Fifteen years ago today, the face of professional wrestling as we know it was changed forever. It was during the May 27, 1996 edition of WCW Monday Nitro that Scott Hall interrupted a match between Steve Doll and The Mauler. Hall, who had wrestled as Razor Ramon in the World Wrestling Federation just weeks prior, appeared unannounced on Nitro, declaring himself to be an Outsider. He entered the ring in his street clothes and cut a promo about waging war on World Championship Wrestling. Fans couldn’t discern what was fact and what was fiction, the commentators were stunned, and everyone in the WCW locker room was put on notice. The most successful storyline of professional wrestling’s modern era was underway.
Two weeks after Hall’s debut, the Bad Guy was joined by Kevin Nash, best known to fans at the time as former WWF Champion Diesel. The pair, collectively known as the Outsiders, were portrayed as invaders sent by the WWF to infiltrate Ted Turner’s WCW. Although the myth of them working for Vince McMahon was eventually debunked, they continued their war against World Championship Wrestling. At Bash at the Beach in July of ’96, Hall & Nash were joined by Hulk Hogan, and the New World Order was born. The nWo was the driving force behind the Monday Night Wars – it was what propelled WCW past the WWF, and it was eventually one of the causes of the company’s demise. Six years following Hall’s debut in WCW, he returned to the WWE along with Nash & Hogan, resuming the nWo gimmick. Although that was the last true incarnation of the New World Order, their legacy can still be witnessed in the way professional wrestling stables are constructed today.