The level of competition during the Monday Night Wars allowed most relevant wrestlers to spend time in both WWE and WCW. Any performer that felt underpaid or underutilized could make the jump to another thriving promotion on national television. The use of the wrestlers would clearly see that most talents had it better in one of the companies. WWE knew how to use certain wrestlers well, but quite a few were better off in WCW.
We will look at just what stopped the careers of these talents from reaching similar success in WWE. They range from legendary names that dominated title pictures to underrated cruiserweights that tore it up in the ring. WWE didn’t know how to get them over as well as WCW did when comparing their careers. Find out just which talents wish WCW lasted longer as these are ten wrestlers WCW used way better than WWE.
10 Kevin Nash
Kevin Nash achieved success in both WWE and WCW throughout the 90s. The WWE run of Nash as Diesel featured him winning the WWE Championship and having a long run. However, it was little compared to the success he would achieve in WCW.
An argument can be made Nash was as valuable as Hulk Hogan to the New World Order which made them WCW take over the ratings war. Nash showed more charisma from his natural personality rather than playing Vince McMahon’s perception of a cool face. The WCW run took him to the next level from superstar to legend.
9 Rick Rude
The career of Rick Rude is remembered fondly for runs in both WWE and WCW. Rude was arguably the best heel in WWE during the 80s, but he never received a true top run. A talent like Rude should have had a world title run or at least took part in a WrestleMania main event.
WCW did find better success with Rude as their top heel in the early 90s. Rude had three tremendous reigns as the WCW International World Champion with great matches against the likes of Ricky Steamboat, Ric Flair and Sting. It was Rude being used to his fullest potential.
The past few years have seen WWE allow Goldberg to end his career in dominant fashion. However, that wasn’t the case when Goldberg joined the company in his prime. WWE had Goldberg on the roster for one year in 2003-2004, but it was a huge disappointment with the dominant wins not coming as easily.
WCW booked Goldberg as an unstoppable monster that destroyed everyone put in front of him. Goldberg’s undefeated streak of winning 173 wins, including a world title victory over Hulk Hogan, made him one of the greatest stars in company history.
7 Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner always was viewed as a WCW star even though he had a couple of stints in WWE. The tag team of Scott and Rick Steiner dominated the WCW throughout their run together in the tag division. Scott however took his career to another level when the team ended with a new heel character.
The WCW Championship reign of Steiner cemented him as a star on his own. WWE fans were excited to see Steiner during his debut in 2002. Unfortunately, the momentum ended right away during an all-time terrible feud with Triple H. Steiner’s singles run was a huge disaster as he never had another chance at the main event picture.
6 Ultimo Dragon
The WCW cruiserweight division spotlighted some of the most talented wrestlers from all over the world. Ultimo Dragon was a shining example of this after incredible stints in Japan and Mexico. WCW brought him into the company when he had a collection of belts from various promotions.
Dragon’s matches with Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho and many others stole the show when given a chance. WWE hired him in 2003 following the success of the fellow masked wrestler Rey Mysterio. Dragon didn’t have the same success as most of his matches came on secondary show Velocity before his release.
5 Diamond Dallas Page
WCW fans fell in love with the work of Diamond Dallas Page during the Monday Night Wars. Page was an unexpected breakout star that thrived in the most important run of his career. The world title reigns, main event matches and countless memories made DDP a legend for WCW.
WWE would bring Page over as one of the few top names from WCW in the Invasion storyline and sadly ruined him right away. A horrible gimmick as the stalker of Undertaker’s wife Sara would see DDP get squashed before fans could welcome him. Page had an undercard run for most of his WWE career.
4 Dean Malenko
Dean Malenko was arguably the most gifted technical wrestler in WCW. The run of Malenko would never reach the main event picture, but he had classics as a top star in the cruiserweight division. Malenko consistently received television time and thrived in his role.
A jump to WCW with the rest of the Radicalz was made with the hope of bigger goals. Malenko would not be used as well as Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit and was instead phased off television faster than expected. WWE didn’t know how to make up for the lack of charisma and gave up on him.
The early 90s of WCW featured underrated main event storylines with many of them featuring Vader. Fans enjoyed rooting against the big man during his great feuds against Ric Flair, Sting and many others. Vader was agile for a big man which allowed him to provide better matches against smaller guys.
WWE signed away Vader in the mid-90s with expectations of even more success given Vince McMahon’s track record of pushing monster heels. Vader was not a favorite of him once he started wrestling with Vince not liking his style or look. WWE gave up on the push quickly to move him into the mid-card.
2 Road Warriors
The tag team of Animal and Hawk are often a top choice when discussing the greatest tag teams in wrestling history. Fans know them as different names since they went by the Legion of Doom in WWE and the Road Warriors in other promotions including WCW.
Most would agree the WCW run was better as the Road Warriors were treated as a top act. They even faced off with singles main eventers teaming like Ric Flair and Arn Anderson or Sting and Lex Luger. WWE pushed them, but it was not the same as they viewed tag team wrestling of less importance.
1 Lex Luger
Lex Luger had the look that every promoter wanted in a top star during the late 80s and early 90s. The jacked physique, long hair and athletic background gave Luger an instant push in WCW. Ric Flair helped him look good enough to thrive early on.
WWE signed Luger away as Vince McMahon planned to have him succeed Hulk Hogan as the new face of the company with a patriotic face character. Fans just didn’t gravitate towards Luger which ended the push and canceled world title plans. WCW signed Luger back and he found more success in his home promotion as a consistent main eventer for the rest of the 90s.