The History of The nWo

The History of The nWo

The History of The nWo – The nWo (New World Order) was a professional wrestling stable of wrestlers, originally in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and later in the then-World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

It was first formed on July 7, 1996 at the Bash at the Beach PPV. The group was created when Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, two wrestlers who had recently come over to WCW from the WWF and labelled as “The Outsiders,” aligned themselves with long-time fan favourite Hulk Hogan, who infamously turned heel to join the new group at Bash at the Beach.

The often-used idiosyncratic capitalization of the group’s initialism, nWo, comes as a result of the logo that WCW created for the stable.

nWo Creators

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 formerly wrestled there). 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 Scott Hall, chief WCW booker Terry Taylor, and his assistants Kevin Sullivan and Paul Orndorff all contributed their own ideas to the nWo concept. For instance, the logo was designed by Paul Orndorff, Scott Hall is credited with the group’s trademark hand-signals, and Terry 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.

1996 – nWo debuts

In 1996 both Scott Hall and Kevin Nash left the WWF to sign with WCW. Hall first appeared on WCW TV live on the Memorial Day 1996 edition of Monday Nitro emanating from Macon, Georgia, interrupting a match by walking down through the crowd into the ring. He delivered his famous “You Want A War?” speech, stating that he had a challenge for Eric Bischoff (“that Ken Doll lookalike”), Ted Turner (“Billionaire Ted”), “Macho Man” Randy Savage (the “Nacho Man”), and anyone else in WCW. Hall’s derogatory nicknames for Turner and Savage in particular referred to the infamous skits done by the WWF mere months earlier in an effort to mock WCW. Later, as the show neared its end, Hall accosted Bischoff in the broadcast booth (Bischoff then served as the lead announcer for Nitro) and demanded that he tell Turner to recruit three of his very best wrestlers, as Hall and two others were going to be “taking over.” This officially kicked off the nWo storyline. The next week, Hall reappeared on Nitro five minutes before the end of the broadcast and again pestered Bischoff. Sting confronted Hall, and was rewarded with a toothpick in the face for his efforts. Sting retaliated by slapping Hall across the face, and in response Hall promised Sting a “little…no…BIG surprise” for the next week’s show. This surprise ended up being Hall’s good friend and former WWF Champion Kevin Nash, and in the weeks following Hall and Nash were collectively referred to as “The Outsiders.” Both men took to showing up unexpectedly during Nitro broadcasts, usually jumping wrestlers backstage, distracting wrestlers by standing in the entrance-ways of arenas, or walking around in the audience, all the while waiting for WCW to answer their challenge.

At The Great American Bash ’96, Bischoff (in his capacity as Executive Vice-President of WCW) invited The Outsiders to do an interview. He promised them a match at Bash at the Beach on July 7, but Hall inquired as to whether Bischoff had selected his three WCW wrestlers yet. After demanding, and receiving, confirmation that neither man was an employee of the WWF (an attempt to defuse the threat of a genuine lawsuit filed by the WWF), Bischoff replied in the affirmative. However, when Hall demanded that the wrestlers’ identities be revealed, Bischoff claimed that he could not, instead telling The Outsiders to wait until the next night on Nitro. Unsatisfied with the response, Hall punched Bischoff in the stomach, and Nash powerbombed him right through the interview stage to the floor.

At Bash at the Beach, Hall and Nash were scheduled to team with their mystery partner against Savage, Sting, and Lex Luger. At the onset of the match, Hall and Nash came out without a third man. “Mean” Gene Okerlund came to the ring confused, demanding to know where their mystery partner was. They simply said he was in the building, but that they did not need him right then. Shortly into the match, Sting hit Nash with a Stinger Splash in the corner. However, Nash was holding Luger at the time, and the splash knocked Nash into Luger, thus crushing Luger in the corner. Luger was knocked to the outside, and paramedics came out and took him away, reducing the match to The Outsiders vs. Sting and Savage. As Hall and Nash took control of the match, Hulk Hogan came to the ring. After standing off with The Outsiders for a moment, he suddenly attacked Savage, thus revealing himself as the third man. In a post-match interview with Okerlund, Hogan claimed the reason for the turn was that he was tired of fans that had turned on him. Hogan labelled the new faction “the New World Order of professional wrestling,” beginning a feud between wrestlers loyal to WCW and the nWo. The fans in attendance were so outraged at Hogan’s betrayal that they pelted the ring with debris, such as paper cups and plastic bottles, for the duration of his interview. One fan even jumped the security railing and tried to attack Hogan in the ring, but was quickly subdued by Hall, Nash, and arena security.

The History of The nWo – nWo debuts at The Great American Bash 1996

Shortly after, the WWF filed a lawsuit, alleging that the New World Order storyline implied that Hall and Nash were invaders sent by Vince McMahon to destroy WCW, despite the fact that Bischoff asked Nash point-blank on camera at the Great American Bash, “Are you employed by the WWF?” to which Nash emphatically replied, “No.” Another reason for the lawsuit was that the WWF claimed Scott Hall acted in a manner too similar to the “Razor Ramon” character, which was owned by the WWF. The lawsuit would drag on for several years before being settled out of court. In court documents, the WWF alleged that “TBS proposed inter-promotional matches in order to associate WCW with WWF” before the New World Order angle was created.

The newly formed nWo would begin appearing on Monday Nitro, causing mayhem and attacking WCW wrestlers. In an infamous incident, Kevin Nash picked up Rey Mysterio Jr. and threw him head-first into a WCW production truck. The nWo took the first step in its takeover attempt of WCW when Hulk Hogan defeated WCW World Heavyweight Champion The Giant (Big Show) on August 10, 1996, at WCW Hog Wild. In the first of two famous moments after the match, Hall and Nash held the World Championship belt aloft while Hogan spray painted the letters “NWO” on it; the belt would appear in this fashion for most of the next year while Hogan was world champion. In the second moment, Hogan’s long time friend Ed Leslie presented Hogan with a birthday cake. Hogan hugged him, then signalled Hall and Nash to attack Leslie, stating “business is business.”

In the following weeks, as WCW was preparing its War Games team, it seemed that long time WCW supporter Sting had been negotiating with the nWo. During an episode of Nitro, Sting’s voice was heard coming from the nWo’s limousine. When Lex Luger went out to the parking lot to investigate, he was blindsided and attacked by “Sting.” At Fall Brawl 1996, “Team nWo” defeated “Team WCW” in the WarGames match. The match featured two Stings; one on each side. The “real” Sting appeared only briefly to fight on behalf of WCW, while nWo Sting captured the decision, forcing Lex Luger to submit to the Scorpion Death Lock. This proved that the real Sting had not joined the nWo after all. After the match, Sting declared that because nobody trusted him, he would not aid WCW in the war against the nWo.

The victory signaled an increased focus in WCW on the nWo, and new members soon were added to the stable, including Ted DiBiase (who was allegedly “financing” the group, an allusion to his “Million Dollar Man” gimmick in the WWF), Vincent (as “head of security”), Syxx, and The Giant. Referee Nick Patrick became the group’s official referee following a series of matches in which he clearly showed favouritism to nWo members. “Macho Man” Randy Savage took the lead in the battle against the nWo, motivated by his former wife/manager Miss Elizabeth’s joining of the group, but in the end he lost to Hogan in a WCW World Title match on October 27, 1996, at Halloween Havoc; Savage then disappeared from WCW for a short time. The same night, Hall and Nash defeated Harlem Heat for the WCW World Tag Team Titles. At the conclusion of the event, Roddy Piper made a surprise appearance and confronted Hogan in the ring.

Meanwhile, WCW did not recognize nWo wrestlers as being employed by WCW (except Hogan and The Outsiders, who held WCW title belts), therefore they were not allowed to compete with WCW wrestlers. In response, the nWo would have a segment on WCW Saturday Night, dubbed nWo Saturday Night, where they would wrestle jobbers in an empty arena.

Piper was responsible for the on-air exposure of WCW President Eric Bischoff as a member of the nWo, one of the reasons the stable had such incredible clout. After being revealed as an nWo member, Eric Bischoff gave everyone in the locker room an ultimatum: Join the nWo or become a target of the group. Marcus Alexander Bagwell was one of the first to join, turning on his American Males tag team partner, Scotty Riggs, and renaming himself “Buff” Bagwell. Others to join the nWo would be Scott Norton, Big Bubba Rogers, and V.K. Wallstreet. Japanese wrestler Masahiro Chono would also join the group, and served as leader of nWo Japan, a branch of the stable in New Japan Pro Wrestling. At around this time, nWo wrestlers began wrestling on Monday Nitro.

On November 24, 1996, The Giant won the 60-man battle royal at World War 3, earning a title match against Hogan. On December 29, 1996, at Starrcade Roddy Piper defeated Hulk Hogan in a non-title match using the sleeper hold. The next night, The Giant was booted from the nWo after refusing to chokeslam Piper in an nWo assault.

Toward the end of the year, on an episode of Monday Nitro, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash introduced Kyle Petty, from NASCAR, as an auxiliary member of the group, as Petty was driving the nWo racing car on the Busch Series circuit. This resulted in a few updates through 1997 on WCW television about the nWo racing car, but little else came of the development. Partway through 1997, an angle was run where the Steiner Brothers vandalized the nWo car at a racetrack, scaring off (kayfabe) Petty, and replacing him with another driver, driving a WCW-sponsored car for the same race team.

Meanwhile, Sting began appearing in the rafters during WCW Monday Nitro, sporting a new look complete with black-and-white make-up, and a black trench coat. He would often be seen during nWo matches.


In January 1997, the nWo held their own Pay-Per-View event, titled Souled Out. In the main event, Hogan faced The Giant, with the match ending in a no-contest, due to biased officiating by Nick Patrick. Nash and Hall lost their tag titles to the Steiner Brothers, but the next night, Bischoff gave the belts back to the nWo, claiming that Randy Anderson, who ran in to referee the match after Nick Patrick was knocked out, was not a sanctioned referee for the event. On February 23, 1997 at SuperBrawl VII, Roddy Piper would receive another match with Hulk Hogan. Hogan defeated Piper when Randy Savage returned and turned on Piper, joining the nWo. The nWo’s power was apparent, but it would soon come to a halt. On the March 3, 1997 Nitro, Harvey Schiller, the President of Turner Sports and Bischoff’s superior, made an appearance and suspended Bischoff for abusing his powers. He then informed Big Bubba Rogers and V.K. Wallstreet that they could not be members of the nWo under the terms of their WCW contract. Hence, a match was made for March 16, 1997 at Uncensored. The match consisted of 3 teams: Team WCW, consisting of Lex Luger, Rick & Scott Steiner (Rick was attacked before the match and never made it to the ring), and The Giant; Team Horsemen consisting of Roddy Piper, Jeff Jarrett, Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael; and Team nWo consisting of Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash & Randy Savage. Team nWo won the match, and because of the pre-match stipulations, they could now challenge for any WCW title whenever and wherever they wished. After the match Sting descended from the ceiling and attacked the nWo with a baseball bat, making it apparent that he was not siding with Hogan and company, even though he had previously allowed Hogan to embrace him in the center of the ring on an earlier episode on Nitro.

Because Hulk Hogan was concerned about his image and his newfound friendship with new nWo member Dennis Rodman, Kevin Nash grew concerned that the focus of the nWo was slipping away from total domination of WCW. There was a brief confrontation between Hogan and Nash, but they never came to blows; instead they settled up, and the nWo seemed stronger than ever. Throughout the spring of 1997, Hogan stayed in the background as The Outsiders and Syxx feuded with the Four Horsemen. Randy Savage was also involved in a major feud with “Diamond” Dallas Page at this time, featuring memorable matches at Spring Stampede and The Great American Bash. In the following weeks, former Dungeon of Doom member Konnan and Japanese stars The Great Muta and Hiroyoshi Tenzan would join the nWo. Muta and Tenzan would make sporadic appearances with the nWo in the United States, but were prominent members of nWo Japan in New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Both Nick Patrick and Ted DiBiase quit the nWo after being disgusted by Kevin Nash’s assault on Rick Steiner on April 6, 1997, at Spring Stampede. Patrick returned to being an honest referee, while DiBiase joined up with nWo foes The Steiner Brothers and managed them for a short time when they held the Tag Team titles.

After Lex Luger and The Giant defeated Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman at Bash at the Beach, Luger received a title shot against Hogan on August 4, 1997 on Monday Nitro. Hogan submitted to Luger’s finishing hold, the Human Torture Rack, dropping the title that he had held onto for nearly one year. In the aftermath, it seemed that the nWo was in disarray. However, Hogan would regain the title five days later at Road Wild. All seemed well again within the nWo.

The focus of the nWo then switched back to the Four Horsemen. When long-time Horseman Arn Anderson announced his retirement in an emotional speech on Monday Nitro on August 25, 1997 he offered his spot as Horsemen “enforcer” to the newly arrived Curt Hennig. Hennig replied: “It would be an honour”. One week later, the nWo would come out on live TV dressed as the Four Horsemen and downgrade and embarrass Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. Kevin Nash, dressed as Arn, would make references to alcoholism and Arn’s age. Syxx, dressed as Flair, mocked his age and mannerisms. Backstage, Flair and Anderson were rumoured to be genuinely upset at the parody. This led to the WarGames match on September 14, 1997 at Fall Brawl. Team nWo (Kevin Nash, Syxx, Konnan, and Buff Bagwell) defeated Team Horsemen (Flair, Benoit, McMichael, and Hennig) when Hennig turned on the Horsemen and joined the nWo. Steve McMichael submitted in order to stop the nWo from beating on Flair; after the match, Hennig slammed the door of the steel cage on Flair’s head as he lay prone. This led to Hennig feuding with Flair, and also led to the return of Roddy Piper. Hogan would face Piper in a steel cage match on October 26, 1997 at Halloween Havoc. Piper won the match, but was beaten badly by Randy Savage and Hogan after the match.

Meanwhile, WCW executive James J. Dillon, began offering Sting nWo opponents in order to get him to help WCW in the war. Sting refused, only wanting one man: Hulk Hogan.

On November 10, 1997 the nWo came to the ring wearing Canadian flags, singing “O Canada,” and making references to Bret Hart and the Montreal Screwjob, which had taken place the night before. This led to speculation that Bret Hart would soon be joining the nWo. The next week, Rick Rude joined the nWo live on Nitro, while also appearing on a pre-taped episode of WWF RAW is WAR on the same night. He went on to badmouth the WWF and express sympathy with Bret Hart for the Screwjob. He also made hostile references to Sting, whom he held a grudge against for ending his career three years earlier during a match in Japan.

On November 23, 1997 Scott Hall won the 60 man Battle Royal at World War 3. This win earned him a WCW Title shot in the future.

Bret Hart made his WCW debut on the December 15, 1997 edition of Nitro. 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. The winner of the match would gain control of WCW Monday Nitro.

Meanwhile, frustrated by Sting’s constant psychological games, Hogan finally agreed to face Sting and put the WCW title on the line. Sting vs. Hogan and Bischoff vs. Zbyszko were booked for Starrcade, which WCW called the biggest PPV event in the business. On the Monday before Starrcade, the nWo staged a complete takeover of WCW Monday Nitro; the act was somewhat symbolic, as the show was emanating from Macon, Georgia, the same city in which Scott Hall had first appeared in WCW in May 1996. The nWo 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 Nitro into nWo Monday Nitro. It seemed as if the nWo was poised to take full control after a year and a half of fighting WCW. (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 on December 28, 1997 Zbyszko defeated Bischoff by disqualification after Scott Hall interfered. This gave full control of Nitro to WCW. In the main event, Sting defeated Hogan to become the WCW champion. 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.” Hart laid out Patrick and ordered the match to continue with himself as the referee. Hogan then submitted to Sting’s Scorpion Death Lock.

The History of The nWo – Sting defeats Hollywood Hogan at Starrcade 1997

After 13 months of inactivity, Sting had finally stood up for WCW and ended Hogan’s reign atop the company. WCW now had full control of Nitro, and it seemed that the nWo would fall apart at the seams.


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 and announced a title match between Sting and Hogan to take place at SuperBrawl VIII. This prompted Sting to finally speak after 16 months, telling Dillon “You have no guts!” before turning to Hogan and declaring him a “dead man”. Meanwhile, Dusty Rhodes, former WWF star Brian Adams, and Hogan’s best friend Ed Leslie (now known as The Disciple) all joined the nWo.

Soon, problems began to arise between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. 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. On February 22, 1998, at SuperBrawl VIII, Sting defeated Hogan to win the vacated world title. On the same card, Scott Steiner turned on his brother Rick and joined the nWo. Randy Savage would then make his intentions clear: He didn’t need the nWo’s help, and now that Hogan had dropped the ball, he would defeat Sting to take the WCW title back to the nWo. Hogan & Savage would try to one-up each other on episodes of Nitro and WCW Thunder. On March 15, 1998, at Uncensored, Savage and Hogan attempted to settle their differences in a steel cage match. The match ended in a no contest. On the same card, Scott Hall received his title shot against Sting, but lost the match. Randy Savage would then state to Hogan that there were certain members of the nWo who were plotting to throw him out of the group.

After nWo member Sean Waltman (Syxx) was released from his contract, Kevin Nash confronted Hogan and Bischoff. Hulk Hogan stated that Waltman “couldn’t cut the mustard“.

The differences within the nWo were becoming more apparent. Randy Savage and Kevin Nash were suddenly realizing that Hogan was only looking out for himself, and the nWo was secondary. Kevin 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. Kevin 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 Bat Match. Nash made it clear, however, that he would just as soon use the bat on Hogan. On April 19, 1998, at Spring Stampede, Hogan & Nash defeated Piper and The Giant. After the match, Hogan assaulted Kevin Nash. Randy Savage beat Sting to become WCW world champion with help from Nash on the same night. The next night on Nitro, Hogan would challenge Savage for the title.

During the match, interference by both Kevin Nash and Bret Hart played a major role. Nash powerbombed Hogan, but when Bret Hart laid Hogan’s body over Randy Savage, Hogan won and walked away with the title. This signalled the split of the nWo into two factions. On May 4, 1998, Kevin Nash and Randy Savage appeared wearing black shirts with a red nWo logo, as opposed to the familiar white logo. They called themselves nWo Wolfpac, and were joined soon after by Konnan, Miss Elizabeth, Curt Hennig, and Rick Rude. Hogan’s side were the original Black & White, also known as nWo Hollywood: Eric Bischoff, Scott Steiner, Scott Norton, Vincent, The Disciple, and Brian Adams. Bret Hart seemed to be siding with Hogan, but was never officially named an nWo member. nWo members Scott Hall & Buff Bagwell were out of action at this time, and their alliances were not yet known.

On May 17, 1998, at Slamboree, Scott Hall would return wearing the red & black, and joined his partner Kevin Nash in a scheduled tag-team title defence against Sting and The Giant, who had recently rejoined the nWo on Hogan’s side (making Sting his unwilling partner in the match, which had been signed prior to Giant’s defection back to the nWo). During the match, Scott Hall turned on Nash and joined nWo Hollywood. After his match with Roddy Piper on the same night, Randy Savage was forced to leave wrestling due to knee injuries and would not be seen again for nearly a year. On May 25, 1998, Lex Luger joined the nWo Wolfpac, stating “it just feels right”, and asked Sting to do the same. On June 1, 1998, Sting also joined the nWo Wolfpac. On June 14, 1998, Curt Hennig and Rick Rude jumped back to nWo Hollywood after attacking Konnan and causing him to lose a match to Bill Goldberg. On July 6, 1998, Hulk Hogan lost his world title to Bill Goldberg after Scott Hall failed to stop Goldberg in an earlier match. During the summer of 1998, Hogan & Eric Bischoff would feud with the likes of Jay Leno and Karl Malone, while Kevin Nash attempted to gain revenge on Scott Hall.

The History of The nWo – Goldberg defeats Hollywood Hogan on wCw Nitro

The nWo Wolfpac became hugely popular amongst wrestling fans in the summer of 1998 while continuing their battle with nWo Hollywood. 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 WCW Monday Nitro. Warrior would form his own faction dubbed the One Warrior Nation, which included himself and former nWo member The Disciple.

On October 25, 1998, at Halloween Havoc, Scott Hall defeated Kevin Nash by count out. Hulk 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.

On November 22, 1998, at World War 3, nWo Hollywood attacked Scott Hall and kicked him out of the group for disrespecting Hogan and Bischoff a few weeks earlier. Kevin Nash went on to win the 60 man battle royal and earned a WCW World Title shot. On the Thanksgiving episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, nWo Hollywood leader Hulk Hogan announced his retirement from professional wrestling. Scott Steiner would go on to assume the leadership role in the nWo Hollywood faction.

During that same month, Harlem Heat’s Stevie Ray, who had previously flirted with the possibility of becoming a member of the nWo, officially joined nWo Hollywood after turning on Booker T.

On December 27, 1998, at Starrcade, nWo Wolfpac leader Kevin Nash won the WCW World Heavyweight Title by defeating Bill Goldberg when Scott Hall interfered and used a stun gun on Goldberg. Nash, however, did not see the attack and pinned Goldberg. The next night on Monday Nitro, Randy Savage returned wearing an nWo black-and-white T-shirt, but instead helped Ric Flair defeat Eric Bischoff in a match to determine the WCW presidency. This match also marked The Giant’s final appearance in a WCW ring, which ended when Savage crotched him on the ropes and clotheslined him out of the ring.

1999 – Fingerpoke of Doom

On the January 4, 1999 episode of Nitro Goldberg was scheduled to have a championship rematch with Nash. A false imprisonment instigated by the nWo would remove Goldberg from the match, causing the match to be replaced with Nash vs. the returning Hulk Hogan. In the match, which has been called the “Fingerpoke of Doom” by fans, after the bell rang to begin the bout, Hogan poked Nash in the chest, after which Nash fell to the mat until Hogan was able to get the pin and win the match. The conspiracy led to a reorganization of the nWo, with the nWo elite (Hogan, Nash, Hall, Buff Bagwell, Scott Steiner, Lex Luger and Miss Elizabeth) reunited under the Wolfpac label, while the undercard wrestlers in the nWo continued in the “black and white” faction. This short-lived group was sardonically labelled the nWo B-Team by fans and commentators.

The History of The nWo – The Fingerpoke of Doom

The end of the nWo in WCW

By mid 1999, the nWo had disappeared and Hogan had reverted to face status. In late 1999, the nWo came back for one more run as the silver and black (rather than black and white). This version was also referred to as “nWo 2000” and the word “new” in “new World order” logo was underlined to emphasise that this was a new version of the group. Consisting of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Bret Hart, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, and the Harris twins (Don and Ron). Several fitness models(Tylene Buck, April Hunter, Kim Kanner, Midajah and Pamela Paulshock) were brought in who would come to ringside with the group only to be ordered to the back by Jeff Jarrett. This nWo lasted into early 2000, but soon faded away, in great part due to the injury and retirement of Bret “The Hitman” Hart, the leader of the group. 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 and relegated to a permanent second-place status, a situation many long-time WCW fans blamed in part on WCW management having stayed with the nWo storyline for entirely too long. nWo 2000 was eventually replaced as the lead heel group in WCW by The New Blood.

The WWE Era

After the WWF bought WCW in 2001, Vince McMahon brought in Hogan, Hall and Nash as the nWo, at the No Way Out PPV on February 17, 2002. In this storyline, the nWo was brought in as McMahon’s allies in an attempt to “kill” the WWF so that McMahon would not have to share power with new WWF “co-owner” Ric Flair.

The History of The nWo – The nWo’s WWE Debut

However, 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, more than even The Rock. As a result, he turned face and began feuding with Hall and Nash, with The Rock at his side. Hall and Nash brought in two nWo members afterwards, X-Pac (formerly known as Syxx, who was also a former nWo member whilst in WCW), on March 21, 2002, at SmackDown! in Ottawa, Ontario and The Big Show (formerly known as The Giant), on April 22, 2002.

The History of The nWo – The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan at WrestleMania X8

The nWo reunion in the WWF would not last long, however. Hall was released in May due to drinking problems during a UK tour. Flair later became a semi-member of the nWo after turning on Stone Cold Steve Austin. 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. Nash introduced Shawn Michaels into the nWo on June 3, 2002. Michaels then “kicked” Booker out of the nWo (he literally hit Booker with his Sweet Chin Music) one week later.

Abruptly, the nWo was (kayfabe) disbanded by McMahon on July 15, 2002, after he regained full control of WWE from Ric Flair. The final nail in the nWo coffin was X-Pac (legitly) fainting on July 15, 2002 before the show and Nash tearing a quadriceps muscle during a match one week prior to the disbanding, taking him out of action for several months. Ironically, the nWo disbanded on the same night that Eric Bischoff, the man who was often credited for creating the nWo, made his debut in WWE as the general manager of RAW. At the time of the nWo’s demise, Michaels was offering Triple H membership in the nWo.

2010 – “The Band” is getting back together – TNA, Total Nonstop Action

Weeks prior to the debut of Hulk Hogan in TNA (Total Nonstop Action Wrestling), 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 or without the debuting Hogan (who used 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 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. 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.

At the pay-per-view Waltman, once again using the ring name 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. On the following episode of Impact!, Hogan told Nash, Waltman and Hall that their attitude towards their pay-per-view return was disrespectful. He added that since Hall and Waltman did not have TNA contracts, they were ordered to leave the company. Despite this Hall and Waltman kept on returning to Impact! Zone for random attacks and on the February 4 edition of Impact! they turned on Nash and beat him down.

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.

The Band (Hall, Eric Young, and Nash) in TNA WrestlingAt 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. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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.

The following week, Eric Young turned on Team 3D and revealed himself as the surprise third member of the Band, replacing Syxx-Pac. On May 4, at the taping 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. 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. (Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal), after an interference from Brother Ray, one half of Team 3D and Neal’s trainer.

At the taping of the June 17 edition of Impact! The Band was stripped of the Tag Team Championship, due to Scott Hall’s legal problems. The following day it was reported that both Hall and Sean Waltman had been released from their contracts with TNA. 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. When Sting returned from his suspension on the August 5 edition of “Impact!”, he joined Nash on his feud against Hogan, Bischoff, and Jarrett.

On the September 16 edition of Impact! they were joined by D’Angelo Dinero, 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. 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.

On October 13, 2010, Nash’s contract with TNA expired and he announced his retirement from professional wrestling. 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.

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