After doing the greatest champions in WWE/F history, I thought about the WCW.
I miss the days of the nWo, with Sting hanging in the rafters waiting to tear apart Hollywood Hogan. I miss the cruiserweights. I miss the great tag teams like the Steiner Brothers, the Outsiders, Harlem Heat and so on.
So I decided to make a list of who I feel were the greatest WCW Champions ever. I'd like to say that this will NOT include guys who won the belt in the WWF as it wasn't truly the WCW title because it wasn't under the control of the WCW anymore.
Here we go..
10.) Bill Goldberg (1 Reign)--
This was a late addition and honestly, it was slim pickings because for whatever reason, almost every WCW champion had a short run with the belt. Bill makes the list, however, because he was a dominant champ during his six month run with it.
Looking back, it's surprising Bill wasn't a multiple time WCW Champ, but it should be known that he was set up to chase the nWo throughout 2000, but he injured his forearm after he got a little over zealous in a spot where he was supposed to shatter the wind-shield of the nWo's limo. He wouldn't return before WCW went out of business.
This spot was between Goldberg, Nash and Bret Hart but the longest run between them is two months (Nash).
9.) Diamond Dallas Page (3 Reigns)--
Don't let the number of title reigns fool you--Page is another WCW champion who had notoriously short stints as the champ. In fact, during his three reigns, he held the title a total of 29 days combined. As a matter of fact, one Nitro in Fargo, ND, he lost the belt and regained it in the same night. That should show you the kind of state WCW was in back then.
Regardless, Page was a fan favorite and the "People's Champion" when he finally won the belt. Then, like everyone in WCW seemed to do, he went heel trying to protect it. I'm pretty sure WCW didn't know what a "face" was.
8.) "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner (1 Reign)--
By the time WCW started pushing underrated stars like Steiner, it was too late. Steiner took the reigns as Champion in late 2000 and had one of the most dominant runs in WCW history.
He put Ric Flair, Kevin Nash and Goldberg out of action and beat anyone in his path until the final Nitro, when he dropped the title to Booker T who was headed to the WWF.
Steiner was known for his outrageous behavior, imposing physique and the savage beatings he gave his opponents. It's a shame WCW didn't realize what they had in front of them before it was too late.
7.) Jeff Jarrett (4 Reigns)--
Another guy with incredibly short stints as champion. His first three reigns lasted a combined 22 days. Unreal. How did WCW even manage to keep viewers with a revolving door of champs like that?
Jarrett also seems like one of the more unlikely champs in WCW history, given that he was no higher than a mid-carder in his first run in WCW and with the WWF. Rumors had it that he was Vince Russo's boy, leading to his success during WCW's latter years.
Jarrett was also apart of the famous incident at Bash at the Beach 2000. Russo wanted Hulk Hogan to "do the job" and let Jarrett retain. Hogan, however, invoked his creative control and decided he would be the winner. Enraged, Russo told Jarrett to go out to the ring and lie down for Hogan. Hogan would reluctantly place his foot on Jarrett, winning the title. He would then cut a shoot (maybe) promo burying WCW. Russo would later come out, restore the title to Jarrett and publicly fire Hogan.
Ah, the good old days.
6.) Booker T (4 Reigns)
Book didn't become the 5 time, 5 time, 5 time, 5 time, 5 time WCW Champion until he hit the WWF, but he did have 4 in the original WCW.
Yet another guy who had short reigns--his longest being just over a month--he didn't even receive his push until the infamous Bash at the Beach moment, when Russo made a match between Booker and champion Jarrett.
Booker would feud with Steiner over the title, dropping it to him and later taking it from him before showing up in WWF with the big gold belt draped over his shoulder.
5.) "Macho Man" Randy Savage (4 Reigns)--
Macho should be higher but two of his reigns lasted just one day -- Jesus, WCW got impatient with their title switches -- losing to Hollywood Hogan both times.
His other two title reigns lasted just a month each, both times dropping the title to "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
Savage will more so be known for his outrageous attitude and wreckless style in WCW. He will be known for that insane beard and the "Team Madness" girls. And for dating a 22 year old porn-star during that time.
Half way through this list, I'm regretting my decision to write as WCW made some really terrible, terrible decisions with their World Title.
4.) Big Van Vader (3 Reigns)--
This mastadon will be remembered for not only his size, but his uncanny athleticism and mean streak. His first two reigns are marathon's compared to the other's on this list (his second reign was three months!!!!).
But seriously folks, his third reign was what put him here. A 21-month span of dominance where no one could take the big man down. And he beat some good ones: Cactus Jack; Sting; Ric Flair; Ricky Steamboat. You name someone and there's a good chance they were on the receiving end of a Vader Bomb.
Sadly, the big man would flame out, head to the WWF and have his character brutalized. Mismanagement is the theme here, folks.
3.) Sting (6 Reigns)--
"The Man Called Sting" went through entirely different phases in both his WCW career and run as WCW champion.
He was a fun loving, bleach-blond, colorful guy while he was battling the Nature Boy and the Mastodon in the early '90s. He then became the dark, brooding crow character that tortured Hollywood Hogan and the nWo. And then, somewhere along the line, he became a combo of the two.
Sting is recognized as one of the all-time greats, but his title runs have been lack luster. His longest reign was just four months and even when he was the biggest face on the planet (1997), he couldn't get a clean win over Hogan (thank you, creative control!).
2.) "Nature Boy" Ric Flair (7 Reigns)--
WCW's very first recognized Champion as an independent brand, Flair was the guy who kept WCW affloat in the early days. He was a huge draw and helped keep the company moving until the early days of the nWo.
He had a very respectable eight month run in late 1993-early 1994 but may have truly helped destroy the reputation of the belt by winning it twice in 2000 -- far after Flair had been phased out as a main player within WCW.
He did manage to have some tremendous matches with Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Terry Funk and Hulk Hogan as well as being the host of "Flair for the Gold".
1.) Hollywood Hulk Hogan (6 Reigns)--
Seven reigns if you count the Bash at the Beach incident. Hogan is one of a few credited with helping destroy the WCW. His backstage politics and ability to invoke his creative control clause are the stuff of legends.
Hogan makes the #1 one spot for one huge reason -- he was the catalyst for WCW when the nWo was formed. Hogan took the title right away (and rightfully so, in this case) and used it to build the nWo up as an unstoppable force. He cheated to retain every time. He did whatever he wanted because he was champion.
But as usual, his stranglehold wore thin as he refused to let go and he tarnished arguably the most important match in WCW history (Starrcade 1997) because he refused to put Sting over clean, effectively killing any momentum Sting had.
Looking back on this list, the name power is there but the overall value and quality is non-existent, except for Vader's 21 month run.
It's a wonder WCW went under..