With WrestleMania just around the corner, so to come the annual pink slips that get handed out as management trims the fat off the roster. While Vince and others will determine the future of many of the entertainers, there are others that will have to make a decision on their own, whether to hang up the boots or head off on other ventures with various other promotions.
With a new influx of talent taking over the spotlight in recent months, there are a number of long time WWE employees who have been pushed to the side in favor of a fresh face. While there are many rumors of wrestlers both male and female along with tag teams that are expected to make their debut or return to the biggest wrestling company on the circuit, there are equal amounts of stories and rumors of those planning to depart.
While last year didn't see the departure of many big names, aside from Alberto Del Rio and Cody Rhodes, this year could and should be different as a number of legends and long dedicated wrestlers will be walking away from the WWE.
15 Primo and Epico
People didn't care about Primo and Epico when they had masks on their heads and people care even less now that they don't. Even when they managed to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship belts off of Air Boom way back in 2012 most people didn't care. Now, as The Shining Stars, a pair of timeshare selling con men, the duo often walk to the ring in silence, wrestle in silence and head backstage in silence.
14 Tyler Breeze
As one half of the useless comedy team Breezango (lame name for a lame team), Prince Pretty has been treading water since making his debut on the main roster card in 2015. Following a ho hum feud with Dolph Ziggler, Breeze encountered a lengthy losing streak, which included matches to other low-mid card talent.
13 Darren Young
There was once a lot of hope for The Prime Time Players back in 2012, but unfortunately the duo of Young and Titus O'Neil disbanded before they were given a fair shake, despite being over with the WWE Universe. Two years after they paired up, Young and O'Neil squared off against each other in singles competition before reuniting almost one year later. With Young returning to action following a torn ACL, the New Jersey native finally captured his first WWE Tag Team Championship. Unfortunately less than three months later, PTP would drop the title to New Day (whom they beat for the belts) and this proved to be the beginning of the end of Young's time in the spotlight.
12 Bo Dallas
Look what time away and a rebuilt character did for Bo Dallas' brother William Rotunda (Bray Wyatt). After a decent run through NXT, Dallas has struggled in his full time stint on the main roster. While his Bo-Lieve character made for some humorous moments, as did his role with The Social Outcasts (along with Heath Slater, Curtis Axel and Adam Rose), Dallas has yet to live up to his potential or legacy of his family (his father, Mike Rotunda aka IRS, his uncle Barry Windham and his grandfather Blackjack Mulligan).
11 Dana Brooke
She has the body, the look and youth on her side, but unfortunately for Dana Brooke, it seems like she is more likely to return to success as a bodybuilder or fitness model than she would have in the WWE.
10 Sin Cara
Call him Mistico. Call him Hunico. Call him whatever you want, but do it quickly as chances are high that Sin Cara will be leaving the WWE very soon. Since 2011, the Sin Cara character has been pushed by Vince and Hunter as the next great luchador, taking over for the departed Rey Mysterio. Sadly, the character has been nothing but a bust. Sure he has displayed some amazing moves, but he has yet to connect with the WWE fanbase on any level.
9 Jack Swagger
The All-American American has been irrelevant in the WWE since 2010 and even that could be a stretch. A former two sport star at the University of Oklahoma, Swagger came into the WWE through the ECW brand in 2008 before eventually being traded to the flagship show in 2009. After claiming the Money In The Bank contract at WrestleMania XXVI, Swagger would eventually pin then-champion Chris Jericho to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Three months later, the belt would leave Swagger's waist and his downward spiral would begin.
8 James Ellsworth
Someone please explain the draw, if any, that Carmella's boy toy has remaining in his WWE run? After taking a certifiable one sided slobberknocking at the hands of Braun Strowman last summer, there is no reason why this man remains on either the red or blue brands, let alone Main Event.
7 Eva Marie
Ms. All Red Everything (who isn't red anymore), who was last seen preparing to make her long awaited SmackDown Live debut this past summer, hasn't been seen or heard from since following her abrupt wardrobe malfunctions on the Tuesday show.
6 Big Show
At the age of 45, Paul Wight may be in the best physical shape he has been in the last ten years. Unfortunately, that means fans have dealt with nearly a decade of him plundering around the ring. Wight has already more or less announced that he'll retire shortly after his rumored WrestleMania 33 match against Shaquille O'Neal.
For over twenty years, Big Show has been the dominant giant in the world of wrestling, whether it be in WCW, ECW (WWE's version) or WWE. While he has probably had more face/heel changes than anyone else in wrestling history, Wight has been one of the most decorated big men in wrestling history with seven Heavyweight Championships, 11 Tag Team Championships, one United States Championship and one Intercontinential Championship.
5 Dolph Ziggler
Talks of Dolph Ziggler hanging up his boots have been floating around social media since last fall when he battled The Miz in a title against career match. That isn't the only thing that has been floating when it comes to Ziggler. Sure he grabbed the Intercontinental Championship following a great feud with The Miz, but what he did before that and what he has done since (other than quickly lose it) is nothing spectacular.
The Swiss Superman has been misused by the WWE for the longest time. Quick, name a period in which The King Of Swing was part of the main event programming for an extended period of time. You can't? Chances are you can't even come up with a short period of time.
3 Nikki Bella
With a contract that is set to expire shortly after WrestleMania 33, chances are fans may be experiencing the last of The Fearless One for a while. After missing nearly a year of action with a career threatening neck injury, Nikki returned to action on a full-time schedule and helped elevate the SmackDown Women's Division. Although she wasn't placed in a feud for the belt, Bella's battles against both Carmella and Natalya have showcased some of Nikki's best matches in her career.
The thought of seeing Bill Goldberg in a WWE ring in 2016-17 was so far off the map that satellites couldn't pick it up. Sure, there were always rumors, but for years they were just water cooler talks, that was until Survivor Series 2016.
Following their horrible WrestleMania XX match, which at the time was presumed to be the final WWE match for both wrestlers, Goldberg had one up on Brock Lesnar. Fast forward twelve years and a rematch was made between the two beasts for the fall PPV. Unlike their WrestleMania match, the second meeting between the two lasted only a minute and a half. Goldberg is scheduled to face WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens at Fastlane on March 5th and potentially capture the belt heading into what is presumed to be his third and final battle with The Beast Incarnate at WrestleMania 33.
1 The Undertaker
Fans have been saying that The Undertaker needs to walk away from the ring for years. The key words there are "walk away," something that Mark Calaway seems to have been struggling with after every match since his epic battles with Shawn Michaels. The streak is broken, a championship run is far away from reality and any sort of long term feud is but a pipe dream. Sure there are the "dream" matches that fans would love to see at WrestleMania, like the heavily rumored battle with John Cena or even A.J. Styles (though word on the street is a battle with Roman Reigns is looming), but considering The Deadman's age and lack of health, both of these seem more like nightmares than anything else.
Look, we all know that we'll hear the gong and see the smoke one more time at WrestleMania 33, but do we really want to see the 51 year old Phenom be carried away from the ring in Orlando on a stretcher? While others on this list have the opportunity to carry on their legacy or attempt to build one elsewhere, let us remember The Undertaker for all the epic matches he graced us with, not the shell of his former self.
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