The importance of the mid-card in professional wrestling

The main event picture needs a strong mid-card and Ricochet is an example as to why having depth in that group is important.
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There are several reports of Ricochet’s time with WWE coming to an end. Within that situation, there’s a conversation about whether WWE “misused” Ricochet and if he should have been booked as a main event champion. That’s a discourse that comes up frequently with several performers on any roster. In talking about it, it is important to recognize just how important the mid-card is to professional wrestling organizations.

During his time in WWE, Ricochet did find mid-card success. He’d hold the WWE United States, Intercontinental, and NXT North American Championships. Unfortunately for him, he did so during a time when Vince McMahon didn’t really care about booking quality professional wrestling or sports entertainment. Ricochet could have had a run that elevated the entire section on the roster, just like Gunther did, but that wasn’t the focus during the time.

Still, it is important to know how important it is to have a deep mid-card for any wrestling organization. There is only space at the top for 1-2 performers in the main event at a time. Everyone else is basically within the mid-card as they wait for their opportunity at the top. WWE has done a fantastic job reestablishing its mid-card for both the Raw and SmackDown men’s divisions. This is where feuds like Bron Breakker versus Ilja Dragunov, Chad Gable versus Sami Zayn, or LA Knight versus Logan Paul live. Just like Gunther has exhibited, the mid-card is the path that leads to the main event.

Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t make it out of the mid-card. For every Bret Hart, there are several Owen Harts that play a part in the former’s story of becoming a champion, while never reaching championship status on their own. Ricochet, while an uber-talented performer, wasn’t destined to be a WWE champion. Even if Triple H was always in charge of WWE creative, there were too many names ahead of him in the pecking order. The same thing happens in the women’s division. Names like Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair dominate the main event scene, taking away time from others like a Michin or a Zelina Vega who would be mid-card stalwarts.

There just isn’t space at the top for everyone. But having a strong mid-card makes the journey to the main event even more interesting and impactful. Use Cody Rhodes as a reference point. He had to overcome several challenges before establishing himself as the main champion he is today. That’s the cycle of life that shapes all things in professional wrestling.

Fans may wish for the contrary, but everyone can’t be a champion in professional wrestling. Ricochet didn’t reach that status in WWE, and he may not reach that status wherever he shows up next. But that doesn’t detract from the talent he’s shown time and again. He’s one of several examples of why a strong mid-card is just as important as who holds the championships.