5 Reasons Why the NWO Is the Greatest Stable of All Time

Andy Soucek@Andy_SoucekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2012

5 Reasons Why the NWO Is the Greatest Stable of All Time

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    Well, it seems there is something going on with CM Punk and Paul Heyman.

    A couple months ago, fans started to speculate (mainly based on Kevin Nash riling people up) that the NWO might again return to WWE.

    So far it hasn't happened. And at this point, it doesn't look like it will.

    That doesn't mean we aren't witnessing the beginning of a new stable, though. Not since the end of the Nexus has WWE had a dominant group of wrestlers aligned. It's about time to start one up again.

    With a roster full of wrestlers in need of a big story line, a major Heyman/Punk faction could be just the thing to get their careers going.

    If WWE is going to create a new stable, they would be wise to draw from the best one in history.

    While there have been many factions in wrestling history like The Four Horsemen, Evolution, Legacy, The Hart Foundation, D-Generation X, the Million Dollar Corporation and dozens more, there can be only one that can claim to be the greatest: The New World Order.

    From their explosive beginning in WCW in 1996 to their broken-down end in 2002, the NWO was the best national wrestling stable ever seen, and here are the top five reasons why.

5: Unpredictability

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    The moment that the NWO was formed was one of the most unpredictable moments in wrestling history.

    And it was only the beginning.

    At Bash at the Beach 96, Hulk Hogan shocked the world when he gave Macho Man Randy Savage a guillotine leg drop and joined up with The Outsiders Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.

    Wrestling's biggest babyface of all time suddenly turned his back on Hulkamaniacs all over the world.

    How much bigger can you get than that?

    The group didn't stop there. They turned tag teams against each other (The American Males), they turned brothers against each other (The Steiners), and father and son against each other (Ric and David Flair).

    Who was going to join the NWO next? Which WCW wrestler was going to turn his back on the company? Even better, who was going to jump from WWF.

    Along with Hall and Nash, Brian Adams, Syxx, Ted Dibiase and Curt Hennig jumped from WWF to join the group. In the days before the Internet was big, it was truly a shock to see so many big names appear out of nowhere.

    It seemed nearly every week something big was happening. If you didn't watch, you could miss out on what people would be talking about the next day.

    Fans had never seen a wrestling invasion like this before on American television, and they loved it. No other wrestling stable has come close to the number of unpredictable moments that the New World Order had.

4: Great Babyfaces

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    A hero is only as good as his villain.

    Without The Joker there is no Batman. Without Darth Vader there is no Luke Skywalker.

    The two sides need each other, and luckily, WCW had a quite a few heroes to fight the NWO.

    Diamond Dallas Page, Lex Luger, Goldberg, Roddy Piper, The Four Horsemen and most importantly Sting stood up against the odds to take on the looming threat.

    In perhaps the last time that a professional wrestling company showed patience, WCW built toward a Hulk Hogan vs. Sting match for over a year.

    Fans couldn't wait to see their guy Sting finally get his hands on Hogan. For too long, the NWO had been destroying everyone in their path until a lone figure decided to take them on.

    When they did face off, it was the highest pay-per-view buy rate in the company's history.

    The NWO was a great heel stable, but without the right mix of babyfaces to fight against, they would have been nothing.

3: Ratings

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    The first Nitro of 1996 drew a 2.5 rating.

    The NWO officially formed on July 7th of that year.

    The final show of 1996 drew a 3.5. The last Nitro of 1997 drew a 4.7.

    The main story line during this period was the NWO.

    Fans may argue that other wrestling stables like the Four Horsemen or DX were better, but neither nearly doubled the viewership of their TV show within 18 months.

    DX was a great group, but it was part of a supporting cast while Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin was the main attraction.

    The Four Horsemen helped sell out arenas across the South, but they didn't come close to bringing in the merchandise money and viewers that Hogan and company did.

    Since then, groups like Evolution and The Nexus may have been popular, but their impact was merely a drop in the bucket compared to what the NWO did for bringing in a national audience.

2: They Forced WWF to Grow Up

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    The effects of the NWO were wide-reaching.

    They changed the way that WCW did business, and they changed the way WWF ran their company, too.

    WWF was just in the infancy of the the Attitude era when the NWO began.

    But once the group hit, there was no looking back.

    Acts like Mabel, T.L. Hopper, Repo Man, The Goon and others were now gone for good. With WCW revolutionizing the way wrestling looked and felt, it was clear that it was no longer a kid's show.

    If WWF wanted to compete, it was going to have to appeal to the young male adult crowd that WCW was bringing in. This is the age group that advertisers covet the most.

    After the NWO, we saw Vince turn heel (after Eric Bischoff did), we saw them become more violent than WCW, they had sexier women, and their program was far edgier.

    A couple years later the war was over. WWF won. But had WCW and the NWO not forced Vince McMahon to change his ways, it's possible he could have gone out of business.

1: They Made Wrestling Cool

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    Let's face it, we may all love professional wrestling, but it's usually perceived in the same level of coolness that is reserved for Dungeons and Dragons or Star Trek reruns.

    Hogan, Hall and Nash changed that.

    Remember the early 90s?

    WWF and WCW were in a creative lull. The Rock n' Wrestling era was over. Ratings and event sales were down. The steroid trial hit WWF, threatening their entire company.

    Overall, wrestling was about as lame as it could get.

    Within a couple of years, Hogan joined WCW, the NWO hit and wrestling was the show to watch again.

    Fans were getting together every Monday night for Nitro parties. It was a big social event. People who normally wouldn't be caught dead watching wrestling were now hooked.

    NWO shirts were popping up in every store at the mall. The live events were selling out across the country. The video games were flying off the shelves.

    It was a great time to be a wrestling fan.

    It all started when Scott Hall walked out through the crowd on Nitro. It ended when Kevin Nash tore his quad in a WWE ring. It was six crazy years that will never be duplicated.

    In that time, the NWO did something that no other stable has ever done, and that's make watching professional wrestling a socially acceptable thing to do.