There are some wrestlers that we just need a break from. Sure, we've had some good times together, but right now, we just need some space.
Really, it's not us, it's them.
With the end of the brand split, more talent than ever is being over-exposed right now. But how many times can you see the same person do the same act?
Often, if a wrestler goes away for awhile, it gives fans a chance to miss them. When they return, they can come back with a new look or a new attitude that makes them interesting again.
Now, going away doesn't always work. If it’s a half-assed approach (see Jack Swagger), then nobody is going to care about the return.
But, sometimes, a break is exactly what a wrestler needs. Whether it’s because they're burnt out, they need to be repackaged or if it's because we simply need some time apart from them, they just need to be off of TV for a bit.
Here are eight wrestlers who just need to go away for awhile.
The Internet Champion needs a new gimmick—now.
Yes, it was fun watching Ryder ascend his way from obscurity to the U.S. Title level. Fans were eager to join him on the journey, and he developed a nice cult following.
Once he won the belt though, there was nowhere else to go. The gimmick has no potential as a top act, so there’s only so much that you can do with it.
Slowly but surely, Ryder’s following seems to have gone away. Pockets of the crowd no longer audibly chant his name, his Internet show has ended and he’s been reduced to a jobber for so long that seeing him has become predictably boring.
With the release of his new single, "Hoeski," it seems that he's still all in on his act.
Ryder isn’t a bad wrestler, but he’s not great either. He needs a new look, a new gimmick and maybe some time back in the tag team scene for a while.
"The Long Island Iced Z" has run its course. We need a break.
2012 was the year of Sheamus overload.
Perhaps more so than any other wrestler on the roster, Sheamus was shoved down our throats. WWE was going to make sure that we bought into him as a main event babyface.
Now, we're just over one month into 2013, and Sheamus has already wrestled 13 televised matches! That's an even higher pace than what he did last year when he wrestled nearly 100 times on TV and pay-per-view!
With WrestleMania coming up, WWE obviously won't take Sheamus out of the picture. But right now, it doesn't seem that he's destined for any top match. All of that TV time, and the months that he held the Heavyweight title will still probably not get him one of the top four slots on the card.
After Mania, we could definitely use a break from Sheamus. At the very least, he doesn't need to wrestle two to three times every single week.
Not to harp on Khali too much (I already did so here), but the man needs to retire.
He’s not over, he doesn’t sell merchandise, he can’t wrestle and his teaming with Hornswoggle arguably turns off more fans than it brings in.
Unlike some others on this list, Khali shouldn’t come back.
WWE got what they could out of him years ago when he had main event feuds with Undertaker, Cena and Batista.
As Giant Silva and Kurgan learned the hard way, a seven-foot-tall man just doesn't have a long shelf life as a comedy character.
Somehow, Khali has greatly exceeded his allotted time in this role, as he's been played for laughs for years. The joke is pretty well played out at this point, though.
S.O.S., Kofi Kingston needs a new gimmick!
Kofi may be a good wrestler, but he’s boring. More specifically, his character is boring.
Right now, he's just one of those guys who is on TV every week that doesn't do anything. Maybe he has a title, maybe he doesn’t, but his character never progresses.
He’s just a happy-go-lucky guy who always has a smile on his face and likes to say “boom, boom, boom!”
That’s all we’ve ever really learned about him—well, besides the fact that he somehow went from being Jamaican to Ghanaian.
For a short while, he was given a bit of an edge while feuding with Randy Orton. Yet after that feud abruptly ended, he went back to Mr. All Smiles all the time.
Maybe with a few months off, Kofi could find his character, or the writers could develop one for him. He could even turn heel. WWE should find out what he has in him. Otherwise, he probably has an entire career left of mediocrity ahead of him.
Yeah, we get it, Brodus Clay likes to dance and wants us to call his momma.
Unfortunately, that’s all we’ve ever learned about him throughout this past year.
His entrance was fun for a few weeks. It was a big surprise, but it worked. Then it got old, and the act kept repeating and repeating and repeating.
Who are the Funkadactyls? What is their relationship with Clay? Who is this momma we keep hearing about?
Somehow a potential tag team with Tensai isn’t likely to do much for his career. What he needs to do is go away, and then come back as a heel.
There aren’t a lot of monster heels anymore in the WWE. Kane is played for laughs, and The Big Show and Mark Henry are both in their 40s. It wouldn’t be a bad time to groom someone into that role and see how far they can go with them.
If nothing else, it will be better than watching Brodus dance another 100 or so times.
Perhaps the most obvious choice for this list, Hornswoggle could use a break from TV—perhaps a permanent one.
Despite all of the terrible and embarrassing stories Hornswoggle has been apart of, he's been employed with WWE since 2006.
His gimmick was a one-note joke that has gone on and on and on for over six long years.
Along the way, he went from being a leprechaun, to a mascot for DX, to being granted the power to talk by Santa Claus, to becoming the Anonymous GM, to teaming up with The Great Khali and even, inexplicably, being birthed by an 80-year-old woman.
The only thing that Hornswoggle has yet to do is be entertaining.
What more can the Showoff do?
In 2012, he won Money in the Bank, was given a top feud with John Cena, and was paired with Big E. Langston and AJ—and he's still not a main-eventer.
The problem with Ziggler is that we’ve seen him lose far too often.
No one is going to take a wrestler seriously as a big star if he loses twice as much as he wins.
He’s arguably the best wrestler on the roster (certainly the best at selling), so WWE uses him to make others look good when they should be concerned with making him look good.
Yes, Ziggler got a couple of cheap wins on Randy Orton and John Cena last year. But he didn’t pick up a single clean victory on either of those guys, or Sheamus or Ryback.
WWE has clearly cemented him on a tier lower than their top stars.
To be clear, Ziggler’s failure to ascend to the top of the card has been the company’s own fault. There are only so many times you can lose before fans just aren’t going to buy into you any longer.
After Mania, it might not be a bad time for Ziggler to take a break, and hopefully, WWE will be ready to finally keep him in the main event when he returns.
There was a time and a place where Santino was actually funny.
A good three years later, and hundreds of Santino sketches later...not so much.
The only thing Santino has added to his act are cartoonish gestures and more over-the-top facial expressions. His matches are all completely interchangeable at this point.
It's understandable why WWE doesn't turn John Cena heel: he makes them a lot of money. But Santino? Sure, he may sell a few cobra socks, here and there, but people don't buy tickets just to see him.
If he took a break, he could maybe even go back to a gimmick closer to his OVW days, when he actually portrayed a wrestler.
It's time to put the trombone away and pick up something less annoying.