First Note: Parts of this article were written before the matches on the Summer Slam card were officially announced.
Second Note: This isn’t an official review but pertinent observations. (lol)
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen!
My name is No Labels Unleashed and I am a long time observer of wrestling. Notice I did not use the word “fan” because “fan” can include someone that just starting liking wrestling a week ago and just follows whoever is popular at the time. My philosophy on what I think of that, as well as my disdain for “sports entertainment” overshadowing “pure wrestling” is for another day.
Seriously, I was trying to get my intro to sound Heyman-esque. Did you pick up on it? Even if you didn’t, it did seem a bit cool.
I’m not sure how often I’m going to do this. It may be a one time thing or it may be something on a consistent basis. I couldn’t tell you. All I know is there are some things going on in wrestling that has me doing a mixture between the Rock’s raised eyebrow and the angry Miz girl, along with a Seriously, WTF. I don’t even know if I could do all those expressions at the same time.
In WWE (I haven’t looked at TNA much since they dropped the ball with AJ Styles), there are quite a few people who are in the UIWS. For me, UIWS stands for the following: Utilized Inefficiently Wrestling Squad. That means, there are wrestlers on the roster that I feel WWE Creative hasn’t been using much at all or the way they are using them is similar to trying to eat soup with a fork–you can attempt it but it won’t be all that successful.
During a conversation with Mr. Controversy, I mentioned it would be a good idea for us to come with a list. I wanted to get his take because although he hasn’t watched wrestling as long as I have, I think he’s seen enough to gather who may unwillingly be in the UIWS. Plus, I’m curious how in sync we are going to be with our selections.
Here are my five and my summation as to why I feel these WWE wrestlers haven’t been utilized to the best of their abilities. I’m sure there are more than these five but for me, these stand out. These aren’t in any particular order.
1. Tamina Snuka: Legend’s Daughter Treated Like a Leftover
I know Tamina Snuka is recovering from surgery, so I’m not talking about now. I’m talking about from before. Tamina is the daughter of the legendary Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.
In an episode of WWE Divas, Natalya (daughter of Jim the Anvil Neidhart and niece to Bret the Hitman Hart) spoke of how tough it is even for her, despite being part of what is considered “wrestling royalty” as it pertains to the Hart family.
Yet, I speak on Tamina more so than Natalya because at least Natalya is getting some air time, not just with wrestling here and there but being part of the reality show Total Divas.
During the time Tamina was healthy, she was primarily used as AJ Lee’s bodyguard during AJ Lee’s lengthy reign as Divas Champion. Each time WWE Creative teased about possible dissension between AJ Lee and Tamina, it got squelched.
True, Tamina may not be the strongest talker on the mic or well versed in doing promos. True, she may not be the “Barbie doll look” in what WWE is looking for.
But I remember when women wrestlers were the ones that people came to see, and it was more because of their ability in the ring than their actual looks. I’m not saying that Trish Stratus is to blame but she did open the floodgates to where beauty started becoming the thing to look for more so than any type of wrestling ability It placed some people in the mentality that the men wrestlers should be the ones people are focused on and that any type of ladies’ matches are the times to switch the channel or take a bathroom break.
Tamina is powerful and the splash she does off the rope in respect to her father is a thing of beauty. I can only hope when Tamina fully recovers that she is put in a position to be more of a competitor than a bodyguard for another champion (whether that be AJ Lee, Paige or any one else for that matter).
2. Dolph Ziggler: The Show Off Gets the Brush Off
On his show The Ross Report a while back, Jim Ross made the statement that “some air time is better than no air time at all”. I understand what he means, yet I want to take it a step further in saying that I want to see the wrestler used in a great way.
Dolph Ziggler has the body type of what WWE seems to go for in terms of muscle definition and the marketable look. He does a decent job at talking trash and has a decent wrestling set.
Yet WWE doesn’t seem to know what to do with him. His reigns with the title are hardly memorable, and one was cut short due to an injury caused by Jack Swagger. Ziggler has been in limbo for quite a while and I think it’s time for the limbo to pay off.
I’m not saying that Ziggler should have the WWE belt again right now. I do know that he’s been putting in work. His showing at the IC Battle Royal definitely spoke volumes, and he did all that work just for Miz to capitalize at the last pay per view.
If Wade Barrett isn’t back at one hundred percent to battle Miz at Summer Slam for the belt he never lost, I would love for Ziggler to get some type of payback on Miz–to challenge Miz for the IC Belt at Summer Slam. (<—It’s been signed. Woot!) If Miz having the belt is indeed a transitional move and all of that was for Ziggler to get the title on a grander stage, then Ziggler’s purgatory is somewhat forgivable.
If not, then I really feel like they need a steadier direction for Ziggler to go in because all the time before now hasn’t been working. I don’t really want another woman being a valet to him. I still just want him to be on his own.
3. Damien Sandow: Currently in Job City
When Damien Sandow first came out, he reminded me of an updated version of The Genius.
The Genius “Lanny Poffo”, brother of the late Macho Man Randy Savage
Maybe the reason why Damien Sandow is now looking like a buffoon is to mimic the lack of utilization they did with The Genius. Or to replace Santino for comedic entertainment, since Santino announced his retirement.
If it wasn’t for what WWE was trying to do with Damien Sandow in the early going, quite honestly he wouldn’t be on this list. But at one point they saw something. He was the holder of the Money in the Bank briefcase last year. It looked like they were going to set him up to have a more dominant position in the company.
- Perhaps it was one of those times where someone sat back and was like, “Hmmm…maybe we are pushing this guy too fast.”
- It could be, “Hey we can’t have John Cena be the only man who lost when he tried to cash in his MITB opportunity against CM Punk.”
- Or Creative could have forgotten what the hell they were supposed to be doing with the storyline, which has happened more often than not.
The glorious cash in attempt by Damien Sandow on Monday Night Raw against John Cena October 2013 was one of his best matches. Damien really gave Cena a run for his money and demonstrated what he could do, not only as a talker but as a wrestler.
Then just like that, Cena summoned his Superhero powers and Damien Sandow joined Cena as a man who failed to cash in the MITB briefcase successfully. Even more so, it served to be a nail in the coffin for Damien Sandow’s hinted push.
He went from someone credible as competition for the top prize to a chump. It’s almost painful to see Sandow on the screen now–having to see him job to someone like Adam Rose, who is getting placed in the spotlight with nothing more than groupies, a dancing bunny and an extremely limited move set where his matches don’t even last a full ten minutes. When Adam Rose comes on, unless he’s beefing with someone I want to see wrestle, I tend not to even look at the match.
As my grandma would say, “Bless his heart. That’s a darn shame.”
It just adds on to the speculation on whether Sandow actually said something to put him in that position. Or is WWE taking true fan disdain for what’s going on with Sandow, and rather than giving the fans what they want (Sandow as a formidable opponent), they continue to have him play the comedic role?
Whether it’s punishment or gimmick, I’m not happy.
4. Kofi Kingston: The Cycle of S.O.S.
It’s time to upgrade Kofi, and not just his outfit. In the land of giants, he’s not the biggest guy nor the strongest guy. But he has some moves and antics that have people talking long after the matches are over with. He’s stellar in any ladder match and can hold his own when it comes to speed and endurance. He needs to add more to his arsenal–not too much. I’ll even take one to two new moves at this point.
Kofi is a prime example where it’s better to be a fantastic promo man than it is to be a great wrestler. I would be faking the funk if I were to tell you that Kofi is good on the mic. It doesn’t seem natural to him, and I feel like Kofi should just ad lib and do what feels right to him rather than sticking to the script. Yet this is one of the characteristics that has deterred WWE from taking the chance with him to put the WWE WHC belt on him and have him “not quite” returning to IC glory.
I’m waiting to see what is going to come from this group he’s in with Xavier Woods and Big E Langston. If it is marketed right (like the whole Nation of Domination spiel), it could set Kofi up to gain more spotlight as well as discovering if Kofi can be taken seriously as a heel.
Side Dreaming: I would love to see how this “New Nation” would look with Mark Henry along with him. Mark Henry has been in WWE for a very long time and this veteran could serve useful along with Xavier Woods and Big E.
This isn’t the first time WWE has dropped the ball, but quite honestly, I hope they don’t. Kofi needs a surge but until this surge comes into full fruition, he will have to stay on this list for now. (<—Update: Unfortunately, faction push fell through. Ball drop successful.)
5. Antonio Cesaro: Swiss in Shellshock
There was something about Cesaro that I liked right away. Perhaps it was his displays of strength when he would just dead lift someone. It may have been the uppercuts. Although I think the Cesaro swing is a bit silly, you do get a bit caught up on how many times he can swing someone.
When Cesaro first premiered, he was the love interest of Aksana–to the dismay of Teddy Long. Then once Aksana was no longer in the picture, he was part of Zeb Colter’s faction “The Real Americans”.
Around the beginning of the year, tension arose which lead towards a break up. Fans started to cheer Cesaro and lots of great things were going his way, including winning the Andre the Giant Invitational Battle Royal while going solo.
Just when we all were getting used to Cesaro being promoted as a face, here comes Paul Heyman. The timing of this was suspect to me for a number of reasons:
1. Paul Heyman’s client Brock Lesnar ended the Undertaker’s winning streak. People ended up talking about almost as much (if not more) than Daniel Bryan finally winning the WWE WHC.
Leaked Poster for Summer Slam 2014 (pre-order DVD)
2. It had already been leaked months in advance (unfortunately–has since been removed) that Lesnar would be at Summer Slam and that his opponent would be John Cena. Although the leaked cover didn’t show that John Cena was the champion, this match WWE deems a “money maker” wouldn’t be as impressive unless Cena was the champion.
So we have Cesaro busting out as a singles’ competitor and getting momentum. Then we have part timer Brock Lesnar about to make another appearance to build up hype for Summer Slam.
Between Cesaro hype and Lesnar dollar signs, who do we think WWE as a whole is going to be more concerned about? This is a “no brainer”. Besides, whenever Heyman was with Cesaro, there was not a moment when Paul wouldn’t talk about being the man who was “the 1 behind 21 and 1 at Wrestlemania.”
My problem is this: If Paul is supposed to be fully representing Cesaro, why would talk of Lesnar even fly out of his mouth? It’s sending the message, “Yeah, Cesaro you’re my client and all, but you see, Brock Lesnar is THE CLIENT.”
Yes, the disassociation between Cesaro and Heyman needed to happen, but they had no business building that alignment in the first place with Summer Slam right around the corner and Brock coming to collect his check… #justsaying
Would it be a good idea (just so that Cesaro’s momentum isn’t totally rained on) to throw him in the fray at Summer Slam and make the battle for the WWE WHC along with Heyman? It’d be a cool story angle–former Heyman guy, current Heyman guy (Lesnar), both on the side of the Authority, to take Cena out. Only downfall is that angle was already played with the Fatal Four Way match with Kane and Orton.
Another spoiler with this idea also depends on whether Brock is going to come out victorious at Summer Slam. What will it say if the man who ended Undertaker’s streak can’t defeat Cena? If Brock wins the title, where do things go then? Will it be a similar situation when Rock held the title and he didn’t wrestle until Wrestlemania time once again? Does WWE Creative even think anything through anymore?
Is Cesaro in as bad as shape as some of the other people I’ve mentioned? No. But if WWE doesn’t have a definite game plan now that he’s no longer with Heyman, then he will be.
Well there’s my five. I can hardly wait to see what Mr. Controversy’s 5 will be.
Mr. Controversy here and I will be speaking on my Top Five Most Underutilized Superstars in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Although there are MANY people that I feel and believe are being underutilized within this company and product, there are five specific superstars who are being kicked onto the back burner and treated like illegitimate stepchildren.
[uhn-der-yoot-l-ahyz] Spell Syllables
verb (used with object), underutilized, underutilizing.
- to fail to utilize (to put to use; turn to profitable account) fully
Let’s get to it then!
#5: Dolph Ziggler
Is he Perfection, or is he Here to Show the World? One thing is for sure: since The Show Off dropped the World Heavyweight Championship to Alberto del Rio (and suffering a legitimate concussion), WWE has been QUITE gun shy about putting another belt, let alone giving another opportunity to DZ outside of a Main Event.
MAYBE this is Ziggler’s design: get into the BEST form of his life (BEFORE the concussion), show WWE that he has the grapes to hold his own, and let them know that he is indeed ready for the next level as he has shown us all by defeating the VERY PERSON who would go on to beat him and take advantage of his concussion later on (Alberto del Rio).
For me personally, I have seen football quarterbacks suffer concussions and bounce back (some, not so much). It hurts my heart to see that a company who boasts about being THE Superpower of Sports Entertainment is wrapping Kryptonite barbed wire around the wrists, legs, and throats of some of their most talented stars after suffering a nasty injury of any kind. A concussion is HARDLY the end of the world yet for some strange reason Dolph’s world has shrunk in size, and his stature (IN MY EYES) has been miniaturized.
*LOVE how he stuck it to Batista!!!*
To date, The Show Off has another opportunity to grab some gold and add it to his list of achievements and accomplishments when he faces Michael “The Miz” Mizanin for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at this Sunday’s SummerSlam. HOPEFULLY, this is a step in the Right direction, as opposed to Zigg getting Zagged yet again.
#4: Kofi Kingston
Trouble has been in Kofi’s Paradise for some time, unfortunately…
He is an amazing talent and high flyer (THANK GOD), yet it seems that his flight has been grounded for some time. He is a consistent babyface who does not disappoint in the ring (EXCEPT for that one match with Randy Orton where the RKO finisher was botched SOOO BADLY, not even Steak Sauce and Beef Gravy could cover it up. ODDLY enough since that botch, a downward spiral for the young Ghanaian superstar has begun).
I have known WWE when it was World Wide Wresting Federation (WWWF), and I am CERTAIN that Papa Vince (Vincent J. McMahon, not to be confused with Vincent K. McMahon, Jr. the current ringleader of this circus) did NOT take too kindly to botching. Even in a botch, there are lessons to be learned. I am sure that Kofi Kingston, like all of us who are NOT PERFECT, is one who is learning and evolving with each passing day.
However, in this day and age of “wrestling to Perfection” as well as minimizing injuries in as well as outside of the ring, I understand WHY WWE is being hesitant with pushing K.K. to Main Event status.
On the same token, to see Kofi Kingston in action, SPECIFICALLY in Pay-Per-View (PPV) events that involve the element of elimination (over-the-top battle royal, Royal Rumble PPV), WWE has a VERY UNIQUE WAY of showcasing his athleticism in ways that are EXTREMELY refreshing. In these scenarios, he shows WHY he should be Main Eventing: he is creative, innovative, and that creates inspiration.
Why would WWE keep someone down who can do these amazing athletic feats? Maybe Kofi’s botching is the anchor that is keeping his ship at the dock while sending out S.O.S’s.
#3: The ENTIRE WWE Divas Division
This is going to be the SHORTEST section that I will write about, for the WWE apparently does not care about this division either.
Well, I would not COMPLETELY say that I PERSONALLY do not care about this division. I would more say…
The WWE Divas Division was birthed from the days of AMAZING TALENTS like The Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Alundra Blayze, Bull Nakano, Lita, Chyna, and Beth Phoenix.
They have been reduced to Eye Candy, WWE Total Divas (the LATEST Brain Draining Indoctrination to the already Brain Dead WWE Fan who has NO IDEA of what WWF stood for once upon a time), pinups for a calendar, and Bathroom Breaks (somewhere in The World, male AND female members of the WWE Universe are inappropriately touching themselves in said bathroom).
The WHOLE DIVISION is Completely Wrong! Why have subpar wrestlers (with the exception of Tamina Snuka and Natalie “Natalya” Neidhart) that look like they are wrestling (DESPITE decent training, I have seen TOO MANY botches)? They would rather release Kharma (Awesome Kong to my TNA fans) and focus on keeping Eve Torres around, and Summer Rae’s dancing with the Modern Disco Inferno (Fandango AKA Ticket Man) and her fake ass manly crying.
But hey, WHO CARES?
Three Words: JACK OFF MATERIAL.
#2: Damien Sandow
My senses have been dulled due to the fact that the “Intellectual Savior of the Masses” has become a Novelty Jobber.
-Dressed up as rapper D-Sizzle (got his ass whooped by R-Truth in the process)
-Dressed up as Davy Crockett (got his ass whooped by Adam Rose in the process)
-Dressed up as Abraham Lincoln (got his ass whooped by Big E Langston in the process)
-Dressed up as Indianapolis Pacers player Lance Stephenson (got his ass whooped by Big Show in the process)
-Dressed up as Cleveland Cavaliers player Lebron James (got his ass whooped by Bo Dallas in the process)
-Dressed up in what APPEARS to be a ballet onesie (sans tutu) sporting a ribbon for twirling (tagged with Fandango and got BOTH of their asses whooped by The Usos in the process)
-Dressed up in a shitty Magneto costume from the “X-Men” (in order to help in the promotion of “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) while starting crap with Hugh Jackman and Dolph Ziggler (getting his ass whooped in the process)
-Dressed up as WWE Chairman Vincent K. McMahon (which was HIL-F’N-LARIOUS, and got his ass whooped by The Great Khali in the process)
Well, you all get the idea.
And what does Damien Sandow do to express his feelings?
I DO NOT BLAME HIM: NOT ONE FUCKING BIT.
Think about it: EVER SINCE he wrestled John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship (which was Damien’s BEST MATCH EVER IN HIS LIFE in my HONEST Opinion), he suffered from what we would like to call “The John Cena Effect.”
“The John Cena Effect” is where if ANYONE who is gaining momentum to be catapulted to a higher echelon within the hallowed halls of WWE, where they wrestle John Cena and lose. From there, they get put into the Recycle Bin. Then, they are either going Mid-Card, or end up like Damien Sandow.
Listen to my words, Damien: I feel PHYSICALLY ILL seeing how you are being treated in this way.
He is an All Around AWESOME wrestler who should have held a belt 2 years ago.
Chaotic Wrestling Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
Chaotic Wrestling Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Edward G. Xtasy
FCW 15 Championship (1 time)
FCW Florida Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Titus O’Neil
IWA Hardcore Championship (1 time)
OVW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
OVW Southern Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Nova
OVW Television Championship (1 time)
Third OVW Triple Crown Champion
WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
WWC World Tag Team Championship (4 time) – with Shawn Spears (1), Chicano (1), King Tonga Jr. (1) and Abbad (1)
And ALL of those Championships he had obtained throughout his career has culminated to his winning the WWE Money in the Bank (2013 – World Heavyweight Championship contract), ONLY to drop it to John Cena in what would MOST LIKELY BE his ONLY Championship Match in WWE (IF he gets another opportunity, I would be SHOCKED based off of all of this bullshit) If he had a previous Championship Match, I do not recall.
I can very much advocate for Damien Sandow even more (You’re Welcome!), yet one other person is being EXTREMELY underutilized right now. And his name is…
#1: Antonio Cesaro
I am scratching my head AND shaking it because Antonio Cesaro was pushed to be the Future of the WWE alongside CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
Cesaro is ONE HELL OF A WRESTLER who shows and showed up EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and gives and gave his all. If the man had the Flu, I WOULD NOT KNOW because of his consistency.
Cesaro was an Aksana Guy. Then he became a Stand Alone Guy. He would then team with a former World Heavyweight Champion that is Jack Swagger (becoming a part of The Real Americans), making him a Zeb Coulter Guy. He won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 30 while declaring on the following night that he became a Paul Heyman Guy.
Now he is the Stand Alone “King of Swing” Guy who is trying to get into the Good Graces of The Authority.
While rubbing my temples in UTTER confusion, MORE confusion, and frustration, I DO recall John Cena endorsing Antonio Cesaro and THAT got my Heart Pumping!
WHAT IN THE ENTIRE FUCK HAPPENED AFTER THAT?!!
Is WWE waiting for the Right Time to push Cesaro? Is WWE halting the Cesaro Train for some ridiculously absurd reason? WHAT IS IT, WWE?!!
*The Champ Got Owned!!*
I am waiting (along with EVERYONE ELSE) for Cesaro to make it to the Promised Land and become WWE World Heavyweight Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, or WWE Champion.
FOR NOW, we will keep waiting while Cesaro is putting on Show after AWESOME SHOW. I will watch him Swing EVERY SINGLE WRESTLER from Rey Mysterio to Big Show, Super Uppercut the Mother Crap out of John Cena, Neutralize The Great Khali, and be a Cesaro Guy UNTIL AND AFTER his Time arrives.
And it seems that Miss Labels and I are NOT the only ones on the Cesaro Ocean Liner…
Be mindful, WWE:
We WILL NOT wait for too long. Citing how your product is sinking faster than an anvil in quicksand, your company’s days are numbered.
Shape Up, or We The People WILL Ship Out and move on to the Next Big Thing SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.
And now, I need to go to the bathroom…
* chuckling to self*
Well, it looks like Mr. Controversy and I are on the same page. Who are your top five? Feel free to share your thoughts and whether you are open to see even more wrestling commentary on TRB.