Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The nWo (New World Order) was both a professional wrestling storyline and the stable of wrestlers who were its central players. The nWo storyline, run by WCW, began on the July 7, 1996 Bash At The Beach PPV. This storyline involved a faction from "outside" WCW – originally Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Hulk Hogan – "invading" the federation. This proved to be a turning point in the history of wrestling, as it drew attention to the (then) second-rated WCW, and helped bring pro wrestling back into mainstream entertainment.
The idiosyncratic capitalization of the group's initialism, nWo, comes directly from the official logo that WCW created for the stable.
According to the angle, the nWo faction went against tradition, and planned to take over WCW. Hulk Hogan captured the WCW world title from The Giant at Hog Wild in August 1996, then promptly spray painted the title with "nWo". This began a long and bitter feud between WCW and the nWo. At Fall Brawl 1996, team nWo defeated team WCW in the "war games" match, cementing their stranglehold on WCW. Sting, who was one of WCW's main supporters, grew disgusted at the accusation that he had joined the nWo, and after the war games match, he told WCW to "stick it", and went on a hiatus. Actually nWo debuted a "fake" Sting that made the fans to think that Sting betrayed them. The nWo continued to dominate WCW, and new members soon appeared, including Ted DiBiase, Syxx, and The Giant. Legendary superstar Macho Man Randy Savage took the lead in the battle against the nWo, but in the end he lost to Hogan and disappeared. In a shocking event, WCW president Eric Bischoff revealed that he was a member of the nWo, therefore giving them major power.
The odds were too much to bear for WCW, and soon Rowdy Roddy Piper surfaced in WCW to battle old nemesis Hulk Hogan, who had now dubbed himself "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan.
Piper gained a victory over Hogan, but could not capture the title. In January 1997, the nWo made great strides when they held their very own PPV titled Souled Out . In this event, Hogan faced former nWo member The Giant. Hogan defeated him, and Nash & Hall lost their tag titles to the Steiner brothers. But the next night, Bischoff gave the belts back to the nWo. In February 1997, Randy Savage returned and shocked WCW by joining the nWo. Through 1997, the nWo controlled the power in WCW. WCW seemed to gain an advantage in August 1997, when Lex Luger won the title from Hogan. But Hogan won the belt back at the 1997 Hog Wild PPV. After an eventful fall, where the nWo destroyed the Four Horsemen, and gained a new member in Curt Hennig, Sting returned to action to face Hogan at Starrcade 1997. This was the most anticipated match in WCW history.
Nash vs. Hogan
In a controversial finish, special referee Bret Hart proclaimed Sting the new WCW champion. But the title was soon held up, and Hogan and Sting fought again at Superbrawl 1998, where Sting captured the belt. For the first time, the nWo was having problems within. Randy Savage was having problems with Hogan, and the two fought in a cage to settle the difference. Hogan soon recaptured the title, and the nWo again had control.
On the episode of WCW Monday Nitro on May 5, 1998, the federation announced that nWo had split into two "factions". On one side was the nWo Wolfpac faction, which was headed by Kevin Nash. On the other side was nWo Hollywood, which was headed by Hogan, and included Brian Adams, Buff Bagwell, Eric Bischoff, Miss Elizabeth, The Giant, Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart, Scott Norton, Stevie Ray, Dennis Rodman, Scott Steiner and Vincent. The nWo Hollywood faction was sometimes also referred to (originally) as "nWo black and white" (as opposed to the "red and black" Wolfpac). During this part of the storyline, WCW wrestlers like Goldberg were presented as faces, the Wolfpac wrestlers were presented as tweeners, and the nWo Hollywood faction as heels.
The "fingerpoke of doom"
The two sides battled each other throughout 1998. In July 1998, Hogan lost the title to Goldberg, and the nWo slowly started to lose focus. It seemed that the nWo had beaten WCW by splitting in two – they had no one left to fight but each other. But splitting in two also destroyed the nWo. They never again had the power that they originally had. By October 1998, Hogan left the nWo and went on hiatus. As 1999 started, Kevin Nash was the WCW champion, and he and Hogan conspired a huge nWo comeback in January. The angle ended on the January 4, 1999 episode of Nitro with the "Fingerpoke of Doom" storyline — this was the famous match where Nash lay down for Hogan, and allowed the pin. The nWo reigned again, with the nWo elite reunited under the Wolfpac label, while the undercard wrestlers in the nWo continued in the "black and white" faction, but for only a short time.
The end of the nWo
By mid 1999, the nWo had disappeared. In late 1999, the nWo came back for one more run, consisting of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Bret Hart, Jeff Jarrett, and the Harris twins. This nWo lasted into early 2000, but soon faded away. By this point, not only the nWo, but the entire WCW, had lapsed into what seemed to be an inevitable and permanent decline, constantly bettered by the WWF (now WWE) and relegated to a permanent second-place status, a situation many longtime WCW fans blamed on WCW management having stayed with the nWo angle for entirely too long.
After World Wrestling Entertainment bought WCW in 2001, Vince McMahon brought in Hogan, Hall, & Nash as the nWo, at the No Way Out Pay-Per-View on February 17, 2002. In this storyline, the nWo was brought in as McMahon's allies in an attempt to destroy WWE so that McMahon would not have to share power with new WWE "co-owner" "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. However, Hogan left the group after he lost his Wrestlemania X8 match with The Rock and was assaulted after that match by Hall & Nash. Hall & Nash brought in a two nWo member afterward, X-Pac (formerly known as Syxx), on March 21, 2002, at SmackDown! in Ottawa and The Big Show on April 22, 2002. Scott Hall was released in May, over drinking problems during the UK tour. Ric Flair later became a semi-member of the nWo after turning on Stone Cold Steve Austin and later introduced Booker T into the faction after winning a battle royal on RAW. Kevin Nash introduced Shawn Michaels into the nWo on June 3, 2002. Michaels then "super-kicked" Booker out of the nWo one week later. The nWo never regained its momentum from 1996 & 1997, and was disbanded by Vince McMahon after he regained full control of WWE from Ric Flair. McMahon officially declared the nWo "dead" on July 15, 2002. Ironically, this was the same night where Eric Bischoff, the man who was often credited for creating the nWo, made his return to WWE as the General Manager of RAW.
The nWo was at its strongest from July 1996 until December 1997. Their reign forever changed the face of wrestling, and the effects are still felt today. The nWo pushed the old Rock and Wrestling gimmicks aside in favor of more edgy and adult storylines. Their presence made WCW appear a more "adult" promotion, compared to the childish gimmicks the WWF was promoting. The Attitude Era which eventually led to the dominance of the WWF is considered by most fans to have been a direct result of the nWo's pressence.
Some fans were critical of the WWF's handling of the nWo. From No Way Out until WrestleMania X8, the nWo angle was handled in accordance to what the fans wanted. Post WrestleMania however, with Hogan back with his "Hulk" persona, the nWo in the opnion of many fans, was ruined by poor angles, problems between wrestlers and some nWo members, and a general lack of interest by the WWF. Some believe that McMahon's speech in which he declared the nWo dead, was an attack on the years in which his promotion was placed second behind the then-hot WCW.
General credit for the "invasion" storyline is given to Paul Orndorff, with obvious inspiration drawn from both the UWF invasion of New Japan Pro Wrestling and New Japan's Heisei Ishingun stable. Other details such as merchandise, hand-signs and the attitude of the nWo is mostly credited to Terry Taylor.
Spinoffs and parodies
- nWo Wolfpac - Kevin Nash's splinter group eventually became the dominant division of the nWo after the group remerged with nWo Hollywood
- nWo Japan - the nWo's Japanese offshoot included American wrestlers who frequented Japanese professional wrestling, such as Scott Norton
- bWo - Stevie Richard's and The Blue Meanie's answer to the nWo in ECW, the group was a parody of the nWo, and its primary colors were blue and white. Members of the Japanese faction Kaientai-DX were briefly associated with the group.
- LWO - after Eddie Guerrero's spat with WCW head Eric Bischoff, a real-life conflict that was turned into a storyline, Eddie formed the Latino World Order, or "LWO" for short. The group consisted of almost every major Mexican wrestler on the WCW roster, but was disbanded after a car accident left Guerrero out of wrestling for a considerable amount of time. Their colors were red, white and green, the same colors as the Mexican flag.
- One Warrior Nation - Ultimate Warrior's group reversed the nWo acronym when the Warrior made his WCW debut. The newer faction only grew to have two members - one of which was Hollywood Hulk Hogan's associate and real-life friend Ed Leslie.
- dMp - an evil group of wrestlers in the manga show Ultimate Muscle, whos main team member was called Kevin Mask , a play on Kevin Nash's name.
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