WWE: 7 Veterans Who Deserve a New Run in the Company
The WWE's roster certainly isn't as loaded as it once was, but it's not like it's a terrible one, either.
Although I don't think we'll see a roster like we saw in the late 1990s and early 2000s anytime soon, there's still a great mix of up-and-comers and veterans that make the WWE the king of pro wrestling that it is.
The problem isn't really the talent as much as it is how that talented is used.
There are a number of veterans on the roster who I think have a lot of value, but for whatever reason, aren't being used properly at the moment.
I hope that will change at a time when the WWE needs some vets to step up more than ever.
Here are seven WWE veterans who deserve a new run in the company.
Note: To be considered a "veteran," a WWE star must have made his main roster debut at least five years ago (in 2007). Anyone else is not eligible to be on this list.
7. Mark Henry
Mark Henry has been with the WWE since all the way back in 1996, but it wasn't until 2011 that he really made a substantial mark in the company.
I think it's safe to say that Henry's dominant stretch on SmackDown following the 2011 WWE draft and into the winter of that year was far and away the best span of his career.
But injuries eventually caught up to Henry, and he's now sitting on the sidelines recovering and rehabbing from shoulder surgery.
By Henry's own account, his rehab has gone extremely well, and he'll be back in the not-so-distant future. And when he does come back, I want to see one last great run for the World's Strongest Man.
He was on the roll of his career prior to his injury, and chances are that he has only a couple of years left in wrestling, if that.
I never thought I'd want to see Henry at the top of the WWE, but he was a fantastic monster heel late last year and in early 2012, one who actually put one some very entertaining matches with guys like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk.
While I think that Henry may have gotten his last main-event run last year, at least for me he'd be a welcome addition back to the WWE roster when the time is right.
R-Truth is also on the shelf at the moment, as he tries to get his ankle/foot injury fully healthy so he can come back to the tag team division.
He's currently one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions alongside Kofi Kingston, which isn't a bad place to be, but also isn't exactly at the level he was at last year.
Truth was one of my favorite characters in the WWE during the first half of 2011, as his crazed heel gimmick was both hilarious and fresh.
Yet, for some reason unbeknownst to me, the WWE decided to turn Truth face in late 2011, and it's safe to say that he's lost a lot of steam since then.
Truth is undoubtedly over as a babyface, but he thrived as a heel singles competitor during what was the best run of his WWE career last year.
I'm assuming that he will come back soon alongside Kingston as the tag team champions, but I'm hoping for more from him.
Truth is getting up there in age as well, and I wouldn't mind seeing a new, different run for him that's a change from what he's been doing recently.
Truth's "Little Jimmy" stuff is fine, but some minor tweaks to it could result in one final upper mid-card or even main-event run for a guy who's actually a very good performer across the board.
5. William Regal
William Regal has settled into a role he's perfect for as a commentator on the revamped NXT, which is something that's been long overdue.
As happy as I am for Regal that he's on that show, though, a part of me wants to see him back as a full-time wrestler.
The last time that Regal received a sustained push was in 2008, when he won the King of the Ring tournament and was quickly developing into one of Raw's top heels. But that push was dropped when Regal was suspended for a Wellness Policy violation, and it never came back.
What a shame.
Even though he hasn't been a regular wrestler for a few years now, I still view Regal as one of the most well-rounded performers in the WWE.
He's one of the best natural heels in the company, and you could make a case that he's the best technical wrestler there, too.
Regal is 44 years old now, so it's a safe bet that he'll spend the rest of his career calling matches rather than wrestling them.
But if there's one true, long-time veteran who I'd love to see back in the WWE, it might very well be William Regal.
How Natalya isn't getting a push right now is beyond me.
The Divas roster is weaker now than it has been at any point in recent memory. Yet, arguably the best pure women's wrestler in the WWE continues to get overlooked.
Natalya has been with the WWE since 2007, but she's been passed over in favor of Divas like the Bella Twins and Maryse, whom she could wrestle circles around.
Sure, Natalya has actually won the Divas title and received a couple of nice pushes, but she's also been saddled with farting gimmicks and been off of TV for months without any explanation.
This is one of the biggest reasons why women's wrestling in the WWE has become an utter joke.
The creative team, for the most part, pushes the wrong Divas and leaves the extremely talented ones on the back burner.
That's very unfortunate, because Natalya is one of less than a handful of current WWE Divas who could actually make women's wrestling interesting again.
It would be nice to see her get a push for the Divas title in the near future, but I'm certainly not holding my breath on that one.
3. Zack Ryder
As hard as it is to believe, Zack Ryder made his WWE debut more than five years ago as one half of the Major Brothers and has been known as Zack Ryder for almost five years now.
At only 27 years old, he's already a veteran in the company, and of course, we all know that he's one of its most popular stars as well.
Yet, where is Ryder right now? Working largely as a jobber, if he even appears on TV at all.
I don't get it. I just don't get it.
While I will agree that Ryder's gimmick has its limits, the guy got over big-time by the end of 2011, largely by his own doing. Yet (and it's still unclear why), his push came to a screeching halt during the road to WrestleMania, and there are no indications whatsoever that he'll ever get a push again.
This is perhaps one of the biggest mysteries in recent WWE history, as there have been no reports of heat on Ryder and virtually no obvious reasons as to why he's currently in the position he is.
Unless something's going on behind the scenes, this simply seems like a case of the WWE not knowing to do with Ryder, which is incredibly unfortunate.
He's far more popular than someone in his position should be, and if he were in a position that was equivalent to that popularity, he'd be (at the very least) an upper mid-carder.
2. Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre might be the biggest waste of talent in the WWE.
I know that McIntyre is not everyone's cup of tea and that rumored incidents seem to be at the core of his problems in the company, but I can't help but think that creative has completely dropped the ball on him.
He started off with a phenomenal gimmick as Vince McMahon's "Chosen One," which ultimately wound up going absolutely nowhere, and though it appeared at times that he'd be in line for another push or two, it just never happened.
Despite having a great look, decent mic skills and some very good wrestling ability, McIntyre has been relegated to Superstars and/or gone months upon months without appearing on TV at all.
Like with Zack Ryder, it seems like something more is going on with McIntyre, but we just can't be sure why he's been passed up in favor of a number of other up-and-comers.
Time is on McIntyre's side as he's not even close to cracking 30 years old, but at this rate, my guess is that he's never truly going to realize his potential.
But it's my hope that creative eventually wises up and helps him do just that.
1. The Miz
As is the case with many other superstars, there seem to be two stances on The Miz: You either love him or you hate him.
While I don't consider myself to be a Mizfit, I do like him and think that he's one of the better overall performers in the company, which is why I think it's unfortunate to see how far he's fallen.
The Miz was WWE Champion just over a year ago, but in recent months, he's largely been booked like a glorified jobber (and I use the word "glorified" very loosely).
I do think that a lot of The Miz's problems stem from his staleness as a character, and that's precisely why a new run in the WWE could help.
Now is the perfect time to do it, too.
The Miz is currently off of TV filming The Marine 3, so he's actually being given the opportunity to take a break and come back as a much fresher character.
I think a gimmick overhaul or even a full-fledged face turn could do wonders for The Miz's career, and I wouldn't be surprised if one of those came along with a massive push when he does return to TV.
Chances are that the WWE is going to push The Miz hard to promote his movie, and while some may not be happy about it, I think it's much deserved.
The Miz works as hard as just about anyone in the company and is one of its more mainstream stars, too.
Maybe this time away will get his career back on track.
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