Unlike mainstream sports, sports entertainment does not have 30 other teams with 30 other owners who wrestlers and agents can negotiate with. There is one option, dealing with Vince McMahon. Granted, other promotions are providing a fantastic alternative to the formulaic WWE. Has these promotions continue to grow it only creates more opportunity for wrestlers. Thus, a wrestler’s career is no longer solely in the hands of Mahon, only their WWE life is.
There are unknowns when it comes to WWE Superstars career, unknowns that can only be answered by McMahaon himself, but if we are to learn from history, much like their storylines and gimmicks there are recurring patterns. The following articles explores the Superstars that are currently on the pre cusp of WWE extinction, some can be saved others have no hope. Some will need to leave a faction, others need to harness their inner Shawn Michaels and turn on a partner, no matter what needs to be done, some will and some will not get that chance.
Look to the past to see the outcome of these 20 wrestlers futures, in order to prepare to see them on WWE programming or to search the independent promotion they will be in.
20 No Future: No Way Jose
The now 30-year old Dominican Republic native began his wrestling career in 2013. Two years later he was in NXT, developing into the mould that is required to make the WWE’s main roster. One of the negatives for the ‘Life of the Party’ is that he has an array of moves that are usually reserved for the ‘giants’ and ‘monsters’ of the WWE. Being billed as being 6’3 and 245 pounds he is restricted to using his power moves solely on smaller opponents. Performing moves such as his Crucifix Sit Down Powerbomb and Cobra Clutch Slam on larger opponents does not seem plausible and is difficult to sell.
He also incorporates a number of moves that uses his opponents own momentum such as a Flying Snapmare and a Lariat, while they come off as ineffective, not nearly as effective as his Rolling Fireman's Carry. There is no denying he currently gets the crowd on their feet with his congo line and dancing, people love to party, just not every single Monday. Being a combination of Adam Rose, Brodus Clay and Fandango with some New Day personality to boot, once the novelty wears off there is no way No Way Jose remains in the WWE.
19 Can Be Saved: Baron Corbin
The downside for Thomas Pestock (known as Baron Corbin) is that he only began wrestling in 2012. After having played NCAA Division II football, instead of wrestling Pestock spent about 2 years making practice squads and eventually being cut in the NFL. The upside, after spending 4 years in NXT, the resources WWE put into Corbin were apparent when he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in his debut. Currently, it appears as if THE 6’8”285-pound heavyweight spent 4 years in NXT working on his power moves such as his Body Avalanche and Northern Lariat, which look impressive with the aggression in which he delivers them.
His mic work and personality have at times been criticized as boring by fans.
Despite having won the US Title, Corbin has recently been in the top tier of programming, but never in the main event picture. Corbin has the size to finish off opponents such as Rusev and Jack Swagger with his End of Days and it looks believable, once he gets away from the stoic ‘Lone Wolf’ persona, his career could be saved from the mediocrity it is currently in.
18 No Future: Heath Slater
Sure, Heath may end up technically having a contract with the WWE for the foreseeable future. It will be as comic relief and serving as enhancement Kent talent for the top tier guys to beat. Is future will not look much different than his past, whether it was part of 3MB, or as trailer trash it seems Jen has reached his ceiling. Forever seemingly part of a tag team the 6’2” and 216 pounds he does not possess the physique to be a power wrestler or the move set to be a high flyer.
In order to counter this, his character is brash and arrogant, which given the circumstances of his career simply comes off unwarranted. His use of his signature neck breaker and various DDT’’s give him the opportunity to use his finisher on any size opponent, but what is most revealing is somebody who implements the schoolboy that often, seldom has the opportunity to get a win with a finisher. The 34 year-old Heath Wallace Miller’s time in the WWE will come and go and will be noticed by few fans in the WWE universe and there will be one less person to randomly place in a tag team..
17 Can Be Saved: Elias
Honkey Tonk Man, Jeff Jarrett, Road Dogg all three men had long successful careers in the WWE. All three ended pretty badly, but this is where Elias can be different and actually be saved. There is a proven history in the world of wrestling that the majority of wrestling fans did not buy tickets to a wrestling event to listen to a wrestler play the guitar. Jeffrey Logan Sciullo is just 6 feet tall and 217 pounds, but his muscular build gives the impression of being much bigger and allows him to execute an array of maneuvers.
He implements a Crossface and a Fujiwar Armbar in order to get the upper hand on opponents on the mat, his Flying Elbow and Jumping Knee Strike are high-risk high impact, yet he is able to execute power moves such as a Big Boot and a Body Slam Toss. His two signature moves Encore and Drift Away can be used on an opponent of any weight class. He has seemed to have drifted away from ‘The Drifter’ gimmick as his promo’s are creating a cult following which could make a good face turn in the future. Hopefully, the guitar has no future because Elias can still be saved.
16 No Future: Epico Colon
In a day and age where WWE creative loves to break up tag teams in the hopes of creating the next superstar that will break out on their own, much like Shawn Michaels did when he superkicked Marty Janetty and threw him through a window, Epico has been in a tag team with Primo since 2011. At age 36, Orlando Tito Colón has been given no reason by WWE creative that they have any long-term plans for him. The Colons had not been on television for several months prior to Epico’s shoulder surgery in January 2018.
If the shoulder surgery does not prevent him from coming back, his basic set of moves will prevent him from staying much longer. Standing at 6’2” and weighing 230 pounds he does not have the size to execute power moves, yet does not perform the high flying Lucha moves that could be expected. The moves he does do, he executes extremely well, but when your repertoire consists of dropkicks, neckbreakers and the ‘Epico Suplex Combo’ which is just 3 different types of suplexes in concession, it is a sign you are not long for the big time.
15 Can Be Saved: Mojo Rawley
It will not be easy, but Dean Muhtadi can be saved as Mojo Rawley in the WWE. Granted he will need some new moves, because at 6’4” and 265 pounds he should not be executing Jumping Hip Attacks Hyper Drive and It’s Hammer Time, which is completely ineffective. Those type of moves will go by the waste side when WWE creative allows him to finally get rid of his “staying hype all the time” gimmick, which wears a little thin after every time he executes a relatively simple move he jumps around in excitement.
Due to his size, he should be able to use some power moves (which he does), but there is little creativity.
His multiple shoulder block is intense, but is similar and not as impressive as his Pounce, bottom line, no need for both of them. Stone Cold Steve Austin mentioned on his podcast how Rawley has good promo skills The reason why Mojo can be saved is that all his shortcomings are revolved around the fact that it is attached to his particular gimmick. Once the ex-NFLer throws away the neon attire and turns up the intensity and down the hype, then he will be able to be saved.
14 No Future: Gran Metalik
The situation with Gran Metalik is not that he suffers any affliction of being a poor wrestler. His innovative moves such as his Springboard Front Dropkick, Springboard Splash, and Springboard Back Elbow has earned his the name "El Rey de las Cuerdas" – The King of the Ropes The 5’9”175-pound cruiserweight also implements exciting high-risk maneuvers such as his Suicide Dive and Diving Somersault Senton, which the fans appreciate seeing. It his not his wrestling ability that is going to prevent the 29-year-old from WWE success, but how he is used, more precisely how he will be improperly used.
If you want to define ‘no future’ as not having a contract with the WWE, then perhaps he ‘has a future’ but if the WWE universe wants to see Gran Metalik be utilized properly, WWE creative has a history of not being able to use not only cruiserweights but Lucha wrestlers poorly. You can very well expect the 13-year wrestling veteran who has had great success in the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre' (where he once held 4 belts at once), to return back to the organizations where he has had fame and success, while he leaves the WWE behind.
13 Can Be Saved: Sonya Deville
So much more should be in store for Sonya Deville. Entering the WWE has backup to Paige, Deville is primed for a more upfront type of role. She is able to sell her more violent and aggressive in-ring work better than any female wrestler on the WWE roster today. Much of that has to be attributed to her MMA background, between October 2014 and March, 2015 Daria Berenato Tallied a 2-1 MMA record. Her MMA experience is demonstrated with her ability to execute a number of submission moves, her favourites in WWE are the Kimura lock and Ankle lock, which solidifies her character as having an MMA background and with that established her aggressive style fits perfectly.
Despite her being ‘softened up’ slightly for the main roster, her Strike Combination and Spear allow her to stand out from the allow female wrestlers and is an indication that she should be in the forefront of the women’s division. Paige’s injury will allow Deville to move up the women’s division and her character can continue to build until the matchup versus Ronda Rousey can be done properly. With a victory over Rousey, the future of Deville in the WWE will be saved.
12 No Future: Viktor
At 6’2” 219 pounds, the 37-year-old Eric Thompson has several things working against him in that indicate he has no future in the WWE. The WWE does not have the talent on the creative team in order to properly develop a 37-year-old who began wrestling on the independent circuit in 1999. While in NXT he had a feud with Seth Rollins (who has surpassed him) and used a variety of power moves such as Super Michinoku driver and a Double underhook powerbomb. Since being promoted to the main roster he has been the tag team partner of Konner, so Viktor’s best power moves pale in comparison.
Viktor and Konnor made their debut as Ascension in December of 2014 and have not moved from their mid to low tier spot since. Their most prominent run to date has been their alliance with StarDust, who has since left the company and has achieved way more success than Viktor in WWE. Last, but not least, during the beginning of their debut run as Ascension they would claim to be better than the Road Warriors and Demolition. These claims were in no way believable and ultimately hurt them more than co-starring in the Fashion Files.
11 Can Be Saved: Konnor
Much like his tag team partner, the Ascension gimmick is doing Ryan Parmeter no favours. If Parmeter, who goes by Konnor is going to be saved, the Ascension gimmick has to go to the wasteland. While Konnor is 38, and be being ‘older’ was negative for his partner, the fact that Konnor’s skill set is already appropriate for a big man who would make a great heel, Konnor has a better chance at longevity. Standing 6’4” and at 268 pounds, WWE creative can continue to build his character using the description on his WWE.Com bio that states “The behemoth pummels his foes with reckless abandon, demolishing everything unlucky enough to be in his path".
He could continue to use the Big Boot, Body Avalanche, and his Full Nelson Slam in order to sell the powerful big man. The ‘Dark Cloud of the WWE’ would be an intriguing matchup for wrestlers such as Rusev, Big E and Kevin Owens, whose gimmicks are more reality-based. An example of how the Ascension gimmick is preventing Konnor from better things, is the painted fake stitching on his mouth looks pretty cool, but as soon as he opens up his mouth to breath, the effect is lost
10 No Future: Mark Andrews
The fact that Mark Andrews has no future in the WWE has absolutely nothing to do with his talent level, just the opposite. Currently, on the 205 Live roster, Andrews is no stranger to success in the independent circuit. Having begun his career in 2006. Having won championships in no less than six independent promotions, including Attack! Pro Wrestling, Chikara, and Combat Sports Federation, the 5’8” cruiserweight will always have a number of options to choose from.
His interests are not simply limited to wrestling promotions.
Andrews is also a bassist and vocalist for a punk-rock band named Junior. As well, he has a t-shirt and hoodie company that is very popular among indy wrestling fans. Wrestlers that have outside interests and opportunities are way less likely to continue in the WWE when they become unhappy with the direction handed to them, in favour for the freedom of the independent circuit. His time in the WWE will only serve to benefit him in his attempt to make himself a bigger name until he eventually executes a transition similar to Cody Rhodes. It will be his decision when he leaves, but Mark Andrews has no future in the WWE
9 Can Be Saved: Drew McIntyre
When you are 6’5” and weighing 265 pounds and have 18 years of wrestling experience under your belt at age 33, you have a bright future ahead of you in the wrestling business. Since Vince McMahon loves big strong guys to base the company around, there is no reason that Andrew McLean Galloway IV cannot have a successful career ahead of him in the WWE. His first go-around in the WWE started in 2009 saw him go from Intercontinental Champions to tag Champions to an 8 match losing streak and being fired by Teddy Long to being part of 3MB, which was worse than ‘being fired’ in a storyline.
Recently, the heavyweight has teamed with Dolph Ziggler, while letting his overhead belly to belly suplexes and Claymore do the talking in the ring and Ziggler do the talking on the microphone in order to maintain the strong silent type persona. Having the physical attributes, McIntrye can slowly improve his promo skills while working alongside Ziggler. If he is able to take advantage of this learning moment, he will be all the more suited to continue his singles career and have a long future in the WWE.
8 No Future: Ronda Rousey
This is little more than a business arrangement. The WWE gets some coverage in reputable newspapers and discussed mainstream sports shows, Rousey has an opportunity to stay in the spotlight and try to do what 'The Rock' did and parlay WWE in a movie career. the beginnings of Rousey's WWE career was pretty slow building, due tot hat, one would think that her move set over that prolonged time would have expanded from Lariat's and punching combos into something a little more substantial. Instead, they opted to try and make her move legitimate by having her perform them on either Triple H or Stephanie in order to give them instant credibility.
This type of build has been proven a number of times to start hot and then quickly flame out quick.
The future for Rowdy Rousey in the WWE looks bleak, for once the novelty wears off, and after a few hyped up bouts that will disappoint, Rousey will quickly fall down the women’s division hierarchy as a sacrificial lamb to the Women’s Revolution. Thus making the ‘Baddest Women on the Planet” and UFC champion, just another wrestler in the WWE, which will serve to demonstrate how great the WWE is.
7 Can Be Saved: Billie Kay
Just a quick preface to the WWE creative team, we get it, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are friends because they are both from Sydney and they have accents, can they be slightly less static characters now that has been established. Jessica McKay the 5’8 Orlando Florida resident has been honing her craft since 2007. Now 28 years of age, Billie Kay has yet had the opportunity to display the full potential that she demonstrated in NXT. This unfulfilled potential is the reason why Kay can still be saved, especially just 3 months after her debut. While on SMACKDOWN! Kay has been paired with Royce and they are playing a mix of an annoying foreigner and mean girls, two things that are sure to bring heat.
The downside, her character plays the weaker of the two and she usually uses typical heel tactics of preferring to verbally attack an opponent as opposed to physically. Her ability to physically attack is what will eventually save her, for while she wrestled in NXT she showed an innovative moveset for a female wrestler. Her Inverted Stomp Facebreaker is original and believable while her torture rack may have been taken straight out of Lex Luger’s playbook.
6 No Future: Noam Dar
At the age of only 24, Noam Dar already has 9 years of wrestling experience. This wealth of experience on the independent circuit can serve a wrestler one of two ways. Either they are happy to finally be in the WWE and not be forced to go to an independent show to independent show, or, they understand and appreciate the freedom of the independent circuit and are less likely to blindly accept the direction that WWE creative gives them. A lot of Dar's moves involves utilizing his feet through dropkicks and Enziguris, aside from Rob Van Dam and Daniel Bryan wrestlers with similar skills have not attained very much success.
Not long after his debut, it was demonstrated how WWE did not know how to use him as they made him a member of Enzo Amore's 'Zo Train'. Not only is it bad that they made him a member of a faction named after another wrestle, the name of the faction was a callback to The Godfather's Ho Train, not innovative in the least. Amore's firing and his knee surgery have had Dar on the self, do not be surprised if Dar does not remain in the WWE long after his return.
5 Can Be Saved: Bo Dallas
Bo is in the midst of being saved. His days of trying to get the WWE Universe to “Bo-lieve” is not as in your face and persistent as it once was. While outside the ring as a member of the B-Team he may be eternally optimistic, his look and demeanour have changed. Turning on the Miz was a step in the right direction for Taylor Michael Rotunda’s character. While being part of the Miztourage put him in the forefront of the WWE Universe’s mind, turning on The Miz was the rub Dallas needed.
At 6’1” and 234, Dallas has the strength and agility to sell a number of moves but currently does not have enough his repertoire to propel him to the next level.
His spear is as impressive as anybody’s and he can use his underhook DDT on slightly bigger opponents It is the knee drops and back elbows that are his go to’s way too often. The next step for Dallas is when he turns on his partner Hawkins, and in turn become a mid-tier heel, who is able to put the doubt in the mind of fans that Dallas can get the upset victory.
4 No Future: Scott Dawson
It is great to have confidence, it is even okay to be cocky, but when it is unfounded it leaves you with zero credibility. The only thing holding Scott Dawson back in the WWE, is his move set, size and mic work. Now, this is in no way a criticism on Scott Dawson, many great wrestlers were unable to maintain longevity in the WWE, which had nothing to do with them and everything to do with the WWE. At age, David Michael Harwood began wrestling on the independent circuit in 2004.
There is where he developed a methodical, precise ring style, which was further formulated by the WWE performance center. At 5’10” and 223 pounds, Dawson carries a scowl and a bad attitude to the ring. He then proceeds to use power short-arm clothesline and suplexes, his best moves are the ones he executes with his partner. Since the 80s, the WWE has not put a lot of resources into the tag division and there has to be a concern as to how Dawson would fair on his own. If his arsenal of moves does not begin to have more variety having a future as a singles competitor is low.
3 Can Be Saved: Killian Dain
It is never a good look to be in a faction where you are clearly last on the hierarchy. However, it will not be long before the 6’4”322-pound heavyweight will have an opportunity to break out on his own and subsequent breakout as a superstar. Killian holds true to the heavyweight classing by using a number of power moves, yet is still capable of leaving his feet in what basically becomes a high-risk maneuver for a man his size. His surprising athletic ability in the ring stems from his university days when he played soccer, basketball, rugby, and judo.
As Killian Dain, Damian Mackle possesses the traditional heel look that legendary heels like King Kong Bundy, Kamala and Earthquake provided to be the antagonist to the well defined and muscular Hulk Hogan and Lex Luger. His in ring work, however, leaves him open to being able to transition into a heel and perform the types of moves fans love to see. Due to this flexibility, the future for Killian Dain is bright and will be saved as soon as he executes a Belfast Blitz to ‘SAnitY’S’ leader Eric Young.
2 No Future: R-Truth
It seems R-Truth always goes away, but never stays away. Throughout his numerous runs with the WWE he has never been utilized properly. His loyalty and willingness to do what the company asks of him has kept him in the company this long, but that can only take you so far. Whether he goes by Ron Killings, K-Kwick or R-Truth the WWE never used him correctly and will not start now with him being 46 years of age. AT 6’2” 220 pounds and a very muscular physique Ronnie Aaron Killings has the athleticism to perform high spots and the muscle to execute the power moves.
His mic work is way above average, but his comedic ability also proved to be above average and that was what he was pigeon-holed into. Now at 46, he will not be afforded the opportunity that was denied to him in in 1999 when he made his debut in the WWE, so there is little reason to keep out hope for R-Truth to have any future in the WWE. One can only hope for his sake that he gets one last push before he is pushed out the door.
1 Can Be Saved: Zelina Vega
This is an easy one, which female manager does not eventually become a wrestler and extend their career in the WWE. The only question WWE creative has to ask themselves is does she turn on Andrade “Cien” Almas, thus turning her face or does she turn on Andrade “Cien” Almas turning him to the face. While the journey may still be in question, the outcome is Thea Megan Trinidad, who was born in New York and resides in Florida, will have a future wrestling in the women’s division.
As the 27-year-old showed in NXT, she can wrestle, while she still has some improving to do, Vega will step in the squared circle to compete. While in NXT she would utilize various high flying maneuvers, such as several hurricanranas and a moonsault. Her in-ring work can only improve from the time she was one-half of the knockout tag team champions with Sarita in TNA. Be on the lookout for Vega to soon leave her position as a manager to begin competing for a WWE women’s championship.