It’s no secret that WWE doesn’t always do right by their talent. Far too many times, Vince McMahon has pushed people who don’t deserve it simply on their looks or personal likes. At the same time, others have dropped or denied a chance that they deserved to be stars. It’s not like WWE is alone as this has happened to slews of promoters over the years. But as WWE are the main wrestling business today, it becomes more prominent when they make such mistakes. And sadly, there are plenty of them going around today.
You have guys set up as main event stars when they’re not deserving of it. Folks pushed down when the fans clearly want them to be the face of the company. Folks who are either heels or faces when they’re not suited and others overpaid for their antics. True, listening to the online fans can be a risk but it’s still obvious when some folks don’t deserve their treatment or their current position, good or bad. Some deserve better, others worse but fans can agree their current spot isn’t where they should be. Here are 15 current WWE talents who don’t deserve their place in the company and one can hope Vince gets the message.
15 JBL: Employed
That JBL still is hired by WWE is astounding. The stories of his bullying are famous in the industry, including a real fight with the Blue Meanie and more. The man has pulled stuff that should have gotten anyone else canned yet still retains his job. He did a Nazi bit in Germany and WWE rewarded him with an eight-month title run. He’s continued to have runs with titles and then a major job as commentator. This despite constant talk of his bullying, his antics and brutal “hazing” of rookies.
The latest are reports that led to the departure of Mauro Ranallo with long talk in Justin Roberts’ book of JBL’s treatment of people. Despite that, JBL is still a major face on commentary and is pushed by WWE a lot. That he gets a pass when so many folks have been fired for far less just makes WWE look bad and why JBL should have gotten the boot long ago.
14 Sheamus: His Big Contract
Sheamus has always been a love/hate guy for fans. He has his strengths, a good worker but his time as champion hasn’t exactly set the business on fire. Either as face or heel, fans have a hard time taking to him and often booing him in a “we hate him on screen” way more than heel way. Right now, he’s stuck in a tag team with Cesaro, good work but both guys deserve better. Most notably however, is that Sheamus has one of the bigger contracts in the business today at $1.3 million per year.
That’s a ridiculously large amount for someone stuck in tag team work and clearly having reached their peak as a singles star. For him to make this much when other guys make far less is ridiculous and if anyone in the company should be in line for a huge pay cut, it’s the Celtic Warrior.
13 James Ellsworth: A Spot
Okay, it was funny for a while. A guy with no chin and did some nutty stuff with promos who caught on with fans. WWE used him in a fun way, actually getting wins over champion AJ Styles and winning folks over as a fighting underdog. So yes, it was fun for a bit. But now, it’s time to drop it. The stuff with Carmella is just stupid and the brutal truth is that Ellsworth just doesn’t look like a real WWE star. He’s a goofball and can do funny comedy bits but trying to push him as something more serious just doesn’t work.
The intergender match against Cena and Nikki was a mess and that WWE keeps pushing him on is a bit crazy. Ellsworth climbing the ladder and retrieving the briefcase in the first Women's MITB ladder match was a disgrace. His time was fun but it’s over so if Ellsworth is to be used, have it be more a jobber than anything truly serious.
12 Big Show: Still a Star
One has to give it to Paul Wight, a good talent who’s done far better in wrestling than most thought he would have. He has risen well in WCW and then WWE, a multiple champion and over as a heel or face. He can still go at times but it’s damn clear that years of injuries and wear have hurt his standing. Yet WWE continues to push Show as a major deal despite how his bouts can be slow as hell. They continue to push him on as a big guy in feuds and even main events although his best days are long past him. Fans groan at his arrival more than cheers and chants of “just retire” can be common. True, WWE may want to reward his loyalty and the guy enjoys his work but most believe it’s long past time the Show finally ring the curtain down.
11 Mojo Rawley: Pushed as Big Name
One might think it’s Vince McMahon pushing Mojo hard. The guy is a big and beefy worker, just the type Vince loves. But by all reports, it’s actually Triple H who’s got a major fix on pushing the guy up. For some reason, Hunter thinks Mojo can be a huge star despite the fact he really hasn’t shown that much potential. The former football player has had runs with Zach Ryder and seemed ready to go for the tag titles until Ryder’s injury. He’s now being pushed as a singles guy, winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and more feuds. This despite very little real support from the fans who dismiss him as just a slow and big guy. Yet somehow, it seems Mojo is Hunter’s pet project and thus his push coming despite how fans may not want it.
10 Charlotte: Face
Charlotte Flair is proof the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. She is a terrific worker and her place as one of the top ladies in WWE is deserved. She’s helped make women’s wrestling be taken seriously again, elevating them from “Divas” to real workers. Gorgeous, she’s weathered things like the nude photo leaks and has great charm outside the ring. Inside, she’s a top worker and a great heel. Like her father, Charlotte is tops as a heel, selling arrogance and takes to it easily which helped her rise as a champion. Which is why making her a face makes no sense. The woman just takes to being hated far easier and having fans now backing her up is just odd.
There are far better candidates for the face to cheer and making Charlotte the lead babyface lady is a bizarre choice. She deserves to be on top but far more effective as the heel than the one being cheered.
9 Sami Zayn: Pushed Down
A brilliant move by Triple H was his insistence El Generico remove his mask when he joined NXT. It was a risk due to how huge over the guy was on the indies but it paid off. In NXT, Zayn was amazing, a fantastic worker whose reign as champion and feud with Kevin Owens helped push the brand as the best part of WWE. So hopes were high for him on the main brand but so far, nothing much. He came up short in his feud with the Miz for the IC title and a feud with Braun Strowman did more for Braun than for Sami.
He is an amazing worker, really over and can easily be a main event guy like Owens. But WWE doesn’t seem ready to use him properly, even as much as they did for Finn Balor. There’s still hope of turning it around but for now, it looks like Sami is more overlooked then if he was still masked.
8 Authors of Pain: Champions
The NXT tag ranks have been depleted since so many of the really good teams are heading to the main brand and the breakup of DIY. Yet seeing the Authors of Pain as champions is something fans aren’t happy with. They are impressive in a way but given all the amazing talents NXT had, having a pair of beefy big guys as the titleholders isn’t as good as fans wanted. Clearly, they wanted DIY or the Revival to stick around and continue to hold the belts but the Authors continue their run. Having Paul Ellering around is odd, the man has been a manager for so long and people still associate him with The Road Warriors. Trying to turn the Authors into a new LOD is wild and fans wish NXT had better talent to work with than the beefy guys more suited for RAW.
7 Cesaro: Forgotten
Any list of misused wrestlers has to include Cesaro. With his size and strength, the man seems the perfect guy for WWE but just not used right. For five straight years, the Wrestling Observer has named him the Most Underrated Wrestler and that says volumes. He has a great finisher, good charisma, can be fun on the mic but the best WWE is doing with him is a tag team with Sheamus. Ric Flair and Steve Austin have both said he deserves more with Austin claiming Vince told him that Cesaro lacks the “It factor.”
That’s right, Vince thinks Cesaro can’t be over when fans would love him on top far more than, say, Roman Reigns. It just doesn’t make sense for WWE to keep down one of the most over guys in the company rather than let him cut loose as they should.
6 Bayley: Buried
She didn’t have the beauty or flash of others in NXT but Bayley had a major following. Her bouts with Sasha Banks in 2015 were hailed as among the best of that year, male or female and her reign as champion was great. When she was called up to RAW, it was a huge moment and fans backing her all the way. Yet somehow it went wrong. Her matches didn’t seem as good and when she won the title, it was because of Sasha’s interference. WWE seemed to forget what made Bayley work, the underdog against all odds and having her win at Mania in a four-way was not the major event expected.
Her loss in her hometown to Alexa was a bad move and she’s been made to look worse since (such as the “This Is Your Life” segment even WWE acknowledges as terrible). It’s a shame as someone who obviously always wanted to reach WWE is now having her dream turn into a nightmare.
5 Bray Wyatt: Forgotten Champion
True, Wyatt’s stock with fans has fallen a bit given the recent revelation of him having an affair. But that does not take away with how WWE has been treating him lately. The guy got massively over as this cult leader, his act fantastic and soon the best part of the show with his great promos and bouts. When he won the WWE Title at Elimination Chamber, it was a huge event and the fans loved finally seeing him get his due. But then he dropped the title to Randy Orton, a guy long past his top time as a champion and main eventer. It just seemed so wrong for Bray to get this opportunity only to be crushed down so badly again.
He’s now once more just a guy on the roster, not in contention as Jinder Mahal has the belt instead. It just doesn’t make sense for Wyatt although one now wonders if WWE somehow knew about the affair before anyone else in which case some punishment was called for. But to drop him this fast just ranks as a stupid idea.
4 Jinder Mahal: Champion
It still utterly defies belief. This is not even a case of a guy who had a reputation for a veteran tough guy like JBL was. This was a man who was literally just a jobber for most of his career. Jinder’s biggest thing was the idiotic 3MB and leading to his release. His return was a surprise but seemed to be doing okay, as just jobber on SmackDown. Then, with no warning, he won a challenge match and was suddenly the number one contender. Most thought that would be it but sure enough, WWE had him beat Orton for the title.
It just baffles so many, a guy who was on such a low career path elevated to main event champion and while he’s done okay so far, fans just aren’t buying him like this. It really defies comprehension that Jinder can be pushed this far, this fast and a major reason it’s harder to take WWE seriously when he gets a shot and so many are ignored.
3 David Otunga: Commentator
Otunga is a talented guy, showing his stuff with The Nexus and not bad in singles work. He’s also very smart and his marriage to Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson no doubt helps his appeal. He can be good if given the chance and a shame many of his pushes were undone by various factors. But let’s be brutally honest: He is one of the worst commentators the company has ever seen. He often never talks at all and when he does, it’s stuff absolutely stupid. His run as a babyface talker was just brutal, too marking out on Cena and others and his attempts at catchphrases making Michael Cole sound like Gordon Solie.
It’s completely ridiculous that he gets a push to now be one of the voices of RAW. To actually promote a guy this bad is insane even by WWE standards and fans are eagerly awaiting him to take time off and Booker T to be the new voice. The guy isn’t bad as a worker but making him a major voice on commentary is idiotic.
2 Brock Lesnar: Universal Champion/Top Billing
One cannot deny the power of Brock Lesnar or his fame. The man is a very capable worker and still an amazing presence. His appearances are big deals and elevate things up with his feud with Samoa Joe having fans going wild. But the man should not be the Universal champion. To take what’s meant to be one of the two biggest titles in the company and put it on a guy who only shows up a few months at a time is not a good move. Brock just vanished after Mania until his recent return and thus the title suffered and by extension the RAW brand.
Yes, he had his strengths but his best days are long gone and even the pops he gets aren’t as great as they once were. To keep him as a champion when so many deserving guys are ready to keep it up much better is ridiculous and a total waste of the millions Vince pays him every year when fans want someone who shows up on a weekly basis.
1 Roman Reigns: Face of the company
The problem with Roman Reigns is not that he can’t be a main event talent. He can be. He has strength, some charisma and can be good as a champion. If he was a heel, the man would be massively over with his build and power. His run has been botched by bad booking and character moves but could still work. The problem is that Vince McMahon is convinced that Roman can be the face of WWE. He thinks Roman is the guy to put on all the posters and merchandising, who can carry the company on his back and be its brand.
Not since Diesel has Vince tried over and over to push a guy as the babyface champion only for fans to turn on him massively. It’s been made clear over and over the fans are never going to accept Roman in this role but Vince keeps shoving him down their throats. It’s a terrible thing really as Roman has the potential but thanks to Vince trying to make him something he’s not suited for, he’s going to be remembered among the bigger flops WWE has ever asked fans to buy into as a mega-star.