Any weapon is better than polearms in 1-to-1 melee. Polearms were mostly used against cavalry/knight in the middle ages. The only others to make heavy use of it, were the Macedonians with their phalanx. But there's no efficient use of polearm when not in formation. In close melee, everyone used knives and swords and clubs.
In the mentioned wikipedia page
The purpose of using pole weapons is either to extend reach or to increase leverage (thanks to hands moving freely on a pole) and thus increase striking power. Because they contain relatively little metal, polearms are cheap to make. This has made them the favored weapon of peasant levies and peasants in rebellion the world over. Many are adapted from farm implements, or other tools. Polearms were common weapons on medieval European battlefields. Their range and impact force made them effective weapons against armored warriors on horseback, because they could penetrate armor.
I found this discussion which seems a bit inconclusive on the total advantage of polearms vs shorter weapons.
Checking wikipedia about Phalanx where it is very evident that the longest the weapon, the more necessary to wield in-formation.
More info can be found wikipedia about Pike where it is stated that
The pike, due to its unwieldy nature, was always intended to be used in a deliberate, defensive manner, often in conjunction with other missile and melee weapons. However, better-trained troops were capable of using the pike in an aggressive attack with each rank of pikemen being trained to hold their pikes so that they presented enemy infantry with four or five layers of spearheads bristling from the front of the formation. As long as it kept good order, such a formation could roll right over enemy infantry but it did have weaknesses. The men were all moving forward facing in a single direction and could not turn quickly or efficiently to protect the vulnerable flanks or rear of the formation. The huge block of men carrying such unwieldy spears could be difficult to maneuver in any way other than straightforward movement. As a result, such mobile pike formations sought to have supporting troops protect their flanks or would maneuver to smash the enemy before they could be outflanked themselves. There was also the risk that the formation would become disordered, leading to a confused melee in which pikemen had the vulnerabilities mentioned above.
Although, to be fair, there have existed proponents of its use for single-person melee.
A very educational cinematic of pikemen fighting is this combat scene out of a movie.
In the end, considering the battlefields that polearm units have fought in the last couple of thousands of years, it is evident that they have not eclipsed any other type of infantry, instead they have been used complementary to them. They had their specialized uses, they were cheap to make and train, but they also had their limitations. Historically men with large pointy sticks were unbeatable during frontal assaults. However, any flanking to the sides or rear would be devastating. Those large pointy sticks take a while to move, and reforming a formation under fire was difficult. Pikemen also could not carry shields, so they could be murdered by archers, javelin/spear throwers.