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By generation I mean the people who debuted on the main roster around that time. Please help me out here, because I'm positive I'll forget someone.

Btw, not gonna mention The Hearthrobs or The Dicks because they're pointless. Also, I'm sure I've forgotten someone or included someone who debuted before 2004, so please correct me if I'm wrong. It's been years and can't remember everything in detail. I'm also not gonna mention a veteran like Finlay who obviously was never gonna be a future star but just a vet putting over younger talent.

So, the point of this thread, you might ask? This generation ended up mostly serving as a supporting cast for Cena and, to some degree, to Orton and Batista as well. And I wanna know if you guys think they were wasted, or at least some of them. Who do you think could have become a star?

Carlito: Won the US title from on his debut and then got drafted to Raw less than a year later where he won the IC on his debut from Shelton Benjamin as well. Carlito was kind of a modern day version of Razor Ramon. He was good on the mic and solid in the ring. He would team up with Masters until he eventually turned on him thus turning face in the process... and that's where Carlito starts losing his direction.

Chris Masters: The Master Lock challenge went on for too long and ended up being broken by Lashley iirc? Also, the highlight of his WWE career was getting shut down by Vince on a mock court in a Raw where Bischoff would end up getting fired. He'd eventually return to WWE a few years later with improved ring skills. He had some nice matches on Superstars around 2010-2011. Overall, I've never seen much in Masters beyond midcard level.

Ken Kennedy: Oh man, this guy. I was a MASSIVE fan of him upon his debut. A guy who introduced his own entrance and repeated his name, for some reason, was the shit for my 15-16 year old self. And most of my friends in HS dug him as well. Kennedy had some solid mic skills and even got to feud with Undertaker rather early in his WWE career. Me and many others thought it was only a matter of time until he'd become a world champion and expected him to have a HOF-worthy career. But he was injury prone and both Orton and Cena didn't like the guy much. Kennedy has gone to TNA afterwards and it doesn't seem like he became a big star there either, so maybe he just didn't have it in him, after all?

MVP: Silly looking Power Ranger attire aside, MVP was a pretty solid mid-card talent. I remember him having great chemistry with Kennedy and some people even compared him to The Rock and Kennedy to SCSA. MVP wasn't that young anymore when he debuted in WWE iirc. I think he had an OK career all things considered and was never really meant to be a top guy. Don't recall him being pushed like Kennedy or Lashley were.

Nitro/Morrison: Was part of MNM alongside Mercury and Melina. He'd eventually become a singles competitor and change his name to Jon Morrison. Morrison was solid in the ring but wasn't very charismatic and never really learned how to cut a good promo. So I wasn't surprised that he never went beyond a mid-carder level talent. Not everyone has the tools to be a main eventer, so that's OK.

Mercury: I don't remember him wrestling anymore since MNM broke up. Fast forward to like 2015 and he's playing the role of an on screen security guard and arresting Vince McMahon lol. He's always been the least interesting and least focused on of the MNM team, anyway.

Elijah Burke: This guy was the leader of the New Breed faction on WWECW. I remember liking his role at the time, but I feel like we never got to see enough of him.

CM Punk: No need to get into this. We all know the story.

Marcus Cor Von: I knew he was Monty Brown on TNA. But I didn't watch TNA. Still, he was a rather known name in the wrestling world at the time and I expected WWE to do something with him, but I don't remember what he did exactly other than being a member of the New Breed stable. I've never gotten to warm up to him or get to know him better, so I dunno how to feel about him and if WWE wasted a chance with him or not. You guys tell me.

Gene Snitsky: He was a rather big guy who debuted in a veryyyyyy distasteful storyline with Kane and Lita. That being said, I always laughed when I heard the "IT WASN'T MY FAULT!". I think he was good at playing a comedy monster. Never expected him to become a huge star or thought he could be one, but he was an entertaining midcarder for a while.

Matt Striker: A wrestler wit ha teacher gimmick seemed very interesting at first, but he ended up doing commentary instead A bit disappointing, really. I liked his segment with Carlito.

Bobby Lashley: Well, he was pushed strongly since day one. He was obviously on his way to become WWE champion or WHC one day, but he left because his gf Krystall Marshall argued with Michael Hayes. I remember Lahsley being referred to as "Black Lesnar" by fans online. He was pretty green in the ring still for someone with such an impressive amateur background. Also, his promos sucked and it was hard to take a guy built like a tank with such a high pitched voice seriously. Wasn't a big fan of him myself, but if he had stayed around, he'd be a much bigger star these days.

The Great Khali: made a hell of a first impact by manhandling Undertaker, but we quickly saw how horrible he was in the ring. He won the WHC when SD! was plagued with injuries, but oh well at least he drew in India! By the time he lost the WHC I no longer have a damn about him.

Spirit Squad:A lot of fans online had high hopes for Kenny Dykstra and Johhny Jeter, but the breakout star of that faction was Nicky aka Dolph Ziggler. I wonder what went wrong with Kenny and Jeter, though. And whatever happened to Mitch and Mikey?

Umaga: OK, he debuted in like 2002-2003 as Jamal, but he came back with a completely different character in 2006, so he counts, imo. Anyway, he was basically WWE's answer to TNA's Samoa Joe who was on fire at the time. Unfair to just dismiss Umaga as a "Samoa Joe ripoff" though. They were both Samoans, but the two had completely different characters. Umaga was like a callback to the old days where characters were more cartoony and wrestlers from Asia, Africa, etc. were portrayed in very stereotypical ways and basically like brute savages. Umaga was pretty good for what he was and I while I didn't expect him to be a top guy, I expected him to become a solid upper mid-carder for year or maybe a transitional WWE champion at some point... but he died in like 2009 or so, so yeah...

Muhammad Hassan: This guy's been discussed to death, but let's do it one more time, shall we? Hassan was green af in the ring but was GOLD on the mic. Sure, his gimmick was rather cheap and all, but showed an interesting side of the fans and made them look like the heels. I used to think he was destined for greatness, but the gimmick was clearly too risky and the novelty would have eventually worn off. So I guess it's best that he didn't last for long in the company.

AAE: Umaga's manager and I loved the way he said his own name. Sadly, he was getting more over than Umaga, his client, so WWE didn't let him talk much anymore and eventually wrote him out of TV. I remember him becoming a singles wrestler and having a match or two and then disappearing.

Cody Rhodes: He debuted in summer of 2007. He would team up with Orton and Dibiase Jr. in he Legacy. And then would remain in the midcard with strange characters that he made the best out of. Now he's in AEW as we all know and doing well for himself. WWE is probably gonna regret letting him go. But perhaps it's for the best that he left. Otherwise he'd just rot in mid-card hell forever like many others.

I think this was the slow starting point of when WWE began losing their ability to make stars. After they build up Batista, Cena, Orton and Edge pretty well, it's like they forgot how to make stars and thought Cena was the only guy to get behind. I feel like most of the guys I mentioned were fed to someone like Cena sooner or later and then lost most of their heat. That or they got fed to someone like Triple H.

As for the women, well women are never as important as men in wrestling in the grand scheme of things, so not gonna write much about them. And tbh, Mickie James, Candice Michelle, Melina and Ashley Massaro(RIP) all did well enough in WWE. Christy Hemme left rather soon after winning the Diva Search, though. And Layla El would not become relevant until like 2010 when she teamed up with Michelle McCool. Michelle wasn't relevant before dating Undertaker either. Kelly Kelly also would become the face of the Divas division for a while. So I'd say the women who debuted in this time period generally did well with an exception or two. So I do not have much else to say in regards to that.

Thoughts?
 

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If you are going to mention Snitsky then I may as well mention Heidenreich since both only had short lived monster push potential.

Elijah Burke was one particular wrestler who never amounted to anything in WWE but I was a fan of and hoped he would eventually win the ECW championship he was even supposed to be repackaged as his Pope character sometime before he was released too I heard.
 

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I think hassan was hung out to dry really. He was put into a position because of the company (I believe the wrestler is actually Italian anyway), they created a tasteless segment on smackdown and then dropped him as a means of damage control like it was his fault. This was 2005? I mean thats only a few years since 9/11 and was the same week as the london attacks IIRC, of course people were gonna be pissed and generally shocked at what wwe was doing for purposes of "entertainment". I might be wrong but I even seem to remember reading that people within the company were wanting to cut it out of the broadcast because of the london attacks and they steamed on ahead anyway.

Im surprised hassan himself and undertaker agreed to that segment, I wouldve told vince to fuck off and have some respect, if he gave me the dancing gimmick as a result then so be it.
 
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Honestly I think most of those names achieved what they deserved at the time. Chris Masters looked like a million dollars, but as they say... “then the bell rang”.

I enjoyed MVP a lot. Very athletic... his matches were fun to watch. He was so agile but also had a look that I would buy him as a heavyweight star too.

I thought Ken Kennedy would have had a slightly longer run than he did.
 

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This guy had something. I wouldn't have been opposed if they would decide to push him.

Ken Kennedy:
The guy screams World Champion. Shame Cena and Orton fucked him. These 2 honestly.... it's not like Cena or Orton weren't getting injured, in fact they were both injured in 2007. "Orton didn't like him". Fuck Orton, that prick. He doesn't have enough talent in his finger to compete with Kennedy.

Kennedy has gone to TNA afterwards and it doesn't seem like he became a big star there either, so maybe he just didn't have it in him, after all?
No, it's because TNA fucking sucks, man. And it always did. They never had any clue how to be (or become) a major league. I really hope AEW doesn't have the same problem, honestly judging by their latest shows they know what to do. Shame AEW wasn't a thing back then, Kennedy would've thrived in that situation.

He was alright. They just didn't push him. I'm really surprised of what Vince is. He makes MVP a big deal signing in storyline, but then does fucking NOTHING with him for years. The same can be said for Drew McIntyre - he proclaims the guy a future World Champion, but then jobbes him out. Weird guy. He just changes his mind as the show goes on, so a lot of things later don't make sense.

Nitro/Morrison:
I liked him. He was atrocious as fuck on the mic though, which really killed me. I really liked to root for the guy, he had some charm around him, and he was a good worker in the ring. He knew how to tell a story, as far as I remember. I think if they were to push him, people would've accepted him.
 

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In my opinion, not pushing almost any of them created the current "everybody feels like a frigging midcarder" situation we have. Carlito, Mr.Kennedy and MVP had instant main event potential, and Cody Rhodes has it too, with the right gimmick. That and the mismanagement of other guys who came between 2008 and 2012 created this whole vacuum where, once the old guard retired or became part timers, there were no tangible stars, main eventers and uppercarders. That's why WWE is so screwed. Carlito, MVP, Kennedy and others like Sheamus and Bray Wyatt should form a solid wall of veteran main eventers with the ability of both elevate younger people and have credible championship reigns and main event feuds. Even guys like Ryback and Tyler Reks could be solid uppercarders that would elevate new stars. Instead of that, they misused and buried everyone, relied of Cena and Reigns no matter what and created the current wasteland
 

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Kennedy should have been a big star. Injuries and politics put that to bed.

I thought Snitsky could have been an awesome monster heel for years, but they ruined his character when they paired him with Edge and Lita and made him a foot fetish geek. His Sept 04-Feb 05 run was awesome, he played the unstable psychopath extremely well and he was well protected for the first few months of his run.
 

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I thought Snitsky could have been an awesome monster heel for years, but they ruined his character when they paired him with Edge and Lita and made him a foot fetish geek. His Sept 04-Feb 05 run was awesome, he played the unstable psychopath extremely well and he was well protected for the first few months of his run.
I think the problem Snitsky had was that he was always going to be "the worse Kane".
 

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I think the problem Snitsky had was that he was always going to be "the worse Kane".
I mean, I guess but their character wasn't even the same. Kane was sick and twisted but he had control of his faculties. Snitsky was a loose cannon and not all there. If their was an issue, they could have split them onto different shows after their feud ended. Snitsky was a great character that they ruined by turning him into a foot fetish goof, then by strangely repackaging him with the same name but insinuating he was a different guy, and they shaved his head bald and gave him fucked teeth for whatever reason.
 

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When I think of failures of that time frame I think of the likes of Chuck Palumbo (bad ass biker loser gimmick), Duece n Domino, Jesse and Festus, Kizarny, The Great Khali, Simon Dean, Mordecai (could've been great nemesis for Undertaker), Eugene and other massively bad shit they tried out.
 

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This guy had something. I wouldn't have been opposed if they would decide to push him.



The guy screams World Champion. Shame Cena and Orton fucked him. These 2 honestly.... it's not like Cena or Orton weren't getting injured, in fact they were both injured in 2007. "Orton didn't like him". Fuck Orton, that prick. He doesn't have enough talent in his finger to compete with Kennedy.


Something tells that had he stayed, he would have gotten a Kofi push at some time. Butr he wouldn't have stayed any6way because the due was for the most part hated by lots of important people backstage.


He was alright. They just didn't push him. I'm really surprised of what Vince is. He makes MVP a big deal signing in storyline, but then does fucking NOTHING with him for years. The same can be said for Drew McIntyre - he proclaims the guy a future World Champion, but then jobbes him out. Weird guy. He just changes his mind as the show goes on, so a lot of things later don't make sense.
I seem to recall the dude making pretty controversial public statements behind the scenes, so that certainly played a factor into why they stopped pushing him. Also, something tells me he wasn't exactly ripped underneath his attire, if you know what I mean, so that could have played a factor too.



I liked him. He was atrocious as fuck on the mic though, which really killed me. I really liked to root for the guy, he had some charm around him, and he was a good worker in the ring. He knew how to tell a story, as far as I remember. I think if they were to push him, people would've accepted him.
They actually pushed him and crowds were ok with it, not excited by any means, but not against it either. However, as soon as the story of him not stirring shit up despite Melina cheating on him with became public, Vince started to view as nothing but a whimp and lost any respect he may have had for him. Kind of like with Matt Hardy but much worse, because he was actually going to get pushed.
 

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They actually pushed him and crowds were ok with it, not excited by any means, but not against it either. However, as soon as the story of him not stirring shit up despite Melina cheating on him with became public, Vince started to view as nothing but a whimp and lost any respect he may have had for him. Kind of like with Matt Hardy but much worse, because he was actually going to get pushed.
Melina stuff had nothing to do with it. They just never pushed him. Come on. After the Miz split, he was positioned as the "Janetty" of the team. He was always the "runner-up". King of the Ring (he advanced pretty far that year when Sheamus won, but of course never did win), the whole Smackdown 2009 stuff, when he always proclaimed himself as the next challenger to the title, but never actually had a program for the belt. They always wanted to use him as a midcarder, and he was never going to be anything more than that. I feel like if they gave him a 3-4 months run, he would've done good, but it's a speculation on my part, because he sucked on the mic, and I doubt he'd be better as champion. But people would accept him for a short reign, that's for sure.
 

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When I think of failures of that time frame I think of the likes of Chuck Palumbo (bad ass biker loser gimmick), Duece n Domino, Jesse and Festus, Kizarny, The Great Khali, Simon Dean, Mordecai (could've been great nemesis for Undertaker), Eugene and other massively bad shit they tried out.
Woah, some of these are legendary. Kizarny had like two matches and then disappeared, after a shit ton of vignettes. I'm a gimmick lover but his was lame and he was atrocious in the ring. Palumbo had zero charisma, so I fully expected him to fail. Jesse and Festus were a good tag team in my opinion, and Deuce'N'Domino weren't too bad either.

And what do you say about Hade Vansen? That guy didn't ever made his debut.

I think people like Mordecai and Jimmy Wang Yang deserved more, to be honest.
 

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I don't think any of them were wasted, majority of them are mid card guys with the exception of Punk and Lashley who needs a mouthpiece. I enjoyed MVP and Umaga.

I thought they handled Umaga initial push very well. I remember a time where he beat John Cena, HBK, and Triple H over like a 1 month period. Guys were struggling to even take him off of his feet. They also handled some of those guys debuts really well which is something you don't see in the current WWE.
 

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That was a more exciting time in my opinion. Those stars got better booking than a lot of the ones today. They were more about promos, look and characters. Now it's more about ring work which isn't as appealing to me.
 

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When I think of failures of that time frame I think of the likes of Chuck Palumbo (bad ass biker loser gimmick), Duece n Domino, Jesse and Festus, Kizarny, The Great Khali, Simon Dean, Mordecai (could've been great nemesis for Undertaker), Eugene and other massively bad shit they tried out.
Festus/Gallows just flat out sucks, that´s why he never became a thing.
Eugene was great for what it was; A mentally retarded gimmick is never gonna get very far, but I liked him.
 

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Of the ones listed i absolutely loved Mr. Kennedy, CM Punk, John Morrison, Muhammad Hassan & Chris Masters
 
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The era I stopped watching.

Been watching since 1990 stopped in 2004 and didn't return until 2009 :p

Mostly burn out but 2004 was the year I pretty much gave up on wrestling as a whole. to the point where I forgot it existed it might have well died. I only returned in 2009/2010 out of curiosity and thinking "WWE is still going?"
 

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I stopped watching around this time. I had grown out of it but a lot of it was none of these guys made me give a shit. I hated Kennedy. I thought everything about him sucked and I never saw the appeal. I liked Carlito though. I was watching more TNA around this time until I stopped watching all together.
 
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