Top V Most Shameful Moments for WCW Stars in WWE

Last week at Wrestlemania, Goldberg lost the WWE Universal Title to Brock Lesnar, ending a run of six months in which the former WCW champion was treated....honestly, quite well by most accounts. Indeed, Rick and I have expressed a great deal of surprise at how strongly WWE has booked Goldberg since Survivor Series, especially since Goldberg's first run in the WWE was, as Rick noted, not all that impressive.

There is a long history of WCW / NWA stars coming to do the WWE and being given royal treatments by the McMahon's: Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, the Brainbusters -- hell, even that Mean Mark Callous turned out okay. Of course, there's also a tradition of former WCW / NWA stars being given lousy treatments by the WWF / WWE in terms of booking and presentation. So for this edition of Top V, I'm going to examine five of the worst examples of the McMahon corporation treating WCW talent how they originally treated Goldberg -- pretty shamefully.

One note here: I've focused on wrestlers who were mainly known as WCW talent prior to "going up north," so I decided to leave out guys like Shane Douglas, Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, and Rick Rude who moved back and forth between the companies. 

One more note: I'm trying to leave out as much about the Invasion as I possibly can because the Invasion sucked.

One final note: I'm sure I'm forgetting some other shameful moments, so if you think of anymore, let us know via Twitter @wrestlingshame or in the comments below or on Facebook.

5. Sting's Wrestlemania Match

Sweet Enola Gay....

So, let's get this out of the way: younger me was never really enamored with Sting. I think because as an 11 and 12 year old, I was becoming enamored with the heels of professional wrestling, and, as such, Sting struck me as a goofy character that I could never really get behind. And by the time he adopted his "Crow" Sting persona in the late 1990s, I was too into the NWO to find him all that compelling.

That said, I can't deny Sting's talent or his legacy -- both of which were pretty much tarnished by his horrible WWE run in 2014 and 2015. Sure, it started great with his appearance at the 2014 Survivor Series, but then came Wrestlemania and one of the most nonsensical matches in wrestling history and then another neck injury.

And let's talk about that match. Among the crimes present: the fact that the build-up of this feud moved from "Sting protecting wrestlers from the Authority" to "WWE vs WCW" for reasons that I don't understand; the match itself (which isn't that great per se, but I'll blame HHH for that); and the run-ins. I mean Sting did have an on-again, off-again relationship with the NWO and the NWO Wolfpack, but I can't believe that most wrestling fans associate the Stinger with the NWO. So why have Hogan, Hall, and Nash run-in? 

The irony of all of this is Sting avoiding coming to the WWE for years because he didn't trust the WWE  to treat his character fairly. And he was right. Because there were so many precedents.

4. Booker T & HHH's "People Like You" Promo

Speaking of precedents...

Look, professional wrestling doesn't have the greatest track-record when addressing issues of race. But it's hard to think of another segment as insensitive as this one. I understand that HHH is the heel in this narrative and a heel's job is to get heat upon himself -- but there's a line. And HHH manages to cross at least six of them in roughly six minutes in a promo in 2003.

The fact is that no one looked good coming out of this feud --- especially not Booker T. And while we here at Wrestling Shame generally write about the more ludicrous moments in professional wrestling, we certainly do not condone the reprehensible moments.

Frankly, the less written about this, the better.

3. Lex Luger Bodyslamming Yokozuna

Okay, back to the goofy.

This might be best served for another post, but Lex Luger wasn't as bad as people remember. In fact, I'd argue that if the former Penn State and Miami football player was booked better throughout his career, he'd get more respect from present-day fans.

Case in point: Luger's run with the WWE in the early 1990s. Originally signed as a commentator for the WBF, Luger was brought into the fold of the WWF / E by Bobby Heenan as the "Narcissist," who would pose in a full-length mirror before every match. And Luger was pretty good in this role!

Then Vince McMahon and company decided to turn him into the next Hulk Hogan.

Luger's face turn around this time didn't really work for a number of reasons and is probably worth a full treatment in a future post, but insofar as Wrestling Shame is concerned things went wrong with Luger's appearance at the Yokozuna Bodyslam Challenge -- a weird WWF/E event where various sports celebrities and wrestlers attempted to body-slam Yokozuna on a ring on the USS Intrepid.

If you've never seen this particular event --- oh man, are you in for a treat: you have Crush almost body slam Yokozuna, you have Macho Man attempt it while wearing perhaps the best / worst outfit of his career, and then Luger comes to save the day via helicopter.

Frankly, they should have blared "Ride of Valkyries" as Luger approached because this was a time before that Apocalypse Now reference was beaten into the ground.

2. The Ringmaster

At some point in the near-future, I want to do a What-If-Wednesday about the Ringmaster. You know, Steve Austin's first gimmick in the WWE. And in this piece, I'd consider what the implications of the wrestling world would have been if he'd kept the "Million Dollar Championship."

Insofar as early to mid-1990s gimmicks go, this isn't that bad, but seeing Austin in this role is frankly a bit weird. It's sorta like seeing a picture of your dad as a thin guy with hair. You recognize him, but at the same time you're very confused by "stranger" in the image.

Austin himself thought the gimmick was weak -- and it was -- but the WWE's suggestions were even less inspired: Otto Von Ruthless, Ice Dagger, Fang McFrost, and Chilli McFreeze. I am not joking --- although a Chilli McFreeze sounds delicious.

Anyway, the WWF / E gave a former WCW star a shameful gimmick --- but they could have somehow made it MORE shameful. You think about that.

1. Dusty Rhodes's Vignettes 

Whatever you think of him, it's hard to dispute the fact that Dusty Rhodes was one of the most entertaining and "over" wrestlers of all time. I feel like I'm hardly doing the man justice by saying that, but Rhodes was one of the best talkers and had one of the best personas of any professional wrestler.

It's also a testament to him that he was able to get over with WWE crowds in the early 1990s after Vince McMahon actively tried to destroy his legacy.

At some point, we at Wrestling Shame will have to address Dusty Rhodes in the WWE: the shameful attire, Sapphire, that theme song....but perhaps the worst aspect were the Dusty Rhodes vignettes that would air on Prime Time Wrestling in 1989. These sorta played-up Dusty's working-man persona, but I think they were designed to diminish Dusty's status as a wrestling legend.

I think the most shameful one is the pizza delivery man vignette. While I'm not from the South, it's clear that whoever wrote and directed these was attempting to mock Southern culture and Rhodes as well.

Unless pig's feet pizza with a little snout on the side is actually a thing.

*Googles it, sees the Dusty Rhodes video as the only hit*

God, pro wrestling is the worst.

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