The heavy-handed Tank Abbott’s popularity in the UFC led to him being signed by World Championship Wrestling when he retired from MMA in 1998.
Working around his lack of wrestling experience, WCW embraced tank’s reputation as a barroom brawler and made his finisher a simple right hook KO.
During his two-year stint in WCW, Abbott would compete against several of the promotion’s biggest stars like Goldberg, Sid Vicious, Rick Steiner and ‘Diamond’ Dallas Page.
However, according to WCW booker, Vince Russo, others in the company were reluctant to push Abbott due to the fact that he had come from MMA, and in fact, Russo claimed he was removed from his role as head writer for several months after he suggested that Tank should win their vacant heavyweight title.
Tank also courted controversy when he pulled out a knife after a match with ‘Big Al’ and held it to his throat. The cameras quickly panned away and the commentary team claimed Tank was just trimming off the wrestler’s beard, even though ‘Big Al’ didn’t have one.
WCW parted ways with Tank later that year and he’d eventually return to competing in MMA.