Many wrestling fans would make the argument that the NWO was the most popular wrestling faction of all time. But according to Booker T, they almost ruined wrestling.
The WWE Hall of Famer joined the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast and discussed the time he shared with to NWO in WCW. Booker wouldn't dispute the love NWO got from fans, but to him, that was exactly the problem. Originally, Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall were supposed to be bad guys. However, per Booker, that's not the role they played.
"I had a match with Kevin Nash and it was my first match in Canada. He had been there many times before. People loved him as Diesel. Now he's coming back in WCW, he's still Diesel to those fans in Canada. He went out there with NWO and he gave everyone the NWO kiss. 'NWO In The House!' Everyone in the crowd erupted. I'm back in the back listening to this like 'he's the bad guy,'" said Booker T.
One of the most fundamental truths of professional wrestling is that every match is good vs. evil. While concept operates on a spectrum, Booker T thought the NWO egregiously violated that principle.
"I walked out of the curtain and they booed the crap out of me. That's when I knew NWO, the bad guys were killing the business.The NWO single handily almost ruined the business as far as bad guys, good guys," he said.
It's hard to judge Booker's words in 2018. Sure in 1997, the NWO was avant-garde if not contrarian. However, without question, as the group grew in number and popularity, they embraced the love they were getting from fans — a big no-no in terms of being a bad guy.
But, fans made the choice to like them, in the same way we all decided to love Stone Cold Steve Austin, who originally was booked as a heel.
This is an issue that will always be present in wrestling. Bad guys eventually get perceived as "cool guys" as fans exchange their boos for cheers.
This predicament is something The Miz faces currently. Fans have gotten smart to Miz's act and are not hesitating to show their appreciation for his work; after all, The Miz had monopolized the Intercontinental Championship in just a couple of years. However, through arrogance and cowardice, The Miz is doing his best to make sure you still hate him.
And to Booker T, the NWO never made that effort.