One of the most iconic and popular factions in wrestling history, the New World Order helped WCW overtake WWE, and it may have also helped WCW go out of business.
The head of the group, Hulk Hogan, joined Booker T’s podcast to talk about the group and exactly whose idea it was to form the faction.
“I remember Eric Bischoff talking about the idea. It was on a dollar bill, if you turn a dollar bill over it says New World Order. So, he was telling me there was a group of wrestlers in Japan doing the New World Order thing, so I don’t know if he came up with the idea, or if the idea was from Japan, but he was the one that approached me with it. I really didn’t get it at first since I am a slow learner, but as soon as I understood what was going on, I jumped all over it because it did get red-hot,” stated Hogan.
The NWO started red-hot, but then it just kept adding more and more members and became watered down. It had a total of 60 members (in the WCW version) and Hogan revealed if the NWO’s existence was a good thing or a bad thing.
“I think that if Eric could have went back, I think he would have handled it much differently,” said Hogan. “Believe it or not, for Eric to be in that spot, it’s not like he had been in 20 territories you know what I mean? So, for him to run the company like that this is like his first territory really, so running your first territory you are going to make mistakes. It’s not like he worked for different territories, this was his first gig and they threw him right in the main event. He’s running the company, so of course you tend to make mistakes, but I think he probably would have re-thought a lot of things if he had to do it over again now.
“Even though we watered it down, brought too many guys in and didn’t handle it right, a lot of guys sometimes didn’t want to put their wrestling boots on. Some guys would rather talk than wrestle and all that other crap going on.”
Hogan says that even with all of the problems the group has, people still put those aside and marked out for the nWo when they made their WWE debut after WCW’s dissolution.
“Even with the red nWo and black nWo and all the mistakes that we had made, forget all of that stuff. When I went back to work in the WWF and I wrestled The Rock, it’s like none of those mistakes mattered. And when we walked into the WWF we were red hot. I mean, when I locked up in Toronto [WrestleMania 18] with The Rock they booed him out of the building, it was crazy that WrestleMania 18 match. After that night Vince McMahon made me go and put the red and yellow on,” said Hogan.
“When [the nWo] came [to WWE], all the babyfaces like Triple H, The Rock and Steve Austin, we were the guys who were trying to put Vince McMahon out of business and now we are coming in as Vince McMahon’s poison and to get a push. We didn’t really get a push they just threw us out there to see what would happen. We ended up rocking the place and all of a sudden all of the babyfaces up there are getting booed by the guys that are trying to put us out of business. They changed that really quick.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Hall of Fame w/ Booker T with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.