There are a lot of issues that people have with professional wrestling in the present day, and while some of those issues may be misdirected, they hold some value. After all, not everything can be perfect, and when the leading organisation is as inconsistent as the WWE then things get a little bit questionable.
It’s no secret that the company has dropped the ball on more than one occasion when it comes to making future stars, with a great deal of focus being put into guys who are already well established at the top of the card.
Over the past few years, in particular, there are several names that jump off the page when it comes to guys and girls who have had their careers stalled somewhat due to the company’s incompetence. On the opposite end of the spectrum you do, of course, have people who were naturally terrible, but in order to move forward, you need to be able to admit that there’s certainly a mixture of the two.
15 Dolph Ziggler – RUINED
He’s been here to show the world for a few years now, and for whatever reason, the WWE Universe has decided that they just don’t care anymore. Dolph Ziggler is the epitome of an under-utilized guy, which is odd because over the course of the last 12 months he’s been featured more than he has been in the last five years.
The problem with Ziggler is that they’ve transformed him into this plucky veteran turned bitter heel character, which doesn’t suit him at all. As the blonde bombshell babyface he was a revolution back at the 2014 Survivor Series, and even before that he managed to thrive when he had the Money in the Bank briefcase by his side. Make no mistake about it, the failures of Dolph fall solely at the feet of the higher-ups.
14 Karl Anderson – RUINED
There are actually quite a few entries that we’re going to run through that feature tag teams, but we’re going to break our own rule here by featuring The Good Brothers as two separate entities. Why? Because they’re both extremely talented guys and whether it be as a tag team or as singles stars, they need to be treated with a little bit more respect.
Anderson, in particular, should be positioned as the brains behind the team – because that’s exactly what he is. We shouldn’t be forced to sit through comedy skits and poor match performances because, at the end of the day, these guys are one of the best teams in the world. Karl could do some really great things in the mid-card, too.
13 Mojo Rawley – TERRIBLE
Down in NXT, for whatever reason, Mojo Rawley was actually considered to be one of the most promising stars in all of developmental. Obviously, the waters weren’t quite as stacked as they are these days or have been since, but even when you go back and watch old footage it really is difficult to pick out what people saw in this guy.
Some will say that it’s his charisma and while that’s certainly true, he just comes across as a little bit plain in the ring when you see him perform live. He’s got the passion and drive necessary to make a name for himself, but we aren’t sure that it should be in professional wrestling.
Who knows, maybe this heel run will end up being an overwhelming success – but we aren’t holding our breath.
12 Bray Wyatt – RUINED
There’s an argument to be made that this is the biggest entry on the list so far, and we won’t complain about that statement. Bray Wyatt, upon debuting back in 2013, should’ve been the next big thing: and he wasn’t. For all of his great matches and great promos, he was never positioned as "the guy," and year after year he continues to get shafted at possible every turn.
Even when he won the WWE championship it was short-lived, because of course, we needed to have Randy Boreton holding the most prestigious title in professional wrestling again because of his name value, and because WrestleMania. Bray’s credibility has taken a serious knock over the course of the last few years, and there’s a chance that he may never become the top star we all know he can be.
11 Luke Harper – RUINED
We shift tracks now to another former Wyatt Family alumni, this time in the form of Luke Harper. As a big man wrestler who can produce top quality content inside the ropes there’s really nobody better, because not only is he a phenomenal wrestler, but he can also tell a better story than 95% of the roster. Yes, we’re including both Raw AND SmackDown Live in that statement.
Things appeared to be looking up at the turn of the year when he was being featured in blockbuster feuds heading into WrestleMania 33, and yet, he was relegated to the pre-show on the actual card because WWE didn’t know what to do with him. Sure, he’s doing okay alongside Erick Rowan once again, but he’s worth so much more than that and we think Vince McMahon knows it.
10 R-Truth – TERRIBLE
If you enjoy hearing us rip into superstars who are without a doubt more talented than we could ever hope to be, then you’re in luck. We’re kicking off our "these people are terrible" crusade with none other than R-Truth, who seems to be pulling off the JTG trick of collecting a paycheck while doing precisely nothing on the sidelines.
We all know that he’s given a hell of a lot to this business over the years and we’ll always be thankful for that, but his time has come and gone. The last great R-Truth era came back in 2011 and if it weren’t for his performances in recent years, we’d probably be putting him alongside the others in the "ruined" category right about now.
9 The Ascension – RUINED
Yes, we know they’re involved in amusing skits with Breezango, and yes, we know that they’re one of the most entertaining parts of SmackDown Live, but it’s not enough. If you go back and watch a clip of The Ascension down in NXT, the comparison between that and the work they’re producing on the main roster is absolutely staggering.
Given their physiques, it should be impossible to do some of the things they can pull off inside of a wrestling ring, and it’s embarrassing to see how badly their main roster run has been botched thus far. Obviously, there isn’t room for every single team to find success at the top of the card, but come on, they don’t even get a six-day run with the straps for their troubles?
8 Luke Gallows – RUINED
We move onto the aforementioned Anderson’s partner: the man formerly known as Festus. Gallows has been through a lot during his numerous runs with WWE, and you’d have thought that the company would learn from past mistakes. Instead, they’ve managed to allow him to fall straight back into the same old routine that he did prior to heading over to Japan.
Luke is one of the best big man wrestlers that WWE has at their disposal right now, and he could be a handy addition to any faction or storyline. The guy has a great move set for someone who you wouldn’t think was a pro wrestler just by looking at him, and it’s a shame that he’s not treated with the same respect as a Big Show or a Braun Strowman.
7 Cameron – TERRIBLE
"Girl, bye." Somehow, some way, we managed to go from "and that’s the bottom line" to "girl, bye" within the space of fewer than 10 years. That in itself should be a crime against professional wrestling, and yet, Cameron’s wrestling was actually worse than her catchphrases. Oh, and don’t even get us started about her attitude on Total Divas.
Even with a run down in NXT, she couldn’t progress, and while she certainly got slightly better, she should never have been given the chance to actually wrestle. When you compare her to fellow Funkadactyl Naomi, the difference really is staggering, which is surprising given how equally athletic both women were perceived to be.
If she wants to keep wrestling, then that’s fine, but we don’t want to be there for it.
6 Wade Barrett – RUINED
We may have arrived at potentially the biggest travesty of them all, and that’s the man formerly known as "King" or "Bad News" or simply Wade Barrett. The Englishman entered the main event scene with some serious gusto back in 2010, and as the leader of the upcoming Nexus faction, there were very few people who could deny that he was destined to become the first ever British WWE champion.
Alas, it didn’t transpire, and at every available opportunity, the company decided to handicap Barrett when he was just getting over with the crowd. The worst example would probably be his Bad News gimmick, which he quite literally got over all on his own. For some reason, WWE refused to listen to the reactions of the fans – which isn’t exactly uncommon for them.
5 Curt Hawkins – RUINED
Face the facts – Curt Hawkins is much, much better than anyone gives him credit for. The perennial jobber to the stars was always destined to return back to his lower card roots when he returned last year, despite the fact that many fans were clamouring to see him being given more to do on a week to week basis.
Curt has a great look, can deliver great material on the mic and is a solid in-ring worker – so why are we even sitting here questioning his credentials? The WWE is desperately lacking some more mid-card talent and while we aren’t exactly suggesting that he’d go on to main event WrestleMania, what we are suggesting is that Hawkins deserves better given how many years he’s dedicated to his craft.
4 El Torito – TERRIBLE
Midget wrestling is something that a handful of you out there may enjoy watching, and in all honesty, we really enjoyed the WEE-LC match a few years back. Unfortunately, that’s where the amusement begins and ends for us because aside from that match, El Torito did absolutely nothing aside from pretending to be a bull on national television.
We aren’t knocking his in-ring abilities because he was actually pretty great when you consider the circumstances, but his gimmick was literally just him pretending to be a bull. That is the definition of taking things too far, and no matter how much WWE tried to undo their own mistake, nothing could take away from the fact that this was incredibly insulting to our intelligence. Period.
3 The Colons – RUINED
We’ve landed at the first tag team calamity of the evening in the form of The Colons, aka Los Matadores, aka The Shining Stars. Look, there are no two ways around it, The Colons should’ve been an impossible team to mess up at the best of times, and yet here we are after yet another failed gimmick that has left them on the outside looking in.
Their original run which saw them become Tag Team Champions worked really well because it was so simple. It was two cocky guys who wanted to go out there and prove what they could do in front of the world, and they did just that. For some reason, WWE decided to overcomplicate that so, so much, to the point where we no longer even bat an eyelid when hearing their names.
2 Roman Reigns – RUINED
For the final entry into the "ruined" category, we come to the most polarizing man in all of sports entertainment: Roman Reigns. With three consecutive WrestleMania main events under his belt as well as multiple world titles his accomplishments are there for everyone to see, and yet, we still find ourselves having the same issues with him that we did a few years ago.
He’s just not believable. A guy who looks like that and acts like he does should not be positioned as a babyface, and the stubbornness of Vince McMahon when it comes to acknowledging that point is utterly revolting. There’s still plenty of time for things to be turned around, but let’s not lie to ourselves, there’s only one way to get out of this mess and that’s with a heel turn.
1 Tamina – TERRIBLE
We’ll wrap things up with someone who, in a lot of ways, has had a difficult few years. Tamina was never looked upon as being one of the top female stars in WWE and while that position was warranted, even as a valet she didn’t seem to create much of an atmosphere in the crowd. That can probably be put down to her lack of charisma, but still, it’s sad to see.
Since the brand split, however, Tamina herself has confirmed our suspicions: she’s just not very good. After being in this business for as many years as she has you’d think that she would make some kind of improvement, but we can’t see anything that validates that theory.
She’s distinctly average, and in the present day, that shouldn’t be good enough to warrant such a prominent place on the roster.