The N.W.O: The Black and White of Wrestling’s Most Successful Factions

NWo_LogoBrian Damage

Before we get started, you MUST click on the 4 second video below…

Now that that’s out of the way, today’s piece looks at the good and bad with one of pro wrestling’s most successful factions…the New World Order. (nWo for short) As in everyday life, the good is represented by white and the bad by black.

Let’s begin…

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It changed the landscape of pro wrestling

No doubt about it…the minute Scott Hall interrupted the match between “The Mauler” Mike Enos and Steve Doll…WCW became must see TV. The next few weeks became who else from the WWE will join this group???

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The rebirth of Hulk Hogan

For the most part, Hulk Hogan’s WCW tenure was a flop up until Bash at the Beach in 1996. After Hogan turned heel and joined forces with the Outsiders…not only was the nWo formed…it also reimagined the character of Hulk Hogan and it paid off BIG!

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The Rise of Sting

Sting was always one of the most popular wrestlers in WCW. He was consistently a loyal soldier and franchise player. When the nWo emerged…he was all that was left to save the company he helped build. The beauty of this story arc was that Sting disappeared for some time and when he reappeared showed no emotion, never said a single word and watched from the rafters of the arenas. Sting was able to reinvent himself into this cool, new character that was easy to get behind and support…despite the nWo being the trendy thing to cheer for at that time.

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nWo Japan

This was really the one and only nWo offshoot that I truly liked and thought was ingenious. It made sense considering they had a working agreement with New Japan Pro Wrestling. The nWo was indeed a global phenomenon. The only thing that could have made the international version even better…was have a contingent in Mexico and Europe. Otherwise, nWo Japan was a great move by WCW and New Japan.

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Development of Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell

The nWo did help some wrestlers develop into bigger stars. Two that I think of immediately were Scott “Big Poppa Pump” Steiner and Marcus “Buff” Bagwell. Both wrestlers gained marketable heel personas from their time spent in the New World Order.

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The elevation of DDP

Someone else who benefited from the nWo angle was Diamond Dallas Page. It helped elevate DDP from midcarder to main eventer. A nice stop gap while the Sting angle played out over time.

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Sting joins nWo Wolfpack

This to me was the worst of the worst moves creative ever decided to do with Sting. First off, the red face paint looks ridiculous and secondly, Sting was always a WCW guy. After all those wars with the nWo…he then joins the Wolfpack? I realize at that time the nWo Wolfpack turned face…it just didn’t mesh well with Sting’s character.

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There were way too many members

It seemed like half the roster was nWo and the other half wanted to join the nWo. It became too cluttered and muddled. What made the 4 Horsemen and the Freebirds stand out the most was their small group gave it a feel of exclusivity and importance. I am sure the nWo could have survived without several members.

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The nWo B Team

This was one of the stupidest ideas they came up with. Creative decided to split the nWo into a two class system…the Elite team and the B team. nWo Elite had all the main event/ top dogs on that squad therefore got the better travel accommodations and hotels….while the B team had to take less. It just didn’t make sense. Why would the Elite team even bother having scrubs in the New World Order? It watered the gimmick down considerably.

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The countless offshoots

The LWO, the OWN, nWo 2000, the WWE’s version of the nWo….all lacked any originality of the original version.

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The nWo as great as the original incarnation was…had its ups and downs, positives and negatives, good and bad…some times it was never as simple as black and white.

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3 thoughts on “The N.W.O: The Black and White of Wrestling’s Most Successful Factions

    • The LWO was the Latino World Order led by Eddie Guerrero and the OWN was One Warrior Nation led by the Ultimate Warrior.

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