Ranking the 5 Most Underrated and Underused Superstars in WWE
WWE is blessed with one of the most naturally gifted rosters it has ever had—but at a time when October 6's Super Show-Down event in Melbourne, Australia, could be headlined by two guys with a combined age of 102, it's not difficult to see that some talented wrestlers are being horribly underused.
From the independent stars the company has managed to lure to the bright lights of WWE to the homegrown stars who have become household favorites in recent years, there are plenty of wrestlers in WWE's possession who could consider themselves the best on the planet.
But even with two weekly shows and a stack of pay-per-views, some just aren't getting the exposure or attention their talent deserves.
Here's a look at the five biggest names in the company who are either underused, underrated or a combination of both.
5. Zack Ryder
History has shown that whenever Zack Ryder is given some creative freedom and even the briefest period of television time, he can make it work.
The examples are plentiful. Go all the way back to Ryder's supremely popular gimmick when he crowned himself the internet champion, with custom-made title to boot.
That morphed into a stint with the United States Championship and an infamous segment with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk on Raw, during which they were all able to showcase their respective titles after TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2011.
Fast forward to 2016, and WWE again opted to push Ryder, this time with the Intercontinental Championship. Even his work with Mojo Rawley in The Hype Bros was decent.
But since this year's Superstar Shake-up in April, Ryder has barely featured on TV. Not only is he consistently good in the ring, but he's also charismatic and popular enough away from matches to warrant more of a push.
Here's hoping 2019 brings around happier times for Long Island Iced Z.
4. The Revival
There have been some outstanding tag teams pushed up from NXT in recent years, and they have all experienced varying degrees of success.
At the bottom end of the scale, there are teams such as The Vaudevillains and The Ascension, who haven't quite managed to transfer their momentum from Full Sail on to the main roster.
Contrast that with the likes of Authors of Pain, who are slowly building a head of steam on Raw and look capable of becoming a major player in the tag division on Monday nights.
Somewhere in the middle of that scale, you can find The Revival. And it's a real shame the team's potential hasn't been realised on the main roster.
Granted, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson's early months on Raw were blighted by injury, but since returning to full health, they just haven't been used in the way they should be.
While the storyline involving The B-Team was different, it didn't feel right that they should have a run with Raw's tag titles before The Revival.
Fans of theirs from NXT will know they are capable of putting on stellar bouts most weeks, and they have an attitude and gimmick that should be way more over than it is.
It's time to give them a serious push.
3. Gallows and Anderson
Since they joined WWE a couple in 2016, the company just hasn't been able to strike the right balance when booking Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
On several occasions, they have teased alliances with the likes of Finn Balor and AJ Styles, which would have done wonders for their popularity in WWE, only for the relationships to be short-lived.
Even when they have been given brief exposure on TV, the duo have shown they are capable of replicating the great in-ring performances that made them stars during their time in Japan.
If WWE takes more of a stance towards creating meaningful and dominant stables, then a reunion of The Club in early 2019 should be high on its agenda. Pair up Gallows and Anderson with AJ Styles and have them run riot across the blue brand. It would be sensational.
SmackDown's tag team lineup is impressive, with the likes of The New Day, The Bar and The Usos at the head of the division.
But given they could be doing so much more, it's a shame Gallows and Anderson aren't included in that bracket.
2. Chad Gable
The breakup of a successful tag team is always interesting to keep an eye on. It's happening on SmackDown with Rusev Day, which is no doubt going to culminate in a feud between Aiden English and Rusev.
Chad Gable and Jason Jordan were never forced to turn on one another before splitting, but it was frustrating to see Jordan pushed as Kurt Angle's kayfabe son before his injury while Gable was left to flounder at the lower end of the card.
Sure, he's on TV more these days because of his new-found relationship with Bobby Roode, but Gable is still being hugely underused.
He's charismatic, energetic and, in terms of in-ring ability, there perhaps isn't anyone who's quite as underrated as Gable in WWE.
This pairing with Roode may hopefully lead to a feud between the two that Gable comes out of the winner, but even then, 2019 has to provide more of a definitive direction for one of the company's most promising up-and-coming stars.
1. Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens has experienced the highest highs a WWE wrestler could ever wish to go through.
He beat John Cena in his first main-roster match, held the Universal Championship and became one of the most popular guys on the roster.
But on those and so many other occasions, they have all been offset by a feeling of what could have been.
Take Owens' reign with the Universal Championship. It looked as though he was going to align with The Authority and become the main figure on Raw on a consistent basis, similar to how Seth Rollins was positioned a few years earlier.
Instead, nothing came of it.
His most recent angle, kayfabe quitting the company because of his frustration over results, felt like an angle that could have got K.O. back on track. Instead, WWE opted to bring him back for the next taping of Raw to attack Bobby Lashley. It made no sense.
It feels like WWE has no clear idea for where it wants to take Owens' character, and that's a shame. Talent-wise, Owens remains one of the best wrestlers on the planet, let alone in WWE. He's fearless, agile and powerful—everything a main event star should be.
WWE needs to make sure that when it lays out its long-term planning for 2019 and beyond, Kevin Owens is at the heart of it. He's too good to be wasted in meaningless midcard rivalries with no direction.