Professional wrestling teaches us many lessons, but none may be bigger than the ones about the smallest of competitors. As the years have passed, we have learned as fans that looks can be deceiving.
The scrawny kid with toothpicks for arms could be a better athlete than he looks. Even without that look, many men over the years have been able to pull off many victories and even be showered with multiple championships.
Years later, we may even look back at some men and say that, despite their unimpressive physical looks, they were about as dangerous as they came. For some of these men, their lack of a strong look may have partially led to their downfall.
Whatever the case for these weak-looking superstars, whether there was more to them or not, here are some of the weakest-looking superstars around.
Gillberg belongs on this list for his scrawny look and lack of real competitiveness. He was basically a novelty act by WWE to mock the persona of Goldberg in WCW. He was clearly a smaller version of the former world champion, using sparklers for pyro and putting weird faces on.
GIllberg was never impressive and he was never supposed to be. The last we saw from him was an appearance which was followed by a squash from Goldberg, who had come to WWE.
I think Colin Delaney was one of those guys that was just really good at jobbing and not so good at actually working, if that makes any sense to people not familiar with the insider terms.
Basically, Delaney was great at getting beaten up and couldn't be believed as a very offensive-minded pro wrestler. How else can you imagine that he made it up to the main roster on the ECW brand?
Every so often, fans will dream of being a WWE superstar. They feel that the bumps wouldn't be too terrible over time and the mic skills they work on in the mirror will outweigh their inability to run the ropes.
Then, a gimmick like Delaney comes along and puts it all into perspective. Here's a lesson: if you aren't in shape and you don't have the mental toughness, don't bother trying to wrestle.
In the large Dudley family from the original ECW, one man always stood tall (well, he tried) and was picked out as the runt of the litter. That was Spike Dudley. Billed at 150 pounds, Spike was probably weighing that much with a soaking wet T-shirt on. This did not prevent his success.
In his long career, Spike, along with his other ring names, won championships in seven different promotions, including WWE.
Perhaps his greatest moments came in WWE, as Spike was not only a seven-time Hardcore Champion, but was also a former European, Cruiserweight and World Tag Team Champion. Not too shabby for the runt of the Dudley clan.
Everybody knows a short Italian guy. There may not be anyone tougher, but they usually don't look too tough at first. With a mean streak in the ring, Nunzio used that stereotype to perfection.
His music, his attire and his alternate ring name of Little Guido all seemed to follow in line perfectly. Nunzio even made it a nice touch by using hand gestures and flipping off the crowd in stereotypical Italian style.
Did anyone else think Zach Gowen would not belong in WWE? It isn't even about the fact that he only had his right leg. Gowen was a guy with only one leg, but he was just so small and skinny as well. It just looked like Gowen was nothing more than a novelty act.
While Gowen didn't last incredibly long in WWE, he did show off his great ability despite his handicap. There are still fans, to this day, who scream for a Gowen return at Royal Rumble, believing he can win from not having two legs that would be able to hit the floor during elimination.
That last part in the photo caption is done on purpose. Chris Hero is now in WWE and his name in development is Kassius Ohno. Before the days of that very awful ring name, Chris Hero was one of the best-kept secrets in independent wrestling. One thing turned people away from the talented hero: his skinny stature.
At 6'4" and 230 pounds, it isn't about his size, but rather the size of his arms. The man just looked weak at times. Keep in mind that I saw him at a few indy shows and, while I knew who he was already and saw him as a good draw for an independent promotion, I couldn't help but notice his small arms.
Forgive me for not seeing Hero put on a clinic in the ring, but why did Chris Hero not grab some more weights over the years in the pro wrestling business?
Did you know that Jamie Noble was a world champion in Ring of Honor? He says he weighs 200 pounds and he is billed as two inches taller than he really is, but doesn't that play into the belief of what an unathletic wrestler should look like?
We know now that Noble is no slouch in the ring, but tell that to those who would see Noble for the first time. The guy just didn't look like he had strength.
Noble has even performed such moves as powerbombs in the past. That doesn't escape the fact that Noble looked out of place, even if he could back it up in the ring.
Homicide has made a great career for himself with major stints in three promotions. He is a seven-time world champion in Jersey All Pro Wrestling, a New Jersey-based promotion where many mainstream stars make their start.
He has also had stints in TNA and Ring of Honor as well. Tomorrow marks his 19th anniversary in professional wrestling.
For nearly 20 years, Homicide has used his 5'10" and 205-pound frame to make a great career for himself. Who cares if he never made it to WWE? That isn't the measuring stick for what makes a career worthwhile.
The reckless style of Chris Sabin has been exciting crowds for more than a decade. He is known mostly for his tenure in TNA.
His four X Division championships and three X Cup victories mean that Sabin is a pretty extreme star in professional wrestling. So what has kept Sabin from making the jump into a possible world title picture?
Well, Sabin has established the Motor City Machine Guns with Alex Shelley, creating one of the best tag teams in the world. He has also suffered two bad knee injuries in his career, the most recent one being in April 2011.
Sabin's friend and tag team partner, Alex Shelley, returned to action on the exact same night that Sabin was injured.
The younger of the two Machine Guns, Shelley now wrestles in TNA without Sabin, trying to catch up to his friend's accomplishments. Shelley has been called The Prodigy by some and could be in for a great career in the coming years.
When people looked at him originally, Shelley was nothing more than a skinny high-flier who would bring attention to the X Division in TNA. Shelley is proving that is not the case as the years pass by.
I'll start this one with a story. Me and a friend of mine make jokes about how innocent Evan Bourne looks. We have always joked that Bourne looks like a little boy who would like a glass of milk and cookies. We know now that Bourne would probably prefer some synthetic marijuana.
Bourne is just a short and skinny superstar on the surface, but then he shows his athletic ability. His shooting star press, which he calls Air Bourne, is incredible and done as well by very few men.
It's no mistake that Bourne has had a few chances at a push due to his massive popularity, despite his lack of showing personality or speaking well on the microphone. It has been the poor choices by Bourne that have nearly destroyed his WWE career.
Ask someone about a superstar that has been a long-term TNA star and embodies the company. If you sift through the people who don't understand the question and say Kurt Angle, the real answer is AJ Styles.
The list of accomplishments speaks for itself. An original member of the TNA roster, Styles is a four-time world champion, a six-time X Division Champion (including the first-ever champ), as well as the first-ever Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion in TNA history.
Styles is the first name you need to mention when you talk about the growth and development of TNA. He embodies the spirit of TNA: a young unproven company that has had critics and, despite its look, won people over.
A native of New Jersey like myself, Jay Lethal has ended up as having a better career than some probably could have imagined. He's 5'10" and only 225 pounds, but Lethal has had a great career to this point and is only turning 27 at the end of April.
Lethal has collected championships in various independent promotions and is one of those guys that WWE fans wouldn't mind seeing in a WWE ring someday.
His Black Machismo gimmick in TNA was a honorable portrayal of the Macho Man gimmick made famous by Randy Savage. It also showed that Lethal can be more than just a generic superstar.
Taka Michinoku has the look that just screams "jobber." Some cannot even recall the days where Kaientai was a faction that actually wasn't a laughingstock. Michinoku was the crown jewel of that faction, who only seems to be remembered for trying to chop off Val Venis's penis.
Michinoku would end up with some success as a Light Heavyweight Champion, but not much more than that. He would often be seen as a comedy act. Along with Funaki, Taka would have a dub added to his promos in a classic Godzilla style.
If you weren't too careful, Taka could surprise you. His Michinoku Driver is still one of the more damaging moves in all of wrestling.
Taka's buddy for many years, Funaki had a better career as Smackdown's No. 1 announcer. That doesn't even say much, because he wasn't too impressive in any particular area. I guess today's version of Funaki would be... uhm...I guess Josh Mathews?
Yeah, that's about right.
Who would have thought that this guy, named The 1-2-3 Kid, would one day become the man known as X-Pac? The 1-2-3 Kid always comes to mind for me as that guy who really angered Razor Ramon. That's what happens when such a little guy can pull off an upset on you.
His billed weight today goes for 212 pounds, but at this time, he looked more like 160 or 170. He was that tiny. This scrawny-looking guy would enjoy a great career, but not until he started lifting weights and eating some vegetables.
The legend of Scotty 2 Hotty is the story of a light wrestler without a direction getting repackaged into a silly gimmick and making it work. His gangsta clothes, his odd breakdancing and his finisher, The Worm, helped make him a fan favorite.
I still remember playing video games with Scotty in it and seeing that The Worm was one of the most lethal moves in the entire game. I can only imagine that someone was fired for that.
Essa Rios came and went in WWE, winning the Light Heavyweight Championship and losing it to Dean Malenko a few weeks later.
Then, he would lose his manager, Lita. Then, he would lose his spot on RAW episodes. Then, he would lose his spot on the WWE roster. Then, he would lose his puppy in a bus accident.
I don't know if that last one is actually true, but the guy lost a lot in a short amount of time. This was all because he didn't gain one thing: popularity.
Tajiri was exciting to watch. There's no doubt about that. His unique moveset, including his green mist, was something you don't see with every superstar. Maybe that green mist was his protein drink and he should have just swallowed it instead.
Whatever the reason for it, Tajiri's lack of size, as well as the language barrier, did not do him any favors. Even in his spot on the roster, I don't know how seriously people took him.
If you have no idea who Jushin Liger is, you need to affiliate yourself more with international wrestling, as well as matches that happened before 2004.
Liger has been around since the 1980s, traveling across the world and wowing audiences in every place he goes to. His character is based off of an anime character in Japan, which explains the whole look.
Liger looks like something directly pulled out of an episode of the Power Rangers. His long hair looked thicker than his arms and his mask made him seem like a sideshow act.
With all of that working against him, Liger has somehow lived up to the legend put forth by the anime character.
Let's paint a picture here. Your father is the legendary Blackjack Mulligan. Your brother is known around the world as Barry Windham. Your name is Kendall Windham... and you are one of the scrawniest men in the entire world.
What do you do? Well, after you figure out how to put more milk into your diet, you decide to get into the family business of professional wrestling.
Kendall would still have a decent career all things considered. He would end up bulking up to a weight of 257 pounds, but Kendall did not look that way at first.
However, people took a chance on him and he ended up with a solid career. Perhaps that never would have happened had he not been a Windham.
Daivari was introduced to WWE fans as the mouthpiece for Muhammad Hassan. That didn't work out forever, but it was not Daivari's fault.
While with Hassan, we got to see Daivari in action a few times. Originally, we thought he was just a manager and not capable of wrestling. As time wore on, he managed Kurt Angle, as well as The Great Khali.
At the end of his stint in WWE, as well as his time in TNA, Daivari was an in-ring competitor and a pretty good one at that. Nobody would have thought that when they first saw him, either.
Jeff Hardy, even today, still is a very skinny guy. He has always been pretty average looking the way that wrestlers go.
That hasn't stopped Jeff Hardy from making a great career for himself, complete with world championships in WWE and TNA. Still, his career could probably have been much better had he not gotten involved with drugs.
Kurt Angle was an Olympic gold medalist. He was a multi-time world champion in WWE. When he became the greatest free agent in TNA history, he was an immediate draw and a magnet for gold. Then, he was suddenly this thin. It was odd and there was no real explanation for it.
Then again, there has been a lot of speculation of Angle's history with anabolic steroids. He has violated the Wellness Policy in WWE for steroid use and has been named in reports of busted clinics who have supplied performance-enhancing drugs.
Angle has broken his neck before, but has never failed a drug test for pain medication. His jump to TNA was believed to be fueled by the lack of a drug test in the company, but this thinner Angle was during his TNA stint.
Before he was dashing, disturbed or downright exceptional, Cody Rhodes was decrepit. The thin half-brother of Goldust and the son of legend Dusty Rhodes came into the WWE a few years ago without much support.
He grew to have a tag team with Hardcore Holly and get somewhat successful before turning heel and becoming a member of Legacy.
Rhodes has since bulked up somewhat and has had a lot of hard work put into his career. Rhodes is now a rising star in the company and, as a long-time Intercontinental Champion, Rhodes is on the verge of greatness that his half-brother could never obtain.
Punk sits atop the company today as the WWE Champion heading into WrestleMania. It's hard to imagine that he was a blond in TNA with thin arms. After a long journey through multiple promotions, the legend of Punk grew to create a spot on the WWE roster.
Punk has had a constant following from his independent days and, despite not quite having the look of many WWE Champions before him, Punk has helped to blaze his own trail in WWE.
It must be hard to be a pro wrestler and have your brother also be a pro wrestler. It only gets harder from there, when your brother become Macho Man Randy Savage. As for you, you are best known as a poetry-wielding, robe-wearing wrestler/manager, referred to as The Genius.
Actually, Lanny Poffo (his real name) had a chance to be the new Gorgeous George after his brother purchased the rights to that gimmick. Instead, Poffo became The Genius, who had arms as wide as his mustache and weighed about as much as his believed IQ score.
Sure, he is the World Heavyweight Champion now and has incredible wrestling ability. Still, just look at how Daniel Bryan looked when you first saw him.
Even when he was known as Bryan Danielson, this guy didn't look very threatening. He certainly didn't look like an independent wrestler that would ever make it to WWE, let alone wear a championship.
Now, Bryan stands on top of the company as he heads to his first official WrestleMania match. Not bad for that scrawny guy we all saw on NXT just a few years ago.
It's Amazing that Amazing Red hasn't made more of a splash in pro wrestling. He is talented inside the ring. I have seen him at an independent booking and his moves were very swift and effective.
I would love to see him return to TNA in a prominent role of go to WWE if his spot would be a decent one. Instead, I don't feel like I will have that luxury. He's just too tiny.
In fact, despite being an impressive part of the X Division in TNA, Red was used to introduce a new wrestler for a storyline. In the story, his brother came to TNA and was named Crimson. Now, Crimson is the Goldberg of TNA, while Amazing Red's phone does not get calls from TNA.
Most of the bookings from the company after Crimson debuted was as a masked wrestler that did not get over with the crowd.
If you are looking for a great independent wrestler that is very skinny, El Generico is probably your guy. In Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, where he is the current world champion, or his widely known tenure in Ring of Honor, El Generico is known around the world.
The Generic Luchador is a fixture in the independent scene and may go down as one of the great indie wrestlers of this generation.
It still does not make up for his look bordering on severe malnutrition. He looks like the older brother from The Adventures of Pete and Pete. Maybe that's why he is wearing a mask all the time and speaking bad Spanish.