The New World Order was an incredibly compelling and influential stable that was key to making the Monday Night War between WWE and WCW such a heated and wildly entertaining affair. It all started with Scott Hall and then Kevin Nash showing up unannounced and largely identified on WCW Monday Nitro. It caught fire when Hulk Hogan did the unthinkable and turned heel to join them. From there, whether they were introducing new faces to the company, spotlighting a white hot heel turn, launching violent attacks backstage, or racking up championship gold, the group was a truly dominant force in wrestling. After their initial run in which the group swelled from an elite triumvirate to an overwhelmingly large collection of talent, the group resurfaced as the nWo 2000, spotlighting Bret Hart and Jeff Jarrett at the fore. From there, the group got one more ride in 2002 WWE as a bit of a coda to the InVasion angle.
For all of the intrigue the New World Order produced across multiple incarnations, over multiple years, and even across more than one major wrestling promotion, it’s fascinating to think of what was going on in the performers’ personal lives behind the scenes. Some were falling in love in women, some were seeing their marriages fall apart. Some were playing the field. In any of these cases, the nWo crew was most certainly active in real life. This article looks back at 20 things you didn’t know about the relationships of the nWo. This list will include all versions of the legendary group.
21 20. Randy Savage And Miss Elizabeth Were Done Before They Came To WCW
The Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth would be an on and off screen couple throughout their time with WWE and wound up getting married first in real life, then on screen years later. By the time Savage was done with his WWE run, however, the two had gone their separate ways. Though the divorce was never acknowledged on air, Savage did make mention of it in the pages of the company’s magazine.
When Savage made his way to WCW, it was a bit contrived to bring in Miss Elizabeth and pair them up again, but WCW was entrenched in a strategy of recreating late '80s WWE as far as it could. The two would put personal differences aside in favor of the almighty dollar and ultimately both wind up as part of New World Order.
19 19. Sting Cheated On His Wife
Nowadays, Sting is a born again Christian, and he spent the overwhelming majority of his WCW career as a clean cut face. Heck, even when he joined the New World Order, it was as part of the face faction of the group—the original nWo Wolfpac. For as much as he played the part of a role model then, and he’s generally well respected as a good guy in the wrestling business, Sting has made no bones about having a more checkered past.
Sting was born again in 1998, and has been open in interviews about the road that led him there, struggling with alcohol dependency and more than once cheating on his wife. The two would see through his issues and stay together until 2010.
18 18. Vincent Enjoyed Himself At The Playboy Mansion
Vincent—better known as Virgil for his work in WWE—was most certainly signed to WCW on account of his WWE pedigree, but wound up making a decent run of it, not least of all including a spell with the nWo, though he’d wind up unexpectedly outlasting man of the bigger names he associated with at the time as a WCW performer.
For a Deadspin article, fans shared an encounter of running into Vincent at an airport, in an encounter during which he spilled the dirt about a variety of his former colleagues, and about his own past exploits. Among his claims? That he got invited to the Playboy mansion and claims that he slept with “every month of the Playboy calendar.” There’s little concrete evidence to refute or substantiate Vincent’s claims.
17 17. Buff Bagwell Set Himself Up For Disaster At A Hotel
Marcus Alexander Bagwell started out as a clean cut face performer for WCW, mostly focused on the tag ranks where he teamed up with 2 Cold Scorpio, The Patriot, and Scotty Riggs. Bagwell would wind up arriving at his greatest notoriety, however, under the heel gimmick of Buff Bagwell, and particularly as a member of the nWo, most frequently associated with Scott Steiner and Scott Norton.
Bagwell infamously got himself in trouble once, when he had a standing date with a “ring rat” in one of WCW’s regular cities and didn’t call her off when he brought his partner with him for one specific trip. With both women in the same place at the same time, Bagwell had set himself up for disaster—the boys reportedly had a good laugh at his expense.
16 16. Jeff Jarrett Married His High School Sweetheart
Jeff Jarrett had one of the most tumultuous careers of any major star in the Monday Night War era, bouncing between two tenures a piece in WWE and WCW. He burned some bridges, demanding more money before he dropped his Intercontinental Championship on the way out of WWE for the last time. Nonetheless, he wound up in his best standing monetarily and as a star with WCW—a newly minted main eventer who won the company’s world title and was a key player in the nWo 2000.
Throughout this time, Jarrett was married to his wife Jill, who was in fact his high school girlfriend. The couple had three children together and seemed happy. Sadly, Jill was diagnosed with breast cancer and would end up passing in 2007.
15 15. David Flair Really Did Date Stacy Keibler
Not unlike his real life playboy father, David Flair, as an WCW character, turned out to have a way with the ladies. After debuting on his father’s side, he betrayed him to join the nWo. The storyline suggested that the nWo used Torrie Wilson to seduce him and win his loyalties.
After an initial flourish, the younger Flair settled into a lower profile role, more befitting his talent level as a wrestler who wasn’t fully trained. His character would go on to date Daffney, and then leave her for Stacy Keibler. The crazy part? David Flair really did date Keibler for a brief period while they were working together. While she’d go on to a better known romance with George Clooney, Flair was certainly the envy of a lot of his colleagues at the time.
14 14. Booker T Married A Nitro Girl
Booker T is widely celebrated as one of WCW’s few legit homegrown main event talents. He started out with the company as half of the Harlem Heat tag team, grew into a mid-card singles star, and finally emerged as a world champion in the company’s dying days. Interestingly enough, he was one of a small handful of top stars to steer clear of nWo membership when he was with WCW, though he did ultimately have a short run with the stable in WWE.
Booker T would wind up dating Sharmell Sullivan—a Nitro Girl billed as Storm, who later worked as a valet and occasional wrestler named Paisley. The two married in 2005, and Sharmell would eventually come in as his valet, most notably when they played a comedic heel royal couple as King Booker and Queen Sharmell.
13 13. The Giant Got Married Shortly After Leaving The Group
While The Giant would go on to much greater fame, longevity, and quality of performance as The Big Show in WWE, he also enjoyed immediate success as a rookie in WCW. He won his debut match over no lesser star than Hulk Hogan, and in the process immediately won the world title. He’d remain a featured player for over two years to follow, including in the nWo storyline as a rival to the group and, briefly, as one of the group’s earliest members.
In the throes of the New World Order angle, The Giant would end up marrying his first wife in February 1997. While the two weren’t in it for the long haul—they divorced a few years later—it’s nonetheless a marker of a tremendously busy, exciting period in the then-young star’s life.
12 12. Michael Wallstreet Married An Old Tag Team Partner’s Sister
Mike Rotunda built the better part of his legacy with WWE. As a young up and comer, he was a tag champ and a respected face. As tax man heel Irwin R. Schyster, he took a silly occupational gimmick built on a foundation of cheap heat and used his overwhelming talent to make the character into one that was memorable and enjoyed decent longevity. His WCW work is a bit less recognized, but he had two separate runs as Michael Wallstreet—another financially themed gimmick. The second go-round, he had a brief membership in the New World Order.
Throughout most of his prime, Rotunda was married to his wife Stephanie, the sister of his early tag team partner he paired with at the original WrestleMania, Barry Windham. Together, the pair had two children, now well known to wrestling fans as Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas.
11 11. Dennis Rodman May Have Gotten More Play Than Any Other nWo Member
The New World Order didn’t only include full time contracted WCW talents, but also a number of stars from Japan, and even NBA player Dennis Rodman who appeared on a number of episodes of Nitro and on PPV. Rodman’s work included getting physical in the ring, with his most memorable appearance coming teamed with Hollywood Hogan opposite Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone.
While the nWo included a number of real life playboys, it’s doubtful any of them could really compare to the Chicago Bulls’ infamous power forward. If Rodman’s autobiography, Bad As I Wanna Be is to believe, he rivaled Wilt Chamberlain’s numbers for women he slept with across the country. His involvement in WCW programming spoke to his free spirit, as he thought outside the box to work with the company, and even ran afoul of his NBA team once to skip practice in favor of appearing on Nitro.
10 10. Kevin Nash Was Already Married When The nWo Launched
It’s quite arguable that Kevin Nash was second only to Hulk Hogan when evaluating the top guy in the nWo. He was a former WWE World Champion when he cofounded the group with Scott Hall, and wind up a WCW World Champion as part of the Wolfpac. Despite going by the nickname “Big Sexy,” and playing a cool, cocky character on screen, he was actually one of the most stable family men the group ever had.
In his WWE Hall of Fame induction speech, Nash quipped about how other wrestlers questioned his wife’s existence because they’d never seen her. He went on to explain that he received the advice early in his career that the best thing he could do to protect his marriage was to keep it separate from the business. He did just that, and wound up happily married through the end of his in ring career.
9 9. Ted DiBiase Was Unfaithful To His Marriage
Ted DiBiase was an iconic character for WWE in the late 1980s and early 1990s, so it was no surprise that WCW went after him. His arrival ended up syncing up with the launch of the nWo, and though he had retired as an in ring performer, his old Million Dollar Man persona fit nicely to explain him as a financial backer for the heel super group.
Nowadays, DiBiase is known as a devout Christian who has even worked as a minister. But before he found his religion, DiBiase has admitted to a life of adultery and substance abuse. Many of his contemporaries wandered a dark road and wound up as cautionary tales. Fortunately, DiBiase got his act together and seems very happy with his life now.
8 8. Scott Hall Got Divorced While The nWo Was Running Strong
Scott Hall rose to fame in WWE, working under the Razor Ramon gimmick. He’s spoken in retrospect about how hands on Vince McMahon was in helping him develop the character and advance his presentation to become a legitimate top star. At the peak of his abilities, however, he wound up defecting to WCW for more money and wound up the charter member of the nWo.
While Hall was on top of the world creatively and as an athlete, he was very much struggling with his personal life during the New World Order’s heyday. He would struggle with alcoholism—a real life issue that eventually bled into storylines—and wound up getting divorced during the original nWo storyline. Hall would continue to face a variety of issues for over a decade to follow, relapsing into substance abuse and seeing his body deteriorate before mercifully turning things around with the help of real life friend Diamond Dallas Page.
7 7. Dusty Rhodes Was On His Second Marriage While Part Of The nWo
Dusty Rhodes is one of the biggest legends in professional wrestling. Amidst his powerful legacy as an in-ring performer and later as a manager, announcer, and authority figure, some fans might forget that at one point he spent the better part of a year with the New World Order. Rhodes turned on WCW by betraying Larry Zbyszko, and moving on to manage The Outsiders.
In particular, relative to his peers, Rhodes was a loyal family man. He was only married twice—the first time for nearly a decade, and the second time for well over 30 years—a marriage that stretched from the late 1970s, through Rhodes’s prime as a wrestler, through his work with the nWo, all the way to The American Dream’s passing in 2015.
6 6. Eric Bischoff Was Married And Raising A Family While The nWo Was In Power
One of Eric Bischoff’s most underrated talents as an on air performer may have been the degree to which he persuaded fans to believe his character—particularly as a douche executive who sided with the nWo--was a reflection of his real life self. The character was nothing if not braggadocios, taunting WCW’s faces as well as the real life competition over in WWE. All the while, he played a great chicken heel who would resort to retreating over most fights, and get his butt kicked whenever he didn’t get away.
While all of this was going on on screen, Bischoff was actually a happily married man. The two have reportedly been together since the 1980s, and have two now-adult children. Thus, he’s that rare big time wrestling personality who preserved his marriage through an incredibly high profile and tumultuous career in the wrestling business.
5 5. Bret Hart Called Women His Vice
Bret Hart was a WWE guy through and through who made no bones about the fact that he never wanted to go to WCW, but rather felt he had to after Vince McMahon reneged on a big money, long term deal, and WCW was waiting with open arms and deep pockets. Hart would wind up in WCW to finish out 1997 after the Montreal Screwjob. Like so many top stars in the business, Hart would wind up with a prominent role in the New World Order.
Despite being married for most of his wrestling career, Hart is open about having slept around with a variety of women. In his book, Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling, Hart calls women his vice—he found comfort in sleeping around, while his colleagues took drugs and turned to alcohol.
4 4. Rick Rude Was A Loyal Husband
Rick Rude was a memorable character in the late 1980s and early 1990s for WWE, playing up his killer physique to pick on men in the crowd and insinuate every woman in the building wanted to sleep with him. Rude reinvented himself nicely for a WCW run in which he still had remnants of his ladies’ man persona, but focused more on being a serious wrestler and world title contender. In the last stages of his career, Rude redefined himself once more as a suit-wearing menace outside the ring, playing a heater first for the fledgling D-Generation X stable, then defecting to WCW and the nWo.
Though he always played a villain, Rude was a well respected good guy in real life. Among his most notheworthy attributes—he was happily married and committed enough that he refused to take off his wedding ring, even when he stepped in the ring to wrestle.
3 3. Syxx Was Married And Raising Kids While Part Of The nWo
Sean Waltman rose to prominence as The 1-2-3 Kid, an ahead of his time undersized underdog in WWE. While he finished his first WWE run working heel, he really reinvented himself when he went to WCW, cast as Syxx. That run as a key player in the nWo paved the way for his most famous work of all, working under the name X-Pac back in WWE as part of DX.
Waltman’s early work leaned heavily on the fact that he was a young star, and his later work focused on his rebellious nature, as his small size helped fans lose themselves to the image of X-Pac as something like a rebellious teenager. In reality, though, Waltman got married young and already had two kids by the time he showed up in WCW. In shoot interviews, Waltman talked about the marriage falling apart in the early 2000s, citing crystal meth as a key contributing factor.
2 2. Hulk Hogan Was Married And Faithful For The Length Of The nWo’s Run
Despite being one of wrestling’s all time biggest legends, and despite now having a very well-known sex tape out in the world, Hulk Hogan was married throughout the overwhelming majority of his wrestling career. There are very few wrestlers who suggest he was anything but faithful to his marriage.
Hogan was reportedly reluctant to turn heel and launch the New World Order on account of his sense of commitment to his family and his fans—particularly young fans, who might have reminded Hogan of his own children. He didn’t take the turn lightly, but did ultimately agree to it, and resulted in a rebirth for his career as a top tier wrestling star. While there are plenty of stories about Hogan politicking and putting down other talents, it seems that this cutting edge wouldn’t extend to his marriage until years later, when he an ugly divorce finally went down.
1 1. Lex Luger Would Wind Up Miss Elizabeth’s Last Romantic Partner
Wrestling fans at large will undoubtedly always remember Miss Elizabeth best as Randy Savage’s valet. For those who stayed faithful to WCW until the very end, however, they may also remember her linked on air to Lex Luger as his valet with the nWo, and through various other storylines through the end of his time with the company.
The two wound up together in real life, too, and their romantic relationship stretched for a period of years. While concrete details never made it out to the public, it’s widely reported that, in 2003, Luger called 9-1-1 from his home on Elizabeth’s behalf, but was already too late. Elizabeth had ODed on painkillers and alcohol. She was only 42 at the time and hardly had any time at all to enjoy life post professional wrestling.
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