When the brand split was implemented a few years ago, it was a real blessing for WWE. The growth of NXT meant there were too many stars coming through and not enough titles for which to be pushing. But the constant growth of NXT, NXT UK and 205 Live, as well as the acquisition of international stars, means more stars are getting lost in the mid-card—and eventually given their future endeavors. The 10 stars below have had differing levels of success in the company, but find themselves a little lost at the minute. A simple character adjustment can be the thing to kickstart a career, and here are some of those who would most benefit.
10 No Way Jose
Another one that you’ve likely forgotten about is No Way Jose. He was almost immediately buried since making the step up and has gone from a valued member of the NXT world to a modern-day version of Adam Rose. Rose was ruined very early in WWE, and Jose is at risk of doing the same. In fact, the most telling moment of Jose’s last fifteen months was Wrestlemania 34. Braun Strowman passed him to team with a child, the ultimate insult. He’s got the talent to move away from a character that’s stifling him, and, if done right, there’s a strong heel character waiting to emerge.
9 Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman is being completely and utterly wasted in WWE, that’s not arguable. His major rivalry with Roman Reigns was one of the best in recent years and he has all the makings of a monster champion. But he’s been thrown to the lions in all of his major bouts, particularly when coming up against Brock Lesnar. One F5 to defeat him was a black mark on his record. Strowman needs to return to his awesome ways and get away from the mid-card mess he’s found himself locked in, alongside Lashley and Corbin. It almost feels like WWE have missed the boat by pushing him to the very top, but a character adjustment would help.
Would a heel Natalya work in 2019? She’s been with WWE longer than any other female star and seems the most unlikely to actually grab the gold again. We’ve seen her face for far too long, and it’s almost at the stage now where she gets forgotten about because there is no change. It would at least be worth giving it a try. With the women’s revolution and the stars of NXT overtaking her in the pecking order, Natalya is at risk of becoming solely a Total Divas star. WWE is struggling for new female heels, so Natalya could capitalize on this gap.
7 Chad Gable
Since the unnecessary split of American Alpha, both Chad Gable and Jason Jordan have faltered. Jordan was matched with the horrible Kurt Angle situation and Gable has been passed from random tag team to random tag team. Now he’s gone his separate ways from Bob Roode, he’s back in the wilderness—but that could be a good thing. Whether he’s adapted into the world of 205 Live or pushed to the heavens for the IC title, Gable would benefit from not flitting between face and heel. Pick one or the other and stick with it for a prolonged amount of time.
6 Bo Dallas
The B-Team hype lasted all of a few months, and once again WWE has lost faith with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. It’s been three major characters for Bo in his relatively short time in the company, and though he did taste success following the end of the Miztourage, there’s only one thing that needs to happen with Dallas: he needs to bo-lieve again. Dallas’ original run was the best Bo and it was when he achieved his best run of victories. He’s never going to be a major player in the company but he can at least return to being a successful mid-carder.
5 Shelton Benjamin
Don’t worry if you forgot, but Shelton Benjamin is still a WWE employee. Since he made the switch back following the brand split, he’s done very little of note, despite being one of the most talented men on the roster. There was a partnership with Chad Gable that didn’t lead to too much, and now there are very sporadic TV appearances and house show defeats. It’s a real shame for a man who was so successful in his first spell, and he still has it in him to reach those heights. Turn the man back face (we think he’s still heel?) and let him showcase his talents as he reaches the twilight years of his career.
When Apollo first came up from NXT, there was only one thing that people were paying attention to—his smile. No matter how much talent the man has, people couldn’t get beyond that fact, and it’s not really got much better from that moment on. His pairing with Titus Worldwide has given us some comedy moments, but the man has so much more to give. While a heel turn might not be in his capabilities, Apollo needs a slight adaptation to his character that takes us away from the need for promos and to just show his talent. Time is still on his side but WWE needs to use it wisely.
3 Brock Lesnar
There are not many superstars that can get away with not changing their character for seven years; but not every superstar is Brock Lesnar. Lesnar’s second run in the company offered so much but has produced so little in comparison to his original Smackdown stint. Yes, he has been the monster we all knew he can be, and he’s produced some of the most historic moments in the history of sports entertainment—just ask The Undertaker. But something has to change if he is ever going to get fans back on side. The main change would probably be to show he wants to be there, rather than doing the bare minimum.
2 Baron Corbin
Why is Baron Corbin still dressed as a waiter? It’s the big question that doesn’t seem to be answered. Corbin is beyond all doubt the most tiresome character in WWE today. His run as constable was bad enough, he has failed with the Money in the Bank briefcase and the Kurt Angle saga was just another reason to turn against the character. Corbin doesn’t generate fan heat, he generates general dismay at his appearance, and something has to change. A face turn wouldn’t work, but there’s got to be something he can add to his character to at least get fans invested
1 Shinsuke Nakamura
When Shinsuke Nakamura won the 2018 Royal Rumble, things looked incredibly positive for the former NXT champion. He was one of the most over men on the Smackdown roster and seemed destined to take his NXT success through to a WWE title reign. But defeat at Wrestlemania against AJ Styles and a failed heel turn have taken Nakamura right off the championship radar. He’s been paired with Rusev in a typical ‘foreigners’ stereotyping tag team and looks destined to fall even further. Nakamura is in desperate need of a refresh to get back to his best and reignite his main roster career.