The past seven years in wrestling have given us some incredible Superstars to change the industry. Top stars like John Cena, Randy Orton and others have continued to dominate the company. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan stepped up into the top spots. New names like Kevin Owens, A.J. Styles and Finn Balor became World Champions over the past year. WWE is home to many tremendous talents and success stories. However, the company has also been home to numerous horrible wrestlers. Before changes started to occur in terms of the talent upgrade, there were many terrible performers that struggled to find success.
We'll take a look at some of the worst names that failed to impress in the ring. These talents couldn’t keep up or stand out in a manner needed to keep up with their peers. Most of these wrestlers had horrible careers that ended in disaster. A few have remained employed by WWE with different outcomes. This list will not only name the worst wrestlers in recent memory but we'll also take a look at where they are these days. WWE’s worst twenty wrestlers since 2010 will be examined here along with what each person is up to today.
19 Eva Marie: Model & Actress
You can’t discuss the recent awful wrestlers of WWE without adding Eva Marie to the list. The gorgeous bombshell was signed based off her looks. WWE signed Eva in time for the first season of Total Divas hoping it would improve her star power. Marie would get multiple chances on the main roster and always failed due to being horrible in the ring.
Eva trained in depth with Brian Kendrick and had a somewhat solid NXT run before her final chance. WWE was getting ready to give her a huge push as a top heel, but she violated the Wellness Policy to end it. Marie was on the sidelines for the past year before her contract ended. The current path of Eva is to make it in acting along with continuing her modeling career. Wrestling has been spared from her having a comeback tour.
18 The Great Khali: Part-Time Wrestler/Promoter
The Great Khali spent many years in WWE due to Vince McMahon loving having him as an attraction. Khali’s ridiculous size made people stare in awe. An international fan base in India viewed him as their version of Hulk Hogan adding more value to him for WWE. The problem is, he was one of WWE’s worst wrestlers of all time with his size working against him.
Khali was extremely slow and made for horrible entertainment once the bell rang. WWE came to terms with his release back in 2014 following his contract expiring. Khali’s post WWE life has seen him open up his own school and wrestling promotion in India. Most people wouldn’t view him as a great teacher or promoter, but you can’t judge a book by its cover. WWE did bring him back for one night only in July to help Jinder Mahal defeat Randy Orton in a Punjabi Prison Match.
17 Rosa Mendes: Mother/Runs Home Workout App
Rosa Mendes never appeared to be a great fit as a wrestler. The stunning woman had the look but her matches were very difficult to watch. WWE tried using her as a manager working with the likes of Primo and Epico, Adam Rose and Fandango. Mendes even tried her luck as a broadcaster doing interviews backstage but nothing worked out in the long run.
Following her pregnancy, Rosa took maternity leave before choosing to retire from the wrestling business to spend time with her new born child. Mendes seems to love her new life as a mother and a business woman. One major project for Rosa these days is creating and running an app named Totally Fit Mama. Mendes comes up with healthy recipes and workout plans to get help people get into shape.
16 Vladimir Kozlov: Actor & Stuntman
Vladimir Kozlov is someone WWE tried to push right away on the main roster almost a decade ago. The tired anti-American gimmick was used to try to get easy boos. Kozlov would face off against top names like Triple H and Jeff Hardy in the WWE Championship picture. No one bought him as a serious contender and WWE sent him down the card.
Kozlov spent the final few years of his career as a lower-card comedy act. Most of his best moments came in the form of the one liner while teaming with Santino Marella. WWE eventually released Kozlov and he chose to leave the wrestling industry. Kozlov has started a new life in acting. The biggest roles for Kozlov have been as a stuntman in Fast & Furious 6 and John Wick 2.
16. Mason Ryan: Cirque du Soleil Performer
Another guy pushed hard in WWE due to his physique and nothing more was Mason Ryan. Fans viewed him as a poor man’s Batista due to having a very similar look to the top star. Ryan however never achieved the same success. The peak of Ryan’s career was being an extra body in Nexus during its dying days. WWE realized he wasn’t progressing to a higher level needed to thrive in the company and he was released.
Ryan has continued on smaller shows on the independent circuit trying to find success in the squared circle. A major break for him came outside of the world of wrestling but thanks to the experience in it. Cirque du Soleil hired Ryan to portray the role of Chief Archer. Ryan even gets to wear face paint in the show making him far cooler than he ever was in WWE.
15 Brodus Clay: Fox News Personality & Part-Time Wrestler
WWE loved the athleticism of Brodus Clay for a bigger man. Vince McMahon however threw him and the viewers a curveball when debuting him with a surprising character. Following weeks of vignettes and teasers portraying Brodus as a tough guy, he was introduced with a dancing gimmick for comedy. Clay struggled to find long term success with this character culminating in his WWE time ending.
TNA hired Brodus under the new name of Tyrus playing a tougher character backing up Ethan Carter III. Clay recently left TNA/Global Force Wrestling and is still wrestling on the independent circuit. Another outside project has seen Brodus become a personality appearing on Fox News discussing politics. That’s right. The dude that played a dancing dinosaur in WWE is talking about the world’s biggest issues on a news network.
14 Adam Rose: Part-Time Wrestler Heading Towards Retirement
Adam Rose had a chance to break out in WWE following his success in NXT. The character of the partying, fun fan favorite with his incredible Exotic Express of partiers accompanying him to the ring was unique and interesting. WWE tried to replicate it on the main roster but there was zero charm to it. They clearly didn’t commit to it.
Rose failing to impress in the ring hurt him even more and cut his opportunities down. WWE dropped him into a lower-card role until his personal issues started haunting him. Rose would get released and promised to become a success on the independent circuit. Things have gone poorly for him with only lower tier promotions showing any interest in him. Rose has stated he'll retire at the end of the year if nothing changes and it looks like retirement is coming.
13 Rob Van Dam: Semi-Retired
The legacy of Rob Van Dam will always be remembered for his peak run in ECW during the 90s and WWE during the early 2000s. RVD left WWE in 2007 but made a few returns after a horrible run in TNA. WWE tried to use his former name value to create interest multiple times following 2010. Van Dam no longer had the hunger or desire to be the “whole f’n show.”
It was depressing to witness one of the best wrestlers in the world during his prime turn into one of the worst performers. Between the aging process and his admitted lack of caring about the job, RVD was a disaster during the last few chapters of his WWE career. Van Dam doesn’t want to wrestle full time anymore but will lace up the boots if someone pays him huge money. The legend appears on a handful of shows per year. However, most of his time is spent at home enjoying his career earnings and at least 420 hobbies.
12 Titus O'Neil: WWE Manager
Titus O'Neil is one of the few names on this list still employed by WWE. The former football player received a WWE opportunity thanks to his connection as a friend of Batista. O’Neil impressed with his athleticism and well-spoken nature. We have seen the latter displayed as one of WWE’s best talkers outside of the ring at various promotional events and working with numerous charities.
Unfortunately, Titus’ in-ring work doesn’t match his ability to be a good human being. Following years of struggling to become a success as a wrestler, WWE has transitioned him into a mouthpiece. The Titus Brand has become a huge hit with O’Neil speaking on behalf of his new clients Apollo Crews and Akira Tozawa. O’Neil can utilize his strengths as a personality to get over the young talent lacking in that department. WWE found a perfect role for Titus going forward.
11 Bull Dempsey: Independent Wrestler
NXT has given us many success stories like Finn Balor, Sami Zayn and Neville on the main roster. However, there are a few wrestlers to receive opportunities in NXT that completely flopped. Bull Dempsey is one that got a huge push out of nowhere decimating his opponents for a few months. The NXT fans even bought into him for a while until he started working against credible performers.
You could see Bull was nowhere near ready to be a WWE star and couldn’t match the talent of the top NXT names. Dempsey would get transitioned into a comedic role as the Bull-Fit character. It was even worse leading to his release. Bull has wrestled on independent shows since then and struggled to get any momentum. The very short run of Dempsey in Ring of Honor led to some of the worst matches the company has ever had in their ring. Bull is now wrestling for secondary promotions and talking a lot of trash on social media.
10 Yoshi Tatsu: NJPW Wrestler
The majority of wrestlers to work with Yoshi Tatsu hated wrestling him. Tatsu’s reputation in the locker room was primarily about how terrible he was in the ring. Another running gag by wrestlers focused on how many great wrestlers in Japan never had a chance in WWE but Yoshi was the one with a roster spot. Things have completely changed over the past seven years.
Great talents like Shinsuke Nakamura, Hideo Itami and Asuka are now part of WWE and Yoshi is gone after being released in 2014. Tatsu is now in New Japan in a much smaller role. Despite the fact that NJPW is booming right now, no one thinks of Yoshi when excited about the product. Yoshi is mostly just there as an extra talent that has the ability to speak English.
9 Original Sin Cara: CMLL Wrestler
The original Sin Cara was played by Mexican wrestling legend Mistico. WWE signed him to portray the masked character they initially hoped would replace Rey Mysterio. Sin Cara flopped badly with Mistico botching in memorable fashion quite often. The new wrestler turned into a complete joke instead of the luchador star they hoped for. Between the botches, injuries and a bad backstage attitude, WWE gave him the boot.
Sin Cara is not portrayed by Hunico as WWE clearly wanted to keep this character alive. Following his release from WWE, Mistico returned to Mexico. His run in AAA was a disappointment with his backstage persona rubbing people the wrong. The current home of him right now is in CMLL. It's one of the better international promotions but his name value appears to be diminishing.
8 Cameron: Model
One of the women hired from the old era of models being preferred over talented wrestlers was Cameron. WWE paired her with Naomi to portray dancers for Brodus Clay that would participate in matches as a tag team every now and then. Eventually, both women had to become full-time wrestlers. Naomi was always great and ready for the role, but Cameron was a disaster.
At one point, Cameron forgot how to pin her opponent and was embarrassed on Raw by the referee having to correct her. WWE released her when she supported Ryback’s blog ripping the company apart. Following the end of her WWE career, Cameron has quit on the wrestling industry and has returned to the world of modeling. The sad part is she likely would have had another chance in WWE if she just kept quiet.
7 Brad Maddox: Off The Grid
Brad Maddox had potential that made WWE try to elevate him into a bigger name. The initial introduction to Maddox saw him get involved in a main event storyline as a referee costing Ryback his title shot against CM Punk. Maddox then moved into a General Manager role showing just how much faith WWE had in him being a bigger star.
The problem is Maddox couldn’t cut the mustard when transitioning into a wrestler. In-ring work was the flaw of Maddox causing him to get left behind. Maddox had one final chance and blew it by breaking company rules. WWE fired him for using the term “cocky pr***s” in a promo. Following his release, Maddox has been quiet until an old adult tape of him and Paige leaked. Maddox has since deleted all of his social media pages and is hoping to forget about wrestling.
6 Hornswoggle: GFW & Independent Wrestler
WWE used Hornswoggle as an attraction for many years. The younger audience loved Hornswoggle at live events going from Finlay’s manager to a part of DX. Hornswoggle would have many other roles but things definitely peaked with D-Generation X. WWE however grew tired of him when he violated the Wellness Policy. Following his suspension, he was kept off television until getting fired.
As charming as he could be, Hornswoggle was not very good in the ring and made for awkward television. However, he has tried to continue his career after leaving WWE. Global Force Wrestling hired him and he's a part of the promotion in limited time. Hornswoggle spends more time on the independent circuit. Despite not being the best, he has the passion to find a way to continue getting work.
5 Jinder Mahal: WWE Champion
The most shocking story about a bad wrestler in WWE is the redemption of Jinder Mahal. WWE initially soured on Mahal during his first tenure with the company. The lack of in-ring talent and personality led to him getting exiled to the 3 Man Band comedy act before getting fired. Mahal didn’t even do much on the independent circuit but WWE still felt he was worth giving a second chance.
The new opportunity for Jinder allowed him to completely change his career. WWE did nothing with Mahal during the first few months of his second stint as an enhancement talent. Following the Superstar Shakeup, Vince McMahon took an interest in Jinder’s physique and potential. It led to him getting an instant push defeating Randy Orton to become the WWE Champion. Mahal is still the champ four months into his reign.
4 Ezekiel Jackson: Independent Wrestler & Promoter
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Ezekiel Jackson is yet another story of someone with a massive physique that Vince McMahon wanted to push. The high points of Jackson’s career saw him get the last ECW Championship reign before the brand closed and later becoming Intercontinental Champion. Both wins were meant to give him the momentum to move up the card.
Big Zeke unfortunately just didn’t impress in the ring and was nothing more than a big guy. WWE eventually realized he wasn’t going to work out leading to his release. Jackson has worked in Lucha Underground and TNA since then but is now a free agent. The current project of Jackson is running a wrestling school and promotion named Bryckhouse Pro Wrestling in California. Hopefully this is the case of Zeke becoming one of the bad wrestlers that is better at training than doing.
3 David Otunga: WWE Broadcaster/Actor
WWE expected David Otunga to become a future top star due to his background. Otunga went to school at Harvard, had an impressive physique and has been in a relationship with mainstream star Jennifer Hudson. Many people thought Otunga would have the strongest career of NXT’s season 1 competitors but he fell way behind the likes of Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett.
Otunga just couldn’t keep up in the ring with his peers and was left behind. WWE transitioned him into a broadcaster. Otunga unfortunately also was horrible in the role of a commentator for live shows. Following time off to film a movie, Otunga lost his spot on the Raw broadcast team to Booker T. Otunga still appears on the pre-show panels at PPVs and is continuing his acting career outside of WWE.
2 Alex Riley: Actor
The look of Alex Riley made him a perennial Vince McMahon favorite before he even wrestled on the main roster. Riley was paired with The Miz during Miz’s WWE Championship reign as an apprentice. It allowed Riley to participate in segments with the likes of The Rock and John Cena. Riley however completely flopped when he was given the chance to succeed on his own.
Some people blame Cena for burying him backstage, but any fan could see Riley was awful thanks to his difficulties in the ring and on the mic. WWE gave him one more shot in NXT and he still failed to deliver leading to his release. Riley is trying to get into acting these days living in California. His biggest role was appearing in one episode of G.L.O.W. but it doesn’t seem likely he'll be getting any noteworthy gigs going forward.
1 Ryback: Podcast Host & Indie Wrestler
Ryback will go down in WWE history as one of the biggest busts. The company badly wanted him to enter the top tier with John Cena and CM Punk. It was obvious with an undefeated streak similar to Goldberg lasting months, before Ryback entered the main event picture. The lackluster in-ring work and overall mediocrity as a personality doomed him.
Following a few chances to move up the card, Ryback consistently proved he would never be what WWE envisioned for him. Things ended ugly when Ryback trashed the company before his contract expired in 2016. Ryback claimed he would show his value in the wrestling world after leaving WWE. Instead, he only wrestles on the lowest tier of independent shows and hosts a podcast taking shots at all of his old peers.