One of the hottest periods in the history of pro wrestling came during the second half of the 1990s. Before WWE became the be all and end all of the business they had to go head to head with WCW. The two very much went back and forth and there were genuinely times when it looked like WCW might actually win out over WWE. Both promotions had their flagships and both aired on Monday nights. WWE had Raw and WCW took them to task by launching Nitro. Various stars helped both shows stake their claim on the pro wrestling landscape. The likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and D-Generation X launched the Attitude Era in WWE and increased their popularity while Goldberg and the nWo did the same for WCW.
Those names mentioned above are quite rightly awarded a lot of the credit for wrestling undergoing a boom period during that time. What’s often forgotten is the supporting cast. The packed rosters that both companies could boast that also led to them enjoying so much success. While WWE occasionally refers back to some of their forgotten talents, WCW’s absence from the current landscape means a lot of their former stars are buried in the annuls of time. Truth be told some of them are still active today. Here are 15 former WCW Superstars that wrestled on Monday Nitro that you likely forgot about and what they’re up to in the present day.
15. David Flair
Charlotte Flair is currently proving that she has the blood and genes of one of the best professional wrestlers of all time pumping through her veins. The former Women’s Champion is very much Ric Flair’s daughter and you can see that every single time she performs. Charlotte’s older brother David tried to go about doing the exact same thing almost 20 years ago, but wasn’t nearly as successful. David had short spells in both WCW and WWE but it was plain to see he didn’t have that it factor his father has. David still makes the odd appearance at wrestling events, sometimes alongside his father and his sister, but the majority of his time is spent elsewhere. He currently manages The Seal Wire Company which is owned by his mother in law.
14. Disco Inferno
During the early to mid 1990s WWE was infamous for sticking Superstars with terrible gimmicks. Personas that focused on a certain hobby or occupation. Well WCW was a little guilty of that too. Disco Inferno is one man who fell into that category for WCW, although to his credit Glen Gilberti, the man behind the dancing shoes, made a lot more of it than most of the people who were stuck with occupational gimmicks in WWE. In fact his run in WCW lasted from 1995 all the way up to the time when the company had to close their doors. Nowadays Gilberti has his fingers in many pies. He regularly appears on Vince Russo’s podcast, The Brand, as the two have been friends since they booked together in WCW. He is also a host at Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club, an exotic dance club in Las Vegas.
13. Horace Hogan
Sticking with wrestlers who have big time blood coursing through their veins, let’s move swiftly on to Horace Hogan. Nephew of the immortal Hulk Hogan, Horace spent the majority of his time in WCW teaming up with factions that his uncle was involved in one way or another. He played a part in the nWo – albeit towards the end of the famous faction’s run – and also featured for some of the teams that splintered off of the trio led by The Hulkster. In 2002, shortly after WWE bought out his place of work, Horace was signed on to be a part of WWE’s developmental system. That didn’t work out though and his stay there only lasted a matter of months. Horace didn’t last much longer in the wrestling business and nowadays works in construction.
WCW wasn’t just in the business of creating gimmicks that revolved around occupations during the ’90s. While WWE were busy pitting garbage men against evil dentists, Eric Bischoff had the bright idea of trying to capitalize off of a video game that was pretty big at the time, Mortal Kombat. With that notion Glacier was born. The Glacier persona was clearly inspired by the Mortal Kombat character Sub Zero. He even had snow falling during his entrance. Despite many fans and peers looking back on the gimmick as one of the worst in wrestling history, the man behind the gimmick Raymond Lloyd kept his job in WCW for three years. In fact Lloyd recently shocked the Ring Of Honor Universe by reprising the Glacier gimmick and making a surprise appearance in their Honor Rumble. Make fun of him all you want but over 20 years later the Glacier gimmick lives on.
11. Juventud Guerrera
Juventud Guerrera is one of those pro wrestlers from WCW’s innovative cruiserweight division that never really made it. The likes of Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio were seen as huge stars waiting to happen, and unsurprisingly they both eventually became World Champions in WWE. Although Juventud did eventually arrive in WWE it was a very short stay for the former WCW guy. It began with him heading up a team known as The Mexicools and even included a couple of reigns as the Cruiserweight Champion. Less than a year later though he was gone again. It may surprise you to discover that despite his lengthy career, Guerrera is actually only 42 years old right now. In fact to this day he remains in the pro wrestling business. Earlier this year he made it to the final of the Mexican qualifiers for the WCPW World Cup, losing to Rey Mysterio.
10. Buff Bagwell
Fans of nothing but WWE when it comes to professional wrestling will likely have a very weak opinion of Buff Bagwell. Buff was one of the first Superstars to come across from WCW to WWE when the latter bought out the former. It was a promising coup considering Bagwell’s tenure with World Championship Wrestling. To call his time in WWE a disaster would be an understatement. One match with Booker T and his mom phoning in to say he was sick later and his time under Vince McMahon was over. That didn’t stop Buff from wrestling though and he still competes to this day, recently doing battle with Jerry Lawler. Bagwell is also engaged in a legal battle with WWE, claiming that he is entitled to royalties for footage of him being shown on the Network.
Psicosis is another entry in this list with a story very similar to that of someone a little further back in this same article, Juventud Guerrera. A cruiserweight in WCW who hailed from Mexico and was under appreciated considering the amount of talent he had. Psicosis’s time in WCW would actually lead to him spending some time in the Latino World Order, a faction formed by Eddie Guerrero. Like Guerrera, Psicosis would also spend some time with WWE a few years down the line. Unfortunately for him that time was cut short after he was released for stealing a car which would spark him being chased by police. Psicosis still wrestles though and he is currently a part of Mexican promotion AAA’s roster.
8. Bobby Eaton
The name Bobby Eaton by itself may not ring a bell for many younger wrestling fans. The tag team that he made up one half of, The Midnight Express, likely will though. During the 1980s The Midnight Express put tag team wrestling on the map and had a rivalry with The Rock N Roll Express that resonates with fans to this day. By the time Nitro rolled around Eaton was doing other things though and played many roles throughout the latter half of the ’90s, including teaming with William Regal. Despite suffering poor health for much of the past 15 years Bobby continued to wrestle. In fact he didn’t wrestle his last match until October 2015 when he squared off against Ricky Morton of his old foes, The Rock N Roll Express. A pretty fitting final match.
7. Perry Saturn
Shortly before WCW went under, a few gentlemen saw the writing on the wall and managed to earn spots in WWE. Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and the subject of this particular entry, Perry Saturn. Before he was in WWE though Perry didn’t have too bad a time in WCW. He even wrestled Goldberg in a match that lasted over eight minutes, an amount of time not afforded to many of Goldberg’s opponents. Since Saturn’s departure from WWE his life has taken a turn for the worse. Perry told his story on Talk Is Jericho recently after effectively disappearing off the face of the earth. Perry became heavily afflicted by addiction and even worked for dealers in order to pay for his habit. Hopefully the former European Champion has now turned a corner.
6. Ultimo Dragon
Ultimo Dragon may be one of the most underrated wrestlers ever, outside of Japan anyway. Any veterans of the business that have spent time wrestling in the land of the rising sun tend to have a lot of respect for Ultimo Dragon yet the masked star never managed to enjoy much success stateside, neither in WCW nor WWE. Truth be told although his stay in WCW was a short one it wasn’t a complete waste of Dragon’s time, although they did incorrectly call him Ultimate Dragon to begin with and he actually retired due to injury for a brief period following his time there. Thankfully 1998 didn’t mark the end of Ultimo Dragon’s career and almost 20 years later, at the age of 50, Dragon continues to wrestle in his native Japan as well as help train the next generation of wrestlers.
Earlier in this list we touched upon WCW’s attempts to capitalize on the popularity of the video game Mortal Kombat during the 1990s. Well the Sub Zero rip off wasn’t the only wrestling character who bore stark similarities to someone from the game. For a while Glacier feuded with a wrestler called Mortis. In reality Mortis was actually being portrayed by a pro wrestler named Chris Kanyon. Before and after he wore the Mortis mask Chris was simply known as Kanyon. Kanyon retired from in ring competition in 2007 and sadly is no longer with us. The former WCW and WWE star intentionally overdosed in 2010. His book which was released following his passing revealed how hard he had found it living as a closeted gay man.
Despite never having wrestled for WWE, Vampiro has managed to make quite a name for himself in the pro wrestling industry. Perhaps his most notable run came when he joined WCW’s ranks in 1998. Before that Vampiro had only really competed in Mexico aside from some tours of Japan. Aside from WWE Vampiro has since wrestled just about everywhere and is currently involved with AAA and an announcer for Lucha Underground. It’s actually quite surprising that more entries on this list aren’t working for LU. The promotion has a throw back feel that combines elements of lucha wrestling and what made ECW famous during the ’90s. Clearly Vampiro feels very at home there and has occasionally stepped back between the ropes despite being 50 years of age.
Cuban wrestler Konnan had a pretty great run with WCW during the height of the brand’s popularity. He was also responsible for the company hiring two of the other entries on this list, Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera. Back to his own success though, and just a week into his main stint with WCW Konnan became the United States Heavyweight Champion, a title he would hold for almost six month before losing it to Ric Flair. Konnan would also spend time as the company’s Television Champion and even joined the nWo. Nowadays he has his very own podcast on the Jericho Network – his co host is previous entry Disco Inferno – and is the manager of the faction The Latin America Xchange in TNA.
2. Stevie Ray
Booker T is still very much in the pro wrestling spotlight. The WWE Hall of Famer is currently an announcer on Raw and his prominence and success in WCW often overshadows the hard work of his older brother, Stevie Ray. Before Booker was a singles star and won multiple World Championships he and Stevie Ray ran riot in WCW’s tag team division, winning the Tag Team Titles a record ten times. The brothers still work together in the business to this day. The two of them opened their own wrestling academy in 2005 and even run their own shows as a part of the Reailty of Wrestling promotion. Stevie Ray also has his own radio show named Straight Shooting With Stevie Ray.
1. Lex Luger
Lex Luger is one of the most famous faces when it comes to breaking down the timeline of the Monday Night War between WCW and WWE. Luger shocked the wrestling world when he appeared on the first ever episode of Monday Nitro just 24 hours after competing for WWE at a pay per view. Despite that in the present day it’s clearly all water under the bridge. Lex is regularly included as a playable character on WWE’s yearly video games. He has also helped the company work on their wellness policy after suffering from addiction himself in the past. Lex has also had to deal with a lot of health issues following the end of his in ring career. Luger suffered a spinal stroke and the surgery that followed left him unable to move his arms or legs for a while. Thankfully a lot of the feeling in his arms and legs has come back since.
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