World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is an American company and professional wrestling is more profitable in the United States of America than it is in other parts of the world. Expectedly, WWE has hundreds of American pro-wrestlers on its payroll.
However, thanks to intense scouting done by William Regal and co., WWE has now signed talents from the nook and corner of the world in recent times, including India, China, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, and South Africa.
In this article, we will be taking you through the top 10 non-American pro-wrestlers on the main roster. We have restricted the number of wrestlers per country to one so as to avoid having the Canadian pro-wrestlers dominate this list.
10 Rusev: Bulgaria
One of the handful of Bulgarian wrestlers to make it, Rusev is pro-wrestling’s equivalent of former Manchester United striker and fellow Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov. Born in Plovtiv, Bulgaria, he emigrated to the United States to work on his dream of becoming a pro-wrestler. After receiving training from WWE alumni Rikishi and Gangrel, he moved to WWE in 2010, and has won the United States Championship three times besides starring in two WWE Studios movies and Total Divas. Given he’s only 34, he can even go on to become a Grand Slam Champion down the line.
9 Aleister Black: The Netherlands
Gone are the days when the European imports mainly came from Scotland, Ireland, and England. WWE’s extensive scouting has found numerous gems from Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) and other European promotions. One recent find is Netherlands-born Aleister Black. The 34-year-old has carved out a name for himself in the American wrestling scene. He has also won the WWE’s trust given their handing him a 108-day NXT Championship reign and booking him like a superstar. On the main roster, he has found his screen time limited, but it’s only a matter of time before they make him reach the heights he’s destined to do.
8 Cesaro: Switzerland
It’s now common knowledge Cesaro can put on four-star matches in his sleep. The Swiss has evolved into a top-tier WWE tag-team wrestler given his six reigns with the Tag Team Championship titles. At one point, a vocal minority lobbied for a world-title reign for him, but Vince McMahon understandably deemed him not charismatic enough to be a WWE Champion. It’s unlikely he goes on to become a world champion as many wrestlers have overtaken him in the kayfabe pecking order in recent times. However, he’ll remain one of the biggest names to never hold the WWE Championship, alongside Roddy Piper and Scott Hall.
7 Gentleman Jack Gallagher: England
Although WWE has numerous English talents working the NXT UK circuit, there’s been a dearth of them on the main roster. Now that Paige is reduced to a managerial role and Drake Maverick doesn’t wrestle as much, we’re left with one English wrestler: Gentleman Jack Gallagher.
The 205 Live talent isn’t making the list merely because there’s no competition. He, a technical wrestler, can hold his own, and has had great matches with Akira Tozawa and Neville. Although he hasn’t won the Cruiserweight Championship, WWE’s using him to put over NXT UK talents underlines his credentials.
6 Buddy Murphy: Australia
Buddy Murphy beats The IIconics to make the list. He was an afterthought during his time at NXT, as Triple H overlooked him in favor of Internet darlings Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. The main-roster move has proved a godsend thus far, as he hasn’t just been booked like a monster, especially on 205 Live, but has also won over the fans and experts. The former Cruiserweight Champion has scored four or more stars on the Dave Meltzer scale a whopping six times. Although he hasn’t done anything on SmackDown Live, it’s only a matter of time before he gets the spotlight he rightfully deserves.
5 Drew McIntyre: Scotland
WWE now has more Scottish wrestlers than ever before thanks to their launch of NXT UK. The main-roster, however, has only three wrestlers: Noam Dar, Nikki Cross, and Drew McIntyre. The Scottish Psychopath edges the former two given his profile in WWE today. He, who was once labeled Vince McMahon’s The Chosen One, has reinvented himself in recent times. A former comedy act, he’s now evolved enough to be put in the same kayfabe bracket as Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin. Here’s hoping he keeps up his promise of becoming the first British WWE Champion.
4 Andrade: Mexico
With WWE promoting lucha libre like never before thanks to the launch of 205 Live, we’ve seen an influx of Mexican talents in recent times. Gran Metalik and Humberto Carrillo have been impressing on the main roster alongside Mexican-Americans like Kalisto, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara.
However, as of today, no one is as strongly-booked as Andrade is and understandably so. The charismatic Durango-born wrestler has proved he’s a superstar in recent times, putting on spectacles after spectacles. It’s only a matter of time before WWE tests the waters for a world-title match with an Intercontinental Championship reign.
3 Shinsuke Nakamura: Japan
WWE decided to cash in on the growing popularity of Japanese wrestling when they signed Shinsuke Nakamura and Kenta (Hideo Itami) in 2016 and 2014. While the latter floundered, the former established himself as an elite athlete wrestling critically-acclaimed matches on NXT. He hasn’t had as much success as fans would have hoped on the main roster. However, he has fared far better than most other recent NXT alumni, winning the Royal Rumble and the US Championship twice in two years. He beats Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Akira Tozawa to make the list.
2 Sami Zayn: Canada
Here’s a tough one! WWE now has nine Canadian wrestlers on the main roster, and every single one of them is pivotal to WWE programming. Natalya, Robert Roode, Kevin Owens, Eric Young, Viktor, Sunil Singh, Samir Singh, Akam, Tyler Breeze, and Sami Zayn have all been featured prominently in recent times. While the former three have won major singles titles, The Critic of the Critics hasn’t won a main-roster title. However, how he's managing to not just be relevant but also be a main-event talent gives him the edge over his compatriots. Here’s hoping he starts caring about the Universal Championship to make the toxic fan base happy!
1 Becky Lynch: Ireland
WWE now has more Irish talents than, perhaps, they’ve ever had. Finn Balor, Killian Dain, Sheamus, and Becky Lynch haven’t just proved top-class talents but have also achieved lots of kayfabe success. Sheamus set a great precedent, winning the world titles four times and The Demon King duly followed, becoming the inaugural Universal Champion. However, The Man became the biggest WWE star to ever come out of Ireland when she became, well, The Man. She didn’t just main-event WrestleMania, for she also went on to lift two Women’s Championship titles to close the show. Here’s hoping she reaches even greater heights!