Expect several forgotten stars to make their mark in three weeks at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. It is, after all, one of the few big-time WWE events in which everyone on the roster is given appropriate time to shine.
The first name that comes to mind is Dolph Ziggler.
Let's be frank: Ziggler had a dreadful 2013.
His World Heavyweight Championship run in the spring was cut short due a concussion. He fell back to midcard soon after and has sustained loss after loss on television and pay-per-view ever since. Reports (PWI via WrestlingInc) have floated around since the summer that he has heat for one thing or another.
For a guy as ambitious as Ziggler is, his career down-spiral has to be deeply disappointing.
But a strong performance at the Royal Rumble could potentially help turn things around for the 33-year-old. It's certainly possible.
Indeed, for all of the terrible booking he's had to deal with in the last few months he's still as tremendous a wrestler as ever. Provided he is given an early number in the battle royal and lasts a decent amount of time, he could make quite the impression.
Can Ziggler turn around his plummeting WWE career at the Royal Rumble? Let's hope so.
Kofi Kingston is another struggling midcarder who can use the event to spring himself back to prominence.
Kingston's stock in the company is cratering—just this week, on Monday's Raw, he lost a fan vote to The Great Khali of all people. Perhaps a good showing in the battle royale, as well as yet another creative way to avoid getting himself eliminated, will convince WWE to invest more time and good storylines in him.
Damien Sandow is another marginalized name who could benefit from a strong performance on January 26.
His once-promising career never truly recovered from unsuccessfully cashing in his Money in the Bank title shot against John Cena in October, and he's been languishing in the lower midcard as a lame comedy act ever since.
Ideally, in the battle royale, he'll deliver good, credible in-ring work and convince everyone he's someone to be taken seriously again.
Of course, we shouldn't get our hopes too high, it's hard to see Sandow, Kingston or Ziggler actually winning the thing, especially with guys like Batista and Roman Reigns in there. But they can at least get themselves over with memorable performances.
It's not just singles wrestlers that can thrive at event, either.
Forgotten teams like The Main Event Players and Los Matadores also have the chance to win the World Tag Team Championship titles from Goldust and Cody Rhodes, assuming WWE wants to give the belts a proper spotlight, that is.
While main-eventers like Randy Orton, John Cena and Brock Lesnar will likely be the “true” stars of the show, don’t be too surprised if some midcarders manage to make themselves stand out, as well. There are, thankfully, plenty of opportunities for overlooked guys to steal the show in Pittsburgh and put themselves back on the map.