No one is 100% perfect in the ring, but some wrestlers are evidently better than others. Many of WWE’s top wrestlers are careful with their offense and hit every move precisely as intended. On the other hand, there are other WWE superstars who completely miss their spots, causing the superstars to improvise or resulting in a poorly executed maneuver. Granted, not every wrestler can have years of experience under their belt before entering the WWE, but WWE officials have a tendency to bring superstars that aren’t quite prime time ready, to the forefront of Monday Night Raw or SmackDown Live regardless. Being flawed or just flat-out dangerous in the ring doesn’t seem to affect the push of certain superstars thanks in part to backstage politics, favoritism, look or marketability. Unfortunately, fans are seeing the results from pushing these superstars that are prone to botching after recent accidents that have surfaced.
Accidents will always happen in the ring, but superstars who constantly botch shouldn’t be rewarded because of who their family is or what reality show they star in.
Thankfully, the WWE has plenty of great talent gathered from around the world that can carry virtually anyone to a great and safe match. Yet, ironically, it’s very seldom that these superstars get to work together or receive the big push. However, in this article, I want to give credit to these great superstars who, in many cases, have to take a backseat from a big push, while also recognizing some of the more botch-tastic wrestlers in WWE at the moment. Without further ado, here are 10 of superstars that are a walking botch reel, and 10 other superstars that are completely safe in the ring.
20 Always Botches - Brie Bella
I don’t mean to pile on, because she has taken a lot of grief for her poor in-ring performances, but Brie Bella has been a walking botch reel since her return. It’s bad enough that there is zero demand for the Bella Twins, but Brie can’t even get over without stealing someone else’s taunts, moveset and gimmick. To make it worse, Brie is a liability in the ring, to herself and to others.
Brie’s not the most technically sound wrestler, so when she attempts moves that are difficult for even the best wrestlers, “Brie Mode” easily becomes Botch Mode. We all remember the botch that nearly took Liv Morgan’s head off during a three-woman tag match. Brie either needs some serious training in the ring or needs to stay away from it completely.
19 Safe - Kane
“The Big Red Machine” lives up to his billing. Kane is massive, his offense is powerful, and, for a seven foot monster, he’s alarmingly agile. In the past, super heavyweights have been notoriously clumsy and have accidentally hurt their opponents, but this has never been the case with Kane.
Kane is widely regarded as one of the safest wrestlers ever in WWE despite his size. His powerful offense looks impressive, but Kane delivers the slams and uppercuts so flawlessly that in reality his opponents are none the worse for wear. That’s a good thing, because a monster the size of Kane could take out most of the WWE roster, but he is such a master in the ring no one ever has any issues working with him.
18 Always Botches - Nia Jax
Nia Jax is the exact opposite of someone like Kane. The Big Red Machine has earned the reputation of being safe and smooth in the ring. “The Irresistible Force” has not. In fact, quite the opposite. I’m not saying Jax doesn’t belong in the WWE or that she’s a bad wrestler, but she has been a little careless in the ring on more than one occasion.
Whether it’s dropping an opponent on her head, nearly injuring Charlotte, running through her opponent like a freight train, injuring Bayley, ragdolling her opponent off the mat, injuring Alex Bliss, torpedoing her opponent over the top rope, concussing Zelina Vega or punching Becky Lynch’s lights out, fracturing her face, Nia’s history speaks for itself. Luckily for Nia Jax, her bloodline will keep her employed and booked strong regardless.
17 Safe - Finn Balor
“The extraordinary man who does extraordinary things,” Finn Balor lives up to the hype. His moveset is quite extraordinary, and yet, he never misses a spot. His dives always hit the mark, his offense is fluid, his kicks look crisp, and his selling is top notch.
Balor is one of these wrestlers who can hit his fast-paced offense and look great doing it. He avoids mistakes and keeps his opponents safe in any spot or gimmick match. In addition to making his offense safe while looking great, “The Demon” also makes his opponent’s offense look fantastic. Balor is always where he’s supposed to be and sells for his opponent without putting himself in unnecessary danger.
16 Always Botches - Lana
Lana may be ravishing but she is rubbish in the ring. To be fair, Lana hasn’t had years of wrestling training or matches under her belt, but that begs the question as to why she is wrestling on the main roster at all. Shouldn’t she be getting more training before starting/continuing her singles career?
Lana was right where she belonged, as the manager of Rusev. She could have been training while simultaneously managing. Instead, she is thrust into the ring where even Charlotte and Asuka struggle to get a decent match out of her. Lana is constantly out of position, either falling without her opponent touching her or too far from the ropes during a planned leverage pin spot. The botches are obvious and expose Lana's subpar wrestling skills.
15 Safe - Dolph Ziggler
There’s a reason why wrestling fans continue to praise Dolph Ziggler. He’s still great on the mic and remarkably smooth in the ring. However, he has been the victim of botches from his opponents which have caused him to lose his push and to be wrongly labeled “injury prone.”
WWE may have never wanted to push “The Show-Off,” but WWE realizes that Ziggler can make anyone look fantastic. Ziggler is one of the better wrestlers on the roster and can make his offense look painful, despite being completely safe. Ziggler’s real value to the company comes from making his opponent look like a million bucks by selling like a champ. Ziggler may never win another World Title, but he has some serious job security as long as he keeps turning underwhelming talent into gold.
14 Always Botches - Bobby Lashley
Lashley’s poor promo skills were addressed by randomly pairing him with Lio Rush. However, his ring work is still a little suspect. Lashley almost dropped Rush after he climbed onto his shoulders and has dropped his opponent awkwardly in past matches as well.
Lashley never was the most technically gifted in the ring, and surely Lio Rush yelling “LASHLEY!” during his matches can be a little distracting. Still, even early into his WWE return, Lashley nearly hurt Big Cass after botching a suplex and botched a simple sidewalk slam on Elias both occurring during the Greatest Royal Rumble event. Luckily, Lashley has the look or “The Dominator” or officials would have soured on him months ago.
13 Safe - Natalya
Natalya is the first female graduate of the Hart family “Dungeon” and is one of the longest active women’s wrestlers on the roster. Natalya has seen wrestlers come and go, and yet, retirement has thus far eluded her. While some fans wonder how much “The Queen of Harts” has left to give the Women’s Division, one reason why Natalya isn’t going anywhere is because she’s one of the safest wrestlers in the company.
Natalya certainly isn’t the most over women’s wrestler and never has been the focal point of the “Women’s Evolution,” but she has been great at putting superstars over and keeping them protected while doing so. Despite working with some inexperienced talent throughout the years, Natalya hasn’t hurt anyone and not only avoids botches but helps prevent her opponents from botching as well.
12 Always Botches - Jinder Mahal
From jobber to WWE Champion. That could have been a nice storyline for Jinder Mahal, but that’s certainly not how WWE marketed “The Modern Day Maharaja’s” rise and ultimate fall. Mahal’s career has been a roller coaster, from jobbing out with the 3-Man Band, to getting released, to returning to WWE looking in the best shape ever, to winning the WWE Title out of the blue, to ending up right back to jobber status.
Fans can’t deny Mahal has the look and that WWE’s writers haven’t helped him, but Mahal’s ringwork is all on him. Mahal’s track record isn't good when it comes to botches. Mahal being out of position and awkwardly dropping after Jeff Hardy blatantly missed Whisper in the Wind or Mahal giving Finn Balor a stiff forearm are just a few of Mahal’s unfortunate botches.
11 Safe - Apollo Crews
Backstage reports have hinted at a push for Apollo Crews, and it’s seemingly already begun. He’s separated from Titus Worldwide and there's more to come. For many fans, this push is well-deserved. He’s incredibly talented, his moves are flashy, and he’s incredibly safe in the ring.
Put anyone in the ring with Apollo Crews, and they'll get a clean match. Crews has never hurt anyone, and, despite his high risk flips and extravagant moveset, remains safe and botch-free. Apollo has the look and perfect blend of strength and athleticism to carry him far in WWE, and his safety in the ring will only endear him to WWE officials even more.
10 Always Botches - Titus O’Neil
Speaking of Titus Worldwide, Titus O’Neil achieved the mother of all botches during the Greatest Royal Rumble event by tripping down the ramp and sliding underneath the ring apron. Titus’s botch became the talk of the event, the victim of multiple replays and the punchline of some cringeworthy scripted segments.
However, Titus’ GRR spill wasn’t his first. During a “Keg Carry Challenge,” Titus completely ate it, landing face first onto the padded floor around the ring. Clearly, Titus has had trouble making his way to the ring, but once inside the ropes, Titus isn’t nearly as awkward. Still, the “Titus Brand” has, in a the past, looked a bit awkward from time to time while there as well, i.e. the botching of his Royal Rumble elimination in 2015.
9 Safe - Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens’ former “best friend,” Chris Jericho, has said that one of the few moves he refuses to take ever again is Kevin Owens’ apron powerbomb. Who can blame him? The move that slams opponents against the hardest part of the ring looks extremely painful and apparently feels the same way. Despite having that maneuver in his arsenal, Owens still remains absolutely safe in the ring.
Owens has been wrestling for a long time and keeps his botches to an extreme minimum. After nearly 20 years of wresting, Owens prides himself on safety and excellence in the ring and has yet to hurt any of his opponents in a WWE ring. His apron powerbomb may hurt, but even that move has yet to put anyone on the shelf.
8 Always Botches - Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey was WWE’s big acquisition almost a year ago and has been in a handful of high profile matches. Rousey is still very marketable, she’s over with the crowd and has handled herself well in the WWE locker room. However, “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” looks like she’s one misstep away from seriously harming someone.
In fairness, "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey hasn’t had much training in professional wrestling and is actually exceeding fans’ expectations in the ring. However, with the way she tosses her opponents around the ring and hits awkward powerbombs, it’s only a matter of time before Ronda’s recklessness and inexperience comes back to bite someone. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened nor have fans turned on her due to her sloppy offense, yet.
7 Safe - Chris Jericho
Jericho has always been widely regarded as one of the best wrestlers in the business, and he’s also a master at patching up the botches of others.
Even early in his career, Jericho was mostly botch free. During his WCW days, Jericho covered up the botches of Cruiserweights that slipped off the ropes. In WWE, the trend continued after he saved Jeff Hardy from possible injury by catching him after Hardy slipped on the top turnbuckle all the while making it look like a planned spot. Jericho truly is the best in the world at what he does, even making the mistakes of others look like part of the show.
6 Always Botches - Sin Cara
There have been two wrestlers behind the Sin Cara gimmick. The first, Luis Urive, who had a laughable WWE debut, botching the big finish to his match and continued to botch his trampoline entrance. Unfortunately, the second Sin Cara, Jorge Arias, aka Hunico, was no better.
If you want to have flashy, high-risk maneuvers in your moveset, it’s good to actually be able to execute said maneuvers. Sadly, Sin Cara II botched almost just as badly as the first. Crashing and burning after springboard attempts, getting caught in the ropes during suicide dives, botching hurricanranas or completely missing senton bombs all make it a miracle that things didn't end up being worse for either Sin Cara.
5 Safe - The Miz
A lot of fans probably wrote off the reality TV star turned wrestler, Mike Mizanin. However, not only has The Miz won several championships, including the WWE Championship, he has also become the “most must-see” superstar whether he’s on Raw or SmackDown. Miz has carried both brands as the top heel and has become one of the better wrestlers in the business.
The Miz isn’t going to do a bunch of moonsaults or dives through the ropes, but he can get a solid, safe match out of anyone. Sure, he may have forgotten how to catch R-Truth many years ago, but after getting chewed out backstage, he’s catching any and every superstar that has ever flown over the ropes since.
4 Always Botches - Primo
When Sin Cara debuted on Raw, Primo Colon was given the task of making him look good. Needless to say, Primo failed horribly and took a lot of heat for it. While getting a botch-free match out of Sin Cara is no easy task, Primo has had struggles in the ring with other opponents as well.
Primo’s fast-paced offense has caused him to trip off the ropes on more than one occasion. This occurred most recently at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Primo is a second generation superstar, and is no rookie in the ring by any measure, but despite all of his wrestling experience, Primo still finds a way to botch off the ropes or look awkward against his opponents.
3 Safe - Curtis Axel
Son of the legendary, Curt Hennig, Curtis Axel is a third generation superstar and continues his dad’s reputation of being one of the safest wrestlers in the WWE. Mr. Perfect had an uncanny ability to keep himself and his opponents safe in the ring, while selling well for them. That has earned him so much respect backstage.
Legends like Triple H, Chris Jericho and John Cena have all worked well in the ring with Axel. Even behind the scenes, other legends like The Rock and Brock Lesnar have trusted Axel to train them and improve their ring work. Axel may not be winning a World Title anytime soon, but he’s easily winning over the respect some of the most prominent wrestlers in the business.
2 Always Botches - Mandy Rose
One could argue that Mandy Rose entered the WWE one era too late. With her look, Mandy Rose would have been a perfect “Diva.” However, in the “Women’s Evolution Era,” wrestling takes precedence, and Rose’s lack of said wresting skills has hurt her push thus far.
Sadly, she has a laundry list of botches. Rose messing up her spots, missing cues and clumsily taking offense from some of the roster’s best talent greatly expose her poor ring work. Hopefully, Mandy improves because she does have a great look and has yet to hurt actually anyone, but Mandy still needs a lot of seasoning, especially in this era.
1 Safe - Cesaro
Cesaro remains one of the most underrated superstars in the WWE. His matches against the sometimes awkward John Cena were so flawless that Cesaro received a standing ovation backstage from WWE officials. Cesaro has been wrestling for a long time even before his tenure in WWE. Thanks to that experience and strength, Cesaro avoids botches and keeps his matches safe, with a few exceptions.
Cesaro has taken to the air from time to time, but his dive through the ropes against Sheamus landed Cesaro on his head. Amazingly, Cesaro didn’t seriously hurt himself and has held himself off from doing anymore dives since. With dive botches now off the table, all he needs to do is clean up the botches on the mic and he’ll be golden.