“You have, you know, this is a different group of guys, and gals…its millennials. You know, they’re not as ambitious, quite frankly, and they’re not trepidatious at all. I just don’t think they want to reach for that brass ring. The last person to really reach for that brass ring in all likelihood was John Cena…it’s a different point of view. If you reach for that brass ring and you fall on your butt, no one wants to fail. And there’s this feeling, this insecurity that if you fail, you’re exposed. So I think that’s largely pretty much what it is. Because you give everybody the opportunities, you give everyone resources that you (Austin) never had…the things we do now from a television production standpoint, social media, oh my God social media is huge. It helps talent in so many different ways, it gives them the tools that you didn’t have, that other people didn’t have. It’s very important for talent to use. And they do use them, but not in a way you did.” – Vince McMahon, Steve Austin Show Podcast, December 1, 2014
Gotta admit, this is a first. Actually, a pair of them. Never thought I’d see a tie in the Gooker voting. Still, had you told me that was going to happen a couple months back, I’d have believed it far more than had you told me we’d be inducting something from a PODCAST. And for that we can blame but one demographic:
You gosh darn millennials, you are the cause of all the issues here today. You aren’t ambitious, but you’re also not trepidatious. Just writing that sentence required me to look up the meaning of the word trepidatious on three different sites just so I could try to figure out what Vince was meaning in his rant. Despite spending this time researching it, I still have no clue. Worst of all, you’ve taken the great, almighty Vince McMahon and made him look exactly like Barney Fife:
I hope you are happy.
The quote above of course is from the infamous Steve Austin podcast with Vince McMahon, wherein Austin grilled McMahon about why there are no new top level acts in the company. And thus, here we are today, with us inducting poor ol’ Vince due to his comment about brass rings and how no one in the company really wants to reach out and take it.
So here’s what we’re going to do. And by “we”, I mean Art and myself, as we teamed up on this massive induction. And why is it so massive? Because we’re going to review every single superstar that is listed on WWE.com as of January 23, 2015.
EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
Let’s see how much of a chance any of these folks have really been given.
Spoiler Alert: not much.
To reiterate what has been our mantra since day one, we are not looking to knock the talent we’re examining here today, we’re looking to mock those who have you say stupid things and look like morons. You guys and gals have tried the best you can. It’s not your fault if the company is holding you back from those legendary brass rings.
Couple more things: we’re going to reference events that didn’t happen just in 2014, because honestly, when you look at a situation like this, it goes back way further than the past twelve months. Also want to note we’re doing this alphabetically, so if it all ends on a flat note with someone, well, I’ll remember to not do it this way if Vince goes crazy on another podcast and y’all want to stuff the ballot with votes for it again next year.
Not that I’d blame you, of course.
ADAM ROSE: And already I have questions…is Adam Rose a millennial? A quick look up of the Urban Dictionary tells us this (very lazy) demographic is born between 1982-1994. As Rose was born in 1979, he’s borderline. On the plus side, he has a lot of goofball friends that follow him from city to city. Why? No idea. On the plus side, one of them is Mandy Leon:
She’s definitely a millennial.
Wait, where was I?
Oh yeah, Adam Rose. To be fair, Vince did give him a bus. And a guy dressed up as a hot dog. And a guy dressed up as a bunny in a never-ending feud that was also a Gooker nominee. I don’t know that any of those were really a platform to springboard to a brass ring. Still, he did have Mandy Leon.
Did I mention that?
AJ LEE: The crush of geeks, nerds, and poindexters the world over, young AJ (age 27) was around for a year or two before really getting noticed, as I would argue that happened in an absolutely awesome role as Daniel Bryan’s girl friend. They liked to spoon, you know. Oh man were those two great together. She was then made into a Raw GM, and dressed to look exactly like Stephanie McMahon. I should note that this change effectively took away everything that made her seem attainable and thus mega popular in the first place. But hey, I’m willing to wager that Vinny Mac would tell you you can’t get a bigger push than being made into a clone of his daughter!
ALEX RILEY: He was paired with the Miz from the start of his WWE career.
I feel unobligated to follow up on that sentence.
Also, WordPress feels that “unobligated” is not a word. We don’t care.
ALICIA FOX: What can we say about Alicia, really? The biggest opportunity she was given was that of a crazy person, which is also the same persona that AJ Lee was given. Seriously, I’m only on Superstar #4 on this list, and we’re already repeating ideas. This seems to me to be a bad sign.
BAD NEWS BARRETT: This poor guy. He was given the opportunity to shine in The Nexxus, a great little angle that had folks really interested as it was a group of NEW guys being thrust into the spotlight. So of course, the company completely dismantled the team less than six months later by losing to…John Cena. He later returned as Bad News Barrett, and again was getting over with the help of a new catchphrase and a giant platform. Ok, so that was a push to the moon, almost literally. Sadly, as he started to get over, these aforementioned items that were helping him were removed from the act. They were replaced by the Intercontinental title, which is the equivalent these days to a long walk on a short pier whilst wearing cement shoes.
BIG E: The former Big E Langston was given a short stint as Dolph Ziggler’s crony, and then wound up with the Intercontinental title. See “Barrett, Bad News” above. The latest idea to get him over is The New Day, an idea so preposterous and outdated it could only be surpassed by someone making a Barney Fife joke in 2015.
BIG SHOW: Prior to his arrival in the WWF in 1999, all Vince McMahon could talk about was how WCW didn’t know how to book Paul Wight. The idea apparently was that the WWF would book him as an unstoppable monster, a special attraction, which is what made Andre the Giant so special. Within weeks of his arrival, he was jobbing to Steve Austin on Raw. Since that time he has been turned babyface and heel so many times that it’s nearly unfathomable. According to the gurus over at F4W, he’s had 32 turns in his career. THIRTY-TWO!!
How on earth is someone supposed to really stick with you when you don’t know week to week if you’re supposed to cheer or boo the guy?
BO DALLAS: If someone came to me and asked me to dream up a gimmick destined for WrestleCrap.com, I’d be hard pressed to top the actual character of Bo Dallas. Motivational dude who smiles? Sounds idiotic, right? NO! He was great in his role, and was given a winning streak to help kick off his run. Sadly, this being WWE, the winning streak was mocked and he was made to look like a buffoon.
Eh, we’ll still always have this:
Hey, wait a minute – Bo WAS given the opportunity to grab the brass ring.
It was in the bull’s nose and he didn’t bother to grab it!
BOOKER T: A borderline case. I feel Booker T was never really given a true opportunity as a tippy top guy in WWE, likely due to reeking of the stench of WCW. Did I ever mention how Vince had the guys in WCW wear shirts that read “WCW” on them backstage when they came in? Booker turned out better than most of them.
BRAY WYATT: He’s reportedly one of Vince’s favorites…and if you don’t believe me, a WrestleMania bout against John Cena should be proof enough of my claim. And yet, even then, hurdles are placed in his path so as to not allow him to really connect. Remember what I said about Bad News Barrett? How he had things that made him great and then was stripped of them? Same thing here, as his family was one of the best acts in recent memory. Of course they were split apart, and we soon learned the whole was much greater than the sum of its parts.
The biggest issue, though, wasn’t that – it was the fact that WWE, a near billion dollar company, can’t afford to give him a lantern that actually looks like it has a real flame in it. How does he blow out an LED light? And why is it smoking?
Sorry, that’s just a pet peeve of mine.
BRIE BELLA: The Bella twins are arguab…wait, are we calling them twins this week? Are we still allowed to do that? Or are they just “The Bellas”? Regardless, the two weren’t helped with a horrendous feud that shares Gooker status with this here induction. Still, being picked as the headliners on Total Divas counts for something.
What that something is I admittedly don’t quite know, as that show kinda sucks.
BROCK LESNAR: Ok, here’s a guy who HAS been pushed as a top star, an unbeatable monster who destroys everything in his path. And lo and behold, he IS a true draw, a near household name. When he left WWE and went to UFC, he cemented that of course, but had he been pushed like, say, Shelton Benjamin, do you think he’d have drawn gazillions of dollars for Dana White? Of course not. This is the prime example of giving someone a TRUE opportunity…and what can happen when you do.
THE BUNNY: And as soon as I write that, I run into this. Seriously, Brock Lesnar is next to a dude dressed up in a rabbit suit on wwe.com.
How is this company still in business?
BRYON SAXTON: I’ll be honest. I knew nothing about Byron Saxton, except I recall he’s an announcer on NXT or Smackdown or something. During my obligatory research, I discovered he actually wrestled in the company, a fact of which I had zero memory.
CAMERON: I know I am in the minority, but I have always thought Cameron was the hotter of the two former Funkadactyls. Still, I somehow doubt that she would be able to grab the brass ring when she’s not even sure how to pin an opponent.
Maybe Kamala could teach her. Or at least take her bowling. (Check that reference out in the archives.)
CESARO: Cesaro is arguably THE guy who is at the epicenter of the firestorm. Despite being hugely over at WrestleMania (even winning the first Andre battle royal), he was soon shuttled back to the midcard with no real rhyme nor reason. A very weird partnership with Paul Heyman didn’t help matters, nor did the fact that Vince’s top guy, Kevin Dunn, doesn’t like guys with accents. Really.
CHRIS JERICHO: Lucy the dog ate Chris Jericho’s brass ring, and Y2J never recovered it, despite keeping constant vigil over her and her leavings. Well, can you think of a better explanation for why the first-ever Undisputed Champion should have been picking up Stephanie’s dog’s poop in the lead-up to Wrestlemania?
CHRISTIAN: Not unlike my view on Cameron, my take on Christian will be off-putting to some, as I found him the superior half of the Edge & Christian duo. But hey, he’s shorter and Vince thought he was kinda ugly apparently, so he never got the rocket ship push his buddy did. He was given a couple title runs, but was so well thought of the announcement of his retirement was made on Raw a few weeks back where he and Edge got destroyed. This led to the announcement of a “million dollar lawsuit” on the following Smackdown which was never mentioned again.
Did I mention the long-term planning of this company sucks right now?
CURTIS AXEL: Did you know that this guy was the son of the legendary Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig? Sure you do, because you’re here at WrestleCrap which means you’re a hardcore wrestling fan. But no one else does because they’ve given him idiotic names like Curtis Axel. Still, that’s better than Michael McGillicutty, which was his original name.
Did no one get why Paul Heyman named this woman the way he did?
It’s called IRONY.
DAMIEN MIZDOW: The Miz’s erstwhile stunt double shows up not under his (WWE) given name, Damien Sandow, but rather as Damien Mizdow. He was indeed given a push with a Money in the Bank win…and then became the first guy to not successfully cash it.
That’s still a push, right?
DANIEL BRYAN: A guy who was FINALLY given a chance when crowds were hijacking show after show with chants. We should note after this, he was put into a feud with Kane.
Really. This was the idea of how to keep him hot. KANE.
DARREN YOUNG: Came out as the first openly gay wrestler, which the company rewarded (he got coverage on TMZ!!!!!) with a chance at the WWE tag titles. Which he lost. And then was pretty much never heard from again.
DAVID OTUNGA: He’s on the roster still? I pray he’s in a corner hiding somewhere while collecting checks.
Also, sipping on a giant cup of coffee.
DEAN AMBROSE: I legitimately believe Dean Ambrose was a guy who had a chance to get over last year, as he was really picking up momentum and I feel crowds were viewing him as a guy who could be a bad ass in the mold of Steve Austin. Weeks later, he’d lost every single televised match and get killed on every show with various weapons. He’d then come back a show later as if nothing happened. As my Death of WCW co-author Bryan Alvarez pointed out, it was a lot like this:
I know Vince is always like 40 years behind the times, but seriously, that’s not how you make a star.
DIEGO: Came in without Tito Santana as his manager. SMH.
DOLPH ZIGGLER: I have no doubt when the “brass rings” comment was made, more than half the viewers were thinking, “Dolph Ziggler.” Despite being incredibly talented in the ring, this is a guy who has earned everything he’s gotten. I mean, from the start it’s been a challenge; brought in as a male cheerleader in The Spirit Squad, a male cheerleader gimmick (!!!) that never stood a chance, who were then shipped back to the Louisville farm system in a giant box one week on Raw. That’s not a joke; they LITERALLY had a crate with OVW slapped on the side they threw the guys into:
From there, it’s been one burial after another, with brief glimmers of hope given to fans that maybe, just maybe, the poor guy may get a chance at a main event. But c’mon, we can’t have that! He might get over or something.
THE ROCK: Failed to get over as smiling Rocky Maivia, a babyface who was shoved down the fans’ throats until they wanted him to die, so Creative — get this — listened to the fans, turned him heel, and let his real personality shine through.
That was in 1997, of course. Times have changed.
EDEN: Won’t lie, I have zero idea who this even is. I want to say she’s Cody Rhodes’ wife for some reason, and I think she was on NXT, possibly Smackdown. To try to find out more, I went to her page on WWE.com. On this page, it had a link to “Entrance video.”
So I clicked on it and, with the Good Lord Above and I am not making this up, got this. Which I am pretty sure is NOT Eden’s entrance video.
And you thought they were setting up the Ascension for failure by comparing them to the Road Warriors.
EL TORITO: It’s a tiny dude (midget? little person? Not sure what the PC notation is these days) in a bull outfit. I somehow doubt he’s grabbing too many rings.
Especially not when Bo Dallas is around.
EMMA: The kookiest of NXT Divas was introduced to WWE audiences as basically a female Santino Marella, even being paired up as his love interest, wearing her own version of his Cobra sock puppet, and copying his power-walk to the ring. This identity crisis, Santino’s abrupt retirement, and the Aussie’s shoplifting arrest has ensured that the EMMAlution will not be televised.
If only Wal-Mart stocked brass rings…
Homer Simpson Vince McMahon: I have no idea who that is. Lisa Simpson WWE Creative: No one does! He’s very quiet and enjoys puzzles.
EVA MARIE: Oh Eva Marie. She actually did grab that brass ring…
…but fell off the apron and lost it.
FANDANGO: Right after his theme music and commitment to his ludicrous character unexpectedly got him over with the crowd in Spring 2013, WWE swooped in to take credit for it and immediately sucked the fun out of it. Then Fandango got a concussion, which, in keeping with company policy, meant mandatory time off followed by being knocked right back down the card upon his return. See also Dolph Ziggler, who lost his World Title in his first match back from a concussion.
We should note this also took place in Spring 2013.
FERNANDO: Did I mention that they didn’t bring in Tito as their manager? I did? Well, then I’ll switch up and explain that Art thought he would be better off as one of these guys.
Couldn’t be that much worse. And wrestling does have a history of it.
GOLDUST: One of the few on this list that were around actually when there was a chance of upward mobility…which means he debuted almost 20 years ago. Just typing that makes us sad. But the times were different, and they somewhat forced Vince’s hand into listening to his audience. Which seems light years from where we are today.
HEATH SLATER: August 4th, 2014 – After nearly two years of losing almost every match as part of 3MB, Slater upsets Mr. Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins. The crowd goes wild.
August 11th, 2014 – Slater defeats Dolph Ziggler by countout.
August 18th, 2014 – Slater is not booked.
August 25th, 2014 – Slater and Titus O’Neil lose to Los Matadores.
September 1st, 2015 – Slater & O’Neil lose to Adam Rose & The Bunny. Slater gets beaten up afterward by The Bunny.
September 8th, 2015 – Slater gets superkicked by The Bunny at ringside.
September 15th – Slater is not booked.
September 22nd – Slater gets super-kicked by The Bunny again before getting pinned by Adam Rose.
September 29th – Slater gets frog-splashed by The Bunny in front of Reverend Jesse Jackson.
HORNSWOGGLE: The two-time Gooker Award winner finally got a chance to shine as a wrestler in the unreasonably good Wee-LC match. This was followed up with a stint where he dressed as an alligator. Fans reacted by chanting “This is stupid.” Won’t argue with them there.
HUNICO: Brought into the company for the sole purpose of putting on a decent match with Sin Cara, Hunico donned the mask himself before losing it on Smackdown. He then languished in his new, less-than-complex character: a Mexican stereotype in a wife-beater. Being put back under the Sin Cara mask after the original Sin Cara was released was a stroke of genius, as no one would ever, ever notice that Hunico had disappeared.
JACK SWAGGER: Swagger has been given pushes here and there in attempts to get him over, likely due to the fact that he looks exactly like Biff Tannen. Well, that’s why we would have pushed him. But he amazingly did begin to get over with the audience in a feud with Rusev. Made sense: Zeb Colter’s Real American battling the Red Menace. So of course Colter was removed from the act and Swagger lost to Rusev approximately 33,787 times in a feud that would never die.
Not saying that Rusev should have lost, but maybe just have him beat Swagger 33,776 times and then let the poor guy move onto something else.
JAMIE NOBLE: Shortly after defeating three minor league nobodies named CM Punk, Samoa Joe, and Christopher Daniels for the ROH title, Noble was brought back to WWE. First, he was placed in an undersized tag team with Kid Kash nevertheless called, “The Pitbulls” (“The Eliminators” and “The Dudley Boyz” were deemed unsuitable names), inspiring resentment among the only people who would even recognize Kash: diehard ECW fans.
Then, Hornswoggle pinned him to become Cruiserweight champion and repeatedly defeated Noble until the title was retired.
With no more cruiserweight division, Noble’s last big push saw him pick up what the announcers un-ironically called a record four consecutive wins… against Chuck Palumbo. He was then injured by hosses Mike Knox and Sheamus in two separate incidents and forced to retire.
JASON ALBERT: Yet another man of 1,000 gimmicks, each one worse than the one before, with his most notable personas being Prince Albert and evil Oriental Lord Tensai.
Ok, maybe each one wasn’t worse than the last. Pretty difficult for anything to be worse than being named after a penis piercing.
JBL: JBL’s first big push in the WWF ended before it started when referee Tim White accidentally counted Bradshaw’s shoulders down at the 1996 Survivor Series pre-show. Then, after eight years of not even being on the radar as a future world champion, Vince abruptly put the WWE title on him for nine months, making a mockery of the “brass rings” argument.
JBL recently “won” the Wrestling Observer’s Worst Announcer award. Falling from arguably the most-entertaining WWE commentator to the most annoying required some severe micro(mis)management of the announce booth by WWE’s producers. JBL is now tasked with incessantly bickering and contradicting everything Michael Cole says, no matter how straightforward and obvious.
Oh, wah wah! JBL does what’s best for business. Oh, he’s so evil for trying to FEED HIS FAMILY! I’m tired of your black helicopters and conspiracy theories!
JERRY “THE KING” LAWLER: While Lawler was one of the greatest regional wrestlers ever, for as long as the King has been in WWE, it has never been his place to reach for the brass ring. He has, however, come in handy whenever WWE wants to make a promising star look weak, such as Tazz, Gregory Helms, and The Miz.
THE USOS: Amazingly, the company has not seen fit (yet) to have these two split and feud with each other, as they have every other team on the roster in the last, oh, 20 years. We credit this to Stephanie McMahon reportedly not being able to tell them apart.
And that’s not a joke.
JOEY MERCURY: Formerly of MNM, a criminally underrated team with John Morrison, led by Melina. You remember them, right? If not, check out Lucha Underground, where Morrison is plying his trade as Johnny Mundo…and is actually given time to shine. Not saying he’s better off than if he were in WWE, but, well…we don’t know how to finish that sentence.
So we’ll just again say “check out Lucha Underground.”
JOHN CENA: Even the crusty old cynics here at WrestleCrap.com can’t deny that John Cena has worked incredibly hard to earn his spot atop WWE. It’s not Cena’s fault that the company has a never-ending over reliance on him to the point that they are horrified to go even one week without him on television. Said dependence makes it very hard for others to grab these mythical brass rings, but again, that’s not on Cena.
That’s on the company he works for.
KANE: Let’s take a look at his resume and decide what we should do with him in 2014:
I know! Let’s put him in the ring with the hottest star of the year, Daniel Bryan!
KOFI KINGSTON: There was a brief, brief period during which Kofi was treated as a viable threat to the upper echelon. It was during a feud with Randy Orton, in which he destroyed Orton’s car. Sounds idiotic, but Kofi was believable in the role of a guy willing to piss off Orton, and tough enough to back up it up in the ring. But Orton felt he botched a spot (Stupid!), and he was then shuttled back down the card. In recent years, he had a bright spot every year at the Royal Rumble doing some insane demonstration of his amazing athletic ability. Fast forward to this year, where he was thrown out onto the Rosebuds and then thrown back into the ring. Eh, it was fun while it lasted.
KONNOR: On NXT Season Four, Konnor’s gimmick was that he looked like, and acted like, a rat. After years in the NXT farm league, Konnor has re-emerged as part of a Road Warriors/Demolition knock-off that brags with corny dialogue about being better than the Road Warriors and Demolition, while everyone — literally everyone — mocks them as pathetic Road Warriors/Demolition knock-offs.
Knock-offs named KONNOR AND VIKTOR. Not quite as menacing as “AX AND SMASH.”
LANA: The Ravishing Russian plays her heel character to perfection, coming across as ruthless and proud. That is, unless Stephanie McMahon is talking down to her, in which case she gets inexplicably servile and walks away with her tail between her legs. Still, Lana may have a good chance of grabbing the brass ring, just as long as Creative doesn’t give her any overly-controversial storylines for which WWE is forced to apologize and give her a Muhammad Hassan severance package.
LAYLA: This Deever has to be one of the longest tenured of all WWE talent, debuting in 2006. She looks great at 37, and…wait a minute. She’s no millennial!
LILLIAN GARCIA: Nor is Lillian Garcia, who’s older than me! But hey, that didn’t keep the company for once mocking her for weeks as being horse-faced. Reach for that ring, pony girl!
LUKE HARPER: As we mentioned earlier, the break-up of the Wyatt family did no one any favors. Still, he was able to win the Intercontinental championship in the fall of last year. Better yet, he lost it in less than a month. Anyone else remember when that belt actually meant something?
MARK HENRY: The world’s strongest man has been given chances over a very long career…and there have been times when he has been shown to actually increase ratings for the company (i.e., when he was a focal point of Smackdown a few years back, doing a “Hall of Pain” gimmick originally thought up by poor Brodus Clay). This success was rewarded with him being shuttled back down the card, of course. Noticing a pattern yet?
MICHAEL COLE: Left to his own devices, he can be a pretty decent announcer. Unfortunately, that headset he gets fed his lines through is one of Vince McMahon’s devices.
THE MIZ: Can’t argue that Mike Mizanin didn’t get a chance to reach the top: he was given a WrestleMania main event, for crying out flavin’! And while he failed to grab the brass ring, he did give this a ring:
So don’t feel too bad for him.
MR. MCMAHON: For as much as we mock him, let it be known I truly believe that Vince McMahon is the greatest wrestling promoter in the history of this planet. Also, I think he was, during the feud with Austin, the best heel in the business by far. No matter what has happened in recent years, no one will be able to ever either of those accolades away from him. Continuing my Vince lovefest for a moment, I’ll add that I think the fact that he really did have to fight and scrap for things early in his career has led him to believe that others don’t try as hard as he did. And he may be right.
But this doesn’t counter the primary issue here today: that he doesn’t truly allow his talent to reach the top.
Oh, and did we mention he now looks like Barney Fife?
That makes us really sad.
NAOMI: Looked like a shoo-in to end AJ Lee’s lengthy Divas’ title run at Wrestlemania 30. Then she got her eye socket smashed by the talent-vacuum known as Aksana. Through no fault of her own, Naomi was sidelined, and though she returned in time for Wrestlemania, she had to share the spotlight with every Diva on the roster.
NATALYA: The daughter of the legendary Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Nattie has been given time on Raw in recent years from time to time. Thankfully, it’s now with her husband and not as a random girl who farted. Seriously, that was a gimmick this poor kid had. I credit the turn around not to being on Total Divas, but rather her award winning performance on (the now sadly defunct) Saturday Morning Slam, evidence of which I present rightchere.
Also, I miss Kaitlyn. She showed us how to dress up like a penguin.
NIKKI BELLA: Star of Total Divas, girlfriend of John Cena. Did you expect her not to be the focal point of all women in the promotion? Sadly, even being in this position has its issues, as we saw from the co-winner of this year’s Gooker.
PAIGE: Young Paige was THE hot act in NXT prior to her arrival on the main roster. Since that time, she has flip-flopped as a babyface and heel so often it has even Big Show shaking his head. Further hindered by the fact that the company seemingly doesn’t get the idea of a goth chick. C’mon, Vince…I know you have to remember Wednesday on The Addams Family! (The TV show, that is. The movie would be far too recent for you to have seen, I’m sure.)
By the way, can anyone explain the never-ending feud with AJ Lee in which they were friends then not then friends then friends then not friends then friends then not friends again?
PAUL HEYMAN: Paul E. seems to be much happier these days as just an on-air talent than in his old role helping to write the shows. Good for him, but I think bad for the product. The one thing you could never say about Paul back in the ECW days is that he didn’t know how to get the absolute most out of the people in his employ, strategically playing to their strengths and hiding their weaknesses. You think The Sandman would get over in today’s WWE?
Scratch that, you think The Sandman would get over ANYWHERE BUT ECW?
That was the genius of Paul Heyman. It’s really too bad that knowledge is just sitting idle in the locker room in the world’s largest wrestling company.
R-TRUTH: His tremendous heel turn in 2011, coupled with his teaming with The Miz, led to a career renaissance that finally put him into WWE pay-per-view main events. When a failed Wellness Test meant he couldn’t wrestle for thirty whole days, Creative broke up Awesome Truth, turned R-Truth babyface again, and turned his unhinged, Little-Jimmy-hating persona into a kid-friendly cartoon character. WWE writers are not required to be drug-tested.
RANDY ORTON: Pushed and pushed and pushed again, Orton is a guy they have strapped the rocket to in the past. Maybe he could do that wacky split legged celebratory jump to reach the brass ring.
He’s a really, really bad baby face.
RENEE YOUNG: Folks sure love Renee Young. So much so in fact that I have to wonder how long it will be before ESPN gives her a call and throws her on SportsCenter. Or at least the sidelines at NFL games. Hey, if Jonathan Coachman can make the jump, this girl can too.
REY MYSTERIO: WWE always wants an hispanic star, and for years, Rey Mysterio was the guy. And sure enough, he was given World Title runs. World title runs in which he lost nearly every single match, as Vince had told his writing crew that he would let them put the belt on Rey, but he sure as heck wasn’t keeping it.
Also, he told them, never use the word “belt”. He hates that.
ROMAN REIGNS: Not sure about you, but I think the best way to help someone grab that brass ring is to have them tell nursery rhymes and quote Looney Toons!
Thanks to BotchedSpot.com for being awesome as always.
ROSA MENDES: How did we not mention that she was part of the New & Improved Fandango repackaging? She was. And now that we’ve mentioned it, we really feel like we have nothing more to say about her at all. Too bad. We hear she’s a very nice girl.
Oh, and on a recent Total Divas, she was filmed planning an “accidental” wardrobe malfunction to gain Twitter followers. Now that’s a new way to reach for the brass ring! Unfortunately, management put the kibosh on that secret scheme, which, again, she cooked up in full view of television cameras. But we hear she’s a very nice girl. Not too bright, though.
RUSEV: Can’t complain too much about how Rusev is being portrayed. Just one thing would add to his act. Nikita Koloff, your advice?
RYBACK: A giant dude who now wants to tell us about how he turned his life around by reading a book on being positive called “The Secret”. Yes, they’re trying to get a guy who looks like Ryback over by giving him a book club.
SCOTT STANFORD: Can’t lie; if you put this guy in a line up with Josh Matthews, Todd Grisham, Chris Leary, Sean Mooney, Ian Mooney, and Craig DeGeorge, I wouldn’t be able to identify him.
SETH ROLLINS: Seth, you might be getting over…why don’t you, I don’t know, walk around on your hands like a monkey?
SHEAMUS: Thought for sure he’d be given chance after chance to get over, as sources have told this reporter that he was Hunter’s weight lifting buddy. Guessing that Kevin Dunn doesn’t dig that accent. He doesn’t like accents, you know.
SIN CARA: You can’t really blame WWE Creative for this one. Sin Cara screwed up so many times in so many ways that he is lucky to be on NXT. Oh, except that was a different Sin Cara. This Sin Cara at least gets to hide his face after having ridden around as a passenger on a low-rider bicycle.
STARDUST: And we won’t blame WWE Creative here, either. If you can’t get over as the reincarnation of one of the greatest heroes of the 8-bit era…
…there’s not much we can do for you.
STEPHANIE MCMAHON: Let’s see…she is the woman that causes every other woman on the roster to back down from immediately. Wait, did I say ‘woman’? I meant ‘human’. It’s pretty amazing how neutered she makes everyone look, honestly. Then again, this is the same person who they had a trainer for (Muffy!!!) and then canned that act because if she needed a trainer, that must mean she was fat at some point. Eh, whatever, she’s the boss’ daughter and the heir to the throne. We’d all best get used to this.
SUMMER RAE: Fandango’s original dance partner, and she was great in that role. Sadly, she was submarined with Layla as the two squared off to win the love of Fandango in a never-ending feud.
WrestleCrap Fun Fact: If you do a search for the string “never-ending feud” on this page, it will yield 47 results.
TAMINA SNUKA: The daughter of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka has never attained the height of her famous father. However, according to Wikipedia, she has won an award:
And here I thought Kane won all those awards.
TITUS O’NEIL: A very interesting case, as Titus has been shown to have the ability to talk when given the chance. Which has been, maybe, oh, three times since he made the roster in 2009. By my math, that’s every other year. Keep practicing in the mirror, Titus – your chance to grab that brass ring may be coming up again soon!
TOM PHILLIPS: Can’t lie; if you put this guy in a line up with Josh Matthews, Todd Grisham, Chris Leary, Sean Mooney, Ian Mooney, and Craig DeGeorge, I wouldn’t be able to identify him. Oh wait, add Scott Stanford to that list too.
TONY CHIMEL: No offense to Tony (I think he does a fine job), but did you know WWE still has Howard Finkel on their pay roll and never uses him? Mind boggling.
TRIPLE H: One May, Triple H suffered an injury so severe, it was uncertain whether he’d ever be able to recover. Miraculously, he not only recovered but made it back to action that January, just in time for the Royal Rumble. Thanks to a groundswell of support from the fans (who had suffered through one of the most dismal, poorly-booked periods in company history during his absence), it seemed that maybe, just maybe, Triple H could win the Rumble that year and go on to main-event Wrestlemania.
Unfortunately, Hunter’s newly-regained momentum came at a bad time, as Vince McMahon had been grooming another Superstar for that Wrestlemania main-event slot for over a year. All the popularity in the world couldn’t sway Creative, and Triple H was unceremoniously eliminated early on in the Rumble, paving the way for the triumphant victory of Andrew “Test” Martin, a man who was everything the big-schnozzed Triple H wasn’t: young, tall, and handsome. Test went on to win the Undisputed Title at Wrestlemania, while Triple H just had to accept that he was a victim of bad luck and bad timing, and that no one was really to blame for the perceived injustice he suffered. I mean, he had already main-evented Wrestlemania and won the title three times; what right had he and his fans to complain?
TYSON KIDD: See David Hart Smith. Oh, he’s not on the list? Because Tyson’s former tag partner got released? After Creative abruptly broke up The Hart Dynasty to little fanfare with no plans for either man? Huh.
On NXT, Tyson is a perennial title contender who wrestles lengthy, exciting match-ups. In WWE, he likes cats and wears Beats headphones while his wife wrestles.
THE UNDERTAKER: Somehow his undead character remains over with the fans despite the Undertaker wasting the majority of his career not using Twitter, not appearing on reality shows, and not performing in comedy sketches. He did, however, suffering a career setback in 1995 when Kama stole his brass rings and melted them down into a chain.
VIKTOR: Along with his Ascension partner Konnor, Viktor ruled the NXT tag team division for nearly a year, facing undersized teams like the Lucha Dragons, the Vaudevillains, and even Too Cool to hide the fact that Viktor is only 6’2″ and a cruiserweight. In his first big segment on WWE TV, he goes to face-to-face with the nWo and gets dwarfed by Kevin Nash. And Scott Hall. And… X-Pac?
By the way, we feel it is our duty to once more mention that these Road Warrior clones are named KONNOR AND VIKTOR. Not quite “HAWK AND ANIMAL” either.
WILLIAM REGAL: Criminally underrated. That’s what I’d call William Regal, who has some of the best facials in the history of wrestling. Never truly given a chance, though, as Vince didn’t like his wrestling style. Remember all those crappy William Regal matches? I don’t either.
XAVIER WOODS: This guy was pretty darn entertaining as Consequences Creed in TNA. In WWE, he’s part of The New Day. Did I just say that TNA did something better than WWE? Why I think I did. What does that tell you about how the company is doing these days?
ZACK RYDER: It seems only appropriate that the last guy on the list is Zack Ryder. When the company was on their other old scam of telling guys they needed to come up with ways to get themselves over, Ryder did, creating a goofy YouTube show that got him tons of attention on every conceivable social media. And we all know how much WWE loves social media! But since this was NOT their idea, Ryder has been killed over and over and those “We Want Ryder” chants vanished. As has Ryder, who is so rarely seen on WWE television that one has to question why they haven’t bothered to just go ahead and future endeavor him.
I know folks view Cesaro or Ziggler as bigger issues. I get that they are more talented in the ring.
But Ryder is, to me, is the guy who is what this ‘award’ is all about. I mean, seriously – WWE tells their guys to do something to get themselves over, this guy does it with absolutely zero assistance from the company, and then is buried six feet below the earth.
What on earth did he do to deserve such treatment?
Yeah, I don’t know either, dude.
And that’s that. Every single WWE superstar listed, examined, and Gookerfied.
But to any WWE wrestler reading this and getting ticked off, please, don’t thank us.
Thank your boss.
Brass rings indeed.