The nWo to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2020
The nWo, one of sports-entertainment’s most controversial factions, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020.
With The nWo’s induction, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman will all become two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductees. Hogan was first inducted in 2005, Hall in 2014 (as Razor Ramon), Nash in 2015 (as Diesel) and Waltman in 2019 (as X-Pac of of D-Generation X). They join Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Booker T as multi-time inductees. News of their induction was first reported by ESPN.
The New World Order came about at a time when the sports-entertainment industry was at its most contentious. WCW was out to take over WWE’s spot at the top of the business, but soon had to worry about an invasion of its own. Scott Hall, weeks removed from appearing on WWE television as Razor Ramon, showed up on Monday Nitro on Memorial Day 1996 and warned WCW that war was coming. He was soon backed up by Kevin Nash, also fresh off WWE TV. The two promised to bring the fight to WCW’s door, but promised to have a third man on their side, setting the stage for a huge six-man tag team battle with WCW flagbearers Sting, Lex Luger & “Macho Man” Randy Savage at Bash at the Beach 1996.
During that match, the unthinkable happened. Hogan, who had to that point been an American hero, telling his fans to train, say their prayers and eat their vitamins, crushed Savage with his trademark leg drop and embraced The Outsiders. Hogan’s shocking actions turned the sports-entertainment world on its head. As garbage rained down on the ring, hurled by fans furious at their longtime hero, Hogan told his Hulkamaniacs to “stick it,” showing that this was not the Hulk Hogan they new before.
Hogan ditched his trademark red-and-yellow gear for black-and-white, added jet-black stubble to his iconic mustache and began calling himself “Hollywood” Hogan. The new attitude, backed by the supreme swagger of Hall and Nash, made The nWo one of the most reviled groups in sports-entertainment history. The in-your-face attitude that Waltman added when he joined the groups weeks later as Waltman, a.k.a. Syxx, helped turn The New World Order into the premier force in WCW. They dominated WCW stalwarts like Sting and Luger, pulled one over on the ruthless Four Horsemen in WarGames, and defaced the WCW Championship after Hogan captured it, spray painting “nWo” across the golden title in crude black letters.
Although they might have been WCW’s most nefarious villains, The nWo became a genuine pop culture phenomenon. Their infamous black-and-white t-shirts soon took over wrestling arenas as the group exploded in popularity.
After WCW’s closing in 2001, it wasn’t long before The New World Order made its way to WWE. Mr. McMahon unleashed Hogan, Hall and Nash on WWE in 2002, setting the stage for dream matches between The nWo and some of the Attitude Era’s biggest stars, namely The Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. WrestleMania X8 played host to two huge battles, one featuring Austin against Hall, the other pitting Hogan against The Great One. “Hollywood’s” battle against The Rock reignited the WWE Universe’s Hulkamania and kicked Hogan’s second WWE stint into high gear.
For turning the sports-entertainment world upside down and going on to become one of the ring’s most dominant factions, The nWo is deserving of enshrinement in the WWE Hall of Fame.