New World Order (professional wrestling)

New World Order (professional wrestling)
New World Order
Members See below
Name(s) New World Order
nWo Hollywood
nWo Wolfpac
The Band
Debut July 7, 1996[1]
Promotions WCW[1]

The New World Order (commonly known and stylized as the nWo) was a professional wrestling stable that originally wrestled for World Championship Wrestling (WCW).[1] The group later appeared in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now known as WWE) after the purchase of WCW by the WWF.[3] The group was briefly revived in 2010 under the name of The Band in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). The stable's gimmick was a group of unsanctioned wrestlers aiming to "take over" and control WCW in the manner of a street gang; many of the group's initial seven members had each gained fame in the rival World Wrestling Federation, although this connection was only implied.

The nWo angle is one of the most influential forces in the late 1990s success of WCW, and was instrumental in turning mainstream American wrestling back into a more mature, adult-oriented product. The brainchild of WCW Executive Eric Bischoff, and fueled initially by the unexpected heel 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 groups such as bWo, lWo and oWn). It dominated WCW programming throughout the late-1990s and almost until the dissolution of WCW in 2001, during which time there were several, sometimes rival incarnations of the group; the rival WWF even resurrected the angle for a time in 2002. As a result of so many members having joined, the nWo holds the record of the biggest wrestling stable in wrestling history.



The nWo storyline was an idea WCW Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff came up with after attending a New Japan Pro Wrestling show. He wanted to do an invasion-type angle where WCW was kayfabe being sabotaged by another wrestling group (initially insinuated as being the WWF, since its 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 preceded by an "interruption in the feed", and 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. For instance, the logo was designed by Craig Leathers, 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.


World Championship Wrestling (1996–2001)


On May 19, 1996, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash wrestled their final matches for the WWF as "Razor Ramon" and "Diesel," respectively, as their contracts had expired and they had recently signed with WCW. Eight days later, on the May 27 episode of Nitro, Hall unexpectedly interrupted a match between The Mauler and Steve Doll and called for the ring announcer's microphone. "You all know who I am," Hall said to the stunned crowd, "but you don't know why I'm here." He went on to deliver a now-famous speech which has since become known as the "You Want a War?" speech, stating that he and unnamed allies had a challenge for WCW Executive Vice-President Eric Bischoff and any WCW superstar. As Nitro neared its end, Hall accosted Bischoff, who was also the lead broadcaster for Nitro at the time, in the broadcast booth and demanded that he tell WCW owner Ted Turner to pick three of his best wrestlers.[4][5] The next week, Hall reappeared on Nitro five minutes before the end of the broadcast and again interrogated Bischoff. Sting confronted and slapped Hall after Hall threw a toothpick at him, and Hall said he had a " surprise" for Sting. During the next Nitro, Hall again pestered Bischoff in the broadcast booth. Bischoff demanded to know of the "surprise" Hall had in store for Sting while being unaware that Nash, the surprise, was standing right behind him. Hall finally pointed his partner out, and Nash said, "So this is WCW, where the big boys play, huh? Look at the adjective: Play. We ain't here to play!" From then on, the two would become known as The Outsiders, randomly appearing at WCW events to cause trouble and (inevitably) be led out of the building by WCW security.[4][6] Initially, the WCW broadcasters did not use "The Outsiders" to refer to Hall and Nash collectively, instead referring to Hall and Nash individually by their last names.

Despite the fact that Hall and Nash were both fully employed by WCW, the storyline's implication that they were WWF wrestlers "invading" WCW was enough of a concern to the WWF that it considered legal action over Hall and Nash's antics. Hall was the largest concern to the WWF; in addition to his usage of the terms "Billionaire Ted", "The Huckster", "The Nacho Man", and "Scheme Gene" (disparaging references to Turner, Hulk Hogan, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and "Mean" Gene Okerlund that the WWF had made in early 1996 skits mocking WCW) in interviews, he had not fully distanced himself from his "Razor Ramon" character in the WWF, continuing to speak in a faux-Cuban accent and referring to people as "chico." WCW attempted to address these concerns at The Great American Bash in June 1996, where Bischoff invited The Outsiders to do an interview with him. He promised them a match at the next pay-per-view event, and then directly asked both Hall and Nash if they were employed by the WWF, to which each replied in the negative.[7] The WWF, still unsatisfied, filed a lawsuit, charging that Bischoff had proposed inter-promotional matches for TBS to associate the two companies with each other. This was despite the fact that Ted Turner and WWF chairman Vince McMahon had carried on a rivalry for (at the time) eleven years, based on the fallout from McMahon's 1984 purchase of Georgia Championship Wrestling and its flagship program World Championship Wrestling, and the program's subsequent failure and McMahon's sale of its time slot to Jim Crockett Promotions (the forerunner to WCW). Also, prior to the nWo storyline, Bischoff routinely revealed results of taped episodes of Monday Night RAW, the WWF's flagship show, on live Nitro broadcasts (at the time RAW was only live every other week, as the WWF would show a live RAW on a Monday night and then tape the next week's show the following day) and had presided over a controversial angle on a December 1995 edition of Nitro in which Madusa, who had competed in the WWF as Alundra Blayze and was the reigning WWF Women's champion, appeared on the air with her championship belt and threw it in a trash can.

During their interview with Bischoff at The Great American Bash, both Hall and Nash pressed him again to name his company's three representatives. Bischoff said that he had found three men who would answer their challenge, but would not name them. Hall became skeptical of Bischoff's refusal and it led to an attack by both Outsiders, ending when Nash powerbombed Bischoff through the interview stage.[4][8][9] Following this show, The Outsiders continued to randomly terrorize WCW events, always being chased away by armed security guards. Meanwhile, Bischoff held a draft on Nitro to determine WCW's representatives. Sting, his tag team partner Lex Luger, and "Macho Man" Randy Savage were chosen.

The Hostile Takeover Match

The match Bischoff promised, a six-man tag known as the "Hostile Takeover Match," served as the main event of Bash At The Beach, which was held at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida on July 7, 1996. Hall and Nash came to the ring by themselves, leaving speculation open as to who would be their partner. WCW interviewer "Mean Gene" Okerlund came into the ring immediately following Hall and Nash's entrance and, after discussing the situation with ring announcer Michael Buffer and referee Randy Anderson, demanded that The Outsiders tell him where their third man was. Hall and Nash assured Okerlund that their partner was in the building, but they did not need him at the moment. After Okerlund left the ring, Team WCW made their entrance with all three members wearing face paint as a sign of solidarity; Sting had been wearing face paint for years in the ring, but Luger and Savage had never done so before.

The match did not start well for Team WCW, as Luger was taken out of the match shortly after it began. While he was being held in a corner by Nash, Sting ran over and hit a Stinger Splash to try to break up the hold. Although he hit Nash as well, Sting's move sandwiched Luger between Nash and the corner; Luger slumped to the mat unconscious and had to be removed from the arena on a stretcher. WCW announcer Bobby Heenan was heard on the broadcast asking for someone to come out and replace the injured Luger, since Hall and Nash had a third man waiting. With the match-up even at two a side for the moment and Hall and Nash's partner still yet to be revealed, the two sides continued to battle as announcers Heenan, Tony Schiavone, and Dusty Rhodes speculated as to who the third man was, at one point even accusing each other of being the third man.

The match reached its climax at approximately the sixteen-minute mark, shortly after a late tag from an exhausted Sting to Savage. Savage immediately went on the attack, nailing both Outsiders with repeated axe-handle smashes from the top rope. However, while referee Anderson checked on a downed Hall, Nash nailed Savage with a low blow which knocked both men to the mat. With all four men down, as Sting had not yet made it out of the ring, Anderson had no choice but to begin counting them out. As he began his count, the fans' attention turned to the entrance area as Hulk Hogan entered the scene and began walking to the ring to a loud roar from the crowd. Hall spotted him and immediately rolled out of the ring.

Hogan, who had not been seen on WCW television for some time, climbed into the ring to chase away Nash. He then characteristically tore off his T-shirt and threw it at The Outsiders, staring them down outside the ring while Hall and Nash feigned shock. Hogan then walked to the nearest corner, stared out at the crowd one final time, then stunned the audience into silence by hitting his leg drop finisher on the fallen Savage. The Outsiders came into the ring as Hogan leg dropped his long-time ally and friend for a second time, then high-fived him, revealing Hogan to be the third man. After Hall and Nash beat down Sting, who made one final attempt to save the day for WCW, Hogan threw the bewildered Anderson out of the ring and hit a third and final leg drop on Savage while The Outsiders performed a mock three-count on Savage. The official match result was a no-contest.

After Sting helped Savage back to the locker room, the crowd, which had only moments earlier given Hogan a loud ovation, began showing its anger at his actions. Many fans began throwing garbage into the ring to show their displeasure with Hogan's actions. Hall later recalled that the fans throwing trash at the ring took him by surprise, as he had always believed that no matter how angry the fans got, they never should throw things at the wrestlers.

By the time Okerlund returned to the ring to speak to Hogan, the ring was nearly full of debris and more was continuing to come in. A disgusted Okerlund demanded answers from Hogan for his actions, wanting to know what he was thinking by aligning himself with The Outsiders. Hogan started the interview by saying that Hall and Nash were the future of wrestling and declared that they and himself were "the new world order of wrestling", which stuck as the group's name. Hogan then brought up two reasons why he decided to join with Hall and Nash: his own ties to the WWF and the boredom with the direction his career had taken after he signed with WCW in 1994. He then made a declaration that he, Hall, and Nash were going to take over WCW and destroy everything in their path. Hogan's final portion of the interview was an angry diatribe aimed at the fans, who had been giving him an increasingly negative reaction over the previous eighteen months. Hogan said that after two years of holding his head up high and doing everything asked of him, he had had enough. He reminded the fans that if it had not been for him, none of them would be in the building and none of the newer wrestlers the fans had taken a shine to (who Hogan referred to as "johnny-come-latelies") would be there. Hogan even took a shot at Bischoff, saying that without Hogan, he "would still be selling meat from a truck in Minneapolis." Hogan then asked the fans and Okerlund, "Whatcha gonna do when the new world organization (he had twice referred to the group by this name during his interview) runs wild on you?" The show closed with the three wrestlers continuing to taunt the fans, who continued to pelt the ring with garbage. Just before the pay-per-view went off the air, a still-stunned Tony Schiavone told Hogan that he "can go to hell. Straight to hell." As a result of Hogan's heel turn, wrestlers he had feuded with in the WWF, such as Savage and Roddy Piper, had their popularity as faces immensely boosted.


The night after Bash at the Beach, Hall and Nash arrived at Monday Nitro by themselves without Hogan and made no apologies for their actions. They also factored in the end of the program as they attempted to attack Sting, Arn Anderson and Randy Savage but were held back by WCW security.[4] Hogan returned the next week on Nitro and assisted Hall and Nash in beating up Lex Luger and Big Bubba Rogers during Nitro's main event. He then made a challenge to the reigning WCW World Heavyweight Champion, The Giant, for Hog Wild in August. The newly rechristened "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan won the match after knocking The Giant out with his title belt. After the match, The Booty Man came to the ring wearing an nWo t-shirt and carrying a cake and gift for Hogan, who was celebrating his birthday. All three nWo members assaulted Booty Man and left him lying unconscious on the outside of the ring. They did, however, make use of his gift- a can of black spray paint. Hogan spray painted "NWO" on the belt, and declared himself to be the nWo World Heavyweight Champion.[1][5][10][11] This tagging would become a signature gesture of the group as they spray-painted almost anything with their initials, especially the backs of wrestlers they had knocked unconscious. Hogan would also refer to himself as the nWo champion during this and any other time he held the belt while a member of the group.

As WCW's annual pay-per-view Fall Brawl was drawing closer, WCW was preparing their team to fight at Fall Brawl 1996: War Games against the nWo. On September 9, the nWo tricked fans and wrestlers into thinking that Sting had joined the nWo (in reality WCW put Jeff Farmer, who had wrestled for the company as Cobra one year prior, into the Sting facepaint). Although Sting had not joined the nWo, many of his fellow WCW wrestlers doubted his story and believed that he had in fact jumped ship. Even Lex Luger, his longtime ally, friend and tag team partner, doubted his alliance and pointedly told Sting that he didn't believe he was with WCW. This came to a head at Fall Brawl. Going into the match only three wrestlers on each side had been officially named- Hogan and the Outsiders were to fight for the nWo and Luger, Arn Anderson, and Ric Flair for WCW. The last man out for team nWo was indeed the fake Sting, who apparently had convinced everyone (including the broadcast team) that the real Sting was nWo. However, Sting showed up as the last man for Team WCW and began taking apart the four members of the nWo by himself. After assaulting Hogan, Hall, Nash, and the bogus Sting, Sting walked over to Luger, shoved him, and said, "Is that good enough for ya?" Sting then left the ring and Team WCW, now fighting a 4-on-3 handicap match, lost when the nWo Sting locked Luger in the Scorpion Death Lock while Hogan executed a rear chinlock. The next night on Nitro, an angry Sting laid into his fellow wrestlers as well as the fans for doubting his true colors. Sting said he was no longer going to help WCW in its battle with the nWo, declaring himself a "free agent". He then told his doubters to "stick it" and left the ring in the beginning of a dramatic character shift and a fifteen-month retreat from the ring.[1][5][12]

During this time the faction began introducing new members. Ted DiBiase was introduced as the man who was "financing" the nWo[13] on August 16 (since this was implied as a continuation of DiBiase's "Million Dollar Man" gimmick in the WWF and the WWF had copyrighted the name, DiBiase was referred to as "Trillionaire Ted" on air). The Giant became the first WCW defector when he joined the nWo on September 2. Two weeks following that Sean Waltman, who had recently left the WWF where he starred as "The 1-2-3 Kid", debuted in WCW as "Syxx", the group's cruiserweight contender.[5] In October the nWo debuted Vincent, who had previously been DiBiase's manservant in the WWF as "Virgil", as its "head of security".[1] Referee Nick Patrick became the group's official referee after he began showing partiality to nWo members during their matches. The nWo continued to dominate WCW, with Hogan successfully retaining his "nWo" World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Savage and Hall and Nash winning the WCW World Tag Team Championship from Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) at Halloween Havoc 1996.[14][15]

As WCW only recognized Hogan, Nash, and Hall as WCW employees due to their holding WCW titles, the other nWo members went unrecognized as WCW employees. Because of this, they were unable to wrestle other WCW wrestlers, which led to the nWo starting a segment on WCW Saturday Night, called nWo Saturday Night, where nWo stable members wrestled jobbers in an empty arena.[4] The nWo used their financing to purchase ad time during WCW programming, which amounted to low budget anti-WCW propaganda. They would also hijack the broadcast signal on occasion. While all of this was going on, the nWo began gaining more and more power.

In October at Halloween Havoc, Roddy Piper made his WCW debut and immediately went after Hogan. For the next several weeks Piper pressed Eric Bischoff to give him a match against Hogan. However, a contract was never agreed to and Piper grew restless as the weeks wore on. The entire situation came to a head at the end of the November 18 edition of Nitro. Bischoff, who was still the program's lead broadcaster and who had continued to rail against the nWo, went into the ring on air and claimed that he and WCW management had gone to Piper's home in Portland, Oregon to try and negotiate a contract with him and his representatives for a match against Hogan. Bischoff also claimed that Piper was not in the building but swore he would work with him to get the match signed. An irate Piper finally had enough and stormed to the ring while Bischoff was talking, to the surprise of the WCW Executive Vice-President. He immediately called Bischoff a liar and began asking him questions that Bischoff had no answers for. While Piper was asking his questions, The Giant ran down to the ring and grabbed him. Syxx, Hall, Nash, and Vincent followed and each tried to hold Piper back from attacking Bischoff. Hogan and DiBiase then entered the ring, with Hogan walking over to Bischoff and hugging him. Hogan then took the microphone from Bischoff and revealed to the crowd that WCW's Executive Vice-President had been working for the nWo all along.

Bischoff and Hogan eventually got Piper to sign the contract at World War 3 six days later (November 24), but the signing did not come without an nWo attack. Nevertheless, Piper and Hogan were booked for a match at Starrcade in December. The next night on Nitro, Bischoff permanently left the broadcast booth and became a egomaniacal tyrant as WCW Executive Vice-President as well as a manager-type figure within the nWo. At the top of the program, Bischoff issued an ultimatum to the WCW locker room. All wrestlers were given thirty days to have their WCW contracts switched over to nWo contracts and join the group. Anyone who failed to comply would become an nWo target, as Bischoff plainly stated at the end of his speech: "Either you're with us, or you're against us."

Almost immediately after Bischoff's speech, the American Males, Scotty Riggs and Marcus Bagwell, headed to the ring. Riggs and Bagwell, who had won the WCW World Tag Team Championship in September 1995 but had largely floundered since, had been having some friction over the previous weeks that came to a head when Bagwell attacked his tag team partner out of frustration after being eliminated from the World War 3 battle royal the night before. Bagwell and Riggs were debating the question of joining the nWo, with Bagwell wanting to join and Riggs refusing to. Bagwell finally turned on his partner and attacked him, with the rest of the nWo joining in. Upon his induction into the group, Bagwell changed his look and became known as "Buff" Bagwell, playing off his muscular physique. Others who joined the nWo were Mr. Wallstreet on December 9 and Big Bubba Rogers and Scott Norton on December 16.[1][5][16] Japanese wrestler Masahiro Chono also joined the group on December 16 and established himself as the leader of nWo Japan, a sister stable in New Japan Pro Wrestling.[2][17]

The Giant won a 60-man battle royal at World War 3 1996, earning a title match against Hogan.[1][18] At Starrcade 1996, Piper defeated Hogan in a non-title match. At the same event, the nWo stole Eddie Guerrero's newly won United States heavyweight title belt; this caused to Guerrero constantly feud with mid-card nWo members such as Scott Norton[19] and Syxx.[20] The next night, The Giant was kicked out of the nWo when he refused to choke slam Piper in an nWo assault.[4][21]

Toward the end of the year, on an episode of Nitro, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash introduced Kyle Petty from NASCAR as an honorary member of the group, as Petty drove the nWo race car on the Busch Series circuit (Petty had been previously involved in an angle with Jim Crockett Promotions, the predecessor of WCW, as a "judge" in the "Million Dollar Match" between Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair at Starrcade 1984 that featured Joe Frazier as referee for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship). An angle was run where the Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) "vandalized" the nWo car at a racetrack by peeling off the wrap (NASCAR teams often use vinyl wrap to cover a car instead of painting the car; multiple schemes printed on vinyl similar to decals are positioned, and each may be peeled off to show another scheme for another race), kayfabe scaring off Petty and replacing him with Steve Grissom. In reality, the deal with Dan Shaver Racing had two drivers driving in selected races each. As part of the angle, Grissom's races carried the WCW paint scheme and Petty's an nWo paint scheme.[4]


At the start of 1997, nWo had become so powerful that they had their own pay-per-view event, titled Souled Out. Hogan and The Giant fought to a no contest in the main event due to the nWo referee, Nick Patrick, being biased toward Hogan in the match. U.S. champion Eddie Guerrero retained his title against Syxx in a ladder match.[20] Nash and Hall lost their WCW World Tag Team Championship to The Steiner Brothers,[20] but Bischoff re-awarded them the titles the next night on Nitro after claiming that Randy Anderson, who ran in to officiate after Nick Patrick was knocked down, was not an official referee for Souled Out; Bischoff also fired Anderson for his actions.[15][22] The nWo went 4-1 in the remaining matches on the card, with the only loss suffered by Mr. Wallstreet in his match against Jeff Jarrett.

At SuperBrawl VII, Piper wrestled Hogan for the title in a losing effort. This match marked the first time (and one of the few times) that Hogan had successfully pinned Piper. Randy Savage, who had recently returned and was at ringside for the match, helped Hogan win by slipping him brass knuckles, which Hogan then used to knock Piper out. Savage then participated in a post-match beatdown of Piper, cementing his place in the nWo. Earlier that night, The Outsiders lost their titles to Lex Luger and The Giant, while Syxx defeated Dean Malenko for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.[23] The next night, Bischoff again returned the tag team titles to The Outsiders, as Luger had been injured and was not cleared to wrestle in the match. Luger, however, would not immediately give Bischoff the belt back and instead issued a challenge for a "winner-take-all" tag team match at Uncensored, which Bischoff accepted. Two weeks later, on the March 3 edition of Nitro, Turner Sports president Harvey Schiller suspended Bischoff for abuse of his office.[16] Around that same time, NBA star Dennis Rodman became a member of the nWo.[16]

Luger's challenge turned into a three-team elimination match at Uncensored. He was on Team WCW with The Giant and the Steiner Brothers. Team nWo consisted of Hogan, The Outsiders, and Randy Savage. A third team was headed by Roddy Piper, who was still angry over his loss to Hogan at SuperBrawl, and consisted of himself and three of the Four HorsemenSteve McMichael, Jeff Jarrett, and Chris Benoit.[24] The match did not start well for Team WCW as the nWo jumped Rick Steiner backstage and left him unable to compete. The nWo eliminated every wrestler except for Luger without losing a man, but Luger rallied to eliminate Hall, Nash, and Savage. However, Savage hit Luger with a can of spray paint (given to him by Rodman) while Hogan was in Luger's finishing hold, the Torture Rack, and Nash held the referee with his back to the action, which enabled Hogan to pin Luger and win the match for the nWo. In addition to winning, per a pre-match stipulation, the nWo gained the right to challenge for any WCW championship whenever and wherever they pleased. The event, however, did end on a happy note for WCW as Sting descended from the rafters and attacked every member of Team nWo with a baseball bat and his signature move the Scorpion Deathdrop, thereby indicating his allegiance to WCW.

At Spring Stampede 1997, tension began to surface within the nWo ranks. Nick Patrick was kicked out of the group after counting Savage out in his loss to Diamond Dallas Page as Nash powerbombed him in the middle of the ring. The show ended with Savage and Bischoff at each other's throats and forcing them both to be held back by other group members. J.J. Dillon, who was appointed as WCW commissioner during Bischoff's suspension, later had Big Bubba Rogers and Mr. Wallstreet removed from the nWo due to a contractual technicality. Finally, Ted DiBiase quit the group months later and joined The Steiner Brothers on the August 4 episode of Nitro as their manager. In the interim, the nWo recruited The Great Muta on May 26, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Hiro Saito several weeks after Spring Stampede; they made occasional appearances on television due to their working for New Japan Pro Wrestling (with which WCW had a working relationship). The nWo also added Konnan, whom they dubbed "K-Dogg", on July 14 after he attacked Rey Mysterio, Jr. while Kevin Nash watched.

At Bash at the Beach in July, Dennis Rodman made his wrestling debut as he teamed with Hogan to take on Luger and The Giant in a tag team match.[16] Luger won the match for his team by forcing Hogan to submit to the Torture Rack, and earned a World Heavyweight Championship shot at Road Wild, set for August.[25] Luger, however, elected to take his shot on the August 4 edition of Nitro, five days before the pay-per-view, and defeated Hogan to win the championship.[26] Hogan managed to regain the title at Road Wild after Rodman, dressed up as Sting, hit Luger with a baseball bat;[27][28] as the show ended the nWo celebrated in the locker room as Rodman "rechristened" the WCW championship by spray-painting the nWo logo on it.

A War Games match was announced for Fall Brawl 1997: War Games, after the nWo mocked The Four Horsemen in a skit where they dressed as members of the group. The skit surrounded the recent addition of Curt Hennig to the Horsemen in place of a retiring Arn Anderson. The Horsemen (Ric Flair, Benoit, Hennig, and McMichael) took on Nash, Bagwell, Syxx, and Konnan and were defeated after Hennig turned on the Horsemen immediately after entering and joined the nWo; McMichael surrendered for the Horsemen to stop the nWo's assault on Flair, which proved useless as Hennig punctuated his act by slamming the cage door on Flair's head.[16][29] The next night, Hennig came out wearing Flair's robe, which he gave to Hogan as a gift, and later that evening became the fifth nWo member to hold a WCW championship at the time (after Hogan, Hall, Nash & Syxx) when he defeated McMichael for his United States Championship.

Rick Rude joined the nWo on an episode of Nitro on the same night that he made a pre-taped appearance on the WWF's show Raw is War. He spoke of his sympathy for Bret Hart because of the Montreal Screwjob and how he had a grudge against Sting for ending his career in a match in Japan three years earlier.[22] Scott Hall then won a 60-man Battle Royal at World War 3 1997,[30] and per a pre-match stipulation earned a WCW World Heavyweight Championship shot at SuperBrawl VIII scheduled for the following February.[31]

Bret Hart made his WCW debut on the December 15, 1997 edition of Nitro. Speculation had been abounding since the November 10 edition of Nitro (the night after the Montreal Screwjob) over whether he would align himself with the nWo as Eric Bischoff, who announced the signing of Hart to WCW that night as well as shooting on the incident where Hart punched out Vince McMahon backstage, declared that Hart was the newest member of the nWo that night. Instead of joining the nWo, however, he agreed to be the special referee in the match pitting Larry Zbyszko against the nWo's Eric Bischoff, with the winner of the match would gain control of WCW Monday Nitro.[22] On the Monday before Starrcade, the nWo staged a complete takeover of WCW Monday Nitro. They tore down the set and ran off commentators Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay. They then replaced all WCW logos with the nWo logo and turned WCW Monday Nitro into nWo Monday Nitro. This event was intended as a legit test run for a permanent changeover of Nitro to an nWo-centric show, with the soon-debuting Thunder becoming the WCW-centric prime-time show. However, due to abysmal ratings following the twenty-plus minutes of the conversion of the set on live television, the plan for an nWo weekly show was quietly dropped, with the only evidence being the occasional nWo Monday Nitro t-shirt being worn by an nWo member.

At Starrcade 1997, Zbyszko defeated Bischoff by disqualification after Scott Hall interfered, giving full control of Nitro to WCW. In the main event, Hogan lost the WCW Championship to Sting. Hogan had originally pinned Sting, but confusion arose when Bret Hart appeared at ringside and accused referee and former nWo member Nick Patrick of making a fast count, claiming "it would never happen again" (referencing the Montreal Screwjob). In reality, Nick Patrick was supposed to make it a fast count, revealing himself to be a crooked official. By Bret Hart's account in his biography, Patrick simply forgot to speed up the count, which left the fans extremely confused. Hart laid out Patrick and ordered the match to continue with himself as the referee. Hogan then submitted to Sting's Scorpion Death Lock.[32]


Shortly after Hogan lost the belt at Starrcade, the nWo started showing signs of division within the group. For example, whereas before the group traveled to the arena together in one limousine, as 1998 began they all began traveling in separate cars. Though Bischoff denied any problems existed, clearly there were. Because of the controversy surrounding Sting's title win, James J. Dillon vacated the title on January 8, 1998 on the inaugural episode of WCW Thunder. This prompted Sting to finally speak after 16 months, telling Dillon "You got no guts!" before turning to Hogan and declaring him a "dead man".[33]

In addition to the title being vacated, Scott Hall was still slated to face the world champion at SuperBrawl 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. Piper acknowledged Hall's number one contendership, but declared 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.[34]

While that was going on, Kevin Nash was banned from using his finisher, the jackknife powerbomb. At Souled Out he attempted to perform the move on The Giant in their match, but could not lift the 500-pound wrestler over his head and instead dropped him on his head and neck leading to a severe injury that kept The Giant out of action for several weeks. This led to J.J. Dillon announcing on Nitro that the jackknife as well as any variation of the powerbomb were barred from WCW, and that anyone using the move(s) would be seriously fined and disqualified for that match. He also said that if Nash attempted his finisher, not only would he be disqualified and fined, but escorted out of the arena by Doug Dilinger and the WCW security. Nash called Dillon's bluff in a match later that evening by powerbombing Ray Traylor, which led to him being handcuffed and escorted from the building by security.

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]

Soon, problems began to arise between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage on the January 5, 1998 main event of Nitro. Savage had attempted to defeat Lex Luger on numerous occasions, but lost because of botched interference from fellow nWo members, including Hogan. This led to heated arguments between Savage and Hogan, and there were near physical confrontations between Savage and Nash.

At SuperBrawl VIII, the nWo had a mixed array of success. Hall and Nash regained the tag team championships from the Steiner Brothers after Scott Steiner unexpectedly turned on his brother Rick and manager Ted DiBiase. Scott handed the belts to Hall and Nash after the match and celebrated with The Outsiders and Dusty Rhodes, marking his induction into the nWo.[35] However, Hogan lost to Sting in a match for the vacated world championship, and was attacked by Savage late in the match when he hit a downed Hogan with a can of spray paint while Sting fought off the rest of the group.

After SuperBrawl Savage then made his intentions clear. He 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 and 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,[33] which led to a steel cage match at Uncensored in March which ended in a no contest. Savage then stated to Hogan that there were certain members of the nWo who were plotting to throw him out of the group, which were the first signs of a breakup of the group. Earlier that night, Hall lost his World War 3-earned title match against Sting.[36]

The rift between the different factions of the nWo grew wider after Syxx, who had been out injured since October, was released from his contract. Shortly thereafter Scott Hall was removed from television and this led to a confrontation between Kevin Nash, Eric Bischoff, and Hogan on the March 26 edition of Thunder. Hogan told Nash that he didn't know where Hall was and made a shoot statement regarding Syxx saying that he "couldn't cut the mustard." (Sean Waltman (Syxx) returned to the World Wrestling Federation four days later as X-Pac and returned the favor, saying that if Hall and Nash were contractually able to do so, they would jump ship and follow him back to the WWF, which led Bischoff to respond with a simple "bite me" on the April 6 Nitro;[37] Hall had been sent to rehab to deal with his ongoing alcoholism.)

The differences within the nWo were becoming more apparent. Randy Savage and Nash were suddenly realizing that Hogan was only looking out for himself, and the nWo was secondary.[33] 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.[33] 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. Nash made it clear, however, that he would just as soon use the bat on Hogan. At Spring Stampede 1998, Hogan and Nash defeated Piper and The Giant. After the match, Hogan assaulted Nash. Nash later helped Savage defeat Sting by powerbombing 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".[38][39] Hogan and The Disciple then attacked Nash and Savage, and the next night on Nitro Hogan issued a challenge to Savage for his newly won world championship.[40]

The no-disqualification match between the two came to a climax just before its conclusion. While Hogan was attacking Savage in a corner, The Disciple hit referee Nick Patrick with a neckbreaker and then hit the fallen champion with his finishing move, The Apocalypse, on the title belt. While this was happening a furious Nash ran to ringside with Eric Bischoff following close behind to try and intercept him. Despite the best efforts of all three men in the ring Nash easily took them on, eventually powerbombing Hogan in a move that signaled the breakup of the nWo into two separate factions.[22][34][40]

The match, however, was not over. Nash laid the unconscious Savage on top of Hogan, while Bret Hart came to the ring. In an unexpected move, Hart laid out Nash with the championship belt, moved the pile so Hogan was covering Savage, and revived Patrick by placing him near Hogan. The referee counted Savage out and Hogan became WCW World Heavyweight Champion for a fourth time.[34] Although Hogan had the title back in his[clarification needed] and appeared to have taken the reins of the nWo again, he was now the leader of a severely splintered group whose loyalties were now going to have to be split between either him or Nash.[clarification needed]

On the May 4 edition of Nitro, Kevin Nash, Randy Savage, and Konnan appeared wearing black shirts with a red nWo logo, as opposed to the familiar white logo. They called themselves nWo Wolfpac, and were joined in the following weeks by Curt Hennig, Miss Elizabeth, and Rick Rude. The Wolfpac became the first nWo incarnation to wrestle as faces.[41] Hogan's side retained the black and white colors of the original nWo and took on the moniker nWo Hollywood, with Vincent, Bischoff, Dusty Rhodes, Scott Steiner, Scott Norton, Brian Adams, and The Disciple on his side. Bret Hart never officially joined either side but supported nWo Hollywood.[42]

The allegiances of two nWo members were not yet known, however, as Hall's mystery disappearance from television was still unresolved (despite his standing as WCW Tag Team Champion) and Buff Bagwell had suffered a severe neck injury at the April 21 Thunder taping and was out of action. This didn't stop either side from recruiting new members, however, and the first WCW member to join one of the nWo factions caused a major problem for one of the main events for May's Slamboree. Nash and Hall were to defend their world tag team championships against two of WCW's stalwarts, Sting and The Giant. However, The Giant joined nWo Hollywood shortly before Slamboree as retribution for Nash's 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. What happened at Slamboree exacerbated this problem.

Hall made his return to WCW in the colors of the Wolfpac for The Outsiders' title defense. During the match, however, he 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 Hall was introduced as the newest member of nWo Hollywood.[43]

On the May 25 edition of Nitro the Wolfpac added Lex Luger, who said joining "just feels right" and urged his friend Sting to join him.[33][41] However, nWo Hollywood wasn't ready to see Sting join the Wolfpac and made their own effort to try and woo Sting. Sting revealed his decision on the following week's Nitro, swerving 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.[33][41] 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 1998, the Wolfpac lost two members as Hennig and Rude turned on Konnan following a loss and joined nWo Hollywood.[15][42][44] It wasn't a total loss for the red and black, however, as Sting defeated The Giant in a singles match for control of the vacated tag team championships. The next night on Nitro, Sting chose Nash as his partner and the two began defending the titles.[44]

In the meantime, a new contender for Hogan's championship emerged in undefeated rookie and United States Champion Goldberg, who had run off an impressive string of victories. On the July 2, 1998 edition of Thunder, Goldberg was granted a title match against Hogan for the July 6 edition of Nitro.[33] 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.[33]

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 kayfabe 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.

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 edition of Nitro Hall and The Giant challenged the champions to a match for the 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 hit the Outsiders Edge and pin Sting to take the tag team championships back to the black and white.[34]

The nWo Wolfpac became hugely popular amongst wrestling fans in the summer of 1998 while continuing their battle with nWo Hollywood, and formed a somewhat uneasy alliance with the WCW roster. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan had his own battle to deal with in the form of The Warrior, who returned to wrestling on an August edition of Nitro. Warrior formed his own faction dubbed the One Warrior Nation, which included himself and former nWo member The Disciple.

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 following two Jackknife Powerbombs. Nash later stated that he didn't care about winning the match, he just wanted his friend back. On the same night Hollywood 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.[45]

At World War 3 1998, nWo Hollywood attacked Scott Hall and kicked him out of the group for disrespecting Hogan and Bischoff a few weeks earlier.[33] Kevin Nash went on to win the 60 man battle royal and earned a WCW World Title shot against the still-undefeated Goldberg.[46] On the Thanksgiving episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, nWo Hollywood leader Hulk Hogan announced his retirement from professional wrestling. Scott Steiner went on to assume the leadership role in the nWo Hollywood faction.

Three months earlier that year, Harlem Heat's Stevie Ray, who had previously flirted with the possibility of becoming a member of the nWo, officially joined nWo Hollywood on August 24.

At Starrcade 1998, Nash handed Goldberg his first loss and won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Hall interfered in the match and shocked Goldberg with a cattle prod, incapacitating him long enough for an oblivious Nash to hit the Jackknife Powerbomb and score the win.[47][48]


As 1999 began the divided nWo factions were led by world champion 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, 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 edition of Nitro. However, nWo Hollywood accused the former champion of sexually harassing 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 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 as if he'd been shot. Hogan covered Nash for the pin and became champion again.[49][50] After the win Hogan celebrated in the ring with Nash, Hall, and Scott Steiner, revealing that it was all a conspiracy and the nWo had reunited under the Wolfpac label.[51] However, while Hogan, Hall, Nash, Steiner, Lex Luger, Buff Bagwell, and Konnan were part of the Wolfpac, the undercard wrestlers in the nWo (The Giant, Curt Hennig, Horace Hogan, Stevie Ray, Brian Adams, and Vincent) were still in the black and white colors of nWo Hollywood and never were officially assimilated back into the group. This short-lived group was sardonically labeled the nWo B-Team by fans and commentators. This "B-team" was a staple of WCW programming throughout 1999 and Stevie Ray was eventually made their leader. This B version of the nWo officially consisted of Stevie Ray, Vincent, Horace, Scott Norton, and Brian Adams.[52] Konnan was one of the first people eliminated from the group, after being attacked by Lex Luger. He would then align with Rey Misterio, Jr. and feud with the nWo. Sting, a former member of the Wolfpac, had been on hiatus during the nWo reuniting and did not partake in the now-heel stable upon his return.

End of the nWo era

The reunited New World Order did not last long for either faction.

On the Elite/Wolfpac side they enjoyed initial success with Hulk Hogan as WCW World Champion, Scott Steiner as Television Champion and Scott Hall as United States 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 Lex Luger suffered a torn biceps and as a result he and Elizabeth went on hiatus. Hogan dropped the World Championship at Uncensored to Ric Flair and Steiner lost his Television Championship to Booker T after 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. Scott then inducted Rick into the nWo, although Rick never actually embraced it. A month earlier, Hogan was severely injured during a fatal four-way match (with Page, Flair and a returned, white-painted Sting with a returned Randy Savage as the guest referee) at Spring Stampede for the world title, which Diamond Dallas Page won, and was put out of action indefinitely. Nash then began a rivalry with Page, who he blamed for causing Hogan's injury, and defeated him for the world title at Slamboree. By this point, however, the nWo storyline had petered. Scott Steiner was forced to go on hiatus due to a back injury. 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 99 (which was the quiet end of his membership) while Flair and Samantha were quietly removed from television following Hogan's title loss at Uncensored.

Earlier that year, nWo Black and White saw the Giant and Curt Hennig beaten down and removed from the group (with Hall explaining that it was "time to trim the fat"), The Giant would later become The Big Show at WWF's St. Valentine's Day Massacre: In Your House, and Hennig would later team with Barry Windham, while the others continued on with a storyline that saw every member told by Hogan they were the leader of the group. This led to infighting that eventually saw Stevie Ray win control defeating the other members in a Battle Royal. However by that time the Wolfpac Elite had collapsed and the nWo no longer had any importance in WCW. As the year went on, the nWo Black & White members slowly began distancing themselves from each other. Scott Norton left the company altogether shortly after the battle royal, preferring to stay in Japan where he had begun to build his career. Brian Adams was kicked out of the group and vanished from WCW programming for some time, eventually forming a tag team with Bryan Clark called KroniK. 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). Stevie Ray reformed Harlem Heat with Booker T later that year and they won three more tag team titles together before splitting up for good toward the end of the year. Horace Hogan entered the newly created hardcore division and contended for its championship (never winning it), then played a part in the New Blood storyline that dominated WCW in the early part of 2000. He left the company after the incident at Bash at the Beach that year where Vince Russo fired his uncle.

Hogan and Nash also entered a feud before the end of the summer. Nash lost his world championship in a tag team match at Bash at the Beach in July pitting him and Sting against Sid Vicious and Randy Savage as Savage pinned him. The next night Hogan returned to Nitro and accepted a challenge from Savage for the championship; Nash interfered by powerbombing Savage and gave Hogan the victory, but the next week Nash attacked Hogan during a match with Vicious and aligned himself with Vicious and Rick Steiner. Over the next few weeks 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 Hulk Hogan persona and won the match at Road Wild forcing Nash to retire. Nash did continue to make appearances afterward, usually stirring up trouble backstage with Hall as his cohort, and wearing silly disguises to play mind games on some of the talent.

Reformation (late 1999-early 2000)

In late December, Nash, Hall, Jeff Jarrett and Bret Hart would reform the nWo. Hall, Nash and Jarrett would interfere on Hart's behalf in his match with Goldberg, causing Hart to win the vacant WCW World Title, and Nash announced that "the Band is back together". After Goldberg accidentally injured himself breaking the nWo's limousine windshield, Sid Vicious, Chris Beniot and Terry Funk were left to fued with the nWo. Scott Steiner returned and rejoined the group after attacking Vicious. The Harris Brothers would act as the nWo's bodygaurds before joining the group themselves. As nWo members, the Harris brothers would become WCW Tag Team Champions twice. Hart was forced to vacant the World Title and went on hiatus from WCW in late January 2000 due to his injures. At the following Souled Out, Nash defeated Funk for the commissionership, but his reign was cut short after he suffered a broken ankle and had to withdraw from WCW for a while. Jarrett would win a title shot facing new World Champion Sid Vicious at Superbrawl. However, Jarrett would also feud with fellow nWo member Scott Hall after Hall attempted to defeat Vicious and win the title himself. The match at Superbrawl would be changed to a three-way dance between Hall, Jarrett and Vicious. Vicious won the match and Hall left WCW for good. Jarrett faced Vicious for the title again at Uncensored and lost. With the return of Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo in April, the nWo completely dismantled and Jarrett, Steiner and the Harris brothers joined the New Blood while the returning Nash joined the Millionaire's Club.

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (2002)


"Hollywood" Hulk Hogan making his entrance at WrestleMania X8 in 2002, his first WrestleMania after eight years.

After the WWF bought WCW in 2001, Vince McMahon brought in Hogan, Hall and Nash, the original nWo, at No Way Out 2002. In this storyline, the nWo was brought in as McMahon's hired thugs in an attempt to "kill" the WWF so that McMahon would not have to share power with new WWF "co-owner" Ric Flair.[3][53] They began by targeting the company's two biggest stars, Steve Austin and The Rock. Hogan left the group after he lost his WrestleMania X8 match with the Rock and was assaulted after that match by Hall and Nash. Hogan's comeback to the WWF after 8 years had fans cheering him, even though he was a heel.[3][54] As a result, he turned face and began feuding with Hall and Nash, with The Rock, Kane and Bradshaw at his side on occasion.[3] Hall and Nash then brought in two former nWo members, X-Pac (formerly known as Syxx), on March 21, 2002, edition of SmackDown! in Ottawa, Ontario[55] and The Big Show (formerly known as The Giant), on the April 22 edition of Raw.[3][56]

The nWo reunion in the WWF did not last long, however. During an attack on Bradshaw, Kevin Nash injured his biceps and was put out of action for several months.[3] Meanwhile, Hall asked for his release from WWE in May 2002, because he was in the middle of a custody dispute with his ex-wife over their two children, according to Nash (Nash made that statement during media promotions in Detroit for Vengeance 2002). This dispute led to Hall getting drunk on an airline flight back from the U.K. and getting into an altercation. Upon returning to the United States, Hall was immediately fired.[3] Flair became a semi-member of the nWo after turning on Stone Cold Steve Austin.[3][57] As owner of Raw, Flair set up a lumberjack match with Austin against the newest member of the nWo, which turned out to be Booker T. Booker had just finished a silly skit with Goldust minutes earlier, where he had been wearing a lumberjack costume and fake beard, all but destroying his "tough" momentum going into the match.[3][58] Nash introduced Shawn Michaels into the nWo on June 3 edition of Raw.[3][59] Michaels then literally "kicked" Booker out of the nWo one week later.[3][60] Michaels, then in the midst of a four-year retirement from pro wrestling, would be the first nWo member who had never wrestled in WCW. Michaels and Nash then would set their sights on recruiting Triple H (by using threats and demands) into the nWo, implying that they would re-create on-screen their old backstage group The Kliq. This storyline was ultimately never resolved, as Nash suffered a torn quadriceps tendon that forced him to miss an extended period of time. Afterwards, the nWo storyline was permanently abandoned and the remaining members drifted apart. Michaels went on to return to active competition within weeks, Big Show was eventually traded to SmackDown, and X-Pac was released from his contract.

Final appearance

On July 8, Kevin Nash returned to action on Raw, teaming up with Eddie Guerrero, X-Pac, the 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.[3][61] On the following Raw (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.[3][62] This marked the last time anything regarding the nWo was seen on WWE programming, apart from a mention from DX and Eric Bischoff in a promo in 2006. Also, WWE wrestler Randy Orton wore a T-shirt with his initials "rKo" in the classic nWo logo design and Michael Tarver wore an nXt shirt.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2010)

The Band

They would reunite in 2010 when, weeks prior to the debut of Hulk Hogan in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), Kevin Nash had hinted that "the band was getting back together". On the January 4, 2010 live TNA Impact! Monday night three-hour special, Sean Waltman (Syxx/X-Pac) and Scott Hall made their returns to TNA and with Nash had sought to rehash, to some extent, their invasive alliance (though not legally permitted to use the nWo moniker due to WWE's ownership), additionally with the debuting Hogan (who used an edit of the nWo 2000 theme as his entrance music, as well as all black attire and 5 o'clock shadow). This was the first time in over eight years the members had been seen together at a wrestling event. Hogan conceded the others were his "brothers 4 life"; however, he would decline the offer, stating that "it's a different time". Eric Bischoff then came down and clarified that in partnering with Hogan to run the talent department, everyone would have to earn their spots in the company. At the end of the show, Nash, Hall and Waltman assaulted Mick Foley, who confronted Bischoff in the office while trying to get a meeting with Hogan, and beat him down until Hogan arrived on the scene to end the show.[63]

The following week "The Band" attacked Beer Money, Inc. (Robert Roode and James Storm), who had asked Bischoff for a match against Hall and Nash, after their match with Hernandez and Matt Morgan, which led to Bischoff, clearly on friendly terms with The Band, coming out and announcing a match between Beer Money and Hall and Nash at Genesis.[64] At the pay-per-view Waltman, once again using the ringname Syxx-Pac, replaced Hall after a game of rock-paper-scissors for the spot in the match and teamed up with Nash in a losing effort against Beer Money.[65] On the following episode of Impact!, Hogan told Nash, Hall and Syxx-Pac that their attitude towards their pay-per-view return was disrespectful. He added that since Hall and Syxx-Pac did not have TNA contracts, they were ordered to leave the company.[66] Despite this Hall and Syxx-Pac kept on returning to Impact! Zone for random attacks and on the February 4 edition of Impact! Hall and Syxx-Pac turned on Kevin Nash and beat him down.[67] At Destination X Hall and Syxx-Pac faced Nash and Eric Young in a tag team match, where their TNA futures were on the line; if The Band managed to win the match, they would get contracts with TNA, but if they lost, they would have to leave the company for good. In the end Nash turned on Young and gave Hall and Syxx-Pac the victory.[68]

On the March 29 edition of Impact! Nash offered Young a spot in the Band, claiming that what happened in Destination X was just business and nothing personal. Young refused the offer and in the main event of the evening, teamed up with Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy to defeat the Band in a six man tag team steel cage match.[69] At Lockdown Nash defeated Young in a steel cage match. Later in the night Nash replaced Syxx-Pac, who no-showed the event, and teamed up with Hall in a St. Louis Street Fight, where they were defeated by Team 3D.[70] It was later reported that Waltman had let TNA know days in advance that he was not cleared to wrestle by the Missouri State Commission and was not going to be able to attend the event.[71][72] On the April 26 edition of Impact!, Waltman was found lying backstage in a pool of his own blood, after apparently having been put through a table off screen by Team 3D.[73] The following week, Eric Young turned on Team 3D and revealed himself as the surprise third member of the Band, replacing Syxx-Pac.[74] On May 4, at the tapings of the May 13 edition of Impact!, after TNA World Tag Team Champion Matt Morgan had been attacked by Samoa Joe, Nash cashed in his "Feast or Fired" contract, teaming with Hall, and pinned him to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.[75] Prior to their match at Sacrifice, Kevin Nash invoked the so called "Freebird Rule". This rule allowed Eric Young to be recognized as a champion and allowed any two of the three members to defend the championships at any time. At the event Nash and Hall defeated Ink Inc. (Jesse Neal and Shannon Moore), after an interference from Brother Ray, one half of Team 3D and Neal's trainer.[76] At the June 14 tapings of the June 17 edition of Impact! The Band was stripped of the Tag Team Championship, due to Scott Hall's legal problems.[77][78] The following day it was reported that both Hall and Sean Waltman had been released from their contracts with TNA.[79][80] On the June 24 edition of Impact! Nash and Young decided to part ways, as Nash intended to go after Hogan, whom he blamed for what had happened to Hall and Waltman, and didn't want Young to get into trouble for it.[81][82]

After Nash was unable to convince Hogan to re–hire Hall and Waltman and failed to secure a meeting with Eric Bischoff, he set his sights on renewing his feud with Jeff Jarrett, who claimed that Nash had tried to hurt TNA by bringing Hall and Waltman in.[83][84][85] On the August 5th edition of Impact!, Sting, who had feuded with Jarrett prior to his 30 day suspension, returned to TNA and, together with Nash, beat down Jarrett, Bischoff and Hogan.[86] On the August 26 edition of Impact! Nash defeated Jarrett in a singles match, after an interference from Sting.[87] The following week Nash helped Sting defeat Jarrett. After the match Samoa Joe aligned himself with Jarrett and Hogan and drove Nash and Sting away.[88] At No Surrender Jarrett and Joe defeated Nash and Sting in a tag team match, after Jarrett hit Sting with a baseball bat.[89] On the September 16 edition of Reaction, Nash and Sting were joined by D'Angelo Dinero,[90] who claimed to have gotten inside information from Bischoff's secretary Miss Tessmacher, that would suggest that Nash and Sting were right about Hogan and Bischoff being up to something.[91] At Bound for Glory Nash, Sting and Dinero faced Jeff Jarrett and Samoa Joe in a handicap match, after Hulk Hogan, who was scheduled to team with Jarrett and Joe, was forced to pull out due to a back surgery. At the end of the match Jarrett abandoned Joe and left him to be pinned by Nash. At the end of the event it was revealed that Nash and Sting had been right about Hogan and Bischoff all along, as they turned heel with Jarrett, Abyss and Jeff Hardy, and in the process turned Nash, Sting and Dinero back to being faces.[92] On October 13, 2010, Nash's contract with TNA expired and he announced his retirement from professional wrestling.[93][94][95] His last TNA appearance was a taping broadcast on October 14, 2010, when Nash and Sting both announced they were walking away from TNA rather than being a part of Hogan and Bischoff's regime.[96] [97]

List of incarnations and members

Incarnation: Notes: Members:
nWo Original incarnation Hollywood Hogan (leader), Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Ted DiBiase (left), The Giant (kicked out of the group), nWo Sting, Syxx (fired), Vincent, Nick Patrick (kicked out of the group), Miss Elizabeth, Eric Bischoff, Buff Bagwell, V.K. Wallstreet (left), Masahiro Chono, Big Bubba Rogers (left), Scott Norton, Randy Savage, Dennis Rodman, The Great Muta, Konnan, Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Dusty Rhodes, Scott Steiner
nWo Japan Also known as nWo Typhoon, they wrestled in New Japan Pro Wrestling[2] Masahiro Chono (leader), Keiji Mutoh (also wrestled as The Great Muta), Hiro Saito, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, nWo Sting, Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton, Michael Wallstreet, AKIRA, Tatsutoshi Goto, Michiyoshi Ohara, Brian Adams, Big Titan[2]
nWo Hollywood Also known as "nWo Black and White" Hollywood Hogan (leader, stopped being leader after he announced his retirement), Scott Hall (kicked out of the group), Bret Hart (associated member, nWo recruiter), The Giant, Vincent, Eric Bischoff, Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton, Dennis Rodman (left), Brian Adams, The Disciple (left after being kidnapped by The Warrior), Dusty Rhodes (left), Scott Steiner (became leader after Hollywood Hogan announced his retirement), Horace Hogan, Stevie Ray, Miss Elizabeth, Curt Hennig, Rick Rude (left after being injured), nWo Sting (departed)[42]
nWo Wolfpac Also known as "nWo Black and Red", a face incarnation that fought against the heel nWo Hollywood Kevin Nash (leader), Randy Savage (left after being injured), Konnan, Lex Luger, Sting (left after being injured), (Other members included Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, Rick Rude and Miss Elizabeth, however, they defected back to nWo Hollywood)
nWo "Elite" Also known as "nWo Reunion" and/or "Mega nWo" and/or "nWo Wolfpac 1999" Hollywood Hogan (leader), Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Miss Elizabeth, Eric Bischoff, Buff Bagwell (kicked out of the group), Scott Steiner, Lex Luger, Disco Inferno (associate member), Konnan (kicked out of the group), David Flair (associate member), Samantha (associate member)[51]
nWo "Black and White" The "B-Team" of the "nWo Reunion" faction The Giant (departed), Curt Hennig (kicked out of the group), Vincent (left), Scott Norton (left), Brian Adams (kicked out of the group), Horace Hogan, Stevie Ray (leader, left)[52]
nWo 2000 The traditional nWo logo was silver instead of white, and the catchprase "The Band is Back Together" was used Bret Hart (leader, stopped becoming leader after being injured), Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Ron and Don Harris[98]
Order: Members: Changes:
First Hollywood Hogan (leader), Kevin Nash, Scott Hall The original three were brought in by Vince McMahon
Second Kevin Nash (leader), Scott Hall, X-Pac, The Big Show Hogan turned face and got kicked out of the group. This led them to bring in former members X-Pac and The Big Show
Third Kevin Nash (leader), X-Pac, The Big Show, Booker T, Shawn Michaels (co-leader) Hall was released from his contract. Booker T and Shawn Michaels joined the group.
Fourth Kevin Nash (leader), X-Pac, The Big Show, Shawn Michaels (co-leader) Michaels literally kicked Booker T out of the group. Soon after, Kevin Nash would suffer a legitimate quadriceps tear, putting him out of action for nearly a year. On July 15, 2002, The group was officially disbanded by Vince McMahon as Eric Bischoff became Raw General Manager.
Order: Members: Changes:
The Band (First) Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Syxx-Pac Reunited on the January 4 edition of Impact!.
The Band / The Wolfpac (Second) Scott Hall and Syxx-Pac Hall and Syxx-Pac turned on Nash on the February 4 edition of Impact!.
The Band / The Wolfpac (Third) Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Syxx-Pac Nash turned on Eric Young and re-joined Hall and Syxx-Pac at Destination X on March 21.
The Band / The Wolfpac (Fourth) Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Syxx-Pac, Bubba (personal interviewer) Bubba the Love Sponge returned to TNA television as The Band's personal interviewer in late March
The Band / The Wolfpac (Fifth) Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Syxx-Pac Bubba fired from the company on April 30, 2010 stemming from the Cowhead Show incident
The Band (Sixth) Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Young Eric Young joined on May 3, replacing the injured Syxx-Pac.
The Band (Seventh) Kevin Nash and Eric Young Scott Hall released in June 2010.
The Wolfpac / The Band (Eighth) Sting and Kevin Nash Sting returned from his suspension on the August 5 edition of "Impact!" , wearing his nWo Wolfpac red face paint, and helping Kevin Nash
The Wolfpac / The Band (Ninth) Sting, Kevin Nash, D'Angelo Dinero On the September 16 edition of "Reaction", The Pope turned heel and joined Sting and Nash in their battle with Jeff Jarrett, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Samoa Joe


  • Entrance themes
    • "Rockhouse" by Frank Shelley (WCW/WWF/WWE; used by nWo Black and White/Hollywood/nWo Silver; May 19 1996–May 1999, 1999–2000, February 17 2002–July 8 2002)
    • "Tear It Up" by J.Hart and H.Helm (WCW; used by nWo Black and White midcarders; 1996–1998)
    • "Wolfpac Theme" by J.Hart (WCW; used by nWo Wolfpac/Elite; 1998–1999)
    • "The Band Theme" by Dale Oliver (TNA; used by the Band; 2010)
    • "Wolfpac Theme (Instrumental)" by J.Hart (TNA; used by the Band; 2010)

Championships and accomplishments

(*) - During their reign, Hall and Nash invoked "The Band Rules" and named Eric Young as a co-champion

See also


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  2. ^ a b c d e f "nWo Japan Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "nWo (WWE) Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
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  8. ^ "New World Order History". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
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  13. ^ Ted DiBiase: The Million Dollar Man, p.200, Ted DiBiase with Tom Caiazzo, Pocket Books, New York, NY, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4165-5890-3
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  93. ^ McNichol, Rob (2010-10-13). "Nash decides to call it a day". The Sun. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  94. ^ Caldwell, James (2010-10-21). "TNA/WWE News: Kevin Nash interview – why he left TNA, return to WWE?, says WWE's youth movement "is a mistake," what would bring him back to TNA". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  95. ^ Martin, Adam (2010-10-20). "Latest on Kevin Nash's status with TNA Wrestling". WrestleView. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  96. ^ Wilkenfeld, Daniel (2010-10-14). "Wilkenfeld's TNA Impact report 10/14: Complete "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV's live broadcast". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  97. ^ Meltzer, Dave (February 14, 2011). "Feb 14 Observer Newsletter: UFC 126 in-depth, Rock and Jericho talk, Strikeforce tourney preview". Wrestling Observer Newsletter (Campbell, CA): 35. ISSN 10839593. "Regarding the Kevin Nash deal, as it turned out Nash had signed a TNA contract recently. Nash was always supposed to return to TNA with Sting after they spent most of 2010 building up the storyline where Sting appeared to be a heel to the public and on television only for the reveal at Bound for Glory that it was really Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff conspiring to steal TNA from Dixie Carter but Sting saw it coming, but nobody would listen. If you recall, in storyline, Nash and The Pope were the other two who found out because they were the two guys doing it with Miss Tessmacher and she spilled the beans. As you can see, the long-term on that sure held together, given that Pope was turned heel for no real reason before Sting and Nash ever started their comeback. While Nash had agreed to come back, while he denied it, months back, he just signed fairly recently when they were ready to bring him back when he and Sting were to return on the 1/31 show. I’ve heard several different versions about why things went down the way they did. Dixie Carter publicly admitted she released him when asked for reasons she said were between the two of them. Nash told friends that he signed the contract (he got a significant pay cut because TNA said they couldn’t afford his old deal), even though he wasn’t happy with the money." 
  98. ^
  99. ^ "WWE United States Championship official title history". WWE. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  100. ^ "WCW World Heavyweight Championship official title history". WWE. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 

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