The WCW locker room often featured unhappiness due to the lack of opportunities offered to most of the talent. Names like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy Savage and Sting dominated the main event picture. The rest of the roster would be lucky to get consistent time in the mid-card, since the main event scene featured the same rotating five-to-eight wrestlers during the glory years of the Monday Night Wars.
However, there were quite a few wrestlers to receive pushes that flew under the radar. This was because of the lack of success to come from such pushes. WCW gave these talents the chance to move up in the pecking order, but they just could not do enough to make it work. Fans would forget these plans even came into fruition during the company’s history.
10 Paul Roma
The look and youth of Paul Roma made him a top prospect for WCW when joining the company in the early 90s. Roma was paired with Ric Flair and Arn Anderson in an incarnation of the Four Horsemen. The faction was one of WCW’s hottest acts and the hope was that the push would make Roma a star.
Roma struggled to stand out and did not appear to be on the same level of talent like Flair and Anderson. Both men disliked Roma, which led to heat between them throughout the years. WCW eventually ended Roma’s push, removing him from the Horsemen and never giving him another chance.
Bryan Clark had an interesting wrestling career with multiple pushes that fell just short of making the top tier. WWE used Clark as Adam Bomb in a lackluster role, but WCW adding him to the roster under the name of Wrath presented a great opportunity.
WCW protected Wrath in the booking with an unbeaten streak lasting many months. Despite it taking place in the lower mid-card, Wrath gained some momentum. WCW slowed down the push during Kevin Nash’s main event push by having Nash defeat Wrath on Nitro. The push ended completely, with Wrath failing to make the top level.
8 The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea
Prince Iaukea had an interesting run in the mid-card for WCW during the Monday Night Wars. The run of Iaukea would see him win the Cruiserweight Championship and Television Championship, as the company saw potential in him.
WCW would try to push him harder with a unique gimmick, casting him as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea. The push did not find much success and Iaukea did not get much love in the industry after WCW ended.
Sabu only had a handful of matches in his WCW career, but the company did have interest in pushing the top ECW name. Fans in ECW fell in love with the use of tables and aerial moves during Sabu’s matches. WCW added Sabu to the company in the mid-90s.
The matches for Sabu in WCW took place against Jerry Lynn as Mr. JL and Disco Inferno. WCW’s rare use of tables did excite the audience, but Sabu didn’t like the atmosphere of the company. It was a poor fit and Sabu left WCW faster than expected, ending the short-lived push.
6 Shawn Stasiak
Both WWE and WCW tried to push Shawn Stasiak higher up their pecking order due to his potential. Shawn’s father Stan Stasiak was a former WWE Champion, which earned him the opportunity due to the pedigree of growing up in the business.
WCW would pair Stasiak with the popular Stacy Keibler in the final few months of the company’s run. The hope was to make Stasiak a top heel to build the future around. Sadly, WCW would go out of business before Stasiak could prove anything of worth. WWE would then bring Stasiak over and use him as a comedic character.
5 Johnny B. Badd
The bidding war for Johnny B. Badd in the mid-90s saw both WWE and WCW courting him. Marc Mero played the flamboyant character in WCW with ties to music star Little Richard. The Badd character earned him success in the mid-card, with an impressive feud against Diamond Dallas Page.
WCW had interest in making Badd one of the young stars to build around until WWE came calling with a bigger offer. Mero signed the first guaranteed contract in WWE history and left WCW for the more impressive figure. WWE gave up on Mero quickly and he likely regretted ditching WCW.
4 David Flair
WCW signed David Flair to a contract when he decided to join the wrestling industry. The legendary status of his father Ric Flair played the biggest role in WCW feeling it was worth pushing him on television. David received a few pushes in main event stories, despite not being ready.
The lack of experience hurt David in a major way, as he clearly could not perform at the level expected. One push came when he turned on his dad to join the New World Order. Another story featured Vince Russo uniting with David in a singles feud against Ric. Neither push worked, which led to David flopping in WCW.
3 Barry Windham
Barry Windham had a few relevant runs during the NWA and WCW chapter of his career. Windham was a respected member of the Four Horsemen that could shine on his own in the main event picture. WCW pushed Windham on a few occasions before the company grew in popularity.
Feuds with Sting, Ric Flair and Lex Luger would see Windham get the chance to enter the upper echelon of WCW. Unfortunately, Windham could not get over as much as the other big names and moved back down into the mid-card.
2 Tank Abbott
WCW signed Tank Abbott following a successful run in UFC. The success of Ken Shamrock in WWE allowed other MMA fighters to make the jump to wrestling. Abbott was signed by WCW with the hope of becoming the next big rival for Goldberg during his dominant run.
The push of Abbott never connected with the fans. Despite his unpredictable character and genuine toughness, Abbott struggled in the wrestling world. WCW eventually gave up on the push and moved Abbott into a comedic role, as part of the 3 Count boy band parody faction as their #1 fan.
1 Alex Wright
WCW tried to push Alex Wright to the top on two occasions throughout his career. The first push came early in the mid-card picture, as Wright would rack up wins while introducing his face dancing character. Wright eventually lost the push and turned heel since fans already booed his dancing skills.
A huge character revamp would see Wright become Berlin in 2000. The new look and controversial character were meant to make him a top heel, but the lack of momentum hurt any chance of gaining credibility. Wright could not take advantage of his opportunities and instead flopped on both occasions.