On Thursday, I started my look at the top ten guys currently in WWE that I feel are being underutilized. Guys who are capable of a whole heck of a lot more than what they’re currently doing. For those who missed part one, which featured number’s ten through six, you can check that out at this link: Top Ten Underutilized Superstars In WWE Today (Part 1).
Without a bunch of preamble, let’s jump right back into the list and see who made the top five. Here are the five most underutilized Superstars in WWE, as I see it…
5. Rey Mysterio
Pro wrestling is a business first and foremost, especially in the world of WWE. While Rey Mysterio may have never been the biggest Superstar (figuratively or literally), for a long stretch of time, he was the second highest merchandise mover in the company, trailing only John Cena. For a while now, he hasn’t even been in the top five. This proves that how you’re used and how you’re positioned can change all of that.
On top of having the ability to move merchandise, Mysterio is a great character that is perfect for what WWE currently markets to primarily — which is children. He’s also a great hand in the ring.
Knowing all of that, it really makes me wonder why he has been used so poorly since his return. I’ve heard that his contract is up soon, so maybe they put the breaks on him a bit in case he isn’t planning to re-sign. Anything outside of that and I have no idea why he isn’t being used better. I know that currently he’s out with a hand injury, but he’s been used in a very secondary type of role since coming back at the beginning of the year.
4. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
At first glance, you might be thinking, “what?!” Listen, obviously The Wyatt Family is being utilized very well right now. However, it really seems like it’s the Bray Wyatt show, and he’s got those “two other guys” riding along with him. That’s part of the gimmick, that much I understand. But in a tag-team division that lacks legitimate depth, why when you have two guys that are over such as Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, would you not capitalize on their success as a group more by featuring them more prominently in the tag-team division?
Take the tag-team aspect of “Harper and Rowan” out of the equation, and both guys could have pretty decent runs as singles competitors, particularly Rowan. I think he’s pretty underrated considering his size and ability, and he has a individual charisma that I think Rowan lacks.
Either way, as long as the entire group is hot, I think they’re failing to get the most mileage out of Harper and Rowan. I think those two guys could be a lot more significant than they are currently. Just my opinion.
3. Titus O’Neil
When WWE decided to break up the Prime Time Players, I really thought Titus O’Neil was on the verge of breaking out and becoming a singles Superstar in the company. I think he’s got a great look and has shown signs of great charisma, particularly on the mic. His ring work as part of the Prime Time Players always impressed me, and I thought that him having friends in high places (Batista) that he had all the ingredients a guy needs to become a big time player.
So what’s missing?
As I see it, the only thing missing is WWE isn’t doing anything with him. He seemed like he was headed towards something better, but then again, many guys at times have seemed like they were on the way up and WWE ended up going a different direction completely. In my opinion, O’Neil has the goods, he just needs the shove. Hopefully he’ll get a proper swing at the plate one of these days, because I think he can hit a home run. Well, maybe a solid triple, but guys like that are always good to have around as well.
2. Damien Sandow
I have no idea who this guy pissed off. This poor son of a bitch seemed like he was really about to take off towards the end of 2013 and beginning stages of 2014, and then — poof. Went from having a ton of momentum to being used like a 1980s jobber, almost overnight.
The guy clearly has promo skills. His ring work is above average. He’s not too small in terms of stature that it should be holding him back in the eyes of the decision makers. I can’t figure out why they slammed on the brakes with this dude.
He’s got a lame gimmick, I’ll admit to that, but I’m of the opinion that he took a lame gimmick and actually got a lot out of it. Anyone who can take something that’s awful and make it at least good, should be given more opportunities. If you can take something bad and make it good, imagine what happens when you’re given something good. Here’s hoping that happens one of these days.
1. Dolph Ziggler
Every city. Every state. Every arena. Anywhere WWE goes, Dolph Ziggler is not only over, but damn near “super over.” I’ve heard he rubbed some people the wrong way with how outspoken he is, but that doesn’t really explain why WWE doesn’t do something with a guy that connects with the audience so strongly.
People have mad comparisons to guys like Shawn Michaels, Mr. Perfect and Billy Gunn when talking about Ziggler. All three of those guys were big-time Superstars at one point or another, and all got their fair share of opportunities.
He got a run as World Heavyweight Champion, and it’s one of a few pops that I can clearly remember being out-of-this-world energetic. The people made it clear with their response that this is something they want. This is “our guy,” or at least one of them.
The only thing I can think with Dolph Ziggler is that he needs to play the game a bit better. He needs to go through the motions and play the politics a bit better than he has up until this point. My fear is that he’s got too much pride and may never be a guy who “plays the game” to get ahead. It will be real interesting to see if he can maintain said-pride, refuse to play the game, and get over in spite of it.
It can be done.
Guys like Steve Austin and CM Punk have proved that. I’m not sure if Ziggler belongs in that league, or that class, but he’s certainly got the talent and ability to do a whole lot more than what they’ve given him thus far in his career. One day, and I really believe this, he’ll get pass that hump and do some great shit. Hopefully it’s sooner than later, because guys only have so long in such a physical business, and if he gets over near the end of his run, then a lot of money will be left on the table, as well as a lot of great moments.