Thursday, February 11, 2010

Top 5 Underrated WWE Superstars

Yay lists!   In case you don't follow Kick-Out!! on Twitter or you haven't seen it yet, we're now on formspring, which is a site where you simply ask people questions.  I figured it'd be a cool way for you to interact with the site more, definitely a lot more convenient than e-mail and the comments section can be limiting to the subject of the post, so feel free to ask anything anytime, I'll do my best to answer all questions.

Yesterday, I was asked about the best wrestlers to never win a World Title and it got me thinking about certain people currently in WWE.  I'm not saying these people should be WWE Champion right now, they may never need to be, but from my standpoint, these are the most underrated performers in the business today:

5. Goldust
Goldust is never going to be WWE Champion, and due to programming shifts, he's not even going to be ECW Champion, but the 43-year-old veteran has been nothing short of fantastic since moving to ECW in the supplemental draft last year.   His partnership with Yoshi Tatsu has been a lot of fun, but I can't help but think he's got more than just a "helpful veteran" run in him.  Honestly, I think an angle with him and Cody Rhodes could be really interesting, and yes, that was me saying "Cody Rhodes" and "really interesting" in the same sentence.  Rhodes vs. Orton is going to happen somewhere down the road, but I think a brother vs. brother feud would do more for Cody than working with a top-level talent.  Maybe it's just a personal bias, or maybe that's the staying power of the Goldust character.

4. Beth Phoenix
Out of all the people on this list, I think The Glamazon will stay here permanently.  Don't get me wrong, Beth will have great matches and dominate the women's division whenever WWE wants her to, but that's the problem, there's nothing left for her to do.  Beth Phoenix is too badass for the WWE Divas, but she can't wrestle against the men, she just can't.  Sure, she can beat up Santino or do some cool stuff in the Royal Rumble, but can you imagine something like Beth Phoenix vs. Drew McIntyre?  Either McIntyre gets turned into a joke, or we get the really uncomfortable visual of Phoenix getting beat up by a man, neither of those are ideal options.  It didn't work with Chyna, it wouldn't work with Beth Phoenix, so she's stuck with the Divas that look downright fragile up against her. 

3. The Hart Dynasty
Okay, I'm cheating a bit here since I'm including all three members, but it's my list so I'll do what I want!  With Bret Hart's return being the biggest storyline in WWE right now, why are Tyson Kidd, David Hart Smith and Natalya busy with Matt Hardy & The Great Khali?  They don't even need to be involved with that angle, but why not use the momentum of Bret Hart to increase interest in The Hart Dynasty?  Kidd & Smith should be in the tag title scene, and there's absolutely no excuse for Natalya not being more involved in the women's division, she's arguably the most talented diva in the company!  The name "Hart" is all the rage right now, so don't forget about the guys on Friday nights who share it.

2. Jack Swagger
I'm just going to come right out and say it: Jack Swagger should've never been moved to Raw.  The guy went from ECW Champion and having a fantastic first half of 2009, to moving to Raw and being a punchline for Santino Marella.  I wasn't sold on the guy until Christian returned, but since that, Swagger's proved himself to be the real deal, putting on numerous fantastic matches, but aside from his match with Triple H last week, he hasn't got a chance to showcase his abilities lately.  Go watch his match with John Cena from the Draft show and tell me that this guy isn't incredibly underrated right now.

1. Evan Bourne
The only thing this has working against him is that he isn't the strongest talker; have you ever watched an Evan Bourne match that wasn't picture perfect?  Bourne really is a Rey Mysterio for the next generation, he has the ability to make any opponent look good, his bumping and selling are unparalleled, and much like Mysterio, I'm worried it's going to take ten years before his work is really appreciated.  His ring work is crisp, his offense is unique and exciting, and he has the rare ability to get a crowd into a match just so they can see him do stuff, so why is he barely above Primo in terms of card position? 

So here's an idea for Evan Bourne to get him to a level that he should be at: put him in a tag team with Kofi Kingston.  It's obvious WWE has cooled on Kofi in recent weeks, so reinvigorate both guys with a tag team and send them after ShowMiz.  WWE's light on face tag teams anyway, and even if it's just a temporary thing, the Unified Tag Titles have a proven to be an effective tool to increase interest in characters that have been put on the backburner, so why not?  Besides, Evan Bourne has been with the company way too long to not have any gold around his waist, and that's just one more reason why he's the most underrated star in the industry.


  1. Hey, great list!

    I agree with all of these, except Beth Phoenix. I think the problem with Chyna's run wrestling men is not that it was uncomfortable watching men beat up on her, but that 1) she wasn't very good at actually wrestling and 2)as Mick Foley said in his books, some old-school pig-headed men refused to sell for her.

    Both of these problems could potentially be solved for Beth Phoenix. She's better at actually wrestling then was Chyna, but more importantly, considering the pull that management has over the fate of WWE guys these days, who could refuse to sell for Beth Phoenix? If someone lower on the card like Chris Masters or Carlito said no, I won't do it, then they'd be shipped the hell back to FCW before he could say "that's not cool."

    As for it being uncomfortable watching women wrestle men, I agree to a certain extent, but again, I think the pros could make it work. The character would have to be patently evil in order to justify it and make it clear that only some "demented" would do it. I mean, if you watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you didn't get uncomfortable with her fighting giant demons did you?

    That's my take on it!

  2. It's not that I'm entirely uncomfortable with the thought of women wrestling men, I just don't know if WWE could properly present it. WWE isn't exactly a bastion of feminism and I don't know if they could resist using the easy joke of "haha, you got beat by a girl!" to bury someone.

    I think it could work with good writing, your Buffy analogy was a good one, obviously there's a huge market out there for powerful women, and 40% of WWE's fanbase is now female, but I'm a bit cynical about how they'll handle Beth Phoenix when I see how they handle all the other divas.

  3. I remember working a Fire Pro angle where Amazing/Awesome Kong came to the WWE, and dominated the Women's division during a Phoenix downtime, and after she had beaten all the gals, she set her sights on the men's division and started having some great matches against the midcard too until Phoenix came back and beat her, doing a face turn in the process (as she slew the Monster heel).

    I think Kong could be the woman to break that barrier... and as much as I love Beth Phoenix and what she does, I agree she would not be a good fit in that role.

  4. I love you. I agree with pretty much everyone on here, especially Evan Bourne. I am a massive fan of his and I really really want to see him do well. He's amazing and I love it when he gets on the the mic- I wish they'd let him do it more often so he can get used to it and get better at it- even if they get him started at house shows or in dark matches.
    But uh... that's me being a huge fan of his right there.

  5. I agree with you all the way! Beth is probably going to remain a jobber. The only thing I can picture her doing is winning the divas championship. As for Evan Bourne the WWE really needs to give him a push. Not a little push that will just drop back to jobber like they did to him before, but a push that will actually stick. Evan Bourne= Future WWE champion. (I hope)