The NWO and its Impact On The Wrestling Business
On May 19th, 1996, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall wrestled their final matches for WWE as Diesel and Razor Ramon, respectively. Not long before then, talent-stealer extraordinaire Eric Bischoff managed to get them to agree to sign fat, guaranteed pay contracts to appear for Vince McMahon’s competition, Ted Turner and WCW. Hall made his debut first on the May 27th, 1996 episode of Monday Night Nitro. He was positioned an outsider, a WWE dispatched invader, coming out of the crowd to interrupt the show and tease the arrival of a friend-in-arms.
Kevin Nash debuted two weeks later, during a segment where Scott Hall was accosting Eric Bischoff as he tried to call the broadcast. On that night, Nash cut one of the most infamous promos in the history of the business. Kevin Nash doesn’t know what an adjective is:
In the ensuing months, Hall and Nash tore through the entire WCW locker room, making Vince and the WWE much stronger than their competition in the process. Two of the guys he picked came in and destroyed everyone. How does that make all those guys look? The only ones who could defend the WCW lines were Macho Man Randy Savage, burned by Vince McMahon, Sting, and Lex Luger. It led to a match between the three and Nash and Hall, The Outsiders.
Scott and Kevin promised that a third team member, somebody else already planted in the WCW locker room, would be joining them in the ring. The match itself took place at Bash At The Beach on July 7th, 1996 at The Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. Of course, as history would have it, Hulk Hogan was the third man that The Outsiders were talking about.
The idea was genius. The concept behind it is that Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan had an idea years ago that they would fake a blow out, and send The Hulkster undercover into Turner’s locker room. It captured the imagination of millions and spread throughout the world with white-hot fury. The black and white of the NWO t-shirts were seen all over the place. It was a true phenomenon.
It would all be downhill from there, however. The NWO continued to run rough-shot over the entire company, creating a stale, boring product after a while. It got to the point where the concept was insufferable. It went from a selected group of top-level performers, to like thirty guys and twelve stables. There was NWO black and white, NWO Latino, NWO Wolfpac, and so on and so forth. It was too much. Not to mention, the backstage politics being played to retain positioning among the top of the company. It was all too much. It directly led to the death of WCW, which I will cover in the future.
Until then, at least enjoy some classic NWO.
The good ol’ days, and what have you…