Success is a hard thing to come by, especially for certain WWE superstars that seem to forever be locked in a cycle of failure. With an enormously stacked roster across both RAW and SmackDown Live, there’s no arguing with the assessment that there’s just not enough time in the world for the creative powers that be to make every single wrestler a hit with the audience. There are those that will forever be relegated to the position of enhancement talent, or subject to countless revamps only for them to be pushed to the side weeks after re-debuting.
In this list, we’re going to run down a few of those superstars that just can’t grab the brass ring. It’s a shame that certain performers are trapped in such a way, and while I’m sure it’s a great feeling being able to say that you’re employed by the biggest wrestling promotion in the world, surely there’s a part of them that wants a little bit more from their careers.
Whether it be an awful gimmick or a reputation for taking countless losses, show some love for your favourite failures in the comments below.
1. Dolph Ziggler
‘The Show Off’ might be preparing for a major championship opportunity against Drew McIntyre at Extreme Rules: The Horror Show, but let’s face it, his chances of walking away with his first WWE Championship are pretty low.
Ziggler might be the most high-profile superstar that makes it onto this list, having captured the World Heavyweight Championship after a career-defining run as Mr. Money in the Bank in 2012/13. Ziggler has been a mainstay of the main roster, picking up a few mid-card titles as well as the occasional Tag title run here and there throughout his decade plus career.
Even though Dolph remains a popular talent, now on the RAW brand once again, Ziggler just can’t catch a break in what is likely the latter half of his in-ring career. It’s nice to see ‘The Show Off’ occasionally be taken seriously enough to have another crack at success, but ultimately even his fans know that there’s no hope in hell.
Having picked up too many losses to count, Ziggler may as well start considering a trip to AEW or the independents to make the most of his reputable skill as an in-ring highlight reel, unless he fancies putting over another decade of NXT call-ups.
2. Mojo Rawley
The former Hype Bro meathead has gone through several iterations over the past few years, all of which seemingly the one that Vince truly believes is going to take Rawley into the main event scene. That never happened.
A winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Mojo has been a low-key favourite of McMahon’s since debuting on the main roster during the 2016 brand extension. His run with Zack Ryder translated fairly well but since turning heel and going alone, nothing seems to have come together for him. Rawley attempted to dip into a more psychological gimmick with the broken mirror shtick, but nothing was ever really explained or dwelled upon long enough for it to get over.
Even over the past few months, Rawley continues to be suffering from a strange identity crisis; going from being Rob Gronkowski’s sidekick bro to once again sporting the black and blue split glass outfit in his match against Shorty G. A truly odd case of a superstar that is destined to fail no matter the gimmick.
3. Nia Jax
‘The Irresistible Force’ Nia Jax is one of those superstars that unfortunately the fans will never seem to accept. Jax’s reputation as an unsafe worker has become a defining factor of her career, having injured several main roster stars including the likes of former NXT Women’s Champion, Kairi Sane.
Jax is often given the same rinsed and repeated run of squashing several smaller superstars before being moved up to the title picture to compete with the dominant title holder. Fans are getting tired of seeing the same old routine with Nia and will only put up with her being involved in the scene for so much longer.
Admittedly, this particular run as a monster heel has come across better than her previous feuds with Asuka, Bayley and Ronda Rousey. WWE using the dangerous side of her wrestling style to get her over as an even bigger threat is something I can appreciate. But unless WWE actually put the title on her, we all know what the final result is going to be in the future.
4. Jaxson Ryker
I’d like to include the entire tandem of The Forgotten Sons for this post, but I think their failure stems from the fault of one man alone and that’s Jaxson Ryker. Without commenting on his political feuds too much, Ryker’s recent comments have landed him in some serious heat backstage, with even his tag partners Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler casting him out.
With the Sons now taken off TV after a fairly successful first run on the main roster, we can only assume that if and when they do return, it would be without Jaxson as their heater. Ryker would probably be demoted to enhancement talent, or even given an embarrassing gimmick to further humiliate the guy on the big stage.
Regardless of his future with the company and whether he’s ever trusted with screen time again, we can only assume that he’s destined for failure.
5. Drake Maverick
Bit of a cheat considering he’s not on the main roster and barely got away with his WWE career after the culling in April. Drake Maverick is one of those characters that is so suited to being a failure. You could even use it as his gimmick. He’s small in stature but as recent history has proven, that shouldn’t be the reason for a wrestler being held down in WWE, Drake however seems to always be on the receiving end of punishment.
Drake’s biggest run to date came in the recent Cruiserweight tournament on NXT, losing in the finals against Santos Escobar but managing to walk away with a renewed WWE contract, handed to him by Triple H himself at the end of the show. Despite this, he’ll never get away from being the guy that wet himself at Survivor Series a few years back.
Maverick is a fantastic character that should certainly be used throughout the rest of his tenure, whether that be in the ring or as an on-screen personality. His charisma is second to none and shouldn’t be left to waste away. But something tells me that sooner or later he will once again fade away, resuming his position as the resident failure of the Cruiserweight roster.
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