Notable Members: “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Ted DiBiase, The Giant, nWo Sting, Syxx, Vincent, Miss Elizabeth, Eric Bischoff, Buff Bagwell, VK Wallstreet, Masahiro Chono, Big Bubba Rogers, Scott Norton, Randy Savage, Dennis Rodman, The Great Muta, Konnan, Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Dusty Rhodes, Scott Steiner, Hiro Saito, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, AKIRA, Tatsutoshi Goto, Brian Adams, Big Titan, The Disciple, Bret Hart, Horace Hogan, Stevie Ray, Curt Hennig, Lex Luger, Sting, Rick Steiner, David Flair, Torrie Wilson, Disco Inferno, Barry Windham, Jeff Jarrett, Harris Brothers, Booker T, Shawn Michaels
The New World Order was notable enough for many successes it garnered for the world of professional wrestling in the late 1990s. The biggest of those successes being that it was a major contributor to WCW Monday Nitro’s reign in ratings for 84 consecutive weeks from 1996 to 1998 that nearly drove the WWE into bankruptcy.
The arrival of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to WCW after recently leaving from the WWE created the fresh concept of the New World Order being invaders trying to take over the organization.
It also helped freshen up Hulk Hogan’s character as his babyface gimmick became stale at that point and his heel turn to join Hall and Nash came as a major shock to WCW fans.
The handling of the faction was different compared to conventional booking where the NWO was portrayed as a separate entity from WCW having their own “unofficial” programming blocks to promote matches with crooked referee Nick Patrick during airings of WCW Saturday Night and in promoting their own merchandise.
The NWO’s influence also became inter-promotional via WCW’s talent exchange relations with New Japan Pro Wrestling as a Japanese version of the stable formed with some members from the WCW faction wrestling between both organizations.
WCW’s success with the NWO started to turn sour in 1998 following a controversial match outcome between Hulk Hogan and Sting for the WCW World Title at Starrcade 1997. The presence of the NWO led fans to come to the perception that WCW developed a strong favoring for heels with how the faction kept always having its way in storylines.
The splitting of the group into two factions with a heel NWO Hollywood and tweener NWO Wolfpac made the faction fresh for a time. But following a controversial event involving Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan known as the Fingerpoke of Doom where Nash intentionally allowed Hogan to pin him for the WCW World Title, WCW’s ratings began to tank and the company never fully recovered from their losses.
The loss of popularity for the NWO combined with a number of injuries that plagued the major wrestlers of the group led the group to eventually dissolve. Later revivals of the stable in late-1999 in WCW and from the WWE in 2002 failed to give the NWO the same amount of success they had from the first formation in 1996.