The talent roster in the WWE is constantly changing. If you don't tune-in for a few years, it's likely that most of the wrestlers and story angles you're used to have been refreshed. This helps to keep the talent and the stories from getting too stale. There are other wrestling companies that can afford to have some lesser qualified talent that are still working on their gimmick, but the WWE is the top of the game. The talent in the WWE needs to be on point at all times, and if they aren't able to morph and grow with the times, then they are in danger of getting in a major rut, which makes the viewing stale for the WWE Universe.
There's no shortage of talent out there, both in NXT, in other promotions and on the independent circuit that could fill many of these spots. Unfortunately, there are some who cling and hang-on far past the time that they should be involved with the company, at least on-camera. A lot of the talent has the decency to take a position in training down at NXT or in the back office when things stop going well on camera. There are others that refuse to let go.
We don't care if you're in-ring talent or a commentator. If you're played out, bad or just uninteresting...then you just made THE LIST!
15 David Otunga
He's one of the many, many men at the already overcrowded announce table of SmackDown Live! David Otunga was an alright talent in the ring, but as an announcer, he is, quite frankly, complete rubbish. If he's not obsessing ever so creepily about John Cena's physique, he's almost whispering in his trademark monotone voice. His only hook appears to be that he's married to Grammy/Oscar award winning singer and actress, Jennifer Hudson. JBL makes sure to point that out at least twenty times an episode...just in case the audience forgot.
Sitting next to Mauro Ranallo (who's awesome!) just further highlights how completely flat and emotionless Otunga's delivery is. Otunga needs a lot of work, maybe some time down in NXT getting help with his commentary game. Regarldess of where he goes, it's time to hang-up the headset in the WWE!
14 James Ellsworth
You have to admit, the WWE knows how to milk an angle that was mildly amusing until it's so overdone that you want to literally pull the hair out of your head. James Ellsworth debuted in a squash match against Braun Strowman. His "chinless" goofy appearance made for a few funny memes, but that is where is story should have ended. WWE, never one to let something that gets even a bit of attention go, brought him back on air.
They let him beat A.J. Styles (AJ FREAKING STYLES!) twice. They gave him his very own t-shirt AND signed him to a contract. All we can hope is that the contract is only for a year, because this guy needs to go. It's not just his lack of physique and awkward appearance, but he has NO charisma and could use some acting lessons.
The whole "Disco Inferno" thing was cute in the WCW back in the 1990s, but even then it was a silly gimmick. Fandango got a great push when he first debuted, defeating Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 29. Since then, the most popular thing about him has been his snazzy theme music. Oh, the theme music and the silly dance that captivated audiences at multiple types of sporting events around the country for about a day.
He has in-ring ability and he's not bad on the microphone, but the WWE clearly has no use for him. If anything, he needs a drastic character change. These days, Fandango has been partnered with NXT call-up fail Tyler Breeze in a tag team that seems to be male strippers that hand out fashion police tickets. It's just gotten weird, and it needs to end.
12 Bob Backlund
We love the appearance of a beloved ring veteran as much as the next mark, but Bob Backlund has been around far too much the last few years. Backlund was a great talent in his day, but his day was a very, very long time ago. No one is disputing that Bob Backlund is a nice guy, but he wasn't exactly the biggest draw back in the day when he took over as the main babyface after Bruno Sammartino retired.
They put the belt on Backlund, who was much smaller than Sammartino, and his lack of draw nearly set the company into bankruptcy. If he comes out to wave every once in awhile—that's lovely, but his whole character with training Darren Young just managed to make both of them come off as tiresome, ill-planned and bland.
11 Stephanie McMahon
This one is done with tough love. Stephanie is one of the best heels that the WWE has and we know realistically she isn't going anywhere. She's the boss's daughter, the princess and heiress to the empire. With that being said, she needs to make her appearances fewer and further between. There are those that "get" Steph and think she makes an amazing heel, but there are many others who just legitimately can't stand the sight of her. No matter where you fall, one thing is for certain, she has been spending way too much time in front of the camera.
The WWE just needs a good "heel" general manager to run Monday Night RAW and then Stephanie can take care of back office duties instead. We should be seeing Stephanie sitting next to Vince with a headset on. Then, when she does appear, it's a big old deal. Trips is doing a better job balancing this concept, which is why he didn't make the list!
10 Mick Foley
This one is said with absolute respect and love, but Mick, you need to go, man! There are few talents as dedicated or memorable as the Hardcore Legend, but Mick Foley needs to resign as the general manager of Monday Night Raw and get that hip surgery that he so desperately needs. It's painful to watch him ache and pain his way out to the ring every week, knowing full well that he could be getting the help that he needs. He can go anytime, we know that he's working on a handshake contract.
There is no doubt that the WWE would find a place for him moving forward, even if he needs to take a year or so off. You left it all in the ring Mick, especially your health, but now the best thing you can do for the fans is to feel better!
9 Booker T
Booker T has been a favorite for wrestling fans since his days in the WCW, when he tagged with his brother Stevie Ray as Harlem Heat, which he followed up with a great solo run. When the ever-so weak WCW "Invasion" angle went down, he was one of the saving graces of the whole debacle. His feud with Steve Austin (and that grocery store battle) was awesome.
Booker tends to show up on the pre-show and pay-per-view event panels to spread extremely tired and just bizarre catchphrases like "Shucky Ducky Quack Quack" and to remind us how many times he was champ. It's just not fun, it feels like a punishment. Honestly, the pre-shows are enough punishment as it is, so It's time to go....SUCKA!
8 Curt Hawkins
What in the hell WWE was thinking by bringing Curt Hawkins back to television? We'll never know. Hawkins had week after week of downright painful promos that were engineered to be funny, but were instead the worst thing that anyone had ever seen. He tortured us with Curt Hawkins style Chuck Norris "facts" that would've been a great gimmick twelve years ago. Unfortunately, today it's a bit worn out.
Speaking of worn out, Hawkins is nothing to see in the ring either. He's spending his time as a squash opponent to c-class wrestlers. The term jobber doesn't even apply here, it's too gracious. His first run in the WWE from 2006 to 2014 was bad enough. Hawkins should have stayed over in TNA.
7 Titus O'Neil
Titus O'Neil aka "Pancakes Patterson" is a very, very large wrestler. He was funny when he tagged with Darren Young in the Primetime Players (oh, I did the millions of dollars dance!), but he has been underutilized since the beginning of his career with the WWE. Titus has talent, and yet he's sitting at the bottom of the card, used mostly at house shows, and given no decent storylines.
Titus could find a much more rewarding home at one of the other promotions, perhaps Impact Wrestling? They're looking to change things up over there, there might be some opportunities for a talented guy to get involved in. Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio and Damien Sandow have already found a new home over there. Perhaps, there is a whole new era of talent that can build a decent roster but doesn't quite fit with the WWE.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. When John "Bradshaw" Layfield was an in-ring talen, he was talented and apart of many great storylines. He tagged with Faarooq, aka Ron Simmons (Damn!), and the two dominated as the APA. He has been involved with the company on and off over the years and has delivered whenever he stepped in-ring action.
His history in the ring isn't under question, but since JBL has returned to the commentator's desk full-time in 2012, it's been nothing but the same worn-out one liners and forced over-sells week after week. He started on Monday Night RAW as part of that disaster of a team and now he's working hard to ruin SmackDown Live! Layfield flies all the way from his home in Bermuda to do SmackDown Live each week...perhaps it would be easier to just stay home?
5 Michael Cole
Oh, Michael Cole, how you vex us so. It could be the fact that he has been intolerable on the camera since day one as a backstage interviewer in the WWE. It would be his put-on announcer voice or maybe the fact that he made us all hate the WWE App. There are so many things to choose from.
Okay, we know that Vince is feeding him a lot of the cheesy lines, but Cole is one of the few who's been intolerable. He's like a robot that's been programmed to spit out scripted lines, often with incorrect calls or information, instead of actually playing off of the other announcers with any banter.
4 Byron Saxton
We wanted to like Byron Saxton. He's a good guy, seems like the goofy puppy that just won't stop sniffing your crotch. Unfortunately, Byron was brought up from NXT way too soon and he just falls flat on the big table during Monday Night Raw. It doesn't help that he's playing off of fellow list entrant Michael Cole, but all we end up getting is the soft-spoken babyfaced babyface announcer getting picked-on by Corey Graves.
The issue isn't that Saxton is bad at his job. Technically, he can call the action and interject things correctly, but it's done more like a sheepish robot than someone with real charisma. The announcers are our gateway to the action and it's their job to help paint the story for us. When they aren't a good character themselves, it's harder for the audience to get invested. Perhaps a few more years down in NXT would do Byron some good.
3 Jerry Lawler
Jerry "The King" Lawler is one of the most pivotal veterans we still get to see active on-screen. Lawler recently left his duties on RAW for a backstage position, amidst controversy with a domestic dispute that he had with his girlfriend. But it's been a long time for Jerry to go. He still does the occasional pre-show panel and in-ring appearance.
He was once a huge name in wrestling, his mult-media feud with comedian Andy Kaufman is legendary. He was the overly enthusiastic voice of the Attitude Era, but nowadays, the best fans are getting is forced puns. I mean, the guy had a heart attack on the job back in 2012. It's time to stay off camera and let some of the young blood figure out their place in the company.
There is no doubt that Emma has in-ring ability and she's certainly an attractive girl, but there's something about her face that says "I hate my life". It's a confusing situation to be in, because you want to root for Emma. Perhaps, she's just a grumpy sort of gal, but that shouldn't come through your character, unless you're playing heel.
The recent Emmalina disaster only further cemented our thoughts on her need for a departure. Honestly, even if it had gone well, it was a weak attempt at a character change. She could probably do very well in Ring of Honor or TNA, but the WWE talent pool is just at too high of a level right now.
1 The New Day
Okay, hear us out on his one. The ultimate face team is so much fun to watch, and we've been caught eating Booty-O's for breakfast once or twice ourselves, but c'mon people we all know that Vince doesn't let us have nice things. He's like the George R. R. Martin of wrestling. It's inevitable that the trio is going to break-up, feud and then go solo...they may as well just get on with it before we waste more money on New Day merchandise.
Kofi Kingston already had a good career before joining the team, Big E had a nice run with Dolph Ziggler and it's long overdue for Xavier Woods to flex his talent and develop his character all on his own! We're not saying the WWE should release them, but it's certainly time to split up the group.