Sheamus, Jack Swagger and 10 WWE Superstars Who Were Pushed Too Soon, Part 1
A push is an attempt to make a wrestler more popular with the fans and to move up the ranks in his/her promotion in the WWE. This includes beating established wrestlers, winning titles and basically doing whatever is necessary for the wrestler to become a face, either famous or infamous.
These Superstars either failed to make a memorable impact after their push or received their push for the wrong reasons.
Due to experience, veteran Superstars who receive a push seem to handle it a lot better than younger Superstars, but that isn't always the case.
The rankings in this slideshow are determined by each Superstar's age, accomplishments, current status in the WWE and their success relative to their overall potential.
Part 1 features WWE Superstars who were pushed too soon, ranked 10-6.
10. Alex Riley
In 2010, WWE Superstar, The Miz signed Alex Riley (mentored by The Miz during NXT) to a "personal services contract." Shortly after the signing, The Miz won the WWE Championship.
Riley would accompany Miz to all of his matches and did little more than interfere, in hopes of giving Miz the upper hand against his opponents.
At this time, Riley was competing in his own singles matches. He even had a few matches with the top guy in the company John Cena, losing of course.
He also lost to Ezekiel Jackson. Remember him?
At Over the Limit 2011, The Miz lost the WWE Championship. The next night on Raw, Miz said that Riley was the reason why he lost the title and proceeded to fire him.
Riley and Miz were scheduled to wrestle at the Capitol Punishment PPV. Riley defeated The Miz.
Alex Riley was once a fan favorite and beat one of the top guys in the WWE. How could things go wrong?
At the start of 2012, Alex Riley went on a 14-match losing streak. He was relegated to NXT and Superstar. He didn't reappear on WWE TV for months.
The last time we saw Riley, he got knocked out by the Big Show on last week's episode of Raw.
At 31, Riley hasn't won any championships, but his window has not yet closed. Right now, Riley is on NXT and wrestling in dark matches.
Alex Riley has a lot of potential. He's clean-cut, has a great look and can perform some powerful moves.
The WWE has used Riley before, but it was obvious that he needed more time to develop.
Riley recently had elbow surgery, so hopefully the WWE will use him properly once he's fully recovered.
9. Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio is a deserving World Heavyweight champion, but that wasn't the case 2-3 years ago.
In August 2010, Del Rio made his WWE debut and was placed in the main event of SmackDown. He defeated one of the most popular Mexican wrestlers in the world in Rey Mysterio.
Del Rio earned a World Heavyweight Title shot shortly after his debut at TLC 2010. He was involved in a Fatal 4-Way match, which was won by Edge.
After TLC 2010, Del Rio got the best of Mysterio and beat him in a 2 out of 3 falls match, which ended their feud.. Del Rio's victory was a sign of things to come.
Alberto Del Rio won the 2011 Royal Rumble, which comprised of 40 WWE Superstars rather than the usual 30.
Because of his Rumble victory, Del Rio challenged the World Heavyweight Champion, Edge, at WrestleMania 27. Edge retained the title.
In April 2011, Del Rio was drafted to Raw.
At Money in the Bank 2011, Del Rio managed to win the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Del Rio successfully cashed in his briefcase at SummerSlam after Kevin Nash attacked the WWE champion CM Punk, after defeating Cena.
At Survivor Series, CM Punk beat Del Rio for the WWE Championship.
Throughout 2012, Alberto Del Rio had seven chances to win the World Heavyweight Championship from Sheamus. He failed on all seven occasions.
In December 2012, Del Rio turned face. It was a good move by the WWE and the face turn made Del Rio interesting again.
Within a matter of months after turning face, Alberto Del Rio beat the World Heavyweight Champion, Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match on SmackDown.
Since becoming WHC, Del Rio has tuned up his move-set and has been a very entertaining character. A face turn was something that Del Rio desperately needed.
Del Rio is 36 and has already won two WWE Championships, one World Heavyweight Championship and the 2011 Royal Rumble.
From late 2011 to late 2012, Alberto Del Rio's character became very stale. He didn't seem to fit in as a main event Superstar.
Since turning face and changing his character, a bit, Del Rio has become a credible champion.
Alberto Del Rio is going to be in the WWE for a long time. He is an entertaining champion and will remain as an upper-card/main event Superstar.
Sheamus made his WWE debut in 2009.
At Survivor Series 2009, he was a member of The Miz’s team in the 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match. Sheamus managed to get the final pin-fall on the opposing team’s captain John Morrison and was a survivor along with The Miz.
The night after Survivor Series, Sheamus won a “break-through” Battle Royal. As a result of the victory, Sheamus challenged WWE champion John Cena, at TLC 2009.
Sheamus and John Cena were scheduled to have a tables match. To everyone’s surprise, Sheamus put Cena through a table and won his first WWE Championship. In fact, he became the very first Irish-born WWE champion.
In 2009, Wrestlezone.com stated:
“As far as Sheamus and Drew McIntyre are concerned, they are getting their respective pushes right now because Sheamus is the workout partner of Triple H...”
He won the most prestigious prize in sports entertainment only months after his WWE debut….and beat John Cena! No wonder people thought something fishy was going on!
Sheamus lost the WWE Title to John Cena at the 2010 Elimination Chamber PPV. Go figure.
At the Fatal 4-Way PPV, the unthinkable happened. Sheamus beat Cena again, winning his second WWE Championship.
At Money in the Bank 2010, the unbelievable happened again. Sheamus successfully defended the WWE Championship against Cena in a Steel Cage Match.
So, Sheamus beat Cena three times and the Internet Wrestling Community still dubs Cena as SuperCena?
After losing the WWE Title to Randy Orton, Sheamus won the 2010 King of the Ring tournament.
Sheamus was drafted to SmackDown in the 2011 supplemental draft. Six months later, Sheamus turned face and has been dominant ever since.
Sheamus is 35 years old and has won two WWE Championships, one World Heavyweight Championship, and one United States Championship. He is the 2010 King of the Ring and won the 2012 Royal Rumble.
Sheamus’ position in the WWE today is now solidified. He will continue to win more World Titles and is one of the top Superstars in the business.
There is no doubt that Sheamus’ push came way too early. Technically, Sheamus had a more successful first year than Ryback.
7. Ted DiBiase Jr.
In his very first WWE match in 2008, Ted DiBiase Jr. won the WWE Tag Team Titles with Cody Rhodes.
At the time, Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes were the Tag Team champions. Cody Rhodes betrayed his mentor and aligned himself with DiBiase.
After taking some time off to film The Marine 2, DiBiase returned to the WWE in 2009. He joined Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes in a faction known as The Legacy, led by Orton.
Since joining Legacy, DiBiase was involved in many main event matches. He would mainly compete alongside Orton and Rhodes, but also had singles matches against the same Superstars Orton was feuding with.
DiBiase and Rhodes even beat the re-formed Degeneration X. Being put over by Shawn Michaels and Triple H is a big deal.
The Legacy disbanded after Orton turned face and betrayed DiBiase and Rhodes. The group’s separation resulted in a Triple Threat Match between the three of them at WrestleMania 26 that saw Orton win.
Once WrestleMania was over, DiBiase changed his character. He became a cocky millionaire and carried around the Million Dollar Championship, which was given to him by his father.
DiBiase received the managerial services of Maryse.
In the 2011 supplemental draft, DiBiase was drafted to SmackDown. He aligned himself with Cody Rhodes once again, but their friendship didn’t last long.
Ted DiBiase Jr. became a fan favorite after surprise-attacking Rhodes during an episode of SmackDown. The attack on Rhodes signified DiBiase as a face, which led him to create the DiBiase Posse.
In March 2012, DiBiase had surgery on his shoulder. He came back four months later and competed at house shows. DiBiase was relegated to Superstars.
During a WWE house show in December, DiBiase suffered another injury in a match against Fandango, making it no wonder he hasn't debuted yet.
The WWE Universe hasn’t seen Ted Dibiase Jr. for months.
Ted DiBiase Jr. is just 30 years old, relatively young considering the experience he has. So far in his career, he has won two WWE Tag Team Championships.
DiBiase enjoyed a great amount of success in a short amount of time. He hasn't been featured in a meaningful feud or match in at least a year.
At 30, Ted DiBiase Jr. still has room to grow. He would be a great United States or Intercontinental champion. He also has experience as a tag team wrestler, so that is a possibility as well.
Is he World Championship material? I don’t think so.
6. The Great Khali
The Great Khali comes in at number six and is another example of a Superstar having a lot of success extremely early in his career.
In 2006, Khali made his WWE debut by attacking The Undertaker during his match on an episode of SmackDown.
Khali's manager at the time, Daivari, had managed several other Superstars in the WWE, none of whom were able to beat The Undertaker.
Upon Khali's debut, Daivari said that he found a man who could finally beat The Undertaker.
At Judgement Day 2006, he made good on his word, as Khali defeated The Undertaker.
In 2007, after a brief stint in ECW, The Great Khali was a member of the Raw. On his Raw debut, he defeated John Cena by disqualification.
Khali and Kane began a short rivalry that culminated in a match at WrestleMania 23. Khali picked up the victory over Kane.
During the 2007 WWE Draft, Khali was drafted to SmackDown.
On the July 20 edition of SmackDown, The Great Khali won his very first World Heavyweight Championship.
Edge, who was the champion at the time, had to vacate the title due to an injury. Khali won a 20-Man Battle Royal in order to win the vacated championship.
At Unforgiven 2007 on September 16, Khali defended the WHC against Rey Mysterio and Batista in a Triple Threat Match. Batista got the victory.
From 2008-2012, The Great Khali was involved in many different storylines, but never came close to capturing a title.
Right now, he is used as comic relief alongside Hornswoggle and Natalya.
The Great Khali is 40 years old already and has won one title: the World Heavyweight Championship.
I don't see The Great Khali winning any more titles in the WWE. He is slow, uncoordinated, and very uncomfortable to watch.
I apologize for bashing Khali, but he isn't a good wrestler at this point in his career.
Good thing the WWE didn't have Khali beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania!
Part 2 of WWE Superstars: Who Were Pushed Too Soon will be posted in a few days. Do you agree with my selections? Who did I miss? Who should come next? I have an idea as to what Superstars will be ranked 5-1, but who do you think should be in part 2? Sound off in the comments box below!
Adrian Fylonenko is an aspiring writer who plans to major in journalism. His interests include writing and debating about all things wrestling. Bleacher Report has given him the opportunity to improve and perfect his craft. Adrian is active on social media and if you have any questions or suggestions, you can do so on Twitter and Facebook. Word on the street is if you follow him, he will follow back.
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