Wasted Youth

Hey Scott
Big fan of the blog.  Been watching a lot of old stuff on Netflix and it has brought up a couple questions
1.  What guys would you consider the biggest disappointments, given look, ability, push etc.  I always thought guys like Ahmed Johnson, Val Venis and test should have been much bigger stars.  Anyone pop out at you?
2.  What guys have surprised you the most with their success? I was reading the unforgiven 99 rant and you were saying Austin should squash hhh back to the mid card where he belonged.  Two months later he was a super duper star.
3. If you could change the way one match went (in terms of what it could have done for the company),  what would it have been? the hhh-angle unforgiven 2000 match comes to mind.  If angle goes over clean with Stephanie aligning with angle, I think he becomes the crazy over heel while hhh is a huge face.  They could have feuded until mania then hhh gets to feud with newly turned heel Austin.

1.  Yeah, well, Ahmed Johnson IS a much bigger star today, in a manner of speaking.  To be non-sarcastic about it though, he really did f--- up his own career quite badly and he should have been World champion going into the Attitude era.  I think that JBL should have been a bigger deal than he was, because his Stan Hansen imitation as Justin Hawk Bradshaw had loads of potential for a top card babyface ala Barry Windham, but he just got incredibly lazy and settled for the APA role instead.  If you go back and watch the matches they had together in Texas early in their career as John Hawk and Tony Norris, you'd swear both guys were going to set the wrestling world on fire.  I mean, obviously JBL did OK for himself and backed into a long World title reign because "HHH didn't want to work Tuesdays" according to Heyman.  But he could have been WAY more. I also think that Colt Cabana should have been something special coming out of the Homicide feud in ROH, but they were REALLY picky about who they'd push to the World title level at that point, and he just never got out of the comedy guy rut.  
2.  Well obviously HHH is the poster child for someone shocking me with their success.  No one in their right mind would predict that Terra Ryzin would end up running WWE.  Watching CM Punk as Raven's flunky in TNA you wouldn't think he'd go on to be multi-time World champion, but here we are.  He didn't have a good look or a lot of charisma, but he had something.   
3.  Yeah, your example is a great one.  I'd also put Luger over at Bash 88 despite the bump in house show business that came from the screwjob — you gotta look at the BIG picture sometimes, and establishing Luger as a World champion with a big Wrestlemania feeling for the Bash would have been a much more worthwhile payoff in the long run.  I'd also put RVD over Austin/Angle at No Mercy 2001, his first title shot, because F--- WWE and their "You have to learn how to work" b-------.  RVD was the most over guy in the company and he should have been champion at that point, period.  Like what were they building to?  Jericho's b------- Unified title reign?  Even by early 2002 the bloom was off the rose.  They should have struck when he was hottest.