Well, yeah, he was shit after the accident. But if one of the "darling" wrestlers was shit after an accident, injury, etc., everyone would still view their earlier contributions more positively.
What positive contributions? Aside from having a goofy gimmick which got real over with the toddler demographic, Beefcake's very best work could be characterized as "eh, that didn't suck as hard as I feared it would". It's hard to be a darling when you've never done anything worth being darl'ed for.
I know people resent the hell out of him for main eventing Starrcade in '94 or whenever it was, but count me as someone who liked the heel turn (was a genuine shocker, if nothing else) and thought the match could be fun. I wouldn't go as far as to call it a "dream match" but at least there was history between them. Obviously, the match sucked (or so I hear), but at least it was a real stab at a main event and feud. That, to me, is better than the random crap WCW had been doing with Starrcade in the '90s - Battlebowl before that and some weird NJPW tourney after that, when none of the audience had been educated about any of those guys.
The problem is, Beefcake was a huge letdown compared to what WCW fans had come to expect. Even at its weakest points, WCW fans viewed their product as a much more workrate-heavy product than the WWF's cartoonish showmanship. But then Hogan came in, hogged the spotlight in an unprecedented manner with the most ridiculously overblown push of his career, and even dragged in a bunch of his older-every-day buddies to fill up the card as aging novelty acts. WCW went from their top heels being Vader and Flair to, well, Brutus fucking Beefcake
in the span of less than a year. Hell yeah it was badly received, of course, why wouldn't it be?