Land of Opportunity? 3 Smackdown Live Stars Who Have Languished in 2017


Remember back to the heady days of the brand split when Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon claimed that Smackdown Live would be the land of opportunity? While the focus of the SD main event scene places the GM and Commissioner on our screens consistently it’s fair to say that several superstars have been languishing this year…and I’m going to take a look at three of those stars now:

Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler

I feel like Dolph Ziggler encapsulates these types of lists. This naturally gifted superstar has all of the physical attributes, has a charisma on the microphone and he has main event level experience…yet he still seems to be languishing.

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Dolph himself recently spoke on the Edge & Christian podcast on how he is more than aware of his ‘NXT gatekeeper’ role on Smackdown. This isn’t the worst position in the world to have, it is a clear indication that the company know you’re a ‘good hand’ and can help transition talent from NXT into the main roster smoothly, much like Chris Jericho before him. The real issue for Dolph is that he will forever be tarred with the moniker of ‘bridesmaid never the bride.’ Ziggler’s career heights such as cashing in MITB after Wrestlemania 29, beating John Cena in a ladder match and essentially ‘eliminating’ the Authority are not era defining and are sparsely remembered by most aside from the most ardent fans of the ‘show stealer.’ It’s a shame because if you look at where Cody Rhodes is right now couldn’t that just as easily be Dolph? Maybe it is time to take the independent route.

Becky Lynch

Becky Lynch

‘The Four Horsewoman Who Never Won The NXT Title’ could almost be trademarked at this point. When Becky made her way to Smackdown Live it was the perfect opportunity to make her the number one babyface and build around someone who is more than capable in the ring.

The biggest indication of her being brushed aside? Her tenure as the captain of Team Smackdown seemed like it could be a minor resurgence right up until she was eliminated first in the Survivor Series elimination match…not good.┬áThe Women’s division on Smackdown Live has not been stellar this year as a whole, even with the trade of Charlotte Flair to the Blue brand the featured Women’s bouts have not been as prominent as those over on RAW..saying that even the flagship show has it’s problems with the booking of their division.

Maybe Becky will get her run next year? She just seems to be stuck in this position of fiery babyface who gets cheered but no one truly gets behind.

Tye Dillinger

I honestly had to check if Tye Dillinger was on Smackdown Live before I added his name to the list. I feel that it is unfair to lump Dillinger in the ‘catchphrase over, performer isn’t’ category because he is a talented performer and truly more than just the ’10’ gesture dictates.

The groundswell of support that Tye garnered as part of the NXT roster was truly staggering, it more than helped that he appeared in the Royal Rumble and was subsequently beloved by the Wrestlemania weekend crowd but all mentions of the ‘Perfect 10’ seem to have faded away near the end of 2017, incidentally he has not appeared on television since October 8th.

I think that this is not just an issue for Tye, but moreover an issue with WWE‘s policy with bringing up NXT talent in general. There are times that it works, Asuka appears to be garnering a really strong following on the RAW brand but there doesn’t appear to be any sort of logic or reasoning to the call ups and it is brushed off on television as behind the scenes contract signings, wouldn’t it be interesting to see a change of tactic and see the heads of both brands ‘courting’ certain talents and have a twice yearly draft for the more high profile NXT stars? Just a thought.

Who do you think that WWE has dropped the ball on this year? Let us know in the comments.