In 1996, WCW would truly kicked off the Monday Night Wars with the introduction of the legendary stable, the New World Order (nWo). It started when Kevin Nash and Scott Hall signed to WCW and Eric Bischoff drew inspiration from New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) for an invasion angle. This lead to weeks of controversy and intrigue as to whether Hall and Nash were truly WCW employees or whether they were legitimately invading the company at the behest of the WWE. When rumors of another member began to run wild, the revelation of this individual would take place at Bash of the Beach 1996 where Hulk Hogan would be revealed as the third man in one of the biggest heel turns in the history of professional wrestling which simultaneously made the three men even bigger stars than they already were.
After that point, WCW would continue to invest money into the nWo and the results were beneficial for everyone involved. The company made tons of money, the wrestlers made tons of money and wrestling fans everywhere were entertained. As the years went on and the group has retired from competition in major promotions, a lot of revelations have come out about the nWo that even to this day are a bit of a shock whether it was the blessing of a new faction, the amount of money they made, or other interesting information.
To take a closer look, this article will focus on 15 facts and stats about one of the greatest stables of all-time.
15 Still Are Mainstream
One of the true test of a stable’s staying power is their influence on future generations. The nWo have stood the test of time as they are often referenced in comparison to stables of the modern era. When The Shield and The Nexus made their debuts, fans immediately thought of the legendary stable from WCW. The Bullet Club is especially noticeable in their nWo inspiration as they use the “Too Sweet” hand gesture, wear black and white, and have the slogan “Bullet Club 4 Life;” a take on the phrase “nWo 4 Life.” And if that weren’t enough to demonstrate their star power, look no further than the news and sports websites that still talk about them to this day.
14 nWo Blessed the Bullet Club
Many wrestling fans are aware of the Bullet Club faction that exists in New Japan Pro Wrestling and how they have taken the popular tropes of past factions like the DX Crotch Chop and the nWo “Too Sweet” hand gesture. However, because of their black and white attire, the usage of the gesture, and the slogan “Bullet Club 4 Life,” this causes some fans to think of the group as nothing but an nWo rip-off. The similarities between the factions are too obvious not to notice, so it’s understandable how fans draw that comparison. However, what some of the fans don’t know is that the nWo have in fact given the Bullet Club their blessing to use some of their old tactics and gestures.
In an interview with Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, Karl Anderson of the Bullet Club said that he acknowledges the members of the nWo all the time and that Scott Hall gave his blessing to the members of The Club to carry on the nWo’s legacy.
13 Included Several NJPW Talents
When fans think of the nWo, they typically think of WWE and WCW wrestlers. This isn’t all that surprising since they were the main focus of the storylines for WCW programming, but what was also interesting was the fact that the group included several wrestlers from New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The relationship between NJPW and WCW was always solid, as several NJPW talents like The Great Muta and Jushin Thunder Liger would come in and make an impact in the company. That relationship strengthened over the years as the two promotions would works several tours together. Eventually, their relationship was so strong that WCW allowed several NJPW talents to join the nWo on episodes of Monday Nitro and spread it to their own company as a sister stable.
12 nWo Japan
It’s a well-known fact that Eric Bischoff drew inspiration for the nWo faction from an angle he watched in New Japan Pro Wrestling. The storyline was based around an invading force coming into NJPW and this would be replicated in WCW through the founding members of the nWo. However, many people are unaware of the fact that one of the incarnations of the nWo was a remade stable in NJPW.
On the December 16th, 1997 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviewed manager Sonny Onoo about the contractual situation of Masahiro Chono, only for Chono to reveal he had joined the nWo. Back in NJPW, Chono announced that he would be forming his own nWo in the promotion which would be known as nWo Japan. The group saw several notable NJPW wrestlers join such as The Great Muta, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and several members of the original nWo group until the faction’s demise in 2000.
11 WrestleMania 31 was Their Biggest Stage
The nWo wrestled in WCW for six years in many different stadiums and arenas with varying levels of attendance based on their venues. Sometimes they would wrestle in places that seated up to 5,000 people while other times they wrestled in stadiums that could seat 17,000 people or more. However, the groups’ biggest audience to date would be the fans in attendance for WrestleMania 31.
The WWE claimed to have 76,000 people in attendance for WrestleMania 31, though there has been some debate as to how accurate that number was. Regardless of this, it can be said without a reasonable doubt that there were more than 60,000 people in attendance just based on looking at the venue. So, when the nWo made the save for Sting, they were coming out to their biggest audience ever; possibly bigger than their attendance at WrestleMania X-8.
10 Bound for Glory Was Their Last In-Ring PPV
As stated previously, WrestleMania 31 was the biggest attendance for the faction and the last appearance by the three legends to this day. However, the last in-ring PPV featuring the nWo would be for TNA Impact Wrestling for the 2010 edition of Bound for Glory.
After Hulk Hogan arrived in TNA in 2010, the company would later sign Scott Hall and Kevin Nash who would eventually reform their legendary stable under the name "The Band." Though Hogan wouldn’t wrestle with the group again, Nash and Hall would go on to win the TNA World Tag Team Championships. The reunion of the Band later saw former nWo member Sting get involved as the nWo would actively compete for the last time against the team of Samoa Joe and Jeff Jarrett at the Bound for Glory 2010 event.
9 Nine Different Incarnations
When many wrestling fans discuss the fall of WCW, many will point to the oversaturation of the nWo and the lack of new direction as to why people got tired of watching WCW Monday Nitro. This couldn’t be any closer to the truth as there were at least nine different incarnations of the nWo.
The original nWo featured all three founding members with a few add-ons like Eric Bischoff, The Giant, and Syxx which lasted for two years from July 1996 to April 1998. After April 1998, the nWo would split into nWo Hollywood and nWo Wolfpac. The two factions would fight each other until January 1999; there was also the nWo Japan stable in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
In January 1999, this lead to two more nWo factions as nWo Elite and nWo Black and White emerged. The last faction within the WCW would be nWo 2000. Then there was the WWE’s version of the nWo which also had the founding members, but featured new guys like Shawn Michaels. The last version of the nWo would be The Band with TNA Impact Wrestling.
8 Over 50+ Wrestlers in the nWo
As discussed in the previous point, the nWo’s oversaturation was a major factor in the downside of WCW and in some ways, the downfall of both WCW and even TNA. There were several incarnations of the group, but the number of wrestlers who were nWo members is astronomical. The original nWo had more than 25 members, nWo Hollywood had 19 members, nWo Wolfpac had 9 members, nWo Elite had 12 members, nWo Black and White had 9 members, nWo 2000 had 13 members, nWo WWE had 7 members, nWo Japan had 19 members, and The Band had 7 members. Still with us?
Now while that seems like a lot of people, the majority of these incarnations featured the same individuals with a hand full of new wrestlers repeatedly. However, when counting all the members of all forms of the nWo, the faction had over 50 members in the entirety of their existence.
7 Have Three Headlining Video Games
With sports video games, companies will often choose an athlete who is highly popular or feature a past athlete to promote their appearance in the video game. Wrestling follows this exact same trend as they often put popular wrestlers on their video game titles such as CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Stone Cold, and others, but the nWo were one of the few stables to not only appear on the cover of the video game, but they were the first to have their name in the title.
WCW put out several video games like WCW Backstage Assault and WCW Mayhem, but the nWo had three games on several different consoles. Their first video game was WCW vs. nWo: World Tour for Nintendo 64 in 1997, their second was WCW/nWo Thunder for the PlayStation in 1998, and WCW/nWo Revenge for Nintendo 64 in the same year.
6 Only Stable to Have a Reoccurring PPV
Every once in a while, in professional wrestling, a group or wrestler will come along that becomes so notable that they get their own PPV. D-Generation X was a perfect example of this as the group had a PPV with their name in it; “D-Generation X: In Your House.” The Rock, Stone Cold, and The Undertaker would also have similar PPVs that either mentioned them directly or paid homage to them with key phrases. Very few wrestlers can claim to have PPVs named after them, but even fewer can make claims to having recurring PPVs.
The nWo would get their own PPV in 1997 called WCW Souled Out. The logo was black and white and the name referenced the storyline of WCW wrestlers defecting to join the nWo. Eventually, this became a recurring event and would last for four years until it was replaced by WCW Sin in the company’s final year.
5 More Staying Power Than The Four Horseman
Long before the nWo was even conceived, WCW had a memorable faction that fans also associated with their product; The Four Horsemen. Much like the nWo, they had an original set of members in Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, and Tully Blanchard; of the four, only Flair and Arn Anderson would stay with the group throughout its existence. The group was formed in 1985 and had some memorable feuds; including one with the nWo. The group would disband in 1999 after 15 years as an on and off group, just as long as the nWo would remain an active wrestling stable.
Throughout their time on and off again in major promotions, as well as their time in various independent promotions, the nWo lasted even longer than the Four Horsemen just on appearances alone. The Horsemen’s influence can also be seen in various groups like Evolution in the WWE and Fortune from TNA, but the fact remains that the nWo was the more memorable of the groups today.
4 Nash and Hogan Own 1/2 of nWo Merchandise Rights
It’s been made abundantly clear that the nWo is still a relevant faction to this day. Their documentaries always do good, the crowd pops at the mere mention of them, and they also still have good merchandise sales. The WWE typically sold their merchandise yearly until they pulled them from the shelves following the Hulk Hogan racism controversy. This affected a lot of wrestlers both full-time and current as they couldn’t afford to associate with Hogan after he had been outed as a racist. For Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow, their Mega-Powers parody ended abruptly, but for Nash, it was a financial hit because of how much money he made off the merchandise.
Per Ric Flair, Kevin Nash and Hogan made a deal with the WWE which resulted in them getting 50% of the sales from the nWo merchandise. Scott Hall was initially a part of the deal, but Nash bought his share to receive 35% of the merchandise sales.
3 Wrestled in Three Major Promotions
The nWo was one of the major cornerstones of WCW. They solid a ton in merchandise, were some of the biggest draws, had some good storylines, and had three charismatic individuals at the helm of the group.
They each managed to make an impact as individual members of the group, but collectively their interactions made for even greater television. When the stable made it to the WWE, it made for a spectacularly entertaining storyline which saw Scott Hall fight Stone Cold and The Rock take on Hulk Hogan in a history making match at WrestleMania X8.
Their final major promotion would be with TNA Impact Wrestling as The Band. Their feuds in TNA weren’t nearly as memorable as their WWE run and especially not like WCW, but it showed how highly promoters thought of the group to hire them in the final years of their careers.
2 Most of the Faction Were WCW Wrestlers
Diesel and Razor Ramon made their debut as The Outsiders under their actual names and pretended to be an invading force. When Hogan was recruited, it furthered the idea of an invasion from WWE Superstars as Hogan was the WWE’s biggest star for years. However, despite the focal point being WWE wrestlers taking over WCW, the group was mostly made up of WCW originals.
All one should do is look at wrestlers who had competed for NWA and WCW before coming to the WWE and see the astounding the difference in numbers between WCW wrestlers and WWE wrestlers. The WWE wrestlers were about 16 people whereas the WCW wrestlers were around 22. This makes sense considering how WCW stars would defect to the nWo, but it is something interesting considering the storyline the nWo started with.
1 The Founding Members Made Over $22 Million
With all the merchandise, different venues, and ticket sales that WCW sold, it’s abundantly clear that WCW spent money to make money. However, when looking at the contracts that some of the wrestlers were signed to, it’s only thanks to Ted Turner's finances that they weren’t having any debt problems like TNA is having today.
When Hulk Hogan was signed to the promotion in 1994, he had a several contract stipulations regarding creative control and compensation for his appearances. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall signed to a $300,000 contract, but that would soon increase following the formation of the nWo and the inclusion of Hogan.
From that point on, the founding member’s yearly payrolls continued to increase to the point where all three men were making at least $1 million in 2000 with Hogan making twice as much. By the time WCW came to an end, Hall made $4 million, Nash made $5 million, and Hogan had made $13 million dollars. Aside from other tops stars like Goldberg, Randy Savage, and Sting, none of the other wrestlers were making a fraction of the profits that the founding nWo members made.
No wonder there so many versions; it made them filthy rich.
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