Even though WCW was bought out 15 years ago, it hasn't stopped wrestling fans from reflecting on the many wrestlers, moments and entertainment it provided all of those years. If Vince McMahon never had the steep competition in the '90s and early 2000s, who knows how entertaining the WWE would be today? He had to adapt a ton in order to make sure fans were devoted to watching his produc.
But for WCW, the company went from being the best wrestling promotion in the world to a soap opera that everyone gave up on. There were many wrestlers who became icons to the industry during their times there. But some wrestlers had regrets and moments in WCW that they wish never happened.
WCW was great for some wrestlers, but a failure to some. Here is a look at 10 wrestlers who loved competing in WCW and 10 who hated it.
20 Loved It: Sid Vicious
Sid Vicious spent a lot of time in both WCW and WWE, but his best days and memorable moments came with WCW. He won a pair of WCW World Heavyweight Championships. He first won it when he beat Kevin Nash on a 2000 edition of Nitro. He would win it back won it again on Thunder the following day. He was also a one-time WCW United States Champion with the company.
Vicious was also part of the revived Four Horsemen that included Ric Flair, as the enforcer of the group. Vicious also had some awesome feuds with the likes of Sting and teamed himself with Big Van Vader. Though Vicious never really became THE guy in WCW, he was certainly a lot more meaningful to them than he ever was to WWF.
19 Hated It: Big Show
Big Show went by The Giant in WCW and certainly has to credit them for making him a star. He was one of the original wrestlers who feuded with the nWo, and he was also a two-time WCW Champion. However, on WWE Network specials, Big Show talked about his unhappiness with the company. He didn't like being involved as a wrestler that the nWo beat up on and he didn't enjoy being part of their alliance which focused entirely on the big three.
As a result of his low pay and Eric Bischoff's poor usage of him, Big Show made a jump to the WWE. It couldn't come at a better time as WWE was starting to take control of the Monday Night Wars. Vince McMahon instantly turned him into one of the main stars and he became an iconic heel and a fan favorite.
18 Loved It: Booker T
Booker T broke though into WCW during the early '90s, and Eric Bischoff instantly turned him into a tag team star. He and his brother Stevie Ray formed the Harlem Heat tag team, where they would win an incredible 10 WCW World Tag Team Championships. That's a record, by the way.
The two got over quickly thanks to memorable feuds with the Steiner Brothers and The Outsiders. Booker T took this momentum and became the WCW World Television Champion in 1997. He ended up winning 21 championships in WCW, including the WCW World Heavyweight Championship five times.
Booker T was also the final WCW World Heavyweight Champion before WWE bought out the company. He didn't jump ship on WCW during turmoil, but was one of the few main stars that stayed until the final episode. That just goes to show how much he loved the company that did so much to make him a Hall of Famer.
17 Hated It: Rey Mysterio
The master of the 619 broke through in WCW when he was just 21 years old, where he went by Rey Mysterio Jr. Mysterio was one of the first Lucha Libre-style wrestlers to come into WCW. Though he certainly had more in-ring talent than most of WCW's big names, Eric Bischoff refused to put him over.
All he really did was have the nWo beat up on Mysterio, which didn't really make any of them look special given his role in the Cruiswerweight Division. Mysterio joined a wave of unhappy WCW superstars who were never going to get prime time hours like the nWo, so he took his talents to Mexico before eventually becoming a star in WCW.
Not hard to see why Mysterio didn't like it. WCW refused to treat one of their best actual wrestlers with the respect he deserved. Mysterio was part of a revolution to leave WCW, and it was a turning point in the Monday Night War.
16 Loved It: Lex Luger
Lex Luger certainly enjoyed his time with the WWE. But when Hulk Hogan left the company, Vince McMahon made a big mistake in trying to make The Total Package his next main event superstar. Luger was very limited in the ring and didn't have much of a character for fans to buy into. He was simply a man full of muscles that couldn't put on a big match.
Luger was unhappy with his contract situation in WCW and got a call from Eric Bischoff who offered him a contract that only payed 20 percent of what The All-American had made in WCW three years earlier. To the surprise of Bischoff, Luger accepted the offer. The WWE was caught by surprise when Luger made his return to WCW on the very first episode of Nitro.
Though the fans never bought into Luger, Bischoff and WCW treated him greatly. He won a pair of WCW World Heavyweight Championships and the Television Championship twice as well.
15 Hated It: Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner should have been grateful for what WCW did. He got over as part of the Steiner Brothers tag team, was part of WCW and even enjoyed his own time as an independent wrestler. He won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship once, two United States Championships, two Television Championships and six Tag Team Championships. Steiner was also one of the company's better ACTUAL wrestlers.
However, as many know, Steiner has been one to run his mouth a lot. He was hard to deal with backstage and shot an infamous promo in which he denounced The Nature Boy, Ric Flair. Steiner insulted Flair by talking about how he was too old to compete and that he was "butt-kissin." The rumor is that both men had a confrontation backstage, with Flair crying over the attacks Steiner put on him. He also simply said "WCW" sucked and got suspended.
Steiner has complained about the current WWE product over and over again. I don't think he's ever going to be that happy for what any wrestling promotion did for him.
14 Loved It: Buff Bagwell
Buff Bagwell was one of the more accomplished and exciting members of the nWo. He talked about in past interviews about how joining the nWo was incredibly exciting for his career and that he simply LOVED it. We can't really disagree - given how it was the most momentum he'd endure during his time with the company.
Even though Bagwell (predictably) never earned the attention that Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash endured, he fit in well as one of the enforcers. Bagwell semi got over when he feuded with Ric Flair, Rowdy Roddy Piper and others during his time with WCW. Bagwell also won the WCW World Tag Team Championship five times - with four different partners.
Bagwell really didn't do much of anything in WWF, but he remains a household name to wrestling fans. That's all thanks to his time in WCW.
13 Hated It: Eddie Guerrero
Latino Heat never really talked about how much he hated WCW, but it was quite clear for a long time he wasn't enjoying his time there. The five-foot-eight Superstar wasn't big and muscular like your average WCW Superstar, but his in-ring work was far better than just about anybody's on the roster. But Guerrero was like Rey Mysterio:
His Cruiserweight role was never acknowledge by WCW because the only three letters Bischoff knew of the English alphabet were n, W, and o. At least Guerrero was part of the infamous Latino World Order alliance. That was fun, right? Any who, Guerrero made the jump to WWF and took off from there. He got over when he became WWE Champion over Brock Lesnar in 2004. Guerrero was one of the company's best performers and characters. He lied, he cheated, he stole!
And tragically, the WWE hasn't been the same since his untimely passing in 2005.
12 Loved It: Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) was instantly popular with the fans for many reasons. He was a great talent to watch in the ring and he was one of the very, very few WCW stars at any given time to not join the nWo. He feuded with 'Macho Man' Randy Savage when the latter joined the villainous faction. DDP and Sting were among the top stars that fought with Hulk Hogan and the nWo throughout the faction's run.
Page won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 1999 and had a feud with Sting to get over for good. He would end up being a three-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, won a pair of United States Championships, and four WCW World Tag Team Championships.
Given how he didn't have any success in the WWF, DDP can easily look back on his WCW and his legacy is forever enshrined in the wrestling world.
11 Hated It: Randy Savage
What else is there to say about The Macho Man? He is easily one of the top-10 most decorated wrestlers of all-time but his time will forever be remembered during the days of WCW. His tag team, The Mega Powers, with Hulk Hogan remains one of the most legendary ever. Unlike The Hulkster, he was a major talent in the ring and always put on matches for the ages.
But Savage and Vince McMahon had a falling out, as the boss wanted to bring in younger talent. Savage was more used as an announcer and wanted to wrestle again, so Eric Bischoff handed him a ton of money and brought him on board. Savage wasn't as big as Sting or the nWo and struggled to be one of the real money draws.
Even during his time in the nWo, Savage was easily forgotten and lived in the shadow of Hogan during his time there. By the time Savage was in WCW, the best days of the Macho Man were long gone. Talk to any Savage fan, and they'll always remember his days in WWE over WCW.
10 Loved It: Goldberg
You kids 15-and-under may be unaware that Goldberg was a huge deal in WCW. The former pro football player used his physique to become a man-destroying beast in WCW. Despite his limited moves and talents in the ring, Goldberg won over the crowd quickly simply because he destroyed nWo Superstars every week on Nitro.
Goldberg also had a supposed 173-0 streak to start his WCW career, which many debate if it was real or not to this day. Still, his character propelled WCW to the point where they almost put away the WWF for good. He won the world title from Hulk Hogan on an episode of Nitro and became their new top star.
He was a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, holding onto it for 174 days. Goldberg's first tenure with WWE was a disappointment, but his second time with the company could be something special. But always know that it was WCW that made him a wrestling legend to begin with.
9 Hated It: Triple H
Triple H is one of the biggest names the WWE ever had and ever will have. Be it his role in The Kliq, with D-Generation X, as The Game, The Cerebral Assassin, the leader of Evolution or his role as helping Vince McMahon run the company, he has changed the wrestling world forever. Even though he hated his time with WCW, it's ironic that they're the ones that helped him begin his journey.
He debuted in WCW as Terra Ryzing before becoming Jean-Paul Levesque, a French aristocrat who spoke with an accent and played a self-centered Frenchman. On WWE Network, The Game talked about how Eric Bischoff didn't give him much instruction and told him to build up his own Frenchman character. In other words, he was lost with the company and really had nowhere to go.
It was a loss for Bischoff, as Triple H became one of the main stars in WWF that ultimately led to the rise of the company and the downfall of WCW.
8 Loved It: Scott Hall
Scott Hall was popular in the WWE as one of their best heels during his Razor Ramon gimmick. He, Kevin Nash, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Sean Waltman/X-Pac formed The Kliq that took over the WWF. However, Hall wasn't happy about Vince McMahon refusing to push him to the top, and he and Kevin Nash ultimately took more money from Eric Bischoff to join WCW.
Just like that, The Bad Guy and Nash formed The Outsiders tag team that became one of the best in WCW. But both men changed their careers forever when they brought Hulk Hogan on board to form the New World Order. It's one of the most recognizable and legendary alliances ever built, and Hall's best wrestling moments came with that company.
Hall and Nash have also been best friends for many years, and being able to work with him throughout those glorious WCW days forever changed the career of The Bad Guy.
7 Hated It: Steve Austin
Steve Austin joined WCW in 1991 and had some nice moments, such as a feud with Ricky Steamboat, forming The Hollywood Blondes with Brian Tillman (where they won the tag team titles), and beating Dustin Rhodes for the United States Championship at Starrcade in 1993.
However, Austin was one of the many Superstars WCW didn't want to push. He was fired by the company in 1995 because they didn't recognize his talents and Bischoff said that he wasn't easy to work with. Sadly for WCW, they didn't realize that this would ultimately be a huge game-changer in the Monday Night War.
What else can we say? Austin became what Vince McMahon and Jim Ross both consider the most profitable and greatest star in WWE history. Austin launched them into The Attitude Era that led to WWE winning the rating wars with WCW. After all that, you think the Texas Rattlesnake really liked being in WCW?
6 Loved It: Kevin Nash
When your given a ton of money, a role in the nWo and all of this creative control to the point where you come up with the "brilliant," idea of creating The Fingerpoke of Doom, you better love your company. Kevin Nash was given the dollars and the power to write WCW storylines and his own character near the end of its run.
You can watch Nash gloat about all of his "brilliant," ideas in WCW on the WWE Network. He always talks about how great it was to be given so much money and power and how he found his storylines so great. And yes, he was the one who thought a championship match with Hulk Hogan would end best if The Hulkster poked him in the chest. Needless to say, that's when WCW fans lost faith in the product.
Okay, there's my rant about Nash and how he helped WCW meet its demise. But again, they gave him what he wanted and he did get to be in the nWo - leading to a major change in pro wrestling. So he must have loved it, right?
5 Hated It: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho's WCW character wasn't much different than the microphone master who cuts the best promos ever. Hey, did you know he even had his own list in WCW, about the 1,004 moves he was able to perform in the ring?
Y2J was simply a major talent in WCW. But as I try to cut back on the WWE Network promotions, I must say he's talked about how frustrated he was with Eric Bischoff and WCW. He knew his talents but he was never, ever going to be given much screen time since Bischoff was OBSESSED with the nWo
Jericho also had his own personal security in WCW. Which was used as a way of mocking Goldberg. And he only had the best debut in WWE history. With The Rock (really good on the microphone, by the way) cutting another top-notch promo, a Millennium countdown came on the screen. Jericho cut an epic promo and the rest was history - he's since become one of the greatest superstar in WWE history.
4 Loved It: Hulk Hogan
Eric Bischoff and WCW lived and died by what Hulk Hogan did. Once they signed him, the Monday Night War were on. Once he formed the nWo with Hall and Nash, WCW was winning the ratings war. Once Hogan's character died out and he conflicted with the writing team (before leaving the company), WCW spiraled out of control and was bought out by WWE in 2001.
But for Hogan, WCW gave him everything he wanted. They gave him a ridiculous amount of money. His 1998 contract included: a $2 million signing bonus, 15 percent of pay-per-view revenue (and a guaranteed $675,000 AT LEAST), 25 percent of ticket sales in which he showed up on Nitro, Thunder or at a house show. He also got $20,000 a month just for wearing nWo merchandise and photo shoots PLUS he got to control his own character.
Besides all of that money and power, The Hulkster was previously fading as a star with his Real American gimmick losing its steam and interest. Once he joined the nWo, his legacy changed for the better. WCW gave Hogan a revived wrestling career, and a lot of money.
3 Hated It: Ric Flair
The Nature Boy definitely had some great moments in both WCW and WWE. His character was ultra-popular in both companies and the fans gave him ovations like few other stars ever got. But the limousine ridin', jet flyin', kiss stealin', Rolex wearin', stylin' and profilin' son of a gun clashed with Bischoff and WCW management, and so it's safe to say he really didn't love it all that much.
In 1998, Flair didn't show up for a 1998 episode of Thunder which enraged Bischoff. Flair claimed he told the company ahead of time that he wanted to go see his son, but Bischoff said Flair took off and left without telling anyone ahead of him. This led to each party filing a lawsuit. The fans booed and heckled WCW shows and chanted for Flair to come back, leaving Bischoff no choice but to bring The Nature Boy onto television again. Flair cut promos where he denounced Bischoff, and you could see the real hatred between both men on screen.
Flair would end up staying with WCW until it was bought out, even fighting Sting in the last-ever WCW match. But in so many ways, you know he hated it because of Bischoff not giving him the respect he deserved.
2 Loved It: Sting
Man oh man, where can we even go with this guy? They call him The Icon and The Vigilante for many reasons. Because, Sting was the icon of WCW and their greatest home-grown Superstar ever. He was one of the few guys Bischoff didn't have to steal from WWF. It all started for Sting in WCW.
He was once the blonde surfer dude with the bright face paint, and his charismatic personality made him a fan favorite. Sting then reinvented himself with The Crow gimmick, a man dressed in all black and white that would come down from the rafters without saying a word.
Sting was the top babyface of WCW, as he was the one ultra star that never joined the original faction. He always fought against them and gave the company that hero they deserved and needed. He won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship six times and stayed with them until WWE bought them out.
Easily, easily, Sting is the wrestler who loved WCW most. He was so loyal to them and they repaid him by making him the top face in the company's history.
1 Hated It: Bret Hart
Bret Hart had always been against going to WCW, and there's no doubt he would love to hop into a time machine and make sure he never signed the papers.
You see, Hart loved the WWE and Vince McMahon. He signed a 20-year contract to stay with them in 1996. Unfortunately, WCW was winning the War and McMahon couldn't pay the contract. He encouraged Bret to go to WCW, and Hart reluctantly agreed. As we all know, he went out on ugly terms with WWE after The Montreal Screwjob incident.
But Hart was a shell of his former self in WCW. The nWo, Sting, Goldberg, and Ric Flair were already providing enough entertainment. Hart was lost in the shuffle, suffered a career-ending concussion, and has talked about his disastrous tenure with them. He went as far as to saying that the gentleman of Sting was the only part he enjoyed in WCW.