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Wrestling / New World Order

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(in unison) "n-W-o!"

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The New World Order (nWo) was a professional wrestling Power Stable that formed at WCW's Bash at the Beach pay-per-view in 1996.

WWE and WCW were embroiled in a ratings war which would be nicknamed the "Monday Night Wars." Two of the biggest stars at the time were Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) and Diesel (Kevin Nash). Both jumped ship to WCW, lured with the promise of lucrative contracts for less work. Hall and Nash debuted in '96 under their real names and made it seem like they were not supposed to be there, even implying that they were moles sent by the WWF. The announcers dubbed them "The Outsiders."

The main event of Bash at the Beach pitted the duo against three opponents, since their "third man" had yet to arrive. Late in the match, Hulk Hogan (who had signed with WCW two years earlier) came down the ramp, set on rescuing the WCW mainstays. However, in one of the biggest swerves in wrestling history, Hogan delivered a leg drop to one of The Outsiders' opponents, a downed Randy Savage, revealing himself to be the "third man" and becoming the villainous "Hollywood" Hogan in one of professional wrestling's most infamous Face-Heel Turns.

Hogan risked a lot with that move: His image had been sullied enough as it was, thanks to the steroid case against Vince McMahon (in which Hogan was a star witness). But it added another dimension to his legacy, and jolted WCW to be #1 in the ratings. Nitro displaced Raw for 84 straight weeks, mainly on the strength of Hogan's heel turn. There was even a point where WWF was seriously looking at bankruptcy.

With the addition of Hogan, The Outsiders created the New World Order, and from 1996-97 it was one of the most dominant stables in wrestling history, if not the most. They grew to over 20 members, and became as synonymous with wrestling as Nitro almost did. There was good and bad about it: good in that it made Hogan a more effective heel by having an army of guys protecting him from reprisals. Bad in that it was done to placate a bunch of guys who would have otherwise looked elsewhere for employment. (Along with a ton of lower card wrestlers who thought it was the only way they could get some kind of a push.) What made the nWo such an albatross is that there wasn't really an end in sight. As James J. Dillon and others have said, even when they were selling out stadiums, you could see from the inside that WCW was falling apart.

The original run of the nWo ended in 1999. A reunion, nWo 2000, with Bret Hart as leader, was formed in December of that year; however, Hart left the group in January 2000 after suffering what ended up being a Career-Ending Injury, after which the new group slowly disbanded. In February 2002, almost a year after WCW closed down, the original trio resurfaced in WWE, but Hogan would turn face again at WrestleMania X8 and get kicked out of the group. A small shuffle of members ensued, during which Hall was firednote  and Nash would suffer a legitimate quadriceps tear that put him out of action for nearly a year, after which the group was officially disbanded in July. After Hogan returned to WWE in 2014, the original trio would make sporadic appearances (in a non-match capacity), and in December 2019, it was announced that the nWo would be inducted into the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame, with Hogan, Hall, Nash, and Sean Waltman as the inducted members.

The nWo should not be confused with the infamous conspiracy theory, the comic book Squadron Supreme: New World Order, or the music that plays in Danganronpa upon hearing an important revelation.

The nWo and its affiliates are examples of:

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  • '90s Anti-Hero: The nWo were essentially just popular villains. But when the Wolfpac formed, they became bona fide antiheroes, right up until they rejoined with Hogan.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • The white Hummer which rammed into Kevin Nash's car. Allegedly, the driver was either going to be Carmen Electra (a new celebrity addition to the nWo), Sable (who was in talks with WCW and appeared in the Nitro stands), Hogan, or countless others. Sting was blamed for a while and Randy Savage did a promo saying he'd reveal the name of his bodyguard, who was also the driver of the hummer, only to reveal he never had a bodyguard. The actual answer is Billy Kidman: In 2000 it was shown that Eric Bischoff put him up to it. But obviously that wasn't the original plan, and the whole angle was discarded.
      Actual fan sign: I DROVE THE HUMMER.
    • In late 1999, the nWo reformed with a different lineup, this time in black and silver. The "nWo 2000" angle was aborted after treading water due to Bret Hart (the leader) and Goldberg being taken out of action. (Goldberg nailed Bret in the head with a side-kick. Shortly afterward, Goldberg punched what he thought was a sugar glass window, but was actually glass, wrecking his hand.)
    • The initial excitement for the nWo coming to the WWF was huge. It was actually a success depending on what you believe the parameters to be. They were introduced for two reasons: (1) Set up Hogan vs. The Rock at WrestleMania, (2) Sell a bunch of nWo merchandise. They did both of those. WWF were probably hoping to get more mileage out of Nash and Hall, but there is no way they had long-term plans knowing the history and age of the group.
  • Affectionate Parody:
    • The Blue World Order, though the "affectionate" part is debatable. One of their gimmicks being that (in the words of Joey Styles) they "didn't deserve to make a dime" yet made a boatload of cash, the bWo was formed at ECW's November to Remember '96. To further the parody, it became a revolving door stable, with members constantly joining and leaving. The bWo's popularity became so great that it propelled Stevie Richards to ECW's main event.
    • In the early days of TNA, Jeff Jarrett came up with a novel angle of his own for Impact: It involved exposing the entire NWA Board of Directors for petty crimes. Security took sides in the power struggle and split into two feuding factions: Red Shirt Security and Black Shirt Security. Joe E. Legend (WWF jobber "Just Joe") became a major player as leader of the Red Shirt faction.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: To D-Generation X in the WWF. Both were invasive force to their respective companies and made reference to The Kliq during those times. Ironically, through their feuds with them, DX led to the rise of The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, allowing Raw to compete with Nitro on an even playing field.
  • Animal Motifs: Wolves for the nWo Wolfpac.
  • Annual Title: The final iteration of the nWo in WCW was known as "nWo 2000".
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: A recurring theme for the nWo during its heyday was chucking away the preconceived, established idea of what a Face was in pro wrestling and substitute it with the Darker and Edgier, Anti-Hero version of their own.
    • The group's genesis was a result of Hulk Hogan doing this to himself via Face–Heel Turn. Older fans were already completely sick of him, and younger fans still adored him (though not to the degree they had in the 80s), so his heel turn was able to combine them into one big ball of hatred.
    • The nWo themselves. It got to the point that in the Nitro prior to Starrcade 1997, the nWo hijacked the broadcast and renamed it nWo Monday Nitro. Bischoff attempted to chuck the WCW brand entirely, and the stragglers who had refused to join nWo made up their own club, nWo Wolfpac.
    • The nWo eventually resulted in Sting undergoing this himself, turning his bleached-blonde, multicolor-facepaint, happy-go-lucky "Surfer" persona into his jet-back hair, black-and-white facepaint, silent "Crow" persona to go up against them.
  • Ascended Extra: The whole "nWo Sting" thing started because the big WCW players (Lex Luger, Rick and Scott Steiner, Randy Savage, The Giant) didn't trust Sting or believe that he wasn't with the nWo until they saw they had their very own fake Sting: Jeff Farmer. Curiously, nWo Sting, while keeping the gimmick, went to Japan as part of WCW's arrangement with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and was a surprisingly popular babyface.
  • The Assimilator: Pretty much their entire M.O. was to turn as many WCW wrestlers into their side as possible, up until the nWo would become their own wrestling promotion. They even got their own pay-per-view and Nitro episode.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • The babyfaces were constantly on the losing end. Their only hope left was the reinvented Sting, who went from 'tanned musclehead' to an avenging angel with a baseball bat. In what was billed as the most-anticipated match of all time (and it may very well have been), Hogan largely dominated a slow, plodding match. What was supposed to be the climax of the nWo feud ended with a tainted finish.
    • In the summer of '98, the Warrior (known as the Ultimate Warrior in WWF) debuted and formed the One Warrior Nation (oWn) to counter the nWo. Hogan went on to defeat the Warrior and get back the loss he suffered at WrestleMania VI.
    • Nash broke away and formed his own splinter group, the nWo Wolfpac, in 1998. The Wolfpac/nWo feud dominated the show that year, as wrestlers shuffled between the two teams. Kevin Nash earned a title shot against the still-undefeated Goldberg, the reigning World Heavyweight Champion, which Goldberg lost when Scott Hall shocked him with a cattle prod. In January 1999, a rematch was slated to take place, but Goldberg was falsely charged by the police and replaced by the returning Hulk Hogan. The match was fixed: Hogan gently poked Nash in the chest, and Nash fell over for the pin. Months of dissent between the nWo Wolfpac and the nWo Hollywood had ended for no reason, and after that, it became very plain that the nWo were never going to lose. This happened on the same night that fan favorite Mick Foley shocked audiences by defeating The Rock to win the WWF Championship.
  • Badass Biker: 90s version. nWo-approved sunglasses, black tees, cowboy boots, and mom jeans.
  • Bandwagon Technique: It began with 3, but when it became apparent that the nWo had the financial backing and the talent to be able to win championships by helping each other out, more people wanted to join them and be part of that success rather than face the prospect of getting beat up constantly. There were very few who opposed them. In addition, the nWo sowed seeds of doubt as to who was in the group and who wasn't, to keep everyone paranoid and off their game. Bobby Heenan and Tony Schiavone constantly wondered out loud if Sting was joining the nWo, and Sting considered this to be extremely insulting, so he kind of shut everyone out for a long time.
  • Bat Deduction: Used to explain Sting's heel turn in a truly amazing hype video. In a nutshell: someone in a white hummer tried to run over Kevin Nash. On a different show, Sting was seen coming out of a black hummer. So Sting must have been the one who ran over Kevin Nash. This after Hulk protested that he couldn't have run over Nash, because his hummer is black.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After years of trying to win over Sting and have him join the nWo, Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff got their wish during an nWo Enemy Civil War, with Sting joining their nWo Wolfpac enemies in defeating them.
  • Beauty Pageant: The infamous "Miss nWo Pageant". They paid a lot of money for the custom nWo-style production for Souled Out, you'd think they could have dropped some money on some models. But Bischoff does manage to get the last laugh. From his book, Controversy Creates Cash:
    Sometimes on different college campuses around the country, guys will have contests to see who can bring home the ugliest chick. And that’s where the idea came from. We wanted to find the nastiest, gnarliest white trash we could possibly find. The women were in on it. We told them what we were doing. We said, “We’re looking for some real women, wink, wink.” A couple of them weighed two hundred and fifty, three hundred pounds. As the leader of nWo, I was the one who got to pick the winner, crown her, and swap spit with her. At that moment, my wife sat back and said, “Oh, my God.”
  • Batter Up!: In one of the most famous moments of the initial takeover, Hall and Nash once broke into the locker room with aluminum baseball bats and got into a standoff with WCW talent, putting the crowd in a frenzy.
  • Brains and Brawn: Hogan hid behind everything and everyone he could to keep from having a match with Sting (in 1997 especially). Bischoff held the power to change the show's title, replace the set for nWo Souled Out events, pay off referees, and so forth.
  • CamelCase: The group's prefered abbreviation was "nWo". That goes for the knockoffs and parodies too. lWo, bWo, eCt.
  • Car Fu:
    • Nash got wrecked by a Hummer in a notorious "Who Shot J.R.?"-like storyline. The New Blood pulled the exact same trick on Hogan with a brand-new Hummer and a different limo.
    • In the last Nitro of 1999, Steiner made the save for Sid Vicious who was about to powerbomb Jarrett before he hit Sid with a lead pipe. The nWo then put Sid into the back of his spray-painted car, which was then run over by Bret Hart in a monster truck.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: Hogan's heel turn at Bash at the Beach '96. He clears the ring of Nash and Hall, and then pauses for a few seconds. It looks like Hogan is soaking up the cheers, knowing that he won't hear them again for a long, long time. And then he drops the leg on Randy Savage, revealing himself as the third man. It was so shocking that for a moment there was absolutely nothing from the audience, seemingly in Stunned Silence. Hogan seemed to notice this and so he did it again, and that's when it started to sink in that he was turning bad. In the span of 120 seconds, the crowd went from cheering Hulk Hogan's surprise arrival to booing and hurling garbage at him. At one point, a fan (definitely not a plant) charged into the ring and got dropped by Hall and Nash.
  • Celebrity Star: 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 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", but the most notorious back in WCW was pro basketball player Dennis Rodman. Obviously he wasn't essential, but from a PR standpoint, Rodman was famous back in 1996-1998 and having him join the nWo gave it some mainstream exposure.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • "Wolfpac rules", "We never forget", "It's 4 liiiiife" and "Tooooo sweeeet".
    • Scott Hall had his "survey":
      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!
  • The Chew Toy: Vincent debuted as the "Head of Security" for the nWo. He was always the first guy to get Scorpion Deathdropped by Sting whenever he cleaned house. Sometimes they fed Vincent to the sharks to allow everyone else to get away. However, following the nWo reunification, Vincent gained a degree of genre savvy: the boys would give him a task that would no doubt end in pain, but then Vincent went to Disco Inferno (who for weeks asked the Wolfpac to join them) and claimed they wanted him to do it, with predictable results. Vincent was very pleased with himself.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • People betraying WCW for the nWo left and right.
    • "When you're nWo, you're nWo 4 Life!" Or, at least until you get kicked out. The nWo dropped anyone who was a threat to Hulk Hogan, or arbitrarily upset the rest of the group.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: The "THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER" promos came about when WCW wanted the stable to do promos, but it made no sense for WCW to air promos for an organization which was not a part of WCW, since why wouldn't they just edit it out? The workaround was taping grainy videos and airing them under the kayfabe explanation that the NWO bought their own time on the show (Ted DiBiase being their financial backer).
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The driver of the Hummer is jokingly "revealed" in Ready to Rumble: It's the Nitro Girl Chae. She was shown driving a Hummer at the end of the movie. No one else in the movie was. One can only assume that it was intentional.
  • Dragon Ascendant: With the departure of Hall, the nWo leadership briefly broke up, and Vincent was left holding the whole pie for a month or so.

  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Hogan had trouble shifting gears. Hall and Nash spoke very casually, but Hogan sounded like a typical wrestling promo at first. If you watch the early black and white promos, Hogan is very energized in comparison to Hall and Nash. He sounds like he's ready to jump into "WHATCHA GONNA DO BROTHER???..." at any moment. But in the end, Hollywood Hogan worked out fine.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Once The Outsiders were established, they attacked the entire WCW roster indiscriminately, forcing faces and heels to unite and oppose the trio.
      Arn Anderson: "And I started to think, new world order, new world order, where have I heard that? And I remembered in the Good Book it says, 'When the new world order is put into place it signals the beginning of the end of time.' Well, WCW is our world, it's where we live and breathe. And if you want to destroy it, Hogan and The Outsiders, you've already made a mistake that jumps off the page. If you're gonna take a baseball bat to a Horseman, finish the job. Because there's one rule of gang fighting. See, we are the original gang and we're the most vicious in all of professional wrestling history. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send two of theirs to the morgue."
    • Heenan actually said, "What have I been saying all these years?!" (implying that it's something that he has always said about Hogan) shortly after Hogan did his leg drop. It's kind of interesting because Heenan almost came across as a face for a moment, saying "What do we do now?", as if to say that even he finds what Hogan did to be reprehensible. Heenan also had a personal vendetta against The Outsiders: Heenan hated Hogan for breaking his neck and ending his in ring career (in kayfabe). He also hated The Outsiders because they were a new breed of heel. They were "Outsiders", with no loyalty to WCW faces or heels. Heenan's use of "we" placed The Outsiders on the outside.
    • With Ric Flair beating Bischoff to become WCW President, the two nWo factions put aside their differences. This angle involved merging the elite members of the nWo ("Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Lex Luger, Scott Steiner, and Buff Bagwell), the purpose being to create a heel factory for Flair/Goldberg to contend with.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Hulk Hogan made an example out of his nephew Horace Hogan to Warrior by beating the former senseless and later hitting him with a steel chair, the nWo members accompanying Hogan (The Giant, Vincent and Scott Norton) were all shown to be horrified by this, given Hogan's earlier promise of recruiting Horace into the nWo. They even briefly argue with their leader before Warrior shows up.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect:
    • The Third Man. We're talking months of build-up, with Hall and Nash wrecking havoc and talking about their surprise partner. The speculation about said partner was some of the best drama on TV at the time. It was speculated to be Hogan, but most people thought that was too far-fetched. Savage and Luger were accused of being the third Outsider — Luger especially. He had been acting jittery in the months before the Bash at the Beach card. Most of the dirtsheets were pegging Bret Hart as the third guy. Basically anyone who had a history with the WWF was a suspect.
    • Kevin Nash pissed off a lot of people in 1999; most of them, ironically enough, inside his own stable. Betraying Hulk by entering into talks with Ric Flair, dumping a vat of sewage onto Randy's sunroof, and kicking Scott out of the group for intoxication, among other things. In retaliation, someone tried to kill him with a white Hummer.
  • Evil Costume Switch:
    • Anyone who joined the stable lost their old attire — or at the very least had its color scheme altered to fit the group. (Randy Savage wore a black hat when he joined up.)
    • What started as a costume switch eventually became Sting's "Crow" gimmick: black baseball bat, black trenchcoat, and white warpaint to replace "Surfer" Sting.
  • Evil Versus Evil:
    • The Wolfpac was originally the name Nash, Hall, and Waltman (as Syxx) used as a subgroup within the nWo. Nash's growing issues with Hogan and Bischoff led to the split: those ranged from Syxx being fired to Hall being sent to rehab. In '98 the nWo fractured, with the Wolfpac (led by Kevin Nash) and wearing black and red and turning face. The nWo Hollywood (led by Hogan), still wearing the traditional black and white, stayed heel. The nWo and Wolfpac reunited as a heel faction, with the big names now wearing black and red and the "nWo b-team" relegated to black and white.
    • When Flair returned from a suspension to Nitro in mid-September of '98, he reformed the Horsemen and proceeded to shoot on Bischoff in the most memorable tirade of his career (which is saying something). He quickly lost his marbles after being appointed as WCW President, and there was no one but the nWo to remove him from decision making. By 2000, even Arn Anderson was begging Hogan for help.
  • Eviler than Thou: It's heel logic: they follow the guy with the bigger stick. The Giant joined the nWo less than a month after Hogan beat him for the title. Scott Steiner joined after Hall and Nash literally ran the Steiners' car off the road, causing it to flip (and they laughed it off, too). When the nWo took over Nitro and the commentator booth, Heenan was all, "I love you guys let me in." Next week he went back to normal. It seemed like he joined out of cowardice more then anything.
  • Evil Knockoff: Jeff Farmer as Fake Sting/nWo Sting. At the time it worked really well. All "Sting" did was pop out of a limo in a dimly-lit parking lot and kick Lex Luger before getting back in the limo. Farmer was close enough in size to Sting that it sold well. He worked a WarGames match, too: Hall, Nash, Hogan, & nWo Sting vs. the Horsemen and Sting. He was around for a good while, but after the initial angle it was clear he was an impostor, and nobody tried to pretend otherwise.
  • Foreign Remake: Of a New Japan angle. Bischoff played a black-suited hypeman, similar to Sonny Onoo. The funny part is, New Japan agreed to the feud on the condition that they controlled the booking; all of the UWFI guys ended up getting destroyed by New Japan, and the promotion died a slow death in the end.
  • Honey Trap:
    • The pretext for the "Finger Poke of Doom" was that Goldberg had been arrested for stalking Elizabeth. Apparently, the earlier draft stated that he had been falsely charged with rape, which Goldberg flat-out rejected.note 
    • 1999 has a two-month ongoing storyline which involved a mysterious black and white camera that followed the antics of Torrie Wilson (then-known as Samantha) and David Flair. The whole point of this angle was Hogan and Nash were hiring sexy prostitute Samantha to start a relationship with David Flair, thus messing with Ric Flair's head by having his son turn on him and join the nWo.
  • Hostile Show Takeover:
    • It began with Hall getting into with altercations with WCW wrestlers: attacking wrestlers during matches, in the backstage area, and in parking lots. Hollywood Hogan vyed for, and won, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in the pay-per-view following Bash at the Beach 1996, and spray-painted "nWo" on the belt.
    • There has been lots of speculation that Souled Out was a test run for what would have been a SmackDown-style brand extension in '97: The original plan was for the nWo to take over Nitro while all the babyfaces fled to the newly-minted Thunder. At around this time there were instances of the nWo taking over Nitro commentary booth and covering up virtually all of the WCW logos. The stipulation for control of Nitro was fought over by Eric Bischoff and Larry Zbyszko at Starrcade '97. The nWo then had their own "unauthorized" pay-per-view where they pitted themselves against literally everyone else on the roster...and then the PPV flopped. After a poor showing at Souled Out and an even worse nWo Nitro test run (the episode where they spent an hour remodeling the set), the decision-makers got the point.
    • In 1998, Hogan and Bischoff feuded with TV personality Jay Leno, even 'taking over' a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Between a commercial break, Leno teamed up with Diamond Dallas Page to force the nWo out of his studio. This was a lead-up to the main event of Road Wild, Hollywood Hogan vs. Jay Leno. (Sadly, it wasn't even the worst match on the card.)
  • If I Can't Have You…: This was Vince's reason for bringing the nWo into the WWF, as he was in a feud with Ric Flair at the time (who in storyline was controlling half of the WWF) and didn't care for the way Flair was running his half of the company.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover:
    • The idea for the nWo was based off a New Japan storyline where a group of wrestlers broke away to form a rival brand (UWF International) within the company. Eric Bischoff would go on to make deals that resulted in a talent exchange and an nWo-themed stable in Japan. Scott Norton was a representative of nWo Japan and one of the biggest members of that group.
    • The nWo used to be ex-WWF guys only. That was their whole shtick: guys from up North who were there to crap on WCW while showing their old boss (Vince McMahon) that they were bigger than his whole promotion. Not long after Hogan turned heel, it was also reported that Jeff Jarrett and Ted DiBiase would join the group once their WWF contracts expired and would will be making plays for any WWF stars (such as Davey Boy Smith) whose contracts were nearing their end.
    • At WrestleMania 31, we got to see the original nWo square off against the infamous D-Generation X Army.
  • Invincible Villain: The New World Order really did become the "poison" which helped kill WCW. Their top guys (namely Hogan, Hall, and Nash) rarely lost, and when they did lose, they often got their wins back. If they lost a belt, odds are their opponents would be stripped the next night. The group grew in power when Eric Bischoff (one of the commentators) was revealed to be the Executive Vice-President of WCW, and began to work on their behalf.
  • Joker Jury:
    • Hang on, is that ref wearing sunglasses....? It's Nick Patrick! He's baaaaaaaaaaack.
      Patrick: "Thanks to the NWO, my officiating has improved immensely."
    • nWo Souled Out '97. The idea is that it's an nWo show and not a WCW one, so everyone is a heel. The announcer is a heel (a voice over the loudspeaker berating the "face" wrestlers before/during the match), the referee is a heel (Nick Patrick), and both commentators are heels. Everyone either walks out to nWo music, or no music at all. The nWo's theme is badass, but not for every match (and for most of the matches it wasn't even the nWo theme, "Rockhouse", but another tune that was later given to the nWo B-Team, which says a lot about it). The only three matches lost by the nWo wrestlers were due to exceptional circumstances.note 
  • Kick the Dog: Telling the audience members to "stick it", firing honest referees (and replacing them with stooges), stripping wrestlers of titles at will, turning friends against friends, spray-painting a championship belt, trashing the set for 30 minutes, the incessant verbal taunts, Bischoff summoning his guys to deliver gang-style beatdowns, slapping women, false allegations of stalking, handcuffing their opponents to a pole, zapping them with a cattle prod, attempted hit-and-run attempt with a white Hummer, beating up Ric Flair in a cornfield, kidnapping...the list goes on.
  • Kneel Before Zod:
    • Enticing fallen wrestlers (such as Curt Hennig and Randy Savage) to join their stable. Savage took a weekly beatdown, had his back sprayed-painted yellow, got whipped... Then Savage just showed up one day in nWo gear. The implied logic was, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. They also gave him Miss Elizabeth as a "gift" for joining the nWo.
    • Diamond Dallas Page was a noted aversion. Having worked with him before, Hall and Nash tried everything in their power in order to get him to join the nWo. However, DDP would always give them the Diamond Cutter for their troubles. The nWo seemed untouchable, so giving that rub to DDP did wonders for his career.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Hogan's Face–Heel Turn stood out as the most shocking. More and more fans tuned in to watch as war erupted inside WCW, as the entire roster all found themselves in the sights of the ever-growing nWo. Fans must have liked what they saw, since the WWF began hemorrhaging viewers while WCW swept them up.
  • Kudzu Plot: nWo, nWo Wolfpac, nWo Hollywood, nWo 2000...That's a lot of twists and turns for something which was supposed to be 4LIFE.
  • Merchandise-Driven:
  • Meet the New Boss: The "nWo 2000" storyline was aborted after treading after Bret Hart (the leader) and Goldberg were put back on the shelf due to injury. WCW management decided to do a creative reboot starting in April. They took a week off beforehand as a "best of" show that established that Vince Russo (who had never been on screen before) believed in younger talent, but Bischoff was supportive of the old guard. It was then announced that Nitro would vacate all the titles and reboot the storyline: You had The Millionaires' Club, a collection of jaded veterans who want to hold on to their top spot, and The New Blood, a group of hungry, young talent who want a chance to shine (i.e. anyone not named Hogan).
  • Motive Decay:
    • Once Zbysko beat Bischoff at Starrcade '97, the nWo kinda dropped the whole "We want our own show" thing entirely and just started complaining about how Ted Turner wouldn't give them their own show.
    • The Fingerpoke of Doom saw the nWo Wolfpac/nWo Hollywood feud being dropped for apparently no reason. The behind-kayfabe reason for the Fingerpoke was that Bischoff thought that "rebooting" the nWo angle might recreate its glory days, but there was never any reason besides "we're heels and it was funny" given by Hogan and Nash themselves as to why they did it.

  • Obfuscating Disability: The last Nitro of 1999 saw Scott Steiner making a tearful retirement speech after (allegedly) suffering a stinger earlier in the year, and being verbally berated by the nWo. Later in the night, he was about to make the save for Sid Vicious, hit Sid with a lead pipe, then removed his back brace and shirt to join the nWo. This was also used against Rick Steiner by Buff Bagwell, who was legitimately injured by Steiner, but kept up the appearance long after he had recovered.
  • Only in It for the Money: The MO of The Outsiders. They take over wrestling shows, milk them dry, then move on to do the same to a different company.
  • 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, but everybody not involved in the nWo storyline was downgraded to geeks. Another nWo problem is that you doesn't want to make them too heelish or too facey, since that might hurt T-shirt sales. Thus, you end up with the nWo playing the babyfaces much of the time, whilst wrestling other faces. This weakened the face/heel dynamic which powers the crowd, and made the babyfaces look ineffective for the most part, since they can't get a blowoff win which might make the nWo look bad. And if a babyface did get the blowoff win, then you'd have a divided crowd on the issue.
  • Power Trio: The very first line up, which was composed of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
  • Putting the Band Back Together:
    • Fast-forward to 2002. By that point, WCW was a thing of the past, and Hogan was a free-agent after his successful stint in that company, albeit one with diminishing returns after the extraordinary run of '96 and '97. The original Outsiders were brought back for No Way Out, this time by Vince McMahon, who sought to destroy his own company ("INJECT IT WITH POISON"). Unfortunately, the storyline didn't take off as hoped. This marked the last appearance of the nWo for over a decade.
    • The old nWo guys are at the point where it seems weird if they aren't involved. TNA literally put the band back together in 2010: Nash, Hall and Sean Waltman formed "The Band" and began feuding with Hogan and Bischoff, who had gained control of the company in the intervening years. This angle fell apart due to medical concerns, and Waltman turned heel/face/heel (giving poor Eric Young "Stockholm Syndrome") in the process of being hastily written off television. Hall's personal demons caught up with him, leading to his exit as well, making this variant of the nWo short-lived. Later that year, Hogan announced the formation of his own stable at Bound for Glory: Immortal, an nWo copycat with Hogan and Bischoff in command.
    • Feeling pride in what they nearly accomplished in WCW and realizing The Authority was trying to stomp out WCW with Sting, they decided to defy McMahon one more time and help Sting defeat Triple H at WrestleMania...even though former nWo members were now in DX, but nevermind!
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Inverted with the nWo Wolfpac. At first they were no better than nWo Hollywood and split from Hogan and Bischoff due to purely selfish reasons, however Sting's influence slowly turned them into good guys.
  • The Rival:
    • Most of Sting's career, going on 30 years now, has been defined by his battle with Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, and Kevin Nash. With the exception from Flair (now retired, along with the rest of Hogan's rogues gallery) Sting is the wrestler Hulk dislikes most of all.
    • It took WCW a while to get a counter offensive going. After the Horsemen were defeated, Sting disappeared from TV, and Macho Man changed sides, it was pretty much just Luger. Lex was always a Tweener though, as he was one of the three guys on the opposing team at Bash at the Beach. Diamond Dallas Page was the first WCW midcarder to finally stand up and get a shot in at the nWo. (In fact, he wasn't even fully face until that moment.) From there, he began his famous feud with Savage.
    • Everyone talks about Sting vs. Hogan at Starrcade. Fact is, The Horsemen vs. the nWo was the real feud in WCW. It represented the history of wrestling on Turner Broadcasting, actual WCW vs. the WWF, and young vs. old (Brian Pillman and Chris Benoit in the Horsemen, then Benoit and Dean Malenko after Arn's injury).

  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Early 90s wrestling was simply ridiculous, and Hogan arriving in WCW only worsened the problems. Hogan turning heel was the point when wrestling as a whole got a lot more serious.
  • Spell My Name With An S: It's "nWo", not "NWO", "Nwo" or "N.W.O."
  • Smug Snake: The faces on Hall and Nash the minute they realize they just landed on an awesome pay day.
  • Spoonerism:
    • Hogan flubbed the first promo and forgot they were the Order. The hilarious part is he did say Order a couple times. But in the very last one, which is the soundbite they use for almost all of the old nWo promos, it's where he says "New World Organization!"
    • "'Where the big boys play.' But look at the adjective: play. We're not here to play!" Kevin Nash has professed to be many things, but never claimed to be an English major.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: 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). The few remaining holdouts, led by Nash, formed their own faction called the nWo Wolfpac—and, in doing so, dispelled any lingering doubt that the nWo brand was here to stay. Despite this, the group faded away from television after Time-Warner took a more active role in booking Nitro, and Bischoff was driven away. A final attempt at reviving the group came in 2000, but it failed, and WCW was driven out of business in early 2001.
  • Start of Darkness: Hogan telegraphed his heel turn way back in Halloween Havoc with Darkside Hogan. The Dungeon of Doom were feuding with Hogan at the time, and as the feud escalated, they ambushed Hogan and shaved his mustache on October 2, 1995. Said 'darkness' was simply not wearing yellow and red, instead wearing black to sell how evil the Dungeon of Doom was, and referring to Hulkamaniacs as Hulkamanoids. The man who can dissect the human chess game known as wrestling could see cracks forming in WWE that the nWo could take advantage of.
  • Start My Own: The Wolfpac faction, which became immensely popular over time, was apparently formed because members like Nash and Savage were tired of Hogan trying to make the nWo all about him even when they were getting world title shots. Yet, not only did they keep the name, but they continued using the exact same nWo logo.
  • Sunglasses at Night: They wore sunglasses at night.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Ted DiBiase was the very first addition to the group, acting as a mouthpiece and bribing other wrestlers to join. Within a few weeks he had surrendered his spokesperson role to Eric Bischoff, which DiBiase believes is what Bischoff wanted anyway. DiBiase was pretty steamed about this and chose to retire from wrestling altogether, even though he still had a 3-year contract.
    • In 1998, Hall no-showed and was sent back to rehab, leaving The Giant (of all people) to assume his place: the fist bumps, the cigs, the poses, the "Hey, yos!"... even pushing nWo shirts onto people. Big Tobacco quickly ditched the cigarettes, though, due to pressure from standards and practices. Scott returned a few months later.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: "We have seen the end of Hulkamania." The disdain Tony Schiavone had in his voice for that call was something else.
    Schiavone: Hulk Hogan, you can go to Hell. Straight to Hell.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: The massive expansion of the nWo was initially conceived as a gateway to turning nWo into its own brand altogether, with the nWo banner being put either alongside or outright replacing WCW's in several events (namely the two Souled Out pay-per-views and a Nitro takeover episode). In addition, Thunder was also originally going to be nWo Thunder, but after Souled Out bombed, Bischoff realized, oh.
  • Villain Decay:
    • Go check out Souled Out '97. It's one of the most bizarre things ever seen in wrestling. In Eddie Guerrero's book, he complained about this particular match: Eddie was trying to get over as a heel, but the finish to this match, in which he managed to snatch victory, made it seem like he was a face, since a non-nWo heel on an nWo show is technically a face. However, he went back to his heel character the following night.
    • Want to know why the nWo became a trite gimmick in 1999? Because Stevie Ray and Vincent were feuding for leadership of nWo Black and White. Since when is Stevie Ray affiliated with the nWo? What happened to all of the main-eventers?
    • They were very homogenized in WWE. The feeling of invasion is what made them work, and that feeling simply did not exist with Vince McMahon personally bringing them in. One of their first backstage segments was walking around greeting everyone. Not much of an invading force. Nash would also complain how it was basically dead in the water as soon as Hulk walked out the very first day, got all teary-eyed, and thanked the fans for accepting him back, the exact opposite of his "these fans can stick it, brother!" promo at Bash at the Beach '96. They were treated like a normal stable instead of a hostile takeover group. As it turns out, there is much more money in Hogan as a nostalgia babyface: by the time they appeared in Milwaukee, they were over with the crowd, and it was hard for them to get heat. All the fans could see was Razor Ramon, Diesel, and Hulk Hogan. They couldn't hate them.
    • Nash agreed to return to wrestling so long as TNA made Immortal, a new stable modeled on the original Outsiders, look like a dominating force. The Main Event Mafia, who were specifically brought back onto the show to fight Immortal, would be on near-equal ground and the feud would mean something. The week before Nash left the company, TNA filmed an angle where Crimson planted "Janice" (Abyss's nail-enhanced 2×4) into the back of Abyss, who was then-serving as Immortal's muscle. Nash saw no point in returning when Immortal looked weaker and weaker with each passing week. After that, it just became an excuse for Garett Bischoff to turn face and feud with his old man.
  • White Gangbangers: The nWo was modelled pretty heavily on an LA street gang, with their hand signs, members all wearing the same colours and spraypaint, even their motto "nWo 4 life" is similar to several of the more brutal gangs like MS-13 that execute members who try to leave. Being raised from the fairly monochrome WCW roster, they were made up almost entirely of whites, and one fake Hispanic. They did have Konnan who, with his plaid shirt over a white t-shirt, bandanas on his head and knee, and legit street background, was the most "gangster" nWo member. And on the strength of a Latino-style rap video (though he himself is Cuban by descent), he was for several months one of the most over wrestlers on the roster.
  • You Are Number 6: Syxx was so named for being the sixth man to join, even though the nWo Sting was sixth technically.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Vince brought the nWo into WWE, then disbanded the group permanently when they were no longer useful to him. Ironic when you consider that it was implied Hall and Nash were moles sent by the WWF, though eventually it was established (in kayfabe and Real Life) that Vince was not well-liked by them either and did not send them.
  • Zerg Rush: One of the strengths of the nWo 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 of course Sting was involved. (Sting became an invincible overlord who could get in the ring with literally 25 guys and whip all their asses.)

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

Alternative Title(s): NWO