The nWo could be seen as the no.1 reason WCW was able to defeat WWE in the ratings for over 18 months and it could also be seen as the reason WCW eventually lost the Monday Night War to WWE. When the nWo started out with its original three, Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, it was a trio of rebellious outsiders who did what they wanted and threatened to take WCW out. It was a cool, innovative idea and the fans really took to it. The group was so cool that despite being despicable heels, crowds often cheered them, as they had just been clamoring for something different.
Unfortunately, this was the only great idea the company ever had. What should have eventually dissolved in a storyline became played out. It seemed like the whole roster was part of the nWo at one point. What was supposed to be one entity battling WCW soon became divided into nWo Hollywood, nWo Wolfpac, the Latino World Order, etc... Even after the group disappeared, it kept being reincarnated, with Bret Hart as the leader of nWo 2000 and eventually Jeff Jarrett. When you make the drop from Hogan being a leader to Jarrett, you know the group lost it all.
The WWE even tried to salvage it in 2002, by originally having the original three wreck havoc on the company, but age had caught up to the performer and nostalgia for Hulkamania trumped nostalgia for Hollywood Hogan. That didn't stop the WWE from forming a new version involving X-Pac, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, heck even Booker T.
Throughout its history, the nWo kept losing what had made it so special in the first place. To this day, some fans clamor for a rebirth of the stable with a new face leading the way, perhaps a heel John Cena. The nWo should have been kept to a small, elite group, but WCW found a way to screw it up (and so did WWE). It's remarkable that a list could be made of a stable's worst members ever, but here we are; the worst 15 members in the nWo's history.
Note: all incarnations of the group are included here.
15 Jeff Jarrett
No wonder Jeff Jarrett thinks of himself as a top star, WCW brainwashed him into thinking he was worthy of leading the nWo! Jarrett would have been okay as a supporting member of the group, but the fact that he was made a leader of the group is what gets him here. Bret Hart was originally supposed to be the leader of nWo 2000 but had to retire due to the concussion he had suffered against Goldberg at Starrcade '99. As a result, Jarrett was given a lot more than he could handle.
14 Nick Patrick
Nick Patrick played the role of the crooked referee in WCW. He always seemed to call matches in favor of the nWo and it was eventually revealed he was working for them. Having a referee join a faction in any capacity is a stupid idea and while Patrick's over-the-top antics may have been entertaining, there was no way he belonged in the group. Patrick was eventually kicked out after counting a pinfall against Randy Savage. He would then go back to being a plain old WCW ref, as it should have stayed.
13 Brian Adams
Brian Adams, known as Crush in WWE, was a promising talent at one point, but eventually left the WWE. His WCW debut involved him taking out Bret Hart, and he became just another former WWE guy to join the nWo. He was always sort of that in-between guy who couldn't win any big matches, but would be fed jobbers to keep some form of credibility. He would always be one of the guys who would do the dirty work of the group, but was never really relevant in any storyline.
12 Lex Luger
Lex Luger had battled the nWo for years, remaining a WCW loyalist, but when the nWo split off into Hollywood and Wolfpac entities, Luger joined Nash to don the red and black. Luger just didn't have what the nWo was supposed to be about, which were stars who were edgy, had charisma and were able to lead. The groups eventually merged following the Fingerpoke of Doom, but Luger then became a complete non-factor once all the top stars were on the same team.
11 Disco Inferno
Does someone like Disco Inferno make you think of the nWo spirit? Disco Inferno had a comedic, yet dated character who would simply embrace the disco spirit and dance his way to the ring. He joined the group late in their run after Hall and Nash took a liking to him. Inferno auditioned for a role in the nWo by having to prove himself in matches. Despite losing most of his matches, the Wolfpac let him in anyway. Wasn't this a group that was only supposed to take the best?
10 Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels was brought back to WWE in 2002 having overcome his substance abuse problems. It seemed his WWE return was going to be lackluster, as he was introduced as a new member to the nWo a few weeks after Scott Hall was released from the company. Perhaps it was a case of poor timing, as this was an already broken version of the group and Michaels wasn't going to salvage it. Had the nWo gotten Triple H and kept Hall, then it would have basically been the Kliq, which could have worked a lot better.
9 Stevie Ray
Stevie Ray was ill equipped to handle himself in the ring as a singles wrestler. His stock dropped significantly after breaking off from Booker T while Booker blossomed as a top star. Stevie Ray was tabbed as the leader of the nWo B-Team and was limited in his matches. While moving to the nWo helped some midcarders in search of a spark, that was not the case for Stevie Ray, who needed a more natural tag partner.
Torrie Wilson made her debut as Samantha and her role was to essentially seduce David Flair into turning against his father. Torrie wasn't yet established as a wrestler, so she was just some nameless girl doing the nWo's handiwork. Had she been established on her own and then joined the group, she could have made an impact. Instead, she was just another face in a time where the group was simply played out.
7 Booker T
Surprisingly, this wasn't WCW's doing, as they actually wisely kept Booker T out of the nWo, building him as a mainstay for WCW. Booker T was working with Goldust in a comedic role, but all of a sudden was thrust into the nWo, joining HBK, Nash, X-Pac and Big Show. His time didn't last long, as HBK kicked him out of the group after a couple of weeks. Booker was not suited to be a part of the nWo. A better approach would have been to have him feuding with the group.
6 Michael Wallstreet
Well, I guess the nWo just needed someone that was good with numbers, right? Michael Wallstreet, known to WWE fans as I.R.S, was only in the group for six months, mostly as their jobber. Wallstreet never wrestled on Nitro, mostly filling spot duty on Saturday Nights. J.J. Dillon came in and declared Wallstreet's contract void with the nWo, as he was already signed with WCW. He would soon unceremoniously quit the group.
5 Dusty Rhodes
Dusty Rhodes was charismatic and a magician with a microphone in his hand, but in no way was he an appropriate choice to do the verbal bidding of the nWo. Dusty Rhodes was not what the group was about. The group was supposed to be cool, hip and different from your common man. Rhodes represented the common man and was far better suited to stand by WCW in its fight against the group. It seemed they just had Rhodes join the group out of shock value, but shocking only works when it's revealed to make sense. This never did.
4 The Harris Brothers
For you younger fans, think of what J&J Security were for Seth Rollins last year. That's essentially what the Harris brothers were for Jeff Jarrett as his nWo bodyguards. While the Harris brothers are a little more believable as bodyguards than Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. They were the bottom two in perhaps the worst incarnation of the group, so they land on this list.
I don't know what was worse; the Harris Brothers in the nWo or being Vince Russo's Creative Control team.
3 David Flair
After being whipped with a leather belt by Hogan and company, it seemed Ric Flair had his son David by his side in his feud with the nWo. When Super Brawl 1999 came around though, a masked man attacked Flair to give Hogan the win. The masked man was revealed to be David Flair, having been convinced to join the group thanks to the seductive Samantha. His run with the group was short-lived, as he had no charisma and had to move on to bigger things, like almost marrying Stacy Keibler on screen.
2 Horace Hogan
Horace Hogan didn't really offer anything to the group. He was essentially brought in because he was related to Hulk. His big moment came at the end of the infamous Warrior/Hogan match at Halloween Havoc where delivered a weak chair shot to Warrior's head, well more like upper vertebrae, to give Hulk the win. Soon enough, he would find himself on the nWo's B-Team, never again becoming an important factor for the group.
1 The Disciple
Just in case you don't recognize this guy, he's who you knew as Brutus the Barber Beefcake in WWE. Ed Leslie has been a longtime friend of Hogan and that always seemed to land him a decent role in WCW. Leslie had six different names throughout his time in WCW. When he was known as The Disciple, he essentially looked like a clone of Hulk Hogan gone wrong. His main role came when Warrior debuted in WCW to feud with Hogan. Warrior would capture him and have him join the One Warrior Nation. Why would he seek him out?
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