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nWo 15th Anniversary

WWFu celebrates the 15th Anniversary of the New World Order

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The New World Order, most commonly known as the nWo is one of the most influential forces in the late 1990s success of WCW, and was instrumental in turning professional wrestling back into a more mature, adult-oriented product.

The brainchild of WCW Executive Vice President 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. It dominated WCW programming throughout the late-1990s and almost until the end of WCW in 2001, during which time there were several, sometimes rival incarnations of the group; WWE even brought back the nWo for a time in 2002.

The nWo storyline was an invasion-type angle where WCW was being "invaded" by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, who had just previously wrestled and gained popularity in WWE as Diesel and Razor Ramon. After weeks of insinuating on WCW's flagship show Monday Nitro that they would soon take over WCW with the help of a third member, it was on July 7th, 1996 that the elusive third member would make his presence felt.

What follows is a breakdown of the history of the nWo:

"The Outsiders" invade WCW: Razor Ramon and Diesel were two of the top stars of the WWE in the 90s. In Spring of 1996, they left the company and joined World Championship Wrestling. The two men entered WCW under their real names, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, respectively, and vowed to destroy the company. Named "The Outsiders", they challenged the best that WCW had to a six-man tag team match at Bash at the Beach '96 on July 7th. While they refused to name their partner in advance, their challenge was answered by Sting, Lex Luger, and the late "Macho Man" Randy Savage.

The formation of the nWo: During the main event match at Bash at the Beach, Lex Luger was injured and taken away by paramedics. With Hall & Nash gaining momentum and handing out a beating to Sting and Savage, Hulk Hogan made his way down to ringside supposedly to help the WCW regain control of the match. In one of the biggest surprises ever in the history of professional wrestling, Hulk turned on Randy Savage and revealed that he was in fact, the mysterious "third man" to help against Team WCW. As the ring filled up with garbage, Hulk announced the formation of the "New World Order of Wrestling" and thus was the birth of Hollywood Hulk Hogan. What follows is a transcript what is now known to be one of the most memorable speeches and moments in sports entertainment...

"Mean" Gene Okerlund: "Hulk Hogan, excuse me. Excuse me! What in the world are you thinking?"

Hulk Hogan: "Mean Gene, the first thing you need to do is to tell these people to shut up if you wanna' hear what I've got to say... The first thing you gotta' realize, brother, is this right here is the future of wrestling (pointing to himself, Hall, and Nash). You can call this the New World Order of Wrestling. These two men right here came from a great big organization up north and everybody was wondering who the third man was. Well, who knows more about that organization but me, brother?... Let me tell you something. I made that organization a monster. I made people rich up there. I made the people that ran that organization rich up there. And when it all came to pass, the name Hulk Hogan, the man Hulk Hogan, got bigger than the whole organization.

"Billionaire Ted wanted to talk turkey with Hulk Hogan. Well Billionaire Ted promised me movies, brother. Billionaire Ted promised me millions of dollars. Billionaire Ted promised me world caliber matches. As far as Billionaire Ted goes, Eric Bischoff, and the whole WCW goes, I'm bored brother. That's why these two guys here, the so-called outsiders, these are the men I want as my friends. They are the new blood of professional wrestling... and not only are we going to take over the whole wrestling business with Hulk Hogan and the new blood, the monsters with me, we will destroy everything in our path, Mean Gene."

Okerlund:
"Look at all of this crap in this ring. This is what's in the future for you if you want to hang around with the likes of this man Hall and this man Nash."

Hogan continued:
"As far as I'm concerned, all of this crap in the ring represents these fans out here. For years, brother, for years I held my head high. I did everything for the charities. I did everything for the kids. And the reception I got when I got out here - you fans can stick it, brother... because if it wasn't for Hulk Hogan you people wouldn't be here. If it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff would still be selling meat from a truck in Minneapolis, and if it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, all these Johnny Come Lately's that you see out here wrestling wouldn't be here. I was selling out the world, brother, while they were pumping gas in their car to get to high school. So the way it is now, brother, with Hulk Hogan and the New World Organization of Wrestling, me and the new blood by my side, whatcha gonna do when the New World Organization runs wild on you."

Tony Schiavone closes the show from the announce table saying: "We have just seen the end of Hulkamania..... Hulk Hogan, you can go to hell!"

The nWo dominates and grows: The nWo quickly dominated WCW and frequently invaded and disrupted WCW Monday Nitro by interrupting the program on numerous episodes by beating up whichever wrestlers were in their way at that particular moment and also "took-over" Nitro and briefly renamed it nWo Monday Nitro. By years end, they hatched a plan to make the fans think that Sting joined the group. When the imposter was revealed, Sting was still angry at his WCW co-workers for not trusting him and went into seclusion for a year. While he hung out in the rafters, the nWo added many members and even started a Japanese contingent that wrestled in the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion.

nWo Wolfpac vs. nWo Hollywood: 1997 ended with Sting returning and beating Hulk for the WCW World Heavyweight title. In the early part of 1998, tensions between Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash led to the split of the nWo. The Wolfpac (red & black) was led by Kevin Nash while Hollywood Hulk Hogan led the Hollywood branch (black & white). 1998 began with Kevin Nash holding the WCW Championship. Hogan demanded a match against his former friend. That match, the infamous "finger poke of doom", started and ended with Hogan winning the belt when Nash went down by a finger poke.

Reunion and B-Team: With the founding members of the nWo now back together, Hogan donned the colors of the red and black and the group was known as nWo Elite. The wrestlers still wearing the black and white were the mid-card wrestlers and their group was referred to as the B-Team. By the middle 1999, the whole concept of the nWo fizzled out amid multiple problems within WCW, from aspects of the creative team to the actual corporate offices of World Championship Wrestling. In 2000, with former WWE Creative Writer Vince Russo as the new man in charge of the company, the nWo 2000 was formed with Bret Hart as the leader. However, weeks into the new angle, Bret's career ended (due to a kick to a gone awry from Goldberg) and the concept was scrapped as well as Russo's run at the top of the company.

A Lethal Injection: WCW was purchased by World Wrestling Entertainment in March of 2001. In 2002, Vince McMahon brought the original members of the nWo back into the WWE to destroy the company he created because of a storyline where Ric Flair owned half of WWE. The WWE version of the nWo fizzled out quickly for several reasons. WWE fans didn't want to boo Hogan and forced the WWE to make him a good guy because of their reactions when he battled the Rock at WrestleMania X8. Kevin Nash suffered a leg injury and Scott Hall fell into a relapse in his continuing battle against alcohol and other substances.

The Legacy of the nWo: The New World Order is widely credited for revitalizing the wrestling industry in the '90s and for several years thereafter. The nWo made WCW the biggest wrestling organization in the world. However, while the storyline started with a bang there was never an official ending to it and the group died with a fizzle. While groups or "stables" in wrestling has always existed, none were able to capture the interest of the mainstream audience or even mainstream media quite like the nWo has before, or probably will ever again.

The Future of the nWo?: The Four Horsemen, D-Generation X, Evolution, The Straight-Edge Society, The Nexus... the list of stables or supergroups in professional wrestling are endless. With the stagnant product currently being delivered by the WWE, perhaps a movement to bring forth an alternative to the current "Cena Era" of WWE's PG product would illicit interest in the product again? Perhaps a group of men who can entertain the audience in ways it hasn't been entertained in years needs to return? Perhaps a new era in professional wrestling needs to be written with new blood? Perhaps the wrestling world needs a new set of names and faces to bring about a charge of adrenaline and a shot in the arm of intensity in WWE?

Perhaps we need the return of the n... W... o!