Pro Wrestling

10 WWE Superstars Who Should Be Happy 2015 Is Over Source:

WWE had an up and down year these past twelve months, and as a result, a lot of WWE Superstars didn’t have the best of times. But with a new year comes new hope, and we’ve assembled a list of Superstars who didn’t have the greatest 2015, and offered them hope that maybe things won’t be quite as bad going forward.

10. Stardust

The year did not go well for WWE’s resident comic super-villain, although that’s actually how it should go when you’re a bad guy. Stardust broke up with his tag team partner and brother Goldust early in the year, but their desire to face each other at WrestleMania ended up getting cancelled after the two had a bad match at Fastlane. Over the summer, Stardust feuded with actor Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen on the CW show Arrow, but was foiled in his attempts to bring down the TV superhero. A feud with Cesaro was cut short before it could begin due to the Swiss Superman’s injury, and an attempted alliance with The Ascension didn’t exactly pan out well for the Prince of Dark Matter. To top things off, he was also prevented from stealing Christmas on a holiday edition of Smackdown. And on a more personal level, his father, the legendary Dusty Rhodes, passed away unexpectedly during the summer. But, like all good comic villains, Stardust can look forward to a New Year, new plots, and new opportunities to get everything he ever wanted. Source:

9. Wade Barrett

A combination of injuries and the curse of winning King of the Ring plagued Wade Barrett in the last year. After twisting in the wind for a long time, his ascension as King seemed like an opportunity for a renewed push for the native of England, but the victories which earned him the crown didn’t continue after it was placed on his head. A brief partnership with Stardust saw the temporarily Cosmic King take the fall against the team of Neville and Stephen Amell at SummerSlam, after which Barrett disappeared to film a movie role. Upon his return and a partnership with Sheamus (which eventually evolved into the League of Nations), Barrett suffered a mysterious injury to end the year which had prevented him from doing anything physical for weeks. For the King of Bad News, the New Year has to be better, because it would be hard for it to be much worse. Source:

8. The Dudley Boyz

After a surprising and long-awaited return to WWE, The Dudley Boyz didn’t actually find much success. Instantly propelled into a feud with WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day, Bubba Ray and D’von came up short on multiple occasions, often succeeding at putting members of The New Day through tables, but ultimately never managing to wrest away the titles, thanks to the underhanded tactics of the champions. A late year feud with The Wyatt Family saw the former ECW members bring in fellow alumni Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno to help even the odds and make things a little more hardcore, but the strength of the Family was too much, as they dominated The Dudleyz at every turn, winning every single match and often leaving Team ECW completely wiped out. The Dudleyz time is not over yet, however, and as long as they have tables, they have a fighting chance against any team in WWE. Source:

7. Roman Reigns

If there was ever a Superstar who kind of wished that he could have just skipped right to the end of 2015, it would have to be Roman Reigns. While he was ultimately crowned WWE World Heavyweight Champion in December, he paid a high price to get to that position. His win at the Royal Rumble was anything but a triumphant moment, as unhappy fans rained down boos upon his head, unwilling to embrace the man who was supposedly a future star. The poor reactions ultimately cost Reigns the WWE World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania, as a last-minute booking decision saw the title go to Seth Rollins instead, nullifying a nearly year-long build that had been expected to make Reigns the conquering hero. Reigns’ path back to the title was long and arduous, as an extended feud with Bray Wyatt saw Reigns emerge victorious, but fans were still unwilling to budge. When WWE finally pulled the trigger on Reigns, they immediately pulled the rug out from under him, as Reigns was the victim of yet another Money in the Bank cash-in, the second one he’d been involved in that year. While fan opinions slowly reversed course and Reigns re-gained the title to end the year, the months that led up to his big moment were ones that he’d probably rather forget. Source:

6. Alberto Del Rio

Many figured it was only a matter of time before Alberto Del Rio made his WWE return. Sure, he was on fire as a character in Lucha Underground, but WWE had the money and the continued desire to push someone as a new Latino star. And when he returned at Hell in a Cell, it was to a great ovation, as he defeated John Cena to become United States Champion. And it was pretty much all downhill from there. Del Rio was inexplicably paired with Zeb Colter, as the two began talking about Mexamerica, a vague concept of a country that consisted solely of the two of them and seemed vaguely racist, but was never well-explained enough to get any sort of crowd reaction. The fans quickly lost interest in Del Rio, and he responded by wrestling terrible matches where it appeared like he didn’t even care about putting on a show. To make matters worse, Del Rio was first trapped in a feud with non-factor Jack Swagger, and then locked into the dismal League of Nations stable, which seems to exist only to give Roman Reigns people to beat up. Del Rio’s abbreviated 2015 was one full of disappointment, but with WWE still trying to get a better toehold with Latino fans, Del Rio’s time should come sooner rather than later. Source:

5. Paige

Michael Cole may incessantly repeat that “they” say that Paige started the Divas Revolution, and “they” would be correct, but as a reward for her hard work, Paige has received…a whole lot of losses. Early in the year, once AJ Lee left after WrestleMania, she was basically the only face in the division, vainly attempting to rally the rest of the women against the screen-dominating Bella Twins while being wasted as one of the best female wrestlers on the roster at a time where the Divas division was still a joke. Normally, you’d think the payoff would be Paige ultimately finding a team to back her in her fight, but instead, Stephanie McMahon stepped in and basically handed Paige some allies in NXT graduates Charlotte and Becky Lynch, all in the name of supposedly creating balance. Paige took a backseat to Charlotte in her group, leading to resentment that caused her to break away, insulting the memory of Charlotte’s dead brother in the process. Even going solo didn’t help her, as Paige basically lost nearly every big match she was involved in, never realized her goal of regaining the Divas title, and ends 2015 in an odd place, her feud with Charlotte basically over and no apparent feud on the horizon. Source:

4. Rusev

After Rusev burst onto the scene and was undefeated for much of 2014, a reversal of fortune was bound to happen. However, Rusev’s stock basically crashed into the ground in 2014, and he has yet to fully recover. After John Cena ended his unbeaten streak and reign as United States champion at WrestleMania, Rusev would go on a lengthy losing streak, including two rematches against Cena on Pay Per View. In the process, he also abandoned his manager, Lana, due to believing she was becoming distracted by her rising popularity. This led in to one of the dumbest feuds of the year, and possibly ever, as Lana paired up with Dolph Ziggler, while Summer Rae attached herself to Rusev, and the four engaged in a terrible, bad soap opera-esque feud which revolved around whether or not Summer Rae was also sleeping with Ziggler behind Rusev’s back. Frankly, the less said about it the better. Rusev and Lana reconciled after news of their real-life engagement was revealed on TMZ and WWE decided to make it part of the on-screen product, but since Rusev joined the League of Nations, Lana has been conspicuous by her absence at ringside, and Rusev’s fortunes in terms of in-ring success still have not reversed course. Source:

3. Sami Zayn

For Sami Zayn, 2014 was a no-good, very bad year. After finally reaching the top of the mountain and becoming NXT Champion at the end of 2014, Zayn was immediately betrayed by his best friend Kevin Owens, who went on to destroy Zayn in two straight matches at TakeOver events to take away the title which Zayn had fought so hard for. While still struggling to win back the title from Owens, Zayn got an opportunity to make an appearance on Raw in the John Cena US Open Challenge, which suggested he might be making the leap to the main roster full time. Unfortunately, during that match, Zayn severely injured his shoulder, losing the match and any chance of active competition for much of the rest of the year. Zayn finally returned at NXT TakeOver: UK in December, but as footage which aired on the Breaking Ground program on the WWE Network showed, returning to NXT instead of the main roster seemed like a step back for Zayn’s career. Hopefully, with a clean bill of health, Zayn can find his way back to the big stage in 2016.;jsessionid=A43A8A2B0C38599EA7F1520CCE9F60AB?r40_r1_r1:page=3 Source:

2. Cesaro

Cesaro gets a lot of credit for repeatedly bouncing back in 2015, but boy, was there a lot of stuff that he had to bounce back from. Coming into the year with basically no direction, Cesaro ended up in an enhancement tag team with Tyson Kidd. After they managed to work their way into a better position and earning a run as WWE Tag Team champions, a serious neck injury to Kidd destroyed all their momentum and sent Cesaro back to the uncertain ranks of singles wrestling. His future was even less certain after Vince McMahon had publicly called him out for “missing something” during a live episode of the Stone Cold Podcast which aired immediately after Raw on the WWE Network. The fans united behind Cesaro over the summer, leading to the birth of the Cesaro Section, only to see the Swiss Superman used as a punching bag for The Big Show, who was in the middle of a minor push designed to prepare Show for a match with Brock Lesnar at an MSG house show that would air on the Network. Cesaro persevered, putting on spectacular TV matches with John Cena and Roman Reigns, among others, but finished out 2015 on the injured list after suffering a shoulder injury just before Survivor Series. Hopefully, better things will be ahead for Cesaro in the New Year. Source:

1. Bray Wyatt

Bray Wyatt was in a lot of high profile feuds in 2015. Unfortunately, he lost nearly every single one of them. A WrestleMania feud with The Undertaker, with no Streak on the line and an opportunity to turn Wyatt into the new massive supernatural phenom for the future of WWE, instead say Wyatt take a clean pin. A post-Mania feud with Ryback saw Wyatt get a victory, but with no real consequences, and in fact Ryback would win the Intercontinental title two weeks after losing to Wyatt. The summer saw Wyatt slowly reunite his Family for an extended feud with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, where Wyatt got some early victories, but was ultimately just a stepping stone for Reigns on his journey towards the WWE World Heavyweight title. In a final indignity, The Wyatt Family was utterly dominated by Undertaker and Kane in a Survivor Series feud, despite holding a massive numerical advantage and Wyatt’s claimed that he had stolen the powers of both men. The Family did close out the year by completely destroying a team of former ECW wrestlers on a regular basis, but the feud did little to undo the massive damage done to Wyatt’s credibility as the self-proclaimed “New Face of Fear” in 2015. Source:
Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.