The nWo, one of sports-entertainment’s most controversial factions, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman will take their place in history during the 2020 Induction Ceremony on Thursday, April 2 during “WrestleMania 36” Week in Tampa Bay, Florida.
With The nWo’s induction, Hogan, Hall, Nash and Waltman will all become two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductees. Hogan was first inducted in 2005, Hall in 2014 (as Razor Ramon), Nash in 2015 (as Diesel) and Waltman in 2019 (as X-Pac of D-Generation X). They join Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Booker T as multi-time inductees. News of their induction was first reported by ESPN.
The New World Order came about at a time when the sports-entertainment industry was at its most contentious. WCW was out to take over WWE’s spot at the top of the business, but soon had to worry about an invasion of its own. Scott Hall, weeks removed from appearing on WWE television as Razor Ramon, showed up on Monday Nitro on Memorial Day 1996 and warned WCW that war was coming. He was soon backed up by Kevin Nash, also fresh off WWE TV. The two promised to bring the fight to WCW’s door, but promised to have a third man on their side, setting the stage for a huge six-man tag team battle with WCW flagbearers Sting, Lex Luger & “Macho Man” Randy Savage at “Bash at the Beach” 1996.
During that match, the unthinkable happened. Hogan, who had to that point been an American hero, telling his fans to train, say their prayers and eat their vitamins, crushed Savage with his trademark leg drop and embraced The Outsiders. Hogan’s shocking actions turned the sports-entertainment world on its head. As garbage rained down on the ring, hurled by fans furious at their longtime hero, Hogan told his Hulkamaniacs to “stick it,” showing that this was not the Hulk Hogan they knew before.
Hogan ditched his trademark red-and-yellow gear for black-and-white, added jet-black stubble to his iconic moustache and began calling himself “Hollywood” Hogan. The new attitude, backed by the supreme swagger of Hall and Nash, made The nWo one of the most reviled groups in sports-entertainment history. The in-your-face attitude that Waltman added when he joined the groups weeks later as Waltman, a.k.a. Syxx, helped turn the New World Order into the premier force in WCW. They dominated WCW stalwarts like Sting and Luger, pulled one over on the ruthless Four Horsemen in WarGames, and defaced the WCW Championship after Hogan captured it, spray-painting “nWo” across the golden title in crude black letters.
Although they might have been WCW’s most nefarious villains, The nWo became a genuine pop culture phenomenon. Their infamous black-and-white t-shirts soon took over wrestling arenas as the group exploded in popularity.
After WCW’s closing in 2001, it wasn’t long before The New World Order made its way to WWE. Mr. McMahon unleashed Hogan, Hall and Nash on WWE in 2002, setting the stage for dream matches between The nWo and some of the Attitude Era’s biggest stars, namely The Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. “WrestleMania X8” played host to two huge battles, one featuring Austin against Hall, the other pitting Hogan against The Great One. “Hollywood’s” battle against The Rock reignited the WWE Universe’s Hulkamania and kicked Hogan’s second WWE stint into high gear.
For turning the sports-entertainment world upside down and going on to become one of the ring’s most dominant factions, The nWo is deserving of enshrinement in the WWE Hall of Fame. The 2020 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 2 during “WrestleMania 36” Week.
This long announcement by WWE is quite a contradiction. The company has decided to induct 4 members of the nWo to the Hall of Fame. If they really wanted to be true to the faction history, they would have to induct 37 American, Mexican, Canadian and Japanese wrestlers. Also, in a supposedly new “wartime”, WWE is inducting into its Hall of Fame a faction that was in a way its worst enemy circa 1996-1997.
The nWo storyline was an idea created by WCW Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff, whose inspiration for the angle came after attending New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Battle Formation show at the Tokyo Dome on April 29, 1996. More than a faction, the nWo is a concept that has inspired many other factions ever since, think Bullet Club, “We are the show, we steal the show, we own the show.”
After Hall and Nash made their debut on WCW, the war really began at Bash at The Beach 1996 with the “Hostile Takeover match.” Hogan joined Hall and Nash in the match against Sting, Lex Luger and Randy Savage. After the match, Hogan was interviewed and exclaimed that he, Hall and Nash were “the new world order of wrestling”, giving the group its name – the New World Order. With Eric Bischoff to support them and referee Nick Patrick to help them cheat, the nWo was owning the belts and the show.
Shortly after Hogan lost the title at Starrcade, in December 1996, the nWo started showing signs of division within the group. nWo Hollywood and nWo Wolfpack started to feud, with members coming from one group to another. By the end of 1998, the nWo storyline was meant to conclude but it revived with a new war between nWo Elite and B-Team. After years and years of being WCW Nitro’s biggest asset, the nWo started to become its biggest problem with fans getting rid of some feuds that, in many ways, were not really getting anywhere. The nWo was definitely dismantled in April 2000.
After the WWF bought the WCW video library and trademarks in 2001, Vince McMahon brought in Hogan, Hall and Nash, the original nWo, at No Way Out 2002 as hired thugs in an attempt to “kill” the WWF so that McMahon would not have to share power with new WWF kayfabe co-owner Ric Flair. They began by targeting the company’s two biggest stars, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. This rivalry led up to Scott Hall going against Stone Cold and Hogan going against The Rock at WrestleMania X8. The faction lasted a few months before being disbanded forever.
Now, the nWo is doing some appearances, like at WrestleMania 31 during the match between Sting and Triple H, or at WrestleMania 35, where Nash and Hall appeared as doctors during a backstage segment. More than a faction, WWE have chosen to induct “a state of mind” into the Hall of Fame. Because the gimmick of a group of unsanctioned wrestlers aiming to “take over” and control a company in the manner of a street gang has now been seen in many promotions all over the world.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE