As much as some fans may not like to admit it, professional wrestling is a form of entertainment in which it matters how the performers look when they are inside of the ring. It is, after all, not just a coincidence that both male and female wrestlers often wear minimal amounts of clothing during matches. The idea here is not just to showcase good-looking bodies to fans. Wrestlers being better looking than an average individual that you may encounter on the street just enhances the idea that these performers are larger-than-life characters one would expect to see featured in a blockbuster movie.
Just as with other forms of entertainment, having a “great look” will only get a pro wrestler so far if that person is unable to work in the ring. Companies such as the World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment, World Championship Wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and smaller territories that have been located all around North America have hoped to turn great looking individuals into good if not great workers. Some of those attempts have been successful with the right amount of practice and some luck. Others, however, never really figured out how to make the best of certain opportunities.
15. Scott Steiner
Here is what you have to remember before you hit out at Scott Steiner being included in this particular list. Steiner was, during portions of the 1990, an impressive combination of power and athleticism while teaming up with his brother Rick. Then came a time when Steiner became a little too interested in improving his physique. While Steiner undeniably looked great when he mostly cared about “his freaks and his peaks,” he became slower and clunkier inside the ring the bigger he grew. Steiner was entertaining, sure, but he could have been a better wrestler had he not been so obsessed with gaining muscle mass.
Sid is an example of how “great looking” can have more than one meaning. The “Vicious” and “Psychotic” wrestler had a great look in that he was a massive individual who, in his prime, was in incredible shape. Sid may have made for a perfect heel in the early 1990s before the arrival of the “Attitude Era,” but he never became more than an average or even a below-average wrestler. It was largely because of his look that Sid was able to hang around in companies such as the WWE and WCW for as long as he did before he was forced to retire from active in-ring duties.
13. Christy Hemme
Christy Hemme will always be able to boast that she once won an early edition of the WWE Diva Search. That, all things considered, was probably the high mark of Hemme’s stint in the WWE. A model that the WWE attempted to turn into a wrestler way before she was television-ready, Hemme visibly struggled while inside of the ring. The WWE eventually relegated Hemme down to developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling, and that would prove to be the beginning of the end of her run in the company. Hemme stuck with it, though, and she found success as an announcer with TNA Wrestling.
12. Paul Roma
Perhaps it is a bit harsh to include Paul Roma in any list of wrestlers who “sucked.” Then again, there are at least some fans out there who would agree with seeing Roma’s name here. WCW was once so impressed with Roma’s look that the company decided to include him in a version of The Four Horsemen. That went so poorly that it is, whenever the topic is debated, routinely stated that Roma is the worst Horseman in history. There is something to be said for being remembered, at least. Roma may have had the look of a Horseman, but his ability fell way short.
Aksana is not the only wrestler featured in this piece who could have been something more in the WWE had she been signed at an earlier time. A fitness model and a personal trainer, Aksana had a “Diva” look, but she also stood out from other female performers on the roster. Aksana was acquired to be a wrestler and not a valet, though, and her in-ring work only improved so much during her WWE career. While the WWE devoted plenty of time in developmental and on the main roster to turning Aksana into a better performer, it just was not meant to be.
There was a time, perhaps even not all that long ago, when a worker such as Ryback would have found great success in the pro wrestling business. The powerful wrestler probably would have been better off had he been born a few decades earlier. Ryback was not that lucky, however, and thus he has become just as known for his clunky work inside of the ring as he is known for his impressive physique. Anybody who has any questions about Ryback’s quality of work inside of the ring should just have a chat with CM Punk about the matter. Punk once, during a famous podcast episode, accused Ryback of being dangerous during matches.
9. Ashley Massaro
There are some things that occur in the wrestling industry that just make you laugh when you revisit them later on down the road. The WWE pushing Ashley Massaro has to make the list. In Massaro, the WWE seemingly hoped to have the best of a classic “Diva” look and also a punk-rock fan. It wasn’t a horrible idea when you consider that the rise of Avril Lavigne occurred at about the same time. Massaro, though, never really found her feet as a wrestler, and her run in the WWE was mostly forgettable. That she never caught on with another big-time wrestling promotion is telling.
8. Jim Powers
Jim Powers was basically “generic jacked-up guy 101” during his stints in the WWF and WCW. The character’s name was Jim Powers, for starters. Powers had a great look, and he probably would have been a star in the WWF during the cartoon-esque era of the 1980s had he been a remotely-decent babyface. What is most memorable about Powers’ run in WCW was how the babyface consistently put opponents such as Diamond Dallas Page over. Linking manager Teddy Long with Powers was not enough to turn Powers into a significant wrestler while with the company.
7. Kelly Kelly
The WWE electing to re-brand Extreme Championship Wrestling following the successful One Night Stand pay-per-view made great business sense. Then, we saw what the company had in mind. Kelly Kelly was one of the mainstays of the new ECW, and it did not take long to find out that the model was not going to become one of the great pro wrestlers of her time. Bryan Alvarez of Figure Four Online/Wrestling Observer routinely pointed out in subscriber podcasts that Kelly Kelly struggled to even run the ropes properly. Once you see that during a Kelly Kelly match, you cannot un-see it.
6. Chris Masters
You almost have to feel sorry for Chris Masters. Masters appeared on WWE television with a physique that appeared to have been cut out of granite, and the man known as “The Masterpiece” seemingly had everything necessary to be a big star in wrestling; except for the in-ring talent, which was lacking during his early days in the company. Some personal matters that Masters has discussed in interviews forced him away from the WWE for some time. Masters had noticeably slimmed down before his return, and his dropping excess weight resulted in him being opening mocked on the air.
5. Eva Marie
It is a stroke of brilliance that the WWE is running with a storyline that involves Eva Marie being “Creative’s” choice to be NXT Women’s Champion. She is, after all, every bit of a cover model. What Eva Marie is not, however, is a great wrestler at this stage of her career. To her credit, Eva Marie did put in some extra training with Brian Kendrick in an attempt to improve her wrestling abilities. Those sessions took Eva Marie from “nearly unwatchable” to “tolerable if working with a decent wrestler.” The light may one day turn on for Eva Marie. That day, as of the posting of this piece, has not yet arrived.
4. Lex Luger
Wrestling fans who were younger in the 1990s may fondly remember Lex Luger from his stints in WCW, the WWE and then back in WCW. Luger was involved in one of the most-memorable Nitro moments in history when he captured the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan. Thanks to the wonder of the WWE Network, we are now able to go back and watch Luger and others following the deaths of WCW and of the excitement that was caused by the “Monday Night Wars.” Luger may have had a great look, but he was hardly great on the microphone or inside of the ring.
3. Stephanie McMahon
You have to give Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon, the children of WWE CEO Vince McMahon, credit for attempting to put on entertaining matches even though they never had to earn their money as wrestlers. While Stephanie has had a great look throughout her on-air career, particularly as a heel character, McMahon is better served as a heel authority figure than as a wrestler who competes with the likes of Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Paige and others. Stephanie does deserve praise for continuing to remain in tremendous physical shape after giving birth to three children.
2. David Otunga
The WWE would have loved nothing more than if David Otunga could have developed into a star. Otunga has a body-builder physique and also a personality that gives him the “it factor” that is often discussed as it pertains to the potential of a wrestler. He also happens to be married to singer and actress Jennifer Hudson. There was just one problem with Otunga: He was not all that good in the ring. In fact, Otunga was pretty terrible. The WWE soon accepted the reality with Otunga, and the former member of the original NXT class was converted into a pre-show host.
1. Jenna Morasca
Take one look at Jenna Morasca, and it is easy to understand why reality television shows were happy to feature her. TNA Wrestling decided to give Morasca a shot in 2009, and part of her brief run in the company involved her having a match with Sharmell. Diehard wrestling fans know where we are going with this one. The match featuring Morasca and Sharmell was historically bad, and it was ripped apart by wrestling journalists such as Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez. Alvarez famously, during one of his podcasts, screamed that the match was worthy of a “minus-five stars!” rating. He wasn’t wrong.