Thursday, September 29, 2022

5 Wrestlers Whose Careers Flourished When WWE Bought WCW And ECW (& 5 Careers That Died)

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At one point in the 90s, WWE, WCW, and ECW were three of the biggest wrestling promotions on the planet. The three companies featured some of the most iconic wrestling superstars of all time including Steve Austin, nWo, and The Dudleyz.


RELATED: 10 Wrestlers You Completely Forgot Had Multiple Runs In WWE

The WWE purchased WCW in 2001 putting an end to the Monday Night Wars. A few years later in 2003, the WWE also purchased the assets of ECW. The purchases not only changed the way fans consumed wrestling, but led to a long list of superstars rising to the top of the card. Other wrestling stars completely fell out of the world of wrestling. This list will examine five wrestlers whose careers flourished after the purchases and five whose careers died.

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10 Career Flourished: Booker T

Booker T carried the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to the WWE after the company purchased WCW. Unlike a ton of WCW talent that was buried by WWE creative in the years that followed, Booker T was a main event star at the company.

He ended up holding every major title in the WWE, except the WWE Championship. In 2013 Booker T was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a solo wrestler. His time in the WWE arguably supersede all his success in WCW since it helped him become a household name.

9 Career Died: Lex Luger

Lex Luger rose to prominence in the early 90s in the WWE. Luger was even the co-winner of the 1994 Royal Rumble. He joined WCW in 1995, which was a huge acquisition for the company when Luger arrived eight days after SummerSlam.

He was a huge star at WCW and held the WCW World Heavyweight Championship twice. The WWE was not interested in picking up Luger’s contract, and he fell out of the wrestling scene after WCW went away. He made sporadic appearances at Impact Wrestling, but overall the end of WCW was the end of his career.

8 Career Flourished: Rob Van Dam

The biggest star ECW brought to prominence in wrestling is Rob Van Dam. Although he didn’t have a world title run in the WWE until 2006, he was always one of the biggest draws at the company.

RELATED: 10 Things Fans Should Know About ECW One Night Stand 2006

Rob Van Dam was PWI’s number 1 wrestler on their list of 500 in 2002. Although he was “the guy” at ECW, he became the face of both ECW and WWE (that came to an abrupt end) when the company relaunched ECW in 2006. He became one of the most over-stars of all time and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2021.

7 Career Died: Vampiro

Vampiro wasn’t a big star at WCW, although he did have a ton of interesting storylines at the company. In 2000, he was voted one of PWI’s top 50 wrestlers, while at WCW.

The WWE had no plans to pick up his contract and Vampiro spent most of his time abroad in Mexico and Japan. Although he had a wrestling career after WCW, he never reached the level of his prime at the company before the WWE’s purchase.

6 Career Flourished: Ric Flair

Ric Flair had multiple successful runs in WCW and one in the WWE before the purchase of WCW in 2001. At one point, “The Nature Boy” was the biggest draw at WCW. He and Sting even fought the last match to ever air on an episode of Nitro.

Ric Flair, unlike other legends (like Arn Anderson), wasn’t buried by the WWE upon return. In fact, he arrived as one of the owners of WWE. He had a decent run as a suit and then helped establish Evolution with Batista, Triple H, and Randy Orton. He became a beloved legend in the WWE and wrote a great second chapter that still doesn’t seem to be finished.

5 Career Died: Buff Bagwell

Buff Bagwell made a decent impact as a member of the nWo. He was even once voted “best gimmick” by Wrestling Observer News. His career at WCW was great, and he held the WCW Tag Team Titles on six different occasions with four different partners.

His contract was picked up after the WWE purchased WCW, but his time in the WWE never amounted to anything notable. Although he did spend some time at Impact, his career never recovered after WCW went away.

4 Career Flourished: Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio was one of the most underutilized wrestlers at WCW. His match with Eddie Guerrero at Bash at the Beach 1997 has become iconic now, but overall he was severely under-appreciated. He was even unmasked at WCW.

RELATED: The Worst Entrance Theme Song These 10 Current WWE Wrestlers Ever Used

His arrival in the WWE in 2002 was met with great fanfare. From the moment he arrived, he was over with fans and that hasn’t waned in the two decades since his debut. Mysterio is one of the biggest names in the history of wrestling and WWE’s acquisition of WCW was the point his big push in the wrestling world truly began.

3 Career Died: Disco Inferno

Disco Inferno rose to fame at WCW. He held multiple mid-card titles at the company and was voted “best gimmick” by Wrestler Observer News in 1995.

Although he had lost a ton of steam at WCW by 2000, his career was pretty solid overall. After WCW was purchased by WWE, he spent time at Impact but never became a memorable name in wrestling like his days at WCW.

2 Career Flourished: Eddie Guerrero

Despite being one of the most talented wrestlers on the WCW roster, Eddie Guerrero never got the main event shine at the company. He carried the mid-card for two years but was never given a WCW World Heavyweight Championship run that would have changed the world of wrestling.

He left WCW (with the Radicalz) a little over a year before the WCW became defunct. His career trajectory in the WWE truly began in 2002, and he eventually became one of the biggest stars in the history of the WWE. The disappearance of WCW led to a rise in SmackDown viewers. Eddie became one of the biggest names in the history of SmackDown. He even won the WWE Championship competing for the brand.

1 Career Died: Stevie Ray

Harlem Heat is often considered the greatest WCW tag team unit of all time. Stevie Ray and Booker T held the WCW Tag Team Titles on ten different occasions.

Although Booker T became a huge star in the WWE, Stevie Ray elected to not sign with the WWE. He never wrestled a single match at the company, and he retired shortly after the WWE buyout. Harlem Heat was still inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019 making Stevie Ray one of the few WWE Hall of Famers who never wrestled for the WWE.​​​​


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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