If a wrestler can make it through their career without getting injured or losing fan interest, then they will often times live on in infamy. Some of them continue on to be Hall of Famers, some of them defend their title against up-and-coming superstars and others just tend to drop by for pay-per-view events. For these wrestlers, fame came easy. Show up in the ring, put on a great show for the fans, walk out – rinse and repeat. There are always the others guy though. Those who make a less-than-stellar debut in the ring and just cannot seem to grip the fans’ attention. These guys are often forgotten about instantly. Although some of them continue to wrestle through other circuits, their quick careers in the WWE tend to overshadow anything else that they attempt to do in their lives.
The wrestlers on this list aren’t necessarily poor wrestlers. Sometimes it can be their gimmicks that end up being their downfall. In the ever-changing world of wrestling, all it takes is one bad match or some bad words to ultimately put your career in the ground. They can’t all be The Undertaker. Ranging from injuries, bad timing or even just poor management, these wrestlers were either under-appreciated, or just weren’t fit for a career in the WWE. Often times these failed wrestlers would move on to achieve great things, unfortunately, not giving them the fame they would receive had their wrestling career worked out.
Keep in mind that there have been many wrestlers, past and present that deserve to be on this list, however those who have made it on this one are some of the most popular of all-time. Even though some may have forgotten these wrestlers, their legacies will live on for the rest of time.
10. Muhammad Hassan
Muhammad Hassan’s run in WWE lasted just one year after spending a couple of years in the WWE’s developmental system. Hassan came in as an Arab-American trying to fight prejudice and stereotypes. In July of 2005, the WWE ran an angle that aired on the same day as the London bombings, an angle in which Hassan had five masked men attack The Undertaker. Hassan was quickly written off television and was soon released by WWE. Mark Copani would quickly announce his retirement from wrestling.
It is weird that Hassan was punished for the angle even though it wasn’t his idea to air it. It screamed of WWE just looking for a scapegoat to appease the media outlets and public bashing. As for Copani, he would move to Los Angeles in order to purse an acting and screenwriting career. That too would be short lived and he would move back to New York to pursue a career in teaching. He is now the vice principal of a high school.
There have been some pretty kooky wrestlers that have appeared over the span of the WWE, but only one of them could pull off the greatest magic trick of all-time. Phantasio (aka Spellbinder), known solely as a magician with white mime makeup appeared in the WWE in July 1995. He wrestled in one match against Tony DeVito where he emerged victorious by magically ripping DeVito’s underwear from his bodysuit.
He then pulled the classic disappearing gag and never resurfaced in the WWE. He did wrestle a few matches in the independent circuit, however many wondered how Phantasio could just drop off the face of the earth after such a magical and comedic debut. A true magician never reveals their secrets.
8. Just Joe
In the Summer of 2000, Just Joe made his WWE debut as “a messenger” more so than a wrestler. Just Joe would often try to stir the pot with the other wrestlers, which in his case, never worked out very well in the end. His voice was often heard behind the scenes where he would call himself Joe, Just Joe.
When his gimmick reached its end in 2001, he was released from the WWE. Probably for the best considering Just Joe ended up being an average joe who struggled in the ring.
7. Hade Vansen
On December 12, 2008, a Smackdown broadcast was highjacked by a mysterious voice that spoke in cryptic messages using obscure and broken sound bytes. Somehow, fans were able to decipher these clips as Brit Hade Vansen. Surprising considering how little he had done in the past.
What kept Vansen in the limelight was his vague references to “the darkness” and the “immortal powers”. Fans think that this may have been a dig shot towards The Undertaker, which would have made Vansen’s one-shot a lot more meaningful. Vansen spoke of a certain prophecy being realized, which is still a mystery to wrestling fans worldwide. We’re waiting Vansen, we’re waiting.
6. Gunner Scott
Gunner Scott was one of those prodigies that had a natural talent in the ring. Standing in at 6-foot-3 and weighing a hefty 230 pounds, Scott showed promise as he advanced into the WWE. Holding the title of Heavyweight Champion in Ohio Valley Wrestling, it was a great shock that Gunner Scott’s wrestling career would be cut so short once he made it on the television.
Taking down Booker T not once, but twice (the first time being during his debut), Gunner Scott proved that he was a fighter in the ring. Somehow though, he went downhill, and fast. Losing to Mr. Kennedy and being slaughtered by The Great Khali, Gunner Scott would never be seen on WWE TV again.
There isn’t much to be said about Seven besides the fact that he was probably supposed to be WCW’s answer to The Undertaker. Seven, or rather Dustin Virgil Riley Runnels III, was much better known for his other persona, Goldust.
Seven died down very quickly as his character was just obscure. At this point, Runnels just didn’t want to portray another done-up maniac like he had done with Goldust. Seven’s promo videos were rather controversial as well, as they featured looking into a child’s bedroom. Although Seven could have had some decent plots, it was probably for the best that this character was given up quickly.
4. Chris Nowinski
Chris Nowinski participated and made it to the finals in the first ever Tough Enough competition. After his time in the competition, Nowinski wrestled on the independent circuit for a year before being called up to the WWE in 2002.
Nowinski’s character was a snobby Harvard alumnus (Nowinski actually is a Harvard Alumnus). His career would only last one year however as he retired due to post-concussion syndrome. This came as a shock to many as Nowinski had the potential to be a superstar. He possessed a natural look in the ring and was stellar behind the mic.
3. Dan Rodman
What can be said about Dan Rodman that hasn’t already been said? He was a formidable athlete before his wrestling career, well, if you can call one year a career, and he showed it in the ring. Though being an all-star football player was really his downfall in the long run.
Being in peak physical condition, Rodman was thrown into some pretty tough matches early on in his career. He would even go head-to-head with John Cena in a WWE Championship match. Rodman would be released a year after his debut. He didn’t take leaving as a loss though, as Rodman graduated from law school in May 2013.
Droz had a very short lived wrestling career, making his debut in ECW in 1997. He made his way to the WWE in 1998, going by Puke, as he had the ability to vomit on command. Eventually he became a third member of the Legion of Doom in a tasteless storyline that brought in Road Warrior Hawk’s real life alcohol issues. Droz broke out on his own into 1999. His career would come to an end in October of that year, after a botched powerbomb in a match with D’Lo Brown. Darren Drozdov has since worked for WWE as a writer for magazine and website content.
1. Sean O’Haire
Sean O’Haire was brilliant.
In 2003, he made his debut with the new “Devil’s Advocate” gimmick. This gimmick worked wonderfully as it had yet to be done in the wrestling world. A fresh character, a great athlete and greater charisma made Sean O’Haire a fan favorite. It is a shame that the WWE just sort of gave up one day. O’Haire disappeared after a brief feud with Hogan and his gimmick was dropped quicker than it rose.
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