If you grew up watching wrestling during the mid to late nineties, you likely now pine for the glory days when you could get your wrestling fix from a variety of promotions. Not only did WCW offer a product that was measurably better in entertainment quality than WWE (at least for 84 weeks), but there was a hardcore revolution taking place with Paul Heyman’s ECW. This was a time when three wrestling promotions were truly competing with each other for ratings and they did this by creating some of the best sports entertainment storylines ever seen. This truly was the golden period in the storied history of professional wrestling and it’s sadly very unlikely that it will ever be replicated. No matter how hard TNA try to reinvent themselves, no matter how hard Ring of Honor pushes itself as and no matter how much money Netflix pumps into Lucha Underground, none of them will ever be able to compete on the scale of the WWE monopoly.
This was an era where wrestling talent had an opportunity to become a genuine superstar in multiple promotions and could command huge paychecks because of this. While ECW was something of a feeder promotion to the two giants, it still provided a number of the wrestlers we now consider as legends of the game with the platform they needed to launch their careers. This article will rank all 26 wrestlers (or tag teams) who competed in all 3 promotions at one time or another.
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26 The Harris Brothers
Don and Ron Harris are best known for their late stint in WCW. During this time, they were a part of the nWo (who wasn’t?!) and accumulated three Tag Team Championship reigns. They even took on a gimmick poking fun at Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson in WWE, taking on the names Gerald and Patrick, and being known as “Creative Control”.
Prior to WCW, Ron & Don jumped from ECW to WWE and back again a couple of times. They were part of the “Gang Wars” in WWE as 8-Ball and Skull, forming part of the Disciples of Apocalypse stable with Crush and Chainz. Short runs in all three promotions and some unmemorable title reigns place the Harris Brothers at the bottom of the list.
Alongside Juventud Guerrera and Rey Mysterio, Psicosis made a splash as part of the luchador division in ECW in late 1995. However, he and the others were quickly signed by WCW when they noticed the mainstream appeal of the high flyers.
His move to WCW in 1996 lasted four years until 2000 and during this period, Psicosis racked up two very short-lived reigns as Cruiserweight Champion.
After leaving WCW, he floated around the indies for years prior to joining WWE in 2005. He was part of a faction known as the Mexicools with Super Crazy and fellow ECW and WCW alumni, Juventud Guerrera. Psicosis was released from WWE in 2006, having been inactive for months, due to his arrest in Mexico over a car theft.
24 Stevie Richards
Stevie Richards had a long run in ECW including a long term affiliation with Raven, being part of the delightful Blue World Order and an opportunity at the World Championship. Despite never winning the major prize in ECW, he is a two-time Tag Team champion in the promotion.
After a brief retirement in 1997, Richards re-appeared in WCW. During his short stint in WCW, he reconvened his long-term angle with Raven prior to being abruptly released after failing a medical.
After a two-year run on the independent circuit, Richards signed for WWE in 1999. A nearly ten-year run is probably best remembered for his role as the leader of the Right to Censor faction and for being a 21-time Hardcore Champion during the Attitude era.
23 Kid Kash
Kid Kash had his longest, most sustained run in ECW and is probably best remembered for being seriously injury prone. His list of ailments includes having his jaw wired shut and breaking both ankles during a botched hurricarana. His modest run included a gimmick based on his resemblance to Kid Rock and yielded a Television title reign.
Kash moved to WCW in 2001 where he stayed for a total of 5 days before the company was purchased by WWE. After a stint in TNA, Kash finally found his way over to WWE in 2005. After a short stay in developmental, he debuted on the main roster on SmackDown by attacking Juventud Guerrera. He held the Cruiserweight title once prior to his release later in 2006.
22 Chris Candido
The late Chris Candido is fondly remembered amongst wrestling fans and industry insiders alike and his untimely death remains hugely tragic. He had two runs in ECW, which included being part of the Triple Threat stable and becoming a three-time Tag Team Champion.
His WWE run from 1995 to 1996 is best remembered for being the platform for former girlfriend, Sunny, to become the company’s first imagination of a “diva”. However, Candido did hold the Tag Team titles as part of the Bodydonna’s for a brief period in 1996.
Candido also had a very short run in WCW during 2000, where he held the Cruiserweight title for a month and formed part of a re-imagined Triple Threat stable with Shane Douglas and Bam Bam Bigelow.
Sabu is legitimately one of the craziest men ever to have set foot inside a professional wrestling ring. The scars that permeate his body tell a story of ridiculous bumps and unnecessary risks. His two runs in ECW yielded a total of 6 championship reigns, twice as World Champion, once as TV Champion and three times as Tag Team Champion. His most notable tag team partner was Rob Van Dam as the two high flyers produced some magical matches.
His short run in WCW included various matches in the cruiserweight division, but nothing of note. He had a one-year run as part of WWE’s revival of the ECW brand between 2006 and 2007, which included a WrestleMania 23 match as part of the ECW Originals.
Sandman will be remembered most fondly for his time in ECW, where his Singapore cane and cigarette smoking entrances are the stuff of legend. He is a record 5-time World Champion in ECW and also held the Tag Team Championship once. His four-year feud with Raven will also be remembered as one of the most emotionally challenging angles of the time.
He moved to WCW in 1999 as Hak, where he frequently wrestled his fellow ECW alumni, Raven and Bam Bam Bigelow. He was crucial in developing the hardcore division in WCW during his time there.
After another two-year fling with ECW, Sandman eventually found his way to WWE as part of the re-established ECW brand and hes stayed there until it’s dissolution in 1997.
19 Juventud Guerrera
Juventud, like Rey Mysterio and Psicosis, gained exposure in the USA through being featured as part of the luchador division on ECW. When WCW came calling though, all three signed on for the larger paychecks.
His WCW run from 1996 to 2000 was a mixed bag and included three reigns as Cruiserweight Champion and one as a Tag Team Champion. However, it also included his alter-ego imitation of The Rock, known as “The Juice”. Juventud was arrested during a tour of Australia reportedly being under the influence of PCP.
Guerrera made the jump to WWE in 2005 and had a short, but eventful stay. He was part of the Mexicools stable and a two-time Cruiserweight Champion, but he was released in 2006 after backstage issues.
18 Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn fell off the face of the planet for a number of years after leaving the wrestling industry and has only recently resurfaced after battles with drug addiction and homelessness.
His first major run was in ECW between 1995 and 1997, where he was part of The Eliminators tag team with John Kronus. They were successful in winning the ECW Tag Team titles three times.
He moved to WCW in 1997 and stayed there until 2000, accumulating three championship reigns, one as TV Champion and two different Tag Team Championships..
Upon moving to WWE in 2000, he was introduced as part of the Radicalz faction. Alongside being remembered for the Moppy gimmick, Saturn also won the European title once and the Hardcore Championship twice.
17 Jim Neidhart
The Hart Foundation is one of the greatest WWE tag teams of all time. Jim and Bret were the Tag Team Champions on two separate occasions during their run between 1985 and 1991. After being fired from the company in 1992, Neidhart joined WCW in 1993. He had another stint in WCW in 1998, but both runs were short and unmemorable.
Neidhart had one match in ECW when it was still known as Eastern Championship Wrestling, when he wrestled The Sandman to a no contest at November to Remember in 1993.
His second run in WWE from 1995 to 1998 included a union with Owen Hart, a dreadful gimmick as masked villain, Who, and a small part in the reformed heel faction, The Hart Foundation.
16 Shane Douglas
Shane Douglas will always be synonymous with the birth of ECW as Extreme Championship Wrestling and it’s move away from the former territories. He was the man who threw his freshly minted NWA World Championship to the ground in 1994 and declared the NWA a “dead promotion.”
His two runs in ECW were his most notable contributions to the nineties, where he became a four-time World Champion and a two-time TV Champion. He also had various stints in WCW where he won a solitary US title and Tag Team gold twice and in WWE, where he won the Intercontinental title as college professor, Dean Douglas. His Intercontinental title reign lasted only eleven minutes after he was forced to immediately defend his title against Razor Ramon.
15 Jake Roberts
A true legend of sports entertainment, Jake Roberts could feasibly have placed higher on this list. However, the real high points in his career were mostly reserved for his time in WWE and Roberts never won any championships in any of the three promotions.
His runs in WWE were predicated on his unique promo skills and his snake gimmick. He had a brief run in WCW in 1992 after falling out with Vince McMahon, which included a feud with Sting.
After a brief return to WWE from 1996 to 1997, Roberts found his way to ECW for an even shorter run which was highlighted by his introduction to the company. During this he interrupted a match between Jerry Lawler and Tommy Dreamer, clotheslining both men.
14 Bam Bam Bigelow
The late Bam Bam Bigelow is remembered as one of the most agile big men ever to grace the squared circle. Two runs in the WWE yielded no championship gold, but he did main event WrestleMania XI against pro footballer, Lawrence Taylor.
Bigelow moved to ECW in 1996 and stayed there until 1998, where he became part of the Triple Threat stable with Chris Candido and Shane Douglas. During his time there, he won the TV title once and also had a 46-day reign as World Champion after turning on Douglas.
His time in WCW was fairly unforgettable after his initial big push and a feud with Goldberg, but he still managed a sole Hardcore title run and two reigns as a Tag Team champion.
After some decidedly horrific gimmicks in WCW as Scotty Flamingo and WWE as Johnny Polo, Raven is best remembered in ECW for his long-running feud with Tommy Dreamer, his controversial “crucifying” of The Sandman and his two world title reigns and four tag team title reigns.
His run in WCW as Raven between 1997 and 1999 included being the leader of The Flock stable and a short-lived stable called The Dead Pool. This stretch included reigns as both the US Champion and a Tag Team title reign with Perry Saturn.
Raven moved to WWE in 2000 and stayed there until 2003. He made a name for himself in the hardcore division, where he held the Hardcore title 27 times during the 24/7 title defence period.
12 Lance Storm
Lance Storm, first rose to prominence during his ECW run from 1997 to 2000. After a rocky start where he was booed by the crowd for his lack of hardcore appeal, Storm eventually won the Tag Team championship on three occasions. He also feuded with Justin Credible over the World title prior to his defection to WCW.
A short run in WCW due to it’s purchase by WWE in 2001, will always be remembered for Storm being the only wrestler in company history to hold three single’s championships simultaneously, the Hardcore, Cruiserweight and United States titles.
Storm joined WWE as part of the Alliance in 2001 and enjoyed a four year run that spawned an Intercontinental title reign and four runs as Tag Team champion.
11 Dean Malenko
One of the greatest technical wrestlers ever to grace the planet, Dean Malenko was unfortunately never appreciated by the major promotions due to his perceived lack of charisma. After a series of wrestling clinics he put on with Eddie Guerrero in ECW, both men were snapped up by WCW to spearhead their Cruiserweight division.
A move to WWE as part of the Radicalz followed, but Malenko never shared the same level of success as his peers, Guerrero and Benoit.
He did, however, accumulate 11 title reigns across all three brands consisting of 2 runs as ECW TV champion, one ECW tag title reign, four WCW Cruiserweight championships, one WCW US title reign, one WCW Tag title win and two runs as WWE Light Heavyweight Champion.
10 Brian Pillman
Brian Pillman is another sad example of a potentially incredible wrestling career and life that was taken far too early. Pillman is still remembered as a truly unique superstar in every promotion he wrestled in.
His run in WCW as Flyin’ Brian and part of the Hollywood Blondes with Steve Austin yielded him his only gold across the three promotions with 2 reigns as Light Heavyweight Champion and one each as World Tag Team Champions and US Tag Team Champions.
His latter career in ECW and WWE was littered with controversial moments such as threatening to relieve himself in an ECW ring and the “Brian’s got a gun” angle in WWE. His unpredictable character is widely regarded as a driving force behind the Attitude era.
9 Terry Funk
Terry Funk’s 50-plus year career is astounding and he has won titles everywhere he’s been. His first run in WWE came in the mid-80s where he feuded with Hulk Hogan over the world title. Funk had three short runs in WCW where he won the Hardcore title a record three times and US title twice.
After his style became more violent, Funk found his true calling in ECW where he is a 2-time World Champion (including an enthralling title win over Raven at Barely Legal ’97) and a one-time TV champion.
He has made appearances for WWE at various times throughout his storied career and has one Tag Team title run to his name. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.
8 Steiner Brothers
One of the greatest tag teams of all time have featured across WWE, WCW and ECW. Rick and Scott made a name for themselves in WCW where they won both the WCW World & US Tag Team titles. Prior to leaving, Scott also won the Television Championship.
After joining WWE, they had a short, but successful stay, where they won tag team gold twice. They then had a short run as a tag team in ECW in mid-1995, before returning to WCW in 1996.
During their last run in WCW, they won the Tag Team for a sixth time. Rick would find success as a 3-time TV Champion and a one-time US champion, and Scott won the World title once and the US title twice.
7 Ron Simmons
Ron Simmons will be remembered as the first African American World Heavyweight Champion in WCW history. His solitary reign in 1992 lasted five months before he dropped the title to Vader. In WCW he also won the Tag Team titles once and the US Tag Team titles once. After being stuck in mid-card purgatory for years, Simmons headed to ECW briefly in 1994-95 and feuded with Shane Douglas over the world title there.
He was eventually signed by WWE in 1996 and forged a strong career as Faarooq. As a member of first the Nation of Domination and then the legendary Acolytes/APA with Bradshaw, he won the Tag Team championships on three separate occasions. In 2012, he was admitted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
6 Chris Benoit
Putting aside his horrific crime and focusing purely on his wrestling career, Benoit is undoubtedly one of the greatest superstars ever to grace the ring. He had a very short stint in WCW in the early nineties before moving to ECW where he earned his “Crippler” nickname after accidentally breaking Sabu’s neck. He he held the Tag Team title on one occasion.
Back in WCW, he became a main-event attraction winning the World title once (although he held it for only a day), the Tag Team titles twice, TV title three times and the US title twice. He finished his fantastic career in WWE with one world title reign, four tag team titles, three US titles, four Intercontinental titles and a solitary Royal Rumble win.
5 Mick Foley
The current Raw general manager is a WWE Hall of Famer and a true wrestling icon. His unlikely success story started in WCW, before a move to ECW in the mid-nineties helped revolutionize the promotions move to a hardcore, extreme style. He was a flag-bearer for hardcore wrestling in these two promotions even losing an ear in the process, but he still managed to win three tag team titles (2 in ECW and one in WCW).
Once he moved to WWE and was able to fully embrace the “three faces of Foley” as Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack, his career skyrocketed during the Attitude era. In the WWE, he is a three-time world champion, a one-time Hardcore champion and an 8-time Tag Team champion.
4 Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is one of the best feel-good stories in wrestling as he really should never have achieved the level of success he has. He first rose to prominence as part of ECW’s lucha libre expansion before being quickly snapped up by WCW once they realized his popularity. He won 9 championships in WCW, including being a 5-time Cruiserweight champion, and a 4-time Tag Team champion (including one reign as a Cruiserweight Tag Team champion).
His star shone brighter in WWE where he quickly established himself as one of the most popular stars on the roster. This led to three world championship reigns, three Cruiserweight title reigns, two stints as Intercontinental champion, four Tag Title wins and the unlikeliest Royal Rumble victory of all time.
3 Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold’s career in ECW and WCW paled in comparison to his achievements in WWE. While his Hall of Fame career in WWE may have started due to his disenfranchisement with his role in professional wrestling, the roots of that began in WCW. As part of the Hollywood Blondes with Brian Pillman, his main event push never came and he moved to ECW where he started to create the Rattlesnake character.
Once in the WWE, the rest is history! Along the way, he won two WCW TV titles, two WCW US titles, one WCW Tag Team title, six WWE World titles, two WWE Intercontinental titles, four WWE Tag Team titles as well as the King of the Ring and a record three Royal Rumble victories.
2 Eddie Guerrero
The late, great Eddie Guerrero was a pioneer of the high flying style that styled ECW. The matches that Eddie and Dean Malenko had with one another in ECW are the reason that WCW took note and signed the pair.
Eddie’s career really took off when he signed with WWE at the turn of the millennium. His Hall of Fame career was sadly cut short but in that time he managed to become a one-time WWE World Champion, a 4-time Tag Team Champion, one-time US Champion, 2-time European Champion and 2-time Intercontinental Champion. In addition to this, he won the ECW Television title twice, the WCW Cruiserweight title twice and the WCW US title once, therefore amassing 15 total title reigns across the three brands.
1 Chris Jericho
When it comes to choosing the greatest superstar ever to have graced all three major promotions of the 90s, there can only really be one winner. And that man is also the only wrestler on this list still active in the WWE.
Jericho started in ECW where he won the Television Championship. In WCW, he managed to win the Cruiserweight Title on 4 occasions as well as winning the Television title once. After he moved to WWE, Jericho’s career exploded and he has accumulated 6 World Title reigns, a record 9 Intercontinental Championship wins, 7 Tag Team Championships and one reign each with the European title, Hardcore title and the United States Championship. Overall, Jericho has amassed 31 total championship reigns across the three promotions.
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