This is a list dedicated to the guys who never got a real big push or were jobbers. But everyone on this list I consider to be a good to great worker, most of these names will be familiar to you and are possibly big stars other places besides the WWF. You won’t be seeing names like Randy Savage or Hulk Hogan on this list because they are not underrated, I am just focusing on each wrestlers WWF stints and not anywhere else they would go onto work. A great example is my #10, he was a mega star in Japan but in the WWF he was never treated like a mega star nor did the crowd embrace him like a mega star. Let’s get into this shall we?
10. Cowboy Lang
Bless the WWE Network because if it wasn’t for the network, I wouldn’t find gems like Cowboy Lang. Lang was an African-American mini (I dislike using the word midget as I find it derogatory) wrestler in the 70s and 80s for the WWF. Mr Lang was one of many mini’s the McMahon family would use in the 70s and 80s. The mini’s were mostly always on the card and usually opened the show. After watching numerous 80s WWF shows on the network, Lang was the one mini that stuck out the most for me. He had a boat load of charisma and very athletic, his flying dropkick was unbelievable not so much because of the height but because the velocity on it was brutal.
9. Tiger Chung Lee
Talk about racist gimmicks! Poor Kim Duk/Ultra Seven/10 other names he went under whist wrestling. This man debuted in 1968 and in 2015 he still wrestled a match! This man would always be jobber on WWF television in the 80s, I just guess Vince never realized what he had when he acquired Mr Chung Lee’s services in 1983.
8. Matt Borne
The future Doink was apart of the WWF in through 1985-early 1986. In the WWF in 1985 a guy like Borne could never breakthrough to the main event when there were already so many superstars. In 1985 he wrestled 60 matches in the WWF and he only picked up 4 wins! Matt Borne is probably one of the most underrated workers ever but during this time period it was shame Vince Jr. didn’t use him to his full capacity.
7. Curt Hennig
I AM NOT COUNTING HIS SECOND RUN FROM 1988 ONWARD, just to get that clear. Many won’t know but Hennig just one year into his career worked for Vince Sr. from 1981 to 1983. Hennig was nowhere near the caliber of worker he would go onto become but still he was a very young athletic worker that had potential; but was just never given the opportunity to blossom. He would beat jobbers like Johnny Rodz but that is as far as his intial WWF run would go.
6. The Blue Blazer
Owen Hart during this time period was incredible, he worked the Blue Blazer gimmick in 88′ and 89′ and was just a job boy. I urge everyone to watch early Owen Hart in Calgary, my god he was incredible. He was doing moonsaults and tope’s in 1986! It’s a shame Owen didn’t get another chance until 1992.
5. Koko B. Ware
Listen here: everyone that think Koko sucked. This man was entertaining as hell and had excellent charisma. I saw him put on a fine match with Hercules of all people, Koko gets a lot of negativity because of his HOF induction but man in the 80s he was one hell of a personality. He used a missile dropkick and it was glorious, I might be in the minority but Koko was fun to watch.
4. Rick Martel
I think everybody knows how great Rick Martel was and I don’t need to say much. He was way ahead of his time and very innovative for his time period. Martel was never the superstar he could and should of been. There is a ton of 80s Rick Martel content on the network that I suggest you go and watch.
3. Gama Singh
My first look at Gama Singh was late 2014 when I was watching Tuesday Night Titans and he was interviewed by Vince. At first I thought this man has no charisma and is probably just going to be another racist gimmick that has no legs. I was gladly wrong as this man was incredible. The matches on the network that involve Gama are matches where he’s working babyface, and I thought he was a tremendous babyface. Later along I would learn that he was one of the top heels in the Calgary territory for many years. His stint in the WWF was short but Mr. Singh had a style that would of been perfect for the late 90s WWF. Nobody was doing some of the maneuvers Singh was pulling off. The crowd didn’t know how to react to him since they were so used to the foreign wrestlers being heels. Highly recommend watching some old Gama Singh matches. I have heard he had great matches with Bret and Owen Hart in Calgary.
Many people underrate Akeem because of the gimmick and because of his size but he used his size as good as Ryota Hama uses his size today. Akeem was another man that had insane charisma and was always enjoyable in ring. His squash matches were even entertaining! The former One Man Gang will go down as one of the better big man workers of his generation. His run in the WWF only lasted four years (87′-90′) and I feel as though it could have been a much longer run. He was only 30 when he left the WWF. He bounced around certain promotions for a while but never got another big break like he deserved.
1. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
Was there really any other choice for number one? Lanny was incredible in every sense. He was way ahead of his time and every match of his I have seen I’m always left with a smile on my face. He was busting out springboards and moonsaults among other things in the 80s when no one else in the WWF were even leaving their feet. He had a long stint in the WWF from 1985 to 1992 but he was never in the spotlight, he was in some main events as ‘The Genius’ though. Lanny is easily my favorite 1980s WWF wrestler because he made everything enjoyable even if the crowd didn’t know what in the world he was doing. Just writing about Lanny puts a smile on my face because he was so so good. If there was no Lanny Poffo there would be no RVD. RVD has stated numerous time that Lanny was his favorite worker. I urge you to get the WWE Network and watch Lanny Poffo matches because he does moonsaults…IN 1985!!!! I love Lanny so much.
Thanks for reading.