Top 20 Wrestlers in WWF history to have never won the belt: #15-11
by, 12-01-2011 at 11:45 AM (6048 Views)
For the previous entry in this series, wrestlers 20-16, check out my member profile links.
15. Ravishing Rick Rude
Closest he ever came: SummerSlam, August '90
Unlike many other of the names on this list, in relation to the waxing and waning of Hogan's runs with the belt, Rude's timing couldn't have been better. After making his debut with the company shortly after Wrestlemania 3, the penultimate moment of Hulkamania, Rude went on to have a successful two year+ run with the WWF . He was engaged in the memorable feud with Jake "The Snake" Roberts and even defeated The Ultimate Warrior for the Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania 5. He could work in the ring, had a unique look, almost unparalleled mic skills to go with his villainous gimmick of insulting the crowd. So despite the Warrior's popularity during his run as champ, you could almost taste a possible Rick Rude steel cage title win at SummerSlam 1990. In the end The Ultimate Warrior won, thereby closing the book on Rude's career with the WWF, a career that easily could have included if even only a short run as world champ.
14. Scott Hall (aka Razor Ramon)
Closest he ever came: Royal Rumble, Jan. '93
A self-proclaimed jobber, Hall has never made it a secret that he was always interested more in making money than accolades. This same sentiment is pretty much shared by anyone who has ever worked in the business. This is pro wrestling after all, not the Olympics. That said this doesn't mean that we can simply ignore just how good Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall was during his time with the WWF, because he was good, he was real good. You name it, he had it. Razor opposed some of the WWF's biggest names during his time, including Macho Man Randy Savage, Bret "Hitman" Hart and Shawn Michaels. Ramon is best remembered for his feud with Shawn for the Intercontinental Title, but before that feud ever began Ramon was involved in a feud with Bret, culminating in a main event world title match at The Royal Rumble in 1993 that Razor didn't win.
13. Kerry Von Erich
Closest he ever came: Royal Rumble, Jan. '92
An immediate sensation upon returning to the WWF in 1990 (he had a very short stint with the company in 1980-81), it didn't take Kerry long to win the Intercontinental Title in defeating the great Curt Hennig. Kerry had as successful a two year run without actually having won a world title as anyone else who hadn't can lay claim to in the WWF. Kerry's problem, however, was that he was a Von Erich, and therefore not a creation of Vince's - always a handicap. Kerry had a few other things working against him as well (which we won't go into here), but nevertheless, no one can deny what a superb wrestling talent Kerry was. He was made for the business. He had the pedigree, the look, the skills and the athleticism. The Texas Tornado easily could have taken the proverbial ball that is the WWE World Title and ran with it and nobody could have second guessed the choice. In fact, they would have been lauded for it. It was at the Royal Rumble in '92, the one where the winner was to be awarded the vacant title, where Kerry came closest. Never once did he receive a one-on-one title match. He was eliminated by the eventual winner Ric Flair and relegated to mid-card status for the remainder of his WWF career.
12. Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff
Closest he ever came: "Saturday Night's Main Event" Jan. '87
Of all the wrestlers to have been overshadowed by Hulk Hogan and Hulkamania there was none whose career path was more drastically altered had Hogan never come back to New York than Paul Orndorff's. This is symbolized by the very fact that Orndorff's debut with the company was the night at the Garden in which Hogan defeated Sheik for the title. Had Hogan never returned to the WWF from the AWA it would have been Orndorff in all likelihood to be earmarked as the company's next golden boy. He looked like a Greek god chiseled out of marble, he had better technical skill than Hogan, and is a locker room legend, as he is considered perhaps the toughest and scariest in terms of a shoot than anyone else outside of Haku (legend holds that he kicked the crap out of Vader during an argument in WCW which led to Vader's leaving the company for the WWF - a feat made all the more impressive due to the fact that one of Orndorff's arms was in a sling due to a previous injury at the time). Hogan did return, however, and quite frankly - Orndorff wasn't the co-star of 1982's box office sensation Rocky III, Hulk Hogan was. Orndorff was instead forced to play the heel - a role which he excelled in. His on-again-off-again feud with Hogan culminated in a steel cage main event match in January of 1987 on "Saturday Night's Main Event" where Hogan and Orndorff each climbed over the cage and hit the ground at the same time. This resulted in the match restarting and Hogan eventually winning cleanly. So close for Mr. Wonderful, and yet so far.
11. The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
Closest he ever came: Wrestlemania IV, 1988
He had the Vince McMahon-snobby-millionaire gimmick before McMahon embodied it ten years later. A tremendous technical wrestler and one of the all-time great heels DiBiase returned to the WWF in late '87 with all kinds of heat (he was a regular mid-carder in the late 70s, and in 1979 was even the man who faced Hogan in his first ever match in the WWF). His promo skills and fan humiliation segments coupled with his in-ring ability helped carve out a legendary run for DiBiase. In fact, DiBiase is the best wrestler in WWF history to have never won the World Title nor the Intercontinental Title (in the IC belt era of course). The closest DiBiase ever came was in the main event tournament finale against Macho Man Randy Savage at Wrestlemania IV early in his big run with the WWF. Savage won the match and DiBiase was never quite able to capture the same heat or main event status he had his first year with the company - an almost unfair and impossible task considering how much heat he had initially. He was a great wrestler and an even greater character, one who never quite reached the mountain top.