Sometimes, the sheer amount of talent a wrestler has isn't enough to get them over. Often, good booking, marquee feuds, and putting them in workable situations is just as, if not more important than how good they are in the ring or on the microphone. If a wrestler doesn't have the right circumstances surrounding their career, it can be a waste of good talent, which helps neither the promotion, or the wrestler themselves. It's imperative that good talent be given the chance to succeed in the first place, and from there, everything usually takes care of itself.
Looking at the wrestling landscape right now, we can observe plenty of quality talent that aren't being given a fair shake. Maybe they're buried on the roster, trapped in a bad gimmick, or just not getting the respect they deserve from management. Whatever the situation, there are many wrestlers in the business today who could be an asset to the promotion in question, but just aren't being given the opportunity right now. Let's take a look at who this applies to, and some viable solutions.
Ranked below are 15 wrestlers whose talent is currently being wasted, and what can be done to fix it.
15 Bo Dallas: An Identifiable Gimmick
As a member of the legendary Rotunda family, and a true wrestling legacy, it's interesting that Dallas has been so misused during his time on the main roster in WWE. It's even more perplexing when you consider that he's a former NXT Champion, and won titles in WWE's Florida developmental territory as well, before that. The main issue seems to be a haphazard approach to his gimmicks, which haven't been memorable, and haven't lead to a marquee feud.
Dallas is certainly good enough in the ring, but he's being positioned as a mid-carder with no sense of direction, instead of the superior talent that he really is. Sure, being part of The Miztourage gives him something to do, but he's really just a glorified jobber. He needs his character repackaged once again, but this time management needs to hit on the new gimmick, instead of giving him one that is unmemorable, yet again.
14 Jason Jordan: Reform American Alpha
In a tag team division that is undeniably weak right now, getting rid of one of the true up-and-coming teams was a mistake. Supplanting it with a goofy storyline that sees Jordan as Kurt Angle's son is even more cringeworthy, and is doing a disservice to his natural ability in the ring. This isn't a good use of a young talent, and may indicate that WWE is ready to move on from him all together.
American Alpha could have been a stable tag team when WWE frankly needs one the most. Of course, if the tag division isn't valued to begin with (for whatever reason), then their importance is mitigated, but it's clear that giving Jordan a ridiculous storyline out of the blue isn't the best use of his talent.
13 Rhyno: Have Him Put Over Younger Wrestlers
At this point in his career, putting Rhyno in a tag team with a younger wrestler, in this case Heath Slater, doesn't make much sense. His days of being a legitimate contender for titles is over, but he still has the name recognition that would make him be an effective piece of enhancement talent. Use him to put over future stars, and then WWE will be getting the most out of his ability, as he winds down his career with the company.
Rhyno has done this before, and there's really no reason to get away from it. If he's going to be contracted by WWE, putting him in a directionless tag team helps nobody, and it's a waste of a roster spot. Either use Rhyno to make new stars, or cut ties with him all together.
12 Apollo Crews: An Intercontinental Title Run
Crews is at the point in his career where there needs to be a concerted effort to find out whether he can be an upper-tier member of the roster or not. With no title runs in either NXT or on the main roster, it's a waste of a signing if management doesn't see if he can carry a mid-level title, and assess from there. There's a reason why they acquired Crews from Dragon Gate, and he needs to be given more opportunity.
The Intercontinental Title would be a good starting point. The title has been able to elevate careers in the past, and it would be a good barometer to use in determining how good Crews really is. Ultimately, it's a mistake to keep him toiling in the mid-card.
11 Dolph Ziggler: Get Back To Basics
As one of the most tenured members of the roster, Ziggler has obviously seen plenty of ups-and-downs, as well as a variety of gimmick changes over his career. With a new one that seems him playing more of a comedic edge, it's clear that management has lost the plot on how to use him. There are plenty of other lesser talents that they could use for humor, instead of someone that's been a major player in the promotion in years past.
If Ziggler is going to be kept on the roster, he should at least be having good matches with legitimate talent on a regular basis. We can debate whether or not he deserves another title run, but he shouldn't be cast aside as a low mid-carder, when he could at least be making new stars and putting them over.
10 Kento Miyahara: Leave AJPW
Perhaps the most underrated wrestler in the world today, Miyahara is the ace of AJPW right now. Though the promotion has seen great successes in years past, they're now been relegated to a mid-level promotion in Japan, with Miyahara standing as one of their few bright spots on the roster. He's simply too good a wrestler to be toiling away in a stagnant promotion. Miyahara needs more exposure, and he needs it now in order to really break out.
Thankfully, there are plenty of options available. He could stay local, and head over to NJPW, which is gaining international recognition as one of the best promotions in the world. He could hit the American Indys, or even try his hand in WWE, although their track record with international talent is less than stellar. Whatever the case, Miyahara deserves a high-profile shot at a major title.
9 The Usos: Give Them Legitimate Competition
The Usos may be the most consistent tag team in WWE right now, and they deserve to be featured more on pay-per-view cards than they have been in the past. Sure, they've been a consistent team over the years, but have had very few marquee feuds that could potentially elevate them to the next level, despite winning the Tag Titles on four separate occasions.
The reality is, WWE needs to start investing more in the tag division on a macro level. Having a reliable team like The Usos is great, but ultimately means nothing if you're not going to push anybody else within the division. This needs to be addressed going forward, but it's also been a complaint for years, and not much has changed.
8 Rich Swann: Form A Tag Team With R-Truth
One way to bolster the tag division is to actually construct new teams with identifiable wrestlers. R-Truth, while definitely past his prime as a whole, is still on the roster and has extensive experience as a tag wrestler. Swann is young, athletic, and could potentially be a rising star within the company. But he's not getting the exposure necessary in the cruiserweight division, which has become a mess in and of itself.
This is just another example of a better way for WWE to allocate their resources. R-Truth is doing nothing as a veteran wrestler who won't get a push in the singles ranks, and Swann is doing nothing being anonymous within the cruiswerweights. Combined their talents, and put them in a tag team feud that will elevate them both.
7 The Briscoes: Feud To Solidify Their Legacy
It's unlikely that we'll ever see Jay and Mark in WWE, as it's just not their style, and they've excelled to large degrees in other promotions. Without a doubt, The Briscoes have been one of the most memorable teams of the past decade-plus, and been perhaps the best tag team in the world during certain time periods. Now they're mainly in NJPW, and a feud to really cement them as an all-time great team should be in order.
The great tag teams in the history of the business, have all excelled in a particular feud, regardless of where they were in their career. The Briscoes have a chance to really stamp their legacy with one more truly great rivalry. If they're going to stay in NJPW, potential candidates for one include The Young Bucks, Chaos or War Machine.
6 Heath Slater: Repackage His Character
We've already established that Rhyno should be used outside of the tag division, which means his tag partner in Slater will need a new role going forward as well. Slater is a veteran for sure, and his upside is limited as this point, so he'd really need a great new gimmick to make him useful. It's a bit of a long-shot, but still the best option.
Honestly, Slater is best suited for the mid-card, despite his success in the tag division over the years. He could form a new tag team with someone, but it's unlikely that it will be one that can turn around the bad fortunes of that part of the roster. Still, repackage his character, and there's at least a chance that he'll be more useful.
5 Ethan Carter III: Go To Japan
Carter has pretty much exhausted all opportunity in GFW at this point, and already whiffed at an opportunity with WWE developmental. With NJPW and other Japanese promotions on the rise, it's exactly the kind of change his career needs. He's still young enough to make an impact (pun intended), and could prove to be a vital part of the roster for one of those overseas promotions.
It's better than staying in the inevitable dumpster fire that is GFW. Carter's skills have never been utilized to their fullest extent, and there's no doubt that NJPW could put him into a feud that would elevate his career. This should be a no-brainer, but he may like the familiarity of domestic promotions and GFW.
4 Shinsuke Nakamura: Legitimize Him As A Threat
As per usual, WWE is squandering an opportunity to make an elite international talent into a stateside star. Nakamura's resume was phenomenal with NJPW, and he's easily one of the best overall wrestlers on the WWE main roster. When the most high-profile match he's been involved in so far has been with Jinder Mahal, it's nothing less than poor booking on the part of the company.
There's a bevy of wrestlers he could be feuding with that would lead to a classic match. A.J. Styles and Kevin Owens on SmackDown, Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe on Raw; the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, WWE's M.O. with many international wrestlers is to keep them just buried enough to prevent them from becoming a star, and it seems to be par for the course with Nakamura.
3 Tony Nese: Win The Cruiserweight Title
WWE has one of the most underrated wrestlers in the world right now with Nese on the roster, and it's abundantly clear that they have no long-term plans for him. This is a mistake. Nese is one of the best overall talents on the roster, but like so many others has been hampered by poor booking and general anonymity.
At the very least, Nese deserves a shot at the Cruiserweight Title, for whatever that's been worth over the last year or so. If he excels in that role, he can expand to competition for more significant titles in the singles ranks. If booked correctly, and given a legitimate chance, WWE could be sitting on a gold mine with Nese, and see him transform into a major star.
2 Bobby Roode: Feud With A.J. Styles
Roode may be late to the game in WWE, but there's still room for him to succeed. But at his age, he can't afford to have a booking mistake deter his run. He was a staple in TNA for well over a decade, and despite the failures of that promotion, he proved that he was one of their brightest stars. Therefore, it only makes sense for him to go toe-to-toe with another former TNA great in Styles.
Both are veteran wrestlers, who have displayed some of the best skills in the world over their storied careers. This should be a seamless transition into a great feud, and one that can really see Roode make his mark on the company in short order. If he has time for only one great feud in WWE, this should be the one.
1 Jay Lethal: Go To WWE
It's really all he has left to do at this point. Lethal has morphed into one of the biggest stars in all of wrestling over the past few years or so, and a WWE run should be the final thing on the table for his career. After dominating for years in ROH and TNA, including other peripheral promotions, Lethal has to be considered for a shot on the biggest worldwide stage. He's equally charismatic and sound in the ring, and would be a huge asset to the roster right now.
Just like A.J. Styles, this is a move that could see Lethal solidify his career as one of the all-time greats. It's really as simple as that. If he does make the move, the booking should be obvious enough that not even WWE could screw it up, and we should see some great matches over the course of his tenure. Lethal has been a premier talent for a while, and the time to strike in WWE is right now.