Any wrestler's ultimate aim is to earn a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, but only a few go on to have meaningful runs with the company. For every Rock, the McMahon empire has produced a Rocky Maivia. For every Kane, the WWE has created an Isaac Yankem. However, the WWE roster currently boasts a multitude of wrestlers who can hardly be repackaged in spite of the fans' fading love for them.
Vince McMahon has often released the wrong wrestler. Ethan Carter III for example, after his release from the WWE, has grown in prominence to become the face of Total Nonstop Action. Whilst some fans allege that it is a huge step-down in his career, the WWE will take him back in a heartbeat as he would undoubtedly add muscle — pun intended — to the mid-card.
WWE recently released Damien Sandow, Alex Riley, Hornswoggle, El Torito, Zeb Colter, Cameron, Santino Marella, and Wade Barrett, but they have too much deadwood that they should offload sooner or later. It seems with the influx of talent from the NXT system, WWE is now flooded with brand new blood, which may force many WWE veterans to hit the bricks; not to mention all of the former TNA talent who are jumping ship to the WWE.
The writer will only analyze the situation of those wrestlers whose futures look bleak; the following list will be based on their relevance, sustainability of the gimmicks, and their connection with fans, besides the age-old wrestling attributes such as microphone skill and in-ring ability. As usual, if you disagree with the inclusion of any of the entrants or feel they should be replaced with another wrestler, feel free to drop the names in the comments section.
In the following list, the writer will take you through 15 talents who have no future in WWE.
15 Rosa Mendes
Rosa Mendes has managed to stay in WWE for a long time despite never possessing any wrestling ability or ever really cutting a strong promo. Now having given birth to her first child, it doesn't seem like Rosa should be sticking around. Why be away from your child for a life on the road when it's obvious you'll never be Women's Champion or given a major storyline. Perhaps Rosa can stick around on Total Divas, but her run on the roster should come to an end.
14 David Otunga
Hey, remember this guy? It turns out David Otunga is still on WWE's payroll, even though he hasn't wrestled a match in years and has mainly been used as a pre-show host. It's weird that he's been kept around this long in WWE, despite there never seeming to be a role for him. Otunga is obviously a bright guy, as he graduated from law school at Harvard. Perhaps his time would be better served in a legal firm, rather than on WWE television.
13 Alicia Fox
Throughout her whole WWE career, Alicia Fox just seems to be 'there'. She's not a bad wrestler, but she just doesn't stand out. That's partly the fault of creative for not coming up with anything interesting for her, but it's telling of how much of a future she has in WWE. With the new wave of women flocking onto the main roster, there seems to be no space for Fox to stand out. She's had a surprisingly long run in WWE of almost a decade, but it doesn't seem there's much left for her to do.
12 Curtis Axel
Not every third generation wrestler goes on to achieve greatness. Despite a good start to his WWE career as a part of the Nexus, Curtis Axel's career trajectory has not been admirable. Even making him a Paul Heyman guy and handing him an Intercontinental Championship reign could not get him over. Unlike other badly booked talents, he lacks the backing of the WWE Universe and, without a fan base or a sustainable gimmick, he has sunk into mediocrity and has been rightly teamed alongside other jobbers such as Heath Slater, Adam Rose and Bo Dallas.
11 The Miz
With Seth Rollins and Randy Orton sidelined with injuries, the WWE has only a handful of wrestlers who could be heels at its disposal. Given the circumstances, the Miz has earned yet another push and is flaunting his Intercontinental Championship alongside his wife in Maryse Ouellet. However, with the Miz is aging and the WWE Universe is growing increasingly tired of his performances both in the ring as well as the microphone.
10 Darren Young
WWE Hall of Famer Bob Buckland has taken Darren Young under his wing, but his gimmick cannot last long, as it basically mimics the political campaign of Donald Trump. Since his main roster breakthrough in 2010, he has held only the WWE Tag Team Championship once with Titus O'Neil as the Prime Time Players.
9 Adam Rose
Although Vinnie Mac has been known to be appreciative of wrestlers who stand up for themselves, Adam Rose may have infuriated the WWE head honchos for bashing the WWE's Wellness Policy publicly. If the WWE had chosen not to trash the Leo Kruger character, the WWE Universe would have regarded him as a credible wrestler, but his watered down Party Pooper gimmick has made the fans lose faith in him.
8 Jack Swagger
Winning the World Heavyweight Championship at a tender age of 28, many expected him to become the next Kurt Angle of professional wrestling, but Jack Swagger has become irrelevant in the wake of his arrest for DUI and possession of cannabis. Even though working with Zeb Colter helped him raise his stakes, he has again been demoted to the lower-tier as he hardly gets any Raw or SmackDown minutes lately.
7 Sin Cara
With the WWE releasing Santino Marella and Damien Sandow — who may elicit a positive response from the audience — they should choose to cut ties with Sin Cara as fans are no longer interested in the masked wrestler. With the other half of the Lucha Dragons in Kalisto captivating the WWE Universe with his lucha libre wrestling moves, Cara's performances have largely been underwhelming.
6 Heath Slater
Heath Slater has forever been an irrelevant figure or an intensifier in the tag-team division. After the Nexus disbanded, he has been a part of numerous tag teams, including the Corre, 3MB, Slater Gator, and the Social Outcasts. His relevancy is clearly on the wane as evidenced by the descending relevancy of his teammates with the passage of time.
5 The Ascension
"As for the Ascension, there are a million and one things I can think to say about you, but the absolute worst thing I can say is that you're the Ascension," said Enzo Amore before defeating the Ascension on SmackDown last month. Even though it was a scripted promo, the "Smacktalker Skywalker" was right on the money.
4 Mark Henry
Vinnie Mac paid ludicrous amounts of money and offered Mark Henry a 10-year contract when World Championship Wrestling was seducing him with a big money deal. It seemed a good move as losing every single emerging performer would have psychologically debilitated the Chairman.
Despite not performing on the independent circuit, Cody Rhodes became an internet darling thanks to his family history and slick move set. However, he has never been able to convince the top shelves to hand him a push. the Internet Wrestling Community believes his physique is the main reason why the WWE has kept him from the main event picture.
2 Zack Ryder
Standing at 6-foot-4, Fandango should have gone on to achieve greatness with the WWE as he possessed both WWE-esque looks and good in-ring ability to back that up. However, in one of those rare cases in which the gimmick kills a good wrestler, his ballroom brawler persona has made him look weak and has been forced to feature in awkward segments with Goldust, R-Truth, and Tyler Breeze (who narrowly missed out on an inclusion).
Despite getting off to a memorable start to his WWE career with a debut win over Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXIX, he hardly captivates the audience, though his entrance music still makes the crowd go bananas. WWE should either release him or repackage him before things get out of control.
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