Here is my list of five guys who I believe could have done a lot more, but for some reason just never came through.
5. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR
Yes I know, the Warrior was a hero, a legend, an unstoppable force, an Icon. I respect the Warrior, but when you ask me my favorite match is of his, I'm going to have to fall back on his match with Hogan at Wrestlemania 6. Right here in my home town, Warrior gave the best fight of his life. But what happened after that?
I mean for all that energy, all that running around, all that power and paint, what did we get after that? I few more badly booked matches, some crazy interviews and then the Warrior was gone, lost to legend.
WATCH THE MATCH HIGHLIGHTS HERE.
I remember Halloween Havoc. I remember how badly I wanted to see Hogan VS Warrior II. I don't think at the time I thought it was the WORST match ever, but it was certainly a huge disappointment. Watching it again, you see all the shitty, terrible, things Hulk Hogan did that hurt the wrestling business and sunk WCW. It has been panned by critics as one of the worst matches of ALL TIME.
I mean of all time. Think about that for a second. Talk about a huge letdown. But I don't blame Warrior, there were a lot of politics involved. Ego got in the way, both his own and that of the WWE owner Vinced McMahon.
4. VLADIMIR KOSLOV
The Big Bad Vlad is one of those guys whose career came and went in the time that I wasn't watching professional wrestling. Everything I have seen on this guy is impressive, and yet they sunk him with stupid gimmicks and bad booking. Everything Rusev is doing now, Vlad could have done five years ago. In fact, Rusev should take heed to the tale of old Koslov, because this Summer Rae and Dog Ziggler thing isn't helping him at all.
Luckily, the The Moscow Mauler has had a lot of good matches with Inoki Genome Federation, including one remarkable match against the 7'5" Brazillian Beast, Montanha Silva.
Still, every time I see his WWE matches, from his first big push, I can't help but feel he could have done so much more there. Again, not his fault, but disappointing. However, there is hope he can return, I am sure there are a lot of people who'd watch him and Rusev face off. Remember, Rusev isn't Russian, he's Bulgarian. I am sure there is an angle there somewhere.
3. SCOTT HALL (Razor Ramon)
Everybody loved Razor Ramon. Scott is now in the Hall of Fame, so he obviously did something right. Sure, his early rise to become the Intercontinental Champion was impressive and his ladder match with Sean Michaels is the stuff legends are made of, but what did he do after that?
Scott Hall never made a run for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He was gone to WCW, where he was paid a ton of money to basically drink, resulting in very few matches, all of which were lopsided to favor Hall and the NWO. He never really put in the work after that, and why should he? He got to ride with the Kliq, right to the top. I mean compare his career with one of his peers, someone like Shawn Michaels and you can clearly see that Hall just never lived up to his own hype. I'm a fan of Scott Hall, but I am not sure exactly why. Scott Hall has a great body of early work, but other than one ladder match, there isn't really any single match you could say was "incredible", or maybe I am just not aware of it, after all this is just my opinion.
2. RICK RUDE
For the top three spots, you'll notice a common theme here. All three of my top picks were guys who jumped back and forth between WCW and the WWE.
Rick Rude was my first, really good heel. The man was just despicable, he was sleezy, he was everything guys like Val Venis tried to be but couldn't master. Unlike guys like Adrian Adonis, Rude was actually a very well built, very attractive man, with a classic 80's mustache that ladies loved. Rude was by far the better wrestler in his years with the WWF and his feud with the Warrior was almost legendary. Almost, but not quite. Their feud ended with Rude losing a steel cage match in 1990 and after that he was gone.
Following his departure from the WWF, Rude did a brief stint with All Japan Pro Wrestling. Nothing special came of it. He appeared in WCW over the years, and took the title away from Ric Flair for a bit, then went back to Japan for more uneventful matches, where he eventually hurt his back on a failed suicide dive attempt.
I will say this for Rude; he was a man of good character, despite his sleazy on-air persona. Rude returned to the WWE briefly as a bodyguard for Degeneration X, but he never wrestled once during this time that I recall. When Vince and Shawn screwed over Bret Hart, Rick Rude immediately called Eric Bischoff and left the WWE. Rude was the only guy I know of who was a member of DX AND NWO, which shows you how much the guys respected him. It's too bad he died. I was always waiting for him to return to the ring, it just never happened. What can I say, the man could move his pelvis better than Elvis, but the Ravishing One was never able to claim the World Championship. I turn 40 next year, the age Rick died. As with most wrestlers, his was another tragic tale.
1. KEVIN NASH
A lot of guys made a lot of money off the Monday Night Wars, but I doubt many made as much as Kevin Nash. I've always been a fan of Big Daddy Cool. He was friends with three of the most powerful men in wrestling; Hulk Hogan, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. For some reason, big matches just missed the big man. Unlike a lot of the other guys on this list, he actually made it to the top spots in both companies, holding both the WWE and WCW World Heavyweight titles during his career.
Yet his first big title win was against Bob Backlund, who had won the title from Bret Hart. Why the hell didn't "Diesel" win the title directly from Bret? I'm guessing that was Bret's fault, Bret's attitude during that era, combined with the fact the Kliq basically drove him out of wrestling, points to the fact Bret probably refused to lose to Nash. What followed was some great matches, up until the moment Nash left for WCW. The Outsiders started out strong, but once Hogan joined, Nash became the #2 guy in his own outfit.
I can't recall a single good match he had at WCW. And I am huge fan of Kevin Nash. I love the fact he verbally destroyed CM Punk, a guy I can't stand. I love the fact he revolutionized WCW. Nash hasn't done too bad in the acting department, either. While I acknowledge he had some great matches, he had some stinkers too, like cheating against Goldberg and laying down for Hulk Hogan.
Every time I saw Nash, I had high hopes and very few times was I ever rewarded. Not to say I am not a fan, but if there is one guy who has disappointed me, it would be Big Daddy Cool. A lot of it comes down to booking and I can guarantee had he made Punk eat a few of his own teeth, I would never have put him on the list.
Editor's note: minor corrections were made to the spelling of wrestling alter egos in this article, as well as Kozlov's status as an IGF wrestler, not an NJPW one.