WCW closed its doors over 10 years ago when it was purchased by the WWF and as such the future looked bleak for cruiserweights. Never known for pushing its smaller talents the WWF and later WWE at least tried to have a cruiserweight division.
Shane Helms came in with the WCW Cruiserweight Championship and eventually dropped it to Billy Kidman. While Kidman had some decent matches, a year later he was the only wrestler known primarily for his work in WCW to hold the title. Eventually, the title, which was now known as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship was given to the renamed Gregory Helms and promptly forgotten for a year. Then it was given to Chavo Guerrero and forgotten for half a year. Finally, the title was put on comedy wrestler Hornswoggle and forgotten about until at least 2012.
However, what if instead of letting the title gradually die, the WWF instead brought in as many of WCW’s former cruiserweights as they could get their hands on? They’d probably book them horribly and the title would die anyways. Still, here is the top 10 WCW cruiserweights who never made it to WWF/WWE TV!
1. Jushin “Thunder” Liger
Despite holding the forgotten version of the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship, international sensation Jushin “Thunder” Liger never wrestled a single match on WWF/WWE television. Snagging Liger in the early to mid-1990s may have been ideal for two reasons. First, Liger was arguably in his physical prime. Second, Liger would have been an interesting fit during the New Generation Era. Even if the WWF didn’t give him a strong push just imagine the matches he would have had with Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and the 1-2-3 Kid just to name a few. Yet, Liger has had a lengthy career and would have been a strong presence even about seven or eight years later when the WWF absorbed WCW.
2. Alex Wright
I have often thought that if how successful a wrestler will be relied solely on their talent then Alex Wright would have had multiple WWE Championship reigns. I really wanted to put Wright at the very top of this list and would have, if it wasn’t for the undisputable awesomeness that is Jushin “Thunder” Liger. While it may be a little farfetched to say Wright could do it all, he had an impressive range both inside and outside the ring. Technical wrestling? Check. High flying ? Check. Ability to read the crowd? Check. Also, while his German accent might have annoyed some fans, he was criminally underrated in his interview skills. Don’t let the voice fool you! Wright was nowhere near Brakus territory.
3. La Parka
Just about anyone could see, especially in his later WCW career that La Parka was hardly just a skeleton. Although he may not have always technically been a cruiserweight, he pretty much exclusively wrestled against cruiserweights and that is good enough for me. La Parka was let go before WCW closed down and the WWF should have snatched him up then. Forget being solely in the cruiserweight division! The chairman of WCW would have fit perfectly into the WWF’s hardcore division! Even now it would be fun to see La Parka (or L.A. Park as he is now known) make a cameo in the WWE. Still, if La Parka never appears in the WWE, he at least is doing pretty well for himself in AAA.
4. Disco Inferno
Disco Inferno always seemed like he would be a better fit for the WWF than WCW. At least before Vince Russo came to the company, WCW was known as being more of a pure wrestling company than the WWF. Yet, even among the Dean Malenkos, Chris Jerichos and Eddie Guerreros, plenty of gimmick wrestlers with less than ideal workrates existed. I am not sure when Disco Inferno would have worked best in the WWF. He seems like he would have worked in the New Generation Era, but probably would have come off as bad as those occupational gimmicks that mid-1990s wrestling fans would like to forget. Since he at least had a personality and could be funny perhaps he could have worked as a manager for lower card guys after WCW was purchased.
5. Lenny Lane
Even before WCW saw fit to give Lenny Lane a gimmick and some mic time, I saw some potential in him. At that point on the surface all that stood out about him was that for some reason he wore tights with a Confederate Flag on them and looked like a Chris Jericho clone. Yet, if one actually paid attention to his matches then he or she would see what he was capable of. Oh well, at leasy you can still book him for your next birthday bash. Anyway, Lane would have worked best being brought in with tag team partner Lodi. At the time, the WWF actually had a tag team division and they would have made a great addition as a lower tier team. Think of them as Billy and Chuck, but a few years earlier.
While not being quite as handy in the ring as Lenny Lane, partner Lodi had one advantage that Lane did not. He probably could have worked in a greater number of scenarios. As mentioned he could have worked well as a lower tier team with Lane, but there is no reason to pigeonhole him. Just look how he transformed himself after his WCW tenure! With this look Lodi would have been good as a serious competitor in either the cruiserweight or hardcore divisions. With his old WCW look he also could have been a fun comedy wrestler. As long as they kept his mouth shut as anyone who has heard him talk can attest that his accent really doesn’t match his WCW look.
Probably one of the more sane guys you’ll find in wrestling, Jay Ross, the man who wore the mask of Blitzkrieg retired early his career to become a computer technician. He most likely has a comfortable life that is a lot less stressful than the life a typical full-time wrestler lives. Yet, the greedy side of me wishes he never left and at least went to TNA, if not WWF/WWE. While, I don’t think he ever spoke, Blitzkrieg could give a hell of a performance in the ring. So much so that he won Rookie of the Year from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards in 1999.
Damien or Damian 666 as he is known by his much cooler name, was a wrestler that stood out to me as soon as he came to WCW for purely superficial reasons. Simply put, he looked cool. Anyone who has followed his work in Mexico can attest that he is a flexible wrestler capable of working an array of styles. Damien can play a good henchman as his work in the Mexican stable, Perros del Mal demonstrates. In the WWE he could have worked in a similar position by filling the role of the cruiserweight in a heel stable. It is also worth mentioning that WWE showed interest in him well into his forties according to 411mania.com.
9. Villano IV
Villano IV from the Los Villanos stable of wrestlers was one of the bulkier looking luchadores in WCW. I always thought it was at least unique if nothing else that he had a clone more or less when they brought in partner Villano V. Together the two regularly teamed in WCW and were tough to tell apart. Perhaps they could have worked similarly in the WWF as a modern day Mexican Killer Bees team. Hold on a second. That either sounds awesome or completely terrible. I’m not sure which hence why he ranks at number nine.
10. Super Calo
Super Calo bumps Villano V from the 10 spot due mostly to his ability to make gang signs while wearing a mask and still looking completely non-threatening. Additionally, he even had a short stint in ECW proving that he could be extreme. Unfortunately, WCW never saw fit to give him a personality outside of wearing a silver mask and baggy clothing. Still, Calo was among the plethora of luchadores in WCW who viewers could always count on to have an interesting match. They helped to make that Steve “Mongo” McMichael promo that much easier to sit through.
Before someone bites my head off for not including Elix Skipper on this list, I’ll say flat out that Skipper should arguably rank in the top three or four. However, Skipper was signed briefly to a contract with the WWF and I think a few glimpses of him made it to WWF TV. Still, Skipper never had a proper run in the WWF/WWE giving me some reason to at least include him as an honorable mention. Since, I left him off of the list I figure that the least I can do is post this:
Photos 1-3, 8: en.wikipedia.org
Photos 4-7, 9-11: onlineworldofwrestling.com
Correction: Apparently Lenny Lane did make a onetime appearance on the WWE incarnation of ECW. However, he was never under contract and never appeared on either of the company’s two major brands.
Categories: Wrestling Lists