WWE is getting an early start revealing who will join their Hall of Fame at the 2020 WrestleMania week ceremony in Tampa. And in revealing to ESPN they’ll be inducting Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman as the nWo, they’ll be adding to the list of two-time Hall of Famers (Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and Booker T).
There’s no questioning the impact WCW’s 1996 introduction of former WWF stars Hall, Nash and Hogan as an edgy, “smart” faction had on the business. Hogan’s New World Order alliance with The Outsiders launced Ted Turner’s company to the top of the ratings, taking the Monday Night War to a point where Vince McMahon changed his formula and took his company into The Attitude Era. That involved pushing new stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. It also changed the artform, as “cool heels” and performers who openly talk about how they’re playing characters on a scripted show are now the norm.
So while there’s no doubt about the group’s inclusion, there could be some debate about choosing Waltman instead of the litany of other names who wore the iconic t-shirt in the second half of the 90s. As Syxx, the sixth member of the group, the wrestler who was inducted in 2019 for his work as X-Pac of WWE’s D-Generation X was only with WCW and the nWo for about a year-and-a-half. If you’re going to pick a fourth member beyond the iconic trio, there’s a case to be made for Waltman. But there are also arguments for names like Scott Norton, or Eric Bischoff, or Virgil, or Buff Bagwell, or...
The most interesting name is, of course, Hogan’s. The Hulkster has now gone from someone who persona non grata after WWE fired him in 2015 after a recording of him making racist statements was released to the public, to a double Hall of Famer in 2020. Even as someone who is legitimately reviled by a portion of the fanbase though, there was never any question about his star power. Placing him front and center of the induction ceremony which will take place in his hometown of Tampa on Thurs., April 2, 2020 is testament to that.
Congrats to the nWo, who are now two-time WWE Hall of Famers 4 Life.
WWE’s press release announcing the first 2020 inductees is here.