Sheamus, Jack Swagger and 10 WWE Superstars Who Were Pushed Too Soon, Part 2
A push is an attempt to make a wrestler more popular with the fans and to move them up the ranks in his/her promotion. This includes beating established wrestlers, winning titles and doing whatever is necessary for the wrestler to get cheered or booed by the fans.
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 WWE and their success relative to their overall potential.
Part 2 features WWE Superstars who were pushed too soon, ranked from No. 5 to 1.
5. Dolph Ziggler
In 2005, Dolph Ziggler made his WWE debut as Kerwin White's (Chavo Guerrero) sidekick/golf caddie. At the time, Ziggler was using his real name, Nick Nemeth.
After his brief stint with Chavo, Ziggler was sent back to OVW.
In January 2006, Ziggler, under the name Nicky, became a member of the Spirit Squad. The Spirit Squad was a heel group that was made up of male cheerleaders.
Sounds stupid, right? Wrong. It was hilariously entertaining. Every Spirit Squad member, including Ziggler, played their parts to perfection.
Once the Spirit Squad disbanded in 2007, Ziggler was sent back to OVW again.
After a year as a member of the Raw roster, Ziggler was drafted to SmackDown in the 2009 supplemental draft.
In 2010, Ziggler won the Intercontinental championship and had a five-month reign before losing the title to Kofi Kingston on an episode of SmackDown.
On the same night he lost the Intercontinental title, Ziggler won a four-way match to become the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight championship.
Ziggler wrestled Edge, who was the World Heavyweight champion, at the 2010 Royal Rumble. Ziggler lost the match.
At that time, Vickie Guerrero was Ziggler's girlfriend as well as the acting general manager of SmackDown. Vickie was doing everything she could in order to help her beau, Dolph.
She set the parameter that if Edge used the Spear, his finishing move, during the rematch with Ziggler, than he would lose the World Heavyweight championship.
Edge used the Spear to defeat Ziggler and two weeks later, Ziggler was awarded the World Heavyweight championship.
To shorten up the story, Edge was fired by Vickie. Teddy Long (SmackDown general manager) came back and rehired Edge, and Edge beat Ziggler in a rematch for the World Heavyweight title.
Ziggler held the World Heavyweight championship for under 12 minutes. My question is...why?
The WWE made Ziggler look ridiculous. There was no way he could compete against a star like Edge. Ziggler's title reign was an embarrassment and he wasn't ready for the big league.
After his disappointing World Heavyweight title run, Ziggler went down the WWE ladder and became the United States champion.
Right now, Ziggler has the Money in the Bank briefcase and has proven himself to be a worthy main-eventer. It's taken him seven to eight years to get here, but he deserves it.
As of today, Dolph Ziggler is 32 years old. He has won a World Heavyweight championship, an Intercontinental championship, a United States championship and is a WWE Tag Team champion.
I expect Ziggler to stay in the upper-card/main event for the next year or so. He is one of the best wrestlers and athletes in WWE and can only go forward from here.
Dolph Ziggler has a very bright future.
4. The Miz
The Miz's story is unbelievable.
After being a cast member on The Real World, Miz joined the independent wrestling circuit for four years until he got called up to the WWE.
He was a contestant on Tough Enough, but lost in the finals to Daniel Puder.
The Miz made his WWE in-ring debut in September 2006.
After going on a short undefeated run, The Miz began to partner with ex-WWE Superstar John Morrison.
In late 2007, Miz and Morrison became the WWE Tag Team champions. Their friendship ended in 2009.
At the 2010 Money in the Bank pay-per-view, The Miz won the MITB briefcase. Less than three months later, the unthinkable happened. On the Nov. 22 edition of Monday Night Raw, The Miz cashed in his MITB briefcase on a worn-down Randy Orton.
The Miz became the WWE champion.
He even held the WWE title long enough to successfully defend it against John Cena at WrestleMania 27. Of course, Miz had a little help from The Rock.
After losing the WWE championship to John Cena at Extreme Rules, The Miz went downhill.
He won a couple minor titles, but nothing compared to his first and only WWE title run.
Right now, The Miz is in an entertaining feud with Antonio Cesaro. Since The Miz is still young, WWE can wait a year or two before giving Miz another major push.
The Miz is now a face, which is different, but it takes some getting used to. He's one of those guys who can play both characters well...but, a heel Miz is always fun to watch.
Since he came from reality television, The Miz received a lot of hate and mixed reactions from critics when he first came to WWE. Despite being an annoying reality star, The Miz is following his dream and did everything possible in order to become a WWE Superstar.
I know I'm giving him a lot of praise, but let's get back to the point: His run as the WWE champion came way too soon.
He was not a believable champion and the WWE championship was viewed as a joke for a certain amount of time.
As of today, The Miz is 32 years old. He has won a WWE championship, three Tag Team championships, two United States Championships and one Intercontinental championship.
He continues to impress and put on great matches every night. In a couple of years, I expect him to be one of the biggest stars in the company.
You would have never expected that this guy would become a WWE champion!
After spending seven years in OVW and FCW, Ryback was finally called up to the big leagues.
Ryback, the character, made his WWE in-ring debut on the April 6, 2012, edition of SmackDown. After squashing dozens of jobbers over the next few months, Ryback beat the Intercontinental champion, The Miz.
Once Ryback defeated The Miz, he set his sights on the WWE champion, CM Punk.
At the time, Ryback had an undefeated streak of 38 matches.
Due to John Cena's injury, Ryback was given an opportunity to win the WWE championship from CM Punk at the Hell in a Cell PPV.
Ryback dominated the matchup but was screwed by WWE referee Brad Maddox. Ryback was pinned for the very first time, but his momentum was still running high.
At Survivor Series, Ryback was attacked by The Shield and came up short once again due to interference.
This same thing started to happen over and over again for the next few months. Whether it was at a PPV or during an episode of Raw, Ryback would continue to get beat down by The Shield.
WWE had a great thing going on with Ryback, but the way they ended his undefeated streak was sloppily done.
Might as well take a cattle prod to his chest, for crying out loud.
Still, Ryback is very popular with the fans. He continues to improve and his amazing physique and powerful move-set make him an entertaining Superstar to watch.
As of today, Ryback is 31 years old and hasn't won any championships. Ryback was a main-event Superstar who dropped down to the mid-to-upper card within a matter of weeks.
Ryback can thank The Rock for that.
Once The Rock is gone in a couple of months, I can see Ryback gunning for the World Heavyweight championship. You may think that Ryback is overrated, but he continues to improve and can be very impressive in the ring.
Ryback is going to be a star one day, but it may take some time.
2. Drew McIntyre
Ah yes, Drew McIntyre..."The Chosen One."
McIntyre made his WWE debut in September 2007, but after a few months, he was sent to OVW/FCW.
Once he was ready, McIntyre made his return to SmackDown in August 2009.
Later that year, WWE chairman Vince McMahon introduced McIntyre as a future World champion.
McIntyre started a feud with the Intercontinental champion, John Morrison.
At TLC 2009, McIntyre defeated Morrison and won his very first Intercontinental championship. McIntyre went on a lengthy winning streak until Match, but The Undertaker put a stop to the Scot's impressive record.
Toward the end of 2010, McIntyre and Cody Rhodes became a tag team. They won the WWE Tag Team championships, but only held the titles for a few weeks.
Fast forward to 2011, McIntyre was involved in the 2011 SmackDown Elimination Chamber match, but he did not win the match.
After being drafted to Raw in the 2011 supplemental draft, McIntyre was nowhere to be seen.
In 2012, McIntyre was drafted back to SmackDown. He began to lose matches left and right and eventually went on an eight-match losing streak.
McIntyre ended his losing streak by defeating Hornswoggle.
He was relegated to Superstars and NXT after a shoulder injury.
Right now, McIntyre is a member of 3MB, which is very disappointing to see.
As of today, Drew McIntyre is 27 years old. He has won the Intercontinental championship once, same with the WWE Tag Team titles. Considering he is only 27, things can only get better for Scotsman.
After being named "The Chosen One" by the man who owns WWE, McIntyre has failed to live up to McMahon's expectations.
McIntyre received a push and didn't make the most of it. He reminds me of Randy Orton. He achieved success at a very young age, but Drew went in the complete opposite direction.
Once his embarrassing 3MB character is over, I see McIntyre being pushed again. He is a talented wrestler who has a unique look.
Expect another year or two of jobbing for Drew McIntyre.
1. Jack Swagger
It's no surprise that Jack Swagger is at No. 1, is it? He became one of the most unbelievable World Heavyweight champions in history.
After spending a couple years in developmental, Swagger made his WWE debut on WWE's version of ECW.
Swagger started a feud with the heart and soul of ECW, Tommy Dreamer. He beat Dreamer on multiple occasions, which earned him a shot at the ECW title.
In January, Swagger defeated Matt Hardy for the ECW title and tasted his very first championship gold in WWE.
Swagger won the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania 2010.
After WrestleMania, Swagger cashed in the MITB briefcase on Chris Jericho, who had just been speared by Edge.
Swagger became the new World Heavyweight champion.
After losing the WHC to Rey Mysterio at the Fatal 4-Way PPV, Swagger was demoted to the United States championship and was a midcard wrestler.
In 2011, Swagger aligned himself with Vickie Guerrero, who was also managing Dolph Ziggler at the time.
Once Swagger lost the managerial skills of Vickie Guerrero, he went on a three-month losing streak.
The former World Heavyweight champion lost to WWE Superstars such as Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, Brodus Clay and Tyson Kidd.
Swagger was pushed to his breaking point, and on the Sept. 3 edition of Monday Night Raw, he told general manager AJ Lee that he would be taking time off.
We wouldn't see Swagger until February 2013. He changed his gimmick a bit and is viewed as a dominant force.
Swagger is now managed by the pro-American Zeb Colter. They are a perfect match.
As of today, Jack Swagger is 30 years old. He has won a World Heavyweight championship and a United States championship (not including the ECW title).
I really like what I'm seeing from Swagger as of late. He has a new attitude and has been very impressive in the ring.
Right now, Swagger is competing in an Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber PPV. It seems like he is receiving a well-deserved push.
Swagger was not a convincing World champion. He wasn't able to carry the company on his back and beat other top guys without resorting to desperate heel tactics—including purposely getting disqualified.
However, I feel that Swagger is going to be a big star in WWE. Taking several months off was the best thing that could happen for Swagger and for his career.
Do you agree with my selections? Who did I miss? Let me know in the comments section below!
All comments are greatly appreciated and will be responded to. Thank you for reading and for your support.