Think back to the year 2002. Eminem released The Eminem Show, Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, far away from any 'deflate gate' scandal and the World Wrestling Federation was in the awkward position to move on from the Attitude Era. Considered the best time period in the company's history, the Attitude Era was unparalleled in terms of star power and edginess. However, due to the company not respecting their agreement with another WWF (World Wildlife Fund), the World Wrestling Federation was forced to change their name to the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in May 2002. Not only was this a name change, but a mark of a new era: the Ruthless Aggression era.
What exactly does that mean? Honestly, I don't know. From what I can gather though, this era of the WWE was supposed to be focused more on outstanding athleticism and hard hitting action while the Attitude Era was more about characters and soap opera angles. Some wrestlers benefitted greatly from this shift in attitude like Brock Lesnar and Batista but these 10, eh, not so much.
The following top 10 wrestlers, in one way or another, sucked. This could be because of horrible in-ring skills, terrible promo work, abysmal booking or some combination of them all. Another thing to keep in mind of this list is that I'm only taking into account the performers' performances from this era (2002-2008). What does this mean? Well if somebody managed to improve later on in their career and you think they shouldn't be on here, remember that I'm only considering their work from this era.
We now go to the bottom feeders of perhaps the most underrated era in wrestling history.
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10 Sylvester Terkay
A lot of people give Vladimir Kozlov heat (not the good pro wrestling kind) for being one of the most boring and bland characters the WWE has ever seen but those people have obviously never seen this lumbering bore. Given the nickname of "The Man Bear", it was quite bearing to watch Sylvester Terkay lumber around the ring during the year 2006. Even after all these years, I still remember a promo of Terkay consisting of his manager Elijah Burke talking for a bit and then Terkay saying "My name is Sylvester Terkay" in the most monotone voice imaginable. If a charisma vaccum exists, then it would probably look like Sylvester Terkay. And don't forget everybody, his name is Sylvester Terkay.
9 The Spirit Squad
Quick! You have 30 seconds to think of a faction that is worthy enough to challenge two of the greatest superstars of all time, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Did you say a group of male cheerleaders? No? Then you my friend are already smarter than the WWE creative team circa 2006.
Once again, the Spirit Squad actually contained some talent in their, (sigh) squad as Nicky would later become Dolph Ziggler and absolutely astound WWE fans around the world. Incredibly, Ziggler managed to become successful despite initially being saddled with one of the worst gimmicks of all time and being surrounded by men way less talented than him. Existing only to get trounced by DX week after week, it's comforting to know that the Spirit Squad lasted less than a year.
*I know I kind of cheated with this one as it's a faction but it's my list dammit!
8 Scott Steiner
"Oh my stars and garters!" I hear you all call out. How could you put Scott Steiner, one half of the greatest tag teams of all time in the Steiner Brothers, on a list of worst wrestlers? First off, excellent use of an old timey expression. Secondly, I remind you that this is a list of worst wrestlers in the Ruthless Aggression era.
From his return to the WWE in 2003 all the way to his release in 2004, it was highly apparent that Steiner was a shell of his former self. Steiner had become so muscular to the point that he could barely move and possessed the work rate of a sloth, as evidenced by his sloppy messes with Triple H at the Royal Rumble and No Way Out. Perhaps he would have been better off as a heel for the majority of his run but as it stands, "Big Poppa Pump" should have called it quits.
7 Jackie Gayda
What is it with the WWE and pushing their Divas way before they're ready for the big time? They did it with Cameron on the current roster (and Eva Marie for a little while), and if you're looking for the former Funkadactyl's Ruthless Aggression era equivalent, it's Jackie Gayda.
Unlike Cameron though, there was actually some potential for Jackie. Along with co-winner Linda Miles (who also didn't end up going anywhere in wrestling) Gayda won the second season of the Tough Enough reality show so clearly somebody in the organization saw something in her. Whatever they saw, I hope it looked nothing like Gayda's tag match against Trish Stratus and Bradshaw, because what a train wreck that was. With zero charisma and somehow less in ring talent, Gayda is the worst the Divas division had to offer in this era.
6 The Miz
Once again, I remind you dear reader that I am specifically referring to the Ruthless Aggression era Miz, a.k.a The Miz with the really stupid hair. Another Tough Enough winner, Mike Mizanin reminded us why exactly we hate reality show stars so so much. Even though he wasn't wrestling on Smackdown initially, Miz still managed to annoy the hell out of viewers by being the host of the Diva Search and botching his lines on a near weekly basis.
Once he started wrestling, we wished he would have stuck to hosting. Not only did he look like a dork, he wrestled like one too with offense that wouldn't even strike fear in the heart of the youngest John Cena fan. Eventually Miz found his niche by teaming up with John Morrison but before that, the entire WWE audience wished for his exit via cannon back to MTV.
5 Luther Reigns
Oh man. When people talk about Smackdown being the superior brand to Raw during this era, they sure as hell don't mean because of men like Luther Reigns. Introduced in 2004 as the assistant to Smackdown GM Kurt Angle, it was immediately apparent that Reigns didn't deserve to be standing next to other Smackdown all-stars like Rey Mysterio, John Cena and The Undertaker.
Given the original gimmick of a big lumbering brute, Reigns failed to make an impact during his entire WWE run despite being placed into feuds with The Undertaker and Big Show. His ring work and promo skills were so dull that it made you long for a Roman Reigns looney tunes promo. Yup, there was a Reigns in the WWE that was way more boring and dull than Roman Reigns, let that one sink in.
4 Deuce and Domino
Quick! You have 30 seconds to think of a tag team gimmick that's going to appeal to 18-35 year olds in the year 2007... What did you think of? Well hopefully anything but this abomination of a tag team.
While the tag team division is on an upswing at the moment with teams like Cesaro and Tyson Kidd and the Lucha Dragons absolutely tearing it up on the main roster, the Ruthless Aggression Era was a dark time for WWE tag team wrestling. At the center of this combination of horrible gimmicks and inexperienced workers lies Deuce and Domino.
So what is it about a 50s greaser gimmick that would get me invested in this team? Nothing. To be fair, in the ring they weren't horrible but the gimmick is just too hard to look past for me. Even with the help of a hot manager by way of Cherry, Deuce and Domino will forever be a much crappier and outdated version of Enzo Amore and Big Cass.
3 Kenzo Suzuki
My oh my, has the WWE come a long way with their Japanese wrestlers. While Hideo Itami seems to be the best shot that Japan has for a true WWE superstar, the Land of the Rising Sun wasn't so fortunate in 2004. Who was the WWE's premier Japanese wrestler then? Kenzo Suzuki.
Complete with a geisha, Suzuki seemingly brought absolutely nothing to table that we hadn't seen before. Vague martial arts skills? Check. Traditional Japanese attire? Check. Utter lack of charisma? Double check. How pathetic was Suzuki's WWE run? Well his most memorable moment was being in the ring during a John Cena rap promo. Yipee.
2 Nathan Jones
By now we all know of Vince McMahon's love for big bodies and if you're going by that logic, then it's easy to see why Nathan Jones was given a shot in the WWE. At an absolute rock solid 320 pounds and standing 6 feet, 11 inches tall, Jones seemed to hit all of Vince McMahon's check boxes. In addition, Jones also stole Mark Henry's gimmick by being the winner of the World Strongman Challenge in 1996, one of the most prestigious strongman championships in the world at the time.
Once you get past his look though, you see how utterly boring and bland Nathan Jones was. Introduced on screen as The Undertaker's protege, it was immediately clear that Jones possessed absolutely none of the poise or ring skills that his mentor did. The company must have known what kind of disaster they had on their hands because Jones was billed to team with Undertaker to face Big Show and A-Train at WrestleMania XIX but was pulled at the last minute. After not doing much of anything for the rest of the year, Jones left the company in December of 2003. Jones is now presumably lactating for farmers in Australia.
1 The Great Khali
In perhaps the biggest misuse of the word "Great" in all of history, I present to you the absolute worst wrestler of the WWE Ruthless Aggression Era: Khali.
Debuting back in 2006 as a rival to The Undertaker (good God why did Undertaker always get crap rivals?) it was immediately clear that Khali was only given a contract because of his size. His offense consisted primarily of lethargic chops and a face hold that put his opponents and the audience to sleep simultaneously. His promo skills, errr what promo skills, next paragraph.
Most horrifying of all though, is that Khali is actually a former world champion. Yes, in July 2007 Khali won the World Heavyweight Championship by winning a battle royal on Smackdown, holding it for two months before losing it to Batista at Unforgiven. What a fitting title, as the entire WWE career of Khali can be deemed as unforgivable.
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