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Biggest Over & Under-Achievers


BomberPat
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Steering this discussion out of the Youtube thread...

17 hours ago, Ambulance Chaser said:

I have always thought Jeff Jarrett is the most insignificant man in Wrestling, you know when you look at someone and go "I just don't give a shit about you or what you do", a bit like Lee Dixon on the Football, bland uninspiring berk. I don't know what it is, a combo I suppose of his shit attire, non descript hair and mind numbing offence, added to his try hard promos and the guy is the utter shits.

17 hours ago, BomberPat said:

Yep. Usually just about anyone who came through Memphis gets a free pass from me based on something they did down there, but he never amounted to a thing. Even the shoot promo posted earlier is the least convincing bit of "anger" at real issues I've ever seen.

Is it worth creating a whole new thread on the biggest over and under-achievers in wrestling? Can we think of anyone who achieved so much based on so little as Jarrett?

15 hours ago, Ambulance Chaser said:

Billy Gunn has got to be up there. Just nothing to him, bland fucker

 

Who are wrestling's biggest over and under-achievers? Who had the sum of fuck all going for them but was consistently pushed above their station, or inexplicably remained in a job forever? And who should have amounted to ten times more than they ever did, but never got things going?

Jarrett and Gunn are good shouts for over-achievers, and I'd make a case for Barry Windham as an under-achiever.

Probably the biggest under-achiever for me, though, is Dan Severn. He talks about it a lot in his book, but Severn came into the WWF while holding the NWA World Title and as a UFC Champion. He was actively competing on independent shows, and in MMA fights while under WWF contract, and had as much legitimacy and credibility as anyone. That they never had a big marquee match between him and Ken Shamrock, never did anything with the NWA belt, or really capitalised on any of his feuds, and basically did fuck all with him, is a travesty to me. If he'd come along at a different time, when the roster wasn't so stacked - and Russo wasn't booking - who knows?

More of a missed opportunity than an under-achiever, perhaps, though it always disappoints me that he never did anything significant in wrestling after leaving the WWF either. There's plenty that could have been done. I love that he's started popping up on indie shows again, though.

Edited by BomberPat
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Some of the guys who have picked up world titles in rectent years dont deserve to have that place in history (Swagger, Ziggler, probably others). JJ is a lot better than them.

I dont thinm Severn really fitted in wuth the way the WWF was at the time... I never actually saw him in the company but his style and personality didnt seem like they could work very well, Shamrock already had the "legit fighter" angle covered 

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For over achiever I have to go with unmasked Kane. The old masked Kane with a voicebox was a great character with longevity. Since his physical scars became emotional delusions his mystique has been dead. Between Katie Vick and raping Lita, he's been in some of the worst angles in company history. Flickers of decent stuff when he's in a good multiman match or with Team Hell No, Corporate Kane was OK too. Countless uninteresting matches and feuds, was still in the title picture in 2015. Every time they try and make him DA DEMON again, it falls flat, some of the reimagined masks he's had look woeful. 15 years ago he lost that bloody mask! He was never the same since but his bank account has kept swelling. 

From the little Konnan I've watched, he was truly dreadful in the ring, he was associated with the likes of Rey and Eddie, but fuck he couldn't have been further from that. Vampiro is probably a good shout too. A decent look will take you places. 

Tommy fucking Dreamer dined out on Heyman booking for a lifetime. Lots of ECW guys did, but considering a lot of them just got fatter, took loads of drugs on backwash indies and/or died, Dreamer lived out of pure nostalgia the longest. He was pissing about with the Wyatts in late 2015 for fuck sake. 

 

For underachievers, I was a big Monty Brown fan in the day. Wasn't an amazing worker but I wanted to hear his promos and see his finisher. In the mid 2000s that's all you needed to be big time, but it wasn't to be. 

Michael Shane, the cousin of HBK, trained under him. He was all over the wrestling channel back in the day. Good heel in early ROH and TNA. Just seemed to get forgotten about as TNA started to grow around 06/07. Fuck knows what he's done since. 

Also Haku. All those stories and nobody thought to give him a megapush? Balls to that mate

Edited by sj5522
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God, yeah, Tommy Dreamer is definitely up there as an over-achiever. I doubt he'd argue the case, either, he must know it.

I'm not sure I agree with masked Kane having great longevity - I think he massively outstayed his welcome, though definitely got measurably worse after losing the mask, with Team Hell No being the only real bright spot. I don't think they did enough with Corporate Kane - at first it was pretty funny that it was Kane in that situation, and the joke was about how incongruous it was, but I wished they'd followed that path more. I wanted to see him giving presentations, talking about new HR regulations to bemused wrestlers, and going on team-building exercises with Johnny Ace. Instead he ended up as just a generic Corporate lackey, just wrestling in M&S trousers.

Mike Quackenbush did an interview after CHIKARA "killed off" Deucalion, a monster gimmick they only kept around for a year. People were surprised they killed the character, and he pointed to Kane, basically saying that Kane had a story arc, a narrative, that made sense...and then because it's wrestling, he just stuck around doing other shit, and that bookers shouldn't be afraid to admit when a character has just run its course. The longevity he got out of being The Undertaker's Evil Brother - despite the Undertaker already being quite evil - is mind-boggling.

Kane's a guy that probably would have benefited from a lighter schedule during his prime, or from something akin to the territories system - once they'd exhausted every possible version of his relationship with The Undertaker, it's hardly surprising the amount of shit he ended up doing just to find something for that character to do on TV every week. Being able to take a few months off now and then could have done him the world of good.

Jim Cornette said the idea behind Kane was that he was Michael Myers or Jason, a slasher movie monster. Same thing happened to him as happens to all of those monsters - they move further away from the mystique and into self-parody the longer you try and keep the franchise going.

 

43 minutes ago, HeavyT said:

Some of the guys who have picked up world titles in rectent years dont deserve to have that place in history (Swagger, Ziggler, probably others). JJ is a lot better than them.

I dont thinm Severn really fitted in wuth the way the WWF was at the time... I never actually saw him in the company but his style and personality didnt seem like they could work very well, Shamrock already had the "legit fighter" angle covered 

I think that says more about how far the World Titles declined than the respective talent of Swagger or Ziggler, who'd I put pretty much on par with Jarrett. They held "World Titles" that amounted to about the same level of prestige as the Intercontinental Title when Jarrett held it.

As for Severn, you're right, he didn't fit with the style at the time, but I still just think there was so much more they could have done with him. In his book, he talks about how they'd go from acknowledging that he was NWA Champion one week to not mentioning it all for a month. He suggested doing angles where, while feuding with Owen Hart, Owen could cost him the belt on an indie show (say, in Memphis, which was more or less their developmental territory at the time), and the WWF could play footage of it on RAW to build up their feud.

Beyond that, the big one is that they never did a big PPV match with Ken Shamrock. Even if that's all they did with Severn, it's the most obvious use of him that it feels a tremendous waste for them to have missed out on that.

And then to think of other matches available to him if he'd stuck around past 1999, or just worked elsewhere. Looking on Cagematch, he worked with Steven Regal in 1998 for the NWA - not exactly the peak of Regal's career, but that's a match I'd love to see. Or if he could have gone to WCW, the matches he could have had with Regal or Finlay there, or with Scott Steiner, even. With Taz in ECW. With Tenzan or Shibata in NJPW.

In his book, he puts over Dr. Death real strong, which made me imagine those two as a Steiners-esque tag team.

I'm rambling, but I just think that having one of the most decorated athletes going, one of the all-time great amateur wrestlers, a legit tough guy, with a bit of crossover potential from the press UFC was getting at the time, with at least one big built-in match ready and waiting for him, I don't care how stacked your roster is, how do you not manage to find something for that guy to do? Saying that, Russo wanted him to tattoo "666" on his head and become a lackey for the Undertaker, so maybe that answers that question.

 

Though looking at his Cagematch profile, apparently he worked what was billed as a "Shoot Fight" for a company called AWE against Kenny Omega in 2005. The fuck?

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El Ligero is a great shout. He was on practically every Britwrest show me & my mate went to when we were in uni and we did a fair few shows up & down the country. We used to not look at final cards if we could and have a bet on whether or not El Ligero would be in the opener, as that seemed to be exactly what he was used for. Fast forward to December 2016 and I go to my first Britwrest show for about 9 years, and whose in the opening tag match? El fucking Ligero! Whose in the first match after the interval on the same show? El pissing Ligero again! Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the guy and he's a solid hand and that's why he he gets booked so much all over the place, it's just that you can pretty much set your watch by him being in the opening match. It's a shame he hasn't been given a chance in WWE for the UK show, even if it's just to make up the numbers and make the main guys look good, he's perfectly capable of doing so.

Over achiever for has to be Alberto Del Rio. I never saw what people saw in him when he first came in, when he was given the Rumble win, the Money In The Bank, the cash-in against Punk, subsequent runs with the world title, the mini-feud with a returning Batista. Admittedly, I've still yet to see his run in Lucha Underground, but I know that came highly rated too so when he came back to WWE and took the US belt from Cena I was willing to give him another go, but again failed to see what any of the fuss was about. He always just seemed really sloppy and even he got fed up after a couple of months being back and seemed to just want to run his contract out.

 

Edited by WyattSheepMask
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41 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

God, yeah, Tommy Dreamer is definitely up there as an over-achiever. I doubt he'd argue the case, either, he must know it.

I'm not sure I agree with masked Kane having great longevity - I think he massively outstayed his welcome, though definitely got measurably worse after losing the mask, with Team Hell No being the only real bright spot. I don't think they did enough with Corporate Kane - at first it was pretty funny that it was Kane in that situation, and the joke was about how incongruous it was, but I wished they'd followed that path more. I wanted to see him giving presentations, talking about new HR regulations to bemused wrestlers, and going on team-building exercises with Johnny Ace. Instead he ended up as just a generic Corporate lackey, just wrestling in M&S trousers.

Mike Quackenbush did an interview after CHIKARA "killed off" Deucalion, a monster gimmick they only kept around for a year. People were surprised they killed the character, and he pointed to Kane, basically saying that Kane had a story arc, a narrative, that made sense...and then because it's wrestling, he just stuck around doing other shit, and that bookers shouldn't be afraid to admit when a character has just run its course. The longevity he got out of being The Undertaker's Evil Brother - despite the Undertaker already being quite evil - is mind-boggling.

Kane's a guy that probably would have benefited from a lighter schedule during his prime, or from something akin to the territories system - once they'd exhausted every possible version of his relationship with The Undertaker, it's hardly surprising the amount of shit he ended up doing just to find something for that character to do on TV every week. Being able to take a few months off now and then could have done him the world of good.

Jim Cornette said the idea behind Kane was that he was Michael Myers or Jason, a slasher movie monster. Same thing happened to him as happens to all of those monsters - they move further away from the mystique and into self-parody the longer you try and keep the franchise going.

 

I think that says more about how far the World Titles declined than the respective talent of Swagger or Ziggler, who'd I put pretty much on par with Jarrett. They held "World Titles" that amounted to about the same level of prestige as the Intercontinental Title when Jarrett held it.

As for Severn, you're right, he didn't fit with the style at the time, but I still just think there was so much more they could have done with him. In his book, he talks about how they'd go from acknowledging that he was NWA Champion one week to not mentioning it all for a month. He suggested doing angles where, while feuding with Owen Hart, Owen could cost him the belt on an indie show (say, in Memphis, which was more or less their developmental territory at the time), and the WWF could play footage of it on RAW to build up their feud.

Beyond that, the big one is that they never did a big PPV match with Ken Shamrock. Even if that's all they did with Severn, it's the most obvious use of him that it feels a tremendous waste for them to have missed out on that.

And then to think of other matches available to him if he'd stuck around past 1999, or just worked elsewhere. Looking on Cagematch, he worked with Steven Regal in 1998 for the NWA - not exactly the peak of Regal's career, but that's a match I'd love to see. Or if he could have gone to WCW, the matches he could have had with Regal or Finlay there, or with Scott Steiner, even. With Taz in ECW. With Tenzan or Shibata in NJPW.

In his book, he puts over Dr. Death real strong, which made me imagine those two as a Steiners-esque tag team.

I'm rambling, but I just think that having one of the most decorated athletes going, one of the all-time great amateur wrestlers, a legit tough guy, with a bit of crossover potential from the press UFC was getting at the time, with at least one big built-in match ready and waiting for him, I don't care how stacked your roster is, how do you not manage to find something for that guy to do? Saying that, Russo wanted him to tattoo "666" on his head and become a lackey for the Undertaker, so maybe that answers that question.

 

Though looking at his Cagematch profile, apparently he worked what was billed as a "Shoot Fight" for a company called AWE against Kenny Omega in 2005. The fuck?

I never knew Regal/Severn worked together tbh, but I found some info on the event - http://wrestlingclassics.com/cgi-bin/.ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=9;t=003258;p=0

Trouble was, this was the main year when Regal had his substance issues.

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2 hours ago, HeavyT said:

I dont thinm Severn really fitted in wuth the way the WWF was at the time... I never actually saw him in the company but his style and personality didnt seem like they could work very well, Shamrock already had the "legit fighter" angle covered 

Severn was as dull as dishwater in the Attitude era. Then again so was Shamrock until the angle with bulldog and the dog food which finally started to get him a reaction with his "snapping".

I was surprised they never ran with Shamrock vs Severn . Both worked with Owen Hart but even he couldn't make Severn interesting. Nice little 3 way match from Raw below

https://youtu.be/2nNVFA0jm8E

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Have to disagree with you about Jarrett there, BomberPat. I might have agreed about six, seven years ago, but having seen some of his heel work in recent years, I think he's definitely better than Swagger or Ziggler. He's able to get most people to actually respond to whatever he's doing, which is definitely more than those other two have ever managed.

As for Kane without the mask, I think his monster heel run that directly followed his unmasking was amongst some of his best work, until he ran into the supreme heat extinguisher, Shane McMahon. He looked genuinely scary, setting JR on fire, re-adopting the Tombstone as his finisher, hitting Linda McMahon with it, and generally coming across as a psychopath running amok. Then the programme with Shane rather ruined it all.

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I like Jeff Jarrett. At the very least he's excellent in-ring. Dragged great matches out of all sorts in TNA. Great promo too. He was typical 90's WWE mid-card comedy once upon a time(and would never have been a WWE main-eventer.) But really showed what he had in TNA.

 

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16 hours ago, Carbomb said:

Have to disagree with you about Jarrett there, BomberPat. I might have agreed about six, seven years ago, but having seen some of his heel work in recent years, I think he's definitely better than Swagger or Ziggler. He's able to get most people to actually respond to whatever he's doing, which is definitely more than those other two have ever managed.

True, I'll grant you that. I saw Jarrett live on a TNA house show against Johnny Moss some years back, and he did some of the corniest, old school chickenshit heel work I've ever seen, but it worked, in that it got the crowd not just booing Jarrett but cheering for Moss, who I'd assume the vast majority had never seen before.

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