Being an underdog is not always a bad thing. Sometimes many are not aware of the talents someone possesses or they are used to somebody else being really good at what they do, which is why they won’t pick the underdog to come out on top.
In 2007, the New York Giants went 10-6 and made the playoffs as a Wild Card team, meaning they would have to go through three opponents to get to the Super Bowl and beat four opponents in order to win it all. Nobody in the playoffs saw them as a threat, making them a serious underdog. The Giants found a way each week to win and made it all the way to Super Bowl XLII to face the New England Patriots, who were 18-0 up until that point. Although people gave credit to the Giants for making it all the way to the Super Bowl as a Wild Card team, nobody saw them beating a team who had not lost a single game the entire season. The Giants went in there and proved all the doubters wrong by defeating the Patriots 17-14 to end their dreams of a perfect season and arguably the best season in history, had they won the Super Bowl.
Times like this make the underdog victories sweeter because everybody counts them out and they don’t fuss or complain, they just go out there and prove themselves. These are WWE wrestlers who nobody gave a shot at being successful in this business and thought their careers were going to be short. However, these wrestlers came into the WWE and proved themselves by going through all the obstacles, trials, and tribulations to become better then anybody would have ever thought.
15. Shane McMahon
When Shane McMahon first started in the family business, he had various roles such as working in a warehouse, being a referee, producer, and announcer. When McMahon entered the ring to be a wrestler, many thought it was a joke or that he was only wrestling because he was a part of the McMahon family. In just his second year of actual in-ring wrestling, McMahon won the European Championship from X-Pac. A couple of years later, McMahon won his second and last title, by defeating Steve Blackman for the Hardcore Championship. Just recently, McMahon fought The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32 in a Hell in a Cell match, which featured the highlight of the night of McMahon jumping off the Cell and through an announce table. The fans have responded to him and it’s because of Shane’s courage and work ethic.
14. Ricky Steamboat
When Ricky Steamboat first came to the WWE, he looked like he had potential but may not have been what people expected. Steamboat had his biggest accomplishment when he upset Macho Man Randy Savage for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania III. Steamboat was forced to vacate the title after he wanted to spend time with his wife and newborn son. From there, Steamboat’s greatest accomplishments came under the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) brand where Steamboat won the World Tag Team, World Television, and United States Heavyweight Championships.
13. Owen Hart
Owen Hart was always known as the brother of the great Bret Hart, but he wanted to make a name for himself. Owen eventually feuded with his brother because he was tired of being overshadowed by him. Owen went on to beat his brother Bret at WrestleMania X. Owen surpassed all expectations by becoming an Intercontinental, European, and Tag Team Champion. Hart also won the King of the Ring tournament in 1994. Unfortunately, Hart’s life ended tragically and his loss still stings today.
12. William Regal
When William Regal first debuted with his glittery robe, slick back hair, and stuck up arrogant personality, many did not think much him in WWE, especially considering his previous role as “A Real Man’s Man.” The British Brawler showed he was a fit for WWE as Regal went on to become a two-time Intercontinental Champion, five-time Hardcore Champion, four-time European Champion, and a four-time Tag Team Champion. Regal also went on to win the King of the Ring tournament in 2008.
Goldust came on the scene as something the WWE had never seen before. From the black and gold face paint to the blonde wig, Goldust was not your regular WWE Superstar. Goldust, or “The Bizarre One,” was even weirder when he opened his mouth, with the long breaths and different sound effects he is famous for. Although Goldust was somebody you wouldn’t want to hang out with, he did perform well in the ring. Goldust went on to silence all the doubters by having a successful career and is still in the business today after 21 years. Goldust is currently a three-time Intercontinental Champion, nine-time Hardcore Champion, and three-time Tag Team Champion.
10. The Miz
When The Miz started wrestling, many took him as a joke. However, The Miz was a better wrestler than people expected. In 2010, The Miz won the Money in the Bank match, earning him a shot at the WWE Championship over the next year. Following a match between then-WWE Champion Randy Orton and Wade Barrett on a episode of RAW, The Miz cashed in his contract to win his first and only WWE Championship. The Miz also is a two-time United States Champion, five-time Intercontinental Champion, and six-time Tag Team Champion.
Whether he was Mick Foley, Mankind, Cactus Jack, or Dude Love, he was always entertaining and crowd pleasing. Mankind was crazy and would do anything to win a match. Mankind was the epitome of a hardcore wrestler and went through hell and back to perform during his matches. One of his most memorable moments came during a Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker when ‘Taker threw Mankind off the top of the Cell through a table. Mankind was the reason behind the Hardcore Championship and was the first ever Hardcore Champion. Mankind was also a three-time WWE Champion.
8. Rey Mysterio
As a 5’6″, masked wrestler, Rey Mysterio looked like a kid trick-or-treating on Halloween. Mysterio was a boy amongst men in a physical sport that requires skill and size. However, Mysterio wanted to be different and show the world that size did not matter. In 2006, Mysterio surprised everybody by beating out 29 other wrestlers to win the Royal Rumble, earning him a title shot at WrestleMania 22. Mysterio went into the match as the underdog against then-champion Randy Orton and Kurt Angle. Mysterio would pull off one of the biggest underdog victories that night and become World Heavyweight Champion. Mysterio would win the belt once more as well as the WWE Championship.
7. Kurt Angle
After becoming a gold medalist at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Kurt Angle used that as he transitioned into the WWE, whereAngle used an “American Hero” gimmick. In less than a year after making his WWE debut, Angle beat The Rock for the WWE Championship, which absolutely no one could’ve predicted. After that, Angle’s career took off as he became one of the main wrestlers on the roster as well as one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time. There are rumors that Angle might make a return to the WWE, which would push his career even further.
Although Christian was a great tag team wrestler, he was never seen as anything more. In 2011, Christian silenced all the haters by defeating Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship. Christian went on to become a two-time World Heavyweight Champion, proving that he could at least hang with the top stars. While Christian will always be associated with Edge (who had more success in WWE), winning the World Heavyweight Championship twice was unexpected.
5. Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus began her WWE career as a valet, but she obviously wanted to be something more. When she started doing singles competition, she was better than most thought she would be. Stratus went on to become a seven-time Women’s Championship during her time in WWE. Something no one would have thought when she first appeared on WWE television. Stratus was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 and was named Diva of the Decade (2000s).
Edge started off his career in the tag team division with partner Christian and they went on to become one of the greatest tag teams of all time. After his time with Christian, Edge went on to singles competition where he flourished. In addition to his in-ring ability, Edge was also very entraining and had good mic skills, which helped him move up the card. Even though his career was cut short due to injury, Edge would retire with 11 World Championships to his name. Edge may have challenged the all time record of 16 reigns by Ric Flair had his career not ended too soon.
3. John Cena
John Cena would answer a challenge made by Kurt Angle on SmackDown and that was just the beginning. At the time, nobody thought Cena would blow up to be one of the most popular WWE Superstars in history. Cena started off by showing off his mic skills by rapping lyrics to the crowd. That led to Cena’s popularity and him becoming a 15-time World Champion, trailing only Ric Flair. Cena has already put together a Hall of Fame career in WWE and he is not quite done.
2. Daniel Bryan
When Daniel Bryan first appeared on WWE, he didn’t look like a main event wrestler. However, Bryan had a lot of in-ring skills and heart when he performed. Bryan went on to defeat the odds by winning the Money in the Bank match in 2011, earning him a contract for the World Heavyweight Championship. At TLC, Bryan cashed in his contract by pinning the Big Show to become the World Heavyweight Championship, which was nothing compared to Bryan’s rise to the top as WWE World Heavyweight Champion in 2014. Bryan became the most popular Superstar in recent memory and accomplished a lot more than expected in WWE.
1. CM Punk
CM Punk started his WWE career under the ECW brand. While there, Punk won the ECW Championship. However, Punk wanted more out of WWE. After a few runs with the World Heavyweight Championship, Punk was ready for the next step. Along with the infamous “Pipe Bomb” promo, Punk moved on to the WWE Championship and eventually held the title for 434 straight days during his second run as champion, one of the longest reigns in WWE history. No one could’ve seen this coming when CM Punk showed up in ECW.
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