Professional wrestling stable
and marketing tool.
America. The mid-Nineties. The Monday Night Wars
On one side: WCW Nitro
, Ted Turner
, Eric Bischoff
, Hulk Hogan
, Ric Flair
, Randy Savage
, 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper
and a host of other geriatric wrestlers in a moribund, money-losing promotion.
On the other side: WWF Raw
, Vince McMahon
, Shawn Michaels
, Bret Hart
, The Undertaker
...but also Mabel
, Isaac Yankem DDS
, Duke 'The Dumpster' Droese
and a host of terrible cartoon gimmicks in a moribund, money-losing promotion.
In the middle:
A rapidly-diminishing number of wrestling fans, who had been shrinking in numbers since 1992.
The biggest story at the time? Two of the WWF
's biggest draws, Diesel
and Razor Ramon
, had left the company and signed for WCW
in lucrative, multi-year contracts. Of course, such were the times that only a tiny proportion of wrestling fans even knew Scott Hall
and Kevin Nash
's real names, let alone their contractual obligations.
May 27, 1996:
During a jobber
match early in the Nitro broadcast, Hall made his way to the ring to the collective shock of the audience, the viewers, and announce team, and cut a typically Razor Ramon-like promo
"Hey!!! You people, you know who I am, but you don't know why I'm here.
Where is Billionaire Ted? Where is the Nacho Man? That punk can't even
get into the building. Me? I go wherever I want, WHENEVER I want. And where
oh where is Scheme Gene? Cuz I got a scoop for you. When that KenDoll
look-a-like, when that weatherman wannabe comes out here later tonight,
I got a challenge for him, for Billionaire Ted, for the Nacho Man, and
for anybody else in WCW. Hey, you want to go to war? You want a war?
You're gonna GET one!"
The next week's Nitro saw Hall wait until the last segment of the show before making his appearance. Taking over the WCW announce table and bullying Eric Bischoff
, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan
and Steve McMichaels
into silence, Hall challenged WCW's three finest to face him and two more of 'his guys'. Sting and WCW security managed to get Hall out of the arena, but not before he could promise a "little...no, BIG surprise next Monday night!"
Seven days later, Hall again arrived late in the day, but this time with company. Taunting Bischoff at the announce table again, Hall told the new Vice President of WCW to turn around. There, stood behind him was none other than Kevin Nash. Bischoff told the two invaders that he would give them his answer to their challenge at the Great American Bash
June 16, 1996:
Just before the main event at the Great American Bash, Bischoff called out the newly named "Outsiders
". He told them that they were going to get their
match, and it would be set for Bash at the Beach
in Daytona. Bischoff
then said he would tell them the three men who would oppose them on the
next night's Nitro. For his troubles, Bischoff received a Hall punch to the gut, and then a devastating Jacknife powerbomb
off the stage courtesy of Nash.
For the next few weeks on Nitro the Outsiders would show up, sometimes
as fans who had bought tickets to the event. The two would always be
escorted out by security. Speculation was everywhere on who their third
man was, and we found out...
July 14, 1996:
Bash at the Beach in Daytona, Hostile Takeover Match.
The Outsiders met the team of Sting
, Lex Luger
, and Randy Savage. They
told Mean Gene Okerlund
that they had enough with 2 guys, and did not
need their partner just yet. But as the match began, Luger took a bad hit from Sting (who was Stinger Splash
ing Hall) and was carried out on a stretcher. The Outsiders
dominated the match. As Hall was pounding on Savage, out came Hulk
Hogan. Hogan then ripped off his shirt and stood over a fallen Savage. But, as fate would have it, Hogan legdropped Savage, to the utter surprise of everyone, pinned him. Hall counted the 1..2..3, giving the Outsider team the unofficial win. Mean Gene then came to the
ring and conducted this interview...
Mean Gene: Hulk Hogan, excuse me, EXCUSE ME...What in the world are you
Hulk Hogan: Mean Gene, the first thing you need to do is to tell these
people to shut up if you want to hear what I have to say.
Mean Gene:I have been with you for so many years, for you to join up with the
likes of these two men absolutely makes me sick to my stomach. And I think that these
people here and a lot of other people around the world have had just about enough of this
man, this man...and you want to put yourself in this group, you've got to be kidding me!
Hulk Hogan: Well the first thing you've got to realize , Brother!, is this right
here is the future of wrestling. You can call this, the NEW WORLD ORDER of wrestling, , Brother!! These two men right here came from a great big organization up north, and everyone
was wondering who the third man was, well who knows more about that organization than
Mean Gene:I've been there done that, you have made the wrong decision in my
Hulk Hogan: Well let me tell you something, I made that organization a monster, I made people rich up there, I made the people that ran that organization rich up
there, , Brother!, and when it came to pass the name Hulk Hogan, the man Hulk Hogan became bigger than the whole organization, , Brother! Then Billionaire Ted wanted to talk turkey with
Hulk Hogan, well Billionaire Ted promised me movies, Brother! Billionaire Ted promised me
millions of dollars, and Billionaire Ted promised me world caliber matches, and as
far as Billionaire Ted, Eric Bischoff, and the whole WCW goes, I'm bored , Brother! That's
why these two guys here, the so-called outsiders, these are the men I want as my
friends. They're the new blood of professional wrestling , Brother! And not only are we going to
take over the whole wrestling business with Hulk Hogan, and the new blood, the monsters with me, we will destroy everyone in our path Mean Gene.
Mean Gene: Look at of all this crap in this ring. This is what's in the future
if you want to hang around with the likes of this man Hall, and this man Nash.
Hulk Hogan: As far as I'm concerned, all this crap in the ring represents these fans out here. For two years, Brother, for two years, I held my head high, I did everything for the charities, I did everything for the kids, and the reception I got when I came out here, you fans can stick it , Brother! Because if it wasn't for Hulk Hogan you people
wouldn't be here, if it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff would still be selling meat from a
truck in Minneanapolis, and if it wasn't for Hulk Hogan all the Johnny-Come-Latelys
that you see out here wrestling wouldn't be here. I was selling out the world, Brother while they were bumming gas to put in their car to get to High School. So the way it is now, Brother, with Hulk Hogan and the new world organization of wrestling, Brother, me and
the new blood by my side, whatcha gonna do when the new world organization runs wild
on you? Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do?
Mean Gene: Hey, don't touch me I've got a fleet of lawyers, Tony, Bobby, DAMNIT, back to you!
In the weeks that followed on Nitro we saw the three nWo
always show up in a black limo. They would come to Nitro and either
interfere in a match or randomly punk people out. This led to such acts
as the infamous spot where Nash threw Rey Mysterio Jr.
first into a WCW broadcast trailer. The three also began their spraypainting
tradition, as they would cover WCW property with the letters "nWo"or
"HH" (Hollywood Hogan). They also began another tradition, the
"The following message has been paid for by the New World Order" announcements.
Then came August of '96, the first Hog Wild (now known as Road Wild
the nWo got it's first title shot as Hogan challenged the Giant
made easy work of Giant with a little help from Nash and Hall. The nWo
had won it's first title. After the match each Outsider held one end
of the belt as Hogan spraypainted "nWo" on it. As soon as the
spraypainting was over, Hogan called out the Booty Man
(Hogan's buddy Ed Leslie
). He came out with a new nWo shirt on as Hogan
gave a speech about how the Booty Man has always been on his side.
After the speech the Outsiders and Hogan surprisingly beat the hell out
of the Booty Man. This was the last we saw of Leslie for a while...
Soon came Clash of the Champions
, where Hogan defended the heavyweight
belt against Ric Flair
. Hogan breezed through Flair in a very uneventful
For the next couple of weeks, a lot of speculation was brewing about
who the 4th man would be, since it seemed likely that the nWo would be
in the War Games
match at the upcoming Fall Brawl
. Three weeks before
the PPV, we found out who the fourth man was. During a typical nWo beat down (where they punked the Four Horsemen
and the the Dungeon of
, a stable that the Giant was part of), Giant came out to make
the save for his team, or did he? The Giant entered the ring and
chokeslammed Kevin Sullivan
. However, this still did not answer the question
of who the fourth man would beat Fall Brawl, because
Giant already had a match against Randy Savage. Not only that, it was
in this week that WCW announced that the War Games match at Fall Brawl
would be WCW vs. nWo, and the 4 men from WCW would be Sting, Luger, Arn Anderson
and Ric Flair.
The next week we were given the fifth member of the nWo, Ted DiBiase
DiBiase said he was going to introduce the next man on next week's
Nitro, and that would be the sixth man to join the nWo.
Six days before Fall Brawl all seemed normal, but as Nitro ended
Lex Luger was chasing around ref Nick Patrick
(Patrick was labelled as nWo by WCW announcers). Patrick led Luger out near the
nWo black limo when Sting appeared from the limo. Sting then attacked
Luger as Nitro went off the air.
During War Games the nWo team was announced as Hogan/Hall/Nash/Sting,
whereas the WCW team was announced as Luger/Arn Anderson/Flair/Sting. Sting
DID appear on the side of the nWo, but not the REAL Sting - the nWo Sting. The real WCW Sting then came out and destroyed everyone,
WCW and nWo, then left. Team nWo then defeated Team WCW as Lex Luger
was forced to submit to the nWo Sting's Scorpion Death Lock
. By winning
this match the nWo won a few rights, mainly an nWo segment to be
aired on WCW Saturday Night
. The following night on Nitro, Sting gave
a "screw you" interview. Also on that Nitro we were introduced to the
seventh member of the nWo, Syxx (Sean 'X-Pac
The next couple of weeks on Nitro the nWo was quiet, introducing
some new members, Vincent
(AKA WWF's Virgil
), a driver to drive their new nWo Nascar, and Nick Patrick the ref. The Giant vs. Ric Flair for the US Title was signed, but Flair was
forced out with an injury as the nWo attacked him with lead pipes.
Giant then took possession of the title which he didn't rightfully own.
Meanwhile on the nWo segments on Saturday Night, the Outsiders won the
tag titles. On Nitro the following weeks, the nWo would regularly attack
the Macho Man, so it seemed only fitting that Savage would get a title
shot at Havoc.
At Halloween Havoc
, October 25th, Las Vegas, the Outsiders were crowned
WCW Tag Champs by defeating Harlem Heat
and in the main event Hogan defeated
Savage with help from Giant. During the post match celebrating, 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper
showed up and told Hogan to "shape up". Hogan was not too pleased with
this and the two agreed to have some sort of a match. A few weeks later
on Nitro, Bischoff called the Nitro set and told the announcers that he had
visited Piper and, for some unmentionable reason, Piper could NOT have
a match with Hogan. The next week on Nitro the nWo took over the announcers
set and confronted Bischoff, wanting the real story about the Piper situation.
Bischoff told them he could not discuss it. Later that Nitro, before
the last commercial break, Bischoff said he had enough and stormed to the
ring. After the commercial we were shown Bischoff in the ring explaning
why Piper could not fight Hogan. During this interview, Piper's music plays
and out comes Piper, calling Easy-E a liar. The nWo then enters the
ring and announces their newest member, Eric Bischoff!
The next week on Nitro, Easy-E told all WCW wrestlers that they had
one month to convert their contracts to nWo contracts or be 'enemies 4 life'.
Almost immediately we had a taker, Marcus 'Buff' Bagwell
. In the next 2-3 weeks we saw more members, Big
(The Big Boss Man
), Michael Wallstreet
), and Scott Norton
. The next PPV, World War 3
, had only one nWo match, the 60 man battle royal. The battle royal featured everyone in the nWo plus most of the WCW roster. Of the last 7 men, 6 were nWo, as Lex Luger was the lone WCW man remaining. He eleminated all but Nash and Giant, and, as Nash and Luger got tied up in the ropes, Giant eliminated them both to get the title shot.
Meanwhile Piper vs. Hogan was signed for Starrcade
'96, which saw the nWo's first losses.
After The Giant lost his match at Starrcade to Luger, he then failed to save Hogan, who was then defeated by Piper. The Giant was accused by DiBiase and Hogan of 'dropping the ball'.
The Giant attacked Hogan and demanded a title shot, which he felt he deserved after winning WW3. Hogan agreed and the two signed a match for the nWo's first PPV, Souled Out
. Also at Starrcade, the Outsiders successfully defended their tag titles against the Faces of Fear
and the Nasty Boys
in a triangle match. A new US Champ was crowned in a tournament when Flair was stripped of the title due to injuries. The winner? Eddie Guerrero
defeated Diamond Dallas Page
in the finals for the win. Page had won nearly every match in the tournament with help from Hall and Nash, who had been egging him on to join the nWo.
Page kept refusing saying that if they really wanted him they wouldn't be asking him to be joining now, they would've asked him in the beginning.
After DDP had lost the US Title final, Mean Gene interviewed him. Gene said
DDP needed to make a choice and DDP quietly said "nWo". Two weeks later
on Nitro Page won a squash match against Brad Armstrong
, and the Outsiders
entered the ring and presended him with a black and white nWo shirt.
Page took the shirt and celebrated with the two, then attacked Hall and
tossed Nash out of the ring. DDP then left through the crowd, getting
a HUGE pop and turning face.
Souled Out featured "The Battle of the American Males
former partners Buff Bagwell and Scotty Riggs
did battle, Eddie Guerrero vs. Syxx in a ladder match, Masahiro Chono
's nWo debut against Chris Jericho
, and a title defense of
the tag belts as the Outsiders met the returning Steiner Brothers
But as Starrcade saw the nWo's first two losses, Souled Out
saw numbers 3 and 4 as Guerrero beat Syxx and the Steiners won the tag
belts. Chono, however, made short work of Jericho and Hogan cruised
past the Giant. DDP, again, refused to join the nWo.
The next night on Nitro, Hall/Nash/Bischoff took over the announcing
booth again. They then demanded that Randy Anderson (the ref who
crowned the Steiners as champs while Nick Patrick was unconscious) come
out. Anderson did and was asked by Bischoff where he got tickets to
be there, and Anderson said he was given the tickets. Bischoff then
said it was illegal for refs to accept gifts and fired Anderson. Bischoff
then awarded the tag belts back to the Outsiders.
Later that night Piper entered the ring with his son to give his farewell
to the fans and to wrestling. Hogan took exception to this and faced
Piper in the ring, saying how sad it was that Piper knew he was going
to get punked out so he brought his son. When Hogan ordered Piper out of the
ring and out of his sport, Piper cheapshotted Hogan. This setup the
main event for Superbrawl VII
, Piper vs. Hogan. Also on the card,
Syxx won the cruiserweight strap with a clean win over Dean Malenko
the Outsiders lost the tag belts to Luger and Giant and Hogan lost
via countout to Piper in the main event. But the surprize of the
evening was the nWo's newest member, Randy Savage, who aided in Hogan's
keeping the gold.
The following night on Nitro, Bischoff AGAIN awarded the tag titles back
to the Outsiders and Macho attacked DDP, setting up a HUGE feud that
would last most of '97.
Little would happen in the next few weeks as the third annual Uncensored
approached. The main event was Team nWo vs Team WCW vs Team Piper.
Team nWo was comprised of Hall, Nash, Savage, Hogan, Team WCW was Luger, Giant and the Steiner Brothers, and Team Piper was Piper, Flair, Chris Benoit
Each team had a special stipulation. If Team nWo won, they would get title
shots and matches whenever they wanted. If Team WCW won, there would be
no more nWo. If Team Piper won, Piper would get a cage match title shot
at Hogan. Team nWo breezed to victory, ensuring they would have
title shots upon demand. However, following the match, Sting descended from the rafters and destroyed the nWo single-handedly. It sowed the seeds for the feud that would take up much of 1998.
If little happened in February, March through September would be even
more dull. The following PPV, Spring Stampede
, featured two nWo
matches, a tag-team match featuring Nash defeating Rick Steiner
hang on to the tag titles and a match that introduced Dennis Rodman
to the world of the nWo. Rodman helped in the DDP beating at the end
of the Savage/Page falls count anywhere match
. Also during this
time, 2 new members joined - Konnan
and the Great Muta
The following PPV, Slamboree
, featured one nWo match, as the
(Hall/Nash/Syxx) met Piper/Flair/Greene.
For some reason WCW thought it would make sense for the Pac to job,
because they did. However, the nWo would get their revenge at
the Great American Bash, where Hall and Nash called out Piper
and Flair for a tag match. The Outsiders were rewarded for their
previous jobbing as they won the match and Randy Savage got a clean
pin over DDP in another Page/Savage match. The following night the
nWo saw its second member to leave, Ted DiBiase, who
started managing the Steiner Brothers.
The nWo then began plugging its first birthday. Bash at the Beach
was upon us, a PPV which featured Hogan/Rodman against Luger/Giant.
Luger and Giant got the clean pin, despite Nash dressing as Sting
and attacking Giant with a bat. On the next Nitro, Hogan was forced
to defend his WCW Championship against Luger on that Nitro since Hogan hadn't
defended the title in 5 months. Luger sneaked away with the victory
as he Torture Rack
ed Hogan and won the title. Luger's title reign lasted
a mere 6 days, as Hogan regained the belt at the next PPV, Road
Wild, thanks to help from the fake Sting. Following the match Hogan
repainted the belt with "nWo" as he had done one year ago.
The next week on Nitro, the tear-jerking retirement of Arn Anderson happened
and Curt Hennig
joined the Horsemen. The following week the nWo came
out and did a parody of this, with Nash dressed as AA. The nWo
parody prompted an nWo/Horsemen Wargames match at Fall Brawl. Team nWo,
consisting of Nash/Buff/Syxx/Konnan met the Four Horsemen, Hennig/McMichaels/Flair/Benoit.
On the night of Fall Brawl it was announced that the nWo had attacked
Hennig, and it wasn't likely he would be able to compete. Hennig
did manage to come out, however, he was wearing a sling on his
right arm. When it was his turn to enter the ring, he took off
the sling, to reveal 2 pairs of handcuffs. He then attacked Ric Flair!
The nWo handcuffed McMichaels and Benoit as Nash ran around with a
microphone asking the 2 horsemen if they would surrender. The 2
Horsemen kept refusing as Hennig dragged Flair to the door of the
cage and propped his head in the door's path, threatening to slam it.
McMichaels, when prompted by Big Kev to "Give up or the man gets
the guillotine", did so. Hennig STILL slammed the door on Flair, causing
serious injury and many stiches. Flair would be out for a couple of
November of 1997: Scott Hall won the World War 3 battle royal to gain a title shot at Hogan, which would cause controversy in 1998. At the end of this month, Sting and Hollywood Hogan would finally sign to face each other at Starrcade. One other item of note: 'Ravishing' Rick Rude
joined the nWo. The event in itself wasn't a large part of the nWo story - but the circumstances surrounding it were. Rude was a member of DX
in the WWF, but on a short-term per-appearance contract. WCW offered him a large amount of money to jump, which Rick took - which, due to the WWF taping every other RAW show, led to a bearded Rick appearing on RAW 'live', but then, clean-shaven, minutes afterwards on Nitro.
Starrcade 1997 was supposed to be the BIGGEST BLOCKBUSTER WRESTLING EVENT EVER, but it wasn't. It was garbage, and possibly the biggest letdown show ever. Sting vs. Hogan did not deliver, thanks to Hogan's ego. Hogan did not want to put Sting over cleanly, despite Sting being the top draw in the company. The match had a badly tainted ending, where Bret Hart
"claimed" there was a fast count. Sting put the Scorpion Death Lock
on Hogan, prompting Bret, who was a special referee for another match, to call for the bell. What should have been a clean finish, wasn't, and it lost WCW a lot of credibility and momentum.
were playing a huge part in the direction of WCW around this time - and unfortunately for the nWo gimmick, the main players in the backstage trouble were also the main faces in the nWo angle. Hogan and Nash had heat about the storyline direction, Bischoff jobbed and fired Clique member Sean 'Syxx' Waltman, and the luchadores and up-and-coming stars like Chris Benoit
, Chris Jericho
were clamouring to be pushed, while the 'old guard' simply refused to put the new generation over.
On to March 1998, where WCW's dominance over the WWF, and in particular the nWo angle, was crumbling. Bill Goldberg
was getting hot around this time, and the next night at Nitro, Goldberg destroyed Raven
to win his first US title. We were subjected to "Age in the Cage", with Hogan and Savage trying to relive their 1989 Wrestlemania V
match. Meanwhile, the WWF was going into hyperdrive, putting on fresh matches and new ideas.
After Sting had dropped the title to Savage at Spring Stampede 1998, who promptly lost it to Hogan on the next Nitro, Savage and Nash started a seperate New World Order - enter the nWo Wolfpac
, which consisted basically of Nash's buddies. The opposing faction was Hogan's nWo Hollywood
. The only thing the Wolfpac vs. Hollywood war produced was confusion. Scott Hall wasn't Wolfpac, but he tagged with Kevin Nash anyway to fight Sting and the Giant. Hall turned on Nash to join Hollywood, but Giant joined Hollywood just after he won the Tag Titles with Sting, and Sting would join the Wolfpac. Luger also joined the Wolfpac during this time, as if anybody cared. Meanwhile, the rest of the entire WCW roster were being held down by the egos of the top players.
Bash at the Beach got worse for WCW. They invited Karl Malone
and nWo member Dennis Rodman
to play wrestling for the Malone/DDP vs. Hogan/Rodman match. Sure, it got nice media attention, but the match was simply abysmal. And just when you thought it couldn't possibly get worse? DDP/Jay Leno
By this time, viewers were switching over to WWF RAW in droves. Motivated entirely by desperation, and booking almost entirely on the fly
, WCW did something big. The famous Georgia Dome
'Home of WCW' Nitro was coming along, and it was time to provide a spark for WCW fans again. Goldberg vs. Hogan was the hottest match in wrestling - Goldberg was one man who simply couldn't be held down. The match scored the highest rating of a wrestling show in history, and Goldberg got the clean win too, although Hogan agreed to job the title away if and only if he would be the first to beat Goldberg back. However, one night of ratings triumph would be all that WCW would see. They'd played their biggest card but failed to follow up with anything, and the entire angle went to the dogs.
Until the Hogan-Goldberg rematch, WCW were stuck with an over-dominating champion, a midcard roster that was getting the shaft from Hogan and no respect from Eric Bischoff, and wrasslin' instead of the edgy 'Attitude
' product that was turning the competition into the hottest thing on TV. In the ring, Scott Steiner turned nWo on his brother.
September '98 saw nWo take on oWn
as, in one of the booking tragedies of modern times, the Ultimate Warrior
was brought back to feud with Hollywood Hogan. Amid terrible 'appirition' skits, trapdoored rings and talk of 'Destrucity
' and the 'One Warrior Nation
', Hogan and Warrior produced a PPV main event that was perhaps 10% of their WrestleMania VI
showdown. Amid spiralling ratings and buyrates, and the godawful 'Last Call' Scott Hall drug abuse angle, Hogan announced his retirement. Scott Steiner was the new leader of nWo Hollywood, but worse that that, Kevin Nash was given the book by Eric Bischoff.
Nash proceeded to book himself to win World War 3
in 1998, which put him to fight Goldberg at Starrcade 1998. Nash became the first to defeat Goldberg, as Hall ran in and tazer
ed Goldberg. Nash buried every worker in the company that he didn't like (Paul Wight, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit) and pushed his friends (Hall, Konnan
) to the stars.
Before the first Nitro of 1999, Hollywood Hogan wanted back in. Nash promptly gave into Hogan's creative demands and agreed to job the title to him on that very first Nitro of 1999. Better yet, Nash came up with an idea to reunite the nWo, because if it worked in 1996, it was bound to work in 1999! Nash was "touched" by Hogan, fell down, and Hogan pinned him to become World Champion again. Nash got up and hugged Hogan, as did Scott Hall, Buff Bagwell and Scott Steiner. The nWo Wolfpac was now the 'real' nWo, and the remaining jabronies in the Hollywood faction (Vincent, Scott Norton
, Stevie Ray
, Bryan Adams
, and Horace Hogan
) carried on as the nWo 'B' team until the plug was mercifully pulled.
But what of the big names? Nash had lost all his passion for wrestling, Hall hit rehab again, Steiner and Bagwell got into legit heat with each other, and Hogan was left on his own as Champ. Hogan would eventually drop the strap to Ric Flair at Uncensored 1999 and things got a little better. There was a thrilling 4-Way match with Hogan, Flair, Sting, and DDP at Spring Stampede 1999. DDP won his first, and much deserved World Title then, and Hogan was put on the shelf with a knee injury. With the firing of Eric Bischoff and the Nash being relieved of his booking powers, the nWo was dead.
Dead, that is, until Vince Russo
was brought in. Russo tried his whole 'Powers That Be
' booking to the Internet fans angle, but, as storyline after stoyline bombed, Russo 'pulled a Bischoff' and brought back the nWo 2000 - Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Jeff Jarrett
. The foursome would later pick up the returning Scott Steiner, who just came off some bad back problems. However, it was just a last ditch effort by Russo, which never really caught on with fans like he thought. Injuries did hurt this group, and Russo tried to relive Survivor Series 1997
(don't you even ask) with a stupid screwjob submission with Roddy Piper calling the Bret Hart vs. Goldberg match, when Hart had Goldberg in the sharpshooter
at Starrcade 1999.
Hall, Nash, and Scott Steiner would remain uninjured, but their careers went off in a different direction once Russo was fired. Nash played the dumb commissioner
, Steiner got in trouble with the law, and Hall went for the title at Superbrawl, but he was arrested during a WCW trip to Germany, and never asked back. Ever.
The nWo might have become the biggest booking clusterfuck
in the history of wrestling, but the original nWo, for the first year or so, was red hot. But more importantly, it jumped the WWF into action, action that turned wrestling into the hottest story in the world of entertainment from late 1998 through to mid-2000. Without it, we might never have seen the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin
, Triple H
and The Rock
For an nWo chronology, see RimRod
's writeup below.
With thanks to the myriad of dead nWo websites still lurking in the depths of GeoCities