Whether you like it or not, there's no denying the fact that the nWo, D-Generation X, and The Kliq have all made lasting impressions on the world of professional wrestling. Starting with the infamous Kliq back in the mid 1990s, these three groups and their respective members have become mainstays, and aren't going away any time soon. The interesting part, however, is the fact that these three groups will forever be connected due to a number of different reasons. Not only were these groups at the center of the Monday Night War, but they're connected because they mostly involved different combinations of the same people.
To start, The Kliq featured four out of the five founding fathers of the nWo and DX. Everyone except Sean Waltman was responsible for giving birth to one of the groups. Also, there's the similarities and differences between the three groups to look at. And can you even mention The Kliq or DX without mentioning Bret Hart? I didn't think so. So here's a look at 15 fascinating facts about The Kliq/nWo/DX connection.
15 The Origins
The Kliq was a backstage group formed in the WWE during the mid 1990s that consisted of FIVE main event caliber wrestlers. The group's members were Shawn Michaels, Paul Levesque (Triple H), Sean Waltman (1-2-3 Kid), Kevin Nash (Diesel), and Scott Hall (Razor Ramon). The Kliq members were real life best friends and together used their main event status to influence wrestling matches and story lines.
During the summer of 1996, the wrestling world was turned upside down when two members of the infamous Kliq (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) decided to take their talents to World Championship Wrestling. Nash and Hall's WWE contracts had expired and WCW offered them both huge guaranteed contracts to jump ship. There weren't as many dirt sheets and gossip sites back then so when Nash and Hall showed up on WCW television, no one knew what to make of it. The mystery of the whole thing is what made it special. A few months later, Hulk Hogan turned heel to join Hall and Nash and form the nWo.
Sean Waltman left the WWE in September of 1996 to join Hall and Nash in WCW, and he was immediately recruited to the nWo. During this time in WWE, Shawn Michaels was still the WWE Champion, and Triple H was still taking punishment for the Curtain Call incident. Although it took about a full year, Michaels and Triple H began teaming together in the summer of 1997 to form D-Generation X.
14 The Kliq Originally Asked Bret to Become a Member
Due to the unpredictable nature of professional wrestling, there are an infinite number of "what-ifs?" that sort of float around in the imaginations of wrestling fans. One of the lesser known "what-ifs?" comes in the form of Bret Hart joining The Kliq. As hard as that is to imagine, Bret Hart has verified it. In his book, Hart claims that while The Kliq was in it's infant stage, with just Hall, Nash, and Michaels, they approached him during a European tour in 1994 to become a member of the group. Hart declined the invitation stating that although he considered the men to be friends at the time, he didn't agree with their lifestyle, and didn't want to be apart of a backstage group.
Knowing the personalities of all these men in the 1990s, it's easy to see why Bret didn't want to join The Kliq. Not to say that Bret was a stiff or a square, but he definitely wouldn't have been able to hang with the younger, wilder superstars. Although this connection never happened, if would've been interesting to see how story lines played out with Bret on board.
13 WWF Management Initially Refused to Put Triple H/HBK Together
According to both Triple H and HBK, when they originally went to Vince McMahon and other members of management to inquire about working together, they were repeatedly shot down. Triple H has stated that the reason their request to become a team was nixed was because of the already existent backstage tension toward the remaining members of The Kliq. Shawn Michaels was well disliked backstage during this time and officials thought there would be no benefits of putting the best friends together on screen.
However, after numerous failed attempts, Michaels and Triple H began to work together on August 11, 1997. During the main event of Monday Night Raw which saw HBK taking on Mankind, both Triple H and Chyna interfered on Michaels behalf. This branched off into a feud with the Undertaker and the Hart Foundation, and D-Generation X was born.
12 Chyna Almost Joined WCW and the nWo
We all know by now that Triple H and Shawn Michaels basically discovered Chyna in a bar and sold her on the idea of coming to the WWE as their manager. What might not be as well known however, is the fact that during the time Chyna met Triple H and HBK, she was also entertaining offers from WCW. While it might seem hard to picture Chyna in WCW, this story has been confirmed by all parties involved.
Apparently, Eric Bischoff and Kevin Nash knew about Chyna and began making her offers to come to WCW and be the sole female member of the nWo. Chyna had even gone as far as accepting the WCW offer, before Shane McMahon swooped in and convinced her that WWE would be a better fit. It's hard to picture Chyna in the nWo because she probably wouldn't have gotten her proper chance to shine behind the older established stars such as Nash, Scott Hall and Hollywood Hogan.
11 Bret Hart "Names" D-Generation X
Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels had real bad blood back in the late '90s. Unlike the internet or Twitter feuds of today, Hart and Michaels harbored real hatred toward one another. Hart accused Michaels of using backstage politics to make his way to the top while also criticizing his drug and alcohol filled lifestyle. While Michaels didn't like Bret's old school mentality, and accused Hart of cheating on his wife with WWE Diva Sunny.
Hart and Michaels continued to feud from the WrestleMania XII Iron Man match all the way until the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997. During one of Hart's promos directed at Shawn and Triple H, he told them "You're nothing but a couple of degenerates." Using Hart's "degenerate" comments, HBK pointed out the fact that members of Generation X like he and Triple H were always being criticized by old guys like Bret Hart. Although we're unsure who actually came up with the combination of the two phrases "degenerate" and "Generation X," we can point to Bret Hart's comments as the official tipping point.
10 Rick Rude Was First Person to be a Member of DX and the nWo
Rick Rude was one of the most underrated Superstars in professional wrestling history. After retiring in 1994, Rude returned to the WWE in 1997 to join the newly formed D-Generation X as their bodyguard/insurance policy. However, Rude's run in DX didn't last long. Rude wasn't signed to an official WWE contract during this time, meaning that he was paid per appearance. And after witnessing the events that unfolded at Survivor Series 1997 in Montreal, Rude immediately called Eric Bischoff and discussed his interest in leaving the WWE for WCW.
Nearly three months after appearing with the WWF and DX, Rude showed up on Monday Nitro on the November 17 broadcast. Because Raw was pre-taped and Nitro was live, Rude made history that night by appearing on both shows on the same night. Shortly after, Rude would join his real life friend Curt Hennig in the nWo making him the first person to be a member of both DX and the nWo.
9 HBK Wanted to Leave WWE for WCW to Join NWo (Hall/Nash)
During an interview on the Ric Flair show, Shawn Michaels admitted that he often "fantasized" about leaving the WWE to join his best friends in WCW. When asked how that would've looked, Michaels stated that the goal would've been to join Hall and Nash in the nWo. Ultimately, this never happened due to Michaels being under contract with WWE and also being one of the company's top stars. But it didn't stop HBK from thinking about it. Kevin Nash has also verified this story by claiming that he had talks with Shawn about this very subject during the height of the Monday Night War.
It took Vince McMahon to finally talk Michaels off the ledge so to speak. When approached by HBK, Vince simply told him that he "wouldn't have been happy down there" and that "you would have no creative freedom to be who you are and you'd suffocate." Hindsight tells us that Vince was mostly correct because one of the main complaints about WCW was the backstage politics and the stifling of creative freedom. But it's still nice to imagine an nWo with Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Shawn Michaels....WOW.
8 Monday Night War Never Broke Apart The Kliq
Try to imagine a world where you and your best friends worked for two different companies that were trying to put each other out of business. With the phrase "out of business" meaning that the company shuts down and all its employees are now unemployed. I'm sure that'd put a strain on the relationship between you and your buddies. But apparently, not even the Monday Night War was enough to break apart the founding members of The Kliq.
Though they worked for competing companies, Hall, Nash, Waltman, Michaels, and Triple H all realized that the Monday Night War had nothing to do with them personally. WWE and WCW were at war but The Kliq managed to retain the tight brotherhood that had brought them together in the first place. And on occasion, would even compliment the work of the other members.
7 Signature Taunts and Gestures Have Been Used by All Three Groups
When it comes to The Kliq/nWo/DX connection, there are a few taunts and gestures that have become iconic in the world of professional wrestling. The Kliq started using the "Too Sweet" hand gesture as a symbol of their bond in the mid 1990s. They also used the "Crotch Chop" as an inside joke between the five of them. Upon leaving the WWE in 1996, Hall, Nash, and Waltman took the Too Sweet hand gesture with them and it became a staple of the nWo. And although they would sparingly use the crotch chop, it sort became uncool when Hollywood Hogan started doing it.
Meanwhile in WWE, remaining Kliq members Triple H and HBK joined together to form D-Generation X. As an anti-authority group, the two began using the "Crotch Chop" as a way of telling management, wrestlers and fans alike to "Suck It." Although many have seen DX as a ripoff or imitation of the nWo, none of the original members felt that way. In fact, the hand gestures and signs became a way for them to shout out their buddies from different promotions.
6 X-Pac and HBK Are Only The People To Be Members Of All Three Groups
While Rick Rude was the first person to be a member a both DX and the nWo, he didn't have the opportunity to join the same elite club as Shawn Michaels and X-Pac. HBK and Pac are the only two men to have been a member of The Kliq, the nWo, and DX. I'll "break it down' for those that don't remember. Both Michaels and Waltman started off as members of The Kliq in the mid 1990s, along with Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Triple H. In 1996 when Hall and Nash left for WCW and started the nWo, Waltman joined them a few months later, becoming an official member.
One year later when Triple H and HBK formed DX, Shawn Michaels stayed with the group until WrestleMania XIV when he lost the WWE Championship to Steve Austin. The very night next night on Raw, Triple H introduced a returning X-Pac as the newest member of DX, taking HBK's spot. Fast forward to four years later in 2002, Michaels returned to the WWE after thinking his career was over, and had a brief run with Kevin Nash and WWE version of the nWo.
5 All The Kliq Members Have Won Tag Titles With Another Kliq Member
This is a fact that you can use next time you play a wrestling trivia game. Every member of The Kliq has won the Tag Team Championship with another member of The Kliq. In both WWE and WCW, almost every formation of The Kliq winning the Tag titles has happened at one point. HBK and Diesel started the trend in 1994 when they teamed to become the "Two Dudes With Attitudes"....smh. Together they held the titles twice. Next up was team of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash as the Outsiders in WCW. Together they won the WCW Tag Team Championship six times.
After Kevin Nash suffered an injury in 1997, Syxx-Pac (Sean Waltman) was credited with a Tag title reign under the Freebird Rule. Together Hall and Pac lost the titles to The Steiner Brothers. Almost 12 years later in 2009, Shawn Michaels and Triple H finally won their first Tag Team Championship together as D-Generation X. Although they both had Tag title reigns with other partners, this was their first together.
4 Bret Hart Joined the nWo But Hated DX and The Kliq
This is Bret Hart's third entry on this list, but like it or not, he played a big part in the history of The Kliq, nWo, and DX. While in WWE, Bret hated everything that he perceived The Kliq and DX to be about. He hated the partying lifestyle. He hated the political control its members had backstage. He hated the unprofessional attitudes and actions particularly from Shawn Michaels. And to top it off, he just hated the backstage clique mentality.
So when Bret joined WCW, it seemed a bit weird that he allowed himself to become a member of the nWo. The New World Order, lead by Hogan, Hall, and Nash, were just as big a political group and Triple H and HBK. Although Bret has always been one to side with management and do whatever is needed, I'm sure he had some creative control in his contract. Bret started off with an unofficial association in 1998, and was the groups leader by 1999.
3 None of the Forefathers Were Part of the 2001 Invasion
The end result of the Monday Night War was the WWE purchasing WCW as a company and attaining all trademarks and licensing rights. So when the news broke that WWE had bought WCW, fans collective mouths started to water at the thought of some big time matchups. Goldberg vs. Stone Cold. The Rock vs. Sting. And possibly the nWo vs DX. But none of that happened. Instead what we got was one of the biggest wasted opportunities of all time. But why? Why did things play out like this?
When The Invasion began, none of the founding fathers of either group (nWo or DX) were available. On the WCW side, the nWo members were all living large by sitting out the remainder of their huge guaranteed contracts. And on the WWE side, both founding members of DX were dealing with injuries. Shawn Michaels was still about one year from returning to in ring action. And Triple H was dealing with the first of his numerous quadriceps injuries.
2 WrestleMania 31 Was The Only Time All Original Members Were In the Ring Together
WrestleMania has been home to some of the biggest and most shocking moments in WWE history. So it should come as no surprise that the biggest moment in the history of the DX/nWo/DX saga came at WrestleMania 31. Two years ago, during a match between Triple H and "The Icon" Sting, the biggest stars of these respective groups all got involved. It started with the interference from Billy Gunn, Road Dogg, and X-Pac on behalf of Triple H. Next came a retaliation from Hogan, Hall, and Nash, on behalf of Sting. And what followed was Sweet Chin Music to Sting from "The Heart Break Kid" Shawn Michaels.
Although Triple H won the match, the moment that followed was truly a victory for fans of DX, nWo, and the Monday Night War. The epic standoff at the end of the match signified the first time all the founding members of both groups shared the ring at the same time. Never before had Hogan, Hall, Nash, Triple H, and HBK been in the ring at the same time. And we'll probably never see it again either.
1 Bullet Club Currently Pays Homage to the nWo and DX
As the old saying goes, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." This has truly been the case for the dominant stable known as the Bullet Club. The Bullet Club is currently spread out through a few different promotions and have the flavor and feel of a modern day nWo, with a sprinkle of DX involved. In fact, almost every aspect of the formation and tactics of the BC are reminders of the past. The group was formed in 2013 when the baby face hero Prince Devitt (Finn Balor) turned his back on the fans and his partner Ryusuke Taguchi to form a group that was "taking over." Sound familiar? Over the next year or so, they continued to add key members that would help the group maintain and increase it's dominance. Sound familiar? And not only does the group use the nWo's Too Sweet hand gesture as their own, but they've also thrown plenty of DX crotch chops at opponents as well.
There are a few big differences between these groups however. Unlike the nWo, the Bullet Club is mostly composed with younger wrestlers wanting to make their mark on the wrestling business. Also, they've done a great job at constantly shuffling the lineup to keep the concept fresh and exciting. And unlike DX, they aren't throwing their weight around and using backstage politics to secure prime booking positions. Either way, the Bullet Club has been a pleasant reminder of the two legendary groups.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!