The Rock

Top 10 WWE Superstars (using the Mitchamore scale)

Recently, it has come popular to try and rank to top 10 wrestlers in WWE history based off of various scales, ranking systems, etc. There are dozens of ways to determine who had the best run in their WWE career, including time on top, mic skills, mat skills, title reigns, Wrestlemania headlining matches, etc. For me, if I were using my own scale, I would rank on 5 categories:

1) Ownership of Character – because at the end of the day, you have to be a great character to make it in the industry.
2) Storytelling ability – once your character is established, you must be able to tell the story, work with other characters, and complete the ultimate ending of a storyline.
3) In-ring ability – that story must be told and executed in the ring.
4) Mic skills – If you have it, you have it. If you don’t you need a mouth piece. If you don’t have either, you aren’t going to be great.
5) Value to WWE – Do you sell PPV’s, merchandise, and ultimate capture the PR the WWE is looking for.

For this article, I am going to use the Mitchamore Scale, thought up by Blake Mitchamore (@BlakeAaron73)…

His scale took in to account the following…

1. Longevity- How long was there run on the top?

2. In Ring Ability

3. Mic-Work – How good were they with the stick in their hands.

4. Mainstream appeal – Were they just big in the wrestling world or did they break out to the mainstream?

5. Flexibility- Could they reinvent themselves? Did they have multiple runs on top or were they the same exact character throughout their career?

6. Wrestlemania- How many Wrestlemania were they in one of the main event matches on the card?

* Tie Breaker- I used Wrestlemania main events as the tie breaker.

Using this ranking system, here is the way I ranked a short list of superstars. Once they were out of contention, I cut them. Those stars included Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, Andre the Giant, Kane, Edge, Batista, Mick Foley, Warrior, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar (due to longevity alone). I didn’t feel CM Punk deserved to be considered.

Hulk Hogan – 9,5,9,8,7,10 = 48… Yes, he was terrible at #2, average is a compliment. Remember, this is WWE, not WCW – so #5 shows no real change (he wasn’t a heel during his main WWE run).

Bret Hart – 8,9,7,6,7,7 = 43… Bret really never crossed over in to the “mainstream” media. He was shaky on the mic in my opinion.

Steve Austin – 9,7,8,7,8,9 = 48… Austin was good in the ring, not great. He can’t be a 9 or 10 on the mic because that is for the best, he wasn’t the “best”.

Undertaker – 8,7,6,5,8,10 = 44… Taker’s career has been extended in the last 5-7 years by fighting a limited schedule. I wouldn’t say he was ever “mainstream”. He is however, one of two that I rank at the top of the Wrestlemania scale, 21 … and 1.

The Rock – 9,8,10,10,8,9 = 54… Longevity might be a bit too polite, but even if I drop it 1, that puts him at 53 overall. He worked the mic like no other and, he crossed over like no other. For the overrating he may have gotten from me in longevity, he was underscored in flexibility (should be 9). Heel/face, it doesn’t matter!

Shawn Michaels – 10,9,8,7,8,10 = 52… HBK was a lifer, he was almost perfect in ring – until his back caught up. He was sneaky good on the mic and, well, he is Mr. Wrestlemania!

Triple H – 9,8,8,7,8,8 = 48… Sorry Blake, Triple H isn’t #1. Is is very good though. He wasn’t a lifer, but he is locked in for life now. He’s technical in ring and better than good on the mic. Mainstream – no. He was flexible in character and lost 3 times to Undertaker at Wrestlemania!

John Cena – 10,7,8,8,7,9 = 49… He’s a lifer, in-ring, well… and he’s held the company above water the past decade.

Randy Orton – 8,8,7,8,8,8 = 47… Randy Orton just gets it done. If it weren’t for John Cena, Orton’s legacy would be something much greater. Orton and Cena could have been Rock and Austin part 2, but it wasn’t.

Chris Jericho – 7,8,8,7,7,8 = 45… Y2J was under-appreciated, both in WCW and WWE. Vince saw his potential, which is why he was the first undisputed WWE Champion. That said, he had a shorter run, left and came back as a part timer. He was I.C. champ 750 times, tag partner with 50 guys, and he had the red carpet debut with the Rock. I find it hard to rank him above Undertaker, which is why I think this scale and system needs adjusted.

All that said, here are my top ten according to the Mitchamore Scale.

10. Bret Hart (43)
9. Undertaker (44)
8. Chris Jericho (45)
7. Randy Orton (47)
6. Triple H (lost tiebreaker to Austin based on Mania) (48)
5. Steve Austin (lost tiebreaker to Hogan based on Mania) (48)
4. Hulk Hogan (48)
3. John Cena (49)
2. Shawn Michaels (52)
1. The Rock (54)

NOW, on to the scale I mentioned above –

Bret Hart – 8,7,9,7,7 = 38… He was the Hitman, he owned the character, but he never took it to the next level. He was OK at telling stories, at best. He was damn near perfect in ring, shaky on the mic and ultimately never gave the WWE the ROI they had hoped for.

Undertaker – 9,9,7,7,9 = 41… The reason for the knock down here is when he cut his hair and became a damn biker! He told great stories, was very good for a big man in the ring, could speak when needed – but had Paul Bearer, and he sold millions of Wrestlemania buys, thus of great value.

Chris Jericho – 8,7,8,9,8 = 39… He played too much with his character in my opinion, but made up for it with mic skills. He was a fantastic worker and, like mentioned above, was very transparent. That Rock debut again, didn’t hurt his cause!

Randy Orton – 8,7,8,8,8 = 39… Much of the same as Jericho. Had a chance to be great, but he had John Cena to deal with – stole his thunder. Also, a few suspensions didn’t help his cause.

Triple H – 8,8,8,9,8 = 41… Hunter was very good, just not GREAT in any specific area. He was consistent, and his mic skills in DX gave him a great asset.

Steve Austin – 9,9,8,9,10 = 45… Austin’s character was brilliant and that’s the bottom line! He sold the storyline, was pretty damn good in ring, worked the mic like a champ and his value was top.

Hulk Hogan – 10,9,7,9,10 = 45… So he is tied with Austin, we will break that later. His only flaw was in-ring to me. He didn’t everything else the American way. He headlined the biggest events – Andre, Savage, Warrior, Slaughter. He even came back and work a great one with the Rock (see what I did there?!).

John Cena – 8,8,7,7,10 = 40… Imagine Cena in the Hogan era, what could have been between those two! You could have gotten away with turning Cena heel! That said, Cena is bland to me over time. He really isn’t special in-ring, but his value is second to none, tied with the best.

Shawn Michaels – 9,8,9,8,9 = 43… If it weren’t for injuries, HBK would rank higher. Sorry, but it’s part of the game. He wasn’t durable enough to be on top – but he is still one of the best.

The Rock – 9,9,8,10,10 = 46… Dwayne recreated the way to succeed in the industry. His character was awesome, heel or face. He told a story in the ring and on the mic. His only hitch, to me, was that he was very very good in ring, but others were better, which is why I gave him an 8. His mic skills, yeah. Value, double yeah.

So lets break down this top ten…

10. Bret Hart (38)
9. Randy Orton (39)
8. Chris Jericho (40t)
7. John Cena (40t) – overall value is greater than Jericho
6. Triple H (41t)
5. Undertaker (41t) – this is a judgement on what he DID for the WWE, not what he WILL DO in the future
4. Shawn Michaels (43)
3. Hulk Hogan (45t)
2. Steve Austin (45t) – Hogan created it with Vince, Austin executed it with Vince.
1. The Rock (46)

Now, lets compare my rankings and the Mitchamore scale to come up with an average and comparison.

    Wrestler – Mitchamore/Gulish

Bret Hart – 10/10
Randy Savage – 9/NR
Randy Orton – NR/9
Chris Jericho – 8/8
John Cena – 7/7
Steve Austin – 6/2
The Rock – 5/1
Hulk Hogan – 4/3
Shawn Michaels – 3/4
Undertaker – 2/5
Triple H 1/6

The average ranking would appear as follows –

10t – Savage/Orton
9 – Bret Hart
8 – Chris Jericho
7 – John Cena
6 – Steve Austin
5t – Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, HHH
1 – The Rock

Overall, the results are similar. Each wrestler has their value for each ranking. My problem with the Mitchamore scale rating Triple H 1 and Undertaker 2 is the fact that the Undertaker is 3-0 at Wrestlemania vs. Triple H. Our biggest differing of opinion is Steve Austin and The Rock. However, both scales for me show greater value for those two wrestlers.

It’s all a matter of opinion, but the top 10 is a great list and a good place to start. Who would be the WWE Mt. Rushmore? This is just WWE in the past 20 years – imagine if we added WCW, NWA, and all the other territories and great wrestlers. Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Harley Race, Terry Funk, Sting, Dusty Rhodes.

The interesting thing about the combo scale is the 4-way tie for 2nd/ or 5th. Hogan was Mr. Wrestlemania, Michaels became Mr. Wrestlemania, Undertaker is 21-1 at Wrestlemania and HHH one day will book (w/out Vince) Wrestlemania.

What are your thoughts? Leave comments below or let me know on Twitter @BrianGulish

Advertisements

The Stumble in the Rumble!

Off the heels of the best ending segment to RAW in a long……….. long time, and a perfect triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (or WWE Championship, or WWE Title – depending on which superstar or talking head is on the mic), the WWE couldn’t screw up – could they? They couldn’t possibly do the unthinkable and ruin the most anticipated night in many moons – could they?

YES, they could!

I am not upset by the fact that Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble, or the fact that many WWE fans all act like petulant and immature crybabies – what, did everyone in attendance in Philadelphia and watching on the WWE Network expect a hug and free gear from Triple H for crying? THERE’S NO CRYING IN WRESTLING!

Hell, I’m not even upset that the under card wasn’t even suitable for WCW Thunder.

I am upset that the WWE had the ball – fully inflated, in hand and… dropped it, or deflated and let all the air out!

Kane and the Big Show – yeah, because they were REALLY going to main event w/ Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. Sure, Rusev – the Russian bull who is unstoppable was left but, they pretty much ruined that as well. The anti-American was actually cheered to win the damn thing by the time it was down to him and Roman Reigns.

Dolph Zigger – wasted, Dean Ambrose, yep – same. Ryback, Bray Wyatt (who I actually was behind in this match and expected great things from), and yes, DANIEL BRYAN all were made to look of no value to the WWE by night’s end. How could something SO promising be SO disappointing in the end?

HELL, a recent TNA talent was one of the top 3 moments of the Rumble!

As Bray was cleaning house, the EASIEST card for WWE to play would have been Bo Dallas coming to the ring and going toe-to-toe with his real-life brother. We aren’t idiots, we know they are brothers. And don’t say – “you have to separate fantasy from reality.” Because if that’s the case, WWE24 wouldn’t air tonight with all the backstage footage from Wrestlemania 30. And once Bo and Bray would have been going blow for blow, who would have been best to play mediator? How about their father, IRS?! How can I book that and WWE not? Is there no value in that? You could have then had the brothers eliminate the father, and told him to pay his taxes!

Miz and Mizdow – yep, ball deflated yet again.

The Bunny should have eliminated Adam Rose, although the Rosebuds saving Kofi and not Rose was OK, at best.

Why not utilize ALL 30 spots with big names, not c-list stars which included…

R-Truth, Curtis Axel/Erick Rowan (and all of us will save breath even trying to explain his role), Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd, Titus O’Neil, The Boogeyman (of all the surprises you could have had), and Fandango. Those superstars occupied 7 of the 30 spots! Those 7 spots could have been filled by….

Bo Dallas, IRS, Randy Orton, the Bunny, the American Dream (see Bo/Bray – imagine if Dusty would have come out in a bodysuit and face paint!), John Cena and Seth Rollins.

Yes, Bo and IRS as previous noted, the Bunny as well. The American Dream, see above. Orton could have returned to eliminate and jump start feud with Rollins, and John Cena just because. No need even for Sting or the Rock… actually, let’s talk Dwayne Johnson.

A) I have been an advocate of bringing him in to HELP, not be Roman Reigns! Mentor him, work on his mic skills, and yes – save him from an attack. BUT, to have him come out to try and silence the boos, not smart. The Rock was booed. The post-show interview was trash. The Rock even noted on Instagram – “Booed the hell out of my boy.”…

B) Why the teasing all day from both the WWE and The Rock? Pictures of the Rock in South Philly, pictures of the Rock and his mom. If they really wanted the Rock to be over and help put Roman over, do it IN the match, not after – which wasn’t actually after since Rusev was playing hide-and-seek outside the ring.

C) No Rock v. Brock, no Rock v. Rusev (insert John Cena), no Rock vs. anyone at Wrestlemania 31. I’m fine with that.

The Royal Rumble had the buzz, the anticipation, and the hope… in the end, the Rumble was a trip and stumble. Tonight’s Raw will be interesting – does Orton return? Does Reigns address the crowd on the mic? He is going to be booed from Hartford to Boston (pending Blizzard Juno), Boston to Pittsburgh (March 9), and Pittsburgh to Santa Clara. Do we hear from Daniel Bryan? Is the only way to fix this is by having Bryan team up with Reigns so the crowd cheers the duo – or would that backfire and play the role of Miz (Reigns) and Mizdow (Bryan).

From the hottest Raw in years to the best title match in well, years… to the Stumble in the Rumble, We are 62 days away from Wrestlemania and it’s already a Rocky road!

When All Else Fails, WWE No Longer SHIELDED From The Truth

Last night, WWE Raw was much more important than initially meets the eye.  With all the struggles of World Wrestling Entertainment recently, including the low subscription numbers for the WWE Network and even lower WWE stock value, last night may have signaled the lowest point of them all – that being the lack of SUCCESSFUL young talent on the WWE roster and in NXT.

There is a distinct difference between being a talented wrestler and a talented superstar.  Being a talented wrestler means you are very good in the ring.  Being a talented superstar means you don’t have to be very good in the ring (although it is a bonus if you are), making up for it with your character, mic skills, and crowd endearment.

It is seemingly apparent to me that the WWE has a crop of talented young wrestlers, but clearly – and dearly, lacks young SUPERSTARS.  For every Bray Wyatt, there is a Bo Dallas.  Unfortunately for WWE, there are a plethora of Bo’s for every Bray.

Since the start of 2013, WWE has force fed many promising young superstars to us.  Fandango, Curtis Axel, Xavier Woods, Rusev, Adam Rose, and Bo Dallas.  Unfortunately, all these stars are one of two things – flavor of the week award winners or “what the hell was that” award winners.

Granted, the WWE has hit a couple home runs, but few game changers to say the least.  Bray Wyatt and the Shield (as a whole) have been sure bets since their debuts.  However, the jury is still out on many other sophomore and junior talents including Cesaro and Big E.

So, after dismantling the grandfathers of Evolution the past two pay-per-views/special events, WWE decides NOW is the time to disband the Shield, or at least relieve them of a member.  (I want to point out that I am not sure why everyone thinks this is the ‘end of the Shield.’  Evolution returned with three members, and one quit, and then Rollins joined if I recall.  So why can’t the Shield move forward with two members, possibly recruiting a third?)  Personally, I think the WWE felt they had no other choice but to unleash a bit of shock and awe in dire times.

If you truly think Seth Rollins is going to steal the spotlight, you are gravely mistaken- at least with Evolution he won’t.  While it may seem like a great idea to team Rollins with the COO of the WWE and the ‘face of the WWE’, how is Rollins expected to standout in a trio (assuming Batista doesn’t return, again) that includes 16 WWE Title and 9 World Heavyweight Championship reigns?

While HHH may give up a bit of the spotlight (I doubt it), Randy Orton is another story.  Since Batista returned to WWE and Evolution reformed after Wrestlemania XXX, Randy Orton has seemingly taken a backseat to all.  Again, please explain to me how this tradeoff will ultimately benefit Rollins?

At the end of the day, I believe the WWE felt they ran out of options.  This was a snap judgement move made due to the extremely thin pool of “superstars” on the current WWE roster.  Honestly, does the WWE have more than a half dozen true superstars?

Sheamus, Bad News Barrett, Rob Van Damn, Cesaro and more are all very good wrestlers and talent, but they lack that extra something special to stand out as a superstar.

For a long time, the WWE was ‘shielded’ from the truth.  They were able to get away with their anorexic roster of superstars, being bailed out by part-timers.  But now, with so many big names and part-timers either injured, retired, contractually taking time off, or quitting, the McMahon-Levesque empire had no other choice but to make a move.  A move that unfortunately has more cons than pros.

Have you asked why Rollins and not Dean Ambrose or Roman Reigns?  It’s a simple answer, with one of the few pros being the fact that Rollins wasn’t a standout in the Shield, those honors went to the “leader” of the pack – Ambrose, and the “chosen one” – Reigns.  So the WWE felt it was best to give Rollins some fresh air, a new start, and a chance to create buzz when they needed to do so in a bad way.  However, I’m afraid I’ve …. no, I don’t want to overuse that line anymore.

If Rollins was 1-C in the Shield, what makes the WWE (or any of you who support the move) believe that he will be anything more than 1-C in Evolution?  And what comes out of this, a tag team match at Money In The Bank between Orton and Rollins vs. Ambrose and Reigns?  In the long run it is more than apparent that Reigns will have a high profile match at Summerslam, likely against Triple H.  Keep in mind, Reigns’ road to Wrestlemania XXXI already is in the fast lane to a potential main event match with whomever the champ is, or with his cousin, The Rock (who could be champ in a potential scenario, but lets beat that drum a different day!).

As for Ambrose, there are many ways his character can evolve, but there is too much meat on the Evolution/Shield bone to simply disband the Shield, now.  Which is again why I ask the question: Why do so many people think that the Shield has disbanded?  They haven’t and they won’t, at least not now.

Has anyone thought of the potential for Batista to return as a face and join the Shield?  For as bad a mistake it was to have Batista return as a face and win the Royal Rumble, this could be the fix the WWE needs for the man with the Red, White and Blue running through his veins!  Joining Ambrose and Reigns would surely give Batista the setting he would need to be a face, just as long as he shaves his head and stays off the mic.

No matter the next step or end result in last nights developments, this shocking twist can’t hide the facts that follows:

Daniel Bryan (WWE WHC) – Injured

CM Punk – MIA

Brock Lesnar – Vacation

Chris Jericho – Rockin’

The Rock – Fast & Furious 48

Undertaker – Defeated

THOSE ARE SUPERSTARS!  They all are currently not available for one reason or another.  And while John Cena is comparable to the sun as he always rises (sure, above hate), the WWE currently has a talent roster comparable to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Florida Marlins, when it needs to be the caliber of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays.

As Rollins’ position on the WWE roster continues to “evolve”, it’s hard to think this is the best blueprint for his potential success.  This could be another example of the WWE not letting the cards play themselves out, rather going all-in with pocket Jacks against pocket Aces and hoping for a bad beat on the river.  If you are going to BELIEVE in something – I think you’d want to NOT BoLieve, but rather continue to BELIEVE in the SHIELD!