The history of WCW still provides great memories for the fans that witnessed the best work of the only other wrestling promotion to go mainstream other than WWE. WCW’s biggest success came in 1996-1998 when they overtook WWE for over a year. It didn’t last with poor decisions and reckless spending putting them in the negative by 1999. Every decision continued to sink them lower until they were sold to Vince McMahon. The legacy of WCW still lives with most of the library on the WWE Network with Nitro and PPVs all being easily accessible.
We'll look at some of the coolest pictures snapped of wrestlers in WCW. These images range from in-ring action to iconic moments to behind the scenes fun. All the pictures tell a story about how cool WCW was for the industry. Even for all the struggles, it was tremendous to have another promotion trying to compete with WWE on the major level. Some fans wish WCW won the Monday Night War believing it would have led to a better wrestling industry today. These images will make you miss WCW and contemplate that theory. Let’s look at fifteen epic WCW photos that may have you wishing they defeated WWE.
16 Stacy & Torrie
WCW was bleeding terribly as of 1999, they couldn't compete with the WWE in just about every aspect, however, they did have a couple of females that had proven drawing power. Keibler was one of them, she earned a spot during a Nitro Girls competition, not only did she take home the grand prize but her dance routine was a massive hit earning a 4.4 million rating, something that wasn't the norm for the company at that point.
Wilson would have similar success, she was encouraged by Kevin Nash to debut on-screen and when she did, the crowd instantly took to her in large part, due to her obvious beauty. Fans would flick on WCW for a glimpse at the two during their final days, the WWE wisely signed both after purchasing the company and they became even bigger stars with the company.
15 Unbelievable Roster
The WCW roster was the most impressive aspect about the company. While most of the storylines lacked long term success, the wrestlers on the show delivered something for all fans. WCW hired most of the top WWE stars from the 80s like Roddy Piper and Ultimate Warrior. Fans of the time still had fondness for these wrestlers they grew up with.
New talent would become major players as shown with Diamond Dallas Page and Goldberg. There were international wrestlers and talents of all sizes on the show to add variety. This led to an impressive locker room of past, present and future legends. The picture here shows us DDP, Goldberg, Piper and Warrior all posing together backstage. It is easy to forget how many big names were around, but WCW never hesitated on bringing in top legends.
14 Hulk Hogan's Parade Signing
WCW wasn’t afraid to make bold moves regarding the talent. They tried to often showcase their major moves like sports with press conferences playing up the important of the acquisitions. One signing saw them take it to the next level with a ticker tape parade. Much like the parades that sports teams get in their cities after winning a championship, Hulk Hogan received one for signing with WCW.
The actual parade showed that they were treating this as a major move in competing with WWE for the top spot in wrestling. Hogan didn’t give them the success they needed until two years later when forming the New World Order. However, the parade gave a great visual to showcase the growth of WCW. Given the amount of money they have, we are still waiting on WWE to have a parade. It sadly would be about Roman Reigns greatness at this point.
13 Spring Break
One problem with WWE today is how much they stick to their routine. Even when they have good shows or cool surprises, it doesn’t stray too far away from the usual mundane system they have set up. WCW often took chances on unique ideas with various shows outdoors. A memorable annual show featured WCW having Nitro take place at a beach during Spring Break.
The wrestling ring would be surrounded by a pool with fans having the times of their lives watching the show. Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Ric Flair were just a few of the wrestlers to take a comedic bump into the pool. It always provided fun to showcase the product in such a unique environment. WWE’s mundane process makes you miss WCW’s ability to think outside of the box with concepts like the Nitro episodes during Spring Break.
12 Great Wrestling Moments
WCW delivered some of the greatest wrestling moments when it came to the surprises. They also had some of the best wrestlers in the world in their Cruiserweight division. Despite not getting the big break, the young wrestlers at the time worked extremely hard to leave their legacy in WCW history. Dean Maleno and Chris Jericho proved this with their amazing feud back in 1998.
Jericho became a hated heel and ran down Malenko after defeating him in a Cruiserweight Championship match. The family of Malenko was insulted for weeks by Jericho while Dean went home after losing the big one. Malenko returned by winning a battle royal secretly under the mask of luchador Ciclope. The reveal of Malenko taking off the mask to reveal it was him and defeating Jericho after winning the title shot proved WCW could be genius.
11 Nature Boy
Ric Flair is likely the most popular choice when discussing the greatest WCW star of all time. The early 90s saw Flair carry the company until Hulk Hogan came in and replaced him as the face of the promotion. Flair remained with WCW until the dying days, but the company rarely pushed him during the Monday Night Wars due to clashing with Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo when each man respectively ran the company.
This showed one of Flair’s most passionate promos when feuding with Bischoff on screen. Many of Flair’s real feelings were expressed in this personal promo demanding to face Bischoff. Flair stripped off all his clothing and handcuffed his hand to the ring rope. The shocking moment perfectly showed the magic of Flair being able to entertain.
10 War Games
War Games was one of the most memorable concepts created in WCW. The team match featuring members coming into the two cages one at a time helped give a perfect payoff to multiple feuds in one major bout. Fans loved the annual match as it often left a positive impact each time until the final few years when things spiraled out of control.
Triple H recently brought the match back for NXT, but it will never be used on the main roster if Vince McMahon is running the show. Fans have been longing to see the top WWE stars in the double cage for years. Sadly, it will not happen until Triple H replaces McMahon. This is one reason many wrestling historians wished WCW won the war. The picture here shows Sting anticipating getting his turn to enter War Games.
9 Feel Good Moments
WCW liked to present their moments of face wrestlers winning the title as a huge deal. Lex Luger, Sting, Goldberg and others showed that in the later years when each man defeated the hated Hulk Hogan character. However, this went on for many years going back to the early 90s with one specific title change.
Ron Simmons defeated Vader to win the WCW Championship and made history as the first African-American wrestler to win the title. Fans reacted with joy to witness such a memorable moment. The picture here shows the face wrestlers holding Simmons on their shoulders. WCW tried their best to add to the big moments and this is arguably one of the biggest in WCW history. We get to see the pride on Simmons’ face while the fans cheered him on.
8 Intense Feuds
WCW did a good job of creating personal feuds with intensity and a reality aspect to it. This showed when Diamond Dallas Page received the push of a lifetime. Page started to gain popularity during the peak of the Monday Night Wars. Randy Savage became his first top level feud and the two made magic together in the ring.
Page and Savage had some personal segments talking trash leading to hard-hitting matches. This great picture shows Page getting the better of Savage at Spring Stampede 1997. It put DDP on the map as another main event star ready to shine with the top names. The Page/Savage rivalry is remembered as one of the greatest in WCW history. We could only be so lucky to get a feud this memorable in WWE these days.
7 Monday Night Jericho
The biggest criticism of WCW looking back was how they failed to utilize many future stars. WCW relied on the veterans and wrestlers past their prime to have all the top spots. Chris Jericho was one of the wrestlers ready to break out into the main event scene. The heel work of Jericho in 1998 made him arguably the most entertaining act in the company as the main event picture started to grow stale.
Wrestlers had more freedom to do what they wanted in WCW when it came to their characters. Jericho has confirmed that most of his promos and character depth came from his own mind rather than scripts. This was shown here in a comedic picture from Jericho’s best days in WCW. Jericho didn’t become a top star until WWE, but you can see the glimpses of brilliance in him here.
6 Four Horsemen
The Four Horsemen was arguably the greatest faction in wrestling history. It was the first faction to show just how important a group could be together. Ric Flair stepped up as the leader of the group and a legitimate main event star. Arn Anderson would get established as a legend through the various combinations the group had. Tully Blanchard and Ole Anderson are remembered as the next best members along with manager J.J. Dillon as seen in this photo.
Fans bought into the act of the Four Horsemen running the show with their unity allowing them to get the better of the other wrestlers on the show. Future stables would lead to bigger success in terms of drawing money and being positioned as changing the business. The Four Horsemen deserve to be mentioned among the greatest for their overall impact. This candid image shows them together enjoying their work on the same team.
5 Too Sweet
WWE’s narrative in documentaries breaking down the Monday Night Wars will try to convince you that the Wolfpac faction to break away from the New World Order was a failure. However, it was the hottest thing in WCW for a few months. Kevin Nash was highly entertaining in the role as the face leader. Lex Luger and Sting joined to put them over the top as a beloved group.
Fans finally had the chance to support the nWo as faces. It could have been the perfect way to make more money off the nWo with the red and black shirts becoming a major seller along with getting the biggest ovations. WCW didn’t give them a long term plan and it ended too soon. The fact that WWE is selling Wolfpac merchandise today proves it left an impact. This candid image shows the group posing together backstage enjoying their time together in WCW.
4 Going Hollywood
The success of WCW in the Monday Night Wars came when Hulk Hogan made the shocking decision to turn heel. You must give WCW credit for even pitching that the biggest face in wrestling history to that point completely change his character. The New World Order was formed with “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan being born. Hogan tapped into his egotistical side to brag about everything he accomplished in wrestling.
The heel work of Hogan made him one of the best villains in wrestling history. It was a rare case of a top heel drawing the money and ratings instead of a top face. WCW went to the next level for a few years surpassing WWE. Hogan’s character evolution showed the potentially great storytelling of WCW along with their ability to take risks at the right time.
3 Scott Steiner And An Actual Tiger
WCW spending too much money hurt them in the long run, but it definitely added to some cool moments. As a wrestling fan, all we really need to worry about is enjoying the program. The wrestlers loved pitching extravagant ideas knowing the company would approve most things. Eric Bischoff made the decisions and essentially had an open checkbook from Ted Turner for many years.
Scott Steiner benefited from this when WCW brought in an actual tiger to accompany him to the ring. The reputation of Steiner was growing as the most unpredictable man in wrestling. His walk to the ring with a tiger added to that and had people talking about the ridiculous nature of it. Steiner teaming with a tiger for his entrance perfectly sums up the bizarre world of WCW.
2 Classic Matches
The young talent in WCW always tried their best to have the best matches on the card. Looking back today, the Cruiserweight division often the stole the show with their matches still standing the test of time. The best example of this came at Halloween Havoc 1997. Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper had the main event, but people only talk about the Title versus Mask match between Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero from that show.
Mysterio and Guerrero proved to the world that they were going to be future stars with the iconic performance. Many pundits believe this was the greatest match in WCW history and it is hard to complain about it. This picture shows one of the impressive moves exchanged between the two. Everything they did in the ring on this night was magical.
1 Da Man
Goldberg was one of the biggest stars in WCW, especially when looking at new talent to debut during the Monday Night Wars. An undefeated streak made him the most popular man in WCW. Goldberg defeated Hulk Hogan less than a year into his debut to win the WCW Championship. No one expected it to happen this soon, but the fan base badly wanted it.
Goldberg may not have been a good wrestler, but the presentation of him may have been WCW’s greatest feat. This picture shows his intense entrance as he walked through the pyro on his way to the ring. Goldberg was the last hope for WCW and clearly gave them some extra time before they eventually went out of business. This epic image is the one that best sums up his career as the intense ass kicker that destroyed the competition.