Without a doubt, one of the most important factions in wrestling history, any wrestling fan worth their salt would likely tell you that the early days of the nWo were a watershed moment for the industry. Initially presented in a fashion that it convinced some long standing fans that there might be a little bit of reality involved with the storyline, it made WCW must see viewing for the hippest wrestling followers.
Unfortunately, things were not always so great when it comes to the group as it became unbelievably bloated with members, never got enough of a comeuppance, and was brought back too many times. Intellectual property that was bought by the WWE when they purchased WCW, they’ve since monetized the faction a lot so it is clear they have a stake in it being seen as cutting edge. Realizing that is what inspired us to put together this list of fifteen things the WWE wants you to forget about the nWo.
When it comes to possible topics we considered including on this list, the first and most important criteria is that they have something to do with the classic wrestling faction, the nWo. It doesn’t matter which iteration of the group it is in reference to as long as it applies to one of the versions of the long lasting faction in some way. Next, it also needs to be something that fans would likely believe the WWE would like to sweep under the proverbial rug. With that in mind, we’re sure it is already clear but we wish to point out that we have no contact with the company or its employees so we can’t be certain of that but feel it is reasonable to conclude that.
15 Mike "Virgil" Jones Trolls The WWE
A wrestler that was introduced to the WWE as the manservant of Ted DiBiase, Mike Jones was known as Virgil then, which was a shot at Dusty Rhodes' real first name. It was a petty shot at a beloved legend and future WWE Hall of Famer, but at that time he was in charge of creative for Vinne Mac’s main competition.
Fast forward several years and Jones made the move to WCW where he joined the nWo and went under the name Vincent as a shot at Mr. McMahon. On top of that, in an even more immature moment, his name was changed to Shane in order to mock the son of WWE’s head honcho. Considering this character’s names were meant to be a dig at two members of the McMahon family, it seems safe to say the WWE wants to ignore his existence.
14 Vince Opted Not to Fight Eric Bischoff
The nWo was a hugely popular entity for a number of reasons, and key among them was its ability to seem edgy in its early days. Seen in a wholly original way for the wrestling business, it was known for the unique editing of its vignettes, stark color scheme, and insider references. Over time, those antics became tedious at the same time that WCW’s ratings began to slide and the man in charge, Eric Bischoff, was willing to do anything to turn back the clock on both of those things.
In an attempt to surprise the audience and gain attention Mr. Bischoff challenged Vince McMahon to a real fight in the middle of the ring at a WCW pay-per-view. Vince did not take him up on that and it makes sense since he was invited to do so as part of a WCW event but with his massive ego, we’d bet he’d prefer his fans didn’t know he backed down.
13 WWE Could Have Stopped The nWo
We’re not saying that the powers that be at the WWE had some kind of button they could’ve pushed in order to stop the nWo from coming into existence but they could’ve altered the path of its creation. Built on the foundation of the shocking appearances of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash on WCW out of nowhere, the nWo made fans feel like anything could happen at any moment. On top of that, the fact that two of the WWE’s biggest talents showed up and seemed to be saying they were there on behalf of that company left viewers needing to tune in to see what happened next. The funny thing is that both of those have let it be known that had they gotten a raise from Vince and a bit of a lighter schedule, they wanted to stay in the land McMahon built.
The WWE is a company that is built on a foundation of employing talented wrestling talent and giving them a framework and marketing machine to bring their skills to the masses. As a result of that, it is of paramount importance that they employ people that can be stars. That makes their relationship with wrestlers of pivotal which is why the company has brought people back into the fold after estranged relationships many times in the past.
On the other hand, there are a few people that seem to have been blacklisted and will never be given the chance to come back like Konnan. One of the coolest nWo members at one time, Konnan also is a gigantic deal in the history of Mexican wrestling but the company appears unwilling to have anything do with him. That leads us to believe they want their fans to forget he exists.
11 The Wolfpac Existed
When talking about the nWo and why it may have become an albatross around WCW’s neck by the end, the main reason people always bring up is how bloated it became by the end. Starting out as three people at its peak, the membership swelled to include tens of people which really watered things down a great deal.
Seemingly realizing that its size had grown out of control, instead of scaling the nWo back the company opted to split it into two warring groups known as Hollywood and The Wolfpac. While we understand that is symbolic of why it met its demise the fact of the matter is that the latter group was immensely popular and was seen as very cool by fans far and wide. That is why we’re as baffled as anyone that since the WWE bought that property they put it on a shelf and continue to ignore it.
10 It Is More Than Twenty Years Old
There really is no era in wrestling history that is more romanticized than the Monday Night Wars years and there are some very good reasons for that. The time at which the industry reached its zenith as far as pop culture relevance and TV ratings that alone is hugely important. Additionally, it also featured some of the biggest stars in the industry’s history like Steve Austin, The Rock, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Sting doing their thing.
Though it is seen as the coolest time in wrestling history, the problem with that fact if you are the WWE is that the Monday Night Wars began more than two decades ago, as did the nWo. Formed in 1996, this faction became a sensation and you can still see fans sporting its distinctive shirts to this day but in some ways that is a horrible thing. After all, if current WWE had been able to raise to that level again there would be no reason to look back that far as often as the business and fans do. It sure would be convenient then if we all forgot the date of this group’s formation.
9 The Crappier Members
We already touched on a couple of members of this group that the WWE would probably prefer that their fans move past in their minds but they are far from the only ones. Over the years of its existence, the nWo had huge names like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Bret Hart. Then you had many others becoming card-carrying members of this group. These people are a big part of the reason why the faction is looked back on by most fans with a smile on their face. That is why the WWE would like it if we all forgot the many lesser names that made the cut too. After all, who would want their brand associated with names like Horace Hogan, David Flair, The Harris Brothers, or The Disciple?
8 The Bullet Club Connection
When the WWE bought the WCW brand and its tape library in the early 2000s they got the rights to the nWo in the deal which is a huge deal, especially in the network era. The owners of the legacy of this group, it seems like a no-brainer that they’d like to get every dollar out of it that they can including coming up with a group to serve as it heir. Unfortunately, there is little doubt that it is The Bullet Club, a group that can be seen doing its thing for indie promotions and in Japan, that is seen as the modern-day version of the faction. In fact, they’ve even got the blessing of former nWo members and have adopted the memorable hand motion associated with the group. The WWE has to hate that fact and their inability to make The Balor Club a meaningful thing so far.
7 They Heavily Influenced D-Generation X
The history of wrestling includes a number of memorable groups and the WWE has been the home of many of those factions over the years to various degrees of success. For instance names like The Wyatt Family, The Corporation, The Ministry of Darkness, The Hart Foundation, Evolution, The Nation of Domination, and several others come to mind. However, despite all of those popular groups, there is no doubt in our mind that D-Generation X stands head and shoulders above the rest due to their many memorable segments and immense popularity. That is why we believe the WWE would love it if their fans couldn’t recall that the nWo was a huge influence on its success including the general feel they have, and the general feel behind the real-life group of friends called The Kliq, which featured the nWo's Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, and DX's Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and X-Pac.
6 Shawn Michaels
Being someone that plays a part in practically every credible conversation of the best wrestlers of all time, Shawn Michaels' career is filled to the brim with amazing matches and storylines. Stepping away from the WWE for an extended period of time due to a back injury, the wrestling world was amazed how impressive he was in the ring when he returned for a match with Triple H. An event that is often looked back upon with great fondness, that match is somewhat undermined by remembering what Shawn had been up to previously. Initially brought back to WWE television as part of their version of the nWo, his involvement with the group was something of a lowlight for The Heartbreak Kid since it pretty much went nowhere.
5 nWo Made The WWE Better
If there is one thing that history has taught us about the WWE and Vince McMahon it is that they tend to have a distaste for things that were created outside of their control. That is why someone like Goldberg was so mishandled during his first run with the company and Sting opted not to go there for years on end since he didn’t trust how he’d be used. With that in mind, we can only imagine how the company would feel about giving an entity from another company credit for making their product better as a whole, which happened. We say that because the nWo made WCW the most talked-about company in the wrestling world for a while which forced the WWE to get out of their comfort zone, take chances and institute the Attitude Era.
4 Pouring Beer On Scott Hall
Scott Hall was one of the founding members of the nWo, and when the WWE opted to bring in the group in the year 2002, he was signed alongside Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan because of that fact. However, it was a risky move at the time as his addiction issues were well known at the time and the company needed assurances he would stay sober. As a result, Scott took to taking a medication called Antabuse which makes someone extremely ill when they ingest any alcohol at all.
Then the WWE, which was well aware of his issues and the medication he was taking, had Steve Austin pour beer all over him on national TV. Evidently, Hall didn’t actually imbibe any of the fluid poured on him but got violently sick backstage from the smell alone. As it was something Stone Cold was prone to do, the beer pouring doesn’t seem to have been a malicious move, but it is pretty disgusting nevertheless.
3 The Lackluster Ending
As we’ve mentioned the WWE brought the nWo onto their television in 2002 and if you didn’t already know it when their impending arrival was announced fans went nuts with anticipation. The level of excitement at the prospect was huge, to say the least. And it was a very exciting prospect since it meant the return of three huge former stars and the introduction of a fondly remembered faction to the company.
Fast forward a while, and the powers that be decided to put an end to the group which they had made a huge deal of a short time before, which meant the question was how they would do it. In an insane moment, the group was disbanded without fanfare after Kevin Nash was injured during Monday Night Raw when Vince McMahon came to the ring to their music and said it was the last time fans would hear it. You’d think at the very least they’d have lost a match with a stipulation they had to break up instead of the boss saying they were gone without a single member present.
2 The Band
Since the WWE bought WCW there has been a large increase in the amount of companies whose existence they are willing to acknowledge. For instance, when talents like AJ Styles, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, Hideo Itami, Asuka, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson joined the WWE’s roster, their success in Japan were all mentioned. They may not have gone out of their way to mention New Japan with any regularity but there were tacit mentions of it nevertheless.
On the other end of things, TNA, or GFW as it is known now, is a naughty word to this day as evidenced by the fact they haven’t even been alluded to now that so many of their former stars are on the roster. That is why it seems clear the WWE would hate their fans to know about The Band, a TNA version of the nWo that went under another name but clearly was meant to be the group. After all, it featured Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Syxx-Pac, and Sting, all former New World Order members.
1 WWE’s Version Mostly Sucked
In a previous entry, we touched on the excitement that existed when the nWo joined the WWE roster and the sad manner in which they were disbanded but now we’re going to look at the body of the run. Lasting from February to July to 2002, the length of time they were around is pretty pathetic, but over that time the value of the team was lessened over and over again.
When Hollywood Hogan was taken out of the group, he was replaced by The Big Show and X-Pac, who together didn’t come close to his star power. Next, Booker T was added to the group against their will, with Goldust hanging out too despite never becoming an official member before Shawn Michaels came along and superkicked that pair away. Also made to do the bidding of Ric Flair over a similar period, gone was the edgy nWo we all loved, as they were replaced by a group of cronies. In short, most of the WWE’s version of the nWo sucked and the idea that they did something worse than WCW did would be hugely distasteful for the company.