Loyalty is said to go a long way in life but who among us is truly a loyal person? Human nature leads us to stray from friendships, relationships, jobs, even philosophies and religious beliefs. Our grandparents days of sanctity in marriage and God are dead and gone; replaced with sleaze and the outright decline of human decency.
Finding a man/woman of complete loyalty is a rarity; a diamond found within the perpetual dirt that is our every day lives. If found, place a stranglehold on a person with such character for another one will not be coming along.
In professional wrestling, loyalty can seem nonexistent. Wrestling is all about making money and for those who can find a better payday elsewhere, they will not hesitate to pack their bags and head off to another promotion in search of greener pastures.
Hulk Hogan, the man who helped WWE become a mainstream sensation is himself a man of lower loyalty. Hogan was quick to turn his back on WWE when the wallet of Ted Turner proved too lucrative to turn down. Just a few short years later, both Scott Hall and Kevin Nash would leave WWE for the bigger bucks in WCW; essentially building the New World Order from three money-hungry superstars who built their names in WWE.
However, through all the crap that comes along with the backstage politics of professional wrestling, some employees have managed to remain loyal to certain promotions. The following article will display some examples of this wrestling loyalty. Those who could have have found work and perhaps better money elsewhere but remained true to their chosen company.
Loyalty is often lost and once gone can never be found again. Lack of loyalty is far too often the norm to which we have grown accustom but its nice to believe that somewhere out there it still exists.
These are the top 15 most loyal wrestlers:
15 Buff Bagwell
The wrestling legacy of Buff Bagwell will not be included on the all time greatest lists. Bagwell was what he was during his professional wrestling career and made the most out of the opportunities that were presented.
These days, Bagwell has become known for his involvement in the gigolo industry – a not-so-distant profession from his former career as a wrestler. Bagwell is still effectively paid to entertain … only now the audience is much more narrow and the setting much more intimate.
Buff Bagwell had the desired physical look of a professional wrestler and while not the greatest in-ring technician; could have found work elsewhere but instead chose to remain a loyal employee of WCW.
14 New Jack
Perhaps the loyalty of New Jack was a forced circumstance seeing as how his incredibly violent in-ring style may have deterred other promotions from offering the unorthodox superstar a contract? Then again, New Jack would have gotten people talking and any promoter loves to generate a buzz.
New Jack entered ECW as a vicious man who was meant to seem like a vicious man; a role that New Jack assumed with ease as crowds were often shocked by his violent nature and profane language. New Jack and ECW were a perfect match.
New Jack may not be remembered as the greatest star in the history ECW but he did remain with the promotion until it declared bankruptcy.
13 Hugh Morrus
Bill DeMott has recently come under fire concerning allegations of crude and obnoxious behavior while serving as a WWE trainer. DeMott who has been accused of homophobic and racist rhetoric has since stepped away from his position within the company.
Prior to his role in WWE, DeMott served as a longtime employee of WCW where he performed under the ring name, Hugh Morrus. Throughout his tenure, Morrus worked as a jobber for many years with his most recognizable job coming at the hands of Bill Goldberg during his first professional match.
In the dying days of WCW, Morrus would transition away from jobber status and find minimal singles success. Despite his role within the promotion, Morrus never strayed from WCW.
12 Rey Mysterio
The biggest victory in the career of Rey Mysterio came at WrestleMania XXII when the ultimate underdog defeated Kurt Angle and Randy Orton in a Triple Threat match to become the brand new World Heavyweight Champion.
Even though this was the first time that Rey Mysterio would capture a World Championship; the ultra-exciting cruiserweight had been regarded as a superstar long before said match. Rey Mysterio was perhaps the most captivating thing to watch on WCW television while flying under the radar of the star-packed roster.
Rey Mysterio drew worldwide attention thanks to his innovative in-ring style but for one reason or another chose to remain with WCW.
11 Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page has placed his professional wrestling days behind him but has found a greater calling with DDP Yoga. The former WCW Champion has been dedicated to bettering the lives of those in dire need.
The commitment level of DDP cannot be questioned as is evident with his wrestling resume. DDP began his career in 1991 as a manager but would soon make the transition from ringside to in-ring performer.
The next decade would see DDP undergo character alterations and fluctuations on the card but that did not cause DDP to jump ship as WCW remained his home until its foreclosure.
Prior to his time in WWE, Adam Copeland worked very briefly for WCW where he wrestled under the ring name, Damon Striker. Needless to say, nothing came about from this short-lived WCW experience and Adam Copeland was back to square one.
However, Copeland would soon find himself in WWE – working as Edge – and beginning what would become a legendary WWE career. Edge not only left his mark as a tag team specialist but also as one of the greatest World Heavyweight Champions of all time.
Since his early retirement from the business, Edge has remained a WWE guy through-and-through; even turning down an offer to work for TNA as an on-screen authority figure.
9 Rob Van Dam
The one and only WWE Championship reign by Rob Van Dam was a short and somewhat forgettable title run – which to fans of the superstar came as a disappointment. RVD joined the WWE in the early part of the 2000s and his popularity with the fans was immediate and heartfelt.
RVD has taken time away from WWE to work for TNA but has since rejoined the company for sporadic runs. However, as it pertains to RVD and his loyalty one does not associate the master of the Five Star Frog Splash with WWE.
RVD is ECW … fans of the original product will often cite RVD as the greatest performer in the history of the promotion and while RVD could have easily found success with another wrestling company; remained with ECW through all the good and bad times.
8 Booker T
In 2001, Booker T made his WWE debut as the “invading” WCW World Heavyweight Champion. Booker would quickly establish himself on the WWE roster and go on to become one of the most respected wrestlers in the business.
Although Booker T currently holds a comfortable position within WWE, he was not always loyal to the company as he did take off for a while and join the faltering TNA. However, Booker returned to WWE and is now a regular voice on commentary.
While working for WCW, Booker T stayed true to the promotion through thick and thin – patently awaiting his turn and leaving the company’s final night as WCW Champion.
7 John "Bradshaw" Layfield
Whether or not you like John “Bradshaw” Layfield is one thing, but there is certainly no denying his unwavering loyalty to Vince McMahon. Layfield is currently a color commentator on Monday Night Raw, a sharp-tongued counterpart to Michael Cole.
When the decision was made to give JBL a run a WWE Champion, there were initial doubts from fans – particularly those of the internet variety – that Layfield could not carry the belt. However, JBL was a convincing WWE Champion who pieced together a solid run with the gold.
JBL has been around for a while and has often been very vocal when discussing other promotions as his desire for WWE can be heard within his slander of competing organizations.
What is often overlooked when discussing “The Big Red Machine” is that he has been an employee of the WWE for the past twenty years; going through the ropes as the personal dentist of Jerry Lawler and the fake Diesel before becoming The Undertaker's little brother.
Kane is currently serving as an on-air authority figure. “The Devil's Favorite Demon” has gone corporate and now acts as the Director of Operations; a major twist on the Kane character. He has no more mask … just a suit and tie.
When looking back on the loyalties associated with WWE, Kane must not be lost in the mix as he has and continues to be an all-around team player.
5 Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels rose to fame during the 1990s in WWE. “The Heartbreak Kid” would become an all-important part of the early stages of the Attitude Era and the war against WCW. Shawn Michaels assembled The Kliq and helped screwed Bret Hart all while building a legacy.
During this time, Michaels was said to have been very difficult to work with and was by all accounts disliked by many backstage. However, HBK was a product of WWE and was going to remain as such despite any personal demons he may have been battling.
Shawn Michaels retired for the first time in 1998 but would return years later – a better man – to the company that helped propel him into the professional wrestling spotlight.
4 Triple H
There is an obvious loyalty that comes to mind when one thinks of Triple H as his marriage into the McMahon family automatically commits Triple H to the WWE. However, before the business side of things came into play; Triple H was just a WWE superstar.
Following the infamous “Curtain Call” at Madison Square Garden involving Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Triple H it was in fact Triple H who would suffer the most on a professional level – enduring the punishment for the incident and being delegated to a jobber.
The situation in which Triple H had been placed would have caused other men to jump ship and leave WWE behind. However, the ever resilient Triple H worked his way back up the card and became one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time.
3 Tommy Dreamer
Tommy Dreamer has never been the WWE or WCW Champion. Tommy Dreamer has never had the match of the year or headlined any major Pay-Per-View events. Tommy Dreamer will never be placed into the same categories as Stone Cold Steve Austin or Ric Flair.
Tommy Dreamer was simply the heartbeat of a promotion. The violent blood that pumped through the veins of all the ECW faithful. Tommy Dreamer was known as “The Innovator of Violence,” with just reason and pride.
ECW was the alternative brand, the place with a lot less money than WWE and WCW, a promotion with true character. Tommy Dreamer believed in that place and never left that hardcore haven that he and so many others grew to love.
2 The Undertaker
Vince McMahon has said of The Undertaker: "he is the guy you would want to have in the foxhole with you … literally and figuratively.” The Undertaker is without a doubt the most loyal employee that Vince McMahon has ever hired.
The Undertaker has managed to maintain his legacy and mystic by changing with the times; evolving his character, and always keeping the fans entertained. Just the thought of The Undertaker performing elsewhere seems impossible to fathom.
The Undertaker is the dark soul of the WWE and will forever be recognized as such … the most loyal man to emerge from a WWE locker room.
When you think back on the history of World Championship Wrestling; many things will come to mind: Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan turning heel and forming the New World Order, the Monday Night War, the rise of Goldberg, and the decline of the product.
However, when piecing together a WCW timeline only one name will remain as a constant throughout: Sting. The one man who refused to leave the promotion. The guy who was there when WCW was known as Jim Crockett Promotions.
When WWE won the Monday Night War and WCW aired its final episode of Monday Nitro; the main event would feature a match between Ric Flair and Sting, the same main event that headlined the very first episode.
In fitting fashion, Sting would emerge victorious as the final man to win a match on WCW television. Sting held true to WCW until the bitter end.