So in light of Wrestlemania 31, I've decided to write an article on wrestling or more specifically, wrestlers. As of late I've been thinking about all the opportunities, for better or worse, that The WWE passed up. Here's a list of wrestlers and gimmicks that should have gone over and I'll explain why should have gotten over and how it should have been handled. So let's dive in and see if you agree.
Let this be the first entry because unfortunately Sean Haire (his real name) committed suicide Sept. 8, 2014. I have been a HUGE fan of this guy ever since I saw his promos, I even have a few CAWs based on him. Yes, I am well aware he was in WCW and was in a tag team with Chuck Palumbo & Mark Jindrak, but back then, despite being an excellent wrestler (and I'm not just saying that) he was just another guy in tights WCW had on the books. Sean O'Haire came to my attention when he started his Devil's Advocate gimmick. The gimmick was simple enough, but I won't put it into words, just watch:
He has charisma, he's amazing in the ring and he's a good looking guy who could cut a promo like nobody's business! And this wasn't just shouting about the other guy or hurling insults at their opponent or stripping down to undergarments and elbow dropping them (I'm looking at you, Ric Flair). These were promos that made you go "This is interesting.". O'Haire came on the scene with a badass leather coat and spider webs on his shorts and seemed to take a sick pleasure in causes his opponents pain. Then something even more awesome happened, he teamed up with Rowdy Roddy Piper and he served more or less as O'Haire mentor and they seemed to have great chemistry together. So what went wrong? Unfortunately, Piper made some comments about The WWE and because Piper technically didn't work for the company, they couldn't exactly punish him...so they punished O'Haire and forced him into midcard Hell, not to mention a motorcycle accident tabled him for him awhile. Anyone who knows anything about the wrestling industry, if you're NOT The Top Guy, an injury might as well be a career ender.
Let's take a trip back in time for a minute...you ready? Back in the day of the early 2000s (2000 actually), Kurt Angle was THAT DUDE (still is actually). But Kurt Angle came on the scene as this cocky, clean cut, All American Olympian Heel who was better than you and could prove it! He was undefeated for the longest time. For awhile, before Royal Rumble 2000 a strange logo would appear on the titantron interrupting certain wrestler's entrances. Kurt Angle was set to face a mystery opponent at the Royal Rumble and much to the shock and surprise of my brother and I and the crowd, who would arrive but ECW's resident badass, the most miserable sonofabitch on the planet, The Human Suplex Machine, Taz! Within about 5 minutes, Taz managed to get the upperhand on Angle and finally managed to lock in The Tazmission and choked Angle the F*CK OUT! Literally, the match was ended by The Ref, Angle was left in the ring and Taz simply walked off.
This was Angle's first major loss...TECHNICALLY! Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler made a big bit of business about whether or not Taz's maneuver was illegal or not, leaving some speculation on whether or not Angle's loss can really be counted as a loss. Sadly...this really didn't go anywhere afterwards and Taz & Angle didn't mix it up again. But imagine if this angle (no pun intended) went to it's logical conclusion, on one end you have a clean cut Olympic and on the other end you have a foul mouthed street thug, by that logic alone these two should be mortal enemies, but both of them are well trained, Taz's background being in Judo and Martial Arts and Angle's being in Classic Wrestling, both of them are shoot fighters, you can't tell me this feud wouldn't have resulted in some amazing matches! The finish would have been a No Holds Barred Match (which would essentially make The Tazmission legal now, even if it wasn't before) with Kurt Angle bringing back The Ankle Lock and having Taz pass out instead of tapping. Why? Because that'd mirror the way Taz beat Angle. Poetic, no? The fact that Taz was under utilized in the WWE and had some ridiculous feud with Jerry Lawler will forever be a great injustice. I understand that Angle needed to get over, but Taz was brand new as well and the two could have elevated each other. Sadly, become of mounting injuries, Taz couldn't step into the ring and resigned to commentary...but still this was a major ball dropped by the WWE. With the build up to his debut, the HUGE pop he got in Madison Square Garden, and defeating the until then undefeated Kurt Angle, Taz should have gotten over WAY more than he did.
For reasons that will remain ABSOLUTELY unclear to me, the character of Mordecai failed to catch on...and unfortunately, Kevin Fertig was turned into a Vampire instead...yeah...like that wasn't done already (looking at you, Gangrel). For those of you who don't remember, before he was Kevin Thorn he was Mordecai, a blonde Holy Man draped in White clothing you carried with him some kind of cross like staffed. He'd appeal to the heavens ate cut promos on the audience calling them all heathens and sinners and would claim to cleanse the sins of his opponents. Sadly, his religious zealot angle was what doomed him since religious characters very rarely work in The WWE. But they could have gone a completely different route with Mordecai, instead of being an ideally Christian characters, they should have had him be The Anti-Undertaker. Truth be told, that's exactly who they were grooming him for. What I'm saying is, he should have come on the scene as The Undertaker's antithesis, The Undertaker is The Lord Of Darkness so Mordecai is The Lord Of Light, both characters carry cross like symbols, wear robes and while The Undertaker is a Heel, Mordecai would have been a Face, and it'd have been nice to have a Face character as equally menacing as The Undertaker to take him on.
That's where I think The WWE went wrong, they introduced Mordecai as a Heel and having him cut promos on the crowd upon his debut wasn't a smart move, especially religiously minded promos. If they'd have introduced Mordecai maybe...like say for instance Rey Mysterio is getting attacked, double teamed by whatever heel group is out there, suddenly the lights go out and everyone think it's The Undertaker, the lights come back on and there's Mordecai. He beats up the two heels and leaves just as quickly as he arrived, and he does this whenever there's an unjust moment or the odds favor the heels. That's how Mordecai should have been introduced. And he wouldn't be a smiling Baby Face, but a cold staring vigilante who hated injustice. I am 100% if Mordecai had been introduced like that, he'd have gotten over. I'd eventually have him in a match with The Undertaker, The finish would have been in a Buried Alive Match with Mordecai going over leaving Kane to revenge.
There was a time when Billy Kidman went heel for awhile, he started wearing a jacket to the ring, he changed his theme song and even walked with a little swagger. This heel turn happened after Kidman accidently injured his then partner Paul London with The Shooting Star Press (a move he's been the master of). The thing is, this gimmick didn't go far, Rey Mysterio was Cruiserweight Champion at the time and Ultimo Dragon had made his debut, the three of them in the ring could have been AMAZING! But sadly, Kidman's heel gimmick didn't result in much, except a match with Paul London and while that in and of it's self is awesome, Kidman as a heel could have been SO MUCH more than it was. The fact that Billy Kidman failed to get over because the Irish Madman failed to recognize the strength of the cruiserweight division is a great injustice to wrestling fans everywhere.