It’s something of an indictment of the WWE main roster creative process that the most entertaining, flat-out fun gimmicks of 2017 occupy the lower card or fourth brand fringes, about which management doesn’t seem to care.
Those under the scrutiny of micromanagement often failed to get over, with typical fatalism. Shinsuke Nakamura lost his King Of Strong Style crown through a bafflingly unfunny and profligate regicide. Finn Bálor's Demon was stripped of any substance and sidelined into a superficial programme with Bray Wyatt, whose own Eater of Worlds bit yielded more bad puns than good matches. The Lone Wolf Baron Corbin cut a lonely figure in the summer months as the victim of a typically counterproductive onscreen punishment. Bobby Roode is more goofy than glorious these days. His histrionic posturing only worked when he was the man he said he was; absorbed into the SmackDown doldrums, his mannerisms look decidedly daft in these cold winter months. To underscore the extent of the problem, the majority of these men are but dishonourable mentions on the inverse version of this list.
The main roster creative regime failed so many upper midcard stars.