By RJ Marceau
Over the past year, the landscape of the WWE has taken twists and turns with Superstars and Divas being featured in prominent roles and now on the outside looking in. This is the fourth edition of this series.
I decided to not include injured wrestlers because even if they had a great 2015 we don’t know how they would be booked going into WrestleMania 32. It may however include Superstars or Divas that debuted after WrestleMania 31.
2. Worst: “The Bulgarian Brute” Rusev
As one of the Superstars going into WrestleMania 31 as a rising star, Rusev left the show as a broken man. He was beaten clean by John Cena and lost his undefeated streak. Rusev also came out on a tank and still lost. The WWE didn’t do him any favors at all with him losing at Extreme Rules and Payback to John Cena.
The WWE also decided to split him away from Lana, which didn’t help him at all. He then was put in the worst storyline/feud of 2015 with Dolph Ziggler, Lana and Summer Rae throughout the summer of 2015. Rusev didn’t win anything and when Lana and Rusev announced their actual real life engagement, the WWE scrapped everything they had for him.
Rusev has been featured more prominently as a member of the League of Nations but they haven’t won anything. The WWE decided to make their WWE Tag Team title match just a 4-on-3 Handicap match at WrestleMania vs. The New Day. Rusev at least is billed for WrestleMania 32 and has been featured weekly on WWE TV. I think the League of Nations if booked strong could be a dominant force. If they keep losing Rusev’s 2016 may be worse than 2015.
2. Best: Kevin Owens
The only person to not be featured at WrestleMania 31 makes his way into the countdown in at #2, Kevin Owens. Owens made his in ring debut at Elimination Chamber and defeated John Cena. He would lose the next two matches to John Cena at Money in The Bank and Battleground. Owens found new direction with Cesaro and defeated him at SummerSlam.
Owens would go on to feud with Ryback for the Intercontinental Championship and defeated him at Night of Champions. Owens retained his title vs. Ryback at Hell in a Cell the next month. At Survivor Series, Owens made it to the Semifinals of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament but lost to Dean Ambrose. Ambrose defeated Owens at TLC but Owens won the title back the next month on Raw.
Owens will defend his title at KOMania in a ladder match vs. Stardust, Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Sin Cara and Sami Zayn. Owens should leave with the title since the next feud for him should be vs. Zayn. Once he loses the title I could see him pursuing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship which he could win by the end of 2016. It will be hard to replicate his “rookie season” but I think Kevin Owens will have a good 2016.
SEE ALSO: "RJ's Two Cents - 5 Best/Worst Booked WWE Superstars & Divas Since WrestleMania 31: Edition #3"