The New World Order completely changed the landscape of the wrestling industry with their original incarnation. WCW desperately needed to shake up the company if they wanted any chance of competing with the WWE for the top spot in pro wrestling. Eric Bischoff took the biggest risk in WCW history by turning Hulk Hogan heel and aligning him with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to form the nWo. WCW went on to achieve their greatest success, passing the WWE in the ratings war for a couple of years partly due to the new faction making Nitro must-watch television every Monday.
At the same time, one of the major reasons for the downfall of WCW was the poor booking of the nWo. The group started to add way too many members. Instead of the faction featuring an elite level of talents, it felt like anyone on the roster that looked good in black and white would join them. There would be a split of the New World Order with the brand separating in the nWo Wolfpac and nWo Hollywood. WCW tried their luck with other incarnations and WWE even tried it out at one point. However, the only version of the nWo that mattered was the original. We’ll break down every member of the original New World Order by power ranking each member from worst to best.
The worst member of the New World Order is definitely Vincent. Most known for his time in the WWE as Virgil, WCW hired him to once again be Ted DiBiase’s lackey. His new name as Vincent was meant to be an insult towards Vince McMahon and the WWE, which no one figured out or cared about. Most of his time in the nWo saw Vincent stand in the background during promos and join in on the beat downs orchestrated by the group.
You’d be hard pressed to remember anything Vincent contributed to the nWo. Credit should be given to the former wrestler for remaining employed in the sweetest of roles for such a long time. Vincent made a lot of money to basically walk around with the biggest stars in the industry and take a few bumps. Sadly, he didn’t deliver any entertainment.
26 The Disciple
Ed Leslie's wrestling career was rather embarrassing. Leslie is most popular for his time as Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and for being one of Hulk Hogan’s best friends. His friendship with Hogan landed him a job in WCW. Unfortunately, Leslie failed with various characters before joining the New World Order as The Disciple. The character followed the real-life scenario of him being Hogan’s shadow.
Most of the moments featuring The Disciple saw him tag alongside Hogan and pretty much just carry Hulk’s WCW World Championship belt for him. The addition of Leslie to the group is the perfect example of how poor things would become with everything falling apart. The nWo was meant to feature the most successful and promising wrestlers looking to take over the business. Ed Leslie wearing sunglasses struck fear into no one.
One great thing that Eric Bischoff did in WCW was create relationships with various promotions all over the world. WCW had a wonderful working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling. The two promotions were tight enough for WCW to allow New Japan to have their own version of the New World Order. Masahiro Chono joined the nWo in WCW but that extended over to Japan in 1997.
Tenzan formed "nWo: Japan" with Chono as the powerful heel stable expanded into another country. They wore the nWo shirts and adopted the same guerrilla style. Tenzan also made a few appearances in WCW, but was not a featured member of the New World Order we all remember. Still, he managed to have a richer legacy than The Disciple and Virgil.
24 Louie Spicolli
The late Louie Spicolli always showed great potential and could have been something special in the wrestling business. Spicolli’s biggest break came when he signed with WCW and became a secondary member of the New World Order. The role saw him play the lackey of real life friend Scott Hall during his feud with Larry Zbyszko. Most of Spicolli’s work would come in the form of taking beatings from Zbyszko, which was meant to send a message to Hall.
Spicolli was getting ready to have his first high profile match in WCW against Zbyszko in 1998. Tragedy would strike to prevent it when Spicolli passed away at the young age of 27. Spicolli left a lot of memories in ECW, but could have given so much more in WCW. The heartbreaking news saw another wrestler leave us way too soon.
23 Big Bubba Rogers
WCW had a tendency to hire any and all former WWE talents that hit the free agent market during the 90s. The Big Boss Man benefited from this. signing with WCW in the mid-90s. Sadly, WCW did very little with him and the signing was viewed as a flop. The decision to put the newly named Big Bubba Rogers in the New World Order was a last ditch effort to save his career in WCW.
Rogers’ tenure with the nWo ended abruptly when he was kicked out of the group due to having to miss time with an injury. His eventual return saw him feud with his former faction by aligning with The Steiner Brothers and Ted DiBiase. WCW was never a good fit for him. Rogers let his contract run out and returned to the WWE under The Big Boss Man moniker again.
22 Brian Adams
Brian Adams was one of the final members to join the original New World Order before things would get complicated with the split. His departure from the WWE after a long stint as Crush, saw him follow many of his peers and head to WCW. Adams instantly joined the nWo during his first night in the company and was already relegated to a background player by the following week.
The various changes within the New World Order that saw the faction splitting and reforming resulted in Adams' get the short end of the stick. Brian was one of the unfortunate members to be in the “B-group” of the nWo when the others joined up to form the nWo Elite. Adams' entire WCW career was quite disappointing and his lack of purpose in the nWo set the tone.
21 Rick Rude
Rick Rude made history by becoming the first man to appear on both WWE Raw and WCW Nitro on the same night during the Monday Night Wars. The legendary wrestler was forced into retirement due to injury and Rude’s new career path saw him be an enforcer and manager to help get other wrestlers over. The most surprising part of his jump was seeing him leave D-Generation X to join the New World Order.
Rude became the full-time manager of Curt Hennig when both were members of the nWo. His dastardly tactics of Rude often saw him interfere in matches to help Hennig score a victory over his opponents. Rude being in a group as large as the nWo made it impossible for him to get enough promo time needed to establish his presence.
20 The Giant
One of the members of the New World Order that should have been far more successful is The Giant. Everyone saw potential in the athletic big man, but WCW just never knew how to utilize him. The Giant actually feuded with the nWo during their early months before Hollywood Hogan defeated him to win the WCW World Championship. This led to The Giant being the first member of the WCW roster to defect to the nWo.
Instead of being a noteworthy member, Giant always seemed like a B-lister despite his size and reputation. The New World Order eventually kicked him out of the group due to his desire to challenge Hogan for the title. Giant once again joined the nWo Hollywood subsection of the group a year later before getting kicked out for the second time. The fact that he was kicked out of the nWo multiple times makes him among the worst members in the faction's history.
19 nWo Sting
The first interesting storyline involving a wrestler feuding with the New World Order revolved around WCW legend Sting. No one wanted to believe Sting would join the nWo but everyone was fooled when he appeared to help them beat down his WCW teammates before an upcoming War Games match. It was later revealed to be a fake Sting hired by the nWo to cause a stir among the WCW stars.
Jeff Farmer portrayed the imitation of Sting and did a good enough job to fool fans every now and then. His wrestling style was perfect, as he stole all of Sting’s moves. Sting went on to his "loner crow" gimmick, but the fake Sting continued to be a member of the nWo. It definitely ran its course and was hokey in retrospect, but the original intent of the idea definitely helped spark a story that changed Sting’s career.
18 Michael Wallstreet
The original intent of the New World Order was meant to make fans think wrestlers from the WWE were invading WCW. This caused many secondary wrestlers to join the group due to their past careers in the WWE. Michael Wallstreet is one person that benefited from his past in multiple ways by joining the nWo.
Ted DiBiase joining the group as the benefactor financing the group just made perfect sense and allowed his former partner to come along. Wallstreet was known as I.R.S. in the WWE for many years, where he worked with DiBiase. The two reunited in the nWo with Wallstreet being one of the lower card members of the stable. Wallstreet mostly joined in on the group beat downs to give them a numbers advantage and served as one of the few members to take losses.
17 Masahiro Chono
Masahiro Chono is a highly respected name in wrestling circles for his legendary career in Japan and his talent was impressive enough to land him a spot in WCW. Chono joined the New World Order as the first Japanese star to become a member of the stable. Chono's in-ring work always delivered results, but he also had a style that seemed appropriate for the nWo as someone you wouldn’t want to exchange strikes with.
Chono eventually started the nWo: Japan faction with Tenzan. It helped make him an even bigger star to the Japanese fans, as his spot in the nWo benefited him big time. His few matches in WCW also helped give back to the company that initially gave him the opportunity. Chono had a very memorable match against Chris Jericho in the opening bout of the original nWo: Souled Out PPV.
16 Dusty Rhodes
The most random addition to the New World Order was Dusty Rhodes. As a retired WCW icon, Dusty was a broadcaster often serving as a color commentator for various shows. In a shocking moment, Rhodes came to the ring during a match between Scott Hall and fellow color commentator Larry Zbyszko. Everyone expected Dusty to help Zbyszko, but instead he joined the New World Order.
Rhodes became the full-time manager of Hall basically following him to the ring. Dusty continued his war of words with Zbyszko to get heat as a new member. The fit never really made sense, with Rhodes being a traditionalist and the nWo opposing everything the industry represented. At the end of the day, however, Rhodes brought decent entertainment to the group and was far better than the other previously mentionned wrestlers from the group.
15 Miss Elizabeth
Miss Elizabeth will always be remembered for her work with Randy Savage in the WWE. They were the perfect on-screen couple and she was able to utilize her strengths there. Elizabeth never had the most outward charisma or microphone skills, but she still connected with the crowd by being a genuine babyface. That all changed in WCW when Elizabeth turned heel and joined the New World Order.
Elizabeth aligned with Savage again, but it just wasn’t the same. Elizabeth wasn't meant to be a hell and it never felt right seeing her attempt to bully Kimberly Page, though her familiarity with the audience from her WWE days definitely contributed into making the group more credible. However, Elizabeth would have been better suited working as the manager or love interest of a face.
14 Buff Bagwell
WCW viewed Buff Bagwell as a future star for almost a decade. The various pushes and character revamps they gave Bagwell proved they wanted him to be a star to build the company around. Buff getting an early spot in the New World Order definitely showcased that. Unlike many of the other lower tier members, Bagwell actually had the booking team in his favor.
Bagwell was one of the few nWo members to get promo time along with his own personal storylines. The problem is he could never back it up or step up to the plate in a big spot. Bagwell is the most disappointing member in the history of the faction considering the opportunities he had. Most wrestlers would have traded a lot for that opportunity, but he squandered it, which is the story of his career.
13 The Great Muta
Another Japanese star to get a chance to shine in the New World Order was The Great Muta. As an iconic star in Japan, his addition to the group made it instantly relevant for any foreign fans checking into WCW. The Great Muta joined the faction in 1997 and changed his look to fit in. Muta actually started wearing really cool black and white face paint with the nWo letters.
His commitment to the group helped make Muta stand out as a noteworthy member despite very few matches and Muta was the most successful of the three Japanese members to join WCW’s version of the nWo. Following an injury to Masahiro Chono, Muta became the new leader of the nWo: Japan stable in New Japan. Quite frankly, WCW would have benefited from having Muta featured more in the New World Order.
12 Ted DiBiase
The original purpose of Ted DiBiase joining the New World Order was perfect for him. DiBiase was the financial backer, putting his money into helping the group attempt to overtake WCW. His prior stint in WWE as The Million Dollar Man played into this and he could have had a long successful career in this role. However, Eric Bischoff’s desire to be a member of the faction changed that.
Bischoff was revealed as the man making the big decisions for the nWo and became the new mouthpiece, so there was essentially no point to DiBiase being in the faction. He just stood around aimlessly during nWo segments until they kicked him out. The Steiners started to use DiBiase as their new manager in a feud with the group. It was bittersweet for DiBiase going from a thriving member to losing his spot abruptly.
Konnan joined WCW when the company scouted Mexico for the best global talents. Wrestling pundits claimed that Konnan was as big of a draw in Mexico as Hulk Hogan or Steve Austin was in North America. This led to WCW giving him a relevant position in the company and eventually letting him join the New World Order. Konnan was finally able to showcase his personality with the group and achieved greatest success in WCW.
Unfortunately, Konnan didn’t have the overall talent similar to his buddies, like Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. That prevented him from getting to the next level despite being in the most popular faction in WCW. Konnan improved his standing in WCW as a member of the nWo, but really just was another decent performer in the company.
10 Curt Hennig
One poor booking by WCW that landed someone in the New World Order was Curt Hennig. Hennig's incredible reputation from his time in the WWE as Mr. Perfect made his appearance in WCW a huge deal. Hennig initially joined The Four Horsemen and felt like a perfect fit. The legacy of Hennig’s family, along with his strong work ethic in the ring connected with the group.
WCW pulled off a huge swerve by having Curt turn on The Horsemen at War Games to officially join the nWo. This turned out to be one of the worst decisions in company history. Hennig lost his chance to be a top guy and was relegated into becoming a second tier member of the group. We did get some memorable matches out of him against Ric Flair, Bret Hart and Booker T, but Hennig could have done so much more in WCW.
9 Scott Norton
Scott Norton is definitely one of the most underrated members of the original New World Order. His presence provided something very vital to the early success of the stable. Norton was a legitimate badass. No one wanted to mess with him in real life and he could hold his own against anyone else in a fight. The guerrilla warfare issued by the nWo needed more bruisers like Norton and less flops like Buff Bagwell.
Oddly enough, Norton and Bagwell made a successful duo for the nWo dubbed "Vicious & Delicious." Norton delivered good matches any time he was allowed to perform to the best of his abilities. His success in limited opportunities makes you wish Norton was given more of a role in the nWo. Norton using his strength to throw around opponents is an underappreciated aspect of his time with the New World Order.
Sean Waltman joining Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in WCW seemed like a perfect fit on paper. Under the name of Syxx, Waltman was an original member of the Wolfpac, as Hall, Nash and Syxx made up the Wolfpac within the original New World Order. Syxx had the best work rate among the large faction with his best matches coming in the cruiserweight division.
The inclusion of Syxx added another dynamic desperately needed in the nWo. Syxx not only worked with the younger talent but he didn’t care about taking the losses to put them over. WCW refused to reward him for his hard work and actually treated him poorly. Waltman was fired via FedEx by Eric Bischoff when recovering from a severe neck injury. It all worked out for him as he returned to the WWE to be a huge part of the booming D-Generation X faction while the nWo was slowly falling apart in WCW.
7 Eric Bischoff
The New World Order was the brain child of Eric Bischoff behind the scenes when he found inspiration from an older storyline he saw in Japan. Bischoff decided he want more action within the group he invented as it grew in popularity. For years, Bischoff was just known as a bland broadcaster until his heel turn, as he joined the nWo as the man pulling the strings in their favor all along.
As annoying as it is for someone to book themselves into a great spot on television, Bischoff did a great job. The chemistry between Bischoff and Hollywood Hogan led to great promos from the leaders of the faction. Bischoff progressed into one of the best heel personalities on the show. The only negative is that the success got to his head and he made many poor decisions backstage that helped doom WCW.
6 Scott Steiner
The biggest criticism against WCW and the booking of the New World Order is the fact that most of the young stars were held down. WCW typically relied on former WWE stars who were older in age to carry the company. There was one young star to benefit greatly from joining the nWo and that was Scott Steiner. Everyone knew how talented he was as a tag team wrestler with his brother Rick Steiner, but he wanted more.
Scott turned on Rick and shocked the world by joining the nWo. With a new look and new attitude, Steiner reinvented himself under the moniker of Big Poppa Pump. His singles heel run was tremendous and gave WCW a new star during their final years. Steiner was the one person to become a star with the opportunity of joining the New World Order.
5 Dennis Rodman
This may be a controversial pick due to the fact that Dennis Rodman was not actually a wrestler. However, Rodman added a mainstream celebrity aspect to the New World Order. His appearances in WCW as a member of the nWo with Hollywood Hogan delivered great results. Rodman was a huge star in the NBA for his colorful personality and presence on the iconic Chicago Bulls teams of the 90s.
WCW convinced Rodman to wrestle a few attraction matches and it created headlines in the mainstream sports world. Rodman and Hogan teaming against Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone was a spectacle that brought in fans from the NBA world. The fact that Rodman actually skipped practice during the NBA Finals to appear on Nitro showed a surprising level of commitment. Rodman helped make the New World Order more popular than ever during his WCW matches.
4 Randy Savage
Randy Savage doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his WCW run, but he put out a great effort there during the last big run of his career. His overall skillset made him one of the best in the ring and on the microphone. Macho Man was one of the first big names to join the New World Order after they beat him down on a weekly basis.
His heel run in the nWo was highly underrated. Savage had an incredible storyline with Diamond Dallas Page and put him on the map as a top face that the fans believed in. If Page faced anyone but Savage during that time frame, his career would not have been as successful as it turned out to be. Savage consistently delivered entertainment and should be appreciated more for his "Macho Madness" character in the nWo.
3 Scott Hall
Scott Hall's debut is what sparked the Monday Night Wars into a legitimate competition, due to his threats of a New World Order coming. WWE fans believed that an invasion was coming to WCW with the first ever cross-promotional feud between the two companies. Hall was no longer working for WWE and his shocking appearance in WCW is what made fans want to start changing the channel on Mondays.
Anyone who watches the WCW programs back today can see just how important Hall was for the nWo. The group was the coolest thing to hit the industry in years and no one was cooler than Hall. Fans appreciated the fact that Scott was the most complete performer in the group, as Hall could bring it in the ring and cut the most entertaining promos. Unfortunately for Hall, his personal demons held him back from becoming a World Champion.
2 Kevin Nash
You can’t talk about Scott Hall without mentioning Kevin Nash. Hall generated plenty of excitement, but Nash coming to WCW added the fuel to truly get the wrestling world talking. The moment where Nash hit Eric Bischoff with a Powerbomb off the stage set the tone for what was coming. Nash’s involvement truly put the group on the rise and had the wrestling world talking.
His charisma shined in WCW, as he had more freedom than he did as Diesel in WWE. Fans enjoyed Nash enough that it caused a split in the nWo. WCW was forced to make Nash a top face and that is why the Wolfpac was formed to oppose the heel nWo stable. Nash’s work in the original New World Order changed his career and eventually made him become one of the biggest names in WCW history.
1 Hollywood Hogan
The one moment that will always be synonymous with the New World Order is Hulk Hogan turning heel and becoming Hollywood Hogan. Following many years of being the most beloved star in the wrestling business, Hogan became the most hated villain. Hogan was completely committed to the character change, by doing some heinous acts to get heat.
As talented as the rest of the nWo members were, it never would have worked without the huge addition of Hogan. His leadership on screen carried the faction to the top of the industry. Hogan was already arguably the best face of all-time, but his work as Hollywood Hogan puts him amongst the greatest heels of all-time. No one was more responsible for the success of the New World Order than Hollywood Hogan.