I have said in numerous articles, but given the content below I feel that it's worth repeating - there is no point in my history as a wrestling fan that I would consider myself a fan of the WCW product. I was born and raised on WWE wrestling, and any time that I watched WCW it felt very strange to me. There was something about the wrestlers in the ring that I just did not connect with on a level that I did with WWE wrestlers. Now that I have some more knowledge of the wrestling industry, I think I know why - there were many wrestlers on the roster that did not appear "famous" to me. There were always stars like Ric Flair and Sting that came across as big deals, but for every Flair, there was a Buff Bagwell or Jeff Jarrett that did not come across like a star to me.
Now that many of these wrestlers have reached the twilight of their careers, it seems that some of them are having trouble letting go of their former "spotlight" (if you can call it that). Some are still actively employed (even by WWE), while others are just bumping around the independent circuit hoping someone will ask for their autograph.
Here are 15 WCW Wrestlers Who Think They're Still Relevant - But They're Not:
15 Booker T
This is the only time that I am including an active member of the WWE roster on this list, as I believe that if you are currently employed by a large professional wrestling promotion, you are clearly very relevant to the wrestling world. The only exception to this rule, is when I hear Booker T on commentary. In order to be considered in the conversation with the best color-commentators in professional wrestling, you need to be able to communicate effectively enough that the audience can follow along with the action, and this is not one of Booker’s strong suits.
His commentary on television is often laughable and nonsensical, which is truly damaging his credibility as a performer. If Booker wants to maintain his relevance, he should remove himself from commentary as soon as possible, or his legacy may end up like some of the others on this list.
14 Virgil (Vincent)
One of the most famous pictures taken at a wrestling convention consists of Virgil sitting alone at his own table with no fans waiting to see him. While the picture is both sad and comical (and to be honest, served to get Virgil’s name in the headlines for the first time since the 1990s), Virgil latest escapades in the wrestling world have made it all a little bit sadder. Recently, “Bad Boy” Joey Janela faced Virgil in one of the most unorthodox matches I’ve seen lately, which included Virgil hitting a Canadian Destroyer (yes, you read that correctly) and tapping out to a phantom wrist-lock – see it here for yourself).
To go along with these types of escapades in the ring, Virgil also enjoys live-tweeting WWE events in order to put himself over to be involved in these matches. Keep on trying Virgil, keep on trying.
13 Vince Russo
I am an avid podcast listener – whether I listen to a wrestling-themed podcast from Colt Cabana, or another one my interests like CaseFile or Art of Manliness – because it allows me to engage with my interests passively while I work out or travel. One podcast that I have tried to listen to but have switched off many times in anger is Vince Russo’s The Brand. There is no possible way that I can get through two straight hours of Russo talking about how he could be booking today’s wrestling programming and talent better than we are currently seeing – it is a blatant medium for Russo to put himself over, and serves no real value to the wrestling world. While Russo clearly had a run of success during his time with WWE in the 1990s, his later career endeavors in both WCW and TNA have scorched his worth to the wrestling world, and he needs to quietly begin fading out before we forget any of the good things he gave the wrestling world (and let it be known, the Piñata on a Pole Match is not one of them).
12 Barry Darsow (The Blacktop Bully & Mr. Hole In One)
One half of the former longest-reigning Tag Team Champions in WWE history, Barry Darsow is better known as Smash from the team Demolition. While Darsow achieved semi-legendary status in WWE under the Smash moniker, he also spent time in WCW during two very forgetful runs as “The Blacktop Bully” and “Mr. Hole in One”. While it is not abnormal for wrestlers to switch companies and become less-than-successful, Darsow could not handle that being the end to his career, and has continued to wrestle on the independent circuit despite being close to 60 years old.
Still donning his Demolition (and sometimes his former Repo Man) attire, Darsow is still booked in various independent promotions such as Chikara, but is a shell of his former self and still portrays himself as if he is still wrestling at Madison Square Garden. Sorry Barry, but I think it is time to move down the bench.
11 Buff Bagwell
One of my favorite wrestling memories took place on the July 2nd 2001 episode of RAW, and it is not for a good reason for one Buff Bagwell. During the beginning of the Invasion storyline, Buff was given the chance to main event an episode of RAW with Booker T, and completely stunk out the arena. After this, Bagwell never worked for WWE again and began working independent shows. He has attempted to remain relevant despite having no spotlight on him for years, such as when he attempted to “go viral” by hitting a Canadian Destroyer during a match with “All Ego” Ethan Page for Absolute Intense Wrestling in Cleveland, which you can see here. Seriously, I’m starting to sense a trend with these older wrestlers using the Canadian Destroyer, and I don’t think it’s a good thing.
WCW had a lot of interesting gimmicks during its time as a promotion – whether it was a character similar to The Great and Powerful Oz, or appearances from Chucky and RoboCop – which did not always receive the most fanfare due to them being too unbelievable. Enter Glacier – a wrestler meant to capitalize on the popular culture created by Mortal Kombat. Glacier would enter WCW with one of the most extravagant entrances for this time period, complete with cool-blue lasers and snow falling from the arena ceiling, and would also remain undefeated in WCW singles action for over a year in 1996. Unfortunately for Glacier, fans did not buy into the gimmick as much as initially hoped for and he left the company in 1999 before WCW folded in 2001.
Since then, Glacier still continues to appear on independent shows, still donning his helmet and ring gear, but without the much stylized entrance theatrics. Most recently, Glacier was even booked on a Ring of Honor show in 2017. Yes, you read that correctly. Glacier was in Ring of Honor in 2017. Try as he may, I think that his time has certainly passed us all.
9 Shane Douglas
When I think of ECW, it takes me a little while to remember Shane Douglas after I get through my memories of Sandman, Raven and Rob Van Dam. When I think of former WWE Intercontinental Champions, Shane “Dean” Douglas does not always come up in my conversations. When I think of WCW, I also very rarely remember Douglas’ reigns as United States or Tag Team Champion. Unfortunately, Shane Douglas does not come up in wrestling conversations very often at all, unless it is to talk about him ranting on Twitter or podcasts about current happenings in the world of wrestling, which he is not integrated in much anymore.
Whether he is tweeting about how new wrestlers do not sell enough, or reminiscing about his days as ECW Champion, Douglas is not as relevant in the wrestling world as he used to be, but that does not stop him from telling us how much he should be.
Before I go further with this entry, if you have the opportunity to see any of Vampiro’s older work in Mexican promotions AAA or CMLL, please do because he used to be a great wrestler, utilizing his size to his advantage while still incorporating the lucha-libre style.
However, as of 2017, Vampiro is not wrestling full-time anymore but is a color-commentator for Lucha Underground. While the LU product as a whole is very solid, Vampiro’s commentary does not add a lot of value to the product, and he comes off as someone who does not belong in the position, particularly when he parlays into an on-camera character. His on-screen exploits as the “master” of Pentagon Jr. or the mentor of Prince Puma do not do much for either of these wrestlers, but Vampiro remains on screen with them. As a professional, Vampiro should step aside and let the talent do the work for themselves instead of trying to attach himself to them.
7 Sean Waltman (Syxx)
Ever heard the term “X-Pac Heat”? It is a wrestling term for when a wrestler is so hated by the fans that their hate supersedes anything else going on with the character – it does not matter if the character is a heel, the crowd is booing them because they genuinely do not like them. Sean Waltman has had the stigma of X-Pac heat follow him around his entire career, even when he is not portraying X-Pac. Waltman still attempt to be active on the independent circuit, but is still plagued with this type of fan reaction when he wrestles, despite being a veteran from his time in WCW and WWE. With his past legal troubles notwithstanding, Waltman needs to recognize that his name value is tarnished, and that his continuous appearances on independent shows do not help him regenerate (no pun intended) his brand, but continues to hurt it.
6 Big Van Vader
2016 wrestling did not have many bigger stories than the Will Ospreay vs Ricochet match from New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament. This match’s display of athleticism (or as some others called it, “gymnastics”) served to divide the wrestling audience into two factions – those than lauded the athleticism and praised it as one of the best matches of the year, and those that loathed it and thought that it damaged the credibility of the wrestling business (you can view the match here and decide for yourselves).
One of the largest proponents of the latter was Vader, who called the match “blatant acrobatics” on Twitter, and proceeded to call out Ospreay in a series of tweets, in a clear attempt to interject himself into one of the most talked about matches in years. While Vader did end up facing Ospreay in a match for Revolution Pro Wrestling in 2016, he was certainly not on the level of his previous success, and certainly not able to keep up with Ospreay. At the end of it all, fans did not care about Vader’s opinion of the match, but would much rather just watch good wrestling.
Daffney emerged in WCW in 1999 to manage David Flair and Crowbar, and holds the distinction- or unfortunate marker - of being the only female WCW Cruiserweight Champion in history, which according to wrestling historians was one of the catalysts for sinking the value of the once-great Cruiserweight division. Since her release from WCW in 2001 (right before the company folded), Daffney proceeded to work the independent circuit, where she made small appearances, and had a cup of coffee in WWE’s developmental system. Not one to let her former relevance fade away, Daffney entered TNA’s Knockout Division in 2008, holding onto a spot in the company until 2011 after accomplishing very little with the company.
While there were many other women on the TNA roster, and on the independent circuit, that could have done very well in TNA if given the opportunity, Daffney did not use her spot in the company to elevate younger talent, but instead held onto her position for her own benefit. Some people just refuse to let themselves fade away.
4 Johnny “The Bull” Stamboli
Stamboli’s time in both WCW and WWE were very brief, only including runs as champion in each of the promotion’s Hardcore divisions, which really says all that we need to say about the success of his career. Given this resume, one would not think that Stamboli would be high up on many promoter’s lists of former WCW talent to book, but Stamboli continues to make appearances on independent shows in the United States, still trying to capitalize on his brush with fame in both companies. Not all wrestlers are destined to make a good living on the independent wrestling circuit, and whether it is because of their talent level or lack of drawing ability is up to the fans in attendance.
The sooner that some of these talents realize that not all former WCW wrestlers are created equal, and they should not be getting themselves booked on these shows, the better off the wrestling business is going to be.
3 Vito LoGrasso
When you are best known as a wrestler who used to wear a dress in the ring, and was most famous for sticking wrestler’s heads underneath it, it is likely that you will not be remembered very often by wrestling fans (unless they are looking for a quick laugh). Enter Vito LoGrasso, he wrestled for less than two years with WCW in the 2000s, and was only brought into WWE four years after WCW closed, which gives you an indication of how highly sought-after his talent was at the time. Since being released by WWE in 2007, LoGrasso continued to wrestle on the independent circuit, struggling to retain the name value from his time in the big leagues, and only making headlines again when he became part of a class-action lawsuit against WWE for the injuries he received while working with them. Not necessarily what he would want to be remembered for, but I suppose it is better than being “the guy who wore the dress”.
2 Tammy Lynn Sytch
Not all of the wrestlers are discuss in this article have a happy story to tell, and that is the case with Tammy Lynn Sytch who worked in WCW with her husband, the late Chris Candido, in 2000. While Sytch is mainly known for her time in WWE as Sunny, with the exception of a brief appearance at WrestleMania XXV, the last time she was involved with a major wrestling promotion was WCW, and any time she has been mentioned in the news since then it has been surrounded by dark undertones of legal issues. Sytch is currently making headlines for her active role in adult movies, which is not the name she initially sought out to make for herself. We wish Sytch the best of luck when she decides to rehabilitate from her demons because this is not the legacy she should be leaving behind.
1 Terry Funk
Credit should always be given where credit is due, and Terry Funk is one of the greatest professional wrestlers on the face of the Earth – whether someone is seeing his matches with Ric Flair for the first time in NWA and is surprised at how well he can wrestle, or are reveling in the violence of his matches with Mick Foley, Funk’s contributions to the wrestling business cannot be denied. However, Funk has not contributed anything worth-while to the wrestling business in quite some time, and his continued appearances (and subsequent and numerous “retiring” stints) have only served to damage his legendary credibility. Funk should have permanently hung up his boots a long time ago, and until he does, people are going to continue to question his soundness and legendary status.