Strong coupling between localized particle plasmons and optical waveguide modes leads to drastic modifications of the transmission of metallic nanowire arrays on dielectric waveguide substrates. The coupling results in the formation of a new quasiparticle, a waveguide-plasmon polariton, with a surprisingly large Rabi splitting of 250 meV. Our experimental results agree well with scattering-matrix calculations and a polariton-type model. The effect provides an efficient tool for photonic band gap engineering in metallodielectric photonic crystal slabs. We show evidence of a full one-dimensional photonic band gap in resonant plasmon-waveguide structures.