The legacy of WCW is met with various opinions. Fans enjoyed the glory days with the New World Order, Goldberg, the cruiserweights and many more aspects delivering the highest level of wrestling. We all still feel the effect of wrestling lacking the competition that occurred during the Monday Night Wars between WCW and WWE. The company is desperately missed as no one has been able to step up and compete with WWE since WCW went out of business.
On the other side of the fence, WCW managed to do many things poorly. Wrestlers were treated with a lack of respect and young talents had very little opportunity to progress in their careers. WCW only focused on a few established names at the top of the card and the rest of the roster were simply afterthoughts. The treatment of performers out of favor with the office also forced more resentment towards the company.
WCW implemented controversial tactics to not only help their product, but they attempted to damage the WWE. Eric Bischoff flat out admitted he wanted to put the WWE out of business. All of this added up and led to quite a few high profile wrestling personalities to develop negative viewpoint towards the legendary promotion. We’ll break down the names with the top fifteen wrestling stars that hated WCW.
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15 Paul Heyman
The wrestling genius of Paul Heyman could have helped WCW achieve more success. Heyman was a visionary always one step ahead of the rest of the wrestling industry. WCW employed him as the manager Paul E. Dangerously leading The Dangerous Alliance. It was great entertainment, but they never used him to the best of his abilities. WCW eventually fired Heyman but he won a great deal of money from them in a lawsuit against Bill Watts for anti-Semitism.
Clearly, WCW treated Heyman poorly and were allegedly prejudiced towards him due to his Jewish background. The unfriendly relationship continued for years with Heyman forming ECW. Heyman found new talents from all over the world such as Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and many more stars he felt would lead them into the future. WCW offered all of them better contracts and poached them away. Heyman hated WCW and Eric Bischoff for raiding his roster rather than finding their own stars.
14 Big Show
Big Show is one of the few to reach the top of the mountain in both companies as a former WWE Champion and WCW Champion. The giant athlete stood out from day one in WCW and they put the World Title on him in his first match against Hulk Hogan. He won the title on a technicality, but it still showed faith in the talent of the youngster. Show ended up treading water for the majority of his WCW tenure once the New World Order was formed.
The big man was too young to compete with the older names dominating the top of the card. WWE signed him in 1999 and he never looked back. Show claimed the dissension backstage created a horrible environment for the wrestlers. Some of the top names (Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) tried manipulating the other talents behind the scenes to their benefit. Show has discussed hating working for WCW towards the end of his tenure there in various WWE documentaries, discussing how things went so wrong for the once prospering company.
13 Vince McMahon
The most obvious choice for this list would be the man having to fight against WCW for many years. Vince McMahon saw the rise of WCW threaten his livelihood and the future of the WWE. Eric Bischoff’s signings and aggressive approach to starting competition led to WCW dominating the WWE in the Monday Night Wars for a couple of years. McMahon overcame the odds by creating new stars with Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and a few others completely changing the company’s fortune.
WCW started to fall apart at a drastic pace and were desperate to sell in early 2001. McMahon stepped up and shocked the wrestling world by purchasing WCW for just a couple of million. WWE has owned the library of WCW for the past fifteen years. McMahon held a grudge by using his power to bury the history of the promotion. WCW is often ridiculed in historical documentaries about the competition. Former WCW stars like Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg and Sting all felt the wrath of McMahon using them poorly in their WWE stints due to the past.
12 Mick Foley
Mick Foley is rightfully one of the most beloved people in the wrestling business. The hardcore legend left it all in the ring to provide years of memories and entertainment. Perhaps even more impressive, Foley has a reputation of treating everyone with respect and appreciation. WCW didn’t reciprocate that with poor treatment of Foley on multiple occasions. Foley had quite a few standout performances as Cactus Jack in the early 90s, but WCW still decided to fire him.
The career path of Foley sent him to ECW. He rejuvenated his career enough for the WWE to hire him for the role of the deranged Mankind. Foley hit a home run in the WWE and became one of the biggest stars of the era. WCW could have been happy for a former employee reaching success after they kicked him out, but that wasn't the case. Instead, Eric Bischoff instructed Tony Schiavone to make a sarcastic and rude comment about Foley winning the WWE Championship on air. It hurt the feelings of Foley and made him loathe WCW for everything they did to him.
11 Ted DiBiase
The legendary career of Ted DiBiase saw him become a top heel in the WWE for many years. Everyone appreciated The Million Dollar Man character, as the arrogant wealthy heel using his riches to put down others. WWE enjoyed his heel work until he was forced to stop working in the ring due to injuries. WCW snatched him away in a non-wrestling role as the financial backer of the New World Order. It made sense given the ties to the group being mostly former WWE stars trying to take over WCW.
DiBiase did a good job in the role, cutting fitting promos without ever overshadowing the actual wrestlers in the faction. That all changed when Eric Bischoff decided he wanted to become part of the group. Bischoff was revealed as the man in charge of the nWo and basically replaced DiBiase. The change would force DiBiase to take a lesser role as the manager of the Steiners. DiBiase was livid and still talks about how much he hated working for WCW, claiming they had no idea how to use talent.
Fans viewed the Monday Night Wars as a fun time in the wrestling business because it gave us nothing but entertainment. It was completely different for wrestlers. Their jobs were on the line with both companies trying to overtake the other and dominate the wrestling world. One wrestler that took it very personal was John Bradshaw Layfield. Known as just Bradshaw back then, he served as the unofficial locker room enforcer along with Ron Simmons and Hardcore Holly.
WWE would eventually win the war, but that meant WCW talent joined the company as well following their demise. The wrestlers in WWE held resentment towards the WCW talent for the tactics used during the wars. Bradshaw allegedly made life tough for the new stars entering the company. They were essentially hazed for working in WCW. JBL didn’t appreciate the enemy coming into his locker room and made sure to let them know just how he felt about them, until respect was earned to wash away the WCW stigma.
9 Shane Douglas
WCW had a terrible track record with pushing young stars ready for opportunity. The legends and former names of glory held the top spots for the better part of the 90s. No new talents truly broke out aside from Goldberg. One talent that held a great deal of resentment towards WCW and the people with influence there was Shane Douglas. The highly valued prospect started in WCW with a push that went nowhere as a white meat babyface.
Douglas blames Ric Flair specifically for abusing his power in WCW to hold him down. Many of Douglas’ best promos and his overall success in ECW came from scathing promos, where he'd trash everyone who wronged him, including WCW. The two parties reunited in the late 90s with Vince Russo taking over WCW and bringing back Douglas to feud with Flair. It once again went awry with Douglas flopping and blaming the poor environment in the company for his disappointment.
8 Miss Elizabeth
WCW aggressively pursued just about anyone from the WWE that had any name value and hit the free agent market. Miss Elizabeth made her way to WCW in the mid-90s. The on and off relationship she had with Randy Savage made things complicated. They couldn’t just be paired together on television when split. Elizabeth found herself in various new predicaments playing a heel with Ric Flair and later the New World Order. She never felt comfortable in the storylines putting her in the new scenario.
Things got worse for her when Vince Russo gained power in the company and wanted to change things up. Elizabeth never wrestled and had very limited athletic talent. The foolish Russo put her in storylines that forced her to wrestle matches and take bumps. She went on the record to rant about how much she disliked her time in WCW towards the end.
The late Miss Elizabeth left an impact on the wrestling business, but it clearly came in the WWE more than WCW.
7 Triple H
The ascension of Triple H helped give the WWE another top star during the most pivotal time period of the Monday Night Wars that saw them pass WCW for good. Triple H actually worked for WCW years prior, but they had no idea how to use him. WWE offered him a cheaper contract than what he would have received in WCW and he took it hoping for more opportunity. The stars aligned for Triple H to become a big star in the WWE, but he still held a grudge against WCW.
Triple H buried WCW in interviews during the Monday Night Wars claiming their wrestlers showed less passion in the WWE. Many of the former WCW stars joined WWE years after the company died and conveniently saw losses to Triple H. Booker T, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash and Goldberg all suffered losses to The Game within a year. This was around the time Triple H started to gain power in the WWE and definitely used it to show how much he wanted to reign supreme over WCW.
6 Eddie Guerrero
Eddie Guerrero always had the perfect mix of in-ring skills, wrestling intelligence and character work to thrive in the business. WCW just never gave him the platform to rise above the lower midcard. The smaller wrestlers that started to make a name for themselves in WCW received no opportunity to show if they could become bigger stars. Guerrero felt frustrated and upset with his work going unrewarded and chose to leave WCW for WWE.
Guerrero boomed in the WWE due to his connection with the fans. WWE allowed him to showcase his personality and that gave him the confidence to add the missing piece. Eddie buried WCW in books and WWE documentaries talking about how horrible of a place it was to work. The fact that they showed him little respect despite his work ethic being towards the top of the company made him rightfully resent WCW.
5 Steve Austin
The most important pro wrestling story in the 90s was the rise of Steve Austin in the WWE. To this day, Austin is still the name most associated with being the top star in wrestling history. WCW managed to somehow mess up Austin’s time there by never pushing him enough. Eric Bischoff didn’t view him as anything special and coldly fired him via FedEx when Austin was dealing with an injury. This changed the course of wrestling history.
Austin spent time in ECW recovering from his injury and getting back into ring shape before signing with the WWE. Austin eventually took the wrestling industry by storm. Austin has gone on the record to say the anger that came from his WCW firing led to inspiration for taking his game to another level.
The Texas Rattlesnake sure proved how great he could be, but you have to wonder if he would have done it without his hatred for the WCW driving him.
4 Bobby Heenan
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan is an absolute treasure to the pro wrestling world. His personality and humor added something desperately needed to the WWE shows in the 80s. You can argue Heenan is both the greatest color commentator and wrestling manager of all time. His quick-witted jokes and one-liners made him leave an impact on every viewer. WCW poached him to a big contract in the 90s to serve as their new lead color commentator.
Heenan did a great job in the role, finding good chemistry with Tony Schiavone and Mike Tenay. Sadly, the backstage politics in WCW made him unhappy with the environment like many others. Heenan went as far as to use the term “minor leagues” to compare his time in WCW against the better days in the WWE. His hatred stemmed from feeling disrespected by management and having to come to a toxic workplace.
3 Chris Jericho
The talent of Chris Jericho was obvious to anyone with common sense. Jericho had stellar matches, cut outstanding promos and had the potential to develop into a top star. WCW never respected his skills and flat out told him he would be a midcarder for the rest of his career. They paid him very well, but showed no appreciation for his work. Jericho took a pay cut for the major risk of trying to become a star in the WWE.
Things worked out perfectly for Jericho. There were struggles in the early days, but he received an opportunity to move up the card by getting over. That’s all he ever wanted. Jericho blossomed into a legendary talent and is still bringing in money for WWE today. In the various WWE produced documentaries discussing WCW’s history, he is one of the most vocal wrestlers to trash all of the terrible things WCW did. Jericho clearly hated everything WCW represented during his time in the company.
2 Ric Flair
Ric Flair is synonymous with the letters WCW. No one exemplified the better days of what the company represented more than Flair. The Nature Boy’s unhappiness with WCW started with Eric Bischoff trying to implement his cutthroat antics to change the business. Flair was accustomed to tradition and respect, but WCW started to push the envelope by playing with the careers of many performers. Bischoff developed a dislike for Flair after clashing with him and buried him on multiple occasions.
Hulk Hogan, Sting and Goldberg became the top stars in the company with Flair being forced lower down the card. The company didn’t treat him like a legend despite the fact that Flair was the person most associated with WCW. Flair stated he was extremely depressed working there during the last few years and his best moments were getting drunk with "Mean" Gene Okerlund knowing the show was over.
He actually found happiness when it went out of business following the purchase by Vince McMahon.
1 Bret Hart
WCW signed Bret Hart at the best possible time to do something worthwhile with him. Hart left the WWE after The Montreal Screwjob creating a huge buzz around his move to WCW. The new star coming over never legitimately lost the WWE Championship and punched out Vince McMahon in his final moment in the WWE. What more could you ask for? WCW just had no clue how to use Hart and it ended up being one of the worst wrestling workplace changes ever.
Bret believed Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff deserved the most blame for trying to sabotage his career out of jealousy. The entire WCW experience was a miserable time for Hart, as he claimed the inmates ran the asylum with no one in management providing leadership. Hart’s career ended in depressing fashion when Goldberg gave him a stiff kick that would ruin his health for the rest of his life. While Bret felt it was due to Goldberg being reckless, he blamed WCW more than Goldberg for not teaching him the right way to work. Hart hated everything about his time in WCW and you can’t fault him.
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