The current landscape of WWE leaves a lot of frustrated talent. One of the biggest issues is the part-timers coming back for WrestleMania season. Goldberg was Universal Championship after wrestling for fewer than five minutes during his stint in the company leading up to WrestleMania 33. Brock Lesnar defeated him and the Universal Championship is now sitting home with it not being defended any time soon. Many of the current performers have been sacrificed or booked with no credibility. Those wrestlers tend to get viewed with less excitement than the bigger names in the company.
Wrestlers feeling they're getting overlooked or not getting opportunities will always lead to frustration and unhappiness. Interviews, social media posts and rumors have all given us a plethora of names currently under contract that find unhappiness with their current position in WWE. These performers range from people feeling underutilized with a lack of a push to some downright miserable struggling to get television time. The following wrestlers all have their reason for the way they likely feel about their position in the WWE pecking order. We'll take a look at each individual story of fifteen current WWE stars rumored to be unhappy with their status in the company.
15 Bray Wyatt
The Superstar Shakeup created a lot of chaos. One person to see a negative change is Bray Wyatt. Over the course of two weeks, Wyatt went from the WWE Champion leading the SmackDown Live roster to just another guy on Raw. WWE has teased Wyatt to have feuds with Finn Balor and Dean Ambrose both in the past few weeks, but he's clearly nowhere near the Universal Championship picture with Brock Lesnar on a part-time schedule.
Wyatt is reportedly unhappy with the change. SmackDown’s creative time allowed for longer storylines and intricate storytelling. It helped Bray finally become a World Champion with some of the best work of his career. Wyatt has also lost his Wyatt Family partners by moving to Raw. If the rumors are true, Wyatt has all of the reasons in the world to be upset with the instant regression a few months after winning the WWE Championship.
14 American Alpha
WWE is already appearing to show doubt in American Alpha’s ability to be a top tag team. Jason Jordan was asked about their SmackDown Tag Team Championship match against The Usos taking place on an episode of SmackDown Live rather than WrestleMania 33. Jordan expressed frustration and disappointment with the match being unofficially bumped off the card.
Both members of American Alpha have reason to be worried after losing the titles and being positioned in a secondary feud with Primo and Epico. New Day moving to SmackDown also means American Alpha will be slotted lower in the pecking order on the face side of the Tag Team Division. Gable and Jordan are struggling and the comments of disappointment in their WrestleMania placement definitely shows the early troubles on the main roster.
The confusion of how to present Emma has followed her throughout her WWE career. Emma debuted with her comedic dancing character that was popular in NXT. It didn’t connect on the main roster and she has tried a few different gimmicks since then. The fake out of the Emmalina makeover saw her return to her heel Emma character.
Emma has posted some subtle and some blatant comments on social media showing her frustration of WWE’s booking. The company portrays Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Becky Lynch as being the first four ladies from NXT to break out and create the women’s wrestling movement. Emma is not happy about being excluded and used as a secondary wrestler considering she achieved similar success before those four. Hopefully she finally gets a chance to prove her talent with the brand split needing more women to fill the two rosters.
Cesaro has been frustrated with his placement in WWE for many years now. The athletic talent of Cesaro is up there with anyone else in the company, but WWE just does not believe he can be a main event singles star. A decision was made to put him and Sheamus in a tag team going forward due to having no plans for either man.
Rumors were circulating last year that Cesaro would have interest in jumping ship from WWE to New Japan and the United States independent scene. Cesaro clearly wants to prove he is the best at his job and WWE booking prevents it from happening despite the flashes of brilliance. The fact that Cesaro isn’t completely happy with his status in WWE should come to no surprise after Vince McMahon named him as someone that has failed to grab the “brass ring.”
11 Curtis Axel
Most wrestlers on the WWE roster will get repackages or switch brands to mix it up when struggling. Curtis Axel is one guy that has been stuck in the same forgettable spot for many years. Following a push with Paul Heyman as his manager ending quickly, Axel regressed back into an enhancement talent unable to get consistent television.
The decision of Axel to reply to one of Triple H’s tweets congratulating Naomi for winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship showed his frustration with his spot in WWE. Axel replied that he also was one of the original NXT talents and is still patiently waiting on his opportunity. A talent publicly calling out one of the high profile names running the company with a message like that tells you all you need to know about frustration with their standing.
10 Eva Marie
Eva Marie is still a member of the WWE for the time being as she remains on the sidelines. WWE suspended her back in August of 2016 for violating the Wellness Policy after failing a drug test. Eva has yet to return to television since then and has removed references to WWE from her social media pages. The current rumor is WWE is scheduled to let her contract expire with no attempt to ever bring her back.
Regardless of if that is true or not, Eva is clearly not happy with her standing in WWE on the sidelines. Total Divas showed Eva express frustration that her prior gimmick of avoiding matches didn’t allow her to show off her alleged improvement as a wrestler. The fact that her career may very well end this way has to be quite upsetting for Eva.
9 The Cruiserweight Division
Aside from Neville and Austin Aries, the Cruiserweight Division has struggled immensely to get over. The matches on Monday Night Raw are usually met with fans chanting CM Punk or just remaining silent. It gets worse for 205 Live with many fans leaving after SmackDown Live ends due to not caring enough for the cruiserweight boys.
The sad aspect is many of the cruiserweights left success with NXT or on the independent scene to take the spot on the main roster. Rich Swann could easily be a main event act on NXT becoming a bigger star before his debut. The majority of cruiserweights are allegedly on a low paying contract worse than what top independent stars make. Zack Sabre Jr. is currently thriving on the indies and could receive a bigger spot if he eventually signs with WWE. The rest of the cruiserweight guys have to be kicking themselves for not waiting like he did.
8 The Ascension
The Ascension were the most dominant tag team in NXT for quite some time before finally getting called up to the main roster. During their initial push, they were buried on commentary by JBL before getting beat up by a bunch of veterans. The Ascension has not done anything of note since then falling into the lowest tier on the main roster.
Both men have tried to make changes to their look and in-ring move set at live events. Unfortunately, WWE does not appear to view them as being a team that can truly work in the Tag Title picture unless it's a multi-team match. The Ascension have to be very displeased with no help at all from the booking after such a strong run in NXT.
7 Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks was the top women’s wrestling star during the early stages of the women’s revolution on the main roster. Fans loved Banks as a highly entertaining heel character coming off her run of classic matches against Becky Lynch and Bayley. Today, Banks is a distant third or maybe even fourth in the pecking order behind Charlotte Flair, Bayley and possibly Alexa Bliss.
Reports indicated Banks was very frustrated with her position in the Women’s Division last year losing to Charlotte on PPV and never getting over the hump. Banks apparently wanted to go to SmackDown Live rather than remain on the Raw brand. A bigger push is to be expected this year with Charlotte being the one to leave Raw, so hopefully Banks has more happiness with a change in the works.
6 Apollo Crews
The happy smile of Apollo Crews makes it impossible to figure out his true feelings. Crews has great potential but has been rarely featured over the past year. Following an Intercontinental Championship loss to The Miz at SummerSlam 2016, Crews turned into a lower card act with inconsistent television time. Crews revealed during WrestleMania 33 weekend interviews that he was disappointed with how things went but has optimism to change it around.
A move to Raw at least gives him a new environment to try to get over once again. Crews is currently involved in a storyline with Titus O’Neil. It sounds bleak but at least he's on television after having no real purpose on SmackDown Live for months. Crews showing frustration makes it known he's not happy with just being another guy on the roster and he wants to showcase his ability.
5 Summer Rae
Summer Rae showed potential as a tremendous heel personality in FCW and NXT before coming up to the main roster. WWE has not been able to utilize her charisma in short-lived roles managing the likes of Fandango, Rusev and Tyler Breeze. An injury has Summer sidelined but she has remained vocal on social media regarding certain issues in WWE today.
Mick Foley had an exchange with a fan wanting to see Rae in the Raw storylines. Foley implied that Summer wasn’t on the level of Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks leading to Summer blasting him. Rae isn’t happy that her talent and potential being viewed as secondary compared to the current pushed women in the pecking order of WWE. Summer returning from injury means she should be on television soon. Hopefully WWE at least gives her somewhat of a chance to succeed or fail on her own.
4 Dolph Ziggler
The story has been the same for Dolph Ziggler over the past few years. Ziggler has failed to sustain relevance with his pushes all ending abruptly. We have reached the point where fans no longer care about Ziggler and his chances at returning to the main event picture are slim to none.
Ziggler has shown intensity in some promos about his standing in the company. For all the warranted criticism he may get, Ziggler’s work ethic isn’t something that can be questioned. The time he puts into wrestling often gives him little back in comparison to his peers surpassing him through the years. Ziggler is rumored to be one of the names considering leaving WWE when his contract ends if nothing changes due to unhappiness over his standing.
Paige is obviously one of the WWE employees unhappy with her current standing in the company. WWE unsuccessfully attempted to break up her relationship with Alberto Del Rio by putting them on separate brands. Del Rio and Paige were both suspended for violating the Wellness Policy. Paige failed the test twice claiming the first was for not taking it in a timely manner and the second was for a prescription drug for her neck injury.
The current status of Paige is still up in the air as she recovers from her neck injury. Some reports have suggested WWE will not select to bring her back to television following the latest leaked scandal. Very few people had a fall from grace faster than Paige, at this point, it seems like her days in the company are likely done.
2 Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn was unhappy with his place in WWE specifically come WrestleMania 33. His peers like Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins and Cesaro all had matches on the main show. Zayn was stuck in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal losing to Mojo Rawley of all people. A house show in his home of Montreal featured Zayn defeating Owens in the main event and proclaiming after the match that it was his WrestleMania moment.
The change from Raw to SmackDown Live was welcomed for Sami after failing to get over the hump on Raw. Zayn continues to put on impressive performances but it just feels like WWE is waiting to push him forward as a top level wrestler. The frustration has to be setting in as time passes by and nothing changes for the better.
1 Dean Ambrose
The recent reports of WWE viewing Dean Ambrose as lazy and complacent have to make him upset with his standing in the company. Ambrose went from being the first WWE Champion in the new era of the brand split to being a forgettable mid-carder. In just one year, Ambrose fell from having an attraction match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32 to being on the WrestleMania 33 pre-show for a match with Baron Corbin.
Between the negative rumors about him and the obvious decline in success, Ambrose has to be very unhappy with his status. No one has worked more matches without time off than Ambrose over the past few years. WWE starting to take him for granted can’t sit well with the Lunatic Fringe. It'll be interesting to see what changes Ambrose makes with the move to Raw, giving him a chance to change things up.