There is no denying that World Championship Wrestling had become a shell of itself and lost a record amount of money in a twelve month period. Despite the company not achieving much success financially and their writing for television often left fans confused, I decided to sit down and rank the top ten wrestlers for WCW from that year. Hopefully my list isn’t as confusing as the television product.
10.) Ric Flair
The Nature Boy competed in-ring for WCW from January until June, but had a substantial six month period. During that time, Flair defeated Terry Funk at Superbrawl in a death match, lost to Hulk Hogan at UnCensored, reached the finals of a tag team tournament with Luger losing to Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell, lost to Shane Douglas at Slamboree, and defeated his son David Flair at the Great American Bash. Flair would win his final WCW World Championship from Jeff Jarrett in May. However, Flair’s career would come to an end on June 12th when he lost to Vince Russo and David Flair in a handicap match. Flair actually had his hair shaved after the match. Ric would return to WCW television by the fall as the on-air authority figure.
9.) Diamond Dallas Page
DDP started the year feuding with Buff Bagwell over his wife Kimberly which saw DDP lost a last man standing match. He’d return to WCW television in April aligning himself with the Millionaires Club. DDP entered a feud with Jeff Jarrett over the WCW World Championship which culminated with a triple cage match also involving David Arquette. By the summer, DDP had best friend Kanyon turn on him and begin to act like him. DDP returned by the fall and teamed with Kevin Nash to win the WCW Tag Team Championships as the Insiders.
Da Man made his return to WCW at the Great American Bash as a heel joining forces with the New Blood. Goldberg’s run as a heel saw him destroy Jim Duggan on Nitro, feud with Kevin Nash over Scott Hall’s contract, and lose to Booker T on Nitro. The heel run lasted about two months before Goldberg returned to being a good guy. Goldberg lost to Scott Steiner at Fall Brawl and shortly afterward was forced to recreate his undefeated streak in order to ever get another WCW World Championship match. Thus, Goldberg defeated the likes of Kronik in a handicap match, Shane Douglas, Meng, Bam-Bam Bigelow and Lex Luger. Goldberg defeated Luger at Mayhem and Starrcade. Goldberg was one of the few guys to truly feel like a major star for WCW since their roster was depleted.
Sting returned to action at UnCensored defeating former friend Lex Luger. As mentioned previously, Sting won a lengthy feud with Vampiro that saw Sting get lit “on fire” at the Great American Bahs. Sting had a few attempts at the WCW World Championship against Jeff Jarrett, Sting and Scott Steiner, but failed to win the title. Sting was easily the most over face in WCW and oddly enough didn’t get a run with the WCW World Championship. He may have been the most mismanaged talent in WCW for the year. By the fall of 2000, Sting was taken out of action by Scott Steiner and wouldn’t return to WCW until the final Nitro.
6.) Mike Awesome
Awesome was the ECW World Champion when he came to WCW in April 2000. Awesome was presented in strong fashion by attacking Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan within the first few weeks of his WCW career. He had a brief feud with WCW United States Champion Scott Steiner, but failed to win the title. Awesome had several matches with Lance Storm over the WCW United States Championship that saw Awesome beat Storm three times at New Blood Rising, but get screwed over. Awesome had a few character changes going by Fat Chick Thrillers, That 70s Guy and then joining Team Canada after feuding with them for several months.
5.) Kevin Nash
Big Sexy started 2000 feuding with Terry Funk and almost ending his career at Souled Out. He also had a feud with Sid Vicious over the WCW World Championship before taking time off for a few months. Upon his return to action in the summer, Nash found himself feuding with Jeff Jarrett and won the WCW World Championship at the Great American Bash. Shortly after that, Nash feuded with Goldberg over the contract of Scott Hall. Nash regained the WCW World Championship in August defeating Booker T, but lost the title at Fall Brawl. By the winter months, Nash was teaming with DDP as the Insiders to win the WCW Tag Team Championships. Nash had a busy year winning championships and a few face/heel turns, as typical with Vince Russo writing.
4.) Lance Storm
Despite debuting in WCW in June, Storm had an impressive six month period. Shortly after his debut, Storm held the WCW United States, Cruiserweight, and Hardcore Championship. Storm remained undefeated for several months, which was a rarity in WCW during this time. Storm would feud with the likes of Mike Awesome and Hugh Morrus over the United States Championship. He also had good TV matches with WCW World Champion Booker T and Sting. By the end of the year, Storm was feuding with Ernest Miller and won their match at Starrcade. Storm lost a lot of momentum at New Blood Rising when he lost to Awesome three times, but he was still strongly presented on television afterward.
3.) Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett started 2000 as the WCW United States Champion and by April won the WCW World Championship. Jarrett won the WCW World Championship several times from April to July before losing the title to Booker T at Bash at the Beach and never regaining it again. Jarrett was presented as the top heel in WCW. Jarrett had several good matches with Booker T to elevate Booker into the main event scene. Jarrett had a few matches with Sting on television that saw him victorious. Jarrett won the first ever triple cage match to regain the WCW World Championship in May. Jarrett ended the year winning at Halloween Havoc, Mayhem and Starrcade. 2000 may be the strongest non-TNA year that Jarrett had in his career in terms of success with championships and being relevant to a company.
2.) Booker T
The first quarter of WCW saw Booker T feuding with Stevie Ray over his name and the new Harlem Heat with Big T. Then, Booker suffered an identity crisis going back to GI Bro in June. However, his career took a turn for the better in July when he won his first WCW World Championship by defeating Jeff Jarrett. Booker had successful title defenses against Mike Awesome, Lance Storm, Goldberg, Sting and Shane Douglas. Booker lost the WCW World Championship to Vince Russo in September due to Goldberg involvement. However, he regained the title from Jeff Jarrett on Nitro. Booker would lose the WCW World Championship to Scott Steiner at Mayhem in a Caged Heat match and would be off television until early 2001. Booker’s second half of 2000 was highly entertaining and it was great to see Booker being presented as a main event act.
1.) Scott Steiner
Steiner made his in-ring return to WCW in March 2000 after being off television in January and within a month won the WCW United States Championship. Steiner was nearly an unstoppable force in WCW as champion and was actually stripped of the championship instead of losing it. Steiner retained the title against Hugh Morrus, Mike Awesome, Shane Douglas, and Vampiro. Steiner’s biggest victory was against Goldberg at Fall Brawl after locking in the Steiner Recliner. They would have a rematch inside a steel cage two weeks later that Goldberg won. Steiner won his first and only WCW World Championship by defeating Booker T at Mayhem inside Caged Heat. Steiner ended the year feuding with Sid Vicious and won their match at Starrcade. Steiner was by far the most interesting and entertaining character on WCW television throughout 2000. You just never knew what to expect from Steiner and that made for great television. His run as WCW World Champion was great, too.
Who would make your top ten list of WCW wrestlers in 2000? Feel free to share them!
Thanks for reading.