“You still got it!” has become one of the most popular professional wrestling crowd chants of the last 15 years. As companies rely more and more on bringing back stars of the past, fans everywhere choose to pay their respects to those stars with a simple chant designed to remind them that they’re still just as great as they’ve ever been. While it’s somewhat derogatory to suggest these stars ever didn’t have it, the chant is still intended to be a sign or respect used only when a veteran wrestler manages to exceed expectations and perform well beyond their years.
More often than not, though, it’s used whenever an older wrestler actually manages to make their way to the ring. As great as it is to see a former star return to the squared circle, the fact remains that there are many wrestlers that return to the business who do not “still have it.” Whether its due to injuries, life troubles, or the simple effects of old age, there are some veterans and returning performers who should would have been better off letting fans remember their glory days. These are the top 15 returning professional wrestlers who didn’t still have it.
15 Scott Steiner – 2002/2003 WWE
14 Roddy Piper – 2003 WWE
You could actually make the argument that WWE fans only got to see a few years of Roddy Piper in his prime. While Piper’s ring work has never really been outstanding, his brawler style and ability to cut a true heel promo made him a territory legend. As WWE slowly started to turn Piper into a babyface, he lost his edge. While his eventual lack of a defining character hurt his long-term prospects in WCW, at least he was able to bump ratings for that company for at least a couple of months.
13 Jim Neidhart – 2009 TNA
To be honest, this entire list could be made up of bad TNA comebacks. Around the time that Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff gained creative control of the company, TNA became absolutely obsessed with bringing back anyone who had ever worked for WWE or WCW and giving them the chance to beat a rising star or two. Because picking on TNA is like a shooting fish in a barrel, however, we’re going to only pick the worst instances of this booking strategy.
12 Jimmy Snuka – 2009 WWE
WrestleMania XXV would be remembered as one of the worst WrestleManias of all-time were it not for the fact that Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker put on one of the greatest matches of all-time mid-way through the show. The event itself was a collection of truly awful booking decisions that had many fans wondering if WWE planned the entire thing at the literal last minute. Consider, for instance, the match Chris Jericho had against Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper, and Jimmy Snuka. While Jericho is always great and Ricky Steamboat genuinely still had it, Piper and Snuka exposed this sad attempt at capitalizing off some names of the past for what it was.
11 Sable – 2003 WWE
10 The British Bulldog – 1999 WWE
The British Bulldog has always had the tremendous fortune of working with people that are far better than him in the ring. Whether he was teaming with the Dynamite Kid or going against Bret Hart, Bulldog was always at his best when he was allowed to be a generic power guy that didn’t have to actually carry a match. For some reason, though, he was able to bounce between WWE and WCW during the company’s respective hottest periods.
9 Test – 2006 WWE
The fact that you’re probably saying to yourself, “Wait a minute, Test made a comeback in 2006?” really summarizes the problem with this particular return. With all due respect to the late Andrew Martin, Test was really only as popular as he was in the late ‘90s because of how popular WWE was during that time. The company was firing on all cylinders at that time and was able to turn even the most generic of performers into superstars.
8 Tatanka – 2005 WWE
7 Mick Foley – 2008 TNA
While it would be cruel to only pick on TNA for their attempts to bring back former WWE/WCW stars, there are a few failed returns that were so atrocious that it would be wrong to ignore them. Among them, Mick Foley is one of the most notable. Foley has never been the world’s greatest wrestler but his willingness to put his body through hell and ability to tell a story in the ring make him one of the all-time greats. As you might imagine, the years of abuse Foley suffered had caught up with him by the time he started wrestling again for TNA in 2008.
6 Bret Hart – 2010 WWE
5 Hulk Hogan – 2009 TNA
This one is a little tricky. To be honest, Hulk Hogan stopped having “it” sometime during his WCW run when the mystique of the nWo started to fade. Still, there was something about seeing Hulk Hogan on-screen and in a match during WCW’s dying days that at least inspired a spark of excitement. Plus, he did have that classic encounter against The Rock at WrestleMania X-8 when he returned to WWE. Honestly, Hogan didn’t completely lose it until he wrestled for TNA.
4 Kevin Nash – 2011 WWE
While Kevin Nash’s backstage political work helped make him one of the biggest names in professional wrestling once upon a time, he was actually a pretty all-around entertainer at one point. Nash worked clean matches and backed them up with a promo style that was built upon his genuinely likeable personality. The problem with Nash is that he was never able to stay healthy and he eventually just stopped caring about his performances.
3 Road Warrior Animal – 2005 WWE
2 The Ultimate Warrior – 1998 WCW
1 Ric Flair – 2010 TNA
Ric Flair’s match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV is one those matches that reminded people of why they love professional wrestling. It wasn’t a perfect match, but it should have been the perfect ending to Ric Flair’s historic career. For a while, it seemed like that’s exactly what it would be. Flair had sworn that was going to be his last match. Eventually, however, the bright lights and big pay came calling and Flair tried to mount a comeback in TNA. While Flair did work with a couple of pretty good wrestlers during his time in the promotion, Flair was a shell of his former self. No longer able to work the crisp in-ring style that made him a legend, he relied on little more than a few chops, his figure-four, and a lot of “Wooos!” It’s a shame he didn’t decide to go out on top.
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