The WWE Performance Center and the developmental territories like OVW before that is where WWE signees go to hone their craft and learn the WWE way of doing things. Vince McMahon had come along and gobbled up plenty of good competition, the last of which was WCW in 2001. World Championship Wrestling had its own early proto-PC model - the Power Plant.
From as early at 1995, until the doors closed in 2001, the WCW Power Plant is where guys and girls went to learn the WCW of doing business. Paul Orndorff had run it. Molly Holly and Madusa were the female trainers. Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker was the head trainer. Strangely enough though, he alway famously tossed Batista from the school, thinking that he didn’t have the proverbial “It.” But there were still plenty of big names to come out of the Power Plant. Bret Hart famously derided the methods of the Plant, due having a certain bald, goateed monster kicking his head into 125th row of the arena.
10 Big Show
In WCW, The Big Show was called the Giant and for a brief time pushed as Andre’s son to better feud with Hogan. While the guy was able to do a drop kick and even a missile drop kick, the Power Plant not only taught a very green Giant the basics of the business, but also the concept of how to work like a Giant. The guy shouldn’t be leaving his feet nearly as much, and work matches like a “fee fi fo fum” lumbering monster.
As the Power Plant’s most famous graduate, Goldberg is an anomaly. It doesn’t seem like he was taught much there beyond the Spear and Jackhammer that he still does to this day. Is that his fault or the Plant’s? Goldberg went on to have a Hall Of Fame career, but he did so more based on his insane intensity.
That intensity certainly wasn’t taught at the Plant. While other stars learned more for themselves, Goldberg might be the most famous, but shouldn’t be a poster child for what the Plant accomplished.
8 Diamond Dallas Page
The Hall Of Famer and master of DDPY, Diamond Dallas Page is exactly what the Power Plant should be recognized for. He worked there tirelessly to hone his craft and learn how to work matches. But he also took control of his career, videotaping all of his matches, watching everyone else’s, and rewatching and rewatching; asking questions from riding partners. Pretty much everything DDP did then is what the guys and girls at the PC do now.
The original scream queen, Daffney has had quite the career for herself, spanning WCW, TNA, and several women’s only federations. Because of her style and gimmick came at a time when WWE weren’t looking for workers. But her time in the Power Plant led to a memorable run as David Flair’s girlfriend and a another run a few years later in TNA as a Sarah Palin impersonator and later a second to Stevie Richards.
6 Triple H
Before Triple H became anywhere near the man that he is today, he had a less than memorable stint in WCW, as Terra Ryzin and the Jean-Paul Levesque, his run there was at least enough to get him a look in the WWE. He also spent some time in the Power Plant.
There, he worked with a ton of guys, and although he remains humble about his accomplishments there, guys like Big Show and DDP have credited Hunter with helping them along the way. Plus, you’d have to think that some aspects of the school The Game put in the back of his mind for when he pitched the idea of the PC.
5 Chris Kanyon
Man At Work, Mortis, The Innovator Of Offense, Champagne, no one will ever claim Kanyon had any world class gimmicks, but they were all memorable in that so-bad-it-was-WCW kind of way. Inside the ring though, he was one of the steadiest hands you could ever ask for in a superstar. He was even WCW’s go to guy for stunt work in Ready To Rumble.
4 The Hurricane
The Hurricane started his career for the Hardys’ OMEGA promotion. It was enough to get him noticed by WCW. He signed, along with Shannon Moore, they worked at the Power Plant and debuted as 3-Count, along with Evan Karagias. Sugar Shane Helms was one of the young up and comers when WWE bought out WCW. His behavior immediately endeared himself to the WWE locker room. Soon, the Boy Band gimmick was dropped in favor of The Hurricane, and Helms became one of the most memorable stars of the day.
3 Stacy Keibler
Two of the hottest signees in WCW were Stacy Keibler. Her legs were rumored to be insured by Ted Turner for a cool million. Who could blame the guy, even Dancing With The Stars coined them “the Weapons Of Mass Seduction.”
She certainly wasn’t taught a whole lot about putting on a match at the Power Plant, or in WWE for that matter. But no one brought The Dutchess Of Dudleyville in to be a crazy worker. She was brought in to both WCW and later WWE to bring the beauty amongst the beasts.
2 Torrie Wilson
Say what you will about Kevin Nash, but the guy knows talent when he sees it. He’s the guy who helped Torrie Wilson get signed. Fans should love him for it, certainly Billy Kidman like her! In the ring, she would work hard to be able to put on a passable match during the Divas era in WWE. To an extent, she succeeded. She also worked hard at the Power Plant, but like her bestie, Stacey, Torrie wasn’t brought in to have Iron Matches.
1 David Flair
If you think the daughter of Ric Flair has been tearing it up recently, then you should’ve checked out his son, David back in WCW. But seriously though, being the son of Ric Flair certainly helped him get into the business. But the Power Plant definitely helped him get enough of the basics down. Those basics helped him, Crowbar, and Daffney he the crazy trio that was one of the bright spots during the failing years of WCW.