10 Breakout Stars WWE Are Getting Badly Wrong

For a company competing with an All Elite roster, WWE need to do much better by their future greats.

Malcolm Bivens Shayna Baszler
WWE

On NXT, Malcolm Bivens has recently taken to appearing as if from nowhere in the doctor's office.

This is much more than a p*ss funny sight gag, as great as it is to see a talent making use of the fact that nothing makes sense in this real/phoney invisible camera hinterland behind the curtain. It's easy to rationalise why people would just pop up, once you've accepted that the key players can't see the giant camera, sound and lighting team shooting them or the red, blue or yellow spotlight colouring the corridor during their conversations.

Anyway, it's more than just all of that, because it's also taking advantage of Bivens' absolutely fantastic comic timing. As Stokely Hathaway, Bivens was a perpetual Twitter popper in that way that seemed to be a perfect fit for the warm NXT of old rather than the angrier super-serial edition that throatily explodes out of the Capitol Wrestling Center once a week. It took the brand a while to incorporate his gifts into the show, but they're managing it - he springs up as he does to try and get injured guys to take on his guy.

Even if it's a road to nowhere, we'll piss ourselves on the way. And that's enough, you know? Especially now. They are at long last doing right by Bivens, and this is to be applauded. With that temporarily taken care of, maybe they could look into the fates of...

10. Keith Lee

Malcolm Bivens Shayna Baszler
WWE.com

In less than a year on the main roster, Keith Lee has had his music changed twice, has tweaked his look twice as much, and has at least once been told off by Vince McMahon for whatever that once-incredible wrestling promoter was pissed off about that day.

All of this has been at expense of his unique and remarkable value. Lee's whole 'Limitless' aesthetic was there to celebrate how a man of his size could use his stature in a way few like him could. How he spoke softly but with all the menace of a guy that could pounce you into space with a smile. A welcome buffet of characteristics sure to beam on a roster with one too many milquetoast middling men.

But he's not Keith Lee, is he? Not really.

He's the latest call-up. The latest Triple H project. The latest experiment for Vince and Bruce and whoever else to have a poke about with. It is - and this has been clear for years - not worth wasting energy getting excited for your favourite NXT wrestlers making it on the main roster. Or, to extrapolate that further for some, getting excited for your favourite independent wrestlers once they pull on that "Property Of The Performance Center" t-shirt.

Be glad they earn a good wage for a hard job. Be sad that you might not like it anymore. It can be both.

 
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Contributor

We Need To Talk About Kevin (Nash). Michael can be found in articles or on podcasts extolling the virtues of New Generation WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling or the new WWE angle they definitely definitely won’t ruin this time.