The Radicalz were a heel professional wrestling stable in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Their members were former World Championship Wrestling (WCW) performers Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko. Terri Runnels later joined the group by proxy after becoming Saturn's (onscreen) girlfriend. Benoit, Malenko, and Saturn all had previously been a part of a similar small stable of younger talent while in the WCW, The Revolution, which was dismantled by their defection.
World Championship Wrestling
In 1999, four World Championship Wrestling
mid-card to upper-level stars became unhappy with the political environment of WCW and ultimately left the company in early 2000. Chris Benoit
, Eddie Guerrero
, Perry Saturn
, and Dean Malenko
headed to the WWF
, in a move seen by some as the death knell for WCW, which ceased to exist in a year. At the time of the jump, Benoit, Malenko, and Saturn were members of a stable
in WCW called The Revolution
, whose leader was Shane Douglas
, which further fueled the rumors that Douglas wanted in on the jump.
At the time of the departure to WWF, Chris Benoit was recognized as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, the title given to him by then-booker Kevin Sullivan as a way to keep Benoit in WCW. However, Benoit and Sullivan never saw eye to eye, a primary reason believed to have been Benoit becoming involved with Sullivan's ex-wife, Nancy. WCW management later stated on WCW Monday Nitro that current champion at the time Sid Vicious's foot was on the ropes at the time Benoit forced the submission and therefore his title reign was deemed invalid.
World Wrestling Federation
The four first made their appearance on the February 1
edition of RAW
, as audience members and backstage guests of Mick Foley
. They interfered
in a match and soon afterwards, "won" contracts with the WWF. The group became known as The Radicalz
, and they attained some measure of success. At first tightly knit, all four of the wrestlers in the group eventually drifted apart as all of them sought stardom as singles wrestlers in the WWF. Guerrero injured his elbow upon first entering, and injuries nagged him from staying a part of the group. One of their most memorable matches was on WWF Heat
against The Hardy Boyz
; Perry Saturn and Chris Benoit were the representatives for the Radicalz along with Terri Runnels
, who helped to win the match by pulling Jeff Hardy
out of the ring over the ropes by the hair and executing a cross body from the top rope on Matt Hardy
The four drifted apart in the summer of 2000 to pursue individual goals, but in November of that year, the group reformed and aligned themselves with Triple H
as his secondaries/hired guns during his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin
. In early 2001, Benoit had turned face
for the first time in WWE history during a rivalry with the heel gimmick of then WWE star, Kurt Angle
, while the other Radicalz remained heels
and eventually forced Benoit out of the group, with Guerrero replacing him as the leader.
Guerrero was released that spring, shortly before Benoit's injury. Saturn, Terri, and Malenko continued on as the Radicalz until Malenko's retirement shortly before the Invasion storyline.
Guerrero was re-signed by the now-WWE in the summer of 2002 and was paired with Benoit to coincide with his return from injury (though not as The Radicalz). The duo would separate after jumping to SmackDown! but interacted on occasion, whether as opponents or allies; most notably at WrestleMania XX, where WWE Champion Guerrero celebrated with World Heavyweight Champion Benoit; and at ECW One Night Stand, their final match together.
Of all four Radicalz (five if Terri Runnels' membership is taken into account), none are competing on a regular basis.
- Saturn, who was released from WWE in November 2002, is the only surviving Radical still wrestling, although semi-retired.
- Malenko, as mentioned, retired in mid-2001, and is now a trainer/agent with WWE; he is the only surviving Radical to remain with the organization.
- Runnels left professional wrestling in March 2005.
- Guerrero died on November 13, 2005. (see article). Died of myocardial infarction.
- Benoit died on June 24, 2007. (see article). Death ruled a suicide via self-asphyxiation.