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WCW's late 90's roster


Golga

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I'm not sure what compelled me, but in a fit of what I can only assume to be boredom I decided to hook up an old PSOne this evening and re-sample some classic gaming goodness. So with classic gaming on the mind, the first disc I popped into the little grey box was none other than THQ's critically acclaimed 3D wrestling simulation WCW/nWo Thunder.

 

Now I wasn't playing long before my nostalgic spirits began to dampen, prompting me to rip the console out and hide it away back in the cupboard, but if there was one positive thing I took from my brief session, it was the fond reminder of what a deep and colourful roster WCW had back then. With a quick cheat code I unlocked all the characters and it was incredible to see the star power they had at their disposal.

 

Excuse the long list (edit: I've condensed it into a paragraph), but here's the wrestling roster from the game...

 

Hollywood Hogan, Bret Hart, Sting, Lex Luger, Giant, Diamond Dallas Page, Raven, Saturn, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, Macho Man Randy Savage, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Chris Jericho, Bryan Adams, British Bulldog, Booker T, Dean Malenko, Wrath, Ultimo Dragon, Billy Kidman, Disciple, Chris Benoit, Scott Norton, Konnan, Jim Anvil Neidhart, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Buff Bagwell, Kanyon, Alex Wright, Eddy Guerrero, Hammer, Stevie Ray, Scotty Riggs, Horace, Rey Mysterio Jr, Lodi, Sickboy, Disco Inferno, Ernest Miller, Barbarian, Meng, Fit Finley, Reese, Chavo Guerrero Jr, La Parka, Eric Bischoff, Mean Gene, Miss Elizabeth, Arn Anderson, Bobby Heenan, Kimberly, Larry Zbysko, Sonny Oono, Steve Mongo McMichael, Kaz Hayashi, Jimmy Hart, Rick Rude, Enos, Juentud Guerrera, Psychosis, Rick Fuller, Ric Flair, Johnny Grunge, Rocco Rock, Glacier, Prince Iaukea, Vincent, Tony Schivone, Mike Tenay, Spice, Whisper, Tygress, Fyre, AC Jazz, Chae, Lee Marshall, Doug Dillenger

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That's not even all of it. You've still got people like Chris Adams and Doc Dean and Norman Smiley and other wrestlers who aren't British. A resurgent (in early 99) Barry Windham. John Nord. Marty Jannetty. Erm... Brian Knobbs. Rick Martel. Shima Nobunaga. A load of awesome luchadors who didn't get into the games. JERRY FLYNN.

 

It's probably easier to make a list of who wasn't in WCW at some point between 97 and 99.

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That's not even all of it. You've still got people like Chris Adams and Doc Dean and Norman Smiley and other wrestlers who aren't British. A resurgent (in early 99) Barry Windham. John Nord. Marty Jannetty. Erm... Brian Knobbs. Rick Martel. Shima Nobunaga. A load of awesome luchadors who didn't get into the games. JERRY FLYNN.

 

It's probably easier to make a list of who wasn't in WCW at some point between 97 and 99.

 

Warrior...Sid!

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It was indeed an amazing roster, especially if you count guys brought in short term, even for one night, or through relationships with other worldwide companies.

 

I've went on about it before, but the revolving door and their willingness to bring in all types, even just for a few weeks/months, and throw them into the limelight was a big attraction in WCW at the time. The midcard of a Nitro could often resemble a completely different show from one you'd watched just a month or two earlier, and it was always spot on if you liked variety in your wrestling shows.

 

On the flipside, they were generally pretty shite at marketing their wrestlers and packaging/promoting them as stars or characters. I guess they didn't need to, and was more a WWF thing, but it would've been nice. For the talent and money they had at their disposal, you'd have to say that the booking often left a lot to be desired, particularly (but by no means exclusively) towards the top end of the card as the nWo saga started wearing a bit thin with all the turns and whatnot.

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I've been working through 1996 and it's incredible seeing the amount of high calibre wrestlers who turn up. There was some absolute gems from that year, I'm not a workrate pervert by any means but I watched an episode today which featured Malenko/Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon/Thunder Liger, Benoit/Jericho, Luger/Valentine. Just such a strong line up and all were enjoyable matches.

 

Also after months of promos Glacier turned up. He had a few matches and was shite. Does he stay around much longer in 1997?

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I've been working through 1996 and it's incredible seeing the amount of high calibre wrestlers who turn up. There was some absolute gems from that year, I'm not a workrate pervert by any means but I watched an episode today which featured Malenko/Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon/Thunder Liger, Benoit/Jericho, Luger/Valentine. Just such a strong line up and all were enjoyable matches.

 

Also after months of promos Glacier turned up. He had a few matches and was shite. Does stay around much longer in 1997?

He was around for pretty much the rest of the millenium. Obviously never done much of note, apart from sell his gear to Kaz hayashi and his entrance to the Cat, then he turned into Mr Buzzcut as Buzz Stern or something to become a manager to a real shitty ham n egger for a few months in late '99.

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It was great. WCW's roster really started to expand around the time they started Nitro. Then last four years of the 90s was amazing in terms of both name value and diversity of styles and something I don't think we'll ever see again.

 

WCW "originals", Britwres stars from the glory days, ex-longtime WWF workers, traditional Japanese heavyweights, territory era Southern-style brawlers, luchadores, shoot-style practitioners, ex-AWA guys Bischoff knew from his early years, New Japan Juniors, 90s Indies types, Joshi stars, ECW Originals, Japanese indie stars and the new breed of WCW Powerplant style workers were all represented at some point in those 96-99 years. Really the classic example of having a bit of everything.

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It was indeed an amazing roster, especially if you count guys brought in short term, even for one night, or through relationships with other worldwide companies.

 

I've went on about it before, but the revolving door and their willingness to bring in all types, even just for a few weeks/months, and throw them into the limelight was a big attraction in WCW at the time. The midcard of a Nitro could often resemble a completely different show from one you'd watched just a month or two earlier, and it was always spot on if you liked variety in your wrestling shows.

 

On the flipside, they were generally pretty shite at marketing their wrestlers and packaging/promoting them as stars or characters. I guess they didn't need to, and was more a WWF thing, but it would've been nice. For the talent and money they had at their disposal, you'd have to say that the booking often left a lot to be desired, particularly (but by no means exclusively) towards the top end of the card as the nWo saga started wearing a bit thin with all the turns and whatnot.

 

This. A thousand times.

 

WCW hit the nail on the head in terms of rotating talent, bringing people in and not having to sacrifice pushes. A lot of people tend to look at the over-200-strong roster as a bad thing, and while financially it is, I felt it was brilliant in terms of always having fresh faces on TV. Even the nWo had a plethora of jobbers to feed to the machine (Vincent, Norton, Horace etc.).

 

I've probably went over the same territory a thousand times, but WCW WorldWide and Saturday Night are probably my favorite wrestling shows of all time. Where else can you get match-ups like Vincent vs. Marty Jannetty?

 

And of course, my eternal love, the mid-card luchadores (Villanos, Damien/Ciclope, Lizmark Jr., Hector Garza, Silver King, El Dandy and Super Calo). Words can't describe how much I love their presence on the B-shows. Add in Glacier, Blitzkrieg, Jerry Flynn, Yuji Nagata and the other Japanese guys and you have the best show ever.

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And of course, my eternal love, the mid-card luchadores (Villanos, Damien/Ciclope, Lizmark Jr., Hector Garza, Silver King, El Dandy and Super Calo). Words can't describe how much I love their presence on the B-shows.

If you liked all them, you nearly had another show you would have probably loved, as they toyed with the idea of running their version of Superastros in early '99, which would've been amazing.

 

They only made one show I think, from Waco, and it was definitely taped and featured all the usual luchadors along with a few others brought in like Rey Misterio Sr, Venum Black and Felino, as well as some so-cal indie names like SuperBoy & co. I think it even featured 2 or 3 non-Mexican WCW midcarders like Jericho too.

 

Granted, you wouldn't have had much of the variety of an ordinary show, but it would still have been class.

 

Shame it never got off the ground

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From a 1999 Yahoo Group.

 

WCW LATINO TAPINGS

WCW will be unveiling a Hispanic version of their product; Konnan is the head

booker, and the first taping took place this past Wednesday in Waco.

The following notes are from the WCW Latino tapings that took place last

Wednesday night:

"I live in Waco and last night I had the opportunity to go to the event and I

must say even though I dont like WCW very much it was a very good show. It

lasted about 4 hours with them taping three shows. The big faces of the night

were Konnan, Rey Misterio Jr., Silver King, and several others. It was very

interesting, and I think WCW is very serious about the program because they had

many very beautiful Hispanic women playing a sort of Nitro Girls thing. They

also had a group of wrestlers who were the rivals to the Luchadors: it was Chris

Jericho, Norman Smiley, Johnny Swinger, Lenny Layne, Kaz Hayashi, and Fit

Finley. They acted like a clique. Of course, the best part of the show was how

Jericho worked the mic and to watch him wrestle is almost worth the price of

admission."

 

EDIT: OH GRAHAM CAWTHON AND YOUR WEBSITE OF WRESTLING MAGIC, HOW I LOVE YOU!

 

WCW @ Waco, TX - January 27, 1999 (2,433)

Festival de Lucha taping:

Silver King, Venum, & Kendo defeated Felino, Villano V, & Super Boy

La Parka, Salsero, & Super Calo defeated Damian, Halloween, & El Mosco

Blitzkrieg, Raul, Piloto Suicida defeated Villano III, Texano, & Rey Mysterio Sr.

Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr., & Hector Garza defeated Juventud Guerrera, Pirata Morgan, & Psicopata

Salsero, Raul, & Piloto Suicida defeated El Mosco, Felino, & Juventud Guerrera

La Parka, Kendo, & Blitzkrieg defeated Kaz Hayashi, Ron Rivera, & Psychosis

Villano III, Texano, Rey Mysterio Sr., & Villano V defeated Pierroth Jr., Ricky Santana, Fidel Sierra, & Psicopata

Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr., Hector Garza, & Silver King defeated Chris Jericho, Lenny Lane, Johnny Swinger, & Norman Smiley

Konnan defeated Disco Inferno

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Funnily enough just this morning I watched "Janiter" Jim Duggan defending his TV Title (which he found in the trash) against Robert Gibson from the Rock n Roll Express and thinking how brilliantly random the whole thing was. Saturday Night was a great show.

Check it out, not a straight set of eyes between them.

 

 

Just realised the match is from 2000, not the late 90's, but anyway...

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He hangs around until 1999 or so before coming COACH BUZZ STERN, in a High School Wrestling coach gimmick after selling his Glacier gear to Kaz Hayashi on an episode of Nitro (don't ask).

 

Fascinated by this, I Googled "Glacier sells gear to Kaz Hayashi". This thread was the top result.

 

Did that lucha show ever air? It sounds great!

 

EDIT: Someone on the deathvalleydriver board mentioned that they didn't even bother advertising it as a lucha show and just ran their normal local advertising. Apparently the crowd turned up expecting all the big stars and weren't happy. WHICH MAKES IT SOUND EVEN BETTER!

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