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Your Favourite B+ Players


Undefeated Steak
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Okay, so the guys who were in or around the main event scene or who may have had world title runs, but for whatever reason were never really seen as being *the man*. Who was your favourite? And most importantly, why?

For me, it was Edge. I always rated him and saw him as one of WWE’s safest hands. Aside from his spear finisher (which I never found as offensive as some), he had a good enough look and a great entrance theme. He was involved in some absolutely blinding matches, including giving Undertaker one of his best Wrestlemania performances. The original Cash-In has never been equalled, and it is probably one of the best wrestling moments ever. 

His entire feud with Cena was incredible, and it was a huge part of getting Cena over as a legitimate star. Probably Cena’s best opponent in terms of chemistry, IMO (Punk aside?). 

I probably watched WWE more regularly around the time Edge was Smackdown champion than I have at any other time, so I have really fond memories. Even though he held the top belt fairly often, it never felt like they (WWE or the fans) ever saw him as the number one guy, and I always had the feeling that he wouldn’t have been given some of the big pushes and spent so much time in the spotlight if circumstances were different (brand splits, other wrestlers’ injuries etc helped him).

Edge was just a fantastic all-rounder. He could work with almost everybody and could work a good interview or promo. His Rated-R gimmick and Lisa (who was superb in her role) were brilliant. 

*Yes, the term B+ Player is debatable. But I think I’ve made it clear enough for what we’re going for here.

Who be your favourites?

 

 

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Eddie Guerrero. A simply magnificent talent. Someone who gets better the more I see. Brilliant as a heel or a face, as a cruiserweight or a heavyweight, in WCW or WWE. Possibly the best all rounder there will ever be. But just missing *something* to be a really top star - though he was in the Hispanic market.

He was clearly brilliant when he got his big push to the top but he was incredible for most of the prior ten years even when he was being booked to do nothing. He drew great heat in WCW when he was right down the ladder just from his sleazy looks and mannerisms. 

They should have put him over the top long before they lost him.

To me he's A* but I think objectively, probably fits this category. 

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Heel Christian, circa 2005 when he had a cool theme, those ace hooded ring jackets and Tomko as his problem solver. Him and heel Trish were a great pairing too. Pity by the time he eventually got a run with the World title in WWE his body was knackered and it was a pity run because Skeletor Edge had to retire. His unannounced Todd poxy Grisham called "it's.. it's Christian?" return on ECW was a fucking travesty! 

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I find it hard to tag many as a 'B+ players', even with your description of this category. Randy Savage, for example, was always about the main-event scene, had a few title runs, and was never 'the man.' But I would find it insulting to describe him as a b+ player, he's one the best ever, and had the charisma and drive to work a dramatic match better than anybody.

I'd maybe say Luger for this, I'd probably rate him as b+. I really liked Luger, he had great poise and charisma. His matches were good, his promos were good, he was over and very convincing as a face or heel. He did have some shortcomings, he was more basic than the Flairs/Harts/Savages of this world and not as over as Hogan etc. So being a Luger fan I'll choose him, he was good, but never the best.

 

Edited by LEGIT
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JBL.

i started watching wrestling in late ‘02 and my wrestling knowledge was pretty limited. For that reason the sudden emergence of JBL didn’t frustrate or annoy me, it made me feel excited.

The idea of a wrestler totally changing character was exciting to me, I’d not really seen it before (well, aside from Badass ‘Taker turning into the Deadman) and it seemed fresh and new.

I loved JBL’s reign as WWE champ and I couldn’t wait to see who’d dethrone him. In an era when Smackdown ‘boasted’ the likes of Kenzo Suzuki, Rene Dupree, Heidenreich and Luther Reigns, JBL (to me at least) was the shining light of Smackdown on a weekly basis. 

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Jericho is the first one who springs to mind; a steady hand who has had an array of enjoyable matches with numerous opponents. He just never quite reached the top of the mountain. His returns always get a pop and he manages to reinvent himself to keep himself fresh. His recent WWE turn with Kevin Owens was a delight. 

JBL is one who made a dull Smackdown in 2004 enjoyable. I didn't get the sudden turn from bar brawling henchman for hire but the change made sense and I despised him immediately. The theme tune, the limos and the goons he had running around after him (Orlando Jordan?!) oozed traditional heel and I couldn't wait for him to be toppled. An underrated heel and I can't remmber the last time somebody updated their character to such an extent so successfully. 

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Jericho is someone who diminished for me. From 98-2003, he was easily amongst my favourites ever but each return after that made him less and less interesting. I missed most of his stuff in 2008-09 which is a shame because what I've watched back since was good and I enjoyed THE LIST~! phase for everything except him wrestling. So yeah, definitely a notch below now.

Randy Savage is A+++++.

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I was about to type my love for prime Kurt Angle, but while he was never the man, he was always about the title picture, it felt like. Maybe an A- for him.

Out of today's roster of mostly B+, Samoa Joe stands above all with his shitty but perfect haircut. A shame his body started to go a few years back, but he's one of the few believable acts on the roster and knows how to play his character perfectly. Maybe the best promo on the show too. I'd cream 3000 if we got a proper extensive Joe v Cena feud before BMJ packs it in.

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2 minutes ago, ColinBollocks said:

I was about to type my love for prime Kurt Angle, but while he was never the man, he was always about the title picture, it felt like. Maybe an A- for him.

If Edge is the given example with his number of title runs and going on last with Taker at a WrestleMania then Kurt definitely counts. The top guy while Kurt was around was Steve Austin, then The Rock, then after a few misfires eventually John Cena, it was never him. Kurt's the definitive answer for me for how the question has been framed. The body of work he achieved was absolutely incredible comparing his not quite 7 years in the company to plenty of other wrestlers who were there for far longer and produced a fraction of the number of top quality matches he did with a variety of opponents. He was better as a heel but during the Austin run he was also dynamite as a face then later on in the Smackdown exclusive part of his career he was just too good to stay heel for long, people refused to boo him. The company never built around him but you could certainly build your show on him - somebody else's name was on the marquee but Kurt was vital to the foundations.

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2 minutes ago, air_raid said:

If Edge is the given example with his number of title runs and going on last with Taker at a WrestleMania then Kurt definitely counts. The top guy while Kurt was around was Steve Austin, then The Rock, then after a few misfires eventually John Cena, it was never him. Kurt's the definitive answer for me for how the question has been framed. The body of work he achieved was absolutely incredible comparing his not quite 7 years in the company to plenty of other wrestlers who were there for far longer and produced a fraction of the number of top quality matches he did with a variety of opponents. He was better as a heel but during the Austin run he was also dynamite as a face then later on in the Smackdown exclusive part of his career he was just too good to stay heel for long, people refused to boo him. The company never built around him but you could certainly build your show on him - somebody else's name was on the marquee but Kurt was vital to the foundations.

I always thought the biggest mistake with Kurt Angle was not trying him as a face straight after the Invasion finished.  The pop when he "turned" at the end of the match was huge IIRC, and always thought that a face run for him at that point would have been good.

 

Admittedly a lot of his best work was as a heel, but they should have at least tried it IMO, and then may have been able to build the company more around him with time.

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10 minutes ago, FourtyTwo said:

I always thought the biggest mistake with Kurt Angle was not trying him as a face straight after the Invasion finished.  The pop when he "turned" at the end of the match was huge IIRC, and always thought that a face run for him at that point would have been good.

 

Admittedly a lot of his best work was as a heel, but they should have at least tried it IMO, and then may have been able to build the company more around him with time.

At the time the babyface main event scene was Austin, Rock and an imminently returning Triple H. The latter especially needed a strong heel like Kurt to work before Mania. There's seldom been a worse time to shoehorn someone else in.

Unless you mean instead of Steve Austin turning back.

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