7 Most Hyped Prospects Who Never Lived Up to Their Billing
Alas, WWE has had more than a few flops over the years.
We've seen it time and again: The company goes out of its way to promote and market a new debuting act, only to see it flounder and struggle and fail to get over as expected on the big stage.
Hey, Vince McMahon may be a genius, but even he makes mistakes like everybody else.
The most notable examples of acts who never lived up to their hype? Well, let's take a look...
Upon Matt “Tensai” Bloom’s return to WWE in the spring of last year, many assumed he would ascend to the top of the card as a top monster heel .
After all, this was a man who, in his time away from America’s No.1 wrestling promotion, had turned into a highly respected wrestler in the New Japan wrestling scene.
That he was heavily promoted and associated with heel GM John Laurinaitis right off the bat was also seen as a good sign for him.
Cut to one year later, and Bloom is now an opening-match comedy jobber stuck in a going-nowhere tag team with Brodus Clay. Safe to say, his second WWE run hasn’t quite turned out as planned.
6. Sin Cara
After WWE signed Mexican superstar Mistico in January 2011, many wondered if the company had found its new Rey Mysterio.
It’s easy to see why. Both wear masks, have a highly exciting, ultra-risky in-ring style and play the plucky underdog role to perfection.
Alas, it was not to be, and the former CMLL star’s WWE stint has been dragged down by wellness issues, suspensions, injuries and creative issues. Of course, he’s still under contract and could turn things around, but it seems unlikely at this point. The company appears to have totally lost faith in him.
5. Scott Steiner
Let's face it: Former WCW star Scott Steiner's WWE run was a terrible disappointment.
His brief main event run was a disaster, with him and Triple H managing to churn out one of the most abysmal World title matches ever at the 2003 Royal Rumble. The bout was even voted "Worst Worked Match of the Year" in that year's Wrestling Observer awards.
Their rematch the following month at No Way Out was also pretty awful.
Many wondered: Where was the man who thrived as a frightening monster villain in WCW?
After the Triple H debacle, Steiner was sent back to the midcard, where he had an unremarkable run before being quietly released in 2004.
Considering he was one of the most fearsome and respected names in ECW, Tazz’s run in WWE—he signed with the company in 1999 and debuted at the 2000 Royal Rumble by defeating rising star Kurt Angle—has to be considered a dreadful disappointment. Indeed, his run as a wrestler was such a flop he got switched to the role of announcer a little over a year later.
3. New World Order
Legendary WCW heel group NWO—Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall—debuted at 2002’s No Way Out pay-per-view, with the expectation that the trio could turn around the faltering WWE business, similar to how they turned things around for WCW in 1996.
Of course, it never happened, and the story quickly fizzled out. The deeply troubled Hall was fired a couple of the months later—to the shock of no-one. Nash got injured, and Hogan turned face after his memorable match with The Rock at WrestleMania 18.
2. Drew McIntyre
Thanks to his size, photogenic good looks and in-ring skills, big things were predicted for Scottish star Drew McIntyre when he debuted on the main roster in 2009. Heck, he was even called "The Chosen One" and associated with Vince McMahon in the storylines for a while.
Sadly, it never quite panned out. The young wrestler was still too green and inexperienced to truly capitalize on his first-class treatment.
Struggling in his role, McIntyre never truly got over with the fans, and WWE seemingly lost faith in him soon after his debut, with the star plummeting down the card. An off-screen domestic incident with his then-wife Taryn "Tiffany" Terrell during SummerSlam weekend in 2010 probably didn't help matters (via the Daily Record).
He has since been reduced to a lower midcard comedy role in heel group 3MB. Which is a shame, because he actually has developed wonderfully as a character and performer since 2009, and he probably could go places again with the help of creative.
1. Bill Goldberg
After his hugely memorable and money-making WCW run in the late '90s, hopes were high that Bill Goldberg could emulate that success when he signed with WWE in 2003.
Alas, this never happened. Goldberg's stint in WWE was, for the most part, rather lukewarm and dull, with his awful and poorly received bout against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 20 serving as an appropriate end to his mediocre WWE run.
It's difficult to know who to pin the blame on.
Sure, WWE's booking team greatly watered down his character and likely waited too long to give him the World title, but Goldberg didn't help himself either with his decidedly average performances. He simply didn't look that interested out there.