Today, we’re going to be focusing on 8 WCW Stars that are doing terrible right now, and 7 Stars who did well for themselves in the business following their departure from WCW. The wrestling industry is a very tricky one to say the least, and you really cannot compare one wrestler to another in terms of success, as some simply make it big where as an equally (or even more) talented wrestler fails to do so for whatever the reason may be. It’s clear that some Superstars have better work ethics than others (hence why they continued to have success), and many WCW Stars simply didn’t work hard enough following the company’s demise in the early 2000’s to warrant a big spot in the WWE or elsewhere.
Every performers peak occurs at different times in Sports Entertainment, and quite a few WCW stars had already peaked before the company was bought out by Vince McMahon. There are so many possible reasons as to why some WCW wrestlers are doing terrible now, as it could be resulting from already peaking in the business, addiction, a poor work ethic, rubbing important people the wrong way, or simply just not getting the right opportunity at the right time. Money comes and goes, but one thing you’ll realize after reading this article is that many of the WCW Stars that are doing terrible now look pretty “washed up”.
15. Doing Terrible: Big Van Vader
Not only is Vader struggling financially now a days, but he’s also been struggling with his declining health – though his health has thankfully improved slightly recently and the original doctor’s report of Vader only having two years to live is slowly fading away. However, that doesn’t mean everything’s going well for the former WCW Champion, as he still relies on wrestling on the Independent circuit and in Japan to make ends meet at 62 years old (and nearly 400 pounds).
His health has declined pretty significantly over the past 5 years and it’s clear Vader’s not financially set at this point. Despite going through some hard times, Vader’s still one of the best heavyweight wrestlers of all time, and his legacy will live on even if he’s unable to continue wrestling in the near future do to his health.
14. Did Well For Themselves: The Bigshow
Although The Big Show has the reputation of being a “glorified jobber” in recent memory, he’s undoubtedly done fantastic for himself throughout his career. Following his departure from WCW in 1999, Big Show began to peak as a performer in WWE where he had multiple World Championship reigns and a steady work flow for over 15 years which speaks volumes in regards to Big Show’s work ethic. Staying away from substance usage, he has remained healthy and working hard for the premier wrestling company.
Big Show has been making well over a million dollars per year for his work in WWE, and with a net worth of around $20 million, he doesn’t have a trouble in the world at this point. Perhaps ‘Show had to put his pride aside in the later stage of his career because he was mainly utilized as a “jobber to the stars”.
13. Doing Terrible: The Nasty Boys
The Nasty Boys used to be one of the most popular tag teams in professional wrestling during their peak years in WCW and for a few years in WWE. Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags weren’t technical wrestlers, but their style of wrestling was entertaining to say the least. That being said, The Nasty Boys were infamous for being hard to deal with.
This included match that turned into a real fight after Jerry was hit in his injured neck and legitimately KO’d Scott Hall after believing Scott had hit him in the neck, even though it was actually Kevin Nash who hit Sags. The Nasty Boys’ relationship with WCW fell apart after Sags was released for his inappropriate behaviour, and they lost millions of potential dollars because of it. Sags suffered severe neck problems, and though he won a lawsuit against WCW, Jerry revealed it was barely anything.
12. Did Well For Themselves: Booker .T.
The former 6-time World Champion Booker T. has done very well for himself in the wrestling business. The Hall Of Famer has had a consistent work flow since his departure from WCW, and he’s been utilized by WWE over the years as an in-ring talent, color commentator, SmackDown GM and a consistent pre-show panelist.
Though Booker’s not making the kind of money he did during his prime wrestling years, he’s still making good dinero plus he wasn’t reckless with the money he made during his career hence why he’s still got plenty of “fat” to live off of. To top things off, Booker .T. also runs his own wrestling promotion “Reality Of Wrestling” in Houston Texas. Booker has also stated that he intends to run for mayor in Houston in 2019, so he’s got his hands full with fruitful work.
11. Doing Terrible: Scott Steiner
The former WCW World Champion Scott Steiner still relies on wrestling in gyms to make ends meet, so that should give you an idea of how things are going for “Big Poppa Pump”. Scott’s always been an outspoken individual, and had he been a bit easier to work with (plus if he had been in better ring shape), he would’ve been a success in WWE because he was given more than one opportunity to be a main player.
Instead, a short WWE main event run in 2003 was the peak of Scott Steiner following WCW’s demise, and he’s been a struggling Indie wrestler ever since (with a few runs in the second-tier TNA Impact Wrestling). Steiner looks pretty washed up now, and his constant wrestling schedule has obviously taken a toll on Scott’s body. Expect Steiner to continue wrestling on the Indies until he can’t do it anymore.
10. Did Well For Themselves: Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio undoubtedly peaked in the wrestling business after he departed WCW for WWE when the company was bought out in 2001. Mysterio was a solid Cruiserweight wrestler in WCW, but he was never featured as a main player nor did he make big money (he was barely making anything). However things turned around for Rey in WWE as he became a breakout hit and a guy who had multiple World Title reigns.
Mysterio was definitely one of the WWE’s best merchandise sellers, and on top of the big money he was already making from his annual contract, the merch cut he received was significant. Since departing WWE in 2015, Rey’s remained a top draw on the Indie wrestling scene as well as in Lucha Underground, and he’s still making handsome money, plus he was smart with the money he made in WWE – he’s loaded now.
9. Doing Terrible: Scott Hall
Scott Hall has tried his best to get his life back on track the past few years, and though he’s made quite a lot of progress and headway, he’s still got a long ways to go. Scott’s not as dependent on alcohol or other substances now, but his previously reckless lifestyle negatively affected his career and Hall’s overall life.
When WCW went under, I’d argue that Scott Hall had already peaked in the business, and he was slowly but surely becoming a shell of his former self with his poor choices. Scott Hall hasn’t worked consistently for years now, and quite a lot of the “big money” he made during his career as a top-tier Superstar in WWE and WCW is almost completely drained hence why he does meet & greets and other other wrestling related appearances now to make ends meet.
8. Did Well For Themselves: Sting
Sting was one of the franchise Superstars for WCW in the late 80’s and 90’s, and he was a “WCW guy” through and through. Considering Sting was a top-tier guy, he made good money each year from his contract, and he did so until the company went under. Although Sting didn’t jump over to WWE when WCW was bought out, he still found consistent wrestling work elsewhere in TNA Impact Wrestling where he was utilized as a top star once again.
Unlike other WCW wrestlers who are doing terrible now, Sting caught himself early on in regards to substance abuse, and he became a born-again Christian in ’98 after confessing to his wife that he’d had an affair and abused substances. He was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame. Sting’s in good health and has no money problems right now.
7. Doing Terrible: Lex Luger
Former WCW World Champion Lex Luger has had a struggling life once his time in the spotlight ended in 2001. Luger never relocated to WWE in March ’01, and considering he’d already peaked in the business before WCW sank to the bottom of the ocean, Lex probably wouldn’t have made a very big impact in a second WWE run anyways. Over the past 15 years, Lex’s career pretty much fell apart after ’01 due to deteriorating health and abusing substances.
A significant amount of Luger’s earnings from WWE and WCW was wasted because of his negative habits, and Lex’s poor health has caused him to be unable to wrestle anymore. Instead, Luger works for the WWE behind the scenes and attends various wrestling conventions to make ends meet, and though he’s not flat out “broke” right now, he’s not well off either.
6. Did Well For Themselves: Hulk Hogan
Now if this article had been made a couple years ago, there’s no doubt that Hulk Hogan would’ve been included as a former WCW star doing terrible. However, with a huge lawsuit victory over Gawker for a total of 140 million in 2016, “The Immortal” Hogan is doing great right now financially and health wise (he’s currently in great shape once again).
Prior to his big court room win, Hulk Hogan was financially strapped, and he revealed that he’d blew millions of dollars living a lavish lifestyle during his prime wrestling years (plus divorcement settlements). Now, Hulk Hogan can rest easy and enjoy the “good life” once again, and a return to the WWE in the near future isn’t out of the question either. For being the biggest star in the history of pro wrestling, it’s nice to know that Hogan’s doing well and isn’t struggling anymore.
5. Doing Terrible: Virgil
Virgil is without question a walking and living meme at this point. Having the reputation of being a bully towards fans at meet & greets, you’ll tend to find Virgil at wrestling conventions across the country where his table is barren of anybody besides the lone Virgil sitting in a chair looking as miserable as all get up. Virgil was never a huge star in wrestling, but he’s still a notable performer who spent multiple years working for WWE and WCW in the 80’s and 90’s.
However, Virgil obviously hasn’t saved much of his career earnings, hence why he’s at tons of conventions trying to sucker fans into buying an overpriced autograph or picture with his controversial tactics. Virgil is an example of a former wrestling “Superstar” that proves just because you’re on television for numerous years doesn’t mean you’re well off financially.
4. Did Well For Themselves: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is by far one of the most successful wrestlers in the history of Sports Entertainment, and his ability to stay relevant with the changing sport speaks volumes in regards to the kind of “once in a lifetime” talent Jericho truly is. When Chris was in WCW, he was widely under appreciated and misused, and it wasn’t until he jump shipped to WWE when his career began to really pick up and project upwards.
Within short order, Chris Jericho established himself as a top WWE Superstar. Since his WWE debut in ’99, Jericho’s been a huge wrestling star with multiple World Title reigns (most recently featured in a high profile match against Kenny Omega in NJPW), and he’s been successful outside the wrestling world with his touring band Fozzy. With a net worth of nearly 20 million dollars, Jericho’s done extremely well for himself.
3. Doing Terrible: Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn is mainly remembered by wrestling fans for his run in World Championship Wrestling between ’97-’01, and while wrestling for WCW, he captured their Television Championship once and the Tag Team Titles twice. Although Saturn was never a huge star, he was still widely seen on television, and he made decent money each year. However, when Perry’s time in the bright lights ended following WCW’s demise and a short run in WWE, Perry Saturn began working far less.
He eventually become addicted to drugs (methamphetamine) after an incident which caused Saturn to get shot in the back of the neck and in his right shoulder – Saturn even became homeless for an extended period of time due to his addiction. Perry’s also gone on record to state that he suffers from a traumatic brain injury due to wrestling that hinders his ability to work, and a GoFundMe campaign for 40k was launched last year to help cover living expenses and for Saturn to avoid homelessness (it was fulfilled).
2. Did Well For Themselves: Goldberg
Bill Goldberg is one of the biggest stars in the history of WCW (arguably the biggest). Bill was featured as a top-tier guy for the duration of his career even following his streaks end, and he made millions of dollars each year. Goldberg also had a brief run in WWE back in 2003/2004 where he captured the newly revived World Heavyweight Championship (a few more million dollars in the bank).
Between ’04 and ’16, Bill Goldberg kept a pretty low profile, and while he wasn’t working consistently, he and his family had no problem living off the fat Bill made during his career – he had enough for the rest of their lives considering he didn’t waste too much on frivolous things nor did he suffer from addiction. Goldberg then returned to the WWE in late 2016 up until WrestleMania 33 where he had a run as the Universal Champion, and again, another few million dollars to the bank. For being a “one trick pony” in wrestling, he’s sure done fantastic for himself.
1. Doing Terrible: Ric Flair
Despite being one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair has fallen on some hard times the past couple years with issues related to his declining health (and his declining bank account). It’s been very sad to witness Flair’s life slowly turn for the worse recently, and he really does look “washed up”. Ric’s only 68 years old yet he looks much closer to 80 due his lavish and reckless lifestyle.
When WCW was bought out by Vince McMahon, Flair was already well past his peak and though he found decent work in WWE and elsewhere throughout the last decade and a half, the problem is that Flair’s continued to live the lavish lifestyle despite not making the kind of dough he used to which has caused Ric to be financially strapped.
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