In honor of Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), the character in The Wrestler who refuses to give up on his in-ring career despite being well past his prime, The Max has compiled the Top 10 Wrestlers Who Hung On Too Long. These personalities had great careers in the ring, but tainted their legacy a bit when they refused to hang up their boots. Unfortunately, we’ll never look at these guys the same again.
10. Dusty Rhodes
The 1970s and 1980s were very kind to Dusty Rhodes. The big Texan dominated the NWA wrestling scene, including the then-prestigious Mid-Atlantic territory, where he captured the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
But after getting canned in 1988, Dusty, who was well into his 40s at the time, refused to hang up his boots. Instead, he took his game to WWE. Within months of his debut, “The American Dream” managed to throw away his legendary status and adopt ridiculous-looking yellow polka-dot trunks and the world’s worst manager, Sapphire.
9. Paul Orndorff
Mr. Wonderful owns the prestigious honor of competing in the first-ever WrestleMania main event in 1985. Fast forward to 1995 and the master of the piledriver was still wrestling (at 46 years of age). But his age wasn’t really the problem. Unfortunately, Orndorff was suffering from atrophy, which caused his right side to shrink to skin and bones. The sight of the one-time adonis shrinking in front of everybody’s eyes was truly saddening.
8. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Hooooooooo! Ol’ Hacksaw is 55 years old and still competing in WWE. Our only guess is that he is trying to take the Johnny Rodz route into the Hall of Fame. Rodz could probably count his number of wins on one hand. But the guy was in WWE so long that they actually put him in the Hall of Fame. Hey Hacksaw, if you’re gonna make us watch you wrestle, can you at least put a shirt on? Or maybe tuck your gut in?
7. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
Remember Piper’s retirement match in 1987? How about the hundreds of matches he competed in over the following 20 years? If you ask us, we think he should’ve walked away when he said he was going to. That way we would’ve been saved from watching that pasty white fat man “wrestling” in WWE pay-per-views in 2006. Who thought giving him the World Tag Team Championship at age 52 was a good idea? Here’s the video
… fast forward to 6:35 to see a couple of out-of-shape senior citizens.
6. Fabulous Moolah
In 1999, at the age of 137, the Fabulous Moolah defeated Ivory to win the Women’s Championship. Watching it was like watching my grandmother, God rest her soul, wrestling with the can of cat food while feeding her 17 felines… not a pretty site. Her brittle hands just couldn’t figure out the darn can opener. See what we’re talking about
5. Andre the Giant
This will undoubtedly be an unpopular decision with fringe wrestling fans. But those in the know realize that Andre was pretty much good for nothing after his 25th birthday. He simply could not move around the ring. Andre owes the fact that he is considered a legend to Vince McMahon and his amazing marketing team. They somehow turned an immobile, unintelligible man into a cult hero. Go figure.
4. Ric Flair
We’re happy to see that “The Nature Boy” finally hung up his “RF” boots after last year’s WrestleMania. We’re just curious what took so long. And if he insisted on being in the ring until he was a senior citizen, couldn’t he at least cover up his body a little bit? Watching his leathery, yet flabby, skin flop around the ring was truly vomit-inducing. (His final match
3. Kevin Nash
This guy can’t even walk into the ring without getting injured… seriously
. But at just a few months shy of his 50th birthday, he’s still dragging his sorry body out there. We just wish he would go back to dying his hair. Nobody’s scared of Capt. Grey Beard.
2. Hulk Hogan
The Hulkster is arguably the biggest name in wrestling history, despite his lack of athleticism. This guy was bad at 21, and when he won his most recent WWE championship just shy of his 50th birthday, he wasn’t any better. The sad thing is that every time he climbs into the ring, people watch, even though he barely does his signature leg drop anymore in fear of breaking a hip (that’s seriously what we heard).
1. Legion of Doom
Hands down, Animal & Hawk were the greatest tag team in wrestling history. But like so many others, they just never knew when to say enough. The shine started to come off this duo when they reintroduced themselves as LOD 2000 (in 1998, by the way… two years before the year 2000). The numerically-challenged team then continued to slide into the toilet in the following months, most notably when Hawk’s character started coming to the ring drunk. No joke.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Scott Steiner, Danny Spivey/Waylon Mercy, The Sheik, Tommy Dreamer, Debra, Mick Foley, Finlay, Dudley Boyz, Ultimate Warrior (was the WCW run really necessary?)
On the flip side, here’s a list of names that the wrestling industry held on to for too long. Age is not a factor here; the only problem was wrestling promoters continuing to push these guys despite a lack of any sort of talent:
10. Ahmed Johnson / Big T
Big dude, little talent.
9. Mark Henry
Bigger dude, less talent.
Biggest dude, zero talent.
7. Savio Vega
Had the body of a rotten pear. And the charisma of a shoe.
6. Steve McMichael
thing Mongo did worse than wrestle was announce. And remember that
he had with him at the commentators table? Shoulda stuck to
being a retired football player.
5. Ted Arcidi
Luckily WWE didn’t promote this powerlifter-turned-wrestler too much. But when they did, they did it hard. Unfortunately, this was his best match
4. David Arquette
WCW champion? Seriously? No wonder WCW went out of business.
Why does Vince continue to push big guys, even if they have zero talent or likability?
Not only was he a horrible wrestler, but he also dated Stacy Keibler and Kelly Kelly… three reasons to hate him!
In wrestling, bad guys (or heels, as they say in the business) like it when they get booed. It means that they are doing their job well, and in reality, a boo could be considered a cheer. Not in X-Pac’s case, though. When fans were booing him, they were literally telling him to go jump off a tall building.
And finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the wrestlers that just never got a fair shake. Here’s our Top 6 (yeah, we could only come up with 6) names that had the talent and charisma, but Vince never let them stick around long enough to overstay their welcome like the others.
6. Stevie Richards
Sure, he wasn’t great. But how do you keep Brooklyn Brawler around for 30 years and not let Stevie show off his talents?
5. David Flair
Come on, the guy is a Flair. He’s gotta be good for something. From where we sit, there was no need to release him so early into his career.
4. Katie Vick
We know that Katie was not really a wrestler, but as far as storylines go, we wanted to see where this one was going. But instead, they went and put an early end to it. Watching it was like watching a car wreck… you know, when you can’t look away even though it’s so hard to watch.
3. Shannon Moore
At the risk of sounding like chubby WCW announcer Mark Madden, we really thought Shannon Moore was going to turn into the next Shawn Michaels. Instead, he’s now wasting time in a tattoo shop somewhere in North Carolina.
2. Mike Sanders
Anybody with the nickname “Above Average” is OK in our book. In fact, because of Sanders, we like to describe our content as “Above Average.” We think you’d agree… maybe.
1. Disco Inferno
We’re just jealous of his dancing ability.