Asuka and the 5 Most Poorly Booked Current WWE Superstars

Philip LindseyContributor IMay 29, 2021

Asuka and the 5 Most Poorly Booked Current WWE Superstars

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    WWE literally has more superstars than it knows what to do with at the moment. The company boasts the deepest roster since its inception but for some reason, many talented wrestlers are underutilized or booked poorly.

    It’s quite astonishing for the biggest pro wrestling company in the world with all its resources and storied history of creating stars. Nevertheless, it’s a common pattern for them to sign someone, who made a name for themselves at a smaller promotion, and promote them constantly. Then, the new signee debuts and gradually gets lost in the shuffle.

    This happens so often that it doesn’t come as a surprise anymore and many fans just hope for the best when their favorite indie wrestlers join WWE. Of course, there are also many success stories, as well. But that’s also why it’s so confounding when the company doesn’t appear to have plans for those who are just as remarkable.

    Let’s take a look at some acts that WWE is bafflingly misusing when they should be fairly simple to integrate into its weekly programming. These are six current superstars who are poorly booked.

Drew Gulak

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    Last May, Drew Gulak’s contract expired, leaving many fans to speculate about what he could do next. However, WWE quickly re-signed him, so one would have to assume that there were plans for the former 205 Live standout.

    Initially, the Philadelphia native competed for a shot at the Intercontinental title. He even pinned the reigning champion, AJ Styles, on the June 5 episode of Smackdown. However, The Phenomenal One defeated him to retain his mantle a month later.

    Ever since, the 34-year-old has languished in the background, often pursuing the 24/7 Championship. Even worse, he recently entered a humiliating pair of matches with Angel Garza, where his opponent shoved a rose where the sun doesn’t shine.

    WWE is misusing many of the cruiserweights but Gulak seems like someone who would work perfectly on Raw or SmackDown because he’s such a great talker and he excels with character-driven material. He changed his look and gimmick so many times on 205 Live and he was consistently one of the highlights of the show.

    Even more, Gulak is one of the best technical wrestlers on the roster. If you doubt that, rewatch his match with Daniel Bryan from last year’s Elimination Chamber. It was a masterclass on mat-based wrestling. Surely, there is more WWE could do with someone as gifted as him.

Shayna Baszler

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    Shayna Bazler and Nia Jax are two-time WWE women’s tag team champions, who currently hold the longest cumulative reign with the titles. Considering the amount of screen time their tenure granted them, many viewers would consider this a good thing.

    However, this pairing is hindering The Submission Magician, who should be a dominant singles competitor. It’s hard not to see this as a waste of exceptional heel character following her time with NXT and performance in the 2020 women’s Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber match.

    Baszler should be preparing to challenge for the Raw Women’s Championship. Instead, she is languishing as the third wheel in a romantic storyline with Jax and Reginald, when the red brand could desperately use another strong antagonist.

    Hopefully, her friction with Carmella’s former sommelier will be the last straw and The Queen of Spades will go off on her own again.

Riott Squad

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    WWE’s women’s tag division is slowly improving but the company’s failure to develop teams into legitimate contenders has been an ongoing problem. That’s why it’s difficult to understand why there hasn’t been a concentrated effort to push the Riott Squad.

    Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan reunited last fall after a short-lived feud. However, they dedicated so much time to mending their friendship and there wasn’t much of a payoff to that storyline. WWE even used their reunion as a vehicle to split up The IIconics, but it didn’t culminate in a title run or even a consistent campaign to secure championship gold.

    This makes little sense because their story got some fans invested and they have nothing to look forward to because they’re often off television for long stints. Moreover, Riott and Morgan are one of the few pairings in the division that actually look like a team. Their matching gear always looks superb and their tandem offense is crisp.

    So, why not at least give them something meaningful to do? For example, The Riott Squad could thrive on NXT where there are other tag teams for them to compete with.


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    Five years ago, Ricochet and Will Ospreay were delivering game-changing matches together all over the world for promotions like New Japan Pro Wrestling, Evolve, OTT, and WCPW. The clips from their showdown in Block B of the Best of the Super Junior tournament are legendary.

    The spots from those matches divided fans but they have also been duplicated so many times since that it would be impossible to argue that their rivalry wasn’t influential. So, it seemed like the top high-flyers were destined to be massive.

    Ospreay climbed the ranks with NJPW as a three-time IWGP junior heavyweight champion. This year, the Brit won the New Japan Cup and went on to capture the world heavyweight title at Sakura Genesis. A neck injury he sustained in his incredible match with Shingo Takagi at Wrestling Dontaku has since forced him to vacate the mantle but he was on an amazing run.

    On the other hand, Ricochet has been struggling since he left NXT in 2019. If the Future of Flight isn’t the greatest high-flyer in the world, he’s in the conversation for that honor. So, why doesn’t WWE seem to know what to do with him?

    The 32-year-old isn’t a great talker but he is capable of freakish feats of athleticism that no one else in the company can do. He has a beautiful, crowd-pleasing moveset and he can produce great matches. But he’s parading around with Sheamus’ hat and coat on Raw to get the United States champion’s attention. It’s mindboggling.

John Morrison

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    In 2019, John Morrison returned to WWE after four years and the company made a pretty big deal of it.

    So, it seemed like The Prince of Parkour would skyrocket up to the main title picture. After all, Morrison was a world champion with Impact and AAA before re-signed with WWE. Instead, he reformed his tag team with The Miz and revived their talk show segment, The Dirt Sheet.

    The Tough Enough III winner hasn’t really done anything eventful over the last two years. After WWE promoted his return so heavily, the company turned him into a sidekick and comedy act that lasted way too long. Raw's tendency to showcase the same matchup over and over also hasn't helped him because it seems like he has been in the same feud with Damian Priest for months.

    Now, he is seemingly running with this Johnny Drip Drip gimmick that feels a little dated. We won’t get into how wrestling has run the term “drip” into the ground but Morrison is too talented to flounder on the midcard. The California native should at least challenge for one of the secondary titles and prove he is an exceptional singles competitor again. Anything is better than another cheesy music video, right?


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    Asuka has had a spectacular career with WWE. On paper, her astonishing list of accomplishments will undoubtedly guarantee her a spot in the hall of fame.

    However, that is so misleading because The Empress of Tomorrow has yet to secure a singles title win outside of NXT that isn’t a footnote in someone else’s story. Think about it. In 2018, Ronda Rousey’s debut upstaged her Royal Rumble win and she later interfered in the first-ever women’s TLC match, granting the Japanese star her first women’s title victory on the main roster.

    That very title reign was short-lived because she dropped the SmackDown Women's Championship to Charlotte Flair two weeks before WrestleMania 35. Even her most recent tenure as Raw women’s champion came after Becky Lynch vacated the mantle to go on maternity leave. Honestly, the closest thing to a legitimate championship win came at the climax of her feud with Sasha Banks at SummerSlam 2020, which was a subplot in The Blueprint's feud with Bayley.

    This trend makes many of her achievements seem like she was just in the right place at the right time because she rarely has her own storylines. Someone as good as Asuka shouldn't look like she is merely lucky.

    Ask yourself. What is Asuka’s character right now? If you’re having a hard time answering that question, that’s because the company has done such a poor job establishing her personality traits or giving her a voice outside of her catchphrase.

    It doesn't help that the former Raw women's champion has been embarrassed several times this year. Think about how many segments have ended with her laid out or on the ground holding her mouth. How many times was she in a multi-woman match just to take the pin? Do we even need to discuss the matches with Alexa Bliss from January?

    Asuka needs a reset or possibly some time off, so she can come back with a new direction and a discernible motivation. Right now, it seems like she's running in place and losing to the same opponents repeatedly with no endgame in sight.