The WWE is in the middle of a rebuild while their inner management is in a state of internal warfare. Management is often confused, creating storylines that go on or storylines that often disappear suddenly with no explanation. Amid NXT’s current success, WWE has had many opportunities to develop talent; which is exactly what they need now more than ever. New superstars! New wrestlers with unique gimmicks. However, the company insists on continuing to sign old stars for quick short-term financial gain. One can make the argument for returning stars such as Bill Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and The Rock. Having said that it also appears that WWE is signing wrestlers that have made a name for themselves through the independent scene. Wrestling superstars like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode and many other stars have been signed by WWE, while crafting a name for themselves in other companies.
WWE is no longer afraid to sign stars have been successful on the independent circuit, and perhaps that must do more with Triple H’s understanding of the business. But there are some names that the WWE needs to stay away from. Here is a list of the top 15 wrestlers WWE should stay far away from.
15 Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio still can deliver in the ring under the right conditions. However, the fact is those conditions will never again exist for him in WWE. His last few matches in the company were not exactly amazing. He has had several surgeries on his knees and he has slowed down quite a bit. In fact, bringing him back would hurt the company. There was a time when Rey Mysterio was the most exciting and innovative superstar in professional wrestling but those days are long gone. WWE already moved on from him and replaced his character with Kalisto. He is a smaller version of Mysterio—hard to believe considering how small Rey was already. Kalisto does everything Mysterio did and more.
The WWE product is much more fast paced and I seriously doubt Rey could keep up. Mysterio’s current pastime is working for Lucha Underground…a place WWE should allow him to remain. No one is really mourning Rey Mysterio’s WWE departure.
Montel Vontavious Porter would serve zero purpose for the WWE as he is nearing the tail-end of his career. He was very underrated on the microphone but was never given too much in regards to feuds. His run in TNA was hit or miss and frankly, he could never come into his own. At the January 30, 2014, MVP returned to TNA revealing himself to be the storyline "investor" responsible for signing The Wolves and counteracting Dixie Carter's agenda in recent weeks, establishing himself as a face. It is important to note that he was not able to use the MVP name due to prior-contract obligations that he had with the WWE.
Bringing him back would be pointless unless it was for a quick appearance in the Royal Rumble. His best work can be viewed during his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He was actually hired by Lucha Underground back in April 2016, but was fired for violating their contract agreement.
13 The Dudley Boyz
Alright, we all know the WWE already brought back The Dudley Boyz. Now, here is hoping that they do not bring them back again. The Dudley Boyz were focused on winning WWE tag team gold again. They talked about it every week… but it went nowhere. WWE used them as jobbers for the most part. Also, their farewell match on RAW was terrible. Anderson and Gallows came out and put them through some tables. That’s it. Good-bye Dudley Boyz. They were undoubtedly one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history.
Bully Ray even deserves a huge amount of credit for getting himself into shape en route to becoming one of the best heels in all of TNA Wrestling. He was even the TNA World Heavyweight Champion at one point. His character was so good, that even Ryback tried copying the Bully persona. Frankly, Devon Dudley is nothing without Bubba, so since they have already come and gone… let’s leave it at that.
12 Kurt Angle
Who could ever forget Kurt Angle driving a milk truck into the arena and spraying everyone? The former Olympian is one of the best professional wrestlers of the past several decades. He can put on a wrestling clinic no matter where he goes. There were concerns about his health near the end of his WWE tenure, and it was rumored that Vince McMahon would not let him wrestle with his neck issues. Could he pass a WWE physical at this point in his career? He had a very long tenure in TNA and added extra injuries to his resume.
There's no doubt that Angle had an amazing six-year run in WWE. But that was then and this is now. WWE should once again focus on building a new Kurt Angle. How about one of the American Alpha members?
11 Ethan Carter III
If anyone has watched TNA over the last few years, they would immediately think of Ethan Carter III. He is a tremendous talent with excellent microphone skills and a strong persona. His character could be compared to that of Triple H. He has become a better in-ring wrestler and has improved his promos. Ethan Carter III was probably a bit overused in TNA, but they did not realty have a choice. However, he did make the most of his opportunities. Now should WWE sign such a talent? The answer is no. He wrestled in the WWE during the 4th NXT season as Derrick Bateman.
Being signed by WWE would force him to wrestle in the mid-card slot with zero chance of becoming a main event star. Maybe he would challenge for the Intercontinental Title or United States Championship. He still has plenty of years left in him and would benefit from staying on the independent scene for a while longer.
10 Cryme Tyme
Shad Gaspard and JTG were intriguing when they first debuted. However, their gimmick grew quite stale during their tenure. WWE even brought them back a second time. They did have a decent feud with John Morrison and The Miz. But, let’s be honest here. WWE already have the Golden Truth and Breezango on their roster to fill in for the low-end tag team division. Signing Cryme Tyme would be a complete waste, especially since their in-ring abilities were quite limited. Their promos were sometimes decent but a waste of time for the most part. Their gimmick is also a bit tasteless. I cannot see WWE bringing them back in the PC era…especially since their gimmick relies on heavy negative stereotypes.
If they want to spend some time investing in a terrible tag-team, WWE can focus on The Ascension. They are not going around stealing from people… but they clearly need the creative help. Signing Cryme Tyme would take away from teams already on the roster.
9 Cody Rhodes
The latest member of the Bullet Club is none other than Cody Rhodes. He has always had the potential to be a top tier superstar. His career evolved from being a member of the Legacy group, becoming Dashing Cody Rhodes and even turning babyface to fight for his family’s legacy against The Authority. Cody Rhodes should have become WWE Champion either by winning the Money in the Bank Ladder Match or the Royal Rumble. WWE missed the boat on him. He was such a trooper as he tried to make the Stardust persona work… and it never did.
WWE should let Cody Rhodes explore himself on the independent circuit. He is currently wrestling for every single promotion out there. He made it known he is willing and able. Staying away from Cody Rhodes right now is the best thing for WWE and the best thing for Cody.
8 Chris Hero
In what has been one of the biggest rumors in wrestling news, it appears as though Chris Hero may be making his return to the WWE after the new year. Hero, of course, was one of the first "indy darlings" to appear in NXT as Kassius Ohno. While nowadays body types seem to matter less and less, one of the biggest problems surrounding Hero's first run was his weight. Since returning to the independent scene, Hero continues to be a standout performer, wrestling in companies such as Dragon Gate USA, Evolve, and House of Hardcore. While the idea of Hero returning to the WWE may be intriguing to many fans, it will only further NXT's underlying problem.
Despite being "developmental," Triple H loves to sign the hottest names in the world. He needs to, however, focus on growing stars that already on the roster. If Hero comes in, he'll take a spot from someone else.
Primo and Epico, The Shining Stars, made their re-debut almost a year ago, as they tried their luck as the Los Matadores and it was entertaining for a while. They had a little mascot running around with them. But given their new name and gimmick, it seems they are once against having difficulties staying relevant. As such, there were rumors last May about Carlito joining The Shining Stars and forming a stable. Carlito and WWE were both teasing his return a while back and thankfully it never happened. Carlito may have been cool before, but frankly his hair and apple gimmick is not cool anymore. If anything, it would hurt the Shining Stars' credibility. They need more air time and a bit of an edgier attitude. If they were stuck in a high-profile match and cheated their way to victory, people would take them seriously. Carlito is simply not cool.
6 Matt and Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy was a much better singles competitor than his brother. One could argue that Matt Hardy is currently the best thing in wrestling right now. DELETE! Matt Hardy has crafted himself a great character in a stagnant TNA product. There is no way WWE could bring one of the brothers, it would need to be both. But who would they face? What would be the point? Could they wrestle a full-time schedule? The WWE has already given Jeff Hardy multiple opportunities to be a top baby face in the company. Jeff Hardy proved by his actions and his lifestyle that he is not reliable. I am sure everyone remembers the Sting versus Jeff match in TNA. Hardy was not sober and Sting was forced to pin him in under a minute.
But back to their tag-team potential, they created consistently strong matches, and no fan can deny that. The Dudleys are now gone and the only reason to bring back the Hardys would be to face Bubba and Devon in a TLC match at WrestleMania and that is not happening.
5 Jay Lethal
On the independent scene, Lethal is a star. He is also only 30 years of age. At this stage of his career, he’s already got an incredible resume to his name. Jay Lethal is a great talent but he would be buried in the WWE. Most people hate the way WWE has used some of their favorites, and Lethal would likely end up like everyone else. Squashed! Being a mid-card star in WWE now-a-days usually means you are a mid-card guy for a very long time. Most people would not accept Lethal in this type of role unless he eventually became a main event star.
Part of WWE’s structure is that that they have guys that fit certain roles, and not every wrestler has a place with the company. If anything, Lethal would make an excellent addition to NXT. But, the eventual call up to the main roster would leave him in limbo as there is no room for him at the top with the current main stars.
4 Mr. Kennedy
Everyone loved Mr. Kennedy and his old-school microphone spot. His trademark over-the-top character was refreshing. However, his WWE career ended in much disappointment. He had several injuries that kept him off the shelf and many botches during his matches. He went on to find success as a two-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion while using the name Mr. Anderson. He also has a history of PED abuse. Cass and Enzo Amore now use his old-school microphone gimmick. Personally, I think the microphone gimmick suits them more than Anderson.
The former Money in the Bank winner was allegedly fired from TNA for failing an on-the-spot drug test at an Impact Wrestling taping. The man is 40 years old and has nothing left to offer. Signing this type of talent would be a waste of in ring time and creative time for other younger wrestlers. He will not be signed.
3 Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner has many nicknames. He was known as ‘The master of the Franken-Steiner’, the Genetic Freak and sometimes called Mr. Steroid. Well, maybe not the last one but he did abuse steroids during his career. He originally started wrestling with his brother as a tag-team. Many people remember him during his WCW days, but his WWE days were nothing to get excited about. Everyone remembers his match versus Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. He made Kevin Nash look fast. Steiner was entertaining on the microphone, but for all the wrong reasons. Often, he was quite confused. Steiner would get flustered and stutter and ramble on making no sense at all.
Bringing a 50-year-old man of his caliber and reputation would do nothing for the product… unless of course they brought back the hardcore title. Steiner could wrestle for five minutes and hit a few people with some chair shots.
2 Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam has and always will be The Whole F’n Show. He was the reason many of us fell in love with ECW. He was the reason the ECW renewal in WWE worked. He beat John Cena to become the first ever WWE and ECW Heavyweight Champion at the same time. Well, thanks in part to a spear from the Rated-R superstar Edge. Oddly, his original finisher in the WWE was the split leg moonsault off the second rope. Even he said it was terrible. Thankfully he developed the Five-Star Frog Splash. Van Dam remained one of the company’s most popular wrestlers throughout his first run. However, things started falling apart once he was suspended due to smoking marijuana. He lost credibility with officials backstage.
Fast forward to TNA… he became TNA heavyweight champion with a new theme song and a heck of a celebration. He did come back for a few minor WWE appearances but at this point in his career, WWE needs to stay far away from him as a full-time performer.
1 The Great Khali
The Great Khali and the WWE parted ways in November 2014 after the wrestler’s contract with the company expired. Do you miss The Great Khali? He is a massive individual with a great ‘giant’ look… but he also was limited in his abilities. It was painfully boring to watch him wrestle. Bringing him back would only take the spot light away from young talent Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. These wrestlers have athleticism, technical ability, and charisma. The Great Khali is slow, unsteady, and incapable of cutting a modern-day promo. The man could barely execute a big boot without hurting himself or looking ridiculous.
The WWE could sign him sure, but he would not draw any money whatsoever. The only good thing that came about during his tenure in WWE was his ability to act as an ambassador for India.