There are superstars in the world of professional wrestling who have been built as some of the best in the industry. Whether they compete for World Wrestling Entertainment, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, Ring of Honor or another promotion, wrestlers do showcase talents and there are many who achieve great things in front of live crowds between hundreds and thousands.
Many are built to be a success as main event talents, but there are some great superstars who have noticeable flaws that keep them from reaching their full potential. It’s not only the young rookies in WWE who are guilty of this as there are a number of future Hall of Fame wrestlers who are considered overrated by today’s standards. Maybe they have outdated finishing moves or are lacking the abilities to fully connect with the audience both in person and through the television.
The following superstars have been given pushes by their respective promotions and they have received their fair share of honest criticism. This will include easy choices and some that might need some explanation, but they are all overrated for one reason or another – including microphone inconsistencies, failing to update themselves or missing something essential to their success.
15 Baron Corbin
While it may be early to say that Baron Corbin is a bust in the WWE, it feels like he might have been the wrong choice for a NXT development talent to not only have a debut at WrestleMania 32 – without any hype, vignettes or announcement ahead of time – but to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. With how deep the NXT roster is, there were plenty of options for someone else to be given that opportunity to shine.
With the likelihood of big men like Kane and Big Show leaving the full-time WWE schedule, there is going to be a need for someone to become the new big man. However, Corbin is still a former football player who is still learning. Maybe in another year, this evaluation of being overrated will change. Some of the tweaks to his character will include maybe developing a new finisher for non-cruiserweights and maybe improving on the microphone.
14 James Storm
When TNA’s long-time cowboy made a surprising debut in WWE NXT in late 2015, not everyone was very excited about the possible new signing to WWE’s development brand that was starting to become a fantasy booker’s dream with other TNA talents like Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. Storm was never really the singles star that others like Austin Aries and Samoa Joe were in TNA, Ring of Honor and the independent scene.
In some people’s minds, Storm was a tag team veteran with great runs with TNA Tag Team Championship gold with different partners. There wasn’t that same excitement when he came to NXT and the expectation of him ever coming to the WWE roster felt highly unlikely. It’s probably for the best he returned to TNA and will likely finish his professional wrestling career on Impact Wrestling as a mentor for other young superstars hoping to make it on televised wrestling.
13 Apollo Crews
Similar to the case of Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews is another talented wrestling star from the independents who came to NXT and was part of an exciting roster. Crews was definitely one of the best-rounded athletes to ever enter a WWE ring. The former Uhaa Nation is someone who has the frame of a powerful bodybuilder while having light enough feet to be a cruiserweight that some of the best like Rey Mysterio would be proud of.
The only thing missing was depth of the overall character as he competes in the WWE ring with a lack of personality. It can be somewhat harsh for someone who is still new to WWE and the much different realm of sports entertainment. One can be afraid that if he doesn’t adapt more personality soon, his run have an abrupt ending and that would be a true shame for someone who definitely has all of the other intangibles to succeed.
Some of the younger talents on this list might have some work left to do despite recent attention in professional wrestling. On the other side of the WWE locker room is someone who once achieved winning the top prize in the company in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Sheamus has become the pride of Ireland and the country’s first native to win that title.
His accomplishments continued to pile up and he’s developed quite the resume. However, he hasn’t been consistent through his career as being a top guy in the WWE. But like a number of veterans, Sheamus has not made much of a change to his character beyond going from tall spiked hair into a mohawk and jewelry hanging from his beard. Fans have become tired of the master of the Brogue Kick and there’s a good chance his recent fall into mid-card mediocrity might be a more permanent move.
11 Nikki Bella
The recent news that former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan is teaching Nikki Bella a brand new finisher seems to be of interest to some wrestling fans. But this Bella Twin is someone who did not come into WWE as a wrestler and was one of the models who was recruited for eye candy to attract male viewers. But there are still a large number of fans who aren’t too high on her returning from her current neck injury.
Bella was the one to break AJ Lee’s record for the longest reign with the WWE Divas Championship by holding the belt for a little more than 300 days before losing the belt to Charlotte. With how some view the improvement to women’s wrestling in WWE, there are many who worry what might happen with the eventual return of Bella, who has some pull in the company being in a relationship with WWE’s top star in Cena.
10 John Cena
The idea that John Cena is overrated should come as no surprise to the more dedicated wrestling fans. There was a time a few years ago when he would have been higher on this list. Especially for those who watched his WrestleMania 23 match against Shawn Michaels – a veteran who didn’t seem too happy with how the match was performed based on the moments the Heartbreak Kid yelled at him after the championship main event.
Back in those years, Cena was joked about having only a limited number of moves he would do and fans would essentially predict what he’s about to do in all of his matches. That has improved slightly based on his recent matches with talents like Rusev, Kevin Owens and AJ Styles. It’s also hard to knock the dedication he does have for the sport between his schedule inside and outside of the WWE ring, which is why he’s a big hit with families and children who may not know better.
9 The Mack
There are a lot of reasons to like Lucha Underground with a number of great luchadors from Mexico that are mixed with talented American superstars to make a very unique experience for the wrestling fan. Willie Mack is one of those superstars, known currently by the Mack moniker on El Rey Network. The 280-pound Mack is easily a talented wrestler and had a chance to possibly earn a WWE contract in 2014.
But like many stars of the independent circuit, Mack’s personality is not as strong as some of the top stars in the industry. Sure, he has a nice arsenal of strikes and technical high-flying moves that only a few big men like him would dream of doing. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be strong in the backstage segments that have been aired this season on Lucha Underground and it could be among the reasons why the WWE decided to release him before he arrived to the training center in Florida.
8 Alberto Del Rio
Formerly known as Dos Caras, Jr., from Mexico, Alberto Del Rio was once a fast rising superstar in the WWE with a personal ring announcer, a devilish smile and expensive cars that changed every week on WWE television. This eventually led to him being the World Heavyweight Champion and a win at WrestleMania XXIX against “the Real American” Jack Swagger in a storyline that turned heads.
But since his return to the WWE, Del Rio has not been able to capture that same spark and is likely not going to climb far beyond the mid-card. He is talented in the ring and had one of his best matches at the recent Money in the Bank ladder match before his potential injury occurred. Like many of the talents on this list, his in-ring talents can only take him so far in the end as he has shown he’s not extremely strong on the microphone. There is still room for improvement and it’s hard to imagine that changing with being an older veteran whose prime years are winding down.
7 Big Show
With a career that started in 1994 with World Championship Wrestling and was billed as “The Giant” and also re-established himself as the Big Show in WWE. It is likely he will make his appearance in the WWE Hall of Fame when he does eventually hang up the singlet and the boots soon. However, one has to admit that he hasn’t made a whole lot of changes to his in-ring style and move set for years. Oh, and that knockout punch wasn’t really the best replacement finisher for the chokeslam.
It is hard to have a veteran change things drastically after years of being one of the most dominant forces in wrestling. However, not having made changes reduces the impact he has on today’s WWE roster that is looking to reinvent professional wrestling as it moves into the new era. This might be the sign that the Big Show needs a final curtain call sooner rather than later.
There was once a time when Paige was the up and comer who came to WWE after a successful run in the NXT developmental system. She won the WWE Divas Championship on her first night on the main roster by defeating AJ Lee in 2014. She was fresh and new with a different persona as someone that many fans considered the “anti-diva.” However, that seems to have stalled with the Divas Revolution and other talents having come to the WWE in the past few years.
The conception of an anti-diva has become the new normal with more women that have wrestling backgrounds that have started to replace the old formula of recruiting models and turning them into mediocre talents. Based on the new standard, Paige is starting to fall under the new mediocre grade. Paige will likely need to update herself to remain relevant with the likes of Sasha Banks and Charlotte at the center of attention in the women’s division.
5 Roman Reigns
For a period of time, he wasn’t a good guy or a bad guy. The WWE wanted to build him as “the guy,” which would have been beneficial if they had built him up slowly to becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. His in-ring abilities have improved in recent matches involving Seth Rollins and AJ Styles, but he still lost a portion of the WWE audience to lower ratings.
It might have been the fact that the WWE tried to force him into the heavyweight championship picture and the crowd let the WWE hear it on live television. The thing is that he feels a lot like the a second version of John Cena – someone who is going into the match and has a somewhat limited move set. Two months ago, Reigns would have been closer to the top spot on this list, but credit has to be given to how great his matches with Styles and Rollins were.
There’s no denying that Cesaro is one of the most athletic wrestlers in the WWE today. He’s also likely the strongest wrestler in terms of a pound-for-pound ratio as fans are amazed at how long he can hold an opponent vertically in the air, how he can lift someone over the ropes from the apron into a converted superplex. However, his talents seem to stop right when he begins to pick up a microphone.
His recent promos during the buildup towards the Money in the Bank ladder match were not his real strength. They came across as his biggest weakness of his overall abilities in wrestling and that was masked during his time in the independents since a wrestler’s popularity is based on in-ring abilities. There’s a good chance that this could improve over time, but it will be the one thing that holds him back from becoming a true main event superstar.
Watching Bobby Lashley compete in his early run in WWE was something that reminded us a little bit of Brock Lesnar and Goldberg – a superstar who starts a dominant winning streak and is built up as a special powerhouse. But looking back, Lashley didn’t really provide much of a personality behind the muscle and while he was athletic, that was about all there was to his character. His career in mixed martial arts is also noteworthy and the fact that he splits his time between the MMA cage and TNA’s Impact Wrestling.
He still used the Dominator and the spear as his finishing moves and his offense hasn’t evolved too much since his WWE debut in 2005. One would have hoped that we would see something change over the years. In the end, there’s nothing really all that special about him when compared to other dominant powerhouses in pro wrestling history.
2 Rey Mysterio
This might seem like an unfair name to throw onto this list, but one has to consider that he’s been climbing in age that has affected what he’s physically able to do in the ring. The fact that he started to charge independent wresting promotions up to $25,000 for appearing on their shows seemed like a rather large number for someone who has passed his prime.
At the same time, he still does better than most wrestlers perform in their 40s. We will likely never see him jump off the top of steel cages or do a whole lot of suicide dives, but the matches we currently see on Lucha Underground are nothing compared to the matches once seen in WCW and WWE. Named the “king of lucha libre” by many is a title that should be passed down to someone who is actually in his prime and on the main event level.
1 The Undertaker
Before sending angry emails about why this is a bad choice, this is based on the recent performances and the legacy that surrounds the Phenom. There’s no denying that The Undertaker is going to be in the WWE Hall of Fame and has been one of the best big men in professional wrestling history. But now that he has surpassed the age of 50, the question becomes when the time is right for him to hang up the boots permanently.
His match with Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 32 had an interesting storyline only because it involved whether Shane-o-Mac was going to gain control of Raw. However, the match was slow in pace and had an ending that was sort of expected. The quality of matches and the excitement has dwindled since he lost the WrestleMania winning streak to Brock Lesnar. While there is such a legacy surrounding him, why does The Undertaker wrestle when his body is not capable of living up to the expectations from the past?