Brother Bruti Butchered
After Ted DiBiase joined the nWo in 1996, it made sense for them to also hire DiBiase's former bodyguard Virgil. Rechristened Vincent (a spoof of WWE head Vince McMahon), he was dubbed Head of Security and continued on with the group for three more years as a bodyguard, manager and tag team competitor.
Head of Security Vincent
In January 1998, The Giant was near the top of the nWo's hit list. The man who would later become The Big Show was challenging Kevin Nash in a match at the Souled Out pay-per-view. When Nash hit his patented jackknife powerbomb, The Giant was dropped on his head, with WCW banning the move afterwards.
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World War 3
The nWo wasn't just a North American phenomenon - nor was it limited to WCW. In December 1996, New Japan star Masahiro Chono formed nWo Japan, a group that would later include Hiro Saito, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, The Great Muta and American nWo members such as Scott Norton, nWo Sting and Buff Bagwell.
In 1998, Hollywood Hogan declared that he had retired for wrestling and instead would run for President of the United States. The angle - an obvious spoof on Jesse Ventura's run as Governor of Minnesota - was short-lived and featured Hogan clumsily discussing politics to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.
After the initial nWo trio of Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall had formed, fans were wondering who else may join the group. In July 1996, former Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase was introduced as the group's benefactor, a role that he stayed in until the following August, where he became a fan favorite.
Shawn Michaels Joins
When the nWo began taking over WCW in 1996, they initially established it would be an elite group. Hollywood Hogan's long time friend Brutus "Booty Man" Beefcake tried to join the group after Hogan captured the WCW Title at Hog Wild.... and was instead attacked by Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.
Perhaps the least-remembered of all the nWo splinter groups, the new World order was resurrected in late-1999 by a group that was led by Bret Hart and included Jeff Jarrett, The Harris Twins and nWo alumnae Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. The group was marred by dissention and split for good in April 2000.
Million Dollar Benefactor
Bischoff vs. Flair
Top 50 Lists
In July 1996, the nWo were just beginning to establish their dominance over WCW, and were shown attacking random wrestlers backstage. Rey Mysterio Jr., at the time the Cruiserweight champion, attempted to ambush Kevin Nash, and Nash tossed Mysterio's body into the side of a trailer like a human lawn dart.
A Giant Powerbomb
Although Miss Elizabeth had been a heel in WWF and WCW before, she never seemed to live the part until she joined the nWo in late 1996. During her time there, she reunited with her ex-husband Randy Macho Man Savage and often managed the likes of Eric Bischoff, Lex Luger and Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
The following announcement has been paid for by the new World order.
In the late 1990s, there wasn't much that was hotter, more topical or more captivating than the nWo storyline. Twenty years ago this month, in fact, the first warning shots were fired by the nWo to WCW that they were taking over.
The nWo was much more than a wrestling faction. It was a major storyline, a catalyst for change, a marketing concept and a reason for fans that had abandoned wrestling for years to tune in again.
There were, of course, several different incarnations of the nWo over the years, including the original group, Hollywood, Wolfpac, Elite, Black & White, 2000 and even the short-lived WWE version. But what were the best angles, moments and matches?
In selecting the Top 50 nWo Moments, Canadian Bulldog's World considered the following criteria:
What impact did it have on both mainstream and regular wrestling fans?
How memorable was the moment many years later?
Has the moment been replicated in wrestling in any way, shape or form?
How surprising or innovative was it?
If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.
Ready? Here we go!
Who's With Us?
The Perfect Betrayal
The Syxxth Member
WWE's version of nWo didn't have many highlights, but one happened on Raw in June 2002. Kevin Nash assumed leadership of the faction and promised to "rock the WWE's foundation" by announcing the newest member of the group -- Shawn Michaels, who had retired from wrestling at that point and was long off television.
oWn vs. nWo
Wolfpac In The House
In 1996 at the Halloween Havoc pay-per-view, Hollywood Hulk Hogan had just defeated Randy Savage when the familiar music of Rowdy Roddy Piper played. Piper, Hogan's old WWF nemesis, had come to WCW to defeat Hogan and disarm the nWo, leading to a feud between the two icons that lasted months.
In November 1996, nWo leader Eric Bischoff delivered his mission statement for the group: "You're either with us - or you're against us." Because he was also the highest ranking executive in WCW, he urged the locker room to convert their contracts to nWo contracts. Buff Bagwell was the first man to convert that night.
Scott Steiner Joins
Dusty Rhodes Joins
Bischoff Calls Out McMahon
One of the great things about the nWo is that no one could tell when a turn was necessarily coming. This was evident in June 1997 during a match between Kevin Nash and Rey Mysterio Jr. After Nash won the match he began assaulting Mysterio, and Rey's longtime friend Konnan turned against him to join the nWo.
Bret Screwed Bischoff
Dissention In The Ranks
For nearly a year and a half, Sting had largely disappeared from WCW programming, miffed at the dissention that had been caused by the nWo. But it wasn't until WCW Uncensored in 1997 that The Icon emerged from the rafters, attacking each nWo member and pointing his baseball bat at Hulk Hogan.
Hot Rod vs. nWo
One of the last major defections to the nWo came in 1998, when the group was able to split up the popular Steiner Brothers. Scott Steiner turned on his brother Rick Steiner, using the turn as an excuse to complete transform his look and persona and eventually becoming the outrageous Big Poppa Pump character.