Just because someone was a big name in either ECW or WCW, doesn't mean that they're automatically going to be a gigantic star when they make the jump to WWE. In fact, most of the time, it means that the ex-WCW or ECW star will have a ton of pressure on them to rise to the occasion.
Some guys, like Booker T for example, flourished after they decided to go to WWE after WCW was bought out. But others didn't exactly find the same success when they made the jump.
In most cases, backstage politics kept ex-WCW and ECW down after they made the jump to WWE. But, the aforementioned Booker T, along with Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and others were able to overcome WWE's political game and become top guys.
Sadly though, this list isn't about the superstars who were able to successfully make the jump to WWE, it's about guys who were stars in ECW and WCW who failed to make a big impact during their WWE run.
Again, a lot of these examples of failed WWE runs will be a result of backstage politics, but there are some who just flat out failed. So, without further ado, let's take a closer look at 20 of the biggest ECW and WCW stars who ended up flopping in WWE.
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20 New World Order
This is a weird one, because the nWo did get over huge when they debuted in WWE back in 2002. Sadly though, WWE didn't even try to recreate what WCW was able to create with the faction back in the mid and late-90s.
Hulk Hogan was taken away from the faction a month after they debuted and Scott Hall was released from WWE shortly thereafter.
The faction then continued on with Kevin Nash as its leader, but it didn't have any momentum and it eventually was disbanded just a few short months after its debut.
19 Scott Steiner
Much like with the nWo, Scott Steiner was massively over when he debuted at Survivor Series in 2002. But, that quickly changed, as he was one of the very few people to have a bad match with the then World Heavyweight Champion Triple H.
As a result of his performances with "The Game," Steiner made a very bad backstage enemy and he was relinquished to the mid-card.
Steiner's WWE run didn't quite live up to its potential and the chances that we'll ever see him back in a WWE ring are very slim.
Following the theme here, Goldberg was extremely over when he made his WWE debut the night after WrestleMania XIX. He ran through The Rock in his very first pay-per-view match, but it was all downhill from there.
Goldberg ended up in a feud with Triple H, where he was constantly getting destroyed by the Evolution faction. Sure, he ended up winning the World Heavyweight Championship twice, but both of his title runs were completely forgetful.
By the end of his WWE run, nobody really cared about him, as the WWE fans booed him out of the building at WrestleMania XX. But, rumor has it that Goldberg may be returning to WWE sometime very soon and, if he does, it's likely that the fans will have forgotten his horrendous one-year WWE run, and he'll once again be a gigantic star.
17 Dean Malenko
Dean Malenko made the jump to WWE in January of 2000, along with Perry Saturn, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit, and he ended up holding the WWE Light Heavyweight Championship twice.
Other than his two Light Heavyweight Title runs, the only memorable thing Malenko did in WWE was try to get into Lita's pants.
Malenko retired from in-ring competition a little over a year after his WWE debut and there's really no classic Malenko moments in WWE like there was in WCW.
16 Marc Mero
Marc Mero had a small amount of success in both WWE and WCW, but despite that, he ended up being a failure in both promotions.
It's a well-known that when Vince McMahon signed Marc Mero, he believed that he was getting Johnny B. Badd. However, due to copyright reasons, WWE couldn't use the Johnny B. Badd character.
Mero's wife at the time, Sable, became much more popular than him and, because of that, WWE couldn't really find anything good for him to do. So, they just decided to focus on building up his wife at his expense.
Psicosis was one of the most popular cruiserweights in WCW, but when he decided to make the jump to WWE in 2005, he was one of the least over performers on the roster, as he was put in The Mexicools faction.
The former WCW cruiserweight's WWE tenure didn't last all that long, as he ended up being released form the company after he was arrested in Mexico. He hasn't been back since.
14 Super Crazy
Super Crazy ended up being Psicosis' running mate in The Mexicools group and, much like his partner, his WWE run wasn't nearly as memorable as his run was with his former employer, ECW.
Even though WWE did have a cruiserweight division, it was clear that they had no idea what to do with it, as guys like Super Crazy, who were really talented, were grossly underutilized.
Again, like Psicosis, Super Crazy's WWE run was short, as he was released from the company just one year after he was brought in.
13 Mike Awesome
Mike Awesome was an incredibly gifted athlete for a big man and he had a successful run in both ECW and Japan. But, unfortunately, he wasn't able to continue that success when he joined WWE during the invasion storyline in 2001.
After his disappointing run in WWE, it became clear that Paul Heyman was the only wrestling mind who knew how to use Mike Awesome correctly.
12 Sean O'Haire
WWE really tried to make Sean O'Haire into a star. They ran a ton of vignettes leading up to his debut and they even paired him with the returning WWE legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. But, nothing worked, and O'Haire turned out to be a complete bust in WWE.
Towards the end of his WWE run, O'Haire was involved in a bad motorcycle accident, which was going to keep him out of action for an extended period of time. Upon his return, WWE wanted to send him down to OVW, which was their developmental territory at the time, but O'Haire had other things in mind, so he and WWE mutually decided to part ways.
11 Perry Saturn
When Perry Saturn made his WWE debut along with Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero, it looked like he had a promising future in the company. But, much like Malenko, who was mentioned earlier, his WWE run wasn't memorable at all.
The only thing WWE fans remember about Perry Saturn is that he used to hang out with a mop. That's about it. So, it's safe to say that WWE didn't use him as well as they could have, and as well as they should have.
10 Mark Jindrak
Mark Jindrak had everything you would think WWE Chairman Vince McMahon would want in a WWE superstar - he was tall, athletic, good looking, and he had a good physique. But sadly, WWE couldn't ever figure out how to make good use of him.
At one point, Jindrak was going to be in the Evolution faction instead of Batista, but Triple H insisted that Batista was the right man to be in the faction. In fact, Jindrak almost being the fourth man in Evolution is probably the thing that he's most known for. So, it's probably safe to say that the ex-WCW star didn't find success in WWE.
Sabu was one of the most popular wrestlers in ECW history, but he could never quite find his niche with both the WCW and WWE audience.
WWE decided to bring in Sabu after they re-launched the ECW brand and it looked like he was going to be a central part of it. But, his WWE tenure turned out to be a short one, as he was released from his WWE contract only one year later, and during that year, he didn't make much of an impact.
8 The Sandman
The Sandman's WWE run was pretty lackluster. He joined WWE in 2006 when the company re-booted ECW and, much like the aforementioned Sabu, he was unable to recreate whatever he had during his run in Extreme Championship Wrestling.
One of the things that really took away from The Sandman's character was the fact that WWE wasn't going to pay for the rights to Metallica's "Enter Sandman," which was his theme song in ECW and without that song, his entrance, which was a big part of his act, was no longer special.
Staying with the ECW theme here, Tazz was one of the most popular wrestlers in ECW. He was brought into WWE in January of 2000 and his debut at that year's Royal Rumble is still one of the best debuts in the history of professional wrestling.
Tazz didn't really do much after his WWE debut, as internal politics and injuries held him down. He retired from the ring shortly after his debut and became the color commentator for WWE's SmackDown show.
Raven is certainly one of the most criminally underutilized wrestlers in WWE history. He had the potential to be something similar to what Bray Wyatt is right now. But, WWE used him as just another guy and they never let him shine once.
WWE pretty much buried Raven in the hardcore division and, because of that, his WWE run wasn't nearly as long or as successful as both his ECW and WCW runs were.
5 Shane Douglas
In the early-90s, Shane Douglas may have been the best promo in professional wrestling, as his promos in ECW were outstanding. When he signed with WWE, many expected him to become a gigantic star, but, due to internal politics, Douglas was never able to achieve what many believed he was capable of.
To this day, Douglas blames his lack of success in WWE on Shawn Michales and "The Kliq." However, all of the members of the backstage group deny that they ever went out of their way to hold him down.
Vader joined WWE in January of 1996 after a very successful run in World Championship Wrestling. Many were expecting big things from Vader during his WWE run and, while he was almost always involved in main-event storylines, his WWE run wasn't nearly as successful as many thought it should've been.
Vader's lack of success in WWE is a real head-scratcher, but he wasn't the first, and he certainly wasn't the last wrestler who wasn't used to his full potential.
3 Buff Bagwell
Buff Bagwell decided to make the jump to WWE following the company's purchase of WCW and his tenure there ended almost as quickly as it began.
Bagwell has claimed that WWE, in particular Jim Ross, who was the head of talent relations at the time, set him up to fail and Ross has denied that claim on multiple occasions.
To this day, Bagwell has major heat with WWE,and he has no idea why he was fired just a few short weeks after he made his debut. It really is too bad that Buff's WWE career didn't work out because he could've been very successful there.
2 Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page was one of the most popular wrestlers in WCW history and many believed that he was going to be able to be just as successful in WWE. But, right off the bat, you could tell that wasn't going to happen.
DDP's WWE career highlight is probably being the guy who stalked The Undertaker's wife and, if you're looking for an in-ring accomplishment, the only one of note is that he was the WWE European Champion.
1 Lex Luger
Lex Luger was given every opportunity to get over, as WWE pushed him harder than they've ever pushed anyone else. But, for whatever reason, WWE fans just didn't want to accept the former WCW star as the company's new Hulk Hogan.
Luger's WWE run did have a few memorable moments, but he had most of his success during his initial WCW run and his return to WCW after his WWE run concluded. But, unlike most of the wrestlers on this list, you can't say that WWE didn't give him every opportunity to be a gigantic star.
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