In the 90s the WWE had what was called the 'shuffle'. Their roster was so deep and there were only two singles titles that many talented wrestlers got lost in it. The promotion has gone through its ups and downs but recently they have seen an influx in young talent. Triple H's NXT is the best thing the WWE has done in years. They've not only created an excellent training ground and farm system, but they now also have one of the best 'indie' shows on the market too. It came just in the nick of time as the top dogs from 10 years ago are still kicking around and will soon need to be replaced.
Seth Rollins has absolutely proven himself as a capable champion who can steal any show and provide consistently great matches. Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Neville, and more have great potential and could easily be the face of the company very soon. While this embarrassment of riches is great for the WWE, it means even more 'superstars' are replaceable.
Many on this list achieved great success in their first year or so, but rushing a wrestler can be very damaging. Fans are fickle and wrestling is a deep art to master. Undertaker and The Rock may have caught fire quickly but they're extremely rare. For the rest, an early championship can be too much pressure to bear. Dropping back down the roster can be demoralizing to the athlete and cause the fans to see them as less valuable. Once you're down, it can be almost impossible to get back up.
But it's not just youngsters at the bottom of the card that might be cleared out, as there are plenty of old-timers occupying the same top spots they held a decade ago. The promotion needs to move forward and evolve. Seth Rollins is a dynamic performer who doesn't need to main event with Kane in 2015. Room must be made.
Let's see who could get lost in the new WWE shuffle.
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11 Curtis Axel
Joe Hennig comes from two generations of incredible wrestlers. His father Curt and grand daddy Larry were standouts in their time, but Joe hasn't been able to come close to that success. He has decent physical tools and shows flashes, but seems to lack the charisma to truly get himself over.
With his most notable storyline being Axelmania/Macho Mandow it's clear the WWE doesn't have anything serious for him. The joke ran its course and he's back down at the bottom of the roster.
10 Damien Sandow
For the same reasons stated prior. A joke gimmick is good for a cheap laugh, but it makes it incredibly difficult to sustain any real momentum with the fans.
The WWE appears to be giving Sandow another chance at his Savior of the Masses gimmick, this time as a babyface. I'm hoping Sandow can get over the hump, but at this point, he needs the WWE a lot more than they need him.
9 Big Show
He had a hell of a career and is most likely a great influence on the younger generation, but dropping him from the active roster wouldn't hurt. WWE Creative has flip flopped him face/heel so many times that it's lost all meaning. He is a spectacle and a living legend, but it's long been time to make way for new talent. It's also been made clear that while Big Show will receive plenty of high profile matches, he never gets the real meaningful victory. Fans know this, which is partly why they stopped caring so long ago.
Like Big Show, Kane should be proud of his lengthy and successful career. His Demon gimmick was red hot in the Attitude Era and he managed to stay relevant for years after. The shirtless dress pant look was really starting to wear thin and one more run as the demon should be enough to put his in-ring activity to bed. Jacobs appears to be a very intelligent mind and should prove to be a valuable backstage resource for the WWE for years to come.
6 Mark Henry
Henry is a classic example of a big strong man that Vince just loves. He was pushed way too fast in his first years and struggled for years to find his in-ring game. Vince also tossed him a ridiculous contract early that did nothing to improve his work or reputation as someone who had not yet earned it.
Over time, Henry improved and became a very serviceable roster member. But for the WWE to evolve, they need to cut loose from Henry and the other old guard, letting their youngsters flourish. Instead of Kane, Big Show, and Henry, we need to see more of Neville, Owens, and Finn Balor.
5 The Miz
It seems like his 15 minutes were up years ago, but like a cockroach with expensive sunglasses, manages to stick around. Reality stars are the lowest form of entertainment and it was an insult for him to ever get that huge push and win the World Title. It felt like the WWE was hoping he could become the new Rock, but the lack of any real talent derailed that plan.
While it's fun to see the Miz get punched in the face, he is definitely not needed. He's passable as a host for in-ring interviews, but there are countless others with more charisma and skill on the mic. Xavier Woods would be a huge upgrade in this role.
Can we please fast forward to when he's out of the WWE and on Dancing with the Stars instead?
4 Eva Marie
Eva Marie is generally hated by hardcore fans as the worst symbol of model-turned-wrestler. She's terrible in the ring and on the mic, yet her stint on their reality show has kept her in the fold. The WWE shocked us by announcing that she would get an NXT Women's Title shot.
A case could be made that the WWE is trolling the 'smarks and using her as a new breed of heel. If that's the case, I certainly hope it burns out fast and she doesn't take any more valuable time away from hardworking women wrestlers that deserve her spot.
The WWE's roster would see an instant upgrade if she was dropped.
3 The Bellas
These girls work hard and are talented in other ways but are badly outshone in the ring. The new crop of NXT women have significantly raised the bar and changed the game. Watching fitness models spend half the match pushing their hair out of their face, fighting over a pink butterfly belt is getting old. Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and the rest of the Divas Revolution have brought their hard hitting, fast paced style to the big time, and hopefully it's here to stay.
The Bellas have actually had a very lengthy career, having now been in WWE for eight years. Trish and Lita are considered the greatest of all time, yet they were only in WWE for six. They might want to start thinking of the next phase of their life and pass the torch to the next crop of women.
Now they just need a new Womens Title.
2 Jack Swagger
Swagger - like a few others on this list - was pushed to the moon early and won a World Championship relatively fast. But with injuries and a Wellness Policy Violation (what an Orwellian name) he's plummeted way back down the roster. His "We the People" is a catchy slogan, but he'll need more than that to get any traction. To make things worse, rumors abounded in the summer that he was very unhappy with his position in the company.
His new feud with U.S. Champion Alberto Del Rio shows that the WWE cares enough to have him wrestle for a belt, but it all feels like such a downgrade from his previous 'highs'. Swagger may get to climb back yet, but he could be easily replaced as well.
1 The Ascension
A badass team in NXT that was seriously derailed by a run-in with the police and a horrible gimmick change. Original member Kenneth Cameron (Bram in TNA) had more star power but allegedly assaulting a police officer after a DUI charge is a good way to mess with your career.
Rick Victor was a fine replacement but their new look is awful. It's a lame Road Warriors copy and reeks of desperation. It seems the WWE might be giving up on them as they've suffered many losses since their initial dominance.
The New Day is the best tag-team going and they could use some more competition. Hopefully The Ascension can be retooled but at this point you wouldn't even notice if they were gone.
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