8 WWE Stars in Danger of Being Buried Permanently

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2020

8 WWE Stars in Danger of Being Buried Permanently

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The idea of "burial" in wrestling is one that gained steam with the advent of the internet wrestling community and their support of Superstars who management either had no intention of booking or was not giving deserved opportunities to.

    Since then, the term has become a monstrosity, thrown on any and all Superstars who had not been pushed directly to the top of the card. Overused? Absolutely. Accurate? Rarely.

    There are some Superstars, though, who have flirted with burial over the last year or so. They find themselves teetering on the edge of credibility and despair, their opportunities to pull themselves out of the creative quicksand lessening with every passing week.

    These are their stories.

Cedric Alexander

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    It was not all that long ago that Cedric Alexander was trending upward, mixing it up with the top stars on Raw and looking like a genuine breakout star while doing so. Then, he lost to AJ Styles in humiliating fashion on the Clash of Champions Kickoff Show.

    Since then, he has been utilized sparingly on WWE television, most recently appearing on the February 10 episode of Raw, where he lost to Angel Garza in short order.

    Alexander is an immensely talented professional wrestler, but for whatever reason, any support he had previously has evaporated, leaving him a tackling dummy for stars enjoying the sort of push he probably should be.

    He, more than anyone on this list, has been the most damaged by recent booking. He is the closest to being irreparably buried under implausible use and petty backstage maneuverings that left him on the receiving end of irrational creative.

    Given recent trends, it does not appear as if his position on the card will improve any time soon, either.

The Revival

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    Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder should be tag team champions, carrying the division to heights previously unimaginable. They should be the greatest tag team of their generation and standard-bearers for the artform.

    Instead, petty booking and an unclear contract situation have them on the precipice of a burial that could have been avoided.

    The Revival was, at one point, considered the absolute best in tag team wrestling. During their time in NXT, they went to war with DIY's Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, as well as American Alpha's Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. In those matches, Wilder and Dawson reminded fans of what tag team wrestling could be. They brought the sweet science of quick tags and isolation, as well as the psychology of picking an opponent apart while manipulating the referee, to the forefront.

    They were the modern-day equivalent of Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, and watching them work was a joy.

    Their arrival on the main roster, Vince McMahon's inability to grasp what made them so good and some ill-timed injuries ruined any chance the duo ever had of succeeding at a high level on Raw or SmackDown.

    They have won tag titles, yes, but their pushes usually diminish. Now, they are infrequently utilized amid contract disputes and are likely to be jobbed out and punished to remove any and all credibility if, and when, they seek employment elsewhere.

The IIconics

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    Billie Kay and Peyton Royce captured the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 35 and appeared poised to enjoy a push that had eluded The IIconics prior to that moment. Instead, they held the titles for just 120 days before dropping them to the makeshift duo of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross.

    Drafted to Raw as part of the brand extension this past October, the Aussies have not appeared on television since November.

    In WWE, the less you are on television, the more danger you are in of being forgotten and passed over by management and fans alike.

    That is the position Royce and Kay find themselves in. They have not been beaten down and jobbed out to the extent that The Revival has been, nor have they been humiliated via one-sided squash matches.

    They simply have not been utilized at all. In the world of professional wrestling, out of sight means out of mind.

    While it is possible WWE is keeping them off television in an attempt to repackage them or bring them back in a more memorable way later, the fact that the talented duo with charming (oftentimes hilarious) personalities have not been seen in any form or fashion in months, is doing them no favors when it comes to staying relevant in an ever-changing industry.

Shorty G

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    The moment the rocket scientists in charge of SmackDown thought it was a good idea to strip Chad Gable of his name and rebrand him as Shorty G, any semblance of credibility and legitimacy the former Olympian had evaporated.

    The new name is so childish, as is the new attire forced upon him, that there is no chance in hell anyone behind the scenes genuinely thought he would be better off with the change.

    His momentum has reflected the ridiculousness of the alteration, diminishing to the point that he is a glorified jobber in a sixth grader's gym class uniform.

    Yes, he was handpicked to be Sheamus' first opponent upon The Celtic Warrior's return to action, but he was also beaten down in consecutive matches, then teamed with Apollo Crews to lose a handicap match to the former WWE champion.

    This after building momentum and popularity for himself with a magical run through the King of the Ring tournament and a pay-per-view victory over King Corbin.

    That underdog run, and his star-making rivalry with Corbin, feel like a lifetime ago at this point.

Dana Brooke

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    Dana Brooke is one of the more disappointing performers on this list, through no fault of her own.

    Once considered unready for a main roster run, the former fitness model became committed to bettering herself. She put in the work, and it showed with every passing match. After years of plying her craft on the Raw brand, she found herself drafted to SmackDown with the opportunity to achieve what she never could with the flagship.

    Despite increased television time, though, it appears as though Brooke is destined to be a Superstar who competes in the high-profile matches but never wins them.

    Though she has shined against the likes of Sasha Banks, Bayley, Lacey Evans, Naomi and Alexa Bliss, Brooke has not been allowed to pick up any wins or build any real momentum for herself. She has been treated like a glorified enhancement talent, and as long as that is the role she finds herself in, it is the attitude fans will approach her with.

    Despite her raw athleticism and her dedication to improving her timing and in-ring skill, she has been left for dead by a creative team that inexplicably has no desire to utilize her in a role that is even remotely reflective of her hard work.

Cesaro

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    The Swiss Superman is the single most frustrating case on this entire list.

    When ranking the best in-ring workers in all of WWE, he ranks near or at the very top of the list. There are few more consistently excellent professional wrestlers on the planet than Cesaro. He is a consummate professional who can be relied on to deliver the best performance of the night. He makes everyone he shares the ring with better and has consistently provided any show he appears on at least one above-average match.

    With that said, Cesaro finds himself the third wheel in an entertaining trio that also includes Shinsuke Nakamura and mouthpiece extraordinaire Sami Zayn.

    He loses more than he wins, has been a tackling dummy for Braun Strowman and could not even muster a win against Elias. He has been the guy who gets beaten down while the babyface opposition prepares to face Nakamura, and the result has been an even bigger hit to his credibility.

    A wrestler of Cesaro's talent should be in a much higher-profile position on the card than he is. Does he have trouble conveying his personality to the audience? Sure, but a mouthpiece like Zayn is there to help make that connection.

    While he may not talk people into the building, his ring work speaks volumes and would help bridge the gap. 

    Instead, he is beaten down every week and now finds himself in danger of being buried despite being an immensely talented competitor.

    More than any other on this list, his is the most disappointing case.

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