Five most misused WWE stars

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Five most misused WWE stars

Cesaro is one of the best wrestlers in the entire world | Photo by: WWE.com

Cesaro is one of the best wrestlers in the entire world | Photo by: WWE.com

Cesaro is one of the best wrestlers in the entire world | Photo by: WWE.com

Cesaro is one of the best wrestlers in the entire world | Photo by: WWE.com

Matthew Rago, Sports Editor

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Luke Harper

At best, WWE’s recent treatment of Luke Harper has been unprofessional. At worst, it has been outright malicious.

Harper, whose journey to the WWE was chronicled in a WWE-sponsored documentary, has been transparent about his love for wrestling. So when he requested his release from WWE earlier this year, it came as quite a surprise to most wrestling fans. However, rather than allow Harper to do what was best for himself and his family, WWE denied his request, tethering him to the company and handicapping him during the prime years of his career.

The thing is, Harper’s position at the bottom of the WWE totem pole is underserved. He may not be a main event talent, but he has absolutely earned consistent television time. His partnership with Erick Rowan, despite WWE Creative saddling the two with an underwhelming gimmick, was an excellent addition to a struggling tag team division. The two exhibited a chemistry that felt unsettlingly authentic. WWE’s misuse of Harper is primarily an indictment on their unwillingness to invest in the tag team division rather than a demerit on Harper’s abilities.

Cesaro

Cesaro is a main event talent masquerading as a midcarder. 

Unlike Harper, Cesaro receives consistent television time. However, it seems that Cesaro has settled into an upper-midcard jobbing role, a responsibility that is simply beneath him.

To be fair, “The Swiss Superman” is severely limited in the promo department. However, this is an easy obstacle to overcome should WWE choose to partner him with a manager. Imagine Cesaro competing against the likes of Roman Reigns. Imagine him using his ethereal strength to go toe-to-toe with Brock Lesnar. Imagine the creative counters and transitions that Cesaro and Seth Rollins can come up with. 

Most importantly though, fans have been clamoring for Cesaro’s promotion to the main event scene for quite some time. The storyline itself would be exceptional, potentially rivaling “Kofimania” in fan support. Remember when Cesaro tore the roof off of the Allstate Arena when he competed against John Cena? It’s about time that WWE pulls the trigger on an elite talent rather than burying him in the midcard.

Buddy Murphy

For a brief moment, it seemed that WWE’s “Best Kept Secret” was about to break out. As the byproduct of a happy accident that saw him wandering in the background of a pre-taped, backstage segment, Murphy was shoehorned into the Daniel Bryan-Roman Reigns storyline, thus affording him his first consistent television time since his promotion from 205 Live. Murphy seized the opportunity, igniting the crowd with both his aerial and striking abilities. 

After defeating Bryan, it seemed inevitable that a push was in Murphy’s immediate future. Instead, he bowed out of the King of the Ring tournament in the first round and has been used sparingly since.  

WWE is sabotaging Murphy in the same way they wasted Neville. Both are undersized talents with a great look and phenomenal in-ring skills. Both exhibit exceptional in-ring psychology to complement scarcely rivaled aerial repertoires. Unfortunately, in order for Neville to receive the spotlight he deserved, he had to sit out the remainder of his WWE contract before defecting to a rival promotion. Hopefully, WWE doesn’t make the same mistake with Murphy. 

Bo Dallas

It’s easy to forget how superb Bo Dallas’s character work was back in NXT. Adopting a deluded gimmick that saw Dallas act as a role model despite audible vitriol spewed in his direction, Dallas, then NXT Champion, helped build NXT into the powerhouse brand it is today. Upon promotion to the main roster, it was presumed that Dallas would at the very least assume a midcard position, particularly after Dallas’s main roster run began with a 17-match winning streak. However, instead of incorporating Dallas’s first loss into a larger storyline, they booked him to lose a random match to undercarder R-Truth.

Dallas has since been used primarily as comic relief, save for a brief spell as Tag Team Champion alongside Curtis Axel. It’s a shame too because Dallas has upper echelon wrestling and promo abilities. Should WWE ever decide to feature Dallas as a serious competitor, they have a readymade storyline intact considering Bray Wyatt is his real-life brother.

Asuka

Like Cesaro, Asuka deserves an indefinite role in the main event scene. Unfortunately, it seems that, aside from Alexa Bliss, no competitor in the women’s division outside of the Four Horsewomen has been able to consistently penetrate the women’s title picture. 

Despite currently holding the Women’s Tag Team Championships, it feels like Asuka’s role in the tag team division has been a relegation. Once considered the most dangerous female competitor on the main roster, the aura surrounding Asuka was diminished following a submission defeat at Wrestlemania to Charlotte Flair, prematurely ending her vaunted undefeated streak. Since then, Asuka is yet to fully recover, even playing fourth string in the three-way feud between Flair, Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey while she held the Smackdown Women’s Championship. 

WWE needs to make a concerted effort to restore Asuka’s mystique. She is one of the most capable strikers and submission specialists in the history of WWE and should be showcased as such. Asuka should be presented as an unbeatable, dominant force on par with Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch. Instead, she’s treading water in the tag team division as her peers prove themselves atop the card.

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