WCW's 15 greatest losers
In wrestling, like in life, there are winners and there are losers.That goes double for WCW, where the locker room was so bloated with talent that guys were getting paychecks without ever having to leave the house.
WCW's excess of competitors meant that there were plenty of capable grapplers who weren't going to have the best of luck during the first hour of Nitro. After all, Goldberg had to beat somebody on his way to going 173-0. Still, the stars on this list — from Louisiana’s Lash Leroux to “Lightning Foot” Jerry Flynn — made losing look good.
A prerequisite to understanding the history of Kwee Wee is being familiar with Allan Funk. Funk was a tough grappler who competed on WCW Saturday Night and WCW Worldwide before reinventing himself as the pink-clad Kwee Wee. An eccentric personality, Kwee Wee was accompanied to the ring by former Nitro Girl Paisley, but never found himself in contention for any major championship.
The most memorable aspect of Kwee Wee’s character came toward the end of WCW in 2000 and 2001. The candy-coated pretty boy developed an aggressive split personality, unleashing “Angry Allan” whenever he got irritated. Unfortunately for Kwee Wee and his alter-ego, his feeble attempts at “hulking up” still didn’t change the course of his career. — KEVIN POWERS
The Barrio Brothers
There have been plenty of foreign menaces that made their way to American rings to get rid of the red, white and blue. Germans like Fritz Von Erich and Russians like Nikolai Volkoff terrorized American fans and their heroes.
But, for some reason, Cuban villains Ricky Santana and Fidel Sierra never found the same infamy. The Barrio Brothers came from Havana to WCW, where they were promptly demolished by every team they got in the ring with.
Things got so embarrassing for The Barrio Brothers that they decided to compete under masks as Los Especialistas. Their time under the hoods was nothing special, either. The Nasty Boys unmasked them after another defeat, leaving Sierra and Santana to deal with the shame of losing once again. — BOBBY MELOK
The second-generation Superstar stamp hasn’t been a guaranteed meal ticket for every competitor with a recognizable last name. Case in point: Scott Putski — son of WWE Hall of Famer Ivan Putski — a promising upstart who could match his old man when it came to “Polish Power,” but failed to fight his way into the main event on the strength of his family name?
Did Putski lack for anything? Not particularly. He was built, imposing and capable with his dad’s signature Polish Hammer. But when he wasn’t smashing scrubs on WCW Saturday Night, he was getting barreled over on Nitro. Particularly by Goldberg, who seemed to crush Putski every third week during his famed winning streak. It’s a wonder he didn’t have “Polish Power” imprinted on the bottom of his boot. — RYAN MURPHY
It’s unclear what misdemeanor earned Disorderly Conduct their name, though judging by the way the team meandered around WCW for years, loitering is a safe bet. As middling as the team moniker was, their individual names were even worse: Mean Mike and Tough Tom. The alliterative aliases were so painfully generic they’d be deemed inadequate for any e-fed worth its bandwidth.
Horrible handles aside, Mean Mike and Tough Tom helped anchor the lower ranks of WCW’s overstuffed tag team division and looked competitive against the likes of The Armstrongs and Los Villanos. The pair faintly resembled Kenny Powers and boasted a few impressive double-team maneuvers, but never posed a true threat to other WCW competitors. Maybe Disorderly Conduct was a perfect name after all. — JOHN CLAPP
The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea
A mainstay of WCW in the late ’90s, Prince Iaukea mustered a great deal of success early in his career. A tough grappler of Samoan descent, Iaukea defeated Lord Steven Regal for the WCW Television Title in 1997. Competing regularly during the exciting first hour of Nitro, Iaukea was recognizable and well-received by WCW fans. It seemed as though the young Prince was destined for a great deal of success — until 1999.
Trading in his Samoan royalty for a velvet coat and puffy shirt, Prince Iaukea became “The Artist.” Although he captured the Cruiserweight Championship twice, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea wasn’t anything more than a cheap knockoff of the R&B star. Although he was a gifted athlete, few remember WCW’s Prince for his in-ring abilities. — K.P.
At World War 3 1997, Raven introduced a new member of his Flock — Lodi. The Billy Idol lookalike was intended to fill the gap in Raven’s ranks left by an injured Stevie Richards. However, Lodi wasn’t quite on the same level as the former ECW Tag Team Champion and became a punch line amongst WCW fans. Although he didn’t have much in-ring success, Lodi was a charismatic competitor, routinely appearing alongside members of the Flock with comical signs.
After The Flock was disbanded, Lodi teamed with Lenny Lane. The duo was first known as The West Hollywood Blondes and later — under Stacy Keibler’s management — Standards and Practices. Lane and Lodi didn’t mount a great deal of victories and tried once again to reinvent themselves as XS. That too was short-lived and both competitors left WCW in 2000. — K.P.
A red-headed firecracker straight from Bourbon Street, Lash LeRoux was a “Ragin’ Cajun” who performed in WCW during the final years of the organization. In 1999, The New Orleans native battled with the Brooklyn-bred Disco Inferno over the Cruiserweight Championship, but was never able to pick up the title. The two later formed an unlikely alliance to face off with The Mamalukes, but the pair came up short at Starrcade 1999.
In 2000, LeRoux joined The Misfits in Action where he became Corporal Cajun and defeated Mark Jindrak & Sean O’Haire to win the WCW Tag Team Championships with Lieutenant Loco (a rechristened Chavo Guerrero). But the pair immediately lost the titles in an instant rematch. LeRoux eventually ditched the camo for Mardi Gras beads and alligator burgers, and remained with WCW until the company closed. — ZACH LINDER
“Big” Rick Fuller is a prime example of a wrestler who was far more talented than his meager win-loss record would suggest. Despite enjoying precious little success, the 6-foot-5 New Englander was a regular on late ’90s WCW programming and even landed in a few of the organization’s video game releases.
WCW fans may recall his straggly hair and shiny singlet with a design that could’ve been mistaken for Monster Energy Drink product placement. In between his many losses to Goldberg, Fuller managed wins against British tactician Doc Dean and a post-Raven’s Flock Sick Boy. Following WCW’s demise, he even ventured to Japan, teaming with the man who’d later be called Tensai. The duo was markedly better than Fuller’s equally massive but completely ineffectual WCW tandem with the super-heavyweight Roadblock. — J.C.
A ring veteran trained in mixed martial arts and kickboxing, the great nephew of the original Gorgeous George came to WCW in autumn 1999 as Beethoven wannabe The Maestro. Sure, he may have had the same flowing platinum locks as his famous great uncle, but Maestro’s matches wouldn’t win any beauty contests. He didn’t have many fans and the feeling was mutual. This Maestro only cared about The Three Tenors: Domingo, Pavarotti and the other guy.
The list of competitors that defeated this baroque musician reads like a who’s who of WCW’s biggest losers: Dale Torborg, Evan Karagias, Jerry Flynn, Prince Iaukea and Disco Inferno. Tank Abbot once clocked The Maestro in the skull, knocking him out in 12 seconds. And at SuperBrawl 2000, Maestro fell flat on his face after being stunned by the appearance of James Brown. Roll over, Beethoven. — Z.L.
At some point, WCW must have snatched up tag teams the same way panicked sugar addicts hoarded Twinkies back when Hostess was going out of business. How else can you explain the glut of average tandems — from The State Patrol to Fire & Ice — who never even came close to the WCW Tag Team Titles?
On top of that mediocre pile was the pairing of Robbie Rage and Kenny Kaos, two muscle bloated gym rats known as High Voltage. Bigger and more powerful than most WCW Saturday Night mainstays, Rage and Kaos could knock off less talented teams, but always came up short against serious competition like The Steiners and Harlem Heat. Eventually, as the team broke apart, Kaos managed to become a WCW Tag Team Champion alongside Rick Steiner, but so did Buff Bagwell’s mom, so who cares? — R.M.
“Who are you to doubt El Dandy?”
That was the query an insulted Bret Hart fired “Mean” Gene Okerlund’s way when the steadfast interviewer questioned The “Hit Man’s” glowing appraisal of the luchador. Unfortunately for Dandy, Hart was being facetious.
Occupying the low end of the cruiserweight totem pole (which was at the low end of the WCW totem pole), El Dandy flaunted a win-loss record that wasn’t nearly as impressive as his glorious chestnut mullet and round, well-fed belly. All of this may have belied the fact that El Dandy was something of a ladies man in his native Mexico. Unlike Alberto Del Rio, however, the luchador’s telenovela looks didn’t translate with American audiences who felt that his appearance — and his bizarre name — were out of place amongst WCW mesomorphs like Goldberg and Kevin Nash and even colorful lucha stars like Rey Mysterio and Psychosis. Nevertheless, we hear he’s a jam-up guy. — R.M.
Lenny Lane’s time in WCW wasn’t always a wrestling party. The buff Minnesota native showed up in 1996 and often found himself on the losing end of things. Desperate for a break, Lane took a payoff to help Chris Jericho keep his Cruiserweight Title away from Dean Malenko.
Lane held up his part of the bargain, but Jericho, a little peeved that Lane never returned the Loverboy cassette he borrowed, welched on the cash. Lenny tried to stand up for himself, but ended up locked in Jericho’s spine-stretching Lion Tamer.
The pigtailed grappler soon joined up with another hapless sap, Lodi. Lane found a modicum of success, capturing the Cruiserweight Championship. But he was mysteriously stripped of the title shortly after winning it and disappeared from the company during summer 2000. — B.M.
If you saw two guys that looked like Bill and Randy Mulkey walking down the street, you’d probably peg them for janitors or mechanics. But the mulletted Mulkey brothers were actually one of the most infamous tag teams in the southern United States.
Their notoriety came from their unbelievable losing streak. The blond brothers never even came close to winning a match. Any tag team that came through Jim Crockett Promotions ended up destroying the poor Mulkeys.
To their credit, the brothers stuck with it through all the beatings and got their day in the sun on March 29, 1987. Facing a masked duo known as The Gladiators, Bill and Randy pulled out one of the most improbable victories in wrestling history — their first. The phenomenon dubbed Mulkey Mania didn’t last long. The brothers lost in the first round of the 1987 Crockett Cup and were back to their losing ways for years to come. — B.M.
A staple of WCW’s thirdtier programs like WCW Saturday Night and WCW Worldwide, The Gambler seemed to go 0 and forever during his time in Atlanta. Walking to the ring in a slick satin jacket, The Gambler always displayed a hand of cards to the ring announcer who would then react as if he were impressed. Unfortunately, he didn't know when to fold them as The Gambler would undoubtedly be destroyed by his opponent soon after the bell rang.
All jokes aside, The Gambler was a solid, Arn Anderson-style (Arn beat the loveable loser too) ring mechanic who may have been more successful if WCW had dealt him a better hand. See what I did there? — JOEY STYLES
You might not remember that Jerry Flynn competed in WWE a year before debuting in WCW. You may not even remember him in WCW. Known as “Lighting Foot,” Flynn was a martial artist who had a string of successes on WCW Saturday Night before being recruited into Jimmy Hart’s First Family. Although an injury sidelined the karate expert, his most memorable rivalry came against another WCW martial artist, Ernest “The Cat” Miller. Defeating Miller and Sonny Onoo a in a Handicap Match as Uncensored 1999 was certainly a career highlight for Flynn as he soon became a punching bag for Tank Abbott.
“Lightning Foot” claimed to be a real fighter and displayed his abilities against the likes of The Wall. However, once he went toe-to-toe with Tank Abbott at Souled Out 2000, a knock-out at 1:39 left WCW fans laughing at Flynn. Not exactly the first martial artist you think of when it comes to WCW — he was no Glacier — Flynn last appeared on Nitro in 2000 being berated by Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo. — K.P.