The current roster for WWE features a hit list of some of the greatest wrestlers in the world. WWE has worked hard at scouting talent to sign up many of the top stars from other promotions to continue growing their roster. Many wrestlers struggle to get consistent television time as they mostly rotate in and out with certain talents getting bigger chances than others. Everyone wants to become a top tier superstar for the company that they can build around.
The majority of wrestlers will struggle to earn the confidence from WWE to reach the top of the roster. Some talents missed out on their best chance to break out and are now striving to get another opportunity that may never come. Others have enough of a platform to get another crack at the top. We will look at five WWE stars that missed their opportunity to become a top star along with five that will get another chance.
10 Missed It: Bobby Roode
The hype for Bobby Roode joining the main roster after a successful NXT run was his best and likely only chance at success. Roode’s Glorious theme song helped him stand out as fans gravitated towards him in NXT enough for him to win the NXT Championship.
This lust would run out when he joined the main show's bigger roster. Roode would win the United States Championship and Raw's Tag Team Championship, but he has not been viewed as an upper-level performer since the early months. It remains unlikely he’ll get another chance as a top star.
9 Will get another chance: Ali
Ali had two opportunities at a top spot taken away from him at no fault of his own. The first was to see him have a program with Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship for the months before WrestleMania. An injury would see Kofi Kingston replace Ali in the Elimination Chamber match and get momentum to take the push completely.
Rumors also indicate that Ali was scheduled to win the Money in the Bank briefcase until plans changed for Brock Lesnar to get it. WWE does believe in Ali enough to have plans like this even enter the picture. His time will come at some point in a top role for the company.
8 Missed it: Asuka
The undefeated streak for Asuka in NXT made her a beloved star before joining the main roster. A few moments of greatness like winning the 2018 women’s Royal Rumble match and defeating Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch at TLC gave hope of her being pushed.
WWE, however, stopped short with each of Asuka’s push due to Vince McMahon reportedly viewing her language barrier as an issue. Asuka is now in a tag team with Kairi Sane as neither of them speaks much with Paige as their manager. Any chances of Asuka being a top star appear to be gone.
7 Will get another chance: Samoa Joe
WWE experimented with Samoa Joe in the main event picture on a few occasions. Joe would square off with the likes of Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns to main event a couple of PPVs. They cooled off on Joe shortly after with most of his work coming in the mid-card picture.
Joe is the United States Champion, but his great heel work will provide more opportunities in the future. It would be easy to slot him back at the top for feuds with Universal Champion Seth Rollins or Lesnar again.
6 Missed it: Cesaro
Cesaro's great work in the ring will consistently see him deliver exceptional matches. Between his impressive singles matches or tag bouts with Sheamus, Cesaro can give excellent performances in any role given to him.
Unfortunately, WWE has never given him a fair chance to move up the card to fulfill his potential. Cesaro’s best opportunity came when Paul Heyman managed him, but there was just no chemistry there. Vince McMahon has publicly expressed he views Cesaro as a secondary wrestler and that is unlikely to change at this stage.
5 Will get another chance: Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre's first run in WWE was a huge disappointment for all parties involved. Vince McMahon specifically named McIntyre as the “chosen one” with plans for him to become a fixture at the top of the company. McIntyre’s lackluster work led to his push dying and him getting released after many mediocre years.
A great run outside of WWE would convince the company to bring him back. McIntyre is currently getting pushed as a top heel working with Shane McMahon in a feud against Roman Reigns. Most likely, Drew will remain a main eventer with a chance at a world title reign.
4 Missed it: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman is currently in the mid-card picture of Raw after a few short stints at the top of the card. The best chance for Strowman to thrive as a main eventer came during his feuds with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns.
WWE always stopped short with Braun, suggesting the company does not rate him at the same level as those elite names. Strowman’s momentum has disappeared, and he was already a limited performer in his own right compared to others on the roster. Don’t expect another chance at the main event for Braun.
3 Will get another chance: Finn Bálor
The only realistic main event push for Finn Bálor so far came in his first main roster PPV match defeating Seth Rollins to become the first-ever Universal Champion. Bálor, unfortunately, suffered an injury that forced him to relinquish the title and has yet to win another world title.
One short feud with Brock Lesnar did impress fans before Finn fell short losing the bout. Bálor is now the Intercontinental Champion and a fan favorite in the mid-card picture. WWE will likely give him another chance at the top, especially with his role on Smackdown where more wrestlers get a second chance.
2 Missed it: Shinsuke Nakamura
It is easy to forget that Shinsuke Nakamura was once viewed among the greatest signings in WWE history. Nakamura was an icon in New Japan and debuted to huge success in NXT. A couple of runs as the NXT Champion added huge expectations on the main roster.
Nakamura did get a couple of huge opportunities for the WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal at Summerslam and AJ Styles at WrestleMania. Both matches disappointed and Nakamura developed a reputation for mailing it in. WWE barely finds television time for him anymore as his chance at a top spot is gone.
1 Will get another chance: Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt has won back crowd support with his Firefly Fun House videos adding a fun dynamic to the show. WWE pushed Wyatt to the top on a few occasions in recent with it always ending in disappointment. The former WWE Champion became an afterthought when being removed from television for almost a year now.
Wyatt will have another chance at the top thanks to the incredible videos adding momentum to him again. The return will be a big deal to see his new character in the flesh as Bray has the chance to prove he’s a top star one more time.