When the WWE purchased WCW in 2001, fans were hoping for some dream matches. The WWE originally planned on continuing WCW on TNT, but that turned out to not be part of the deal. Vince McMahon brought in some talent from WCW to the WWE, but at the time, huge superstars like Sting, Goldberg, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash were not part of the group of wrestlers who came into the company.
As soon as Goldberg blew up in WCW, fans worldwide speculated on a dream match between the WCW wrestler and WWE’s “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Both were the top draws for their respective company, both wore black tights and shaved their head, and both superstars dominated sports entertainment. When Sting changed his persona to the Crow-like character, fans talked of a dream match between the WCW legend and the WWE “Phenom,” The Undertaker. Unfortunately, these matches never came to fruition, but it wasn’t due to the lack of WWE trying.
On a recent episode of Something to Wrestle With, hosted by Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson, the duo discussed the 2001 WWE pay-per-view, Invasion. As heard in the audio below, Prichard explained that the WWE did want the big names from WCW, and they wanted two dream matches to take place: Austin vs. Goldberg and Undertaker vs. Sting.
In what may be a surprise to some, Bruce Prichard revealed that at the time, Vince McMahon wasn’t interested in bringing in Hulk Hogan. The man once known as Brother Love explained that McMahon was very busy with the XFL, and Vince figured that the WWE could wait and bring Hogan in later. As fans know, “The Hulkster” eventually returned to the WWE.
When WCW was sold, a number of superstars were being paid a lot of money by Turner Broadcasting per their contract agreement. If the former WCW wrestlers would have signed with the WWE, they would have lost that guaranteed money, and in most cases, they would have been paid less by the WWE than what they were receiving from Turner Broadcasting.
As heard in the audio below, and as transcribed by Wrestling Inc., Bruce Prichard explained that the WWE did want some dream matches to take place.
“I think again without all the particulars, the first match that comes to mind was Austin vs. Goldberg. To have that matchup at some point. To be able to build to it. Same thing with Undertaker and Sting.
“It all becomes mental masturbation at that point. Because with the exception of JR, I don’t think there was anyone who had really dealt with Goldberg and Goldberg showed zero desire, nil, zilch to come in. He had his deal [with Turner] and was going to be paid out. He didn’t want to come in so the fact that he didn’t want to come in — we sure as hell wasn’t gonna go after him. We didn’t want anybody that didn’t want to be here.”
Warning: The video below contains some strong language.
Reportedly, Sting didn’t sign with the WWE at the time because he didn’t like the adult oriented Attitude Era. Of course, years later, both Goldberg and Sting did arrive to the World Wrestling Entertainment. Goldberg initially arrived in the company in 2003, but because of injuries, Steve Austin was done with in-ring wrestling.
When Sting arrived in the WWE, fans were hoping that he would finally square off with “The Dead Man,” but that match never happened. Rumors still circulate that The Undertaker may one day face “The Stinger.” Though he has a legends contract with the WWE, Sting is officially retired, but as fans know, anything is possible in professional wrestling.