The nWo is widely viewed as the greatest faction in wrestling history as it helped push the industry into its most successful stage. Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were the original three members and the most pivotal to the group’s success. All three were respected as top tier performers due to their work in WWE and putting them together made for tremendous chemistry and turned WCW into a mainstream television sensation for a few years. Unfortunately, the New World Order was also seen as a big reason for the downfall of the WCW as it got a little too big.
As more members joined, the egos grew and certain main eventers didn’t want to work with others. Some wrestlers didn’t want to lose matches. Many petitioned to join the nWo because they were making all the money, while those who faced them would ultimately lose and have a difficult task of getting over. At one point, the egos collided so strongly that there had to be a second nWo deemed the Wolfpac with Kevin Nash leading the way and wearing red and black colors. They feuded with Hulk Hogan’s nWo Hollywood, keeping the black and white colors.
There was also a Super nWo, nWo 2000 and a WWE version of the nWo but all of those failed. Many cite too many members joining the faction for causing the watering down of the concept to begin. I don’t see it that way. The choice of ineffective members was more damaging than the actual group growing. With the original purpose being to emerge as a “competitor” to WCW in the scheme of the television show, the group had to grow to create a realistic war but they choose a lot of duds like Buff Bagwell, Virgil and Horace Hogan. We’re taking a look today at 15 wrestlers that would have been good fits in some incarnation of the New World Order.
When the nWo was at its peak, they were intimidating due to their dominance over the other performers with violence that left you feeling uncomfortable for how badly the target was beat down. No one in WCW or the entire wrestling world for that matter was as intimidating as Meng. Despite being a very successful performer, Meng was most known for being the last wrestler you would ever want to meet in a real fight. The New World Order would have been even more threatening and intimidating with Meng as one of their enforcers.
14 Kurt Angle
This is the first pick regarding WWE’s incarnation of the nWo in 2002. The WWE version of the New World Order was a failure as fans loved Hulk Hogan’s return too much to treat him like a despised heel. WWE would then try to make it work with the additions of Shawn Michaels, X-Pac, Big Show and Booker T. None of those guys really fit the mold at that point in their careers though. A wrestler like Kurt Angle would have been the perfect way to rejuvenate the nWo name. Angle was a top act as a heel and arguably the best performer in the company.
13 Rick Steiner
When the nWo Wolfpac was formed, Kevin Nash turned into a babyface and beloved wrestlers such as Sting, Lex Luger and Randy Savage joined the faction. The now crowd favorite version of the nWo would feud with Hulk Hogan’s heel version of remaining nWo members in nWo Hollywood. Scott Steiner was one of the more over members of the heel New World Order squad after turning on his brother Rick Steiner to originally join the nWo a few months before the split. Rick Steiner would be completely irrelevant following this turn and would have had a better role if he joined the Wolfpack to fight his brother.
12 Marty Jannetty
After being half of an all-time great team with Shawn Michaels as The Rockers, Marty Jannetty was released due to multiple personal issues including drugs, alcohol and run-ins with the law. It’s a shame because Jannetty was a very talented performer with a lot to offer. WCW would sign him in 1998 and employ him for about a year but few fans realized this because he very rarely seen on television and treated as a jobber in the Cruiserweight division. Considering how many ex-WWE wrestlers joined the nWo, one of the more talented and formerly popular wrestlers would have been a better choice for the New World Order than some wrestlers who made the cut.
11 Michael Buffer
A bit of a unique choice but Michael Buffer would appear in WCW during PPVs and the occasional Nitro to ring announce the main event. Buffer was a big addition by WCW as he was very popular at the time with his very popular catch phrase “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble,” so his introductions always made the WCW match of his announcement seem like a big deal. With the “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan persona, it would have been fitting for Buffer to become the personal ring announcer of Hogan. David Penzer would already announce all of the other matches, so Buffer would have been used to announce one man for effect rather than two.
10 1o. Wrath
Following a run in WWE as Adam Bomb, the newly named Wrath would join WCW and feud with Glacier to start off his run. Wrath would go undefeated for a few months and was getting over quietly as a physically impressive and explosive big man. Between his obscene muscular physique and his ability to work at a faster speed if need be, he would have been better used in the nWo rather than forgettable midcard angles that fans would never remember. Unfortunately, Wrath’s slight success in WCW ended when he tore his ACL.
9 Chris Jericho
This could easily apply to WCW as Chris Jericho was always among the most underrated and utilized talents in the company, but Y2J may have been the perfect man to join the nWo when they reformed in WWE. The faction badly needed a new heel after Hulk Hogan turned face and Scott Hall’s personal issues resurfaced. At the time, Jericho was coming off a WWE World Championship reign and was somewhat lost in the shuffle. Becoming the newest leader of the New World Order could have been beneficial to both Jericho and the nWo if he played into how they used to hold him down.
8 Perry Saturn
Signing with WCW after a successful run in ECW, Perry Saturn became one of the company’s most consistent performers. Saturn was never heralded as much as Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko or Chris Jericho but his work ethic and entertaining matches every week earned him a lot of respect. Saturn was used pretty well but like most WCW midcarders, he would become forgotten and joining the nWo could have changed that. Saturn also would have added a bit more youth and talent to the group as most of the midcard members were past their prime or just couldn’t deliver when relied upon.
WCW tried to reform the New World Order one more time in 2000 with Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Jeff Jarrett. Sid was one of the wrestlers the new nWo 2000 would target but the big man was always a more natural heel. After returning to WCW, Sid became a very credible main event act as a top tier heel and could have added much more to the newest attempt at the NWO than Jarrett. One of the reasons the faction failed was due to Sid’s inability to be an effective face as he went against the New World Order.
Raven was always one of the ,pre fascinating characters in WCW and had a much larger potential than what he accomplished there. When the nWo was starting to get watered down, adding a dynamic character like Raven could have been the perfect medicine to elevate him while saving the New World Order from self-destructing. It was revealed on a random Nitro segment that Raven came from a wealthy family and was just a spoiled brat rebelling against a life of luxury. Having him sell out to join the nWo for the money and power, despite not needing it, would have been a great way to add to the dynamic of his character.
5 Brock Lesnar
After WrestleMania X8, Brock Lesnar debuted in WWE with an instant mega-push as the plan was for him to win the WWE Championship within five months. This was during the same time that Hulk Hogan turned face and the nWo was in a terrible situation and needing to change its purpose. Having Paul Heyman become the new mastermind and Brock Lesnar the new leader of the New World Order would have saved the dying faction. Before his return to WWE with Lesnar, Heyman was fired for his role in The Alliance so there would have been motive and purpose.
One of the most underrated and underutilized talents in WCW happened to be Fit Finlay. While future stars like Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio were not allowed to move further up the card, they were at least on television every week and stealing the show every PPV. Finlay was off television for a long time before getting short runs in the TV Title and Hardcore Title picture. Very few wrestlers were as brutal and violent as Finlay and he may have been a better tag team partner for Scott Norton than Buff Bagwell was. Finlay may be remembered a little more fondly today if he was in the nWo during his prime WCW years.
3 Eddie Guerrero
Everyone knows how extraordinarily talented Eddie Guerrero was thanks to his main event run in WWE. WCW never saw how special Guerrero could be but if they did, he may have been the perfect person to join the nWo. A natural heel with charisma and intelligence to get heat, imagine if Guerrero was given the opportunities someone like Buff Bagwell was. Eddie would have been an ideal leader for the secondary tier of the New World Order below Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, a good spot at the time. The overall company would have been better with someone worthy getting a break.
2 Triple H
Once Hulk Hogan turned face and Shawn Michaels was talked into coming back, the best way to go with the nWo was to turn it into a Kliq reunion. You could have easily had all five members of the Kliq together again with Triple H as the new leader, finally getting revenge for his punishment by WWE after the “Curtain Call,” where the members broke character and hugged on Scott Hall and Kevin Nash’s final night with the company. The faction may have morphed away from the New World Order but the motive would have been the same and the results would have been much more successful.
1 Ric Flair
Around the same time the nWo started to become stale and repetitive, Ric Flair’s WCW character was going down the drain. The ideal and most risky way to fix both issues would have been a double turn where Flair joined the New World Order and caused the faction to turn on Hulk Hogan. They would have gone back to Flair being the top heel in the company and Hogan being the top face. At worst, the company would have been able to milk the nWo for a little bit longer and Flair would have been used perfectly, as we know how effective he is as the leader of a heel group.