Hey there wrestling fans and welcome back to Pounding 7’s, the countdown that sometimes makes absolutely no sense at times. That’s why you all love it. This week, I will count down the top 7 wrestlers to ALMOST get a push. These are the guys, that almost got a big push, but just never quite got over that hump. Kevin Owens almost made this list, but since he is now the Universal Champion, I had to scrap him.
Let’s not waste any time, lets get to your question this week.
Curt starts us off this week from our Nations Capital.
What are the WWE’s plans for Braun Strowman? He is a huge powerful superstar, but they keep having him in squash matches. Is there any plan to push him?
I think for the most part, they are going to see what Strowman can do, and how he fares in the singles competition. Strowman is huge, and dominant, and that is exactly the kind of superstar that Vince McMahon wants on his roster. As for what they are going to do with him, as I said, they are seeing how safe he can be. Typically with bigger guys, they don’t know there own strength, and can seriously injure someone just because of their Raw power. Sheamus injured several men, as did Seth Rollins, just simply because they underestimated their own strength. I see Strowman getting a mid-card push and could possibly get a run with the United States Championship sometime in the near future. If he does well, and can stay safe in the ring, and can get over with the fans, I could see Strowman one day being in the main event, and at the top of the card as the World Champion, or Universal Champion, whatever you want to call it. I see him starting a feud with Roman Reigns to start his ascension. A victory over the 3 time World Champ, could get him over with the fans, and give him legitimacy as a dominant WWE Superstar.
This weeks Heel Turn takes us back to 1989 and Wrestlemania V, where the Mega-Powers exploded. Before we get there, we go back to the Fall of 1987. Randy Savage is facing off against the Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Championship, on an episode of Saturday Nights Main Event. Savage was basically in a three on one handicap match with Honky and the Hart Foundation. After the match when Honky was disqualified, Honky shoved Elizabeth down to the mat before hitting Savage over the head with his guitar. Elizabeth returns with Hulk Hogan. Savage and Hogan had had some bad blood over the years, so Hogan coming out to help Savage was quite a shock. After the match, they shook hands, and appeared to become the best of friends. A few months later, during the WWF Championship tournament, Savage was facing off in the Finals against Ted Dibiase. Many times in the match, Andre the Giant interfered. Liz went to the back and returned with Hulk Hogan himself. Hogan assisted Savage in winning the match, and his first WWF World Championship. From that point on, they were known as the Mega-Powers. They teamed together throughout 1988, but you could tell that there was jealousy in the air, as Hogan would take Elizabeth out for his matches, and would celebrate. It became clear that the jealousy was thick at Survivor Series, when Hogan hoisted Liz up on his shoulders after he and Savage were the sole survivors in the match. Savage questioned Hogan in the ring, but it was set aside. We move to February 1989, it is the Mega-Powers vs The Twin Towers. Savage is thrown out of the ring, and accidently knocks out Elizabeth. Hogan goes to help Liz, and takes her to the back to get medical attention, leaving Savage to fend for himself. Hogan returns, and goes for the tag, and Savage smacks him square across the face, and leaves the ring area, leaving Hogan to fend for himself. After the match, Hogan and Savage are back in the medical area having a shouting match. Savage claims he is the better man, when Hogan turns to Elizabeth to try and talk sense into Savage, Savage nails Hogan with the World Championship belt, and the Mega-Powers were officially split up. Savage turns heel in the process, and drops the championship to Hogan at Wrestlemania V. Savage would enlist the services of Sensational Sherri, and throughout 1989, Hogan/Elizabeth would feud with Savage/Sherri.
Before we get to the Top 7, here are a few honorable mentions, that didnt quite make the cut.
Jake the Snake Roberts- What many don’t know is that in 1986, Jake was scheduled to have a run against WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. There was even some talk to have the two square off at Wrestlemania for the WWF Championship. Hogan nixed the whole idea, stating that he did not feel the two would draw.
Brutus Beefcake- Brutus the Barber Beefcake was slated for a run with the Intercontinental Championship at Summerslam 88 before an injury sidelined him. He was replaced by the Ultimate Warrior, who went on to win the Intercontinental Championship on two occasions, as well as the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania VI. It is said that this was supposed to be Beefcake’s run.
Wade Barrett- Many know that the Miz was a former WWE Champion, but did you know that it was Wade Barrett who faced Randy Orton in the match for the WWE title before Miz cashed in? Barrett was on schedule for a championship run, before a series of injuries kept him on the shelf, and ultimately kept him in the mid-card ranks.
Cesaro- Just when you think Cesaro is the next big thing in the WWE, after he wins the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX, and then having some solid runs as United States Champion. The rug is pulled under Cesaro and he is kept in the mid-card ranks. There is still time for the Swiss superstar as he is still active in the WWE.
Here is the countdown:
7. Owen Hart- Owen Hart was on a solid run in 1994, facing off against his brother Bret Hart for the WWE Championship. He won his first singles gold in 1997, when he defeated the Rock to win the Intercontinental Championship. Many felt that Owen was primed for the big stage and could eventually win the World Championship. That was derailed when he became a member of the Nation of Domination when he dressed as a road sign. Then he teamed with Jeff Jarrett, where he did have success as a team. When he declined to do an angle where he would have an affair with Debra, he was forced to do the Blue Blazer gimmick, a gimmick in which he started his WWE career with, and then tragically passed away after falling nearly eighty feet in Kansas City during a PPV event Over the Edge, in 1999.
6. British Bulldog- Ironcially, the Bulldog may have had the most opportunities to win the big one. After the split of the British Bulldogs with longtime partner, the Dynamite Kid. Davey Boy Smith went into singles competition and quickly main evented Summerslam, and defeated Bret Hart to win the Intercontinental Championship. He left the WWE shortly after that, and arrived in WCW where he immediately was in the main event picture with Vader, facing him multiple times for the WCW Championship. Bulldog was then scheduled to win the WCW International Championship at Starrcade 93 against Rick Rude, but was suspended after violating the wellness policy. He returned to the WWE in 1994 where he started feuding with his brother in law, Bret Hart, and had multiple matches for the WWF Championship against Hart, and in 1996, Shawn Michaels. He also got main event pushes in 1999, but still failed to win a World Championship.
5. Mr Perfect- Mr Perfect came on to the scene in the WWF back in 1988, and had an immediate impact. Claiming to be the Perfect athlete, he was soon in the main event circuit against Hulk Hogan, and the Ultimate Warrior in 1989, and 1990 respectively. He won the Intercontinental Championship tournament after Warrior won the WWF Championship and vacated the IC title in 1990, and was even slated to win the Royal Rumble in 1990, where he would have gone on to face Hogan at Wrestlemania VI, before once again, Hulk Hogan scrapped the idea, and we ended up with Hogan vs Warrior. Not saying that we didnt get a better match at Wrestlemania VI, but Perfect would have been a great attraction and a great champion if he would have had that opportunity.
4. Ted Dibiase- Everybody has a price for the Million Dollar Man. Back in 1988, Ted Dibiase put that slogan to the test as he hired Andre the Giant to defeat Hulk Hogan. He did just that in February of 1988, after he paid off a referee to cost Hulk Hogan the championship, and handing it to Andre. Right after the match, Andre surrendered the championship, and handed it over to Ted Dibiase, and he was proclaimed the new WWF Champion. He was never officially recognized as the champion, and the belt was held up to hold a tournament at Wrestlemania IV, where he advanced all the way to the Finals of that tournament, before losing to Randy Savage. Dibiase would continue to square off for the championship throughout 1988, but eventually was once again regulated to the mid-card, where he ended his career as part of Money Inc.
3. Scott Hall- Scott Hall, Razor Ramon, whatever you want to refer to him as was always that mid-card wrestler that never made it to the top. Hall was a multiple time Intercontinental Champion, he was over with the fans, and it appeared that he was well on his way to bigger and better things in the WWE. When he went to Vince and told him he was leaving for WCW, along side Kevin Nash, Vince offered Scott a chance to get a run with the WWF Championship in a new contract offer. Hall declined, and took a multi-million dollar deal to sign with WCW. In WCW he enjoyed again some mid-card success. He did win the World War 3 Battle Royal, which guaranteed him a match against the WCW World Champion at a later date. He would get his match, but was unsuccessful. Again, Hall was simply regulated to the mid-card, or upper mid-card, but to this day is one of the most well known wrestlers in the history of wrestling after forming the NWO.
2. Rowdy Roddy Piper- Hot Rod was involved in the Main Event scene pretty much throughout 1985, as he squared off against his rival, Hulk Hogan on numerous occasions. There was some talk that they would face off against one another at the first ever Wrestlemania for the championship. The plan was to put the title on Piper for just a few months, then have Hogan win it back at Wrestlemania. This was scratched because Vince wanted more celebrities to draw more mainstream attention to Wrestlemania, because he was all in for this event. It really was a make it or break it moment, so he did not want to take any chances. What you may not know is this. Back in the early 80’s, when Piper wrestled for the NWA, he had some votes from the promoters to win the NWA World Championship, which was ulitmately given to Ric Flair. Who knows, maybe Piper was on his way to win the World Championship on 16 different occasions. Piper also got some World Championship opportunites against Hogan when he went to WCW, but while he defeated Hogan when the title was not on the line, he was unsuccessful when it counted. Piper did win the Intercontinental and United States Championship, and also won the WWE Tag Team Championships with Ric Flair later in his career.
1. Paul Orndorff- Mr Wonderful Paul Orndoff takes the top spot here in the countdown. Orndorff was slated to win the WWF Championship on mutiple occasions as he was supposed to defeat Hulk Hogan before Wrestlemania III, setting up a rematch for the championship at Wrestlemania. Orndorff was primed and ready for a big push, and seemingly did just that, defeat Hulk Hogan to win the WWE Championship, before the decision was reversed and the title was given back to Hogan. Orndorff and Hogan competed for the championship on a Saturday Nights Main Event episode where both men esacped the cage and hit the floor at virtually the same time. Again, Orndorff was proclaimed the winner and new WWF Champion, before another referee came out and once again reversed the decision. The stars were still aligned for Orndorff for a big push, that is before Andre the Giant came into the picture and challenged Hogan for the championship, and that saw big money for Vince McMahon, and set up one of the most talked about matches to this day at Wrestlemania III. There was a time though, where Orndorff was going to be that guy who unseated Hogan, and given a pretty good run himself as the World Heavyweight Champion. Sadly, Orndorff never made it past the mid-card after 1987.
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