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Wrestlers that could have been bigger stars


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After Chris Harris's recent return to Impact wrestling, I wound up watching some of his AMW run during the TNA years. 

And bloody hell, Harris looked like the standout of the team. He looked like someone who had all the upside in the world. He had a great look, height, and was solid on the mic. 

I don't know what happened on the journey between performing as Chris Harris and Braden Walker (...maybe the wellness policy) but I can't help but think that there's a different universe in which the guy wound up being a much bigger star. 

What wrestlers do you think could have made a bigger impact (...sorry) had the stars alligned, or circumstances been different?

Edited by RedRooster
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American Alpha and the Revival, in the era of two sets of tag belts, should be closing in on the record number of reigns for both shows’ belts by now. Which are both held by New Day, I imagine. O

Ah I see, cheers for explaining.  I thought he did initially, right up until Russo and Jarrett took over booking duties from Scott D'Amore.  During that initial run he was having the best

Today I learned Cedric Alexander is a bigger star than Chris Jericho, Sting, Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega. 

Something happened to Chris Harris between his TNA run and WWE. I almost want to say his run after AMW broke up must have mentally broke the fucker. Russo will do that to you. He might have been a dick, who knows.

He was the stand-out or the Bret/Shawn of the team because he was a good worker for the team but also in the best shape. Storm ALWAYS looked a bit out of shape even if he wasn't and because of his sometimes comedy cowboy gimmick then people felt he was gonna eventually be that awesome heel mid-carder. Turns out Harris was just what he was, a very fun tag team worker. His solo stuff just never got the sheen because he felt like he needed to be in a team. When AMW split and the time was actually right for that, they had a so-so feud that got really shit at points and then somehow they did the best Texas Death Match ever on a PPV. 

Then, it all went to shit because they kept him mired in the mid-card working with Dustin Rhodes who at that point should have been getting help than pissing about with a rat. But also Harris was on his own, he didn't have the what if? of a Monty Brown getting a real solo crack or whatever. Just as a main singles guy, he was very bland, but TNA didn't really capitalise on him after, a short run with Christian and then that Black Reign horror show, before becoming a whinging heel, I swear the storyline pay off was him genuinely getting released.

Edited by Chili
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Sean O'Haire for me.

What a look. He was perfectly fine in the ring and had some good moves for a bloke his size, and in a (better) era where workrate and in-ring abilty wasn't all that vital anyway.

When WCW ended he was one of the blokes I thought that Vince would cream over and would be pushed to the moon.

Great music too...

 

 

Edited by garynysmon
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Without referencing those promos that anyone could have pulled off, O'Haire had an amazing look going for him. He really HAD the look. Never quite understood why he got released. I know he had some run-ins post career with the law which didn't look flattering. But WWE released him in what 2003, the same year as they even tried with that angle and then pairing with him with Piper. They just completely gave up, or he did.

Edited by Chili
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Roman for 90% of his career. Seeing him now vs what he was for all those years shows mind boggling incompetence and shines the spotlight on just how awful WWE are at making stars.

Also 90% of the guys and girls brought up from NXT seen to have done worse than most would have assumed.

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13 hours ago, Chili said:

Without referencing those promos that anyone could have pulled off, O'Haire had an amazing look going for him. He really HAD the look. Never quite understood why he got released. I know he had some run-ins post career with the law which didn't look flattering. But WWE released him in what 2003, the same year as they even tried with that angle and then pairing with him with Piper. They just completely gave up, or he did.

I hear he got into some bar fights and other trouble when they sent him to developmental and ended up getting released as a result. He did have a heck of a look, and could have been big if he hadn't gotten into whatever trouble he kept getting into. 

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American Alpha and the Revival, in the era of two sets of tag belts, should be closing in on the record number of reigns for both shows’ belts by now. Which are both held by New Day, I imagine.

Of course, this is in a world where Jordan doesn’t get injured.

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American Alpha is a great shout, I’d completely forgot about them.

I’m going to throw MVP’s name in the mix. Throughout his initial run on Smackdown it seemed like a World title run was inevitable. He was scoring big wins, he was good in ring and had bags of charisma.

But then he moved to Raw and for whatever reason gradually dropped down the card. Seeing how great he is as Lashley’s manager has been a big reminder to me that he could have been something, had they allowed it.

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9 hours ago, Yakashi said:

Roman for 90% of his career. Seeing him now vs what he was for all those years shows mind boggling incompetence and shines the spotlight on just how awful WWE are at making stars.

Also 90% of the guys and girls brought up from NXT seen to have done worse than most would have assumed.

Roman’s better now, sure, but he’s not a bigger star by any meaningful metric.

When he was being forced into a position he was an awkward fit for, every wrestling fan still knew his name, he headlined Wrestlemania’s, won Championships and starred in films.

Being a star and being well booked are two different things. Roman’s objectively better now, but he’s been the same level of star for years.

It’s a difficult thread this, because it’s hard to define what is meant by ‘star’ and how far it can go. There’s not a wrestling fan alive who doesn’t know who Dolph Ziggler is, yet I’d have thought he’d have been a bigger name throughout his career and had more singles success.

The ones that really jump out for me are Samoa Joe, Chris Masters and Ryback I guess.

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1 hour ago, d-d-d-dAz said:

The ones that really jump out for me are Samoa Joe, Chris Masters and Ryback I guess.

Masters is a good shout for me. 6-8 years ago when he was over here a lot doing both great fiery babyface matches and smug but vicious heel work, I was convinced his travelling buddy Shelton (X) Benjamin would get him a trial in New Japan. Or that many previously released guys being brought back to WWE because they wanted “good hands” to work with the new stars, he’d be back soon for another go at cracking the upper midcard. Didn’t happen.

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Rob Van Dam should’ve been the new Stone Cold beginning immediately after the Invasion but they had too many big beasts from WCW still to come in plus lads like Jericho, Triple H, Angle who they seemed to think were owed a crack at being ‘the guy’ for helping them win the war.

He had a good career and was certainly a big star at times but he should’ve been the face of wrestling for most of the noughties. He was basically Daniel Bryan before social media existed to allow fans to co-ordinate ‘hijackings’ of the show.

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19 hours ago, Chili said:

Without referencing those promos that anyone could have pulled off, O'Haire had an amazing look going for him. He really HAD the look. Never quite understood why he got released. I know he had some run-ins post career with the law which didn't look flattering. But WWE released him in what 2003, the same year as they even tried with that angle and then pairing with him with Piper. They just completely gave up, or he did.

was there ever any indictation that O'Haire was a troublemaker before his release? 

Post-WWE, O'Haire was one of the biggest wrestling names to move into MMA and K-1. I was quite excited for it at the time. He got battered though.

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2 hours ago, Pinc said:

Rob Van Dam should’ve been but Triple H.

Short version.

Unfortunately whatever case you could make for RVD in a top spot, the decision makers will have always suspected there was a “get done for possession” in his locker. And they were right. While he was WWE Champion, no less! In terms of not going any further, he had his chance and he fucked it up.

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6 hours ago, d-d-d-dAz said:

Roman’s better now, sure, but he’s not a bigger star by any meaningful metric.

When he was being forced into a position he was an awkward fit for, every wrestling fan still knew his name, he headlined Wrestlemania’s, won Championships and starred in films.

Being a star and being well booked are two different things. Roman’s objectively better now, but he’s been the same level of star for years.

It’s a difficult thread this, because it’s hard to define what is meant by ‘star’ and how far it can go. There’s not a wrestling fan alive who doesn’t know who Dolph Ziggler is, yet I’d have thought he’d have been a bigger name throughout his career and had more singles success.

The ones that really jump out for me are Samoa Joe, Chris Masters and Ryback I guess.

For me being a star isn’t just about how many people know your name. More people know Dean Ambrose but Jon Moxley is a bigger star because the stuff he does now actually matters and has people invested. He’s far more important and popular to the audience that sees him than Ambrose ever was. Roman might not have more people that know his name now vs 5 years ago, but the stuff he’s doing now has people far more invested and everything he does comes across as the most important thing on the show.

 

For example, Darby Allin is a much bigger star to me than most of WWEs interchangeable parade of robots that no one would miss if they disappeared tomorrow. The audience is invested in Darby. He increases ratings for his matches. People care about him that watch the show. Someone like Ziggler is just a nothing to fill a void for 2/3 hours. No one gives a shit. If he wrestles or doesn’t wrestle it just doesn’t matter. 

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20 minutes ago, Yakashi said:

More people know Dean Ambrose but Jon Moxley is a bigger star because the stuff he does now actually matters and has people invested.

Dean Ambrose was WWE Champion. On what planet is he now a bigger star that that?

23 minutes ago, Yakashi said:

For example, Darby Allin is a much bigger star to me than most of WWEs interchangeable parade of robots that no one would miss if they disappeared tomorrow.

Oh, I get it. Never mind.

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