The Monday Night Wars in the '90s was one of the biggest booms in professional wrestling history. WCW won the ratings' battle against WWE for weeks on end, and WWE had to rebound by creating the Attitude Era to overcome the billion dollar wrestling company. The storyline that started it all was the formation of the nWo.
The nWo launched when former WWE star Scott Hall jumped the rails at a WCW Monday Nitro show and let the world know he was there. Then, Kevin Nash showed up, and they claimed WWE sent them to take over. When Hulk Hogan turned heel for the first time in his career, it set the wrestling world upside down, and the nWo was the biggest story in professional wrestling history. Here is a look at the 10 best members of the nWo, ranked.
Scott "Flash" Norton is not someone many casual wrestling fans recognize. However, he was one of the toughest wrestlers to ever compete in WCW. He teamed for a time with Buff Bagwell and was the muscle that was the only real no-nonsense member of nWo.
Japan loves wrestling's strongest stars, and Scott Norton was a massive star in Japan. That is where his importance for the nWo comes in because he was one of the biggest names in the faction when it came to their invasion of Japan as well. Norton isn't the biggest name in the spot, but he was great at what he did.
When WWE purchased WCW, they ended up burying a lot of their stars. While some of the men, like Booker T, were able to hold on and remain stars in WWE, many others fell by the wayside. Some argue that it was Diamond Dallas Page that WWE treated worst, but if you ask Buff Bagwell, he was the one that fell hardest.
WWE made the mistake of having Buff Bagwell take on Booker T in the first WCW match on WWE television and fans hated it. Buff was gone the next week. That is sad for WCW fans, as Buff was great in the nWo, an arrogant big-mouth who was one of the most hated men in a faction that had heels fans loved to cheer.
Possibly the biggest star that the nWo made was Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner. Before the nWo, Scott was the younger brother of Rick Steiner, and the two men created one of the best tag teams of all-time in wrestling history. They held titles all over the world, from WCW and WWE to Japan.
However, when Scott Steiner turned heel and joined the nWo, he bulked up to almost comic-levels of muscle definition, dyed his hair blonde and started rambling, incoherent promos that became legendary. Scott Steiner became a world champion, and that wouldn't have happened without the transformation he made in the nWo.
The 1-2-3 Kid left WWE and joined his buddies Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in WCW. He ended up as the sixth member of the group, following Hall, Nash, Hulk Hogan, Ted DiBiase, and Big Show. As a result, they re-named him Syxx.
Syxx gave the nWo something different. While Nash and Hall were bullying the tag team division and Hogan was fighting for the world title, Syxx was someone they sent after the cruiserweight wrestlers, and he ended up winning the title and dominated that division. When WCW let him go, he returned to WWE as X-Pac.
Sting was the main enemy of the nWo for the first few years of their existence. The story was that no one knew whose side Sting was on and even his best friend Lex Luger openly questioned his loyalty. As a result, Sting left, let his short blonde hair grow long in its natural color, painted his face like The Crow and hung out in the rafters for over a year.
He finally returned, beat Hulk Hogan for the world title and then languished for a while. When the nWo splintered, a new group formed in the Wolfpac and Sting was part of that section of the nWo with names like Lex Luger and Kevin Nash.
Macho Man Randy Savage was one of WWE's biggest stars alongside Hulk Hogan. However, rumor has it that Vince McMahon did not want Savage to wrestle anymore and he made him work as a commentator and not compete. Savage wanted to keep wrestling and felt he had more to give inside the ring and ended up going to WCW.
After a short time, Savage ended up joining the nWo in 1997. The addition of Savage caused a lot of tension since he still didn't like Hulk Hogan and there was a lot of concern that he and Hogan would splinter the group apart. It happened when Savage finally left and joined the nWo Wolfpac.
Scott Hall was the man who started it all. He worked as an upper mid-card heel in WWE under the name Razor Ramon. When Hall's contract came to an end, WCW reached out and offered him a deal that he couldn't refuse. He convinced his best friend Kevin Nash to join him as well, and the two changed WCW and the world of wrestling forever.
As part of the nWo, Hall won the TV title once, the United States title twice and the tag team titles seven times, six with Kevin Nash as The Outsiders. Sadly, he disappeared for long stretches at the end of the nWo's run due to his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction.
Kevin Nash was the second man to join WCW as one of the founders of the nWo and was more important than Scott Hall after a while. While he was not as great in the ring as Hall, Nash was a master on the mic, and between his mouth and his size, he was able to put fear into fans of WCW mainstays as the nWo took over.
Kevin Nash was a huge success in the nW0. Much like he was a former world champion in WWE, Nash won the WWE world title five times and held the tag team titles nine times, six with Scott Hall, once with Sting, and twice with Diamond Dallas Page.
While most people might see Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan as the three top members of the nWo, the truth is that the group would never have made it as far as it did without the mastermind and leader behind-the-scenes, Eric Bischoff. When asked about a WWE Hall of Fame induction, Kevin Nash said that Bischoff had to be part.
Eric Bischoff, at the time, was just an announcer. However, he was also the head booker for WCW behind-the-scenes. When Hall and Nash showed up, they bullied everyone, including Bischoff, but it was a trick. Bischoff's character used his power to ensure the nWo could do anything they wanted and pulled strings to put them on top every step of the way.
While Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were hugely influential in the rise of the nWo in WCW, it wasn't until Hulk Hogan dropped a leg onto Macho Man Randy Savage that the nWo started to take over. For years, Hulk Hogan was the biggest babyface in professional wrestling. Then, when Hogan came out to supposedly help save WCW from the Outsiders and then joined them, he changed everything.
The heel change gave Hulk Hogan a new breath of life. Fans had already started to turn on him because his babyface act was getting old. However, Hollywood Hogan became the biggest heel in all of wrestling, and at his lead, the nWo finally did take over WCW and the world of professional wrestling.