Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan ignited the industry when they helped launch the New World Order faction in World Championship Wrestling and ignited the «Monday Night Wars» with WWE.
Nash and Hall jumping from WWE, known as the World Wrestling Federation at the time, to WCW in 1996 and Hogan turning around to join them was a pivotal moment in the industry. Inspired by Eric Bischoff, the NWO helped catapult WCW over WWE in the ratings and helped spark their rival’s «Attitude Era».
The history of the NWO will be featured on the season 3 premiere of «Biography: WWE Legends» on A&E Sunday at 8 pm ET.
The episode chronicles how Bischoff was able to convince the audience at the time that WCW was being invaded by a rival company and that the industry’s top stars all turned to WCW. The angle was incredibly popular, and almost everyone in WCW at the time had joined the NWO, plus a handful of stars, including Sting, who developed the persona of him to feud with the group.
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Sean Waltman, known as X-Pac and Syxx in the prime of his wrestling career, told Fox News Digital that he was coming with Nash and Hall, but couldn’t because of a contract issue. When he finally came to WCW, he was known as Syxx because he was the sixth member of the faction and was originally known as the 1-2-3 Kid. Those numbers add up to six.
He said he had a bit of notoriety from his time as the 1-2-3 Kid, but by the time he joined the NWO, he was on the next level.
«I got to be a part of the NWO stuff and like walking through airports and just in public… Man, it was like night and day. You were recognized everywhere, and you could tell it was so much bigger.» on a scale,» he said. «It just totally changed the industry. It revolutionized it. I’m grateful to have been a part of this.»
As the stable grew in popularity, so did the heat of fans who wholeheartedly supported WCW wrestlers. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, and Goldberg were among the best not to join the NWO. Although Sting had some iconic feuds with the main members of the NWO, he would even join a branch later on.
But the heat in the NWO members was real and it turned some shows into chaos.
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«Back then, and it all started when the Hulk joined the NWO, people started throwing things into the ring: bottles, glasses, soda. They threw everyone in the ring. It started coming everywhere we went and it started to happen,» Waltman told Fox News Digital. .
«And that was crazy because we were in Sturgis, South Dakota at the biker rally. We did pay-per-views there for a while. I got hit in the back of the head with a big pitcher of Gatorade that went flying through the air, and was about to knock me down.
«It reminds you of football matches in Europe when fans start fighting each other. It’s not necessarily hooligans, but fans of different teams are pitted against each other. That has never happened in wrestling before, and it was a real one. tribal thing with the NWO fans and the WCW fans. It was a riot. I think it was in Canton, Ohio.»
The NWO story was so big and popular that it crossed over into other sports.
Dennis Rodman was a wrestling outsider who had a hand in WCW history, even taking time off from the Chicago Bulls as they hoped to capture a title during the 1996-97 season.
«I don’t necessarily have a favorite moment that ranks up there with the things we did. Like arriving in Chicago at the United Center in a limo with the Hulk and Randy Savage, Scott and Dennis Rodman. Right when the Bulls were in the championships , stuff like that,» Waltman said when asked if he had a favorite NWO moment. «Moments like that were really cool. To be there with Ric Flair, to have to deal with Ric Flair, that’s a dream come true.»
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Rodman made his NWO debut with Hogan on «Monday Nitro» on March 10, 1997. He also appeared on Uncensored that same month. His first match came in July 1997 at Bash at the Beach. During the Bulls’ 1998 playoff run, Rodman skipped practice to appear with Hogan on Nitro.
«He was a good guy,» Waltman said of Rodman. «He was a little socially awkward, shy. It wasn’t like he was really talkative. It was great. It was great to have him there. The guy was so into it. He skipped practice during playoff games to show off on Nitro.» .
As fans tune in over the weekend after watching Elimination Chamber on Saturday, Waltman hopes they enjoy the episode.
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«I really just want them to enjoy it,» Waltman said, «to help them remember NWO fondly and bring good memories to the surface. That’s what it’s about now.»