The 10 Greatest Superstars in WCW History
Now before we begin, kids, I want to say that the WCW Nintendo 64 video games will never be topped. Those were the greatest video games eeeeever.
I am basing most of my criteria on what wrestlers accomplished after the separation from NWA. So Dusty Rhodes, Nikolai Volkoff, etc. will not be found.
If that taints your own list, feel free to make a list of your own. I didn't get cable until WCW was running as its own entity.
After compiling this list it's pretty obvious WCW didn't create too many stars. Five of the 10 wrestlers were stars in a previous promotion before coming to WCW.
I apologize to everyone who was expecting to see Rip Rogers on the list, he didn't quite make it.
This list is not going to count down the best pure wrestlers. It's not going to count down the greatest characters.
It is counting down the most influential, recognizable, noteworthy wrestlers in the company's history.
WCW was a great promotion and had many influential moments in wrestling history. This list pays tribute to the 10 best wrestlers in WCW history.
10. Arn Anderson
"The Enforcer" began his career teaming with Ole Anderson becoming one of the most devastating and dominating teams of their time.
Ole and Arn started an alliance with Tully Blanchard and Ric Flair, they went on to become the greatest faction of all-time.
Arn won his first singles title in 1986 winning the television title. Arn then teamed with Tully Blanchard and won the tag team titles in 1987. Arn Anderson may go down as the greatest tag team wrestler ever.
After a brief run with Blanchard in WWE, Anderson returned to WCW. Anderson reformed the Four Horsemen and won the TV title again. Anderson found himself teaming again, this time with Larry Zbyszko.
The Horsemen dismantled and remantled about 15 more times and Arn found himself teaming with about 15 tag partners in between.
Before Arn called it quits, he had one last run with the Arn Anderson title (TV title) and gave his "spot" as the enforcer of the 4 Horsemen to Curt Hennig before calling it quits.
9. Ricky Steamboat
World Heavyweight Champion. Four-time US champion. Four-time TV champion. 12-time Tag Team champion. Those are the accomplishments of Ricky Steamboat.
One of the few wrestlers to be a babyface his entire career. Sorry, TNA doesn't count.
After spending some time in the WWE, Ricky came to WCW and began the legendary feud with Ric Flair. Some considered these matches to be the greatest of all-time. Steamboat feuded with Lex Luger for the US title then departed back to the WWE.
In 1991, Steamboat returned to WCW and dominated the title scene yet again winning the tag team title with Dustin Rhodes and the US title from Rick Rude.
He then went on to defeat Steve Austin for the TV title. Sprinkle in another tag title with Shane Douglas and defeating Paul Orndorff for the TV title, and you got yourself a healthy career.
In 1994, Steamboat entered into another feud with Ric Flair over the Heavyweight title, almost winning it yet again.
Steamboat went on to beat Steve Austin yet again but this time for the US title before being fired by Eric Bischoff while injured.
Steamboat was always considered one of the best wrestlers in WCW during both his runs. He won every major title they had and put on the best matches.
Steamboat would be higher on the list had he not been seen as someone to help put other guys over during his final run with the company.
8. The Great Muta
As a kid just beginning to watch WCW when I got cable, I was scared of the Great Muta.
He was initially booked as an unstoppable heel.
Muta defeated Sting for the WCW TV championship and I was genuinely shocked when he lost it to Arn Anderson. It was the first time I had seen him lose a match.
Muta feuded with all the top stars in the company including Flair, Luger, and Sting.
Muta finally won the WCW title towards the latter part of his career with the company.
Muta returned during the Monday Night Wars to joy the nWo Japan. He wasn't as dominant during this time although he did win the tag team titles with Vampiro.
Muta will always go down as one of the most dominant heels in the company, coming a very close second to the next man on our list.
7. Big Van Vader
What a debut Vader had with WCW. Perhaps the most elaborate entrance in WCW up to that point.
He wore the mask in the picture shown above, he then took the mask off and smoke shot out of it. It was awesome at the time.
Vader would go on to be the most dominant wrestler in WCW history.
Ric Flair won more titles, Hogan put himself over more, but nobody was booked to be as dominant in the ring as Vader.
Vader won the WCW title from Sting, he broke a jobber's back, and sent Nikita Koloff into retirement.
6. "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan
The WWF's greatest star left WWE in 1993 and took a few months off before joining WCW. He was given a parade, no joke.
Hogan won the world title from Ric Flair in his debut match. Rumor has it, Vader was supposed to beat Flair for the title and feud with Hogan upon his debut.
Flair became the head booker and changed those plans. Now I'm rambling...
Hogan dominated the main event scene before turning on the fans, although some would say they already turned on him, and saved his career by creating the nWo with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.
After reinventing himself, Hogan became one of the biggest stars in wrestling yet again. Hogan took part in perhaps the most important match in WCW history when he lost his world title to Sting at Starrcade.
This was also perhaps the greatest-booked feud in the company's history.
Hogan ran into a conflict with newly hired head writer Vince Russo and left the company.
Hogan helped bring a mainstream audience and coverage to WCW and perhaps was one of the main reasons there was a successful Monday Night War.
5. Road Warriors
No matter what Team 3D tries to tell you, or what Jim Ross will convince you regarding the Hardy Boyz, the Road Warriors are the most successful tag team in wrestling history.
Sorry, Bubba Ray, but winning the WCW tag team titles while in the WWE doesnt make you a WCW tag team champion.
The team was innovative and helped propel tag team wrestling to a main-event level.
The Warriors were involved in some of the promotions most notable feuds including feuds with Steiner Bros, 4 Horsemen, and the Midnight Express.
The Warriors always dominated the tag team scene while in the promotion and were legit main eventers.
The team bounced back and forth between the WCW and WWE for years while still keeping their popularity and dominated both promotions.
At a time when WCW lacked star power the Road Warrior were seen as one of the faces of the company.
The Road Warriors were on par with Sting on a popularity level and will always be thought of when the name WCW is brought up.
4. Steiner Brothers
The Road Warriors were the most successful tag team of all-time but the Steiners, in my opinion, were the greatest tag team ever.
I ranked them ahead of Hawk and Animal because of the success both had as singles wrestlers.
Both Steiners were at one point and time considered for world title runs, and I am not talking about when the team broke up, I am talking about while they were teaming.
When one would get injured the other would go onto singles success winning titles on their own.
Scott Steiner even beat Ric Flair during Flair's dominance over the company.
Scott Steiner awed crowds with his innovative moves and always delivered a quality match. The team held both the US Tag Team titles and the World Tag Team titles.
After a stint with the WWE, the Steiners returned to dominating the WCW tag division while still both having major singles success, something unheard of in the company.
Finally, the team was split with Scott joining the nWo and later becoming world champion while Rick had success of his own winning the US title.
The greatest tag team of all-time and one of the critical pieces of WCW's growing success.
3. Lex Luger
WCW's answer to Hulk Hogan. No one will say Luger is a pure wrestler, he was always given his spot because of his look.
Luger was truly the Total Package. He had the perfect body for a wrestler and when he wouldn't stumble over his words he had decent mic skills.
Luger won every major title in WCW and was always chasing the world title during his entire career.
Luger's partnership with Sting was probably the longest running storyline of all-time.
Luger won the world title as both a babyface and a heel. Luger may be the only homegrown talent WCW ever had.
Luger was given his first major push joining the Four Horsemen. He also won the US title during this time. Luger was given an even larger push when he turned babyface and feuded with the Horsemen.
He won the tag team title with Barry Windham defeating Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard.
Luger was the longest reigning US champion in company history. Luger won the world title defeating Windham and in the process turning heel with Harley Race and Mr. Hughes.
Luger left WCW for WWE and upon his return feuding with Hulk Hogan both as a heel and babyface. He eventually joined the nWo and recruited his buddy Sting.
Luger will be remembered as the "first shot" by WCW in the Monday Night Wars, turning his back on a verbal deal with WWE to shockingly return to WCW on Nitro's premiere episode.
Luger will always be remembered as a man after his own needs but will also be known as a staple of WCW and one of their greatest stars.
2. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair
Wooo! There isn't much that can be said that hasn't already been said regarding Ric Flair.
Some will argue that he should be the greatest superstar in WCW history. It will be hard for me to argue against them.
Flair is perhaps the most successful wrestler in the promotion's history. He had the most memorable feuds and the best matches.
He did more for the company by putting people over and making them look good than anyone before or after him.
Flair was part of the greatest faction. Flair was part of the greatest matches with Steamboat. Flair was part of one of the greatest feuds in the company against Sting.
Flair IS WCW. When he was a babyface he was one of the most popular. When he was a heel he was by far the most hated wrestler.
Flair was a 16-time world champion and the most repsected wrestling ever.
This is....Sting! Imagine being voted the most popular wrestler in the world by PWI magazine with a 1/4 of the audience that runner up Hulk Hogan had? That tells a lot about the Stinger.
The one thing Flair lacked that Sting did not was that Sting was always the first person you thought about when thinking of WCW.
Sting never left the company. Sting was the most popular wrestler his entire run with the company and that is saying something.
He reinvented himself as The Crow character and helped WCW defeat Raw in the Monday Night Wars for numerous months.
Sting won every title the company had on numerous occasions and was so important to the company that he would appear on television and pay per views even when injured because he was in such high demand.
His feuds with Luger, Flair, and Hogan were legendary. His title runs were never huge successes or long but it was because it did more for him to chase the title than hold it.
Sting and Ric Flair wrestled the last match in WCW history which is fitting. Sting will go down as the most popular wrestler ever and the face of a company.