Key Members: Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Ted Dibiase, The Giant, Fake Sting, Syxx, Vincent, Neil Patrick, Curt Henning, Buff Bagwell, Randy Savage, Miss Elizabeth, Scott Norton, Eric Bischoff, Scott Steiner
There is no other stable that could have topped this list. The New World Order, or NWO, was the greatest stable of the nineties. The formation of the NWO forever changed the landscape of wrestling as we knew it. When Scott Hall and Kevin Nash “invaded” WCW in a hostile takeover, they became bigger than WCW. Then Hulk Hogan hit the legdrop on Randy Savage at “Bash at the Beach” and everything we knew about wrestling changed.
The formation of the NWO was nothing short of perfect. Nash, Hogan and Hall built themselves from the ground up. They picked up key members as the months went on, but none more important than Eric Bischoff. Once Bischoff was revealed to be working for the NWO, the perfect stable was complete. They had the biggest stars, all the championships and the Executive Vice President in their pocket.
The NWO declared war on WCW. Bischoff put it best when he proclaimed "Either you're with us, or you're against us." The NWO was so powerful that they could take on the entire WCW roster. Essentially Hogan and the “Outsiders” had formed a company within a company and were completing a hostile takeover.
It was no accident in how the stable became so powerful either. Members were chosen for specific reasons. Every member had a purpose. The NWO had at least one representative that was eligible for every championship division in WCW, from Cruiserweight to Heavyweight. There were superstars, body guards, executives, referees and psychological distractions. The NWO as a whole was the perfect colony of wrestlers that has ever been collected.
Eventually the NWO became stale due to questionable storylines, greedy booking and chaotic match endings. The NWO had grown too big and there was no one to keep the stable in check.
Just as anything, all good things must come to an end. The New World Order was no exception. Although the creation of the Wolfpac renewed interest in the stable, nothing could quite equal the success of the original NWO in 1996 and 1997.
There will never be a stable as powerful as the original NWO in the history of wrestling. WCW had the perfect environment for this to work, and history has shown that any attempt to recreate the NWO has failed.
We will all remember that unforgettable summer in 1996 when Hulk Hogan traded in the red and yellow for black and white. Every wrestling fan had at least one NWO shirt in their closet that year. Suddenly being the good guy in wrestling was not cool. Every belief we had as wrestling fans changed forever on July 7, 1996.
It was ironic that the NWO’s colors were black and white. That stable was responsible for changing the black and white landscape of wrestling into a universe where being a face meant being a heel.