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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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