The poster boy for "untapped potential, and executive ignorance towards it" has to be Zack Ryder. Upon his ascent to the level of "cult favourite star of tomorrow" in 2011, Ryder looked to be just that - a star of tomorrow. Fans demanded him, popular wrestlers endorsed him, and the response to his appearances proved to be enormous.
Sadly, all of those high hopes in 2011 eventually gave way to sourness for his supporters in 2012. So haplessly was he booked that his exit theme following subsequent losses may as well have been the Curb Your Enthusiasm jingle.
Ryder was among several dozen WWE wrestlers and behind-the-scenes staffers who found themselves out of a job this past week, a sad coda to the gross misuse of a potentially-valuable star on the company's part. When his name was counted among the ongoing tally, the question arose once more - why did it have to go wrong for Long Island's native Broski?
Rather than dwell on the negatives, let's look back on the happier times. Here now, we recall Zack Ryder's top moments under the WWE banner.
5. Becoming An Edgehead
His time spent with Curt Hawkins on the ECW brand as Brett and Brian Major flew extremely low beneath the radar, so much so that when the two were repackaged as sidekicks of Edge on SmackDown late in 2007, it may as well been the debut of both men.
The two officially earned the Ryder and Hawkins names at this point, and were constantly visible alongside World Heavyweight Champion Edge through the first half of 2008. Accomplishments from this time: a Tag Team title run, and an appearance in WrestleMania 24's main event.