Every wrestling fan can recall a handful of main event pushes that didn't work in the wrestling world. In the '90s, WWE fans refused to let Lex Luger replace Hulk Hogan's shoes. For the bulk of the past five years, the WWE Universe hasn't allowed Roman Reigns to fully get over.
Well, the 2000s may have been the golden decade for unsuccessful main event pushes. WWE threw so many superstars into the main card, believing they would flourish immediately. Instead, they pulled the plug on these pushes in short time.
10 Chris Masters
Masters joined WWE in 2005 and portrayed the arrogant and obnoxious bodybuilder character, flaunting his muscles and body shape. We all know how much Vince McMahon loves pushing guys with the big arms, and Masters wasn't an exception.
He received a major push right off the bat, clashing with big-named stars like Shawn Michaels and John Cena (even challenging him for the WWE Championship at some point).
Despite his big push, Masters never won a championship in WWE. Vince apparently realized in short time that Masters wasn't going to cut it as a main eventer.
9 Candice Michelle
Candice came to WWE in 2004 to participate in the Raw Diva Search, and she only wrestled sporadically in her first year with the company. Candice then went after Ashley Massaro, who won the 2005 Raw Diva Search, before moving on to a feud with Trish Stratus.
Finally, Candice got a minor main event push and defeated Melina at Vengeance: Night of Champions 2007 to win her first (and only) Women's Championship. She held onto the title before losing it to Beth Phoenix at No Mercy later that year. Two weeks later, she suffered an injury and was sidelined for several months.
When she came back, Candice was never used in the main event spotlight again, and she left WWE in 2009.
8 Scott Steiner
WWE bought out the WCW promotion in 2001, but Scott Steiner went to World Wrestling All-Stars for one year, rather than head to Vince McMahon's company. Steiner would eventually join WWE in late 2002, and he didn't have to wait long to join the main event picture.
Steiner would clash with Triple H and his Evolution counterparts in 2003, leading to World Heavyweight Championship matches at Royal Rumble and No Way Out. Steiner was unable to win the title, however. The feud only lasted a short period of time, perhaps due to fan backlash. Steiner stayed on with WWE until 2004.
7 Christy Hemme
Christy Hemme won the 2004 Raw Diva's Search, earning a one-year deal with WWE. She didn't need much time to get over with the fans as a babyface, and Hemme was being built up as the next face of the women's division on Raw.
Hemme faced Trish Stratus for the Women's Championship at WrestleMania 21, but the latter retained. Lita was used in this storyline to assist Christy against her long-term rival, too. She later moved over to SmackDown but wasn't used in the main event picture, and Hemme was out of WWE by late 2005.
Heidenreich joined WWE in 2003 and was portrayed as a merciless psychopath who looked to cause tremendous amounts of harm to his opponents. He was the center of numerous controversial storylines as well, but Heidenreich finally got his big push in 2004.
WWE put Heidenreich up against The Undertaker after he cost the latter a WWE title match against JBL at No Mercy 2004. Their feud lasted several months, and Heidenreich later became a babyface in March 2005.
Heidenreich would later team up with future Hall of Famer Road Warrior Animal - whose long-time partner (Road Warrior Hawk) had tied two years prior. Heidenreich and Road Warrior Animal briefly held the WWE Tag Team Championships as well. The former was let go from his contract in 2006, following a short main event run.
Sheamus joined the main WWE roster on Raw in late 2009, and he went to work in burying his opponents quickly. Vince loved what he had in this guy, and Sheamus was given a massive main event push right away.
The Celtic Warrior upset John Cena at the 2009 TLC pay-per-view in a tables match, becoming the new WWE Champion. He held onto the title for two months before losing it at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. But the main event push didn't stop there, as Sheamus entered a program with Triple H and faced him in a losing effort at WrestleMania XXVI.
Umaga came to WWE in April 2006 and was given a big push right away, enduring an undefeated streak that would last up until Jan. 2017. He defeated a handful of top-tier superstars, including John Cena and Shawn Michaels.
Umaga would enter programs with the likes of D-Generation X and Kane. He faced Cena at the 2007 New Year's Revolution and Royal Rumble pay-per-views for the WWE Championship, losing both times. He would also win two Intercontinental Championships while in WWE.
Sadly, Umaga passed away at the age of 36 On Dec. 4, 2009 from a heart attack. He was survived by his wife and four children.
3 3.The Great Khali
The 7-foot-tall giant joined WWE in 2006, and his debut was one for the ages. On the Apr. 7, 2006 episode of SmackDown, Great Khali attacked The Undertaker to set up a feud that would last several months.
Great Khali later entered a feud with Batista, one of the top main event stars on SmackDown - for the World Heavyweight Championship. Khali won the title in July 2007 and held onto it before losing to Batista at Unforgiven. The Animal retained his title over The Great Khali at No Mercy 2007. Khali would then spend most of his remaining tenure in WWE as a mid-card performer.
2 Mr. Kennedy
Mr. Kennedy (Kennedy...Kennedy, in case you needed a reminder), joined WWE's main roster in the summer of 2005. He made a name for himself by conducting his very own introductions.
Kennedy was pushed hard and went up against many of the company's top stars, including Eddie Guerrero (before his untimely death), Batista, D-Generation X, Undertaker and Kane. Kennedy also won the 2007 Men's Money in the Bank ladder match - but he later lost the briefcase in a singles match to Edge.
That practically ruined Kennedy's push, and Randy Orton apparently asked Vince McMahon to cut him loose in 2009 - believing that Kennedy was dangerous in the ring. The latter would later join TNA and become one of its top main event stars, so all ended up well for him anyway.
1 Vladimir Kozlov
Vladimir Kozlov came to WWE in Apr. 2008 and saw immediate success. He was thrown into the main event picture after squashing his opponents in the early going. Kozlov clashed with the likes of The Undertaker, Jeff Hardy and Triple H - even challenging for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series 2008 along with Edge - which the latter won.
Kozlov also had a lengthy singles match undefeated streak that lasted for 11 months. He and Santino Marella also captured the WWE Tag Team Championships on one occasion. Kozlov was let go by in 2011 and left the wrestling business a year later.