The NWO was a phenomenon. The angle/wrestling stable started in 1996 when Scott Hall made a surprise appearance on WCW Monday Nitro. This was before the internet was a huge part of our everyday lives and most fans did not know that the artist formerly known as Razor Ramon had left the WWF and signed with WCW. Many fans, myself included, thought it was the long dreamt of cross promotion between WWF and WCW. World Championship Wrestling even played it that way. Scott Hall sold this ‘invasion’ angle very well and a couple of weeks later he was joined by the second ‘invader’ Kevin Nash, formerly known as Big Daddy Cool Diesel. Due to a lawsuit from the then WWF for false advertising, WCW made it clear both men were not a part of the rival wrestling organization and were working ‘independently’. Nash and Hall became known as The Outsiders and began dismantling the WCW roster. Even though the NWO was the key to launching the Monday Night Wars into the stratosphere and helping to make wrestling the biggest form of entertainment at the time, the cracks in the storyline could already be seen. Two men who made their careers in the WWF were beating the hell out of WCW staples which made the promotion look bad, but it did not seem like the higher ups in WCW realized this or perhaps did not care.

Overall, the angle was entertaining and got over with the fans big time. They started branding some of the PPV’s as NWO run and their t-shirts and other merchandise were big sellers. The NWO angle gave WCW the edge in the Monday Night Wars which they had for a little over a year and a half. Then things started getting convoluted. By late 1998 the NWO split into 2 rival factions (NWO and NWO Wolpac) with the majority of the WCW roster being allocated to either group. It seemed as though they forgot that the big draw was NWO trying to take over WCW, not actually succeeding and having approximately 30 members. The angle became too big for its britches and overwhelmed the creative team with all of the individual egos they had to appease. Slowly but surely the NWO fizzled out as did WCW as a whole. Without the NWO storyline it seemed as though WCW’s creative team had nothing left. In 2001 WCW went under and was sold to Vince McMahon and the WWF seceding the Monday Night War to the most well known wrestling promotion in the world.

In 2002 the WWF/E brought back the original three members of the NWO (Hall, Nash, and Hogan) mostly to show they were no match for the WWF/E roster. Besides Hogan having a very memorable match at WrestleMania that year against The Rock, the NWO was gone shortly after and despite a forgettable quasi-reunion in TNA (Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) in 2010 they became another memorable past wrestling angle.

The NWO storyline was initially highly entertaining and kept me interested, but over time it became very predictable which can, and will, doom any angle. If handled correctly, this group could have lasted a good 5 years, but instead lost its momentum in just 2-3. During all of this the WWF kept plugging away and introducing the world to now legends and household names like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Degeneration X, etc… Individuals and storylines that kept things fresh and interesting while WCW put all of it’s eggs in one basket called the NWO.

The New World Order was a great idea that was initially executed fairly well, but egos and weak creative teams could not maintain it.

Hasbro WWF Figures

In 1990 wrestling fans and kid’s of the time were treated to the next evolution of WWF toys in the guise of Hasbro’s WWF Figures. These were an awesome upgrade from the LJN figures because even though they shrunk in size they were a bit more detailed and had action features like swinging arms, spinning bodies, kicking legs, etc… These are a bit easier to find mint in package than the LJN’s, but I prefer collecting them loose since the action features are silly, but fun as hell.

I own a few more of these than the LJN ones with the Hulk Hogan with the “Hulkster Hug” version being my favorite. These true “action” figures were very popular and it is hard to find a big wrestling collector without at least one in their collection.   mSL6m9TyWmMt60ZaRhW4m-w

Cardboard Connection has a great list of the figures included in the collection and links to EBay auctions if you want to add any of them to your toy chest, http://www.cardboardconnection.com/sports-other/hasbro-wwf-figures.

Some of the more common ones only cost around $20 in package, but there are some rare ones like Andre the Giant which go for a couple hundred.

Next week I will conclude my look at wrestling toys with Jakks Pacific and the current Mattell line.

LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars

Of my many hobbies/interests one of the top ones is collecting toys of all kinds, from Star Wars to G.I. Joe to kid’s meal toys I collect just about everything. Being a big wrestling fan means a large part of my toy collection is toys from the world of sports entertainment. The first really big wrestling toy release came in 1984 with the LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars line. Huge, rubbery versions of all the WWF’s superstars were very popular and still are. I did not collect these figures when they came out, but bought a couple of loose (out of the package) figures later in the life. As of today I only own Hillbilly Jim and George the Animal Steele but hope to add to the collection in the near future.



Compared to today’s toys these do not seem very exciting at first since they have no articulation and are made of rubber, but there was something about them that made them popular with kid’s at the time and collector’s now. The simplicity added to their charm. There have been much better looking and more playable wrestling figures since then, but they just don’t hold a candle to these big pieces of rubber that take a lot of damage and may have some paint worn off over time, but still retain their charm.


I have included this link, http://www.cardboardconnection.com/ljn-wwf-wrestling-superstars-figures-checklist-guide, to a great website that lists the various figures that came out so you can have a look.

Next week I am going to discuss the 1990’s Hasbro action figures which also hold a special place in most wrestling fan’s collections as well as my own.