WrestleMania is all about featuring the biggest superstars in WWE. But there have been times when superstars disappeared or got buried after the biggest show of the year. Here’s a list of a few superstars who were buried after WrestleMania.
It took WrestleMania for “Empress of Tomorrow” to get into the main roster’s top star spot. When Asuka was called up from NXT to the main roster with an undefeated streak still intact, she had huge fan support. Despite Asuka winning the first women’s Royal Rumble match, things took a turn for the worse after that. Asuka’s undefeated streak was ended at WrestleMania 35 by Charlotte Flair. Until recently, Asuka had more losses to Carmella, putting her on the lower tier of the women’s division.
2. Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder revealed in an episode of Talk is Jericho that WWE didn’t really pay much attention to his momentum. Survivor Series 2011 in Madison Square Garden erupted in massive chants after Ryder’s YouTube series got him over. Ryder won the United States Championship, but the reign ended in disappointment.
During the MSG night, Triple H asked Ryder why he changed his hair, and no one said anything positive about the fan support. Ryder also won the Intercontinental Championship at ‘Mania 32 in an amazing ladder match. The crowd went berserk after his win. But WWE made him drop the title to The Miz the following night at Raw.
Zack Ryder wins the Intercontinental championship https://t.co/tSVpSlNmxg pic.twitter.com/mWAMQsSgd6
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) April 3, 2016
3. Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston started in the WWE as a mid card act and was able to capture the Intercontinental Championship and The United States Championship. He also had memorable Royal Rumble spots which saw him try to escape elimination at every Royal Rumble he participated in. He is also a decorated tag team champion.
Kofi Had one of the most memorable moments as a singles competitor at WrestleMania 35 when he defeated Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship. The crowd pop for Kofi was organic and his moment at ‘Mania felt wholesome. He did go on to have a few feuds as champion but was squashed by Brock Lesnar at the season premiere of Smackdown in 2019. Kofi lost the match in 7 seconds. He was then placed down the card and performed as a tag team wrestler.
4. The Can-Am Express
Among the most successful teams in Japan and the indies were Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon. In 1996, they won a Survivor Series match and challenged Davey Boy Smith and Owen Hart for the tag team titles. WrestleMania 13 featured a four-team elimination match which they lost.
After a car accident, they were out of commission for months. They made a brief return at Survivor Series ’97. They even had a one-day reign as ECW World Tag Team Champions. WWE did not have much trust in them to feature in the tag team scene. Since leaving WWE, they pursued singles careers, which were good but didn’t achieve real stardom.
5. Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinshuke Nakaramura was the most exciting wrestler that fans looked forward to when he joined NXT in 2016. He brought his Japanese “strong style” of wrestling and had great success in NXT. When he was called up to the main roster, he would be presented as a big deal and also went on to win the Royal Rumble in 2018.
4 years ago today, Shinsuke Nakamura won the 2018 Royal Rumble match.
I miss the days where his momentum was at an all-time high in WWE. pic.twitter.com/ooPOyO13h3
— Pro Wrestling Finesse (@ProWFinesse) January 28, 2022
He went on to challenge AJ Styles at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship the same year. He eventually lost the match. He was then demoted to the mid-card and is now a tag team wrestler. He never appeared in the top title scene ever again.