Do you hear that rustling sound in the business? It’s the sound of WWE’s brooms getting ready for the company’s annual Spring cleaning. It’s the time of year that WWE usually makes some rather significant changes to their roster by giving some of their performers the dreaded “future endeavors” letter and some directions for how to get down the road. It’s never a pleasant time of year, at least if you’re one of the ones being let go, but it’s a darkly fascinating time of the year. It’s that season where WWE parts ways with not only the dead weight but fan favorites and past stars. While we don’t quite know who is going to be let go in the coming months, all signs point to a sizeable exodus.
As unfortunate as that whole ordeal can be, there is a real upside to the process. As old performers are sent packing, WWE usually decides to use the occasion to bring new stars into the company. It’s a kind of circle of professional wrestling life that help keeps the business fresh even as the company’s writers may struggle to do the same. The only question now is which pieces of talent the WWE should bring in. Logic suggests they hire people who will naturally replace those they let go - and they will certainly do so in some cases - but others will be brought in to inject a little fresh blood into the organization. Here are 10 Wrestlers That WWE Should Get Rid Of In 2019 (And 10 Wrestlers That Should Replace Them)
20 Get Rid Of - Brock Lesnar
Let’s start with the obvious: Brock Lesnar is on his way out. Lesnar is still something of a draw, but he’s starting to offer some diminishing returns. On top of that, WWE has clearly been paving the way for a Lesnar replacement for months now. Lesnar is an all-time special professional wrestler with an identity that transcends wrestling. The problem is that WWE is putting out more content than ever, and most of it doesn’t feature Brock Lesnar. Lesnar is just not the right champion for the upcoming era of WWE. They need their biggest star to be someone who's there every night.
19 Replacement - Chris Ridgeway
Chris Ridgeway is not ready to be a main roster wrestler. That’s okay, though, because WWE happens to have a very good developmental program. If WWE is able to sign Chris Ridgeway to NXT, they need to do so as soon as possible. In Ridgeway, you get a young man who has already earned a reputation as being one of the toughest and hardest hitting pro wrestlers in the world. There’s nobody on the WWE roster that does what Ridgeway does, and he’s about to enter the arguable prime of his in-ring career. Not to mention, NXT will need some replenishment once more talents are called up.
18 Get Rid Of - Hideo Itami
The WWE chapter of the Hideo Itami story has been sad, confusing, and often frustrating. Itami was brought in as one of NXT’s first “hottest free agent” signings. Sadly, a series of injuries prevented him from ever really accomplishing what the company might have had in mind for him. Since then, Itami has floated around the company serving mostly as a high-profile mid-card wrestler (at best). We love that Itami got a shot in WWE, but the fact of the matter is that it’s time to send him back into the wild to finish his career. That's likely what he wants too.
17 Replacement - Tetsuya Naito
It’s hard to explain what makes Tetsuya Naito special to someone that hasn’t seen him wrestle before. Naito isn’t special because of flashy moves, great promo skills, or even some incredible gimmick. Naito is special because Naito is a gifted in-ring storyteller. He has the ability to take just about any opponent and fashion a compelling narrative with them that plays out almost entirely in the ring. That goes a really long way in Vince and WWE's eyes. His ability to work with just about anyone would be very useful in a talent pool as deep as the one in WWE.
16 Get Rid Of - Jason Jordan
This spot could honestly also go to Chad Gable, but WWE at least seems to have some interest in doing something with him in the near future. However, we can’t say the same about Jason Jordan. Gable and Jordan worked extremely well together in NXT, but since WWE decided to split them up, both men have reverted to their singles struggles. Those struggles are more pronounced in the case of Jordan whose personality and promo troubles stand out when coupled with WWE’s usual presentation style. At the end of the day, he just doesn’t bring much to the table.
15 Replacement - Will Ospreay
At some point, Will Ospreay is going to be on the WWE roster. The only thing that could really prevent that from happening would be an unfortunate series of circumstances to heartbreaking to talk about. The question now is “when do they sign him?” If you ask us, that time is now, or at least shortly after 'Mania. We’re about to see NXT stars get bumped up and main roster stars leave the company. Now is the perfect time for Ospreay to come in and capture the attention of those who don’t already know his name an incredible athletic style.
14 Get Rid Of - Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
We’re cheating a bit with this package deal, but that doesn’t mean this doesn’t need to be said. Such as it is, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are two of the most underutilized pieces of talent on the WWE roster. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but the problem is that WWE’s creative team hasn’t shown any signs that they’re willing/able to do anything with them. We’re sure that both sides can live with their contract arrangement, but is there anyone who believes that both sides wouldn’t creatively benefit from another arrangement? There have been whispers that they may be exploring their options with their contracts up soon and it's probably best for all sides to move on.
13 Replacement - Chris Sabin/Alex Shelley
Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin haven’t always been together as the Motor City Machine Guns, but many of the best years of their careers came as part of this legendary tag team. While they’ve both lost a step or two over the years, they’ve still a veteran team capable of putting on great matches in big spots. In other words, they’re the kind of team that WWE’s tag team division desperately needs. Not only would their mere presence create big name matches, but they’d be able to help some of the younger guys develop. This is a team WWE needs on their roster.
12 Get Rid Of - Dana Brooke
What’s Dana Brooke doing on the WWE roster? We know what Vince McMahon sees in her (and we’re sure that most of those reading know what it is too), but the fact remains that Dana Brooke can’t cut a promo, can’t wrestle, and doesn’t have much of a gimmick to call her own. She’s a decent manager, but since when has WWE really done anything with managers in recent years? Considering how valuable spots on the female roster are these days (due largely to an influx of talent) it just feels like someone can do more with this spot.
11 Replacement - Allie
While not everyone on this list is a direct replacement for someone we’d like WWE to show the door to, here is somebody that could fill Dana Brooke’s shoes and then some. Allie (sometimes known as Cherry Bomb) is a fit, blonde wrestler that’s very much in the Vince McMahon mold. She also happens to be an experienced wrestler who is able to put on a great match with a variety of opponents. There's far more she can do on the WWE roster than some currently under contract. We’re not sure why she hasn’t been signed by WWE yet, but it’s time to fix that mistake.
10 Get Rid Of - Sheamus
Sheamus and Cesaro have been great. While they initially seemed to be a thrown-together tag team, it soon became obvious that a tag team run was exactly what both men needed at that point in their careers. However, it feels like we’re nearing the end of Sheamus’s run. The problem with Sheamus is that he’s a lingering piece of main event talent whose tag team run won’t last long and whose time in the main event is seemingly over. That doesn’t leave him with very much to look forward to in WWE. He's also into his 40s at this point.
9 Replacement - Marty Scrull
This is another one of those signings that feels so inevitable that we’re starting to wonder why it hasn’t happened yet. For a few years now, Marty Scurll has been one of the best heels in wrestling. While he tends to float more towards the “cool heel” side of things, he’s one of the best when it comes to playing the heel part in the ring.
At a time when guys like Randy Orton are facing their final years, WWE needs a young, steady heel hand to guide rising stars through the ranks. Scurll can easily fill that role for them.
8 Get Rid Of - Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler can float around WWE for a few more years doing what he does. That is to say that he’ll put on good matches and help WWE put over their rising stars. However, there was a time when Dolph Ziggler was supposed to be one of those stars. The problem is that the transition never really happened. At 38 years old, it’s highly unlikely that Ziggler will ever really turn his fortunes around. WWE may want to keep Ziggler around, because he's a steady hand on the roster, but it remains in their best interest to move on.
7 Replacement - Zack Sabre Jr.
Many people guessed that the original cruiserweight classic was really just an elaborate way to get Zack Sabre Jr. over with the WWE audience. That might have been true, but at the end of the day, Sabre didn’t sign with WWE. Assuming he still wants to at some point, we imagine that Sabre Jr. it would be nice for WWE to make a hard push for him. Sabre brings things to the table that no other wrestler in the world does. His pure wrestling style would not only grab people’s attention, but it would help younger guys learn the ropes.
6 Get Rid Of - Sin Cara
Let’s not get into the many, many ways that the Sin Cara experiment failed in WWE. The fact of the matter is that we’ve finally reached that point when you’ve got to start asking why Sin Cara is still a WWE gimmick at all. That question becomes all the more difficult to answer when you consider that Rey Mysterio, the guy Sin Cara was meant to replace, is back with WWE. Sin Cara as a gimmick, whether it was Mistico or Hunico filling the role, just doesn’t bring anything to the table, and his value as a form of enhancement talent is slowly diminishing.
5 Replacement - Pentagon Jr.
There’s no shortage of talent coming out of Mexico, but few of those talents are as intriguing as Pentagon Jr. Those who have watched Pentagon Jr. in Lucha Underground and elsewhere know that he is a unique piece of talent. You might describe him as hardcore, but “tough” is the better word. He’s a fearless competitor who doesn’t need to put on violent matches full of blading and foreign objects to convey just how vicious he is. WWE hasn’t had enough people like that on the roster in recent years. It’s time they fix that shortcoming with this hire.
4 Get Rid Of - Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews could have been great for WWE. He’s got a fantastic personality, a great look, and he’s as athletic as anyone on the roster. However, it soon became clear that WWE didn’t really know what they had in Crews. They seemed to think that Crews would get by on his athleticism and never really developed him as a character along the way. We’re at a point now where it’s almost sad to see Crews come to the ring. You can’t help but think of what he could have been and how little he has to do.
3 Replacement - Jay Lethal
Jay Lethal has been one of the names supposedly on WWE’s radar for quite a few years now. It’s not hard to understand why. Lethal is incredibly talented, he has a great personality that comes across on television, and he’s respected by just about everyone in the industry. The only downside to Lethal is that he’s not getting younger. However, that’s really just all the more reason why WWE needs to sign Lethal now (or in the near future) while he still has his best years to contribute to the company and the people on their roster.
2 Get Rid Of - Nia Jax
Nia Jax shouldn’t be in WWE. At the very least, she shouldn’t be on the main roster. It was clear to most fans that WWE promoted Jax to the main roster before she was truly ready. However, what many people - even her doubters - couldn’t guess at the time was that Jax would be unprepared to the point of being unsafe in the ring. We get Jax’s upside, and we get why WWE likes her so much. However, Jax isn’t showing the signs of serious improvements that you’d expect to see from someone like her at this point in her career.
1 Replacement - Millie McKenzie
WWE fans might not know the name Millie McKenzie just yet, but we expect that might change in the coming years. At just 18 years old, Millie McKenzie is by far the youngest competitor on this list. For that matter, she’s the youngest wrestler of note in the world. While McKenzie uses her age as part of her gimmick, the truth of the matter is that she’s just a wrestling prodigy whose incredible matches have been capturing everyone’s attention in recent years. Rather than just wait several years to bring McKenzie on-board, WWE should get her why she is young and develop her there.