The WWE has employed a multitude of wrestlers over the years and each of them have different experiences as it relates to their employment and their television time. Usually, the fans assume the people who are on TV the most and promoted the heaviest are the people who are signed to long-term contracts and will be with the company for years to come. Alternatively, people who aren’t on television all the time are typically thought to be injured or out of the company completely. Now, in the age of social media, it’s a lot easier to determine who’s employed and who isn’t by looking it up, but forgetting some people on the roster is still a habit that occurs with viewers.
It's expected that people who watch sporadically wouldn’t know if certain wrestlers or well-known employees are still around, but even people who consistently watch WWE programming on a week to week basis will forget about a wrestler if they’re not popular or on TV often enough. Some people are rumored to be in the dog house or not liked by officials so often that it comes as a complete shock to learn that they're employed by the WWE. Other times, it's merely just fans discussing that certain people have nothing to offer or have yet to improve. And to make matters worse, the WWE has more people employed now than ever before, in addition to multiple shows, so it’s even harder to keep up with the various rosters.
With all that in mind, this article we'll be looking at 15 WWE employees that you’ll find it hard to believe are still employed by the WWE, enjoy!
The year 2016 was not good for Paige and many people saw her career heading downhill based on some of the decisions she made in the past; decisions many people felt the WWE would fire her for at some point.
Before Paige went for her neck surgery and was sent home to recover, she violated the WWE’s Wellness Policy twice and is now one violation away from being fired. This led many people to believe that she was purposely trying to get fired to get out of her contract due to her frustration with not being utilized. When you also factor in the backstage heat she garnered for pursuing a relationship with former WWE Superstar Alberto Del Rio, then it’s abundantly clear that she isn’t happy with the WWE. She’s openly talked about possibly moving on to MMA, so she may not desire to stay in the WWE much longer. Hopefully, she leaves on a good note and not via the Wellness Policy.
14 Bronson Matthews
Bronson Matthews was one of the co-winners of the 2015 Tough Enough show and hasn't been heard from ever since. The last notable thing he did was tweet about The Social Outcasts, which garnered tons of heat from the active roster. Aside from that, many people were wondering if Matthews was still under the employ of the WWE.
The only records showing that Matthews is still signed with the company are the house show results from NXT from 2015 to 2016 documented since the Tough Enough finale. Nothing on social media indicates he's been fired, but nothing confirms that he hasn't been injured or that he'll be let go from his contract soon. His future seems to be up in the air and that can't be a good sign for Matthews.
Much like the previous editions of Tough Enough, the people who get eliminated end up having more success than the actual winners.
Fans who watched the WWE during the Attitude Era may remember the Japanese stable, Kai En Tai. Some of the members of that stable were Dick Togo, Taka Michinoku, and Funaki. Once the stable came to an end, the majority of the wrestlers would leave the WWE, but one of the wrestlers who would stay with the company was Funaki.
Funaki stayed with the company as a wrestler from 1998 to 2010 when he was released from the company. However, he would still make appearances as a referee whenever the WWE came to Japan. He would show up in support of other Japanese wrestlers such as Kota Ibushi and Shinsuke Nakamura and ultimately would join the Japanese commentary team which covers all WWE Pay-Per-Views.
12 Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly did depart from the company in 2012, but she recently resigned with the WWE as an ambassador for the company. She was backstage for Monday Night Raw this past week and will be at WrestleMania AXXESS signing autographs and greeting the fans.
Kelly did a variety of things during her time in the WWE and to hear her return as an ambassador makes for some interesting news. She started off doing the Extreme Exposé for the WWE-ECW brand and working in non-wrestling roles, but would eventually go on to compete in the ring and win the Divas Championship. She left professional wrestling and would move on to do modeling and acting, so hearing that she ended up back with the WWE after all this time is quite interesting.
11 Patrick Clark
Most people who didn't follow Tough Enough wouldn't have any idea about Patrick Clark. He was eliminated from Tough Enough, but would be awarded a developmental contract. He currently wrestles under a gimmick that can be described as an homage to the late musician Prince; a gimmick that doesn't really seem to be helping him.
In a lot of ways, Patrick Clark would seem like an ideal athlete for the WWE. He has prior experience in professional wrestling in some of the smaller independent promotions which shows that he has a love or desire to be in the business for genuine reasons. He's 6'3 with an athletic build and weighs 229 pounds. Clark seems like an ideal wrestler who only needs to be given the right gimmick and this clearly isn't it. He seems satisfied with the character and even took to Twitter discussing how all the greats had to start with something, but the fan opinions aren't nearly as optimistic as he is.
10 Ho Ho Lun
Ho Ho Lun was brought into the WWE for the Cruiserweight Classic last year and was eliminated in the Second Round by Noam Dar. Lun would also take part in the NXT Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and teamed up with fellow Asian wrestler Tian Bing, but were eliminated by Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Many probably assumed he was brought in for a short-term basis, but he was announced on WWE's website as an official part of the 205 Live roster. He appeared on the first episode of 205 Live, but hasn't been seen since.
He has been working in the developmental system and seems to be working with the other Asian wrestlers who signed with the WWE. This may be done to debut all of the wrestlers at the same time or they could be planning a documentary; you never really know with the WWE.
9 Jack Swagger
The All-American American has been with the company since 2006 and has been missing in action since he moved to SmackDown. At first, Jack Swagger came to the SmackDown brand telling the fans to forget everything they knew about him; most likely to hype up future storylines and feuds. He would have a brief feud with Baron Corbin, but would do nothing else from that point.
There isn’t much of a reason why the WWE doesn’t use Swagger more. While the consensus is that his mic skills aren’t much to speak of, Swagger is still good enough in the ring and he has a good gimmick that resonates with most people. His former mouthpiece, Zeb Colter, is working for TNA Impact Wrestling again, but he wasn’t the only manager around. Swagger’s decline has been so strong that many feel he won’t be employed when the WWE starts cutting the roster down again and, at this point, that’s a very real possibility.
8 Summer Rae
Summer Rae is currently out of action due to a knee injury, but that injury didn’t stop the WWE from doing nothing with her.
Rae seemed like she would be a prominent female competitor when you consider her ties to Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks. Many fans felt that Rae was a good wrestler and while she may not be the top star, she could still be a prominent member of the roster. Unfortunately, Rae hasn’t even accomplished that over the years, as she has been wasted in gimmicks that were bound to fail from the start. She debuted as Fandango’s second dance partner, which never really caught on, then she feuded with Layla over being his dance partner, and then she got involved with one of the worst storylines of the year involving Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, and Lana.
Hopefully when Rae returns, she won’t be involved in any boring or unwanted storylines like she has in the past.
7 Sin Cara
When it comes to Sin Cara, you can really take your pick as to why you would be shocked to learn he’s still employed. On one hand, Sin Cara isn’t less of a botch machine than the original Sin Cara. Second, fans knew from the moment they saw him that he was too big and tall to be the original Sin Cara (Mistico), so they would often mock him by combining his current gimmick with his previous one in “Sin Hunico.” Lastly, he’s gotten into multiple backstage scuffles and seems to be a bit of a troublemaker.
Now, that isn’t to say that his role in the company is pointless, as he's had some decent feuds, in addition to his high-speed, fast paced team with Kalisto. But aside from those moments, Sin Cara has added nothing of value to the show and hasn’t done much beside lose to everyone else.
6 D-Von Dudley
When The Dudley Boyz bid their farewell to the WWE Universe, many fans expected both Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley to work in the indies and or work in other promotions around the world. This did happen in the case of Bubba Ray, but D-Von would stay with the company as backstage producer.
He did work the indies with Bubba Ray for a while, but he would announce his official retirement after their tag team match at House of Glory. D-Von has done a lot for the WWE, so this seems like a much easier job now that he's no longer an active wrestler. Hopefully, the WWE has D-Von working with tag team wrestlers because his wisdom and skill after years of working the tag team division could help the divisions of either Raw or SmackDown.
Ever since her debut, Tamina Snuka has yet to do anything of interest in the WWE. She was the manager for her cousins, The Usos, but would eventually focus more on wrestling and winning the Divas Championship; a title she never got to hold before it was replaced. She would be involved in the Women's Revolution as a member of the stable Team B.A.D., but would sustain an injury before the team would officially disband. Many people thought she was let go or something because of her barely even being mentioned on TV, but she is not only still employed, but has been rumored to be cleared for competition as of December.
She's signed to the SmackDown roster, so the decision to keep her off of television seems a bit odd. If anything, her ties to current SmackDown Women's Champion, Naomi, would make it the perfect time for Tamina to come back to TV and make her intentions for the title known, but nothing of this nature has come to pass yet.
4 Scotty 2 Hotty
Fans remember Scotty 2 Hotty as one of the members of Too Cool along with Grandmaster Sexay and Rikishi. The trio made for quite the entertaining group back during the Attitude Era and have made a decent living for themselves working the indie scene together. Rikishi would end up in the WWE Hall of Fame, Grandmaster Sexay still works the independents, and Scotty returned to the company and is currently working in NXT at the WWE Performance Center.
Scotty was highly successful in the WWE in various tag teams, so he definitely has a lot to offer the wrestlers who come up in NXT. He may not have been an in-ring technician or a high-flyer, but he knew how to get the crowd into him and get huge reactions for his signature move, so hopefully he's passing on his knowledge and the students at the Performance Center are learning from him.
3 Darren Young
Darren Young recently injured his arm and is currently out of action, but like many of the wrestlers on this list, he wasn’t doing much before that occurred.
Young has had some moments of success since he was signed by the WWE. He debuted as part of The Nexus and won the Tag Team Championships in his team with Titus O’Neil, The Prime Time Players, but sadly all of his downfalls occur when he was on his own. When O’Neil and Young split up the first time, neither wrestler accomplished much on their own. After their second split up, they feuded for a second time and even less people cared. However, his biggest offense came during a Donald Trump parody where his slogan was, "Make Darren Young Great Again," to which majority of the fans answered with one question…
When was Darren Young ever great?
2 Eve Torres
Eve Torres won the Divas Search in 2007 and would slowly, but surely rise up the ranks of the Divas Division to become a three-time Divas Champion; the first woman to hold that record. Torres eventually left the WWE in 2012 and would go on to do other things like acting, teaching self-defense classes, and starting her own business. However, she would return to the WWE in 2014 and has remained an ambassador for the company ever since.
Torres was an athletic wrestler and managed to accomplish a lot in a short time. Staying with the company as an ambassador seems like a good move for the company as Torres seems competent in her roles onscreen and the various outreach programs the WWE has. She was okay in the ring, but her role as an ambassador seems like a much better fit.
1 Eva Marie
It seems like almost a year has passed since All-Red everything was suspended from the WWE. Her Wellness Policy suspension only lasted for 30 days, but she began filming for a movie and hasn’t been back ever since… and honestly, she hasn’t been missed much either.
Ever since Marie was in the company, people have not cared for her for one reason or another. Whether it’s her microphone skills, her wrestling, or her clear exploitation of wrestling fans, the WWE audience don’t really care for her as a whole. Her wrestling skills improved when she was trained by Brian Kendrick, but still weren’t much to speak of. Now there are rumors circulating that she may be distancing herself from the WWE and the popular opinion about her alleged departure is that she wasn’t adding anything to the show anyway.