THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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It’s time to make another list to mark the ten years that The Two Sheds Review has been in existence, and following on from my list of ten worst MMA fighters, I’m now going to list the ten worst professional wrestlers whose performances haven’t exactly enthralled me over the past ten years. No science involved here!
Some of these you will know, and some you won’t, although I know them very well on a personal level. So let’s get started!
First, the honourable mentions, the bubbling unders who almost made the list. And these include;
Scott Steiner – his pre-2002 career stopped him from making the top ten, but who can forget his awful performance at the 2003 Royal Rumble against Triple H?
Mark Henry – he would have made the list, but his performances recently have been quite steady.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts – another whose legacy stops him from making the list. A true legend in the ring, now sadly known for his performances outside of it.
Rob Terry – still quite green, but steadily making progress.
So on with the show!
10) “Big” Dave Waters
A regular on the British strongman circuit, and a former travelling companion of mine, Big Dave ventured into the professional wrestling business with the Norwich-based World Association of Wrestling, initially being trained by Julia “Sweet Saraya” Hamer – although he won’t actually tell you that he was trained by a woman!
Standing over six foot tall and weighing over four hundred pounds, Big Dave is an intimidating sight. It’s a shame that his performances have never actually been that good though.
He offensive moves just looked so weak. Whenever he’s delivering a blow he always did the foot stomp thing to get a better sound effect. The only problem is though that he did the same thing when he was brawling outside the ring on concrete and wooden floors, and it looked particularly bad in hardcore matches. His big splash, the staple move of a big man, also looked really poor, and he couldn’t run the ropes to save his life.
Add to that the fact that when he ran his own promotion with his fellow wrestling brother Mike “The Bulk” Waters, he always put himself in the main event, and the shows always ended with either him, his brother or both of them standing in the middle of the ring, arms raised high, soaking in the applause of the crowd.
Waters retired from wrestling a couple of years ago, having sustained two serious knee injuries when he returned to the strongman circuit. I would like to wish him well, but for personal reasons I can’t.
9) Scott Hall
Where do I start with this guy? Hall was a legend in the 90’s first as Razor Ramon in the WWF and then as a founding father of the hottest stable in wrestling history, the New World Order.
But it’s the old what have you done for me lately thing with Hall I’m afraid. As WrestleCrap would say he now spends more time battling his personal demons than battling foes inside the ring. His problems curtailed his WWE comeback a few years back and his TNA comeback this year.
His recent efforts have been poor, no selling moves and spending most of the time looking like he just didn’t want to be in the ring in the first place. Despite all of this he earned another title run as co-holder of the TNA Tag titles with his old buddy Kevin Nash, until he got the push that is.
Hall would probably make any top ten list of the greatest stars of the 1990’s. But this isn’t that list.
8) Nathan Jones
To many Jones will be the best known wrestler to ever have come out of Australia, which is a sad indictment on some of the great stars competing there today.
Vince McMahon obviously took one look at Jones and saw dollar signs. He was introduced to the WWE faithful with a series of videos in 2003 proclaiming how tough he was, the perfect way to introduce a new heel character.
Except that he was then paired up with the Undertaker in his feud against the Big Show and A-Train. The only thing was though that Jones rarely competed because he was so damn poor. So poor, in fact, that he was pulled from the big tag match at Wrestlemania 19, and sent away for more training. It didn’t help him much, and at the end of 2003 he quit the company while on a tour of his home country, complaining about the heavy work and travel schedule. So at least he was near his home!
Jones’ greatest battle to date – against Brad Pitt in Troy.
7) Bob Sapp
Sapp has the honour of making two of my worst lists, having previously made my list of worst MMA fighters.
Sapp is a former IWGP Champion in New Japan, the country where he is absolutely loved and adored. I’m still trying to work out why though, because he was a bad a wrestler as he was an MMA fighter and K-1 kickboxer.
I’m just glad that the WWE never took a chance on him, although I suspect that Vince McMahon was sorely tempted at one point.
6) Viscera/Big Daddy V
Slightly entertaining as one-third of Men on a Mission years and years ago, it seems as if this guy was in almost constant employment with the WWE, even though he wasn’t that good.
His worst moment was when the creative team tried to turn him into a love god, complete with Hugh Heffner-like pyjamas. It still didn’t help him though, because he still sucked in the ring, and not even re-packaging and revealing his man boobs to the world could improve his career.
Thankfully we haven’t seen him on WWE television for two years, but that will probably change sometime soon.
5) The Great Khali
There’s an old saying in some parts of the entertainment world, that bigger is better. This certainly isn’t the case with The Great Khali.
While the Big Show has followed in the footsteps of the late, great Andre The Giant, Khali has followed in the footsteps of another well-known big man performer. Unfortunately that guy is El Gigante.
Khali made his WWE debut four years ago and was thrust into a feud with legendary monster killer The Undertaker, and while he certainly looked the part he certainly couldn’t wrestle the part.
Since then he’s been bounced around the various WWE brands, even managing a World title win in the process. He now competes as a fun-loving baby face, which is even worse than his heel run!
6) Brutus Magnus
This is a purely personal selection for me.
I’ve followed the career of Nick Aldis since his first match, a battle royal at the World Association of Wrestling’s October Outrage show in Norwich in 2003. Then, a few months later, I reviewed his first match proper, when he competed on a WAW card in Hunstanton as “The Zenith”.
But since then I’ve developed a deep-seated dislike for this man. I could write an entire article about what he’s done, but here’s a quick run down.
While running his own promotion Summit Wrestling, he banned me from attending and reviewing the show, threatening me with legal action if I said anything against him.
He posted numerous derogatory comments about me on various forums whenever he could, with remarks which were, more often than not, highly offensive and very personal.
And his most recent outburst came when someone hacked into his e-mail account and sent a spam message to me. He used quite a few swear words, including ones that begin with the letters C and F, and I’m sure that if Dixie Carter had read that message she would have gone blue in the face.
So what have I done to offend the man known as Magnus? I have no idea, because I’ve only actually spoken to him in person ONCE, and that was when I asked him if he could help me put the chairs out for the fans at the aforementioned Hunstanton show.
But speaking as someone who has watched wrestling for well over thirty years, well, he’s not actually that good, and it seems that he’s barely improved from the first time I saw him. His offence is so weak he looks like he couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag, and his selling basically involves him clutching his stomach with one of his arms and making “oooh” faces.
So I’d better get in touch with my legal advisor now then…..
3) The Boogeyman
Marty Wright was so desperate to become a professional wrestler that he lied about his age in the try-outs for the fourth season of Tough Enough in 2004, revealing that he was 40 instead of 30, as he’d previously claimed.
Impressed by his work ethic and his look, WWE took a punt on him, and after a stint in Ohio Valley Wrestling he was introduced to the world as The Boogeyman.
The gimmick looked absolutely great, even if the worm eating did make you want to wretch at times. The only problem was though that Wright was a pretty poor wrestler, and as he continued to be put against the likes of Booker T and John “Bradshaw” Layfield, his gimmick began to get stale, and he became something of a one trick pony.
Finally, the Boogeyman was released from his contract last year, and he hasn’t been heard from since then. Thankfully.
2) Necro Butcher
This man is a death match legend, apparently.
I’d seen Necro on a couple of old CZW shows back when The Wrestling Channel was going a few years ago, but I didn’t really pay him much heed until I started reviewing Ring of Honor DVDs a couple of years ago.
In shows filled with outstanding matches and outstanding performers, the Necro Butcher stuck out like a sore thumb. He looked like a homeless guy who’d walked in off the streets looking for a fight, in tatty T-shirts and jeans, and with no shoes to call his own.
In every match I’ve seen him in he’s been bloody awful. Like many of the wrestlers on this list every aspect of his performances are just poor. He just looks like he can’t handle a match outside of a hardcore environment.
Yet, for some unknown reason, fans around the world love this guy, and cry his name wherever he wrestles. Why do they do it? Don’t they realise that his best match was against Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler?
1) Triple X
The majority of you reading this will know nothing of this man. Triple X was the ring name of Chris Bullard.
Bullard began his training with the World Association of Wrestling at the same time as fellow list member “Big” Dave Waters. He spent a great deal of time honing his art on the holiday camp circuit here in Britain, a good way of getting on the job training.
But the thing is, he never improved. Despite being trained by some of the best trainers in the country he just froze whenever he got into the ring.
The best example of this came at a show in Clacton in February 2002, in a tag-team match. While teaming with Kirk “Hot Stuff” Innes against the U.K. Pitbulls (the Waters brothers tag-team), Bullard said in a very loud voice that he couldn’t remember what he was supposed to do. Needless to say that the match sucked, and there was a massive argument in the dressing room afterwards.
Despite continuing to fail, Bullard was given chance after chance, and still failed.
Now here comes the good part. You see, when his wrestling career stalled, Bullard hooked up with a backyard wrestling promotion, proclaiming himself a Norfolk legend on their forum. When the powers-that-be at WAW confronted him about this, he said that he thought that back yarding would actually help improve his skills!
(You can actually read the entire story behind this particular situation on my website here; http://twoshedsreview.blogspot.com/2003/09/14th-september-2003.html)
Bullard continues to train at the WAW Training Academy today, some fifteen years after he took his initial first steps. Whether he still thinks he can make it as a wrestler, I don’t know. But if he hasn’t realised by now that he’s just not good enough, then surely someone connected with WAW needs to sit down and have a serious conversation with him.
Well, that’s your lot. Next time I’ll be slightly more positive, I promise!
THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!