By Goose Mahler, Columnist
Surfing through Twitter, Facebook and wrestling dirt sheets, there are always debates on what’s the best, what’s the worst – and the debates go on and on.
I remember back in the day a bunch of us would chat on Wrestleline all night about what was going on in WCW, ECW and WWF. We always seem to have the debate about people that get lost in the shuffle or misused.
With all the WWE talent seemingly wanting to jump ship, it brings an age-old chat room question to the forefront, who is being mishandled or misused the most in WWE-land?
Misused is a wrestler/performer that loses TV time, is only seen in backstage interviewers or settings or gets stuck on shows like Main Event or back in the day Sunday Night Heat, Velocity, etc. There always is a group or a batch of wrestlers that just can’t get on Raw or Smackdown or main TV for whatever reason.
Now with the WWE forcing the Wild Card Rule down our throats there are literally several talents on both shows that are completely non-existent to mainstream TV. Why? Because we get two days of Shane and McIntyre. We get two days of Kofi and Roman. We get two days of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. What becomes evident is why can’t these other wrestlers break through?
Without further ado here is just some of the talent the WWE higher up has completely forgotten that they have on their main roster.
Ember Moon. Former NXT Women’s Champion. Smackdown Live took the belt off Becky and put it on Charlotte who lost it immediately to Bayley and instead of Ember or one of the other women getting a crack at it Alexa Bliss is in line of a title shot. Makes no sense at all when you have an Ember Moon on the roster. The girl is athletic, fun to watch in the ring and can get the crowd going. Yet she stuck in the back getting Mandy Rose magazines covers passed to her. Seems like a great waste of a talent.
Speaking of women, remember former Smackdown Live Champ Naomi? It seems the WWE doesn’t feel the Glow any longer. This lady has pulled off some Kofi Kingston like moves in the Royal Rumble, wins a battle royal, lights the crowd up, yet can’t see the light of day on TV. Her last notable feud again with Mandy Rose went nowhere and had no pay off. Moving Naomi to Raw seemed like the right move, but again she is getting buried, but hey she is reunited with Tamina so maybe we will get a Ride Along with them and Uso’s again which is more entertaining than seeing Baron Corbin on TV week after week.
Buddy Murphy, the best kept secret in the WWE on Smackdown. This secret seems so good that Vince won’t let the cat out of the bag. His secret is our loss. Buddy was putting on great matches on 205 Live with everyone they threw at him. Moving him to the main roster seemed like a given and maybe a run at the IC or US titles? Instead we have yet to see him. It begs the question why? With ratings so low Buddy might not save a show, but if he goes out and have a solid match with someone like Balor, Andrade, or even Sami Zayn. But instead we sit here waiting to see if Vince will tell a secret better than Bray Wyatt stole a Twisted Metal Gimmick.
Any tag team from NXT: Authors of Pain, Heavy Machinery, the Viking Raiders, and even the Women’s Champions The Iiconics are all non-factors on WWE TV right now. This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned this either. Enzo and Cass, The Vaudevillians, the Ascenion, the list goes on with teams from NXT that were over that the WWE can’t get over on the main roster. Instead some of them turn into comedy acts, but they just aren’t used in the proper manner to get over. The Iiconics are claiming the longest reign…great when was the last defense and what PPV was on it? These teams are solid, but again in Vince’s World they are jokes.
Speaking of former NXT champions, Shinsuke Nakamura went from his feud with AJ Styles to US Champ to tag teaming with another underused wrestler Rusev. Nakamura is booked like crap, which is why he can’t get over with the WWE crowd. Turning him heel was a good and bad move. Meaning: It’s a good move if the heel goes over and makes the audience pay attention. It’s a bad move if they free fall from main event to mid card to lower card. And Nakamura should not be a lower card wrestler.
Maybe the WWE doesn’t see but you can also add Asuka and Kairi Sane to the list. Paige’s surprise tag team has yet to get a tag title match because the most misused title is the Women’s Tag Titles. Asuka and Kairi are some of the most entertaining women’s wrestlers the NXT crowd got to see week in and week out. Now they are chasing a set of belts that are the laughing stocks of the wrestling business and this includes the 24-7 belt (Thank God for R Truth).
The Good Brothers. AJ Styles tried to get Anderson and Gallows motivated this week on Raw. It wasn’t enough for a win, but they did have a solid albeit short match, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are misused beyond belief. Here are two guys that were so over in Japan and the WWE can’t use them correctly. It’s Tensai part II people. The WWE can’t measure up to Japanese wrestling and it shows with the mis-booking of the Bullet Club.
Another Impact and ROH alum that I see being misused if Mike Bennett aka Mike Kanellis. He is still one of the best workers on 205 live, But the WWE audience is only seeing a bleep of what he can do in the ring. Mike can be a beast and ring general like no other if given the chance. At this point the WWE writers don’t know what to do with him and that is truly the fans loss. Mike is a pure wrestler that if given the chance can and will connect with the crowd. But will he be given the chance?
Robert Roode also comes to mind. See a pattern here? TNA/Impact wrestler not being utilized to his fullest ability. Roode can be a stud with the right in ring partner. But the WWE doesn’t seem to know who that might be and how to get him over. Right now Roode is in the hunt for the ugliest belt of all time the 24-7 title. I wish they can find a way to make him Glorious again because the Impact fans know what he is capable of, the NXT fan base knows it too, but the WWE Universe is being deprived of a good wrestler.
Want more former Impact wrestlers that the WWE is mishandling to death?
Eric Young and EC3. I get it Sanity didn’t get over, no fault of their own and EC3 had never been given a real chance since his vignettes aired. Eric Young is a good wrestler. Anyone that watched Impact knows that. He has a certain IT factor that connects with fans. The WWE hasn’t figure that IT out yet and Eric is regulated to Main Event and Dark Matches. It’s sad, because the same thing can be said about one EC3. Go back watch EC3 and Young in NXT or Impact and tell me why the WWE is missing the boat with these two? If you can figure it out look me up on Twitter @MGoose37 because I’d love to know theories on why Vince won’t showcase Impact wrestlers not named Styles.
If you made it this far, again there are a ton of patterns with the WWE and who’s buried here. There are a lot of home-grown talents that aren’t getting any airtime. But former Impact wrestlers and NXT gold standing wrestlers aren’t being used correctly at all. The WWE scoops up these wrestlers pays them a boat load and then can’t remember how to use them or get them connected to the crowd.
When you start seeing signs at events like “Let EC3 go” or “Where is Buddy Murphy?” you know the crowd is losing patience with how the wrestler/wrestlers are being promoted/handled or not promoted and handled. It’s just a shame that Vince again isn’t listening to us and thinks his shows are the best in the world when we all know we wouldn’t wipe our butts with the crap he is putting on TV week after week.
The best thing is, if you want to see what Impact wrestlers, not getting buried, can do before they hit the WWE check them out on Twitch.TV because you will see something special right now from a promotion not a lot of people are giving a chance to. And they don’t bury their talent on Impact… Like the WWE does.