WWE is seemingly getting more and more competitive with every passing year, as the inflow of more and more superstars into the roster are making for so many potential feuds that even the multi-hour long time slots can’t fit all the superstars into one week of wrestling. Even after going through with the much anticipated Brand Extension--where many fringe superstars thought they’d get more playing time--the WWE still hasn’t been able to fit everyone into their main shows and many have yet to find a place in television after the extension itself.
With Vince McMahon intent on using a limited amount of superstars to entertain his fans for both Raw and Smackdown, some of the outcasted superstars are left to barely wrestle in shows like Main Event and Superstars, or job to people in live events. With WWE NXT producing more and more amazing talent who get called up, some of these superstars will find their position in danger and have to work really, really hard in order to attain some TV time for themselves before getting a push. Also, the WWE has shown intent on bringing back a number of wrestlers from the past, and with so much new talent having to be adjusted, some of the irrelevant talent will have to make way for them.
As the rosters get more and more stacked, some of the “jobbers” will probably see their positions in the company threatened and can expect to see themselves being released by the company in the upcoming year. With WWE already releasing a number of talented wrestlers this year, we can expect even more talent to be shown the door next year with more NXT stars gaining prominence and older talents returning to the company. The low-key stars will mostly be shown the door, and will likely have a difficult time getting back on their feet.
15 15. Epico
Epico has been in the WWE for quite some time now, teaming with cousin Primo as a tag team in the WWE, but they have been barely appealing to the public. After having a relatively successful start with Primo as they won the WWE Tag Titles, their characters were ruined by the “Los Matadores” gimmick which was so bad, that their sidekick El Torito (who was bull) got more popular than them. Epico and Primo recently got repackaged as The Shining Stars and made their debuts after airing many vignettes about their characters, but at this point no one really cares about them. Their debut got no reaction at all, as The Shining Stars barely get any matches on TV these days. To their misery, they were drafted to the Raw brand which is already stacked with exciting tag teams, and they’ll mostly be used as jobbers whenever on TV. In a year’s time, more teams will be formed in Raw as Epico will probably be released next year because of his lack of popularity and will find it difficult to succeed elsewhere.
14 14. Erick Rowan
Erick Rowan definitely has the athleticism and ability in the ring, as he’s one of the more fit members of the Wyatt Family, but his lack of ability to really destroy or terrify as this terrorizing figure has continuously hurt him. Rowan shined in his early days as one of Bray Wyatt’s “brothers” along with Luke Harper as he laid waste to many a superstar. But after the initial disbanding of the family, a weird face turn hurt his reputation as he just didn’t fit in as a face in the WWE. Rowan later went on to rejoin Bray Wyatt’s stable, but saw his character’s authority disperse after he was pinned by The Rock in 6 seconds. Rowan was drafted alongside Bray in the Smackdown brand. Rowan might find it difficult to survive in the company with his unconvincing persona and might be out of a job in the next year, as WWE would want someone more compelling to fill his spot.
13 13. Curtis Axel
The son of “Mr Perfect” Curt Hennig, there was much expectation from Curtis Axel when he debuted as part of The Nexus. As The Nexus rolled through much of the roster in the WWE, Axel went onto win the WWE Tag Team Championship with fellow member David Otunga. But after the group split, Axel went back to NXT and continued to wrestle in it for the next two years. He was later repackaged as Curtis Axel, with Paul Heyman as his manager and was even given a push where he won the Intercontinental Championship. But his unconvincing display soon saw him fall down the ladder, as he soon became a jobber before gaining some prominence because of his “AxelMania” gimmick in 2015. Axel would later be part of “The Social Outcasts” as they entertained in their short TV Time, but the group soon disbanded because of problems outside the ring. Axel was the last wrestler drafted to Raw, as he went calling himself “Mr. Irrelevant” and is exactly that right now, barely making appearances (with his last being a defeat to Neville) and he’s probably going to be shown the door with more exciting superstars joining Raw soon. Axel has a degree in business computer systems and management which will probably help him if/when he’s released, as he’d probably not make it in the other promotions either.
12 12. Jinder Mahal
It was quite a shocking revelation to see Jinder Mahal back in the WWE, as the superstar didn’t really do much to impress fans or management in his lackluster first run and was therefore released. Mahal came through the FCW developmental territory, after which he mainly appeared on Smackdown, where he tried to compel The Great Khali to work with him. After losing to Khali, Mahal went onto target many wrestlers “who were beneath him” and mostly went on to lose to mid-carders, as well as stars like Sheamus and Randy Orton. Afterwards, Mahal would be put alongside Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre to form 3MB, an entertaining stable which could only last for so long. Mahal was then released, but recently returned to “win” his contract by defeating Slater, and recently lost a singles match to Neville. He’s probably been brought in to fill spots as a jobber, and will mostly be released again by next year when more prominent stars join WWE.
11 11. Mark Henry
Mark Henry has been quite the faithful worker for the WWE, where he has been performing for almost 20 years and hasn’t ever complained inspite of not getting the opportunities he deserved. After serving various gimmicks, Henry finally got his rightful opportunitiy in 2011 where his “Hall of Pain” gimmick showed the actual destruction he can cause. This also fetched him his first ever World Title reign, but after that he was again pushed down the ladder. In the past few years, Henry has received many chances at taking out Rusev and winning the US Title, but has always fallen to the Bulgarian Brute and saw his reputation fall to that of a jobber as he always loses to mid-carders whenever he appears on TV. Henry has voiced how he won’t renew his WWE contract which runs out soon, and will probably be left jobless when he does leave the WWE as he’s not getting any younger and will struggle to find work in his field at 45.
10 10. Fandango
It’s rather baffling to discover that Fandango has actually been in the WWE for almost a decade now, as the charismatic superstar joined the WWE in 2006 as Johnny Curtis. After stints at developmental like Deep South Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling, Fandango would be a contestant in the 4th season of NXT. He was finally repackaged and introduced in the main roster in 2012, and found prominence in 2013 when WWE fans sung along to his theme and got him over. Fandango seemed to be destined for greatness after he defeated Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 29, but somehow couldn’t manage to impress management enough. He slowly started to degrade into becoming a jobber, as his flashy dance moves couldn’t help him elevate to a prominent star in the company. Fandango is now tagging with Tyler Breeze as part of “Breezango” and although he does get TV time on Smackdown, he’ll probably be released in the coming year after the team is split up as WWE doesn’t really have anything else left for him. Breeze might get some more years, but Fandango probably won’t be that lucky and might see himself become jobless and would find it difficult to blend in to wrestling outside WWE.
9 9. Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas definitely has time on his side, as he’s one of the younger superstars in the WWE and can say that he’s got much to learn. And to his credit, he has made his “BoLieve” gimmick hilarious. The son of Mike Rotunda, Bo has a ton of wrestling heritage in his side and definitely improved of the time he spent in developmental, as he became the NXT Champion when he was in NXT. After trying to “Occupy” NXT, Dallas was kicked out of the brand and saw himself get promoted to the main roster. His character was more of a motivational heel gimmick, as he went onto have a 17 match winning streak which was broken by R-Truth. Dallas lost his popularity after it, and has been appearing less and less on WWE TV with each passing month. After an entertaining time as part of “The Social Outcasts”, Bo was drafted to Raw but hasn’t appeared yet. To make things worse, Dallas was taken off an airplane because of being drunk while travelling and abusing and resisting the authorities, as this could be the reason he’s fired in sometime as he could definitely see himself without a job in a year’s time if he keeps on making mistakes like these.
8 8. Sin Cara
Also known as Hunico during his WWE stint, Sin Cara would debut in the main roster to feud with the real Sin Cara(Mistico), who’d gimmick he had stolen while the latter served a 30 day suspension. This all culminated in a Mask vs Mask match which was won by Mistico, as Hunico would later on go to tag with Camacho, but they’d mostly appear in B-shows and job to other wrestlers. Hunico would then return as Sin Cara(as the original had left WWE) and team with another Luchador in Kalisto as they’d go onto win the NXT Tag Team Championships. After their promotion to the main roster, Kalisto would gradually become a singles competitor as Sin Cara would be second to him, and would lose in the singles matches he was pit in. After the draft, Cara and Kalisto were separated by the Brand Extension, as Sin Cara is now on Raw and it seems as if creative doesn’t know what to do with him. To put more pressure on him, he recently had a fight with Simon Gotch backstage and has backstage heat because of it. Although one can expect him to be part of the Cruiserweight Division, his lack of presence as a singles guy will always hold him down and he’ll mostly be released next year because of the lack of conviction he is bringing.
7 7. Konnor
Konnor could’ve been part of one of the most dominating tag teams in the WWE if he and Viktor were handled better by creative, and also if he maintained a good repo in the company. After debuting in NXT, where he was a contestant in the 4th season but was eliminated fairly early. Konnor was then sent to FCW, where he became a part of The Ascension who then had a completely different look to it. He was put alongside Viktor when FCW transitioned into NXT as they went onto become one of the most dominating teams in NXT History, winning and holding the NXT Tile for quite a long time. They were finally promoted in 2014, but were horribly buried even before they could gain prominence as a dominating heel tag team. They’ve been mostly jobbing to other teams ever since, as Konnor himself hasn’t been employee of the month as he was recently suspended for 60 days for his second violation of WWE’s Wellness Program. He has since returned to wrestle a couple of matches, but walks on really thin ice with The Ascension going nowhere and both him and Viktor could see themselves being released by the company in a year’s time, as Konnor would find it difficult to transition into the Indy circuit after his release.
6 6. Simon Gotch
Simon Gotch has quite the old-school look to his character, but the thing is nobody really cares for old-school wrestlers anymore. He’d become a part of “The Vaudvillains” with Aiden English as they would portray some old-timey British Villains. The Vaudvillains would mostly be in the thick of things in the tag team scene in WWE NXT, where they even won the NXT Tag Titles once. The Vaudvillains would be promoted in the main roster after Wrestlemania 32, as they would instantly be pitched into the tag team titles scene. They’d soon get a WWE Tag Titles shot against The New Day, but were compellingly defeated and have been jobbing ever since. The Vaudvillains are mostly part of some multi-tag team skirmishes as well, as they’re now one of the heel tag teams in the Smackdown Brand! Gotch himself has found himself in some trouble, as he recently got into a fight against Sin Cara and lost the fight comprehensively. He’ll definitely get punished for that in the long run, as English’s more impressive ability will probably make WWE push him as a singles competitor and release Gotch, who’s in a really difficult predicament right now because of his attitude and might see himself out of the company in a year’s time.
5 5. Goldust
Goldust has been in the WWE for a LONG time now, as he originally in the company over two decades ago and the son of Dusty Rhodes has been quite the performer ever since, with his bizarre gimmick terrorizing many. Goldust saw his prime pass after the Attitude era, and last won a WWE Tag Titles with his brother Cody Rhodes(or Stardust) in 2013. Goldust has ever since seen his brother leave the company, and now is part of an amusing, but irrelevant tag team with R-Truth as “Golden Truth”. The part these two play are mostly filling shows and jobbing to random teams, as their hilarious antics is what Goldust has been dragged down too. Goldust isn’t getting any younger either, as the 47 year old still has the ability to go at it inside the ring, but his decreasing popularity and relevance will probably force WWE to let him go in the coming months. With his age, not many promotions will take him either as he’d probably have to call it a day if WWE release him, which they’ll probably will because of his position in the company.
4 4. Jack Swagger
The “All American-American” Jack Swagger showed great promise in his early years in the WWE, who put their faith in him by making him ECW Champion within a year of making his main roster debut in the ECW Brand of WWE. He was later drafted to Raw, and was pushed as a strong mid-carder which elevated when he won the Money in the Bank contract at Wrestlemania 26. He’d go onto cash it in to win his first and only World Heavyweight Championship, but his lack of personality as a top guy made him drop the title soon. The WWE were disappointed at Swagger’s lack of improvement as a personality, and buried him by making him lose most of his matches. Even an alliance with Cesaro as “The Real Americans” didn’t do much good for him. Swagger is now a fighter for America in the WWE, often fighting Anti-Americans like Rusev but always loses when it matters. He was recently drafted to the Raw brand in the WWE, but has yet to make an appearance on Raw and his lack of developmental will probably propel the WWE to let go off him in a year’s time as Swagger will have to probably look for work elsewhere when he’s released next year.
3 3. Titus O’Neil
Titus O’Neil definitely has the physique to make for a great champion in the WWE, as he should normally be the kind of guy that Vince McMahon loves because of his body and passion for the work. But that isn’t exactly the case as recent events have shown. Titus has come a long way since competing in the second season NXT, after which he’d come to the main roster alongside Darren Young to form “The Prime Time Players”. His first stint as part of The Prime Time Players was disappointing, the PTP reunion proved to be fruitful for the Gator as he went onto win the WWE Tag Team Titles from The New Day. They’d drop the title soon after, leaving O’Neil to go back as a singles competitor. But O’Neil saw his fall at Daniel Bryan’s retirement celebration episode of Raw, after which he was suspended for 60 days for “pushing” Vince McMahon. He would come back to compete for the United States championship, but lost his matches against Rusev. He was drafted to Raw in the Draft, and is currently feuding with Darren Young in a rather confusing feud where he’s performed as a bizarre heel. Titus’ contract probably runs out next year, and he’ll definitely be released by McMahon as Titus will find it difficult to find work in the Indy circuit because of his style, and much promise for him will go out the window when he’s released sooner rather than later.
2 2. Tyson Kidd
Being the Final Graduate to come out of the legendary Hart Dungeon, Tyson Kidd has shown his amazing wrestling ability in the past few years as he’s been one of the most exciting WWE wrestlers in the past few years. As under-rated as he’s good, Kidd has mostly been pushed as a tag team guy as he won the WWE Unified Tag Titles with David Hart Smith as part of “The Hart Dynasty”. His singles run didn’t really go that well, as his lack of personality and mic-skills forced the WWE to tag him with Justin Gabriel and then recently with Cesaro. His time with Cesaro was extremely entertaining, as the generally heel team would win over the fans with their brilliant chemistry and also won the WWE Tag Titles during the time. But horror struck Kidd in 2015, when in June he got severely injured after taking Samoa Joe’s “Muscle Buster” and suffered a horrendous neck/spinal injury. It’s a miracle on how he survived that ,but it probably means the end of his wrestling career as the WWE will probably release him in a year’s time because of his inactivity and with that kind of injury, life ahead is going to be extremely difficult for Kidd.
1 1. The Big Show
The Big Show might have his haters, but there’s no doubting the work the Giant has put in for the WWE in his one and a half decade long run at the company. After initially performing for WCW, The Big Show was signed by WWE in 1999 and has been quite the intimidating figure ever since. He enjoyed some main event success in his first few years in the company, as he won the WWE Championship in his first year and again in 2002. After that, Show also won the World Heavyweight Title and is also a grand slam champion in the WWE. In the past years, Show has turned from heel to face back to heel so many times that fans are uncertain of his character, and he’s lost the popularity he once had in the recent years. His time after the Authority disassembled has had him wrestling in very few matches as he’s now a part timer for the company. Show has also stated his intention to retire after WrestleMania 33 (where he’s rumored to face Shaquille O’Neal) and will probably be granted his release from the WWE, who would be looking to get his big wage-bill off their table. Show probably won’t even try his hand at the Indy circuit right now, and could be left jobless for a while, but his financial status should be secured.
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