When WWE decided to put the New World Order into the Hall of Fame, it was an admission of defeat, in some ways.
The nWo represents the only time that WWE has ever really been beaten by a rival wrestling promotion. Perhaps the biggest angle in the industry's history didn't take place in The Worldwide Leader in Sports Entertainment. Instead, it was the brainchild of rival WCW and their hot shot leader at the time, Eric Bischoff.
Of course, we all know the story of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash making the jump from WWE to World Championship Wrestling and all the events that played out thereafter. It's well-documented that once the late great Hall walked out of the crowd that night in 1996 that the world of professional wrestling would never be the same.
Throughout the rest of WCW's existence, the nWo was always a force, even when they were disbanded. The angle became bigger than the promotion, and the after effects lingered with the promotion until its ultimate demise in 2001.
Still, McMahon couldn't resist resurrecting the story in WWE, albeit to much less successful results. That was essentially the sad ending to this once-great grouping.
However, the phenomenon of the New World Order - and their renegade mentality - is something that several factions have tried to emulate ever since that fateful night at Bash at the Beach 1996. There was a cool factor about the group that evryone wanted to copy.
There have been knockoffs (Latino World Order, Blue World Order) and groups that have copied their catchphrases and hand gestures (The Bullet Club and The Elite). Some have found success, but most of them just seem like a sad attempt to rip off the best bunch of talent in wrestling history.
The nWo were preceded in WCW by wrestling's other great force, The Four Horsemen, and both groups certainly had their time on top. But the nWo took what Ric Flair and the boys did to an almost street level. The Horsemen came off like a group of mobsters, while the guys in the New World Order were more like gangstas.
Today, nWo merchandise is still a hot seller for WWE, even nearly 20 years since the last incarnation of the group.
The classic black and white t-shirt ranks among the company's top apparel items. It was a storyline that was so powerful and groundbreaking that people still wear the gear out of pure nostalgia. Even fans who weren't even born by 1996 will often rock the nWo's insignia.
It's a testament to how strong this storyline and how great this group really was. In a time when professional wrestling was on the ropes, the nWo came along and changed everything. They were responsible for the real stages of the Monday Night Wars and helped convince Vince McMahon and WWE to change their own strategy.
No group in history has ever been so influential. Not in the 90's and not even today. It is the single greatest angle in the history of wrestling, spearheaded by an unforgettable faction.
That's why they are still remembered to this day. And why they will always be remembered For Life.
What are some of your favorite memories of the New World Order? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.