10 WWE Superstars Who Deserve to Move Up
The WWE doesn't utilize every superstar the way it should.
Never has. Never will.
For a multitude of reasons, some extremely talented stars will always find themselves lower on the card than they probably should be or, even worse, off it altogether.
It can be frustrating both for those stars and their fans to see guys who should be in the main event stuck in the midcard instead. Similarly, it can be difficult to watch skilled superstars who should be in the midcard jobbing to guys who aren't as talented as they are.
But this is not going to change, and at all times, more than a few stars will be looking up at the rest of the card when they should be looking down.
Here are 10 WWE superstars (and Divas) who deserve to move up the WWE's pecking order.
10. Drew McIntyre
The 3MB is, perhaps unintentionally, ridiculously hilarious, but Drew McIntyre deserves better than being cast in a "band" that actually isn't one.
McIntyre, Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal make up one of the oddest groups in WWE history, and the sad part about that is just how far McIntyre has fallen.
He was once labeled as Vince McMahon's "Chosen One" and a future World champion, and now, he finds himself acting like a rock star and losing to The Brooklyn Brawler.
That's a shame because McIntyre's got a fantastic look, and when given the chance to be a serious wrestler, he's pretty impressive in the ring as well.
Unfortunately, he hasn't gotten a real opportunity to succeed since about 2010, and this 3MB nonsense is going to set him back in a major way.
As someone who's still just 27 years old and is one of the WWE's most talented young superstars, it would be a crime to see him waste away as a comedic jobber for the rest of his career.
9. Michael McGillicutty
During his run on the main roster, Michael McGillicutty didn't do all that much to stand out.
He was pretty bland and only average at just about everything. But since being demoted to NXT and Superstars, he's improved drastically and has developed into one of the most overlooked talents in all of the WWE.
Although McGillicutty will never live up the high expectations that come with being the son of "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, he's better in the ring than a big chunk of the main roster.
The WWE seemed to see the progress McGillicutty had made earlier this year, when the company tested him out as a babyface at some live events. But that ultimately went nowhere.
McGillicutty is still stuck in no man's land, but he reportedly does have one big supporter in Triple H.
That could indicate that McGillicutty at least has a shot of making it back to the main roster, but for now, he remains a guy who can't even get on TV but deserves to.
8. Justin Gabriel
The booking of Justin Gabriel is very odd.
One week, he's in a tag team with Tyson Kidd. The next, he's completely off of TV. The following week, he's the No. 1 contender for the United States Championship.
For whatever reason, the WWE just can't seem to decide what role it wants to utilize Gabriel in for the long run, and it's really hurt his development.
The crowd doesn't react to Gabriel like it should because he only occasionally appears on TV, but if Gabriel became a consistent presence on Raw or SmackDown, there's no doubt that the crowd would get behind him.
Gabriel has one of the most unique skill sets in the WWE and does things that no one else on the roster can do.
The issue, however, is the aforementioned up-and-down booking of Gabriel, which gives the fans no reason to believe in him or get behind him.
If the WWE decided to use Gabriel in a tag team or as a midcard star, actually give him a push and stick with it, though, there's no doubt that he could be one of the most exciting midcarders in the company.
7. The Usos
The Usos had one of their best weeks ever last week.
Yeah, they lost on both Raw and SmackDown, but they looked awfully impressive while doing so and even seemed to generate some nice reactions from the crowd.
While that may not ultimately lead anywhere, it should.
As the WWE continues to rebuild the tag team division, it needs to create as many formidable tag teams as possible. It already has one in the form of the Usos, though.
Jimmy and Jey have been overlooked and forgotten about for a couple of years now, but they showed last week that all they really need is an opportunity and they'll deliver.
They have more chemistry than just about any other tag team in the WWE, and, of course, they've been together longer than any other tag team as well.
The Usos shouldn't be used to put the top tag teams over; they should be in the WWE Tag Team Championship mix with them.
6. Jack Swagger
Back in September, Jack Swagger "quit" the WWE after a lengthy string of losses and hasn't been seen since then.
There's no been no real indication of when, or even if, he'll ever get back to the main roster, but assuming that he does, the WWE should do all it can to make him matter again.
After all, it's a bit puzzling to see an extremely talented big man be left completely off of TV for months at a time while other less talented superstars are being pushed.
Swagger certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea, but he's got the size, the look and the in-ring skills that you would want out of a quality, upper midcard superstar.
As is the case with many others, however, the issue with Swagger is that he's gotten stale and needs to tweak his character. That is why he's off of TV, though.
With Swagger away from the spotlight for a few months now, perhaps now is the time to bring him back to Raw or SmackDown under a new gimmick (or even as a babyface?) and see what he can do.
He may not be a main event-caliber star these days, but he's certainly deserving of a consistent spot on TV.
5. Zack Ryder
Just like Ryback and John Cena, Zack Ryder has become a controversial figure in the WWE.
Either you love him or you hate him, and there's usually no gray area in between.
No matter where you stand on Ryder, though, the issue with his unforeseen (and massive) plunge down the card is just that: No one saw it coming.
As far as we know, there have been no backstage issues or behavioral problems from Ryder that caused him to go from a breakout star in 2011 to a jobber in 2012. The WWE simply stopped pushing him as an upper midcard guy.
It's been somewhat perplexing to see that happen because Ryder became so popular last year, and it looked like the WWE had another star in the making in "Long Island Iced Z."
Now when we hear his music hit, we know that he's likely coming out to quickly job to a heel. Why that's been the case, no one seems to know.
Ryder got himself over and is still reasonably over to this day. But someone somewhere in the WWE just doesn't want to see this guy succeed.
After seeing what he accomplished in the latter part of 2012, though, it's safe to say that he shouldn't be a jobber. He's at least worthy of a spot in the midcard.
Just put this into perspective for a moment: Vickie Guerrero wrestled AJ on last week's Raw while Natalya was busy being the manager/valet of Hornswoggle and The Great Khali's tag team.
What an incredible misuse of the Divas.
Natalya is undoubtedly the most talented female wrestler on the roster. Yet she's stuck in yet another comedic role while Vickie gets a big match on Raw.
That's absolutely asinine, and it just goes to show how WWE officials view the company's female talent. Here's a hint: it's not as wrestlers.
If female wrestling was a priority in the WWE, then Natalya would be the face of the Divas division and, in all likelihood, the Divas Champion.
But it seems as if the WWE uses the Divas mainly to add "drama" to angles involving their male counterparts, which gets them on TV but really doesn't do much else for them.
Natalya is one of those women who always wanted to be a wrestler, became one and is fantastic at what she does. Too bad she never gets to show it.
3. Tyson Kidd
As is the case with his on-and-off tag team partner, Justin Gabriel, the booking of Tyson Kidd is somewhat confusing.
We'll see small signs of a push here and there, but for the most part, he's an afterthought when it comes to feuds and storylines.
Yet when Kidd is given the rare opportunity, he almost always delivers the goods.
Take, for example, his performance in that five-on-five match at Survivor Series. Kidd had an incredibly impressive showing that night and was undoubtedly the star of that match.
But did the WWE capitalize on it the next night on Raw? Of course not.
Instead of using Kidd's performance to ignite a midcard title push or tag team push for him and Gabriel, he didn't even appear on the show. Simply put, that's pretty stupid.
If all Kidd does is perform well when he's given the chance to, then there's no real reason why he shouldn't consistently be given chances to shine.
The guy is so talented, it's ridiculous. The WWE needs to let him show it.
2. Antonio Cesaro
Antonio Cesaro has only been around for about eight months, but he's already looking like an established veteran.
The WWE has obviously pulled the trigger on a major push for Cesaro, who's been battling it out with top babyfaces like Sheamus and winning much more often than he's lost.
Cesaro's been awfully impressive along the way, too.
His matches are often one of the top highlights of Raw and/or SmackDown, and he almost always finds a way to do something incredible—whether it's a European uppercut or a Neutralizer—that mesmerizes the fans.
He's looked absolutely fantastic as of late and is definitely a star in the making. Yet he's been saddled with a rather lackluster feud with R-Truth and seems to be kind of stuck facing competition that's below his level in the midcard.
The slow build with Cesaro has been great, and it's certainly wise to get him over slowly rather than push him too quickly and then have him flounder at the top.
At the same time, it hasn't taken us long to see that the man is outrageously talented and that he could probably be taken seriously as a main-eventer right now.
Cesaro is amazing at what he does, and as crazy as this may sound, he's already too good to be a midcard champion.
1. Wade Barrett
At WWE TLC, Wade Barrett lost an Intercontinental Championship match to Kofi Kingston.
Here's the thing, though: He shouldn't have even been in that match in the first place.
The WWE has definitely dropped the ball on Barrett as of late. It looked like he was in line for a major push upon his return back in September, but instead, he's been relegated to a midcard title feud that ultimately won't do anything for him.
He loses, it looks bad. He wins, so what? All that does is keep him in the midcard longer, and he doesn't belong there.
Barrett deserves to be in the main-event picture. He's made drastic improvements in the ring, and he's always had the look and mic skills that you want out of a top guy.
He's ready. In fact, he's been ready for a while now.
Although some other up-and-coming stars are being pushed right now and there isn't room at the top for everybody, the WWE needs to make room for Barrett.
He proved to be capable of headlining a main-event storyline two years ago. He can definitely do it right now.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!