Ryback, Sandow and the Top 5 Misused Wrestlers in the WWE
Following a three-month losing streak to the likes of Sheamus, Tyson Kidd, Brodus Clay and Ryback, Jack Swagger took nearly four months off from the WWE only to re-emerge in January with more edge to his character.
Gone was the blond-hair "All-American American" image and in walked a new and darker Jack Swagger with a new sidekick in Zeb Colter and a new chant of "We the people."
Swagger went from a forgotten mid-card wrestler and jobber to a man who now has a developed character and storyline, everything any professional wrestler would want.
However, for every re-developed character and storyline that the WWE comes up with, they also tend to lose track of current talent who end up lost in the shuffle.
Here is my list of the Top 5 currently misused wrestlers in the WWE:
No. 5: The Entire Divas Division
Can somebody, anybody, please tell me what is going on with the Divas Division? It used to be that every Raw and SmackDown featured at least one divas match, but lately, they only seem to make cameo appearances.
Within in the last six months alone, the divas division has lost Beth Phoenix and Eve to its roster, turned the title belt over to Kaitlyn, and have had her wrestle Tamina Snuka about a dozen times since then.
The WWE has made some progress with the return of The Bella Twins; however, the Divas Division remains a mess.
No. 4: Primo and Epico
Primo and Epico may be the best pure wrestling duo in the WWE today, and yet, they are relegated to taking turns getting destroyed in two minutes by Ryback. It makes zero sense.
Think about this for a second, one of the biggest rivalries in professional boxing is Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, so why hasn't the WWE explored this before with a Primo and Epico vs. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara rivalry; Mexico vs. Puerto Rico for the Tag Team championships?
Remember the days when the Hart Foundation use to enter as a big group, proudly carrying Canadian flags to show their country's pride? Whatever happened to those days?
Now Mysterio is out with an injury and there is talk his WWE career may be over with, which is sad. WWE could offset Mysterio's injury by pushing Alberto Del Rio to team up with Sin Cara, but that may be a bit of a reach.
Bottom line, Primo and Epico are too talented to be fighting two-minute matches with Ryback, they should be competing for the Tag Team title.
No. 3: Antonio Cesaro
Antonio Cesaro made his WWE television debut in April 2012 and four months later defeated Santino Marella for the United States Championship.
Since then, Cesaro has developed his character quite nicely, first drawing heat from the WWE Universe by consistently insulting the American fans, then establishing himself as a solid wrestler, putting up great matches against Sheamus and The Miz.
However since then, his storyline has run dry. Since January, Cesaro has wrestled the Miz at Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, once on Raw in a no-disqualification match, and then again the same week on SmackDown when he defeated The Miz in a Two-out-of-Three Falls match.
Bottom line, the WWE needs a new storyline for Cesaro and more importantly, a new rival.
No. 2: Damien Sandow
The "intellectual savior of the masses" has been on quite the road since first appearing on SmackDown in April 2012. After teasing the WWE with promos and near matches, Sandow made his wrestling debut in May. On the 1,000th episode of Raw in July 2012, Sandow became a household name to the WWE Universe when he was assaulted by DX after confronting them in the ring.
Sandow quickly rose up the ranks of the WWE, insulting fans with his intellectual put-downs and in ring antics such as walking away in the middle of matches. Despite the gimmicks, however, Sandow can wrestle, and his matches against Sheamus were some of the more entertaining matches of last year.
Sandow teamed up with Cody Rhodes to form Team Rhodes Scholars and despite getting multiple Tag Team title shots, they never were able to take away the belts from Team Hell No. After apparently breaking up, it seems that Team Rhodes Scholars is back, however, their storyline is still muddied at best.
For a while, the talk of the WWE universe was that Sandow would at some point be a champion, yet that doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon, and we've seen way to many Hell No-Rhodes Scholars matches to get excited for it anymore.
Sandow deserves a good storyline that at some point involves a rival or title shot. Perhaps Sandow could even create his own title belt, the "Intellectual Belt," just to draw more heat.
No. 1: Ryback
Despite appearing on Raw as early as June 2010 as part of Nexus, Ryback didn't take off until he re-debuted in April 2012. This new, re-developed Ryback instantly caught on with fans. His matches were two minutes or less and his simple phrase of "Feed Me More" took the WWE universe by storm.
Word around the WWE was that Ryback was being pushed fast by Vince McMahon for a title shot, however, since being royally screwed over by Paul Heyman and The Shield during his title matches against CM Punk, Ryback has gone back to a mid-card draw.
All of this is simply mind-boggling when you consider how quickly and ferociously the WWE was pushing Ryback to become a face and headliner.
Think about his, Ryback re-emerged in April 2012 and by October, was headlining with CM Punk at Hell in a Cell. One month later, Ryback again was headlining a major pay-per-view event, this time in a triple threat match with John Cena and CM Punk at Survivor Series.
Ryback was also set to headline the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match in December, but an injury to CM Punk pushed Ryback to co-headline the event instead with John Cena taking over in a ladder match against Dolph Ziggler.
On the first Raw of 2013, Ryback and CM Punk finished the night in a TLC match for the WWE title. With Ryback only fingertips away form winning, the lights went out, and The Shield appeared and once again ruined Ryback's title hopes.
At Royal Rumble, Ryback was the only wrestler left in the ring until John Cena threw him over for the win. Since then, Ryback has been thrown into a constant feud with The Shield and was scheduled to take part in a six-man match along with Randy Orton and Sheamus against The Shield, but instead was yanked in favor of a singles match against Mark Henry.
Ryback has gone from headlining pay-per-views in as little as three months to being a mid-card draw, and it makes no sense. ]
Hopefully, the WWE is just putting on hold some of the storylines for guys like Sandow, Cesaro and Ryback in favor of short storylines for WrestleMania and at the conclusion, can redevelop and redefine their purpose in the WWE.
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