WCW was the home of some glorious wrestling in the 90s, as the revamped product of Ted Turner with the creative mind of Eric Bischoff provided some stiff competition for Vince McMahon’s ever-dominating WWE. After WCW had signed all the big guys from the WWE, they went on with the nWo storyline and added a few more amazing characters like Goldberg, offering brilliant storytelling as well as compelling wrestling, which encouraged the 90s wrestling fan to tune in to the live shows of WCW rather than the taped ones of WWE.
Of course WCW failed to keep the fire going, as they started to crumble as WWE came up with more exciting characters and compelling storylines, and started to self-destruct in its last years in the company, even though some talents tried their very best to keep it alive. Now that the company has folded and been bought out by the WWE, it seems like a distant memory for many. But WCW did have its share of talented wrestlers in its prime, which made for great as well as horrible storylines. Unfortunately, some of the more underrated wrestlers in WCW’s time seem to be forgotten now.
Even though the prime crop of WCW in Sting and Goldberg seem to keep their relevance intact, many others were forgotten soon after the company folded and weren’t signed by the WWE either. Much of these wrestlers decided to retire from wrestling after their WCW run and tried their luck in some other field and were forced to find new lines of work. Here are 15 such cases.
31 Disco Inferno (then)
Disco Inferno was probably one of the most annoying yet entertaining characters in the WCW for some time, as he’d dance and gyrate to the ring. He’d gradually rise as a mid-carder before he started challenging for the gold, starting with the Cruiserweight Championship which he failed to win. He did win the WCW Television Title twice in a couple of months, before having a short stint as part of “The Dancing Fools” with Alex Wright. Inferno would later be a member of the nWo Wolfpac, and later also be part of The Mamalukes and The Filthy Animals. He later reunited with Alex Wright to form The Boogie Knights, and remained with WCW till it was bought by the WWE.
30 Disco Inferno (now)
Disco went to wrestle for the World Wrestling All-Stars after he was out of a job, and not only performed for them but also helped to book shows for them. He then went onto join TNA in the same year, where he had his own weekly talk segment called “Jive Talkin’” but the segment lasted for only 3 weeks. Inferno would go onto manage Sports Entertainment Xtreme and the New York Connection later on for short stints before leaving TNA. He returned later in 2007, as he became a road agent for the promotion and also contributed to the creative team. He rarely made TV appearances and later on left TNA again to go back to the Indy circuit. Disco continues to help promotions with their booking and also sporadically wrestles, as he’s an entertaining character who was quickly forgotten after the demise of WCW.
29 Juventud Guerrera (then)
Signing in from ECW, Juventud Guerrera was really noticed by the fans when he debuted in the Cruiserweight Division of WCW, where he’d compete as a masked luchador in his first years in the company. Guerrera would wait for his moment till the debut episode of WCW Thunder, where he’d win his first Cruiserweight Championship from Ultimo Dragon. He would go back and forth with the title, having a memorable feud with Chris Jericho which would lead to a Mask vs Title match, which Guerrera lost forcing him to unmask. Guerrera would also become an announcer for WCW Thunder during his time dealing with an injury, and called himself “The Juice” emulating The Rock from WWE. In 2000, after an incident at a hotel while touring with WCW, Guerrera was arrested and later fired by WCW.
28 Juventud Guerrera (now)
After being released by WCW, Guerrera would go onto wrestle for many independent promotions and also go onto have a short stint in the newly-formed TNA. He would be signed by the WWE in 2005, where he’d be a part of “The Mexicools” with Psychosis and Super Crazy but the team wouldn’t be as relevant as they’d wanted. Juventud couldn’t really excel as the mouthpiece of the stable, and later they disbanded after which Guerrera won the Cruiserweight Title for some time. He was released a year later for backstage issues, and went to perform for the Mexican Promotion Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion. He’d wrestle in some events for AAA, and also wrestled for indy promotions. In his final years, he’d be heavily involved in the product and formed a stable as well, which was overtaken by another member. Guerrera doesn’t wrestle that much nowadays and is divorced as well, as things don’t seem to be going that well for this forgotten luchador.
27 Meng (then)
Meng (known as Haku in WWE) came to WCW during its prime time and after an underwhelming stint at WWE, he needed a change in order to be regarded as a main star. Debuting initially as the intimidating bodyguard of Col. Rob Parker, Meng would soon become a force to be reckoned with in WCW as he destroyed much of the lower-mid carders during his stint at the company. After losing to Sting for the United States Title, Meng aligned with the Dungeon of Doom to form “The Faces of Fear” and had a destructive finishing maneuver during this time. He later went on a winning streak of destroying jobbers in WCW, before it was broken in a match against Goldberg. After trying to remain relevant by feuding with the stars of WCW, Meng finally won a title in the WCW Hardcore Championship soon after it was debuted, and remained the final WCW Hardcore Champion.
26 Meng (now)
After leaving the sinking ship of WCW, Meng returned to WWE in the 2001 Royal Rumble and later formed a team with Rikishi which didn’t last long because of Rikishi’s injury. He would be left to wrestle on B-shows before being released soon after. Meng then went to wrestle in the World League Wrestling and although he has essentially retired, he continued to make appearances in the wrestling ring. In 2009 he would wrestle regularly for World Xtreme Wrestling and also appeared in Chikara’s 2012 King of Trios Tournament where his team was eliminated in the first round by Team ROH. Earlier this year, Meng appeared in New Japan Pro Wrestling in their Wrestle Kingdom 10 where he participated in the New Japan Rumble. The following day, he teamed with his son in a match as he’s again semi-retired at the moment with the ability to come back at any time, but this destructive monster-heel is barely remembered right now.
25 Lash LeRoux (then)
An aspiring cartoonist, John LeRoux tried to make it big in WCW when he saw an advertisement for the WCW Power Plant and was accepted by the developmental territory. He was introduced as “Lash LeRoux” and impressed WCW officials enough to get a contract for himself. He started out in the Cruiserweight Division where he won the Cruiserweight Title once, before going on to form a tag team with Disco Inferno. He was soon storyline fired by WCW President Eric Bischoff for not helping protect him from Diamond Dallas Page. LeRoux and several wrestlers who were fired came back as “Misfits in Action” with LeRoux becoming known as “Corporal Cajun”. He won the WCW Tag Team titles with Lieutenant Loco, as LeRoux and co. were pretty relevant for some time. After being discharged from the MIA, he went onto wrestle as a singles competitor again before wrestling his last match against Rick Steiner.
24 Lash LeRoux (now)
After WCW was bought by the WWE, LeRoux was signed by the WWE to a three year developmental contract and was sent to the Heartland Wrestling Association for training along with several other former WCW wrestlers. He negotiated his release in 2002, preferring to “pursue other options rather than be stuck in a limbo”. After being released by the WWE, LeRoux appeared at the inaugural TNA PPV where he competed in the Gauntlet for the Gold match. After recovering from an injury, he would occasionally appear for TNA Xplosion. He then went on to perform for Georgia Championship Wrestling and Deep South wrestling, before retiring from wrestling altogether. LeRoux continued his cartoon career as his work was featured in wrestling magazines and websites like Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler, as he has become a full-time cartoonist and illustrator since retiring from wrestling and has been forgotten by fans for a long time now.
23 Prince Iaukea (then)
After being trained by Dean Malenko, Prince Iaukea impressed the WCW officials enough to get a professional contract and be packaged as this hard-hitting Samoan wrestler with a solid wrestling ability and submission specialist. He was a solid mid-carder for a number of years, as he won his first title, the WCW Television Title, from Lord Steven Regal and held it for about two months. He then went to New Japan to work with some of the great Japanese wrestlers, but was injured after being severely kicked by Koji Kanemoto. He came back to WCW, where he was now a lower mid-carder and was later repackaged as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea, which was later shortened to The Artist. He would win the Cruiserweight Championship in his last days with the company.
22 Prince Iaukea (now)
Iaukea found himself out of work after WCW folded up, and went onto wrestle for various independent promotions around the country. He wrestled for some time for Jimmy Hart’s X Wrestling Federation, before he went to work as a security contractor overseas. He went back to wrestling as he won the NWA Florida Junior Heavyweight Title of the Floridian promotion Pro Wrestling Fusion in 2008 as well. Iaukea currenty promotes and owns 3SX Pro Wrestling (Samoan Strong Style Xtreme Wrestling and Entertainment) and 3SX Entertainment which runs in the Pacific. Iaukea and his son both work for Florida promotions in Pro Wrestling Fusion, New Florida Wrestling and Definitive Wrestling International as he’s barely remembered anymore despite being an impressive athlete in his WCW days.
21 Vampiro (then)
A famous wrestler in the Mexican Wrestling Circuit, Vampiro came into WCW with much experience and anticipation as he debuted with the company in 1998. Vampiro soon created a stable called “The Dead Pool” with the Insane Clown Posse and Raven which was short-lived, but memorable. Vampiro later brought The Misfits to WCW as they feuded with Oklahoma and “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. He then formed an alliance with Sting in 2000, before turning on him and having a heated feud. Vampiro then formed a tag team with The Great Muta, as they went on to win the WCW Tag Team Titles which was his first and only title in WCW. It was short-lived, as they lost the titles the very next night when Vampiro turned on The Great Muta, setting up a three way match between him, Muta and Sting, which the Stinger won. Vampiro stuck with the WCW till its last days, continuously performing before getting injured.
20 Vampiro (now)
After WCW went out of business, Vampiro would go onto wrestle for various promotions in All Japan Pro Wrestling, CML and also had a short stint in TNA. Vampiro then went to wrestle for AAA and held booking positions in the promotion. He seldom wrestled, competing only in big matches in some of the events for the promotion. During this time, he also had stints at Wrestling Society X and Juggalo Championship Wrestling. He served as a color commentator in AAA’s Lucha Libre World Cup internet PPV in 2015, and continues to serve as a color commentator for Lucha Underground since 2014. Vampiro is also the member of a citizen crime patrol organization in Mexico called “Guardian Angels” acting as head of the group’s chapter in Mexico City, but he’s long forgotten as a WCW wrestler for which he attained much of his popularity.
19 Psicosis (then)
One of the brightest aspects of WCW’s Cruiserweight Division, Psicosis was an amazing wrestler to watch because of his ability in the ring as he’d be one of the most exciting luchadors in the company. He continued to wrestle other luchadors and cruiserweights in his time in the company, as he’d feud with other cruiserweights in his quest to win the WCW Cruiserweight Title. He finally won it in 1998, but lost it a week later. Psicosis would then lose his mask in a Mask vs Mask match, before he was paired with Juventud Guerrera. He had to defend Guerrera’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title when the latter was kayfabe injured, and later went onto win the Cruiserweight Title after unmasking. However, on his first televised event with the title, he would again go onto lose it to Disco Inferno. He’d later be released in 2000 because of the financially suffering WCW.
18 Psicosis (now)
Psicosis went to wrestle for ECW after being released by WCW, and had some amazing matches in his short stint as ECW was failing as well like WCW itself. Psicosis would then go to wrestle for some Independent promotions, as well as going onto make some appearances for TNA. He was signed on by the WWE in 2005, making his debut in the ECW One Night Stand PPV where he lost to Rey Mysterio. He was then put as part of “The Mexicools”. The Mexicools would be together for a short amount of time, as Psicosis would go back to wrestle on his own before teaming up again with Super Crazy, who he later feuded with. After he lost in his feud with Crazy, he was released by the WWE and went to wrestle for Mexican Promotion AAA and continued to wrestle for the promotion as one of the main attractions till 2014 when he was released. Since then, he has rarely made appearances for any big promotion as he’s been forgotten by the wrestling world inspite of being one of the most exciting talents of his time.
16 Buff Bagwell (then)
Buff Bagwell would be introduced in WCW as primarily a tag team specialist, as he won the WCW Tag Titles 4 times over the span of his first 5 years in the company. He then joined the NWO and formed a team with Scott Norton called “Vicious and Delicious”. Bagwell would then get injured during a match with Rick Steiner, and would be shelved for a couple of months because of it. Bagwell would later transition into a singles competitor, as he thought he was being “held back” by WCW officials(kayfabe) and feuded with some of WCW’s best wrestlers. After failing as a single competitor, he teamed with Lex Luger and called themselves “Totally Buffed” as they even defeated Goldberg in a tag team match, getting him story-line fired. They later joined Ric Flair’s Magnificent Seven stable before WCW’s closure.
15 Buff Bagwell (now)
Bagwell would be one of the first WCW wrestlers to sign with the WWE, as he soon made his WWE debut in a match against Booker T for the WCW Championship, which ended in a no-contest when Stone Cold and Kurt Angle interfered. But he was released soon after because of problems with management and an altercation with Shane Helms. Bagwell would go onto make sporadic appearances for TNA, as well as performing for various Independent shows from time to time. Bagwell is currently a professional gigolo, as he’s employed to escort service Cowboys4Angels and in a video explains his journey into becoming one. He recently sued the WWE for royalties from material he is featured in on the WWE Network, as his fall from wrestling seems really appalling as this forgotten wrestler now had to take a drastic change in career to survive.
14 Ernest “The Cat” Miller (then)
Ernest Miller was probably one of the more under-rated wrestlers in the WCW at his time, as he had a lot of charisma which provided for some really entertaining segments when he was on. With Sonny Onoo as his manager, Ernest would call himself “the greatest” and keep on maintaining a strong figure in the mid-card of the WCW. But after Onoo left WCW, Miller was degraded to jobbing before he became Eric Bischoff’s assistant. His job was to follow Bischoff around everywhere and to repeat his lines to comedic effect, as he even became WCW Commissioner in 2000 and slowly transitioned into a fan favorite. He would feud with Lance Storm for the role of commissioner which he lost, and made for some entertaining matches before WCW was bought by WWE.
13 Ernest “The Cat” Miller (now)
Miller would be given a contract by the WWE, where he served as a color commentator for some-time for Velocity before starting his journey as an active wrestler, competing for the Smackdown! brand. He would provide some entertainment in the 2004 Royal Rumble match, as he’d dance to the ring to his “Somebody Call My Momma” theme song but got eliminated early. He also failed to win a 15-man number one contenders Battle Royal for the WWE Championship, and feuded with Tajiri for a bit before he was released by the company in 2004. Miller then tried his shot at movies, and also had a significant role as “The Ayatollah” in the Oscar nominated film “The Wrestler” who was the in-ring nemesis of the protagonist. He also played a part in a Chinese television series “The Legend of Bruce Lee” and appeared in 2009 film “Blood and Bone”. He is currently an instructor and trainer for a Martial-Arts school in the Atlanta area, as “The Cat” has long been forgotten after providing entertainment in the dying days of WCW.
12 Konnan (then)
One of the hottest Hispanic wrestlers in the 90s, Konnan finally found his ground in the big promotions during his second stint at WCW, as he wasn’t only the face of the Mexican wrestlers at the time, but also was responsible for bringing in more Hispanic wrestlers to the promotions. He soon won the United States Title after rejoining WCW, and made huge strides when he joined the NWO in 1997. He developed a hip hop gimmick and feuded with the Mexican Luchadors he had brought to WCW. He would later also become WCW Television Champion, and later turned face to help Mysterio fight off the Outsiders. Konnan and Mysterio won the WCW Tag Team Titles as part of “The Filthy Animals” which Konnan had created, as he continued to manage the stable until WCW was purchased by WWE.
11 Konnan (now)
Konnan returned to the Independent circuit after WCW was sold, competing for various promotions like Xtreme Pro Wrestling, World Wrestling All-Stars, World Wrestling Council and also a short stint at TNA. He returned soon to TNA, where he formed a stable called “3Live Kru” with Ron Killings and B.G. James as they won the NWA Tag Team Titles soon. The 3Live Kru were a dominating stable at TNA for some-time, before Konnan left and formed Latin American Xchange(LAX) with Homicide. Konnan would continue doing work for TNA as well as AAA as things got really hectic for him and he had to get a hip replacement surgery in 2007 too. After leaving TNA, Konnan continued to wrestle for AAA for the next years, before in 2013 he became heavily involved in a backstage role for the promotion. He continued to serve as a road agent and writer till February 2016, and has his own podcast now “Keeping it 100 with Konnan” on the Jericho Network, as this worn-out wrestler isn’t remembered by anyone which can help his cause and continues to make ends meet by helping out other wrestling personal with their work.
10 Ultimo Dragon (then)
Ultimo Dragon was another reason on why WCW’s Cruiserweight Division was regarded so highly at the time, as the amazing high-flying athlete set the standards for other coming Cruiserweights during his time at the company. Dragon debuted in the WCW as Sonny Onoo as his manager, and had some amazing matches with Rey Mysterio for the Cruiserweight Championship, which he won at Starrcade 1996. Dragon later dropped the title and turned face by firing Onoo as his manager, and went onto win the WCW Television Title twice in a space of some months. He would again win the Cruiserweight Championship, before he suffered an arm injury which required surgery. The operation was botched, causing nerve damage and forcing Dragon to retire.
9 Ultimo Dragon (now)
Ultimo Dragon became a trainer and had his own sets of students who later went to wrestle for big promotions, and also co-promoted Grupo Internacional Revolucion(IWRG). His “Toryumon” training project got renamed into Dragon Gate wrestling promotion, and Ultimo parted ways with them. In 2003, Dragon debuted for the WWE and wrestled some of the cruiserweights during his time in the promotion. Dragon got his wish granted as he performed in WrestleMania XX where he had one of the most memorable botches of all time during his entrance, and later left the WWE in 2004. He went back to Japan and continued to wrestle for many of its promotion in order to bring some success to the Indy wrestling scene in Japan, and also travelled to Mexico to perform in the next years. Dragon has been working as a free-lancer since 2013, and most performs for All Japan Pro Wrestling as this legendary wrestler who has been the innovator of some of the most memorable wrestling moves is now a forgotten afterthought.
8 Glacier (then)
Those who were heavily hooked to WCW programming in the 90’s will definitely remember the hype around the character of Glacier and how he turned out to be pretty disappointing, as this Mortal Kombat inspired character seemed pretty intriguing in the vignettes. Glacier would debut to an entrance which would involve synthetic snow falling from the top and blue lasers being shifted around the arena, and couldn’t really impress the fans as he’d want to. He would find much of his career be in the mid-card, before having some strong feuds in the mid-card. He would then go on a losing streak for three months, before having a memorable feud with Perry Saturn. Glacier lost to Goldberg for the US title in his only title challenge during his time at the company, but soon saw his character become pretty irrelevant. He was repackaged to Coach Buzz Stern to manage Luther Biggs for some-time, before he was released in 1999 for budget cuts.
7 Glacier (now)
Glacier went to co-found a wrestling promotion Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling (TCW) with Dusty Rhodes in 2000, and featured other WCW cast-offs and Glacier performed under his real name Raymond Lloyd. He was TCW Heavyweight Champion for a point of time as well, before soon dropping it. Lloyd returned to WCW in 2001 as Glacier, but this time as a Superhero Parody who swore to “have Norman Smiley’s back” but often screwed him up. Though he never wrestled in this stint, his hilarious antics got him popular but he was abruptly released again a month later. Lloyd returned to the Indy field again, becoming TCW Tag Champions with Jorge Estrada. After TCW folded in 2003, Glacier went onto make sporadic appearances for Georgia Championship Wrestling and held a backstage position with TNA. He participated in Chikara’s King of Trio’s tournament twice, with the last one being in 2009 in a losing effort with Al Snow and D’Lo Brown. Since then, Glacier has tried his hand in acting and has got some work in It, as well as doing some charitable work as well, as this one time popular gimmick is now a forgotten afterthought.
6 The Great Muta (then)
The Great Muta definitely earned his “great” status as he was one of the most unbelievably hard-workers in the 90s, where he performed for both WCW and NJPW simultaneously. The Great Muta first appeared for WCW in the NWA edition of WCW Saturday Night Way back in 1989, and continued to appear for WCW while wrestling regularly in Japan. Muta was held as a star in the WCW, and even inspite wrestling sporadically was given the best workers to work with and always gave memorable matches. He continued to wrestle for WCW over the years, and focused on one last memorable run for the WCW in 2000 as he was heavily involved in the tag team scene during this time. He also won his first ever WCW Title in the WCW Tag Team Titles with Vampiro, but lost it the next night after Vampiro betrayed him. His last WCW match came at a house show against Sting, as a no-compete clause in his WCW Contract disabled him from joining the WWE.
5 The Great Muta (now)
The Great Muta went back to Japan to wrestle for NJPW, and was heavily involved this time in their tag team scene. He later won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura but lost it in Wrestle Kingdom III. He continued to make appearances for them, but shocked everyone by joining All Japan Pro Wrestling in 2002. Muta continued to perform for All Japan Pro Wrestling, winning many of its titles and being the face of the company for quite a lot of years, before resigning from the promotion in 2013. Muta then found his own promotion called Wrestle-1, bringing all the former wrestlers of All Japan Pro Wrestling with him. He continued to wrestle for the promotion as well, as they tried a working relationship with TNA and The Great Muta had to appear in TNA for some matches as well. He continues to wrestle sporadically and looks after his promotion.
4 Perry Saturn (then)
After being a part of ECW for some years, Saturn impressed WCW enough to call him to perform for them as he would soon go onto join Raven’s Nest, a stable created by Raven for which Saturn and Billy Kidman were his servers. Saturn, the enforcer of the Flock won the WCW Television Championship which he held for about a month, before feuding with Glacier and then with the domineering Raven. This resulted in a match between Saturn and Raven, where if Saturn won the Flock would be free and if Raven won, he’d become Raven’s slave. Finally after much torture, Saturn defeated Raven and the Flock Disbanded. Saturn would then go onto wrestle other mid-carders and later reunited with Raven again as they went onto win the WCW Tag Team Titles. Saturn lost the titles after Raven got injured, as he continued to be involved in the tag team scene before he went to the WWE along with Benoit, Guerrero and Dean Malenko.
3 Perry Saturn (now)
Saturn would be part of “the Radicalz” a stable formed with the four former WCW wrestlers in it, as Saturn himself would win the European Championship soon but after the Radicalz were disbanded, Saturn lost his place in the ladder. After he legitimately beat up a jobber in a match, he was punished by given the mop gimmick, where his character would be infatuated with a mop. This gimmick actually got him over with the fans as his hilarious antics with “Moppy” led to a face turn as well, as Saturn would regain his position as a mid-carder. But after he got injured again, the WWE would release him and he’d go back to the indy circuit for a couple of years. In 2004, Saturn was involved in an incident where he rescued a woman from getting raped by two men and got shot during the altercation. Saturn got addicted to Meth afterwards and was homeless for two years, almost disappearing from public view. He reemerged in 2010, having resolved his addiction and returned to the wrestling ring in 2011 and has since been wrestling sporadically, but he isn’t really remembered by anyone nowadays inspite of being an entertaining wrestler at his time.
2 Dean Malenko (then)
Known as “The Iceman”, Dean Malenko was one of the most calculative and technically able wrestlers in the WCW at his time, as he was one of the most under-rated wrestlers in the promotion. Soon after joining the WCW, Malenko would win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship and go back and forth with it for some-time, giving some amazing matches with the other cruiserweights. Malenko would also go onto win the United States Championship later on, after which he’d have a memorable feud with Chris Jericho. Malenko would then become a part of The Four Horsemen, as they feuded with the NWO in an attempt to take them out. Malenko and Benoit won the WCW Tag Team Titles during this time, as Malenko also joined Shane Douglas’ “The Revolution” faction before leaving the WCW in 2000.
1 Dean Malenko (now)
Malenko joined WWE after getting his release from the sinking WCW, and appeared as part of The Radicalz with Guerrero, Benoit and Saturn. While he didn’t have much success in the WWE, he was quite the force of the Cruiserweight Division, winning the Light Heavyweight Championship multiple times in his first year in the company. His second Light Heavyweight Championship reign stretched for almost 300 days, as Malenko soon went off TV before the Invasion angle and retired soon after. Malenko has since appeared many times on WWE TV, especially on Ric Flair’s farewell episode of Raw when he appeared as part of The Four Horsemen. In November 2015, Malenko was inducted into the 2300 Arena Hardcore Hall of Fame and is regarded as the “number one guy” by Daniel Bryan and other great superstars. Malenko currently works as a road agent for the WWE, as he is rarely remembered by fans who remember other WCW legends like Sting, Goldberg, the NWO but don’t remember this legend who built the foundation of their mid-card and elevated its level with his amazing abilities.
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