I originally made a list of ten wrestlers that I considered to be really underrated, but that grew to fifteen with five getting the honorable mention status. However, I’m sure there are countless others that I simply can’t put on the list. These guys quickly came to mind and thus, here we go. By the way, this isn’t in any specific order.
Lynn recently retired from the wrestling industry but he is one guy who without never got the recognition on a national stage that he should have gotten. Yes, he had a run in ECW and in TNA. His matches with Rob Van Dam starting in mid 1998 to the end of the companies run have to go down as some of the best matches in Extreme Championship Wrestling history.
Some people may not remember his feud with AJ Styles early on in TNA, though. It’s probably one of the better angles that Vince Russo booked at the time for the company. A cocky young guy like Styles taking on a veteran who demanded respect in Jerry Lynn. The matches were great. Lynn worked great with Amazing Red and Chris Sabin in the company as well.
He had a brief run in WWE, but didn’t last long. Lynn had one last run with ROH where he even won the ROH World Championship from Nigel McGuinesses. Lynn is without a doubt one guy who got better with age and didn’t lose a step.
Better known to most fans as Jamie Noble, Gibson is one cruiserweight who doesn’t seem to get a lot of hype. His early run in the WWE where he was a trailer park trash wrestler with Nidia was very entertaining and a match with Billy Kidman at Survivor Series 2002 is probably his best match in the WWE.
But what everyone needs to go out and watch his James Gibson in Ring of Honor. ROH was the one place that allowed Gibson to wrestle the way he knew how and put on fantastic matches. He had a match with CM Punk that was excellent and a match with Bryan Danielson. That stretch of time in ROH for Gibson proves how underrated a talent Gibson was.
Delaney had a run in the WWE about five or six years ago where he just lost constantly and was a jobber on the ECW brand. On the independent scene Delaney has found his groove and puts on good matches all over the country. He had previously formed a team with Jimmy Olsen and put on several great matches with the American Wolves in Upstate New York for 2CW.
Colin recently had a match on ROH television, as a jobber, which prevented him from showcasing his skills. In my opinion, if TNA was looking to add depth to their X-Division, Delaney would be a good addition to the group of guys.
Aldo Montoya nearly killed his career before it ever got going. But, a change of scenery and the genius of Paul Heyman created probably the top heel for ECW from 1999 to the end of the company. Credible was always a little shaky on the microphone but Credible knew how to work in the ring and was capable of stealing the show with a lot of talents.
This one may not be one that people agree with, but I was always entertained by Credible in ECW.
I was convinced back in 2003 that Sonny Siaki was going to be the next top heel for TNA but that never came to reality. Siaki played the cocky heel perfectly and his offense was always solid in keeping the attention of the fans. Sadly, Siaki no longer works as he gave his kidney to his brother to save his life. People always talk about TNA needing to push their homegrown talent to create stars. I think Siaki was a star for them that they never got behind to a full extent.
The only man to make Doink the Clown a fun and interesting character. Bourne not only played an evil clown to perfection but he had some great matches for the WWF in 1993. His match with Bret Hart at SummerSlam 1993 comes to mind, but he a few matches with Mr. Perfect, Marty Jannetty and Randy Savage during that time that were very entertaining. Had Bourne been able to avoid drug problems and stayed with the WWF, I feel like Doink could have been a major player.
Plus, Bourne had a good little run with Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1994 that is a hidden gem when it comes to the world of wrestling. In my opinion, Matt Bourne should have been so much more in wrestling.
Whether he was a Texas cowboy or a man dressed in gold and rubbing himself, Dustin Rhodes was a consistent midcarder for WCW and WWF in the 1990s. Rhodes early days in WCW saw him wrestle Rick Rude, Arn Anderson, and Steve Austin in great matches. He then went to the WWF where he was given a unique character and became one of the most interesting characters in wrestling.
His peak in the WWF was 1996 and 1997 when it comes to wrestling matches. Though, his WCW matches in 1992 through 1994 were good battles as well. After a few years of injuries he came back in 2002 and along with Booker T provided some really enjoyable wrestling for RAW in 2002 or 2003. Goldust or Dustin Rhodes is always an entertaining performer and I’m not usually bored by any of his matches when I watch them.
A lot of fans nowadays have no idea who William Regal is. But, from 1992 to 2008 he was one of top guys in either WCW or WWF. His first run in WCW back in 1993 saw Regal give the WCW Television creditability for one of the last times in the companies history. WCW never seemed to appreciate what they had with Regal when he went to the WWF.
Regal had a shaky run in 1998 and was let go due to some drug issues, but in 2000 he returned and was pushed up the card. Hell, he even pinned Steve Austin on the first RAW of 2001! Regal would be a midcarder for the company for the next several years until 2008 when Regal won the King of the Ring and was the RAW General Manager. Without question Regal was the top heel for the company and was headed towards big things. However, he relapsed with his drug issues. He has been clean since that time, thankfully. In 2008 or 2009 Regal would have been the top guy for the company. Regal has to be considered one of the best heels to ever compete.
Recently, Pearce had a Gut Check shot on Impact Wrestling but didn’t get the spot. This made me think about how Pearce is under appreciated by the wrestling community and should have gotten a shot on a national stage. He is a such a classic old school heel it’s refreshing to see. Pearce would be a perfect fit for the WWF circa 1987. His ability to draw heat and cut a promo is top notch. Pearce has had a fabulous run on NWA Hollywood and all their episodes are aired on the internet. His feud with Colt Cabana is one of the best independent wrestling feuds to take place in recent memory. Adam Pearce is a name people should know about.
If I had to make a list of guys that WCW misused during their existence, Kanyon would be on that list. Kanyon was a great wrestler and always seemed to be finding new moves to use on a weekly basis. In my opinion, Kanyon could have been a huge breakout star in 1999 when he was associated with DDP and Bigelow. Heck, even in 2000 when he was doing the DDP gimmick he was one of the most enjoyable characters on the show. It’s a shame that Kanyon from depression and never got a share shake in WWE. He knew how to work in the ring and compete at a high level every night. Rest in Peace, Kanyon.
Those are my ten that came to mind at first. There are countless other wrestlers who are underrated and maybe there will be a second installment of this.
What are your thoughts on the men mentioned here? Do you agree? Who would make your list? Feel free to share below!
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.