We would have never had a Stone Cold Steve Austin had WWE never repackaged The Ringmaster. Likewise, we would have never had The Rock be his trailblazing, eyebrow-raising, heart-stopping and elbow-dropping had WWE never chosen to drop the Rocky Maivia character they’d initially had him portray.
Similarly, had certain performers chose to stick with Mean Mark Callous, Isaac Yankem DDS, Terry Boulder, The Spider, The Prototype, Leviathan, Blade Runner Rock and Jean-Paul Levesque, we’d have never had legendary characters like The Undertaker, Kane, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, John Cena, Batista, The Ultimate Warrior and Triple H.
Sometimes, a wrestler, despite being super talented, can be held back by an underwhelming gimmick. We’ve seen that time and again in the history of WWE. The following article looks at 10 WWE wrestlers whom we think would benefit largely from being repackaged, with the reasoning as to why they need to be repackaged.
That said, no number of repackaging can ever save certain wrestlers' career. For instance, we’ve seen The Colons struggle to get over with the crowd despite numerous repackagings. We’ll be looking at 10 WWE wrestlers whom we think are beyond help.
It's up to the WWE to see who on the roster could succeed under a different gimmick, and who just doesn't fit the WWE landscape. Either way, these wrestlers just aren't cutting it as things stand now, and need some sort of change to revive their stardom, or find it for the first time.
There’s a possibility that we’ve neglected to mention a wrestler or two who must be in this list. Feel free to use TheSportster’s comments’ section to mention them. Also, feel free to share the article with your friends if you enjoy it!
20 Needs Repackaging: Apollo Crews
Success in NXT hardly translates to success on the main roster. NXT Champions Bobby Roode and Bo Dallas look directionless while NXT low-carders Elias and Alexa Bliss are tearing it up on the main roster. Apollo Crews is one of the rare wrestlers who haven't had success both in NXT and Raw or SmackDown Live. His character has drawn no interest whatsoever since his first day on Raw although his physics-defying moves and catchy entrance theme produce mild pops every now and then. He needs his character spiced up, as he's too talented to be future-endeavoured without a second chance.
19 Finished: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler seems to be in WWE's eyes, a good hand. The company surprisingly re-signed Ziggler to a multi-year contract recently. They found a role for him as an on-screen ally of Drew McIntyre, whom WWE seems set on pushing to the next level. It's likely that when they do split, Ziggler will be left in the dust and once again, WWE will try to figure out what to do with him. While Ziggler is still a talented performer, the investment in him just isn't there from fans anymore, who have seen Ziggler get stop-start pushes in his entire WWE run. Ziggler would have to go elsewhere to truly be a top star in the business.
18 Needs Repackaging: Tyler Breeze
Few wrestlers in WWE today are as entertaining as Tyler Breeze. With even big names like Cesaro, AJ Styles and Roman Reigns sometimes struggling in front of a mic, he's proved to be a natural with a microphone. Additionally, he's also excellent in the ring. One needs to check out his NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way match with Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd to gauge his wrestling ability.
Thanks to his career being somewhat similar to Dolph Ziggler's, he's been forced to job for bigger names or do comedy segments to earn screen time. However, Triple H and co. must know he's capable of so much more. Perhaps, a repackaging could be what needs to unlock his true potential.
17 Finished: No Way Jose
No Way Jose is a character that was super over at certain NXT shows. The crowd loved chanting as he came out to a peppy theme, but he's been rather unconvincing on the main roster. In fact, only a few weeks after his promotion to the main roster, he was demoted to perform on Main Event. Few wrestlers have been able to bounce back after wrestling on that show, and it's highly unlikely he'll join the fortunate league.
He's clearly finished in WWE, and odds are high that he earns a move to Impact Wrestling as the Canada based promotion already has similar characters in Grado and Joe Hendry. He'll be lucky to find bookings with this gimmick, as independent wrestling is already ridden with such gimmicks.
16 Needs Repackaging: Fandango
Talking about one Fashion Police member brings us to the other. Wrestling as Johnny Curtis in developmental, he had immense success, even wrestling for Florida Heavyweight Championship Wrestling at various points. It looked as though he's destined for big things when he scored a huge upset win over Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXIX and got over with the casual audience. For some reason, though, WWE did not cash in on his popularity, turning him into a jobber instead. His character became relevant again when he began teaming up with Tyler Breeze, but most keen wrestling observers know he's so much more than a comedy jobber.
15 Finished: Curtis Axel
Curtis Axel is a curious case. He boasts most things wrestlers need to thrive: in-ring ability, style, family pedigree and decent mic skills. For some reason, though, he couldn't connect with the crowd. The company didn't invest in him enough, and sort of let him fall by the wayside instead of giving him a prolonged push as they've done with successful projects Roman Reigns and John Cena. At 38, he isn't getting any better, especially since most WWE wrestlers of his age are much bigger names already. He can be an excellent Performance Center trainer or producer, however, given his excellent work with The Rock to get him match-fit for his recent return and experience.
14 Needs Repackaging: Bo Dallas
Talking about Curtis Axel brings us to his tag-team partner Bo Dallas. The former NXT Champion was initially touted to become a solid mid-carder on the main roster but, for some reason, Vince McMahon's lackeys don't see in what Triple H's lackeys saw. He now languishes near the bottom of the card and probably doesn't even harbor hopes of a revival. However, his being Bray Wyatt's brother is certain to earn him a second chance, as The Eater of Worlds can finally have a tag-team partner he can trust in his brother after being betrayed by Randy Orton, Harper and Daniel Bryan among others. Given his talent, he'll probably finally have a great run on the main roster.
13 Finished: The Ascension
The Ascension has been receiving a push of sorts in the recent times, with their claiming wins over former NXT Champion Bobby Roode and Chad Gable. However, keen observers of the product must know that their wins mean little as they're only building them up to legitimize the feud. The Ascension could have very well replaced The Road Warriors, but they now look devoid of a long-term future with WWE, especially with the company now boasting numerous big-name tag teams and stables in the pipeline, including The Undisputed Era and Street Profits. The talented tag-team behemoths, however, may go on to have a decent run with Impact Wrestling, a company that celebrates outlandish gimmicks like The Ascension.
12 Needs Repackaging: Karl Anderson
The Bar debuted to much fanfare a couple of years ago. Even big-name wrestling experts expected WWE to pull the trigger on their incarnation of The Bullet Club, with AJ Styles and Finn Balor already on their roster. For unfathomable – business reasons – the company looked to make The Club a serious tag team, except when they had AJ Styles feud with John Cena. The Bar's Luke Gallows has already gone through enough repackaging that making him go through one more would be pointless right now.
Karl Anderson, in contrast, could largely benefit from being handed a new gimmick, as he boasts everything a wrestler needs to be near or even at the top of the mid-card.
11 Finished: Mandy Rose
Mandy Rose is a curious case. For some reason, WWE found enough reasons to give Dana Brooke, a not-so-great talent, limelight every now and then, but she was only used sparingly even when she was teaming up with Paige. Their breaking up has put more spotlight on The Riott Squad while making the remains of The Absolution jobbers.
Even her Mixed Match Challenge skits with Goldust couldn't get her over with the WWE fan base. WWE may retain Sonya Deville as she's the better of the two in terms of in-ring skills, but Mandy Rose, played by Amanda Saccomanno, may already be finished.
10 Needs Repackaging: TJP
205 Live, for a show that’s deemed the fourth important show, has produced some of the best moments in the recent times. Neville’s run with the Cruiserweight Championship, Enzo Amore’s teaming up with Drew Gulak, Mustafa Ali’s athleticism, Gentleman Jack Gallagher’s character work, Buddy Murphy’s revival and Noam Dar’s short-lived storyline with Alicia Fox all had the wrestling world talking. Few wrestlers like Gran Metalik haven’t the had chance to do anything.
One wrestler, however, had his chances and moments but now languishes near the bottom card: TJP. With minor tweaks, he could go on to show the WWE Universe why WWE decided to make the winner of the Cruiserweight Classic tournament that also had Zack Sabre Jr. and Kota Ibushi.
9 Finished: Dana Brooke
WWE's women’s roster is now brimming with talent. In fact, they have so many capable women that they’ve created an all-woman potentially annual pay-per-view called Evolution. A few outliers, however, look incapable of matching the performance levels of Asuka, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, but none looks so out of place as Dana Brooke.
WWE did call her up way too quickly as she still had to polish a lot of her skills at Performance Center, but they’ve tried everything within their reach, like making her work with veterans like Ric Flair, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, to improve her, albeit in vain. She’s finished in WWE.
8 Needs Repackaging: Hideo Itami
WWE has finally changed their opinion on wrestlers from Japan. After only using Funaki, Taka Michinoku and Yoshi Tatsu in comedic segments in the past, they’ve now made Asuka, Shinsuke Nakamura and Kairi Sane central figures in their respective divisions, with the former two winning Royal Rumble matches in the same year and the latter winning the inaugural Mae Young Classic tournament.
Hideo Itami, however, should have been the first of the bunch to make it big in WWE but he had trouble staying healthy. The 37-year-old hard-hitter has stayed rather healthy for enough time to convince the WWE head honchos to invest in him again. A minor change in his character could do wonders for both the wrestler and WWE.
7 Finished: Alicia Fox
Alicia Fox has seen it all and done it all in WWE. She planned Edge and Vickie Guerrero’s on-screen wedding, wrestled Melina to a now infamous match, won the Divas Championship, captained her Survivor Series team and face-timed Noam Dar on live television. She’s got nothing to prove. With numerous wrestlers now waiting for a crack at a main roster run, perhaps, it’s about time she stepped down. While she’s an excellent performer, she clearly isn’t as good as Mercedez Martinez or Sara Del Rey wrestling-wise to become a trainer at the Performance Center, but she’d surely make a decent producer given her 12-year association with the company.
6 Needs Repackaging: Harper
In recent times, WWE is pushing those who deserve big pushes. One needs to look no further than AJ Styles for proof. However, with most of the best performers now on WWE’s payroll, they can’t push all of them. Some need to sit back to see others be pushed. Everyone has had their turns. Even Samoa Joe, who many expected to flop in WWE, has had his crack at the WWE Championship. Harper, however, has been unfairly held back for a long time now. He boasts everything a performer needs to have a strap around his waist all the time. He needs to be more than just a hillbilly or a bludgeon-carrying scarecrow to reach that level, though.
5 Finished: Titus O'Neil
Dana Brooke isn’t the only Titus Worldwide member whom we deem finished. The leader of the stable, Titus O’Neil, hasn’t been setting the world alight either. You know a wrestler is flopping when his best wrestling moments is a segment with his son many labelled bizarre and a botch. Indeed, the latter moment got the wrestling world talking about him, but that shouldn’t be how a wrestler should get over with the crowd, for it can’t have a long-lasting positive effect on his career. In spite of his good work outside the ring, he offers little value in a wrestling set-up today. He’s finished not just in WWE but in wrestling in general.
4 Needs Repackaging: Roman Reigns
Finding Roman Reigns in this list shouldn’t surprise anyone who has caught a Raw or two. He, despite what his naysayers believe, is an excellent talent. He can have 3.5-star match with any talent, can cut a decent promo and looks the part, but WWE wasn't doing him any justice by keeping his character the same for many years now.
While Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins became 2010s versions of Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Edge and Shawn Michaels at various points, he’s remained the protective vest-wearing Shield man since his debut in late 2012.
Obviously the priority for Reigns now is to get better. When he does come back, the WWE should use the goodwill momentum he'll have and make his character more likeable to all of the audience.
3 Finished: The Colons
Primo Colon has been in the company since 2007 while Epico Colon has already spent eight years with WWE. However, for some reason, they get the up-and-coming talent treatment from both the company and WWE Universe. Indeed, they’ve won the WWE Tag Team Championship, but they’ve never been over enough to win it again despite numerous repackaging. It’s entirely possible that WWE have only kept them on their payroll for this long only to cater to the latino audience, particularly in their native Puerto Rico. They aren’t worth being repackaged again, and they were finished as a serious tag team at least three years ago despite their talent and family pedigree.
2 Needs Repackaging: Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks has been overlooked for far too long now. While she's held the RAW Women's Championship numerous times, she has one of the worst title defense records of any WWE title holder one could recall. Her babyface alliance with Bayley has run its course, and in general, Sasha has to get back to what made her so successful in NXT. This wouldn't be a repackaging so much as a rekindling, as we need to see more of the boss character we saw in NXT. A heel Sasha feuding with Ronda Rousey seems like an ideal matchup for WWE and it's baffling as to what the hesitation is to turn her.
1 Finished: Jinder Mahal
WWE have made numerous head-scratching decisions in the recent times, like their attempt at turning Becky Lynch heel. When a company has to make as many decisions as they do, it’s only natural that they make a few bad ones along the way. However, pushing The Modern Day Maharaja was a well-calculated decision that left no wrestling fan shocked. WWE had a huge untapped market in India, but it had little effect on the WWE Network count in India.
Plus, the fans WWE was targeting even sided with Roman Reigns in his recent feud with The Modern Day Maharaja. After underwhelming runs with the WWE Championship and United States Championship, he’s now reverted back to his old gimmick. It’s safe to say he’s finished.