You have to keep the times in context and understand the circumstances of 1994 and 1995. These were name talents at that point. Both WCW and the WWF had struggled mightily to create new stars during what had become a prolonged wrestling recession. And when I say new stars, the type that would main event either promotion and drive renewed mainstream interest. For the WWF, the last true mainstream star that they had created was Undertaker. And while Razor Ramon and Diesel were heavily pushed, to me in the mid-90s these were talents not at the same level as the 80s stars. These were not the replacements for Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan. These were WCW undercard talents Diamond Studd and Vinnie Vegas, moderately repackaged. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were simply holdover tag-team wrestlers who simply got elevated because everyone else had left the WWF.
As for WCW, they had virtually no success at creating name value stars from 1990 - 1994. At best, Vader was their biggest new talent. Stunning Steve Austin and Dustin Rhodes were bland, generic mid-carders. Again, to me at that time WCW’s biggest new home-grown talent was probably Johnny B Badd. And Badd was simply a mid-carder. But outside of that, WCW characters were a long parade of Cole Twins, Terra Ryzing, Ice Train, Big Josh, Van Hammer, and the Texicans. Basically, just bodies and no one to draw main stream interest to the promotion.
Since WCW could not create new talent to bring mainstream interest to the promotion, it made sense to go after former mainstream WWF stars. And furthermore, they were strategic. Hogan and Savage were in their late 30s/early 40s, and Boss Man was in his mid 30s. Bulldog was in his 30s as well. None of them were completely played out, and they would draw far more casual viewers in a match against Sting or Ric Flair than Yoshi Kwan or Lord Steven Regal. What hurt is that given the state of the business and the scope of WCW’s team, the company's production values were lower than WWF. It would take until 1995 before WCW caught up and began to exceed the World Wrestling Federation.
And WCW was not the only promotion that tried this. The American Wrestling Federation went on a similar spree, signing a slew of older former WWF stars. However WCW got the more valuable, vibrant talent (Hogan, Savage, Bulldog, Quake), while the AWF signed Tito Santana, Hercules, Greg Valentine, and Bob Orton Jr. WCW's new signees still had far more gas in the tank, and the company thrived as a result.
Last edited by Seafort; 03-06-2019 at 08:00 PM.