I’ve been thinking a lot about next-generation wrestlers who missed the mark or never came close to it. Wrestlers who were taken out early like Reid Flair and Richie Steamboat.
Let’s look at five such wrestlers.
Young Reid Flair was gone too soon. Even though he had his demons, towards the end of his life he looked to be shaping up a wrestler as he was training in All Japan Pro-Wrestling.
The last two punctuations on his name were the two failed drug tests in WWE that were mentioned in Ric Flair’s 30 for 30 and a really awful attempt at heel work on the mic by Paige.
Seven years after his death and it’s hard to imagine what he could’ve become had he gotten help. As a fan, when Reid’s name is brought up I think of the missed match with Richie Steamboat or how he would’ve done as a part of the revived NWA today.
I hate adding David Flair but you can’t do this kind of article without mentioning him. On one hand, I believe he was brute-forced into the business.
He didn’t have his father’s presence and wasn’t particularly good in the ring. Actually, he wasn’t even decent but there he was on prime time TV.
I don’t even know if developmental could’ve helped.
On the other hand, he could’ve probably grown into something without the shadow of the nature boy. Who knows, he probably had hidden potential as a hardcore wrestler.
David Flair 15-time Hardcore Champion? It’s something.
Ted DiBiase Jr.
Even though he made it to WWE, Ted DiBiase Jr didn’t totally meet expectations. Of course, part of that WWE’s booking. The rest could be that he didn’t impress enough to warrant more out of his WWE career.
In today’s wrestling climate, he would probably be able to get in with Impact Wrestling—hold up, let me check and make sure he’s not already there.
So many wrestlers have been returning and just popping up in the company…alright. So yeah, he could’ve also had a spot in NWA.
Sometimes a change in scenery can unlock your full potential. Just look at how hard Kurt Angle went in Impact Wrestling.
I saw a couple of Richie’s matches on the indies but his stuff in FCW was impressive. He just improved so rapidly and looked like a star that could mix it up I’m the WWE undercard or be a force in NXT.
Unfortunately, an injury took him out of the game very early in 2013. The last interview with Steamboat mentioned that a return wasn’t out of the picture but he was just taking things as they come.
In wrestling, people have returned from career halting injuries. Even his father Ricky Steamboat wrestled a few matches in 2009 after retiring in WCW back in 1994.
Man, there was news that Blade Hart was training to be a wrestler under Lance Storm years ago. I was pretty stoked about it sight unseen.
Seriously, I didn’t need to see the guy wrestle just because it was Bret’s son. Trust me, that’s never a good way to get hype about someone who could enter the business.
On that note, I like David Benoit’s enthusiasm for wrestling and hope to see him training soon. With a mentor and friend like Chris Jericho, it could be sooner than we think.
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