There was a time when the WCW was killing WWF in the ratings war, thanks in part to a great roster of luchadores and technicians like Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Chris Jericho. Many of these men were dubbed "vanilla midgets" by WCW's biggest draw, the NWO. It was a concept so original and groundbreaking that New Japan Pro did it years before Eric Bischoff came up with the idea. Wait? What?
Fast forward a couple years and its NWOverkill: NWO Hollywood, Wolfpac, NWO Japan, Black and White, which was considered the B-Team of the NWO Hollywood, and OWN, the one warrior nation. This was the Ultimate Warrior's one-man stable in his feud against the NWO. At some point he brainwashed the Disciple to join him, but the two-warrior nation doesn't has the same ring.
So where did this leave WCW's other roster? By this point the NWO ballooned to the size of an Indie promotion. Underpaid, underused and underrated is best to describe wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero at the time. He was pissed off at Bischoff at the handling of workers like himself and the other unsung heroes that kept WCW in such high ratings.
So to shut Guerrero up, Bischoff lets him do a worked shoot and form his own stable. The Latino World Order was born, and that's where Bischoff stopped caring.
It was omprised of almost every luchador on the roster; guys like Guerrero, LA Parka, El Dandy (who are you to doubt him?) and Silver King. The LWO totaled 11 members and like their over-the-hill, out-of-shape and overpaid NWO counterparts, they were taking over! Well, not quite.
Do you remember the LWO?
Bischoff never cared about the luchadores, the ring generals and technicians that made WCW so great; he was only worried about taking care of big-headed prima donnas like Hogan and Nash. Damian 666 wasn't Bischoff's buddy, but Scott Hall damn sure was.
The NWO had more merchandise than Walmart and ate up more TV time than actual wrestling. Bischoff didn't care about WCW. He really believed the NWO product would take over WCW and replace the promotion, and a bunch of high-flying Hispanics didn't fit into this plan. We all know how Russo felt about non-American wrestlers when he joined WCW.
"I'm going to tell you something right now that you will absolutely not agree with, but I've been a wrestling fan my whole life and I will live and die by this. It's hard enough, believe me, I write this stuff it is hard enough to get somebody over. You will never ever, ever, ever, ever see the Japanese wrestlers or the Mexican wrestlers over in American mainstream wrestling.
"I’m an American. If I’m watching wrestling here in America, I don’t give a shoot about a Japanese guy. I don’t give a shoot about a Mexican guy. I’m from America, and that’s what I want to see," Vince Russo (h/t gumgod.com).
The LWO had one shirt and rarely got a segment, let alone the full attention that it needed to thrive and get over. The talent was there and the lucha libre style was popular with WCW's fanbase. There was not enough faith put into the angle by the higher-ups and many stooges that ran WCW. As a whole, they feuded with Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman to a degree.
If you're a fan of lucha libre like me, then it was a great feud to see, but sadly it didn't last long as Guerrero got injured in a car accident and the NWO reunited for the first of many times and hunted down each member of the LWO for their colors. So the old guys that were either flabby or more juiced up than an orange singled out the Mexican wrestlers and gave them a gang-like beatdown, just because they could do whatever they want. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I think the LWO was a great angle. All the luchadores banning together against unjust treatment, a formula that LAX perfected years later and Mexican America will never get right. Speaking of them, let's rundown how Mexican that Mexican America really is: Hernandez (Mexican/ Puerto Rican), Anarquia (American with an insulting Spanish accent), Rosita (Puerto Rican) and Sarita (Canadian).