Former WCW Alex Wright has been back in the news recently, with rumors of a return to wrestling following the announcement of WWE’s debut PLE event in Germany. The company will bring Bash in Berlin to the nation’s capital on August 31, 2024, with Austrian star Gunther likely to headline the event.
However, there have been rumors that Alex Wright will be at WWE Bash in Berlin, owing to his status as one of the biggest German wrestlers of all time. He is probably the most famous wrestler to come from Germany since Karl Gotch, despite retiring while in his mid-20s over 20-years ago. Millions used to tune in weekly to see him dancing to the latest Europop sounds, bringing the world of the German Discoteque onto American TV for the first time.
Alex Wright should be the man to make a long-awaited to return to wrestling in the United States at the WWE’s International PLE Bash in Berlin, giving the fans one last chance to pop for the German star, and show their appreciation for a man who hasn’t been seen on American TV for 22 years.
What Happened To Alex Wright?
After WCW was sold to the WWE in 2001, Alex Wright stopped wrestling and return to Germany. He was being paid $100,000s per year by WCW’s parent company (AOL Time Warner) to stay at home and do nothing, which is something he immediately took advantage of.
He sat out of the ring for two years before wrestling his last match in 2003, retiring from wrestling. Alex Wright was only 25-years-old when he left WCW, still nowhere near his prime in an industry where Hogan was still on top in his 50s. However, Alex Wright fell out of love with wrestling in WCW, owing to the awful backstage environment and politics involved in his role as a wrestler.
The German wrestler didn’t wrestle for two-years after WCW closed, only coming out of retirement for one last match in 2003. After that, he retired to his home country of Germany, Wright moved into new professions. He worked as a fitness instructor and a banker, a drastic departure from his days as Das Wunderkind on WCW Monday Nitro.
After retiring from wrestling, Alex Wright opened his own wrestling school. Called “The Wright Stuff”, he trained a number of up-and-coming future German superstars. His most notable student, who has gone on to the most success, is WWE’s Giovanni Vinci, who is a former tag team champion and wrestles alongside Gunther in Imperium.
In 2009, Alex Wright also opened his own wrestling promotion. The company uses wrestling students from The Wright Stuff, as well as hiring seasoned professionals from across Europe to work for them. The promotion is a regional-level company in Nürnberg in Germany, but has consistently put on shows from 2009 until today, with their latest event being NEW D-Town Knockout Party, in June 2023.
Sadly, Alex Wright has never wrestled for his own promotion, with his last match taking place six years prior to the company’s formation. In 2014, he worked for the WWE as a guest trainer in their NXT developmental promotion
“I met him [Triple H] last year and talked to him about a lot of stuff with my promotion and they invited me over to the WWE Performance Center to train their talent and also see how it is and I was very happy they invited me over.” Alex Wright said on the Two Man Power Trip Podcast.
“When I was at the Power Plant it was just a factory hall where they just used to put the stuff like old rings and stuff that they would just keep that if they didn’t use it they would put it in there and somewhere between all that stuff there were two or three rings.”
“They didn’t really have showers or stuff like that, but you really cannot compare it to the WWE Performance Center. The Performance Center is really top-notch and professional, and you get treated very well and the trainers are really good.”
“At the time in WCW they had good trainers too, but it was just tougher. I had to run the ropes eight hours a day and my back was swollen, and they still said well keep going. A lot of people threw up and it was so hard and in one side it makes you hard but in the other it was a little bit too hard. Sometimes you got the feeling they tried to break you.”
Alex Wright’s Last Match
Alex Wright’s last match in wrestling was against Chris the Bambikiller at NAWA Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Night 5. NAWA were a German promotion in the early 2000s, although they saw little success and only ran from 2002 to 2003.
While Alex Wright’s final outing in WCW came on Thunder against Jason Jett in 2001, he spent two years before one final comeback match against Chris the Bambikiller. He was only 28-years-old in this match, making him one of the youngest wrestlers to retire without an injury forcing him out of the ring.
Little is known about this match. We know that Alex Wright won his last match before retreating back into retirement, but no details of the in-ring action have been made available. The match went on in the main event of the show, likely owing to Wright’s star power as a former champion in WCW, but other than that, Alex Wright’s last match is a mystery.
Why Didn’t Alex Wright Join The WWE For The Invasion?
The Invasion is one of the biggest missed opportunities in WWE history. The angle saw WCW and ECW stars invading the WWE, trying to take over the company from under the nose of Vince McMahon. Stars like Rob Van Dam, Diamond Dallas Page and Booker T made the jump from the two companies, making a huge splash in the WWE.
This led to weekly beat downs of the WWE talent, and dream matches between WWE and WCW wrestlers that fans had dreamed of for years. The WCW Championships were also brought to the company, adding a whole new dimension to the WWE, with an unlimited amount of booking opportunities.
However, the issue with the Invasion was that not all of the big stars made the jump to the WWE. In fact, none of the most popular WCW wrestlers signed for the WWE immediately after the company closed. All the top stars were still being paid by Time Warner for the years following WCW going bust. The likes of Sting, Hulk Hogan and Goldberg were being paid too much to just sit at home and do nothing, rather than get paid half their wages to wrestle 200 days a year for the WWE.
While wrestlers like DDP and Booker T took the plunge and accepted the WWE deal, they were the biggest stars that could be wrangled to be part of the Invasion. WWE also signed many under card wrestlers (like Chuck Palumbo and Mike Awesome) to bolster their roster, but none of them were seen on the level of stars like Sting and Hogan.
Alex Wright was also being paid thousands to sit at home and do nothing during The Invastion, so elected to return to Germany and pick up his paycheck fro AOL Time Warner. He fell out of love with wrestling in WCW, so decided to leave the wrestling business entirely in 2001 (outside of one last match in 2003).
WWE did offer Alex Wright a deal to join them in 2001 (contacting him twice about signing for the company), but he turned them down both times. Speaking on the Cheap Heat Podcast, Alex Wright revealed how he turned down the WWE because “It didn’t feel right”, closing the door on ever wrestling for the company after rejecting them twice in a short space of time.
“WWE approached me twice and asked me if I want to come over, and both times it was too early for me. I was very grateful and very honored. I said, ‘Thank you very much, but if I can’t give a hundred percent for the promotion and a hundred percent for myself, and especially for the fans a hundred percent, I don’t want to step in the ring.’ I just couldn’t do it at that point in my life. I just needed to slow down.
Of course, if you say twice ‘no’ to WWE, they don’t ask you again, but that was okay for me at that moment because, like I said, I was very honored, but if I know in the back of my mind I can’t give a hundred percent, I shouldn’t do it.”
Considering how The Invasion went, Alex Wright made a good choice in turning the WWE down. He would have been lost in the shuffle of hundreds of other mid carders, and if he did want to continue his career, it would have lowered his stock greatly.
Wrestlers like Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan and Rey Mysterio waited out their WCW deals before signing for WWE, and were all the better for it. Even though he decided to leave wrestling completely after WCW, waiting out his contract before coming into WWE as his own man would have been a lot better than joining the masses in The Invasion.
Click here to read about Alex Wright appearing at Bash in Berlin.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.