wrestling / Columns

Magnificent Seven: Top 7 Short Wrestling Careers

January 31, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Sable WWE

One of the hottest rumors sweeping the Internet in the days prior to the Royal Rumble concerned the wrestling status of Ronda Rousey. Sources said that her run with WWE may come to an end after WrestleMania. If so, Rousey will have had the most eventful professional wrestling career that barely even lasted a year.

Not everybody needs a lengthy career to make an impact. A lot of short careers end due to injury. Some end because the wrestler has decided it’s simply time to move on to something else. The wrestlers featured here this week left their mark on the business even though their career lasted five years or less. Should Ronda indeed hang up her boots after WrestleMania, she’ll immediately place somewhere on this list.

These are the Magnificent Seven Short Wrestling Careers.

7. Richie Steamboat

Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat still rates as one of my favorite wrestlers of all time. You won’t find too many better in-ring Babyfaces than Ricky. That’s why it was so disappointing when he had to retire in 1994 after a back injury.

Eventually, Ricky’s son Richie took up the craft. His training was an interesting journey that went through the Carolinas to Harley Race’s school & to Pro Wrestling NOAH. He then got signed by WWE and went into developmental, and it seemed from his performance there it would only be a matter of time before he hit the big stage. Like his father, a back injury ended his career, but Richie didn’t get nearly as much time to shine.

6. Droz

Darren Drozdov had a lot of the tools needed to make it far in pro wrestling. He was athletic. He had a unique look & charisma. He could throw up on command. The WWF liked what they saw and gave him a push right away, aligning him with Hawk & Animal during their LOD 2000 phase. After that, they turned him heel and teamed him with Prince Albert, a piercing enthusiast.

Droz’s career came to an unexpected halt when he was paralyzed after a botched running powerbomb during a SmackDown taping. It seemed like his ceiling was the middle of the card (which isn’t a knock, every promotion needs guys like that), but we’ll never know for sure.

5. Sable

Say what you will about Sable’s in-ring ability. Nobody would have ever confused her work with that of Manami Toyota or Trish Stratus. The fact of the matter is that she was one of the post popular females in all of wrestling during a couple of years where there were T & A everywhere. WWF Attitude was all about gratitious sexuality, and nobody got those fans more hot & bothered than Sable.

We wouldn’t stand for such overt sexuality in 2019, but the bright side to all of it in 1998 was that the WWF decided to bring the Women’s Championship out of mothballs. Sable was the first star of the new WWF Women’s Division, and for better or worse, she brought more attention to the proceedings. You can’t deny that the lady was a star during her brief tenure in the squared circle from 1998-99, along with a return in 2003-04.

4. Muhammad Hassan

We all know how much wrestling loves to exploit heat between America and other nations or nationalities. Given the state of the world in the mid-2000s, it came as no surprise when WWE started pushing an Arab-American character as a heel. Marc Copani wasn’t even Arab-American, he just looked enough like one to pull it off. He got rushed through Ohio Valley Wrestling & placed into the character.

It must be said that Copani did a good job. Whether he was polished enough in the ring or not, he was solid as Muhammad Hassan, a young Arab-American looking for a fair shake & not getting one from WWE or the fans. It worked until WWE made him into a terrorist and ran a questionable angle with Undertaker that aired on the same day as a terrorist bombing in London. The timing couldn’t have been worse for Hassan. UPN refused to let him appear on SmackDown and he was soon released. He had a couple of random Indy matches last year, but seems to have no interest in returning full time.

3. Matt Cappotelli

Matt was a co-winner of Tough Enough 3 along with the man that would later be known as Johnny Nitro, Morrison, Mundo & Impact. They both went to OVW after Tough Enough & were eventually placed in tag teams. Johnny’s tag team with Joey Matthews/Mercury eventually made it to WWE, and people expected the same from Matt & his tag team partner Johnny Jeter.

Unfortunately, Matt was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer & was forced into retirement. He was able to fight it off initially & a tumor was removed, but eventually it came back & Matt passed away at the age of 38. He was deeply mourned by his family, friends & fans that wondered what could have been.


2. Blitzkreig

Like most people watching WCW in the late 90s, I was always excited when the cruserweights would come out for some high-flying fun. The cast of characters became familiar over time, so it was always newsworthy to me when a new one entered the fold. I remember seeing Blitzkrieg randomly appear on a PPV match against Juventud Guerrera. I’d never heard of the guy, yet he was doing these amazing moves just as insane as anybody else was doing at the time. The fans went crazy. For whatever reason, he didn’t really catch on and get a ton more matches on TV. When he did appear, it was electrifying.

He didn’t appear for long. Just months after his TV debut, Blitzkrieg retired to become a computer technician. He got more money there and likely got hurt less often, so it probably worked out for him.

Honorable Mentions: Bill Goldberg, Brock Lesnar & Chyna

When most people think of short & impactful careers, they think of these three. I honestly thought Chyna qualified when I started writing this, so finding out she didn’t was a bitter pill to swallow. Goldberg had a weird career that stretched out over many different years, and Lesnar would have qualified if he didn’t come back and become the never-ending Universal Champion. I loved early Brock.

1. Lawrence Taylor

We all know LT as one of the greatest football players of all time. Unless you were alive and watching in 1995 when he had his WrestleMania match, it’s tough to appreciate just how good it was, and how much hope people had afterwards. I remember reading one of the Apter mags predicting that Taylor would become one of the WWF’s top stars. He was so believable in the ring, and Bam Bam Bigelow did such a great job working with him, that people really thought that LT would be the next big thing.

Instead, it really was The First Time, The Last Time, The Only Time, as it was promoted. I can only surmise that wrestling media assumed he was lying. A fair mistake to make in a business of liars, but LT actually lived up to his word & never got back in the ring. I can’t make any promises that LT would have been a top star or anything, but he at least would have been as good of a Horseman as Mongo McMichael, am I right?

If I’m wrong, hit me up on Twitter @stevecook84. I actually liked Mongo!

article topics :

The Magnificent Seven, Steve Cook