I found what you wrote about Barry Windham not reaching his full potential during your WWF Vintage Collection review interesting. Are there other examples of wrestler's not reaching their potential, for whatever reasons, you can think of? Terry Taylor? Lex Luger? Vader?
I don’t really know what more Vader could have done. By the time he went to the WWF he was past his prime and it’s not like he was going to be the top guy there anyway.
Terry Taylor is a different kettle of fish, because he was a great worker who got into a really bad car accident in the 80s and then suddenly became a mostly good worker instead. So yeah, the Red Rooster thing destroyed any chance he had to get over on his own, but there was really a ceiling there anyway. He wasn’t going to be a top guy.
Luger, yes, definitely. Should have been The Guy, but he got screwed over too many times and he just stopped caring.
Nikita Koloff is another one who should have jumped to the WWF and drawn millions against Hogan, but his wife dying ripped his heart out and he was never the same again. He was improving so fast in the 80s, though, that he should have been something great.
More recently, there’s been a disturbing trend of WWE calling guys up way too early and then basically chasing them out of the business when they don’t get over right away. Because there’s no regional scene to make a living from, if a Chris Masters fails in his one shot as a green rookie, then it’s less likely he’ll hone his craft and return. A lot of these guys are just finding jobs outside of the business and not coming back, and I think that’s what’s really going to hurt in the long run. So all you ever get is the potential, and then they’re gone.