The legacy of WCW is hit or miss depending on how you remember it. There are the fans that witnessed the highs and lows, but they took a memory to the better moments. WCW provided the rare thrill of competition in the wrestling business when they overtook WWE for a short time. Legends wrestled in the main event while incredible young talents made their names working for WCW as well. However, the writing of the shows would hurt WCW in the long run. It became clear they didn’t have the leadership to overtake WWE in the long haul with guys like Eric Bischoff, Kevin Nash and Vince Russo putting together the shows.
Even before they tried to compete with the Monday Night Wars, WCW was known for thinking of some of the most ludicrous ideas possible. We will specifically look at the gimmicks that are viewed as embarrassing jokes looking back at it today. WCW created some characters that had no chance of getting over. Quite a few of these names would never see their careers rebound. This is the bad side of WCW that can paint their legacy in a horrible light. See how much awful wrestling you remember with the fifteen embarrassing WCW gimmicks you likely forgot about.
15 That 70s Guy
WCW signing Mike Awesome should have been a great move for the company. Awesome came to WCW after a successful stint as the ECW Champion and was one of the top rising stars in the industry. The talent and athleticism of Awesome made him a great performer given his size. WCW signed him and saddled him with some atrocious gimmicks that ruined his potential.
The gimmick of That 70s Guy was meant to parody the television success of sitcom That 70s Show at the time.
14 Randy Hogan
A forgettable act in WCW featured a petty idea to form in the late 80s and early 90s. A wrestler known as Randy Hogan was an enhancement talent. Most of his matches saw him get destroyed by the wrestlers with superior talent. This was the rare case of an enhancement talent having an actual character. The character for Randy was meant to be a parody of Hulk Hogan.
Randy visually looked like a poor man’s Hulk Hogan and adopted the last name to throw shade at WWE and their cash cow.
13 The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea
The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea will always be considered a terrible gimmick for how little thought was put into it. Legendary musical artist Prince changed his name to the Artist Formerly Known as Prince for a short time. This inspired WCW management to do the same to Prince Iaukea. The in-ring skills of Prince Iaukea were impressive but he lacked character.
WCW tried to rebuild towards the middle of 1999 when they were getting dominated in the Monday Night Wars. A few wrestlers on the show were given new characters in the hopes of pushing them as bigger stars. Alex Wright witnessed this as he first started in WCW as the dancing character. While comedic, he still had impressive matches when given the chance.
The role of Wright saw a ceiling on the lower mid-card leading to a drastic change. Wright changed his appearance for the new gimmick of Berlyn. Playing into his roots of his home country of Germany, the Berlyn name was chosen and he refused to talk in English to the American fans. This character just didn’t connect and his sidekick The Wall ended up passing him in the pecking order. Wright returned to his former gimmick dancing with the weird new look as the true sign of a gimmick gone wrong.
11 Misfits in Action
A forgotten stable to form during the Monday Night Wars in WCW saw the Misfits in Action become a heavily pushed group. Eric Bischoff fired Hugh Morrus, Chavo Guerrero, Booker T, Lash LeRoux and Van Hammer in storyline for not helping the New Blood takeover WCW from the Millionaire’s Club. These wrestlers returned as the Misfits in Action with Major Gunns as their manager.
WCW tried to make them the new version of D-Generation X by playing into the night DX invaded WCW dressed in camo while on a tank.
10 The Shark
The late John Tenta achieved a lot of success in the 80s for WWE. His character Earthquake came during the era when big men were important for the company to draw fans. WCW signed him away in the mid-90s when Hulk Hogan was joining the company. It led to WCW bringing in many of Hogan’s friends to work with him at the top of the card.
9 The KISS Demon
WCW made the decision to pay the band KISS about $500,000 to perform a few songs on Monday Nitro in 1999. It was done to try to create interest as the company was starting to fall apart, but the ratings tanked with KISS on the show.
To get the most value out of the legendary rock band being on the show, WCW introduced a character known as The Demon rocking the KISS face paint.
8 The Maestro
Another silly gimmick from the final few years of WCW saw The Maestro become a character. It was a lower card act that featured wrestling veteran Robert Kellum receive his big break to become The Maestro for WCW.
This gimmick saw him appreciate classical music in a way that was meant to look down on the fans of the time for thinking little of such a genre.
7 Disco Inferno
Disco Inferno should get a lot of credit for making a great living in WCW despite having a terrible gimmick with very little talent to match. The act was meant to annoy fans of the 90s with the character being loyal to disco music. Disco wrestled normally with a dance move or two being squeezed into the rotation.
6 Van Hammer
The WCW career of Van Hammer is easily forgettable since his gimmick was dead from the start. WCW had him play a silly character derived from the world of music.
Van Hammer was meant to play a rock star in wrestling with the long hair like most lead singers in the early 90s and a ridiculous physique on the wrestling side of things.
The character of Glacier was viewed as a big project by Eric Bischoff to introduce new wrestlers to the company.
This idea was to develop a few mysterious gimmicks like the ones you would find in the Mortal Kombat video game series.
4 The Renegade
A blatant rip-off to take place in WCW featured them trying to create their own version of the Ultimate Warrior. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage teased they had the “ultimate surprise” coming to join them. It was obviously an attempt to convince fans that Ultimate Warrior was joining the other two former WWE stars of the 80s.
3 Booty Man
Ed Leslie came to WCW with a big contract thanks to being the best friend of Hulk Hogan. The career of Leslie essentially was getting paid as a favor to Hogan by wrestling companies wanting to appease the legend. WCW saw Leslie deliver some of the worst gimmicks of all time such as The Butcher, The Zodiac, The Disciple and The Man with No Name. However, the worst of them all was the Booty Man.
The idea was that Leslie loved his own backside and made it identity of his wrestling life.
Kevin Nash went on to become a World Champion for both WWE and WCW in route to a Hall of Fame career. However, he had his fair share of awful gimmicks before finding success. WCW dropped the ball with him in the early 90s as seen with the insane gimmick of Oz.
Nash played the Wizard of Oz based off the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to humorous results.
1 V.K. Wallstreet
Mike Rotunda has been a respected man in the wrestling industry for many decades following runs in just about every major promotion throughout the 80s and 90s. The most memorable success of his career came when playing I.R.S. on WWE as the sidekick of Ted DiBiase. This character worked well to get strong heel heat before he eventually lost his spot as WWE wanted to build new stars.
Rotunda eventually moved back to WCW. They wanted him to keep a similar gimmick and renamed him Michael Wallstreet. Following just one week with the name, he started going by V.K. Wallstreet instead with the initials VK meant to be a rib on Vince McMahon. The cheap rip-off of his WWE character just made him look like a joke and the name just confused the fans since most didn’t care enough about insider jokes at the time.
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