Along the side of the road you discover an injured pigeon flopping along in fear; unable to take flight. It's wing broken as a result of some horrible misguided landing. The bird needs care. Otherwise, some stray alley animal will find itself a free and easy meal. You are left with three choice:
1) Take the bird home and nurture the creature; bring it back to life with love until it has grown strong enough to once again fly.
2) Ignore the fallen feathered fiend. After all, this is just a pigeon; a lowly bird. The Winged Rat of the Western World.
3) End the bird's misery then and there. Perhaps with a large enough rock or with your own stomping boot; for the animal will never be the same again.
Two of these three choices exemplify empathy:
Option 1 showcases that feeling of fear. The fear of the unknown. The helplessness that comes along with the idea of death. Those who know this feeling all too well will nurse the bird back to health as they would expect the same in such a situation.
Option 2 is an example of our everyday world where "if it's not me, it's not my concern" serves as the motto of this Rotten Generation. Walking on past something uncomfortable and on to the luxuries Home.
Option 3 displays the feeling of finality and the Necessity of Death. Those who understand the need to die and that prolonged suffering is no way to live. Therefore, they put the bird away with a mercy killing.
In a weird way, these three options apply to the WWE: certain Superstars who struggle in the ring are nurtured more than others. Meanwhile, great in-ring performers are overlooked and walked past in favor of someone who fits the "look." And of course, some are simply axed before they ever stood a chance.
This is a piece for those lost in the shadows of graveyards.
These are the top 15 WWE Superstars you can't help but feel sorry for:
15 Los Matadores and El Torito
Formerly known as Epico and Primo, the tag team of real-life cousins are now known as Los Matadores; a preposterous gimmick where the duo serve as Spanish Bullfighters. The stereotypical nature of this role is painfully obvious.
Aside from being Bullfighters, Los Matadores actually have their own bull: a dressed-up little-person known as El Torito. As a trio, they are subjected to ridicule each time they perform (which is not often) on major WWE programming.
14 Jack Swagger
Does anybody actually recall the glory days of Jack Swagger? They were short but they did in fact occur. In 2010, for some 82 days, Swagger was the World Heavyweight Champion. And then he lost the gold and then faded away.
For a brief time, Jack Swagger began to pick up lost steam when paired with Zeb Colter but there wasn't enough there to keep Swagger rolling. Where is Swagger now? Somewhere on lesser-known WWE programs.
13 Cody Rhodes
During every Stardust match, an echoing chant of "Cody" will begin throughout the audience. Why? The fans do not like Stardust and will never find footing behind the character; it's not weird, it's just a waste.
Cody Rhodes is a talented wrestler with some solid mic skills. However, somewhere along the line, someone decided otherwise, and now the fans are left with the poor man's version of PG Goldust.
12 Damien Sandow
John Cena being the only unsuccessful Money in the Bank cash-in challenger in WWE history makes sense as such a distinction hurts Cena in no way and will keep his name involved in MITB discussions.
However, when Damien Sandow cashed-in on none other than John Cena, there was a second unsuccessful briefcase holder. Nothing has ever gone the way of Sandow, especially when it appeared as though he was about to break through.
Why should you feel sorry for Paige? The two-time Divas Champion who was also the inaugural NXT Women's Champion and is a hit reality star has everything in order in terms of her WWE career, right? Wrong.
Paige was raised as a wrestler and despite the taboo nature of the word - especially as it pertains to the female performers in WWE - Paige is a wrestler. However, biting the Reality Apple will ultimately render Paige more Total Diva than Wrestler.
10 Sami Zayn
Perhaps you don't see it right now, but you will. The fans are loving Sami Zayn on the main roster. They pop, they cheer, they chant "Ole, Ole." However, to WWE management, that means absolutely nothing.
You are about to witness another great wrestler fall victim to the Sports Entertainment Machine. Enjoy Zayn while you can before Vince McMahon takes a good look and decides that Zayn does not possess "Superstar qualities."
9 Wade Barrett
So long Wade/Bad News/King Barrett. Yes, the days of Barrett as a WWE Superstar are winding down. And how will Barrett be remembered? As just another long-lost Englishman tough-guy who was here one minute and gone the next.
Throughout his WWE career, Wade Barrett would capture the Intercontinental Championship on five separate occasions. Which would have been a great accomplishment once upon a time, in a different Era.
8 AJ Styles
A.J. Styles signed with WWE for some decent dollars and thus far, the fans have loved every second of air-time provided to Styles. The main reason for said air-time being that WWE doesn't want to waste their money.
The simple truth here is that A.J. Styles is not WWE and that always hurts a wrestler in the long run. Eventually, Styles will experience the non-WWE guy rub. Perhaps you don't feel sorry for him now, but place this sympathy in your back pocket for a while.
7 The Social Outcasts
Heath Slater, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel: collectively known as The Social Outcasts. So, what's the deal here? These four men have been lumped together in an attempt at bad comedy.
When looking at this group, it becomes clear that none of these four men will ever main event WrestleMania. This experiment is simply something for them to do for the time being but at least they are finding some screen time.
6 Titus O'Neil
Upon his return to WWE - following his suspension from the Vince McMahon arm-grabbing debacle at the Daniel Bryan tribute - Titus O'Neil will be buried and buried deep within the WWE ground.
Titus O'Neil effectively put an end to any chance he ever had of a push within the company. The pettiness of Vince McMahon will see to it that O'Neil knows his place from now on and could be subject to on-air embarrassment.
5 Eva Marie
There is only so much hatred the WWE and NXT Universe can throw at Eva Marie. While she is clearly not on the levels of Sasha Banks and Bayley, she has improved. However, that doesn't seem to matter.
Eva Marie is never going to find a way into the wrestling community. Sure, she will find support but the battle-cry of the Wrestling Fan will drown out any audible chants favoring Marie while at an event.
4 Tyler Breeze
The season finale of the WWE Network original program, Breaking Ground would show Triple H officially call Tyler Breeze up to the main roster from NXT. There was promise in the air as fellow hopefuls cheered for Breeze.
Then the air began to take on a foul odor when Tyler Breeze arrived on the main roster. Breeze would debut on SmackDown (not a great start), briefly align with Summer Rae, and then find himself as nothing more than a Jobber.
3 Bray Wyatt
The best character in WWE right now is Bray Wyatt. There should be no debate about this. Wyatt has the Cult Leader gimmick down to a science and only gets better despite the constant backward push.
However, the company has yet to allow Bray Wyatt to truly step out as a Superstar. Which is a shame considering that they actually have an interesting character among their bland and shallow pool.
2 Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder has been employed by WWE for the past decade with nothing to show for his time with the company. The "Ryder Revolution" which was sparked by social media and Ryder's internet fame was quickly shot down.
In recent months, Zack Ryder has been working down in NXT along side Mojo Rawley as one-half of the Hype Bros. It has been a long decade for Ryder with seemingly nothing on the horizon as Ryder is set for obscurity. That might've changed at WrestleMania 32 when Ryder won the Intercontinental Championship, but it likely won't be a long reign. If it turns into something special, we'll be nothing but happy for Long Island Iced-Z, but we're not holding our breath...
1 Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler may be a former two-time World Heavyweight Champion but now that title is no longer a solo strap in WWE, so those reigns might as well be forgotten. Vince McMahon doesn't care about Ziggler ever holding the World Title.
The Big Gold Belt was never a true representation of WWE. The strap was a constant reminder of WCW. And to McMahon, Ziggler is akin to WCW: something the fans loved for a while, and was then put to rest with power.