Randy Orton and WWE's 2012 All-Underachiever Team
Potential is one of the most powerful intangibles in professional wrestling. Various superstars with the right look, attitude or athleticism earn coveted opportunities to transcend their brand on the big stage of the WWE.
Each year provides us with a copious list of superstars with potential that translates into ratings, dollar signs and overall strong business for the WWE.
This is not that list.
Randy Orton has had a rough year and has largely been absent from high-profile pay-per-views and matches due to conflicts outside of the ring.
Orton's second wellness violation has put him on thin ice, and despite reports that Orton would continue to be pushed as a top star out of necessity (h/t WNZ), WWE officials have clearly been skittish about featuring the talented third-generation star post-suspension.
Given the black clouds that will continue to follow Orton around for the rest of his career, one has to wonder if Orton's best days are already behind him.
Alberto Del Rio
It's not all his fault, but Del Rio seems to have gone as far as he can with his gimmick after the WWE waited a bit too long to pull the trigger on the second-generation star.
If Del Rio were a towel, he would be bone-dry with WWE officials still trying to ring the last drops of juice out of a character that has fallen flat over the past several months.
A shakeup of some sort is almost a must for Del Rio to revitalize himself as he continues to chase a belt that the WWE has promoted in a frustratingly indifferent fashion.
You say underrated, I say underachiever.
Despite the fact that Dolph Ziggler finally seems primed for a legitimate world title run, I can't help but notice that given his talent and potential, this all should have happened months, if not years, ago.
After exhausting all the political reasons that fans insist are keeping Ziggler down, one simply has to look in the mirror.
The fact that Ziggler is yet to cut that promo at this stage in his career is almost as startling as his continued reliance on Vickie Guerrero to make people care.
Looking at how much momentum Daniel Bryan was able to build off of an impressive world title run, Sheamus seems to have taken a step back during an otherwise dominant reign as world heavyweight champion.
Back when Sheamus was hot, he plodded through two meaningless WWE Championship reigns where almost every victory he scored was tainted. After an inexplicable run in the doghouse, Sheamus is back on top, yet despite winning the majority of his matches clean, people seem to have stopped caring.
Funny how that works.
Triple H's stat line for 2012? Two matches. No wins.
Sure, he's a part-timer these days, and his match with the Undertaker was arguably the best match on a loaded WrestleMania XXVIII card, but the Game is trending downward after a convoluted feud with Brock Lesnar lessened the impact of Triple H putting the former UFC Heavyweight Champion over.
Given the television time and promotion dedicated to SummerSlam's Lesnar-Triple H feud, the WWE certainly didn't get as much bang for their buck from what should have been an epic showdown.
Almost five months and five million dollars later, Brock Lesnar is back to square one.
After coming out of the gates hot, Lesnar lost to John Cena during his first match back with the WWE at Extreme Rules.
And although he was booked to appropriately go over Triple H, this was a must-win situation that only stopped the bleeding as opposed to furthering the notion that Lesnar is an unstoppable force both in the ring and at the box office.
The WWE seems to have forgotten why they paid such a hefty price tag for Lesnar, as they are far from receiving a return on a now head-scratching investment.
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