"What is at stake is more than one small country [Kuwait], it is a big idea - a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle, and worthy of our children's future." According to various and sundry paranoid conspiracy theorists (PCTs), a one world government orchestrated by either Jews and Satanists or extra-terrestrials (the foci of the two major PCT sects) which will bring about the events prophecied in Revelation.

Organizations supposed variously to belong to this behind-the-scenes cabal of secret societies secretly in charge of everything include the Bavarian Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, Majesty Twelve, the Order of the Quest, The Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, The Executive Committee of The Council on Foreign Relations, The PI-40 Committee, The Jason Group, The Club of Rome, The Group, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, The Open Friendly Secret Society, The Rosicrucians, The Brotherhood of the Dragon (or Snake), The Russell Trust, The Black Families (of Europe), Skull & Bones, the Scroll & Key, The Knights of Malta, The Freemasons (which regrettably tosses many conspiracy theorists in with Neo-Nazis in the legitimizing of anti-semitic forged documents), the CIA, FBI, NSA, WTO, APEC and pretty much any other organization which either operates domestically or multilaterally (read: pretty much any other organization) as well as the Astor, DuPont, Kennedy, Onassis, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Russell, Van Duyn, and Krupp families.

Make no mistake: many of those organizations don't have your best interests at heart. (Notably that handful of three- and four-letter acronyms near the end.) However, where their interests do lie is at some considerable distance from tattooing the mark of the beast upon the forehead of every living man, woman and child - most of them will settle for the redistribution of wealth into their pockets and interfering in the sovereignty of other nations to further that prior end.

Everything you really need to know about the New World Order is covered in Umberto Eco's excellent book Foucault's Pendulum.

Professional wrestling stable, gimmick and marketing tool.

The scene: 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 Splashing 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 thinking?
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 me, Brother?
Mean Gene:I've been there done that, you have made the wrong decision in my opinion.
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 members 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. head 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) where the nWo got it's first title shot as Hogan challenged the Giant. Hogan 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 match.

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 Doom, 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' Waltman).

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 Bubba (The Big Boss Man), Michael Wallstreet (IRS), 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" where 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 and McMichaels. 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 to 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 original Wolfpac (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 Racked 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 months.

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.

Backstage politics 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 and Raven 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 vs. Bischoff/Hogan.

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 tazered 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
I can do no better to start with than the part of the rec.sport.pro-wrestling FAQ that covers the NWO, maintained by Scott Keith:

nWo 0.9, May 1996: Scott Hall appears on Nitro promising a "takeover". The next week, Kevin Nash appears and promises the same thing. They attack people for the next month or so (most notably powerbombing Eric Bischoff through a table) until challenged by Sting, Lex Luger, and Randy Savage to a six-man tag at Bash at the Beach. Nash and Hall - at this point only "The Outsiders" - accept, and say their third man will be revealed later.

nWo 1.0, July - August 1996: Hall and Nash are victorious when their third man is revealed to be Hulk Hogan, who over time adopts the new persona of "Hollywood" Hogan. The newly-christened New World Order begins attacking WCW wrestlers viciously. The first new members to arrive are Ted DiBiase (acting as a manager and "money man") and Vincent (acting as "head of security"). At Road Wild, Hollywood Hogan defeats the Giant by cheating outrageously to win the WCW World title. Strangely, the Giant joins the nWo two weeks later, citing the money as his primary reason. Also at Road Wild, the Booty Man tries to join, but is beaten up.

n Wo 1.1, September - November 1996: The next member of the nWo appears when they debut a "Fake Sting" at Wargames, who wrestles ittermitently over the next few months until the original Fake Sting, now called "nWo Sting", goes to compete in Japan as part of their version of the nWo. The Nasty Boys try to join the nWo as well, but are beaten up for their trouble. Although he is in fact the seventh member, Sean Waltman joins in November as Syxx.

nWo 1.2, December 1996 - January 1997: The nWo announces a "membership drive", giving "all WCW wrestlers" the chance to join the nWo. In order, the wrestlers accepting this offer are Marcus Bagwell (soon redubbed "Buff"), Michael Wallstreet, Big Bubba, and Scott Norton. Also, Eric Bischoff is revealed as being an nWo member around this time, and Masa Chono and the Great Muta, visiting from New Japan Pro Wrestling, join the North American nWo (although they have little effect). At the same time, Giant is kicked out for demanding a title shot from Hulk Hogan.

nWo 1.3, Feburary - August 1997: Randy Savage joins the nWo at SuperBrawl. Newly appointed WCW Commissioner J.J. Dillon says that according to their contracts, Big Bubba and Michael Wallstreet cannot be members of the nWo. Amidst great hype, Dennis Rodman "joins" the nWo, despite wrestling only one match that year as a celebrity guest at Bash at the Beach. Konnan joins the nWo in August. Ted DiBiase quits the nWo and becomes a manager for the Steiner brothers.

nWo 1.4, September 1997 - February 1998: Curt Hennig joins the nWo after turning on the Four Horsemen at WarGames. Rick Rude joins in December. Bret Hart is invited to join the nWo, but declines. The Disciple joins sometime in January, although he is not named until March. Dusty Rhodes joins at Souled Out after turning on Larry Zybysko. Bryan Adams joins in January after turning on Bret Hart. Scott Steiner joins in February after turning on his brother Rick. During most of January, Louie Spicolli acts as a flunky to Scott Hall and wears an nWo t-shirt, although he is never "officially" inducted into the nWo before his death. Syxx disappears when Sean Waltman is fired by WCW.

nWo 2.0, February - April 1998: Randy Savage and Kevin Nash, having issues with Hollywood Hogan, form the nWo "splinter faction": nWo Wolfpac. Curt Hennig and Konnan immediately join, as do longtime nWo foes Lex Luger and Sting; they immediately distinguish themselves from the "traditional" nWo (now known as nWo Hollywood or nWo Black-And-White) by wearing black-and-red T-shirts rather than black-and-white. Scott Halll is invited to join the Wolfpac, but refuses. Giant rejoins nWo Hollywood.

nWo 2.1, May - October 1998: Curt Hennig quits the nWo Wolfpac to rejoin nWo Hollywood. Randy Savage is injured and disappears from the Wolfpac. Dennis Rodman once again is trumpeted as a member of the nWo for a celebrity match at Bash At The Beach. Stevie Ray joins nWo Hollywood in September. The Disciple quits nWo Hollywood in October to join the "One Warrior Nation". Horace Hogan joins nWo Hollywood at Halloween Havoc. Bret Hart seemingly joins, quits, and rejoins nWo Hollywood several times during this period, and never wears an nWo shirt or explicitly states his membership in the nWo.

nWo 2.2, November - December 1998: Hollywood Hogan announces his "retirement", and Scott Steiner becomes the leader of nWo Hollywood. Scott Hall is kicked out of nWo Hollywood in November, but despite his efforts is not allowed to join nWo Wolfpac. Disco Inferno starts claiming he is a member of the Wolfpac.

nWo 3.0, January 1999 - March 1999: Hollywood Hogan comes out of "retirement" to "beat" Kevin Nash in a thrown match for the WCW World title and reform the nWo as one single entity. The Wolfpac is now an "elite rank" of the nWo: its members are Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Lex Luger, Buff Bagwell, and Scott Steiner. The remainder of the nWo (Giant, Curt Hennig, Vincent, Stevie Ray, Bryan Adams, Scott Norton, and Horace Hogan) continues wearing the black-and-white, while the Wolfpac wears black, white, and red. The Wolfpac also seems to be conducting a gradual elimination of the black-and-white (also referred to as "the nWo B-Team"); at this writing, both the Giant and Curt Hennig have received turfing-out beatdowns, with more likely to come. Konnan has been explicitly kicked out of the nWo entire. Sting's status is unknown. Bret Hart's nWo membership is entirely forgotten.

nWo 3.1, April 1999 - onward: With Scott Hall in retirement, Hulk Hogan back in semi-retirement, and Bagwell turfed from the group, the only members left are Lex Luger, Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner, and possibly Disco Inferno. Steiner and Nash rarely do anything nWo-related (besides use the Wolfpac music). The nWo black-and-white is whittled down to Vincent, Horace Hogan, Stevie Ray and Bryan Adams, with Scott Norton doing his own thing without the nWo name. Soon after, Horace Hogan is fired, Bryan Adams is repackaged, Stevie Ray leaves to reform Harlem Heat, and Vincent joins the West Texas Rednecks, thus finally ending the group’s legacy once and for all.

My only additions: The nWo made a brief return in late 1999 in the form of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Jeff Jarrett, and the returning Bret Hart. It largely fell apart after a few months due to Scott Hall being suspended from WCW (for the upteenth time) and Bret Hart leaving the active roster due to injury. It now does appear as if the nWo is finally dead after all.

The people who can be credited with coming up with the nWo angle were Paul Orndorff, who thought up the initial "invasion" angle, and Terry Taylor, who came up with most of the "details"--t-shirts, colors, etc. Whatever he may claim, Eric Bischoff had almost nothing to do with it. :)
The New World Order was an admittedly utopian theory that emerged in the 1990's after the fall of the Soviet Union. Some international relations theorists proposed that, with the United States' chief rival reduced to economic nothingness, there would be a new Pax Americana, and America would lead the world in every way well into the twenty-fifth century and beyond. It was dubbed "the end of history" in some accounts.

Of course, proponents of the New World Order idea, George Bush among them, neglected a few key points, namely:

  1. Japan's economy was taking off, and slowly leeching capital from the United States.
  2. China and North Korea were still practicing communism, and still had large armies and large ballistic missiles to throw around.
  3. Huge portions of the world of Islam, supported by America's petroleum-driven economy, already resented America: the New World Order would only serve to agitate them even more.
  4. Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, and many other crackpot dictators were still around, and still up to their old tricks.
  5. The European Union was promising to bring Western Europe back to a level of global dominance not seen since the end of World War II.
  6. Many countries in the developing world were falling apart: rather than a New World Order, they were seeing a Coming Anarchy.
Several more rational theorists, primarily Robert Kaplan and Samuel Huntington, re-evaluated the entire concept after the Gulf War and came up with their own models to explain what was really going on.

Kaplan proposed, in a 1994 Atlantic Monthly article, that the concept of the nation state, present since the Treaty of Westphalia, and well-elaborated by Woodrow Wilson and others, is breaking down. He focused on the Gold Coast of Africa, specifically Cote d'Ivoire and Togo, where state boundaries on maps mean absolutely nothing in comparison to the spheres of influence of warlords and organized crime. He also cited situations where immigration was effectively erasing national boundaries and making it impossible to determine what kind of people lived where just from looking at a political map.

Taking this one step further, Huntington proposed, in a Foreign Affairs article, that the world was realigning along national lines, and specifically around cultural blocs. Muslim countries, for instance, are often allied on the international scene: so are Eastern Orthodox countries. Huntington used the civil war in Bosnia and the national division of Ukraine as models to illustrate this idea. In Bosnia, Islam, Western Christianity, and Orthodoxy were colliding within the boundaries of one state, and different sides of the fight were aligning with whichever group represented their civilization. In Ukraine, Catholic Ukrainians and Orthodox Russians inhabit the same state in roughly equal proportions, and are almost perfectly politically aligned against each other.

Economically, the most widely accepted model of the New World Order is tripolar, with New York, London, and Tokyo at each pole, representing the three major economic players of the United States (NAFTA), Western Europe (EU), and Japan (APEC). Whether or not this model will hold with the liberalization of the People's Republic of China is debatable. Another popular model is the North-South model, pitting an affluent Northern Hemisphere against an impoverished equatorial region and Southern Hemisphere.

The Return of the nWo

After the bombing of the InVasion angle resulting from WWE's purchase of World Championship Wrestling, Ric Flair was brought in as the storyline co-owner of the World Wrestling Federation. Vince McMahon, unable to cope with having an outsider running the promotion, he built, vowed to inject his company with a "lethal dose of poison". McMahon screamed that he was going to kill his creation. He then spun around, revealing an nWo logo painted on the back of his chair.

Flair pleaded with McMahon not to bring the nWo in, but it was to no avail. Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash returned to World Wrestling Entertainment at the No Way Out pay-per-view event in February of 2002, costing Stone Cold Steve Austin his shot at Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho. The next night, Hogan had a confrontation with The Rock, wherein Rocky challenged the Hulkster to a match at WrestleMania X8. Hogan accepted, but took a Rock Bottom afterwards. Hall and Nash appeared and attacked The Rock, and Hogan used a hammer on the back of Rocky's head. Then, commandeering an 18 Wheeler, Hogan repeatedly rammed the ambulance holding Rock.

Meanwhile, Scott Hall segued into a feud with Austin, culminating in a match between the two at WrestleMania. Austin won despite repeated interference from Nash. Then came the showedown between Rock and Hogan.

The match, given Hogan's age and limitations, was quite good. The Rock won after kicking out of Hogan's famous legdrop, and hitting him with two Rock Bottoms and The People's Elbow. Afterwards, Hogan and Rock shook hands and posed, leading Hall and Nash to attack Hogan. Rock saved him, and Hogan was again a babyface.

The next week on WWF SmackDown, X-Pac returned and joined his buddies Hall and Nash in the nWo. Hall was fired soon after, and his spot in the nWo was given to The Big Show. Booker T joined several weeks later, but, around this time, Flair turned heel and nonsensically sided with the nWo. He had Big Show lost a handicap match to Stone Cold at the Judgement Day event in May of 2002.

Realizing the nWo was floundering, Nash announced on WWF Raw soon after that his old friend, Shawn Michaels, was the newest member of the nWo. Michaels wasted no time in making an impact, kicking Booker T out of the nWo. Then, he and Nash announced they would attempt to recruit Triple H to Raw from Smackdown, in order to join his friends in the nWo.

The next week, Nash, Big Show, and X-Pac, along with Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit, teamed up to for a match against Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Goldust, and the Dudley Boyz. During the match, Nash tore his quadricep, putting him out of action for months. The next week, Vince McMahon announced that, finally, the nWo was dead. Of course, Kevin Nash is set to return soon, so we shall see if this is permanent.

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