While World Wrestling Entertainment might be the biggest wrestling promotion by a country mile these days, it wasn't the case throughout most of the 1990s. Vince McMahon and co were in serious danger of losing out to World Championship Wrestling during the Monday Night Wars between the two companies.
As Monday Night Raw and Monday Nitro went head to head in an all-out battle for the right to be called the biggest wrestling weekly show, WCW's Nitro gained the upper hand and looked in a position to dominate under Ted Turner.
Turner's massive wealth meant he took the approach of poaching the best WWE stars and bringing them over to WCW for some eye-popping salaries. The likes of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Bret Hart, and even Hulk Hogan all made the switch over to WCW at one point or another due to the crazy money they were offered.
Today, we look at 10 WCW superstars who were paid the most amount of money. So, without any further ado, here are the 10 highest paid superstars in WCW:
Please Note: The salaries considered here are between the years of 1996 and 2000 when wrestlers were paid the most in WCW.
#10 Rowdy Roddy Piper – $2.69 million
Rowdy Roddy Piper was a very big deal during his time in the WWE but it seemed like an odd decision for WCW to pay him so much money to jump switch when the man was very clearly past his prime.
Between 1996 and the turn of the millennium, Hot Rod made $2.69 million for being nothing more than a glorified icon of the WWE's past. Not a great investment for WCW, one has to say.
#9 Diamond Dallas Page – $3.28 million
While Diamond Dallas Page might be more famous today for his DDP Yoga, it's doing a great disservice to the man if we don't remember his in-ring accomplishments. After all, he was one of the most popular wrestlers to ever grace a WCW ring.
His status as a fan favourite was reflected in his pay package between 1996 and 2000, which was a whopping $3.28 million. Not bad for a man who started wrestling much later than normal and was originally told he would have no chance of making it as a mega star.
#8 Scott Hall – $4.18 million
Now we come to one of the key figures in WCW's domination of the WWE in the Monday Night Ratings War – Scott Hall. One-half of The Outsiders along with Kevin Nash, Hall made a successful transition over to WCW even if he wasn't legally allowed to bring his Razor Ramon gimmick along with him when he made the switch.
His role in the nWo ensured he was one of the biggest names on the WCW roster during his tenure with the company. The only thing surprising about seeing Scott Hall at Number 8 on this list is that he didn't actually make even more money than his $4.18 million.
#7 Lex Luger – $4.75 million
Lex Luger never really fulfilled his potential as a professional wrestler. His ill-fated push to replace Hulk Hogan as the face of the WWE ended in disaster and when he moved on to WCW, things weren't really too much better.
Despite not getting over with the fans, Luger was always in or around the top of the card in WCW and that is why he comes in on this list at Number 7 with a salary of $4.75 million between 1996 and 2000.
#6 Kevin Nash – $5.96 million
We have truly hit the big time in terms of salary figures with the entry of Scott Hall's partner in crime, Kevin Nash. The man who went by the name of Diesel in WWE was one of the most prominent figures in all of WCW during his time with the company.
Big Sexy made a tonne of money between 1996 and 2000 with the reported figure being near $6 million. It seems ridiculous that a guy who got injured as much as Nash did, commanded such an obscene amount of money.
#5 Sting – $6.05 million
Just about edging Kevin Nash out of the Top 5 for our list is one of only two non-WWE professional wrestlers on this list. Sting, who was as loyal to the WCW as The Undertaker was to the WWE, was justly rewarded for his loyalty.
The Stinger was paid a mammoth $6.05 million between 1996 and 2000 to ensure that money would never be the reason he would betray WCW for their arch rivals. And, it certainly worked as Sting never joined up with the WWE during this phase of his career.
#4 The Macho Man Randy Savage – $6.10 million
Randy Savage's reputation as one of the very best in the business is the reason that The Macho Man appears near the top of this list. Despite not hitting the heights he did during his time with WWE, his WCW run was far more successful financially.
Savage earned a reported $6.10 million between 1996-2000 for dropping some of those patented Flying Elbow Drops. Not bad at all.
#3 Bret Hart – $6.75 million
$6.75 million. That's how much money Bret Hart was paid for his run with WCW. That was his reward for having to go through the embarrassment that was The Montreal Screwjob.
The Hitman's reputation as ‘The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be’ was certainly one that he was able to back up with his wrestling proficiency and drawing power. There is very little doubt that he was actually worth the money he was paid.
If only Goldberg didn't injure him. Speaking of Goldberg...
#2 Goldberg – $8.89 million
The biggest homegrown wrestler to ever compete in WCW was certainly treated like royalty when it came to his chequebook to go along with his dominant booking. Goldberg made nearly $9 million for his work between 1996 and 2000.
But, Godlberg was the highest paid wrestler in 1999 and 2000, with The Myth pocketing $ 5.19 million and $ 3.06 in those years.
Even ahead of Number 1 on the list...
#1 Hulk Hogan – $ 13.17 million
To no one's surprise, Hulk Hogan takes this top spot. WCW did something truly special with The Hulkster when they turned him heel as part of the nWo and gave him the whole Hollywood Hogan gimmick.
It was a genius move that nearly won them the Monday Night Wars and Hogan was paid a princely sum for his efforts. He came away with a whopping $ 13.17 million between 1996 and 2000 to become the highest paid WCW star of all-time.