WCW still provides great entertainment for longtime and new fans alike watching the product on the WWE Network. The WCW PPVs and episodes of Monday Night Nitro add a valuable part of the library to the Network that gives fans reason to pay a monthly subscription. Many names like Sting and Ric Flair prove history right with their legendary runs still holding up today. Underrated talents to become future stars like Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho showed that they were the best performers in the industry on the WCW undercard. However, the library isn’t as kind to some of the other stars from the 90s.
Many of the WCW names were highly paid and viewed as big stars in the industry. Sadly, their work does not hold up today, with these names looking rather exposed when comparing them to their peers and future names. The term overrated is hard to define, but these stars just didn’t bring to the table what many thought they did or should have. We’ll look at both the names that failed to deliver up to expectations and those that saw their mediocre work exposed through the years. These are the twenty most overrated wrestling stars in WCW history.
20. The Giant
The WCW Championship was usually associated with truly credible names until Vince Russo came in and turned it into a joke. Before that point, the names of the wrestlers to hold the title were almost always legitimate top stars. One name that stands out for the wrong reasons was The Giant. We all know him as Big Show for his time in the WWE, but he was far less ready for a big spot in the WCW.
Giant made his debut in WCW without any experience wrestling in front of crowds. WCW still introduced him as a main eventer to feud with Hulk Hogan. Giant did a good job showing his athleticism, but everything else he did was horrible. The spot was too big for him and WCW’s locker room stunted his progression. It led to him having one of the most overrated WCW careers.
19. Kevin Sullivan
The veteran presence of Kevin Sullivan allowed him to earn a long time spot in WCW. Sullivan is most remembered for his time leading The Dungeon of Doom faction in a feud against Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Sting. The visual of Sullivan being the leader of a group against such legendary names was almost comical. Sullivan also lacked in-ring ability, unless it was a hardcore match allowing him to use weapons.
However, his backstage work may have been even more overrated than his in-ring work. Sullivan served as the lead booker for the majority of the Monday Night Wars and was always part of the writing team. Respected wrestlers like Bret Hart spoke out against Sullivan doing a terrible job. The lack of consistency in the storylines and his inability to push the young talent gave enough proof for Hart’s argument against Sullivan.
18. Hugh Morris
Hugh Morris held a roster spot in WCW for the majority of the Monday Night Wars and received a push at the end of the run. WCW loved Morris’ toughness and size, along with his agility to pull off an impressive moonsault. The lower mid-carder never stood out, with his biggest moment being that he was the first person to lose to Goldberg.
Morris’ push came during the final stand of WCW after a lot of the top talent left the company or were removed from television. His mediocrity was revealed with his only major opportunity leading to forgettable matches and segments. WWE hired him later and tried to build the Performance Center up with him serving as the head trainer. That also turned out to be a bad role for him with WWE releasing the veteran for abusing trainees.
17. Shawn Stasiak
Stan Stasiak achieved a lot in the WWE and that made his son a hot prospect entering the business. Many important people in both WWE and WCW viewed Shawn Stasiak as a potential future main eventer, but were disappointed. WCW pushed him harder than WWE did due to desperate times calling for desperate measures. Stasiak was a member of The Natural Born Thrillers faction meant to showcase and build the young prospects in the company.
The problem was that Stasiak was clearly the least talented of all the wrestlers in the group. Stasiak proved he just could not cut it in the world of wrestling, unless playing a comedic jobber role. Everyone that believed in him saw their hopes go up in flames every time he received noteworthy television time. Stasiak had a few more lackluster years in the WWE before leaving the industry to become a chiropractor.
16. Erik Watts
Bill Watts was the head booker of WCW for quite some time and received a polarizing response to his work. The biggest points of criticism were in regards to Watts expressing opinions of bigotry, creating outdated rules and nepotism. Erik Watts benefited from the nepotism when his father hired him just three months into his wrestling training. Nepotism is bad enough, but Erik was absolutely atrocious, making it even worse.
WCW pushed Erik right away thanks to Bill’s power. However, that ended quickly due to Bill unleashing a hateful tirade towards African-Americans, same-sex couples and others. WCW fired him and Erik’s career went downhill without his only supporter. The fact that Erik Watts received television time of any sorts makes him extremely overrated in the history of WCW.
15. Scott Hall
Scott Hall’s early role in WCW saw him play a huge role in bringing the company to new heights. Hall was the perfect person to start the rise of the New World Order, by surprising the world with his WCW debut. Many would argue Hall was the best all-around performer during the early days of the nWo, but he dropped off dramatically.
Hall’s personal issues with addiction to drugs and alcohol saw it impact his work in a negative aspect. His ascension hit a decline, as he gave less impressive performances and WCW had to send him home a few times. Hall’s last few years in WCW damaged his legacy for the worse and it led to him becoming one of the more overrated wrestlers in the industry during that time frame.
14. Jim Duggan
WCW signed Jim Duggan as a former WWE star that would have hopefully attracted new viewers to the show. However, Duggan never was a top main event act and failed to make any notable difference. As lovable as he can be, Duggan was already over the hill and didn’t have what was needed to make an impact during the Monday Night Wars.
His work was so unimpressive that WCW rarely placed him on Monday Nitro or PPV events. Duggan worked Saturday Night and Thunder for the majority of his tenure until the end when the company started losing talent. In his autobiography, Duggan claimed he was responsible for successful ratings in his rare Nitro spots, but that was just a lie. The legend wore out his welcome and had very little to offer WCW.
13. Curt Hennig
Curt Hennig is absolutely one of the greatest in-ring performers in wrestling history. Unfortunately, his WCW run isn’t among the better cases of evidence for the argument. Hennig joined WCW by becoming the latest member of the New World Order. At this point, the group was already becomnig too big and he was a secondary player that got lost in the shuffle.
His matches also failed to deliver with forgettable outings against fellow legends like Bret Hart and Ric Flair. Hennig’s time in WCW was a circumstance of the environment, but it made his run overrated by association. Everyone thinks greatness when Hennig comes to mind. His WCW run was anything but great and could be argued as the worst time period of his professional career.
12. Johnny B. Badd
The career of Johnny B. Badd, aka Marc Mero, featured him being overrated for just about the entire time. WCW pushed him as a mid-card act with a flamboyant character with both verbal and physical similarities to Little Richard. Badd wasn’t bad by any means, but he just couldn’t become a good enough worker to warrant his pushes.
His overall body of work proved Badd to be the absolute definition of average in the world of wrestling. WCW badly wanted him to become one of the more popular wrestlers on the roster. Instead, he just came off like an ordinary wrestler with a confusing gimmick. WWE signed him away to have another overrated run, but WCW gave him more of a rope to unfortunately have a terrible stint there.
11. Paul Roma
WCW signed Paul Roma with the intent of making him a major star. Roma had the look and athletic ability that WCW hoped would blossom into a future main event act. The initial push of Roma saw him join The Four Horsemen as the latest member of the legendary group. They still held great credibility as the hottest act in WCW due to Ric Flair and Arn Anderson’s greatness.
Naturally, Roma refused to show respect to Flair and Anderson backstage. That strike, along with his inability to perform competently in the ring, made it a massive disappointment. WCW gave him the push all wrestlers dream of and he proved just how overrated of a wrestler he truly was when flopping. Roma still blames Flair and Anderson for his shortcomings, but anyone who watched him wrestle knows who was to blame.
10. Kevin Nash
The presence of Kevin Nash helped the New World Order become the hottest act in wrestling. Nash showed more charisma on his first night in WCW than he did during his entire stint as Diesel in WWE. The political game in WCW saw Nash rise to the top by using his backstage power on numerous occasions. Nash truly became a main eventer when becoming the one to end Goldberg’s undefeated streak.
WCW would have Nash in a main event role for the remainder of their existence. Business continuously went down with Nash as World Champion or in a World Title feud. The big man couldn’t bring it in the ring and didn’t have the top tier star power to compete with WWE’s pushes of Steve Austin and The Rock at the time. It’s almost impossible to look back in WCW history and find a compelling Nash match.
9. Ernest Miller
One of the wrestlers to emerge in the final few years of WCW was Ernest “The Cat” Miller. The first few years of his career saw him in lower card matches, as they barely allowed to do anything of note. As things went downhill, WCW took more risks. Miller benefited from one of them by becoming the Commissioner of WCW and working with some of the top names in the company.
WCW tried to make The Cat a high profile performer, but he just couldn’t cut it. The ideal role for Miller was a lower card act that danced in-between his karate kicks. Miller achieved some popularity for his dance moves, but that was where it ended. WWE signed him many years later to realize the overrated performer was better suited out of the ring as they moved him to commentary almost instantly.
8. The Nasty Boys
The Nasty Boys received many opportunities in the world of wrestling mostly due to who they knew. Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags were good friends of Hulk Hogan. The rise of Hogan in WWE and later WCW allowed him to call the shots with his friends getting pushes. WCW made the leap by signing The Nasty Boys right before Hogan joined in hopes of it helping their case in chasing the mega free agent.
Knobbs and Sags were not the most athletic men in the business, forcing them to rely on weapons. If it wasn’t a hardcore match, chances are The Nasty Boys had a poor outing. WCW pushed them to the top of the tag team division during the first few years. The Nasty Boys will always be remembered among the most overrated performers in WCW history.
Konnan’s star power in Mexico was huge and it led to WCW offering him a contract in the mid-90s. Wrestling expert Dave Meltzer has stated that Konnan was a bigger draw in Mexico than Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan were in the United States to put it in proper perspective. However, Konnan could not find similar success in WCW.
Many fans bunched Konnan in the same category as Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Psychosis and other luchadors coming over to the United States wrestling scene from Mexico, but Konnan was significantly less impressive than his friends. A cushy spot in the New World Order saw him regress into just another guy on the roster after once being a massive draw that delivered outstanding matches in AAA. Konnan struggled to find relevancy in wrestling after WCW went downhill with his reputation changing for the worst.
6. Eric Bischoff
Eric Bischoff is remembered for the good times in WCW history. Ted Turner giving him control and power of the company allowed him to make huge changes to benefit the company. For the first time, WCW provided legitimate competition to the WWE with the Monday Night Wars. Bischoff did his best by taking chances to change the industry forever.
The positives created new peaks for WCW, but the negatives killed them. Bischoff was a horrible leader that allowed the talent to do whatever they wanted. The backstage environment of WCW was regarded as a nightmare for most to work in due to Bischoff not running a tight ship. Bischoff stole the idea of the New World Order from Japan and overexposed them by jumping the shark with too many members. Every decision turned out to be a disaster after that.
5. Hulk Hogan
The person to most use Eric Bischoff during the WCW days was Hulk Hogan. WCW signed Hogan to a massive contract to re-brand the company around him. Hogan absolutely flopped during the first few years with fans no longer caring about his stale babyface character from the past decade. The huge change of character finally came when Hogan turned heel to officially form the New World Order.
He did a great job with his heel Hollywood Hogan character, but it also started to grow stale. The nWo growing in size and starting to become repetitive made you remember just how subpar Hogan was at the time. WWE pushed exciting wrestlers like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Steve Austin. WCW did the complete opposite with Hogan’s lackluster in-ring performances. There are maybe one or two interesting Hogan WCW matches in the entire library during his long run in the company.
4. Lex Luger
Another guy that WCW believed in due to his look was Lex Luger. His physique was second to none, but nothing else impressed. Luger rarely had good matches with as he was unable to keep up with the better wrestlers in WCW. On top of that, he had next to no charisma. Most of his work did not provide moments that fans can look back on with fondness.
WCW still pushed Luger to the moon and made him one of the faces of the company during both of his stints. Luger was positioned with Sting and Ric Flair as the names fans would think of when the letters WCW were heard. Unfortunately, Luger lacked the true passion for the business compared to the other two legends. His career is one that especially stands out as overrated after years of great wrestlers making his work look even worse by comparison.
3. Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett was the prototypical mid-card heel during the Monday Night Wars. WWE and WCW employed him multiple times each with the talent going back and forth due to the power of free agency at the time. Jarrett did not have the special it factor and was not particularly great at anything. His matches, promos and character work were all good but did not stand out.
However, Vince Russo loved Jarrett and tried to make him a focal point of WCW towards the end. Jarrett would become a main event heel for the first time in a major promotion and went on to win the WCW Championship multiple times. His work did not deserve such a spot leading to him doing horribly in the spotlight. Jarrett being a top guy at the end of WCW showed how terrible things were.
2. Buff Bagwell
WCW employed Buff Bagwell for a decade and gave him every chance to make it to the top of the company. Bagwell had the look and presence that was most important to those in the business during the 90s. However, his talent did not match the physique unfortunately. Buff was a disaster in the ring and had a horrible attitude that also held him back in many respects.
His ego saw him become a negative presence in the locker room and someone many of the other stars did not want to work with. He also had the reputation of being one of the wrestlers that just loved collecting a big paycheck and refused to work hard, which haunts Bagwell to this day. No one received as many opportunities and failed with them as Bagwell did during the Monday Night Wars.
Nostalgia has allowed us all to enjoy the presence of Goldberg in WWE today. That makes it easy to forget just how overrated he was during the 90s. Goldberg entered the business with the greatest push in wrestling history. WCW booked him with an undefeated streak to make him a star by having him dominate everyone with ease. Goldberg rarely wrestled competitive matches, but the rare ones would expose him.
WCW’s library would show that Goldberg struggled in matches longer than five minutes. His one-dimensional character also made him a weak promo worker. Everything had to be booked around him or he would have a tough time. Unless you enjoy watching two minute matches, there’s no need to look back at Goldberg’s WCW career. The successful monster left behind a very overrated career.