5. Jeff Hardy
Before Jeff Hardy made a name for himself as “The Charismatic Enigma”, he competed in the WWF at the time with his brother, Matt as an “enhancement talent” or in other words, a jobber. Jeff Hardy lied about his age claiming that he was 18 when he was in fact 16 so at the young age of 16, he made his WWF televised debut against Razer Ramon, where he was completely squashed and toyed with. Hardy continued getting his ass kicked for a number of years facing opponents, such as 1-2-3 Kid, King Kong Bundy and Rob Van Dam until he was finally contracted by the WWE. From there onwards, Hardy went on to achieve great success as a tag team competitor with his brother, Matt, capturing the world tag team championships six times before eventually striking gold as a singles competitor. His high-risk, daredevil tendencies cemented him as a fan favourite and during his time as a singles wrestler, he managed to win the WWE Championship once and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship twice. From a jobber to a world champion, you got to start somewhere, right?
4. Mick Foley
The Hardcore Legend, Mick Foley did not possess the stereotypical wrestling physique but that did not stop him from having a successful career during his time in the WWE becoming a 3-time WWF Champion, a 1-time WWF Hardcore Champion and an 8-time WWF tag team champion. However, when Foley first appeared in the WWE or WWF at the time, he did not “have a nice day”. Foley competed in several squash matches as a jobber under the ring names of “Jack Foley” and “Nick Foley” against the likes of Kamala, The Killer Bees and Hercules Hernandez on episodes of Prime Time Wrestling and Superstars of Wrestling, later known as WWF Superstars. In his very first match of Superstars, Foley teamed up with Les Thornton to take on the World Tag Team Champions at the time, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith, a.k.a. The British Bulldogs. During the match, Foley took a heavy beating and any opportunities he had to “fight back” were no-sold. Dynamite Kid even hit Foley with a stiff clothesline that dislocated his jaw, leaving him unable to eat solid food for weeks.
After spending some time in the Independent circuit as “Sexton Hardcastle”, what a name by the way, Edge briefly wrestled for WCW under the ring name “Damon Striker”. There, he was on the receiving end of several squash matches against the likes of Meng and Kevin Sullivan on episodes of WCW Pro. However, his big break finally came when he was noticed by an impressed WWE official who was watching one of his matches. Eventually, Edge signed with the WWE and the rest is history. He went from a tag team specialist with Christian to a main event singles star, becoming one of the most decorated wrestlers of all time in the WWE, capturing a total of 31 championships including the main prizes, the WWE Championship which he held four times and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship which he held seven times.
2. AJ Styles
AJ Styles is no doubt “phenomenal” and one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Everywhere he’s been, he’s been at the top of the ladder, being the face of TNA for over 11 years and already one of the top superstars in the WWE today. Along the way, Styles has captured many world championships including TNA’s World Heavyweight Championship, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s IWGP World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Championship. However, way before he made a name for himself, AJ Styles briefly wrestled for WCW back in 2001, where he was placed in a tag team known as “Air Raid”. The duo competed in episodes of WCW Thunder in losing efforts to the tag team of Evan Karagias and Jamie Noble and The Jung Dragons but did score an upset win against The Boogie Knights, their first only win in WCW. Styles alongside his tag team partner made their WCW Nitro debut when they participated in a tournament for the cruiserweight tag team championships, however, were eliminated in the first round by Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo. After Vince McMahon purchased WCW, Styles made two appearances in the WWF as an “enhancement talent” on syndicated WWF shows, WWF Jakked and WWF Metal where he lost against The Hurricane and Rico Constantino in a dark match. Styles was offered a developmental deal in the WWF, however, declined due to his wife’s college education. Just imagine if Styles had accepted the deal, he may not have reached the heights that he has and could have ended up as one of those washed up WCW wrestlers trying to make it in the WWE.
1. Triple H
Even before his days as this snobby aristocrat, the 14-time WWE world champion, Triple H was actually a jobber during his time in WCW. Back then he was a heel with the name of “Terra Ryzing” …a play on word of “terrorizing” …that name alone really sums up his days in WCW… and he sported long golden locks. Basically, a more jacked version of Ric Flair. He was often used in order to put over “good guys” and nothing more followed really. He was briefly paired with Lord Steven Regal, better known as William Regal, however, again, nothing more followed really. After his request to be a singles competitor was turned down, he made the move to the WWE, where he had an outstanding career, becoming a 14-time world champion as the superstar we all know today, The Cerebral Assassin, The King of Kings, The Game, Triple H.