Nineteen years ago this week, Hulk Hogan turned heel, sparking World Championship Wrestling’s rise to the top of the wrestling world.
[This Day In WCW History] Hulkamania Dies, the nWo is Born [July 7th, 1996]
4 life. pic.twitter.com/m8RJNE3Svf
— WCW WorldWide (@WCWWorldwide) July 7, 2015
The problems with the nWo invasion angle have been well-chronicled over the last two decades. The nWo, heels, essentially did babyface promos each week. They decimated the WCW babyface side so badly that Eric Bischoff toyed with the idea of doing a brand split years before Vince McMahon divided Raw and Smackdown’s rosters.
But for all of its backwards psychology and poor booking, the New World Order provided some great moments. Here are just a few that stand out.
The New World Order’s introduction was cutting edge at the time, and the start of the invasion was done perfectly.
Sting vs. Hogan (The feud, not the match)
In an era when years worth of angles were burned through in weeks, when titles were hot-shotted, and pay-per-view caliber matches were given away weekly on free TV, WCW kept Sting out of the ring for over a year, building to the biggest match in company history.
While he wasn’t exactly Mike Tyson in WWE big, Dennis Rodman was the right guy at the right time to give the nWo a shot in the arm. He was a buys mover the first time he was used at Bash at the Beach in 1997. After that? Not so much.
The Paid Announcements
Kevin Nash has made a big deal about the nWo paid announcements in WWE history pieces over the years, and rightfully so. While their in-ring promos were usually rambling nonsense, these pre-taped spots rank up there with anything that WWE’s talented video department has produced.
Years of beating up the good guys without facing retribution helped kill WCW, but they sure made for some entertaining segments at the time, didn’t they? And every once in a while, the babyfaces got a segment or two to shine.