When thinking of memorable WWE debuts, Chris Jericho comes to mind, for many wrestling fans, as one of the best debuts ever. Then, there’s the debut of The Shockmaster? While both debuts were memorable, one was clearly memorable for the wrong reason. The debut of Chris Jericho catapulted his wrestling career and made him one of the greatest WWE stars of all-time. Meanwhile, The Shockmaster, glittery storm trooper helmet and all, was soon scrapped entirely. These two debuts are examples of two characters in wrestling, one that was destined to have a long career ahead of them, and one that was destined to fail.
Now, a poor debut isn’t the only reason a wrestler’s career is doomed to fail or succeed. There are many other reasons as well. If a character is given a poor gimmick, for example, any chance of being considered a serious contender in the future is often killed. Poor backstage attitude and being considered injury prone are other examples of why a character’s time in WWE may be cut short. While there are excuses why many superstars have a limited future in WWE, there are also multiple explanations as to why certain superstars aren’t going anywhere.
With Vince McMahon running the show, there are plenty of business reasons why certain superstars aren’t going anywhere. Whether it’s catering to a particular market or because of that look that McMahon prefers, no matter the fan reaction, there are superstars in WWE with an untouchable status. It’s not hard to spot the superstars with the solid job security, nor is it difficult to figure out the superstars dabbling in career suicide. This article picks out some of these superstars. Here is a list of 8 current WWE superstars that you know are destined to fail, and 7 that are sticking around.
15 Destined To Fail: Aiden English
Aiden English and Simon Gotch debuted in WWE as the highly entertaining tag team, The Vaudevillains. In an era where tag teams were making a comeback, The Vaudevillains seemed assured a push and maybe even a Tag Team Title run. Unfortunately, Simon Gotch had enormous heat for fighting with other superstars and just being all-around annoying. Gotch would be released, leaving Aiden English to his lonesome. Now, Aiden English was considered the more talented of the two anyway, but English is still destined to fail in WWE.
English has a singing gimmick going on, and he’s remarkably entertaining. However, Creative seems to not really know what to do with him as a singles star. Aiden is pretty much a jobber, and his gimmick, while entertaining, isn’t exactly making him look legit. Aiden English can still recover, but with a comical gimmick and jobber status, his career is looking destined to fail.
14 Sticking Around: Braun Strowman
This should come to no surprise, but Braun Strowman is going nowhere... else, that is, as he'll be a WWE Superstar for a long time. “The Monster Among Men” is a gigantic hoss with the look of a legitimate superstar. Vince McMahon likes the guys that look like they could legitimately kill someone, and Braun Strowman fits the bill. Vince is fortunate that the fans are responding positively to Strowman, for the most part, but even if the fans turn on Braun, don’t expect him to go anywhere.
It doesn’t matter that his mic skills are sub-par, and his wrestling skills are average, Braun’s future in WWE is locked. Only second to Roman Reigns, Braun has been build up to be the next big star. This may be the year of Roman Reigns, as has the past three years, but Strowman’s time is on the horizon, like it or not.
13 Destined to fail: Bayley
It pains me to say this, but Bayley’s WWE’s future is in jeopardy. Bayley is one of the most over female wrestlers in WWE, but she certainly isn’t treated like it. She rose through the ranks in NXT, defeating The Four Horsewomen, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch, and looked like a credible NXT Women’s Champion doing so. For some reason, however, Bayley’s main roster run has been incredibly lackluster. She won a forgettable Raw Women’s Championship, but was never treated like a champion and lost the title a short time later to Alexa Bliss.
As much as the fans love Bayley, Vince McMahon seems more intrigued with Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax. Add Bayley’s injury right before she was scheduled for a Summerslam title match, and Bayley’s future as a contender for the Women’s Title of any brand appears questionable at best. However, I hope to be proven wrong.
12 Sticking around: Nia Jax
Because of her relation to her cousin to The Rock, Nia Jax’s future in WWE is secure. WWE isn’t going to want to upset the company’s relationship with The Rock. Therefore, expect a long career with Nia Jax regardless of her bland mic skills and average matches.
Nia is a big powerful athlete, capable of dominating the women’s division. Oddly, we haven’t seen this dominance yet, but when her run with the title comes, and believe me, it’s coming, Nia is going to have a long reign with it. If Nia could find some personality, like her cousin, this future dominant push won’t be so intolerable. Vince McMahon won’t care though. He sees dollars signs with Nia, regardless of the fans’ current indifference to her.
11 Destined To Fail: Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura is definitely in trouble in WWE. “The Artist” is another success story in NXT and New Japan Pro Wrestling, but, for whatever reason, cannot find any momentum on the main roster of Smackdown. Nakamura was voted in the top five wrestlers by PWI in 2015, but his mic skills are non-existent. In McMahon's land you need to be able to talk or be over six feet tall, and Nakamura can’t and isn’t. Even if Nakamura defeated the taboo of wrestling elsewhere, Nakamura’s fate was sealed when John Cena got dropped on his head during their match together. This pretty much damned Nakamura’s future at ever holding a title.
Right now, fans are getting their Nakamura fix with him in the WWE Title hunt because he’s still quite over. Unfortunately, he’s not going to be there much longer and probably won’t be reaching the number one contenders spot ever again.
10 Sticking Around: Jinder Mahal
Jinder Mahal was let go by the WWE only to be brought back as a jobber. However, he went to SmackDown and has the WWE Title dropped into his lap. Even though he was actually born in Canada, Jinder Mahal is being pushed heavily for that Indian market. WWE is banking on Jinder’s Indian heritage to bring eyes from India to WWE. WWE believes the best way to do that is by making him WWE Champion before their big tour in India.
WWE loves their international markets, making Jinder Mahal’s position locked in place for that market in India. Even without the title, or having mic skills or being good in the ring or playing a cliché’ evil foreigner character, “The Modern Day Maharaja’s” employment in WWE is ironclad.
9 Destined To Fail: The Revival
Coming off of a great start in NXT, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder were one of the fastest rising tag teams in WWE. Their debut on RAW instantly sparked excitement, and fans were anxious to see The Revival’s intensity bolster a lukewarm Raw Tag Division. Unfortunately, their virtually assured tag team push was cut short after the injury to Wilder, who suffered a broken jaw. The injury dampened the momentum of The Revival.
However, after about two months later. Wilder would be cleared to return to the ring, and The Revival tried to pick up where they left off. After about a month later, Dawson would become injured, rupturing his bicep, and needing five months to recover. Dawson’s injury once again took The Revival out of action, and who knows if the team will ever be able to get anything going. Whether it’s bad luck or the stigma of being injury prone, The Revival seems destined to remain on the shelf.
8 Sticking Around: Bobby Roode
Like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode came over from TNA with a lot to prove to a wider audience. Since, he worked in TNA, fans wondered if he would get a fair chance in WWE. If Styles and Joe are any indication, Roode has a fighting chance. Roode is a tremendous athlete, he’s got a great gimmick and he carries himself like a champion. Roode already looks and acts like a star and that’s going to help him going forward.
When Roode turns heel, his career is going to go even higher in the company, and fans are going to have an even greater interest in the character. Roode has a bright future ahead and nothing short of a major backstage or personal incident is going to deny his “glorious” career.
7 Destined To Fail: Jason Jordan
Everyone believed that Jason Jordan, along with his partner Chad Gable, was going to have a long and profitable tag team career. American Alpha would go on to win the SmackDown Tag Team Titles which was believed to be the first of many title runs. Then, inexplicably they were broken up. Jason Jordan was moved to RAW where a major push as Kurt Angle’s “son” is ongoing. While WWE is pushing this angle (excuse the pun) to the moon, and perhaps to an Intercontinental Title run, Jason Jordan is pretty much destined to fail.
The crowd is rejecting this bogus storyline, and it’s affecting Jason Jordan’s reaction. He hasn’t exactly lit up the crowd since the start of his singles career, and this manufactured push isn’t helping. The fans are seeing through this B.S., and it won’t be long before WWE gives up on Jason Jordan altogether.
6 Sticking Around: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe has some pretty solid job security right now. He’s received a nice rub from Triple H as his enforcer and has debuted almost instantly into the main event. Joe has all the tools to be a main eventer and a big player in WWE moving forward. Even though WWE would rather see Roman Reigns and Jinder Mahal holding the title, there’s no way the company is going to let Joe tear it up for another company. Even if Joe never sniffs the title, although he should be, WWE is going to keep Joe in the company and relevant. While the main event seems locked for the Roman Reigns and the Braun Strowmans of the WWE, look for Samoa Joe to be a big part of the mid-card titles, like AJ Styles and Kevin Owens, in the near future.
5 Destined To Fail: Heath Slater
Let’s face it, it’s amazing Heath Slater is still in WWE. Even more amazing is that he’s one of the last remaining members of the Nexus. Not to sell Heath short, he’s got an abundance of charisma, and he’s pretty good in the ring, but Creative seems to never have anything for him. He came to RAW from Smackdown with is tag team partner Rhyno, after both of them won the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Still, sometimes it seems like Creative doesn’t even know Heath and Rhyno are on the roster.
Despite being an amazing entertainer, “The One Man Band” is destined to fail. He’s never looked like a serious contender, and his gimmick makes him look like a joke. He’s basically a comedy act and a jobber, and unfortunately, he’s not going much farther than that.
4 Sticking Around: Elias
Elias (Samson) is pretty safe in WWE at the moment. The drifter is a tall, entertaining superstar with a great look, gimmick and devastating in-ring abilities to boot. Although, Elias’ drifter gimmick is more comedic, there’s still a lot of upside to Elias.
Even with his gimmick, Elias can turn on his violent side and decimate his opponents, making a future transition from facetious gimmick to a more serious threat, less of a leap. If Elias drops the gimmick, he’s still got the look, the height and the ring skills to go far in WWE. Fans are just getting a taste of Elias right now, but you can bet when WWE is ready to give him the ball to see what he can do with it, he’s going to drive the ball into the end zone.
3 Destined To Fail: Curt Hawkins
Curt Hawkins is another superstar that is somehow still employed. There was never anything special about Hawkins having come to WWE with Zack Ryder as “The Major Brothers” and later “La Familia.” Hawkins, with Ryder, somehow won the WWE Tag Team Titles, but once their tag team disbanded, the end for Hawkins was set in stone.
In WWE, it seems that tag team tradition dictates that one member of the tag team moves up while the other wallows in obscurity. It’s odd to think that Zack Ryder was the successful one, but that just shows how Hawkins went nowhere as a singles star. His best days were as a tag team, and now he’s a joke character jobbing to everyone. Hawkins was destined to fail almost from the start, and his career isn’t turning around, at least not in WWE.
2 Sticking Around: Mike and Maria Kanellis
Mike and Maria Kanellis have brought their couple gimmick, from ROH, to TNA and now to WWE. Maria is no stranger to WWE, and like other returning divas, her status with the company should be secure. Mike is a newcomer to WWE, but he’s not going anywhere while Maria is still there. More importantly, WWE isn’t going to let Mike and Maria continue their popular run for another company. WWE is wisely scooping up Mike and Maria Kanellis while the iron is hot, and right now, their gimmick is still a hot commodity.
With all the success Mike and Maria have had in the independent cCircuit, his gimmick with Maria can establish Mike as a future contender in WWE. He doesn’t have a comedic gimmick, and he’s not jobbing. With his arrival still fresh, and a character that can have a serious side to it, Mike Kanellis has all the room to rise in WWE.
1 Destined To Fail: Enzo Amore
If you would have asked me a year ago, I would have said there’s nowhere for Enzo to go but up. He was part of a very popular tag team with Big Cass and had the mic skills to go far as a singles star. However, because of his backstage attitude, as of right now, Enzo is destined to fail. Holding the Cruiserweight Title hasn’t helped Enzo in the slightest. Did he ever look like a credible champion? The only reason he was given the Cruiserweight Title was to bolster a boring Cruiserweight Division.
Enzo is still employed only because the other cruiserweights can’t hold a candle to his mic skills, and he remains super over. Still, a Cruiserweight Title run, his awesome mic skills and fan popularity won’t get him far when the company continues to sabotage him with terrible booking.