Throughout professional wrestling history, there have been many mighty names. There have also, however, been “the other guys, the scrappers who made it mostly on guts and raw talent. Constantly undersized, they nevertheless clawed their way to the top.Here’s our list of wrestling’s best underdogs.
10: Gregory Helms will likely be forever remembered as the masked avenger, “The Hurricane”. Swooping in on a rope while making his own sound effects. Maintaining the worst-kept secret identity since Superman. Attempting to muster his “super-strength” to chokeslam The Big Show. Yet his truly defining, as well as most often overlooked, characteristic was his size. At an average weight of 190 pounds, he was a bit undersized, even for a cruiserweight. That, added to his lack of aerial prowess, made him somewhat of an underdog even among those his own weight class. However, he often more than made up for it with a vicious shining wizard, unique slams and a metric ton of charisma.
9: Whilst Gregory Helms was only slightly undersized, The Amazing Red is veritably tiny. Standing at 150 pounds and 5’6’, most of the adult fans would tower over him. However, it matters not to this death-defying aerialist. After working through a horrific ACL injury that sidelined him for nearly an entire year, he rebounded to become a 3 time champion in his original home, TNA’s X-division. Always a crowd pleaser, he is consistently a dark house in any cruiserweight division he works in.
8: What can be said for Red can be said for Jack Evans and then some. He is quite possibly the best aerialist in the game today. With the ability to rotate his body in innumerable ways at ease, he is at his best off of his feet. While he is not known for his mat mastery, he seemingly has no need of it. He is the Red Baron of professional wrestling, picking off his opponents from the air while dazzling any onlookers lucky enough to watch him at work.
7: Possibly the most versatile talker in the TNA locker room, Eric Young has cemented himself as somebody who has success without anybody realizing it. He is, overall, one of the best wrestlers in TNA. He has solid athleticism, a good technical basis, and can soar through the air. And yet, time after time, nobody expects him to win the big matches. He feeds off of the crowd, and they eat his antics up, no matter what side he’s on.
6: Saying that Rey Mysterio Jr. is an underdog is nearly a cliché at this point. A perennial fan favorite who has repeatedly battled through knee injury after knee injury, it seems impossible for him to be booed. A merchandising machine with kids who’s moveset is likely bigger than he is, few can draw cheers like he can.
5: Jeff Hardy is remarkably frustrating. As controversial as he is talented, he is notorious for not always having his head in the game. After starting off as a tag team with his brother Matt, he broke off into singles competition, with modest success. The only issue holding him back from being lauded consistently is simply his inability to keep up his focus. However, in spite of his personal problems, or possibly even because of them, fans continue to rally behind him. He is always a sleeper for whatever title he happens to pursue.
4: Spike Dudley is the “Giant Killer” of wrestling. At a whopping 150 pounds soaking wet, he has nonetheless stared down the biggest dogs in the yard. Big Show, Mike Awesome and Bam Bam Bigelow are among the monsters that have faced the wrath of the runt of the Dudley clan. A textbook case of a Napoleon complex, Spike walks without fear of anybody who crosses his path. No matter the odds nor the size difference, he fights to his last breath.
3: Tommy Dreamer has a heart of gold wrapped in barbed wire. After starting out as a generic pretty boy in garish green suspenders, he went through a baptism of fire with The Sandman. Receiving repeated beatings from a Singapore cane per a pre-match stipulation, he earned the psychotic ECW crowd‘s respect and sympathy. From then on out, no matter whom he was facing, the crowd supported him. His moniker of “The Heart and Soul of ECW” fits him to a T.
2: Mikey Whipwreck. Possibly the original “under-sized wannabe” of wrestling. His entry into ECW lore was pretty much by accident. As part of the ring crew, he worked for free as long as he got to have fun in the ring before the matches. Paul Heyman saw him one day and his mind immediately had an idea. The underdog was born. Going match after match without landing a single, solitary offensive maneuver, Whipwreck entrenched himself in the crowd’s hearts and minds. The constant hero of the little guy.
1: The mere mention of Mick Foley often conjures images of charming insanity. Widely regarded as one of the toughest men in the history of wrestling, there is nary a match Foley’s been involved in that didn’t devolve into mayhem. Tables, barbed-wire, thumbtacks, fire, Foley’s uses it all with aplomb. However, despite this, Foley is also well-known for looking a tad bit out of place in the ring. With his potato-like body, missing teeth, and less than haute couture wardrobe, he doesn’t match the mold of a prototypical wrestler. Herein lies his greatest strength. Despite all of his fortitude and his long history of defying the odds, he can still be viewed as a come from behind winner.
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