The WWE roster is quite deep today with a slate of wrestlers on Raw, SmackDown and NXT. Wrestlers like Roman Reigns, A.J. Styles and Kevin Owens are thriving in the era of the brand split, but not all wrestlers have been afforded the same luxury. There have been quite a few stories to come out over the past year regarding wrestlers struggling. Some wrestlers have been unhappy with their status in the company leading to drama between both sides. Others have been on the bad side of WWE due to their decisions. A few have had personal issues outside of the job that impacted their status.
We'll look at all the stories of “troubled” stars trying to get past their issues to reach their potential. Each individual wrestler will be examined along with what their status is in the company right now. Find out if WWE is planning to use them strongly again or if they are in the doghouse. There are also the cases where certain wrestlers may never wrestle for the company again. Some stories will provide hope while others look bleak. Join us as we look at fifteen troubled WWE Superstars along with an update on their status with the company.
15 Mike Kanellis: Enhancement Talent At Live Events
Mike Kanellis signed a rare WWE contract that allowed him and his wife Maria Kanellis to skip NXT for a debut on the main roster. The couple introduced their Power of Love act on PPV with assumed plans for a push. Mike started losing matches less than a month into his run and was off television within a few months. Most fans forget he is even on the roster if they don’t keep up with the roster additions or subtractions.
14 Velveteen Dream: Back On NXT TV
NXT fans were shocked to see Velveteen Dream off television for weeks after his breakout performance against Aleister Black at TakeOver: War Games. Velveteen Dream and Black delivered a classic match that made fans realize that Velveteen was a future main event player in NXT. However, he did not appear on a single episode of NXT television in December on the tapings following TakeOver: War Games with zero reference to him.
13 Rich Swann: Still Suspended For Foreseeable Future
The charges of Rich Swann are quite damaging to his reputation after he was arrested for allegedly physically harming his wife and falsely imprisoning her. These are extremely serious charges that saw WWE suspend Swann right away just days before he was set to be in the finals of a number one contenders match.
12 Lana: Getting Another Chance in the Ring
The desire of Lana to wrestle in the ring rather than just managing has been met with hesitation by WWE. Lana convinced WWE to give her a chance to wrestle in the summer of 2017 with a huge push. Lana's first three matches as a singles star saw her challenge Naomi in bouts for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
11 TJ Perkins: Returned to 205 Live
TJ Perkins was off WWE television for a few months after creative lost all interest in him. Very few people would remember that Perkins was actual the Cruiserweight Champion and winner of the Cruiserweight Classic to start the division. WWE however instantly regretted this choice when TJP lost the fans from his first night on Raw.
10 JBL: WWE Ambassador
The controversy to follow JBL in 2017 featured him bullying Mauro Ranallo to the point of Ranallo leaving the job on SmackDown. Mauro’s battle with mental illness apparently reached a breaking point due to having to work with JBL every week. Mainstream media outlets picked up the story with many past incidents of JBL harassing other talents coming out.
9 Primo and Epico: Enhancement Talent At Live Events
The move from Raw to SmackDown in the Superstar Shakeup gave hope to Primo and Epico. They were failing as The Shining Stars on the Raw brand. WWE has given them multiple character changes from Los Matadors to The Shining Stars with nothing working. The SmackDown character change saw them playing standard heels with less of a gimmick.
8 Nia Jax: Problems Have Seemingly Been Resolved
Nia Jax made headlines when she requested time away from WWE for a few weeks. The disappearance of Jax from Raw and live events led to rumors about her future. Jax was allegedly upset about how WWE used her and felt disrespected by the lack of direction for her character. A return would come at the Survivor Series with Nia trying to show down rumors about her unhappiness.
7 Bronson Matthews: Fired
Bronson Matthews was the winner of the 2015 Tough Enough season on the male side. The former football player was jacked and had a look that both Vince McMahon and Triple H loved. WWE tried to present Matthews as the biggest star on the show and essentially manipulated the audience into voting for him to win the contract.
6 The Revival: Creative Has Nothing For Them
The Revival was considered one of the top tag teams in NXT history due to a slate of great matches on the TakeOver specials. It became a guarantee that every TakeOver special would feature Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder having the best match on the card. The Revival had classic matches against American Alpha, DIY and Authors of Pain.
5 Paige: Back On WWE’s Good Side
The drama between Paige and WWE lasted about a year after she entered a relationship with Alberto Del Rio. WWE tried to keep them apart leading to issues developing between all parties. Paige failed two drug tests to violate the Wellness Policy leading to multiple suspensions while injured. The neck injury and surgery kept her out even longer with hostility growing against WWE.
4 Enzo Amore: Still Banned From Locker Room
Enzo Amore has been a troubled man since coming up to the main roster and annoying most of the locker room. The troubles of Enzo came to ahead when Roman Reigns kicked him off a tour bus in the United Kingdom. Enzo pissed off the rest of the wrestlers by bragging about how much money he made along with badmouthing the wrestling business loudly during a phone call.
3 Big Cass: Forgotten Man
WWE tried pushing Big Cass in a major way after his breakup with Enzo Amore. The popular tag team ending gave Cass a singles feud with Big Show. Lackluster performances showed that Cass was not ready for the spotlight with atrocious matches and negative charisma following him every week. Cass suffered an injury shortly into the new character keeping him out for many months.
2 Lio Rush: Back on NXT Schedule
Social media is a great tool for wrestlers, but it can also negatively impact a career with ease. Lio Rush found this out when he posted a tweet in poor judgment. The immature wrestler made a comment that Emma wasn’t ready for Asuka when the news was announced that Emma was fired from WWE. Many wrestlers in NXT and on the main roster called him out for having a joke at the expense of someone losing their job.
1 Neville: Still Home
The news of Neville walking out of Raw after refusing to lose a match to Enzo Amore shocked the wrestling world. A bigger issue emerged as Neville flat out didn’t want to work for WWE anymore. Neville requested his release with the desire to leave WWE and wrestle internationally once again. The cruiserweight division limited both his income and his opportunities to move up the card.
Vince McMahon reportedly responded by refusing to give Neville his release and now wants to freeze him out. As it currently stands, Neville will remain home until his WWE contract expires. That could change if Neville and WWE agree to his return on WWE television. Until that happens, Neville will be spending a lot of time at home away from the ring.
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