5 Times Vince McMahon Completely Buried WCW (& 5 That He Put Them Over)
One of the biggest criticisms of Vince McMahon during his entire time running WWE was that he got a kick out of burying WCW talent and the company’s legacy for his own amusement. WWE dropped the ball on a few potential stories and talents due to Vince deciding to book them in a way that buried his former competition.
There have been some positive instances of McMahon attempting to get the best out of WCW entities. Vince is a businessman first, but his ego sometimes does get in the way of that intent. Find out which moments in WWE showcased each side of the boss’ mentality. The following examples show Vince both burying WCW and putting them over.
10Buried: Invasion Storyline
Vince McMahon showed no love to WCW when purchasing the company and instantly going with the Invasion angle. Most of the top WCW stars were staying under their AOL/Time Warner contracts until it expired to collect huge amounts of money at home.
Unfortunately, that led to WCW looking bad when trying to take over WWE. Even established names like Diamond Dallas Page and Buff Bagwell were treated like jokes. Steve Austin, Kurt Angle and others turning heel to join WCW made the company’s legacy look weak in the Invasion.
9Put Over: NWO Debuting In Big Fashion
One of the few WCW acts to get instant respect in WWE was the New World Order. Vince McMahon could have brought back Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in their prior WWE characters, but he booked the nWo as a huge asset returning to the industry.
The former top WCW act scored a huge win in their first match back over WWE’s biggest stars Steve Austin and The Rock. Fans cheering for Hogan forced WWE to change the nWo plans, but the group was pushed hard beforehand.
8Buried: Dean Malenko Feuding With Lita
The WCW cruiserweight division featured some of the best in-ring work in wrestling history. Dean Malenko was one name to thrive in the division for WCW, who just never had a fair chance at getting over in WWE.
The biggest story for Malenko came when he feuded with Lita during the Radicalz vs. Team Xtreme storyline. Malenko played a pervert trying to make advances at Lita before getting his comeuppance to completely ruin his character.
7Put Over: Keeping Brian Pillman’s Loose Cannon Gimmick
Brian Pillman developed a wild character in WCW, often breaking script with the nickname of The Loose Cannon. WCW gave Pillman the platform to test out the experiment and create strong momentum in the wrestling industry.
WWE made a big offer to Pillman when he hit the free agent market and continued to let him use the same gimmick. Few wrestlers had that opportunity at the time, but Vince McMahon was a fan of what he saw Pillman do in WCW.
6Buried: Triple H Beating Goldberg
Goldberg was arguably the biggest star for WCW when the company ended in 2001. WWE waited two years before Goldberg let his AOL/Time Warner contract expire to finally try his luck, with huge expectations from him in WWE.
The stint from 2003 to 2004 felt like a disappointment when he didn’t have the same appeal. Goldberg getting pinned by Triple H a few months into his debut hurt him quite a bit. Things got worse when Goldberg’s World Championship reign ended to Triple H in another moment that essentially buried him.
5Put Over: Rey Mysterio Becoming Top Underdog
WWE signing Rey Mysterio in 2002 added another former WCW star to the roster. The company wanted to expand the talent, with the brand split needing more talented names. Many fans and pundits worried that Vince McMahon would bury Rey as an undersized former WCW star.
Mysterio thrived instantly and received a bigger push in WWE than he ever did in WCW. Matches with upper card names like Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar established Rey with a top underdog story. WWE ensured that Rey would be as big a star as possible, and one of the promotion’s most lovable babyfaces.
4Buried: Diamond Dallas Page’s Character Change
The success of Diamond Dallas Page in WCW made him a top all-time star for the company. Page had an incredible story, with the fans willing him to the top at a time when few new names were getting elevated above the established legends.
WWE showed zero interest in utilizing DDP’s reputation to make money. The initial character for his WWE debut was the stalker of The Undertaker’s wife Sara. Page was buried in almost every encounter with Undertaker, which led to the former WCW superstar flopping.
3Put Over: Eric Bischoff As Raw General Manager
No one expected Eric Bischoff in WWE when WCW went out of business. The war between promotions saw Bischoff crossing the line many times and making it clear that his goal was to put WWE and Vince McMahon out of business.
Vince did not take it personally once he won the war, as he brought in Bischoff for a huge role. Bischoff was named the Raw General Manager in 2002 and held the spot for a few years. WWE booked Bischoff as the strongest GM figure of the brand split era, using his former WCW success as an authority figure as the blueprint.
2Buried: Sting Representing WCW’s Legacy Losing To Triple H
WWE brought up the WCW vs. WWE Monday Night Wars fourteen years after it ended, when Sting made his in-ring debut for the company. Sting finally wrestling for WWE would see him involved in a program with Triple H heading into WrestleMania 31.
The talk of the WCW vs. WWE dynamic would see the New World Order and D-Generation X interfering in the match. Sting took the loss on his big night, when Triple H and DX prevailed, with JBL boasting about WWE beating WCW again on commentary.
1Put Over: Ric Flair’s Retirement
The career of Ric Flair will always be synonymous with WCW more than any other promotion. WWE acknowledged that when celebrating the icon during his retirement weekend of WrestleMania 24. Flair had his farewell match against Shawn Michaels and received a beautiful sendoff.
The following night on Raw was even better when most of the names associated with his career appeared to honor him. WWE spared no expense with Flair’s grand goodbye. Vince McMahon treated Flair like he was WWE’s top star, even though he had that role in WCW.