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This week marked the 25th anniversary of the formation of one of the most popular and influential teams in professional wrestling history, the New World Order.
The group started when Scott Hall and Kevin Nash moved from WWE to WCW and started to invade episodes of Nitro. In their first big match at Bash at the Beach 1996, Hulk Hogan joined them to form the trio that would serve as the backbone of the group for nearly three years.
Over time, the faction added more members to its ranks. Eventually the group became crowded and needed to divide it into separate groups due to growing problems between some members.
The nWo fizzled out, as did WCW shortly thereafter, but they remain one of the most successful groups in wrestling history and continue to offer spinoffs to this day.
One great thing Hollywood and pro wrestling have in common is the inability to step out of the past. The movie industry is constantly producing remakes, reboots, and reshoots, and professional wrestling is just as likely to revisit the storylines and feuds of the past that have proven successful.
The value of the nWo brand makes it a prime focus for WWE to introduce a new incarnation at some point just to capitalize on the press it would garner. Let’s see which current WWE Superstars would be perfect for a new take on the New World Order.
We’ll focus on trying to replicate the original formula by matching Superstars for specific roles in a heel faction.
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The most prominent member of the nWo was Hollywood Hulk Hogan. While his acting career was only a short part of his life, he used that fame to create a heel character very different from his original heroic character that everyone in WWE knew.
John Cena may not be a full-time wrestler, but there are always rumors circulating about a potential return to the ring, so he would be the perfect fit to take on the role of the leader of the movie stars.
Cena is now a legitimate box office star. With appearances in F9 and the next one Suicide Squad film, its action is about to increase. Getting him even for a short-term run as the leader of a new nWo would be huge for WWE.
The only potential problem would be if Cena wasn’t willing to turn on his heel. He’s spent most of his career as a babyface and might not want to risk young fans by thinking he’s actually a villain when it comes time to release his next family comedy.
Cena has the star power and charisma to play a role like this, especially if it was only meant to last a short time before resuming his acting career.
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Hogan may have been the de facto leader of the nWo due to his popularity, but the real driving force behind the group in its early days was the duo Hall and Nash.
The Outsiders had the greatest personalities and the skills to back up every insult they uttered. A new nWo would need a team that can fill the position of talkers who can also get the job done.
Ride Ford and Angelo Dawkins would be great in a role like this because they have huge personalities and the skill in the ring to have a good match with just about anyone.
Their personalities would match up well with Cena’s, and a run like heels would give them the opportunity to let go a bit more with their promos.
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For a little over a year into the early days of nWo’s existence, Syxx was one of the band’s most prominent members. His high-flying style was very different from the other members, making him the resident cruiserweight of the nWo.
WWE has several aerial acrobats who could fill this position in the squad, but the one who deserves and needs a push the most is Ricochet.
Other than a few brief bickering, WWE struggled to figure out how best to use it. He’s doing well as a babyface, but maybe it’s time to consider running him like a heel to see if it works better.
Being a villain in the nWo would allow Ricochet to show more of his personality and come to terms with the fact that he’s one of the best in the world at what he does. Bragging about making a 630 from the top rope easy would be a piece of cake for him.
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One thing the original nWo failed to do was feature women in leading roles. The group had a few women among its members, but they were usually valets who did not attract much attention from the management.
If we are considering a modern version of the group, it would be important to have a few wrestlers from the women’s division to help give the group a larger appeal. WWE has more than enough talented performers who would be a good fit, but there are two that would be perfect.
Shayna Baszler and Sonya Deville are both ideal additions to the team for different reasons. As for Baszler, she needs something to keep him away from Nia Jax and Reginald.
The Queen of Spades is one of the few legitimate fighters on the list. WWE can put her in the ring with anyone and she will be a major threat.
For Deville, it would be a way to make up for lost time. Her unforeseen absence from WWE and her new role as an authority figure has kept her out of the ring for too long.
Baszler and Deville would be great as a team or as individual competitors. If the group covered multiple brands, they could each have their own women’s titles to pursue or win the women’s team championships together.
They have the attitudes, personalities and skills to be full members of a modern New World Order.
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Eric Bischoff was one of the keys to nWo’s success as he represented an authority figure with power who decided to work against his own employer. It was a unique idea at the time that helped the group remain dominant for most of their run.
The only person with the personality and the perceived power behind the scenes to pull off something like this is Shane McMahon.
Shane-O-Mac is a somewhat controversial figure among fans. He is always given credit for the risky spots he plays, but a lot of people are fed up with all his gimmick, especially during his feud with Braun Strowman that preceded WrestleMania 37.
Being the man behind nWo could be a chance for him to contribute to something other than wrestling. His ability to garner heat would be an asset to the entire faction, especially as heels.
Whether you love him or hate him, most people have strong feelings for McMahon, and that makes him precious. In the wrestling world, being hated is as good as being loved from a marketing standpoint.
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As everyone knows, the nWo had a revolving door. Members were constantly coming and going before it got so big that different versions of the group were formed to accommodate everyone involved.
If WWE were planning a new nWo as a long-term storyline, we’d likely see something similar. Here is a list of people who would fit perfectly into the whole new world order.
Dolph Ziggler: The Showoff has the charisma and athleticism to be a remarkable member of any group. He’s already a heel that loves leather jackets, so he’s halfway there.
Charlotte Flair: The Nature Boy was never a member of the original WCW version of the nWo, which is exactly why The Queen should be included at some point. Joining the group that her father fought so hard against would be an act of rebellion that could fuel another family feud between them.
Rhea Ripley: Much like Ziggler, Ripley has the attitude required to be a pillar of the New World Order. Her physique in the ring would make her a huge asset to the group.
Priest Damien: Not only does Priest look good to be a member of the nWo, but his relationship with Bad Bunny would help him come into the fold as a famous member like Dennis Rodman at the time.
Sami Zayn: As a conspiracy theorist, it would be hilarious to see Zayn become a member of a group whose name is somewhat inspired by a conspiracy theory on a world government.
Riddick Moss: Every stable needs a guy who eats the pin when it loses. At least that would give Moss something to do.
Eva Marie: As one of the most despised superstars in the hardcore fandom, Marie is said to be able to get instant heat for the group just by picking up a mic. Whether she liked it or not, that sort of hate would benefit a bunch of heels, especially if it focuses on being a manager rather than a wrestler.
Slapjack and Judgment: Shane Thorne and Mia Yim are talented wrestlers who were completely buried as Slapjack and Reckoning after Retribution broke up. They both deserve a second chance with a new group.
Sasha Banks: The Boss would be a natural addition to the group, with his overabundance of confidence and appeal to the general public. Each stable could have a Mandalorian on staff.