The current roster in WWE is extremely deep with talent all over the place. Unfortunately, that means not everyone will get a fair chance to show how talented they are. There is only so much television with Raw, SmackDown and NXT only having so many spots open for consistent television time. Wrestlers to get over will keep their spot open for quite some time making it more difficult for new people to get noticed and causes some older talents to be forgotten. Performers like Cody Rhodes, Ryback and Jack Swagger have selected to leave WWE due to the feeling that they weren’t getting a chance to shine.
We'll take a look at a plethora of names on the roster right now that aren’t doing well. Some of these performers have been on the rumor mill regarding the desire to leave WWE and want to find a new place to work. Others are struggling but deserve the opportunity to get a chance at redemption. This list will take a look at both stories regarding the wrestlers trying to make a change in some way. Here are seven wrestlers that reportedly want out of WWE and another eight that need to be salvaged before it is too late.
15 Salvage: Bray Wyatt
The career of Bray Wyatt has seen him accomplish many great things like winning the WWE Championship and having a WrestleMania match with The Undertaker. However, Wyatt has clearly been a disappointment as his character never goes anywhere. Bray just says the same cryptic messages every week with no meaning before losing to the face he is feuding with.
Wyatt is still only 30 years old and his character has the potential to be something special. WWE needs to create new stars with mystique since names like The Undertaker and Kane are retiring. Wyatt needs a rebranding and a new purpose. Maybe reuniting him with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan would be the best for everyone considering how things have gone since splitting. Regardless, it is not too late to salvage Wyatt.
14 Wants Out: Rusev
Rusev had a great start to his WWE career going almost a year undefeated without getting pinned. His first ever WrestleMania match saw him come out on a tank for a big time match against the legendary John Cena. This would be the peak of Rusev’s career with everything going downhill afterwards. Rusev has struggled to find momentum after his undefeated streak ended.
There have been rumors of Rusev wanting to leave the company in favor of betting on his talent similar to Cody Rhodes. New Japan, Ring of Honor and other promotions offering great money and exposure is tempting to the unhappy wrestlers. Rusev has been one of the guys in stories about wanting to leave WWE for a better situation. The fact that his wife Lana works with WWE makes it more difficult to leave but stranger things have happened.
13 Salvage: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
The beginning of 2016 saw Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows linked with A.J. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura as major free agents all signing with WWE together. Styles and Nakamura are both currently main eventers on the SmackDown brand. Gallows and Anderson are complete jokes on Raw barely getting any relevant television time.
This tag team achieved great success together in New Japan as members of the Bullet Club. A low point came for them on Halloween when they wore idiotic costumes and were destroyed with pumpkins in a comedy type match. Considering WWE needs more credible teams with two rosters on the brand split, you would assume the company has hopes to salvage Anderson and Gallows before too late. The argument can be made that they are the most underutilized talents on the roster right now.
12 Wants Out: Nia Jax
Nia Jax isn’t someone that wrestled outside of WWE before joining the company. The lack of wrestling experience would make you think that she would want to remain with WWE as her only option to wrestle. However, Jax has other career opportunities out there as a successful model often taking part in plus size shoots before she signed with WWE.
The recent time off television and away from the WWE saw Jax request time off due to frustration. Nia felt disrespected when she was going to lose a match to Sasha Banks without any long term storytelling for her character. Jax seems to be sick of the WWE schedule and the drama that comes with wanting consistent television time. We may see her leave WWE sooner than later at this rate.
11 Salvage: Mike Kanellis
The signings of Mike and Maria Kanellis as a package in the middle of the year saw them both skip NXT straight to the main roster. Their promo along with a tremendous entrance theme made it seem like they would be getting pushed. Instead, Mike has been used as an enhancement talent for live events with the occasional match putting someone over on SmackDown.
Maria is off the road as she is pregnant with the couple’s first child. Mike has struggled with an addiction to prescription medication that sidelined his WWE push and set the tone for his career. As Mike continues to get clean, there is the likelihood of him getting a fair chance at getting over at some point. You don’t just sign someone to a main roster contract without ever giving them a shot to prove their worth.
10 Wants Out: Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan is not keeping it a secret that he wants out of his WWE contract unless they change their stance on him wrestling. The doctors of WWE strongly believe Bryan should not be cleared and he is a higher risk following his history with concussions. Other doctors outside of the company have told Bryan that he is fit to compete and not more dangerous than any other trained performer.
The contract of Bryan is set to expire in September of 2018. WWE will not let Bryan out of his contract despite his desire to return to the ring. Bryan has made it clear that his main hope is to wrestle for WWE. If they don’t clear him, he wants to be free to work for New Japan, Ring of Honor and other independent promotions. Bryan would take the release tomorrow if he could get back to his love of wrestling.
9 Salvage: Apollo Crews
The talent of Apollo Crews is exceptional despite the fact that he is barely able to show it on WWE television. Crews has an unbelievable athleticism to match his incredible physique. You would think that WWE would want to push someone with those credentials, especially considering he has a great back story regarding his journey to his dream job.
Charisma and microphone skills are the weaknesses of Crews that held him back. The current role being managed by Titus O’Neil as part of the Titus Brand should fix that. O’Neil is a good talker without the wrestling skills. Crews is the great worker in need of someone else cutting his promos. WWE should give him a more sustained push now to salvage his talent before losing him to a competitor.
8 Wants Out: Neville
Neville made major news when he refused to continue wrestling for WWE in the lackluster Cruiserweight Division. Following his return from injury in 2016, Neville has been unhappy with his status in the company. The success of Neville in NXT saw him become one of the greatest NXT Champions of all time helping establish the belt.
His role on the main roster would see him get pigeonholed into a guy that only did the cool flips. A heel turn in the Cruiserweight Division was great for a short time but Neville wanted to move back up into the normal main roster. The lack of opportunities in a failing division has him sitting at home waiting on a release or his contract expiring so he can work elsewhere. Regardless, it seems we have seen the last of Neville.
7 Salvage: The Cruiserweight Division
This spot was originally going to be for a cruiserweight, but there were too many options to pick just one. Most of the wrestlers in the Cruiserweight Division are quite talented. The Cruiserweight Classic was a huge success with names like Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, Gran Metalik and TJ Perkins all looking great. All of those guys are now forgettable names on 205 Live and Raw.
Almost every wrestler to sign with WWE on a cheap lower level Cruiserweight deal has now seen their value diminish from where it was before they joined the biggest promotion in the world. Free agents like Zack Sabre Jr. and Kota Ibushi have thrived after choosing to turn down WWE’s deal after the CWC. It isn’t too late as WWE could save the division if they allowed the talent to show their talent and spotlight their personalities, something that hasn't taken place.
6 Wants Out: Dolph Ziggler
Rumors have been going around for quite some time now regarding Dolph Ziggler’s frustration in WWE. The talent of Ziggler saw him reach a high level of popularity in 2013 when cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase to win the World Championship. WWE never believed in him as a main eventer and made his title reign quite embarrassing.
Following the poor reign, fans stopped looking at him as a future star and he also started to regress as well. Ziggler is now considered one of the dullest wrestlers on the roster. The rumor mill has indicated that Ziggler has a desire to leave WWE once his contract expires. Shinsuke Nakamura even alluded to Dolph wanting to go to Japan in an interview on WWE Network.
5 Salvage: Zack Ryder
It wasn’t too long ago that Zack Ryder won the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 32 to cheers from the biggest crowd in wrestling history. Fans want to cheer Ryder and have shown that any time WWE pushed him as a face. The company just doesn’t believe in him as a wrestler that can achieve sustainable success.
Ryder is currently stuck in a dead end tag team with Mojo Rawley. Both men have teased turning heel but fans just don’t care about them at all. Ryder has a better bet at getting over as shown with his past successful moments. WWE needs to find something to do with him if they ever want to get more money out of the talented performer. Ryder’s time is ticking and time could run out on his prime before it's too late.
4 Wants Out: Cesaro
The relationship between WWE and Cesaro has always seen the talented wrestler wanting more out of his role. Cesaro believes he is one of the best wrestlers in the world and wants to show it as a top singles star. Vince McMahon doesn’t share the same sentiment and keeps him in the midcard picture. Cesaro and Sheamus currently make a good team, but both men want to be the Universal Champion at the end of the day.
Various interviews and social media interviews have seen Cesaro reference watching New Japan matches on his free time. Given his desire to prove his worth and the growth potential of NJPW, Cesaro leaving WWE when his contract ends isn’t too crazy. Cesaro’s frustrations have been well documented and nothing will change with McMahon running the show.
3 Salvage: The Bludgeon Brothers
The repackaging of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan as The Bludgeon Brothers will see them return to SmackDown with a new gimmick. Both guys showed their talent as an excellent tag team when working with Bray Wyatt in the Wyatt Family. All three members have suffered following the split, but Harper and Rowan have been off television for months.
Harper could be considered one of the best in-ring workers in WWE and Rowan is effective in the right role. If WWE can’t get these guys in a good position as a tag team, it will be a shameful disappointment at the hands of the company. They are established talent that has been left out in the cold. The Bludgeon Brothers need to remind the world how great they are with this new opportunity.
2 Wants Out: Matt Hardy
The signing of Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy for their surprise return at WrestleMania 33 may have been the best wrestling moment of the years. Fans lost their minds in happiness of the moment live and it became WWE’s most watched YouTube video. This was partially due to the Hardys being red hot after their characters did incredible work in Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor.
Matt specifically went all the way with his “Broken” character showing the wrestling world he could still succeed. It became a huge hit that fans expected to come with him to WWE. Impact Wrestling threatened a lawsuit for rights of the gimmick and WWE feared using it. Matt is now doing little to nothing on the Raw brand with Jeff injured. There has been some speculation that Matt is hoping to get out of his contract soon to return to ROH to continue his Broken existence.
1 Salvage: Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks is still trying to find momentum after a disappointing main roster run so far. The career of Banks sees her as a star due to being in many high profile matches and selling the most merchandise in the women’s division. However, there is no arguing that her reputation of being the top female star in WWE has fallen from her NXT Women’s Championship run to today.
Banks has played a face role for the majority of her time on the main roster. The Boss character in NXT gave her an edge to step her game up to a level that she has not been able to reach in a few years now. Banks is just 25 years old and has way too much talent to let fade away into the background of the Women’s Division. WWE has to salvage Sasha by turning her heel as the Boss to remind everyone just how good she is.