10 Wrestlers WWE Pushed At The EXACT Wrong Time

9. Austin Theory

Bob Backlund Royal Rumble

This ongoing John Cena Vs. Austin Theory programme isn't going to work.

The match at WrestleMania will be hotter and more dramatic than any Austin Theory singles match ever, but then, has Austin Theory ever worked a singles match that anybody really gave a toss about? Has he ever entered a memorable, outstanding individual performance?

No, and even in the likely event that he goes over John Cena, it won't be the making of him. Much of that has to do with the way in which the story has been framed. In typical counterproductive fashion, Cena buried Theory as someone's idea of a star who lacks the charisma and presence to actually be a star. Defeating Cena in a predetermined wrestling match will not give Theory the intangibles that actually elude him. That's not how any of this works.

But it mostly has to do with the fact that Theory simply isn't ready. He's a 6.5-7 in every area; a mechanically better Brad Maddox who has watched a decent amount of PWG.

WWE should have taken a cue from the past when promoting Theory on television. If they had worked the original Roman Reigns push, and courted the resentment of fans who were to turn on Theory as a babyface, this might have stood a chance.

As it happens, the current WWE audience - who actually like WWE - can't even resent Theory, pushed ahead of workrate darlings, on a meta level.

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Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champions Kenny Omega and MJF, and surefire Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!