As a companion piece to my previous article on the wrestlers who will shine the brightest at SummerSlam, I started thinking about those who will be on the short end of the stick. Needless to say, the losers of the matches and the ones booked as bathroom break filler are in a much worse position than those who achieve glory, but there’s an even worst scenario to be in: being left off the card entirely.
When you look at the current roster and you rule out factors like injuries, you’re still left with a handful of names who are completely missing in action (at least so far) when it comes to SummerSlam. Granted, there’s still some time left for WWE to toss them into the mix in some fashion, but as of right now, it seems as though they’ll be sitting this one out.
Rusev and Dolph Ziggler
It seemed like a forgone conclusion that these two would meet at SummerSlam with Summer Rae and Lana by their sides, respectively. This, like the Intercontinental Championship triple threat match, has been in the works for months, but somehow, the fates keep interfering with injuries and other ways to drag it out.
On this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw, Lana revealed on commentary that Dolph Ziggler is still out of action and won’t return until after SummerSlam, as opposed to before.
This is bad news for Rusev and company, since there’s no time to build another opponent for him in any proper sense of the word. At best, he could be facing someone as a throwaway match on the pre-show, but that’s terribly unimportant and forgettable. Even if there is a random backstage segment surrounding this feud where Ziggler makes his return to save Lana from what would probably be the same generic tussle involving Summer Rae that we’ve seen for weeks, it’s not going to resonate with the audience.
Can this feud really sustain another four weeks after SummerSlam going into Night of Champions without the WWE Universe being so sick and tired of it leading nowhere that they completely sour on it?
With the extra fourth hour of this show being added, it’s particularly perplexing that WWE opted to cancel this match and it may end up being a big mistake for these two men as well as Lana and Summer Rae.
Poor, poor Ascension. There aren’t many teams left in WWE, yet somehow Konnor and Viktor were ignored on a card that specifically involves a match where four tag teams will face each other. That’s harsh.
Are The Usos in the match? Nope, because Jey Uso is still injured. Tyson Kidd’s injury is the reason why he and Cesaro aren’t fighting for the tag titles as well. What’s the excuse for The Ascension?
At least when it comes to Damien Sandow and Curtis Axel—who are in a horrible position in the company right now as it is—you can make the case that Hulk Hogan’s scandal killed their gimmick and WWE hasn’t had enough time to repackage them and recover. With The Ascension, however, this is clearly just a scenario where WWE values Los Matadores over them.
If Diego and Fernando are being booked on a card and you aren’t, that’s terrible.
The Third Man
Talk about bad luck, Erick Rowan must be kicking himself right now. His career floundered after he split from The Wyatt Family, where he was used as a somewhat glorified jobber without much glory to go with that name. For months, he accomplished nothing, and just as there’s potential for the trio to get back together, Rowan goes down with an injury.
In a perfect world, he would have been able to participate in this event and the original plan that was rumored to have taken place would happen, where the three Wyatt Family brothers would be facing Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Sting of all people. That’s something that will never happen again, now that it isn’t happening here.
Taking Rowan out of the equation meant that even if this was the original idea, Sting couldn’t compete as the teams would be uneven without either adding a new member to The Wyatt Family to replace Rowan or taking someone like Ambrose out, which creates another whole problem of a missing superstar.
Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose will have a great match on their own despite lacking a third member on each team, but while Sting certainly doesn’t need this for his career, you have to feel bad for Rowan for missing the opportunity.
Since his latest return to the active roster, Mark Henry has been a complete ghost. This is the World’s Strongest Man and a former World Heavyweight Champion who is being utterly wasted. Can anyone even say for sure whether he’s a heel or a face at this point?
It’s no surprise that he isn’t on the card after not being involved in a feud with anyone for weeks upon weeks, but that shouldn’t be the case. If WWE hadn’t stalled so much with the feud between Ryback, Big Show and The Miz, maybe Mark Henry could have been involved at this point to make it a Fatal 4-Way. Alternatively, Henry could have been an interesting opponent for Rusev had that not been squandered and made to look meaningless if it were to be added now. Randy Orton and Sheamus don’t exactly have the hottest feud going on right now, so could Henry have spiced things up?
Whatever the case may be, Henry’s a future Hall of Famer and it’s sad to see him being pushed aside so much in 2015.
King What’s Up has been dethroned and you know what isn’t up right now? His positioning on the roster.
R-Truth is far from the most valuable player on the roster, but on a show as long as this one, it feels weird seeing someone that competed at the previous event not involved whatsoever.
There isn’t much more to say about his situation, as it’s not much of a shocker, but he’s still somewhat of a noteworthy enough absence to warrant being mentioned.
Out of everyone on this list, Kane is the one person I imagine has the best chance at appearing one way or another and getting involved in the match with Seth Rollins and John Cena. He’s been off television for a while, not having been seen since Brock Lesnar tore him apart before Battleground. Truthfully, both he and Dolph Ziggler are off shooting the film 6:42 for WWE Films, which could potentially be wrapped up in time for him to make an appearance here, but I wouldn’t bet my house on it, either.