Wrestling: New World Order

The following trope article has been paid for by the New World Order.

Did everybody come to this trope page to read about... WCW? (Boos.) Or, did everybody here on TV Tropes come to read about the (in unison) "n-W-o!" Survey says: One more for the good guys!

The New World Order (nWo) was a professional wrestling stable which formed at World Championship Wrestling's Bash at the Beach 1996 pay-per-view. Months prior to the show, "The Outsiders" — Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, freshly-released by the World Wrestling Federation — terrorized WCW, threatening the company with war. The duo also said a "third man" was coming to help them, which led many fans (and even a few industry pundits) to believe Hall and Nash (Razor Ramon and Diesel in the WWF) were actually sent by the WWF to "invade" WCW — a belief which made people interested in WCW's product. During the main event of Bash at the Beach, All American Face Hulk Hogan was revealed to be the "third man" — and in the post-match interview, Hogan (who would call himself "Hollywood" Hogan during his run with the group) labeled himself, Hall, and Nash as "the new world order of wrestling".

Once the nWo was established, it attacked the entire WCW roster indiscriminately, forcing faces and heels into an Enemy Mine situation to oppose the trio. The nWo soon added three new members to round out the Five-Bad Band: Ted DiBiase (implied to be the financial backer of the group), The Giant (WCW's first defector and the group's powerhouse), and Syxx (Sean "1-2-3 Kid" Waltman, who served as the group's token cruiserweight). Even WCW President Eric Bischoff would reveal himself in time as being one of the masterminds behind the nWo, making him Hogan's right hand man, best friend, and top sycophant in the process.

The nWo spread like a virus throughout WCW and dominated storylines for several years, bringing with it both the good (the nWo angle helped WCW beat the WWF in the Monday Night Wars for 84 weeks in a row from 1996 to 1998) and the bad (the Fingerpoke Of Doom and alleged backstage politics which killed the creative direction of the product). After a split into the "Hollywood" and "Wolfpac" groups, and a "reunion" of the two groups (following the Fingerpoke of Doom), the group slowly faded away from WCW programming as the company's fortunes began to turn south. A final attempt at reviving the group came in 2000, but this attempt failed, and WCW was driven out of business in early 2001.

The original nWo triumvirate of Hogan, Hall, and Nash were brought back as the nWo in February 2002 — this time by Vince McMahon who sought to destroy the WWF when he saw what his own creation had become in the hands of Ric Flair (who, in kayfabe, was co-owner of the company). The return of Hogan to the WWF as part of the nWo resulted in a legitimate dream match — The Rock vs. "Hollywood" Hogan at WrestleMania X-8 — but an injury to Kevin Nash in July (during a ten-man tag team match on Raw) caused the nWo angle to be dropped in its entirety practically the next week. This marks the final appearance of the official nWo, as WWE still owns the trademark.

After Hulk Hogan arrived in TNA in early 2010, Hall and Waltman (the latter of which had gained notoriety as X-Pac in the intervening years) formed "The Band" with Nash and tried to associate themselves with Hogan and Bischoff. When it became clear Hogan and Bischoff wanted little to do with them, the duo turned on Nash shortly after, only for Nash to rejoin them as part of a swerve on Eric Young to get them contracts into TNA—only for Young to join them just weeks later (giving him Stockholm Syndrome in the process) when Waltman needed to be written off television due to medical concerns. Hall's personal demons caught up with him again, leading to his exit from TNA as well, making this variant of the nWo short-lived.

Nash moved into a feud with Jeff Jarrett over Hogan's intentions for the company—leading to yet another new take on the nWo in TNA, Hogan and Bischoff's stable Immortal, being revealed at Bound for Glory 10.10.10.

The nWo should not be confused with the infamous conspiracy theory, or with the comic book Squadron Supreme New World Order.

Tropes associated with the nWo:

  • A House Divided: The group initially capitalized on this in their battle with WCW wrestlers, sowing the seeds of doubt as to who was in the group and who wasn't to keep everyone paranoid and off their game; eventually, the nWo themselves fell victim to this...
    • In 1998, the nWo split with the Wolfpac, lead by Kevin Nash and wearing black and red, turning face, and nWo Hollywood, lead by Hogan and wearing the traditional black and white, staying heel.
    • The nWo and Wolfpac re-merged as a heel faction, with the big names wearing black and red and the "nWo b-team" relegated to black and white.
    • In late 1999, the nWo reformed with a different lineup, this time in black and silver.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Well, it's not a literally fatal example, but Vincent was always the first guy to get Scorpion Deathdropped by Sting whenever he cleaned house of the nWo (sometimes, they fed Vincent to him which allowed everyone else to get away).
    • However, Vincent became Genre Savvy shortly after the nWo reunification: the boys gave him a task that would no doubt end in an asskicking, and Vincent separately went to "Wolfpac-wannabe" Disco Inferno and said they wanted him to do it. (With predictable results). Vincent was very pleased to avoid it for once.
  • CamelCase: That goes for the knockoffs and parodies too. lWo, bWo, eCt.
  • Cassandra Truth: DDP explained his refusal to join the Wolfpac's side for War Games in 1998 by specifically stating that he didn't trust Kevin Nash. Come January 4, 1999, well
  • Catch Phrase: "When you're nWo, you're nWo 4 Life!" Or, at least until you get kicked out.
    • "... just... 2... SWEEEEEET!"
    • Scott Hall had his own routine:
      Hall: Who's here to see... dubya-cee-dubya?
      crowd cheers
      Hall: And who's here to see the nWo?
      crowd boos
      Hall: That's another one for the good guys!
  • Celebrity Star / The Cameo: Adding to the roster of an already massive nWo roster total (see Loads and Loads of Characters below), there were actors, musicians, athletes and various other personalities that have joined the nWo even if it was just for one promo or "Paid Announcement". These include pro basketball player Dennis Rodman, NASCAR racer Kyle Petty and actors Grace Jones and Robert Vaughn in WCW, various baseball players, cyclists, motorcyclists, musicians, two soccer players, a sumo wrestler and an announcer for nWo Japan in NJPW and the infamous Bubba the Love Sponge in TNA when he briefly joined "The Band".
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: People betraying WCW for the nWo left and right, the nWo dropping anyone who was a threat to Hulk Hogan, or arbitrarily upset the rest of the group.
  • Dirty Coward: All the heel members, but Hogan in 1997 especially, as he hid behind everything and everyone he could to keep from having a match with Sting.
  • Ear Worm: The nWo, Wolfpac, and nWo Japan themes.
    Kevin Nash: Cue the porno music!
  • Everything's Worse With Wolves: The Wolfpac.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Hogan's infamous turn triggered the beginning of the group.
    • Got used for a large portion of the changes. Of special note is The Giant's turn, which came about a month after he turned face in the first place. A completely by-default Heel-Face Turn, where he was really only considered a face because he was representing WCW against the nWo. One might say he didn't so much turn as the company turned around him.
    • And many more followed.
  • Fingerpoke Of Doom: The Trope Namer.
  • Follow the Leader: After the nWo hit its stride, the ripoffs and parodies came out of the woodwork.
  • Five-Bad Band: Initially before the group's expansion.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: HOGAN, number one.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: They even had their own pay per view, where they pitted themselves against everyone else on the WCW roster who was not part of the nWo, to prove "WCW sucks!"
  • The Illuminati: Street Gang Version.
  • Invincible Villain: Pretty much steamrolled every major face in the company. The only ones who were able to stand up to them were Sting and Goldberg.
  • Kick the Dog: Firing fair referees and stripping dissenting wrestlers of titles at will for not following their agenda (especially early on), people turning against friends more than ever before in the name of the group, the incessant verbal taunting during gang beatdowns courtesy of Eric Bischoff, oh yeah, they qualify.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The original nWo black and white alone had - Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan, nWo Sting (Jeff Farmer), The Giant, Syxx, Vincent, Buff Bagwell, Michael Wallstreet, Big Bubba Rogers, Scott Norton, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Konnan, Curt Hennig, Scott Steiner, Louie Spicolli (unoficially), Brian Adams and The Disciple (Brutus Beefcake). Including part-time and non-wrestlers, Ted DiBiase, Eric Bischoff, Rick Rude, Miss Elizabeth, Dusty Rhodes, Masahiro Chono, The Great Muta, Dennis Rodman, Nick Patrick (referee) and Kyle Petty (the nWo racecar driver).
    • nWo Japan had, in addition to Chono and Muta who were considered official members of the nWo proper, Hiro Saito, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Tatsutoshi Goto, Michiyoshi Ohara, and Big Titan, with some WCW nWo wrestlers making regular appearances with them. Fun fact: With Big Titan's membership in nWo Japan, this means that there were two entirely separate members of the nWo who were both known as Razor Ramon in the WWF.
    • During the split between the Wolfpac and nWo Hollywood, Lex Luger and Sting (the real one) joined The Wolfpac. Stevie Ray and Horace Hogan would join nWo Hollywood. Bret Hart would align himself with Hollywood Hogan, but never officially joined the group during this time.
    • During the "nWo Reunion", David Flair, Disco Inferno (unofficially) and Torrie Wilson joined the nWo.
    • During the final iteration, nWo silver, Bret Hart, Jeff Jarrett, and the Harris Brothers (Ron and Don) joined, as did Scott Steiner's valet Midajah, and Mark "Slick" Johnson, a partial referee.
    • The WWE iteration added Shawn Michaels and Booker T to the stable.
  • Now Buy The Merchandise: Kevin Nash squawking out, "Buy the shirt!" in TV spots.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Scott Steiner.
  • Meaningful Name: The Wolfpac was originally the name Nash, Hall, and Syxx used as a trio within the nWo. Nash's growing issues with Hogan and Bischoff in 1998 which led to the split of the nWo into two separate factions stemmed from Syxx being fired and Hall being sent to rehab.
  • Popularity Power: Granted, it was more like what will they do next and how will anyone beat them. They started getting less popular when it became apparent what they would do next is continue to win and no one would stop them. The Wolfpac were popular for being something different and the best hope to stop the nWo.
  • Power Stable: Let's see. A stable that radically changed the landscape of professional wrestling, blurred the lines between kayfabe and reality, and brought about the biggest success of both its parent company and the professional wrestling industry as a whole? Yeah, they qualify.
  • Power Trio: The very first line up.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: This was attempted several times, with the last real attempt happening in WWE in 2002 (since they owned the nWo trademarks); TNA would literally put "The Band" back together in 2010, as Hall, Nash, Hogan, Sean Waltman, and Eric Bischoff (the principal players of the nWo) were all in the company in the early months of the year.
  • Redshirt Army: The "B-Team" with Horace Hogan, Vincent and the other jobbers of the squad. If someone from the nWo lost regularly, chances are it'd be one of them.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's "nWo", not "NWO", "Nwo" or "N.W.O."
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The group came to dominate a ridiculous portion of WCW programming, to the point where they almost could have run a full show with just their own guys; they even put on an "unauthorized" pay-per-view because of this.
    • Eric Bischoff at one point intended to make the nWo into its own brand, and even claimed that WWF would be the third most popular pro wrestling brand in the USA. Then the trial episode of nWo Nitro did horrible ratings, and brand expansion plans were brought to an end. Maybe if Bischoff had had more wrestling on nWo Nitro rather than turning it into an hour-long vanity project of a vignette for himself and Hogan...
  • The Man Behind the Man: Vince McMahon brought the nWo into WWE, and later disbanded the group permanently when they were no longer useful to him. Hilarious in Hindsight when you considered that in the days before the group was officially formed in WCW it was implied that Hall and Nash were representing the WWF, though eventually it was established that Vince did not send them.
  • Trope 2000: The final iteration of the nWo in WCW was known as "nWo 2000".
  • Villain-Based Franchise: The massive expansion of the nWo was initially conceived as a gateway to turning the stable into its own brand altogether, with the nWo banner being put either alongside or outright replacing WCW's in several event titles (namely the first two Souled Out pay-per-views and a Nitro takeover episode). This plan was aborted when it didn't draw as well as they'd hoped.
  • Zerg Rush: One of the key strengths of the nWo after a while was sheer quantity. Maybe two wrestlers could survive against four or five guys, but when the nWo sent a dozen people at them it almost always resulted in a beatdown (unless Sting was involved).

The preceding trope article has been paid for by the New World Order.