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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.
I would have to respectfully disagree. Billy Gunn has a few gimmicks over the years before teaming with the Road Dogg, that went nowhere, and relegated him to an opening act. When Gunn was with DX, he was great with the New Age Outlaws, but the problem was that the Road Dogg had all the charisma in the group, and this helped hide Gunn's limited ability to work the mike. He had the look, but his wrestling skills were never great, and once he left DX, he never really got over with the fans.

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 publicized 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.
Sid's lack of main event success had more to do with his work ethic, He had the look, and the charisma to be a top guy. Unfortunately he was stiff in the ring. This is a guy who got cheers for beating Hulk Hogan in the Royal Rumble, and Shawn Michaels in late 1996. He also had backstage issues with many, that did nothing for his career.

Benoit could ahve worked as a main event draw, but the problems are the WCW never built him up properly before winning the title. In the previous months, he had lost to Bret Hart, and was on the losing end of some matches with Jeff Jarrett. They needed him to go over Hart, and possibly either Nash and Hall, before beating Sid for the belt, and make him credible.

Mike Awesome is another guy they dropped the ball with. A monster of a man, with a hard work ethnic at his peak, should have had feuds with guys like Nash, Steiner, and Goldberg. Instead they stuck him with lame gimmicks. Kidman, Daivd Flair, and Vampiro never caught on with fans, and top starts.
 

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JBL 2004.


...and tbf, Rikishi never got pushed. He got destroyed in 3 consecutive PPVs the moment he turned heel.
Thousands time this.

I never understood how or why JBL got pushed back in 2004, he was awful especially as World champion.

I also never understood why Rikishi was made to look like a fool when he clearly was very over with that Too Cool stuff that he was doing. I saw that sick pop in the Rumble and I was surprised. They could have done more with him instead of jobbing him out to Austin and Taker, turning into Triple HGH's lackey. He was easily more over than Triple HGH at that time.
 

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Rikishi was VERY over as a face in 2000 - honestly go back and watch some of the shows and PPVs around that time. He could've been a big face attraction for them. Just a horrible decision to turn him heel and give him the Austin angle. What's going to happen other than Austin come back and try to kill him?
 

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I only note only Rikishi was the legit one who supposedly win WWE title from Kurt in Armageddon because IMDb website put it on trivia section but it never happened, perhaps after Triple H revealed himself as the one who ran over Austin, it was the day I know WWE lost interest to make Rikishi as their new big star and let him had storyline with The Rock.
 

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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.

Vampiro was cool no doubt but received a super push out of nowhere which made it very hard to buy.

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.
Did you see Sid in his short ECW run in 1999, his pop was unreal. If it wasn't for ECW not being able to afford him, I think he would have been amazing carrying them.

He would have returned to WCW in 98, but held back until Arn retired. He would have been an ideal candidate to end Goldbergs streak in my opinion.

He was originally meant to win the WCW World title in 93 and was set to be the main guy in 94, I wonder if the Arn incident didn't happen, perhaps Hogan wouldn't have gone there.

Vampiro as Vampiro Canadiense was one of the biggest draws in the world in the early 90s, he was literally a rock star in Mexico. I don't think his push was unwarranted, if anything he should have been pushed more and WCW should have exploited the Mexican market.

I believe Flair and Jarrett were meant to get the better of Dusty and Dustin, then they bring in Corino who helps them out due to him gaining respect from Dusty in their time in ECW together. He was then meant to have the king of the old school gimmick, where he takes out the older guys.
 

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Did you see Sid in his short ECW run in 1999, his pop was unreal. If it wasn't for ECW not being able to afford him, I think he would have been amazing carrying them.
Yeah I'm familiar with his ECW run he was still over no doubt but it was hard to take WCW seriously when WWE had Austin, Rock, Triple H, Foley, Taker and a bunch of others whilst WCW was trying to point to Sid as a top guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
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?
His biggest victory was probably over Taker, Kane and Rock on Jan 9th 2001's SmackDown. But yeah, in 2000 and 2001, while he definitely lost more than won, he had victories over Test, Matt & Jeff Hardy, Undertaker, Kane, Guerrero, and screwy victories against Kurt Angle, Triple H; also has a few tag team victories with The Rock. Definitely not a monster push, but more than he deserved IMO lol.
 

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I'll add the JBL sentiment. Random tag guy to main event at a time where they had nobody and no idea what to do.

Jack Swagger comes to mind for sure. Didnt seem very charismatic and i hate to be rude but just couldnt get over that lisp of his. Idk why he got a world title.
Swagger cashing in his MITB on Jericho in 2010 was the biggest LOL moment. The downfall of Smackdown started at this very moment.


I enjoyed the conclusion to Kane/Undertaker feud despite it getting a lot of criticism at the time, but SD really started to fall between 2010-2012, and 2012-2016 it was literally a meaningless RAW-Repeat show and I can barely tell you what happened during those 4 years.
 

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Raw September 21, 1998

Steve Austin a renowned loner, had a match booked with the odds heavily stacked against him versus The Undertaker and Kane. And for some reason that made no sense then or now, we were told ass-kicker Austin would be getting a partner to join him for this match.

Austin clearly didn't want or need a partner so went to the ring alone. When out of nowhere, Billy fking Gunn comes out as Austin's partner.

Billy fking Gunn.


Anyway Billy was shit during the match, a complete distraction, like if somebody left the toilet stall door open in a crowded restaurant. Nobody wanted him there.

The following week in a WTF moment everybody was just meant to forget his bullshit match with Austin and he just picked up again with Road Dogg as the New Age Outlaws, a match best left forgotten.

Billy fking Gunn.
 

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Raw September 21, 1998

Steve Austin a renowned loner, had a match booked with the odds heavily stacked against him versus The Undertaker and Kane. And for some reason that made no sense then or now, we were told ass-kicker Austin would be getting a partner to join him for this match.

Austin clearly didn't want or need a partner so went to the ring alone. When out of nowhere, Billy fking Gunn comes out as Austin's partner.

Billy fking Gunn.


Anyway Billy was shit during the match, a complete distraction, like if somebody left the toilet stall door open in a crowded restaurant. Nobody wanted him there.

The following week in a WTF moment everybody was just meant to forget his bullshit match with Austin and he just picked up again with Road Dogg as the New Age Outlaws, a match best left forgotten.

Billy fking Gunn.
This is hilarious. Reminds of Cedric Alexander dressing as a garbage man to help Roman
 

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His biggest victory was probably over Taker, Kane and Rock on Jan 9th 2001's SmackDown. But yeah, in 2000 and 2001, while he definitely lost more than won, he had victories over Test, Matt & Jeff Hardy, Undertaker, Kane, Guerrero, and screwy victories against Kurt Angle, Triple H; also has a few tag team victories with The Rock. Definitely not a monster push, but more than he deserved IMO lol.
When did Rikishi ever beat the Undertaker, Kane, Angle or HHH other than in Jan 9th 2001 Smackdown.

Were Rikishi and the Rock actually close prior to teaming up before Rikishi turned heel? I remember Rikishi and Too Cool joining the Rock and Cactus Jack for a 5 on 5 against DX and the Radicalz. Was that meant to show that the Rock and Rikishi were friends?
 

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Jinder Mahal - as he was just not good enough in the role and was very undeserving.

Test - see Jinder Mahal. Roided up and suddenly he's the man. Actually, that never happened.

The Great Khali - the guy can't even bend! Sure he's big and was in that film with Goldberg, but the man has the flexibility of concrete. He also had the verbal capabilities of a smackhead after an unusually large hit.

Jack Swagger - sure he's improved marginally now, but he was just another bland heel in a singlet. Boring era of wrestling, boring wrestler, stupid name.

Sheamus - Looked like a toilet brush mixed with those toy trolls that your sister had in the 90's. Plus he was so white that you can actually see him from space and his hair so orange that it makes Queen's Day in the Netherlands look like a black and white photo. I like his big boot (ironic in the same list as Test!), but nothing else. The guy was a boring cowardly heel, wasn't anything special and just looked goofy. His new look that came later improved it a little, but he should never have been near a main event title.

Alberto Del Wife Beater - I only really remember him for a rented Rolls Royce and for abusing Paige. Does that say it all? The guy was later put in a faction for white American supremacy. This was the most eventful thing he ever did too!
 

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Jinder Mahal - as he was just not good enough in the role and was very undeserving.

Test - see Jinder Mahal. Roided up and suddenly he's the man. Actually, that never happened.

The Great Khali - the guy can't even bend! Sure he's big and was in that film with Goldberg, but the man has the flexibility of concrete. He also had the verbal capabilities of a smackhead after an unusually large hit.

Jack Swagger - sure he's improved marginally now, but he was just another bland heel in a singlet. Boring era of wrestling, boring wrestler, stupid name.

Sheamus - Looked like a toilet brush mixed with those toy trolls that your sister had in the 90's. Plus he was so white that you can actually see him from space and his hair so orange that it makes Queen's Day in the Netherlands look like a black and white photo. I like his big boot (ironic in the same list as Test!), but nothing else. The guy was a boring cowardly heel, wasn't anything special and just looked goofy. His new look that came later improved it a little, but he should never have been near a main event title.

Alberto Del Wife Beater - I only really remember him for a rented Rolls Royce and for abusing Paige. Does that say it all? The guy was later put in a faction for white American supremacy. This was the most eventful thing he ever did too!
How much was test pushed? Maybe he wasnt the greatest contender for a hardcore champ back in 2000, but i thought he was a decent heel when steph was managing him in 2003.
 

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How much was test pushed? Maybe he wasnt the greatest contender for a hardcore champ back in 2000, but i thought he was a decent heel when steph was managing him in 2003.
Didn't he feud with Triple H at one point? I'd call that a push, even if aborted. By 2003 it was long over tbh.
 

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Test was pushed when he was supposed to marry Stephanie in 2000. That ended fast. I remember a 4 vs 4 on Raw or Smackdown where Test was on the team of faces but was out of the match because of a broken nose. Late in the match he came in and helped his team win.
 
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