Photo: WWE

The dawning of the “New Era” in WWE is upon us and the roster has been filled with fresh faces and exciting matches as of late. It’s nice to see so many fresh faces getting opportunities, but WWE has had a lot of great up and coming talent over the years who unfortunately never reached their full potential. The company seems much more willing to take chances and push new stars in the “New Era,” but it was a different story during the “PG Era.”

During the “PG Era” WWE played it very safe by keeping their top stars on top, but there was reason to believe that new stars were going to be made because so many great talents have debuted over the past 10 years. Unfortunately too many of them got lost in the shuffle and never became the stars they could have been.

WWE is currently promoting the “New Era” and they’re treating many of the up and coming talents like stars, but there are many stars who should have gotten the “New Era” treatment a few years ago. Today we’re going to talk about talents who ended up getting lost in the shuffle in between the “PG Era” and the “New Era.”


Cody Rhodes

Photo: WWE
Photo: WWE

Cody Rhodes just parted ways with WWE and he was very open about why he left. Cody noted that he was frustrated with his spot in the company and he didn’t want to be Stardust anymore. Despite the fact that he didn’t want to be Stardust, he still nailed the character and played it like a professional because that’s the type of performer Cody Rhodes is.

Ten years ago Cody Rhodes seemed like one of WWE’s brightest up and coming Superstars and for many years he was. But to no fault of his own, Cody ended up getting lost in the shuffle after he kept the Stardust face paint and bodysuit on a little too long.

Cody just recently left WWE and he’s already been confirmed for three matches in August. It’s been said a million times, but Cody is a talented guy, all he really needed was an opportunity. WWE wouldn’t give him the opportunity he wanted so now he’s going out into the world to make his own opportunities. You’ve got to respect that.


Damien Sandow

Photo: WWE
Photo: WWE

When Damien Sandow first debuted with his “Intellectual Savior” gimmick it got a lot of people’s attention. It was over the top and a little campy, but Damien Sandow made it work and WWE seemed to be behind the gimmick.

When Sandow first debuted he was working on TV fairly regularly and he was getting quite a bit of mic time. He managed to take this over the top gimmick and he turned his character into a great heel that could really get under the skin of the audience.

It seemed like there was so much untapped potential with Damien Sandow and it looked like he was going to be able to get his chance to shine when he won the Money in the Bank briefcase. But instead of pulling the trigger on Sandow and creating a new star, WWE played it safe and stuck with an established star when they allowed John Cena to beat Sandow during his cash in attempt.

In the months that followed Sandow started taking on awful gimmicks and somehow he made each and every one of them awesome. He was a versatile performer who was over with the fans and it’s a little hard to understand why the company would want to let him go.


Dolph Ziggler

Photo: WWE
Photo: WWE

Dolph Ziggler has had a great career with WWE but it’s hard not to feel like he could be doing more. When Dolph Ziggler first debuted it seemed like WWE was pushing him hard as the next big thing, but now unfortunately they’re not really pushing him at all.

Ziggler is one of the most talented members of the WWE roster and he gives it his all to entertain the fans whether he’s working on Raw, on Superstars or in a dark match. Dolph has proved several times that he can get the fans behind him, but WWE doesn’t seem interested in using him as one of their main guys.

For years legends have been endorsing Dolph Ziggler and praising his ability inside the ring. Despite all the praise from several different legends Dolph can’t seem to get the one endorsement he needs which is an endorsement from the company he wrestles for.


Wade Barrett

Photo: WWE
Photo: WWE

Wade Barrett shocked the world a few years ago when he formed the Nexus and the group tried to take over the WWE. The Nexus helped to propel Wade Barrett into the main event scene right away and he was getting World Title shots just months into his WWE career. Quite a few people thought he might actually win the big one, and although he didn’t, his inclusion in the main event was seen as a sign that the company had faith in him.

Barrett had everything he needed to be a star in WWE. He had a good look, he worked well in the ring and he could talk pretty damn good on the mic. Unfortunately he just came around during a time when WWE wasn’t willing to let an up and comer get the big wins he needed over guys like John Cena and Randy Orton.

There were several periods throughout his career where it seemed like Barrett was on the verge of breaking through, and he could have, but it seems that WWE lost interest in him. Wade Barrett has stepped away from wrestling for the time being but he says he’ll step back in the ring when the time is right.


Drew McIntyre

Photo: WWE
Photo: WWE

At one point Vince McMahon had dubbed Drew McIntyre “The Chosen One” and after Vince gave him that name we all assumed that meant Drew McIntyre would likely be a World Champion at some point. Drew was on a major roll when he first kicked off his WWE career and people started to notice the Sinister Scotsman. Somewhere along the way though Drew lost his momentum in WWE and never seemed to get it back.

The last few years of Drew’s WWE career weren’t very kind to him. Instead of being presented as “The Chosen One” Drew joined 3MB and he worked as a member of the group right up until he was released in 2014.

Luckily Drew didn’t sit around and hold a pity party. Shortly after he was released he started tearing it up on the indy scene under his real name Drew Galloway and he’s the current TNA World Champion. He may not be on WWE programming right now, but Drew is better than ever and WWE would be wise to take another look at him in the future.


Do you agree with these choices? Who would you like to see return to the company in the future? Sound off below.


  1. Yeah, That article is dead on.
    I’d add Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Evan Borne/Matt Sydell and Justin Gabriel/Paul Lloyd Jr. I believe there were injury issues, but

    • The irony is i’m a 400lb powerlifter myself, but, talent is talent, lol.
      Drew McIntyre should have been teaming with or fighting Sheamus, not that i’d deny Sheamus his pure domination of Cena when he did it, THAT was cool and to oft forgotten.