The world of professional wrestling can be a challenging career option for any athlete, especially in the very demanding world of World Wrestling Entertainment. Not everyone can find immediate success when there is no off-season – unlike many professional sports leagues and promotions – and there are about 250 or more shows per year for the average WWE superstars.
Some have done well over recent years with the success that many of the new generation of WWE superstars have found, including Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. At the same time, there are a number of veterans and young talents who may or may not be on the potential chopping block in the WWE. Some deserve being placed on that cut list, while others shouldn’t give up on their dreams of being a superstar worthy of the WWE Hall of Fame – maybe even having a memorable moment that helps define the legacy of WrestleMania.
The following lists eight WWE superstars who should consider leaving the WWE, whether leaving professional wrestling altogether to find a new career or needing a change of scenery with another promotion. Additionally, there are eight WWE Superstars who should hang in there and continue the good fight towards their WWE dreams.
16 Stay: Alberto Del Rio
While Alberto Del Rio doesn’t have the best personality on the microphone, as seen during the recent build-up towards the Money in the Bank ladder match, he’s had some very good matches against some of the upcoming talents in the WWE. Del Rio is likely someone who can work better with the new generation of superstars because of their experience wrestling for multiple independent promotions – this is not the case for all members of the WWE roster from Del Rio’s first run in the company between 2010 and 2014.
15 Quit: Sin Cara
Sure, this isn’t the original wrestler to go by Sin Cara who suffered a number of different injuries and terrible mistakes during matches. But the man currently wrestling as Sin Cara has not been able to really stand out on his own, which seems to be why he was put into a tag team with fellow luchador Kalisto. In recent months, it seems like Kalisto is starting to shine on his own with rivalries with Del Rio, Ryback and other superstars for the WWE United States Championship.
14 Stay: Heath Slater
Maybe he doesn’t have the most impressive win-loss record in his WWE career, but there’s a lot of things to like about Heath Slater. He definitely has charisma to be the leader of the current Social Outcasts faction, which has been good for some laughs with other superstars who have struggled on the main roster. It’s also giving them something to do that makes them more than just jobbers.
13 Quit: Curtis Axel
No one would really blame Curtis Axel if he wanted to leave the WWE. The son of “Mr. Perfect,” Curt Hennig is just one of the recent examples of a second-generation wrestler who had some struggles in the WWE, which is a shame for someone who carries a strong bloodline and shows plenty of in-ring skill. However, this is the WWE and being able to pull off different moves is not going to make someone a big star in the WWE.
12 Stay: Titus O’Neil
It took some time for Titus O’Neil to be able to develop into a strong WWE superstar, including that period of time with the NXT brand that went from a reality-type show for rookies and into a D-league brand of the WWE roster. One of the best things the WWE did was help him debut onto the main roster as a tag team partner with Darren Young to form the Prime Time Players. It gave him a chance to build his in-ring abilities since 2012.
11 Quit: Darren Young
While one half of the Prime Time Players has found singles success, the same thing can’t be said for the other half in Darren Young. It would be nice to say he’s been able to take the positive publicity he and the WWE received for him coming out for his sexual orientation, but the momentum was lost and he hasn’t been able to flourish as a singles star in the WWE. At the moment, the current story line involving WWE legend Bob Backland as his mentor and coach could be the final opportunity Young has to be great in the WWE.
10 Stay: Jack Swagger
It was mentioned in a previous article about how Jack Swagger blew an opportunity at becoming the World Heavyweight Champion in a feud with Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania XXIX, and that his momentum has regressed from main event superstar to tag team wrestler and now someone who doesn’t get a lot of time on television except for losses. However, there is still a following for Swagger among the WWE Universe.
9 Quit: David Otunga
When going through the current WWE roster on the company’s website, seeing David Otunga still listed among active talents caused a bit of a double-take, even a triple-take. Unless WWE fans watch the live pre-show on the WWE Network, it can be pretty easy to forget that Otunga is still working for the company and it’s unclear why he still has a job. Him leaving the WWE has more to do with the talented commentators WWE has coming from NXT.
8 Stay: Natalya
One of the best female wrestlers in WWE currently is someone who hasn’t truly been given consistent success in terms of winning the WWE Women’s Championship. Natalya seems to be like a mother hen for many of the young female talents in the WWE roster and that sort of motherly quality is needed as part of a veteran presence for younger superstars. Natalya knows what it takes to succeed and how hard it is to maintain that success, which makes her a perfect teacher for the next generation of WWE divas.
7 Quit: Eva Marie
After many WWE divas like Trish Stratus and Lita left the company, the women’s roster in WWE didn’t have the same depth that it did during the early years of the original brand split in the WWE. Even with the recent additions of Charlotte, Paige and Becky Lynch to the main WWE roster, there are still some bad ones like Eva Marie. The biggest contribution she has made to WWE is her appearances on the “reality show” Total Divas.
6 Stay: Tyler Breeze
Not all of the recent call ups from the NXT development brand have had the most success in the WWE main roster – i.e. Kevin Owens. Tyler Breeze is someone who had a lot of promise with a unique heel character that some feel might not have been handled properly in the WWE main roster upon his debut. That doesn’t mean his career is doomed to mid-card mediocrity. There’s a good chance that his talents will begin to shine over the next few years and possibly towards a brighter future.
5 Quit: Ryback
Before we get complaints, it should be noted that as of today, Ryback is still featured on WWE.com, and is fair game on this list. It wasn’t long ago when Ryback debuted in the WWE with a long winning streak that drew some easily understandable comparisons to Goldberg. Shortly after finding himself on the losing end of a WWE Championship feud with CM Punk, his character has seen some highs and some lows. He was unsuccessful in competing for the top title in the WWE, and it took until 2015 to win the Intercontinental Championship for a small run. His abilities have evolved and one can see he’s found some charisma as a villainous bully on television.
4 Stay: Zack Ryder
A few years ago, the departure from WWE for Zack Ryder would have been an expected outcome. However, the year 2016 has shown plenty of opportunities to come the way of Long Island Iced-Z. Once considered a jobber who struggled to find time on WWE television for several years, Ryder has won the Intercontinental Championship in a ladder match at WrestleMania earlier this year – granted, the championship reign ended in about 24 hours.
3 Quit: Big Show
The WWE is beginning to evolve away from what was once considered a land of giants with an influx of superstars who have various and diverse in-ring abilities. With someone like the Big Show having been around for more than 20 years, he’s becoming one of the last few walking dinosaurs left in professional wrestling. While having lost more than 50 pounds over recent years, the Big Show probably isn’t in as good physical condition as he once was as a world champion for both WWE and WCW.
2 Stay: Goldust
Dustin Runnels, the son of Dusty Rhodes, has been able to perform in the world of professional wrestling for nearly 30 years and at the age of 47, he’s been able to compete in some of his best matches during his current run with the WWE. His time might be winding down, but it would be nice to see the man known best as Goldust have at least one more run with the Intercontinental Championship and possibly become a trainer at the WWE’s training center in Florida.
1 Quit: Dolph Ziggler
There comes a time when someone should look at their current career and how they’ve met their expectations. While Dolph Ziggler has come a long way from being one of the members of the Spirit Squad in 2005 and has won multiple championships in the past decade, Ziggler has not received the main event respect one would expect of his abilities. Unlike a number of WWE superstars many fans would like to see leave the company, the hopes for Ziggler’s departure are more meant for his own benefit.
Ziggler has recently begun branching out into other realms of entertainment that include stand-up comedy and he’s got the looks and charisma to excel in acting. If he does want to continue in professional wrestling, one would expect Ziggler to find opportunities similar to the ones that Cody Rhodes has recently received in the past month – much to the delight of many pro wrestling fans around the world.
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