eric Bischoff, and Hogan on the March 26[citation needed] episode of Thunder.[citation needed]

Kevin Nash and Sting, here standing opposite each other in the ring, would later join forces after the formation of the nWo Wolfpac to fight off the nWo Hollywood led by Hogan
Kevin Nash and Sting, here standing opposite each other in the ring, would later join forces after the formation of the nWo Wolfpac to fight off the nWo Hollywood led by Hogan

The differences within the nWo were becoming more apparent as Savage and Nash were suddenly realizing that Hogan was only looking out for himself, and the nWo was secondary.[35] Nash sided with Savage after Hogan had interfered in a number of Sting/Nash matches, not wanting to have to face Nash to take back his title.[35] Nash supported Savage in his quest to defeat Sting, but also agreed to team with Hogan against the returning Roddy Piper and The Giant in a Baseball Bat on a Pole match. At Spring Stampede, Hogan and Nash defeated Piper and The Giant, but after the match Hogan assaulted Nash. Nash later helped Savage defeat Sting by hitting a powerbomb on the champion, earning Savage the win, the title, and the ire of Hogan who came out following the match arguing that Savage had "his title".[39][40] Hogan and The Disciple then attacked Nash and Savage to close out the show.[41]

The next night on Nitro, Hogan issued a challenge to the new champion for his title, and WCW commissioner Roddy Piper made the match a no disqualification match and said no run-ins would be permitted. Savage and Nash made their own speech later, where Nash said to Hogan "have a nice life" and implied that the nWo was not going to be together, at least in its current form, when the night was over.[citation needed]

Late in the match, while Hogan and Savage were fighting in a corner, The Disciple entered the ring and gave referee Nick Patrick a neckbreaker. While this was allowed, due to the match being no disqualification, it also meant that no one was able to stop Hogan and Disciple from doing whatever they wanted to Savage. The Disciple hit his finisher, The Apocalypse, on Savage while the belt was draped over his shoulder. Just after this, a furious Nash charged to the ring to aid the fallen Savage. After Nash entered the ring, Eric Bischoff came running from the back and slid into the ring to intercept him. After tossing Bischoff aside, Nash nailed the Jackknife Powerbomb on Hogan.[26][36][41] As the match was still going on, Nash pulled Savage on top of Hogan and went to revive Patrick as Bret Hart entered the ring. Hart picked up the title belt, struck Nash with it, rolled Hogan back over Savage, and revived the referee so he could count the pinfall for Hogan.[36] Although Hogan was WCW World Heavyweight Champion for a fourth time and appeared to have taken the reins of the nWo again, the members of the group itself were now going to have to choose whose side they would be on: his or Nash's.

Konnan was a member of the nWo Wolfpac led by Nash
Konnan was a member of the nWo Wolfpac led by Nash

On the May 4 episode of Nitro, Nash, Savage, and Konnan appeared wearing black shirts with a red nWo logo, as opposed to the familiar white logo. They called themselves nWo Wolfpac (a name which Nash had previously been using alongside Hall and Syxx to refer to themselves as a trio), and were joined in the following weeks by Curt Hennig, Miss Elizabeth, Rick Rude and Dusty Rhodes. The Wolfpac became the first nWo incarnation to wrestle as faces.[42] Hogan's side retained the black and white colors of the original nWo and took on the moniker nWo Hollywood, with Vincent, Bischoff, Scott Steiner, Scott Norton, Brian Adams, Buff Bagwell and The Disciple on his side.[43]

At May's Slamboree, Nash and Hall were to defend the WCW World Tag Team Championship against two of WCW's stalwarts, Sting and The Giant. However, The Giant joined nWo Hollywood shortly before Slamboree as retribution for Nash injuring him at Souled Out in January. Despite this, The Giant maintained his alliance with Sting, but strongly suggested that Sting had a decision to make in terms of his allegiance. At Slamboree, Hall made his return to WCW in the colors of the Wolfpac for The Outsiders' title defense. During the match, however, he (along with Rhodes) turned on Nash by hitting him with the title belt, which gave the win to the team of Sting and The Giant. The next night on Nitro, Hall was introduced as the newest member of nWo Hollywood.[44]

On the May 25 episode of Nitro the Wolfpac added Lex Luger, who urged his friend Sting to join him.[35][42] However, nWo Hollywood made their own effort to woo Sting. Sting revealed his decision on the following week's Nitro, fooling Hogan into believing that he was going to join his side, then turning on him and tearing off the black and white T-shirt he was wearing to reveal a red and black one underneath.[35][42] As part of his joining the Wolfpac, Sting began painting his face red and black instead of the black and white "Crow" style face-paint he had been wearing since 1996. At The Great American Bash, the Wolfpac lost two members as Hennig and Rude turned on Konnan following a loss and joined nWo Hollywood.[16][43][45] It was not a total loss for the red and black, however, as Sting defeated The Giant in a singles match for control of the vacated WCW World Tag Team Championship. The next night on Nitro, Sting chose Nash as his tag team partner and the two began defending the titles.[45]

In yet another shocking move, Miss Elizabeth defected from Savage (and the Wolfpac) and joined nWo Hollywood during a shocking promo (which included an on-screen kiss with Bischoff) on the June 8[citation needed] episode of Nitro. On the June 15[citation needed] episode of Nitro, Savage had a steel cage match versus Diamond Dallas Page (which featured Piper as special guest referee, and saw all three men on the receiving end of an attack by nWo Hollywood at the end of match). This attack, which resulted in a "knee injury" caused by a chair to his knee, would be the storyline angle for writing Savage off of TV, and he would then take a hiatus from the company to recover from at least two major knee surgeries (this was his final appearance with the Wolfpac).[citation needed]

In the meantime, a new contender for Hogan's championship emerged in undefeated rookie and United States Heavyweight Champion Goldberg, who had run off an impressive string of victories. On the July 2, 1998 episode of Thunder, Goldberg was granted a title match against Hogan for the July 6 episode of Nitro.[35] However, Hogan changed his mind and forced Goldberg to wrestle Scott Hall in order to earn his title match. Goldberg defeated Hall and then topped Hogan in the main event to win his first WCW World Heavyweight Championship.[35] After his loss to Goldberg, Hogan turned his attention to celebrity matches for the next two months, wrestling in two tag team matches at Bash at the Beach and Road Wild. Hogan won the first match with Dennis Rodman over Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone. The second match was a culmination of a storyline involving several Tonight Show skits involving Jay Leno making fun of Hogan, which resulted in Hogan and Eric Bischoff taking over the show and Diamond Dallas Page coming to save the day. Hogan and Bischoff lost to Page and Leno thanks to interference from Kevin Eubanks.

Fans make Wolfpac hand gestures towards Nash
Fans make Wolfpac hand gestures towards Nash

Meanwhile, the feud between Scott Hall and Kevin Nash continued while Nash continued to defend his half of the tag team championship with Sting. On the July 20 episode of Nitro, Hall and The Giant challenged the champions to a match for the tag team titles. Late in the match Bret Hart, who had been feuding with Sting over the previous few weeks, came out in an attempt to attack Sting. Sting knocked Hart to the floor and climbed the turnbuckle to taunt him, but the momentary lapse in concentration enabled Hall to pin Sting to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship back to the black and white.[36] nWo Hollywood added a new member to its ranks on the August 24 episode of Nitro when Stevie Ray joined their stable. A few weeks later they lost a member when The Disciple officially joined O.W.N. from The Warrior on the September 21 episode of Nitro after being "kidnapped" by The Warrior in the previous weeks.

The feud between Hall and Nash culminated in a singles match at Halloween Havoc in October, where Hall earned a countout win after Nash left the ring. Nash later stated that he didn't care about winning the match, he just wanted his friend back. On the same night, Hogan defeated The Warrior when Hogan's nephew, Horace, interfered and joined nWo Hollywood. Bret Hart defeated Wolfpac member Sting, putting him out of action for about 6 months.[46] (this was Sting's final appearance with nWo Wolfpac)

At World War 3, nWo Hollywood attacked Scott Hall and kicked him out of the group for disrespecting Hogan and Bischoff a few weeks earlier.[35] Kevin Nash won the 60-man battle royal and earned a WCW World Heavyweight Championship shot against the still-undefeated Goldberg.[47] On the Thanksgiving episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, nWo Hollywood leader Hollywood Hogan announced his retirement from professional wrestling and Scott Steiner went on to assume the leadership role in the nWo Hollywood faction. On the November 30 episode of Nitro, Dusty Rhodes was appointed, by Bischoff, to be "special guest referee" during the Barry Windham vs Dean Malenko match later that night, but during the match Rhodes turned on Windham & Bischoff and quit the nWo for good (which resulted in him getting kayfabe fired by Bischoff). At Starrcade, Nash handed Goldberg his first loss and won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Hall interfered in the match and shocked Goldberg with a taser, incapacitating him long enough for an oblivious Nash to hit the Jackknife Powerbomb and score the win.[48][49]

On the first Nitro after Starrcade (December 28[citation needed] episode), the main event would be between WCW/nWo president Eric Bischoff and WCW's franchise player Ric Flair. This was after months of feuding and weeks of demanding a match against Bischoff for the presidency of the company. Flair declared he would give up all his possessions if he lost. The match was made by Bischoff who believed that Flair would not be able to compete after he had a kayfabe heart attack during a promo. Flair, despite interference by The Giant (which led to the shocking return of Savage, who shockingly assisted Flair and quit the nWo for good) defeated Bischoff in the match to become WCW president for 90 days, and Bischoff was relegated back to his old position as an on-air commentator. The ending of the match symbolized a new beginning for WCW heading into 1999 and appeared to be the possible conclusion to the nWo storyline.[citation needed]

nWo Wolfpac Elite and nWo B-Team

Main article: Fingerpoke of Doom

As 1999 began, the divided nWo factions were headed by world champion and de facto leader Nash, who was unhappy with Hall's actions at Starrcade, and Scott Steiner, who had taken over nWo Hollywood following Hogan's retirement in November. On the first Nitro of the new year (January 4 episode), which took place at Atlanta's Georgia Dome, Nash and Goldberg were scheduled to face off in a Starrcade rematch as Nash had promised on the December 28 episode of Nitro. However, nWo Hollywood accused the former champion of stalking Miss Elizabeth and Goldberg was arrested and taken from the arena in handcuffs. Later that night, Hogan made his return to WCW for the first time since November 1998 and was challenged by the reigning champion. Hogan accepted Nash's request and took Goldberg's place in the main event. In the match, after the bell rang to begin the bout, Hogan poked Nash in the chest, after which Nash fell to the mat. Hogan covered Nash for the win and became champion again.[50][51] After the win, Hogan celebrated in the ring with Nash, Hall, and Steiner, revealing that it was all a conspiracy and the nWo had reunited under what would be known as the nWo Wolfpac Elite label.[52]

However, while Hogan, Hall, Nash, Steiner, Lex Luger, Konnan, Buff Bagwell, Eric Bischoff and Miss Elizabeth were part of the new "nWo Elite", the undercard wrestlers in the nWo (The Giant, Curt Hennig, Horace Hogan, Stevie Ray, Brian Adams, Scott Norton, and Vincent) were still in the black and white colors of nWo Hollywood and never were officially assimilated back into the group. The nWo Wolfpac Elite quickly began to "trim the fat" by eliminating a few guys from the newly reunited nWo entirely (first, Konnan and The Giant were both [separately] kicked out on the January 11 episode of Nitro; and then Hennig was kicked out on the January 25 episode of Nitro). The subtractions of The Giant and Hennig from the nWo "black and white" left a short-lived group sardonically labeled the nWo B-Team by fans and commentators. This "B-Team" was a staple of WCW programming throughout 1999, and it officially consisted of Stevie Ray, Brian Adams, Vincent, Horace, and Scott Norton.[53] Stevie Ray eventually became their leader after winning a 4-man Battle Royal match on the April 5 episode of Nitro (Norton was not present for this match).

End of the nWo era

The reunited nWo did not last long for either faction. The nWo Wolfpac Elite enjoyed initial success with Hogan as WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Steiner as World Television Champion and Hall as United States Heavyweight Champion. However, they were wrecked by injuries when Hall's foot was accidentally backed over by a car and he was put on the shelf (and subsequently was stripped of the title), while Luger suffered a torn biceps and as a result he and Miss Elizabeth went on hiatus. Hogan dropped the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in a First Blood barbed wire steel cage match at Uncensored to Ric Flair and Steiner lost the World Television Championship to Booker T after Buff Bagwell accidentally nailed him with a chair. Shortly after, Steiner beat him down and threw him out of the group. Scott later reunited with his brother Rick, who interfered on Scott's behalf during his match with Bagwell at Slamboree in May 1999.[citation needed]

A month earlier, Hogan suffered a severe injury during a fatal four-way match (with Page, Flair and a returned, white-painted Sting with a returned Randy Savage as the special guest referee) at Spring Stampede for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, which Diamond Dallas Page won, and was put out of action for three months. It has been debated whether this injury was legitimate or not. Nash then began a rivalry with Page, who he blamed for causing Hogan's injury, and defeated him for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Slamboree. Scott Steiner was forced to go on hiatus due to a back injury and stripped of the United States Heavyweight Championship. Other minor members included Disco Inferno, David Flair, and Samantha. Inferno engaged in a feud with Konnan that ended with a loss to him at Spring Stampede (which was the quiet end of his membership), while Flair and Samantha were quietly removed from television following Hogan's title loss at Uncensored.[citation needed]

However, by that time, the nWo Elite had collapsed and no longer had any importance in WCW. As the year went on, the nWo Black and White (B-Team) members slowly began distancing themselves from each other. Stevie Ray left the group in July to reform Harlem Heat with his brother Booker T. Brian Adams was kicked out of the group on the August 16[citation needed] episode of Nitro and vanished from WCW programming for some time, eventually forming a tag team with Bryan Clark called KroniK. Scott Norton left WCW completely after the September 30[citation needed] episode of Thunder and returned to Japan. Vincent left the group and joined The West Texas Rednecks alongside former nWo stablemates Curt Hennig and Barry Windham, changing his name to "Curly Bill" and later to "Shane" (as another slap at Vince McMahon). Horace Hogan would quietly go on his own after all of this.[citation needed]

Hogan and Nash also entered a feud before the end of the summer. Nash lost the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in a tag team match at Bash at the Beach in July[citation needed] pitting him and Sting against Sid Vicious and Randy Savage as Savage pinned him. The next night,[citation needed] Hogan returned to Nitro and accepted a challenge from Savage for the championship; Nash interfered by hitting a Jacknife Powerbomb on Savage and gave Hogan the victory, but the next week[citation needed] Nash attacked Hogan during a match with Vicious and aligned himself with Vicious and Rick Steiner. Over the next few weeks,[citation needed] Hogan and Nash, along with Vicious and Steiner (on Nash's side) and Sting and a returning Goldberg (on Hogan's side) feuded with each other, culminating in a match at Road Wild where Hogan put his title and career on the line against Nash's career. Hogan returned to his red and yellow attire on Nitro shortly before[citation needed] the event and won the match, thus forcing Nash to retire. Nash did continue to make appearances afterward,[citation needed] usually stirring up trouble backstage with Hall as his cohort.[citation needed]

nWo 2000

In late December 1999,[citation needed] Nash, Hall, Jeff Jarrett, and Bret Hart reformed the nWo, this time with the colors black and silver. Jeff Jarrett was often accompanied by the nWo girls (Midajah, Tylene Buck, April Hunter and Pamela Paulshock). Hall, Nash and Jarrett interfered on Hart's behalf in his match with Goldberg, causing Hart to win the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship. After Goldberg accidentally injured himself breaking the nWo's limousine windshield, Sid Vicious, Chris Benoit and Terry Funk were left to feud with the nWo. Scott Steiner returned and rejoined the group after attacking Vicious. He later would be accompanied by the nWo girls. The Harris Brothers acted as the nWo's bodyguards before joining the group themselves. As nWo members, The Harris brothers would become WCW Tag Team Champions twice. Hart was forced to vacate the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and went on hiatus from WCW in mid January due to an injury suffered in a match with Goldberg at Starrcade 1999.[citation needed] At the following pay-per view Souled Out,[citation needed] Nash defeated Funk to become WCW commissioner, but his reign was cut short after he suffered a broken ankle and had to withdraw from WCW for a while. Jarrett won a title shot facing new WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sid Vicious at SuperBrawl 2000.[citation needed] However, Jarrett also feuded with fellow nWo member Scott Hall after Hall attempted to defeat Vicious and win the title himself. The match at Superbrawl was changed to a triple threat match between Hall, Jarrett and Vicious. Vicious won the match and Hall left WCW for good. Jarrett faced Vicious for the title again at Uncensored[citation needed] but lost. With the return of Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo in April,[citation needed] the nWo completely dismantled and Jarrett, Steiner and the Harris brothers joined The New Blood while the returning Nash joined The Millionaire's Club.[citation needed]

World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE

Hogan making his entrance at WrestleMania X8 in March 2002, his first WrestleMania after nine years
Hogan making his entrance at WrestleMania X8 in March 2002, his first WrestleMania after nine years

Feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock

After the WWF bought the WCW video library and trademarks in 2001, Vince McMahon brought in Hogan, Hall and Nash, the original nWo, at No Way Out as hired thugs in an attempt to "kill" the WWF so that McMahon would not have to share power with new WWF kayfabe co-owner Ric Flair.[54] They began by targeting the company's two biggest stars, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. This rivalry led up to Scott Hall going against Austin and Hogan going against The Rock at WrestleMania X8 (in matches which Hall and Hogan both lost).[2][55] As a result of Hogan shaking hands with The Rock and getting a positive response from the crowd after his match at WrestleMania, he turned face and began feuding with Hall and Nash, with The Rock and Kane at his side on occasion.[2] Hall and Nash then brought in former nWo member X-Pac on the March 21, 2002 episode of SmackDown! in Ottawa, Ontario.[56]

On March 25, the nWo (now consisting of Nash, Hall, and X-Pac) was drafted by Ric Flair to the Raw brand despite rivaling against them. For the next two weeks, the nWo feuded with Kane until he was lured backstage by X-Pac and was put out of action by having his head smashed with a chair.[57] Following this, Nash was suspended for attacking Kane in storyline to recover on his injured biceps. X-Pac would begin wearing Kane's mask, taunting him on the fact that he put him out of action. Bradshaw, who had come to Kane's aid, fought Hall at Backlash, which Hall won with help from X-Pac.[58] Big Show rejoined the nWo on the April 22 episode of Raw when Flair teamed him up with Austin, whom Big Show chokeslammed.[59]

The nWo was shortly joined by Flair when he attacked Austin with a chair and Hall was ejected out of the group and fired from Raw for "repeatedly dropping the ball" on Austin. In actuality, Hall had asked for his release for personal reasons.[2][60] Lacking members, Ric Flair would recruit Booker T and continued his feud with Austin.[61] Austin defeated Big Show and Flair in a Handicap match at Judgment Day.

Booker T was now in the group, his sidekick Goldust attempted and failed many times to get in, with the rest of the members (X-Pac and Big Show) becoming frustrated at Booker T. With Nash returning and attempting to rebuild the nWo, he brought Shawn Michaels into the faction on the June 3 episode of Raw.[2][62] Michaels then literally "kicked" Booker T out of the nWo a week later.[2][63] Michaels, then in the midst of a four-year retirement from professional wrestling, became the first nWo member who had never wrestled in WCW.

On July 8, Nash returned to action on Raw, teaming up with Eddie Guerrero, X-Pac, Big Show, and Chris Benoit to take on Booker T, Goldust, Bubba Ray Dudley, Spike Dudley, and Rob Van Dam. Seconds after tagging in for the first time, Nash tore his quadriceps after delivering a big boot onto Booker T, immediately putting him back on the injured list.[2][64] On the following Raw on July 15, Vince McMahon came out to the ring to the entrance of the nWo and made the announcement that the group was officially disbanded as Eric Bischoff became Raw General Manager.[2][65] Afterwards, the nWo storyline was stopped and the remaining members drifted apart. Michaels returned to active competition within weeks, Big Show was eventually traded to the SmackDown! brand and X-Pac was released from his contract.

Sporadic appearances

The nWo making their way to the ring at WrestleMania 31
The nWo making their way to the ring at WrestleMania 31

The August 11, 2014[citation needed] episode of Raw, which aired on Hulk Hogan's 61st birthday, featured Scott Hall and Kevin Nash as guests. The two shared a moment with Hogan, revealing an nWo shirt hidden under his "Hulk Rules" shirt. They were interrupted by Brock Lesnar, who told Hogan, "Party's over, grandpa". Lesnar backed out of the ring when confronted by John Cena, his opponent at SummerSlam.[citation needed]

On the January 19, 2015[citation needed] episode of Raw, X-Pac, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash came out for a survey segment. They were interrupted by The Ascension, who were beaten down by the nWo, The APA, and The New Age Outlaws. On March 29[citation needed] at WrestleMania 31, Hogan, Nash, and Hall returned to assist their long-time rival Sting in his WrestleMania debut match against Triple H. The nWo helped to fight off D-Generation X (X-Pac, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg), who had interfered on behalf of Triple H. Shawn Michaels later joined Triple H's side, turning the match in his favor, and Triple H would go on to win the match.[citation needed]

On April 7, 2019[citation needed] at WrestleMania 35, Nash and Hall appeared as doctors during a backstage segment with Alexa Bliss, Michael Che, and Colin Jost. On July 22, 2019,[citation needed] during WWE Raw Reunion, Hall and Nash appeared as an aid to Seth Rollins and D-Generation X to confront A.J. Styles and The Good Brothers. Hogan, Hall, Nash, and X-Pac then appeared at WrestleMania 37 (the night after the group's induction into the WWE Hall of Fame) in a backstage segment with Bayley and Titus O'Neil.[citation needed]

Outside WWE

The nWo appeared in a Heavy on Wrestling (HOW) show on August 18, 2018 during a match between X-Pac and Arik Cannon vs. Darin Corbin and Ryan Cruz.[66] Near the end of the match, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash inducted Cannon as a first new member of the nWo in nearly a decade with Eric Bischoff appearing at the event. On October 19, 2018, the nWo (Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton and Syxx) competed against the No New Friends at the Glory Pro Wrestling #Unsanctioned event.[67] The original nWo (Hall, Hogan and Nash) reunited in the 2Sweet nWo Reunion Tour in Orlando on October 27, 2018.[68] In Uncasville, Connecticut, the NWO held its reunion show at the Mohegan Sun Arena on March 2, 2019.[69]

Legacy

In 1997, the nWo had their own pay-per-view called Souled Out. It was practice for WCW events to have co-brand naming (see WCW/nWo Starrcade) from January 24, 1998[citation needed] to March 14, 1999.[citation needed] The WCW World Heavyweight Championship occasionally received this co-branding as well, particularly in ring introductions performed by Michael Buffer.[citation needed]

The nWo has inspired many parody factions like Stevie Richards' bWo, Eddie Guerrero's lWo and the dMp (for Demon Making Plant) in the Japanese manga Kinnikuman. During his time in Juggalo Championship Wrestling (JCW), Hall, along with Corporal Robinson and the Insane Clown Posse formed the Juggalo World Order at JCW's Evansville Invasion on October 6, 2007.[citation needed] To date, fellow nWo alumni Sean Waltman and Kevin Nash have joined this faction for occasional matches.[citation needed]

The group's main logo has been parodied in various WWE merchandise for various wrestlers and groups, such as rKo, nXt: next generation, and Santos Escobar's LdF.

The nWo had major crossover appeal in its heyday. Football teams such as the New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars were selling jWo (Jets World Order and Jaguar World Order respectively) shirts at NFL games in 1998.[70] In that same year, Sin City Productions released a pornographic film called Nude World Order.[71]

When Hulk Hogan joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in January 2010,[citation needed] Hall, Nash and Waltman (all of whom had been with the company previously) began to appear as The Band, a group whose name was a reference to the 2000 incarnation of the nWo's "the band is back together" slogan. The group used a version of the Wolfpac theme as its entrance music. It disbanded within the year.[citation needed]

Current New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) stable Bullet Club takes some of its gestures from the nWo like the "too sweet" hand gesture and have been considered the stable that most closely resembles the nWo since its inception.[citation needed]

The nWo logo has even made an appearance in college football. When Jacob Peeler was hired as receivers coach at the University of Mississippi (also known as Ole Miss) before the 2017 season, he sought an identity for his group and came up with "Nasty Wide Outs", creating a wrestling-style championship belt with the original nWo logo affixed to it. Ever since, the Ole Miss nWo belt has been displayed on the sidelines by every receiver who has caught a touchdown pass and awarded after each game to a receiver seen by Peeler as deserving of the title belt.[72][73]

On December 9, 2019, WWE announced that the nWo, consisting of Hogan, Hall, Nash, and Waltman, would be inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2020.[74] On the January 29, 2020 edition of Chris Jericho's podcast Talk Is Jericho, Scott Hall stated that he felt Eric Bischoff should also be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the nWo.[75][76] Jericho agreed, noting Bischoff's vital on-and-off screen role with the group, and suggested that he was not being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as an nWo member was due to ongoing "residual heat".[75][76]

On March 14, 2022, Hall died at the age of 63.

List of incarnations and members

Main article: List of New World Order members

Championships and accomplishments

1 As part of the New World Order (nWo) storyline, the title was spray painted each time with the "nWo" initials and renamed as the nWo/WCW World Heavyweight Championship, while referred to by nWo members only as the nWo World Heavyweight Championship.[citation needed]

2 During one of their reigns, the nWo invoked "Wolfpac Rules" and named Syxx a co-champion due to a legitimate injury to Nash.[citation needed]

Media

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