The following is a new feature here at eWrestlingNews.com, "Top 10." . Every week we will choose a topic, such as today's topic, "Misused Talents In WWE Today," and count them down from ten to one. If any readers would like to contribute ideas for future Top 10 lists, simply submit them in the "Comments" section at the bottom of the article.
Without further ado, here are the eWrestlingNews.com selections for the top 10 misused talents in WWE today:
#10. CM Punk
While many view CM Punk as a top WWE Superstar already, one could argue that he is still being misused by the company. Punk arguably established himself as a top act with his now infamous "pipe bomb" promo on WWE RAW back in June of 2011. At the time, that five-or-six minutes of microphone-work garnered interest among fans who hadn't viewed the product in ages. Simply put, Punk brought back a generation of fans who had given up on the PG-based product, and gave them a reason to tune back in to the USA Network every Monday night. Personally, I know every Monday night, on a three-hour show, the one thing I look forward to the most is CM Punk standing in the middle of the ring with a microphone in his hand. Now that Paul Heyman is back and doing his thing, there are two things I look forward to every Monday night. With Heyman seemingly out of the picture at the moment, I'm back to one. Regardless, the initial pipe-bomb is now over two years old. Can you honestly say that the company got behind CM Punk at a level equivalent to the interest he received for finding a way to be cutting edge in the kid-friendly WWE environment? Punk is a top star, no doubt, but one could make a strong argument that CM Punk should be the primary focus of WWE instead of John Cena. So while Punk isn't misused as terribly as others, he still makes the list. The only real question in my mind, is should he be higher on this list?
#9. Titus O'Neil
Here's a guy who should be making "millions of dollars, millions of dollars." Unfortunately, like you'll see with many on this list, he's stuck in an act that has a small ceiling for success. The Prime Time Players can only go so far. Better yet, tag-teams in general can only go so far. And within the tag-team ranks in WWE these days, which is almost non-existent, the act that he is a part of isn't even near the top of the list. However, when I see The Prime Time Players work, I'm drawn to O'Neil. Back in the Attitude Era, when the Nation Of Domination would come to the ring, you would always say, "that guy!" when seeing The Rock standing out next to a group of talented performers. Now don't get me wrong. O'Neil is no Dwayne Johnson. Not even close. But the guy has the tools to be a breakout performer in the company. He's got the size, which they love. He's got the look, which is another thing they love. And in the ring, simply put, the guy can work. Especially for a big guy. It will be very interesting to see if O'Neil ever gets a chance to "run with the ball" on any level. First things first, he needs to break away from the tag-team division. Whether or not WWE ever gives him that opportunity, remains to be seen. One would think it's inevitable, but many things that seem obvious in WWE never come to fruition.
#8. Wade Barrett
Once again, he's got the size and the look, but where the hell is he? Sure, he's been plagued by visa issues and things that are out of his control. However, when he is around, where's his shot? For a while, many reports surfaced that claimed WWE was going to get behind the original NXT star. From where I'm sitting, that never really happened. Considering the amount of overseas tours WWE has every calendar year, one would think they would want a top act that has ties to the United Kingdom. One that isn't named Sheamus, and only really pushed because he's buddies with the boss's son in law, and the COO of WWE. Wade Barrett has star written all over him. In addition to the size and the look, he can cut a good promo. His work in the ring is snug, and easy to enjoy. Yet you'd be hard-pressed to tell me the last time Barrett got a legitimate top-tier opportunity from the company. His aforementioned U.K. counter-part, Sheamus, has received more opportunities than I can count on two hands. Example: when was the last time Wade Barrett won a WWE Championship in under a minute at a WrestleMania pay-per-view?
#7. Damien Sandow
Who doesn't love Damien Sandow? It's somewhat rare to have a cheesy gimmick and get over in spite of it. And usually when you do, you are rewarded by being offered additional opportunities. Anyone remember the original Hunter Hearst Helmsley? Almost the same gimmick. Over-privileged, better-than-you, snob-type. Sandow is basically the same thing. And he's over like rover with the die-hard fans. He has Mick Foley singing his praises on a regular basis. It seemed as though winning the Money In The Bank briefcase was going to be Sandow's opportunity to become a World Champion, and rise to that "next level" in WWE. Instead, as we all witnessed on Monday night, that was simply used as a building block to once again point out how John Cena can overcome the odds. Basically, it did nothing for Cena, and didn't do anything but hurt Sandow. There was a time when a Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes grudge match on pay-per-view could have been a great thing. That was squandered as well. Let's hope Sandow's future in WWE doesn't suffer the same fate.
#6. Brodus Clay
What really needs to be said here? We'll go with the obvious. The vignettes building up the debut of this guy made him out to be the next killing machine coming into WWE. Within weeks, he was reduced to goofy ass dancing, pointless cheerleaders by his side, and an equally ruined gimmick downgraded into his tag-team partner, the four of which make up "Tons Of Funk." More like tons of wasted potential. The guy is a monster, yet he's being used in a role where he's... (Continues on next page)