100 Pro Wrestlers From History That Don't Get Enough Respect

By: Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@whenitwascool.com)

Not everyone can be a Hall of Famer.  Not everybody gets to be the most popular player on the team.  But there are greats in every work place, sports team, and organization who deserve more respect than they get.  This is our When It Was Cool look at 100 professional wrestlers who don't get enough credit.  Wrestlers, many of whom are not in any major hall of fame, but who still were work horses of the business of pro wrestling that we love.

These are not ranked in any particular order but are 100 wrestlers from throughout history that have been important to the industry or did exemplary under recognized work or just simply made the pro wrestling product better.  Most you may have heard of and others you might not have.  

I have tried to stay away from people in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter or WWE Hall of Fame and, instead focus on the under appreciated.  That's not to say that at some point some of these people might not end up inducted, but for now they are largely the less famous but still very important. 

2 Cold Scorpio

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2 Cold Scorpio grabbed the attention of wrestling fans world wide in the early 1990s.  Initially getting a lot of press in Japan for his highflying ability he would soon come to WCW in the United States where he would become one of the best highfliers in wrestling including holding the WCW World tag team title with Marc Bagwell.  Though he did have a stint in WWF / WWE as Flash Funk, it was in ECW that 2 Cold Scorpio really found his niche. 2 Cold Scorpio doesn't get nearly enough credit for his revolutionary highflying style and consistency.



There was a period of time when Abyss for the best thing about TNA wrestling.  Abyss (Chris Parks) doesn't get nearly the credit he deserves for his in-ring work primarily due to never working for WWE.  Apparently, Abyss had a few opportunities to go to work for WWE but decide to stay in TNA where he had tenure and a solid push during most of his time there, even getting an endorsement by Hulk Hogan during Hogan's stint in TNA.  Later, he even transitioned out of the role of the monster Abyss and into a more comedic role of the hapless lawyer Chris Parks showing his range in portraying different characters.

Adrian Adonis

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Adrian Adonis is not in any major Hall of Fame though his work is widely recognized as exceptional.  He was a standout in virtually every territory he worked in from Southwest Wrestling, to the AWA, to Japan.  His biggest visibility came, however, in the WWF / WWE where he initially was part of the WWF tag team championship team of Dick Murdoch & Adrian Adonis but then transitioned into the gender bending role of "Adorable" Adrian Adonis which ran until WrestleMania III where he lost a hair vs. hair match to Roddy Piper. He resurfaced again in the AWA and was losing weight and preparing for another run to the top when he was unfortunately killed July 4, 1988.

Adrian Street

In terms of physical size Adrian Street is quite small for a pro wrestler.  However, in terms of personality, flair, and mat skill he is larger than most.  Adrian Street is not in the WWE or Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame but he deserves to be recognized for his amazing skills.  Adrian Street is exactly the kind of person this article means to recognize, sure, maybe he never held the world heavyweight championship nor headlined a WrestleMania but pro wrestling would have been much worse off without him.  An amazingly skilled wrestler and worthy of far more notoriety than he gets.

Austin Idol

Among his peers, Austin Idol isn't exactly considered one of the best mat wrestlers.  However, in terms of personality and charisma he is among the best the pro wrestling business ever had.  Austin Idol is known mainly for the time he spent in the deep southern United States wrestling scene with memorable runs in Georgia Championship Wrestling, Memphis wrestling, and Southeastern Championship Wrestling.  His interviews still stand the test of time as some of the best promos in the wrestling business.  In an era of scripted and over wrought interviews it is unlikely we will see interviews as captivating as Austin Idol's anytime again soon. Austin Idol isn't in the WWE Hall of Fame and likely will never be since he only spent a short amount of time in the WWWF early in his career and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame is aimed more toward in ring skill set and international accolades. 

Bad News Allen

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Allen Coage started his career later than most. After a highly decorated career in Judo in the 1960s and 1970s, Coage begin training for pro wrestling in Japan under Antonio Inoki.  Coage found success in the pro wrestling ranks not only in Japan but in Canada and the U.S. territories as well before a highly visible stint in the late 1980s in the WWF under the name Bad News Brown.  We include Bad News Allen on this list since he is not in either the WWE nor Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame but still deserves more credit than he gets as a pro wrestler due to the legitimate toughness and credibility he brought to pro wrestling.  Had Allen began his pro wrestling career a decade earlier he might have went even higher than he did.

Barry Darsaw

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Barry Darsaw's career might not rise to the level required by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame ballot but there is no legitimate reason he isn't in the WWE Hall of Fame.  As one half of Demolition along with Bill Eadie (Ax), Barry Darsaw (as Smash) held the WWF World tag team titles longer than any other team up to the modern era.  Besides that, he had a memorable run as Khrusher Khrushev and less memorable runs as Repo Man and Black Top Bully (among several other gimmicks).  Darsaw's time in Demolition should easily qualify him for the WWE Hall of Fame but a law suit by Bill Eadie and Randy Colley (the original Demolition Smash) may have caused significant enough resentment toward the team that it never gets it's proper induction so we will honor him here instead.

Barry Horowitz

Barry Horowitz is what is termed in the wrestling business as an enhancement wrestler.  To the average fan he is a loser.  His loss record far exceeds his winning record.  But to those in the wrestling business they know the value of a wrestler like Barry Horowitz.  Horowitz (also known in some areas as Jack Hart) is a very good wrestler and the big stars in the wrestling business know that a guy like him can make you look exceptional... and he does. Barry Horowitz is exactly the type of wrestler who is never going to be in a Hall of Fame because his job was to lose but he is exactly the type person we believe deserves more credit because without excellent workmen like Barry Horowitz the stars wouldn't shine as bright.

Bearcat Wright

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Bearcat Wright (Edward Wright) may make it into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame one day.  I have voted for him several times in recent years and his support seems to be growing.  Bearcat Wright was a star in the 1950s and 1960s and held multiple world championships of the era.  In 2017 he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame which I tried to not include people on this list who are in that Hall of Fame but I believe that Bearcat Wright has been so under rated for so long that even though he made the WWE Hall of Fame he still deserves more recognition.  Bearcat Wright was a standout star in an era where a person of his color wasn't supposed to be.  He was a groundbreaking star who deserves to be known by modern era fans as well.

Beau James

To me, Beau James is exactly the type wrestler who deserves to be on this list.  He definitely doesn't get the recognition he deserves.  In fact, unless you live in Tennessee or the Tri-State area of Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina you may not even know who the modern day King of Kingsport is.  Well, Beau James is not only a pro wrestler living the old school road schedule of his predecessors but he is also an accomplished wrestling historian who has published multiple books and even runs an online web video service. He is old school and absolutely does not get the recognition he deserves.

Big Boss Man

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Ray Traylor, AKA: Big Boss Man was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016 but it was an induction long overdue.  Ray Traylor was everything that makes you glad to be a pro wrestling fan.  In the mid-1980s he was an oversized enhancement wrestler putting over the top level stars on World Championship Wrestling television, Continental television, and other places until finally they pulled him off the air and gave him a gimmick as Big Bubba Rogers and put him as bodyguard of manager Jim Cornette. Soon, he was an attraction for Jim Crockett promotions, the champion of Bill Watts' UWF group, and ultimately ended up in the WWF / WWE as a challenger for Hulk Hogan - the Big Boss Man.  Eventually, Big Boss Man became a fan favorite and a popular and memorable character.  Though Big Boss Man has gotten more recognition than others on this list his memory does not need to be forgotten.

Bill Ash


It seems like whenever I bring up Bill Ash to old school wrestling fans they immediately remark that he makes great wrestling boots.  While this is undoubtably true (many wrestlers swear by the Ash family boots) Bill Ash was a solid junior heavyweight wrestler in the 1970s and 1980s.  While his career never struck big on a national level he was still a valuable wrestler for many southern United States wrestling promotions from Arkansas to Bill Watts' Mid-South wrestling, to Memphis, to Southeastern Championship Wrestling where he was a multi-time NWA U.S. Junior heavyweight champion.  Bill Ash is not a name you hear mentioned very often but wrestling fans should give Bill Ash more credit than he's ever gotten for his career as a junior heavyweight wrestler.

Bill Dundee

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Bill Dundee isn't included in any of the major pro wrestling Halls of Fame primarily because he spent most of his career in the Memphis territory.  He did occasionally travel to other promotions like Mid-South, Florida, and even a stint as a manager in WCW, but largely his in-ring career was spent in Memphis.  Bill Dundee is small by pro wrestler standards but he is an outstanding brawler and a brilliant booker as well.  Bill Dundee was perfect for the Memphis area where size wasn't as important as WWE and the fans wanted more realism in their wrestling. Ask any fan in the mid-southern United States who Bill Dundee is and they will tell you he was one of the best stars of the 1970s and 1980s.

Bill Irwin

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It's actually amazing that a wrestler who wrestled as frequently as Bill Irwin and in as many different territories as Bill Irwin didn't end up on one of the major pro wrestling Halls of Fame.  Bill Irwin was everywhere in the 1980s. Sometimes under a mask as the Super Destroyer, sometimes in a tag team combination with his brother Scott Irwin.  "Wild" Bill Irwin wrestled for World Class Championship Wrestling frequently during the time they had syndication, the AWA during the time they were on ESPN, on Mid-South wrestling during the peak of it's popularity, and many other places.  He even had a stint in WWF / WWE as the forgettable character The Goon.  Bill Irwin deserves far more recognition

Bill Tabb

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It is baffling that "Big" Bill Tabb wasn't a bigger star than he was. You can regularly see Bill Tabb as an enhancement worker on World Championship Wrestling on TBS back in the mid-1980s.  The problem wasn't that he was an enhancement wrestler because we are certainly honoring many of them on this list.  The problem was he didn't look like an enhancement wrestler.  Bill Tabb was big, strong, and muscular.  He looked like a guy who, with the right gimmick, could have been pushed as a star.  A few promotions at the dying end of the territorial era tried to push him as the Black Assassin (Florida and Continental to name two) but, for whatever reason, "Big" Bill Tabb never broke through to a top level.  He deserved more.

Black Bart

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Ricky "Black Bart" Harris did get a push in a few areas.  He and Ron Bass were a good tag team combo in Florida and had a decent feud in the Mid-Atlantic area.  Black Bart even got an inexplicable run as the World Class World heavyweight champion in 1986.  What is difficult to explain is why Black Bart didn't get over bigger than he did.  Black Bart was big.  He had a good look.  He was very good in the ring for someone of his size.  But Black Bart never really became very popular.  Bart even caught the attention of the WWF who brought him in for a few months but his run there was totally forgettable.  Black Bart is one big tough brawler who deserves more respect than he ever got.

Boris Zhukov

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In the 1960s through the 1980s big brute Russian heels were a dime a dozen.  A few stood out like Ivan and Nikita Koloff.  However, while not as popular or famous as Ivan or Nikita Koloff, Jim Nelson played a consistently successful Russian brute named Boris Zhukov (or Boris Zurkoff, or Boris Zhukoff depending on the area and whims of the promoter doing the spelling.)  Originally, Nelson was a "Private" lackey for Sgt. Slaughter but sometime around 1983 he shaved his somewhat larger than average head, to become a brute Russian.  He eventually landed in the AWA where he co-held the AWA World tag team titles and then, from there, to the WWF / WWE to team with Nicolai Volkoff as the Bolsheviks.  Boris Zhukov might not have reached the levels of fame as his other questionable countrymen but he was a solid wrestler to have on your roster who deserves more respect than he gets.

Brad Armstrong

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Brad Armstrong embodies everything about this list.  Brad Armstrong, the second generation wrestler and son of WWE Hall of Fame member Bob Armstrong, isn't in any major Hall of Fame because his accomplishments never reached those standards.  He never worked in the WWE (except for a few weeks as an agent).  However, when you ask a wrestler from the 1980s and 1990s who the best workers in the ring were, Brad Armstrong's name is almost always mentioned.  Brad Armstrong was fluid in the ring. Agile. His motion was smooth and athletic.  He sometimes gets criticized as uncharismatic but I have seen Brad Armstrong cut some blistering promos as good as anyone's when he was motivated.  Brad Armstrong should be on any aspiring wrestler's short list of people to study in the business and he deserves a ton more respect and recognition than he ever got.

Brian Blair

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Brian Blair is best known for the time he spent in Florida, Mid-South, and nationally in the WWF / WWE as one half of the tag team of the Killer Bees with Jim Brunzell in the mid-1980s. Brian Blair is one of those wrestlers who was a good all around worker but never a world title contender or top national name.  Still, he is one of those wrestlers that every roster needed and was a good all around worker.  I'm not sure that Brian Blair is a wrestler I would build a territory around but he is certainly one I would want in my area to make sure match quality was good and he's someone you could depend on.  Brian Blair is a smart guy with a good heart and deserves more respect than he's ever gotten.

Brickhouse Brown

Recently Brickhouse Brown passed away following a long battle with cancer.  I had the pleasure to speak to Brickhouse Brown regularly in the early 2000s on the southern pro wrestling independent scene.  Brickhouse Brown was a nice guy who always put in a good performance.  He often put over the younger up and coming wrestlers.  I saw virtually all of Brickhouse Brown's career from the time he started in the early 1980s in Texas and the pushes he got in Memphis and Continental.  Brickhouse Brown was never a major national name and, during his prime, he was a little on the small side but he was always entertaining and I found him a pleasure to do business with.  Brickhouse Brown doesn't need to become one of those names forgotten to wrestling history even if he was never a major star on a national level.

Buddy Landell

Buddy Landell had all the potential in the world but, time and time again, he blew it.  He was also entirely self aware of this.  I got to know Buddy Landell in the early 2000's when he and I struck up a conversation at an independent wrestling show.  We swapped phone numbers and talked pretty regularly for several years.  Unfortunately, life takes you in different directions and I fell out of contact with him in the years before he died.  Buddy was always vividly aware that, had he kept his personal demons in check, his career might have been even higher profile than it was.  Buddy never achieved that Hall of Fame level career but he deserves more respect than he gets.

Bull Buchanan

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I don't think Bull Buchanan likes me.  During my short and completely unremarkable career in the mid-1990s as an independent pro wrestler in Alabama my first interaction with Bull Buchanan was being powerbombed by him.  At the time he was wrestling as Lord Humongous (one of many) and he came into the ring following my match and destroyed all of us with a powerbomb.  He didn't speak to me before, during, nor after the match.  Years later, after Buchanan had already been to the WWF / WWE for his run up there I ran into Buchanan looking for the arena he was supposed to wrestle in.  I told him I would show him the way and he followed me there.  He never said "hello" nor "thank you" nor anything.  I even mentioned we had a friend in common, another wrestler who doesn't get the respect he deserves named Jack Lord.  To this Bull Buchanan responded... nothing. Never even sold it for a minute.  Well, Bull Buchanan may not like me but he was a huge missed opportunity by the wrestling business.  He should have been a much bigger star than he was.  I'm sure he'd have nothing to say to that.

Butch Reed

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In the early 1980s I thought Butch Reed was going to be the biggest thing to ever hit pro wrestling and I had never even seen him.  I read about his match in the Mid-South area against the NWA World heavyweight champion Ric Flair in the Apter magazines and they sold him like a million bucks.  Years later, I was finally able to see that match on tape and several of his Mid-South matches and he was incredible.  By the time I finally got to see him on television he was in his unmotivated WWF / WWE run.  A short time later he was in WCW teaming with Ron Simmons as Doom.  While he was exceptional in that role he never struck me as "future world champion" the way he did during those earlier Mid-South days.  It's too bad he somehow got sidetracked or knocked off course because I thought Butch Reed was amazing during that early Mid-South run.

Chavo Guerrero, Jr.

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This third generation member of the legendary Guerrero family is often over shadowed by his uncle Eddie Guerrero with whom he teamed in WWE for a hot run during an exciting period for the company.  But Chavo Guerrero, Jr. is a great wrestler in his own right.  Chavo Guerrero, Jr. might not have had the incredible charisma that Eddie Guerrero had, still, Chavo was a work horse in the ring and was one of the most solid and consistent in-ring performers of his era.  The reason Chavo doesn't get the respect his deserves is that he came along in an era packed with standout junior heavyweights like Eddie, as well as, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, Ultimo Dragon, Jushin Liger, Rey Misterio, and many more.  The Los Guerreros may have had the tag line of "They Lie, They Cheat, They Steal" but the only crime Chavo Guerrero, Jr. is guilty of is not getting the respect he deserves.

Chris Kanyon

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Chris Kanyon worked his way up from the lower cards to be a featured performer in the later years of WCW.  Unfortunately, these were the crazy Vince Russo years filled with incoherent storylines, stunts, and a blur of forgettable crash TV segments. After WWE bought WCW, Chris Kanyon was brought in but never really got his footing and a serious injury set him back to a degree he never really came back from.  WWE completely dropped the ball in featuring Kanyon after he returned from his injury.  There was interest in him and he could have had a compelling comeback story.  He was one of the earliest openly gay wrestlers and his story was a fascinating one but, instead, he just floundered until ultimately being released.  Sadly, Chris Kanyon's mental health spiraled downward until he ultimately took his own life.  Kanyon never got the respect he deserved as a wrestler, a character, or a person and doesn't need to be forgotten.

Christopher Daniels

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Christopher Daniels spent many years as a wrestler who was very respected, excellent in the ring, and flying under the radar.  Neither WWE nor WCW ever really picked up on him despite doing work for each.  It was in TNA that he finally got the push he deserved.  Unfortunately, TNA was never going to grow to a level big enough to give the Fallen Angel the stage he deserved to be featured on.  All hardcore pro wrestling fans know who Christopher Daniels is.  They know if he is on a show he will be in one of the best matches.  They known he is a standout wrestler.  Unfortunately, Christopher Daniels is probably never going to be in any of the major Halls of Fame.  He just never got the chance to wrestle long enough in a promotion large enough to put him in that class and that is why Christopher Daniels deserves more respect than he gets.

Dan Severn

Dan "The Beast" Severn was an MMA pioneer.  Roaring onto the scene at UFC IV and becoming a multiple time champion there.  Dan Severn was also a pro wrestler.  Following his impressive showing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, he won the NWA World heavyweight title but it was during a period of time that the NWA World title was essentially a minor independent belt just struggling for survival.  Dan Severn did get a short run in the WWF but it was totally forgettable.  This is really too bad because Dan Severn is guilty only of being a man out of time.  Had Dan Severn came along at any point from 1850 to the 1970s he would probably be remembered as one of the toughest, greatest, and most legitimate world champions of all times.  As an actual shoot pro wrestler he far overshadowed Lou Thesz and many of the other legendary champions of old.  Heck, probably only Jack Brisco was in his league as a real wrestler.  Dan Severn has never gotten the respect he deserves as a pro wrestler only because he came along at a time when being a cartoon character was more important than the legitimacy of your skills.

Danny Davis

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"Nightmare" Danny Davis trained (sort of) under the vicious Roy Welch.  Actually, Roy Welch used a wrestling school as a scam to get people to work on his farm and actually pay him to do so.  It was a pretty genius move and I don't believe anyone actually lasted very long except for one guy- Danny Davis.  Davis proved himself mentally and physically tough.  The downside, however, was that Davis was short.  WWE nor WCW ever came calling but Danny Davis still had a solid career in a lot of places including Calgary Stampede and Memphis.  He was teamed up with second generation wrestler Ken Wayne under masks as The Nightmares (in some places they were also The Galaxians).  However, it was under Roy Welch's grandson Ron Fuller's Southeastern Championship Wrestling (which morphed into Continental Wrestling while Davis was there) that Danny Davis found his biggest success not only as one half of The Nightmares, but later as a top level babyface and, at times, even the top star of the promotion in it's later days.  He went on to found Ohio Valley Wrestling which turned out tons of top stars as a WWE developmental territory including John Cena, Batista, Brock Lesnar, and many more.  Yes, as you can well see, Danny Davis deserves far more recognition than he gets.

Dave "Fit" Finlay

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David "Fit" Finlay had a remarkable and long career stretching from the rough and rugged British wrestling scene to the flash and glamour of the height of the Monday Night War.  Fit Finlay was a standout star in WCW during the Nitro era and then became one of the more successful former WCW alumni in WWE once they purchased the company.  Any match that Fit Finlay wrestled in generally stood out on the card as an above average affair and Fit Finlay went on to transition out of the ring to being a producer and training most of the best women wrestlers of the last fifteen years.  So why is it that Fit Finlay isn't talked about in the same breath as many of his contemporaries?  Maybe it's because he wasn't a flashy high-flier like Rey Misterio.  Maybe it's because he didn't attain cult status in ECW like Dean Malenko or Chris Benoit.  I don't know.  But what I do know is that Fit Finlay deserves more credit than he gets.

David Schultz

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"Stone Cold" Steve Austin was one of the biggest stars in the history of the pro wrestling business.  His character was one any every-man could get behind.  He was simply a tough dude.  Well, before Steve Austin there was "Dr. D" David Schultz, a mean redneck from Tennessee who earned his stripes working the road in the deep south.  He was part of a great tag team with a pre-Midnight Express Dennis Condrey.  He had a good run in Southeastern Wrestling and Calgary Stampede before becoming a main event level wrestler in the AWA.  Of course, much of his infamy came from an incident that happened prior to WrestleMania I while in the WWF when he slapped 20/20 reporter John Stossel across the face. Twice.  Schultz's career largely ended after that but he went on to be one of probably only two bounty hunters you ever heard of (one look at Dog the Bounty Hunter will tell you that he was probably a David Schultz fan).  David Schultz isn't remembered to anywhere near the degree that Steve Austin is and it makes you wonder what if the Stossel incident had been handled differently.

Dick Murdoch

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It's hard to believe that Dick Murdoch is not in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.  In fact, for many years Dick Murdoch has kind of been regarded as the watermark for those who get in and those who don't.  If your career is more successful than Dick Murdoch you get in and if it isn't then you don't.  It seems like a lot of people don't take Dick Murdoch seriously... including himself and that is the problem.  More than one wrestler has said that Dick Murdoch could have been an NWA World champion if he didn't ham it up so much.  But Murdoch couldn't help himself.  He liked to have a good time and that's why, it's very likely, he never got the respect that perhaps he deserved as an in-ring talent.  Then there is the elephant in the room.  Dick Murdoch likely isn't getting into any Hall of Fame in this era of social justice.  Dick Murdoch apparently held some very racially hateful attitudes or, at least, openly joked about them (with Murdoch you might not know the serious from the comedy) but in this era those remarks would likely keep most from voting for him.  

Dick Slater

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One thing that most wrestlers from the 1970s and 1980s agree on is that Dick Slater was tough as nails.  Apparently, he was a street fighting legend in Florida.  In the wrestling ring he copied one of the greatest wrestlers of all time - Terry Funk.  If you are going to copy any wrestler then Terry Funk is about as good a choice as any.  I'm not sure why Dick Slater never racked up the accolades you might expect.  He never seemed to stay in any one place long enough.  He did have a stint in the WWF as the regrettable "Rebel" Dick Slater and was part of the Stud's Stable in the early 1990s WCW before severe back problems laid his career low.  But for a period of time, Dick Slater seemed to be one of the best.

Don Bass

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"Outlaw" Don Bass isn't known very well outside of the Memphis area and that's too bad.  He and his "brother" Ron Bass along with "mother" Ma Bass had quite an act on the Gulf Coast.  But it was in the Memphis area that he became a literally every-man type wrestler who worked as different characters, often with partner Roger Smith, depending on what the territory needed at the time including The Assassin, the masked Fire, a Medic, and the cult favorite singing cowboy Don Bass.  Don Bass was a great person to have on the Memphis roster and he played many roles.  I met Don Bass a number of years ago and he was still a very good in-ring wrestler who, sadly, has now passed away.

Don Fargo

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Jackie Fargo is a legend in the Memphis area but one of the "Fargos" that doesn't get the respect he deserves is the late Don Fargo.  Don Fargo wrestled all over the United States under a variety of names and gimmicks.  But, no matter if he was a Fargo or a Dalton or something else entirely, Don Fargo looked like the toughest guy you've ever met and he was a solid professional.  Don Fargo had great runs in Texas, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes area, and even wrestled in the AWA during the ESPN era.  Don Fargo lived several lifetimes.  Before his death he released a biography titled "Hardway" that is worth reading by any pro wrestling fan.

Don Kernodle

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Along with tag team partner Sgt. Slaughter, Don Kernodle drew huge crowds in the early 1980s to the Mid-Atlantic area.  Slaughter & Kernodle were NWA World tag team champions and their feud with Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood is still the stuff of legends.  So, how does one go from being so popular that they are literally causing traffic jams to buy a ticket to see them to virtually forgotten? Well, politics of course.  It seems later regimes in the Mid-Atlantic territory had other plans that didn't involve Don Kernodle who ended up getting phased out.  Kernodle had a forgettable run in the WWF as well and he ended up becoming involved in auto racing and leaving pro wrestling behind.  It's too bad because Don Kernodle was a solid wrestler and a star and it's amazing in hindsight that other areas didn't pick up on him.

Doug Furnas

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Almost every ingredient was there for Doug Furnas to become a huge superstar in pro wrestling.  He was an elite level athlete.  He was one of the strongest men alive but not too big.  In fact, he was exceptionally agile for someone with his freakish strength.  He got his first big break in the Knoxville area and later formed an exceptional tag team with Dan Kroffat in Japan.  It seems like no one could ever figure out exactly what to do with Doug Furnas.  He wasn't a giant that could be pushed like a strongman despite the fact he was stronger than most of the strongmen in wrestling.  He also got labeled with an unfairly misleading "boring" reputation which turned into his gimmick during his short time in the WWF / WWE.  Doug Furnas should have stood out far more than he did and never really got the respect he deserved.

Dustin Rhodes / Goldust

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Dustin Rhodes is a well known superstar to be sure.  Certainly everyone knows who Goldust is.  So why is he on a list of wrestlers who don't get the respect they deserve?  Because as well known as Dustin Rhodes is he deserves far more credit than he ever gets.  In the early 1990s it seemed a certainty that Dustin Rhodes would be a world heavyweight champion like his father Dusty Rhodes.  He was tall and big and a well rounded wrestler.  His interviews were good.  It seemed everything was in place he just needed some seasoning.  But pro wrestling changed and no one was looking for an old school cowboy world champion any more.  So, the WWF changed him in a way that originally looked like it would destroy Dustin Rhodes.  They gave him the bizarre gender bending shock character Goldust and, instead of destroying his career, Dustin Rhodes make it work.  But Goldust never got a world title run.  He was a solid upper card wrestler but never the person whom the promotion revolved around.  Dustin never got that world title level run that his early career seemed to suggest was only a matter of time and it's too bad because as famous as Dustin Rhodes became he actually deserved even more.

Dutch Mantel

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Hailing from Oil Trough, TX is the one and only Dutch Mantel... actually he isn't the one and only. There was an old school wrestler from back in the 1930s and 40s named Dutch Mantel who also probably doesn't get the respect he deserves either.  But the Dutch Mantel we are honoring here was never someone who was going to be the world heavyweight champion.  No one was going to build a promotion long term around Dutch Mantel.  But Dutch Mantel had a brilliant mind for the wrestling business and was a valuable part of every card he ever wrestled on.  Dutch Mantel likely is best known for his time in Memphis where he was part of innumerable memorable wrestling angles.  He also had a great run in Continental wrestling and in WCW as part of the Kansas Jayhawks tag team with Bobby Jaggers.  Mantel went on to be a booker in many areas including Puerto Rico and TNA.  Modern day fans known him well as the God fearing American patriot Jeb Coulter.

Eddie Gilbert

El Mongol

Elix Skipper

Eric Embry

Gregory Helms

Gypsy Joe

Jacques Rougeau

Jerry Blackwell

Jerry Bryant

Jerry Lynn

Jerry Stubbs / Mr. Olympia

Jim Brunzell

Jimmy Golden

Jimmy Valiant

Joel Deaton

John Morrison

Jos LeDuc


Ken Lucas

Ken Shamrock

Ken Timbs

King Kong Bundy

Lance Storm

Lanny Poffo

Larry Latham

Les Thornton

Marc Mero / Johnny B. Badd

Masked Superstar

Mike Awesome

Mike Jackson

Mongolian Stomper

Mr. Wrestling II

Nat Pendelton

Norvell Austin

Pat Rose

Porkchop Cash

Randy Colley / Moondog Rex

Randy Rose

Rick Gibson

Rick Martel

Rip Rogers

Robert Fuller

Roberto Soto

Roger Smith

Ron Bass

Ron Garvin

Ron Fuller

Ron Starr

Ron Wright

Sid Vicious

Scott Norton

Sputnik Monroe

Steve Casey

The Fantastics

The Grappler

Thunderbolt Patterson

Tojo Yamamoto

Tom Prichard

Tommy Rich

Tony Anthony

Tracy Smothers

Whitey Caldwell

Woody Strode

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