It’s hard to tell an athlete to hang it up but sometimes you have to give out some tough love. We’re all critics, whether we’re qualified or not, and sometimes the writing is on the wall for these athletes. Professional wrestling is more about entertainment than scorecards, but that doesn’t mean wrestlers can’t be terrible at their job.
This list is comprised of wrestlers across several generations throughout the world. They may be on here because they’re too old or just flat out terrible. If you’re a purist of the industry, then you may have no qualms with this list. Many wrestlers - and we do mean many - are not in their prime and are just one bump away from never wrestling again. Also, many talents in the industry can’t wrestler if their life depended on it, yet because of their charisma or look, they get a chance over a potential young stud that could be the next Ricky Steamboat or Daniel Bryan.
Name recognition is a big reason why these wrestlers still perform. Their name can make them money and we don’t blame them for showing up to an event. Just look at Marty Jannetty. Does anyone care for him, nope, but does he keep showing up to shows? Yep! Yep! Yep!
15 Tito Santana
The 1989 King of the Ring winner is still wrestling and as much as we love him, we got to let him know, it’s time to hang it up. Tito Santana would make his professional wrestling debut in 1976. Over forty years later, the Texas native is still booking dates for his fans. It’s always cool to see a legend run the ropes but there has to be a point to where enough is enough.
14 James Ellsworth
Everyone remembers where they were on September 13th, 2016, right? James Ellsworth remembers. He was the mystery tag team partner for WWE World Champion A.J. Styles on SmackDown Live that day. Ellsworth doesn’t look like your typical wrestler but that didn’t stop the WWE from giving him a full-time contract after the WWE Universe cheered his name. The underdog would become a name known around the world that night, for better or worse.
13 Rock 'n' Roll Express
On March 31, 2017, NWA fans witnessed one of the greatest tag teams in the industry get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Jim Cornette. Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson have been wrestling longer than when the first Apple Macintosh went on sale. Debuting in 1983, the fantastic duo has worked for the biggest promotions around the world. You can argue they revolutionized tag team wrestling with their speed, in-ring skills, and rock star personalities.
12 Buff Bagwell
He was part of the new wave of performers in the WCW during the early 1990s. Bagwell, 2 Cold Scorpio, and “Fly’ In” Brian Pillman were just some of the young budding wrestlers that WCW was molding as stars of the future. He had the look and charisma to be a big star but something happened along the way. Maybe it was injuries or the toxic environment backstage, but Bagwell would be stale by the turn of the century.
11 The Blue Meanie
It’s well known The Blue Meanie’s best years were with ECW. Guess how many titles he won during his tenure with the promotion? Zero. Titles aren’t always the measurement when debating the skills of a wrestler but it does play a big role in the conversation. It speaks volumes that ECW never pushed a title run on him.
10 Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner’s freaks and hoochies may not be as vibrant and noticeable as they once were but that hasn’t stopped the man they call “Big Poppa Pump” from performing in the squared circle. If you have been following the ups and downs of Impact Wrestling, then you may have read Steiner will be present for television programming in 2018. Most fans can agree that substituting EC3, Bobby Lashley, and Rockstar Spud (WWE’s Drake Maverick), for a veteran past his prime is a bad idea, but that hasn’t stopped Impact from going forth with the idea.
9 Jim Duggan
Hoooooo! You may love patriotism or not, but you cannot deny Duggan’s love for the red, white, and blue. Unless it was the time in WCW where he was all about Team Canada but will forget that ever happened. The inaugural Royal Rumble winner and WWE Hall of Famer is going strong in 2018 and has already performed in several matches.
8 Dulce García
Dulce García aka Sexy Star has the skills and looks to be a legit contender in any promotion she’s in, however, due to her actions in a controversial match with Rosemary at AAA’s Triplemania XXV, she should never wrestle in a ring again. If you were in a fog in the summer of 2017, Sexy Star purposely injured Rosemary in their match. The video went viral and Star took a lot of the heat.
Glacier was all the hype several decades ago for WCW. Ted Turner wanted entertainment in his brand, and he saw Glacier as being one of those wrestlers who can bring it. With a background in mixed martial arts, Glacier was given a gimmick similar to Mortal Kombat’s Sub-Zero. History has shown us that WCW wasted tons of money on the gimmick and it still failed.
6 Billy Gunn
We got two words for you! Please retire. Billy Gunn was given the opportunity to show the world he still has it when he went toe-to-toe with NJPW’s former IWGP Intercontinental Champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi, in the summer of 2017. Although he looks in great shape, he’s a shell of his former self. Slow, predictable, and basic isn’t the best way to have a wrestling match in 2018.
5 The Sandman
Smashing a beer can against your face was once seen as a form of badassery and no one did it better than The Sandman. Before Stone Cold Steve Austin went bald and made drinking beer one of the coolest things in wrestling, The Sandman was doing it for ECW. A five-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion, Sandman is still booking dates at 54 years old.
4 Beer City Bruiser
We get it, he looks like your average Joe and comes out with a keg of beer. How can you not like that guy? Beer City Bruiser has a gimmick you can love or hate. The big gut, pigmentless skin, and few hairs on his head make him stand out from others in the business. However, his wrestling skills are mediocre at best.
3 Takashi Iizuka
The Japanese fans are a different breed than American fans. Polite, patient, and non-combative, Japanese fans will love a gimmick that most Americans will see as terrible. One of those gimmicks is the one Takashi Iizuka uses. As one of the bigger talents in NJPW, Iizuka performs as a wild man who needs to be on a leash at all times.
2 Greg Valentine
Show of hands, do you care at all about Greg “The Hammer” Valentine? Besides that one Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling fan in the back raising his hand, we can all agree, no one cares about Valentine. The last time he was relevant was when he donned a mask and went out as The Blue Knight at the 1993 Survivor Series. Sure, the guy is a WWE Hall of Famer, but he was inducted in 2004 with a plethora others because the last time the WWE held a HOF induction was in 1996.
1 Enzo Amore
The WWE Universe was rocked by a bombshell report involving Enzo Amore at the start of 2018. Amore, was accused of assaulting a woman in 2017. WWE would release Amore but not because he was accused of a crime. They would release him because he didn’t tell the company about his legal problem. On the 25th Anniversary of Raw, the company had to field questions about Amore’s issues rather than the event itself. This infuriated the top brass at WWE and the next thing you knew, Enzo was fired.
Amore is going to wrestle again, that’s a fact, and no one should be surprised. However, he was arguably the worst in-ring wrestler on the roster and if it wasn’t for his gift of jab, he wouldn’t have been in the position he was in. Perhaps a career on the microphone might be better than one in the ring.
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