It's no secret that WWE is considered to be the top dog in the wrestling business, and has been for some time now. Because they no longer have any kind of legitimate competition in terms of draw anymore, there's always going to be a host of wrestling willing to sign with them. It's the top of the mountain, and every in-ring talent in the world today is aware of it.
From WWE's perspective, having as much quality talent as they can get their hands on, is never a bad thing. With so many subdivisions of the company today, they're able to house a ton of personnel, always having the option to push a new star. Point being, on an annual basis, WWE is bound to bring in a ton of new talent.
While many hirings end up working out, at least to some degree, there's always going to be a share of the signings that bomb, for one reason or another. Let's take a look at some of them from recent history, and why they went haywire.
Ranked below are 15 hirings WWE will end up regretting.
15 Samoa Joe
The acquisition of Joe by WWE was one that rocked the wrestling world. As one of the business's most popular wrestlers outside of the WWE confines, Joe had standout matches all over the world. It was only natural to go to the big show, as there was really nothing left for him to do but give it a shot. Unfortunately, the results haven't been up to the standard that most people expected.
WWE's use of Joe has been haphazard and directionless at times.
Currently out of action due to injury, his age indicates that he may be on the downswing of his usefulness to the company, with little sign of a push. If he does leave, he will have never won a title on the main roster, and many fans will be left wondering, "What could have been?"
14 Bo Dallas
Dallas has been under WWE control for a long time now, and as the son of Mike Rotunda and nephew of Barry Windham, this isn't a surprise. Over the past several years on the main roster, despite numerous gimmick changes and storylines, he hasn't been able to establish a clear identity for himself, and his value should be under question at this point.
He's gone from getting somewhat of a singles push, to being a member of The Social Outcasts, to having a peripheral role in The Miztourage currently, and nothing has seemed to stick.
It's understandable why WWE wanted to give Dallas a chance, considering his pedigree, but they must be having second thoughts about signing him. The return just hasn't been there, overall.
The ongoing saga with Paige since the second half of 2016 has been one of the biggest downfalls of a wrestler in recent WWE history. Between injuries and suspensions, it looks like the once-promising young star is on her way out of the company.
With the inability to stay in active competition, it seems that Paige has jumped the shark on her WWE career.
Only 25-years-old at this writing, she shouldn't be precluded from returning to the company, if in fact she is released in the near future. But it's hard to believe that WWE would feel fulfilled in signing her, and giving her the push that she ended up receiving. Paige is a great talent, but if talent can't stay in the ring on a consistent basis, then there's little overall value to them. The best "ability" is availability.
12 Big Cass
Now without his tag team partner, and sustaining an injury just as he was about to embark upon the singles ranks, Cass went from a prominent role in the company, to just barely hanging on to the roster. There's no telling if WWE actually wants to follow through with a singles push once he returns from injury, or if they've given up all hope of him becoming a long-term star.
There's no doubt that when they signed him while in his early-20s, the goal was for him to be a future main event-type talent. The tag team with Enzo Amore proved to be a draw, but only for a limited amount of time. With Enzo out of the picture now, it seems like the return on WWE's investment for Cass could be cut short. He'll need to prove that he can come back from serious injury, and reinvent himself in the process.
11 Brian Kendrick
Despite being a WWE veteran at this point, having Kendrick on the payroll for his third stint with the company, just to be buried on 205 Live doesn't seem to be the best use of money.
He has little to no chance of being pushed heavily once again, considering his age, and generally there's just not much of a reason for anyone to care anymore.
To make matters worse, he's currently out due to injury anyway, but upon returning, it's likely that we'll just continue to see Kendrick used peripherally. There's nothing wrong with using veteran talent to put over younger stars, but if 205 Live appearances are going to make up the extent of his usage, there's little value here, and WWE probably regrets signing him for the third time.
10 Brock Lesnar
While Lesnar was one of the foremost WWE stars of the post-Invasion era, he's been running on fumes for a while now in terms of his character. It's been the same shtick for years, and every time he resigns with WWE for a stop-and-go run of activity, it just do any favors for creating new stars or giving credence to the main event scene.
The belt is on Lesnar now, but when he loses it, likely at WrestleMania, WWE is going to feel a void that he left, having not developed much in the way of new talent to take his place. Of course, new stars can always be created, but they'll regret giving Lesnar so much leeway in recent years, and hopefully will learn from it in the future.
9 Mike Kanellis
As sparingly has he's used on SmackDown Live, Kanellis is simply eating up money that could be better used elsewhere. He didn't debut that long ago--in June of 2017--and he's already an anonymous member of the roster, and not being used in any major storylines whatsoever.
All in all, it feels like Kanellis is slipping further and further away from relevance with each passing week.
His resume is impressive enough, and he was well-traveled enough for WWE to have intrigue (his marriage to the returning Maria Kanellis didn't hurt either), but there's been no effort to elevate him on the roster. Ultimately, this was a signing they'd like to have back, and it wouldn't be surprising if Kanellis was among the wave of roster cuts to come later this year.
8 Baron Corbin
Corbin is in the midst of a major singles push that is seeing become one of the rising stars on SmackDown Live with each passing month. He's already held The United States Title, and it's clear that this probably won't be his only title reign in the near future. WWE so obviously wants him to be a star, but fans remain skeptical that he has what it takes to get over for the long-term.
All in all, it seems like Corbin is destined to be a failed experiment. Another ex-football player, taken in as a project by WWE roughly five years ago, he seems to have a limited ceiling.
The match quality has only been so-so, and there's a distinct lack of charisma for someone slated to be a star. WWE will likely end up regretting this a few years down the line.
7 Matt Hardy
Of course, Hardy has been one of the most valuable WWE talents throughout the last 20 years or so, and in his prime he was surely an asset to the company. But in his most recent stint, coming off of his "Broken" Matt Hardy character in Impact Wrestling, it's been largely a waste of time. His feud with Bray Wyatt is going nowhere, and as a wrestler, he's pretty much a shell of his former self.
Some may argue that he shouldn't need to be as good as he was years ago, but it's really just taking up a roster spot that could be used for a younger talent. Hardy is past his prime, and WWE will soon see that he really isn't worth keeping around much longer.
6 Rich Swann
There's no questioning that Swann is one of the most athletic cruiserweights in the business right now, but there's also no questioning that WWE has a zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence. Swann was arrested in December of 2017 on charges of battery and false imprisonment against his wife.
While the charges have since been dismissed on the basis of insufficient evidence, the publicity still wasn't good on WWE's end, especially in this day and age.
Considering that the talented Swann was only withering away in the cruiserweight division anyway, it's fair to assume that WWE would have rather forgone signing him all together, if it meant the news about his arrest wouldn't have been attached to them at all.
5 Ronda Rousey
Signing one of the biggest UFC stars in recent history is a move that's good for the short-term in some respects, but ultimately this his a move that has a chance to backfire. Rousey is a celebrity more than an athlete at this point, and how this will be perceived largely depends on how WWE will use her, at the expense of the talent already on the women's roster.
This isn't the first time this has been done, and there is a chance that it could work out. Overall however, it's probably not going to pay the dividends that WWE expects. The big ticket involving Rousey will likely be WrestleMania, and every wrestling fan already watches it anyway.
It's clear that the redux on the cruiserweight divison hasn't quite gone as planned over the last year or so. T.J. Perkins was brought in, ostensibly as one of the reboot's top competitors, but he hasn't lived up to his sizable resume during his WWE run so far. TJP has mostly been dead weight recently, embarking upon few, if any feuds of note, and sustaining injury as well.
After wrestling all over the world in numerous notable promotions, this is TJP's first real underwhelming effort.
And even then, booking, and the general failure of the cruiserweight reboot has had a hand in all of this. WWE will regret signing him, but they also haven't done him any favors with their efforts with the cruiserweight division. He's probably better off with a promotion more willing to showcase his style of wrestling.
3 Titus O'Neil
Some may say that O'Neil has been a serviceable mid-carder for WWE over the past five years or so, but knowing WWE's penchant for turning ex-football players (in O'Neil's case, Florida Gators and the Arena Football League) into successful wrestlers, it's fair to believe they were expecting a little bit more.
O'Neil has registered one title victory since 2012 on the main roster, and has had a slew of storylines and gimmicks thrown his way, in the hopes that something will stick.
Nothing's really worked. At least, nothing that would warrant him getting a big singles push. Currently at the age of 40, it's clear that O'Neil is looking at the beginning of the end for his WWE run, and likely his wrestling career as a whole. The signing may have looked good on paper, but it just hasn't materialized into any kind big return for WWE.
2 Sin Cara
In an attempt to infuse the roster with more international talent, Sin Cara was signed by WWE in 2011, and was on the main roster by 2013. Despite numerous attempts to get him over, he never achieved the heights with the company that many thought he would, and never held a title of any kind. And we're talking both the original Sin Cara (Mystico) and the guy who replaced him in the role, the former Hunico.
Clearly, WWE was trying to replicate, to some degree, the success that Rey Mysterio had when at his peak, but it just wasn't the same. While Sin Cara was a quality talent, the booking often did him no favors, and between generic tag teams (The Lucha Dragons) and ill-conceived feuds (Braun Strowman), he remained squarely in the mid-card, and will likely be released sometime in the near future.
1 Enzo Amore
In one of the most shocking stories regarding the company in the past year, Enzo was promptly released from his contract when he was accused of sexual assault, due to WWE's no-tolerance policy on such matters.
It's not a surprise at all, despite the fact that Enzo was receiving a sizable push, as one of the standouts in the cruiserweight division. Even though nothing yet has come of the allegations, there's no doubt that WWE wasn't going to take a chance on this. Thankfully, their damage control on the situation was pretty good, but it's still going to appear as a blemish on their resume.
Whatever ends up happening with Enzo, whether or not he stays in the business, WWE can breathe a sigh of relief that they got rid of him before a mass wave of negative publicity came their way. Had they known it was going to happen, they likely wouldn't have hired him in the first place.