R-Truth and Other Main Eventers That Could Be Created from WWE's Undercard
WWE's undercard is filled to the brim with underutilized talent right now, and from R-Truth to Alex Riley, there are countless superstars lost in the shuffle who could still become main eventers.
Jack Swagger is a perfect example of a wrestler who was going nowhere in his career, only to be given the push of life and earn the right to compete for the World Heavyweight Championship at WWE WrestleMania 29.
In mid-2012, Swagger was written out of WWE storylines before taking a lengthy hiatus, only to be repackaged with his "Real American" gimmick in February and, alongside Zeb Colter, become one of the more intriguing characters in recent memory.
Swagger's transformation is indicative that WWE is willing to revamp personas of the undercard to give birth to new superstars, and here I'll examine other wrestlers currently stuck in a rut who would benefit greatly from some character alterations.
At 41 years old, R-Truth is no spring chicken, but rewind to his monstrously entertaining heel escapades in 2011, and the evidence is clear that he does not belong in the undercard.
R-Truth was establishing himself as a main-event player two years ago, but a suspension derailed his progress, and he returned as a babyface to seek vengeance on former tag team partner The Miz.
As a face, R-Truth is endearing, but his jovial, comedic routine has worn a little thin, and his talents really should be exploited as a heel once again.
After recently returning to save Kofi Kingston from Damien Sandow, a sudden betrayal of Kingston could set up a dark match at WrestleMania that would see his heel momentum carry on into the spring.
Should he play his cards right, R-Truth's career could be contested at quite a high level for a few more years, and with Little Jimmy as his arch-nemesis once again, his side-splitting shenanigans could yet play a featured role in 2013.
The Mexican luchador is a special commodity that WWE possesses, and while his talent is undeniable, he would certainly benefit from a hiatus similar to Jack Swagger's before returning with a newfound attitude to impose upon the world.
One essential feud to bolster the masked maestro's reputation would be with Rey Mysterio.
Teased as a potential match for WrestleMania, it appears those plans have been scrapped, and Sin Cara may very well be left off the "Showcase of the Immortals" as a result.
However, should this feud eventually take place, a heel turn could work wonders for the high flyer.
Upon exiting the Mysterio feud with a dastardly demeanour, an immediate rivalry with Alberto Del Rio could further his progression as a man hell-bent on becoming WWE's No. 1 Mexican star.
At 30 years old, time is on Sin Cara's side, and upon a character transformation, a main-event run could yet be in the cards for the superstar in the near future.
Things began brightly for McIntyre in WWE, with an Intercontinental title reign and a high-profile feud with Teddy Long, but a prolonged period of obscurity saw his momentum crash to a halt.
Since then, McIntyre has linked up with fellow strugglers Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal as part of 3MB, with his career seemingly on a downhill trajectory.
It would be a staggering shame if this were to remain the case, as the Scotsman has often displayed glimpses of tremendous talent, a view echoed by Bret Hart in 2011.
McIntyre is a natural at playing a devious, callous heel, and his feuds in the past against smaller wrestlers such as Matt Hardy and Kofi Kingston were perfect in grooming him as a ruthless villain.
McIntyre has far too much potential to remain untapped, and little would need to be done to ensure this does not happen.
With similar backing to that which Jack Swagger has seen recently, McIntyre could viciously betray his 3MB allies, beginning a newfound path of aggression that would see him square off with WWE's babyface midcard elite.
With a manager in tow, perhaps in the vein of Paul Heyman, McIntyre's so-so promo skills could take a back seat to a mouthpiece who would really get him across to the WWE audience.
Tweaking, coupled with a dash of faith from WWE headquarters, is all that is needed for McIntyre to live up to McMahon's premonition from 2009.
Jimmy and Jey Uso are competing in arguably the worst tag team period in recent WWE history.
After a long period of WWE Tag Team Championship obscurity, the company’s 2012 effort to establish teams such as Team Hell No, Prime Time Players and Team Rhodes Scholars was admittedly a drastic improvement.
Looking at the Usos, there are traces of the Hardy Boyz in the duo's in-ring work, especially because of their fast-paced, high-flying style that excites no matter whom they face.
WWE has yet to give them the remotest semblance of a push, but should they turn them into a modern-day Team Xtreme, it would be hard for fans not to cheer for them.
A feud with Team Rhodes Scholars for the belts could kick-start a path to stardom, and, much like the Hardyz, Dudley Boyz and Edge & Christian, they could yet find themselves propelled into main-event matches on Raw or SmackDown.
This is clearly eons away from their current position, but few would begrudge the Usos a push, and should tag team gold occur as a result, they could yet become one of the best teams in the modern era.
Instead, it was Orton whom the WWE Universe chose to support, and DiBiase was given a horrific stint with Maryse, leading to a prolonged period in undercard hell.
Eventually, a face turn against Cody Rhodes saw him earn an Intercontinental title shot at Night of Champions 2011, but injury has since hampered any chances of progression within the company.
With his WWE career currently uncertain, DiBiase desperately needs to make a lasting impact should he end up making a return to television.
Analysing which path he should take is tricky, though. His 2010 millionaire heel gimmick failed spectacularly, while his 2011 face turn didn't pan out any more successfully.
A complete overhaul of DiBiase's character may be required for the second-generation superstar to succeed in WWE, with his new persona being so subversive that fans feel they simply have to see him each week.
A tweener role would be perfect for DiBiase, similar to Chris Jericho's when he returned in 2012, which would leave fans unaware whether he is playing the heel or the face at any given time.
If and how that occurs is down to the WWE writers, but DiBiase has much more to offer the company should they utilise him properly in the near future. Hopefully we haven't seen the last of him in a WWE ring just yet.
In 2011, Alex Riley defeated The Miz in two successive pay-per-view matches, displaying his credentials as a blossoming star to keep an eye on for the future.
The times have certainly not been kind to Riley, though, with the 31-year-old's most recent achievement of note occurring when he was knocked out by Big Show on a recent episode of Raw.
Riley's television time on Raw and SmackDown since his 2011 flurry has largely been spent as a jobber, and it is clear that for the Virginia-born superstar to obtain any success, he needs to start again from scratch.
A gimmick is a necessity, and with his character not nearly established enough to thrive on his own personality, he desperately needs to adopt a newfound attitude to metamorphose into a character that fans want to see.
Whether he does so as a face or as a heel, his in-ring work and promo skills are solid enough to merit another shot at the big time. Hopefully, WWE will not miss out on a man who seemed destined for greatness just 20 months ago.
Thanks for reading, and you can follow me on Twitter @JWoodfield365