When you think of WWE, what comes to mind?
These stars that make it onto the programming. These are the men who have shaped and lead the WWE over its time in the spotlight; however, there are hundreds of stars who have come and gone in the WWE.
Each man left a different impression whether good, bad, or indifferent.
While Hulk Hogan ran the show, men such as Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart just looked like chumps in the tag team division. The lucky thing for those men is that they peaked after Hulkamania ran its way out of their company. Many men have slaved away, honing their craft for years and have never been given any chance at becoming a star.
Even now, many of WWE's best wallow away in the mid card without direction or accolades.
The WWE out down these men, leaving them without a legacy and are therefore the most underrated stars in WWE's history.
Goldust: Goldust had the skills and was unique. He simply did not stand out as a main event player. His skill showed that he deserved to, but he could never make a true impact as Goldust.
Mark Henry: One of WWE's most loyal talents, he has been around for fifteen years now. The closest the big man has gotten to the main event is his work right now. Henry finally looks like the monster he was supposed to be, and people appreciate it. If his push continues, perhaps Henry will finally receive his due with a World Title reign.
Kane: Another long time veteran, Kane has had to endure some horrible gimmicks in his time in the WWE. When he became Kane, he was instantly a hit. Deranged and powerful, Kane was on a warpath, but he barely was given any real shots at stardom. Until last year, Kane had held the World Title for a grand total of 24 hours. His reign last year proved that he deserved better and proved to many how good he has always been.
You might remember MVP.
He was a US champion and a tag champion. He had good in ring ability and most importantly, he had loads of charisma.
He was a wrestler who had just as much going for him as John Cena did when he first began. MVP could have been a huge main event star yet the best he got was a spot in a championship scramble match that was mainly just a way for HHH and Jeff Hardy to feud for the title.
The balling superstar was on the rise for a while coming off as a great heel and then.... WWE decided to make him a face. From that point on, MVP would be lost in the shuffle unfairly eventually asking for his release.
Many people might say that MVP was never championship material, but they were missing the big picture. Not many guys have MVP's charisma even today. With the right marketing, MVP could have been huge.
The WWE dropped the ball on this one.
A long time friend to Chris Jericho, Lance at least got to watch his friend rise to supreme heights. He, on the other hand, fell to the wayside without much of a chance.
Storm was a great performer. Chris Jericho, in commentary on his DVD Breaking the Code: Behind the Walls of Jericho, admitted to being jealous of Storm's talent.
Lance Storm was not a huge guy, but he was a great aggressive competitor. At the same time, he continually grew as a mic worker.
He may not have been Chris Jericho, but he certainly could have had Jericho's same opportunities.
Since he never got any shots, Storm never came across to the audience for being as talented as he really was and has been lost in obscurity since he stopped actively wrestling.
A great wrestler and entertaining presence, Lance Storm was the superstar many of today's stars could only hope to be.
One of the most decorated champions in the world, how can Ultimo Dragon be underrated?
Simple, have you seen his time in WWE?
This man was showered in gold by every company he worked in until he came to the big shows.
Why is that? It is simply unfathomable. Rey Mysterio is a great star and talent, but Ultimo was bigger. Why did Mysterio get chances where Ultimo barely got a glance?
No one who watched WWE exclusively ever truly understood what a legend of his craft Ultimo Dragon really was, and those who did know still forget sometimes just how great he was.
Watch his match with Jericho here (when Jericho was still coming into his own) and realize that Ultimo was one of the greatest competitors to ever step foot in a wrestling ring.
Terry Taylor may be one of the most misused talents in the history of Vince McMahon's company.
Taylor was a great talent in the ring and on the mic. He could do everything a main event star needed to do to be great, and yet no one paid attention.
Why? Because he was the Red Rooster.
A horrible gimmick that Vince McMahon came up with, Terry dressed up in flamboyant and ridiculous attire that destroyed any credible he could have had.
Seriously look back at some of his work. He wrestled with great talent and speed.
This one man has Vince McMahon to blame for many of his failures.
Ricky Steamboat is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. When he was actively competing, he was nearly as popular as Hulk Hogan himself.
Many people know Steamboat and realize that he is great, but not many give him enough credit. This man was incredibly talented. He had one of the greatest matches of all time with Randy Savage at Wrestlemania III, yet he still seems to lack the weight in name of Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Randy Savage.
This man could have lead the company ahead without Hulk Hogan to back him if he had been given the Wold Title.
Even today, Steamboat could probably out-wrestle over half the current WWE roster. Hogan couldn't do that.
This man is a legend never given the credit he deserved.
Bam Bam Bigelow may not seem like an underrated star. Some might even call him overrated. Some think he was just another big guy who got pushed because of his size.
That is completely wrong. Bigelow was an athlete. Seriously.
Watch his matches. He does moves that some men half his size couldn't do with more speed than some of them as well.
The worst part is that he get a chance.
Look into his accomplishments and you'll see almost nothing on his resume. With only one ECW Heavyweight Title reign and his only accomplishment in the WWF being a Slammy Award for Best Head (seriously), Bigelow was criminally under-appreciated for his talent and left with fairly little to show for his great work.
The man of 1,000 holds, Dean Malenko was one of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time.
While technical wrestling carried Bret Hart and Chris Benoit to World Titles, Malenko was left in the cruiserweight division.
He had some great matches there and showed amazing prowess, but he was deserving of far better. He had intensity and ability that no one seems to give true credit.
Yes, Kurt Angle and Bret Hart were great technical wrestlers. Fans of technical wrestling will never forget Chris Benoit, but they all seem to leave Malenko out of those conversations.
Dean Malenko was amazing. Don't forget him!
Benjamin is the three-time Wrestling Observer Most Underrated star for a reason.
Watch every Money in the Bank match he has been involved in. He made that match exciting. Others made it fun, but Shelton was the star of those matches every year. He originated almost every ladder move that is now featured in those types of matches.
This man may be the most athletic athlete to ever step into a WWE ring. He had athleticism that made you realize it did not matter if wrestling followed a script.
Was he World Title material? Maybe if given the right push, but was he better than almost every high flier that came after him? Yes.
Benjamin could have been something new and exciting for the WWE to hold onto, but instead they decided to release him in a truly baffling call, ridding itself of the best pure athlete in the WWE.
Charisma, talent, and dedication. William Regal, who has been in this business almost 20 years, has been one of the WWE's best veterans for years yet he still gets no recognition.
While it is a big deal for Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, or the Undertaker to return, no one seems to care that William Regal is still here in WWE.
The man can put on a clinic in technical wrestling whenever he steps into the squared circle, and he has more mic skill and charisma than most current main eventers.
William Regal has trained some of the world's best wrestlers in Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Samoa Joe.
Why his dedication and obvious talent has never been truly rewarded is unfathomable, but it is worse that people simply forget about him.
He is left to own everyone on commentary on the unwatchable NXT while Booker T struggles to combine words together that make even remote sense on Smackdown.
William Regal simply deserves to be recognized.
Arn Anderson is great. In fact, he is a legend.
At the same time, he is criminally under-appreciated.
Listen to the promo to the left and listen closely.
Anderson was an amazing athlete and a great mic worker. He was as good as every other main event star of the time.
In this day and age, any star with talent like his would have become a legend.
Instead, Anderson has become an obscure member of the Four Horseman always overshadowed by the great Ric Flair.
Never given a chance and never appreciated. What did Anderson ever do to deserve obscurity?
Looking back at these stars, you begin to realize that this is not a situation that is ending any time soon. Each generation will have great talents lost and abandoned to obscurity.
Will Evan Bourne or Kofi Kingston end up leaving the WWE without being given a real chance? Will the WWE make even bigger mistakes in forgetting talents such as Wade Barrett or Daniel Bryan?
The WWE may bury these stars unfairly for years to come, but the fans must remember them as they would the stars. Talent is talent regardless of what WWE thinks.
Now you decide,
I began with a list of about 30 stars and limited it to my personal 13.
Do you feel I missed someone? Or that I should not have included a particular star as underrated?
Other viewpoints on the subject are encouraged and welcomed.