The 7 Most Underrated Superstars in WWE and AEW Today
Pro wrestling is like any form of art or entertainment. It is highly subjective in just about every way, especially when it comes to the opinions people have about certain Superstars.
To one person, a wrestler might be the best thing since sliced bread; to another fan, that same name could be the worst thing to happen to the business in decades. It's all a matter of preference.
A great example of this is how people treat The Young Bucks. Depending on who you ask, they are either the best tag team in the business or an embarrassment to the industry.
These differing opinions have more to do with presentation than skill level. Even their biggest critics will admit Matt and Nick Jackson have talent, but they think the brothers choose not to use it wisely.
Since everyone has a different opinion, we end up with a lot of Superstars who don't get the credit they deserve for their ability because people are basing their opinion on whether they like that person instead of how talented they are.
Before we look at some of the most underrated stars in WWE and All Elite Wrestling, we have to remember there is a difference between being underrated and underused. We all know how good Drew Gulak is, but he doesn't get the right opportunities, so he is underused rather than underrated.
With that in mind, let's look at some of the wrestlers who deserve more praise than they have been getting from fans.
The WWE women's division has so many talented Superstars that the company often ends up being forced to keep people who should be featured on TV stuck on the sidelines.
Stars like Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Asuka and Alexa Bliss have been used heavily for the past few years while many other female wrestlers have waited patiently for opportunities that may never come.
Peyton Royce is a prime example of a Superstar who is underrated due to how she has been booked. If you look at her performances without bias, you will see how good she really is.
The IIconics never should have been separated if WWE wasn't going to do something with either of them. Royce and Billie Kay were an established duo who now find themselves without a clear direction.
Royce has more technical ability than most will give her credit for because she has been used as a comedic character so many times. She has a great presence on camera, and her sense of humor makes her a lot of fun to watch.
Hopefully, 2021 will be kinder to both former IIconics. But if we had to pick one to get a big push, it would be Royce.
The Dark Order has been with AEW from the very beginning, but most fans looked at the group as more of a joke than a threat in the first few months of the promotion's existence.
Evil Uno and Stu Grayson were the founders of the faction and expanded the stable to include Brodie Lee as the new leader, John Silver, Alex Reynolds, Anna Jay, Colt Cabana, Preston Vance and Alan Angels.
In the beginning, Uno and Grayson were the primary characters, but Silver's comedic stuff is getting more attention than anything else the stable is trying to do these days. As fun as Silver can be, his act is making The Dark Order feel more like The J.O.B. Squad and less like The Ministry of Darkness.
The person who has arguably suffered the most from how The Dark Order has been used is Grayson. He went from being the main worker of the group to barely wrestling at all, and that has led to many fans not knowing just how good he is.
The 31-year-old has incredible stamina and agility in addition to untapped power. If you go back and watch some of his early matches in AEW, you will see a guy who could have been a competitive singles star putting in some great performances in tag bouts.
It's possible his character could recover with time, but Grayson went from being the best wrestler in The Dark Order to being a guy in a leather jacket who rarely speaks and wrestles even less. In his case, he is both underused and underrated.
You're probably looking at this list and thinking, "Why is Chad Gable on here? Everybody knows how good he is." And you would be partially correct.
Gable is known as a talented wrestler who has been kicked around, given different gimmicks and more tag team partners than most people have in their entire career.
He has been used poorly for so long that there is a whole group of fans who have no idea what he is capable of because he hasn't been allowed to show it.
It has been over three years since American Alpha broke up and over four years since Gable and Jason Jordan were burning it up with The Revival in NXT.
If you put Gable in the ring with somebody like AJ Styles, he is going to hit a home run; if you keep putting him in comedic segments with guys like Otis, people will continue to forget how talented he is.
He combines the underdog quality of Rey Mysterio with the raw skill of Kurt Angle. How WWE managed to screw him up is a topic worthy of its own documentary.
Penelope Ford is on this list largely because she hasn't had enough time to show the world how good she is.
Most of her matches have taken place on AEW Dark, which reaches a much smaller audience on YouTube every week than Dynamite does on TNT.
Since a lot of AEW fans have only seen her a handful of times, it's understandable why they might not know she is one of the most versatile talents the company has.
Not only does she have a marketable look and decent mic skills, but she is also one of the more agile women on the roster. She can hit moves that a lot of people struggle to pull off and makes it look easy.
Ford is somebody who just needs more time to develop a relationship with the audience. Once she shows everyone how good she is, it will just be a matter of time before she is a bigger part of Dynamite every week.
Mandy Rose had spent most of her WWE career with Sonya Deville as her tag team partner, so she has had an uphill battle to be recognized since her days on Tough Enough.
Deville was always seen as the one with the pure fighting ability while Rose was often unfairly labeled as the weaker half of the team. She may not have the MMA training of her former teammate, but she has more to offer than the majority of the WWE Universe might be willing to admit.
If you look at one of her matches from a couple of years ago and compare it to something recent, you will notice she is one of the most improved wrestlers on the entire roster.
Her moves look smoother, her strikes look stiffer and her promos are more convincing. She has grown in every way a Superstar can hope and while it has led to her being used semi-regularly, WWE has still managed to drop the ball with her more than once.
In a lot of ways, her growth has been similar to what we saw with Trish Stratus. She went from being an untrained talent to one of the most lauded women in WWE history because she put in the work to get better. With time, that can be how fans see Rose, too.
Serena Deeb has had a weird relationship with televised wrestling. Anyone who has followed her career already knows she is one of the best, but those who only know her from her short stint with WWE and her recent work with AEW may not know just how good she really is.
Her recent matches on Dynamite have earned Deeb a lot of praise, especially the bouts with Thunder Rosa. She is finally getting the credit she deserves, but the reason she is on our list is that she has been this good for a long time.
The former member of The Straight Edge Society worked for WWE as a coach at the Performance Center for a while, so even WWE officials have recognized her talents even though the company never booked her in a strong way.
Her current run with AEW is opening up a lot of eyes to what she brings to the table. If Tony Khan needs a woman to build the entire division around, it should be Deeb.
It's great that more people are starting to see how good she is but if you want to see more, seek out her indie work on YouTube. You will find some real gems.
It's hard to believe WWE's Cruiserweight Classic was over four years ago. Since that tournament aired in 2016, the company's cruiserweight division has gone through some big changes.
Many of the people who competed in that tournament are still with WWE, such as Cedric Alexander, Fabian Aichner, Gran Metalik, Ariya Daivari, Drew Gulak, Mustafa Ali and more. In fact, most of the people who competed are still with the company in some capacity.
Out of everyone from the CWC, though, the one person whose reputation has suffered the most due to poor booking has been Akira Tozawa.
The former cruiserweight champion came to WWE with over a decade of experience and a reputation as a skilled wrestler. What is he doing these days? He's running around dressed like a ninja trying to win the 24/7 title.
Comedy has a place in pro wrestling, but it has to be done right. If you take a guy who can kick someone's head off and force him to play the fool, you aren't helping anyone.
Tozawa is underrated because the WWE Universe has not been given sufficient opportunities to see how good he is outside of 205 Live. If you didn't watch the first two years of that program, you probably have no clue how talented he is, which means your opinion of him might not be so great.
If you come away from this article and only look up one person's work, please make it Tozawa. You won't regret it.