TheSportster.com

20 Wrestlers Vince McMahon Wasted: Where Are They Now?

Vince has had the tendency of wasting some amazing wrestlers just so that his "hand-picked" choices can hog the spotlight.

As the WWE has grown in terms of reputation and stature in the last few decades, it has had the luxury of hiring the best wrestlers in the world as the boss Vince McMahon has often signed some stellar world-class wrestlers to his company, but not all of them have managed to succeed. While a lot of talent do manage to make it as a top star in the company because of just how good and effective they are in a WWE ring, some other wrestlers aren't so lucky as they just cannot seem to adapt to the "WWE rules" and tend to fail in the long run.

Some of the promising talent arrive at the company after impressing Vince McMahon with their performances on the Independent Circuit, but cannot manage to keep the boss happy with their work inside the WWE. While some just make for their own demise with foolish decisions, Vince has had the tendency of wasting some amazing wrestlers just so that his "hand-picked" ones can hog the spotlight and has ruined the careers of many wrestlers who came to the WWE to make it big.

40 Drew McIntyre (then)

via cagesideseats.com

One had much expectations from Drew McIntyre when he was introduced by Vince McMahon himself as his "Chosen One" in 2009, as it seemed the beginning of something big for Drew who was pushed pretty heavily after that. He was a cocky heel who soon got the Intercontinental Championship under his belt and was really impressive as he held that title for 161 days before losing it to Kofi Kingston. But that was the end of his run, as he would soon be buried, becoming a jobber and after a year of miserable feuds, he was made a part of 3MB with Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal. McIntyre's cocky, intimidating personality was reduced to a complete joke in his 3MB gimmick, as he lost almost every match and lost all his reputation with that horrible gimmick, as his potential to be a main-eventer was completely tarnished by McMahon who wasted his incredible talent and turned him into a jobber towards the end.

39 Drew McIntyre (now)

via huffingtonpost.com

After Drew was finally put of his misery by the WWE and released in 2014, he went back to the UK and started to wrestle for ICW again as he quickly won the ICW Heavyweight Championship there. He continued to wrestle on the Independent circuit and for promotions like EVOLVE as well, as he was signed on by TNA in 2015 and was built like a proper main-eventer and put on some really good matches when TNA was really down in the ditches. He also won the TNA Heavyweight Championship last year when he cashed in his Feast or Fired briefcase to win the title from Matt Hardy, but would lose it sometime later. He is currently mostly wrestling for WhatCulture Pro Wrestling as well as continuing to wrestle for other Independent promotions, as his TNA contract expired recently, but he is continuously showing the WWE what they missed out on by putting on impressive performances week in, week out.

38 Evan Bourne (then)

via WWE.com

Evan Bourne was quite the high-flying, exciting talent to arrive at the WWE in 2008, as his amazing ability in the ring was loved by the fans but not so much by the management. Bourne would be pushed as a prime babyface at first, but was never really given that big push when it came to wrestling in high-profile matches and was mostly used for the highlight reel for his incredible "Air Bourne" maneuver. He only won the Tag Team titles in his WWE career which was an utter waste of his talent as he went downwards in his career as Vince McMahon never saw the star in him. He was held back from that big push and wasted his talent which should've been utilized better to make him a bigger star than he really was.

37 Evan Bourne (now)

via nexterawrestling.net

After leaving the WWE, Bourne went back to wrestle in the Independent scene where he was still valued as a top star, as he soon went onto wrestle for the likes of Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate before he was signed up by New Japan Pro Wrestling and tried to take the fight to the villainous Bullet Club faction. He teamed up with Ricochet to fight for the IWGP Tag Team Titles which they won, before losing it back to the Bullet Club. But he was hit with tragedy when he was arrested in Japan for allegedly illegally smuggling marijuana and he was kept in a Japanese prison for some months before being let go and returned to the US. His time in NJPW is done for good but knowing his talent in the ring, it won't be much time before he gets work in the US.

36 Wade Barrett (then)

via Goliath.com

Wade Barrett had the vibes of a proper main-event heel when he took the main roster by storm after leading his pack of NXT rookies to terrorize the top stars of the WWE, as his solid wrestling skills and character-work made him look like a star from day one. But after The Nexus folded up, Barrett became repetitive as he then created The Corre and went down the pecking order as the years went on. He had many gimmick changes and even won the King of the Ring tournament in 2015, but he'd mostly serve as a jobber to the stars despite having it in him to be a main-eventer. Vince McMahon completely wasted an opportunity to build Barrett as something big in the company, as he only put more salt to his wounds by having him job to superstars week in week out and taking him to the point where he'd leave the WWE altogether.

35 Wade Barrett (now)

via digitalspy.com

Wade Barrett was treated really badly towards the end of his WWE career, as his "King Barrett" storyline showed some promise at first but fizzled out soon enough, making him a jobber to the stars and the weaker link of the awful League of Nations. Barrett has said that he will come back to wrestling "when the time is right", as he's currently enjoying his time outside wrestling and has actually landed many small roles in some movies after bidding adieu to the WWE. Barrett has acted for several movies after leaving the WWE and is currently healing his bruised body in his home. Turning him from a potential main-eventer to a jobber was one of the worst decisions Vince McMahon has made in a long time as his complete waste of Barrett shows how out of touch he has become.

34 Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat (then)

via cagesideseats.com

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat had a very unique character about him when he rose up the ladder of the WWE in the 80s, as his fantastic wrestling ability and personality made him an instant fan-favorite. His popularity rose when he started to feud with some of the greats of that time, as his feud with the likes of Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Randy "Macho Man" Savage helped to cement him as a top star at the time. He was also a valuable Intercontinental Champion who deserved much, much more as he never reached his full potential because of how he was wasted by Vince McMahon. Vince never saw him as a main-eventer and had him wrestling as a mid-carder, as that ruined his potential and absolutely wasted a top talent in Steamboat.

33 Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat (now)

via YouTube.com

After leaving the WWE in the looks for some main-event success in some other promotion, Steamboat couldn't really attain that when he went to WCW and failed in his term, having to return back to WWE in 1991. But this stint didn't go well for him, as he left again for WCW where he was heralded with many titles in the next few years, but was never considered as a top star, something which he definitely should have been. He retired after the turn of the century, as he would later return to the WWE for sporadic appearances and was named as an inductee into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2009. He'd also wrestle a few matches after that, later going on to work as a trainer for NXT and in their talent relations program with Triple H. But after his son's wrestling career came to a halt, Steamboat left that position and now works as an ambassador for the WWE and is now taking some well earned rest, but should've been cherished as a top guy in the WWE when he had the ability rather than being wasted.

32 Elijah Burke (then)

via keyword-suggestions.com

Elijah Burke was definitely one of the most interesting things about "The New Breed" faction of the watered down, disappointing ECW which WWE tried to reignite a decade back, as he had quite the heel gimmick and waged quite a war against the ECW originals. Burke would go up the ladder in ECW because of how well he performed as a prime heel in the company, as he'd get chances at the ECW title but could never really win it. His heel persona was something which needed more glistening in order to attain proper recognition, as he had the talent of becoming something big in the WWE but was out of the company before that was ever possible as Vince ruined his career and wasted a very potent wrestler.

31 Elijah Burke (now)

via Suggest-keywords.com

Burke wouldn't really go down in the ditch after being released by the WWE, as he went onto join their rivals in TNA and found a really fascinating gimmick in "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero. This cocky gimmick would suit him really well as he entertained everyone with his solid, unique work as this character and rose up the ladder in TNA, becoming one of their most popular superstars. While he didn't really get the main-event status he deserved, he still has a position in the company as a commentator. He's been doing that job really well, as he's the cool, entertaining commentator also wrestles sporadically and has kept his job because of his amazing entertaining skills and proper wrestling knowledge which has taken him much far in his career.

30 A-Train (then)

via Narod.ru

A-Train had the presence and ability of a very intimidating wrestler in the WWE, as he debuted alongside Test as a part of T&A as the two dominated over many during the Attitude Era. He'd then have some gimmick changes before gaining some recognition as A-Train, as he even faced (and lost) to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XIX, but every time he gained some momentum he was held back by the WWE. He would leave the WWE and return almost a decade later as Lord Tensai, which was an intriguing, scary prospect but soon fizzled into a joke thanks to Matt Bloom's devotion to Vince McMahon who used him for his own profit and absolutely wasted Bloom's potential.

29 A-Train (now)

via keyword-suggestions.com

Even though his own in-ring career was ruined by McMahon, he was rewarded for his amazing work for the company as he was turned into a trainer for WWE's developmental system in NXT. He also worked for NXT as a commentator for a while before becoming fully focused on his role of teaching the art of wrestling to the young trainees and helping them reach their full potential before they are moved up to the main roster. He was recently promoted to the position of Head Coach in WWE's performance center and even though his own WWE career was an absolute mess, he's doing his best to make sure others don't succumb to failure the way he did and training them to become the best they can.

28 Dean Malenko (then)

via WordPress.com

Dean Malenko was one of the absolute bests of WCW to come to the WWE, as he was recognized for his amazing technical skills in the ring and his ice-cold persona which were at WWE's exposal when he joined in 2000. While he was pushed at first, he couldn't seem to get beyond that Cruiserweight mark despite being a better wrestler than most of the heavyweights at the time, as he was given the Light Heavyweight Championship and was the prime wrestler of the Cruiserweight Division. He had it in him to wrestle against heavyweights, but Vince McMahon didn't allow that and in the end he started calling himself "Double Ho Seven" and trying to win over the affections of Lita. This probably angered him enough to call it a day in the WWE, as he soon retired from wrestling altogether and the WWE missed out on something big by keeping him in the dark throughout and wasting his full potential.

27 Dean Malenko (now)

via gbagam.com

Malenko was recruited by the WWE into their backstage team, as he became a road agent for the WWE and has been working as one since. He's in charge of making sure that all the live events are properly organized and go through smoothly, as he has been doing a solid job for the past decade or so. Malenko was also nominated into the 2300 Arena Hardcore Hall of Fame a few years back, as he's taking it easy in his post-retirement life as he's now involved in the backstage stuff in the WWE but could've had such an illustrious, memorable career in the company had Vince McMahon used him properly and not left him as an afterthought of the Cruiserweight Division.

26 John Morrison (then)

via WWE.com

John Morrison was developed by the WWE as he started out with them right from the beginning of his career, but he wasn't really used to his full potential by them after being turned into an amazing superstar. Morrison started to gain recognition when he started to team with The Miz and the two even won the Tag Team titles, as his impressive in-ring ability and cocky persona looked really good. But after that tag team came to an end, he didn't receive that big time push which he deserved as he was only given the Intercontinental Championship and held back for some-time before he was given some WWE Championship opportunities, but the WWE couldn't seem to take the risk with him. He eventually became a lower-mid carder, as Vince McMahon had created a superstar in him but also pulled the plug on him quickly after as the Shaman of Sexy had it in him to be a top star for the company as his talent wasn't utilized that well by the WWE and badly wasted when it mattered the most.

25 John Morrison (now)

via tvinsider.com

Morrison left the WWE in 2011 after he was frustrated at how he was being mistreated by them, as he went onto wrestle in the Indy scene where he was being valued much better and went onto wrestle for Pro Wrestling Syndicate, Dragon Gate USA amongst other valuable promotions. He signed on with Lucha Underground in 2014 and has since been their star show, as he's THE American star in the promotion where he has won every championship there is to win and is treated like a proper top guy, as he's now showing how amazing he really is and making WWE realize how badly they messed up with him and also making the fans realize how badly he was being wasted in WWE.

24 Gail Kim (then)

via asianplayers.com

Gail Kim was a woman with much promise when she jumped into the wrestling scene with the WWE in 2003, as she was allegedly signed by Vince McMahon after Jim Ross convinced him off Asian women being a hit among the fans. She was given a big push after she debuted, winning the Women's Championship in her first match in the WWE, but this would be a short-lived fame as she soon lost the title and couldn't seem to get back to the top. She left the WWE soon for TNA, but came back in 2008 but this stint wasn't really successful as she was misused in weird romantic angles and as an eye-candy rather than a strong wrestler, as she might have been made by the WWE but was also completely wasted by them as well.

23 Gail Kim (now)

Kim was absolutely disgusted at the way she was being treated at the WWE, so she left the company after her contract expired and vowed never to return again. She went back to wrestle for TNA, where she played a huge role in their Knockout's division becoming one of the best things about the promotion. Kim became one of the top women superstars in no time, as she was entrusted by them to keep a hold of their Knockout's Championship and played a bit part in putting over a lot of women as well. Kim's amazing work at TNA was rewarded when she became the first female inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame last year, as she still continues to wrestle for the promotion and help the young women get over and is a bonafide legend in the company who treated her much better than WWE.

22 Heidenreich (then)

via Alchetron.com

Heidenreich had a real crazy, psychopathic personality during his time in the WWE and that was what helped make him one of the most dangerous men in the WWE at the time, as his sadistic, destructive man put a lot of people through a world of hurt during that time. He was riding high and looking really promising, even going onto face the Undertaker in a hotly contested feud and was even tipped to break his undefeated streak before that was downplayed. But what really ruined his career was a change in gimmick, as he became a face and joined forces with Road Warrior Animal and reformed the new Legion of Doom with him. This absolutely tarnished his reputation, as people stopped recognizing him and he was soon released by the WWE for his ineffectiveness in this role.

21 Heidenreich (now)

via FanMail.biz

Heidenreich's reputation was also ruined in his final days with the WWE, as he really struggled to get much worked after getting released and was signed by World Wrestling Council after leaving the WWE. He even won the WWC Heavyweight Championship which he held for some months before losing it to Carlito and later to his brother Primo. He also wrestled in the Independent scene, as he'd wrestle for All-American Wrestling and won some tag titles during that fray struggled to make a big impact. He retired from wrestling in 2009, but gained attention last year when he was among the people to have sued the WWE for incurring brain damages, as his ties with the WWE probably ends with this but he deserves something from them after they completely destroyed his momentum back in the day.

20 Tommy Dreamer (then)

via WWE.com

Tommy Dreamer was the heart and soul of ECW, as he was not only an extremely devoted wrestler, but also helped ECW stay afloat in their final years by helping with financial expenses and booking the shows as well. He was signed by the WWE when they bought up ECW, as they turned this extreme Icon into a complete joke in the WWE as they introduced him during the dreadful Invasion angle and went onto further destroy his reputation later on. He'd then change his gimmick to "Just A Regular Guy" who did some dastardly things like brushing his own teeth and his dog's teeth with the same brush, as he went onto commit more disgusting things like drinking The Undertaker's spit. This completely ruined his image and an amazing talent was reduced to a joke by the WWE who completely dropped the ball on him.

19 Tommy Dreamer (now)

via si.com

After his disastrous main-roster WWE career for Monday Night Raw ended, Dreamer was recalled by the WWE to wrestle for their newly reinvigorated ECW Brand where he had the career of an underdog, going through much struggles before winning the gold. After leaving WWE, he went onto wrestle for TNA for some years before he got back into the Independent scene and got enough funds to open his own promotion called "House of Hardcore". He brought back the ECW vibes in this promotion, as he books most of the shows as he has since gone back to TNA and recently to the WWE to promote his promotion and even though he's had a rather disastrous time after ECW folded up, he's hoping to create something special with his promotion and bring back the feel of extreme for which ECW was much famous.

18 Sin Cara/Mistico (then)

via Pinterest.com

Mistico was an absolute legend in the Mexican wrestling industry when it was announced that he'd come to wrestle for the WWE, as they even hyped up his debut a lot to get us intrigued. While Sin Cara definitely had a unique factor in the beginning, some poor booking made the fans lose their fascination over him as Mistico's amazing ability was never really utilized properly by the company. He was later made to wrestle against an imposter Sin Cara, as it all went downhill from that point as he would go down the ladder and soon become a lower mid-carder. This irked Mistico, who wasn't helped by a series of injuries and he was released by the WWE afterwards, leaving him to go back to where was worshipped as a legend.

17 Sin Cara/Mistico (now)

via f1fanatic.co.uk

While Mistico's amazing ability might have become a forgotten afterthought about the WWE fans, but his lucha-libre skills was not forgotten by the Mexican fans who welcomed him back with open arms as he went back to wrestle for their infamous AAA promotion for a couple of years, even winning the Lucha Libre World Cup with Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio in 2015. He helped to raise the popularity of many Independent wrestling promotions in Mexico, as he also wrestled for CMLL and continues to wrestle for some of the top Mexican promotions as he might have been wasted by Vince McMahon, but his amazing ability still does a lot for the development of Mexican wrestling.

16 Scott Steiner (then)

via WWE.com

"Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner might have been in the WWE in the 90s along with his brother Rick, but it was when he changed up his looks and started to gain popularity as a singles competitor in WCW. He built himself into looking like a legitimate main-eventer who had the skills to back it up as well and many were expecting a lot from him when he came back to the WWE but with a new persona and a new attitude. He would be given a big push in the first few months, facing Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship, but as soon as he lost those matches, he was sent down the order into the mid-card. Steiner was part of some forgettable story-lines and his full potential wasn't really reached in the WWE, who wasted him in the best shape of his career and a mockery of his image as well.

15 Scott Steiner (now)

via YouTube.com

After leaving the WWE, Steiner would go onto wrestle for TNA where he soon became a part of a stable called the "Main Event Mafia" and one of the more intimidating guys in the roster as well. He won some titles in the course as well, as went downhill after joining TNA as he often make a complete fool of himself for which many couldn't take him seriously. Steiner has laid off wrestling in the past couple of years, but still wrestles sporadically as he is now looking into securing his business endeavors and make for a stable future, as his rowdy image won't really help him get work in the wrestling field anymore and he needs to secure his future by doing something on his own.

14 Damien Sandow (then)

via WWE.com

Damien Sandow gained a lot of popularity when he introduced quite a new, fascinating gimmick as the "Intellectual Savior Of The Masses" when he debuted as a cocky heel who everyone loved to hate. But as he grew into a more fan-favorite wrestler, that started his demise as Sandow would be put through some horrible gimmicks which absolutely abolished his reputation among the WWE Fans who were themselves angry at the way he was being treated. With bags of potential in him, Sandow was force to do silly things as Vince completely destroyed his WWE career by having in take on foolish gimmicks and finally put him out of his misery when he was released last year.

13 Damien Sandow (now)

via impactwrestling.com

After being released by the WWE, Sandow was actually pretty grateful for them to give him his opportunities, as he vowed to bring back his former character with a twist. He was signed by TNA almost immediately afterwards, as he started going by the name of Aron Rex and was built like a proper top star. He won the Impact Grand Championship in a tournament after joining the promotion, holding it for a while before losing it to Moose. But after that, he has changed his gimmick into a rather bizarre character who has Rockstar Spud as his manager, as he's again looking a joke in this character and seems to have fallen into that same pit again as he'd hope that TNA don't waste him the way Vince McMahon did.

12 Sabu (then)

via si.com

Sabu was one of the prized possessions of ECW back in the day, as his mystical personality and enthralling ability in the ring made him an extremely entertaining superstar and the WWE got him after much try in 2006. But what did they do with him? They decided to put him in their ECW brand and quickly lose a WWE championship opportunity to John Cena after debuting. This took away his chances at making it to the main roster, as he was used as a top-level baby-face in ECW but the watered down version of the brand didn't help Sabu AT ALL. He didn't really win anything in ECW either, as he was horribly wasted and even at an old age had it in him to be a top star in the WWE for some-time but Vince McMahon just wouldn't budge to that becoming a possibility.

11 Sabu (now)

via YouTube.com

After quickly being released by the WWE, Sabu went back to the Independent circuit and kept on entertaining the audiences in a regular basis, as he wrestled in Mexico for a while before going to TNA in 2010. This was a rather short stint which didn't really add up to anything, as Sabu would then go back to wrestling on the Indy circuit against some of the best to offer and continued to show just how good he is wherever he went. He was among the wrestlers suing the WWE for incurring long term brain damages, as he also needs some money for a surgery right now and isn't really in the best shape and the WWE should've utilized him better and made him into the star he deserves to be.

10 Kaval (then)

via WWE.com

Kaval was one of the best wrestlers in the world when he arrived in the WWE, as he was completely mistreated and ruined by them despite not doing much wrong. He was put into their Florida Championship Wrestling developmental territory before being introduced as a participant in the second season of NXT, where he'd not only impress but he went onto win the damn thing under the "guidance" of Team LayCool. After winning NXT season 2, he went onto wrestle for the Smackdown brand but got absolutely no chance to establish himself as something good, as all he got is a shot at Dolph Ziggler's Intercontinental Championship which he lost as well. He was reduced to a jobber at the end of his WWE career, and was soon released from the WWE in a rather cruel manner.

9 Kaval (now)

via segundacaida.blogspot.ca

Kaval changed up his name to his original ring-name of "Low Ki" after leaving the WWE as he was quickly signed up by NJPW where he went to much success, going onto win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship months after joining the promotion. He also went onto wrestle for TNA in some short stints, going onto win the X-Division Championship in his third stint with the company as he was very impressive in his time at the company. He was eventually released by the company and is currently working as an independent wrestler who is reaching towards the end of his career, but how he was completely wasted by Vince McMahon is something which really hurt him as a wrestler and a thing which was complete injustice for someone with his talent.

8 Muhammad Hassan (then)

via kayfabenews.com

Muhammad Hassan was one of the most controversial, universally hated characters in the WWE in his short term in the company, as his amazing work as a Arab who thrashed the stereotypical structure of Americans made him a heat magnet. He rode on his heat to much success in the WWE, as he wrestled and defeated some prominent wrestlers in some America vs Anti-America matches and he was tipped to win even bigger things if WWE hadn't stepped over the line. In an episode of Smackdown after the London Bombings took place, Hassan (who was feuding with The Undertaker) came out after a match and started to "pray" as some guys fully covered in black came and took down The Phenom, after which they carried Taker to the back. This caused a chaos in mainstream media and Smackdown was on the verge of being cut by UPN, as WWE cut Hassan's character out of TV and fired him soon enough, as his potential to be something huge was completely wasted by this stupid move for TRP from Vince McMahon who ruined this man's chance to becoming something big with his greediness for ratings.

7 Muhammad Hassan (now)

via Twitter.com

Hassan wasn't responsible at all for the controversial segment which ended his WWE career, as he was only following orders from Vince and was also tipped to win the World Heavyweight Championship soon after had he not been cut from WWE TV. Hassan would not return to wrestling altogether after this ordeal, as he went onto become a principal in a school in New York and now lives a rather peaceful and happy life without the hazards of his controversial character and has stated on how leaving wrestling was actually good for him. Hassan was almost those among the mass-action lawsuit against the WWE for incurring long term brain damages, as he definitely deserves something from them after how they ruined his wrestling career and wasted a potentially amazing heel character who could've been something great had it not become controversial.

6 MVP (then)

via WWE.com

Montel Vontavious Porter had the right groove and style for his rich, "ballin'" character which rose to prominence in the WWE as he started out with impressive feuds and soon won the US Title from Chris Benoit. His US Title streak was pretty impressive, as he'd also win the Tag Team Championship along with Matt Hardy, making him a double champion. But after he lost both his titles, he went on a horrible losing streak for five months and this was where his prominence died. He continued to work as a lower-mid carder for the WWE for the next few years, as his potential to become a main-event heel or a upper-mid carder was tarnished when he was made to lose matches for five months in a row as Vince McMahon completely ruined his career with that move and wasted an opportunity to make for another big time, rich heel.

5 MVP (now)

via ProHrvanje.com

But after facing much humiliation and leaving the WWE, MVP was signed up by New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he joined a villainous stable but would gain his own popularity and win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. After spending some years in NJPW, he was signed up by TNA as they also set him as a top guy in their promotion as he impressed the fans with his unique personality and wrestling skills and showed that he still had it in him. But almost a year after joining TNA, he fell out with the management and left the promotion and returned to the Indy scene and was also set to join Lucha Underground but breached his contract when he interviewed fellow wrestlers for his podcast. He's currently still working in the Independent and has his own successful podcast as well, as he deserved better from MVP for his devotion to his character and Vince McMahon really dropped the ball on him.

4 Vladimir Kozlov (then)

via WWE.com

Vladimir Kozlov was quite the intimidating prospect when he was introduced to us, as this hard-hitting Russian looked absolutely unstoppable when he burst into the scene and should've been ideally kept that way for a long time. After destroying some people, Kozlov went after the WWE Championship, something he could never get as his undefeated streak also ended soon after his failed attempt at gaining WWE Championship. He'd then be moved to ECW where he joined alliances with William Regal and Christian, but this didn't last much as he was drafted back to Raw as a Face! He started to team up with Santino Marella and even won the Tag Team Championships with him, but he became a big joke with this alliance and face turn as his potential to become a destructive heel was completely wasted by Vince McMahon who really dropped the ball with Kozlov by turning him into an amusing face.

3 Vladimir Kozlov (now)

via WWE.com

Vladimir Kozlov went onto wrestle for the Inoki Genome Federation for some-time after leaving the WWE, but soon bid adieu from wrestling to focus on something more productive to his career. He went onto an acting career as he appeared on an episode of Burn Notice after leaving the WWE, as he also acted as a stuntman for the Rock's "Fast & Furious 6" and John Wick. Kozlov was a part of WWE.com's "Where are they Now?" recently where he stated at how he's currently acting as part of a production company he co-owns in Miami named "Quasar Entertainment" and is seemingly doing really well with an absolutely ripped body as WWE would be lamenting their decision to let him go and not build him into the destructive heel he was meant to be.

2 Cody Rhodes (then)

via wwe.com

The son of the great, late Dusty Rhodes in Cody Rhodes might have had a rather slow start to his WWE career, but he looked at a prime state after a few years and despite looking set for a main-event opportunity, he was never given one! Cody was constantly made to change his gimmick, as he looked set for greatness after Legacy broke up but was instead forced to stay in the mid-card and was given the Intercontinental Title instead. While one could've guessed that they're taking the slow route for Rhodes, they actually kept on demoting him as he was later forced to be part of Rhodes Scholars and became a tag team guy (later with brother Goldust) before he was transformed into Stardust. While Cody brilliantly portrayed this wacky character, it took away all his possibility at becoming something big in the company as he was constantly taking losses to mid-carders, as the WWE completely ruined him with that gimmick and wasted his potential to be as good(if not better) than his dad ever was in the company as this constant burying forced him to leave the company a year back.

1 Cody Rhodes (now)

via Wrestlezone.com

Cody left the WWE for the better of his career, as he was instantly an extremely hot property in the Independent scene as these promoters realized his worth and kept booking him in mouth-watering matches. He also went onto debut for Ring of Honor in their Final Battle PPV as just "Cody", where he turned heel in his match against Jay Lethal and has been portraying a sinister character ever since. He has wrestled for the likes of New Japan Pro Wrestling where he joined the infamous Bullet Club faction as well as TNA where he wrestled a couple of matches, as he's also the current GFW NEX*GEN Champion(his first singles title after leaving WWE) and looks to be destined for much, much more success in the future. He's making WWE lament everyday for letting someone like him go and for keeping him buried in the mid-card for the whole of his career, as his flourishing in the Indy circuit goes onto show just how damn good he is!

Give TheSportster a Thumbs up!

Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?

Get Your Free Access Now!

More in Wrestling

20 Wrestlers Vince McMahon Wasted: Where Are They Now?