Best In-Ring Worker In WWE, Top Babyfaces & Heels, Zack Ryder’s Status, Who Gets Pushed & Why

I think it was around this time last year that you said in your opinion Daniel Bryan was the best in ring performer in WWE. Who do you think is today, is it still him?

Daniel Bryan is still the best in-ring worker in WWE and has further solidified that argument by his work over the last year. Jim Ross recently said no one has been better in or out of the ring than Bryan. If anyone asks me why I’m so high up on him my answer is simple, Daniel Bryan is better than everyone else. Bryan has a rare five-star skill level in terms of in-ring work and has really elevated his game with his character

You have mentioned the lack of top heels but with CM Punk’s turn, aren’t there a lack of top babyfaces?

The top babyfaces in WWE going into SummerSlam are Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Triple H and John Cena. The top heels in WWE going into SummerSlam are Alberto Del Rio, Big Show, CM Punk and Brock Lesnar. The list is about even but will begin to change immediately after SummerSlam with Jericho leaving, Hunter going back behind-the-scenes, Lesnar taking time off and Wade Barrett returning. You could certainly make the argument there will be a lack of babyfaces after SummerSlam but look for the company to make adjustments to make up for the discrepancy.

What is the status of Zack Ryder?

Despite the support of the Internet, Zack Ryder has struggled to find a spot on WWE television. He’s frustrated about it but it is what it is. WWE can’t push everyone at once and are focused on other talents at the moment. With that being said Ryder is on this week’s Smackdown but I’m not sure you’re going to like the capacity in which he is used.

Why did WWE put the 3rd hour on Raw by putting more of the Breakfast Club (John Cena, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Big Show and Sheamus) than putting more of people who deserve to be noticed like Alex Riley and Drew McIntyre? They deserve more than being on Superstars and NXT.

The aforementioned “breakfast club” are the biggest draws in WWE  and sell the most merchandise. Alex Riley has a bit of a wining streak going on but he had a big opportunity after breaking away from The Miz in 2011 and showed he had a lot of work to do in improving his in-ring work. Drew McIntyre has a large Internet following but he’s nothing more than an enhancement talent at this point. As I mentioned above, WWE can’t push everyone at once.

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  • outkazt09

    Drew is a jobber. I don’t get what people see in this guy. He has no personality or mic skills. The guy is more boring than watching paint dry.

    • MonsterMike42

      You go ahead and watch paint dry. I'm going to keep watching Drew McIntyre.

    • Ellen

      Please include DelRio in the no personality or mic skills, unfortunately he isn't a jobber, just can't wait for his brother. Your comment is right on the money!

    • Logan_Walker

      Thank you! I just don’t see what people see in him. All the sudden they jump on his bandwagon when they completely ignored him in 2009/2010. His mic skills are horrible.

    • Miles

      Stupid hair cut and girly little mouth really, really annoy me!!

    • Tony P.

      I wanna see your mic skills, in ring skills and personality.

  • rkodmr

    I agree not everyone could get pushed at the same time but can’t younger guys still get tv time? They don’t have I get pushed just shown. Like Tyson Kidd and Tensai they had a mini rivalry for a while. Neither one ended up a champion or elevated but it was entertaining and let them be showcased. Maybe just have some mini rivalries with younger and midcard guys. Especially on a 3 hour show. Just my opinion.

  • HazMatt23

    Alex Riley deserves notice? Am I missing something? What is this obsession with Alex Riley?

    • nuhbiohol

      must be a john cena fan

  • Bigdaddychuck

    Richard where is Daniel Bryan in baby face or heel level? How is he the best worker in one question but not a top heel or face in the next question?

    • Richard Gray

      Bryan is by far and away the best in-ring worker but is currently in an upper mid-card program with Kane. He's been in and out of the main event but to call him a "main eventer going into SummerSlam" would be wrong.

      • Bigdaddychuck

        Richard Daniel Bryan is way more over than a mid carder. He is getting a bigger reaction than ADR or show. CM Punk is not a true heel either.

        • Richard Gray

          I'm not arguing who is over or who isn't over, what I'm saying is Bryan is currently in an upper mid-card feud.

  • Christ 4 Life

    They could have up-and-comers such as Ryder, Kidd, Alex Riley, and Justin Gabriel be featured once or twice a month on Raw in singles matches or even tag team matches to improve the tag division, and let viewers get know them better and root for them, that might make TPTB realize that these guys deserve to be on the upper-midcard rather than losing on Superstars. But, I also think that the new Main Event show could help with it…

  • Thumpa

    Anyone thinking Drew is boring go and watch his matches from 2012, his matches on Superstars have been amazing, some new moves, loads of aggression and great storytelling. People who say Drew is boring really need to get past his 2009 run

    • Doug

      I think he needs a volumizer for his hair.

    • Miles

      After watching all that….he still sucks

  • Jashaun

    What is the breakfast club?

    • Amsterdam

      I cant thumbs down you enough

  • Lenny

    I remember a time in the wwe when mid-carders and even jobbers had their own storylines and had their moment in the spotlight just as much as the main-eventers. While guys The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels were having their very surreal like feud in the main ever scene, up and comers at the timelike Rocky Maivia and Stone Cold Sreve Austin were having epic feuds on their run in the mid-cards.nowadays the main
    Eventers seem to hog ALL of the spotlight.

    • Ken

      Aye, it was called the Attitude Era, back when the WWE had to actually work for ratings against the competition. These days they're just coasting, and their creative team couldn't write their way out of… damn, I can't think of anything simple off the top of my head for them to write their way out of right now, but the point is that the creative team they have right now are pretty bad.
      They'll put all their effort into one or two wrestlers at a time, when they need to be putting that amount of effort into every wrestler on the roster.
      If they can't do that, if they're too busy or too stressed or burned out, then they need to either step aside or be fired so someone can be given the job who could actually do the job properly.
      I'd volunteer, but the travel times are a killer.

      And Linda doesn't help matters…

  • Carvalho16

    I would have to disagree and say Christian is personally my favourite in ring worker. The main thing that restricts Bryan is the simple fact he only has a submission finisher, as of now. Christian can get in the ring with anyone and make them look 10 times better and for me that is the sign of an elite. Not only that but I would say when Christian is in that ring there is always a certain charisma (No pun intended) flowing from him. I don't always get that with Bryan yet I am a fan of Bryan Danielson. Being an in ring worker for me is a bit more than just having all of the move sets, it is also being able to choreograph perfectly with your opponent, and tell a story with your moves, even if you have to carry that opponent. That is why I wouldn't rate say Sin Cara or Alberto Del Rio anywhere near the top workers. Christian for me is the perfect worker.

    • Herman Tank

      I agree. Too bad that his excellent work in the ring also seems to hold him back as well. As a former World champ he should at least be near contention once in a while but it's easier for the WWE to feed him to talentless (or maybe future projects) like Antonio Cesaro (useless) and Damien Sandow (future) because he can make people look better.

  • The Cowboy

    I think the way ahead in terms of making the best use of the underutilised undercard in WWE given the move to a three-hour Raw is to create character distinctiveness (Vince's old adage about the need for a wrestling show to be a variety of performers rings true now more than ever) and I think a large part of the reason for undercard frustration is internal, in that they're unable to turn themselves into distinctive characters. Now, some might say that that's an inevitable consequence of a lack of wiggle-room given PG programming and an overall reduction in emphasis on in-ring work in recent years that limits the ability of some very gifted workers to tell a story in the ring but you only have to look at someone like a Sandow to see how it is possible to get over even within these parameters. To this point, I feel that one of the most effective ways around this, despite Vince's post-Nexus reluctance in this regard, is to create stables because it helps the get several performers invaluable face-time on TV at once while still possibly "carrying" one or two members who are yet to fully find their feet on mic or in the ring, so long as the overall premise of the stable is powerful enough. We've seen it work time and time again in terms of creating breakaway solo stars and I think a stable-driven approach to writing might just be worth a gamble.

  • Burton

    Only reason A-Ry isn;t being pushed is because he stood up to Cena when he was being ribbed. Riley is a great worker but Cena is a member of the aforementioned "breakfast club" who can destroy pushes with one word to management. Ridiculous.

  • Robert Wingard

    Randy Orton has been one of the greatest heels in a long time. He is waaaay better than his dad. Lethim be a heel and not anti-hero. His feud with HHH was a classic and I found him easy to hate. Since 1958 I have seen a lot of good and absolutely awful heels. Randy is GREAT!!!!

  • Luan Rodrigues

    Even though ADR has amazing in-ring skills(not many can be as agile as he is), I’m all for him giving up his spot for newcomers. His character has become stale now with all the main events he’s on.
    Regarding Drew, I think it’s a matter of time until he makes his return as a CM Punk-like babyface, just as Sheamus did.

    • Ellen

      ADR has no ring skills. He started out stale, never got any better than stale.

  • Luan Rodrigues

    Even though ADR has amazing in-ring skills(not many can be as agile as he is), I’m all for him giving up his spot for newcomers. His character has become stale now with all the main events he’s on.
    Regarding Drew, I think it’s a matter of time until he makes his return as a CM Punk-like babyface, just as Sheamus did.

  • Bryan

    Richard, are you saying Barrett is coming back as a face?

    • Richard Gray

      No

      • Miles

        Going back to AW and managers, I’d love to see The Iron Sheik manage Jinder Mahal, would probably get very politically incorrect. Barrett would be a lot more believable if he came back as an English bare knuckle fighter, hard as nails mate.

  • Bill

    no no no!! D-Bry is not the best competitor! your just sayin that cause he’s your favorite! People like HBK, Cena ,Ric Flair, Hogan , HHH Undertaker. those are the best!!! and if your not down with that I got 5 words for ya! Bring back the attitude era!!!

    • Daniel

      He wasn’t saying bryan’s the best of all time, he was saying the best right now.

  • James

    Dolph Ziggler and Bryan are the best in my opinion

  • Giovanni

    What will be the plans with Wade Barrett when he returns

  • _JIM_

    Let Paul E. manage Drew McIntyre along with Lesnar. A good manager would do miracles in getting McIntyre over. He’s got the skills in the ring and the look but he’s lacking in personality at the moment. Its like they totally dropped that losing streak angle they had him in and from there its like he’s just been lost in the shuffle. I think he’s way too talented for them to be wasting when there’s such a shortage on top talent. With Heyman in his corner and a couple wins on TV he’d be right back to being relevant and on instantly a contender again. I just think its a shame that WWE complains about this supposed lack of talent, but at the same time they don’t utilize the talent that’s right under their noses.

  • stoney

    It would've been great If Ryder got a longer reign as united states champion, He got over without WWEs help and dhim losing the belt after 5 weeks is WWEs way of saying' the fans made you but we'll break you'