Posted in: Wayne's World The King of Stats names the Lord of Ladders (Part 1: The Bottom Rung)
Mar 17, 2013 - 10:29:50 AM
Welcome back everyone to my continuing search to find the true royalty of the wrestling world. Yes The King of Stats is at it once again, delving through the records to find those who are worthy of making it into my Hall of Royalty. However I find myself with no more major shows to work out who was their biggest star over the years so it is time for me to move on and look at a different section of the wrestling world.
That is when it hit me, well not me but the guys in the match. What I am talking about is a ladder. That is right I have delved through the records and found all the Ladder Matches in WWE history to find out who is the greatest wrestler to have ever appeared in one of the greatest speciality matches of all time. But I thought no that is not enough data, I cannot justify calling them the Lord of Ladders if the sample size is so small. So I broadened my search to include other organisations as well to help boost my numbers.
So after delving through the records of WWE, WCW, TNA & ECW I found 133 different matches ranging from the basic everyday variety Ladder Match through to Money In The Bank, TLC, Full Metal Mayhem, Stairway to Hell and King of the Mountain. From those 133 matches I managed to find 157 different wrestlers who had appeared in a Ladder Match and therefore were eligible to be named Lord of the Ladder.
Of course to find out who would eventually would win the right to be named the Lord of Ladders I first needed to rank them in order the way only I can. As I am known to do I developed my very own scoring system to help slot them all into their place which took a look at the following:
- Amount of matches
- Win/Loss record
- PPV or TV
- Major Title, Minor Title or no title
- Amount of opponents beaten
Over the coming weeks I will present to you the top 30 Ladder Match wrestlers culminating in the number 1 wrestler and therefore the man who will be named as Lord of the Ladder. Today we look at numbers 30 to 26, the guys who have managed to get up off the ground and made it to the first step on the Ladder of Lords. So let’s get started with number 30 shall we.
30. Alex Shelley
w/ Chris Sabin & Jay Lethal lost to Team 3D & Johnny Devine – December 6, 2007, TNA Impact
beat Chris Sabin, Jay Lethal & Consequences Creed – X-Division Title, February 23, 2009, TNA Impact
lost to Suicide – 5-man King of the Mountain, X-Division Title, June 21, 2009, TNA Slammiversary
w/ Chris Sabin lost to Beer Money, INC. - Tag Team Titles, July 15, 2010, TNA Impact
w/ Chris Sabin beat Generation Me – Full Metal Mayhem, Tag Team Titles, December 5, 2010, TNA Final Resolution
lost to Brian Kendrick – 5-man match, September 29, 2011, TNA Impact
Coming in at number 30 we find one of TNA’s most exciting wrestlers to have ever graced their ring, be it 4 sided or 6 and being an exciting wrestler is a pre-requisite for the majority of Ladder Match experts. But being exciting is not enough to see you really high up this list, you actually need to win a lot of matches as well and a record of 2 wins from 6 attempts is not the greatest. Also Shelley fell victim to the fact that TNA used to like to boost their weekly Impact by putting speciality matches on it instead of waiting for PPV with 4 of his matches happening on Impact.
Forgetting the stats though Shelley is always phenomenal when appearing in any of this type of match as you would expect from a X-Division wrestler of his calibre. Other than the 6-man tag match I have been fortunate enough to have seen all of the Ladder Matches containing Shelley and I would easily go back and watch them again, especially the two matches in 2010 as part of the Motor City Machine Guns when they were up against Beer Money and Generation Me. This was the Machine Guns at their best and the two teams they faced were probably the best teams they ever jelled with in the ring.
However good though that Shelley and Sabin are together it is of course Shelley here who made the top 30 with Sabin pulling up short. In fact it is mostly the match where Sabin lost to Shelley in the 4-man match in 2009 that put Shelley above Sabin at all. In fact Sabin had appeared in every Ladder Match that Shelley had been in except for the one that Kendrick won but had replaced it with a previous King of the Mountain match that Shelley had not been part of. The win though from Shelley gave him enough points to catapult him up the rankings and thus crack the list.
29. Scott Hall
beat Shawn Michaels – Intercontinental Title, March 20, 1994, WWE Wrestlemania X
lost to Shawn Michaels – Intercontinental Title, August 27, 1995, WWE Summerslam
lost to Goldberg – Taser Ladder Match, January 17, 1999, WCW Souled Out
no contest against Bam Bam Bigelow – Tazer Ladder Match, January 25, 1999, WCW Nitro
beat Bret Hart, Goldberg & Sid Vicious – US Title, November 8, 1999, WCW Nitro
When you ask the majority of older wrestling fans what the greatest Ladder Match of all time is the majority of them, without batting an eyelid, will tell you Razor Ramon v Shawn Michaels from Wrestlemania X and history would be on their side. That match is the only Ladder Match in wrestling history to have ever received the elusive 5 star rating from renowned wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer. That match is also attributed as the beginning of the wrestling worlds fondness with Ladder Matches and it is believed if this match never took place than we would not have ladder matches today.
While it can be forgotten when talking about their Wrestlemania match but the rematch between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels more than a year later was nearly on par with quality with its predecessor. Even with the high expectations set from their first match these two superstars were able to deliver.
It would be nearly 4 years later though that we would see Hall in another Ladder Match and never again in the WWE. His final 3 matches would appear in WCW and would get nowhere near the level he did against Shawn Michaels. The first would come against Goldberg which for what it was could be considered a reasonable match but the other two were more jokes than Ladder Matches.
In looking for a clip to use for Scott Hall to show his ability in a Ladder Match I found a clip of the 4-way match and sat and watched it for the first time. What I watched was 6 of the biggest wrestlers of the 90’s (Kevin Nash was special referee and Rick Steiner interfered) appear in 5 minutes of the ridiculous booking that WCW became known for which eventually saw Nash holding the belt above the ladder for Hall to climb and retrieve. No I think you should all actually see this travesty of a Ladder Match for yourselves.
Now that that crap is out of the way I will get to the real clip I wanted to show you. Eventually I was able to find a clip of the Wrestlemania match for you here and this proves why Scott Hall should be included in this list and puts forward a good reason why he should have been even higher.
w/ Charlie Haas loss to Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri – Tag Team Titles, May 18, 2003, WWE Judgement Day
loss to Edge – 6-man Money in the Bank, April 3, 2005, WWE Wrestlemania 21
loss to Rob Van Dam – 6-man Money in the Bank, April 2, 2006, WWE Wrestlemania 22
w/ Charlie Haas loss to The Hardys – Tag Team Titles, June 3, 2007, WWE One Night Stand
loss to CM Punk – 7-man Money in the Bank, March 30, 2008, WWE Wrestlemania XXIV
loss to CM Punk – 8-man Money in the Bank, April 5, 2009, WWE Wrestlemania XXV
loss to Christian – ECW Title, December 13, 2009, WWE TLC
loss to Jack Swagger – 10-man Money in the Bank, March 28, 2010, WWE Wrestlemania XXVI
Damn that is a lot of red. In fact Shelton Benjamin is the only person in our top 30 to have never actually won a Ladder Match. On 8 different occasions Shelton has stepped into the ring with the object of the match is scaling the heights of a ladder to retrieve something off a hook suspended in the air and 8 times he has not been the person to retrieve it. Shelton tops the list of non-winners with his closest rivals being Jay Lethal (6), Kofi Kingston (5), Chris Harris and The Big Show (4).
Why then if Shelton doesn’t win do we all keep clamoring for him to be in more Ladder Matches. Simple, there is nearly no-one better in the business at pulling off the athletic spots of unnatural ability that Shelton has become famous for. I can remember sitting waiting each time I watched a Shelton Ladder Match to see what he would do this time to show of his special skillset. If I was to pick some sort of ladder dream match (especially a multi-man) than Shelton would be easily one of my first picks as a contestant.
But 8 losses is 8 losses and never winning a match has meant that Shelton can not move further up the list than he did. In fact an argument could be made on why he should not be appearing up this high at all since he has never won a match but my scoring system is what it is and 28th is the home for Shelton Benjamin. If you don’t believe me that Shelton belongs here than just take a look at this mixed footage of him in his Ladder Match history.
27. Samoa Joe
loss to Kurt Angle – 5-man King of the Mountain, TNA Title, June 17, 2007, TNA Slammiversary
beat Robert Roode, Booker T, Rhino & Christian Cage – King of the Mountain, TNA Title, June 8, 2008, TNA Slammiversary,
loss to Kurt Angle – 5-man King of the Mountain, TNA Title, June 21, 2009, TNA Slammiversary
loss to Matt Morgan – 4-man match, July 21, 2011, TNA Impact
loss to AJ Styles – 4-man match, August 12, 2012, TNA Hardcore Justice
Samoa Joe is an interesting addition to this countdown for the fact that he has never been in anything less than a 4-man match, both of which were matches involved in the Bound for Glory series. His other 3 matches were all the 5-man King of the Mountain match that TNA was once famous for (a match that I believe TNA should bring back, for proof see the video at the end of this section) which included his only win of his 5 matches.
Why Joe ranked so high was because of the importance of the matches he was involved in. The King of the Mountain matches all appeared on PPV and were all for the TNA World Heavyweight Title thus giving him extra points. His one win of course came in a multi-man match also giving him extra points.
The fact though that he has never been in a smaller version of the match should count against him. The fact that TNA have not had the faith to put him into a normal smaller match-up speaks volumes but I have to wonder why that is so. I believe that Joe could handle a pretty good Ladder Match when paired against the likes of AJ Styles or Austin Aries and the match would be up there in the list of the best matches they have had. Only time will tell though if Joe will ever get the opportunity to appear in a smaller Ladder Match so far now we just need to marvel at his ability in the larger competitor versions.
26. Jerry Lynn
beat Low Ki & AJ Styles – X-Division Title, August 28, 2002, TNA Weekly PPV #11
beat AJ Styles – X-Division Title, October 2, 2002, TNA Weekly PPV #14
loss to Eric Young – 4-man match, May 26, 2004, TNA Weekly PPV #95
beat Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Austin Starr & Senshi – February 22, 2007, TNA Impact
loss to Rob Van Dam – Full Metal Mayhem, October 16, 2011, TNA Bound for Glory
Finishing off today’s section of the countdown we have the guy I am least familiar with out of the entire 30 names I will be talking about. I know who he is and some of what he can do, but I have not had that much of a chance to see much of his work over the years. The only match I have seen here is the match he had against RVD just over a year ago (yes I am aware that the match against RVD was a pin or submit Full Metal Mayhem but since it falls under the name of a Ladder Match variation it was included here) and that was him at a more older age and not at his prime.
With his wins outnumbering his losses in ladder matches it is quite obvious that he belongs in this list. In fact he is the lowest ranking wrestler here to have won at least 3 different Ladder Matches.
In researching more about Lynn and Ladder Matches so I can try to have a better chance of looking like I know what I am talking about I have found that these matches are actually worth the watch so if like me you haven’t seen much of Lynn’s work than take a peek at the following match
So that is it for today’s addition of the Lord of Ladders countdown. What do you all think of the 5 names that have been mentioned so far, do they belong where they are or should they be higher or Lower? Also who do you all think will be crowned the Lord of Ladders? I will be back in a few days time to bring you the next 5 wrestlers until then remember THE STATS NEVER LIE.