The heart is a fickle thing. Here’s a list of wrestler’s that Steve Cook had a change of heart about.
Whether he becomes King or not, Baron Corbin has gained a lot of followers lately.
Not too long ago, Corbin was the bane of most wrestling fans’ existence. He was the scapegoat for everything wrong with Monday Night Raw & WWE in general. He had no business in the main event, and the idea of Baron Corbin as Universal Champion was horrifying.
Now? Everybody’s going on about how cool & underrated he is. How he’s a great heel because he gets legit heat. His work in the ring is getting much more credit now, likely because it’s easier to look good against Cedric Alexander & Ricochet than it is against Braun Strowman.
Its what the Internet does. One week they love you, the next they’ll hate you. They flip flop just as much as any politician, it’s just that nobody holds them accountable.
I’m no different in my ability or propensity to change my mind. However, I like to think I’m more self-aware of it. That’s why today I want to take a look at the Top 5 Wrestlers I changed my mind on. In a good way, of course. And of course “in a bad way” may come your way one of these weeks…
5. Mark Henry
Sometimes, it takes awhile for a fella to figure things out. Henry signed a ten-year contract with the WWF, and for most of that time period he couldn’t figure it out. He had the look of a monster & some incredible physical tools, but he never put it all together. The Sexual Chocolate run didn’t help, but neither did his weight gains/losses & tendency to get hurt at the worst possible times. Mark Henry didn’t become Mark Henry until his Hall of Pain run in 2011. That’s when everything clicked and Mark achieved the potential that he always had.
I was not a fan until the moment he started talking about splitting wigs & telling people to pay their air bill. Then I was on board.
4. The Miz
I was with the people that dismissed Miz due to the Real World. I saw little to change my mind in the years ahead, even when people started jumping on board just before he won the WWE Championship. I didn’t get the hype. Sure, he could talk a little bit, but the matches were meh and he just didn’t come off like a top guy to me.
Then he brought his wife Maryse back on-screen and added just the right amount of coolness, douchery & credibility to his act. As much as I love me some Daniel Bryan, Miz’s verbal contributions were the highlight of their feud. Miz finally became to me what people were telling me he was years earlier. Sometimes it takes me awhile to figure things out.
3. Sensational Sherri
I was not a Sherri Martel fan as a young kid. The makeup, the voice, it all hit me the wrong way. I had no idea why she was constantly paired with top acts like the Macho King, the Million Dollar Man or Shawn Michaels. Then she went to WCW and managed Ric Flair! What the hell? Why would these top athletes have this crazy, shrill-voiced jezebel by her side?
Yeah, I was a mark. Years later when watching some of this stuff back, I realized just how good Sherri was in her role to get people like me so mad at her. Her work as a valet is equivalent to Bobby Heenan’s work on the male side of things. And, to be honest, the makeup & the voice do a lot more for me nowadays than they did back then, if ya know what I’m saying.
2. C.M. Punk
It wasn’t so much that I disliked Punk’s work or ability on the microphone or in the ring. Mostly, his fans were the turnoff. They were zealots convinced that Punk was the future of the business. I heard so much hype that when I finally saw him, I looked for the flaws. There were enough there for me to dismiss him as overrated.
As things turned out, Punk’s fans were almost right. For a few weeks there, it really seemed like CM Punk would be the future of the business. He ended up being everything his fans said he was, which was pretty darn impressive. They all hate him now, of course. I don’t.
1. Dusty Rhodes
When I first saw Dusty, he was a common man wearing polka dots. I didn’t know the full story, I just saw an out of shape dude in ugly ring attire. It didn’t impress me any more when I read about his history of booking wrestling companies that ended up going out of business, at least partially credited to his insistence of booking himself on top at all times. His commentary, while hilarious, didn’t help my perspective, nor his run in TNA while I was recapping the show.
You know what changed my mind?
Actually watching some of the stuff that people just a few years older than me grew up on. Once I saw the charisma of Dusty at its peak, I stopped caring about how he booked other people, or how his matches were pretty simplistic. The American Dream gave his audience what they came to see.
I think wrestling would be in even better shape now if we had more current performers that grew up idolizing Dusty Rhodes and his ability to connect with an audience instead of whoever did the coolest moves.