Greatest Push Enhancement of a Wrestler

Hey Scott,


I was looking at a WWE.com article discussing guys that weren't supposed to make it and they featured Mikey Whipwreck (he made it?) and their justification was, at one time, he beat Steve Austin. That took me back and it got me thinking to when I saw that match on DVD and how I thought to myself, "Wow, how far did Austin go in one year?"

This got me thinking, one of the necessary evils of wrestling is that you have guys who might start out on the job squad and, later in their career, are fighting main eventers. Daniel Bryan is a clear example of this where he started out jobing to everyone on NXT (back when they were being sold as green-as-grass rookies) and now beats Kane. HBK used to have trouble with Virgil (and would job constantly as a Rocker) and, later on, could polish off, well, everyone. In 1995, HHH used to get annihilated by the Undertaker (It was basically a joke to see the two of them in the ring), and in his last match, he all but beat him. This always struck me as destroying the credibility of the business 'cause as an outsider, this would make no sense. Wrestler A used to have trouble fighting Wrestler B. Now he's beating Wrestler C who used to (and possibly still does) squash Wrestler B. That never happens in fighting. Sure, in UFC, you have upsets but people basically know Kimbo Slice is losing to Rashad Evans. Once you've lost to someone, I know what your limits are as a fighter. That's life.

Like I said, it's a necessary evil because of the nature of wrestling and star-making, but I always found it funny that one guy could go from struggling against a 200-lb nobody to squashing someone that used to be a 400-lb super-monster and it's hardly remarked on.

So here is my question: Have you ever had this feeling? If so, in what match (or name a couple of examples) has this situation  been most apparent to you?

It doesn't bug me so much because a lot of times you can see guys growing as wrestlers and learning new things.  Wrestlers are essentially literary characters come to life, so if they were stuck in the same role for years on end without ever growing or learning, then they'd be static and/or John Cena.  Shawn Michaels used to get tuned in by Virgil as a tag wrestler, but he became a single and learned to how to beat big guys and also learned to be resilient.  
And I don't think your analogy works well for UFC, either.  Just because Dos Santos knocked out Velasquez in a minute the first time doesn't mean Cain isn't gonna knock his head off the second time.  People train and grow.  In a way it makes wrestling MORE realistic that someone like Daniel Bryan would become more confident and figure out how to beat Kane.