We are in an interesting time at the moment in wrestling. The top wrestlers are getting smaller, WWE are building their rosters with more high profile names, and even letting them keep their independent scene names (well, some of them). Point is that WWE's future is shaping to look bright based on who they are hiring. It seems like just about anyone could enter WWE's doors at any time. However, no matter how many surprising faces we are seeing enter through WWE's curtains, there are still some wrestlers who we have to still take into account when it comes to whether or not they will be in WWE. More importantly, there are wrestlers who we have to consider that still may never be in WWE.
At this point with the way things have worked out in WWE, it almost seems pointless to claim that a wrestler will never turn up in WWE because in reality, we just never know. In 2016 alone, we have seen several wrestlers do the previously unthinkable by signing WWE contracts. AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, Shinsuke Nakamura... all were predicted to never wind up in WWE, and yet that is exactly where they are being pushed to the moon. For this list, as much as I tried to point out legitimate concerns for why some of these guys (and girls) will never end up being in WWE, I have to be honest and say I just don't know. None of us know until we know, you know? Until a wrestler's career is finally finished, we can't accurately predict whether they will or won't ever be in WWE. However, I still made some predictions to the best in my ability. If one or even some of these wrestlers do end up in WWE within the next year or more, just consider it a happy surprise. Until such a day comes, here are 15 great wrestlers who I think will never wrestle for the WWE.
15. Amber O'Neal
Despite never working as a full time member for WWE, TNA, or even ROH, Amber O'Neal has crafted a strong resume for herself, including being a former NWA World Women's Champion. In her storied career, Amber O'Neal has often followed her husband, Luke Gallows, into the fray wherever he went. Most notably as the Bullet Babe in Gallows' well documented NJPW stable, the Bullet Club. Although, one company where O'Neal is unlikely to follow Gallows is the WWE headquarters. O'Neal pretty much blew her own chances with that one after a Twitter spat with Dana Brooke. After a summer segment between Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Dana Brooke aired on Raw, O'Neal tweeted at Brooke that she "will kill a b---h" and called Brooke Miss Piggy. O'Neal later deleted her tweets and defended herself by reiterating that "Wrestling is a work," but such public and obscene tweets wouldn't be tolerated in relation to a PG product like WWE. As long as WWE agents remember those tweets, O'Neal can forget about working there any time soon.
13 The Great Muta
Often characterized as the greatest wrestler to never work for WWE, The Great Muta built international acclaim for himself wherever he stepped foot. Muta is 1 of only 3 men to ever hold the NWA Championship, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and the AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. He has had incredible matches everywhere he's been, which includes WCW, AJPW, TNA, NJPW, NWA, and even a company which he owns and founded himself, Wrestle-1. It seems like Muta has wrestled in every wrestling company imaginable except WWE. To this day, at age 54, he still occasionally wrestles around the world, though he is unlikely to end up in WWE before he permanently hangs up his boots. Age is a major factor in this one as Muta's best years have long past him and it has stunted any current interest from WWE. If nothing else, while a serious stint at the company right now is totally out of the question, one would think WWE could still bring him in for a one night only type of match, similar to what they did with Jushin Thunder Liger a couple years back. Even then, Muta seems too preoccupied with running his own wrestling company, Wrestle-1, to even have time for a brief WWE moment.
12 The Young Bucks
No tag team has divided audiences more in recent memory than The Young Bucks. Love them or hate them, it's hard to deny the talent they hold as a team. It's no wonder why the duo started off 2017 holding 3 tag team titles from 3 major companies at the same time. They started off this year as the ROH Tag Team Champions, the PWG World Tag Team Champions, and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. They recently lost their IWGP belts at Wrestle Kingdom 11, but to make up for it, they self-appointed themselves the Superkick Party Champions. These two brothers aim to create controversy whenever they step into the ring and that has tended to rub some people in the wrestling business the wrong way. During their time in TNA, Rob Van Dam claimed the two were disrespectful backstage and during a 2011 WWE tryout, Booker T made similar claims. If there's any truth to The Young Bucks having an attitude problem, it could keep them away from WWE in the long run. Which may not be an issue for Matt or Nick Jackson given the two just signed a lucrative ROH deal. The two could very well be making more money on the indies than they ever could in WWE. No wonder they're in no rush to head up north.
11 Jessicka Havok
In the 13 years she's spent in the wrestling business, Jessicka Havok has built a reputation for herself as one of the biggest, meanest, and toughest ladies to ever step through the ropes. After a brief 2014 stint in TNA that saw her win the Knockouts Championship, she headed down to the WWE Performance Center for a tryout in 2015. Things were looking like Havok was on her way to getting hired. Unluckily for Havok, word got out that she was having a tryout and fans used the opportunity to hunt down some old tweets she posted in 2011-12. In these tweets, Havok made some comments that bordered on both racism and homophobia. Though she apologized and claimed she didn't remember posting such hateful remarks—going as far as to pin the blame on an ex-boyfriend who liked to play on her phone—these tweets hurt Havok’s chances at getting hired not only for the time being, but possibly forever.
10 Joey Ryan
Undoubtedly the sleaziest wrestler in wrestling today, Joey Ryan is one of the most entertaining, unpredictable acts on the independent circuit. Though he is best remembered for a brief run in TNA, that run didn't do justice to the lewd things he's capable of in the ring. And that's not including his impressive wrestling ability. Speaking of lewd, Ryan may be too lewd for WWE's PG product. His porn star parody gimmick would have been a perfect fit for the Attitude Era, but Ryan's gimmick would be lucky to make it passed WWE censors. That's not the only reason why he won't be in WWE. Another reason is that Ryan's viral hit videos of him flipping his opponents in the ring with his penis (not even exaggerating, look it up) may rubbed big wrestling names like Jim Cornette the wrong way. Many of whom think that Ryan is disrespecting the business. Some of those "many" could work for WWE and could work hard to make sure Ryan never steps foot in a WWE ring. Not to mention that Ryan managed to irritate a few backstage figureheads when he played a planted crowd member during SummerSlam 2011's Mark Henry vs Sheamus finish. Apparently, some felt that Ryan's overacted too much according to some of the suits watching. Those who remember may be hesitant in hiring Ryan again in any on-screen role.
Abyss is one of the longest lasting members of the TNA roster and in the 15 years he has been with the company, he has accomplished a lot. The Monster of the Rings was the 4th man to win TNA's coveted Triple Crown honor and the 2nd man to win the even rarer achievement of TNA's Grand Slam Championship. For everything he's done in his career and everything he can do in the ring for a big man, he would make an impressive giant in a WWE ring. In fact, he almost wound up in WWE when the company offered Abyss a contract in 2006 with plans for the The Monster to enter a program with The Undertaker that would lead into a WrestleMania 23 match the next year. Retaining his loyalty to TNA, Abyss declined their offer. As admirable as Abyss' allegiance to TNA may be, he's pretty much nixed all chances of coming to WWE at a later date if he were to change his mind. Like that weird looking kid who you turned down for the Prom in high school, WWE doesn't take kindly to being turned down. Allegedly, that's why Zack Sabre Jr. isn't in the UK Championship Tournament after he turned down a WWE contract when he wrestled for the CWC. Abyss is in a similar situation. Even if he hasn't burned any bridges, Abyss is still 43 years old, meaning he likely isn't in high demand from WWE now anyway due to old age.
8 Kazuchika Okada
Kazuchika Okada is being primed to be the new face of NJPW. Currently in his 4th reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Okada has a swagger and charisma fit for the WWE brand as well as an extraordinary in-ring ability. Most recently, at Wrestle Kingdom 11—NJPW’s equivalent to WrestleMania—he and Kenny Omega wrestled in the main event and their match earned the 2nd ever 6-star rating from The Wrestling Observer. That kind of talent seems tailor made for the WWE stage, but the way Okada's career is rolling right now, he has no interest in pursuing a WWE career. In 2016, he told Sports Illustrated that he will never leave New Japan for WWE. It's hard to blame him given that Okada is at the very top of NJPW's roster and if he went to WWE, he'd probably be knocked down the totem pole a little bit. No matter how high his star would be in WWE, it is still unlikely he'll be booked as their top superstar. NJPW is still a big enough stage for Okada to grace and so he doesn't need WWE right now - or ever, if he sticks to his word.
7 Trevor Lee
Trevor Lee is one of the most unique competitors on the independent scene. Trained by The Hardy Boyz, this Technical Savage is best known for wrestling both a methodical technical style and an unorthodox brute style. Lee also moonlights in TNA being managed by Shane "Hurricane" Helms as the current X Division Champion. Despite being one of the best technicians the wrestling world has to offer, there are specific key factors that are keeping Trevor Lee away from WWE for the near future. Nicknamed The Carolina Caveman, Lee has an unconventional look that not only will WWE find hard to market, but it is a likely that WWE wouldn't find akin to the pretty boy characters they normally push. As we'll find out later in the list, there are a number of wrestlers who WWE have barred from their arenas for not being "cosmetically pleasing" enough to be on their program. You can add Trevor Lee to that mean-spirited list.
6 Kenny Omega
Ever since first taking up the role as leader to the Bullet Club when previous leader, AJ Styles, jumped ship to WWE in 2016, Kenny Omega has been on an absolute role as of late. Omega spent 2016 as an IWGP Intercontinental Champion, 1/3 of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship with The Young Bucks, and the first Western winner of the G1 Climax Tournament which guaranteed him a spot in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 11 for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. In the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 11 against Kazuchika Okada, the two put on an instant classic. It would be surprising for Omega to use his NJPW momentum to springboard to WWE, but there have been several rumors claiming he'll be in WWE before the year is over. While not impossible, these rumors seem unlikely in light of recent interviews. Not long ago, Omega claimed he wanted to live a legacy as the guy who never wrestled for WWE. Even sooner, just days before Wrestle Kingdom 11, he criticized WWE for taking options away from both fans and fellow talents by hiring wrestlers just to hire them with no further plans to use them. Now, suddenly, he's making statements that he's walking away from NJPW to rethink his career? Sounds like an angle to me.
5 Michael Elgin
Michael Elgin is one of the strongest competitors wrestling today. He started off making a name for himself in Ring of Honor where he is a former ROH World Champion. Now, he works for NJPW as a former IWGP Intercontinental Champion, NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yoshitatsu, and this year's winner of the New Japan Rumble from Wrestle Kingdom 11. He's the kind of big man who WWE normally go for, but has never been picked up by them and in all likelihood never will. The main reason would be for his public walkout of ROH where he quit the promotion via Twitter in 2014. After eventually re-singing, he announced in late 2016 that he has left the company again because he was unhappy with how ROH had been booking him. The last time WWE had such a disgruntled worker on their roster, he had a public walkout of his own and then lambasted the company on Colt Cabana's podcast. To avoid a repeat of the same shenanigans, WWE would see fit to keep Elgin away from their roster.
5. Doug Williams
Doug Williams is often credited in the wrestling world as the Britain's best export since William Regal. This is an apt comparison as Williams' captures the stark technical style that Regal was known for, which goes hand in hand with a swift, agile style similar to that of a cruiserweight. He has a wide array of accomplishments to his name—including being a former TNA Television Champion, TNA X Division Champion, TNA Tag Team Champion, and IWGP Tag Team Champion—but one thing which Williams has yet to accomplish is to compete in a WWE ring. Sadly, as exciting as the thought of Williams working in WWE would be to many of his fans, it isn't likely to happen. The main reason is due to age. He's 44 right now and WWE have lately been gunning for young talent. While they did make a special exception for the 39 year old AJ Styles, Doug Williams is no AJ Styles. That isn't a knock against Williams. It's just a fact. Williams isn't getting any younger and only has a few years left in him. It would be nice to see him end his career in WWE, but it is unlikely.
Moose is one of the most agile big men in the business currently. He's only been wrestling for 5 years now and he has been improving immensely every year. From 2014 until 2016, he made a big impact in Ring of Honor and was planning to head to WWE until his contract expired. Unfortunately, WWE decided against hiring the former football player due to a 2009 physical altercation with his wife that left Moose with a battery charge. Granted, from the sounds of it, Moose's WWE debut will be postponed only for the time being given that the summer he planned to enter, WWE was dealing with a couple domestic cases of their own from employees (Adam Rose and Jerry Lawler). It would have been a bad public relations move to hire Moose and it was a case of bad timing. However, with such a tainted record like that, it'll be hard for WWE to let Moose back into their good graces anytime soon. Moose has no need to worry though as he is currently signed to TNA, where he is being paid more than WWE would've offered him and is already a former TNA Grand Champion.
3 Jay Briscoe
Jay Briscoe has spent much of the last few years running Ring of Honor as the face of their company. As the second man in the organization's history to win the ROH World Championship twice, Jay Briscoe brings a special kind of intensity that remains unmatched by anyone else on the roster. His in-ring grit and viciousness has a level of badassery which rivals Stone Cold Steve Austin. Such a comparison should keep Briscoe in high demand to head down to Orlando, but unfortunately, some controversy outside of the ring has killed his chances of ever working for WWE. In 2013, he made some profane anti-gay remarks on Twitter which included him stating that he would shoot anyone who tried to "teach [his] kids that there's nothing wrong with [same sex marriage]." Briscoe later apologized for his remarks, but it is still a stain on his record that WWE likely want no part of by hiring him.
2 Mark Briscoe
Mark Briscoe has just as little chance of making it to WWE as his older brother does. Which is a shame because Mark is an extremely entertaining individual. Apart from being a record 8 time ROH World Tag Team Champion, Mark has grown popularity as a singles star thanks to his trademark "redneck kung-fu" which he dishes out on his opponents for every match. His unique style still isn't going to get him closer to WWE's doors for a number of reasons. The first being that him and Jay had a tryout a few years back and were eventually turned down on accounts of being "not cosmetically pleasing." Given that the two haven't gotten any more cosmetically pleasing with age, this rules out WWE putting their face on a poster any time soon. Plus, given his brother's controversial comments, Mark is basically guilty by association and so that rules out him going to WWE as a singles star.
1 Hiroshi Tanahashi
While many Westerners like to dub Hiroshi Tanahashi as New Japan's version of John Cena, such a comparison would be an understatement for the type of talent which Tanahashi wields. There is a reason why his career has endured as much longevity and success as it has over the course of almost 20 years. At age 40, he remains one of NJPW's biggest stars and one of the best in-ring competitors in the world as he holds a record 7 former IWGP Heavyweight Championship reigns. He would be a great addition to the WWE roster, but there are some factors keeping him away from the grand stage. The first being his age. Granted, he isn't too old considering Cena is pushing 40 himself and both men are having the best matches of their careers at the moment. Still, Tanahashi is no spring chicken and is starting to wind down as of late. Plus, according to Tanahashi during a 2016 interview with Sports Illustrated, he mentions that he never received a contract offer from WWE and if he did, he wouldn't take it. "I’m happy in New Japan. I have loyalty," said Tanahashi. "and I love New Japan. That is all.” Tanahashi started his career in NJPW and from the sounds of it, he plans to end it there.