Top 10 WWE Underdog Stories
*in no particular order*
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Pretty obvious, right? Steve Austin isn’t the best underdog to drink beer and not give a shit. That honor goes to Al Bundy. He’s not even the first underdog. There’s no denying that “Stone Cold” is the pinnacle of underdoggyness. From the times Steve Austin battled the management, to the times when he had to battle an entire Corporate/Ministry all at once. Another example of the WWE portraying someone as “against the norm,” despite the fact that people like Goldust, Gangrel, and Chyna were employed at the same time. That being a transvestite, vampire, and phallic symbol respectively. Somehow, despite all that, “Stone Cold” was presented as the odd man out. Don’t let this distract you from the fact that Al Bundy once scored four touchdowns in one game.
Daniel Bryan, AKA the guy currently being portrayed as different and therefore bad, used to be portrayed as the guy who is different and therefore good. His character was based around the fact that he was different, but also a proxy for the fans, which makes the fans different. All of them. Hundreds of thousands of people who are different. Also known as the majority. Look, I don’t make the rules. The story went that Daniel Bryan was unkempt and small, so Triple H and the rest of the Scooby Gang didn’t want him representing the WWE. You know, the same company that supported Kane as champion? They wanted Randy Orton. They wanted Batista. They wanted Jinder Mahal. They wanted Jinder Mahal. Let that sink in.
For once, the WWE used someone who was outcasted in real life to play the part of someone outcasted on TV. CM Punk had a history of proving to the people in WWE that being different is fine. There’s a widely known story that Tony Atlas once scolded CM Punk in the middle of a meeting for wrapping his arms as part of his ring attire which caused CM Punk to lash out. Apparently, Tony had told CM Punk previously that if he wanted to be taken seriously in the WWE he had to stop wrapping up his arms because it looked like he was wearing arm casts. CM Punk promptly ignored him. This caused Tony to solo him out in the previously mentioned meeting. The problem was that CM Punk was currently the ECW champion. You may recognize any type of WWE championship as the opposite of not being taken seriously in the WWE. Not serious as in tone, just serious as in faith. After all, Santina Marella as Diva’s champion is still a thing.
This one is less commonly known as the underdog story. After all, you’re hardly an underdog if you’re undefeated. Well, there’s two things wrong with that. First, the underdog story is just that: a story. It’s meant to portray someone as unable to beat the odds. Goldberg’s story wasn’t that he was undefeated; undefeated is just what he was. The story was when was he not going to be undefeated anymore. The odds weren’t in his favor. Every match was like his last match as undefeated. Second, Goldberg was constantly being booked against stables. NWO, Wolfpac, New Blood, Millionaire’s Club… Disco Inferno, Kevin Nash’s ego…
This is a tough pill to swallow: one of the underdog stories that ended in the puppy getting punted across the room, or you know, thrown off a stage in a wheelchair. Whichever analogy you want. Zack Ryder used YouTube to revitalize his career – and by revitalize, I mean create. He was able to do this because WWE considered YouTube as well as other forms of social media to be a fad, so he was one of the only wrestlers using any form of social media to get popular. Ryder chants were breaking out in segments he wasn’t even a part of. The WWE had no choice but to acknowledge his existence and save a little money on catering. Sounds like a success story, until we found out that the WWE was building him up so that they could knock him down and kill all his momentum to get the chants to stop. It worked. So, yay?
This one doesn’t play out on TV, but through interviews and podcasts. On television, Christian had a standard career. He was given the World title because (and this isn’t my opinion, its theirs) there wasn’t anyone else and they were using Edge’s retirement to keep people interested. He was pushed as a main eventer for a few months before he quietly rode off into the sunset and didn’t have enough credibility to carry someone else’s career through his own retirement. What we found out later is that Christian was pushed despite Vince McMahon’s personal feelings towards him. Vince didn’t see anything in Christian. In fact, he found him quite ugly. It didn’t help that Christian had refused to cut his hair for a year before finally caving in just before quitting. The WWE missed the boat in 2005 when Christian was extremely over against all the cards stacked up against him.
I have nothing positive to say about Rey Mysterio’s underdog story, so here’s a picture of a puppy so you don’t feel like you’ve wasted your time:
Not your standard underdog story. In this version, Jeff Hardy is given both the underdog story and the redemption story as WWE heel wrestlers would bring up Jeff Hardy’s former drug addictions and how he just doesn’t belong to make people sympathize with someone who couldn’t stop doing drugs. Ah, our hero. The problem is that Jeff Hardy would repeatedly relapse and prove them all right. It had gotten bad enough that Jeff once competed in a TNA world title match high as, well, Jeff Hardy. It had gotten bad enough that Eric Bischoff had to randomly appear out of character just before the bell rang so that he could whisper to Sting to end the match as quickly as possible and go home. Sting was visibly pissed, and Jeff visibly pissed himself. Okay, not really, but probably.
Zach Gowen was a one-legged man in an asskicking contest, literally. He was even aligned with Hulk Hogan one time, which technically gives him 3 extra legs. Except, it was actually Mr. America who was secrectly Hulk Hogan so just Hulk Hogan, really. He would get some wins over some big names while the commentators would flip out about how a one-legged man shouldn’t be able to beat the normies. It all contradicted the overall moral of their story, which is that handicap people can succeed, too. Sure, they can succeed in the WWE, as long as they’re fine with being made fun of the entire time. So, there you go, kids. Handicap people are people too. Hilarious people and you should lose your shit when they do something because its silly when they do. Don’t forget to be a star.
Becky Lynch falls into the same category as CM Punk and Christian. The underdog story comes from behind the scenes. Or, at least, it should. Despite Becky Lynch being organically over mostly due to people wanting her to succeed against the odds, the WWE has decided to beat it into your head that she’s the underdog for reasons that she’s not. She’s not an underdog because she’s a “rebel” as the WWE want you to believe. The management isn’t trying to stop her from going to Wrestlemania. Except that they were. It’s just not in the cheesy “you’re not who we want as champion” storyline. Rumors, if they’re to be believed, is that the WWE wanted Charlotte to face Ronda Rousey at Wrestlemania but a wrench was thrown into their plans when the fans decided to be real boys instead of being strung like marionettes into liking Charlotte. The facts point to this being true as WWE is currently trying to shoehorn Charlotte into the match. She didn’t win the Royal Rumble because the WWE didn’t want her being booed. Don’t think we won. The WWE is still attempting to manipulate us even as we speak. They went so far as to try to give Charlotte a mean streak like Becky’s, except it’s not resonating with us. The WWE had a built-in underdog story with Becky, but they’ve decided to manufacture one instead, and precedents says that when the WWE fakes an underdog story while shoving them down our throats the fans will inevitably turn on that person either out of irritation of WWE or boredom. It doesn’t help that professional squirrel Kevin Dunn doesn’t like Becky’s accent which is the dumbest opinion two giant teeth could possibly have.
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