WWE: Ranking the Wrestlers Who Are Too Good to Be Stuck on Superstars & NXT
Whenever we discuss the WWE, we tend to mention only Raw and SmackDown.
But even if they don't all air on TV here in the United States, the WWE actually has four weekly shows: the aforementioned Raw and SmackDown, NXT and Superstars.
While we see the major stars on Monday and Friday nights, NXT and Superstars serve as the grooming grounds for up-and-coming stars on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Both shows are stark contrasts from what we get out of the two major brands, but just because they don't feature Randy Orton or John Cena, this doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of talented superstars performing on the two brands that air online.
Here are the top 10 wrestlers who are too good to be stuck on Superstars and NXT.
10. Michael McGillicutty
Like many others, I don't find Michael McGillicutty to be overly exciting or entertaining, but he's one of the better pure in-ring competitors you'll find on NXT and/or Superstars.
Though the comparisons to his father, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, are unfair, McGillicutty is a solid talent who could be a nice addition to the WWE's lower mid-card and tag team scenes.
While he has spent most of his recent career on the WWE's "C" and "D" shows, he does have experience working in high-profile angles (the new Nexus) and in a tag team (as the WWE Tag Team Champion with David Otunga).
With the WWE really struggling to build formidable mid-card and tag team divisions, McGillicutty could help the company out by working as a singles performer (with a manager to do his talking) or in a tag team with a mid-card heel who has nothing to do at the moment.
McGillicutty's promos aren't his strength, but he's a better wrestler than some guys you see on Raw or SmackDown every week.
9. Trent Barreta
Trent Barreta suffers from two things: lack of size and lack of a formidable gimmick.
Ever since splitting with fellow DudeBuster Caylen Croft (which was a bad gimmick anyway), Barreta hasn't done much to separate himself from the pack gimmick-wise.
But every time I watch this guy in the ring, I can't help but be impressed.
Barreta is incredibly agile and athletic, and at only 24 years old, he's already far more advanced than most wrestlers at that age.
While he could improve if he stays on NXT and Superstars for a while, Barreta is the kind of superstar who would make a perfect fit in the WWE's ever-struggling tag team division.
This kid's got talent. He just needs a bigger stage to showcase it.
8. Percy Watson
Speaking of athleticism, Percy Watson is arguably the most athletic superstar on NXT.
Watson's background playing college football and in the NFL with the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers has allowed him to really establish himself as an incredible athlete inside the squared circle.
He comes along with more than just pure athleticism, too.
Watson's a solid mic worker, and he has shown a ton of charisma throughout his short career. He was a bit more of a goofball character upon his NXT debut, but he has become more serious over the past several months, showing that he's a pretty versatile performer.
Of all the superstars on NXT and Superstars, Watson might have the best balance of athleticism, charisma and mic skills.
7. Johnny Curtis
When Johnny Curtis was set to debut on SmackDown, he was doomed from the start thanks to those absolutely ridiculous pun segments he did backstage.
Why anyone ever thought that gimmick (if you can call it that) would ever work out is beyond me. Fortunately, Curtis has rebounded from those terrible segments to become one of the most unique performers on NXT.
His gimmick is one that is hard to describe, but the bottom line is that it's different from the norm and thus, would make him more than just another Raw or SmackDown mid-carder.
Curtis has that going for him, and he's got good size (6'3", 240 pounds), which is something Vince McMahon loves.
I wish Curtis wouldn't have been saddled with such a bad gimmick on SmackDown, though, because that's going to make it hard for him to get over on the main roster in the future,
6. Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks
The WWE's tag team division is officially down to about three teams: All-American Perfection (Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger), the Usos and the WWE Tag Team Champions Epic and Primo.
So, someone please explain to me why a quality tag team like Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks isn't on the main roster.
While they may not be everyone's cup of tea, Hawkins and Reks are the perfect mixture that you like to see out of a tag team.
You've got Hawkins as the more athletic, younger star who can work the mic, you've got Reks as the powerhouse and thus, they complement each other very well.
I'm not saying that Hawkins and Reks are the next great tag team in the WWE, but in a division that needs as many tag teams as possible, it's sad to see a duo that performs extremely well together get wasted away on a show that's relegated to WWE.com.
Maxine is the WWE's most talented Diva not on the main roster. Hands down.
Whereas almost every Diva on Raw or SmackDown, especially the baby face ones, acts alike, Maxine has established herself as somewhat of a control freak, with a ton of charisma and the ability to work the mic.
Although she's more of a TV character than a wrestler, she has improved drastically in the ring since some of her disasters in 2011.
It's a shame that Maxine is stuck on NXT because she's a hell of lot more entertaining than Divas like the Bella twins and Alicia Fox.
With the Divas division being so stale for the last several months, Maxine is one woman who can inject some new life into it.
4. Justin Gabriel
Although Justin Gabriel does appear on SmackDown from time to time, he's more of a Superstars regular.
And I think that's pretty ridiculous.
Sure, Gabriel may not be overly charismatic or great on the mic, but he still manages to get over with the crowd despite his limitations as a talker.
Why? Because the guy can freaking wrestle.
Even though Gabriel doesn't get a chance to develop his character much or have any real feuds, he has that perfect baby face style of offense (highlighted by his 450 splash finisher) that makes him incredibly easy to cheer for.
Gabriel is like Evan Bourne, minus all the suspensions and the drama. Give him a consistent spot on the main roster, and let him continue doing what he does best: Wrestle.
3. Derrick Bateman
Derrick Bateman should have won his season of NXT and been on the roster a long time ago.
There are tons of superstars who are stuck on NXT just waiting to get called up to Raw or SmackDown, but Bateman is more deserving than any other superstar who's never actually had a chance.
While other guys on this list have been there before, Bateman remains an NXT mainstay, despite being—at least in my eyes—the most well-rounded superstar currently on the show.
Bateman's charisma shines through during his promos, which are his strong point. He can cut a goofy, Santino Marella-like promo one day and then a serious one the next time, and he'll nail them both.
While Bateman is at his best on the mic, he's got a great, unique look and is an above-average wrestler as well.
I'm just waiting for the WWE to finally pull the trigger on this guy.
2. Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger has been getting back onto Raw a bit more lately, but he was relegated to Superstars three times in February, so let's not act like he's a Raw-exclusive superstar.
In fact, he may be back on Superstars a lot more often now that he's no longer the United States Champion. Hopefully that doesn't happen, though.
Although a lot of people hate on Swagger because "he can't cut a promo," that's why he has Vickie Guerrero by his side. That's the point of having a manager in the first place.
While you can hate on Swagger's mic skills all you want, there is no full-time big man (aside from maybe Sheamus) who is a better overall wrestler than Swagger is.
His background as an amateur wrestler at Oklahoma is evident in his matches, when Swagger shows that his technical skills in the ring are unmatched by any big.
I know a lot of people don't see "it" with Swagger. But as a wrestling fan first and foremost, I sure do.
1. Tyson Kidd
With every week that passes by, I wonder more and more why Tyson Kidd doesn't show up on Raw or SmackDown.
Although he's another star who doesn't thrive on the mic, Kidd is one of the top pure wrestlers not just on Superstars and NXT, but in all of the WWE.
If I had a list ranking all the WWE superstars' wrestling ability, Kidd would definitely be in the top 10 and would probably even crack the top seven or eight, behind only the elite wrestlers like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler.
Yeah, Kidd's that good.
Just go to YouTube, watch his matches with Daniel Bryan or even someone like Trent Barreta, and you'll see just how good he is in the ring.
Kidd's problem is not his talent. It's that he's never been given much of a storyline or gimmick, and that he won't get one until he gets onto either Raw or SmackDown.