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I said it in my last post that there’d be a week of Top 5 lists, and I’m going to stick to my word.  Today will be a special Top 5, in that it’s actually a Top 10!  Now, those of you who have read at least one of my previous posts knows that I sometimes have a beef with the WWE Creative staff.  Sometimes it’s about the terrible storylines, or the way good storylines take bad turns, or how a match is booked.  But, I think, the most common gripe I have with them is the mismanagement of some of the more talented competitors in their company.  So what better way to kick off Top 5 Week with the Top 10 Mismanaged Talents!  I’ll go in ascending order.

10. DJ Gabriel – There are two reasons he’s this low on the list.  #1 – He was barely given a chance to show his in-ring talent, and #2 – everyone else on the list has been even more royally screwed by Creative.  At first, I wasn’t very big on Gabriel.  He looked like another one of those muscleheads who always get the big pushes and title reigns simply because of their look and not because of their in-ring talent or mic skills.  But as the weeks went by, I saw a lot of potential in this guy.  He could move around the ring well, he had a pretty decent arsenal of moves at his disposal, and he had a pretty cool finisher.  Sure, he had kind of a lame gimmick, but at least he had Alicia Fox to back him up.  Ever since he lost a couple of matches, he’s disappeared from ECW TV.  I’m disappointed.  Just because a new guy loses a match or two is no reason to take him off TV.  Yes, ECW is a breeding ground for new talent, and he might have just gotten pushed to the side, but there’s no reason to abandon someone.  Of course, with Alicia Fox now a part of Smackdown, who knows what lies in store for Gabriel.  Hopefully he’ll go back to FCW to develop a better character, and he’ll get another shot.

9. Dolph Ziggler – The former member of the Spirit Squad got a makeover in developmental and was repackaged as a smug, self-centered, egotistical guy who wants to make sure everybody knows his silly name.  He’s down here for the same reasons Gabriel is this low.  He barely got a chance to showcase his abilities before getting tossed into the jobber pile.  It’s a shame, too, because I think Nick Nemeth (Dolph’s real name) has an absolute ton of potential to be a great wrestler, perhaps even a world champion if WWE Creative would give him a chance (and a better name).  I’ve said before that he reminds me a lot of Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig, in mannerisms, look, and in-ring style.  Ziggler has probably more potential than anyone else on this list, but he was screwed before he ever got in the ring.  He needs to drop the silly name and just be Nick Nemeth.  Maybe he’ll get a new chance on Smackdown.  Hell, he beat MVP in MVP’s last match on Smackdown.  That could be a springboard for him.  Let’s hope it is.

8. Hawkins & Ryder – Yes, I’m putting a tag team in one slot.  Why?  Because these guys should never be separated.  As the Major Brothers, they were an up-and-coming tag team with a lot of chemistry and a pretty good work ethic.  As Hawkins and Ryder, they did nothing of consequence at all.  As soon as they became the Edgeheads, they disappeared off the map, surfacing only to win tag gold once, then disappear again until they lost the titles to Primo and Carlito.  And now they’re on different brands.  A shame, because if WWE Creative gave a shit about tag teams, these guys could have been perenially at the top of the heap, along with another tag team I’ll mention later on.  As it stands now, it looks like both will be going back to FCW or released very soon.  Too bad for them.

7. Hurricane Helms – His comeback from a yearlong hiatus/rehab for serious neck surgery was squandered when he lost a match for the US Title against Shelton Benjamin a couple of months ago.  Where’d he go?  Helms was one of the most prominent Cruiserweight wrestlers WWE had ever had.  He held the now-defunct Cruiserweight Title for over a year.  That’s means that he’s the longest reigning champion in recent history.  And he disappered after one loss.  There’s a problem right there.  Creative gives these returning wrestlers a nice push right from the start, and let them win for about a month.  Then they put them against the secondary champion, they lose, and are rarely ever heard from again.  It’s a shame, too, because Helms is definitely one of the most talented guys on the roster, and he’s getting short-changed because he’s not a 270 pound monster.  They really need to bring back the Cruiserweight title.  Maybe put it on ECW.  Or create something akin to the X Division title in TNA.  Something anyone can compete for, but you have to be damned good at what you do.  So guys like Batista would never win it.  And Helms should hold that one for a year or so as well.  But he won’t.

6. Jimmy Wang Yang – This guy is one of the most overly talented wrestlers of our current generation.  And his talent is being squandered because of a stupid gimmick and a total lack of a push in any way, shape, or form.  He should have been a Cruiserweight champion when the title was still around.  He should have won tag gold with Shannon Moore, who’s long gone from the company.  He’s been stuck at jobber status ever since Moore was released, and Creative is showing no signs of giving him another push.  Which is an utter travesty.  If he left WWE and went anywhere else, he’d be instant world champ material.  But here, he’s stuck at the bottom of the barrel until someone puts him out of his misery.

5. Jesse & Festus – I mentioned in my Supplemental Draft recap that both of these guys are kind of screwed now that they’re on different brands.  I’ve also said that they’re both very talented, and Jesse (real name Terry Gordy Jr.) has the potential to be a great in the business.  But WWE stuck him with a strange gimmick that was over with the crowd until they disappeared once the tag team division became entirely about MizMo and the Colons.  Festus is saddled with a gimmick that will limit him forever, and Jesse is screwed now, because Creative will almost never give a guy like him a great push.  Know why they won’t give him a push?  Because he doesn’t look like Vince McMahon’s prototypical champion.  You know: the 270 pound “carved-out-of-granite” musclehead with a limited moveset and even MORE limited mic skills.  Jesse’s got all the skills to go really far in this business, but in WWE-ville, he’s just fodder for the heels.

4. Ron “R-Truth” Killings – The same situation Hurricane Helms got himself into when he first returned happened to Killings just a few months prior.  Now that I think about it, Killings should be a little lower on the list because he’s still appearing on TV on a semi-regular basis, and still getting over like crazy.  But he should have beaten Benjamin for the US Title when he had the chance.  Now he’s stuck in semi-jobber/lower midcard status, and probably will be until he’s released again.  Which is, again, a shame, because Killings is a former NWA World Champion.  We all know he’s supremely talented.  But he never gets a chance to show it off because he’s stuck in the face role, getting his ass kicked every week and only getting to show off about three cool moves in his much larger arsenal.  He’ll never be a world champion in WWE.  He should go somewhere else.

3. Jamie Noble – James Gibson is a former ROH World Champion.  That’s got to be in the Top 5 as far as prestigious World Championships go.  He competed in ROH during its younger days, when wrestlers were wrestlers and if a match didn’t go 10-15 minutes, people were angry.  I’m really speculating, because I don’t know that much about ROH.  I’m trying, though.  But back to my point.  Jamie Noble is an extremely talented wrestler.  He’s a very focused, intense guy in the ring, and he can show you how damn good he is when he’s facing someone of similar size getting a similar amount of push.  Which is to say, no push whatsoever.  What WWE needs to do is to just let him fight a couple of other cruiserweights for the Cruiserweight title that they NEED to bring back.  Say, Noble, Helms, and my #2 pick.  And maybe one other guy to make it fun.  Like Evan Bourne, or Jesse.  And let those four feud over the title.  You’d have endless amounts of fun watching these guys do it all in the ring.  But we all know WWE Creative won’t give its smaller wresters a fair shake except for the extremely lucky few who manage to get so over with the crowds that there’s no choice but to give them a strong push.  Noble probably won’t ever get another push, which is a shame.  I wonder if he’d go back to ROH if he gets released…

2. Chavo Guerrero – A former Cruiserweight, Tag, and ECW champion is being humiliated every week by his aunt Vickie.  He hasn’t been in a competitive match since last year, back when he won the ECW title from CM Punk…or was it 2007?  I forget.  It’s embarassing how far his stock has fallen since his great days with Eddie, his awesome matches with Rey Mysterio, and his short time as ECW champion.  I think his current role in the company has destroyed any chance he’ll ever get a true push again in WWE.  The only way he can salvage his career is if they bring back the Cruiserweight title and let him and a few other guys fight for it.  Other than that, I don’t see much for Chavo to look forward to in the coming months.

And the #1 most mismanaged talent in WWE is…………

Christian!  Come on, you had to know this was coming.  Yes, he’s only been back for a few months.  But Christian’s position in WWE has been so far beneath his true potential for years, ever since he and Edge went solo.  He never got a decent push or a good break.  He never got a chance to really show the crowds how talented he was.  He got that in TNA, also being a former NWA World Champion.  In fact, he was the last NWA World Champion in TNA before NWA and TNA severed ties.  That’s got to count for something.  With six days before Backlash, I’m hoping Christian will disappear off this list, because he deserves the ECW title so very much more than anyone else on the roster.  Hell, he deserves a world title more than anyone else.  Here’s hoping WWE Creative finally fix the mistake they made back when they had Christian lose to Jack Swagger a few weeks ago and give Christian his first World Championship in WWE.  I truly hope he wins, because if he doesn’t, he should just leave now and go to a company that appreciates him for his talent and not his body size.

And before I go, I just have four more words to say: Bobby Lashley in TNA.

That is all.  See you tomorrow for another list, because it’s Top 5 Week!

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