Top 15 Wrestlers Who Had to Take a Backseat to a Bigger Star

The silver medalist is the worst type of loser. The one not good enough for the gold and the one who actually lost his award. There is much more honor in earning a bronze than the consolation prize of silver. Third place may only drive a Station Wagon but it beats the backseat Cadillac ride that comes along with second place.

It happens all the time and not only in sport. Did anybody ever care about Garfunkel? Art Garfunkel? No. It was Paul Simon who fans adored. Sure, people liked Art but who was truly standing in line to purchase a ticket because Art Garfunkel was coming to play Madison Square Garden? It was Paul who placed the people in that building.

The backseat is not necessarily a bad place to be seated. While the man at the wheel attracts more attention, some enjoy the sanctity that comes along with not being the one in the driver's seat. After all, Art Garfunkel has lived a pretty comfortable and cool life in the shadow of Paul Simon.

However, those who choose the path of the professional wrestler do not want any part of this backseat existence. There are not many aspiring wrestlers with more of a desire to be the ROH World Champion than the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The latter title is the top of the mountain, where the air is crisp.

Of course, there are times when one's presence is simply too strong to ignore for anybody else. Yes, the fans may take a look at the backseat rider for a moment but ultimately their attention will soon make its way back to the man with his foot on the gas. Some people have that certain, special "it" factor.

This is a look at those who couldn't quite catch up to specific wrestler, if only a step behind.

These are the top 15 wrestler who had to take a backseat to a bigger star:

15 Dean Ambrose to Roman Reigns


It's happening in WWE right now. Dean Ambrose taking a backseat to his good buddy Roman Reigns who - despite overwhelming disdain - has been deemed "The Man" and the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

14 Daniel Bryan to Randy Orton


It all began in the summer of 2013 and lasted until WrestleMania XXX. According to WWE, it was a "storyline." However, the classification of Daniel Bryan as a "B+ Player" was peppered with reality as The Authority favoured Randy Orton.

13 Randy Orton to John Cena


While experiencing some of the luxuries that come along with being the "bigger star," make no mistake: Randy Orton is no stranger to the backseat. Orton began his WWE career back in 2002; the same year as a certain Era-defining Superstar.

12 The Undertaker to Shawn Michaels


It seems fitting how The Undertaker would end the career of Shawn Michaels. The very man to whom 'Taker was forced to take a backseat during the New Generation days of WWE, when Vince McMahon handed the metaphorical ball to Michaels.

11 Bret Hart to Shawn Michaels


While The Undertaker would always accept his role within WWE without grievance, Bret "The Hitman" Hart was a different story. For a while, it appeared as though Hart and Shawn Michaels were considered on the same level but the truth was clear.

10 Buddy Rogers to Bruno Sammartino


In the spring of 1963, Buddy Rogers was named the inaugural WWE Champion. Rogers was already considered a star in the NWA and seemed like the right fit to hold the title. However, declining health and lack of fan support would suggest otherwise.

9 Rob Van Dam to Triple H


In 2001, the arrival of many WCW and ECW Superstars would stack the WWE roster. With this talent surge came a man named Rob Van Dam; the most popular wrestler in ECW. This popularity would only grow in WWE.

8 The Ultimate Warrior to Hulk Hogan


Say what you will about The Ultimate Warrior? Bad wrestler? Yes. Backward human being with a narrow-minded outlook on life? Absolutely. However, there is no denying the popularity of Warrior during his run in WWE.

7 Kurt Angle to Triple H


The Olympic gold medalist, Kurt Angle, would only qualify for silver as it pertained to his role in WWE. Angle's run with the company was anything but disappointing, however, the overcast of Triple H was always present.

6 Ric Flair to Hulk Hogan


When Hulk Hogan arrived in WCW, both "The Hulkster" and Ric Flair were more-than established figures in the wrestling world. In fact, Hogan and Flair were - and too many still are - considered to be the top-two wrestlers of all time.

5 WCW to the nWo 


Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko: these are just some of the names left to suffer in WCW while the nWo story line played out. Tremendous talents placed in the backseat to the "Big Boys."

4 Dusty Rhodes to Ric Flair


"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes once said of himself: "brother, I'm bad and they know I'm bad." Indeed. Rhodes was one bad man while serving the wrestling world as one of its top good guys. Rhodes had more style than almost any other wrestler.

3 CM Punk to John Cena


While CM Punk held the WWE Championship for 434 days, his reign was overshadowed by the Golden Boy of WWE, John Cena. Punk may have walked out to the ring with the strap but Cena remained the main event.

2 "Macho Man" Randy Savage to Hulk Hogan


At WrestleMania IV, "Macho Man" Randy Savage would capture the vacant WWE Championship in a one-night tournament (while Hogan danced in the ring to remain relevant). Savage would hold onto the belt until WrestleMania V the following year where he dropped the title to Hulk Hogan.

1 The Rock to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin


Without a shadow of a doubt, The Rock was the second biggest Superstar to emerge from The Attitude Era. The Rock was the complete wrestling package: looks, skill, charisma, master of the mic. However, all of that fell short to one man.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin was not only at the wheel of the truck which that contained The Rock as a backseat passenger but Austin drove that truck over everything in his path. The Rock was indeed the "Great One" but Stone Cold was simply Greater.

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Top 15 Wrestlers Who Had to Take a Backseat to a Bigger Star