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Saturday, January 16, 2016

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The Rise And Fall of The NWO

How else would we close out WCW Week on the site? The most important faction possibly in the history of wrestling that was birthed in WCW. The Takeover. A force that reigned as virtually unstoppable for so long that their legacy is beyond solidified. Today, the team gathers to finish off the week right and discuss this force in professional wrestling that changed the business and WCW forever.

The New World Order was a revolutionary concept for World Championship Wrestling and injected some much-needed life into a company that had a very boring product at the time. Hall and Nash, formally Diesel and Razor Ramon of the World Wrestling Federation jumped ship to WCW and promised that they would have a third man at WCW Bash At The Beach 1996 to battle Lex Luger, Randy Savage, and Sting in a match dubbed The "Hostile Takeover".  Everyone was buzzing about whom the third man was going to be, but nobody would have guessed that it was going to be the biggest face in the company and that Hulkamania would die that night as Hollywood Hogan was born.

From there we went into an exciting time for not just WCW but wrestling as a whole. However it was recycled way too much and eventually split off into two different warring factions which was cool for a while until it ultimately became pointless and then the finger poke of doom happened and it pretty much had run its course at that point. Still WCW tried and tried to reinvent the wheel, but failed to do so and would eventually cease to exist as of March 26, 2001.

The NWO was a perfect storm. It happened in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. Hogan dropping the leg on Randy Savage signified Hogan's first turn to the dark side since his AWA days. The red and yellow was replaced with black and white, and with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash by his side, they would go on to take over WCW. Over the coming months and years, they would recruit people in droves. This massive shift on talent would cause the NWO to split off into their own "company." The only problem with this is that EVERYONE was jumping to the NWO, so much so that the NWO split into two different factions, black & white and the Wolfpac. It became too big to handle, not to mentions the massive clashing egos backstage just proved to be a recipe for disaster. A lot of people like to pine over yesterday, reminiscing on the Monday night Wars and wishing the wrestling business could return to those days. The fact of the matter is that the phenomena of the NWO, the sheer scale and impact of the NWO, couldn't be recreated if you tried. It was a moment in time where the right people came together at the right time, doing things that you couldn't get away with on WWE television today. It was a glorious time to be a wrestling fan, and I'm glad I was around to see it, because those memories will stay with me forever.

My relationship with nWo is a love and hate one. I loved that they brought up an era in wrestling that was a lot more realistic. I loved that it wasn't as obvious they were just playing characters (seriously, who was blown when they found out Razor Ramon was really a white dude named Scott Hall). I even marked out for Hollywood Hogan getting his heel turn on.

However, I hated the "oh, nWo has to rule everything" storylines. I hated bullshit like the F.P.O.D. "match" and the Goldberg versus Scott Hall taser match. I hated how nWo sometimes devolved into "[blank] on a pole" matches. I hated nWo's "oh, everyone's part of the group now, even if they're Wolfpac, nWo Latino, nWo Japan, nWo Black History Month, and what the hell ever."

The fact that nWo was involved in everything and never had a clear end, for me, was a main reason why the group fell. I mean, even The Shield and the McMahon-Helmsley Faction ended. Even The Authority takes a seat once in a while. But, for the nWo? They were always friggin' there. So, while I love the NWO, the reality is, it brought its own demise.



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