(The previous noder hasn't been seen in many months, so I'm going to update the history a bit. Be sure to check out the full History of the nWo
node if you're only reading this snippet.)
nWo v. 5.0, February 2002: Vince McMahon has bought out WCW (and, perhaps, ECW; the lawyers are still out on that one), and ratings are waning in the face of some truly atrocious booking. As part of the aftermath of the WCW Invasion angle, Ric Flair's character owns 50% of the WWF. Vince wants his company back - all of it - and he threatens the old poison pill. If Flair doesn't sign over his share, Vince will bring back Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Hulk Hogan. With that kind of tease, all self-respecting wrestling fans know what's coming... At the 2002 WWF No Way Out pay-per-view event, those three do in fact show up, cut a mediocre promo, and beat up Stone Cold Steve Austin. Classic example of booking for the smarks and Internet fans; many casual fans wouldn't know of the less-than-stellar backstage reputation of those three.
nWo v. 5.1, March 17, 2002: In an "Icon vs. Icon" match at Wrestlemania x8, The Rock takes on Hollywood Hogan. For no reason, the crowd is cheering Hogan and giving Rocky Maivia the heel treatment, even digging out the "Rocky Sucks" chants that we haven't heard in a couple years. Anyway, Rock kicks out of the leg drop and pins the Hulkster clean. After the match, Hall and Nash jump Hogan, Rocky makes the save. The next night, Hogan more-or-less renounces his nWo membership, leaving just Hall and Nash; X-Pac joins up a few days later, before the WWF Roster Split.
nWo v. 5.2, May 2002: Scott Hall just can't stay sober, and is quietly released from the WWE. The Giant, er, The Big Show joins the nWo (since they're the same guy, does it count as rejoining?), as does Booker T (there is no logic left in wrestling, folks).
nWo v. 5.3, June 2002: Well, well, well. Just days after a passionate speech that looked an awful lot like a shoot, about how he'd never return to wrestling, Shawn Michaels comes back as the shocking new member of nWo. Next week, some vague semblance of sanity is restored, as Michaels cuts a damn good promo before delivering some sweet chin music to Booker, sending him flying back to the undercard where he belongs.
July 2002: Once again, the nWo ceases to exist. Nash blew out a leg (in an injury similar to that of Triple H from a couple years back). X-Pac is apparently taking a leave of absence, Shawn Michaels can't wrestle (one bad bump and he's paralyzed). Vince McMahon announces that the nWo is no more. Will they come back again? Probably not, but you never know...