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Most Underrated Wrestlers Of All Time


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#1 JazeUSA

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 01:08 PM

Who would be your top 5 or so that you consider the most under rated workers of all time & why? When I thought about this I had these guys off the top of my head:

 

Rick Martel

Brad Armstrong

Bobby Eaton

Chris Adams

Terry Taylor  

 

 



#2 Ricky Jackson

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 01:20 PM

Greg Valentine is the first that comes to mind

Oh top 5, let me think

#3 Al

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 05:04 PM

Norman Smiley and El Dandy are the first that come to mind. Good wrestlers whose greatest exposure came as C-show workers.

#4 Edwin

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 06:14 PM

I'm not sure I'd say Eaton, Adams, Taylor or Valentine are underrated. A lot of fans like they and give their work a ton of praise.



#5 Childs

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 06:58 PM

Norman Smiley and El Dandy are the first that come to mind. Good wrestlers whose greatest exposure came as C-show workers.

 

Pretty bizarre to say Dandy's greatest exposure came as a C-show worker. That presumes you'd define his legacy by what he did in the U.S., which would be insane. 



#6 goc

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 07:23 PM

 

Norman Smiley and El Dandy are the first that come to mind. Good wrestlers whose greatest exposure came as C-show workers.

 

Pretty bizarre to say Dandy's greatest exposure came as a C-show worker. That presumes you'd define his legacy by what he did in the U.S., which would be insane. 

 

That's why this conversation can't even really be had unless we defined what "underrated" actually means. Underrated to who? Because to people inside the PWO bubble no one in the OP is underrated. Even outside of that it and onto twitter it seems like Bobby Eaton is very highly regraded as is Brad Armstrong. If we're just talking "general audience, only ever watched WCW/ECW/WWE" then those guys would probably be underrated. El Dandy certainly would be since "Who are you to doubt El Dandy?" still comes up just about anywhere his name is talked about outside of somewhere like PWO and DVDVR.



#7 Childs

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 07:29 PM

 

 

Norman Smiley and El Dandy are the first that come to mind. Good wrestlers whose greatest exposure came as C-show workers.

 
Pretty bizarre to say Dandy's greatest exposure came as a C-show worker. That presumes you'd define his legacy by what he did in the U.S., which would be insane. 
 
That's why this conversation can't even really be had unless we defined what "underrated" actually means. Underrated to who? Because to people inside the PWO bubble no one in the OP is underrated. Even outside of that it and onto twitter it seems like Bobby Eaton is very highly regraded as is Brad Armstrong. If we're just talking "general audience, only ever watched WCW/ECW/WWE" then those guys would probably be underrated. El Dandy certainly would be since "Who are you to doubt El Dandy?" still comes up just about anywhere his name is talked about outside of somewhere like PWO and DVDVR.

Agreed. I always hate the overrated/underrated questions because they're far more about who's doing the rating than about the subject. And I frankly don't give a fuck who's underrated by Joe casual fan.



#8 Mad Dog

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 09:52 PM

Hulk Hogan is an easy answer here. He still gets treated like he sucked in the ring. I could understand that back in the early 00s when footage was less available. But in this day and age there are tons of good Hogan matches out there. I'm not saying he was an all time great or anything but he was a more than competent worker that could hold up his end of a good to great match.

#9 Richeyedwards

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 06:25 AM

Hulk Hogan is an easy answer here. He still gets treated like he sucked in the ring. I could understand that back in the early 00s when footage was less available. But in this day and age there are tons of good Hogan matches out there. I'm not saying he was an all time great or anything but he was a more than competent worker that could hold up his end of a good to great match.


I would say 84 through 87 is a great run in terms of matches with the savage, orndorff and Kamala runs.

But I certainly agree that the general perception (outside of pwo type spheres) is that he was really over but sucked as a wrestler and politiked himself to stay at the top. A lot of that stems from more watching his 90s run in WWF and wcw rather than going back to the msg shows, or if people do stray into the 80s just look at the supercards not the house shows.

#10 Mad Dog

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 07:00 AM

Yeah, if you watch a house show from that 84 to 87 run he usually has the best or second best match on the show.

#11 Matt D

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 09:29 AM

Moments in time:

 

75% of the AWA except for Brusier Brody by the WON in 1984/5. (High Flyers by everyone but us, always)

Mocho Cota by WON (1993, DEAN 1998)

Akira Taue (By everyone but like ten of us, always)

Demolition Ax and Earthquake by the Scott Keiths of the world

Jose Lothario through no fault of anyone.

 

Most ignorant/ill-informed/shortsighted performance-based opinions in pro wrestling could potentially be more interesting, but it probably wouldn't be all that interesting either.



#12 Coffey

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 09:32 PM

Hulk Hogan is an easy answer here. He still gets treated like he sucked in the ring. I could understand that back in the early 00s when footage was less available. But in this day and age there are tons of good Hogan matches out there. I'm not saying he was an all time great or anything but he was a more than competent worker that could hold up his end of a good to great match.

 

I'll say it then. Hulk Hogan was an all-time great.

 

There's something to be said about wrestlers that do their thing & are excellent at whatever their thing is. Be it being a crazy man, a good hand, working like a big man, bumping, selling, whatever. To me that's what pro-wrestling has always been about. A wide variety of performers that all have different strengths & weaknesses. Easily identifiable characters where the fans can pick & choose whom they like & dislike based on what separates the performers from one another. It's all about emotion. Making the people have an emotional connection with the show. To a character, to an angle, to a match.

 

The things that stick with me over the years are always moments in wrestling. Shawn Michaels turning on Marty Jannetty on the Barbershop. Earthquake squashing & killing Damien the snake. Rick Martel blinding Jake Roberts with Arrogance to his eyes. Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth reuniting. Things like that.

 

How many of those moments does Hulk Hogan have over the years? Andre/Hogan, Warrior/Hogan, Earthquake/Hogan, Slaughter/Hogan, Savage/Hogan, Sting/Hogan, Goldberg/Hogan, Rock/Hogan. He was the top babyface in WWF during the peak of the Rock N' Wrestling era & the top heel in WCW during the peak of the Monday Night Wars era.

 

There's few people in wrestling history that have been able to control a crowd the way Hulk Hogan can. The way Hulk Hogan could draw in children, or teenagers. The way Hogan could make adults feel nostalgic & young again. That isn't politics. And Hogan more than held up his end of a wide array of matches. If anything, Hulk Hogan doesn't get credit for how smart he was as an in-ring worker.

 

Where a booker shows their merit is by accentuating strengths & hiding weaknesses. That's what Paul Heyman was so great about. WWF used to be really good at it. They've lost that art over the years. Now you have guys that can't talk trying to do 10-minute in-ring promos and shit. It's painful.

 

A few other names that come to mind for me: Buzz Sawyer, Hercules Hernandez, Adrian Adonis & The One Man Gang. So along with Hogan, that's probably my five.

 

Underrated by who? Comparable internet wrestling fans in discussion & mainstream/casual fans by remembering who all but Hogan even were.



#13 cad

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 11:47 PM

Mascara Sagrada: Awkward as shit for his first year or so with the gimmick, but eventually he sorted out what he could do and what he couldn't and turned himself into an average wrestler. A lot of people rate him as awful but I'd probably rate him above Octagon. He worked harder than Octagon for sure.

 

Jerry Estrada: Amusingly, Dave Meltzer at some point in the recent past called Estrada a candidate for the most underrated wrestler ever. IIRC he got slaughtered in the greatest wrestler ever poll and finished in like the 400s. His worst attribute as a worker was probably technical wrestling and he still managed a great title match with Lizmark.

 

Americo Rocca: Had a pair of acclaimed matches with Mocho Cota in 1984. Cota is considered a lost great worker and even a genius, and no one cares about the man in the ring with him. Cota didn't carry him. Matches that technically intensive require strong performances from both participants.

 

Tigro: I've been keeping this to wrestlers who are actually underrated rather than not really on anyone else's radar, because wrestlers in the latter group aren't really being rated, are they? I'll give a shoutout to Tigro, though, the best of the Thundercats IMO and a talented technician.

 

Blue Panther: I'll be my own watchdog here. Most of my comments about Panther skew negative, and he deserves better than that. I do think that he gets undue credit especially compared to some of his peers. He also possessed some of the best grappling skills of any of them, and he looks a lot better when you compare him to average rather than to just the greats and the near greats.

 

(I'm sure that these are not the five most underrated wrestlers ever, in part because the five most underrated wrestlers all working at the same time in the same place is highly unlikely. I didn't know the answer though so I just stuck with what I knew.)



#14 Boss Rock

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 08:20 AM

I actually think the Undertaker is underrated. I'm never going to argue that the guy was the greatest of all-time but I think he had a lot to offer throughout various parts of his career. Though his early run was bogged down by the zombie no-sell gimmick and working with less than ideal opponents, I think his superb character work really elevated a lot of bad matches to rather watchable affairs. He was always a guy who commanded attention and no matter who he was facing, I couldn't help but be drawn in. Around '96 or so is when he really started to come into his own as a regularly good worker with the Mankind, Shawn, and Bret matches. Now he was obviously working with three high level guys but he always more than held his own. His early 2000's stuff obviously isn't great even if I'm a mark for the Biker Taker gimmick, but his latter 2000's stuff is full of some really good matches.



#15 Matt D

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 08:54 AM

My wrestling goal for 2018 is to get people on board with my very specific points about John Studd.



#16 El-P

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 09:01 AM

Most "most underrated" actually become "overrated" with time and pendulum & "underrated" accumulation effect. If I hear yet another time that Brad Armstrong or Hulk Hogan are underrated, I might throw up.

 

On the other hand, I'd say that, for instance, Hulk Hogan was a better worker than Ric Flair at some point in their career (WCW 1999 is what I'm thinking about). Or that Brad Armstrong, as solid as he was, never put it together like Tito Santana did in the same kind of very basic 80's babyface work, which is why Tito had quite a bit of terrific matches and Armstrong a whole lot of solid yet unengaging stuff.

 

That's why this conversation can't even really be had unless we defined what "underrated" actually means. Underrated to who? 

 

That's basically the reason why, after being around for almost 20 years (yeah, I'm old as fuck), I really can't get into those discussions anymore because the question goc asks is the one that matters the most infact.

 

My wrestling goal for 2018 is to get people on board with my very specific points about John Studd.

 

But we won't have to actually watch the matches, yes ? ;)



#17 Matt D

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 09:06 AM

Not whole matches, no. I think I can get my point across with moments and segments. He's not a great worker, but he was great at certain undervalued things.



#18 Ricky Jackson

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 02:32 PM

Im totally down with exploring the history of the Studd Slam Challenge from 82-83 since Titans went kaput just as we were starting that

#19 Blehschmidt

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 03:12 PM

Not whole matches, no. I think I can get my point across with moments and segments. He's not a great worker, but he was great at certain undervalued things.

 

You mean like in this squash match where he busts out a rolling cradle just for the god damn hell of it?

 

https://youtu.be/H6qgA0fjZoU?t=1m30s



#20 joeg

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:51 PM

Here's a few- 

 

Earthquake- For a big guy he moved well, was light on his feet and had a great presence

Kane- ditto

Big Show- ditto

Matt Bourne- great run in Mid South, even dressed like a clown he was still scary and mischeivious and underhanded as fuck

Art Barr- brought the personality to that tag team

Bruiser Brody- seriously where does all the hate for him come from? do you guys really expect a 6'7" 300 pound guy who looks like an axe murder in the early 80s to fight from underneath like he's Terry Funk or sell like he's Steamboat or pinball around like Flair? No he was perfect at what he did. 

Shane Douglas- maybe my favorite heel of the 90s, like Bourne biggest exposure was with a corny gimmick in the wwf






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