It has been established that WCW was a very poorly run organization that happened to have had enough money to buy any wrestler it wanted. It's a shame really. Not just from an industry standpoint, as there's no competition anymore, but also because WCW simply had the best roster of wrestlers ever assembled due to Ted Turner's bank account. Sadly, no one in power knew what to do with them.
The more wrestling became entertainment and less sport, people calling the shots at WCW seemed to know less and less how to be sports entertainment. For every great moment, such as Sting coming to the ring from a helicopter, there were a handful of bad things like Vince Russo winning the world title; and that's not even the tip of the iceberg.
The biggest reason for a slew of terrible moments in WCW's history has got to be the lack of direction mixed with a lack of care. According to stalwarts like Dusty Rhodes and Arn Anderson, Turner network executives simply didn't want the product on their network and were complying with Billionaire Ted's wishes to have a wrestling show. The same network executives would put buffoons like Jim Herd in power. Herd wanted Ric Flair to cut his hair, get his ear pierced and be re-branded Spartacus (if that happened, it would be #1 on this list). Finally guys like Bischoff and Russo were put in power, and while they at least knew wrestling, they were more concerned with putting the WWE out of business than worrying about how to make their own product better.
With the company long gone, we can look back not in anger but in fondness to some of the silliest and worst moments in WCW history.
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19 Chamber of Horrors Match – Halloween Havoc (1991)
Jim Ross purposely suppressed this godawful match from his memory. This match featured the Steiner Brothers, Sting and El Gigante against Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher, the Diamond Studd, and Vader. To win, you had to strap your opponent into an electric chair and fry him. Not only is this a stupid idea, since in reality no one is actually going to be electrocuted on PPV or free TV, the lever for the chair had fallen down during the match. Try as he might, Cactus put the lever back up but to no avail, this match is a dud for all kinds of reasons. But we’ll give this one a point for the cool image of watching Abdullah become the main course at his Ribs place.
18 Rings Shouldn’t Have Trapdoors – Fall Brawl (1998)
People like to talk about the Von Erich curse, but if there's such a thing as curses, what about the horrors of the Hart family and their extended family? In this case, we're discussing the British Bulldog, as Davey Boy Smith died of a heart attack brought on by steroid abuse. Sadly, another contributing factor to Smith's death was an addiction to painkillers brought on from a spinal infection thanks to a bump taken at the 1998 Fall Brawl, where there was a trapdoor in the ring so that The Ultimate Warrior could make his entrance during the main event.
17 The nWo Era Ends? – Starrcade (1997)
For over a year, all Sting wanted was to take the WCW World Title from Hollywood Hogan and finally put an end to the scourge of the nWo. The match was at Starrcade and anyone who has played booker at home knew how to put this match together – Sting decimates Hogan and becomes the champion. Instead, Eric Bischoff booked a screwjob finish. Referee Nick Patrick was to do a fast count, screwing Sting. Bret Hart would come down and right the wrong, symbolically righting the wrong of his own screwjob and help Sting win the belt. All of this happened except for the fast count. Hogan had pinned Sting clean in the middle of the ring, making everything that happened afterward look like the vile Hogan was cheated out of the World Title.
16 Judy Bagwell on a Pole Match – New Blood Rising (2000)
Towards the end, WCW liked to put things on poles, seemingly everything but the Nitro Girls, which would have made the most sense. Luckily, Judy Bagwell wasn’t hung from an actual pole but she was lifted above the ring in a forklift in a match that saw Buff against Chris Kanyon and if Kanyon won, he also won the valet services of Judy Bagwell. While there have been plenty of matches over the years where the winner will get a valet, there was just no reason she had to be suspended on a forklift. Since all of this ridiculousness wasn’t ridiculous enough, former WCW champion, David Arquette, got involved, trying to help Kanyon.
15 San Francisco 49ers Match – Nitro (2000)
This one's poor booking and box construction made this so terrible. Booker T took on Jeff Jarrett for the WCW World Title in a San Francisco 49er Match, where the ring would have boxes suspended from the corners. Each one would contain a “weapon” that could be used in the match and one would have the World Championship. Unfortunately, Vince Russo decided to take the decent concept and ruin it by having a coal miner’s glove, a blowup doll, and a framed picture of Scott Hall in each of the boxes, which were so poorly constructed that when Booker T finally found the title, the bottom of the box fell out.
14 Monster vs. Monster / Man vs. Man – Halloween Havoc (1995)
Another Halloween and another horror themed event would give us one of the silliest moments in WCW–the double death hug from both the Giant and "the Yeh–tay,” as Tony Schiavone would call him. Before the terrible match, Hogan and the Giant would do battle in a Monster Truck contest, which Hogan won. Afterwards, the two would begin fighting and Hogan knocked the Giant off of the roof. As theatrical as wrestling is, sometimes it’s hard to suspend disbelief and no one thought the Hulkster killed a man. A few moments later, the title match began in the ring with the Giant, and after a double cross by Jimmy Hart, out came the Yeti to deliver the humping bear hug to Hogan.
13 Release the Hounds – The Great American Bash (1999)
When there are editing gaffs that anyone who has ever seen a movie before could pinpoint, you're not doing something right. One day, we'll find out how Sting was fine with things like this, but for now we'll continue to wonder how he allowed tripe like this. The Falls Count Anywhere match would eventually lead backstage, where Sting would be ambushed by Tank Abbott and Big Poppa Pump. But the backstage portions of the match were filmed earlier in the day. The proof is in Sting's paint, which went from smudged to clean and back again. There have been student films edited better than this nonsense, which cut back to the ring after about 10 seconds.
12 “That’ll Put Butts in Seats” – Nitro (1999)
Besides the number one entry on this list, another bad move happened on January 4th, 1999. While Nitro was gearing up for its main event, Tony Schiavone, on direction from Eric Bischoff, released the results of a taped Monday Night Raw. The main event was Mankind winning “their” world title from The Rock, which Schiavone stated, “that’ll put butts in seats.” This wasn’t the biggest event in the Monday Night War, but ratings for that night will indicate that a bevy of fans would change the channel to see Foley achieve his dream. Over the next few weeks, WWE fans would bring “Foley Put My Butt in This Seat” signs, proving Schiavone’s sarcastic comment to be right.
11 Chucky vs. Rick Steiner – Nitro (1998)
If you didn’t raise an eyebrow at the title of this entry, you might be reading the wrong list. Celebrities and wrestling go hand in hand, but Chuc,y? the psychopathic children’s doll?!? While cutting a promo, Rick Steiner was interrupted by the demonic doll, hyping his new movie, Bride of Chucky. This one is an example of how far WCW had fallen, by forcing a world renowned athlete to cut a promo against possibly the worst horror icon of all time. To his credit, Steiner did what was asked of him and and threatened to take Chucky out.
10 WCW at the Movies – Beach Blast (1993), Halloween Havoc (1992), Superbrawl III (1993)
WCW had mini movies to push some of WCW’s PPVs. As good as Sting, Vader, and other stars were in the ring, these short films were not well made. The “best” of these is Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal, where Jake the Snake Roberts and Sting hyped their match of the same name at Halloween Havoc. Ted Turner really should have paid more attention to his money. In case you were wondering, the White Castle of Fear had nothing to do with burgers, it was the place Big Van Vader lived.
9 Piñata on a Pole – Nitro (1999)
Leave it to Vince Russo to take a piñata and put it on a pole, before letting several luchadors beat the tar out of each other for it. This match had so many bad parts to it – the inherent racism, the fact the piñata kept falling off the pole, the commentators not commentating on the match, or the fact that one of those commentators was Ed Ferrara, portraying Jim Ross as Oklahoma (which was tasteless). If you needed proof that WCW didn’t care for their cruiserweights, this is it.
8 Viagra on a Pole – Nitro (2000)
The worst “Object on a Pole” match in WCW history, this match between Billy Kidman and Shane Douglas was set up because both wrestlers had made a sex tape with Torrie Wilson, but it was The Franchise who needed some…ahem…assistance. The match wasn't that bad at all, but the stipulation has to be the dumbest in wrestling history. To its credit, all of WCW's "object on a pole" were pretty stupid, but at least the bottle actually stayed up on the pole the whole match (seriously, no pun intended). Plus eight minutes of crappy puns from commentator Mark Madden land this one on the worst list.
7 The Ultimate Rematch? Halloween Havoc (1998)
At Halloween Havoc 1998, both matches of the much hyped double main event were handled questionably, but this is Halloween Havoc after all, where "Questionable WCW" takes center stage. First up, the long awaited return of the Warrior and the rematch from WrestleMania VI with Hulk Hogan. That bout had won the PWI match of the year in 1990, but it was the opposite in this case. It's not everyday that Hogan and Bischoff admit something they did was godawful, but Bischoff has stated that the match was probably one of the worst in history, thanks to a botched fire spot that singed Hogan's mustache.
6 WCW vs. Cable Halloween Havoc (1998)
The Halloween Havoc 1998 event was the apex of bad. Not only did fans suffer through Warrior-Hogan II, but the fans at home got robbed of the much anticipated Diamond Dallas Page-Goldberg title match. Right as they locked up...
The feed was cut, the PPV was over. Every wrestling company is allotted three hours for their PPVs, while WrestleMania gets four. Every wrestling fan, worker, and executive knows this. But WCW, even as they were faltering, attempted to run overtime. Paying customers were pissed and demanded refunds, WCW apologized and aired the match for free on Nitro the next night. But the damage was already done. Luckily, if you have the network, you can watch the match in its entirety.
5 Robocop – Capital Combat: the Return of Robocop (1990)
If you don't know who Robocop was, you might be questioning where he was returning from. Thankfully, this was his first and last wrestling appearance. Would the cyborg put on some tights and get in the ring? No, instead, WCW wasted less air time by having the Horsemen lock Sting in a cage and having Robocop come to bail him out. Ric Flair has stated in interviews that he always tried to tell Sting he should have gone to Vince. Moments like this are proof that the Nature Boy might have been right.
4 Shockmaster – WCW Saturday Night (1993)
What hasn’t been said about this unintentional piece of comedic gold? Fred Ottmon, aka Tugboat, was set to debut as Sting and Davey Boy Smith's partner. Enter Ottmon, tripping over an exploding piece of sheet rock during a segment of “Flair for the Gold.” During the fall, Ottmon's glittery helmet fell off, before he got up and attempted to speak, with one of the stupidest voices of all time. The real question is how anyone thought a big dude in a fur vest and a sparkly Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet was imposing. Even if Ottmon hadn’t fallen, this gimmick would have been a dud.
3 "Sting" Goes Ablaze – Great American Bash (2000)
Another “why did Sting allow this” moment sees him taking on Vampiro. The Human Torch Match was convoluted, Sting hoisted the blowtorch needed to set your opponent on fire to the top of the scaffolding, and then demanded Vampiro meet him up top, but repelled down anyway. The announcers explained that Vampiro was afraid of heights, but he easily climbed the scaffolding. Once both competitors were on top, the lights went out, masking that Sting was swapped for a stunt man. Sting was then lit on fire and sent flying off the scaffold, in one of the more ridiculous moments in WCW history
3. 173 and 1 – Starrcade (1998)
Goldberg wasn't the best wrestler, but it was the intensity he brought to the ring that would make him one of the most popular wrestlers in the industry. After defeating Hulk Hogan for the title, he continued his undefeated streak all the way to Starrcade where the Man would face Kevin Nash. The match was a No DQ Match, so we should have seen the chicanery coming. Disco Inferno and Bam Bam Bigelow would try to aid Nash in his quest and were decimated by Goldberg only for the brute to be stopped by a cattle prod from Scott Hall, who was posing as a security guard. Congratulations WCW, you built the entire company around Goldberg only to have Nash (who was head booker) begin to destroy the company from within.
2 The New World Champion – Nitro (2000)
David Arquette, a scrawny actor who was starring in WCW’s godawful movie Ready to Rumble, won the most coveted belt in WCW. The very belt that men like Flair, Rhodes, Race, and Steamboat had once held. Celebrities are a welcome addition to the product, but you shouldn’t have them win your World title in an effort to hype a movie. He claims even he questioned it, but like anyone else, would you actually turn down the chance to be the world champ?
1 Fingerpoke of Doom – Nitro (1999)
It wasn't enough to bring Goldberg down, but a few weeks after Starrcade 1998 (our #3), the entire legacy of WCW was further crapped on by Nash and Hogan with the now infamous Fingerpoke of Doom. After an intense staredown, Hogan barely touched the giant, who fell to the floor, Hogan pinned him and the nWo was reunited. Nash was the booker at the time and has explained that the thought process was reuniting the nWo to give Hogan one more run before meeting Goldberg again. After years of questionable booking, the luster of both the nWo and Goldberg were gone and this moment signaled the beginning of the end.
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