WWE Extreme Rules: What a Difference One Year Can Make in Wrestlers' Careers

Chris Featherstone@@CraveWrestlingFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2012

WWE Extreme Rules: What a Difference One Year Can Make in Wrestlers' Careers

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    What a difference one year can make—debuts, returns, careers beginning and ending, and new champions crowned.

    There have been many different angles that the WWE has presented from last year's Extreme Rules to the most recent one, with many of them fresh and innovative.

    Unfortunately, with all the marquee feuds taking place, it has left some wrestlers on the short end of the stick as far as having any relevance.

    Since the 2011 Extreme Rules pay-per-view, these are the active WWE wrestlers who participated last year that have fallen off the most.

    Photo: wwe.com.

5. Jack Swagger

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    Extreme Rules 2011 - Country Whipping match w/ Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler/Jim Ross

    Extreme Rules 2012 - Tag along with Dolph Ziggler in his match vs. Brodus Clay


    Not even a U.S. Title run made Jack Swagger of worth this past year. His career has spiraled since 2010, and doesn't look to get better anytime soon.

    He doesn't even come out to his own music anymore when he is teaming with Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler's music is played, as if Swagger is the inferior of the two.

    Jack Swagger has a ton of potential, but not quite what it takes to be a top guy. It seems as if the WWE is very hesitant to give him that spot again, because the first one absolutely flopped.

4. Alberto Del Rio

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    Extreme Rules 2011: Ladder Match vs. Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship

    Extreme Rules 2012: Nothing


    Alberto Del Rio did indeed achieve his destiny last year, as he cashed his Money in the Bank briefcase on CM Punk after his SummerSlam match against John Cena (albeit with the help of Kevin Nash). But towards the end of the year when no longer champion, he started to fade away from the main event spot.

    His push attempted to be revived in December. He was in a triple-threat match against Miz and CM Punk for the WWE Championship at the TLC pay-per-view, but it just wasn't the same.

    Not appearing at this year's Extreme Rules pay-per-view is a strong case for the WWE not feeling confident about thrusting him in a top spot yet. He has been back in the WWE from his injury long enough to be in a feud, but returning during a Sheamus promo was the best that we've had from him so far.

    At least he could have made a run-in after Sheamus retained the title against Daniel Bryan. That would have made the most sense to put him back in the title hunt.

3. Ezekiel Jackson

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    Extreme Rules 2011: Tag Team Championship match w/ Wade Barrett vs. Big Show/Kane

    Extreme Rules 2012: Nothing


    Contrary to popular belief, Ezekiel Jackson actually had a lot of potential for a short amount of time. The problem is that he was (and continues to be) booked horribly. His size is not being utilized to what it could be, and his extreme (no pun intended) lack of charisma continues to drive his WWE career to the soon-to-be "future endeavored" list.

    His lackluster Intercontinental title reign will most likely be the pinnacle of his career. His ECW title reign was solely for the purposes of making him important coming to Raw or SmackDown and retiring the title.

    I don't see anything promising for "Big Zeke" for the duration of his tenure, unless he leaves and has a complete overhaul of a gimmick. Still, that wouldn't guarantee him success.

2. Kofi Kingston

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    Extreme Rules 2011: Tables match vs. Sheamus for the U.S. Championship

    Extreme Rules 2012: Nothing


    He has a number of titles on his WWE resume—seven to be exact. Still, Kofi has not broken past the glass ceiling that continues to stagnate his career. Although he is one of the most athletically gifted wrestlers in the entire WWE, there is something about him that causes the WWE to refuse to give the go-ahead to be a top guy.

    Kofi Kingston falls in the same category as John Morrison, Shelton Benjamin, and MVP (just to name a few): Great wrestlers, but not quite well-rounded enough to be a World Champion.

    It doesn't seem like that complex will ever go away either.

1. The Miz

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    Extreme Rules 2011: Triple Threat Steel Cage match vs. John Cena and John Morrison

    Extreme Rules 2012: Pre-show U.S. Title match vs. Santino Marella


    The Miz is a prime example of why WWE wrestlers should savor every moment of being a top guy; because in a blink of an eye, it can all be snatched away.

    The Miz was the top guy of late 2010/early 2011. He further cemented his status by main-eventing, and defeating, John Cena at WrestleMania 27. It seemed like he was going to be a star for a considerable amount of time.

    Not quite. Since his Extreme Rules 2011 WWE Championship loss, he has fallen into obscurity most of the year, with his few highlights being on the losing end of a Rock/Cena Survivor Series win, and on the losing end of a CM Punk win to retain his WWE title at TLC in December 2011.

    While there are many theories hovering around about why his push got swept under the rug, his current status is making it seem like the WWE does not have any interest in making him a main-eventer again anytime soon.


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