The Diagnosis: Bad Booking
Welcome back to The Diagnosis. I swear this column series isn’t going to become a “five guys list” every time I write it. This column is supposed to be me writing about what’s on my mind. Currently, what is on my mind is the horrendous booking of these five Superstars. WWE is quick to blame the talent for not getting over but most of the time it is the way they are booked that causes the disconnect with the crowd. These are the five guys, in my opinion that suffer from the worst booking in WWE.
The current World Heavyweight Champion is first and foremost on this list. One would logically think that being the reigning World Champion would mean that you are being booked well. Yea, ok. This is WWE. We can bring up guys like Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger and CM Punk who had World Title reigns marred with loses and just awful booking. You can add Dolph Ziggler to that list.
Dolph won the Money in the Bank contract in July of 2012 and then we all thought that finally he would be treated as the top tier Superstar that he is. Nope. He went on to constantly have the best matches on the card but lost all the time. He lost to Chris Jericho and Randy Orton on consecutive PPVs when wins would have done him wonders in terms of elevating him to the crowd. His defining win of 2012 was when he beat John Cena in a Ladder Match at the TLC PPV. That was overshadowed by the heel turn of AJ Lee and the quickly lost momentum as WWE really shuts down toward the end of the year and then he came back in 2013 to lose some more.
Ziggler took the fall in the Tag Team Championship Match at WrestleMania before finally cashing in and becoming the World Heavyweight Champion the next night on RAW. Ok, this is it now, he’s going to get some big wins and become a dominant champion. Nope. His first match as Champion he loses to Jack Swagger. He was defeated in a match that also featured Zeb Colter and Ricardo Rodriguez. This is not how you build up your Champion.
Ziggler has the natural talent and charisma to be a top guy in WWE. He is in a great situation with the crazy girlfriend and bodyguard so he can beat babyfaces by having his crew help him win. It keeps the babyface strong because it took three people to beat him and it makes Dolph an unstoppable force because not only do you have to contend with his talent but his entourage as well. It makes him tough to beat.
The road that The Showoff is going down is not a good one. He’ll likely lose the title soon and just never get back to that level again because WWE will blame him for not being over enough to be a top guy. It’s hard for someone to get over when they lose all the time. Dolph Ziggler to the casual fan is just a guy that can’t hang with guys like Sheamus and Randy Orton.
Check this scenario out: An employee has such passion and drive to be a success in his given field that he goes out on his own and creates an original and entertaining way to get himself noticed. Any boss would be appreciative of that and likely promote that person. That would be the case if you didn’t work for WWE.
Zack Ryder created his YouTube show and got over with a good portion of the audience despite never being seen on TV. He showed passion for the business and was pretty damn entertaining. This did earn him a moderate push as he became United States Champion. I think WWE didn’t really have a choice at that point as his name was being chanted loudly at arenas across the country. WWE threw the fans a bone in December of 2011 and we thought Zack was on his way to becoming a player in WWE. The calendar turned to 2012 and he got destroyed by Kane as the fodder in Kane’s feud with John Cena. He never even received his rematch for the US Title and has since become the biggest jobber this side of Barry Horowitz.
I’m not saying that Ryder should be or would’ve been a Main Eventer if he stayed on course after he won the United States Championship. What I’m saying is that he could at least be on the level of Kofi Kingston where he gets to rub elbows and have competitive matches with the top heels while holding some midcard titles along the way. Ryder is still young enough to make something of himself but to me, it is too late. The fans will always see him as the ultimate goofball loser. It’s a shame too because the guy has talent and passion and he’s someone that the fans wanted to see.
The former WWE Champion has been lost in the shuffle ever since he lost the title to John Cena in May of 2011. He did jobs on PPV to Alex Riley of all people and then became such a loser that they had to take him off TV for a while so the fans would forget about him. Then he came back at Money in the Bank 2012 with a beard. I guess the beard was his and WWE’s way a diverting our attention from how much he sucked.
A character reset was in order and he got one late in 2012 as a babyface. The big problem with that is people hated him more as a babyface because of how damn annoying he is. Wow, is he annoying as a babyface. Miz is a great success story. A reality TV nobody that worked his ass off to become a good wrestler and great entertainer and deserved to be WWE Champion and a WrestleMania Main Eventer.
For whatever reason he’s been a forgotten man since WrestleMania XXVII. He loves to do promotional work for the company and the company loves sending him out there. He is a genuinely entertaining guy that makes for good TV/radio when he does and interview. He needs a spot on the card that is equal to that. He can handle himself as a top guy and upon his return to WWE and should be groomed as a top babyface so WWE isn’t stuck between a rock and a hard place should anything ever happen to Cena. We don’t need another Ryback situation.
You didn’t think I’d go this entire column without bringing him up, did you? In my opinion, this is one of WWE’s biggest failures since The Invasion angle. You only get so many chances to create a once in a lifetime Superstar, to me Ryback could have been that Superstar. The fans were getting behind Ryback. They liked seeing him massacre guys. Then WWE hotshot him into a PPV Championship match when he wasn’t anywhere near ready for it.
It is a sad state of affairs for WWE that they had to go to Ryback in that spot because they had no one else that was even a remote threat to CM Punk’s title at Hell in a Cell. Of course Ryback lost which killed the one unique thing about him, his undefeated streak. As Ryback kept moving along in WWE and moved up the ladder it would have been his streak versus a former World Champion and that would create instant intrigue to the match. Look at how over Goldberg was. It wasn’t because of his charisma or wrestling ability. It was that streak. Once Kevin Nash shattered it, Goldberg was also shattered. The same thing happened to Ryback. Once he lost he became just another guy in WWE. WWE has plenty of “just another guy” they need someone special. Had Ryback kept his undefeated streak he could have been that.
Ryback lost that Hell in a Cell match in a cheap manner. They could have moved on from that and rebuilt Ryback but they didn’t. He just kept losing match after match after match. You can beat 3MB three on one all you want but when all you do on PPV is lose, no one is going to care.
Now WWE’s grand idea is to turn him heel after they botched the crap out of his babyface run. From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t have high hopes as I can’t see him winning the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules, so that’s another PPV loss for Ryback. I like Ryback but if he keeps losing all these PPV matches not even I’m going to care soon.
The Prime Time Players
I’m cheating here and putting a tag team on this list. So I guess technically this is column is about six guys not five, Sue me. Please don’t. Anyone else clamor for great tag team action? Anyone else clamor for a team that can do WWE comedy and actually be funny? Anyone else clamor for a team with an original, fun gimmick? Anyone else clamor for The Prime Time Players?
I answered yes to all of those questions. I love the team of Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. They are the perfect complement to each other which makes them a great team. Again, all they do is lose. How many consecutive TV matches did they lose to Team Hell No? It seemed like ten to me. The most egregious use of the Prime Time Players is when they lost a handicap match to The Miz on the episode of Main Event before WrestleMania.
Young and O’Neil could have been the centerpiece of a revitalized Tag Team division. Instead they are just a pair of jobbers that may give you a chuckle along the way.
That’s it peeps. These are my worst booked Superstars in WWE. What do you think? Am I right? Did I miss someone? Let me know in the comments below.
(That’s what she said.)
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