Whether you want to admit it or not, the WWE is still the top game in town (although New Japan is making some huge, exciting leaps to compete with Vince McMahon’s company), and it’s the goal of many performers to join the legendary company. But for some, it just doesn’t work out. Some performers are misused, and some just don’t get over no matter what creative can provide, and there are some of them that in 2018 need to be shown the door. The following are 8 examples of that, and the 8 performers from the independent wrestling scene that need to come in and replace these wrestlers.
Who do you think will make it in the WWE in 2018, and who do you think will ultimately leave the company?
16 Get Rid Of – The Big Show
The Big Show has been in WWE for almost two decades, and after all the heel/face turns, it’s just time for him to move on. While the WWE won’t release him completely, it would be a good idea to maybe put him on a Legends contract, as opposed to a regular performer. There are rumors that he may return for the Royal Rumble, or before WrestleMania at the latest, and while it would be good to see him have one last run, Show needs to step down from being a full-time performer. He’s got in some fantastic shape recently, but the future is here with Braun Strowman and others, and fans just couldn’t care less anymore. If Show doesn't announce his retirement first, as has long been speculated, this is a move the WWE need to make.
15 Replace With – Chris Adonis/Masters
Chris Masters was pushed to the moon in the WWE a decade ago, but he just wasn’t ready for the position. Since he’s left the company, he has become a much better all-around performer, and as he’s just announced his departure from Impact, it makes perfect sense to bring him in for the Royal Rumble. His Master Lock Challenge was entertaining last time he was in the WWE, and while he’s developed a more well-rounded game since that point, that would be a great way to again get him over with the wider WWE Universe. He’s ready for the main event this time around, but it would be better to slot him into the mid card scene, as it would help adding more depth, much more than The Big Show can provide. Expect this move to be made some time during 2018.
14 Get Rid of – Hideo Itami
Hideo Itami is one of the most accomplished performers in Japanese wrestling, so when he came to the WWE in 2014, fans were understandably ecstatic. But due to injuries and lack of character development, fans just don’t care anymore, and after his poor 205 Live beginnings, it’s only a matter of time until Itami is back on the independent scene. His style has also been toned down quite a lot in the WWE, which makes him less appealing to the wider audience on RAW, so they should just cut their losses and release the former KENTA. As a big fan of his work, it will be sad to see him go, but a return to New Japan to battle the new generation of stars, or even appearances in US promotions like PWG and ROH will make for much better viewing than his performances on 205 Live.
13 Replace With – Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is arguably the greatest luchador in the history of wrestling, and he’s had some great runs with the WWE, and as the cruiserweights are struggling to become an important part of the WWE, bringing in a star with his name and popularity is the right move. This return has been rumored for quite some time, but there are many other places trying to get his signature, but at the end of the day, we know that no one outbids Vince McMahon, and if he cares about 205 Live, then he has to make this move. He definitely can’t do what he used to do in the ring, but he’s still a capable performer, and whether he is exclusively a cruiserweight or if he fluctuates between the shows, he needs to be back in the WWE for one final run.
12 Get Rid Of – Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler is a great performer, and the character work over the past few months just hasn’t worked, but the blending of kayfabe/real life has been worked very well, and although we believe he’ll be back soon, he should leave the WWE sometime in 2018. With so many performers already under the banner who are able to do what Ziggler does in the ring, there’s really no appeal left to the Show-Off, but seeing him on the independents would be very exciting, and highly likely to happen very soon. He could be replaced by many different performers from NXT, or from someone outside the WWE, but what Ziggler needs is a change to freshen his career up, and as of right now, the best decision would be to agree on his release.
11 Replace With – Zack Sabre Jr.
Zack Sabre Jr. competed in the first ever WWE Cruiserweight Classic in 2016, and had some fantastic matches, but the WWE didn’t bring him in full-time (and that’s probably a good thing considering how awful the cruiserweights have been since then), but it’s time to make it happen, because he is an incredible performer and deserves that spotlight. He isn’t as exciting as the likes of Ricochet or Will Ospreay, but he can have many different types of matches, and despite being bland in the eyes of some, if booked correctly, he can be one of the best heels in the industry. Sabre is the best technical wrestler in the world, and if we can be given a reason to care about his matches, he could be a huge star for the company.
10 Get Rid Of – Tamina
Tamina is a second generation performer, and after five or more years on the WWE roster, you’d imagine that she has transformed herself into a decent performer, but she hasn’t, and with so many wrestlers ahead of her on the roster, it’s about time the WWE just part ways with her, and give her roster to a better performer. She’s not all that bad in the ring, but with Charlotte, Becky Lynch and so many others on SmackDown Live, she’s never going to be taken seriously, and it just makes sense to move on. At this point, she’s just wasting a roster spot, because the creative team doesn’t have much faith in her, and with so many women from the Mae Young Classic and on the independents ready to go, it just makes sense.
9 Replace With – Rosemary
There are so many women on the independent scene having fantastic matches day in, day out, but there’s only one Rosemary, and she’s been the best in Impact for quite some time now, and with cost cutting resulting in several departures, this may be another one. If and when that happens, the WWE desperately need to call her and bring her in immediately, because she shows dedication to character that few in wrestling today do, and in the ring, she’s also a quite impressive performer. NXT, RAW or SmackDown Live would all be great homes for her, because if they give her the time to develop, she could just be the greatest character the WWE women’s division has ever seen.
8 Get Rid Of – Kane
Similar to The Big Show entry earlier on in this article, Kane shouldn’t be fired from WWE, but as an active performer, his latest run shows just how little fans truly care about the character. With his political career being in full swing, it just makes sense for his career as an regular performer in the WWE to come to an end. He’s going to end up in the Hall of Fame someday, because he’s had a fantastic and very long career within the WWE, but the new breed of talent is doing their part, and the company just doesn’t need Kane, so it’s best for him to move on. The odd appearance here or there would be good, but as an active, week in, week out performer on RAW, there’s no need for him anymore.
7 Replace With – Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley was once the next big thing in WWE, but he was pushed way too hard, way too early, and he didn’t connect with the fans in the way that Vince McMahon would have liked, so he went on to compete in MMA and most notably in TNA/Impact Wrestling. But like others in the past week, Lashley has officially announced his departure, which has seemingly opened the door to a WWE return. This makes complete sense, and WWE needs to jump all over him and bring him in, as he has improved his all-around game a tremendous amount over the past five years, and could credibly be a top heel on either RAW or Smackdown Live. With the Royal Rumble just weeks away, bringing him in as a surprise entrant is perfect timing, and would add another top star to either show, giving the company the depth that they sorely need.
6 Get Rid Of – Bayley
In NXT, Bayley was WWE’s hottest performer, but since being promoted to the main roster, the fans' worst fears were realized, because she has been treated horrendously, and at this point, it would be just as easy to release Bayley as anything, because the wider WWE Universe just doesn’t believe or care about her character. Sure, there are hardcore fans out there who love her matches in NXT, and they won’t want to see her go, but she’s basically useless on RAW at the moment, so maybe she can go to the independents and elevate some of their women’s divisions. This is an unpopular decision, we know that, but Vince McMahon has reportedly given up on her, so why not let her go and reinvent herself away from the WWE?
5 Replace With – Ronda Rousey
Again, this is unlikely to be a popular decision, but we know that WWE is all about star power, and there’s few stars bigger in the world than Ronda Rousey, and although her few UFC losses have taken some of the shine off her aura, she is still a top star, and would likely be utilized much better than Bayley. She has reportedly been training to wrestle for quite some time, and if she can bring her dominant MMA style into pro wrestling, she could be quite the find for the WWE. Matches with the likes of Charlotte, Asuka, Nia Jax and even Sasha Banks are all more appealing to the casual fan than Bayley, and as much as you might not like it, there is a very good chance this happens in 2018.
4 Get Rid Of – Neville
Neville is basically gone from the WWE as it is, so there’s no real point in delaying it, and the WWE should just release him, despite the fact that he’s one of the best all-around performers in the entire world. Understandably, just like Austin Aries, Neville was unhappy with the creative direction on 205 Live, as you can really see he was wasting away on the show, and if WWE was not willing to push him as a top heel on Raw or SmackDown, we can’t really blame The King of the Cruiserweights for leaving. When he does leave, there are so many opportunities for The Man that Gravity Forgot, as we’d love to see him in New Japan, ROH, Progress and PWG, and the WWE should just hurry up and get his release over with.
3 Replace With – Marty Scurll
From one Brit to another, Marty Scurll would be a fantastic replacement for Neville, whether it be in NXT (sending someone like Aleister Black or Roddy Strong to 205 Live) or 205 Live, as he is one of the best characters in wrestling, making him a perfect fit for the WWE. He’s currently a member of Bullet Club and Being the Elite, so it makes sense if he doesn’t want to jump ship (especially given the issues between The Young Bucks and WWE), but he’s an incredible all-around performer, so they should pursue him with all they’ve got. There are so many dream matches for The Villain in WWE, and it would be good to see him in the WWE, sooner rather than later.
2 Get Rid Of – Jinder Mahal
The WWE got rid of Jinder Mahal once before, but he went out and transformed his body, and of course this led to Vince McMahon bringing him back into the company, jobbing him for months and then giving him the WWE Championship, because why wouldn’t it? The quality of his run at the top was just terrible, and for someone whose meant to be an elite wrestler, he really can’t do anything but the basics in the ring, and although it may be an idea to keep him around for getting genuine heat, it’s just not worth it, because he’s really not that good. There are so many good performers down in NXT and around the world who would be much better in that position, and it’s just time again to move on from the Maharajah.
1 Replace With – EC3
Ethan Carter III wrestled in WWE under the guise of Derrick Bateman many years ago, but he transformed himself in Impact, wrestling as Dixie Carter’s spoiled nephew. With his recent departure from Impact, it’s time for him to once again wrestle in the WWE. He was always a talented in ring performer, and was quite a funny character with "Chicks and America" alongside Daniel Bryan in NXT, but he’s taken it to another level in the three years he’s been away, now able to portray both a believable heel and babyface, and he would be easily slotted into any of WWE’s top three shows right now. I personally would love to see him on SmackDown, as there are many great matches for him there, but the rumors are that he’s coming to WWE, so let’s just pray that they’re right.