The last few years of World Wrestling Entertainment storylines and television programming have been wonderful for well-known wrestling stars from the 1990s. WWE brought Sting back to work a feud with Seth Rollins over the company’s top title, and one can only imagine what might have been had the “Icon” of World Championship Wrestling not suffered a serious injury during a match that forced him out of action seemingly for good. Triple H is working a program that will, at the very least, go through WrestleMania 33. Chris Jericho was one of the true WWE MVPs of 2016 and the first three months of 2017 for his work alongside Kevin Owens, and Goldberg, the biggest star created by World Championship Wrestling during the Attitude Era, won the Universal Championship.
Knowing how open WWE has been about bringing stars from the 90s back for a variety of different runs, we can’t help but think of others the promotion should consider signing at some point down the road. Some are famous names who remain active in the business, including a pair of performers who re-worked their characters and, in the process, created arguably the hottest gimmick in the business for 2016. Others, meanwhile, haven’t been involved with the WWE for quite some time. It’s worth noting not every 90s wrestling star mentioned in this piece would have a long-term future with the WWE, but that does not mean the organization could not use such performers for short-term feuds or even a single Pay-Per-View event.
15 15. Jeff Jarrett
Things in the wrestling world often come full circle, and, thus, it’s only natural that Double-J would eventually make a return to the WWE for one last run. Jeff Jarrett can still go in the ring for a program with any number of babyface wrestlers on the WWE roster, he can be a solid heel manager for a stable and he would legitimately draw heat from fans via his promos.
14 14. Alundra Blayze/Madusa
Heading into WrestleMania 33, there were a plethora of rumors about former women’s wrestlers potentially returning to the WWE. Why not the performer known as Alundra Blayze in the WWE/Madusa in WCW? Madusa, who famously threw the WWE Women’s Title into the garbage during an episode of Nitro, never had an opportunity to make a return to WWE following the Attitude Era, and she is good to go in the ring for a feud or two as far as we know.
13 13. Ultimo Dragon
Passionate wrestling fans probably remember that Ultimo Dragon did not have the greatest of runs during his original stint in the WWE. Dragon can still physically compete inside the ring, and he could be a benefit for either the 205 Live portion of the roster or the NXT brand. It would also be nice to see the well-known veteran and icon of the industry be able to leave WWE fans with some positive memories.
12 12. Jushin Thunder Liger
Many of the things mentioned about Ultimo Dragon making a return to the WWE at some point in 2017 ring true for Jushin Thunder Liger. Truth be told, Liger may be even more familiar with pockets of fans than Dragon because of his brief appearance at the first ever NXT Takeover: Brooklyn show back in 2015.
11 11. Diamond Dallas Page
It’s almost difficult to imagine creating a piece about 90s wrestling stars the WWE should hire without mentioning the master of the “Diamond Cutter.” Diamond Dallas Page remains one of the best gimmicks WCW pushed during the second half of the 90s, as he truly became that company’s version of the “People’s Champion” who remains over among audiences largely because of his awesome finishing move.
10 10. Ken Shamrock
In a way, it’s somewhat hard to believe it’s been roughly two decades since Ken Shamrock emerged on the scene as the “world’s most dangerous man.” After all, casual fans know so much more about mixed martial arts than they did when Shamrock got an ankle lock over as a killer finishing move.
9 9. Taz
Those of you who watched the original Extreme Championship Wrestling in the 90s probably remember the days when Taz, a relatively undersized wrestler compared to the monsters who dominated WWE television at the time, terrorized opponents as the “human suplex machine.”
8 8. Lance Storm
It’s actually a little remarkable WWE hasn't made it worth Lance Storm’s while to make a move down to Florida to train future wrestlers in developmental. Storm, after all, runs his own training school, a facility that has already created a number of performers who have featured in NXT and on WWE programming.
7 7. Bully Ray
You have to give the artist currently known as Bully Ray a lot of credit for all that he has achieved over the past several years. Formerly one-half of the Dudley Boyz/3D team, Bully did well to completely change his character en route to becoming a true main-eventer for the Impact Wrestling promotion. While Bully’s initial return to the WWE beginning in 2015 did not go all that well, he should be given another opportunity to shine, this time as a solo worker.
6 6. Torrie Wilson
Wrestling fans who watched only or mostly WWE programming during the Attitude Era may not realize Torrie Wilson is actually a 90s wrestling star who first made her debut working in WCW. Those of you out there who follow Wilson on social media platforms such as Instagram are probably aware the former WWE Diva remains in incredible shape, and it looks as if she could make a return to the ring at any given time.
5 5. Sean Waltman
Recent pictures of Sean Waltman that have emerged via social media websites make it appear as if the veteran and 90s wrestling star could have a match inside a WWE ring in 2017. Some fans out there may know Waltman as being responsible for what became known as “X-Pac Heat,” but nobody out there can deny he was a tremendous worker in both the WWE and WCW.
4 4. Jeff Hardy
It's truly commendable how Jeff Hardy conquered whatever alleged personal problems plagued him and nearly cost him his wrestling career. With the help of his brother, Matt, Jeff re-tooled his wrestling persona and helped put Impact Wrestling back in front of fans who abandoned that product years ago, and it seems as if it’s only a matter of time before the former WWE Champion is back working with the promotion.
3 3. Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy is, without a doubt, one of the most fascinating individuals in the pro wrestling industry today. Matt’s brilliant “Broken” character was a revelation for the Impact Wrestling brand that was seemingly in the grave as of the summer of 2016, and both Matt and Jeff have used their new personas in independent promotions since leaving Impact.
2 2. Scott Steiner
So what if Scott Steiner never had a five-star match during his final WWE stint? Big Poppa Pump was a fun and beloved character because he was a huge guy who threw opponents all over the ring and because he cut unscripted promos that made fans laugh and that stuck in our minds.
1 1. Steve Austin
We’re sure Stone Cold Steve Austin is doing just fine and doesn’t need the money, but that doesn’t change the fact that the biggest single 90s wrestling star out there today would be a major benefit to the current WWE product. Austin could do wonders as it pertains to teaching younger performers how to cut believable and entertaining promos that go beyond a script, and he could also spend time as an in-ring trainer even if what he can and cannot do between the ropes is limited because of injury woes.
It also must be mentioned that we who watched Austin in the 90s and 2000s are still hoping he has one last match in the tank. Remember when the WWE teased a potential feud between Austin and CM Punk? Make it so.
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