As of the spring of 2017, the World Wrestling Entertainment universe is one that contains multiple titles on both the Raw and SmackDown brands. Each of those touring rosters has its own top champion as well as mid-card title holders that work on television shows, pay-per-view “special events” and off-television arena shows. Looking at the overall size of the main WWE roster and also realizing there are two major groups working underneath the company’s umbrella, it isn’t all that crazy to suggest wrestlers who are seen as forgettable figures could one day hoist a WWE Title some day down the road. After all, it’s not as if WWE Titles are treated like sacred objects as they were back in the days of old.
With that said, there are some WWE supposed stars who, to borrow the phrase made famous by the one and only Vince McMahon, have “no chance in hell” of winning a WWE Title during their current stints with the company. Somewhat noteworthy here is that some of the wrestlers mentioned in this piece have actually won WWE Titles in the past, but it’s been made clear they won’t again reach such majestic heights in the future. Perhaps the biggest shame about this is that plenty of the performers spotlighted here are talented workers who, for one reason of another, won’t receive pushes or the respect from the WWE that they’ve earned through their in-ring achievements. There’s always Ring of Honor, we suppose.
15 Zack Ryder
It doesn’t seem as if it was all that long ago when Zack Ryder was the self-appointed “Internet Champion” who got himself over using his own YouTube show. That, of course, resulted in Ryder earning a rather lackluster run as the United States champion, and he was ultimately relegated back down to NXT before getting an opportunity to work on the SmackDown roster.
Ryder’s best days in the WWE are seemingly in the past, and it’s difficult to imagine he’ll be much of anything within the company moving forward. One has to wonder what might have been had Ryder asked for his release years ago. Perhaps he would’ve picked up momentum elsewhere and eventually been given a second chance in the WWE. A what "if" case is the story of Ryder's career.
14 Tyler Breeze
Remember when Tyler Breeze was one of the top heels working in the NXT brand and also having great matches and generating legitimate reactions from fans? Now, Breeze is nothing more than a comedy figure part of a SmackDown tag team that is going nowhere quickly. We suppose it’s possible the WWE will allow Breeze to hold a Tag Team Title as a transitional champion at some point, but even that is a stretch when you evaluate how the company has treated the character since his call-up to the main roster.
Breeze is a talented worker who deserves better, but he isn’t winning a WWE Title in the foreseeable future unless his character goes though a significant change that probably includes a second stint in NXT.
13 Bo Dallas
Not everybody can be a Superstar working for the WWE, as every pro wrestling promotion needs enhancement talent, or jobbers, that help get others over. That’s where you come in, Mr. Bo Dallas. Dallas did just fine working as one of the top characters in NXT, but those responsible for making important decisions in WWE obviously did not view Dallas highly after he was called up to the main roster.
At this point, Dallas would be a jobber if he was dropped down to NXT to work with the likes of No Way Jose, Bobby Roode and the next man featured in this piece. It’s not happening for Bo, and we can’t imagine why any fan of the product reading this sentence would think differently as of the spring of 2017.
12 Kassius Ohno
The artist formerly known as Chris Hero has been given a second chance to work for NXT, but those of you hoping that you’ll one day see Kassius Ohno be handed an opportunity to truly carry the flag for that brand would do well to pump the breaks. While the WWE has been far more open about the types of talents the company signs from independent promotions, the reality remains that those in charge have ideas about what they want champions to look like to casual fans.
Ohno, no disrespect meant, doesn’t have that look, and we have no reason to believe he's going to go out of the way to improve his physique. Ohno will do well carrying others to good matches, but don’t hold your breath thinking the WWE will have him hold a title during his latest run.
Years from now, there will be an unbelievable trivia question that involves the fact Fandango actually beat Chris Jericho in his debut match that occurred at WrestleMania. No, you weren’t dreaming. It really happened, and it was probably the top moment of a WWE career that quickly went downhill after that first match. Fandango is a fine worker, but the WWE obviously isn’t putting him over anybody worth any significance en route to winning a title on any brand.
What’s particularly harsh here is that we don’t think a character change could even help Fandango at this rate. The damage has been done, and Fandango’s dance and song aren’t even over with fans anymore. Leave the memories alone, as the song teaches us, and thanks for that one WrestleMania match.
10 Jinder Mahal
The WWE needed some fresh bodies after the company split the Raw and SmackDown rosters in the summer of 2016, and thus workers such as Jinder Mahal were brought back to wrestle on television and live events. Mahal’s best moments during his return involved working alongside Rusev, but it seems that partnership is not one meant for future plans.
We may see Mahal continue to work as a background figure on either Raw or SmackDown, but he’s nowhere near any title picture. Much like Bo Dallas, Mahal’s role with the company will be to make others on the roster look better. We imagine fans would actually laugh if Mahal were given a run with any title the way his character has been booked over the past year.
9 Eva Marie
Take one look at Eva Marie, and you can understand why multiple people working within the WWE would want to push her as a major star capable of carrying one of the two Women’s Titles once she is talented enough to wrestle in the main event of a show. The problem here is that we aren’t sure she’ll ever get to such a level. There’s also the fact that we haven’t actually seen her on WWE television since she allegedly violated the company’s Wellness Policy in the summer of 2017.
Eva Marie likely has a bright future away from the WWE if she wanted to pursue such business endeavors, and that is another reason we don’t see her holding a title during her career that may be finished as far as we know.
8 Titus O'Neil
On paper, Titus O’Neil seemingly has the goods to carry a WWE Title and be a star who can get over among fans. He’s big, he has a good look and he’s improved as an in-ring worker from his early days in the WWE. O’Neil is missing that “it” factor often mentioned by fans and even in WWE storylines and that is why we’re putting him in the middle of this list.
The WWE has tried several different ways to make O’Neil a bigger deal in the eyes of fans, but audiences just didn’t buy it. It’s possible things would’ve gone differently had O’Neil been booked as a monster heel starting from day one, but what’s done is done. He won’t be winning a WWE Title.
7 James Ellsworth
We absolutely love the James Ellsworth character. Any fan who ever dreamed of making it as a pro wrestler but who couldn't do so because of physical limitations or other hurdles can completely relate to this character. We’re not going to go crazy with the joke and say Ellsworth should ever be given a major push, though, and that’s why he’s mentioned here as a star who won’t ever win a WWE Title.
Ellsworth is fine as a manager or even a valet for a female wrestler, but he has no sustainable future as a singles worker for any of the three WWE brands. Keep doing what you’re doing, James, but don’t go anywhere near a title picture while working for the company...or else.
6 Xavier Woods
Believe it or not, this has nothing to do with the leak of controversial pictures that included Xavier Woods and other pro wrestlers Paige and Brad Maddox. Woods has never been given a real shot to show what he could do as a singles worker, and he has also been positioned as the third guy and the comedy figure of the New Day.
That group’s gimmick jumped the figurative shark long ago, and we aren’t sure what will happen with any of the three wrestlers once the trio breaks up and moves on. Perhaps Woods will finally be treated as a serious wrestler by the company, but we more so expect he’ll be turned into a jobber on either Raw or SmackDown after the New Day ends.
5 Eric Young
It has been fascinating to watch Eric Young develop as a wrestler and as a character from when he first debuted in what is now known as Impact Wrestling all the way to his days as part of the current NXT roster. Young could be a great manager for a top heel group on the main WWE roster, but we imagine his lack of size will prevent him from ever carrying a major title while working with the company.
It wouldn’t be the worst thing for the WWE if Young remained down in NXT working with future would-be stars, but we’d like to see him have a chance at a real run on either Raw or SmackDown. That probably won’t happen, though, and so he’s mentioned here.
4 Simon Gotch
There are some cases where it's made obvious a WWE performer is never going to receive a run with a title, and that is the case with Simon Gotch. The Vaudevillains were treated as a legitimate tag team capable of beating talented duos in NXT, but Gotch and Aiden English have been booked as comedy jokes for the majority of their stints as part of the SmackDown roster.
Gotch may not be the biggest guy or the best wrestler, but the company has done him zero favors following his days in NXT. It’s almost as if the WWE never wanted to put them over even in NXT in the first place, and one has to wonder if the company ever had any actual plans for Gotch and English following the summer of 2016.
3 Hideo Itami
The pro wrestling fates have seemingly been against Hideo Itami for much of his WWE career as he continues to deal with nagging injury issues. An injury sidelined him right when it appeared as if he was on the cusp of getting called up to the main roster, and he's now barely a figure on the visual NXT roster. Itami could be one of the top overall workers in the WWE, but odds are he'll eventually be overshadowed by Shinsuke Nakamura once Nakamura is wrestling on either Raw or SmackDown later in 2017.
Perhaps good fortune will eventually smile on Itami, but that hasn’t been the case for well over a year. We’re sorry to say we don’t see Itami winning a WWE Title during his run in the company.
2 Tye Dillinger
Some of you may not believe that it’s been over a decade since we first saw the wrestler now known as Tye Dillinger on a segment of WWE television. While he was positioned as a jobber in the NXT brand, Dillinger did well to become a fan-favorite because of his “Perfect 10” gimmick that leads fans to jump to their feet and chant during his matches. His gimmick and theme song are over, but Dillinger has a long ways to go before he is positioned at the top of any WWE card.
Watching him perform is a lot of fun, but WWE storylines have indicated Dillinger is nothing more than a mid-card guy who can’t hang with top wrestlers in NXT let alone on the main roster.
1 Sami Zayn
This one is probably the most frustrating on the list. One would’ve thought the WWE would’ve learned a lesson about booking underdogs after Daniel Bryan became one of the biggest Superstars featured by the company this decade. That hasn’t been the case with Sami Zayn, who is the perfect babyface the WWE needs heading into the summer of 2017.
WWE writing repeatedly buries Zayn despite his amazing talent and ability to generate babyface sympathy, and we expect that will continue as the WWE tries to force Roman Reigns as its top star. That’s too bad, because Zayn could be something special if he was treated as he was during the majority of his time in NXT. We’re confident in predicting Zayn won’t win a WWE Title.