There are a few things that make us a bit predictable. Throughout history, people have gone to great lengths to simply entertain one another. Be it with song, dance, film, sport, or any other form of entertainment. Simply put, we love to be entertained.

Another thing we love to do is compete with one another. Humans have always bonded and connected over fierce and friendly competitions and what better way to keep competition at its finest than ranking a large group of competitors.

Like, I don’t know say, 500 of them?

This or something close to this was the conclusion Pro Wrestling Illustrated seemed to reach in the summer of 1990, as they assembled their first annual, “PWI 500”. The efforts of several PWI writers compiling an annual list of performers who excelled at their crafts. They carefully ranked each wrestler based on things like overall wrestling ability, prominence within a promotion, and championships held.

When the publication took on the huge undertaking of an annual list for the first time, to no one’s surprise, Hulk Hogan was listed at number one. The media sensation that the Hulkster was at the time was indisputable.

But, of course, we’re not here to talk about the number ones on the list – everyone knows Hulk’s story (even if they would rather not). We’re here for the last official selection of the list. The aptly nicknamed, Mr. Irrelevant (of NFL draft lore). Important enough to be mentioned but not selected at any sort of consequential position.

The first annual PWI 500’s Mr. Irrelevant happened to be: Zeus.

Played by “Tiny” Tommy Lister Jr. The six foot five, three hundred pound actor played the no-nonsense powerhouse, Zeus – whose on-screen feud with Hulk Hogan in the 1989 WWF-funded film, No Holds Barred had legs long enough to see the character and the icon face off in-ring, over the course of several pay-per-views.

Zeus being ranked at 500th is an interesting thing, making him obviously a more high-profile wrestler than other year’s selections (Kevin Kirby?) but everything about Zeus’ career was a bit unorthodox. For starters, Zeus’ original motives for beefing with Hogan are because he was defeated in the film they made together. Which would lead to a high-profile debut match at WWF SummerSlam 1989.

Following Hogan’s absolute jet stream of nonsense, the stage was set for an epic sequel-esque clash between the movie’s two stars.

Receiving a **1/2 rating by Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, the match was chaotic at best, with “Macho Man” Randy Savage visibly instructing Zeus at every turn what he was to do next. It could also be argued that the only wrestler in the ring actually moving the action along was Macho, but that is another article for another day.

Following his loss at SummerSlam, Zeus’s next appearance would be at WWF Survivor Series 1989, a few months later. Zeus would be on the Million Dollar Team, captained by Ted DiBiase and flanked by The Powers of Pain. He would have an additional appearance towards the very end of 1989, as a pre-recorded rematch from Summer Slam would be aired after a full showing of the film.

A double countout against Abdullah The Butcher at a WWC Aniversario would be the big man’s only match-up in 1990, and he would continue his acting career in full, being cast as his most notable character, the neighborhood bully, Deebo, in the 1995 feature film, Friday.

Lister Jr. would have one final match against his career-long foe, Hulk Hogan, in the summer of 1996 at WCW Uncensored. Teaming up with several pre-nWo bad guys to form, “The Alliance to End Hulkmania”, Lister (billed as Z-Gangsta) would team up with the even more unfortunately named, Ultimate Solution to try and take down Macho and Hogan once and for all in a Doomsday Cage Match. To the surprise of a few, the alliance was unsuccessful in its final attempt.

Sadly, Tommy Lister Jr. passed away in December 2020 due to complications of Heart Disease. By the end of his acting career, he amassed over two hundred acting credits to his name in both comedies and dramas alike. As far as his wrestling career is concerned, Lister will forever be immortalized in the squared circle as, “The Human Wrecking Machine” and one celebrity deserving of the WWE Hall of Fame.