Ricochet and the Most Poorly Booked Current WWE Superstars
WWE has no shortage of amazing performers, but it can rarely focus on more than a few priorities at any given moment. For every Roman Reigns who is positioned like a true star, several others aren't as lucky.
Whether they're being treated like they barely exist or they're saddled with terrible characters and awful storylines, there are a few wrestlers on the roster who are struggling at the moment.
Let's take a look at some of the Superstars sinking in the quicksand of terrible booking right now.
Not even holding the Intercontinental Championship has made Ricochet exempt from being booked like an afterthought.
After a year of the IC title having little to no presence, WWE had an opportunity to boost the belt's credibility and reestablish Ricochet as a top talent at the same time, but it has managed to fail at both.
The One and Only was left off the card for WrestleMania 38 and was fast-tracked into a feud with Los Lotharios, who are even lower in the midcard than he is.
Since then, Ricochet has had struggles with Jinder Mahal and Shanky, who can't seem to win a fight to save their lives.
With Roman Reigns not appearing on every edition of SmackDown, this should be a good time to make Ricochet the top champion on television with plenty credible fighters gunning for his title.
However, WWE doesn't seem interested in utilizing him in any meaningful fashion, and he continues to struggle for relevance while the title's value decreases with every passing week.
The Entire Women's Tag Team Division
WWE's inability to maintain a worthwhile women's tag team division has been easy to see since the titles were first won in February 2019, but that issue had a massive spotlight shined upon it this week.
Women's tag team champions Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out on Monday's Raw, with Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com among those reporting WWE intended to feed them to Ronda Rousey and Bianca Belair, respectively, in singles matches at Hell in a Cell on June 5.
If that is true, it speaks to how little the company values the women's tag team belts and anyone who holds them. Banks and Naomi would have walked out of Hell in a Cell as weaker champions.
If the titleholders are in that bad of a spot, imagine how it is for the challengers.
Shayna Baszler is nowhere near the badass she was in NXT. She and Natalya could make for a great team, but it seems WWE is only interested in them being filler challengers to kill time.
Why are Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. teased as a team for months and still can't quite seal the deal?
Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley had something going with their tandem. Naturally, that meant they needed to immediately break up and feud, as WWE is only interested in when teams split and fight each other, rather than their potential as a pair.
At this point, why even have a WWE Women's Tag Team Championship?
Xia Li's character has been on a roller coaster. WWE clearly wants her to be a warrior, but it can't settle on what that actually means.
At first, she was a martial arts expert and a babyface. Then, she became a heel assassin of sorts working under the mystical Mei Ying in NXT. Tian Sha was thrown out upon Li's call-up to SmackDown, where she was repackaged as a superhero of sorts with comic-book accents and dubbed The Protector.
After just wrestling a few matches, she disappeared. Finally, on April 22, she had one quick promo about how she changed her mind, saw nobody on SmackDown worth protecting and was now a heel.
It's been a month and we haven't seen her since. What is going on? Why turn her heel if there are no plans to use her?
Pick a lane and stay in it. This constant pendulum-shifting means she can't get a grip on any character to make it work. Soon enough, WWE will be blaming her inability to get over on her, when it isn't her fault she's not being given a stable platform to build on.
Tommaso Ciampa was one of the anchors of NXT and a beloved Superstar. His transition to Raw should have been easy. All he had to do was show up, say he's on the red brand and start a feud with someone like The Miz.
Instead, he started attacking Mustafa Ali. Why? Nothing has been explained about this heel turn. Even grabbing the microphone for a 10-second promo to clarify why would have made a world of difference.
Ali requested his exit from WWE earlier in the year but then upstaged Ciampa's debut, which is a disrespectful thing to do to a performer who has been loyal to WWE.
However, The Blackheart says nothing about his heel turn and carries on doing the dirty work for others while getting nothing in return.
Honorable Mentions Roundup
Rounding out this list are several other Superstars worth mentioning, though they are lower on the totem pole and even less likely to be fixed any time soon.
One of those is Drew Gulak. It's a shame to see someone so multi-talented being reduced to a joke character. But there will always be a need for enhancement talent, and he can at least do that part well, so it's better than sitting on the sidelines doing nothing.
T-Bar's talents are going to waste on Main Event. He'd be a world champion in other promotions and could easily be in The Judgment Day, but WWE seems content to keep him employed as a filler guy and nothing more.
Butch is in odd territory. He's featured quite a bit, but switching from The Bruiserweight to a petulant toddler with anger issues isn't going to make it any easier to reach world title contender status.
Last, but certainly not least, is the 24/7 Championship crew. Is anyone laughing at the antics of Dana Brooke, Reggie, Tamina, Akira Tozawa and R-Truth these days? The title has largely been a dud since its inception, but there has been the occasional funny moment. But the current double romance angle gets worse each week.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.