WCW was an exciting wrestling company in the '90s. It rose to national prominence after breaking off from Crockett Promotions and the NWA, and after a few years of relying on Hulk Hogan, found its footing with Monday Nitro and the nWo. However, with the big-time came big contracts for former WWE superstars and that meant some guys got lost in the mix.
The world of WCW was crazy during the Monday Night Wars, with the company presenting the best of the best when it came to cruiserweights, adding multitudes of wrestlers to the ranks of the nWo, and eventually going off the rails when Vince Russo arrived and the leadership at TimeWarner pushed WCW to bankruptcy. Along the way, many WCW wrestlers who should have been huge remained nothing but C-listers.
10 JUVENTUD GUERRERA
In the case of Juventud Guerrera, there was a ton of talent and considerable upside, but behind-the-scenes problems and a reportedly poor attitude led to his downfall both in WCW and WWE. This is not to say Guerrera was not successful -- it's just that his success never lasted.
Guerrera was in WCW from 1996 through 2000 and won the cruiserweight title five times for a combined total of 113 days. Despite that, outside of a small gimmick where he mimicked The Rock, his stint there was forgettable and his WWE time was spent dressing like a stereotypical laborer. Crazily, he is only two years older than AJ Styles but has been out of the U.S. wrestling scene for 13 years now.
Chris Kanyon is a sad case. He worked a myriad of gimmicks early in his career, including a tag team with Billy Kidman where they dressed in hockey uniforms. He finally got his break in WCW in 1997 when he arrived as a masked wrestler known as Mortis and feuded with Glacier in a goofy video game inspired feud.
After his role as Mortis, he dumped the mask, became Chris Kanyon, and was an innovative and creative wrestler in WCW. Sadly, he never broke out from the mid-card with his most memorable gimmick being part of the Jersey Triad with Diamond Dallas Page and Bam Bam Bigelow. Kanyon, who was a closeted gay man, was also diagnosed as bipolar and took his own life in 2010.
8 STEVIE RICHARDS
Stevie Richards was on the brink of becoming a star in ECW but never got over the hump despite turning in some great performances along the way. That is because he was never seen as more than Raven's lackey, even when he led a faction in the bWo, which ended up as nothing more than fan-friendly comedy.
When Raven went to WCW, Stevie followed and remained his sidekick, which limited his ceiling there as well. No matter how talented Richards was, he was kept in a goofy, comedy gimmick alongside Raven and never got a chance to shine until he led Right to Censor in WWE.
7 SEAN O'HAIRE
Sean O'Haire had the look of a star. He made his debut in WCW in 2000, which was tough since that was toward the end of the company's respectability. However, O'Haire impressed fans as part of a tag team with Mark Jindrak -- both men graduates of the WCW Power Plant training center.
The two men won two WCW tag team titles, but in a strange move, his tag team switched partners with another and O'Haire ended up teaming with Chuck Polumbo instead. O'Haire and Palumbo were tag champs when WWE purchased WCW and lost their tag team titles two weeks later. O'Haire had a gimmick with Roddy Piper as his manager, but it went nowhere, and he left WWE in 2004 and retired in 2005 at the age of 34.
6 MIKE AWESOME
Mike Awesome should have been a massive star. He was big, strong and could pull off amazing moves for a man of his size. His feud with Masato Tanaka proved how great he was as their match at ECW One Night Stand in 2005 stole the entire show. While Awesome was a former ECW world champion, WCW ruined him.
Awesome went to WCW while he was still ECW champion, but instead of pushing him, WCW buried him. Instead of introducing him as a heavy hitter, Vince Russo gave him two insulting gimmicks -- the Fat Chick Thrilla' and "That '70s Guy" -- and he became an afterthought in WCW.
5 JOHNNY SWINGER
Johnny Swinger was a very talented wrestler who never got past being more than a C-list star no matter where he wrestled. He worked for ECW, WCW, TNA Impact Wrestling, and was even part of WWE under the name, Johnny Parisi. During all those stops, he held one set of tag team titles in Impact Wrestling.
In WCW, he worked from 1996-1999 during the height of the company's rise to the top. However, he rarely ever made his way to Monday Nitro as he spent most of his team wrestling on WCW Saturday Night and WCW World Wide. In a fun bit of trivia, he lost to Chavo Guerrero on the same Nitro that Goldberg beat Hulk Hogan for the WCW world title.
Crowbar was something special, but for some reason, he rarely got a chance to shine in WCW despite his expertise in the hardcore matches WCW was putting on at the time. He got his start in WWE in 1997 before leaving for WCW in 1999 under the name Devon Storm.
After a short time, he joined a faction with David Flair and Daffney and changed his name to Crowbar. The gimmick of this trio was that they all acted like they were insane and this is where Crowbar became a fan favorite with his high-risk moves. Crowbar won one cruiserweight title, the hardcore title once and the tag titles but did little else and was released right before WWE purchased WCW.
3 SCOTT NORTON
Scott Norton should have been a massive star. The guy was one of the best big men in WCW history. Norton learned his trade in New Japan and then signed with WCW in 1996. He started in a tag tram called Fire and Ice with a man named Ice Train, and he was the star of this team.
Fans knew that Norton was a legit tough guy, but WCW never saw anything in him other than a tag team wrestler. They had him join the nWo and teamed him with Buff Bagwell as Vicious and Delicious. Soon, he became one of nWo's minor members and finally left in 1999 to return to NJPW.
2 ALEX WRIGHT
Alex Wright was only 19-years-old when he signed with WCW in 1994. At such a young age, the German-born superstar could have turned into a massive homegrown WCW star, but things did not work out well for the young man. WCW gave him a gimmick as Das Wunderkind, where he came to the ring to techno music and danced.
He was a babyface, but the fans hated him. He did win his first PPV match at Starrcade 1994 when he beat a young Triple H. Wright was losing most his feuds by 1995. In 1997, WCW turned him heel, and he won a title -- beating Chris Jericho for the cruiserweight championship. By 1999, he had another gimmick change and became Berlyn, a foreign heel who only spoke in German, and he finally retired after WWE purchased WCW.
1 ELIX SKIPPER
One of the most significant factions in TNA Impact Wrestling history came in its early days Triple X -- Christopher Daniels, Elix Skipper, and Low Ki. During this period, Skipper showed how talented he was.
However, before that, he worked in WCW and remained a C-list star at best. He worked there from 2000 until WWE purchased the company. A Power Plant graduate, he joined Lance Storm's Team Canada and was gifted with the cruiserweight title without ever winning it. He did win the cruiserweight tag titles but was sent to developmental after WWE purchased the company and then released in 2002.