Top 10 overrated performers in WWE: Number 7
Much like any other sport, professional wrestling too has seen its share of “oh, that guy deserves much more” and “he shouldn’t be there” remarks. Like any other athlete or sportsperson, there are performers who deserve more than what they receive, and then there are those who receive too much for the talent they possess. Unlike other sports though, professional wrestling doesn’t have a tangible criteria; you cannot judge a performer by the win – loss record he has, or by the story-lines he’s involved in. If the wrestler makes it to the main show, it doesn’t mean he’s better than the “curtain guys” backstage, who don’t get the opportunity to get a place on the card.
This is where the critics come in. These so called “experts” analyse various criteria, such as the in–ring work, the psychology, mic work and over all work rate and work ethic of the performer. We’ve had the Meltzers and other critics who standardised the role of a “wrestling critic” in the business, and these are the guys that write what we generally read and believe on the dirtsheets. But as a fan, you need to make your own analysis; what can be entertaining for someone else might be too bland for you. So when we thought about starting this series, we understood that we might not echo the sentiments of some portion of the readers, but rest assured, we’ve done our analysis before coming out with the list.
Now, moving on with our series, today we come down to number 7. Today, we’ll look back at one of the most interesting characters in professional wrestling history, as well as a tale of ascendance and the subsequent fall of a superstar in the then WWF, who was considered to be the future of the business at a point. His unparalleled charisma and his over the top gimmick made him a huge fan favourite in the late 1980s and 1990s, and he went on to achieve great success in the WWF in a relatively short time, dethroning Hulk Hogan and winning the WWF championship. He is none other than the Ultimate Warrior.
The Ultimate Warrior’s rise to fame was meteoric in the WWF. Vince McMahon saw his next Hulk Hogan in Warrior, and with his physique, charisma and his revolutionary gimmick, he was well on his way to do just that. Ultimate Warrior soon became the WWF Intercontinental champion, and had a great run with the title. Warrior then became the number one contender for the WWF championship, and faced Hulk Hogan at the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania. Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan in a match that was believed to “pass the torch” from Hogan to Warrior, signifying the beginning of the Warrior era in the WWF.
In the melee that followed, Warrior squandered his chances when he held up Vince McMahon to pay him as much as he paid Hogan for the SummerSlam PPV. Vince McMahon didn’t take the threat too kindly, and proceeded to fire Warrior towards the end of the PPV when they went backstage. As Vince put it in his own words, he couldn’t wait to fire Ultimate Warrior. What was supposed to be a remarkable career was tainted by Warrior’s belief in his own hype. Warrior then went to WCW, but Hogan and Bischoff made a mockery out of the Warrior gimmick and released him soon afterwards.
Warrior was given another chance in the WWF, but was once again fired by Vince McMahon. In the span of 6 years, what was supposed to be one of the greatest careers ended abruptly, as Warrior wasn’t seen in the WWE ever again. Recently, there were rumours about Warrior returning to the WWE, and with Vince and Warrior burying the hatchet, it might be a possibility down the line. In his prime, Warrior captivated the wrestling fans like few others could, and his persona and larger than life character made him one of the most interesting individuals in professional wrestling.
His in-ring skills however were average at best. Warrior wasn’t much of a performer, but more of an entertainer. There have been quite a few critics who have said he didn’t deserve what he had achieved in the business, with the likes of Hennig and Rude never getting the opportunities that Warrior was presented with. This puts the Ultimate Warrior at number 7 in our list of the top 10 overrated superstars in WWE history.
Read other articles in the series here: Top 10 overrated performers in WWE