The nWo may go down as the most revolutionary idea in the history of professional wrestling. A group within the organization trying to take it over made matches that much more important and storylines so intriguing. Let’s take a look back at the members of the nWo and how they rank in the group.
36. Horace Hogan
He had no business in the nWo and for that matter he had no business in professional wrestling. Look at his last name and you’ll quickly figure out how he got the gig.
35. Dusty Rhodes
Dusty always finds a way to squeeze into the center of attention, but making himself part of the nWo was just silly. He managed The Outsiders for a bit, but it was awkward and weird.
34. The Harris Brothers
As WCW was coming to a close, the nWo had dwindled down to these two guys and Jeff Jarrett. Not exactly Hogan, Nash, and Hall, is it?
It was so weird for Sting to join the nWo because he had always been their biggest rival. The problem with everyone joining the group is that you have no one good left for them to feud with.
32. Lex Luger
Luger is a great, old school good guy who waves the American flag and hugs young fans in the crowd. Unfortunately he was totally unrealistic as an nWo member. He definitely should have stayed in his classic role.
31. Bret Hart
WCW signing Bret Hart should have been a much bigger deal. Letting Hart feud with the nWo would have been huge for ratings and given balance to the organization. It didn’t happen and Hart never reached his potential with the company.
30. Shawn Michaels
After the WWE acquired WCW, they tried to keep the nWo going for a bit, but the whole concept was clearly over. Michaels may have been able to carry it, but the rest of the group had either gotten injured, fired, or a new character, so it didn’t have a chance.
29. David Flair
His time wasn’t much in the nWo as he basically sided with Hogan as a short-lived storyline, which had him turning his back on his dad, Ric Flair. He wasn’t much in the talent department so it all just felt kind of silly.
28. Michael Wallstreet
There was no point whatsoever in having Wallstreet as part of the nWo except to be able to announce that the nWo would be appearing on WCW Saturday Night without any of the major players having to participate.
27. Booker T
Booker T was a victim of bad timing and goofy storylines. If it had been Harlem Heat Booker T joining the nWo, it could have been huge. This was right after his tag team stint with Goldust so no one took it seriously.
26. Brian Adams
The only interesting part of Adams” time in the nWo was his bizarre exit. He got into a limousine that we were told also contained the members of KISS. When the limo stopped, he stepped out as the Kiss Demon. It made no sense whatsoever.
25. Stevie Ray
Just because Stevie Ray is ranked above Booker T, don’t take that as him being a better wrestler. Steve Ray’s time as a singles wrestler apart from Booker T was good for nothing except showing that he’s not a very good wrestler.
24. Jeff Jarrett
You can’t go from a group being run by Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Hulk Hogan, and then expect us to take it seriously when Jeff Jarrett is in charge. It’s just two completely different classes of wrestlers.
23. Big Bubba Rogers
The original members of the nWo were so cool. They were charismatic and cocky while also being larger than life and extremely intimidating. Then there was Big Bubba Rogers who always looked like he had just woken up in the clothes he had worn the night before.
22. Disco Inferno
At least Disco Inferno was in on the joke and wasn’t taking himself seriously as the errand boy of the nWo. A lot of fans had already abandoned WCW by the time he joined the crew, but they really didn’t miss much.
21. The Disciple
Remember how P. Diddy used to just dance behind Biggie Smalls in videos and occasionally yell out, “Yeah!” or just laugh? That’s basically what the artist formerly known as Brutus the Barber Beefcake did with the nWo.
20. Scott Norton
It’s unfortunate that Norton never got a good storyline because he was an absolute beast and could have been molded into a real superstar. While he did have some success with nWo Japan, he just never got the right spotlight in the US.
19. Masahiro Chono
Most of the US fans didn’t see much of Chono, but while teaming with The Great Muta, he had a great run with nWo Japan.
18. Dennis Rodman
Of course he wasn’t anywhere near a talented wrestler, but it was the perfect celebrity to be a part of the nWo. He was already a cartoon character so the transition to wrestling personality was seamless.
I don’t ever remember his actually doing anything, but the fact that the nWo had him was awesome. He was Virgil in the WWF to make fun of Dusty Rhodes and then Vincent in the nWo to make fun of McMahon. His career was just a running joke, but you can’t help but cheer for him.
Konnan was never a household name, but he was a vital part of the nWo Wolfpac. He also gave the nWo an athlete besides Syxx to battle in the cruiserweight division that was so full of talent during that time in WCW.
15. The Great Muta
The Great Muta was the most popular nWo Japan member in the US since most fans were already familiar with him and the mist of paint he would spit in opponent’s faces. He was such a big star internationally that having him in the group gave it even more credibility.
14. Curt Hennig
Henning joined the group at a time when it was already overrun with big names so he never really got a chance to sign. That doesn’t mean his turn to the nWo wasn’t spectacular. Hennig was a member of the Four Horsemen, the pedigree of wrestling, and ended up attacking Flair at Fall Brawl, thus turning on the group. It was a huge, unprecedented moment.
13. The Giant
The Giant’s jump to the nWo was portrayed as a bribe from DiBiase which made the nWo even more intimidating because it wasn’t just outside wrestlers coming in and joining, they also had the financial power to buy the loyalty of WCW’s top talent. The Giant flip-flopped back and forth between the nWo and WCW a few times before finally leaving and going to the WWE.
12. Randy Savage
Savage made a great jump to the nWo after being one of their biggest adversaries for months. He had a fantastic feud with Diamond Dallas Page and eventually moved to the Wolfpac where he feuded with Hogan and the other main eventers.
11. Buff Bagwell
The nWo was the greatest thing that ever happened to Bagwell. As a part of the American Males he was pretty much a glorified male dancer, but the Buff Bagwell persona made him highly popular. Unfortunately his career was put on hold when his neck was broken during a match with Rick Steiner. He was never the same after that.
10. Scott Steiner
Just like Bagwell, Steiner went through a complete transformation after joining the nWo. He dumped the traditional collegiate wrestler look and became Big Poppa Pump. Sure it was a ridiculous name and he looked like Guy Fieri, but the crowd definitely responded strongly to his new persona.
9. Nick Patrick
One of the coolest storylines after the nWo had become established was that they had recruited a bias referee. Eventually it got silly when he would wear a sleeveless ref shirt and feud with Randy Anderson, but the original concept was great.
8. Rick Rude
Rude may have had the best debut of anyone, as he showed up live on Monday Nitro while also appearing on a pre-recorded Monday Night Raw. It was unprecedented and made the nWo look that much more powerful.
7. Fake Sting
The novelty wore off quickly, but when Fake Sting was first used and we thought he had betrayed Lex Luger and WCW, it was mind blowing. The nWo had everything else, so why not have their own version of Sting as well? Plus, it made the feud between Sting and the group that much stronger.
Syxx had a much bigger impact on wrestling than you could even imagine. Not only was he a fantastic wrestler, he was also a close friend to Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. So when Eric Bischoff fired him as a show of power, Hall and Nash began to pull away from the company that eventually went under. It may be a bit of a stretch, but that move may have sealed the fate of WCW.
5. Ted Dibiase
In a genius move, WCW decided to explain how the nWo was able to buy commercials and advertising during Nitro events by introducing a secret financial backer. Of course everyone knew Dibiase as the Million Dollar Man, so even if WCW never came out and called him the Million Dollar Man, simply referring to him as the rich, financial backbone of the organization was all you needed.
4. Eric Bischoff
Bischoff played his part way too well. He knew exactly how to get the crowd going and made the nWo even more legitimate because with a powerful member of WCW’s front office on board they seemed like they could really take over the company. We’ll ignore his tag team match against Jay Leno.
3. Hulk Hogan
A lot of people would probably consider Hogan as the most important member, and while his leg drop heard round the world was huge, the nWo had already been established at that point even if it was just known as The Outsiders. Hogan was huge, but we’ll talk about the biggest moments next.
2. Kevin Nash
Nash may not have started the group, but he kept it alive the longest. His debut was absolutely shocking in the pre-internet spoiler days when we had no idea who the “big man” was that Scott Hall had been talking about. Once he powerbombed Bischoff through that table, you knew that you were seeing something that was going to change everything about wrestling.
1. Scott Hall
There has never been a more shocking moment in wrestling than when Scott Hall came through the crowd in street clothes and made it seem as though he was “invading” WCW. Wrestlers had jumped from one organization to another countless times, but it was never presented in a way that made it seem a guy wasn’t supposed to be there. He was the one that started it all and set the nWo in motion.