Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the WWE doesn’t utilize every Superstar well.
It’s bound to happen at some point. They can’t properly push everyone on their roster, simply because there aren’t enough upper-card spots for them to do so. Still, that doesn’t totally absolve them from clearly failing to get the most out of their performers.
We’re only three months into 2018, so many things can still change, but these five WWE Superstars deserve to be pushed a lot more than they are.
When vignettes started airing for Hideo Itami’s 205 Live debut, I, for one, liked the move. It was clear that, considering his lack of English-speaking skills and his injury history, he wasn’t going to get much of an opportunity on the main roster. Putting him with the cruiserweights seemed like it would give him a chance to look like a true threat.
Before he appeared on 205 Live this past Tuesday in a tag team with Akira Tozawa, it had been one whole month since Itami’s last appearance on WWE television. Since the start of 2018, he has only been on television three times, and one of those matches was a first-round loss in the Cruiserweight Championship tournament to Roderick Strong. Needless to say, the WWE hasn’t exactly made booking Itami strongly a priority.
Itami is arguably one of the best strikers and technicians in the WWE today, and his Go To Sleep finishing move is over with the fans. He’s not going to be a WWE Champion or anything, but a run with the Cruiserweight title would be nice.
Remember when Breezango was one of the hottest acts SmackDown LIVE had to offer? That seems like forever ago, now, doesn’t it?
A while back, Fandango and Tyler Breeze were winning over the fans with their comedic “Fashion Files” segments. Now, the flamboyant duo has seemingly disappeared. They have only appeared on TV twice since the new year started. To make matters worse, they’ve only won two matches in the past seven months. Both wrestlers are highly capable of entertaining the fans and putting on a solid match in the ring, so why they’ve been sitting on the shelf for a while is anyone’s guess.
Comedy will forever have its place in wrestling, and Breezango does it well. SmackDown LIVE already has The New Day to provide its audience with yucks, so maybe a trade to RAW would give Breezango a chance to shine.
Gran Metalik was one of the stars of the Cruiserweight Classic in 2016, defeating the likes of Tajiri, Akiri Tozawa and Zack Sabre Jr. en route to a championship match. Since then, though, he hasn’t been able to showcase his skills in a meaningful way.
Sure, Metalik’s win-loss record has been impressive in WWE. In fact, the luchador has won nine of his last 10 matches. However, most of his matches have very little meaning. Six of his last 10 matches have been tag team matches that were thrown together with no real story behind them. It seems as though WWE is planning on putting him in a stable with fellow masked Superstars Kalisto and Lince Dorado, but they aren’t doing anything with it.
The former Máscara Dorada is one of the most athletic wrestlers on WWE’s roster, and he has the potential to become a valuable part of the Cruiserweight division. So far, though it seems like Vince McMahon and Co. have very little in store for El Rey de las Cuerdas.
Things were looking up for Tye Dillinger when he put on a clinic in a United States Championship match with Baron Corbin and A.J. Styles at Hell in a Cell in October. After years of toiling in WWE’s developmental system, he was finally going to have a chance to shine.
Since that match, Dillinger has not won a singles match on TV. The only matches that he has won since then have been a dark six-man tag team match and two dark matches against Mike Kanellis. He lost to Jinder Mahal in the first round of the United States Championship tournament in December, and was unable to participate in the Royal Rumble after Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens attacked him backstage. The only real highlight he has had since his United States title shot was when he was named the No. 10 Superstar on SmackDown LIVE‘s “Top 10” list. Get it, because his nickname is the Perfect 10? Needless to say, that ranking killed any credibility that list had, if it had any to begin with.
Dillinger is a very likable character. He has a cool entrance, a fun chant and is good at garnering sympathy from fans in between the ropes. Much like WWE has done with the likes of fellow white-meat babyfaces Sami Zayn and Bayley, though, he hasn’t been given the chance to show it.
Raise your hand if you still remembered that Mike Kanellis was still on the WWE roster.
Sure, his wife, Maria, is sidelined due to pregnancy, which has affected his gimmick quite a bit. However, WWE has done basically nothing with Kanellis since his wife disappeared. The last match that the former Mike Bennett had on SmackDown LIVE was a dark match in December of last year. He hasn’t even been on TV since he lost to Bobby Roode in October!
Sure, Kanellis’ ceiling is limited due to his cheesy gimmick. But it’s hard to argue that the WWE isn’t underutilizing him when he literally never wrestles.