You Can't Have a Top-card Without a Mid-Card
October 11, 2006 by David M.
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My name is David, long time reader, first time writer. I've been a wrestling fan for 20 years, and I felt it was high time some one gave the Mid-card ranks a "spot light" so to speak. I will pick one from each of the 4 major companies WWF/E WCW (original)ECW and TNA and then top it off with my personal favorite. I'm enough of a fan-boy to drop even older names, but I'm going to stick with wrestlers that I actually watched while growing up.
ECW: Chris Candido
For me range is pretty important when "marking out" for these mid-card guys. Chris Candido had above average range. True he wasn't a high-flyer and barely a passable brawler, but he was one hell of a wrestler. However range is not limited to just wrestling ability he was one of the few that could really get his story accross in the ring. I believe he made just as good a baby face as he did a heel, which is fairly rare. He was excellent at making his opponent look like a million bucks even when he'd win. He really came into his own as a member of the "Triple threat" I wouldn't say he was fantastic on the mic but certainly better than average. He was one of those guys who kept me just as fascinated with his tag team work as with his singles work. To this day I still watch his matches with Jerry Lynn and Lance Storm with the same excitement as when I first saw them. It always frustrated me that WWF/E treated him the way they did he could have easily been one of the best Intercontinental champions ever. Or heck even him Vs. Bret Hart for the World title ... ah ... I can dream can't I"
WCW: Scott Norton
Scott Norton is the only exception to the range requirement as he is strictly a big brawler, and with less than mediocre mic skills I struggled with this one. What made me choose him was the fact that he scares the crap out of me! This man didn't need mic skills because when he was in the ring you knew what he was all about ... pain! Although he is highly respected in Japan WCW saw fit to keep him bouncing back and forth between jobber and mid-card. Sure he wasn't a highly regarded mat technician but he commanded respect and was a genuine bad ass. His ring persona/presence alone is what gets him on my list. Who could forget the slaughter of Ernest Miller I've never seen a chest so bloody I'm pretty sure even Ric Flair would be afraid of Scott Norton's knife edge chops.
WWF/E: Curt Hennig/Mr. Perfect
I can not say enough good things about Curt Hennig. I don't think the Mr. Perfect gimmick could have possibly been done as well by anyone else. He always took pride in what he was doing whether he was wrestling the Brooklyn Brawler or Bret Hart he always performed as if he were in the main event. Although he was fantastic on the mic I believe having Bobby Heenan as his mouth piece was a great idea, I mean when you're perfect why do you need to say anything" He was my favorite heel for a long time. The fact that he was an amazing performer was just icing on the cake. Come on admit it you tried the "Perfect Plex" on your little brother didn't you" I never understood why WWF/E didn't give him a serious shot at the main event. Sure some of us barely remember him having a forgettable run at Hulk Hogan but he was brought in as a replacement for some one else and it was painfully obvious that he wasn't going to win. He's one of those skillful enough to have his matches stand the test of time. I would gladly put his best matches up against Ricky Steamboat, Terry Funk or Harley Race.
TNA: Christopher Daniels
His tremendous work ethic alone would be enough for him to make my list. In a business where egos run rampant and wrestlers can get awful demanding without giving much in return, it's very refreshing to see some one like Daniels who never complains and busts his butt to make his opponent look as good as himself. I would eagerly state he is one of those that could "Have a terrific match with a broom stick." Although he's sort of been relegated to the more high-flying aspect of his repertoire (because of his value to the X-division), make no mistake he's a very accomplished mat wrestler as well. I find it frustrating that the only reason, I can see, that he's being held back from the world title picture is his size (or lack there of). The only draw back that I've found is his mediocre mic skills, but I still find him far more entertaining than A.J. Styles and yet A.J. got a world title nod.
My favorite: "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
Yes I know, he was in the main event at the first Wrestlemania, but that was the only time he was. Once again range is key. He could easily be a "cool as a cucumber" mat wrestler (Who could forget the show stealing performance with him and Bret Hart for the Intercontinental title in '92) or a wild-eyed brawler (Who could forget the "Back lot brawl" between him and Goldust in which he broke his own hand punching Goldust in the face!). He had a ring presence that made you sad when the match was over. And man, was this guy a promo machine, I'll bet if you list off the greatest promos in WWF/E history you would run into Hot Rod over and over. Often imitated but never duplicated "Piper's Pit" restored my faith in the wrestling promo and was far more entertaining than listening to "Macho Man" ramble on about his thinning hair (in all fairness I can't actually find a promo that contains Randy Savage complaining about his thinning hair). I believe that if it weren't for WWF/E's obsession with big men in the mid 80s - early 90s (look back at the title history with the exception of Macho Man (230lbs.) and The Ultimate Warrior (280lbs) no world champion was under 300 lbs. from 1984 when Hogan won it to 1992 when Ric Flair won it) Hot Rod would have been given a serious contendership, he certainly deserved it. Also look at his cross-over appeal sure almost all his films are B-movies but the quality of his acting, I feel, is definitely better than that of Hulk Hogan or even The Rock.
by David M.
Stephen Hall wrote:
Nice to see a change off some of the top stars in wrestling. I agree the mid-card especially now a days seem far more entertaining that the Main Event. Take Unforgiven this year I really did not care to see Edge vs Cena AGAIN!, but I wanted to see the IC title match and other mid card matches. On your choices for each brand, all were good choices. Im not too sure I would put Piper on a mid card status because he was always in Main Event matches. He just never held championships like Hogan or Savage, but I think he was a Main Eventer in his own right. Perfect was the top of the line mid carder. You could even put him somewhere in the top tier of wrestlers. One person that comes to mind when I think about top of the line Mid Card wrestlers is Lance Storm and Sheldon Benjamin. I would love to see these two face off against each other. I think it would be one of the greatest wrestling matches in a long time.
Good article! At first I questioned Scott Norton being lumped together with some of my favorite wrestlers in Daniels, Piper, Candido and Perfect but your arguement was convincing enough. I never really thought of Piper as a mid carder. Maybe towards the end of his career, but in WCW he main evented some of their biggest drawing ppv's with his matches against Hogan. I agree with every point you made on Daniels with the exception of his mic skills. I think that he is one of the best heels in wrestling today and thats when his mic skills are at their best. But more recently he has been teamed with AJ as a face tag team and his skills on the mic don't translate over as well. \\
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