The New World Order made its WrestleMania debut at WrestleMania X8 in March 2002, with Hollywood Hogan taking on The Rock while Scott Hall (with Nash in his corner) faced Steve Austin. Both of the heels wound up losing and Hogan's subsequent heel turn marked a split of the original nWo trio, but the initial plan for the show was quite different as Nash explained on the premiere episode of the Kliq This podcast.
"Scott (Hall) worked against Austin. People said, 'Why didn't you have a match?' Well, the original finish up until Sunday was Scott and I were going to f— Steve. Rock was going to go over on Hogan. We were going to come down and get heat on Rock and leave WrestleMania with heat, which would be the first time I think in the history of WrestleMania that somebody would leave with heat. In 24 hours, it was then me and Scott coming down and getting beat up by Rock and Hulk and pretty much getting f—ed."
By WrestleMania XIX, Hogan was fully back into his red and yellow babyface persona while Austin was on his last legs health-wise due to his neck injuries. As a result, a clash between Austin and Hogan never happened, something Austin has since admitted he regrets.
"I was in such a different headspace when that window of opportunity presented itself. Sometimes I kick myself in the ass over it. I was so frazzled towards the end and was just in a bad space," Austin said on his podcast in 2019. "It never happened. And it should have happened. I think if we could have just got in a room, you and I, and just talked. [When you came to WCW], I remember, I'm up-and-coming and here comes the biggest attraction in the history of the business to WCW and I'm thinking, 'Great, here comes the top attraction and now I'm another notch down the ladder.'
"I always had this grudge against you because you were the guy," he continued. "How am I going to overtake [you] when I can't even get past midcard status? It was a competitive grudge. [When you came back to WWE], if we had ever got into a room, we probably could have done business together. That's one of the biggest regrets off my career outside of not showing up against Brock [Lesnar]. I would have loved to work a program with you."