9 Wrestlers Who Vanished Off The Face Of The Earth

Tony Khan is more than happy to make many a wrestler 'All Elite'. Not this lot, however...

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It's strange how the next big thing doesn't pan out.

Scan the Rookie of the Year listings in the fan-voted Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards. In 1980, Barry Windham was voted in, and finished the decade as a machine of a pro wrestler. Everything he did just looked the t*ts. In 1987 and 1990, Brian Pillman and Steve Austin, respectively, were awarded the honour. The two men subsequently revolutionised pro wrestling in the United States. Shingo Takagi (2005) and Adam Cole (2010) were also prescient picks; the former is one of the very best wrestlers in the world, probably has an all-timer case at this point, and the latter has starred across two major promotions and worked to a consistently high level in both. Half the list is padded out by random historical curios, or wrestlers who otherwise never progressed beyond promising, like Erick Stevens.

Too few opportunities to progress. The loss of drive. The simple, plain fact that the talent was only ever good, and not great. This is why it doesn't always work.

Sometimes, it's less to with talent and drive - and more to do with being a complete pain in the f*cking arse!

[You might have noticed that several wrestlers seemed to disappear in 2020 - some massive indie stars, some who had even been awarded the Dave Meltzer ***** - and that is because their bullsh*t was finally called out. They won't appear here.]

9. Sylvester LeFort

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Sylvester LeFort's in-ring legacy is one of those unfortunate, deeply reductive things: "Oh yeah, he worked a TakeOver before it got really great, that's weird isn't it".

He's an historical curio now; a particularly tricky trivia question. If you had to guess the name of every wrestler who has worked a TakeOver show in a 15 minute period, LeFort would be the guy preventing you from winning.

He didn't accomplish a lot outside of the storyline in which he made his tag partner, Marcus Louis, shave his head as part of the stipulation for his match with Enzo Amore at Fatal 4-Way. Most only remember the abysmal storyline in which Louis, looking like a very small Kane - i.e., the man Glenn Jacobs is on the inside - went off his nut.

LeFort was released following a prolonged period of inactivity two years later, as NXT slowly became PWG 2.0. He shored up in TNA as Basile Baraka and, again, accomplished little of note. He was decent mechanically, but that was really about it, and despite all but vanishing from the mainstream, he actually worked a three-way against Ultimo Dragon and Tajiri in July.

Do people just make stuff up on Cagematch? It's full of mad sh*te like this.

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Writer, podcaster and editor. Deft Punk. Author of Becoming All Elite: The Rise of AEW, which is available to purchase at the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-All-Elite-powerful-Wrestling/dp/B09MYSNT71