Ending 2018 and starting 2019, it is quite clear that WWE is all about the women. The matches and storylines seem to be of so much more quality than the men. However, a hardcore WWE fan can tell you quite clearly, that wasn’t always the case. Even just a couple of years back, the landscape was quite different. The likes of Ronda Rousey, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair changed the playing field forever.
However, prior to these trailblazers, the division struggled with consistency. Time and time again Vince and creative gave up on concepts after just a mere couple of weeks. Who can forget Emmalina debuting after months and months of vignettes only to be completely dropped after one promo! That was a classic case of McMahon and company picking the wrong person to portray the act. As you will see in this article, this type of scenario happens a lot.
The toughest part to digest is that some of these failed gimmicks could have worked, and in some cases, under the proper circumstances, it could have turned into a main event act. We will feature current females both in and out of WWE that could have done a great job in delivering the message others were trying to convey but failed.
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20 Flopped: Charlotte’s Bodyguard
When Charlotte made it to the main roster, she didn’t endure as much popularity compared to Sasha and Becky. However, she really hit her mark when turning heel. Adding heel heat to the act, Dana Brooke joined Flair. The idea was a good one though clearly, Brooke wasn’t ready for the spot.
This one has less to do with Brooke and more a blunder by WWE. Dana was still so green at that point and although she carries herself well backstage, Brooke needed more time with NXT, especially for in-ring purposes. The role became a comedic one soon enough and we assume that was not the intent from the start.
19 Should Have Used: Rhea Ripley
If you’re going to give Charlotte protection, make it someone that has the look to back it up. Dana is barely over five feet and she just doesn’t have the presence to be anyone’s protector. However, we know of a certain NXT UK act that does; Rhea Ripley.
Who knows, maybe she can debut under these circumstances. It would be wise for Ripley to work alongside a veteran when starting off, given she’s in her early 20s. If she doesn’t get this role, we assume she will be slotted in a tag team with an experienced act.
18 Flopped: La Luchadora
We’re not entirely sure as to why, but WWE refuses to debut a masked female wrestler, at least a serious one. We got a hint of that back in late 2016 as La Luchadora made her debut. The gimmick was portrayed by Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and Becky Lynch.
Although it was short-lived, one can’t help to think that such a gimmick could have actually worked and for a lot longer. Though WWE scrapped it early specifically for storyline purposes.
17 Should Have Used: Candice LeRae
We can envision someone from NXT making their debut under a masked identity. This would add lots of intrigue. However, the person that dawns the mask needs to be agile in the ring, honoring the lucha wrestling style. Candice LeRae can be the perfect choice. She’s experienced and quick inside of the squared circle.
We can imagine the monster pop that she might receive finally unveiling herself as the person behind the gimmick. Unfortunately, the company already wasted the idea away in a mere couple of weeks for storyline purposes.
16 Flopped: The Female Shield
WWE knew they had gold in The Shield faction gimmick. So much so that they teased a female version in the developmental ranks featuring former WWE stars Summer Rae and Anya along with Paige. According to Sportskeeda, the idea ended following a promo due to Anya breaking her arm. Oh, what could have been.
The concept was a really good one, though we debate whether or not the trio had what it took to make it succeed. Surely, Paige could have thrived in the spot but we feel indifferent with the other two.
15 Should Have Used: Becky, Charlotte, and Sasha
Instead of having them debut on the main roster with random factions, this could have been the perfect way to introduce three mammoth female stars that arguably shifted the entire landscape of the Women's Division. Let’s try to imagine the three wreaking havoc during their debut together, taking out the best women of the division back then.
The pop and fame they could have received with such an idea could have made it worthwhile. However, they ultimately chose to debut them separately, in different groups. Looking back at the impact of the debuts, WWE failed.
14 Flopped: Kharma Concealed By The Shadows Gimmick
Kharma was supposed to signify change in the Women’s Division. Clearly, WWE officials were very hopeful that she might turn into something special, especially given all those vignettes.
Injuries and a child derailed this gimmick that had so much potential. Not only was the gimmick a flop but Kharma left the business shortly after altogether, rejoining her old stomping grounds, TNA. It seems like timing and bad luck kept this gimmick from working out. If not for that, she could have been a multi-time champion given her look and gimmick.
13 Should Have Used: Nia Jax
Nia Jax is another wrestler some believe the company rushed far too quickly. After only two years of experience, she joined the main roster. Rightfully so, she was eased onto the roster with short matches against enhancement talents.
There was nothing wrong with her debut. However, when it came to her character, most fans really didn’t know what she represented aside from her theme song indicating that "she’s not like most girls." Give Nia the eerie concealed by the shadows gimmick and surely, you will have the fans talking a lot more.
12 Flopped: Emmalina
At the time, it seemed like WWE aired Emmalina vignettes for about a year straight. Maybe even WWE themselves knew this gimmick wouldn’t work. After months of hype, Emma delivered a weird promo during an episode of RAW. That was all Vince had to see as the gimmick was scrapped shortly after. In later interviews, Emma herself admitted she wasn’t all that comfortable with the role. When the Superstar doesn’t buy into the gimmick, that usually is a recipe for failure.
Emma barely hung on with her prior gimmick and she was released shortly after the Emmalina debacle.
11 Should Have Used: Carmella
Carmella has a tendency to make things work no matter how far-fetched the outcome seems to be. Even looking back at her WWE tryout. Agents told Carmella she didn’t show enough personality. Looking at her current gimmick, we can say that no longer holds true.
She made “Dance Breaks” more entertaining than they should have been, not to mention debuting under the circumstances as a hairdresser. All of this indicates that she will always thrive. No doubt, she could have perfected those Emmalina promos not to mention the montages.
10 Flopped: Super Stacy
Prior to her WWE exit, Stacy Keibler dabbled with a super hero gimmick alongside The Hurricane and Rosey. She got it over but that wasn’t because of her in-ring work, more because of her oozing persona and dazzling looks.
Putting Stacy aside, the gimmick could actually work. Who wouldn’t want to see a super hero gimmick? However, one that is less playful in comparison to Stacy back in the early 2000s. With the right person, this idea could have thrived and for a lot longer.
9 Should Have Used: Bayley
When we think of female talents than can portray a super hero gimmick, three name instantly come to mind, though two of them retired. Given her strength, Beth Phoenix definitely could have thrived in the role. Molly Holly is another name we think of given her role alongside The Hurricane.
A current candidate modern day has to be Bayley. She can thrive with such PG gimmicks. Just look at her work with NXT. She went from a super fan gimmick to the face of the entire division. That was a gimmick that shouldn’t have gone over the way it did and we believe Bayley would forge a similar path with this character. Even if it seems out there.
8 Flopped: Eva Marie's Goddess Gimmick
Eva Marie was one of the final prime examples of why a talent with no experience shouldn’t skip the developmental stages. After a mere couple of months with developmental she was called up and the results weren’t good, at all. It plagued her WWE run and no matter how much she improved fans just weren’t interested.
Her final gimmick as a goddess that would skip out of matches really wasn’t bad and dare we say, quite entertaining. Thanks to a suspension and projects outside of WWE we never saw this character fully played out.
7 Should Have Used: Mandy Rose
If given more time and perhaps with the right wrestler, this gimmick could have thrived all the way to the top. At least Vince thought so. He initially gave the gimmick to Lana and nowadays it seems as though Mandy Rose is using its traits, using her looks to her advantage (just ask The Usos).
McMahon is high on her abilities and he has a reason to be. Despite her green experience, similar to Carmella, Mandy looks eager in any type of role. Even one that was failed by Eva Marie.
6 Flopped: Alexa Bliss' Southern Gimmick
Long before her WWE Women’s Championship victory, Alexa bliss was trying out several different gimmicks. Perhaps the most peculiar was a backstage vignette she shot alongside Scott Dawson, playing the role of a southerner. WWE went the other way finally, debuting Bliss with a fairy persona, one that truly wasn’t any better.
She finally caught heat as heel teaming up with real-life partner Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake. Although the southern gimmick didn’t work for Bliss, we can’t help but to think it could have been perfect by another female WWE star.
5 Should Have Used: Sarah Logan
From Louisville, Kentucky, Sarah Logan could have definitely thrived in the role. If WWE ever wants to make Logan a solo act away from The Riott Squad, reviving the gimmick might be the way to go, and who knows, maybe she becomes a loveable underdog under these circumstances. In truth, we have seen stranger things succeed in the past.
Given that she's only 25, Logan still has a lot of time to blossom with WWE. Once she’s off on her own, it will be interesting to see with persona she’s given.
4 Flopped: Vince’s Devils
We’re not quite sure what Vince was thinking with the creation of this group but for the most part, even the hardcore fan forgets Torrie Wilson, Candice Michelle and Victoria all banded together at one point in time. Aside from some catchy backstage vignettes, the group didn’t do much in the ring. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Victoria was the only polished product inside of the squared circle.
Looking back, this idea could have worked and maybe it still can, under a different trio.
3 Should Have Used: Lana and The IIconics
Presently, SmackDown Live is absolutely thriving. One of the best parts has to be the Women’s Division led by the likes of Asuka, Chalrotte and Becky. These three are creating a golden era for SD Live’s female division.
However, there are some talents on the outside looking in. We’re talking specifically about the IIconics and Lana. Having them associated with McMahon backstage can help their cause while also giving the boss more camera time. It also helps that these three can back it up in the ring, even Lana, who has improved quite a bit.
2 Flopped: Sister Abigail
When Bray Wyatt mentioned Sister Abigail back in the fall of 2017, fans started to buzz, thinking a female star would debut alongside Wyatt. So many names could have made this gimmick work; Nikki Cross is one of them.
The idea went from brilliant to a total flop when it was unveiled that Wyatt himself was the man behind the gimmick. He was introducing an alter ego, one that sunk his cause with WWE fans, so much so that some speculated he’d never be the same again. Had this been given to a female, wrestling fans could have witnessed some brilliant storytelling.
1 Should Have Used: Rosemary
When Wyatt announced the unveiling of Sister Abigail, Rosemary’s Twitter account flooded with tweets linking her to the persona. In truth, it seemed like a match made in Heaven combining these two alongside one another.
It wasn’t meant to be as Rosemary denied the claims and elected to stay put with TNA. If McMahon could do this one again, we firmly believe Rosemary might be the person behind the identity, especially given the boom of the Women’s Division. Vince is always ahead of the trend, however, in this case, he clearly wasn’t.