WWE’s roster isn’t quite a revolving door, but recent years have proven that the world’s largest wrestling company isn’t afraid of dropping and hiring stars as they see fit. Thanks to the use of NXT, WWE doesn’t seem to be quite as gunshy about bringing in indie stars. Whereas they used to wonder if those indie guys were ready for the changes that come with WWE’s style, WWE execs now know that they can develop wrestlers within their own system. At the same time, the company appreciates that they don’t have to hold on to existing performers who just aren’t working out simply because they need the extra personnel.
That being the case, you get the feeling that you can no longer truly predict who will be leaving and who will be arriving at any given time. While we’re sure that this arrangement is quite nerve-wracking for the performers, it does tend to be pretty exciting for fans. As far who is going to be leaving and who is going to be arriving, there are a few theories out there that you simply need to know about. These are the eight WWE firings that might take place soon and seven possible signings.
16 Fired - Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
Here is a strange one. Recently, there have been some rumors that Karl Anderson is dissatisfied with his WWE run. Those rumors seem to have originated from a change in Anderson’s profile that no longer listed him as a WWE superstar. It was also rumored that Luke Gallows had made similar changes to some of his social media profiles. The latest word is that these changes are probably meaningless - if they ever existed at all - but there seems to be a lot of smoke from these fires. Gallows and Anderson haven’t really been utilized in months despite a depleted tag division. This duo theoretically demands a pretty respectable WWE salary, so we wouldn’t be too surprised to see WWE jettison them sooner rather than later.
15 Hired - Ethan Carter III
It’s strange to say that TNA/Impact Wrestling is on its last legs considering that they’ve been on their last legs for years now, but it really does seem like its make or break time for the company. TNA’s biggest problem at this point is going to be retaining talent. There are so many thriving indie companies in the world today that we have no doubt the company’s top talent would find a home somewhere. That certainly includes Ethan Carter III whose simple wrestling style, good looks, solid promos, and WWE experience make him a prime candidate to jump ship. For his part, EC III has been talking a lot about WWE lately. This one might just be a matter of WWE finding the right salary number.
14 Fired - Paige
Yes, Paige is still technically a member of the WWE roster. If that comes as a surprise to you, it’s because she hasn’t been on television since October 2016. She’s also been filling her downtime with questionable decisions and battles against unfortunate photo leaks. Technically Paige was cleared to return to the ring in September. It’s anyone’s guess what WWE plans on doing with her, but the fact that Paige wasn’t really being utilized before her departure and has struggled to get it together in her downtime seems to suggest the worst. WWE might give Paige a brief run to make sure that they get some use out of her remaining contract, but we’d be shocked if Paige remains with the company beyond next year’s WrestleMania.
13 Hired - Scarlett Bordeaux
While it’s great that WWE has been hiring more and more female competitors known for their in-ring abilities, we do have to say that there is a bit of a void at the moment that the company could stand to fill with female wrestlers that can wrestle but are better known as managers and personalities. Scarlett Bordeaux fills that void nicely. She is not a bad wrestler at all, but Bordeaux spent many years as a manager and made a name for herself as a heel valet. She plays a particular role that nobody else on the roster is really able to play (valet that can still compete well). Bordeaux has been brought into WWE before as a jobber and is close to stars like Seth Rollins, so it’s not unreasonable to think this hiring might happen at some point.
12 Fired - Big Cass
It’s hard to remember that there was a time when Enzo Amore and Big Cass were one of the best and most beloved tag teams in recent years. They were a truly unique duo who weren’t the best in the ring but had an excess of personality to share. When WWE broke them up, most figured that Big Cass was the more immediate singles prospect. Instead, it’s been Enzo Amore who has distinguished himself. Granted, Enzo isn’t the most well-liked guy backstage, but it doesn’t seem like he’s going anywhere soon. Cass, meanwhile, hasn’t done anything noteworthy in months and who knows where he'll fall on the card once he heals from his torn ACL. There’s just no room for the guy on the current WWE roster. We imagine WWE might cut him sooner rather than later just to free a roster spot and save a few bucks.
11 Hired - Matt Riddle
As an MMA fighter, Matt Riddle enjoyed a good but not great in-ring career. However, Riddle was always “over” with the UFC fanbase by virtue of his pro-wrestling like personality and attitude. Perhaps nobody should have been too surprised to see Riddle transition to the world of professional wrestling following the end of his MMA career. Still, Riddle has taken to pro wrestling quicker than even his biggest fans would have anticipated. We’re not sure if Riddle’s style would instantly translate to WWE, but the guy has everything the company has ever looked for in terms of looks and character. Riddle has stated that he’s not really thinking of signing with WWE in the immediate future, but that was said some time ago. It’s entirely possible that his standpoint will change the next time WWE goes on an indie hiring spree.
10 Fired - James Ellsworth
James Ellsworth is one of the most amusing success stories in WWE history. He was brought in to be stomped by Braun Strowman, but Ellsworth’s memorable pre-match promo and unique look struck a chord with fans. For months, Ellsworth was used as the most unlikely babyface on WWE’s roster, but has recently transitioned to a heel manager role. As fun as Ellsworth’s overall career has been, it’s becoming clear that WWE has run out of ideas for Ellsworth. They’ve certainly kept worse pieces of talents on the roster for longer, but Ellsworth isn’t the kind of guy that is going to be around for years to come. He’ll likely not survive the post-WrestleMania firing spree if he even makes it to that point next year in the first place.
9 Hired - Ricochet
Ricochet has been one of the best indie wrestlers in the world for quite a few years now. As such, he’s also been on the radar of a few WWE fans for quite some time. At the very least, we can assure you that guys like Triple H and Vince McMahon are aware of the guy. All that being the case, why hasn’t Ricochet actually signed with WWE? Well, it seems that his hesitancy can be traced to a rather restrictive contract he signed with Lucha Underground. That prevented Ricochet from being able to consider many offers, including interest from WWE. It’s believed that Ricochet’s time with Lucha Underground is drawing to a close, meaning his time with WWE may be near. He may even be with the company by NXT’s 2018 WrestleMania event.
8 Fired - Goldust
It’s pretty amazing to consider that Goldust is still an active WWE wrestler. Goldust made his WWE debut in 1995, but Dustin Rhodes has been wrestling since around 1988. While Goldust hasn’t been an active WWE competitor during all those years, his latest run with the company stretches back to 2013. Truth be told, Goldust hasn’t had much to do in WWE since he teamed up with his brother, Cody. It’s anyone’s guess why he’s still on the roster, but we’d guess he’s locked into a multi-year contract. That contract is likely at an end as WWE hasn’t even attempted to do anything with Goldust in quite some time. The exact date Goldust’s agreement ends is unknown, but there’s little chance that Goldust makes it long into 2018.
7 Hired - Dalton Castle
If WWE were ever looking to incorporate a Goldust-like character into the rotation again, they could do much worse than Dalton Castle. For years, Castle has been touring the indies as a kind of wrestling Liberace. He’s a flamboyant performer whose mere presence usually captures an audience’s attention. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s a pretty good in-ring performer capable of cutting a decent promo. It’s easy to imagine Castle playing a Tyler Breeze kind of role in NXT, but we’d go so far as to speculate that his main roster prospects are even greater than Breeze’s were. Castle did sign with Ring of Honor earlier this year, but it was reported that top WWE execs were very, very interested in bringing Castle on-board. If Castle isn’t committed to ROH for a long-term deal, it’s easy to imagine WWE stepping in soon.
6 Fired - Lio Rush
Perhaps we’re jumping the gun on this one a bit, but there’s no denying that Lio Rush hasn’t enjoyed the warmest of welcomes since joining WWE. Recently, he caught quite a bit of flack for making a poorly timed joke about Emma on Twitter following her WWE release. Truth be told, Rush has always had a bit of a reputation for being outspoken and having kind of an attitude. Hey, the guy is only 22 years old. All the same, we know that WWE may intend to cut down on their cruiserweight roster sooner than later and Rush hasn’t really had the chance to connect with WWE’s fanbase yet. It’s entirely possible that WWE will choose to sever ties with Rush and allow him to mature quite a bit before being welcomed back.
5 Hired - Ivelisse Vélez
Ivelisse Vélez used to be a member of the WWE roster. Actually, she was an up-and-coming Tough Enough prospect. Unfortunately, she was fired shortly after speaking out against head trainer Bill DeMott over claims of harassment. Her release was seen as a black mark against WWE that the company wore with some shame for years. Since then, Ivelisse has made a name for herself at Lucha Underground and elsewhere. She’s one of the most impressive in-ring female wrestlers on the planet and clearly knows how to work a more “showy” WWE style. We can’t guarantee that WWE is on good terms with Ivelisse, but her past “trespasses” seem like exactly the kind of thing that the company would soon be able to forgive.
4 Fired - Apollo Crews
Prior to arriving in WWE, many pointed at Apollo Crews - then known by the in-ring name of Uhaa Nation - as one of the brightest WWE prospects on the indie circuit. He was always a huge guy with a ton of athleticism to spare who knew how to work a WWE-style match. Unfortunately, Crews’ time in WWE hasn’t exactly gone to plan. Blame it on bad booking - WWE never really found anything for Crews to do - but part of Crews’ shortcomings can most certainly be traced to his inability to really deliver a WWE promo or establish a presence for himself within WWE’s creative confines. There’s theoretically still time for Crews to turn things around, but the problem now seems to be that WWE hasn’t really expressed any interest in turning Crews into a major player.
3 Hired - Marty Scurll
With the exception of a guy like Adam Cole who has finally made his way to WWE, there have been few indie stars in recent years that have been more WWE ready than Marcy Scurll. One look at Scurll - with or without his iconic plague doctor mask - leaves an impression. This is a guy who recently modeled suits for a rather respected men’s fashion label. It’s not all about his looks, though. Scurll is a talented in-ring performer whose real gift lies in his ability to play the perfect heel. Scurll is a born bad guy who has the rare ability to play an engaging heel without being “likable.” Scurll is most certainly going to spend some time in NXT at some point, but he’s main roster ready if WWE goes that direction.
2 Fired - Luke Harper
It might be more accurate to put Eric Rowan in this spot, but it’s Luke Harper that gives us the most cause for concern. Harper has been an underutilized guy since day one. As a member of the Wyatt Family, he was seen as a gifted performer who struggled to distinguish himself. As a singles competitor...well, Harper has done his best to stand-out, but his opportunities to do so have been few and far between. His current position isn’t that different from the one Emma was in before she was released. Harper is being given something to do, but it’s clear to everyone that he’s not being used to his full capacity. It’s possible Harper could request a release rather than be let go, but we wonder how many more months are in his WWE career.
1 Kenny Omega
It seems the rumors never stop regarding Kenny Omega, but when you're one of the most sought after wrestlers on the planet, it's only normal for WWE rumors to pop up. Recently Omega has gotten attention due to his ongoing Twitter war with Chris Jericho, who has taken shots at Omega for being in the minor leagues and claims he's overrated. Jericho's been known to troll fans before and it's very likely that Jericho could just be setting himself up as a future opponent for Omega should he decide to jump to the WWE. Omega has constantly rejected the notion of going to WWE, but we've heard that story before. There's no doubt that Triple H is keeping close tabs on him and would be willing to hire him in a heartbeat.