The business of professional wrestling attracts people from all walks of life -- people who are big, those who are small, people who use size to their advantage and people who use their athletic capabilities to wow the audience.
But wrestling isn’t just about being big; it’s about all-round on-screen presence, and that includes the ability to play up to the camera and the thousands in the arena, as well as having charm and charisma, athleticism and sheer physical presence all rolled into one.
Many wrestlers who have graced the ring have had one or the other, but very few have the whole package. It’s not uncommon to see a new wrestler on the scene, who turns out to be another flashy talent with all mouth but no substance. You look at some of these guys and you have to stifle a laugh. Really, you think, this guy’s a wrestler? Then you see their skill set in the ring and you realize the guy’s just a temporary gimmick, a flop, a guy that’s in there just to make up the numbers. But some do actually go on to have decent careers.
This list is all about those you’ve laughed at, secretly thought you could take, and wouldn’t intimidate you or I, let alone an established pro.
15 Gene Snitsky
Gene did try, boy did he try. But he’s exactly the type of character described in the introduction – all mouth with no choice but to rely on ridiculous antics and gimmicks to get himself noticed. In a way, one could say he that is Vince McMahon’s perfect character. Vince tried to push him to the top, but it didn’t work. The fans saw that Gene didn’t have an ounce of star quality and he didn’t endear himself to them either. Think back to Gene’s five-year tenure in WWE and what do you remember?
See Heidenreich snarling on camera and he might seem like a pretty intimidating guy. But watch him for any length of time and you’ll soon realize that he’s a bit of a pussycat. After making the transition from American Football to wrestling, Heidenreich didn’t really set the world alight – in fact he didn’t really do much in either sport. In his short-lived career, Heidenreich’s most notable achievement was winning the WWE Tag Team Championship, but he’ll be best remembered for his feud with The Undertaker – a feud that lasted pretty much for the duration of his time with WWE.
Kurrgan entered the WWE in the 90s, becoming part of The Truth Commission and The Oddities. At the time, he was marketed as the angry foreign wrestler, but this ploy certainly wasn’t successful. Those looking at Kurrgan – real name Robert Maillet – today may see him as an intimidating figure due to his macho roles in the worldwide hit movies, 300 and Hercules. He’s played numerous meaningful roles in films as the intimidating big man, puzzling because back in his WWE days, his persona couldn’t have been more different. In the ring, Kurgan portrayed an emotionless machine, a man-mountain – big but not really in any great shape – and he never spoke or played up to the camera or the crowd.
11 Giant Gonzalez
10 Ron Reis
8 The Shockmaster
7 Sin Cara - Luis Urive
The wearing of a mask in wrestling is either to cloud a character in an air of mystery, or to enhance a character who otherwise wouldn’t seem the least bit intimidating. That’s because the Sin Cara character, portrayed by Luise Urive and regularly used by WWE, really didn’t have much else going on. If you’re going to use a character that only makes special appearances, the character needs to be just that: special. Luis Urvie didn’t really have any of that – there was no pizazz, no skills to rave about and in terms of his intimidation factor – well, you can rate his at zero.
6 Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder resembles something of a preppy schoolboy and looks like he should be donning a suit and tie rather than pummeling people in the ring. Despite winning championships during his time with WWE, he’s just not an intimidating guy – you don’t look at Ryder and think, "This guy’s a world-beater." The company didn’t think Ryder had it in him either, probably why he often found himself shoved to the back of the line and being underutilized for television appearances. Unsurprisingly, Ryder became dissatisfied with the WWE – a period which saw him return to lower-tier status with almost zero TV appearances. Ryder seemed to have “fallen from the face of the earth," as put by John Cena, but scrapped his way back onto the roster in 2014, ranked as a lower-tier babyface – the third lowest on the roster.
5 Evan Bourne
Bourne makes this list, obviously because he doesn’t have that intimidation factor. You hardly see Bourne with a scowl on his face, trash-talking his fellow competitors, or being the target of Vince McMahon’s wrath – a mighty accomplishment in today’s day and age. Intimidation is not his intent. Bourne is a wrestler because that’s what he loves to do, and it’s evident when you see that smile plastered across his face. He’s got skills as well, making him a pretty handy wrestler, but certainly not an intimidating one. Bourne partakes in wrestling for kicks, something to keep him occupied away from his day-to-day occupation as a sales and marketing vice president for a company in St. Louis.
1 Isaac Yankem D.D.S
It’s funny that this wacky cartoon-like character portrayed by the now legendary Glenn Thomas Jacobs would later be ditched in favor of one of the most menacing characters in wrestling history: Kane -- both played by the same guy. It’s a testimony to Jacob’s acting skills that he could play someone so ridiculous – a character that should have been on kid’s television, not on a mainstream wrestling show – and then go to the other end of the scale and play Kane. Isaac Yankem D.D.S was supposed to be an evil dentist, but it resulted in a toothless display by the WWE - it was comical rather than being the stuff of nightmares. Many of us dreaded having to go to the dentist, the thought of all those surgical implements being poked about in the mouth, but I doubt many of us would have sleepless nights before going to see Isaac Yankem D.D.S., except for maybe because of his incompetence, but nothing else.
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