It’s a position no wrestler ever wants to be put in. Fans no longer cheer you or boo you. You’re just kind of there and the WWE universe says “meh” to your existence simply because as a whole they’re conditioned to do something for your every superstar. So any cheers or jeers you might receive are out of habit and nothing to be taken too seriously.
For fans, most of us have several wrestlers that our favorites and the rest, while still respected for their attributes and performances, fall to the wayside for the next fan to pick up and make their guy.
It’s even worse than the dreaded “X-Pac Heat,” because at least in that regard you’re still booed until you get off fans television sets. You’ve reached the highest peaks of your career and for whatever reason the fans stopped taking you seriously and instead of doing something about it, you and the bookers scratch your heads and contemplate what went wrong until the day you receive your “Future Endeavors.” Luckily for most on this list, they continue to remain gainfully employed. However of and the WWE decides to trim the fat, they should probably start with some of these guys.
15. Alex Riley
Remember back to a time when the Miz was actually the company’s top heel. Weird, right? But true, he even headlined WrestleMania. His second at the time, the Varsity Villain, Alex Riley can actually say he was part of a WrestleMania main event. He even got a brief push as the fans went nuts for him and his catchy theme music when he turned on the Miz. When we last left him, he thought he was good enough for a comeback. An injury, a thrashing by Kevin Owens, and fans chanting thank you Kevin sealed the deal–no one cares about A-Ri.
14. Sin Cara
Luckily, Triple H signed Sin Cara and not Vince McMahon. Had the Boss hired the poor man’s Rey Mysterio, he would continue to shoving the guy down our throats. The real man behind the mask was let go years ago and the current Sin Cara is the original’s arch nemesis Hunico. Besides all that, the guy just isn’t exciting in the ring and is severely overshadowed by his little buddy, Calisto. Hopefully, Sin Cara doesn’t hold him back too much longer; Calisto has already proven he’s better than either Sin Cara. Perhaps it’s time to let the guy show he might have the stuff to replace Rey as the resident Luchador.
Did anyone ever care about this guy? Wrestlers like R-Truth are truthfully filler characters that no one carse about, fans only root for or against because they happen to be in the ring. But she he’s not there does anyone actually miss the man? You have to give him credit, never before has a wrestler done so much with so little, and he even got to headline the Rock’s return match at Survivor Series 2011 as one half of Awesome Truth and the whole Little Jimmy thing was funny for a millisecond. But clearly Vince likes him, hopefully for Truth’s sake it stays that way. But for fans’ sake, just go away.
12. Brie Bella
Sometimes you just want to post a gif of someone doing something incredibly dumb to ruin the momentum of a match and ask that person if now they see how dumb they are. “Brie Mode,” is one of the worst war cries ever and most likely exists because of hubby Daniel Bryan’s love of the Seahawks and Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch. Brie Bella has been booked so poorly over the past few years as lowly sidekick to Nikki and/or wife of D-Bry, having to carry a storyline between he and the Authority while he was injured. Unfortunately, she comes off flat in both roles, especially since she’s been ping–ponged between face and heel with no real explanation.
11. Heath Slater
It’s a shame when guys debut as part of a hot stable but never truly gets to show off his stuff. Clearly, the Nexus was meant to elevate Wade Barrett (and what a job it did in doing so), but any good stable should be able to elevate a few guys. Instead it has retroactively helped out the former Skip Sheffield and Husky Harris. Guys like Heath Slater were barely given a chance and Slater has been bounced around the tag team ranks and used as fodder for legends to crush. That’s not the way to push anyone, let alone get fans to care about you.
10. Jack Swagger
Blatant Kurt Angle ripoff or highly underrated superstar, that has always been the question in regards to the All-American American. Since arriving, he’s garnered a slew of accolades, including winning both the ECW and World Heavyweight Championships but it’s never too much fanfare. After a brief hiatus, he returned in early 2013 with Zeb Coulter as his mouthpiece and was given a real shot at glory, even headlining WrestleMania in NY/NJ. Sadly, getting caught with drugs ruined that shot. Despite having some success with Cesaro as the Real Americans and being fodder for Rusev, Swagger has floated around obscurity ever since ever since.
9. David Otunga
Never before has a wrestler done so much with so little. Yes, the guy is completely jacked the way Vince McMahon likes his stars to be and he’s a Harvard educated lawyer, and he’s engaged to one of Hollywood’s favorite performers, but Otunga has never been able to put it all together where it counts the most–in the ring. The powers that be must realize this because Otunga has never been given even the semblance of a real push and now mainly keeps him around for whenever they need him to play a real life lawyer but only on TV. Perhaps it’s time the WWE’s real attorney, Jerry McDevitt puts Otunga to work in the courtroom.
8. Randy Orton
With the Rock as the WWE’s first third generation star, they have always had the highest of hopes for their second. For the most part, Randy Orton as fulfilled those hopes. But being one of their most trusted hands in this day and ages leads to over saturation. Every time company needed someone not named Cena to be champion, Randy Orton was there. Every time someone needed a sadistic heel to work with, Randy was there. Before Daniel Bryan was injected into the main even at WrestleMania XXX, the most boring main even ever had been booked–Orton vs. Batista, and only one person cared about that match. Luckily for Orton, he’s the one who signs the checks. Luckily for Orton, his character seldom shifts even when jumping between heel or face.
7. The Big Show
The over saturation continues when it comes to the Big Show and unlike Orton, the big guy’s character can change from week to week depending on whether he’s a heel or a big blubbering baby face. The Big Show should be and is revered as this generation’s most famous giant, but he’s got nothing on Andre. That’s because in the territory days, Andre the Giant would bounce around from place to place, never letting the fans get used to seeing him every single week. The WWE has over five hours of new TV produced weekly. That’s a whole lot of every character, so you need to stay fresh and exciting. Unfortunately, the largest athlete in the world is booked to be lame and boring.
6. Erick Rowan
When you’re a giant weird looking dude, you know you’re not going to be WWE champion anytime soon, you just don’t fit Vince’s mold. But the wrestling world has certainly seen its share of magnificent monsters, including current fellow Wyatt family members Luke Harper and Braun Strauman. But while Harper draws comparisons to the great Bruiser Brody and Strauman’s just plain scary, Erick Rowan has failed to pick up any sort of traction since his debut, except when paired with the Wyatts. With a brief face turn that proved fruitless and an injury sidelined him for a while, Rowan is back with the family, but still barely thought of.
Perhaps if he ever passes away, we then can dissect Vince McMahon’s brain to learn how it worked over the years. Because then we can find out how on Earth he thought the idea of Fandango would get over. Perhaps he forgot about WCW’s Disco Inferno. Sadly for most of the WWE universe, the night after his debut, the fans in attendance at Raw ironically got the guy over by joining him in “Fandangoing” around. With the exception of Rikishi and Too Cool, dancing fools seldom get over like gangbusters, and Fandango is no different. After the ever so brief touch with superstardom, he’s floated around the seas of obscurity ever since.
4. The Great Khali
As the WWE expands and maintains its global brand dominance, they need stars from all over the globe. Superior athletes like Alberto Del Rio, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, and others representing their respective countries also means the rest of the WWE Universe have to deal with the Great Khali. The WWE has grown exponentially in India and their favorite son is the massive Khali. While you have to give the guy some credit for doing anything that is asked of him no matter how ridiculous (the Punjabi Playboy and Khali’s Kiss Cam to name a few), unfortunately watching him in the ring is less exciting that watching a clear coat of paint dry.
3. The Ascension
In NXT, wrestlers can learn, grow, and become phenomenal enough for Vince to take notice and pluck them out of Full Sail and onto the main roster. When he took the Ascension out of Triple H’s hands, it seemed that he would begin to rebuild the tag team scene around the devastating duo. But instead he took NXT’s greatest tag team, rebranded them to look like a poor man’s Demolition and has had them job out to just about every team ever since instead of being as dominate as the Legion of Doom. Now, paired with Stardust as Cosmic Wasteland, perhaps the group could regain some momentum, but as we’ve seen in the past, the more foolish you’re booked to be, the less anyone will care about you.
How do you care about someone that seemingly the booking team doesn’t care about? After all, they don’t seem to want to protect Kane; they would rather just insert him into any and all storylines and pay little attention to anything that has come before. Whereas his older “brother” changes with the times, Kane just changes with the story. Yes he’s a solid hand, but bouncing the Big Red Machine’s character around from heel to face to tweener and several iterations of each just makes viewers tune out when he appears on screen.
When people are laughing at you for your stupid hair than booing you for your misdeeds or cheering you for your accomplishments, you probably should rethink your approach. Sheamus has had the rocket strapped to his back since the minute he debuted in ECW and while he is one the few that actually defeated John Cena clean his, anytime a wrestler has been booked that strongly that fans weren’t decisively behind, their rise felt flat. The Celtic Warrior has never felt big time like Vince wants him to be, perhaps a good long run as champion or a big cash in at Survivor Series could stem the tide, but for now, the big fella will be continued to be remembered for his stupid hair than his exploits in the ring.
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