Every professional wrestling fan has his or her favorite WWE Superstars. It makes sense when you think about it, the WWE dominates the wrestling world and collects consumers from all over the globe, so naturally, the goal for the company is to have something for everyone. Some fans prefer the indy style of someone like Finn Balor or Sami Zayn, while others are more into the women’s wrestling movement. Still yet, some enjoy watching the hard hitters like Samoa Joe and the kids will always get behind John Cena.
But there are some WWE Superstars who tend to get a reputation for taking up a bit too much TV time. Maybe they’re not that fun to watch in a general sense, or perhaps there is a more specific reason behind your hate. Maybe they make you cringe when they speak, or their wrestling style is just not clicking. It does not take long before it becomes obvious that these wrestlers are just plain overrated.
A WWE Superstar can be considered overrated for many reasons, not the least of which being their lack of wrestling ability. Maybe the WWE itself is giving too many opportunities to wrestlers who the fans are just not that into, or maybe a Superstar gets a reputation for something they really haven’t earned.
Sometimes it’s largely a matter of opinion, but once in a while, a Superstar comes along whom most of the WWE Universe seems to agree is just not meeting our standards. Let’s turn a critical eye to 15 of those overrated wrestlers currently on the WWE roster.
15. Baron Corbin
NXT has been the breeding ground for WWE talent in the last few years. A large percentage of the main roster is now made up of men and women who got their start in the Orlando-based developmental territory. While they’ve all seen varying degrees of success, the consensus is that NXT has made WWE a better wrestling program.
One of the most recent NXT call-ups is Baron Corbin and judging from the length and prominence of his first rivalry (against two-time World Champion Dolph Ziggler, no less) someone in WWE seems to really be getting behind the behemoth of a man. The only problem is that the audience really doesn’t care.
The most recent development in Corbin’s rivalry with Dolph Ziggler was at the annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view, an exciting event which takes place every June that fans are always psyched up for. The match went for a painfully long time and the WWE Universe, who tried so hard to be patient, lost it. They really tore into the match, which says a lot for a match featuring Ziggler, who is usually a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.
Baron Corbin brought the match down with his sluggish in-ring style and it’s clear that while the WWE may support Corbin, the crowd is just not buying it.
In 1997 the WWE kicked off one of the best-presented works of fiction in professional wrestling. It was a drawn-out family drama that had elements of science fiction between two brothers. Those brothers were the long-time WWE mainstay the Undertaker and the masked demon Kane.
Known as “The Big Red Machine,” Kane is still occasionally presented as a legitimate threat to other WWE Superstars. Even though he wreaked havoc on WWE for a few years he soon fell prey to WWE’s monster syndrome. Once the company had milked all they could out of the sadistic, intimidating side of his character, he began being used as comic relief and it all started to go downhill.
Kane’s certainly got seniority in the WWE as he’s one of their longest-tenured employees and he’s proven to be versatile, but that versatility has failed to recapture any of the glory he found in the late ‘90s. While he has had other achievements such as a lengthy, but somewhat obscure World Heavyweight Championship reign in 2010, Kane has been little more than a road block for the WWE’s rising stars for the last ten to fifteen years.
13. Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman is to the Wyatt Family what Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane is to Cersei Lannister, or at least that’s what the WWE would have you believe. Internet rumors earlier this year claimed Vince McMahon was rallying for Strowman to be the Undertaker’s WrestleMania opponent. That obviously never happened, but if the rumor holds truth it speaks volumes about how Vince McMahon feels about the giant of the Wyatt Family.
But on what grounds would value in Braun Strowman be based? We’ve rarely seen the big man compete in matches and when we have, he’s been nearly immobile. The most he seems capable of is a clothesline or tossing someone a great distance. As is the fate of most big men in WWE, he is not being accepted into the arms of the WWE Universe.
When the aforementioned rumor broke, the internet imploded under the immense fury of WWE fans. The Undertaker gets one match per year as part of the legendary decades-spanning WrestleMania annual event and one of the most exciting times each year for wrestling fans is learning who the Undertaker will be wrestling. If you consider that it could always be his last match, you will understand why nobody was getting into the idea of Undertaker versus Braun Strowman.
To hear the WWE announcers and other female Superstars tell it, Naomi is possibly the most athletically gifted woman to ever compete in a wrestling ring. It’s true that Naomi can provide a lot of flash to a wrestling match, especially with those glowing shoes of hers.
But while Naomi may be athletic, athleticism does not always equate to being a great professional wrestler. Naomi can jump really high and she can do the splits with the best of them, but when have we ever seen a truly great Naomi match? The former Funkadactyl and Team B.A.D. member joined the WWE in 2010 when she was announced as part of an all-female season of NXT (which at the time followed a competition-style format). For six years we’ve waited for Naomi to rise to the top, as her innate abilities seemed to indicate she would, but despite being billed as a credible threat to other women in WWE for years now she’s yet to really “wow” anyone between the ropes.
The “unstoppable” Rusev has definitely earned that nickname. For several years he’s been plowing through the competition left and right, even after getting dominated for months by the human bulldozer John Cena. Rusev is an awesome big man and at times breaks out moves like a wrestler half his size. Not to mention he is on his second run as United States Champion.
But though he’s seen some relative consistency during his WWE tenure thus far, the “Bulgarian Brute” still doesn’t seem to be on the upswing. He rarely suffers a loss, so WWE is wisely protecting him, but if a tree falls in the woods and no one’s around does it make a sound?
That’s the issue with Rusev and where the evidence of his overrated nature comes into play. Try as he might, Rusev can’t seem to get anyone in the WWE Universe to care. Instead, everyone seems to be way more into his manager and wife-to-be, Lana. The “Ravishing Russian” is undoubtedly the most compelling half of this act and it shows through the reactions of the audience. Lana gets the crowd going, but once she introduces Rusev the crickets are out to play.
Sheamus is an example of the WWE’s unwavering determination to make the fans care, one way or another, about a Superstar they just don’t care about. The “Celtic Warrior” has been given multiple reigns with the WWE Championship and several character makeovers. He has been in matches with just about everyone under contract with the company in every imaginable scenario, but despite all the evolutions of Sheamus’ career, one thing has most definitely remained consistent is that not a soul in the audience cares if he wins or loses.
Another victim of the WWE’s penchant for pushing big guys the crowd will never get behind, Sheamus was a part of the League of Nations group with Wade Barrett, Rusev and Alberto Del Rio. The grouping was supposed to see a career resurgence for four men who had lost their momentum, but the project failed miserably and some would say everyone involved was worse off for it.
Sheamus is not a bad big man. Unfortunately for him, he just came along in the wrong professional wrestling era.
9. Nia Jax
It is clear that NXT has completely revolutionized women’s wrestling in the WWE. Triple H has kept the NXT women’s division supplied with an ample amount of wrestlers and one of the women who brought the most hype with her into the company is Nia Jax.
Another of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s many relatives now on staff with the WWE, Nia’s one of the few plus-size female wrestlers WWE has given a chance. There’s naturally a lot of buzz around her and there are a lot of fans rooting for her.
Unfortunately, whether because of a lack of ability or those in power limiting her abilities to preserve her intimidating presence, Nia’s yet to really show us anything. She’s one of NXT’s most-used female talents and has competed for the NXT Women’s Championship on more than one occasion, including once against Bayley and another time against Asuka.
Both Bayley and Asuka are known for being able to make just about anyone look good in the ring, but most of the time Nia Jax is standing in one spot and tossing people around. We can only hope that the WWE and NXT will let her turn loose eventually, because if there’s some hidden talent in there, Nia could still have a bright future ahead of her.
8. The Miz
Mike “The Miz” Mizanin is talented. He’s got his niche in WWE and has proved to be an asset to the company, especially with his appearances in movies such as WWE Studios’ The Marine series. There’s no denying he’s valuable to have around as he certainly adds comedy and the occasional good wrestling match to the WWE’s midcard.
But for some reason the WWE saw fit in 2011 to skyrocket The Miz into the main event of WrestleMania, defending the WWE Championship against John Cena. To be clear, this is the highest accomplishment a professional wrestler can achieve before being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. And to make things even worse, The Miz won!
Fans were confused by the outcome, to say the least. No one was buying The Miz as WWE Champion, but it seemed that WWE expected throwing the belt on him would make people believe he was of WrestleMania main event status. It didn’t, and The Miz’s career quickly went into a downward spiral. Though he’s in a good place now, there’s no denying that The Miz’s impressive WrestleMania history paired with the much less impressive level of interest the fans actually have in him makes him one of the most overrated WWE Superstars of all time.
7. Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt and the rest of the Wyatt Family are a winning concept on paper. When they debuted on Raw in 2013 the entire WWE Universe was sold and everyone knew that Bray, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan were going conquer the WWE.
Fast forward to 2016 and the entire angle has gone nowhere. In the case of Bray Wyatt, the thing that’s overrated isn’t about his own wrestling talent or the fans’ willingness to accept him. This is all about WWE’s massive mishandling of a man who could have been one of the company’s biggest stars.
Things first went south for Bray Wyatt when he was fed to the career-ending machine known as John Cena, who month after month made Bray look like a complete fool. The following year Wyatt was tossed to the Undertaker at WrestleMania in one of the dead man’s least impressive matches in years. Follow that up with the inability to really get one up on Chris Jericho in a lukewarm rivalry and Bray Wyatt is just no longer scary. It’s not the wrestler that’s overrated, it’s his career.
6. Alberto Del Rio
One conclusion we can clearly draw when discussing WWE’s most overrated wrestlers is that the League of Nations was a project that failed miserably. WWE obviously grouped together these four men to revitalize their deflated careers, but all it did was drag them down into one of the least exciting storylines of late 2015 and early 2016.
Rusev, Sheamus and Wade Barrett failed to benefit from the League’s existence, but for Alberto Del Rio it was one of a long string of failed attempts to jumpstart a career that never really had that much steam behind it in the first place. WWE likes to harp on Del Rio’s reigns as World Champion as if they’re referencing what makes him so great, but truthfully even as champion, no one really cared that much about him.
Alberto’s World title success came as a result of a brand split that had gone on so far past the point of being beneficial. It was clear that the WWE was desperate for stars to represent the main events of both Raw and SmackDown. A brand split such as the one coming soon to WWE can be greatly helpful when the roster is overwhelmed with talent, as it is now. But Alberto Del Rio, while not the most boring guy in WWE, came along at a time when WWE had very few main event caliber stars. Perhaps Del Rio can cut it in the midcard, but he’s definitely one of the most overrated World Champions in WWE history.
5. Summer Rae
The Divas division was the product of years of declining quality in WWE women’s wrestling. The term “Diva” started being used on a less official basis long before the Divas Championship came about, but at some point, the WWE trademarked it as the name for their female competitors. Many women found it offensive, but it was descriptive of the way the company tried to market the women for many years.
Time progressed and the female WWE talent became less and less wrestling-centric. But there was a revolution around the corner which saw the return of a much more wrestling-focused women’s division and unfortunately, Summer Rae came along during the transition.
Summer’s gorgeous and leggy, so she would have undoubtedly found success when women like Kelly Kelly were on top of the division. But she’s far outclassed in the wrestling game today, despite WWE’s apparent insistence on having her compete with women like Charlotte and Sasha Banks as if it’s actually believable that Summer won’t get torn apart by these women.
WWE seems to see Summer Rae as a believable women’s wrestler in today’s climate, and that makes her one of the most overrated female Superstars.
While we have not heard from him in a little while, Ryback is still technically a WWE Superstar. He’s been wrestling for the WWE for a few years now and despite being totally ripped, he’s not really seen much in the way of career success.
That’s not due to the WWE’s lack of effort. Push after push he’s received and yet it’s still crickets and “Goldberg” chants every time Ryback’s in the ring. He’s one of the least “over” WWE Superstars the company has ever tried this hard to get a success story out of.
It’s not difficult to see what’s missing. Aside from the “feed me more” chants, which the WWE Universe happily joins in on because it’s the only fun thing this guy does, Ryback has absolutely nothing going for him. He’s got no technical wrestling prowess and every move he tries to pull off looks absolutely clumsy.
Ryback became frustrated when the WWE finally seemed to be listening to the fans and began demoting him, so he went home in protest and hasn’t been seen since. But he’s said that under the right circumstances he would return to the ring, much to the chagrin of the WWE Universe.
3. Big Show
You can probably count on a three-fingered hand the number of professional wrestlers to ever compete at a size larger than Big Show. He rose to mainstream fame in the ‘90s as The Giant in WCW and later came to WWE, where he’s been wrestling for over a decade and a half.
You’d think Big Show could be nothing but threatening, but in all truth, he’s not been an intimidating figure since his WCW days. His WWE career got off to a rather rough start as one of his earliest storylines saw him constantly being made a fool of by the Undertaker, who at the time spoke endlessly about how Big Show could be a real monster if only he knew how. It was apparent that Show never figured it out and the angle went nowhere.
Big Show’s had his share of World Championships, but he’s been so intermittently used as a speed bump to success for other, smaller wrestlers over the entire span of his WWE tenure that no one ever really found him all that powerful. Big Show’s World title reigns always felt like a consolation prize that WWE handed to him out of respect.
To this day Big Show is used only when someone else needs to look good, and it’s been that way for pretty much his whole career.
2. Eva Marie
Ask the WWE Universe to describe in detail why they’ve rejected Eva Marie to such an extreme degree and they could probably write you a novel. There is no doubt that the novel would have “she can’t wrestle!” written over and over. Fans just can’t get enough of telling the crimson-haired beauty how terrible she is in the ring. Because she really, really is.
Not to say the audience hasn’t been too hard on her. Eva Marie signed a contract for a ton of money and is doing exactly what she’s told, which is to learn how to wrestle in front of the entire world. But, boy, is the company sold on her drawing power or what? The notion that Eva can eventually be a star is probably a holdout from the now buried Divas division, but the WWE seems to still be holding on to that hope.
No one can really figure out how someone in the WWE looked at this girl with absolutely no charisma or physical energy and thought that with enough training she could become a world class athlete. We could make the argument that she gets great heel heat, but that’s only because people think she’s so bad, that they want to boo her off their television and away from the actual wrestlers.
Despite reduced TV time in recent weeks, Eva Marie still obviously has the WWE rooting for her, which is good because that’s about all the support she’s going to get.
1. Roman Reigns
Let’s lay our cards on the table right now, we all knew Roman Reigns was the only possible contender to be the most overrated WWE Superstar currently on the roster. Why wouldn’t he be? No one’s claiming he can’t wrestle, wait yes they are! The vast majority, in fact, chant this at him on a nightly basis. But honestly, it’s not that he literally can’t wrestle, it’s more that he can’t wrestle the style WWE fans have been demanding for years. Not to mention that his microphone work is just awful. Maybe he’d thrive a little more with the spoken word if he could just be himself, but the scripted promo is not something that’s benefitting this dull, dry robot of a man.
On top of it all, Roman Reigns is the absolute last member of The Shield the WWE Universe wanted to see achieve success, and it was obvious from day one that this was the complete opposite of how the WWE itself saw things. They wanted Roman on top from the moment The Shield debuted and the crowd has revolted in every way imaginable.
No matter how hard WWE tries, Roman Reigns fails again and again to get the audience response the company has hoped for. It’s the company’s own doing as they shot themselves in the foot over a period of years by consistently ignoring the fans’ demands for a new breed of athlete. Wrestlers like Daniel Bryan are always looked over for the bigger, more marketable guys. Wrestling fans are not idiots, we know when the company is trying to manipulate our reaction and the only response is to let them know how badly we reject what they’re trying to feed us.
And that is precisely why Roman Reigns has failed so miserably and why he’s the most overrated WWE wrestler in 2016.