Thursday, April 18

How Bad Was Their Finisher?

Reaching World Champion status in pro wrestling is a goal that many performers share. Sure, money is a big motivating factor for many wrestlers but at one point or another every wrestler dreams of being World Champion. During its existence, WCW had a locker room full of hungry performers waiting for their shot to be champion.



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5 WCW Champions Who Carried Their Belts With Pride (& 5 Who Didn’t Care)

While some WCW wrestlers recognized just how important their titles were, others didn’t care.

Only a select few of those performers would ever become WCW World Champions. When looking back at some former WCW Champions, it becomes apparent that not all of them were home runs. Some of those less-than-stellar champions did have good finishers though a few others had rather weak ones.


10 Ric Flair Was The Greatest NWA Champion Ever But A Weak WCW Champion

The Figure Four Is Iconic But Rarely Put Away Opponents

First Reign As WCW Champion

01/11/1991-07/01/1991

Total Reigns As WCW Champion

8

Finisher

Figure Four Leglock


Some fans might do a double-take when they see this entry. After all, we live in a time where Ric Flair has been painted as the greatest NWA/WCW Champion ever. While that may very well be true regarding his time as NWA World Champion, the same can’t be said for Flair’s reigns as WCW World Champion.

Flair held WCW’s top prize on eight occasions and honestly, none of those reigns were even close to his reigns as NWA Champion. Furthermore, Flair has one of the weakest finishers ever for such a huge star. His Figure Four leg lock is held in very high regard but Flair rarely won matches with the move, let alone World Titles.

9 Red And Yellow Hogan Got Old Quick As WCW Champion

The Vaunted Leg Drop That Beat Every Top Star In The Business

First Reign As WCW Champion

7/17/1994-10/25/1995

Total Reigns As WCW Champion

6

Finisher

Leg Drop


There is no denying that Hulk Hogan was the first truly transcendent talent in wrestling history. And while Hogan has a strong argument for being the greatest WWE Champion ever, that same can’t be said for him as WCW Champion. At least not the stale red-and-yellow version of Hogan.

“The Hulkster” wouldn’t become a great WCW Champion until he ditched his babyface ways and became Hollywood Hogan. Even after the character change though, Hogan still featured the most overrated finisher ever, the Leg Drop. Maybe in the 80s, Hogan’s leg drop looked the part of a devastating finisher. By the 90s though, the move was as played out as his babyface persona.

8 Bret Hart Holding The WCW Championship Never Quite Looked Right

WCW Even Made Bret’s Sharpshooter Lose Its Luster


First Reign As WCW Champion

11/21/1999-12/20/1999

Total Reigns As WCW Champion

2

Finisher

Sharpshooter

Much like Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart’s legacy in WWE and pro wrestling overall, was secure by the time he arrived in WCW in 1997. Still, many fans and wrestling pundits expected big things out of Bret in WCW. After all, Bret left WWE as the hottest entity in the wrestling business after the controversial Montreal Screwjob. On top of that, WCW was the top wrestling promotion in the country at the time.

Sadly, Bret never quite found his footing in WCW. “The Hitman” just never seemed to fit in well down south. Bret would hold the WCW Championship twice, with both reigns being subpar. Bret’s Sharpshooter finisher was still wildly popular and effective during his time in WCW but his presentation left a lot to be desired.


7 Lex Luger Had A Couple Of Uneventful Reigns As WCW Champion

The Torture Rack Was Always A Great Finisher Though

First Reign As WCW Champion

7/14/1991-2/29/1992

Total Reigns As WCW Champion

2

Finisher

Torture Rack

By all accounts, Lex Luger wasn’t exactly the greatest person during the peak of his career in the 90s. By all accounts today though, Luger has become one of the most genuinely good-hearted people in the wrestling business. In his prime, “The Total Package” seemed like a bonafide main event talent, though he sometimes struggled to prove it.


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WCW: Every Major Lex Luger Feud, Ranked Worst To Best

Lex Luger was presented as a huge star in WCW. How do each of his major feuds in the company stack up, when ranked from worst to best?

In WCW, Luger would be a two-time World Champion. His first reign in 1991 lasted 230 days but didn’t exactly feature any memorable moments. His second reign in 1997 featured a memorable title win but lasted less than a week. The quality of his reigns aside, Luger’s Torture Rack was one of the best-looking finishers in WCW history bar none.

6 The Giant Winning The WCW Championship Was Too Much Success Too Fast

The Chokeslam Looked Devastating Being Delivered By Such A Large Athlete

First Reign As WCW Champion

1/29/1995-11/6/1995

Total Reigns As WCW Champion

2

Finisher

Chokeslam


In any profession, too much success too fast can sometimes be a bad thing. The same is true in pro wrestling. The Giant’s early success in WCW is a great example of this. The Giant’s very first pro wrestling match ever took place at Halloween Havoc 1995 where he main evented against Hulk Hogan for the WCW Championship.

Shockingly, The Giant would walk out of his first match as WCW World Champion. Unfortunately, Giant’s first reign only lasted eight days total and his second reign was ended prematurely by Hollywood Hogan and The nWo. While The Big Show is closely associated with having a Chokeslam finisher, The Giant actually used it with greater success in WCW, where anyone rarely kicked out of the move.

5 Ron Simmons Had A Great Look As WCW Champion But A Forgettable Reign

The Powerslam Was A Weak Finisher Even In The 90s


First Reign As WCW Champion

8/2/1992-12/30/1992

Total Reigns As WCW Champion

1

Finisher

Powerslam

Sometimes, a proposed World Championship reign can look better on paper than in real life. In 1992, WCW opted to make Ron Simmons the first-ever recognized African American World Heavyweight Champion. The move garnered WCW a lot of positive attention. Unfortunately, Simmons was nowhere near ready for that spot.

Simmons was an incredible athlete but wasn’t charismatic on camera and had very little depth as a character. Furthermore, Simmons’ Powerslam finisher wasn’t anything to write home about. Simmons was a mid World Champion with a mid finisher during WCW’s most mid years.

Sid Wasn’t The Greatest Worker But His Powerbomb Was Always Impressive


First Reign As WCW Champion

1/24/2000-1/25/2000

Total Reigns As WCW Champion

2

Finisher

Powerbomb

There have been several performers throughout wrestling history who got opportunity after opportunity solely based on their great look. Sid Vicious was one of those performers. While Sid was an average worker at best, he was a physical specimen and had charisma spilling out of every pore on his body. This landed Sid enviable spots in WWE and WCW.

Sid was a former two-time WWE and WCW Champion. His two reigns as WWE Champion were forgettable but his two reigns as WCW Champion were even worse. Sid’s first reign only lasted a day before he was stripped of the title. His second reign was ended when WCW was rebooted and all the championships were vacated. Despite all that, Sid’s release Powerbomb finisher always looked devastating and believable.


3 Jeff Jarrett As WCW Champion Made WCW Seem Second Rate

The Stroke Had A Cool Name But Didn’t Look Too Devastating

First Reign As WCW Champion

4/16/2000-4/24/2000

Total Reigns As WCW Champion

4

Finisher

The Stroke

It’s hard to get pro wrestling fans to agree on anything. One thing many wrestling fans will agree with though is that Jeff Jarrett is one of, if not the worst WCW Champion ever. With all due respect to Double J, Jarrett winning the WCW Championship was the beginning of the end for WCW. Jarrett was a clear step down in status from everyone who had held that coveted title before him.


Related

10 Things Fans Forget About Jeff Jarrett’s Time In WCW

WCW had so many ups and downs with Jeff Jarrett’s career that it’s easy for things to get lost in the shuffle.

WCW would go out of business less than a year after Jarrett first became the promotion’s World Champion. While the company’s closure can’t be completely blamed on Jarrett, his time as champion certainly didn’t help. Neither did Jarrett’s weak-looking front facebuster finisher, The Stroke.

2 David Arquette Upsets Millions Of Fans By Winning The WCW Championship

Not Even Having A Finisher Didn’t Help His Case

First Reign As WCW Champion

4/25/2000-5/7/2000

Total Reigns As WCW Champion

1

Finisher

None


By 2000, WWE was as hot as ever while WCW was perhaps colder than ever in terms of popularity. WCW management was hoping Hollywood heavyweight, David Arquette could help bring some eyes back to the product. As a result, the questionable decision was made to have Arquette win the WCW Championship. The move remains one of the most polarizing in wrestling history.

Many fans at the time were furious. After all, Arquette was not a wrestler and didn’t even have a finishing move. Since the controversial decision though, Arquette set out to earn his dues in the wrestling business. He was a regular on the independent circuit up until 2020 when Nick Gage almost seriously injured him in a match.

1 Vince Russo Booking Himself As WCW Champion Was The Writing On The Wall

No Offensive Moves To Speak Of, Let Alone A Finisher

Vince Russo being interviewed as WCW Champion.


First Reign As WCW Champion

9/25/2000-10/2/2000

Total Reigns As WCW Champion

1

Finisher

None

Wrestling fans have seen their fair share of questionable champions over the years. However, there has never been a more egregious World Champion in any promotion than Vince Russo. Today, Russo is still arguably the most hated figure in pro wrestling history. Many fans even point to Russo’s time as WCW booker as the reason the company went out of business.

Whether that’s true or not, the fact is Vince Russo booked himself to win the WCW Championship in September 2000. Russo would hold the title for a week before forfeiting it. Russo had no offensive arsenal to speak of let alone a finishing move. He won the title by being Speared out of a steel cage by Goldberg. Though that’s probably a moment most fans try to erase from their minds.

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