The New World Order Of Professional Wrestlingby Alex Al-Kazzaz February 9, 2021 0 comments
In the 1990s, professional wrestling was changing dramatically. The professional wrestling industry had been around for nearly eight decades and had more than its fair share of changes to its evolution. Upgrades to the wrestling styles and new concepts like tag team wrestling made an impact. In the 80s, wrestling stables had evolved further and it would continue into the 90s.
A stable is a professional wrestling group consisting of at least three members. Over the years, there have been many well-known stables. The list goes from The Four Horsemen, D-Generation X, The Hart Foundation, The Fabulous Freebirds, Evolution, Raven’s Nest, The Nation of Domination, The Corporation, The Shield, The Wyatt Family, and the endless list goes on
Aside from The Four Horsemen, there’s one stable that tops the list as far as fame and popularity go. That would be the New World Order. A stable that changed history and continues to impact the industry today.
How Did The NWO Form?
In the summer of 1996, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall both departed World Wrestling Entertainment (World Wrestling Federation at the time) and they began appearing on World Championship Wrestling’s Monday Nitro. During that time WWE and WCW were going through a war of ratings dubbed The Monday Night Wars.
Nash and Hall were known as The Outsiders. As part of the storyline, the two continue to “invade” Nitro for several weeks. A six-man tag team match was eventually set up for the Bash at the Beach pay-per-view event.
Bash at the Beach was the night where NWO was officially formed. Lex Luger, Sting, and Macho Man Randy Savage were the three competitors representing WCW while Nash and Hall came to the ring without their third man. As the match ended, Hulk Hogan, who had joined WCW in 1994, came out to the ring seemingly to aid the WCW representatives, and Nash and Hall briefly exited the ring. However, Hogan shocked the entire world and attacked Savage, thus turning heel for the first time in over 15 years and revealing himself as the third outsider. Hogan would deliver a massive promo saying, “You can call this the New World Order of wrestling, brother!”
The Rise Of The NWO
Soon after the formation, Hogan would refer to himself as “Hollywood” Hogan and would soon capture the WCW Heavyweight title. Soon the entire concept of the angle would be dubbed as the NWO vs WCW. Fans and historians remember the whole rise of NWO as a “hostile takeover” since there were competitors who would pledge their allegiance to the stable while others remained loyal to WCW. The NWO’s dominance is what allowed WCW Nitro to beat WWF Raw Is War for 84 consecutive weeks.
The NWO’s feud with Sting
While in the prime of their dominance, the NWO would feud with the likes of the Four Horsemen, Roddy Piper, Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg, Lex Luger, etc. But their rivalry with Sting is the most remembered.
When the NWO began, Sting disappeared from television for a while and underwent a major change to his character. During his absence, the NWO would introduce their version of Sting. After an absence of 15 months, Sting would begin to appear mysteriously. Sting would be regarded as WCW’s last hope as nobody had been able to stop the NWO.
The rivalry would boil into the 1997 Starrcade pay-per-view event. Sting would defeat “Hollywood” Hogan to win the title, although he was stripped of it eleven days later due to the match’s controversial finish. However, Sting would later win the vacant title in a rematch.
NWO Hollywood and NWO Wolfpack
Shortly after Hogan’s title loss, tensions began to rise within the NWO. Soon after, the NWO would divide into two. NWO Hollywood being led by Hogan and The Wolfpack by Nash. Sting would go on to join the Wolfpack. The two sides would feud throughout 1998.
At the 1998 Starrcade, Nash would defeat Goldberg to win the WCW title, which ended Goldberg’s 173-0 winning streak. Nash would win after Hall interfered. Eight days after the event, Nash and Goldberg were set for a rematch but Goldberg was arrested as part of the storyline. Nash would then defend the title against Hogan where Nash would lay down and allow Hogan to pin him and regain the title, thus reuniting the NWO into one stable again. This was known as the Fingerpoke of Doom, an infamous incident that would begin the downfall of World Championship Wrestling. Ironically, that night, WCW’s winning streak in the Monday Night Wars came to an end. During the Fingerpoke stunt, Lex Luger turned heel and joined the NWO.
Unfortunately, the reunification of the NWO did not last very long. WCW’s struggles were continuously growing and the stable’s popularity was dropping significantly. All efforts to recover proved futile.
Dennis Rodman Joins The NWO
In March 1997, Rodman appeared at the 1997 Uncensored pay-per-view event, joining the NWO. At Bash at the Beach of that year, he would team with “Hollywood” Hogan in a losing effort against Lex Luger and The Giant. Soon after, at the 1997 Road Wild, he disguised himself as Sting and interfered in the main event, helping Hogan defeat Lex Luger to win the WCW title.
In 1998, Rodman again appeared in WCW as a member of the NWO. And Karl Malone would soon appear in WCW. Rodman and Malone had just squared off in the NBA finals where the Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz four games to two. In the main event of the 1998 Bash at the Beach, Rodman would team with Hogan and Malone would team with Diamond Dallas Page. Rodman and Hogan would go to win. The match would receive the highest buy rate of any pay-per-view show in WCW, but the reception of the match was poor.
World Championship Wrestling was eventually sold to its longtime archrival, the World Wrestling Entertainment in 2001. The NWO did have a brief stint in WWE in 2002. The stable would feud with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock. At Wrestlemania X8, Austin would defeat Scott Hall while The Rock would defeat “Hollywood” Hogan. Soon after, all NWO storylines were stopped.
Since 2002, the NWO has made a few appearances in WWE, including at Wrestlemania 31 in a match between Sting and Triple H. The group would eventually be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Follow Alex Al-Kazzaz on Twitter @BearManOfTX
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