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Hardcore Casual
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What are some of the more obscure (as in, not John Cena or Roman Reigns) pushes that you just couldn't get behind?

Rikishi is always high up on this list for me. It culminated at the Armageddon HIAC. I specifically remember thinking how many other people I would have preferred to see in his spot and how out of place he seemed next to the other 5 GOATs involved in the match. Like the Morrison/Miz song says, he got "famous for twerking" alongside a nauseating Scotty 2 Hotty, and I never bought him as a believable main eventer.

Goldust was another one. He was pushed pretty hard in the mid-90s, albeit on a very thin roster.
 

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It's hard on him because I don't think he did a bad job but Jinder going from jobber to suddenly being able to hang in there with Randy Orton and Nakamura with no build or explanation why was too much to suspend my disbelief.

I couldn't quite buy Kurt Angle's big babyface push in 2001, he went from cowardly and corny into Stone Cold Steve Austin V2. Kurt as a babyface in 2003 was great and much more natural.
 

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Interesting question. WWE has tried with a fair few guys and failed. Billy Gunn is a pretty good example of a great midcard/upper midcard act that they tried to push into the main event scene but it didn't work out. With Gunn it's odd as well because in reality he has all the tools that WWE main event guys have. He was solid at the very least on the mic, had a big body and was a good looking dude, had charisma, was a solid enough wrestler. It just didn't resonate with the audience for whatever reason.

Booker T in 2006 was really out of nowhere also. He went from losing to The Boogeyman in a few minutes at WrestleMania that year only to suddenly be World Heavyweight Champion less than six months later (Think it was 3 actually). Around that time on Smackdown they really tried to push guys that weren't deserving main eventers also with Mark Henry getting into the main event scene on Smackdown, Great Khali immediately debuting as a main event star chasing The Undertaker and Rey Mysterio being forced down our throats.

If other promotions count I'd point to WCW and say that Sid Vicious in 99-01 seemed really out of place as a top main event talent and the well publicised push of Chris Benoit wasn't working either. WCW tried to make stars out of Billy Kidman, David Flair, Mike Awesome and Vampiro as well heavily pushing them in 2000 but none of them really caught on at all and were pretty bad choices for the future crop of main event WCW stars.

ECW had some near the end also. Justin Credible ECW Champion? Steve Corino as much as I love him as a performer was pretty out of place at the top of shows also, Rhino was rushed in and probably not accepted as a main event guy at the time either.

I'd bring up TNA but I'd be here all day going through guys that got undeserved main event pushes that didn't work.
 

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If other promotions count I'd point to WCW and say that Sid Vicious in 99-01 seemed really out of place as a top main event talent and the well publicised push of Chris Benoit wasn't working either. WCW tried to make stars out of Billy Kidman, David Flair, Mike Awesome and Vampiro as well heavily pushing them in 2000 but none of them really caught on at all and were pretty bad choices for the future crop of main event WCW stars.

ECW had some near the end also. Justin Credible ECW Champion? Steve Corino as much as I love him as a performer was pretty out of place at the top of shows also, Rhino was rushed in and probably not accepted as a main event guy at the time either.
How was the Millennium man Sid Vicious a bad choice? If anything it was the right choice and they should have pushed him more.

Vampiro was one of the most popular guys out of the new blood, so I'd disagree that they made the wrong choice pushing him, they should have pushed him further after his feud with Sting, could have easily taken Booker T's spot. Mike Awesome didn't get pushed enough either, he won a battle royal on Thunder and again at the millennium final in Germany, but it didn't go anywhere.

Justin Credible was on top during ECWs most successful era. So wasn't a bad choice at all, no matter how much of a douche his character came across as. Steve Corino's King of Old school was pure gold. Did you know when he joined WCW in 2001, he was set to feud with Flair and JJ, until it folded.
 

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The Sid Vicious push was ridiculous. I love listening to Kevin Sullivan, but the one gripe I had with him on Cornette's podcast this past week was when he said "Hey! Sid drew!" No. Sorry, Kevin, but no he didn't, haha.
 

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I'll take Sid as a guilty pleasure (the listeners' choice in SCG Radio's episode on this too), but he wasn't very good and he didn't move business in good directions, if we're being honest about it. I'd take him Powerbombing jobbers on Raw over most of the new stuff though, definitely.
 

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How was the Millennium man Sid Vicious a bad choice? If anything it was the right choice and they should have pushed him more.

Vampiro was one of the most popular guys out of the new blood, so I'd disagree that they made the wrong choice pushing him, they should have pushed him further after his feud with Sting, could have easily taken Booker T's spot. Mike Awesome didn't get pushed enough either, he won a battle royal on Thunder and again at the millennium final in Germany, but it didn't go anywhere.

Justin Credible was on top during ECWs most successful era. So wasn't a bad choice at all, no matter how much of a douche his character came across as. Steve Corino's King of Old school was pure gold. Did you know when he joined WCW in 2001, he was set to feud with Flair and JJ, until it folded.
By the time Sid returned to WCW and became THE guy he was a 40 year old wrestler who was an average promo at best and poor in the ring. WWE at the same time was offering Rock, Triple H, Foley, Radicalz, Jericho, Angle and even the likes of Big Show who all were well under 40 at the time, were much better promos and could do much more in the ring. I'm not shitting on Sid I am a fan of his work and he could've had a spot in WCW 2000 but I wouldn't have made him my centrepiece. I could see him being in a spot similar to what WWE had Big Show doing at the time which was the resident monster heel who could main event if need be but was second to the true top guys.

Vampiro was cool no doubt but received a super push out of nowhere which made it very hard to buy. In late 1999 he was hanging out with ICP and never doing anything of worth and 6 months later we're meant to accept him as this psychopathic heel who is a top guy? Nah. If they'd given him 2 years of a slow push, had him stick to his team with Sting for a little bit before the turn or even going different ways and then started the main event push in 01-02 (Obviously they couldn't have actually done this but could've planned to do it) I think it'd be much easier to accept.

Mike Awesome was a big guy who could do some impressive stuff but had no charisma. I think he's a good US Champion option and had some memorable matches there but he wasn't the guy to take out Kevin Nash in the New Blood Vs Millionaire's Club I don't think. If we put our booking hats on imagine instead of Hogan Vs Kidman we got Hogan Vs Steiner, instead of Flair Vs Flair we got Jeff Jarrett Vs Ric Flair in a long feud, Russo loved a shoot so what about Shane Douglas cutting passionate promos on Kevin Nash about Nash holding him back? Heel Goldberg Vs Sting instead of Vampiro? I think those are much more memorable angles and if WCW was still into the idea of really pushing Vampiro, Kidman, Awesome etc they could have over a longer period of time.

Yes Justin Credible did make it to the top in a time where ECW was receiving more publicity but again it really came out of nowhere. Credible was a tag team guy and was viewed as the less exciting member of the team but then took the belt and did very little with it (Probably not his own fault. I think he knows as well he shouldn't have been champion he seems pretty humble and smart). Corino was good but was hard to buy into his push as well because he went from midcard guy often losing on PPV to the champion in the span of about 2 PPV's. I had heard Corino signed with WCW and that the feud was going to be with Dusty but had never heard of Flair and Jarrett. I've always thought that he was going to join the Magnificent Seven and at least initially kick off a feud with Dusty and Dustin who were against the stable at the time.
 

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Interesting question. WWE has tried with a fair few guys and failed. Billy Gunn is a pretty good example of a great midcard/upper midcard act that they tried to push into the main event scene but it didn't work out. With Gunn it's odd as well because in reality he has all the tools that WWE main event guys have. He was solid at the very least on the mic, had a big body and was a good looking dude, had charisma, was a solid enough wrestler. It just didn't resonate with the audience for whatever reason.
This is a very interesting one. I agree that I don’t get why he didn’t resonate more than he did... like you said he had the look and could perform respectably in the ring. I thought his matches were fun at least. The charisma is there... just doesn’t make sense that it didn’t get slightly better results.

I for the record didn’t mind they pushed him... looking at the summer of 1999 roster, I think billy Gunn as the KOTR winner made perfect sense. Even in hindsight I think it’s the choice to make.

Gotta give wwe credit though... when it didn’t advance with the audience, they backed off... they didn’t try and push him TOO far onto anyone as 1999 went forward.
 

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This sounds ridiculous now... Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.

Back in 1992 anyway, when they headlined Survivor Series. Hulk Hogan went on hiatus and Ultimate Warrior left, virtually invincible and on par with each other. Shawn one year earler been a Rocker jobbing to Flair on Prime Time. Bret had beaten Perfect and Piper, but had also jobbed to Akeem, Smith and Jannetty on TV.
 

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Did Rikishi ever beat a big name wrestler during his heel run? Did he ever beat the Rock, Austin, Angle, Undertaker, HHH or even just Kane? Even in a tag match did he beat any of those guys?
 
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