10 WWE Wrestlers Who Had the Careers They Deserved
Fans can argue all day about wrestlers that have been overpushed in WWE.
Triple H, John Cena and The Ultimate Warrior are among the names you'll often hear of talent that were given too much.
Fans can also argue about talent that should have received a bigger push like William Regal, Raven or Kaval.
But what about the guys who pretty much had the careers they deserved?
That statement is not a knock on any of the talent mentioned. This is a list of wrestlers who got the push that fit their strengths and weaknesses well. For the most part, they just didn’t have main event talent or the mysterious “it” factor by their side.
They did, however, play an important part on the card and got to make a good living.
This list focuses on midcarders to casual main eventers, and leaves out true icons like Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin that had careers that lived up to their talents.
Here are 10 WWE stars who had the careers they deserved.
There were big plans for Ken Shamrock in the WWF, but they never quite came to fruition.
His debut saw him referee the submission match between Steve Austin and Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13. Not a bad way to come in.
Shamrock later won the 1998 King of the Ring where he defeated The Rock in the finals. He also became an Intercontinental and Tag Team champion. It's a career that's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
While Shamrock oozed intensity, and had the real-life credentials to back it up, he didn't have great professional wrestling abilities or promo skills. WWE basically got what it could out of him. Shamrock probably wouldn't have transformed into a main event act.
He just didn't have the passion for wrestling that he had for MMA. After spending a couple years in fake fighting, he went back to the real deal in 1999.
The Rock and Steve Blackman battling it out on the mic was just never going to happen.
However, WWE was able to use this to his advantage. After his MMA-inspired feud with Ken Shamrock dried up, he was placed in the entertaining tag team Head Cheese with Al Snow. He played the straight man to Snow's goofy comedy act.
Blackman also enjoyed a brief push when he faced off against Shane McMahon. It was what it was. You can't say WWE didn't try.
Overall, he lasted five years in the company, held the hardcore title six times and competed in a couple of WrestleManias.
All things considered, that's a pretty solid career.
Some people just love them some Chris Jericho.
And with good reason.
He's great on the mic, solid in the ring and has one of the best wrestling minds in the business.
He's just not the best in the world.
Basically, Jericho had the career he deserved because he just wasn't as good as the other top stars of his time. In the Attitude Era, he was behind Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, HHH and Mick Foley in the pecking order.
That's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
Despite becoming the first undisputed champion, it wasn't until about 2005 that he started to be taken seriously as a top-level heel. After a lengthy amount of time off, he returned in 2007 and rose to new heights as a character. However, he still wasn't "the man."
A knock against Jericho is that he has aspirations outside of wrestling. This is good for him as a human being but not for Vince McMahon. Jericho would rather play rock star than wrestler, which makes building around him undesireable.
In the end, Jericho got to hold a boatload of titles, main event some shows and be a popular act for years. He just didn't have the drawing power to be the No. 1 guy in the company.
Overall, maybe The Godfather was more lucky than anything.
He had a pretty big run as Papa Shango, was a midcarder in The Nation and became a popular act as The Godfather. He also spun this off with a fun heel run as The Goodfather in the Right to Censor.
Charles Wright just wasn't that good in the ring, though. Even for a big man, he was average at best.
But his fun personality was contagious, even though his most famous gimmick was downright sleazy.
There's really only so much you can do with a pimp character in wrestling, though. When that ran its course, Godfather was let go.
Billy Gunn did get one big singles push in his career; it just didn't pan out very well.
To be fair, though, when your name is "Mr. Ass," it makes it increasingly more difficult to get over.
Overall, Gunn had a lot of success in WWE. He is one of the most decorated tag team wrestlers in the company's history and had a run with the Intercontinental title.
An overlooked strength of Billy Gunn was that he was great at selling. Even though he was often bigger than his opponents, he made them look good.
Gunn just didn't have the personality to have an entertaining singles career. In D-Generation X alone, Road Dogg and HHH were much better talkers. Gunn spent over a decade in the WWE, some time in TNA and made a WWE return behind the scenes.
He never sold out arenas on his own but more than held his own in DX. After climbing the ladder for years in WWE, he settled in a nice position that was well deserved.
Rob Van Dam
For years, fans claimed that Rob Van Dam was being held back.
When he finally got his shot, he proved why that was the case. At ECW One Night Stand 2006, Van Dam defeated John Cena (with some help from Edge) for the WWE title. It should have been huge.
Rob Van Dam, unfortunately, then pulled a Rob Van Dam and was arrested for smoking pot. Because of this, he dropped the title almost immediately to Edge. The night after that, he lost the ECW Title.
While Van Dan had the flashiest moves on the roster, his persona left a lot to be desired. He displayed the burnt-out "I don't care" attitude down perfectly. Some people dig that, but it's not someone you can really rally behind as the best in the company.
Van Dam just never showed the fire to be a consistent main eventer in WWE or TNA. Still though, Mr. Monday Night has a lot to brag about for his wrestling career, and he probably will if asked.
To put it simply, Christian is no Edge.
It's impossible not to directly compare the two given their lengthy history as a tag team. Heck, Christian picked up the spear as a finisher after Edge called it a career.
Christian is a great midcarder who gets the occasional main event match. He plays an important part on the roster. He works well with pretty much everyone, is solid on the mic and provides years of experience.
But he's not someone to build the company around. TNA tried this for awhile, and it didn't really work.
Sure, WWE should have pushed Christian stronger in 2005 as Captain Charisma, but you can't feel too sorry for him, as he did eventually capture the World Heavyweight title.
In the end, Christian is an incredibly effective role player with a Hall of Fame career.
Very few people have ever argued that Chavo Guerrero should have been main eventing WrestleMania.
While his game was pretty well-rounded, he spent most of his professional wrestling career in the shadow of his uncle Eddie.
He was under Eddie's abusive tutelage in WCW and later severed as his tag partner in WWE. While Chavo was solid, he just wasn't Eddie. You can't really blame him for that, though.
Not many would have guessed out of all the talent that came from the WCW Invasion angle in 2001 that Chavo would be one of the last standing.
Overall, he had a pretty decorated career. He held the Cruiserweight title four times, the ECW Championship once and the Tag Team titles twice.
Sure, Chavo deserved better than his never-ending feud with Hornswoggle and his eight-second loss to Kane at WrestleMania 24, but otherwise, WWE used him about as well as it could have.
Matt Hardy probably could have had a job in WWE for life had he kept himself under control.
Just like Christian and Chavo Guerrero, Hardy lived under the shadow of his tag partner, but he was still important to the company.
Neither Hardy could cut a compelling promo, but Matt was worse off because he didn't have the charisma that Jeff had. He didn't have his flashy move set, either.
WWE did give Matt a chance to break out, but he fell flat on his face. After he was released, Matt had a surge of popularity with fans believing he was unjustly fired after it was revealed that his girlfriend Lita had cheated on him with Edge in real life.
Matt made his anticipated return and cut a lousy promo, which killed his chances at a top spot. Edge instead was the one who benefited from the feud.
After that, Matt became lazy, gained weight and had drug problems. WWE had no other choice but to let him go.
Matt seems to have cleaned up his act these days, but it's hard to believe that he ever would have been a big draw as a main eventer.
Scotty Too Hotty
How many people get to make a nice living out of performing The Worm?
At one point, Hotty’s Too Cool partner, Brian Christopher, seemed destined for bigger things in his early career. So it was probably a disappointment that Jerry Lawler's son was cast as a dancing fool.
But not so much for Mr. Hotty. He got a gimmick that worked for him and one he excelled at.
Scotty wasn't very big, and he wasn't very good at Cruiserweight style matches, either. But what he could do was deliver one mean-looking Worm. And for this, the crowd loved him for it. At least for some time.
He got to spend 10 years in the company, which is far longer than the vast majority of wrestlers to ever join the WWE. He acted like an idiot on-air but got to have fun and make good money. Not a bad way to make a living.