Treading Water: WWE Stars Going Nowhere Fast - Wrestle Newz twitter google

Treading Water: WWE Stars Going Nowhere Fast

On the heels of Summerslam, various interviews with WWE wrestlers have hit the internet and various wrestling sites. The majority of these interviews were about Summerslam, and quite a few of these wrestlers did mention not being particularly happy with either not being on the card or their placement on the card. With that in mind, let’s look at a number of WWE wrestlers who seem to be treading water right; that is, singles wrestlers who haven’t recently been in the Main Event scene (in the past few weeks) that seemingly have stagnated or are being led astray by misguided direction. Tag teams and groups are exempt, because by and large every tag team except for the dubiously-pushed Prime Time Players (this push is coming WAY too late), the recently hot Uso’s, and the Shield, all the tag teams are treading water.

R-Truth – What’s Up?…is that R-Truth hasn’t had any direction for his character for a while now. He shows up and either jobs or picks up the surprise win of the night. His last title reign was last year with Kofi Kingston as one half of the tag team champions. Yes, he’s an enhancement talent at this stage of his career, but he hasn’t had a sustained feud since the one that he had with Antonio Cesaro in the last months of 2012. What has he been doing lately? (Besides jobbing to Bray Wyatt, getting more tattoos and watching his hairline recede)


Wade Barrett While his song is called “God Save the Queen,” it’s clear that Wade needs saving himself. After losing the IC title for good, he’s been the jobber of choice for everyone. Even before this horrible stretch, it was clear that they weren’t sure what to do with him; he lost the IC title at Wrestlemania only to win it back the next night. Perplexing booking that weakened the importance of the title and the credibility of both man in one horrible, fell swoop. He’s currently in a pseudo feud with Daniel Bryan, but who knows what will likely come of it. Wade is quite conscious of this, as you can see from this interview, and fans couldn’t be more bemused as to why such talent is being reduced to repetitive jobbing.

stagnation-dolph ziggler

Dolph Ziggler This one baffles me as much as Wade’s does. Wade had all the talent, acclaim and skill to be a star right away and they didn’t utilize it. Dolph has all of the talent, acclaim, and skill to be a star now and he’s not in the Main Event picture. The feud with Langston is over. Dolph too expressed in an interview that he wasn’t happy with where he was/is and justifiably so.

Zack Ryder From “take care…spike you hair” to seemingly…nowhere, Zack Ryder has had a long fall from grace to a liminal space that no wrestler wants to be in: creative doesn’t know what to do with him and the WWE Universe has lost interest. When he’s featured on television, it’s almost always in a backstage segment or in a losing effort.


Fandango Bad timing may be the culprit of this wrestler’s current stint, but hopefully that is the lone punishment he gets for being injured. Injuries have derailed the careers of many other wrestlers, including someone on this list, as Vince seems to view rising stars who get injured as pariahs. Nonetheless, Fandango became Vince’s pet project after first pet project Jack Swagger essentially, “wet the bed.” With that in mind, Vince should give him a chance to finally shine again, and that may have a lot to do with the next guy

The Miz He is being a true company guy at this point, because he’s taken a substantial drop from Main Eventing a Wrestlemania to merely hosting the second biggest pay-per-view of the year. The drop off for the Miz has been quite sharp as he never sniffed the Main Event or WWE Title picture after he initially left it, and it’s hard to fathom why, when we regularly hear that the WWE has big plans for him. He hasn’t done much of anything recently besides host MizTV, but I have hopes that this feud with Fandango can do good things for both of them.

Yoshi Tatsu He’s an enhancement talent who even jobs on NXT. Misdirection? No. Aimless? No. Eternally buried? Yes.

Let’s be clear that all of these guys are talented–especially Yoshi if the legend of the Sheamus fight is true–but in the grand scheme of the WWE, they are going nowhere fast. This list is in no way the comprehensive assortment of singles wrestlers who are treading water—wrestlers who were not recently in a Main Event scene who are currently stagnant. Who are some other wrestlers that you feel are treading water in the WWE?

Share This on Facebook
  • Kyle

    I would LOVE to see you book a month of WWE action. People like you and the rest of these nerds have no respect for the art of booking. You think you’re so brilliant that you could solve all of WWE’s issues over night. With the roster depth that they have now, it’s virtually impossible to give everyone a high quality program at the same time. There has to be a give and take, an ebb and flow. Barrett was a player in the biggest program in the company. Ziggler is currently being worked into the biggest program in the company. Zack Ryder is stuck behind guys more talented than he is and Yoshi Tatsu is completely irrelevant.

    • Sean Patrick

      Well said. I’d love to know who Essington is going to book Ryder and Tatsu ahead of…

      • Jay Ess

        And I’d LOVE to tell you. I’m not arguing for everyone to have a high quality program, but some of these guys don’t see the main shows, and for weeks at a time at that.

        The Tatsu piece was meant in jest, although a few commenters make strong points further downthread about how the WWE treats Asian wrestlers, unfortunately. This piece was written before this Monday’s Raw (where Ziggler was entrenched in the angle) so some things were lost in translation and it is a bit dated. In any case, let me direct you to the Tatsu-Sheamus story:

        As for booking Ryder or Ziggler, that would be fairly easy. RVD and Ziggler should have switched positions. I actually think RVD would be a better wrestler to have Ziggler’s spot in this new Union/Anti-Corporation stable that’s brewing. The Ziggler-Del Rio feud never really came to a proper end and it’d be fun to see him still chasing ‘Berto.

        Ryder just needs to be on television. He had the fans (and at some show we see that he still does) so put him in a program with someone, either alone or on a tag team to give him a legit chance to sink or swim. It just seems that the WWE ran out of stuff to do with him once the Kane/Ryder/Eve angle ended, so they had him mill around and do nothing.

        Finally, if you think I don’t respect the art of booking, then you’re misreading this article. Yes, the WWE wants everyone to be as successful as possible, because that makes the shows better, and everyone won’t be in an upper mid-card or main event feud. That goes without saying. Just because the WWE wants success for everyone, doesn’t mean that they always make decisions that align with that aim. I’m illuminating that.

        • Sean Patrick

          First, kudos to you for being one of the few mods to respond (or “illuminate”) to posts without ban threats. It’s why I like Fylonenko so much.

          I can see Tatsu being entertaining, especially with the lack of Asian presence that there seems to have been a lot more of int he past, but pairing him up with Sheamus doesn’t work, as he is fairly boring on his own.

          Ziggler doesn’t need us to debate him, he’ll be fine.

          I stand by my comments on Ryder. A better talent would survive that bad angle.

          I think you’ve got the right idea about booking, I just think we are far apart on the abilities of a few guys.

    • Joseph Douglas

      They could easily utilize everybody instead of putting so much focus on only a handful of people. Hell, most of the time they have 2 or 3 storylines going just involving Cena, I am sure they could get something for other people.

  • Tyler Drummond

    I wouldn’t say Dolph Ziggler is going nowhere yet. Only 1 PPV has passed since he was feuding with Del Rio for the World Title and it was to feud with AJ/Big E which he had to for the break up of their group. Would it have been better for him to just not drop the title? Of course, but now Dolph is looking to be a part of this big ‘New Corporation’ angle as an ally to D-Bry. If that’s the case, thats great for him. With Punk and D-Bry as the current top babyfaces, now is a perfect time for Ziggler to shoot back up and stay there. As for the rest, I semi agree. Barrett has had ZERO direction since returning from injury (a common theme), but his mini feud with D-Bry may be the start of something good for him. Zack Ryder hasnt been heading nowhere, he is nowhere. Lets be honest. I think it was a combination of WWE never really wanting to push him and him losing a lot of motivation/passion after the Kane feud. Fandango and Miz dont really have anywhere higher on the card to go right now, with so many others in the main event, but its clear WWE wants to keep them relevant. The feud probably wont be great, but I think them feuding with each other right now is the best thing for them. Keeps them relevant. Yoshi Tatsu has never been above lower midcard. That will probably never change.

    • Luis Malaret

      Yoshi was a Main Eventer in ECW with the pushing of Christian & Shelton behind him as the future of ECW, so he did get past Mid-Card status as he was in matches with them & even had 2 Main Event matches in ECW. But once ECW dies, Yoshi also died into jobber status. Plain and simple, Asians in the WWE (men & women) get treated horribly in the WWE. Su Yung, Angela Fong, Jimmy Wang Yang (never a champion), Gail Kim’s second run, & even Tensai’s henchman (forgot his name). The only Asian that did well in the WWE was FUNAKI but only as THE GREATEST SMACKDOWN ANNOUNCER, not as a wrestler. Yoshi could have easily broken the mold of how WWE treated Asians if the WWE did something with him like how the WWE could be doing something with Justin Gabriel or Wade Barrett, but sometimes WWE just suck with talent that they don’t use. That why Ted DiBiase recently left the WWE to become a father or why Tyler Reks left a while back to become a father, do to them being great wrestling talents who are being totally unused by the WWE like Yoshi is.

      • Tyler Drummond

        He got one shot at the ECW Title (which he lost) against Christian. A few months before the final ECW episode. I wouldn’t call that a main eventer. But I stand corrected on ECW he got above lower midcard to upper midcard, but in the grand scheme of WWE, I would say he was never more than a lower midcard.

        • Luis Malaret

          True, Yoshi did lose but that match was a VERY LONG MATCH for a ECW match, with Yoshi dominating & it was the same match the got Yoshi praised by the fans & the backstage. Yoshi was pushed to become a top ECW wrestler just like how Zeke & Vladimer were being pushed to be the top heels. But once ECW dies, almost every single ECW star that came to the main roster became Mid Card talents (Shelton, Christian, Kelly, Morrison, Punk, Ryder, Miz) or Jobbers (Reks, Yoshi, Big Daddy V, Dreamer again, Zeke).

          • Tyler Drummond

            Well some of them left ECW long before it ended. Punk, Morrison and Miz being the main ones. But the reason they were mid carders on RAW/SD is because ECW was a midcard show. Even the main event of ECW was mid card. Christian never should have been on ECW, but Vince never really liked Christian PLUS he left for TNA. After Paul Heyman left ECW was used as a way to get midcard guys a place to flourish.

          • Luis Malaret

            True! But still you have to admit that there were some great talents that should have gotten better then what they got when ECW died. Christian & Punk are the only successes that survived ECW really. Kofi did well but have been stuck as a Mid-Carder for the longest time. Bourne has been nothing but a Tag Team success until he got injured. Morrison & Benjamin did slightly well for themselves but never became a Main Eventers like we all know they should have, & when ever they were… they ALWAYS LOST! (horribly sad but simply true) And Kelly was getting groomed in ECW to be a top diva once she came to ECW while throwing Shelly (who I loved ) away because to crossed Batista’s wrath (asshole). All the while, other great talents like Yoshi, Ryder, Reks, & Zeke (yes Zeke). became nothing but jobbers. Sometimes, I hate the WWE but have to deal with them due to TNA being horrible. lmao

          • Tyler Drummond

            I never doubted their talent. Just their position on the card.

  • Mrs. Ambrose

    I am a huge fan of Wade Barrett and i hope that he gets the push that he deserve

  • JustPro

    I agree on Barrett and Ziggler… However I see Ziggler getting involved with D Bry along with Big Show…I wonder where they are going with Barrett I would like to see more of a push for him also… Fandango in my opinion will not be anything of entertainment part of the show….Also fans don’t really share much of an opinion of him besides his music…. YOshi Tatsu?? Really? he has moves but he has no charisma and fans have no interest in his character…. He does not fit in a typical WWE superstar will never be on WWE tv….

    Zack Rider I still find him an interesting character and the last time he was on tv I liked how good of a fight he did put up… Maybe tweaking his character a bit and bringing him back could rejuvenate him back to main stream…

    Miz I see stuck in the middle… Shocking but I can see him on the rise when the time is right… Too much going on to really push him to the main event….Hes still in an ok position and still has good tv time…

    R Truth? Well I think his place is right for right now… He is not intriguing as a character and has gotten old… He gotten boring and annoying… He too could use a tweaking but I don’t expect much from his character… The only black man Vince seems to like to push is Mark Henry…

    • Sean Patrick

      Ryder has a few problems. He’s awful at live promos that aren’t comedy and he’s very stiff in the ring.

      As far as VInce not pushing black guys: Booker T, The Rock (yes, he counts), Bobby Lashley. Who else didn’t get a push that you think could have survived on top? Also, I can see either Darren Young or Titus O’Neil getting pushed to the moon at some point.

      • Tyler Drummond

        Big E Langston is also going to get a big push. Ryder also lost a lot of motivation if you ask me. Yes, he kinda got screwed in the Kane promo but he seemed to stop caring.

        • Poppy’s Hammer

          Especially when WWE screwed him over with his Youtube channel and making him a stepping stone for Cena. Ryder honestly got screwed over severely and he is an example of when they use a superstar to ride on the coat tails of someone who is “over” with the fans.

  • KingBack

    The problem is that WWE don’t think more than one week ahead with them.

    • Maddox

      Well correctly I think they do

  • Macho Man

    They are totally wasting Dolph Ziggler right now and have been for some time! He could be this generations Ric Flair or Shawn Michaels! Instead they’ve had him jacking around with Big E and AJ for the last month. What a waste of a talent!

    • Sean Patrick

      Unfortunately for Dolph, that concussion knocked him right out of the picture. I expect him to get traction again as he finishes his program with Big E and AJ, and Del Rio/RVD is over.

  • Trey Doss

    i think i mentioned this before but wwe needs more guys like rvd or jericho that can put over the people u mentioned and also when wwe turns someone face they dont give them a good push

  • Alejandro

    Yoshi Tatsu got in a real fight with Sheamus? Lol…

    • Bork Lazer Living Legend

      “Apparently a few years back Yoshi, Sheamus and Ted Dibiase were roommates in Florida. Sheamus apparently acted like the head of the apartment while the three lived together.

      The story goes that Sheamus was using things in the apartment that belonged to Yoshi and Ted, specifically a protein drink mixer.

      Apparently, Ted and Yoshi confronted Sheamus at the same time one day about the use of their items in the apartment. This made Sheamus upset enough to react physically.

      The story goes, Sheamus threw the protein drink mixer at Yoshi, who caught it. Sheamus then proceeded to try and fight Yoshi.

      Yoshi is no slouch, this guy has gone through the New Japan dojo and has some ameteur boxing skills as well. Apparently, Yoshi beat up Sheamus pretty bad and supposedly Sheamus was on the verge of crying.

      If this is true I find this story to be hilarious. It just goes to show you that the biggest dog in the fight is not always the toughest.

      Yoshi is certainly not in line for a WWE title shot anytime soon, but I wonder if these two will ever face off one on one. It would interesting to know if they still have any bad blood or if they patch things up.

      They worked together in ECW, so it is possible that all is better between the two grapplers, but you never know. A big guy like Sheamus may have been embarrassed enough to hold a grudge.

      If these reports are true, then I for one, am happy that Yoshi was able to quell the bully. There is a report going around that says when Yoshi was asked about the incident he replied, “I just wanted to teach Sheamus a lesson in respect. Don’t mess with other people’s stuff.”

      I hope its true, because if it is then it’s one of the funniest things I have heard in a while.”

      I found that. Idk if I believe it happened. If it did I don’t think it happened that exact way.

      • Joseph Douglas

        Does that mean Sheamus is a bully, just like he plays on TV?

  • Devon

    The only ones on this list I like are Truth & Barrett.

  • tim

    OBVIOUSLY……the storyline is leading up to survivor series with rhodes, ziggler, miz, show and whoever they decide to attack next being a team vs tripple h’s team. we have to sit through 3 hours of yawning while it plays out. Vince does not have to compete with another organization since he ruined pro wrestling so we who have watched it all our lives are stuck with whatever garbage he decides to allow us to watch. If fans would just quit showing up for the shows & let him lose money he’d change his tone & give us some entertainment instead he is pushing daniel brian ????? what a joke.

Follow Wrestle Newz