For the first choice on the list, let's go old school. Goldust had delivered some of the most memorable promos before he even entered the ring. When he finished saying "You'll never forget the game *long inhale* Goooolddust" he wasn't lying. Few wrestlers can command a crowd without being in an arena and that's exactly what he did. Once the fans got a glimpse of him in the ring, he did not disappoint. Beyond the head games and flamboyant in ring shenanigans, Goldust was one of the toughest people in the WWF (Now WWE).
While his style wasn't flashy, it was rough and loud. Punches that could be heard in the nose bleed seats and slams that could felt outside the arena. Goldust always had a way of keeping the crowd into his matches. Even today at the age of 43, he is still one of the more popular stars in the WWE and this is without the innuendos and head games.
Dustin Rhodes fell into what seems like developmental Hell. He went from "The Bizarre One" to randomly showing up at the commentary table asking the King and Vince if they knew about the Lord. Wait, what? The week before he was blowing kisses at the Brooklyn Brawler and smacking Mr. Perfect on the butt, now he's a Christian?
Ok. There's no way this could have lasted long. Unfortunately, by the time Dustin Rhodes went back to what got him popular, it was too little too late. The likes of Triple H, Stone Cold, and the Rock had completely taken over any hopes of being a world champion or even a long-term intercontinental championship run. Goldust had the skill and presence to be one of the top guys. Especially considering his personality easily could have sold t-shirts as a face and made people hate him as a heel. The ball was completely dropped with him.
Arguably one of the best and most versatile big men in wrestling. Everyone likes to talk about Kane and the Big Show, but Albert could do everything they both did and then some. More agile than Kane, could move better than the Big Show, and his bicycle kick puts Shamus' Brogue Kick to shame. The one thing that sticks out with Albert is that he could make anyone look good. Some bigger guys can't sell to the smaller guys and make it look believable. Albert, however, could do that. A guy well over three hundred pounds that made it look believable when Rey Mysterio took him down.
The WWE just can't help but stick him with stupid gimmicks. First he was Prince Albert (Google what it is), then he was the "A" in "T and A" (Test and Albert), but finally he managed to get a good one. He's the A-Train. No dumb gimmick. He's just beating the crap out of people and the video on the Titantron was a train crashing into another train. The fans hated him. He leaves the WWE for a few years and comes back as Lord Tensai.
Which was a dumb gimmick, but the fans still responded to him. For some reason, they decided to team him with Brodus Clay and make him a rapper. Why? Who knows. Again, it actually could have worked. The WWE needs tag teams. Instead, they broke them up so now Albert will remain a guy with a ton of skills who never got his shot.
8. Shane Helms:
"Sugar" Shane Helms started in WCW with one of the worst gimmicks ever. He was in a boy band. That's right. For some reason the creative team of WCW thought making a boy band was a good idea. Thankfully, Helms would eventually get that stink off of him and go solo. Soon after, Helms would go from the worst gimmick, to possibly one of the best. He became a superhero called "The Hurricane". It may have been silly, but the fans positive response gave him more recognition he was getting as just Gregory Helms. This recognition allowed him to show off his massive in ring talent. Shane wasn't the classic cruiserweight that flew around the ring.
Shane was a combination of both speed and technical skill. This was a perfect blend for the WWE. The WWE has a tendency to not like the cruiserweights flying around too much. One thing Helms can say is he held the cruiserweight title longer than anyone else in the WWE. And despite leaving the Hurricane persona, his heel persona was received just well. Fans hated him. He was arrogant and had the right to be. He claimed to be the best and every week on Smackdown he proved. He'd defend his title every week and like a boss, he'd win every week.
A guy with his personality and in ring skill should have been world champ. There was no reason he shouldn't have been world champ. As a face, he was loved by kids and sold a ton of merchandise. As a heel, everyone hated him and would tune in to look him lose. There was no reason he wasn't. None.
7,6, and 5. Raven, Tommy Dreamer, and Sabu- The ECW Elite:
While each of these men could have their own individual spot, they were some of the ECW elite and were terribly underused when they reached the WWE. Each of these men were main event stars in ECW and WCW. They could hang with any and everybody regardless of their wrestling styles. In ECW, everyone wrestled everyone and each person was given a chance to shine. These three men shined as bright as anyone when given the shot.
In WCW, Raven ran a cult like faction called the Flock and were a big part of World Championship Wrestling in the 90s. While Raven's style was mostly defensive, he made everyone he wrestled look like a million bucks. Tommy Dreamer was pretty much the every day dad. He looked like a regular guy and like any little kid would say "My dad could kick your dad's ass". With Tommy Dreamer, this was actually true. He was more of classic late 80s early 90s style. Suplexes, side slams, etc. but he had a certain aura around him that made fans love him. Maybe it was just his toughness or maybe it was because he actually knew what he was doing in the ring and it showed. Last, but certainly not least, Sabu. The homicidal, suicidal, genocidal maniac. He would wrap himself in barbed wire, set the barbed wire on fire, and then role in thumbtacks to beat you. And that is not an exaggeration. If you've never seen Sabu, Google a picture of his chest. He has scars on top of scars from giving his heart and body into every match. A man who could captivate the crowd with the "holy crap what will he do next!?" factor.
This is why I lumped them in together. The WWE had absolutely no idea how to use them. None. Raven had a good run as hardcore champ, but that was it. Sabu had a pretty much forgettable run. As for Tommy Dreamer, his biggest moment was probably getting his one chance at voicing his frustrations with the WWE before beating the crap out of Brock Lesnar with a kendo stick before getting the inevitable F-5. All three of these men were turned from gods in ECW to less than mortal men in the WWE. It is actually a damn shame.
4. John Cena:
If there was ever a guy that rode the line between being hated and loved, it's this guy right here. John Cena came up the ranks as anyone in the Internet Wrestling Community would like you to. Cena started in Ohio Valley Wrestling and eventually worked his way to a match with Kurt Angle. Cena received a great response from the fans despite losing the match in the Angle Invitational. Cena even got caught in what some would deem a stupid gimmick. Soon after becoming a regular competitor on Smackdown, Cena became "The Dr. of Thuganomics". A rapper who wore sneakers, baggy jean shorts, and other hip-hop clothing. Most notably was his giant metal chain with a lock attached to it, which he used to win some of his matches when he worked heel.
Eventually, Cena would drop the rapping "gimmick" and become a man of the people. Cena would defy authority at every turn instead of conforming and becoming one with the McMahon's or whoever was in charge. Cena became well liked winning his first major title (The U.S. title) at WrestleMania 20 defeating the Big Show. Cena would go on to become a fifteen time WWE Champion and have a plethora of classic matches with HHH, The Rock, Edge, CM Punk, and Daniel Bryan.
Ever have a food you really like? You ever have it for a week straight and don't want to have any of it for a while? Well what if you kept being force-fed that food for another month? That's essentially what happened to John Cena. Cena is not a bad wrestler in any way shape or form. He may not be the most technically sound, but he's not sloppy. He doesn’t have a problem being hit with chairs, bleeding, pummeled, or making another wrestler look good at his own expense.
These are all things that the hardcore fans love. Unfortunately, while Cena being on top is good for business, a lot of the diehards hate him. The ironic part of the "Cena sucks chants" is that Cena is really the epitome of what wrestling fans want in their star. The problem is he always seems to be on top, it's easier to say he sucks than to admit that he's what's best for business.
3. Mike Awesome:
When the topic of the best big men ever grace professional wrestling comes up, if Mike Awesome's name isn't mentioned, then the list is incomplete. Mike Awesome was by far one of the five best to do it. Mike Awesome was running and jumping over the top rope before the Undertaker was doing it. Kane was still Isaac Yankem when Awesome was jumping off the top ropes and clotheslining people. He had the total package in the ring. And for a guy his size and build, he moved around the ring with enough grace to keep up with the ECW elite like Taz and Sabu. For an over three hundred pounds man to finish people off with a body splash off the top is pretty damn impressive. There are cruiserweights today that botch the high flying moves Mike Awesome was doing in the 90s.
Mike Awesome is a horrible talker. Sometimes I feel like he sucks the energy out of the room when he talks. That's really his only problem. A problem that could easily be fixed by my number one underrated. Hashtag foreshadowing.
2. Shelton Benjamin:
Ain’t no stopping him now! Seriously, there was literally nothing he couldn't do in the ring. Easiest way to describe Shelton Benjamin would be to take Kurt Angle's mat wrestling skill, Kofi Kingston's aerial assault, Jeff Hardy's crazy antics in a ladder match, mix it all together, put in the oven at 450* for 35 minutes, take out of the oven, and let it serve everyone. There wasn't a person Shelton went up against that he couldn't steal the show from. It started with his three match win streak against HHH and carried over to his legendary performances at WrestleMania in the Money in the Bank Ladder matches. Technical skills, high flying, and power. When it comes to the blue print on what you want a star to do in the ring, it's him.
Why didn't Shelton Benjamin sky rocket to the top? That remains a mystery. There are rumors that he was just complacent where he was. He didn't want to be "The man". He wasn't the best speaker in promos, but neither was RVD and neither is Randy Orton. So why he never got his shot remains a mystery.
1. Paul Heyman:
In case you haven't heard, his client conquered the streak at WrestleMania. Paul Heyman is the answer to the question often asked by wrestling fans. How do you put over a guy who can't talk? And just like that, the Bobby the Brain Heenan shined down and Paul Heyman was created. Born and made to help those who can't get over with the crowd. Why speak when you have the ultimate talker. A man who can make the crowd love or hate him in the matter of seconds. A man who can make Barak Lesnar entertaining when all he's doing is standing behind him jump left to right or standing still with his arms folded. A guy who can make a tough fan favorite like the "King of Swing" Cesaro a heel by just walking down the aisle with him. That is what Paul Heyman does. He make the ordinary extraordinary and the extraordinary legendary.
Short and simple, no one man should have so much power. A faction run by Paul Heyman would turn into the NWO times 9001. Maybe creative thought no one would care about anyone else. Maybe him being as good as he was scared the higher ups. Regardless, Paul Heyman's skills are probably the most underrated in sports entertainment.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!