Pro wrestling promoters have their reasons for pushing a certain wrestler on their roster. Usually it’s because they have the winning combination of wrestling ability, athleticism, and charisma. However, sometimes even the best promoters will see only a certain something that makes them think a wrestler can get over. It might be their look, their size, or gimmick that the promoter falls in love with. And other times, promoters fall in love with the idea of their guy getting over just because they are a relative or best buddy.
Unfortunately for fans, there are times when these undeserved chosen ones are just simply terrible wrestlers. It can be blatantly obvious how bad they are and painful to watch them wrestle. It can also become extremely embarrassing to watch promoters stubbornly try to get these wrestlers over. If there is one thing fans hate the most, it is a promoter attempting to force feed them an undeserving push of a truly bad pro wrestler. Fans just want to be entertained by good wrestling and good story telling. Terrible wrestlers aren’t able to do either but that hasn’t stopped promoters over the years from trying to produce superstars like fast food.
Let’s take a look at 15 terrible wrestlers we still can’t believe they pushed.
Mabel was a very intimidating and impressive looking big man who received an equally big push in 1995. However, the almost seven-foot tall, 400-pound plus Mabel was no “Excellence of Execution.” In fact, there were reports from other wrestlers such as Kevin Nash aka Diesel that Mabel was unsafe in the ring. Despite his lack of wrestling ability, Mabel won the 1995 King of the Ring and met Nash for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam 1995. He also feuded with The Undertaker, which resulted in a legitimate injury to Taker. The injury led to The Undertaker wearing what would be known as his “Phantom of the Opera” mask. Nash also reported that Mabel injured him during their SummerSlam match in addition to members of the Bodydonnas and Rikishi Fatu. Whether Mabel was responsible for those injuries or not doesn’t change the eye test. Watching Mabel’s matches in 1995 told most fans that he wasn’t very good in the ring and didn’t deserve the big push.
16 Giant Gonzalez
Giant Gonzalez aka El Gigante was nearly eight feet tall and made big men such as Sid Vicious and The One Man Gang seem small in comparison. As impressive of a physical spectacle as he was, Gonzalez did not quite measure up to his size as a ring technician. To say Gonzalez was limited in the ring was putting it mildly. However, in a very short career, he received two very significant pushes involving two of pro wrestling’s biggest legends. In 1991, Gonzalez declared, “I want the belt.” The belt was the WCW Championship and The Nature Boy Ric Flair was the man wearing it. It was an awful feud that even Flair had a hard time making interesting. Gonzalez had a couple of brief feuds with Vicious and Gang before setting his sights on a future WWE legend. He attacked The Undertaker in the 1993 Royal Rumble match and cost the Deadman a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania IX. The two met in two forgettable matches at WrestleMania IX and SummerSlam 1993. Gonzalez disappeared from pro wrestling shortly after due to serious medical issues. He passed away in 2010.
15 Loch Ness
The massive Loch Ness aka Giant Haystacks wrestled in WCW in 1996. He was a member of the Dungeon of Doom and was one of the many monster heels brought in by WCW to feed to Hulk Hogan. There is no denying that Loch Ness was a spectacle at nearly seven feet tall and weighing well over 500 pounds. What made Loch Ness such a great attraction also made him a very limited wrestler. In his defense, Loch Ness was way past his prime when he came to WCW and American fans only remember his failed and undeserved push. In his prime, he was actually an international star. Loch Ness wrestled in Great Britain and in Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling in Canada among other promotions. However, his run in WCW was forgettable and was cut short by serious health issues. Loch Ness died of cancer in 1998.
There is no questioning Ray Lloyd’s impressive martial arts background. However, great athletes don’t always make great professional wrestlers. Llloyd who had very little prior pro wrestling success received a huge and undeserved push as the Mortal Kombat inspired character called Glacier. Glacier was given an elaborate and extremely expensive ring entrance and equally expensive ring outfit that included armor. This was a classic example of what might have been a great gimmick that was wasted on a wrestler who couldn’t live up to big expectations. In other words, it is the wrestler that makes the gimmick work and not the other way around. This concept was seemingly lost on Eric Bischoff and that’s why it’s no surprise WCW went down like a ton of bricks the way that it did.
12 Steve McMichael
Steve Mongo McMichael is another case of a great athlete who didn’t make a great pro wrestler. McMichael was a very successful NFL defensive player who was a Super Bowl Champion and a two-time Pro Bowler. However, he was a mediocre wrestler at best but it didn’t stop WCW from giving him a push to the moon. Mongo had a successful run in WCW, which included the United States Championship and a membership in the Four Horsemen. McMichael feuded with great wrestlers such as Curt Henning and Jeff Jarrett in addition to helping the Horsemen in their battles with the nWo. However, he stuck out like a sore thumb among the true professionals in the Horsemen such as Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Chris Benoit, and Dean Malenko. If not for his NFL notoriety, Mongo probably would have been just another big man and at worst a jobber to the stars.
11 The Great Khali
The Great Khali was a giant former WWE Superstar who was very limited inside the ring. The over seven foot tall Punjabi Nightmare was no dream for fans of technical wrestling. However, despite the limitations, Khali received several significant pushes while with WWE. In 2006, Khali squashed Rey Mysterio and defeated The Undertaker during his first few months in WWE. In 2007, Khali won a battle royal to capture the World Heavyweight Championship. Khali also hold victories over Shawn Michaels and Kane. He also feuded with Triple H and Batista over the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship. No matter how many pushes Khali received, he just was not able to maintain a spot as a true main event WWE Superstar which probably begs the question, “Why so many pushes?” Especially since every push was a gigantic failure.
9 Ezekiel Jackson
Ezekiel Jackson was a very impressive physical specimen and really looked the part of a great pro wrestling champion. However, there was just no substance behind the look. It could not disguise his lack of wrestling ability. However, WWE tried to push the inexperienced big man anyway and without success. They tried time and time again to push Jackson. No matter how hard they tried to get him over; it just didn’t work. Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov tried forming a monster heel tag team in ECW that bombed. He defeated Christian for the ECW Championship in the last official ECW match before the brand was deactivated. Jackson then held the Intercontinental Championship for about a month before dropping it when it became apparent that the title experiment was a failure. He was given the ball numerous times but just didn’t have the ability to run with it.
8 The Renegade
The Renegade was a cheap rip off of The Ultimate Warrior. During WCW’s mid 1990s Hulkamania era, Hulk Hogan was surrounding himself with super friends like Macho Man Randy Savage and The Renegade to battle evil doers such as Vader, Ric Flair, and The Dungeon of Doom. WCW looked a lot like the late 1980s WWE product during that time. The Renegade wasn’t great in the ring although he may have been better than The Ultimate Warrior. However, The Renegade wasn’t a good enough wrestler to make up for his lack of charisma. Warrior, on the other hand, made a career out of his tremendous charisma and ring presence despite not being a gifted wrestler. Despite The Renegade’s shortcomings, he was given a pretty significant push. He was in Hogan’s corner for several pay per view main events before capturing the WCW Television Championship from Arn Anderson. Renegade won a feud with Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndoff before the plug was finally pulled on this bogus push. He lost the WCW TV Championship to Diamond Dallas Page before being rightfully relegated to jobber to the stars.
7 Duane Gill
Duane Gill was a career jobber and a pretty terrible wrestler who was pushed in WWE as a part of the ongoing Monday Night Wars between WWE and WCW. Gill was a part of a jobber tag team in the early 1990s with his partner Barry Hardy. They were best known for being used as rag dolls against teams like The Legion of Doom. In the late 1990s, Gill received his first push as a member of the J.O.B. Squad. However, it would be his parody of WCW star Goldberg that would put Gill in the WWE spotlight. Gill defeated Christian for the WWE Light Heavyweight Championship and then was repackaged as Gillberg. The title became secondary to his main purpose, which was to mock one of WCW’s biggest stars, Goldberg. He rarely defended the belt and held it for over a year before finally dropping it. Gillberg actually came face to face with the man he mocked during Goldberg’s first WWE feud with The Rock.
Maven received a huge push in WWE during the early 2000s in large part due to winning the first ever Tough Enough. From a business stand point, the push made a lot of sense. However, from a strictly pro wrestling stand point, the push made zero sense and wasn’t fair to those who were more deserving of such a generous push. A push that included defeating The Undertaker and feuding with Evolution. In today’s WWE, Maven probably would have never made it out of NXT. There’s a good chance he might not have made it out of dark matches onto NXT television. However, in that early 2000s WWE climate, a glorified jobber was able to get a win over one of WWE’s all time greatest superstars to begin a pretty significant push. Maven definitely benefited from being in the right place at the right time.
5 David Flair
David Flair is the son of the legendary Nature Boy Ric Flair. David never lived up to the legendary career of his father. In David’s defense, those were mighty big boots to try and fill. However, he wasn’t even a pretty good wrestler and it was painfully obvious. That didn’t stop WCW from giving him a big push just as WWE was about swoop in and purchase them. David was awarded the United States Championship by the Nature Boy himself who was WCW President at the time. He also captured the WCW Tag Team Championship with his partner Crowbar. David’s push was a part of what was so dysfunctional about WCW during that time leading up to their downfall. It says something when he went from WCW where he was a champion to WWE where he was a jobber used to help push a feud between his father and The Undertaker.
Tiny Lister Jr. is a Hollywood character actor best known for his roles in movies such as Friday, Jackie Brown, and The Dark Knight. However, Lister was also once The Human Wrecking Machine Zeus. As Zeus, Lister co-starred with Hulk Hogan in the so cheesy it was great pro wrestling movie called No Holds Barred(1989). WWE then decided to give the very inexperienced Zeus a mega push in a feud with The Hulkster. Zeus had one of the most limited move sets in pro wrestling history. It consisted of a lot of rest holds, beating his chest, chokeholds, beating his chest, a bear hug, and a neck wrench of some sort, and did I mention beating his chest? Zeus was so limited in the ring that he never met Hogan in a one on one showdown. However, he wrestled in three tag team matches opposite Hogan. Two of the matches headlined pay per views (SummerSlam 1989 and No Holds Barred The Match/The Movie) while the other was a featured Survivor Series 1989 match (The Hulkamaniacs vs The Million Dollar Team).
3 The Yeti
Ron Reis received one of the most infamous pushes of all time as The Yeti in WCW. Reis was an extremely limited but an extremely big man. At over seven feet tall and over 300 pounds, Reis was the perfect size for an outrageous monster heel to feed to the company’s top banana, Hulk Hogan. Fans watched a giant block of ice that contained The Yeti as The Giant aka The Big Show and Kevin Sullivan bragged of the impending doom they were going to bring to Hulkamania. It was very reminiscent of fans who waited for the egg to hatch the Gobbledy Gooker at Survivor Series 1990. The Yeti debuted at Halloween Havoc 1995 looking more like a mummy than an abominable snowman. The Yeti helped The Giant to suffocate Hogan in a move that fans are still trying to erase from their memory banks. The Yeti only appeared a few more times before the push came to a screeching halt without a big Hulk Hogan vs The Yeti pay per view match. In a rare WCW occurrence, fans were spared what would have truly been a frightening main event.
2 Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones was another limited big man with a great look. Jones was a muscle bound seven foot, 300 plus pound giant. Unfortunately, Jones didn’t have the wrestling ability or he would have been a mega superstar. However, with that kind of size, there was obviously going to be some pro wrestling opportunities. WWE gave the impressive big man two giant opportunities to get over and he failed miserably. Jones was first put in an angle with The Undertaker. He was supposed to wrestle in a tag team match with The Deadman against Big Show and A-Train aka Matt Bloom at WrestleMania XIX. For unexplained reasons, Jones was pulled from the match. The storyline explanation was that Jones was attacked prior to the match. However, speculation was that Jones was pulled due to his lack of experience and failure to make progress during training. He was then given Paul Heyman as his mouthpiece and Brock Lesnar as an ally. That experiment also failed. If Taker and Heyman can’t get you over then no one will.
1 Garett Bischoff
Garett Bischoff is the son of Eric Bischoff. Garett received one of biggest undeserved pushes in pro wrestling history in TNA Wrestling starting in 2010. Bischoff might be one of the worst pound for pound wrestlers of all time. Pro wrestling legends such as Sting, Hulk Hogan, and Kurt Angle attempted to get over Bischoff without success. One of the more embarrassing moments of Garett’s run was when Hogan practically pleaded with fans to accept him as the next big pro wrestling star. All the effort was being wasted on someone who just didn’t have it. When the Garett baby face experiment blew up, he was turned heel and placed in the vicious biker gang stable called Aces & Eights. It was like trying to make Justin Bieber the newest member of Kiss. The fans weren’t buying it and nothing was going to change the fact that Garett Bischoff was simply not a good wrestler.
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