ECW and hardcore icon, Sandman, almost joined the WCW stable before getting fired.
The Sandman is a mainstay of ECW. It is hard to think of ECW without Sandman but was never one of the faces of ECW. However, his name always comes up in the conversation about the Mount Rushmore of ECW. If only for his entrance alone which saw him coming to the ring through the crowd drinking approximately 10 beers. Smashing the cans on his head and usually (accidently?) cutting himself while Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” plays. When the song ends he makes his way into the ring drunk and bloody.
I Guess Sandman Was In WCW
The memories of Sandman’s drunken brawler style are very vivid to all who had the privilege to watch the legend on ECW programming. However, one thing everyone seemed to forget, including me, is that he was in WCW in 1998 and 1999 as Hardcore Hak.
On a recent edition of Captain’s Corner Happy Hour Sandman talked about getting paid to do nothing in WCW shortly after upper management changed and almost joined the Raven’s Flock faction.
“They flew me to Florida to do a couple of things with Raven,” Sandman said. “I was going to join his Flock. Then Kevin Nash gets the book, and I’m being paid from September 10 to March 6 [to do nothing]. Nash calls me over, I go over for his birthday and he says ‘I just got the book and I want to bring you in.’
We were taping in Tampa Bay, and I had a house in Clearwater. So they’re paying me like 5 Gs a week, and they’re also paying me to go down to Florida so I can live in my own house. After I got fired, they were done in, like, less than a year.” H/T To Wrestling Inc. For Transcription
Sandman’s Short WCW Stint
Sandman was surprisingly not fired for behavior issues or drug use and his gimmick would make you think. He was released from WCW as part of budget cutting measures. At the time he was rumored to be signed to a three-year contract and making $300,000 a year.
Raven’s Flock would have been the perfect faction for Sandman. Raven was also from ECW and another icon in the promotion. His flock was full of oddballs, rejects and wrestlers who just didn’t quite fit in. Sandman is certainly a wrestler who has a gimmick and style which didn’t fit in with traditional wrestling in 1998.
Like the NWO in 1998 Raven’s Flock became bloated with wrestlers who didn’t, couldn’t, or hardly ever wrestled, but nowhere near as many as NWO. Raven was similar to Bray Wyatt and The Flock was similar to the Wyatt Family minus the supernatural aspects. Despite Raven’s Flock having a large rotating membership it, like the NWO, had some very talented standout wrestlers. Some of the underrated wrestlers include Raven himself, Billy Kidman, Scotty Riggs, Perry Saturn and Kanyon.
Raven’s Flock Flew Away Too Quickly
Raven’s Flock were a big part of WCW programming and would appear on TV almost every week. However, the group won very few matches and even fewer championships. The faction was just before their time and would be very successful in WWE or AEW today.
I doubt Sandman would have changed the popularity of the faction or made WCW realize what a promising faction they had on their hands or what a brilliant mind they had in Raven. However, I would have liked to have seen what Sandman could have done given the chance to be part of a faction with some very solid wrestlers.
Do you remember Sandman’s days in WCW? Were you a fan of Raven’s Flock? Who was the biggest standout for you? Do you think Sandman would have fit in or was he too energetic? Leave a comment below and let us know if you think Raven’s Flock would work in modern wrestling.