1. Booker T
Booker T was a fixture for WCW for many years as a tag team specialist alongside his elder brother Stevie Ray. They were collectively known as Harlem Heat. The two were a dominant team who fought top tier teams such as the Outsiders and Steiner Brothers. They were also at one point managed by legendary manager Sherri Martel.
Booker was pushed as a midcarder with several World Television Championship reigns and a a reign as the United States Champion.
While Booker T would eventually end up as the Shawn Michaels of Harlem Heat, Stevie Ray would be the Marty Jannetty of the team.
It was not until near the end of WCW that they began to push their younger talent. Booker won his first title on July 9, 2000 at Bash at the Beach against Jeff Jarrett. Earlier, Jeff Jarrett lost to Hulk Hogan but Vince Russo later nullified the win and cut a scathing promo on Hogan.
Booker would go on to win three more world titles in the dying days of WCW. This included him winning the world title in the final episode of Nitro while being the United States Champion. This was against "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner.
Booker T went out with a bang and came out as a dual champion in the very last Nitro.
2. Scott Steiner
Like Booker T, Scott Steiner was a long time tag team specialist. He was teamed up with his brother Rick and their team was aptly named "The Steiner Brothers."
The Steiners were good amateur wrestlers from the University of Michigan. They are proud of this fact by coming into the ring with University of Michigan gear.
The Steiners were a legendary tag team that have been around the block. Aside from WCW, they have been to the World Wrestling Federation, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling.
In WCW, the Steiners feuded with other legendary teams such as The Road Warriors and Harlem Heat.
Despite being buff, Scott was quite agile for his size. He was also an excellent grappler because of his amateur wrestling background.
Scott betrayed Rick on February 22, 1998, at SuperBrawl VIII. It was Rick that started off the match quite well and quickly dispatched Hall and Nash. When Scott went into the ring to do their trademark pose, he clubbed his brother. He also decked their manager Ted Dibiase. It was a three-on-one assault and Rick was soon overwhelmed by the numbers.
The very next night on Monday Night Nitro, Steiner came out looking like "Superstar" Billy Graham. A lot of people did not recognize Steiner and thought it was a new wrestler.
Steiner marketed himself as a "genetic freak" and as a "ladies man." He would spend a lot of time posing and being flocked with gorgeous women.
He would beat Booker T and become world champion. Steiner would go on a path of destruction and would kayfabe injure a lot of WCW's top stars. He would often come into the ring clad in chain mail and with a lead pipe on hand. He would come into the ring accompanied by Midajah and a bevy of different women.
Steiner is best known for his unique brand of promo where he is totally unfiltered and speaks his mind.
3. Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page is known today as the guy behind DDP Yoga.
Through his program, he has helped a lot of people become healthier and live better. This includes his fellow wrestlers such as Scott Hall and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
Dallas took an unconventional road and became a manager first before becoming a wrestler. Managers are usually retired wrestlers or part-timers.
DDP began his journey in the American Wrestling Association as a manager in 1988. He managed the tag team champions Badd Company (Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka). He also managed Madua and Curt Hennig.
He then took his talents to Florida Championship Wrestling and became a color commentator. He also made his professional wrestling debut there in 1989.
Upon FCW's demise, Page went to WCW and once again resumed his managerial duties. He also trained at the WCW Power Plant. Page made his wrestling debut in WCW at the age of 35.
While initially booked as enhancement talent, Page worked his way up and became world champion.
DDP has feuded with some of wrestling's greatest like Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage.
Wrestling was so hot during DDP's prime that there was even a tag team match that saw DDP and Karl Malone face Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman.
Everyone wanted to get in the action.
Steve Borden was the man called Sting and has undergone several transformations in his WCW stint.
His first gimmick was the surfer gimmick. Hailing from Venice Beach, California, this was the perfect gimmick for him. Sting was a fan favorite due to his energy and charisma. Sting was made when he beat Ric Flair for the world title.
Sting was the standard bearer of WCW for many years. His dominance was only challenged when Hulk Hogan defected from the WWF and arrived in town.
When Hogan arrived, he was given the dream match with Ric Flair and a shot at the world title at Bash at the Beach 1994. Hogan dispatched Flair and became the world champion.
Despite being a babyface, fans soon turned on Hogan. He turned heel at Bash at the Beach 1996 when he was revealed as the third man and betrayed his long time friend Randy Savage. This was the genesis of the New World Order.
The nWo ranks seemed to grow every week. WCW seemed helpless against the invaders.
Sting then adopted a persona that was similar to The Crow. He started descending from the rafters with a baseball bat in hand. He would confront the New World Order and serve as the leader of the WCW resistance.
There was a year long buildup to Sting vs Hollywood Hogan at Starrcade 1997. Though the match was not as good as hyped, Sting was able to capture the world title and dealt a major blow to the New World Order.
The New World Order began to have a rift between Hogan and Nash. This led to two factions - nWo Hollywood and White and nWo Wolfpac. The Wolfpac was the face faction and had Sting and Lex Luger. This gave birth to Wolfpac Sting. This was Sting with red facepaint. He was more fun loving than the serious avenger of justice that was Crow Sting.
For a brief time, WCW tried turning Sting heel and this did not work out.
Sting and many of the older talent were not featured as much in WCW's dying days as they desperately tried to push younger talent.
Sting reappeared for the very last Nitro and was in the main event bout. This featured him against the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
This was a fitting end to Sting's WCW career.
5. Bill Goldberg
Bill Goldberg is best known for his 173-0 winning streak, which is one of the greatest winning streaks in professional wrestling history.
With this streak, Bill Goldberg has beaten legends such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Diamond Dallas Page, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Sting.
He would win the world title against Hollywood Hogan at the Georgia Dome in front of his fellow Georgians.
His long winning streak was finally broken in controversial fashion by Kevin Nash.
There was a lot of controversy with this booking decision as many felt the streak should have gone longer.
Goldberg matches would typically last under five minutes and he would decimate opponents with a spear and jackhammer.
Goldberg was a product of the WCW Powerplant; he was trained by DeWayne Bruce.
While a lot of things went right for Goldberg such as his winning streak, intense demeanor, ring entrance and theme music, Goldberg was green in the ring and this led to him ending the career of Bret "The Hitman" Hart when he kicked Hart in the back of the head.
© 2020 Jan Michael Ong