There are certain ways to find success: hard work and perseverance being the most admirable. Luck and circumstance being the most apprehensible (to those who lived through the former). Success doesn't always require talent or specific skill. Success can be found with looks; the superficial and emotionless way to the top of a profession. Boring. Bland. Broken.
Then there are those who are born into success; happy little puppies handed down everything from Big Daddy Dog. Those who are never trained to guard but are watched with vigor by the lesser mutts. No bark and no bite in the prissy little Prince and Princess purebreds. The most quiet on the playground but the loudest on social media. Lame. Ludicrous. Lost.
Sometimes nothing is earned and all is given, to those who need not but definitely want. The world is twisted and the system is flawed. Therefore, sit around and wait for karma to strike while the entitled continue to move forward and shine their artificial glow. Meanwhile, those who wait for a glimmer of sunlight will continue to stare out into the gloom; waiting for their success to arrive.
The following list will include some of the biggest names in the history of professional wrestling as even though they reached the top of the industry, many were thrust into the spotlight due to their look, family tree, or "right place, right time" scenario. Such is the nature of the business.
However, this is an article for all the real wrestlers who have worked their assess off in the industry only to find themselves left in the dust by someone who "fits the look" or simply got lucky. This goes out to Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan ... even CM Punk. The ones who grew up wanting to be "wrestlers" and not "sports entertainers."
These are the top 20 wrestlers who are lucky to be in the business:
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20 Randy Orton
Including Randy Orton on such a list could be considered unfair to some but there are factors to consider when figuring the success Orton has had in WWE since his debut back in 2002.
Randy Orton definitely has talent. Inside of the ring, Orton knows what he is doing for the most part. While clearly not an Eddie Guerrero type wrestler, Orton is also not the worst to have laced up a pair of boots.
However, one must wonder how far along the twelve-time World Champion would be had it not been for his pedigree and third generation status?
19 Eva Marie
It feels all too easy to bash Eva Marie at this point. Therefore, we will not place her anywhere near the top of this list but feel her inclusion is still necessary as she remains a hot topic in WWE circles.
Is Eva Marie good in the ring? No. Are her training lessons which are showcased on Total Divas entirely accurate? Who knows. The only thing we know for sure is that Eva Marie was hired in a superficial sense.
Eva Marie is gorgeous but the era of the pretty-girl-Divas has passed. It is time to bring something new to the table.
18 Mojo Rawley
Currently hanging out down in NXT with his "Broski" Zack Ryder as one half of The Hype Bros is a man named Mojo Rawley, a former football player who was forced to revaluate his life following an injury.
Mojo Rawley, whose real name is Dean Muhtadi, would spend years chasing an NFL dream and for a while had it on the tips of his fingers. Muhtadi found contracts with both the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals but could never break through.
Luckily, Dean Muhtadi is big and athletic man, something WWE has always loved and soon the former football player was transformed into an NXT Superstar.
17 The Mean Street Posse
Sometimes all it takes to make it somewhere is to have friends in high places. And what better friend to have in WWE than the son of the boss? This would be the fortunate situation stumbled upon by The Mean Street Posse.
The Mean Street Posse were a stable of upper-class, entitled, rich kids who were brought into WWE to back up their buddy Shane McMahon. The group consisted of Pete Gas, Rodney, and Joey Abs with Gas and Rodney being actual real life friends of Shane.
Joey Abs had already been a professional wrestler and would serve as the main competitor for the group, while the other two served as more of a comedy shtick.
16 Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley has to be one of the biggest busts in WWE history. The lack of connection between Lashley and the audience was ever apparent as even feuding with Mr. McMahon could not get him over.
Since his WWE days, Bobby Lashley has moved on to MMA fighting and TNA wrestling; two smaller stages. While Lashley was athletic, he offered nothing in the personality department
Bobby Lashley more-or-less showed up in WWE developmental and was probably hired for his look as another lucky set of muscles.
The Attitude Era antics of former WWE Diva Sable would certainly not pass in today's product. Sable brought a tremendous amount of sex appeal to the program, often more in one week than an entire year's worth nowadays.
Of course, if you like the real life stories of WWE Superstars and Divas you will know that Sable is happily married to "The Beast" himself, Brock Lesnar and lives a relatively reserved life.
However, Sable may have never met Brock Lesnar had the former beauty queen and model not been hired by WWE based on her looks.
14 Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin is currently competing as a member of the NXT roster. While NXT is full of potential breakout stars, Corbin doesn't seem to fit that distinction. However, he is big and big is good in WWE.
Odds are Baron Corbin will eventually make his way up to the main roster where he will most likely assume the typical "big guy" push and squash his underwhelming opponents before finally settling into the mid-card.
Baron Corbin is another one of those former football players turned professional wrestler due to inability of making the grade in the NFL.
13 The Great Khali
The Great Khali never had a great match during his tenure in WWE ... never had a good match ... never had a mediocre match. The Great Khali was just a really, really big human being and that is all.
Somehow, during his time with the company, The Great Khali would capture the World Heavyweight Championship. However, his title reign is not one that will go down in WWE history.
It is fairly obvious why The Great Khali found work with WWE. The company wanted another giant.
12 Big Show
There has been a lot of Big Show hate floating around the WWE Universe these days. Not because Big Show is unappreciated but because the fans are tired of seeing the same old Big Show stuff that has been going on for years.
Luckily for Big Show, he would meet and befriend the biggest name in the business many years ago, Hulk Hogan, who in turn would help the big man find his way into professional wrestling and WCW.
Keep in mind that Hulk Hogan really knows nothing about the business and looked at Big Show as an Andre the Giant Jr.
11 Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar can now be considered a WWE Specialty. While not around for most of the year, when "The Beast Incarnate" does appear, circumstances are set to become dire as Lesnar comes for one reason only: to kick ass.
Despite his actual skill in the ring, Brock Lesnar could care less about WWE. This is simply a job and a paycheck for Lesnar; there is no love for the business or anybody within the industry.
Brock Lesnar was lucky enough to adapt his natural abilities to professional wrestling, get paired with Paul Heyman, and become the youngest WWE Champion in history.
10 The Bella Twins
The Bella Twins may have once ruled the Divas Division but not anymore. The identical twins have simply lost the interest of wrestling fans. However, they maintain the focus of reality television fans, so they will still be paraded on WWE TV.
Nikki Bella recently set the record for longest reign as WWE Divas Champion; surpassing AJ Lee in the process. Don't be naive about that situation: Nikki is John Cena's girl, while AJ is CM Punk's wife (Read between the lines).
There is nothing about The Bella Twins that screams awesome competitors. The former models came along at the right time and were hired as such.
9 Kevin Nash
Kevin Nash, while working under the ring name Diesel, holds the distinction of being the longest reigning WWE Champion of the '90s. However, one must wonder how much of this reign was due to the backstage influence of The Kliq?
In WCW, Kevin Nash would once again find political power and take part in such angles as ending the undefeated streak of Goldberg and the infamous “Finger Poke of Doom,” where Nash literally laid down for Hollywood Hogan.
Kevin Nash is not that good when it comes to in-ring ability and should be thankful that he was welcomed into professional wrestling following his years as a basketball player.
8 Scott Hall
Scott Hall has had a long and troubled past in professional wrestling and life in general. Hall has seemingly battled personal demons his entire adult life and sadly these demons continue to lurk in the shadows of Hall's world.
In the wrestling world, Scott Hall was big and tough and played the Razor Ramon character with relative ease. However, Hall was never really considered a main event player in WWE or later on when he joined WCW.
The former bouncer was lucky enough to find professional wrestling and carve out a life; albeit a troublesome one.
You may know him as Sid Justice, Sid Vicious, or Sycho Sid … Whichever one you may recognize you will also recognize that the man who assumed these three roles was never really a good professional wrestler.
Sid wasn't what one would consider a “ring technician” as his forte was the usual big guy gimmick. Sid was equally dull on the mic and would often fumble through promos on his way to once again making himself look foolish.
It's a good thing for Sid that he came along during a time when the “larger than life” type of performer was the desired breed.
6 Lex Luger
What can be said about Lex Luger that hasn't already been said about a number of others on this list? Luger once played professional football, in Canada nonetheless, which means that Luger was not a top-tier professional.
Unable to hack life in the CFL, Lex Luger would eventually make his way over to professional wrestling where – because of his look – he was groomed to be a Superstar. The biggest problem with Luger was simple: he sucked.
Lex Luger should be thankful for that jacked-up body which helped him discover a better financial future than Canadian football could provide.
5 The Ultimate Warrior
This list was not meant to focus on any deceased professional wrestlers; which the exception of one: The Ultimate Warrior. There was no real way to exclude Warrior from such a list as the man truly was lucky to have found success in WWE.
The Ultimate Warrior was never a real wrestler and never meant to be the guy who went out and wowed the crowd for thirty minutes a night. Warrior ran down to the ring, did his smashing, won the match, and then ran away again.
The Ultimate Warrior was a bodybuilder prior to professional wrestling which of course – as we have mentioned already – helps with breaking into the business.
Batista would find good fortune in WWE early on in his career when he was placed alongside Triple H and Ric Flair. The sky was the limit from there, as Batista would go on to become a six-time World Champion in WWE.
These days, Batista has been enjoying the bright lights of Hollywood and there is no telling whether or not he will ever return to the company. Which in its own right shows that Batista doesn't particular care about being a wrestler.
Another big dude who managed to find the right associations and turn out a highly success WWE career.
Never mistake a hot wrestling commodity with being a real professional wrestler. Bill Goldberg may have been the biggest WCW creation ever produced but his love for the business was seemingly nonexistent.
The wrestling world for Goldberg was simply a place to make money. This is something Goldberg himself would admit. Goldberg was a massive success for a little while before quickly burning out of the industry.
Bill Goldberg was a football player who didn't quite achieve his goals. Therefore, Goldberg strapped on some trunks and a pair of wrestling boots.
2 John Cena
You have definitely seen the picture of John Cena as a child holding a paper cutout of a championship belt. Cena grew up a wrestling fan and possess a genuine love for the business. The commitment of Cena cannot go unrecognized.
However, it was the ever-apparent lack of in-ring ability that caused much criticism for John Cena early on in his career. Nevertheless, the WWE machine stood behind Cena and pushed him to become the biggest star around.
The fact that John Cena found his way through the door which such limited ability (ability that has greatly improved) is something for which he should be eternally thankful.
1 Hulk Hogan
How did a big, balding man with leather-looking skin become the biggest star in professional wrestling? Why did we all follow him so religiously as children? It was as if Hulk Hogan was running some sort of sports entertainment cult.
The cold hard truth about Hulk Hogan is this: the man can't wrestle and his promo ability is average at best. Hogan was a bodybuilder who simply got lucky and then even more lucky when his face was launched into the mainstream.
If Hulk Hogan never appears in WWE again, he should remain grateful to the company that they made a terrible wrestler the face of the wrestling business.
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