Wrestling is cyclical, with most stars becoming cogs in a wheel that never stops turning. Sometimes a wrestler is the main gear that keeps the machine running, and other times they may just be their for cosmetic appearance with no real use. In either case many performers have been subjected to either working the bottom or top of a wrestling card. Even John Cena was forced to move to the mid-card during 2015, in order to bring some integrity to the United States Championship.
Cena’s “demotion” wasn’t seen as a negative, as he was being asked to use his name to bring prestige to a title. In other cases however, a former main eventer moving into the undercard can mean trouble for a wrestler’s career.
Today we are going to take a look at 15 former main eventers, who have been reduced to jobbers, or jobbers for the stars. A jobber is someone who takes nothing but losses, and a jobber to the stars is someone who only does it for main event talent. None of the men mentioned today are by any means on the same level as the Brooklyn Brawler, but they certainly lose more than they win.
Sheamus was given a main event spot since he debuted on the WWE main roster in 2009, with the Irish born star winning the WWE Championship during his rookie year. The good times continued to roll for Sheamus as he took part in WrestleMania that same year, losing to Triple H in a singles match. After his impressive first year, Sheamus would go on to have feuds with all of the big names in the company as well as win heavyweight gold on three more occasions.
When the Kane character debuted on WWE television in 1997, fans were legitimately terrified of his ominous presence. Arriving to the company as the younger brother of the Undertaker, Kane instantly jumped right into the main event scene. As time went on the character evolved (as all good characters should), and little by little he began to lose his edge.
13 Kofi Kingston
Believe it or not kids, Kofi “Booty-O’s” Kingston used to be a main event talent in the WWE. Despite being a tag team all-star now, Kofi actually was sharing promo time with Chris Jericho and Randy Orton in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Despite headlining a few pay per views during this time, and being an absolute standout for Raw, Kofi just couldn’t hang with the top dogs in the company.
12 The Miz
How the mighty have fallen. The Miz is one of the very few people to ever headline a WrestleMania, and fall off the face of the Earth within a few months. Miz never really had a shot of being “The Guy”, well not as long as guys like Cena and Orton were still in the picture in the WWE. Although The Miz held the title for an impressive 160 days, he was still treated like a second class citizen in the WWE booking room.
11 Dolph Ziggler
It’s hard to say why Dolph Ziggler has never been given a real chance as a top guy in WWE. Ironically enough, Ziggler has worked matches with almost every top name that the WWE has had to offer over the past decade yet has never been a true top-card talent. It’s almost as if WWE has a problem believing in the two time WWE Champion. You may be thinking, well at least he held the WWE Heavyweight Championship multiple times, but those title reigns were mediocre at best.
10 Big Show
The Big Show is to wrestling, what Dwight Howard is to basketball; a waste of God given ability. For some reason Big Show has never been used as the giant freak athlete that he was portrayed to be in WCW. Sure recently the years have caught up to him, but even when he debuted he was never touted as one of the top guys in WWE. Sure he had programs with Stone Cold, The Rock, and Triple H, but was mostly used as an obstacle for those stars to overcome.
9 The Great Khali
What could you really expect from a guy who can’t even bend his legs? The Great Khali debuted in WWE in 2006 on an episode of SmackDown, absolutely destroying The Undertaker in the course of three minutes. The only person to ever destroy The Deadman upon their debut was Kane, so fans had high hopes that Khali could be a dominant force in the main event scene. Boy were they wrong.
8 Mick Foley
The Hardcore Legend Mick Foley would be exempt from this list, if he would have just stayed retired in 2000....or 2003...or in 2006. Sadly Foley didn’t stay retired, and would tarnish his legacy as a main event WWE Champion by joining the ranks of TNA in 2009. Originally Foley was only supposed to be a mouthpiece in TNA, using his mic skills to earn his paycheck, but soon transitioned into an active performer under the newly formed Hulk Hogan management regime.
7 Chris Jericho
6 Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger has had multiple opportunities to become a main event mainstay in the WWE. There is no doubting that the former WWE World HEavyweight Champion has the look, and the mat ability to go with anyone on the roster, but something always seemed to be missing. After cashing in his Money in the Bank contract in 2010, Swagger developed a more serious persona, but it was negated by his inability to speak on the microphone. After holding the title for a few months, Swagger was swallowed up by the mid-card again unless a current champion needed an easy victory.
When Christian left the WWE in 2005, he did it on bad terms, engaging in a legal battle with the company over usage of a trademarked nickname. Christian wanted to use the name “Captain Charisma” on promotional material in his new company (TNA), which understandably rubbed WWE the wrong way. WWE never got over the case apparently, because despite making himself a main event talent in TNA, Christian received mid-card status upon his return to the WWE in 2009.
4 Mark Henry
What a roller coaster the career of Mark Henry has been for the past 20 years. The World’s Strongest Man didn’t become an actual main eventer until late in his career, actually being named PWI’s Most Improved Wrestler in 2011. The reason that Henry received that title was mostly in part due to him being repackaged as a monster heel, one who would induct his opponents into the “Hall of Pain”. This character change cemented Henry as a legitimate threat in the main event picture, which eventually led to a title run that year.
3 Bray Wyatt
There is absolutely no reason that Bray Wyatt should be on this list… but yet somehow here he appears. The second generation star has been on the main roster since 2012 portraying this character, and has gotten over pretty well. For some reason, despite him being one of their most popular stars, Wyatt has been booked losing nearly 70% of his matches. You read that right, one of the biggest main eventing stars in the WWE only wins three out of every ten matches. Most of said matches lost, are against already established talents like John Cena, Kane, and most notably The Undertaker.
2 Booker T
Although Booker T is one of the most versatile wrestlers to compete in the sport, he was frequently left without much to do. Luckily for the WWE, Booker was able to make all of his camera time count, using his natural showmanship to win over fans. It’s a good thing he was able to win those fans over, because one thing he wasn’t doing, was winning matches. In fact during his last full-time run as King Booker in the WWE, he lost a ton of matches to everyone on the roster. Despite being a six time Heavyweight Champion at the time, Booker was a glorified jobber during his final two years at the company.
1 Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett has got to have the worst post King of the Ring career of anyone who has ever won the competition. During the previously mentioned stretch, Barrett was losing to guys like Kalisto, R-Truth, and even Hollywood actor Stephen Amell. That string of losses is a far cry from main eventing pay per views with John Cena back in 2010. Every time Barrett would get something going for himself, it seems like he would get injured, with injuries ending literally every single gimmick that he ever had.
To his credit Barrett was able to get over most of the gimmicks he was given, most notably the Bad News Barrett character, which nobody really believed in. Maybe his opinion of his booking in WWE is what led to the English star asking for his release. Perhaps with some time away from the company Barrett can re-emerge into the WWE as a title contender, rather than a glorified training dummy.
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