WWE Superstar Alberto del Rio.
The rise of new WWE stars like Ryback has been a talking point recently. The other side of it is that certain Superstars are experiencing diminished relevancy. After all, not everyone can rise to the top at the same time.
The collapse of tag teams, stagnant characters and stale gimmicks all play into the diminishing relevancy of certain Superstars. There are some wrestlers whose irrelevancy is no shock and there are some that make fans scratch their heads.
Let’s take a look and name five WWE Superstars who are becoming irrelevant.
Once upon a time, Curt Hawkins stood by the side of then-World Heavyweight Champion Edge and was WWE Tag Team Champions with partner Zack Ryder.
In recent years, Hawkins has managed to retain some semblance of relevance through his various tag team ventures. He has yet to recreate the success he had with Ryder, though.
Hawkins hasn’t had much luck with partners. His team with Vance Archer, the Gatecrashers, never picked up any steam. Then, just as Hawkins’ most recent partnership was beginning to gain momentum, Tyler Reks was granted his release from the WWE.
Where does Hawkins go from here? He could give singles competition another shot. He never managed to get off of Superstars as a singles wrestler, though.
Hawkins can probably still make a name for himself in the WWE’s recovering tag team division. With the amount of attention they’re giving it, it’s possible that Hawkins can find another partner and start anew.
R-Truth and Kofi Kingston recently lost the WWE Tag Team Championships to Kane and Daniel Bryan and have since parted ways as a tag team.
In just a few weeks, R-Truth has gone from champion to almost falling off the radar.
Right now, the only character direction R-Truth has is his imaginary partner, Little Jimmy. Little Jimmy’s popularity with the fans has diminished significantly since R-Truth introduced the concept during his last heel run.
R-Truth was barely hanging on when he was paired up with Kingston, so it’s only a matter of time before he drops into complete irrelevancy.
Brodus Clay shocked everyone when he re-debuted. After weeks of everyone anticipating the return of the monstrous Clay, the disco ball dropped and Justin Roberts introduced the Funkasaurus.
There was no room for a monster in the WWE when Clay re-debuted. With Mark Henry reigning over the WWE as the company’s dominant heel, Clay would have fallen into obscurity.
So maybe the Funkasaurus gimmick was just prolonging Clay from becoming irrelevant.
In the last two weeks, Clay has been squashed by Antonio Cesaro and was subjected to dancing with a pubescent Little Jimmy.
Let that last one soak in.
Clay has a few short steps to go before he’s permanently relegated to Superstars. The only thing that can save the Funkasaurus is some kind of character development that makes him remotely compelling again.
If you watched Raw this week, you saw a brilliant match between Tyson Kidd and Antonio Cesaro. While Cesaro looked impressive with his clean victory, fans were left wondering why Kidd isn’t in a better position.
The final graduate of the Hart Family Dungeon competed in the World Heavyweight Championship contract match at July’s Money in the Bank PPV. He didn’t win the contract but was impressive, nonetheless.
More recently, Tyson Kidd has formed a tag team with Justin Gabriel. Collectively known as International Airstrike, Kidd and Gabriel have shown a glimpse of promise. However, the WWE has yet to show the wherewithal to build them up as a credible tag team.
The WWE has allowed Kidd’s post-Money in the Bank momentum to die out and has squandered the International Airstrike team. Kidd is coming too close to being irrelevant.
Kidd deserves so much more than he’s getting. It’s always a treat when Kidd steps between the ropes. The WWE are apparently the only ones that don’t see it.
Alberto del Rio received more than his fair share of shots at the World Heavyweight Championship in recent months. After the last decisive loss he suffered at the hands of Sheamus, del Rio has moved into a feud with Randy Orton.
Del Rio’s relevance has been on a steady decline for a long time now. Ever since returning from injury earlier this year, del Rio simply hasn’t clicked. His character has been stagnant and he has yet to deliver an exceptionally compelling performance.
The trend has been continuing as of late. Del Rio hasn’t made an impact with his feud with Orton and hasn’t progressed his character. His crowd reactions grow weaker each week. At this rate, del Rio will be completely irrelevant before the year is over.
Michael Prunka is a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist and Sports Writing Intern. To stay up to date with his WWE and NHL commentary, you can like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter and follow him on Tout.