WCW has been dead for almost sixteen years now, but the legacy still lives on. Wrestling fans of the era were blessed to witness two major promotions have brands dominating on national television. As great as the WWE has been, they reached highs due to WCW pushing them and making wrestling stronger in general with their own product. The WCW roster was loaded with talent from top to bottom. Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Sting are often remembered as the biggest stars of the 90s for WCW. Guys like Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho added excitement with their superb in-ring skills.
You'll be hard pressed to ever find a wrestling product with a roster as diverse in wrestling styles as WCW had. Eric Bischoff used Ted Turner’s checkbook to fill a deep roster. Many of the wrestlers were not as high profile or faded away after they went out of business. For whatever reason, they are less on the radar these days despite having a role in the wrestling industry. We'll take a look at some of the former WCW stars still working in some capacity in professional wrestling in various fields that you were probably unaware of.
15 Disco Inferno
The comedic talent of Disco Inferno made him an entertaining enhancement talent in WCW. Disco did a good enough job to work his way up into the mid-card title picture, but most remember him for being a great loser. The most compelling time of Disco’s stint in WCW saw him team with Alex Wright and Tokyo Magnum to form the hilarious Dancing Fools faction.
Vince Russo even allowed Disco on the WCW writing staff and later landed him a writing job in TNA for a few years. Most fans assume Inferno has retired from the sport, but that’s not true. While his main job is working at a strip club as a host, Disco wrestles at the occasional independent wrestling show in the Las Vegas area. Chris Jericho also hired him to be Konnan’s podcast sidekick on the Talk is Jericho Network’s Keeping It 100 show.
14 Norman Smiley
Norman Smiley is remembered for his time as the comedic Hardcore Champion in WCW, but he was truly a great all-around wrestler. Smiley's Mexican wrestling career made him a well-respected world traveler. Vince Russo saw him on the WCW roster, decided to turn him into a comedy character and it actually worked.
Smiley used his genuine charm and entertaining personality to get across to the fans. The Hardcore Title became a high point of the horrible 2000 WCW shows due to Norman’s entertainment. Smiley is still in wrestling today as one of the top trainers for the WWE at the Performance Center. All of the wrestlers to make it to the main roster credit him for helping them to get the tools needed to thrive on the big stage.
13 Chavo Guerrero
The cruiserweight division was one of the strong points for WCW that still stands strong today. Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio are celebrated for their unbelievable matches at the top of the division, but the depth of the cruiserweights also impressed. Chavo Guerrero was in the second tier of cruiserweights and always managed to deliver great matches when given the time.
WWE employed Chavo for many years before he hit the free agent market in hopes of making a change. Lucha Underground has become his main focus. After being written out in a retirement match, Guerrero now works primarily as a producer for Lucha Underground and is considered one of the more influential people backstage. Chavo is also using his wrestling skills in other fields, helping train the actresses of the upcoming Netflix series G.L.O.W., which is centered on the all-female promotion
12 Mark Jindrak
WCW struggled to build young stars and it ended up being their biggest weakness. The company was falling apart in the final years bleeding money with many top names leaving. As a last ditch effort, WCW went with a youth movement to showcase some of the interesting prospects from their Power Plant training school. Mark Jindrak instantly stood out as someone to pay attention to.
It was too late for WCW and they went out of business right as Jindrak was starting to progress. WWE picked him up, but did little of note with him before his release. Since then, Jindrak has found huge success in Mexico under the name of Marco Corleone. His career is still going strong in CMLL right now, as he's making a living outside of the WWE.
11 The Great Muta
One thing WCW did well was bring in tremendous foreign talent to showcase to the American audience. The Great Muta entered the company as a huge star from Japan and he adapted right away. Muta worked well with Sting specifically and left an impact on many fans of the time. WCW would sporadically bring him in for various roles over the years.
Muta continued his legendary career in Japan for many years as an icon. The promotion Wrestle-1 was formed by Muta to add another wrestling company to the mix in Japan. Muta still wrestles for the promotion today at the age of 51 and has returned to the United States in recent years with TNA. Wrestle-1 formed a relationship with TNA that gave Muta a chance to wrestle in the States again.
10 Buff Bagwell
Buff Bagwell's controversial career made him one of the more polarizing figures in WCW. Many people hated his attitude of being a diva backstage. WWE hired Bagwell following the purchase of WCW with the hopes of making him the biggest star of the brand due to his look. However, his attitude issues saw him get fired just one week after his debut.
Buff has not been able to find a full-time spot in the wrestling business following the WWE disaster. It appears he's retired to the average fan, but he does still make occasional appearances. Bagwell appeared at a few AIW shows out in Cleveland and actually did a good job of entertaining the fans. Most of his work comes outside of the business, including work as a gigolo, but he still does take bookings to wrestle.
9 The Nasty Boys
The Nasty Boys were a fixture in the WCW Tag Team division during the 90s. No one ever accused Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags of being the most athletic performers, but they got over with violent matches and loud personalities. Unlike most of their era, The Nasty Boys have never dabbled with retirement. Knobbs and Sags have always accepted bookings.
Both men are 52 years old, but still wrestle today at smaller independent shows. Knobbs and Sags appeared at the 2015 Legends of Wrestling show at Citi Field, struggling to walk to the ring and gasping for air. It was a tough visual, but they refuse to retire, even though many of today’s wrestlers have criticized them for being drunk and disorderly at shows. Not only won’t they retire, but they aren't giving up the old school life style either.
8 Kevin Sullivan
Kevin Sullivan's work in WCW ranged from an on-air performer to a backstage booker. Sullivan is most remembered for leading The Dungeon of Doom faction during the mid-90s as the big heel group of monsters opposing Hulk Hogan. Most fans forget or are unaware that Sullivan served as the lead booker for WCW during the majority of the Monday Night Wars. Eric Bischoff called the shots, but Sullivan was the actual booker.
Following WCW’s death, Sullivan continued his career for as long as possible. At the age of 67, Sullivan can no longer wrestle, but does work in the business on multiple platforms. Ring of Honor hired him in 2016 to be a manager for BJ Whitmer and Punisher Martinez. Sullivan also hosts his very own podcast on the MLW Network discussing the current product and his past stories in WCW.
7 Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett bounced back and forth between WWE and WCW during the Monday Night Wars, though WCW always managed to utilize him better. Jarrett would win the WCW Championship and have a main event run in the final years of the company’s existence. Vince McMahon despises Jarrett for some of his business tactics when working together. Jarrett was basically blacklisted from the WWE landscape and that forced him to start TNA.
Dixie Carter eventually squeezed Jarrett out of TNA to make his future uncertain again. Jarrett tried running Global Force Wrestling as a new promotion but it completely tanked with poor attendances at live events and no one wanting to sign them to a television deal. With Jarrett looking to be on the outs of the wrestling business, TNA has called him back. Carter resigned as CEO under the new ownership of Anthem Sports. Jarrett is returning to help run the company again in a strange twist to start 2017.
Konnan was a massive star for Mexico in the early 90s leading to WCW signing him. Wrestling historian Dave Meltzer still argues that Konnan was a bigger draw in Mexico than Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin were in the United States. Konnan had a strong run in WCW, lasting until the company went out of business.
Konnan's path sent him back to Mexico where he booked AAA for many years. An ugly split caused him to lose that job, but he did find a way to use his old skills for a new job. Konnan was always great at trash talking, so it was only fitting he would become a podcast host. His podcast on the MLW Network was viewed as a big enough hit for Chris Jericho to offer him a contract to work on the Talk is Jericho Network. Konnan now hosts Keeping It 100 every week with Disco Inferno and Kevin Gill.
5 Dean Malenko
No one was as technically sound as Dean Malenko in WCW. The incredible wrestler had some of the best matches of his era in the cruiserweight division. Many of the current stars in the WWE today cite Malenko as being an influence of their work. If Malenko had the personality, he could have been as big a star as his friends Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero in the WWE.
Malenko never could get over in the ring for the WWE, but he did find another job for the company. WWE hired Malenko to be a road agent and a producer. Malenko helps put together matches with the wrestlers of today before they make magic in the ring. Basically, some of your favorite WWE matches in recent history are thanks to the ideas of Malenko being shared with the performers.
4 Scott Norton
The unmatched strength and the legitimate toughness of Scott Norton made him a memorable midcarder despite never really getting a noteworthy push. Norton’s biggest claim to fame was joining the New World Order as a secondary enforcer, providing depth for the heel faction. Many wrestlers have named Norton among the top guys in the business you would have least wanted to have a real fight with.
Norton also had a strong career in Japan with the fans viewing him as a bigger star overseas. It only made sense he continued his career there following the death of WCW and Norton has wrestled for years in Japan. The veteran is semi-retired but still appears every now and then. NJPW brought in Norton for Wrestle Kingdom 11 recently as a surprise entrant for their battle royal.
3 Juventud Guerrera
Juventud Guerrera could be argued as the most underrated talent of the cruiserweight division in WCW. The luchador had incredible matches with Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Psychosis and many others. Guerrera performed at an extremely high level that matched future legends. Sadly, personal issues and decline in avility would see him fail when he finally made his way into the WWE.
WWE signed Juventud for a short time period to team with The Mexicools but it was a huge flop. With his options limited in the United States, Guerrera returned to Mexico to wrestle full-time. Guerrera currently works in AAA, along with doing a few independent shows back in America. Guerrera also is a frequent guest on Keeping It 100 with Konnan to talk about the wrestling landscape and keep his name out there with his peculiar personality.
2 Jim Duggan
The 62 year old Hacksaw Jim Duggan is a respected legend in the world of wrestling. Duggan spent the majority of the 90s working for WCW following the signing of Hulk Hogan. WCW wanted to build the company around the former WWE stars by hooking in new fans with the familiar faces. Duggan unfortunately became a background player as WCW continued to find better talent that occupied the television time.
WWE would welcome Duggan back into the family following the end of WCW and even allowed him to have a full-time roster spot for a few years, helping to provide a veteran presence in the locker room. Duggan refuses to retire and still loves performing despite the aging process limiting him. Global Force Wrestling made Duggan a roster member when they were trying to get off the ground. Duggan mostly works for smaller independent promotions such as Modern Vintage Wrestling, giving the fans one more glimpse at a former favorite.
1 Billy Kidman
Billy Kidman's in-ring career will always be remembered for his impressive run in WCW. Kidman was a fixture in the cruiserweight division and should be viewed as one of the most successful of the smaller wrestlers of the time. Fans were excited by the fast paced action of Kidman and peers such as Bret Hart believed he could have been a far bigger star.
Kidman tried continuing his career in the WWE following the end of WCW, but he struggled to get consistent television time. Luckily, Kidman found a new job in the WWE that became the perfect post-wrestling career for him. Kidman is a road agent and one of the top producers for the WWE. The time management for segments is led by Kidman keeping track. Kidman contributes to WWE in an unsung role that many are unaware of.
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