Best of WWE - The year featured some of the better moments in the history of sports entertainment, but there were wrestlers in the WWE that made 2011 stink a little bit. Below are five Superstars that didn’t exactly set the world on fire:
5. Triple H - Surely, the man who’s brought fans up their feet with his match against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 27 is on this list? Sadly, yes, especially when he’s returned to the WWE as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. There’s really nothing wrong with Mr. Levesque hawking up TV time as an authority figure, but his latest outing as an onscreen character prevented him from being the Cerebral Assassin we all know and love (or hate).
At worst, Triple H as COO was booked incorrectly. His storylines, regardless of how banal and retarded they are (in particular his ongoing feud with a guy who’s also part on this list), continue to be the spotlight of every RAW show.
There is no escape even if you’re a Smackdown! viewer because replays of what happened to him on RAW will be shown over there. As if you can’t get enough of his posturing as a mild-mannered and rational company official, something that Triple H really isn’t.
The biggest fault here, however, is Triple H making a bitch out of CM Punk. I wouldn’t go far as to say Punk was buried, but the manner in which Mr. Levesque was booked to face the hottest thing in the company is just something that textbook Triple H will do. By defeating Punk at their Night of Champions encounter, Triple H needlessly extinguished the momentum Punk has built up starting with his scintillating 6/27 RAW promo. And even if the Straight Edge Superstar recovered well enough to actually get the belt back from Alberto del Rio at Survivor Series, he had to take an unnecessary fall to Triple H to get where he is. So that when the Best in the World becomes, well, the best in the world, there’s always that one loss in his record that’ll make
4. John Morrison – It was like eons ago when JoMo pulled off that amazing recovery from the brink of elimination at Royal Rumble, in which Rob McNicol from The Sun referred to as “The Spot of the Decade.” He then performed an equally amazing move when he clung to the bottom rope using his feet as leverage when his whole body was almost on the ground during the RAW Rumble Match the next day. Next thing you know, he’s participating in the match for the WWE Championship against John Cena and the Miz at Extreme Rules.
Fast forward to the last month of the year, John Morrison has been “future endeavored” by the company.
Such a fall from grace by the Shaman of Sexy can be attributed to the injury he incurred in the middle of the year during a program against R Truth. He was about to fulfill the promise he showcased as Johnny Nitro as part of MNM during his first few years in the WWE.
For all it’s worth, Morrison is a victim of fate. If he wasn’t injured during his program against Truth, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s pushed deeper to the main event. His physical abilities and creative style – given his parkour training – creates a new level of excitement in his matches, much to the delight of fans. Alas, we’ll have to wait longer before Morrison gets to realize his potential.
3. Jack Swagger – This past week on RAW, the All-American American just jobbed to Zack Ryder, who was fighting for a spot on TV when Swagger was World Heavyweight Champion a year ago. It’s been the nth time since Swagger was made to look weak against inferior competition since he was vying for Vicky Guerrero’s attention, much to Dolph Ziggler’s chagrin.
As talented and hardworking a professional wrestler Swagger is, something just doesn’t add up. Sure, he’s terrible on the mic (not much has changed since his watershed “Tommy Who” promo), but considered as one of the more underrated Superstars in the roster, as far as wrestling is concerned, Swagger deserves more than this.
His erratic booking this year, starting as Michael Cole’s personal trainer against Jerry Lawler for this Wrestlemania match before being thrown to the midcard wolves, prevents Swagger from showing off his actual skills on a consistent booking. But when given the ball to run with, such as winning the belt in 2010, he has yet to make people care about his matches. At the moment, Vicky Guerrero can only do so much from the sidelines as a mouthpiece, and Swagger seems to have run out of charisma to make his situation any better. Here’s hoping that Swagger’s mic work matches his in-ring abilities in the near future.
2. Kevin Nash - Big Sexy’s appearance is one of the surprise entries in this year’s Royal Rumble and the capacity crowd seems to agree. The music from his main event years as Diesel in WWF brought back memories of guys on the receiving end of a Jacknife Powerbomb courtesy of Big Daddy Cool. Nash has brought so much to fans over the years as part of the New World Order in WCW and the Main Event Mafia in TNA that it is difficult not to cheer for the guy and see him succeed.
Unfortunately, we are witnessing Kevin Nash’s crashing and burning upon his return to the WWE.
For all his size and strength in the ring, Nash’s real intangible is his ability to talk his way to any promo. His first time on the mic in his return the 8/15 episode of RAW is foreboding to what has become the norm for Big Daddy Cool. People may attribute his unimpressive mic work to his time away from TV and unfortunately having to share the stage with CM Punk, arguably the best talker in the industry today. But as more RAW episodes have gone by, it was evident that all the magic Nash had on the mic is gone. Stumbling word after word, Kevin Nash has become a shell of his former self.
Worse, WWE has placed Nash in a program with Triple H, who is shelved after being hit by a sledgehammer twice by Big Sexy. You know what that means – more mic time for Nash.
1. Sin Cara – No one in WWE has received so much hype that Sin Cara has received even before stepping foot in the squared circle and with good reason.
To maintain the popularity of WWE in Mexico, it was necessary for the company to hire more luchadors to fill in the void that Rey Mysterio will soon leave once injuries eventually take their toll on his body. Alberto del Rio is a great addition in the roster to play the cocky heel WWE is looking for at the moment. Sin Cara is believed to the yang to del Rio’s ying – an athletic high-flyer in the mold of the aforementioned Mysterio that should captivate fans with his aerial assaults.
Ultimately, his stint in the world’s biggest professional wrestling promotion is similar to how he got injured at Survivor Series – it was a jump that landed in an awkward fashion.
Similar with Nash, Sin Cara’s miscues was foreshadowed by his botched entrance jump to the ring in his debut on RAW. Though he showed flashes of brilliance in some of his matches since then – even conducted in poor visibility due to the predominant blue lighting – and sold an amount of merchandise, Sin Cara failed to meet company expectations since bringing him overseas. Aside from his botched moves, he rubbed people backstage the wrong way, starting with how his matches in Mexico were worked shoots. Not to mention, Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde, the original performer behind the Cara mask, was suspended for violating the WWE Wellness Policy after receiving an injection for his ailing knee.
With the mixture of bad attitude and worse luck, it’s difficult to deny Sin Cara as the biggest disappointment of 2011.
View more of the Best of WWE 2011 – RAW and Smackdown!