The Golden Age of Wrestling. Yes, the 80s are widely considered to be the best time in wrestling history. On the shoulders of Hulk Hogan and other classic wrestlers, the WWE was launched onto the forefront of American entertainment. Who doesn’t love seeing their favorite wrestlers battle it out in the most dangerous and exciting ways every single week. The 80’s included some of the greatest wrestlers to date, and this time in wrestling will be forever remembered.
During the 80s the WWE had incredible wrestlers that we all really loved, but not all of these wrestlers were memorable. I could even say some of the wrestlers featured were notably bad, some you could say were just plain awful, but that’s what we loved about them. It’s hard not to laugh at some of the comical personalities the WWE tried to pass for real wrestlers. Some of those guys were hard to take seriously in the ring. Whether it was the costume, the style, or the overall character itself, the 80s contained some of the worst wrestlers in all of the history of wrestling. You have to wonder what some of these terrible wrestlers did after their dud of a career, and where they are now.
This list includes the top 15 worst wrestlers that somehow made it into the Golden Age of wrestling, and where they are today.
15. The Warlord
What wasn’t wrong with Warlord’s comedically short stint in the WWF. From the awful costume to the terrible wrestling skills, nothing helped with this joke of a wrestling gimmick. You could tell this wrestler would never be a champion which was proved during the 1989 Royal Rumble, where he was eliminated in…2 seconds. Yeah, I said 2 seconds. He held that record for 20 years and is pretty much the only thing he is remembered for.
So where is The Warlord now? Terry Szopinski is now working for a private security company. As a bodyguard he has worked with some of the biggest names in show business. Most recently he has worked with 50 Cent and martial arts expert Kimbo Slice. A wrestler at heart, he is still in the ring touring around the world on the independent circuit.
14. Brooklyn Brawler
Steve Lombardi enjoyed a very long career in WWE, as probably the most famous jobber of all time. Whether he was The Brooklyn Brawler or Knuckleball Schwartz, Lombardi kept earning a paycheck by simply laying down and enhancing other talent. Perhaps being bad was all a part of his gimmick, but good for Lombardi to make a decent living in the industry for so many years.
Today, Lombardi no longer works with WWE, but he made occasional appearances throughout the 2000s and even wrestled as recently as 2013, where he jobbed one last time to Ryback. He also worked as a backstage producer with the company following his in-ring career.
13. The Barbarian
A cheesy barbarian is never a good idea in wrestling, or pretty much anywhere. His getup looked like it was a kids Halloween costume. His whole gimmick was lame. It didn’t help that he barely displayed any wrestling talent either. He even joined up with The Warlord to make a team that was laughable at every moment they were together.
Sione Vailahi lives in his hometown of Charlotte, NC, with his wife and seven children. He currently manages his own construction company in Charlotte, and is doing quite well for himself.
While many fans will remember Sid as a 90s wrestler, he was indeed around in the 80s as well. While he at least had some accidentally entertaining promos in the 90s, he was awful in the ring. In the 80s, he was even worse in the ring and didn’t have any funny microphone botches to keep us entertained.
Amazingly, despite being a bad wrestler, Sid enjoyed a very long career in the business. A serious ankle injury kept him out of action for years, but he still found work in the 2000s on the independent scene. He would make a one-time appearance in WWE in 2012 to defeat Heath Slater. Sid still keeps himself in good shape and looks better than the average 55-year-old.
11. King Kong Bundy
Although naming a wrestler after a giant gorilla from the movies seemed like a good idea, this wrestler turned out to be more creepy than scary. He never won as many matches as someone of his physical stature should have won. Another problem for Bundy was that his act was too similar to Andre the Giant who already was doing what Bundy was attempting to do, but doing it much better.
Now living in New Jersey, Christopher Pallies works as a character actor in both movies and television sometimes even playing himself as King Kong Bundy. He has also branched out into a comedy career as well.
I know that No Holds Barred which starred Zeus is considered a classic by many wrestling fans, but when it came to the ring, Zeus was not a good wrestler. If anyone was going to be called Zeus, let’s get someone who could actually dominate a match. The unibrow, eye, and “Z” haircut were all laughable and Zeus definitely was not the right person to portray the greek god of thunder.
In 2012, Tom Lister plead guilty to mortgage fraud in a scheme that led to $3.8 million in losses. Poor Zeus.
9. One Man Gang
The One Man Gang was bad right from the start. His name alone made it hard for him to be taken seriously. With a name like that you have to be a constant winner. The acronym “OMG” would go on to be more famous than the man himself. Other than the cool aviators, he was no different than any other big guy in the WWE. Although he acted like a beast in the ring, he never turned out to be one.
George Gray had a heart attack in 2000, which led him to losing a lot of weight. He now works as a prison guard in his hometown at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
8. Jim Duggan
Another boring strong guy with nothing creative about him… Pass. I’m not even sure what this guy is supposed to be. Carrying his 2 by 4 and screaming his signature “HOOO” all of the time, was just plain annoying.
Duggan signed with Global Force Wrestling in 2015 as a “legend”, to help promote GFW events and recently appeared at an event for Modern Vintage Wrestling in Wilmington, North Carolina, in January of 2016. Jim Duggan is still surprisingly going strong with his wrestling career.
7. Hillbilly Jim
This character was way over the top and was really ridiculous when you think about it. A hillbilly dancing around the ring in overalls who couldn’t wrestle was easy to put on this list. What else do I really have to say about this total dud, I wonder why the WEF would have ever let this terrible gimmick make its way into the ring.
James Morris now lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky. In 2005, Sirius Satellite Radio added “Hillbilly Jim’s Moonshine Matinee” as a weekly program on its Outlaw Country channel 60. Every Saturday he plays his favorite country music and tells stories about his days in the ring.
6. Bob Orton Jr.
Even though he competed against some of the biggest legends in wrestling such as Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper, Bob Orton Jr. was not a very good wrestler. This guy is more known for wrestling with a cast on his arm than he is for his skills or accomplishments in the ring. This can be a big problem when looking back at a wrestlers legacy. Nothing special about this career that would lead you to believe he was a talented wrestler.
Bob Orton Jr. and his wife Elaine, reside in Florissant, Missouri, where he still wrestles on the independent circuit from time to time. His legacy still lives on today with his son, Randy Orton, being one of the most popular wrestlers in recent years.
5. Ivan Putski
Ivan Putski started out in bodybuilding before venturing into wrestling. As with all bodybuilders getting into wrestling, some will catch on, while some will prove to have no in-ring talent. Putski was the latter. He had an amazing body, but he didn’t offer much else in the ring.
Following his retirement from wrestling, Putski worked as a head security guard at a high school in Buda, Texas. To his credit, Putski still has a tremendously muscular body for his age.
4. Koko B. Ware
Koko B. Ware is considered the worst Hall of Fame inductee ever to many wrestling fans. This guy definitely won’t be remembered for his actual wrestling skill, but more for his incredible weird costumes and his Macaw, named Frankie. Almost everyone of his costumes hurt my eyes with the vibrant colors. I can’t believe that he was somehow inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. After his induction, you might start to think that the WWE is giving out spots in the HOF to just about anybody.
As of now, James Ware lives in Collierville, Tennessee. In 2015, Ware was a defendant in a case against the WWE for concussion based injuries with his time spent as a wrestler. That’s a bold move although commendable for Ware considering the WWE inducted him into the HOF with very little actual wrestling accomplishments.
3. Lex Luger
While Luger’s 90s wrestling career was definitely somewhat successful, Lex Luger in the 80s was definitely as green as goose s***. Working as a heel early in his career, this wrestler was not a threat at all to any other wrestlers because of his weak wrestling skill early on. I guess the only thing going for him was his appearance, which I think had more of a babyface then what he was marketed as which was a mans man.
In 2011, Lawrence Pfohl began working with the WWE again on their Wellness Policy. He even published his first book in 2013 named Wrestling with the Devil: The True Story of a World Champion Professional Wrestler – His Reign, Ruin, and Redemption…That title is way too long, another reason he was one of the worst!
2. Brutus Beefcake
Maybe it was the ridiculous barber gimmick, or the fact he couldn’t really wrestle, or the bowties that looked like they were cutting circulation to his red tomato face, any of these could put Brutus Beefcake on this list. Did I mention the name? Oh yea, that was bad too considering it had nothing to do with his character. Always carrying around his hair cutting sheers, which he never used.
In 2006, while he was working at one of Boston’s MBTA stations, they had an anthrax scare which Leslie admitted was his cocaine. He checked into a drug rehabilitation facility and claimed he was clean soon after. I doubt he was clean though because on November 7, 2013, Leslie went to Toronto City Hall with a pair of sheers, saying he wanted to give mayor Rob Ford an “intervention”. He was quickly escorted from the property.
1. Paul Roma
A boring wrestler with little talent an no gimmick is rarely successful in the world of wrestling. If their were DVR’s back in the 80s, people would have been fast forwarding past his matches . He never could really win against real competition and his addition to the Four Horseman didn’t work out at all. He definitely had the look of an 80’s wrestler, but just not the talent needed.
Paul Centopani runs a successful wrestling school in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he now lives by himself. He also regularly visits and speaks to kids at St. Jude’s Hospitals which he really enjoys.
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