Well, I have referenced a small number of the superstars WWE screwed up on, of the few I've highlighted, a good many have been from the modern era.
But this is not the only era in which WWE screwed over potential stars. They have done it in the past as well.
I now present the old school edition of the Superstars the WWE screwed up on.
1) Marty Jannetty
This is a man who is best remembered for being Shawn Michael’s partner in the great tag team known as the Rockers and...and...
Well in the WWE, really nothing. He did secure the IC title and the tag title once, which wasn't even with Michaels; it was with 1-2-3 kid. Jannetty would make a few one-time appearances in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The most memorable of which was a one-night Rockers reunion.
I will say at this point that the blame doesn't necessarily fall with the WWE altogether with this one. One of the times Jannetty was released was due to showing up at a show under the influence of drugs
But I feel Jannetty was largely screwed due to a stupid worthless jobber who will go down in the pages of wrestling history, not for being a big star later, but because he didn't know how to take the Rocker Dropper. The move broke his neck which led to a long lawsuit, the result of the case caused a bit of bad blood between the WWE and Jannetty.
"The other Rocker" as some have taken to calling him has largely disappeared from the mainstream wrestling scene. Personally I wouldn't mind a Rockers reunion. While he wasn't exactly the best on the mic, his in-ring work was never that bad.
To say the least he didn't really disserve a heavyweight title but he did deserve more than one IC title reign or at least one a touch bit more memorable than the one he did have.
2) Tito Santana
You can't really say this man was screwed by the WWE very badly.
He was a strong, upper mid-carder. He was involved in a very memorable feud with Greg Valentine. He is a two time IC champion. He was even inducted in the WWE hall of fame in 2004. That really does not chalk up to a bad career.
He also appeared at the first nine Wrestlemanias. However, he is 2-7 with the second win only being a dark match.
After the high part of his career, which would be the matches with Valentine and holding the IC title, Santana was stuck with a bad gimmick which had him competing as El Matador.
The gimmick was not very popular, and although Santana was excited when first receiving it, all it did was kill the career of a great wrestler.
Santana wrestled throughout 1993, mostly as a jobber. He would never receive the WWE title reign he deserved.
3) The Honky Tonk Man
Some may feel that the Honky Tonk Man doesn’t belong here, and I will say that I am doing him by request. I don't wish to disappoint the person that requested him for this list.
The Honky Tonk Man is widely regarded as the greatest IC champion of all time (a distinction I feel belongs to the one and only "Mr. Prefect" Curt Hennig). In support of this is a fact many fans should know, considering the stupid storyline with Santino Marella, The Honky Tonk Man is the longest reigning IC champion in WWE history.
The Honky Tonk Man can be considered one of the most nostalgic wrestlers of the '80s. With his gimmick of an Elvis impersonator, he was originally pushed as a face, but after poor crowd response he was made a heel.
He had major feuds with Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, Brutus Beefcake, and most memorably, Randy Savage. He held the IC title throughout the feuds with Steamboat, Savage and Beefcake, often getting himself disqualified so he wouldn't lose his title.
After Beefcake was injured, Honky believing himself to not have an opponent, made an open challenge at the first Summerslam. The challenged was answered by the Ultimate Warrior. UW would end the match, and Honky's title reign, in only 32 seconds.
Honky took a backseat after this feuding with Rhodes, and formed a tag team with Valentine. He then became a heel commentator before leaving the company.
He would return after a brief stint in WCW and became a commentator and a manager for Billy Gun in a very unsuccessful gimmick, known only as Rockabilly.
Many feel Honky should have been a heavyweight champion in WWE due mainly to the fact that he was an insanely popular heel. He was also a fairly good wrestler. In my opinion, having the longest-reigning IC champion in WWE history not hold the WWE championship at least once discredits the IC title to a degree.
However, despite never being a WWE champion, Honky has found incredible success on the Indy circuit.
I am strongly considering a part four in this series due to the popularity it has had. I likely won't write it for a while, to prevent the series from becoming too stale.
I do not know at this point whether or not it will be resuming the original format, another old school edition, or a diva's edition as I promised some (just for the record I tried to do a slideshow, but I really didn’t like the way it looked so I scrapped it).