The WWE has a way of making great stars. It was the one thing that it did better than WCW back during the Monday Night Wars. The WCW stole WWE stars with its sizable checkbook, but the WWE was the only company that was making stars. But for every John Cena, Undertaker and Triple H, there have been several other stars on the cusp of greatness who fell flatter than Miley Cyrus post-twerking. Here’s a look at five WWE stars who were poised to become the next big thing, but the WWE didn’t know how to book them.
Like Daniel Bryan, here’s a guy who became a superstar overnight. He was so hokey and awkward that the fans loved him and starting humming his music at WrestleMania and on Monday Night Raw the night afterward. His dance caught on in the mainstream and he was the hottest character in the company for a couple of months. What did the WWE do? Nothing. They didn’t put him in any great angles. They didn’t figure out a way to parlay that buzz into star power. It’s not all the WWE’s fault. Fandango probably didn’t know how to take his character from cartoon to credibility either. What they can do: He’s a good worker with a great look. He should drop the dance angle, put on a pair of jeans and a T-Shirt and turn monster heel. The fans know who he is and at one time reacted to him, which is a feat in itself.
4. Big E. Langston
Here’s a guy who went from bodyguard to main event in a matter of three months. With enormous thighs and thick chest, Langston had a natural way of exciting the fans. He was a tough, bad guy, who looked like he could turn a lemon into lemon juice with his hands. Langston even won the Intercontinental title. But like others, he was rushed to the top and when the fans wanted to see his character continue to grow, the WWE overreacted and took the title off him. Now, he’s just another guy on the roster. What they can do: Turn him back into a bodyguard. The Authority should hire him to just stand there and be the muscle. He could be the modern-day Virgil. Let him take a beating. Over time, he could start flirting with Stephanie and eventually turn on Triple H, leading to a big-time feud between the two. Most people who feud with Triple H become big stars and Langston could be the next one.
Ryback came the closest of anyone to duplicating the Goldberg-run in WCW. He was undefeated and walloped all of his opponents. He blew up. Ryback could have been a huge boost to merchandise sales alone had the WWE figured out what to do with him. Instead, the didn’t put the title on him because they didn’t want him to interfere with the big comeback of “The Rock” to win the WWE title from CM Punk. Big mistake. Ever heard of a triple threat? Ryback should have ben in the mix at the Royal Rumble, instead of turning into jobber to the stars. The WWE literally threw away millions of dollars with their bungled Ryback angle. What they can do: Time to relaunch Ryback. Same angle. Have him return and just beat a bunch of guys week after week leading up to Wrestlemania where he defeats someone and solidifies his status as a top guy. Ryback over Mark Henry at Mania?
2. The Miz
Unlike the other guys on this list, the WWE has not given up on the Miz. They just don’t know how to use him. Miz has been a good guy, bad guy, WWE champion, dark match PPV opener and everything in the middle. What they can do: The Miz needs to be a heel. He needs to wear more clothes. He needs have a major feud with a good guy and beat the good guy in the end. He needs to cream somebody like Earthquake did to Hulk Hogan on Superstars of Wrestling. No one believes in the Miz because he’s never beaten anyone. Have him do a lights out job, sneak attack on Randy Orton and we’ll see how seriously the fans start to take him.
1. The Big Show
Thank goodness Triple H wasn’t around when Andre The Giant was a rising star. Andre would have been jobbing to Pat Patterson and Jose Estrada. The Big Show is larger than Andre The Giant, yet he’s treated and booked like he’s a luchador. The Big Show has participated in some of the stupidest matches in history, wrestling Akebono in a fake sumo match, and then boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a worked boxing match. Big Show is just another guy on the roster, slightly more important on the card than Mark Henry. The Big Show should have been this generation’s Andre The Giant, instead he’s a big goof who works the B-show main event when three other top guys are injured. What they can do: He needs to freak out and snap. They don’t have Jim Ross anymore to beat up, but Show needs to sneak attack someone else who is helpless. Maybe Michael Cole (hopefully the fans won’t cheer). The fans need to see Show as an evil, mean coward. The fans have stopped caring about his character. Let’s remind the fans that he’s not just another guy. He’s a giant who should be booked as one. He also needs to get rid of that ridiculous entrance music. Anything would be better.