One of the most common beliefs in WWE is Vince McMahon not liking to push talent unless he feels they're his creation. Many talented wrestlers from other promotions have flopped in WWE. The two companies most specifically known to be on the hate list of McMahon are WCW and TNA. Both attempted to create competition for WWE. WCW actually took a lead over WWE for a short time period and wanted to put them out of business. TNA just looked like fools but they made it clear they wanted to take the war to WWE. Both mindsets caused former wrestlers of those companies to meet doom in WWE.
The theory is McMahon will quit on pushing a popular wrestler if he believes the fans are cheering the talent based off their work in the other companies. Vince much prefers having his own character or idea implemented in changing the way the audience views said talents. Unfortunately, many wrestlers have been left in the dark due to the way WWE goes about this topic. We'll take a look at talents that appeared to have their careers ruined with no rational reason why. These are eight former WCW stars and seven former TNA stars that may have been intentionally sabotaged by Vince McMahon and WWE.
15 WCW: Sting
Sting never signed with WWE during his prime years out of fear of WWE ruining his character. The legend finally made his WWE in-ring debut at WrestleMania 32 in an attraction match against Triple H. Everyone expected to see Sting get the big win over the hated heel and have a career defining moment on the biggest stage. Vince McMahon instead opted for Triple H to get the win over Sting.
14 TNA: Chris Harris
WWE very rarely took chances on former TNA talent until the past couple of years. Vince McMahon viewed them as damaged goods or talents not good enough for the big stage. One of the rare signings saw Chris Harris join WWE after years of success in the America’s Most Wanted tag team with James Storm. Harris looked like a future star but TNA never went all the way with him.
13 WCW: Ultimo Dragon
WWE actually gave opportunities to many of the former cruiserweight stars from WCW. Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio all went on to become legends for the company. Chavo Guerrero, Billy Kidman and Dean Malenko all had solid careers. The biggest disappointment came when Ultimo Dragon joined WWE. Mysterio’s success led to Vince McMahon giving a chance to another masked former WCW star.
12 TNA: Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam was a massively popular star for WWE during his best years. Fans loved RVD going back to his ECW days and made him a beloved WWE talent for many years. Van Dam went to TNA for a lighter schedule and good money. WWE brought him back shortly after his disappointing TNA tenure ended. RVD would not get the traditional legend treatment and instead worked forgettable feuds.
11 WCW: Goldberg
The recent run of Goldberg made up for his horrible first stint in WWE. Goldberg signed with WWE in 2003 a few years after his dominant career in WCW. Fans loved Goldberg for winning matches in short fashion with intense moves. WWE signed him and changed that aspect of his character. Goldberg instantly started working long matches with The Rock, Chris Jericho and Triple H to learn the WWE style.
10 TNA: Monty Brown
Monty Brown was arguably the first big star TNA dropped the ball with. The potential of Brown was obvious. Most of the early TNA stars were former WWE and WCW names. Brown was homegrown and started to stand out as someone special with a bright future. TNA however started to sign bigger names like Sting and Christian Cage relegating Brown to a smaller role.
9 WCW: Eric Bischoff
One of the most shocking moments in wrestling history featured Eric Bischoff joining WWE and hugging Vince McMahon. Bischoff ran WCW during the Monday Night Wars with the intent to put WWE out of business. McMahon and Bischoff clearly hated each other for many years with public insults being exchanged. WWE hired Bischoff to play an on-air figure about a year after buying WCW.
8 TNA: Bully Ray
A rare case of TNA getting something right was the career change of Bully Ray. The legendary Dudleys tag team finally split with Bubba turning heel adopting the Bully moniker. It led to a huge singles career success as one of the top heels in the wrestling industry. Bubba tapped into his genuinely detestable side by playing an evil bully to great success.
7 WCW: Diamond Dallas Page
The majority of top WCW stars opted to remain under contract and get their huge salaries paid out by Turner instead of signing a new deal with WWE. One star that went the opposite route was Diamond Dallas Page. The thought process of DDP wanted to make the most of the opportunity to become a star in WWE as one of the bigger names coming over for the Invasion storyline.
6 TNA: Awesome Kong
Awesome Kong was a huge signing for WWE at the time. This was before WWE started signing all of the top free agent names with successful histories in other promotions. Kong came to WWE with a mysterious character. Fans reacted positively to her interrupting matches and dominating the other women. A great moment saw her enter the Royal Rumble match and do some damage against the male wrestlers.
5 WCW: Scott Steiner
The ascension of Scott Steiner as a singles act was one of the last great things to happen in WCW. Steiner completely changed his appearance and adopted an unpredictable nature when it came to his character. WWE fans reacted with monster pops when Steiner returned to the company a little over a year after WCW ended.
4 TNA: Low Ki
The talent of Low Ki will sadly be forgotten when we think about the great wrestlers from this era. Low Ki had the same path of Daniel Bryan, A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe working for independent promotions and changing the industry in the dark years following the deaths of WCW and ECW. TNA used Low Ki on numerous occasions through the years, primarily as one of the first standout stars in the X-Division to help establish it.
3 WCW: Dusty Rhodes
The legendary career of Dusty Rhodes saw him have many great moments in WCW, especially during the NWA days. WWE signed him away from the competition in the mid-80s. We saw the first signs of how Vince McMahon viewed stars made in other promotions when he signed Rhodes. The new look of Dusty saw him wearing the polka dots and adopt a dancing gimmick in hopes of embarrassing him.
2 TNA: Gail Kim
WWE completely wasted the talent of Gail Kim on two occasions. In between her two stints, she went to TNA and became the face of the Knockouts Division. Kim had legendary matches with Awesome Kong and showed just how great of a wrestler she was. WWE signed her back but once again did absolutely nothing with her. Vince McMahon was the one that didn’t believe she was worthy of a top spot in the Women’s Division.
1 WCW: Vader
The WCW career of Vader showed he could be a tremendous monster heel. Vince McMahon was known for loving to push the monster heel against the heroic babyface as his ideal storyline. Vader seemed like a perfect fit but McMahon absolutely hated him. Rumors circulated that McMahon thought Vader was a gross slob thus ending his push before it really ever took off.
Vader dropped from a WWE Championship contender to a lower card act. McMahon clearly detested Vader and the booking ended up showing it. Vader will go down in the books as one of the better wrestlers to never win the WWE Championship. McMahon’s sabotaging of his chances prevented Vader from truly showing his ability in a WWE ring. Vader is the one WCW star that was most sabotaged by WWE.
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