The NWO Turns 25: A Look Back at Wrestling History
July 7, 2021, marks an important anniversary in the history of professional wrestling. One of the most influential storylines and one of the most famous stables in the sport's history.
The group's roots were planted six weeks earlier. On May 27, Scott Hall, formerly Razor Ramon in the World Wrestling Federation (today's WWE), invaded an episode of WCW Monday Nitro.
One week later, Hall returned to Nitro to reissue his challenge. This time, he was confronted by WCW's franchise star, Sting.
One week after that, Nash brought a little--no, a big--surprise with him to Nitro.
Two weeks later at WCW's Great American Bash pay-per-view event, WCW vice president and commentator Eric Bischoff accepted Hall and Nash's challenge, setting the match for the next month's pay-per-view, Bash at the Beach. Nash then gave Bischoff the ride of his life.
On the next night's edition of Nitro, WCW announced who would defend the league's honor in the war against Hall and Nash.
Fast forward to July 7. Daytona Beach, Florida, is the setting. The Outsiders--Hall and Nash--finally get their war against WCW. However, they came to the ring alone. The third man they promised to have with them was not around. The Outsiders and Team WCW traded the advantage throughout the match. A Nash low blow to "Macho Man" Randy Savage gave the Outsiders an edge late in the contest. Then, a man emerged from behind the curtain. Hulk Hogan had arrived to save the day--or, so everyone thought.
Instead of helping Team WCW, Hogan made one of the most famous heel turns in wrestling history.
And thus the New World Order was born. The stable existed in various forms for the remainder of WCW's existence. The original nWo storylines, including the yearlong feud between Hogan and Sting, helped WCW overtake the WWF as the number-one wrestling promotion in the world in terms of sales and TV ratings. However, the WWF regained its lead in 1998 thanks in part to its "Attitude Era" and to WCW watering down the NWO by creating multiple factions within the group.
WCW went out of business in 2001. After the WWF purchased the company, the NWO was briefly resurrected with original members Hall, Nash, and Hogan carrying the black-and-white banner.
The group is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, and for very good reason. The nWo spawned numerous imitators and parody stables, such as Degeneration X, the Blue World Order, and the Latino World Order, just to name a few. Hogan reinvented himself as "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan and became one of the most reviled bad guys in wrestling history. Furthermore, the New World Order helped turn WCW and, later pro wrestling as a whole, toward a more adult-oriented product.
Original NWO member Kevin Nash marked the anniversary with a celebratory tweet.
One things for sure: For wrestling fans, the nWo certainly will be around "for life."
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