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The W - Pro Wrestling - 15 Superstars Who Should've Been Bigger Deals
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John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 32 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.45
WWE.com has a new list compiling 15 Superstars Who Should Have Been Bigger Deals (wwe.com) and like a lot of their lists, some of the choices are downright perplexing. But also rife for discussion. Each entry points out that they didn't make it but doesn't go a whole lot deeper into why each person wasn't pushed or squandered whatever opportunities they did have.

The second name on the list is obvious: Magnum TA got in a car accident and the injuries ended his career. But circumstances for some of these guys aren't as clear cut. Why didn't Bam Bam Bigelow, with the pushes he had in 1987 and 1994 ever get the chance to be WWF Champion? (If there were two world titles like there are now, he probably would have.)

Anyway, here's the full list to avoid wwe.com's page by page clickery:

* Shawn O'Haire and Mark Jindrak
* Magnum TA
* Raven
* Chris Candido
* Hakushi
* Mike Awesome
* Blitzkreig
* Bam Bam Bigelow
* Dr. Tom Prichard
* Perry Saturn
* Terry Taylor
* Brad Armstrong
* Ed "The Bull" Gantner
* The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith
* The Sinister Minister

Blitzkreig? Ed Gantner? Wha--? I'd have thrown Kerry Von Erich on that list (again, like Magnum, motorcycle accident + missing foot). Shane Douglas too. And um, John Morrison. There are numerous others.

What do you think?



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Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.46
Some of these guys were obvious headcases, thus why didn't get pushed, but it's also odd to also include guys on this list whose lack of being 'a big deal' was solely due to WWE's own booking. Like, Hakushi came into the company in 1995 and was presented instantly as a big deal, even going toe-to-toe with established main eventers like Bret Hart. Then...nothing, they just seemed to lose interest in him. Or Brad Armstrong; the guy had all the talent in the world but none of WCW's bookers ever saw the guy as anything more than a jobber to the stars.

Blitzkreig is a great addition to this list. I think he was another case where he was ruined by a knee injury and then just decided to retire rather than continue in the business. Too bad since that guy was a real standout, even within WCW's stacked cruiserweight division.



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thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.30
Mark Jindark is now Marco Corleone in Mexico. Besides being a top guy there for years now, he had a significant role on a half hour prime time soap this past year. That show was doing 30+ in the ratings. (RAW is around 7s.) He's doing alright for himself.

Raven seems like he was about as big a deal as he should've been. He was no small deal.

Ed Gantner was a 'can't miss' in Florida who got started just before Florida fell apart as a separate territory (after Lex Luger, around as the same time as Scott Hall but Meltzer makes it sound like Gantner was better.) Crockett bought Florida, but it got caught up in politics and people got caught up in the mix. I think if they asked Dusty Rhodes about names, he would've picked Gantner.



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Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 1 day
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.80
Sinister Minister is a good inclusion. Funny guy, great talker. But I think he was ruined more by his convoluted and exhausting relationship with Abyss. Because Abyss was so limited vocally at the time, Minister had to do everything for those angles. He had nothing left to give, and the gimmick wasn't developed beyond maniacal laughter and Ming the Merciless dramatics. I think he could have been the next Paul E. Thankfully Paul was given additional chances.

Mike Awesome was destroyed by a gimmick. Possibly as disastrous a gimmick as Red Rooster.

This is blasphemy but Magnum is all potential and nostalgia. I remember the majority of his matches being 20-second squashes when he hit the belly-to-belly. He had fantastic, red-hot feuds with Nikita and Tully and Flair. But he was working with Nikita and Tully and Flair. Even before Steamboat challenged Flair for the title, you knew he had something.

Magnum was a hearthrob booked incredibly well to cover his limited ability in the ring. Nikita is a bigger near-miss for me, the guy who should have gotten that world title. When Magnum was hurt and Dusty brought out Nikita against the Horsemen ... GOOD GOD that crowd was insane. That guy fighting a Flair or Muta or Sting or Rude for the world belt would have been as strong if not better than Magnum.

Again, blasphemy.



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Dionysus
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Since: 10.7.11

Since last post: 21 hours
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.92
* Sean O'Haire
While I was doing the dishes yesterday, I started day dreaming about how awesome Sean O'Haire's gimmick was in early 2003. The WWF not doing anything with "I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know" was one of the main factors that turned me off from watching wrestling for about half a decade.

http://www.youtube.com/​​watch?​​v=84fAEmrTWmU
http://www.youtube.com/​​watch?​​v=sfnOU1gkeZY


* Raven
His feud with Jarrett in TNA's early days seemed like it was a core force in keeping the promotion alive, so I'm not sure how much bigger he could have been than that.


* Perry Saturn
I was confused about Perry never getting a run with the IC title. He seemed to just disappear one day without a trace.


* John Morrison
I don't know why he never jumped to TNA, but at least he went out with a bang.

(edited by Dionysus on 14.3.13 1355)
graves9
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Since: 19.2.10
From: Brooklyn NY

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
Bam Bam did Main Event Wrestlemania vs a all time football great , but otherwise was a midcarder his whole career outside of his time in ECW.I am surprised that he never got a run against Hogan in the 80's. Bam Bam did come into WCW in a pretty hot way as he had a mini feud with Goldberg before getting shoved down the card and feuded with Knobs over the Hardcore title. Terry Taylor was killed by the Red Rooster gimmick, but I don't think he had enough charisma to be a big star. Raven was a top guy in his first run in ECW and his WCW stuff was terribly underrated and he was just outside of being a Main Event guy there. Raven was booked as a complete chump in the WWE and that may be why he is on the list. He did have a pretty awesome career renaissance in TNA in the early to mid 2000's. The fat chick thriller thing definitely killed Awesome's career. Pretty surprised the O'Haire's career ended up like it did s he was getting a monster push at the end of WCW and had the size and look Vince liked. As far as Saturn he had a nice run in WCW, but his WWE run didn't work out at all and a good deal is on him. Funny how well leaving WCW worked out for Eddie and Benoit and how Malenko and Saturn were left in the dust and were much bigger deals in WCW.
dwaters
Lap cheong








Since: 16.10.02
From: Connecticut

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith wasn't a big deal?

1995 disagrees.
BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.28
    Originally posted by thecubsfan


    Raven seems like he was about as big a deal as he should've been. He was no small deal.




Raven probably should have had a longer run as a big deal. WCW kind of got weird with their usage of him and his WWE run seemed like a really big waste. He did remain entertaining and a big deal on the smaller circuit. It's too bad he burned his WWE bridge, because he was really creative.

The guy that was a big deal that should have been a major title holder was Scott Hall, but we all know what happened there.
graves9
Landjager








Since: 19.2.10
From: Brooklyn NY

Since last post: 17 hours
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
    Originally posted by dwaters
    The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith wasn't a big deal?

    1995 disagrees.
Yeah I was thinking the same thing. He got a nice sized push in the 90's and a ton of Main Event matches between 93-96 vs Bret, Shawn , Nash and Vader in the WWE. and WCW. He was also part of the Hart Foundation which was the top heel faction most of 1997. He is a strange inclusion.
dMp
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Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.88
Davey should've been bigger. He could've been a champion, etc but I guess he ruined that by going to WCW where as far as I recall he was misused and wasted. So that's why he could be on this list..
SKLOKAZOID
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Since: 20.3.02
From: California

Since last post: 19 hours
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.38
I think Davey Boy, even if he never had a world title run, had a very successful career and was treated like a big deal. He still headlined (and went over) in one of the biggest events in WWF/WWE history and had world title shots all over his career, including being put into a world title program with Vader right when he arrived in WCW.

His biggest problem is that he wasn't Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels and, of the 80's tag wrestlers who got major singles pushes (Bret, Shawn, Davey), he just wound up being third in line after Shawn's ascent. Still, he held a lot of gold and worked with everybody big during the "New Generation" mid-90s era.


Raven should have been bigger in either WCW or WWE. He had a dominant run in the Hardcore Division, but he could have been a great IC champ or world title challenger and they just never put him there. He was a great storyteller in the ring and character for other people to play off of. In WCW, he could have been the anti-nWo heel (and he sort of was, but never got to the main event) and in WWE/WWF, he could have been a great challenger to Austin during one of the non-big 5 PPVs.

Bam Bam's about right, I think. By the time he came around in 1988, Hogan had run his course of giants to work against in the ring and he started facing smaller challengers like Savage and DiBiase along with taking time off to make movies. I guess had Bam Bam stuck around, he could have had an Earthquake-like feud with him, but I don't think it made a difference in his career and headlining WrestleMania 11 against a celeb was still a huge deal at the time for him.


You know who should be on this list? Duke "The Dumpster" Droese. That guy had a TON of charisma, but Vince never repackaged him with a more appealing gimmick. At the very least, he could have attained "Hacksaw" status as a likeable guy who could team with a main eventer.
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.44
    Originally posted by dwaters
    The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith wasn't a big deal?
It's not "who wasn't a big deal" (though many on the list weren't), it's "who should have been bigger." You could argue that John Cena should be a much bigger deal than he is, and Bulldog never had a sustained run at or near the top anywhere as long as Cena has.
lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.12
I would say that Tazz should have been bigger. He had a great debut and then got lost in the Radicals debuting and the black hole of McMahon-Helmsley angle. He should have had a giant feud with Jericho, Kurt and others.

Raven should have been feuding with Austin instead of Jerry Lawler. He would have been a nice break from the HHH feud that seem to last forever after Rock turned face after Backlash.

(edited by lotjx on 14.3.13 1738)


The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Kevintripod
Andouille








Since: 11.5.03
From: Mount Pleasant, Pa.

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.65
    Originally posted by Dionysus
    * John Morrison
    I don't know why he never jumped to TNA, but at least he went out with a bang.



I still believe he would have been better off keeping this gimmick.







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Quezzy
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Since: 6.1.02
From: The Moon

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
*Sean O'Haire - That gimmick that Dion posted links too was an interesting one but that was the only time I liked him. Never cared for the O'Haire and Jindrak team and I thought his swanton was terrible.

*Mark Jindrak - Didn't EVERYBODY believe that O'Haire was the HBK of the group and than Jindrak would be Jannetty-d. Then when O'Haire made the tag team with Chuck Palumbo is was supposed to be the two better halves of their respective tag teams? It's weird that Jindrak is on this list when everybody thought he was terrible.

*Raven and Candido (and Shane too) - All great choices. I would have loved to see any of them in main event feuds but I think a combination of being ECW products and being hard to work with probably did them in.

*Hakushi and Blitzkrieg - Could either one of them cut a promo? Obviously they were entertaining in the ring but you do need some kind of talking ability to be a big deal.

*Bam Bam, British Bulldog, Saturn - I thought they were all as big as they should have been. Particularly Bulldog who never got the World title but the IC and Tag Titles were both incredibly more valuable when he had them than they are now.

Guys that would be on my personal list:
*Jamie Noble - Great worker, great talker, his redneck gimmick was amazing.
*Tajiri - Obviously not talking English was a problem but his facial expressions were like The Rock's eyebrow level of greatness.
*William Regal - On one hand I'm a little surprised at how much the WWE has used Regal, but I still think he could've been a main eventer.
*Charlie Haas - Unpopular opinion time, I think he's better than Shelton.




Lance's Response:

THAT IS AWESOME!
drjayphd
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Since: 22.4.02
From: Long Island

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.38
    Originally posted by WWE, from the listicle
    Unfortunately, Gantner left the industry before realizing his full potential and faded into sports-entertainment obscurity.


Speaking of euphemisms and whitewashing... check out Gantner's page on Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org). Long story short, he was riddled with steroids, his kidneys failed, got a transplant, continued doing steroids, his mental health disintegrated due to his self-image (he lost a lot of weight while recovering from the transplant), and was eventually institutionalized before shooting himself on new Year's Eve 1990.

Also, apparently James Mitchell did karaoke while he was in TNA. Imagine showing up to a bar and seeing him singing Sinatra.





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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.95
    Originally posted by Matt Tracker


    This is blasphemy but Magnum is all potential and nostalgia. I remember the majority of his matches being 20-second squashes when he hit the belly-to-belly. He had fantastic, red-hot feuds with Nikita and Tully and Flair. But he was working with Nikita and Tully and Flair. Even before Steamboat challenged Flair for the title, you knew he had something.

    Magnum was a hearthrob booked incredibly well to cover his limited ability in the ring. Nikita is a bigger near-miss for me, the guy who should have gotten that world title. When Magnum was hurt and Dusty brought out Nikita against the Horsemen ... GOOD GOD that crowd was insane. That guy fighting a Flair or Muta or Sting or Rude for the world belt would have been as strong if not better than Magnum.

    Again, blasphemy.

Lets rewind to the mid 80s shall we. What did your company's number one or two face have to do to be over? Get murdered on TV by the heel, win squash matches and put on a hot match at a big card. Magnum TA did that in spades. Not every wrestler has to be a Benoit or Muta technically speaking to be over. Hell, Junkyard Dog had probably the worst moveset in history, but he could pop a crowd, sell Merch, be involved in a big angle and match, and he had the same amount of talent in WWE that I could have had, speaking of which, why is HE not on the list?
Anyhow, back to my point, there was life before the NWA for TA, and he tore the house down in Mid South, got so popular they turned Mr Wrestling II, who had always been a face, heel because he was the only person TA hadn't defeated for the North American title.

A LOT of the guys from Mid South were criminally underused. JYD, Mr Olympa(Jerry Stubbs) Matt Bourne(doink) Jim Duggan, etc. All got exposure (except Stubbs) and big paydays, but none were used to their full potential.

(edited by StaggerLee on 14.3.13 2028)


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Dionysus
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Since: 10.7.11

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.92
    Originally posted by lotjx
    I would say that Tazz should have been bigger. He had a great debut and then got lost in the Radicals debuting and the black hole of McMahon-Helmsley angle. He should have had a giant feud with Jericho, Kurt and others.


That's a very good point. With the WCW influx decimating WWF's midcard's hope of upward elevation in 2001, I'd forgotten all about the lesser, but still highly impactful arrival of the Radicalz.

I recall that Taz ended Angle's unbeaten streak in his debut. Perhaps Taz would have taken the place of "And More!" in the triple threat Euro/IC match with Jericho and Angle.

During the InVasion, they hinted at an Austin/Taz feud, but the panic button face turn for Austin blocked that idea from happening.

    Originally posted by Quezzy
    *Tajiri - Obviously not talking English was a problem but his facial expressions were like The Rock's eyebrow level of greatness.
    *William Regal - On one hand I'm a little surprised at how much the WWE has used Regal, but I still think he could've been a main eventer.


Good picks as well. Tajiri would have fantastic in a permanent cruiserweight division and as an US title holder at the very least. To be fair, the WWF got close to doing that when they did give Tajiri a brief reign with the US title. He deserved a longer reign and feud over the belt though. Eddie would have benefited from feuding with Tajiri over the WWF or US belts in 2003-2004.

Regal as well. I can't blame them for cutting off Regal's push after his second strike, but they could have given him an ECW reign at the very least. And heck, they should at least be pushing him as much as they do Orton.

Regal's feud with Christian in 2009 was one of the things that got me starting to watch wrestling again. I checked out Hulu one day, and was blown away by Regal's badass new look.
ekedolphin
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Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 42 days
Last activity: 6 days
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.19
    Originally posted by Dionysus

    * Perry Saturn
    I was confused about Perry never getting a run with the IC title.  He seemed to just disappear without a trace.


Shortly after leaving WWE (and defending a woman against two rapists, getting shot in the neck and shoulder during the altercation), Saturnliterally did disappear without a trace for several years, from '04 to '09.


Thoughts on the list:

Yes, I'm surprised Sean O'Haire didn't become a bigger deal also.  They paired him with Rowdy Roddy Piper, for crying out loud.

Mike Awesome might have made it if not for WCW's absolute bullshit, Underpants Gnome-esque booking of him upon his arrival, by which I mean:

1.  Sign away ECW's champion and hottest property
2.  ???
3.  Profit

So, what?  He powerbombed Hogan through a table, helped Kidman pin him, yadda yadda blah blah next thing he's banging fat chicks?  Um, what?  Did you forget how to book a monster?

Blitzkrieg (I-E, not E-I) was one of my favorite lower-midcard WCW high-fliers.  I don't know if he could cut promos or not, because I never once heard him cut one.  Two most memorable moments:  Eddie Guerrero forcing him to unmask (his face wasn't seen), to which Eddie said, in surprise, "You're not even Hispanic!" or something to that effect.  And taking the fall in a four-way Cruiserweight Title match that saw Psychosis win the belt away from Rey Mysterio.

I don't think Bam Bam Bigelow ever fully recovered from losing to fantastic-football-p​​layer-cum-crappy-wrestler Lawrence Taylor in the main event of WrestleMania XI.  

Honestly, the WWF in '94 and '95 was pretty weird.  They spent half of WM10 trying to convince you that a poor Bill Clinton impersonator actually was Bill Clinton, forcing them to cut a ten-man tag-team match, which would have been the penultimate match of the evening, entirely from the card.  The tag-team champions lose by countout but their challengers pose in the ring with the belts.  And then the next year, they put LT on last during a WrestleMania that had Diesel v. Michaels for the WWF Title, and an I-Quit match between Bret Hart and Bob Backlund.


People That I Would Add:

Based solely on his WWF career, I would add Diamond Dallas Page to this list.  Honestly, he could have gotten over huge with the fans if they'd simply let him be DDP, rather than stalking Undertaker's horse-faced wife, getting annihilated in a steel cage match against the Brothers of Destruction, and going from that to "Diamond Dallas Page: Motivational Speaker".  They killed his reaction dead from day one, and unlike Booker T, who turned it back around when he started teaming with Goldust, Page didn't have enough time to turn it around, because nagging injuries caught up with him.  (It didn't help that he hurt his neck in a match against Bob "I Literally Can't Avoid Injuring My Opponents Even if I Was Inclined to Do So, Which I'm Not" Holly).

Watching him in the lower-midcard of WCW, I always loved Lash LeRoux, even if WCW didn't really give him a whole lot of opportunities to shine.  Like with Blitzkrieg, my most vivid memories of him are defeats:  Losing a tag-team match alongside Disco Inferno against The Mamalukes, to whom Disco owed money.  Afterwards, they beat up Disco, put him in a body bag and stuffed him in the trunk of their car.  (Evidently, Lash wasn't considered important enough to be so mistreated).  And I remember Rick Steiner squashing him in a U.S. Title defense on Nitro towards the very end of WCW's existence.  (I pulled for Lash, of course, but I knew Rick was going over, and going over big-time).

I also digged Juventud Guerrera, but his own lunatic behavior killed his pushes.

I think Chavo Guerrero should have been better-pushed than he was.  My favorite Chavo moment was when he actually defeated Rey Mysterio in an I-Quit match.  Fighting near the stage, Chavo hung Rey upside-down from the steel rigging by both knees, and started wailing on his injured one with a steel chair until in desperation, Rey screamed, "I QUIT!  I QUIT!"  It's not often that they let babyfaces lose I-Quit matches legitimately (and every I-Quit match John Cena's been in is literally a foregone conclusion), so having Chavo pick up that win, against one of WWE's top faces, was a big freaking deal.

And then Rey came back, got a revenge win, and Chavo was forgotten about for a little while until he won the ECW Championship, and lost it at WrestleMania via a rather unnecessary (likely time-management-related) sneak-attack by somebody twice his size in Kane.

Eh, I guess Chavo's not the best at cutting promos, but that's what people have managers for, right?

(edited by ekedolphin on 14.3.13 2308)

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Since: 26.8.02

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.49
    Originally posted by lotjx
    I would say that Tazz should have been bigger.


Vince McMahon agrees.
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