As wrestling fans, it’s no doubt we have our favorites, and in turn, we also have the guys and gals we wouldn’t mind not seeing as often on the air. But in the wrestling business, seeing a wrestler on TV a lot means that he or she is getting quite the endorsement by the higher echelon of the company, specifically Vince McMahon himself.
A push, in wrestling, is pretty much just that, and it is meant to gain popularity for a particular superstar, the company hoping that the viewing public will kind of catch on and favor that particular wrestler they’ve invested so much money and time into. Sometimes a change of character is in order and sometimes not.
Regardless, there are those that are pushed by Vince and co., that many feel didn’t deserve the so-called push; it’s happened many times over and it can get frustrating for fans to be forced to watch someone that doesn’t really deserve to be there at the top, especially over somebody else.
Debra was definitely a prominent figure during the Attitude Era and of course a little bit before, but her abilities in the ring or on the mic, left a lot to be desired. The support she got from the back, specifically the management portion of the back was pretty shocking to one and all, and it left many wondering just why she was getting so much support. It sure wasn't her talent in the ring.
17 EZEKIEL JACKSON
So on the side of his size, this gentleman was definitely top-notch. We more than understand Vince's obsession with him and why he would want him to be popular for that specific reason. But his mic skills were bad and the man had almost no charisma of which to speak of. That alone should have been grounds to keep him as far away from the spotlight as possible.
16 LEX LUGER
After Hogan vacated his role at the WWE in 1993-1994 to move on to Ted Turner's greener pastures, an absence was felt over at WWE. Essentially, the American Hero type character was missing, and this fact had Vince terribly worried. He put all his eggs in the Luger basket, and although Luger deserves his respect, to have been thrown into that role was a mistake. he couldn't carry the torch, so to speak, which is why Bret Hart was able to shine and become one of the greatest champions the WWE ever had.
15 AHMED JOHNSON
Vince was absolutely in love with this guy, and no we don't mean they were eating chocolate-covered strawberries, drinking champagne and staring into each other's eyes at sunset. We mean that Ahmed was the ideal champion according to Vince, but the more he tried, the more Ahmed proved that he couldn't cut the mustard, so to speak.
14 ROMAN REIGNS
Fans can say that Reigns was pushed way too fast, given his lack of experience at the time in the industry.
What further hurt Roman's credibility is the fact that he was labeled as the guy early on, which made fans turn on him. Looking back, they should have made Roman gain momentum slowly while putting a few others over.
13 JEFF JARRETT
This man proved in one fell swoop why he should have never been trusted or given a push, but Vince McMahon sometimes makes the same mistake, not twice but even three times, having forgiven this man for what he did in the past and actually gave him a Hall of Fame ring. At the cusp of the new millennium, this man's contract was up, and an oversight at the WWE offices had him scheduled for a PPV appearance after said contract was up. Well ... this guy hiked up his pants and charged McMahon an incredible sum just to appear.
12 MASON RYAN
He had the body, he had the ability (although he could sometimes be a tad clumsy in the ring), but overall, that charisma that makes a great superstar wasn't there. But once again, McMahon and management couldn't see beyond the size of his biceps, as he was given quite a bit of support and many tries at gaining fans with a lot of TV time and a lot of opportunities.
Aww WWE, the land of ridiculous gimmicks. The name was a good one and it calls to mind one of the greatest writers of all time, Mordecai Richler, but this gentleman should have been kept as far away from the cameras as possible. Maybe a few dark matches would have been fine, but they actually tried to push him considerably, which shocks us to this day.
10 NIKKI BELLA
If it wasn't for her reality show shenanigans, this woman would have retired a lot sooner than she did. Dare we say it, if she hadn't had John Cena for a significant other, she would have fallen off the shelf a lot sooner than that! Can we call her the Kim K of the WWE? Sure ... seeing that she didn't become popular for her wrestling technique. There are rumors she wants to wrestle again. We say ... please stay home and practice the Tango with your new boyfriend instead.
9 NATHAN JONES
You've seen him in many films, even the WWE produced The Condemned, starring none other than Stone Cold Steve Austin. But as impressive as this guy was on the camera on the big screen, he sure lacked a lot of charisma in the wrestling ring and on the mic. He had the size and look, but there's a lot more necessary to make it in this business, and this man didn't exactly exude such traits.
Now, please, make no mistake about this. We sure aren't referencing the legend to the left, as Eddie Guerrero was one of the greatest wrestling tacticians to ever wrestle in the WWE. He was up there with Bret Hart and of course Chris Benoit. These men had the technique and the abilities that outshone many superstars and sometimes they didn't get the pushes they deserved. Which is why it's so shocking that the clown on the right ever did.
7 LUTHER REIGNS
He looks like the typical type of dude that would have gotten a push during the attitude era. How many guys like this did we see emerge from the Gorilla Position, walk down the ramp and climb into the ring? Quite a lot, according to our estimation. And just how many of those same guys fell flat? Probably every single one of them, as this man's time is as memorable as seeing Mick Foley wearing a suit and tie (which never happened).
6 JINDER MAHAL
A good worker in the ring, Jinder was always dependable and played the epic villain. But so much was wrong with this man's push, as he only got such a huge push when he came back at just about thirty or forty pounds heavier than his original weight. This proves that Vince rewards only the big guys, and this doesn't do anything to dissuade rumors of sports enhancing nutrition and supplements being pushed behind the scenes... an issue that has followed the WWE for years. Not to mention he was pushed because of a play towards the market over in India.
Just like David Arquette in WCW getting the title, this story was pretty much the same, as the WWE took an outsider, an actor, to learn the business a little in order to gain mainstream favor. This individual, played by Tom Lister Jr., a known actor, who has had appearances in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and others, was hired to wrestle Hogan in the ring because of his appearance in No Holds Barred, which starred Hogan of course. They capitalized on that popularity, pushing an actor as opposed to a wrestler who had paid his dues.
4 THE PATRIOT
This individual offered nothing in terms of substance, really. His gimmick was lost in a sea of gimmicks, and what he's remembered most famously is as far from what his name suggested in the first place. Someone with that name should have been a tad more impressive if you ask us, and the fact that he was pushed seemed almost like a mockery in and of itself.
This is one of the greatest talents in the business. What he did in ECW will go unmatched, and for years to come. But in the major leagues, like the WWE, this man couldn't quite get there, especially on the microphone. His skills were limited when it came to cutting a promo and it hurt his chances for gaining favor, but that's why the fact that he kept getting pushed shocked a lot of people.
2 VLADIMIR KOZLOV
Here's another example as to what a mean face and a ripped body can end up doing for a wrestler,s career. Like the aforementioned Jones, this man has had quite a few appearances on film and TV and although he is well placed in that industry, in wrestling, he couldn't quite get it done, so to speak. Rusev is far more effective at what this man was asked to do.
1 CHRIS MASTERS
He probably had the makings of a great champion at one time, but amidst some pretty consistent allegations of engineered nutrition and supplements that aren't exactly kosher, so to speak, this man's tenure was quite marred. But even that didn't stop Vince and the rest of trying to push this guy down the throats of many. Must have had something to do with his size, eh?
Sources: BleacherReport.com, Sportskeeda.com