Brian Zane made an interesting comment about The Renegade (which I’m paraphrasing) – fans turned on him for his early work and they never acknowledged any improvement as the years progressed. (Not to speak ill of the dead, but he went from drizzling shits to jobber.)
Who is the prime example for workers that improved in the ring but never got the recognition from the fans for it?
I’m gonna say Goldberg. He’s still not like an elite worker, but he’s a far better wrestler at 50 than he was in WCW and can do normal matches and shit. It’s not the BEST way to use him but I think there’s still a perception of him as spear-jackhammer and nothing else.