Most Underrated Wrestlers of All Time (Part I)
With WWE’s Night of Champions pay-per-view around the corner, it got me thinking....
What wrestlers never got their rightful chance at being a World Champion?
What wrestlers did get a run, but without the respect they deserved?
In other words.....Who are the most underrated wrestlers of all-time?
With the help of my colleagues and wrestling legends such as Diamond Dallas Page and “Dirty” Dutch Mantell, I have compiled a list of wrestlers that deserve the recognition they weren’t always privileged to receive.
These men are former World Champions, standout workers, and unfortunately, a few have nots.
Let us know!
This is Part I of our series.
As told by Robert McLearren, author of the late Chris Kanyon’s autobiography.
Chris Kanyon was one of the unsung heroes of World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
Not only was he given the name "innovator of offense" by commentator Mike Tenay because of his ability to constantly come up with new moves, but was responsible for the hiring of some of the best cruiserweights in wrestling history as well. That list of cruiserweights starts with Billy Kidman. Kanyon pushed WCW President Eric Bischoff to view his tapes and he was subsequently hired.
Kanyon was also given the job of scouting and hiring cruiserweights. The cruiserweights he hired to WCW included Shane “Hurricane” Helms, “Prince of Punk” Shannon Moore, Jamie Noble, Jimmy Yang (Jimmy Wang Yang), among others.
He had honor of being trusted as the stunt coordinator for the Jesse Ventura movie, along with"Ready To Rumble” and served as Oliver Platt's stunt double.
With all of his accomplishments and duties, Kanyon was sadly never able to crack the championship "glass ceiling,” even after several successful feuds with Raven and Diamond Dallas Page.
Later on, following WWE’s buyout of WCW, the powers that be didn't know what to do with him after the failed "Invasion" angle and he quickly fell out of WWE storylines. He was taken off WWE TV due to injury, only to come back for a failed return to the 'Mortis" gimmick and was soon after let go.
On April 2, 2010, Kanyon, who had severe depression, killed himself with an overdose of anti-depressants. He was found barely alive with empty pill bottles next to him and several notes written to his family. Emergency services tried to revive him but he was pronounced dead thirty minutes later.
People can tell you “he couldn’t work,” but those were the same folks he outshined and proved wrong on a regular basis. Whether it was a dark match or main event, Kanyon always went out to steal the show. More often then not, he did--much to the officials’ chagrin.
Like many wrestlers this last decade or so, Kanyon left this world way too soon, but his kindness towards others and standout in-ring skills should never be forgotten.
As told by Fred Richani
From Nov. 2009:
WWE's Jack Swagger is the future of wrestling. It's time for the future to become the present.
Just look at the guy. He is money. He's got the looks of a model at your local mall's Abercrombie and Fitch you love to hate. His pure wrestling ability is uncanny on the RAW brand. The Oklahoma alum is not too shabby on the mic either. The problem is exposure, which seems to be the ongoing issue for lower-tier talent on RAW.
I say save The Passion of Chavo Guerrero's Career for Superstars on Thursdays and dedicate more time to building up young talent, particularly Jack Swagger. MVP may be underrated and have more charisma. Mark Henry could freshen things up with his new found persona too.