The shelf life of wrestlers is short. Despite the wrestling world seeing stars such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Terry Funk, and such like defy science to keep blading even when they are on the wrong side of 60, most wrestlers hardly even manage to wrestle at the top level for more than a decade.
WWE occasionally release their talents when they deem them aging or unusable, and we have seen many wrestlers such as Santino Marella, Alberto Del Rio, Ryback and Wade Barrett all being handed their releases in the recent years.
The following article predicts which wrestlers will not be wrestling for the company in 2020, either due to getting fired, retiring or simply not re-signing as a wrestler with the company.
There are a few wrestlers whose future is certain. For an instance, Sheamus and Austin Aries may come across as seasoned veterans who make sporadic appearances while James Ellsworth may remain a comedic jobber until the company discovers an upgrade.
Besides, it is too early to make a call on Maryse’s longevity as she has so far proved a crucial part of The Miz’s character. There are plenty of current stars who aren't going to last for much longer.
If you disagree with the entries, you can voice your opinion in the comments’ section.
Nepotism is a cornerstone of the wrestling industry. Roman Reigns and The Usos have often been accused of living off The Rock’s popularity. However, they have been able to back their positions up in the ring and the latter on the microphone as well. Tamina Snuka, The Rock’s cousin and late Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka’s daughter, however, has been able to eke out a living despite being an average-at-best worker.
Her work as AJ Lee’s bodyguard and a part of Team B.A.D. only highlighted her vestigial talent. With her relative Nia Jax proving a better behemoth, she will likely be handed her pink slip before 2020 as she will be 42 then – unless the McMahons are forced to keep her on the payroll due to pressure from the Anoa’i family.
14 The Colons
It is safe to say The Colons have undergone more number of repackages than any other team or individual wrestler on the current roster. Debuting as Primo and Epico in 2011, they won the Tag Team Championship in an unceremonious ilk – at a WWE Live event. They went on to be repackaged as Los Matodores and The Shining Stars in the subsequent years; however, neither gimmick connected with the fans as they were reduced to appearances on Superstars and Main Event.
Their most recent repackage has seen them embrace their family connection as they wrestle as The Colons. Despite their push that saw them defeat former SmackDown Live Tag Team Champions American Alpha, they are struggling to be relevant. The only way to save them is to hire Carlito Colon, lest they find themselves fired before 2020.
With Lince Dorado under their umbrella, the WWE will still remain a major player in the Puerto Rican market despite The Colons’ eventual release.
13 Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler has already been saying that he's considered leaving the company on multiple occasions so we can't see him sticking around another three years. His career is stuck in purgatory on the main roster, with officials not liking him enough to push him to the top and not hating him enough to release him. Ziggler has begun dabbling in comedy and acting, so he really shouldn't waste much more of his time by staying on the roster. Ziggler will be pushing 40 in 2020 so there's really no reason to think he'll want to wrestle into into his 40s if he's serious about starting another career.
Truth be told, we're surprised Ziggler hasn't already left, but perhaps he's looking to save as much money as possible before hanging up his boots.
12 Brock Lesnar
Many will argue that the novelty of Brock Lesnar has already worn off and by 2020, there's no way the WWE should be continuing to pay Lesnar $5 million a year to stay at home for months on end. Lesnar is the WWE Universal Champion and it looks like he's going to hold that title for quite a while. Rumor has it the plan is for him to drop the title to... Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 34, providing a conclusion to the match they had at 'Mania 31.
The WWE has to think about the future and even though Lesnar provides some star power, there won't be much more for him to do by 2020. His current contract expires following WrestleMania 34 and we don't see why WWE would sign him to another multi-year deal.
11 Summer Rae
After calling time on her Lingerie Football League career, Summer Rae began working with NXT, where she stayed for over three years before her call up in 2013. Despite her decent wrestling ability, the WWE chose to offer her main roster debut as Fandango’s dance partner.
Although the company placed enough trust in her to cast her in The Marine 4: Moving Target, she was placed only in romantic angles involving Fandango and Layla, and Rusev, Lana and Dolph Ziggler and Tyler Breeze. It is safe to say that she will not have a WWE contract in 2020 as she will be 37 then.
She has won the hearts of many wrestling fans thanks to her being friendly with her fans; however, she does not seem to possess what it takes to remain a WWE employee at 37.
10 Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke’s being only 28 years old, bodybuilding background and three years' training with NXT ought to be enough for her to remain with the WWE until 2020. However, every other sign points to an early exit for the former bodybuilder.
The Ohio-born damsel is currently most remembered for her Nature Boy entrance, over-enthusiasm while managing Charlotte Flair and a botched ending that made a Women’s Championship material in Bayley look weak. She hardly excels as a promo while also being average-at-best in the ring. Much to her dismay, her relationship with Dolph Ziggler also fell apart.
With NXT now boasting excellent talents such as Peyton Royce, Ember Moon, and Billie Kay, she now faces an uphill battle to keep her job with the WWE. The writer predicts an exit in late 2018.
9 The Brian Kendrick
WWE’s decision to bring The Brian Kendrick back to legitimize 205 Live shocked many, especially since more popular stars such as Shane Helms, Rey Mysterio or Chavo Guerrero might have done a better job. However, the former tag-team specialist proved his doubters wrong as he proved the most entertaining wrestler on the Purple Brand until Neville’s coming into the picture.
Aged 38, he can hardly perform the flippy moves that are synonymous with the division as good as the rest of the roster does. In 2020, his 41-year-old self will only struggle more to keep up with the pace of the roster. The only way he can remain a WWE employee in 2020 is to impress the head honchos enough with his promo to make them appoint him the General Manager of the Purple Brand but, let us face it, it is unlikely.
In her 10-year WWE career, Natalya has done it all. She had a farting gimmick. She was a part of The Hart Dynasty. She managed her real-life husband Tyson Kidd. She formed a team with her wrestling twin Beth Phoenix. She appeared on Total Divas. She managed The Great Khali. She won the Divas Championship. She even became the thousandth wrestler to turn her back on Becky Lynch.
She has truly done everything there is to do as a female in the WWE. Let us not talk about Kelly Kelly’s strip show for I am certain no one do not want Natalya to do that. Let us also not talk about Trish Stratus’ being bullied by Vince McMahon on live television for the WWE will never script such segments because of the PG-V regulations and their Be A STAR campaign.
The only thing left for the 35-year-old Natalya to now do is retire.
7 John Cena
John Cena just proposed to Nikki Bella and while a wedding date hasn't been announced yet, we'll assume it'll be within the next year. By 2020, John Cena will have gotten more and more roles in Hollywood and there simply won't be time for him to commit to WWE. He'll also be well into his marriage with Nikki Bella and with his first marriage having fallen apart, Cena will want to do all he can to keep his life at home happy. Cena was initially afraid to get married again because he didn't think he'd make a good husband, but by now, Cena has more time to devote to Nikki and stepping away from wrestling altogether due to all the injuries he's suffered would be a wise move.
The torch has already essentially been passed, so there'll be no reason for Cena to be affiliated with WWE in anything more than an ambassador role.
6 Triple H
While Triple H is not a full-time member of the roster, he always makes a return for special events. Last year, he signed a multi-year wrestling deal with WWE that has him active as a wrestler until WrestleMania 35. Triple H will still be a company executive by 2020 and beyond, but by that year, Triple H will be 50 by then and will have faced just about every top, emerging star the WWE has. Triple H himself has said that staying in ring shape every year is taxing with his full-time office job, so perhaps it's time he hangs them up altogether.
He's already faced several of his NXT proteges on the grand stage, so what else is there for him to do after two more WrestleManias? He can't face Roman Reigns again, can he?
5 Mickie James
To claim the WWE botched Mickie James’ return big-time is an under-statement. They dropped the ball on engineering a glorious return for their five-time Women’s Champion and one-time Divas Champion. Given her popularity and uplifting entrance music, they could have easily produced one of the loudest pops in recent history, but they only made her wrestle as La Luchadora in an awkward wrestling outfit.
Despite her putting on decent displays currently, she cannot continue to do so until 2020 as the mother-of-one will be 41 then. The wear and tear of wrestling for almost two decades will have taken its toll on her body.
A WWE Legends contract is the only way to see her under a WWE umbrella in 2020 as only Lita has been able to defy the odds to work as a producer in the male-centric industry.
While William Regal has earned a cult following, Goldust, real name Dustin Runnels, remains a largely under-appreciated genius in the industry. Having won WWE Intercontinental Championship thrice, he has cemented himself as a solid top-tier mid-card talent and has remained so for over 27 years. At 48, he continues to reinvent himself, keeping himself relevant in the constantly-evolving wrestling business.
Currently feuding with one-year Golden Truth partner R-Truth and producing entertaining Shattered Dreams production vignettes, he has proved he can garner the attention of modern-day wrestling fans. Despite his prowess, he will likely not remain a WWE wrestler in 2020 as he would be 51 then. Given his family status and intellect, though, he will remain a WWE employee, possibly returning to the position he had held in 2011 and 2012 – backstage producer.
3 Titus O’Neil
Titus O’Neil’s career as a wrestler can be summarized in a few words – the former NFL who partnered Darren Young. Despite being with the company for eight years, he has largely had a forgettable career thanks to his being average in the ring and poor on the microphone. His winning only the WWE Tag Team Championship during his stint as a WWE employee bears testimony to his work with the McMahons.
Many believe he remains employed with the company only because of his being a minor mainstream attention and mouthpiece for the company. However, those attributes will not make him a WWE employee for long as they are primarily a sports entertainment company. Besides, he will have regressed even more in 2020 as he will be 43 then.
Much to his dismay, Titus's ceiling is rather low despite his association with Apollo Crews.
The wrestling world hardly ever comes across an early bloomer but, at the tender age of 24, she has already accomplished more than 90% of female wrestlers ever do in their entire careers. Having won the NXT Women’s Championship and Divas Championship a combined three times, she now comes across as a seasoned veteran. With the Four Horsewomen, Alexa Bliss and Emma dominating the women’s division, she will prove a welcoming addition upon her return to the squared circle.
However, she seems to have burned the bridges as she has been embroiled in bucketloads of controversy. A sex scandal involving Brad Maddox and Xavier Woods followed her two Wellness Policy violations. She continues to let her boyfriend bash the company via Periscope while often appearing on independent shows with him while being under a WWE contract. Legend has it that Vince McMahon has not fired her only because a WWE Studios and Dwayne Johnson co-produced movie based off her wrestling career (Fighting With My Family) is in the pipeline.
Unless a miracle happens, she will not be with the company in 2020.
Kane definitely belongs to the league of the smartest persons to ever step foot in a wrestling ring. Besides speaking through an electrolarynx, electrocuting another man’s genitals, setting fellow humans on fire, impregnating a woman without her consent and doing a spinaroonie, he runs an insurance company with his wife. He also has a political career, with his running for mayor of Knox County, Tennessee.
Kane has been a mainstay in WWE for over 22 years. His ripping the Hell in a Cell door apart still sends chills down the spines. He has since found himself in the main-event picture more often than not, with his peak coming during the Attitude Era, but he will likely not be terrorizing his opponents in 2020 as he will have turned 53 then. He's even running for mayor of Knox County so it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that he won't be wrestling in any capacity by then.
The 18-time champion, who remains a major attraction for casual fans, will follow in the footsteps of his storyline brother, The Undertaker, soon.