Wrestling is a massive game of chance, as what worked in one era might fall completely flat in another. When you're the second largest company in a particular field in the the world, you are bound to have things that don't go as planned. There are going to be people that you wanted to be stars that unfortunately didn't gain enough momentum and storylines that were supposed to sky rocket wrestlers (Billy Kidman) that end up being lackluster. You'll give people chances and the outcome won't be what was expected. Some were harmless and provided us a good laugh in retrospect, while others were the cause for the end of the company.
While WCW didn't keep going, life goes on and people have lives outside of wrestling. Whether it was a major star who fell on hard times or just some Joe Schmoe jobber that was lucky to be with the company, they all had a life after WCW and some people ended up better than where they were in WCW, while others sadly didn't have any success after the company went under or they were released. This list is going to look at the biggest busts in WCW history and tell you what happened to them after their WCW career ended.
With one of the most hyped debuts in all of wrestling history, Glacier was a part of an attempt to bring video games to real life in the form of wrestling. An obvious rip off of Sub-Zero from the Mortal Kombat series, he sported a ice blue singlet and a half mask covering his face. He was built up for months and when he finally showed up, he was very underwhelming. He was undefeated for a year only to be handed his first loss by Buff Bagwell. Following a failed gimmick change as Coach Buzz Stern, Glacier was released and worked the Indies for multiple years including a spot in the 2009 Chikara tournament King of Trios teaming alongside Al Snow and D'Lo Brown.
Lloyd has worked as a PE teacher in his home town of Marietta, Georgia and is an advocate of Breast Cancer Awareness. He's also been working on his acting career, making appearances on shows like Burn Notice.
21 Tank Abbott
A product of Vince Russo's wacky run as booker, Tank Abbott was once slated to become WCW World Champion. A good example of what would happen if Brock Lesnar went wrong, Tank Abbott was a shoot fighter who never really got a break and ended up becoming a comedy act before he left WCW. Known for his rough working style and general stiffness. he was put into a comedy bodyguard role with Three Count that ruined any chance of him being taken seriously as a shoot fighting bad ass.
Following his release from WCW, Abbott would return to his MMA roots and continue to compete in contests, most notably with Kimbo Slice. Abbott was slated to fight Dan Severn in March of 2016 but could not due to failed medical tests prior to the fight.
20 The Yeti
Up there with the RoboCop sting for one of the silliest things WCW has ever done, The Yeti was a giant mummy that helped The Giant squish Hulk Hogan. Initially debuting as an "Insurance Policy" for The Dungeon of Doom, the infamous wrapped mummy (even though Yeti's aren't mummies) would only appear like that once. He was soon repackaged under the same name with a ninja costume and would eventually be renamed The Super Giant Ninja. He would later resurface as Big Ron Studd, taking the name of his trainer Big John Studd, but was only used as a giant jobber under that name. Reis would leave WCW and go to Japan for a short amount of time before retiring from wrestling entirely.
Ron Reis is now a sales manager for a wine distributor and doesn't make any type of wrestling appearances.
19 Chavo Guerrero
Most notably known as Eddie Guerrero's nephew, Chavo had a less than stellar run in WCW. He debuted as a reluctant heel who would align with his uncle Eddie and be forced to cheat to win (like his uncle at the time). While he did win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship in 2000, that was his only accomplishment in WCW before it folding. Following the invasion, Chavo stayed in the WWE and worked as a mid carder for much of his career and had the occasional feud with a Main Eventer, usually Rey Mysterio. Following his departure from WWE, Chavo would make appearances for TNA.
Recently, Guerrero has been working for Lucha Underground and is a part of the class action lawsuit against the WWE for traumatic brain injuries.
18 The Ultimate Warrior
One of the most lackluster debuts/returns in WCW history took place when The Warrior made his way back to WCW. Following his release from the WWE in 1996, The Ultimate Warrior proceeded to go to WCW in 1998. Debuting as an opposition to the nWo, Warrior formed The One Warrior Nation (oWn) which utilized "magic smoke" to knock out members of the nWo. Warrior competed in three matches in WCW, one of which was War Games. One of those matches, against Hulk Hogan at Halloween Havoc is consideredo ne of the worst wrestling matches of all-time.
Following his departure from WCW later in 1998, Warrior would stay away from wrestling until 2008 when he had a match with Orlando Jordan in Spain for Nu-Wrestling Federation. Warrior would eventually return to WWE to be inducted in the Hall of Fame in time for WrestleMania XXX. Sadly, he would pass away two days from a heart attack stemming from a cardiac disease.
17 A.J. Styles
While his tenure in WCW was short, A.J. Styles could have done something big in WCW. He debuted with his tag team partner Air Paris and they became a tag team known as Air Raid, where they wore NASA style G-Force suits. They only competed for the company a handful of times before its demise, but when they did compete, their performances were solid and should have caught the attention of the higher ups. Following the buy out of WCW by WWE, Styles was not brought into the company, but would appear for them twice in 2002 on Metal against The Hurricane and on SmackDown against Rico (in a dark match).
After 2002, Styles started to become known, putting on stellar matches all around the world, winning championships in TNA, NJPW and ROH. In 2016, Styles made his WWE debut in the Royal Rumble and, since then, he has been a top star, becoming the WWE World Champion.
One of the hottest heel acts at one point in WCW, Raven had potential to be a WCW World Champion but was misused for almost his entire time in WCW. As the leader of The Flock, Raven had an eerie presence and rarely wrestled matches, always opting for his lackeys in The Flock to attack his opponent. His feud with Chris Benoit was the hottest thing in WCW at one time and when Benoit finally got his hands on Raven, it invoked a huge reaction from the crowd. Following his departure from WCW, Raven made a short lived return to ECW where he would win the Tag Titles with Tommy Dreamer, defeating the Dudley Boyz, before moving to WWE and TNA and not making much of an impact at either stop.
These days, Raven makes appearances at wrestling conventions, though he doesn't step in the ring as often, and appeared on a recent episode of Table For 3 on the WWE Network.
14 Norman Smiley
The master of the Big Wiggle, Norman Smiley was a long time comedy act in WCW. Smiley joined WCW in 1997, but was primarily kept off TV until he debuted with his 'Big Wiggle' gimmick. He would team often with his fellow Englishman, Chris Adams, but wouldn't have any real success as a tag team competitor. Smiley also engaged in a feud with Chavo Guerrero, where he threw Chavo's wooden horse into a wood chipper, which was the highlight of the feud. Smiley was then a mainstay in the Hardcore Division and took on the "Screamin" nickname because of his fear of getting hit with weapons. Smiley won the WCW Hardcore Championship twice, but those would be his only championship wins in the company.
Smiley stayed with the company until it was bought out by WWE, but his contract was not picked up. From 2001 to 2007, Smiley floated around the indies until he was picked up by WWE to become a trainer for the NXT roster, which he has been doing since.
13 The Renegade
A blatant ripoff of The Ultimate Warrior, The Renegade debuted in WCW in 1995. Hulk Hogan hyped an "Ultimate Surprise" during the hype for his Strap Match with Vader, which everyone took to be Ultimate Warrior because of the very Ultimate Warrior-esque silhouette that constantly appeared in the buildup to Uncensored. When he debuted, fans were both confused and mad because they didn't get to see The Ultimate Warrior in WCW, which completely ruined Renegade's chances at success. The company didn't want to immediately give up on him and gave him a World Television Championship run, but following that he changed his look and seemingly disassociated himself with Ultimate Warrior. Following a very empty heel run, Renegade was released from WCW in 1999. Sadly, following his release he grew very depressed and committed suicide in February of 1999.
11 Bret Hart
Coming in with a crazy amount of momentum because of The Montreal Screwjob, Bret Hart should have been a top star right along with Hulk Hogan, but ended up being in the upper midcard for the majority of his career in WCW. He came in as opposition to Hulk Hogan during the peak of the nWo and got a massive reaction with his highly anticipated debut. Sadly, most of his encounters with the nWo following that were lackluster and dull. He eventually turned heel and aligned with the nW0 2000, which was absolutely terrible. In 2000, during a match with Goldberg, Hart suffered a concussion following a thrust kick straight to the head. Hart would continue to wrestle which worsened the concussion and eventually caused him to retire due to post-concussion syndrome. Following his retirement and departure from WCW, Hart would appear sporadicly doing fan meet and greets at wrestling events and returned to the WWE in 2007 when he confronted Vince McMahon during "McMahon appreciation night." He would "wrestle" at WrestleMania XXVI and would go on to win the United States title for a short time.
Hart has recently appeared at multiple Indy events, including WCPW, while also making an appearance in Natalya's corner this year, at Payback. He's also started up his own podcast, The Sharpshooter Show, where he's made a variety of controversial comments. He also started up his own business which proves funding to small business owners and he's the co-owner of a minor league hockey team, the aptly named Calgary Hitmen.
10 David Arquette
A catalyst for the fall of WCW, David Arquette was crowned WCW Champion during a program to promote Ready to Rumble in 2000. He would hold the championship for 12 days until turning heel and aligning with Jeff Jarrett and defeating DDP in the first (and last) Triple Cage match at Slamboree. Arquette would appear once more during The New Blood Rising event, interfering in a match between Buff Bagwell and Kanyon. Arquette didn't want to become WCW Champion, but Vince Russo insisted, claiming it would be good for both the company and publicity, which turned out to be horrible wrong.
Since then, Arquette has returned to Hollywood, but has appeared for WWE on two occasions since then. Once in 2002, when he held up a sign reading 'Former WCW Champ' and once again in 2010, when he was featured in a segment with Randy Orton and The Miz ,where he was powerbombed through a table. He's still acting, though he hasn't appeared in a hit for a long time.
9 Alundra Blayze
The first shot fired in the Monday Night Wars took place when Alundra Blayze threw the WWE Women's championship in the trash on air during Monday Nitro. She generated a lot of buzz and was seen as a traitor by many people in the wrestling world. You would think that WCW would maintain her momentum, but they (obviously) didn't and after a feud with Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto, she left the company for over two years. After returning in 1999 as a lackey to Macho Man, she did nothing of note in WCW until the purchase by WWE. She knew that McMahon wasn't going to treat her well, so when she caught wind of the purchase, she opted not to stay with the company.
Following the end of her in ring wrestling career, she began to compete in Monster Truck competitions and is still doing that today. In 2015, she was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and has made amends with the McMahons. She's also the commissioner for World Wonder Ring Stardom, a women's wrestling promotion in Japan.
Chris Kanyon was the innovator of a lot of offense that wrestlers use today and never gets the credit he deserves. He never measured up to what he should have been, as he was also involved in the Glacier arc where he portrayed a character named Mortis. He also joined Bam Bam Bigelow and DDP on a failed team called The Jersey Triad. Kanyon would also have relative success parodying DDP and often times pulled off Diamond Cutters 'outta nowhere'. Following the buyout of WCW, WWE picked up his contract, but would only treat him as a jobber up until his release. During his time in wrestling, Kanyon was closeted about his sexuality while in WCW and WWE and constantly faced the troubles of whether or not he should come out, which unfortunately affected him a lot, along with the fact that he suffered from bipolar disorder. Sadly, in 2010 Kanyon committed suicide because of his depression.
7 Vince Russo
An innovator of the Attitude Era and the main reason WCW died, Vince Russo is infamous for his booking. While he did usher in the most profitable era for WWE in the Attitude Era, when he left WWE, it seems his inflated ego made him think that anything he did was gold and that people would watch just because he was the creative writer on the show. His often convoluted and trivial booking gave fans embarrassing matches (Viagra and Pinata on a pole matches) and made it obvious that what he did in WWE wasn't going to work in WCW. Then he started to have an on screen role and that's when things went really downhill. The New Blood angle was the final nail in WCW's coffin and Russo would leave WCW in 2000. He would go on to become the creative lead for TNA for a multitude of years, which should make it obvious why they haven't been able to compete with WWE.
He can now be found giving his opinion on the current WWE product on his podcast, The Brand.
6 Chris Jericho
The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla was a star in WCW's Cruiserweight division and had a good heel run shortly before he left the company for a greater chance in WWE, but he was never able to break into the main scene. While he did win the World Television Championship and Cruiserweight Championship, he was never made to look like a credible threat to anyone over 225 pounds. While he did have a pseudo feud with Goldberg, when the time came for a match he was crushed like a little bug.
When Jericho left WCW in 1999, he found plenty of success in WWE and is a multiple time Intercontinental Champion and World Champion. Jericho is also the lead singer of his band Fozzy and has put out six studio albums. Jericho has had multiple runs with WWE, most recently becoming the "best friend" of the current Universal champion Kevin Owens, while hosting an extremely popular podcast on PodcastOne, Talk is Jericho.
5 Rey Mysterio
Possibly the smallest member of the WCW roster when he was there, Rey Mysterio was packed full of potential, but was never taken seriously when put against anyone in WCW's Heavyweight division. Mysterio debuted for WCW in 1996 at the Great American Bash event and instantly connected with fans who loved his high flying style and small stature. When WCW wanted Mysterio to unmask, he was very reluctant and publicly stated that he didn't want to do it, but when it came down to it, he had to choose between his mask or his job. Naturally, the angle failed and Mysterio wouldn't achieve muse else in WCW after it.
Following the buy out of WCW, Mysterio went to Mexico for a small time before eventually debuting for WWE in 2002 and creating a special legacy there. Now, Mysterio wrestles all across the world, most notably in Mexico and the United States as a part of Lucha Underground.
4 Mick Foley
As a part of WCW before the nWo, Mick Foley was one of the top heels in the company in the early 90s, battling with the likes of Sting and Vader. His Cactus Jack persona was known for doing anything to get the win and not caring about his own body, which caused the fans to cheer for him during his reckless stunts. In a crazy moment, Foley would even lose an ear in Germany while facing Vader for WCW. Foley would continue in WCW until they were reluctant about using the loss of his ear in a storyline, forcing him to leave in frustration. He would go on to wrestle for ECW in 1995 and eventually debut for WWE in 1996 as Mankind. He'd have a legendary run in WWE, winning the WWE Championship three times. Foley would 'retire' in 2000, though he would return multiple times for one off matches in the subsequent years.
Currently, Foley is the RAW General Manager and has a reality show on the WWE Network entitled Holy Fole'.
3 The Shockmaster
Possibly the most infamous moment in WCW history occurred when The Shockmaster ruined his debut by falling through a wall, which forced his helmet to fall off and exposed his face to the crowd. He was going to be built up as a credible face, but ended up looking like a joke. In fairness to Fred Ottman, the man playing the character, even if he didn't fall through the wall, his attire and gimmick were so bad that he was destined to fail. While he didn't do much in WCW, that moment alone stuck with him for the rest of his career and is often mentioned by the WWE as one of the most embarrassing moments in wrestling history.
Ottman now works for Gaffin Industrial Services (which is a building cleaning service) as the head safety manager and regularly makes appearances at wrestling conventions to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
2 Steve Austin
Easily the biggest lost opportunity in WCW history took place when they decided to fire Steve Austin. During his time in WCW, he was known as 'Stunning' Steve Austin and would regularly team with Brian Pillman as apart of The Hollywood Blondes. While this wasn't the bad ass, beer drinking Stone Cold we know today, he was still charismatic and a great in-ring performer. Foolishly, Eric Bischoff didn't see anything in him and eventually let him go. Austin would go to ECW where he would compete in one match and take place in multiple vignettes where he would trash WCW before getting picked up by WWE in 1995. From there, Austin became the biggest superstar in wrestling history and made sure WWE on the Monday Night Wars.
Today, Steve Austin is a busy man. He hosts his own podcast, The Steve Austin Show, which sometimes features live on the WWE Network. He also hosts two shows on CMT, Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge and Redneck Island.
1 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan (alongside Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) is the main reason that WCW beat WWE for so long in the ratings war, but after the original nWo started gaining members, it became a massive dog and pony show where there were more people in the nWo than not. By 1999, both the nWo and Hulk Hogan were a joke, as Hogan's creative control clause in his contract didn't see him taking many losses and, as a result, WCW had trouble creating new stars, leading to his place on this list as a huge bust. In 2000, he had a falling out with Vince Russo and finally left the company.
He would go on to wrestle for WWE and TNA sporadically for 15 years before his Gawker scandal. The Gawker scandal and his leaked racist audio caused WWE to delete Hulk Hogan from their catalog and not mention him until earlier this year when he successfully won his case and essentially shut Gawker down. While he hasn't returned to WWE yet, they've begun to include his image and voice in some of the promotional material, so it's likely on the horizon.
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