Voice Of Reason 1.14.02: NWO: Now Or Never

Before Wrestlemania X7, there were serious talks between the WWF and Hulk Hogan for a Triple H vs. Hulk Hogan match. Talks eventually fell through.

After the collapse of the Time Warner-owned WCW, Kevin Nash stated that he would not take a buyout, and sit out until January 2002, when he would be free to negotiate with the WWF.

As January approached, rumors of Nash’s WWF return began to circulate, and with Nash always came talk of Scott Hall. While the conjecture died down for a bit with reports of the side being “at an impasse”, it always seemed likely that the pair would eventually return to the WWF.

With Hulk Hogan’s ESPN interview a few weeks ago, with his blatant sucking up to Vince McMahon, the stage was set for Hogan, along with the Outsiders, to make a return to the WWF.

When the WWF bought WCW and all its assets, it also bought all the gimmicks and trademarks associated with WCW. At any time, the WWF could recreate the Four Horsemen, or even the Dungeon of Doom if it saw the need. Most notably, they bought the New World Order.

Now it appears as if there is a serious possibility of an nWo reformation with Hogan, Nash and Hall in the WWF. And to me, that’s the most exciting news I’ve heard about wrestling since March 26, 2001.

Before its mismanagement, the nWo was unquestionably the most compelling thing that wrestling had seen in many years. It was stylish, cool, innovative and fresh. Nash, Hall and Hogan were the backbone of the nWo. The now got me back into wrestling and kept me as a WCW fan right until the end.

Many fans are saying that the WWF should bring in Hall, Nash and Hogan, and wait to bring back the nWo to create a buzz at a different time. They argue that just the appearance of those three guys will be big news, and the nWo can be saved for another big spike in interest. To me, the only time the WWF can use the nWo to its fullest would be now, when Hogan, Nash and Hall would be debuting.

The nWo will forever be associated with Hogan, Nash and Hall, and putting any other wrestlers in an nWo faction will be rejected by fans as a cheap ripoff or a weak attempt to capitalize on past glory (like nWo 2000 or that crap with the Harris Brothers). Just like if the WWF decided to create a Four Horsemen faction without Ric Flair, an nWo without Hogan, Nash and Hall wouldn’t have as big an impact.

The WWF also has the unique opportunity to replicate the situation under which the nWo was originally formed. Hogan, Nash and Hall would all be making returns to WWF (and to a lesser degree wrestling) TV after long absences. Their redebut would be accentuated with the addition of the nWo gimmick.

If the WWF ever wants to use the nWo (and knowing Vince McMahon, he would try to do the nWo the “right way”), they have to do it now- when Hogan, Nash and Hall still have value to fans and can be used to their fullest. If the WWF waits six months, and creates the nWo using the three after a lengthy WWF stay, they would have already fought all the big WWF stars and been churned through the WWF machine. The impact would already have been lost.

The nWo, with Hogan, Hall and Nash, if handled properly, can finally be the huge money angle the WWF needs to jump start its stagnant creative output. Hopefully all the egos can be kept in check in the short term, and the nWo can be the successful money maker the Invasion couldn’t be.