Before reading, realize the difference between “bad” and “overrated,” because those are two very different things. Additionally, some of what is listed below pertains not to the performer, but to bad writing, kayfabe, etc. when noted. Lastly, know that for the last three years, Bray Wyatt would have appeared at number one (again, from a kayfabe perspective), but people seem to finally be catching on about how much this character sucks because the writing staff can’t figure out what to do with him or how to book him properly.
Let’s jump right in…
5. DEAN AMBROSE
I am one of the biggest Shield marks you’ll ever meet, which is why it pains me to put Dean on this list. Sure, there have been many flashes of brilliance since the Hounds of Justice disbanded, but it’s too inconsistent. Part of the reason I’ve listed him is of no fault of his own; oftentimes the bookers/writers just don’t give him any interesting stories to work with. They let him stagnate and it is very unfortunate.
The other part is that his in-ring work isn’t as good as people probably think it is. Not that anyone thinks he’s Shawn Michaels, but it’s strange; I think the fact that he came from the indies skews people’s thought process into thinking he’s a really good worker, but most of Ambrose’s matches tend to be the same and easily fast-forwardable. Also, watch his kicks when he sets up moves like Dirty Deeds. There’s about a 50 percent chance that it will miss by a solid two feet.
I love Dean Ambrose, and want more interesting content for him, but I don’t think many people realize just how uninteresting a lot of his post-Shield run as been.
4. THE MIZ
You know what the funny thing is? I actually think The Miz is very underrated.
Wait a minute, how the hell can a guy be overrated AND underrated???
So here’s the thing. For a long time, I’ve felt that Miz was extremely underutilized. As a talker, as an antagonist, just as a character overall, the man is so damn good at his job. He’s got a natural gift that should always be on display. And he’s improved constantly in the ring. It’s no secret that the last year of 2016-17 has probably been his best, including the year he main evented Wrestlemania.
And yet, there are always the people that tout The Miz a little too much. The people who forget that (to no fault of The Miz’s at all) he floundered and basically did nothing of note for probably three-fifths of his career, possibly more. Miz fans are kind of like front-runners, when he’s doing nothing you don’t hear a peep, but when he’s finally in the spotlight, it’s all like, “I’ve been telling you this whole time how great he is, I’ve ALWAYS loved him!!”
And of course, there’s always the argument, brought more recently to light last year on Talking Smack, about Miz wrestling “safe” and never getting hurt versus going all out but retiring early; the debate asking if you’d take five years of a guy like Daniel Bryan or ten to fifteen years of The Miz. And this is what hurts him all around. Because the answer is always five years of someone who smashed the glass ceiling and made history over a short period of time over someone who offered very good moments every now and then but almost never truly was the entire reason for tuning in. I’ll gladly take a few years of Michael Jordan and win the championship each year while it lasts over a lifetime of Patrick Ewing who is always in the mix but never wins the big one. And I’m a Knicks fan, dammit.
In a nutshell, and without Google, what are your top 5 Miz matches of all time?
Another guy that I personally really like, but I feel like he’s someone constantly either being underrated by WWE or overrated by the fans.
3. TRIPLE H
Oh gosh, where the hell do I start? What’s my word count here? Look, I’m not one of these typical internet guys that gets all over Triple H and whines and cries that he’s holding talent down and burying people and wah wah wah. At one point in his career, maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Whatever. And at this point in his career, the future of WWE looks extremely bright due to his behind the scenes leadership; the man deserves a hefty dose of kudos. But that’s just it. Behind the scenes. Stay behind the scenes. Get off my television, Hunter.
It’s my firm believe that Triple H has a mental disability. When he’s off camera, it seems that the guy can’t make enough great decisions in terms of creating stories, promoting characters, signing talent, and so many other things illustrated in NXT. And then, he finds his way back on camera, turns into Triple H the performer, and the real life man basically becomes mentally retarded. And yeah I know, that’s a really strong, pretty much downright offensive thing to say about a human being. But it’s the only excuse I can come up with for how his character gets to behave on the show compared to how he would book anyone else in the scenarios he is put into. Case in point, the Roman Reigns feud leading into Wrestlemania 32. Does it make any sense for the bastard, authority heel that everyone is supposed to hate to come out in the old school jacket, looking like a badass, using taunts and administering a hell of a beating that will clearly get cheers, especially against a babyface that almost everyone seems to hate and you are trying to get over? How does that possibly make sense? There’s no way in NXT Triple H would see that script backstage and allow that to happen. But for him? Sure, why not. And again, this isn’t about burying talent. He put Reigns over in the end. It’s about unbelievably, highly questionable character decision making.
Oh yeah, we haven’t even discussed his in ring work. Much like the next person coming up on this list, he’s very technically talented in the ring. Yet, he always finds himself in high profile main events that are excruciatingly miserable to sit through. Let’s fast forward to the end of that Roman Reigns feud. You would think by now, he’d be smart enough to read the fans and realize that perhaps the match shouldn’t go on last, but if it has to, they better tear the house down after he’s failed in this department so many times. There is only so much boring heel offense people can suffer through, right? Instead, “nah, let’s just have the equivalent to a heated Raw match and have the fans sit on their hands the entire time.” Kind of like what he did at Wrestlemania 25 with…
2. RANDY ORTON
Common comments heard about the Viper throughout the years, even from people that do not necessarily like him, is how “naturally gifted” and “silky smooth” he is in the ring. Depending on your perspective, perhaps that is true. But there may not be a duller, blander performer in the ring who has wrestled more big matches, possibly ever. I’ve been on record saying that he is the “most talented boring wrestler of all time,” which in turn, makes him actually quite a terrible wrestler.
While at first, your gut instinct might tell you that Randy is so fundamentally stellar that this is nuts, but think about it. Do you want to sit through a 25 minute Orton pay-per-view match? Watching him deliver slow, plodding, methodical offense before applying his fourth rest hold of the night? Sure, he’s very technically sound…to the point that he is practically a robot. The guy is basically an entrance and finisher pop, with nothing entertaining whatsoever in between. If anything, he should steal Karl Malone’s nickname and become the Mailman, because I’ve literally never seen anyone mail in more matches on a consistent basis, let alone not deliver on Sundays.
1. AJ STYLES
1. BROCK LESNAR
I pride myself on making pretty good calls on superstars well in advance before anyone realizes (cough cough, Bray Wyatt, cough cough), and I am happy to say that I sniffed out Brock’s steaming turd sandwich very early on into his post-UFC stint. It seems that some people, a few years later, are starting to catch on.
Alright, so it really didn’t start so badly at all. But then we got to the Cena match at Summerslam, the German suplex evisceration match. Which admittedly, was cool for what it was, and in fact, was something different and much needed for his character at the time. Unfortunately, this became the end of Lesnar and the beginning of Suplex City (I know, the actual term “suplex city” came a few months later at Wrestlemania). Everything after that simply turned into MASSIVE POP OMG BROCK LESNAR IS HERE! Suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex alright maybe something different will happen soon suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex hmmm maybe not suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex suplex are you still reading this suplex suplex suplex suplex…you get the idea.
I mean, how many matches in a row can I watch the same story, where 75 percent of the bout is german suplexes? This all fails to even mention him holding the top championship multiple times and not being on the show, because that’s WWE’s fault and a discussion for a different conversation. I don’t know about you, but I’ve long been done with this Brock Lesnar nonsense, it’s time for everyone to stop feeding into suplex city and turn the damn thing into a parking lot.
PERSONAL BONUS PICK: DOLPH ZIGGLER
I’m not going to lie, there’s only two reasons he is not on the official list: because everyone slobbers over Ziggler so much that I didn’t want you to see him and stop reading, and because five is a much nicer “list” number than six. Otherwise, he is absolutely on my overrated list.
For years, just about everyone has considered Dolph one of the best workers in the company. All the while, failing to notice that he botches way more than people realize, he often works too fast for his own good (which leads to said botching), and he delivers the most God-awful superkick in history. Like, seriously, of all time.
Agree with the list? Disagree and think I’m crazy? What picks would you have made for your own list? Let Doing The Job know in the comments section below, or in our wonderful Facebook Group.
Megan Elice Meadows
Taken at the Chikara Wrestle Factory on May 6th, 2017
Taken in Orlando, Florida on April 1st, 2017
Taken at the Elks Lodge in Queens, NY on 4/29/2017
Unfortunately, my camera battery died and I missed the latter end of the event.