Yet another list and a career overview of some of the most underrated superstars. Every person on this list (and other superstars not listed, because let’s face it, the wrestling industry is huge) has talent and skills that should have been used and celebrated, not buried in the low or mid tier matches.
- Chris Masters
Chris Masters debuted on Raw as a villian, spending his time posing in bodybuilder stances and challenging anyone brave enough to try and break his Master Lock. He called planted fans from the crowd out as well as other wrestlers and while many saw through the challenge (how the referee would call for the bell quite fast/ how he picked planted fans) the Master Lock challenge became a bit of a fixation every week.While he was given a shot at the WWE Championship Masters was never really used to his full potential. His character never wavered from a bodybuilding gym rat that bragged about how good he looked. Masters was released in 2007 before returning in 2009 but he ended up sticking to his old character, struggling on the mid-card until his eventual relief in 2011.Special Note: In March 2013 stated that Mordetzky saved his mother’s life from a criminal who had committed arson at her home. This was later featured on wwe.com, detailing that he had broken down a ten-foot tree with his bare hands and used it to open a path to his mother’s windows, freeing her
- Chris Hero
Signed in 2012 to WWE developmental’s FCW (which later became NXT) where he wrestled under the name Kassius Ohno. He feuded with Richie Steamboat, William Regal, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel. He teamed with Leo Kruger for a while and the chased the tag titles for a while but, unfortunately, there was little left for him beyond working with a few different tag teams before his release and return to the independent circuit.Hero reportedly stated that he enjoyed his tenure with WWE and that the door may be open to a WWE return down the road, however he is enjoying working on the independent circuit as of late.
- Brian Kendrick
Debuting as a local mascot representative and then as a telegram delivery boy before using his old ring name Spanky and trying to impress Stephanie McMahon and earn a contract. He began tag teaming with Paul London but he left WWE shortly thereafter. He later returned and began teaming with Paul London again and they began wearing theatrical masks, vest and shorts. Their quick moves and highflying capabilities made them entertaining to watch and they had a good tag team championship run for a while.The team was split after Kenrick was drafted to Smackdown and London remained on Raw, thus ending their team. Kendrick began wrestling under the name The Brian Kendrick but it was the beginning of the end for Kendrick who ran his course in WWE before being released to the independent circuit.
- Paul London
London signed with WWE in 2003 and worked in their developmental OVW promotion until he debuted against Brock Lesnar. After the match Lesnar continued to beat on London until Spanky (Brian Kendrick) made the save which led to the two working as a tag team.
London would create a new tag team with Billy Kidman before Kidman would turn on him and the two would feud. After that he would win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship for a brief time, also turn heel for a little while before returning as a face and tag teaming, successfully, with Brian Kendrick once more and having a good run together.
The team was split after Kenrick was drafted to Smackdown and London remained on Raw, thus ending their team. London only made a few more appearances before being released from his contract later that year.
- Lucky Cannon
Lucky Cannon first began work with WWE in the developmental FCW before it was re-branded as NXT. Cannon (wrestling as Johnny Prime) would have sporadic appearances, tag team partners and singles matches throughout his time in FCW.
In 2010 Lucky Cannon was slated to work in NXT with Mark Henry as his mentor. He was later eliminated on August 9th.
In March 2011 he returned to NXT with Tyson Kidd as his mentor. During this season of NXT, Cannon had changed his character to that of a flamboyant and arrogant villain and was moer concerned with earning the affections of Maryse (who would dump him after being eliminated and over a fake purse he bought her.) He was released from his contract a month later.
Sheamus was first a security guard in a promo with D-Generation X who received a pedigree before he joined FCW. After FCW and making his official WWE debut Sheamus has seen some success but let’s face it, the Celtic Warrior has been on a downward slope. He hasn’t been given many big title shots in years and is usually not really having a character or a storyline besides loving to fight. Recently he held the WWE US Championship before losing it to Rusev before being sidelined for an injury and surgery.My question is, what will they do with Sheamus once he returns? Will he be overlooked or will he finally come back into the spotlight?
- Titus O’Neil
A former football player, FCW and NXT wrestler Titus O’Neil has done decently well in singles and tag team competition as part of the Prime Time Players and Slater-Gator.
O’Neil would turn heel, attacking Darren young and then going on a losing streak.
In July 2014, Heath Slater formed a tag team with O’Neil, later known as Slater Gator. In July and August, they largely wrestled on Main Event and Superstars. Despite wins over the likes of Sin Cara & Zack Ryder and Goldust & Stardust, they suffered losses to Hornswoggle & El Torito and Big E & Kofi Kingston and others.In September, Slater Gator featured more on Raw, but this was at the expense of O’Neil losing multiple matches to Adam Rose, as well as Slater Gator losing to the team of Rose and the Bunny.
The Prime Time Players reunited on February 16th but I wonder if this will be good for O’Neil or continue holding him back.
- Heath Slater
Slater debuted in 2006 in FCW and was there for a few years before it became NXT. Once it was re-branded he had some success with Christian as his mentor but was eliminated from the competition on May 25, 2010.
However, on June 7 the NXT rookies invaded Raw and interfered in the main event, turning heel and stealing the spotlight in the process. As part of the Nexus Slater had some good matches and was able to show some of his skills to a wider audience and even won the tag team titles with Justin Gabriel. A few more feuds and a few more gimmicks later (3MB, the legend feud, etc) Slater was soon a solo act again before joining forces with Titus O’Neil.
Despite his moderate success Slater seems to be stuck in the mix, not really given a chance to standout which is a shame because he does have skills fans would like to see.
- Evan Bourne
Evan Bourne was in developmental for a few years, gaining moderate success before coming to the main roster of WWE. His high-flying skills are in short supply but he was never given a solid feud or gimmick, which made him easy to lose in the large roster.
He did, however, stand out alongside Kofi Kingston who he won the Tag Team Titles with in 2011, the team named Air Boom had some success before Bourne was injured in a car accident and sidelined. Bourne was later released from his contract. He has gone on the record saying that the WWE treated him very well during his recovery and that he was released as the healthiest, physically and mentally, that he’d been in years.
- Curt Hawkins (Bryan Myers)
Curt Hawkins is an example of a wrestler that’s been near the spotlight but never in it. Along with Zack Ryder, Hawkins had been part of La Familia, a stable with Edge and then Smackdown General Manager, Vickie Guererro.
Hawkins continued wrestling on the mid card, earning the tag team titles a few times, before going back to NXT. On NXT Hawkins had a run for the NXT Championship. He never gained the title and was released shortly thereafter.
- Zack Ryder (Matthew Cardona)
If you look above at Curt Hawkin’s information Zack Ryder’s information is pretty similar. Time in developmental, a tag team run with Curt Hawkins and La Familia. He was rebranded as the Long Island Loud Mouth. As a result of being underutilised on television, Ryder became dissatisfied with his place in WWE and he started a YouTube web series called Z! True Long Island Story in February 2011 to promote his character. The YouTube series worked and despite rare appearances his “woo woo woo” chants are still called out.
He is back after an injury but will he be given a chance to shine?
- Kofi Kingston
We all know Kofi Kingston can wrestle, he’s fast and a high-flyer. He has the ability to go far but for some reason the company has kept him down on the mid-tier for some time now. He’s held several Championship titles, The Intercontinental Title, the United States Championship title and the Tag Team Titles. He is now part of the New Day, a stable comprising of him, Big E Langston and Xavier Woods. While the group is billed as positive, high-energy types they aren’t impressing crowds.
I hope Kofi isn’t weighed down by this stable but it seems he is doomed to mid-card for his tenure at WWE.
- Colt Cabana
Do I really need to give a history on Colt Cabana? He is one of the most well known independent wrestlers, has a successful Podcast that causes trouble and is great in the ring. In my opinion he was never given a truly fair shot for the level of talent but he seems okay with how his career is going, always promoting his independent matches and loving his ability to speak his mind on his Podcast. I don’t know if he’ll ever return to WWE but I do know I’m not the only one willing to go to local house shows to see him perform.
- Gregory “Hurricane” Helms
Helms is best known for his time as The Hurricane, a comical, superhero type character that stole Molly Holly and made her Mighty Molly as well as partnering with Rosey for some time. The duo held the tag team titles for some time and continued to “fight crime.” Later he became the Crusierweight Champion, became Hurricane Helms (an interviewer/ wrestler). He was later released from his contract and returned to the independent circuit.
- Shannon Moore
A MF’er, or Mattitude Follower, as well as a punk/goth mix Shannon Moore was again one who was never really in the spotlight. He was in and out of WWE, going back to the independent circuit for a while before he returned in 2006 as “The Reject” Shannon Moore, an anti-establishment punk. He and Jimmy Wang Yang formed a tag team that was never truly successful and eventually Moore was released from his WWE contract and returned to the independent circuit before officially retiring in 2014.
Tags: brian kendrick, Chris Hero, chris masters, colt cabana, curt hawkins, Curtis Axel, Evan Bourne, Heath Slater, hurricane helms, lucky cannon, Paul London, Shannon Moore, Sheamus, Throwback Thursday, titus o'neil, zack ryder