Forgotten Stars: The 10 Least Memorable Stars During the Demise of WCW
I haven't done an article in a while and I thought seeing as I have done one article predicting the future in professional wrestling and two articles about what each the WWE and TNA are doing right and wrong I thought it was time to take you back to the past.
As wrestling fans we like to look back and I thought I'd make sure this wasn't like other nostalgic articles. So I've chosen to list off the 10 least memorable stars to be aboard the sinking ship that was WCW in 2000 and 2001.
WCW had stars who had memorable moments in that era such as Kevin Nash, Booker T, Scott Steiner, Diamond Dallas Page, Sting, Ric Flair and even Jeff Jarrett, So here's a list of ten stars that aren't that memorable.
If you do remember them then you must have a long memory and you were a big WCW fan.
So enough rambling on and on, most people probably aren't going to read this anyway. Let's get started!
10. Ernest 'The Cat' Miller
"Somebody call my momma," it's The Cat!
Ernest Miller was pretty athletic. He played football in his youth as well as being a karate instructor. In fact, Ernest was the karate teacher to Eric Bischoff's son Garrett when Bischoff asked Miller to become a wrestler (Funny where you find your talent sometimes right?).
Miller was popular back in the day. With the gimmick as a cocky James Brown impersonator, his character was so over that WCW actually got James Brown to appear at SuperBrawl 2000 and dance with Ernest Miller.....seriously!
The Cat never won a title and never appeared in any memorable matches. Yet WCW thought his character was worthy enough of a special celebrity appearance from soul legend James Brown (And people wonder why this company went bust!).
It's because of this moment and the popularity of his character that puts Ernest Miller the highest on this list.
Miller would go to WWE after WCW's demise. Again, he did nothing special apart from one Royal Rumble appearance in 2004.
Miller would then go on to do nothing until once again coming out the woodwork and appearing in the Academy Award nominated film "The Wrestler" as Mickey Rourke's nemesis.
I've seen the movie and had no idea it was him. So that's the main reason he's on this list, someone else may have recognised him from the start but I didn't and this list is subjective.
9. Evan Karagias
If there was one word to describe Evan Karagias it would be... unfortunate.
Karagias started out as a jobber and here's an interesting fact—he holds the dubious distinction of losing the largest proportion of televised matches as a solo wrestler. To put that into simple terms, of the nearly 50 televised matches Karagias wrestled he won...8!
Karagias did have some success though winning the Crusierweight title at Mayhem 1999 defeating Disco Inferno (of course by then the title wasn't as prestigious as when the likes of Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio Jr were holding it). He had a memorable way to lose the title though!
At Starrcade 1999, Evan Karagias wrestled Madusa (better known as Alundra Blaze) for the Crusierweight title and he lost. Now here's where I'll state that I'm not sexist—but to lose the championship to a woman who technically shouldn't be eligible to compete for the title is ridiculous and buries your character quicker than Mohammed Hussan was buried.
Evan Karagias also feuded with Oklahoma. If you don't know who that is then I'll explain it like this—Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara's petty childishness epitomised in one character who mocked beloved announcer Jim Ross.
Karagias was then saddled with a boy band gimmick with Hardy Boyz BFFs Shannon Moore and Shane Helms called 3 Count. They had success winning the WCW Hardcore Championship from Brian Knobbs when all 3 men pinned Knobbs at the same time and won the title....as a group! (Back in 2000 and 2001 Russo and Ferrara took the wrestling rulebook and figuratively urinated all over it).
With a resume like that, it's no wonder Evan Karagias seldom wrestles anymore and is now focusing on an acting career.
If I told you this man had the gimmick of someone mentally insane would you believe me?
Chris Ford became known as Crowbar when he debuted in WCW and was placed in a faction with David Flair and Daffney (good start). The group had the gimmick of being mentally insane while Crowbar's shtick was he liked to go for high risk moves when he really shouldn't.
The group won the WCW World Tag Team Championships and dropped the title quickly to The Marmalukes, Big Vito and Johnny the Bull on WCW Thunder...so nobody saw it. No matter though because Crowbar then co-won the WCW Crusierweight Championship with Daffney in a mixed tag match against the late great Chris Candido and Tammy Lynn Sytch when Daffney pinned Tammy.
So naturally to determine the undisputed Crusierweight Champion, we had to see a match between Crowbar and Daffney (I bet fans couldn't wait to see that!). Daffney inadvertently beat Crowbar thanks to interference by Chris Candido, making her the second woman to win the Crusierweight championship when she shouldn't have been eligible.
After facing David Flair a few times in the obligatory feud with your former tag team partner, Crowbar set his sights on the most valuable prize he could think of....the WCW Hardcore Championship (this will be a recurring theme). Crowbar became Hardcore Champion and eventually lost the title to Terry Funk who was passing through WCW for whatever reason. He was probably on his way to killing a wild boar and eating it with his bare hands (Because Terry Funk is awesome!).
Crowbar was released in March of 2001, just before WCW closed it's doors making him still eligible to be on this list.
What is Crowbar doing today? Apparently he still wrestles but I'd keep an eye on the guy bagging your groceries next time to see if he starts headbanging and tries a moonsault of the till.
7. Norman Smiley
This is another popular character from back in the day.
When Smiley first wrestled in WCW he was a face known for his signature dance "The Big Wiggle," which he would do after knocking his opponent down. He then went a bit further and added a spank to that dance where he'd get his opponent on his hands and knees, straddle him then spank him repeatedly (I'm not making a smart comment about that).
Smiley eventually turned heel and was basically given the gimmick of a snobbish European. His most memorable moment was destroying an insane Chavo Guerrero Jr's wooden toy horse Pepe by feeding it into a wood chipper (this oddly was copied by WWF when Raven did the same to Perry Saturn's mop which he called Moppy).
Smiley's only championship success was of course the WCW Hardcore Championship, which he won twice and had the two longest reigns in the championship's short history.
Smiley's popularity grew while he was in the Hardcore division due to his character being scared of being hit by weapons. Smiley would come out in protective gear—like shown in the picture—to protect himself during his matches. It was funny as in both of his reigns Smiley was shown as a reluctant champion who would try to lose his matches but would somehow retain.
I'm going out on a limb here and I'm possibly going to give Russo credit here but that is genius and comedy gold.
Now Smiley is a trainer down in FCW where he also makes televised appearances as an authority figure.
6. Horace Hogan
Well Nick Hogan wasn't going to carry on his father's legacy was he? so it was all down to Horace.
Horace Hogan only had two memorable moments in WCW after his debut in Raven's Flock.
The first was during Hulk Hogan's amazing feud with the Ultimate Warrior in 1998, in which Hulk Hogan attacked his own nephew in a brutal beat down and sent Warrior a message that he's willing to destroy his own family for the sake of his wrestling career (insert Hogan Knows Best joke here).
In a bit of booking that had nothing to do with Russo but still made no sense, during Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior epic 5 star showdown at Halloween Havoc 1998, Horace would interfere on his Uncle's behalf and help him get the victory because...he loves him I guess despite being busted open by him.
The other memorable time for Horace Hogan was in 2000, where he feuded with his uncle (which Russo probably saw as money making gold as he would have Ric Flair feud with his son too!). Horace then refereed Hulk Hogan's attempt at putting young talent over when he faced Billy Kidman and Hulk won cleanly. Hulk really didn't understand what it meant to put young talent over did he?
Apart from those two moments in 1998 and 2000. Horace did nothing else really noteworthy in WCW and because I feel I'd better mention it—he competed in WCW's amazing Hardcore division.
What's Horace doing now?....Not a lot it seems. I'd imagine he's staying away from his uncle before he gets a phone call saying "Brother Brother Brother you want to come to TNA and interfere in my World Title Match with Sting Brother?"
5. The Harris Brothers
Yeah, tag teams count as one.
Now this is another example of Russo and Ferrara's petty childishness because The Harris Brothers (named Don and Ron) when they debuted on WCW television were known as Gerald and Patrick. This was a shot at Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson who at the time played Vince's Stooges in WWF.
The Harris Brothers were known as Creative Control, which is another shot but I don't know who at. Creative control is a term in a wrestler's contract which states they have control over their character and how they are portrayed on TV.
Don and Ron joined NWO 2000 and acted as Jeff Jarrett's enforcers, which a decade later would be replicated by TNA with two young talents called Gunner and Murphy.
The Harris Brothers are legit twin brothers who didn't use the heel twin tag team move of switching places which is probably due to them having different tattoo's on their arms.
The teams success came from 3 tag team title reigns, none of which were memorable.
Now Don Harris works in TNA as Head of Security and Ron Harris began working for a Christian Rock Label, both are retired from professional wrestling.
4. Mike Sanders
Mike Sanders was Above Average which if you think about it is a stupid nickname when you consider how cocky heels have been named "Mr Perfect" and "The Man of 1,000 Holds" while Mike Sanders was just above average? Well considering that I don't remember him he couldn't have been that great.
Sanders formed a faction called "Natural Born Thrillers" which boasted future main event WCW stars like.....anyway, it had a lot of members and Sanders was seen as the mouthpiece for the group, something which WCW saw as better than his in-ring ability as his only championship reign was a Crusierweight Championship that lasted 2 months.
He beat Ernest Miller once to become WCW Commissioner where his talent for talking was better used. (On a side note, notice how the majority of these stars are either a WCW Commissioner or Hardcore Champion?). He lost the role back to Ernest Miller and then became obsolete.
He pretty much was just placed in short lived tag teams and feuds until WCW was bought out.
After retiring from wrestling, Mike Sanders used his speaking skills to become a stand-up comedian which is something he can be remembered by.
3. Lenny and Lodi
I assure you I didn't get this picture from a gay porn site.
Lenny Lane and Brad Cain (or Lodi) were placed under three different tag team gimmicks in their one and a half years as a team. That's impressive WCW booking!
They started as "The West Hollywood Blondes" (does the name sound familiar?). I bet Steve Austin would've claimed copyright on that if he wasn't so busy whoopin' some ass and raisin' some hell in the WWF. They were a heel team who were implied to be gay at the start of their run and then later revealed to be brothers—which was controversial. They rarely won.
The gimmick was dropped after numerous complaints from GLAAD about how a heel team who are gay are heavily booed and how the crowd wants to see the team beaten up incited homophobic behaviours and encouraged violence against gays. Which I think is true and these two didn't have the worst gay gimmick (Foreshadowing!).
So they were repackaged as "Standards and Practises" a team who opposed the adult themes that were seen in WCW. (Again sound familiar?). I bet Stevie Richards would've claimed copyright if he wasn't busy doing the exact same gimmick in the WWF. The team is memorable for introducing Miss Hancock who was the team's secretary and was played by the drop dead gorgeous Stacy Kiebler.
They didn't win much either mostly because Miss Hancock would perform a sexy dance in the middle of a match that would distract not only their opponents but Lenny and Lodi as well (Which the WCW audience probably would've accepted if they hadn't seen these guys play homosexuals a couple of months before). Kiebler knew the team was going nowhere so she left them to find a real winner in David Flair.
They were repackaged one more time as '2XS' who were two hard rock partyers who wore just jeans and came up to Van Halen ripoff music. (Which is at least original but it doesn't stop it sucking). The team were short lived though and they were both released.
Now, Lodi has battled and overcome drug problems and still wrestles occasionally on the independent circuit. Lenny Lane pretty much does the same whilst also doing a weird wrestling business where your friends set you up to be attacked by a wrestler who then challenges you to an impromptu match wherever you are (odd and slightly genius).
2. Kwee Wee
This picture also didn't come from a gay porn site.
Alan Funk is this man's name and he portrayed a character named 'Kwee Wee' who was dressed all in pink and acted very eccentrically but oddly enough wasn't gay. He had a manager named Paisley who he demonstrated his heterosexuality with for us.
The only thing to say about Kwee Wee was that he later developed an aggressive alter ego named "Angry Alan" who he would turn into when he got angry like The Incredible Hulk.
There is really not that much to say about this man or character. He didn't have any other highlights or interesting things about him.
So, I will say that although the character wasn't gay he was portrayed as eccentric and effeminate while still being a heel. There was only one man who could pull off the heel gay character and that was "Adorable Adrian Adonis." That was only because it was the 80s and Adonis really played that character well. I can see why GLAAD would be annoyed with anti-gay feelings in pro-wrestling especially when so many kids watch.
In WCW, they had Lenny and Lodi and Kwee Wee. in the WWF they had Goldust (who wasn't gay but he wasn't straight or bi either he was just Goldust). And even recently TNA had Orlando Jordan with his bisexual gimmick which was just wrong. Not because he was a bisexual but because he was a sexual predator. Orlando Jordan molested men in the ring and performed fellatio on anything!
The WWE in 2004 tried making Rico a gay face which I quite liked as he was over and he was popular but he was so over the top. I remember once in a match with Rikishi where Rico actually sat in the corner because he wanted a stink face....eww! Basically I just don't think a sexual preference should be made into a character in pro wrestling at all.
Back to Funk, where is he now?
Be on the look out because his family misses him.
This is your number 1 folks!
Richard Cornell in WCW was known as Reno. He was billed as a shootfighter who fought in the underground clubs in Las Vegas hence the name "Reno." This guy is huge, I mean look at him. How can he be no. 1? because he was a part of the Natural Born Thrillers and was the least used member. He could've been so much more.
Another reason as you can see is because he was WCW Hardcore Champion but he didn't even win the title. Mike Sanders gave Reno the title after he lost to Sgt AWOL (or The Wall who misses out on being on this list for being remembered for having a stupid name and a botched match with Shane Douglas). Sanders reversed the decision and rewarded the title to Reno. I may have made jokes about the wrestlers on this list who won the Hardcore title but at least they won it. Reno lost the title to Crowbar.
Reno then had a feud with Big Vito which really illustrates the amazing stupidity in Vince Russo booking. First Reno was revealed to be dating Vito's sister. Then it was revealed that Reno and Vito were brothers (wait a minute if Reno and Vito are brothers and Reno is dating Vito's sister that means.....) no doubt Russo thought they're both big and bald so they could be brothers.
Reno and Vito formed an alliance when Vito saved Reno from an attack by KroniK. They formed a team until suddenly a big swerve in Russo's soap opera style where Reno turned on Vito and revealed he paid off KroniK to attack him so Vito would save him....which he obviously knew was going to happen. Well the feud ended when Reno (the heel) beat Big Vito (the face).
Reno then faded into obscurity until WCW ended in 2001. Richard Cornell then retired from professional wrestling in 2003 and I hope he is living a normal healthy life.
Well that's the end Readers, Thanks for reading through this and feel free to leave your comments about the stars. If you do remember them and I'm completely wrong go ahead and write it.
Also, mention any stars you think I've missed too.
Normally at the end of one of my articles, I end on an obscure Intercontinental Champion. However, seeing as this is a WCW article I'll leave you with an Obscure United States champion.
That's General Hugh G.Rection or Hugh Morrus or Bill DeMott the current trainer on WWE Tough Enough.
Demott was a two-time United States Champion and neither reign was very long or remarkable. He won the title both times from Lance Storm and lost it back to Storm once and Shane Douglas the other time.
Bill DeMott's crowning achievement in my opinion was being no. 1...thats right number 1-0...He was the first guy that was squashed by Goldberg and he started the undefeated streak that made Bill Goldberg a major player in WCW.