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Biggest fall from grace


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The recent Ronnie Garvin talk gave us a leading contender here, from NWA world champ to jobbing to Boris Zhukov and tagging with job guys in losses against The Orient Express in 3 years. Alright, I guess you might say there was a change of company involved, but still that's quite the fall from grace.

 

Has anyone else fallen down the ladder quite as quickly and dramatically as that?

 

I'll offer up for consideration Sgt. Slaughter who went from WWF champ in early 91 to feuding with "Col. Mustafa" by the end of the year and basically nothing (well, tagging with Duggan in squash matches) in 92. The decline was quicker for Slaughter than it was for Garvin, but the WWF treated him with a lot more respect. Only two TV losses in the period (to Flair after being tazered by the Mountie and a DQ loss with Duggan vs. Money Inc) and a win over the Beverleys with Duggan. I've been digging around and Slaughter was still appearing in TV matches as late as October 1992 mostly in wins over jobbers in singles matches or with Duggan, by December he was already appearing as an "official" with JJ Dillon.

 

Who else?

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Beniot.

 

There really is no one else at that level, to the degree that even suggesting someone else is #1 would feel false. :/

 

That's something of a Kill Thread thing to post, so perhaps it's better to retitle the thread: "Big Falls From Grace". It's an interesting concept for a thread...

 

John

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I was hoping this question wouldn't be taken down that route really. Let me try something else hold on.

 

Oh, I can't edit the title. Can a mod change it to something like "Biggest and fastest fall down the roster"? That would be grand!

 

That's what I'm getting at. Someone who went from the top or near the top of the card to lower midcard or worse. No real interest in talking about Benoit, or even Luger, Hall, Jake or anything like that. I'm talking purely in terms of the push.

 

The Renegade would be someone to mention, for example.

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Sgt. Slaughter definitely springs to mind as does Honkey Tonk Man. Vader could be considered a victim of this, between 1993 and 1996 he was one of the biggest headliners in American wrestling, a multiple time WCW champion and a top draw. As soon as he joined the WWF he went from having matches with Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, to losing to Ahmed Johnson and becoming a punch bag for the debuting Kane

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In recent times one of the guys that really stands out to me is Carlito. He debuted and was pretty soon thereafter (if not immediately) thrown into a feud with Cena where it was implied that he STABBED HIM. It really looked like he was going to be a big player. It didn't take long at all for him to collapse down the card and into irrelevancy.

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In recent times one of the guys that really stands out to me is Carlito. He debuted and was pretty soon thereafter (if not immediately) thrown into a feud with Cena where it was implied that he STABBED HIM. It really looked like he was going to be a big player. It didn't take long at all for him to collapse down the card and into irrelevancy.

Agreed, very similar thing happened with Shelton Benjamin. He went from getting clean pinfall victories over Triple H, to jobbing to up and comers on WWECW. A real wasted talent.

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Chyna.

Yep. She was on a TNA PPV the other week, and now... this ?

 

In terms of wrestling pushes, King Kong Bundy seems like a good example. Went from main eventing against Hogan to squashing a midget in one year.

And then gone. Yep, I never understood why Bundy did nothing nowhere after WM II.

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He seems to have gotten some of the love back over time, but the first guy I thought of was post-1986 Yoshiaki Yatsu.

I thought about Yatsu too. He was still decent in AJ in the last years though, but then vanished after he left. Yatsu was so great at one point.

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I guess Magnum TA doesn't count since it wasn't a decline in push.

 

MVP went from a dude who I thought should've gotten the World title instead of Khali when Batista went down with an injury in 07, to going on an endless losing streak that saw a nose dive not only in terms of push but also a serious decline in his in-ring talent that he never was able to recover from.

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He was working in Hollywood.

 

becoming a punch bag for the debuting Kane

That Kane match was the last time Vader was booked properly in the United States. Kane injuring Vader was treated like a huge deal. I think Vader gave his notice before Over the Edge 98. Otherwise they could of did more with the feud.
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Vader had a perfectly good career in Japan after the WWF debacle. Main event matches, big titles. Didn't fall from grace at all.

By the end he did. In '98, he was losing to everyone from Jeff Jarrett to Al Snow. If he'd stayed much longer and the pattern had continued, soon he would've been laying down to Kaientai.
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Here's a bit of an unlikely one, but how about Ted DiBiase in the WWF?

 

Ok, this is nowhere near on the level of Garvin or Slaughter but he went from main-eventing Wrestlemania and Summerslam in 88 to a nothing match with Beefcake at Wrestlemania 5 and a nothing match with Snuka at Summerslam '89.

 

You could argue that '89 was just a "downtime" year for him as he was gearing up for his next Hogan feud at Survivor Series, but there's definitely something of a "de-push" at play there. I don't think he was ever at bona fide main event level again after '88, despite the last feud with Hogan in '93. Not really a "fall from grace" as such, but one of those things I've always noticed.

 

He kind of hovered in a strange space where he was obviously "too good" to go for the IC title, but was never really in the world title picture. That said, I think he had a mini re-push around the time Sherri started managing him in 91, which was his last serious singles run before Money Inc and retirement.

 

Might be a slightly different topic: what do guys do in the year after their mega-push?

 

Savage from '92 to '93, might be someone else to consider.

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Vader had a perfectly good career in Japan after the WWF debacle. Main event matches, big titles. Didn't fall from grace at all.

By the end he did. In '98, he was losing to everyone from Jeff Jarrett to Al Snow. If he'd stayed much longer and the pattern had continued, soon he would've been laying down to Kaientai.

 

The jobbing was because he gave notice. If he had stayed I'm sure he would of been used better.

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Fair enough. But still, you can pretty easily compare how he was used in the early 90s in WCW and how he was used in the late 90s in WWE (and for that matter, how he was used shortly after that in All Japan) and tell that the WWF did less with his potential than anyone else did. Part of that were his infamous problems with the Klique and others who didn't want to get stiffed, of course. But a Vader who can't beat the shit out of his opponents is hardly a Vader worth watching. And the WWF was never quite as good at building up monster heels and keeping them over long-term as many other companies.

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I think Vader was a poor fit for what the WWF wanted out of a fat guy. Before that fat guys would bump and stooge for faces. Like One Man Gang or king Kong Bundy. Even Earthquake would stooge a bit for guys like Hogan. The closest the WWF ever had to a Vader type heel was Andre in 88/89. I don't think Vader ever adjusted to that.

 

By 97 with the Shamrock match on they did a much better job booking him. Win or lose he was kicking ass. Then like I said earlier, I think the Kane feud was really good booking, Had a clear story of Vader being the last hop with Undertaker seemingly dead again. The match Vader got more offense than anyone got on Kane before and Vader being stretchered out was treated as a huge deal.

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Vader bumped huge too. Hell, Vader bumped more than any fat guy, ever.

Vader had too things not working for him in WWF : 1/ big WCW star and not Vince's creation. Bad. 2/ not working the lighter WWF style, more suited with the stiffer southern or japanese stye. Bad. Add the Klic influence, Taker bitching, Michaels wanting to work with Sid instead, and Vader was doomed from the get-go. First feud was Yokozuna, a bigger guy than he was. He sold for Gorilla Mansoon's chops. Just awful booking from the get-go. Vader never had a chance in WWF.

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