WWE is like a conveyor belt; superstars come into the company and then go back out all the time, and it is the job of the creative team to ensure that these wrestlers always have something that they can work with on WWE TV, whether they are part of SmackDown, Raw, or NXT.
Sadly, this isn’t always the case for some stars. There are times when WWE literally have nothing for a select few stars to do, or they even decide to punish them for something that didn’t even happen in the ring and ruin their characters completely. It’s something that happens a lot in wrestling when a star is buried. It is hard for them to recover, and more often than not, they are then only used as a jobber moving forward.
There are literally hundreds of superstars who WWE and their creative team have managed to destroy over the past few decades. If we are looking at only the past few years, then these are the 15 cases where WWE managed to destroy talent that could have done great things for the company moving forward.
These are only the cases over the past few years, and interestingly, many of these stars are still with the company, so at least there is some room for the company to improve and find a way to allow these stars to recover. For the ones who have already left, it seems that it’s too late and they now join a long list of former WWE stars whose career started and ended with the biggest promotion in the world.
15. Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn was known around the world as El Generico before he decided to sign with WWE. Triple H knew exactly what he was doing with Zayn on NXT and the former Ring of Honor star didn’t take long to make an impact on the developmental roster before he lifted the NXT Championship.
When Kevin Owens followed his long-time friend to WWE, they were always destined to become rivals and even had one of the most memorable feuds as part of the NXT brand over the NXT Championship. Owens was brought up to the main roster and has been part of some of the biggest storylines ever since, whilst Zayn has floundered as a jobber on the Raw roster before following Owens over to SmackDown, and he is still not being used in the right way. It’s reached the point where poor Sami is unable to be taken seriously by the WWE Universe anymore, which is sad considering he is a talented wrestler and he is criminally underused.
14. Mike Bennett
Mike Bennett only made his WWE debut back at Money in the Bank on the arm of his real-life wife Maria, as they attempted to take the place of The Miz and Maryse as SmackDown’s new IT couple. It seems that they have failed, since it was reported that merely weeks after Mike’s debut, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon had already decided that he had gone off him.
Maria was in WWE seven years ago and is well aware of the politics that go on behind the scenes, so she will understand this process, but somehow Mike has gone from the hottest free agent after making a name for himself in both TNA and ROH, to now being used sparsely on SmackDown and not being able to put together a storyline for himself. Hopefully, the company will have a change of heart and give Mike one more push forward in the coming months, so that he can play his part in the Survivor Series event in November.
13. Dolph Ziggler
As a former World Champion and a former winner of the Money in the Bank ladder match, it’s hard to say that WWE has actually ruined Dolph Ziggler. It could be the fact that his concussion when he was World Champion came at the worst time, and it left WWE unable to gamble another world Championship push on The Showoff.
That being said, Ziggler is one of the best wrestlers that SmackDown has at the moment, but he is lost in feuds with The Miz, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, and he was even, at one point, feuding with Kalisto and Apollo Crews. It seems that Dolph can’t sink any lower. It’s sad that Ziggler has reached the point now where it is rumored that he is leaving WWE, and the WWE Universe are seemingly not very worried by his departure, because he hasn’t played a big role in proceedings for a very long time.
Bayley was the best babyface that the NXT Women’s Division had. Her climb-up to the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn in 2015 was perfect, and she seemed to be a straight-up babyface, which the women’s division on the main roster had needed.
Somehow WWE managed to mess this up; Bayley has been used so badly on the main roster that even when she became Women’s Champion a few months ago, it was hard to see her as a Champion, because WWE had pushed her as a childlike character that was unable to control an entire locker room. The feud with Alexa Bliss was embarrassing for both women, and included the worst TV segment of the year. Bayley was probably thankful that she was injured before she was able to face Alexa again at SummerSlam and ignite their feud, so she didn’t have to endure any more of it.
11. Jack Swagger
Poor Jack Swagger was a former World Champion, a former amateur wrestler and a star who should easily have been able to overcome Rusev in their patriotic showdown back in 2014. Swagger and Zab Colter seemed to work together quite well for a number of months, but ultimately Swagger’s career was pretty much over when The Real Americans broke up.
Swagger managed to feud with Alberto Del Rio back in 2015 in a half-decent rivalry, but the writing was on the wall after that feud ended, and it was a surprise to no one when Swagger asked for his WWE release earlier this year. Swagger will make a killing on the Independent Circuit and always seemed to be wasted on WWE’s main roster anyway. Hopefully, Swagger will show WWE what they missed out on in the years to come.
Sting’s WWE run that ended at the hands of Seth Rollins at Night of Champions in 2015 was almost laughable. It seems that as a former WCW star, Vince McMahon used Sting to show that WWE definitely won the war with WCW once and for all, whilst Sting failed to win a single match via pin fall throughout his entire run from 2014-2015.
Considering the fact that Sting was already a well-known star from his days, not just as the face of WCW, but in TNA as well, it is unknown why he decided to even join WWE, knowing that Vince McMahon would probably use him in a childish game to show that WWE is better than WCW. It was a dire run that included a match with Triple H at WrestleMania, which was highlighted by the return of the NWO and The Kliq, where it really looked as though it was WWE vs WCW.
9. The Club
The Club, The Ascension, The Vaudevillians: they have all been given the WWE treatment over the past year, and it seems that none of them were destined to come out smelling like roses. The Club has won Championships all over the world, and somehow they have come to WWE and been humbled because they are glorified jobbers on Monday Night Raw at the moment.
It seems that when it comes to tag teams on the main roster, WWE seems much happier to put together their own teams rather than use the ones who already have chemistry. The Club could have stayed in NJPW if they knew this was the way they were going to be treated and it’s a sad thing to have to watch on a weekly basis. Hopefully, Finn Balor will join his team mates at some point and help the former Raw Tag Team Champions out of this current slump.
Rusev’s shoulder injury came at the worst time for him, because it meant that he missed out on this year’s WrestleMania, and even though he was moved over to SmackDown following the biggest event of the year, he has found it hard to pick up where he left off.
Ever since his return, Rusev has seen that his wife has become a huge star in the Women’s Division, yet he has been defeated in a flag match by John Cena at Battleground and lost in ten seconds to Randy Orton at SummerSlam. Rusev even lost on SmackDown a few weeks ago when he partnered up with WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, and was even the one to take the pin in the match. Rusev has been completely buried over the past few months and it will be hard for him to recover. It’s no wonder there have been rumors about him wanting to leave WWE.
7. Becky Lynch
Becky Lynch knew that when she was promoted to the Amin roster, she was the only member of the Four Horsewomen that hadn’t been able to hold the NXT Women’s Championship. Becky was often overlooked during the Women’s Revolution, but that was fine because she was the Inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Becky was one of the best things about SmackDown for a long time, but recently Becky has been used as a jobber in the feud between Naomi and Natalya and, much like Charlotte, Becky doesn’t actually have a place on SmackDown right now. It’s shocking that WWE has been able to push two horsewomen to the sidelines, but it seems that the creative team just has nothing for them right now. Hopefully there is a way that Becky can still recover from this, despite being called the most irrelevant member of the Women’s Revolution a few years ago, something that has been hanging over her head ever since.
6. Nia Jax
Nia Jax was a monster on NXT; she was only ever defeated by Bayley at NXT Takeover: London, and it was thought that the company would continue to use her as a monster on the main roster. That isn’t the way it’s gone for Nia, who has already been defeated by both Bayley and Sasha Banks numerous times.
Nia has finally got into the Women’s Championship picture over on Raw, but because she has already been defeated by the much smaller women because of WWE’s fifty/fifty booking, it is hard to see her dominating the way WWE would want her to because it’s no longer believable. The women on the main roster are so much smaller than Nia that it was silly for her to tap out to Sasha in the first place. Nia was another casualty of WWE’s obsession with always pushing Sasha Banks to the top of the division.
5. Wade Barrett
For a long time, Wade Barrett was the United Kingdom’s only hope when it came to a WWE Championship, but for some reason, the company didn’t feel the same way. Barrett was perfect; he was the kind of star that Vince McMahon would be on board with, but for some unknown reason, Barrett just wasn’t able to reach the top of the mountain in WWE during his lengthy stint with the company before his eventual departure last year.
WWE experimented so much with Barrett as a King, then as Bad News Barrett, before seeing him flounder towards the end of his career as part of The League of Nations. Poor Barrett was the victim of a creative team that couldn’t make up their mind. Six theme songs in six years and numerous character changes later, it seems that Wade had had enough and decided to leave WWE and take a break from wrestling all together.
Goldberg wasn’t exactly the most well-respected man in wrestling before he returned to WWE last year, but it seems that the return has seen him drop even lower in the WWE Universe’s expectations, if that is even possible.
It does beg the question as to whether or not WWE ruined Goldberg or if he ruined himself, but it seems that the return was not all it was cracked up to be. Goldberg managed to defeat Brock Lesnar in a matter of minutes in what was a shocking match. In the first match he had in more than a decade before the return match at WrestleMania he showed Goldberg who he had been messing with all that time. Whilst it was great to have Goldberg back, he managed to botch his own move on Rusev and proved the fact that he was probably never that great a wrestler to begin with.
3. Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin is a superstar who was able to come from playing professional football, and within three months, he was making his NXT live event debut. Corbin has so much promise that it is hard to see WWE fully being able to ruin him after all the foundations he has already laid, but they are doing a damn good job.
Corbin is a former Andre The Giant winner and a former Mr. Money in the Bank, but because of a backstage problem the company decided to punish him on-screen and cost him a WWE Championship. This is a good argument as to why WWE needs to stop doing this. Backstage antics shouldn’t affect the product. Baron has stepped into a feud with AJ Styles for the United States Championship now instead, but after the past few months, it will be a tough climb back up for the former NXT star.
2. Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura was once a huge deal in New Japan Pro Wrestling; the WWE Universe exploded with excitement when they found out that Nakamura would be heading to the biggest wrestling promotion in the world, but what has WWE really done with ‘The King of Strong Styles?’
Nakamura has been with WWE now for almost two years and Vince McMahon apparently decided back at SummerSlam that Nakamura was too new to the company to win the WWE Championship, so instead Jinder Mahal won the match against him clean. It ruined all the momentum he had been building up to the event and now the company thinks fans will get back behind him before his match at Hell in a Cell. Nakamura has been watered down. He isn’t the same star from the Tokyo, Dome. It seems that he’s just been added to the long list of stars who should never have been seduced by the bright lights of WWE.
1. Roman Reigns
This might be a hard pill for many Roman Reigns haters to swallow, but the WWE Universe doesn’t actually hate Roman Reigns. The WWE Universe hates the fact that WWE has been shoving Reigns down their throat ever since The Shield split up back in 2014, and even though the fans continue to refuse to accept him as the next big star, the company continue to push.
Reigns has improved on the mic and has shown signs of improvement in the ring, to the extent where some of his recent matches have actually been quite solid, but because of the way WWE has booked him, many of the WWE Universe refuse to cheer for him, much like the way they refuse to cheer for John Cena. I guess the saying is true: Roman Reigns could actually be slowly becoming the new John Cena, which is someone no one asked for or wanted. The good thing about Roman Reigns is the fact that the company now have the time to fix the mistakes they have made over the past few years.
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