8. Lots Of WWE Wrestlers In 1996 & Marc Mero
Poor Marc Mero.
Not that he's a pitiable figure. Not at all, in fact. The former WWE Intercontinental and WCW Television Champion had good runs in both major organisations for the bulk of the 1990s, was influential in the rise and success of bona fide WCW megastar Sable, and took incredibly worthy causes up as his next chapter when wrestling started to play less of a prominent role in his life.
Poor Marc Mero all the same, because he believes that his Hall Of Fame legacy is Warrior Award-worthy rather than because he became a wrestler eligible for both. His worth is assured with or without the WWE-sponsored token gesture, but he's been left with a fairly forgotten history because many of his colleagues don't have fond memories and the rest of the powerful voices in the space only really make time to discuss his ex-wife's meteoric rise.
The reality of his plight back then was glum and cold and capitalist - WWE wanted Johnny B Badd, gimmick and all, and couldn't get him. From the off, this tempered expectations and internal enthusiasm. Mero also got a decent deal due to the changing nature of company contracts as the Monday Night War raised the stakes. This annoyed a number of talents stuck on far less impressive contracts, and as usual, the sh*t slid downwards onto 'The Wildman' rather than upwards towards the powerbrokers that actually could have put another zero (or two) at the end of their pay.