WWE, being the biggest wrestling promotion on the planet, always has a ton – sometimes a surplus – of top talent on the roster. Some names are bigger than others, some have established themselves as legends, and have progressed through the ranks to cement their places as stars within the promotion. Make it big with WWE and you’ve made it big in wrestling, period.
Other wrestlers on the roster are just there to make up the numbers as jobbers – or wrestle in a few dark matches and then say sayonara and leave the promotion in an effort to find more success elsewhere. Plenty of wrestlers who have been contracted with the WWE haven’t been happy with how they were utilized. However, hate WWE or love it, every wrestler worth his/her soul wants a gig with the world’s biggest wrestling promotion.
Although the WWE roster is inundated with top-tier talent, the WWE management is always scouting for new talented performers. There’s plenty going on in other promotions around the world – plenty of wrestlers that WWE should have their eyes on.
Some of these wrestlers are established pros and some are relatively new to the industry and have so far done pretty well in trying to make a name for themselves. In order to propel their careers to even greater heights, they need to sign to WWE.
Here are the top 15 wrestlers, wrestling with various promotions around the globe, who finally need to shake Vince’s hand and sign to WWE.
15 Tigre Uno
Tigre Uno’s been around for a pretty long time – he made his debut back in 1998 at the tender age of 17. He showed promise and worked with a number of different promotions including World Wrestling Association, Desastre Total Ultraviolento and Nueva Generation Xtrema, before settling down for a long stint with Asistencia Asesoría y Administración. After he parted ways with the promotion in 2012, his next venture was with TNA – he’s still with the promotion to this day.
The masked Tigre Uno has just under two decade’s worth of experience, and has had a decent amount of championship success over this period. He’s also trained by Rey Mysterio, Sr and has been since he made his debut all those years ago. With a résumé like this, you’d have expected Tigre Uno to have been picked up by WWE already. Perhaps the promotion didn’t want too many Luchadores on the roster. Rey Mysterio was their main man, but now that he’s gone, Tigre Uno should be on his way to WWE – it’d be criminal if he doesn’t sign with them, at least within the next few years.
During the initial stages of his career, Ricochet began making the rounds on the independent circuit before joining more mainstream – but still lesser-known – promotions. Ricochet – real name Trevor Mann – spent much of his early career with the Philadelphia-based promotion, Chikara, before having stints with Evolve, Dragon Gate USA, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. A decade after making his debut, the experience he gained with these smaller promotions paid off, and he landed a contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling before signing with Lucha Underground. While he was wrestling on the El Rey network's TV series, he rubbed shoulders with the best, and got even more experience under his belt while being managed by controversial ex-WWE star, Konnan.
Ricochet is still young at 28, but is already wise beyond his years, having built up a ton of experience and expertise over his 13 years in the industry. He’s started wrestling with some of the bigger promotions and has become known to the wider audiences – and he’s tasted championship success too. He now needs to make the next step and sign with WWE to further his career; it’s something he should be aiming for and there’s no reason WWE wouldn’t sign him if he continues on this upwards trajectory.
With experience wrestling with Ring of Honor and TNA under his belt, Nelson Rodriguez Erazo has also gone around the block a few times and has put in the shifts, working hard to establish himself as a top pro over the course of his 23-year career. He’s won titles wherever he’s gone, including the coveted World Tag Team Championship with TNA, and the World Championship title with Ring of Honor.
Despite his rather puzzling ring name – he got inspiration for the name while watching an episode of America’s Most Wanted – he’s far from a homicidal maniac as his name might imply. Although he’s been known to have a bit of a temper on him, he’s done enough over the course of his long career to deserve a shot with WWE; we’ll just have to wait to see whether or not Vince comes calling.
12 Davey Richards
Davey Richards is another young buck who’s tasted some major championship success with some top wrestling promotions since his debut in 2004. He’s wrestled with Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling and he’s currently contracted with TNA, which is where he’s found a great deal of success as a Tag Team Champion with Eddie Edwards.
Richards’ career has been curtailed due to many injuries of late, but there’s no doubting his ability – he’s still a top performer and can be utilized to a great extent on the main roster of some of the world’s major wrestling promotions. WWE may see him as a mid-card talent – the promotion already has plenty of those – but he’s done plenty to suggest that he’s more than that, that he could perhaps take things further with WWE.
11 Naomichi Marufuji
This Japanese star has been making waves in Japan since 1998, and has also made forays into the international scene – foreign exertions which he’s used to gain experience and hone his wrestling skills.
Naomichi Marufuji isn’t the stereotypical cruiserweight that many would commonly expect to see from Japan. WWE welcomed a few Japanese cruiserweights to U.S. shores over the years, but this guy’s a big guy – a heavyweight in every sense of the word.
Despite being one of the bigger guys, Marufuji has tremendous athletic capabilities; it’s not uncommon to see him leaping off the top rope, flying through the air like a bird while performing the Shiranui Kai for example. He’s a freaky athlete and his skill set is only likely to expand and develop when he’s had more exposure with the biggest promotions.
10 Matt Riddle
There’s no question that if WWE were to sign Matt Riddle, they’d be taking a chance on him; having said that he’d certainly bring something different to the roster.
Matt’s professional wrestling experience involves a couple of years of wrestling on the independent circuit. His career’s still in its infancy – nothing much to write home about with the exception of a couple of championships with some of the lesser-known promotions. But he’ll be able to draw upon his MMA experience to become a pretty decent competitor in the ring. He’s had proven success in MMA, and has wrestled as a kid -- he was New York State wrestling champion.
Although his career’s still young, he’s already caught the eyes of WWE management. He had a try-out with the company, which actually resulted in him signing a contract with WWN. This promotion has strong ties to WWE, although Matt’s now with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. WWE has seen him and know what Matt’s about, so if they ever need someone of his caliber on the roster, they’ll surely sign him up without hesitation.
9 Velvet Sky
Velvet Sky is one of the hottest female wrestlers around. Not only is she sizzling hot, she’s proven herself as a top performer and has won numerous championships with various different promotions since her debut in 2003. Having been around for over a decade, it’s remarkable to think that WWE has not attempted to sign her before. She’s currently a free agent as she left TNA for the third time back in April – she’d be perfectly suited to WWE and would no doubt inject some vitality into what many people are saying is a pretty stagnant women’s division in WWE at the moment.
When Velvet Sky left TNA, she was actually very vocal about her desire of wanting to sign to WWE; she sacrificed everything from the beginning to get into wrestling and get a gig with WWE. She has said, “I would totally embrace any opportunity with the WWE." Let’s see if this desire gets fulfilled in the near future.
8 Marti Bell
Hailing from New York, Marti Bell is one tough cookie. At 5 ft. 5 in, she's certainly not the tallest, but get her in the ring and she can be one ferocious competitor.
Bell was having a steady time of it during the early stages of her career – a career which only really took off when she signed with TNA in 2014. The Dollhouse stable with Jade increased Bell’s popularity and fan following within the promotion, and she’s getting better by the day – constantly making improvements in an effort to land a contract with WWE. Bell does not have a ton of experience as of yet, but what she has shown so far makes us believe she’d be a perfect fit in WWE.
7 Adam Cole
This guy’s still a baby in terms of wrestling years; he’s only 27 but has been around for eight years, ruling the roost with various different promotions – mainly Ring of Honor which is where he’s tasted the most amount of success. Cole has a tremendous amount of potential – potential to do something big with the world’s biggest wrestling promotion – and has already cemented himself as one of the top performers going around. He’s proven to be a valuable asset to the companies that have signed him, and judging by his performances, he’s already learned the ways of the industry. Cole’s far more than just a one-dimensional performer; he can cut great promos, has a vast and varied skill set and has already gained a pretty decent fan following.
He’s someone who gives it his all – he’s just an honest, hard-working performer; he won’t create any issues for Vince on the WWE main roster, and would definitely be a valuable guy to have in the mix.
Currently wrestling with TNA, Abyss is another guy who’s been around for quite a bit of time, but has never rubbed shoulders with the best in WWE.
Abyss seems to have become a permanent fixture of TNA; he’s been with the promotion since 2002 – that’s one hell of a long time to be with a single promotion. But being contracted with TNA also meant he could foray into other promotions and gave him the freedom to wrestle with Ring of Honor and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración.
The masked Abyss is a proven performer, having won titles consistently since his debut over two decades ago. Unsurprisingly, the majority of his titles have come while wrestling with TNA, but he’s had success everywhere he’s gone. Abyss is also a big guy – the heaviest to win the X Division Championship at 350 pounds. The Abyss gimmick certainly works for Chris Parks, who’s made the character his own. He’s also been managed by Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair – get these guys on your side and doors will open for you. Abyss is getting on a bit now at 43 years old, but he’s still going strong and certainly deserves a shot with WWE.
5 Jun Akiyama
Jun is getting up there in age – he’s in his late 40s – but still displays the athletic prowess of a guy half his age. Jun’s ability is a testimony to the fact that age is just a number – hopefully WWE can see past his age and sign him up so that he can spend the twilight years of his career on a high. He certainly deserves it.
Jun’s one guy who’s loyal. He’s only been with the two promotions since he made his debut back in 1992 – All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah. He’s certainly loyal, but likes to stay in his comfort zone, preferring to stay in his native Japan rather than make the trip over the U.S. However, he need needs to do so to establish himself as a superstar – which many in Japan perceive him to be – and push his career to even greater heights.
Jun isn’t your run-of-the-mill wrestler. He’s a wrestler of the highest caliber when it comes to tag team wrestling, and he’s innovative too – just look at his Blue Thunder Driver and the wrist-clutch exploder suplex, and you’ll know what we mean.
4 Manami Toyota
You’ve got to be hot, flashy and sexy – that’s the criteria you’ve got to possess if you want to make it in the women’s division in WWE. I’d be harsh to say that Toyota isn’t any of these things, but the one thing she has in spades is talent – unfortunately for her, talent alone isn’t always good enough when it comes to trying to get a gig with WWE.
But Toyota is arguably one of the best female wrestlers around – some may say she’s the greatest of all time. After debuting at the age of 16 back in 1987, Toyota’s gone on to win a ton of titles. Her athleticism combined with her raw emotion and just overall love for all things wrestling means that she brings one hell of a package to the ring. Audiences in Japan have been enamored by her for decades, and since she appeared in the U.S. for the first time in 2010, those in the Western hemisphere also got a taste of what Toyota could do.
If she signs with WWE, she’ll decimate the entire roster and make all the divas look like rookies, but we hope it happens for her sake. She needs a stint with WWE to establish herself as one of the greatest female wrestlers ever.
Rosemary is far from the stereotypical image of a sizzling hot lady that pretty much all of the WWE roster portrays. She doesn’t try to play up to the stereotype of women’s wrestling, and prefers to stand out from the crowd and do things her own way. Just take a look at her and you’ll know why – she’s not your conventional gal, but who wants more of the same? She’d be great to bring some variety into the women’s division.
Having been around for eight years, it’s only recently that she’s been propelled into the limelight, signing for TNA and then defeating Gail Kim in her singles debut later in 2016. In her relatively short career, she’s already won a number of titles so there’s no questioning her wrestling ability. She’s also an actress so would be more than capable of playing a part in any story line Vince and cronies concoct. If and when she parts ways with TNA, WWE should be the next destination for this Femme Fatale.
2 Jay Lethal
Jay Lethal’s had a very successful career to date. Since making his debut in 2001, he’s won a plethora of different championships with various different promotions – mainly Ring of Honor and with TNA. But not only has he won championships, he’s held on to them too and has enjoyed long championship reigns. CM Punk may have been WWE champion for 434 days – but forget that – Lethal’s reign as ROH Champion eclipses it. He spent 567 days at the top, which included 36 title defenses. Not only did he dominate once, he did it again, this time holding on to the ROH World Championship for a remarkable 427 days. He’s also accomplished so much more, but from these stats alone, it’s evident that Lethal possesses star quality, which he’ll undoubtedly want to take to the WWE.
1 The Young Bucks
This tag team duo has been wrestling together since 2004 and are a domineering force on the tag team wrestling scene. The tag team consists of real-life brothers, Matt and his younger brother Nick Jackson. They’ve wrestled in pretty much all of the major promotions, except WWE.
The WWE has recently – over the last few years or so – been on a mission to revamp their tag team division. They’ve introduced plenty of fresh talent onto the roster, but for some reason, they haven’t yet signed possibly the best current tag team going around.
Matt has wrestled with WWE briefly as a jobber, and his brother joined him in a try-out back in 2011. They weren’t successful, but the two have come on leaps and bounds since then. It’s time for them to get another shot with WWE – they’ve certainly earned it.