The opinion of Vince McMahon is all it takes for a wrestler to make or break their career. If McMahon completely believes in a wrestler and commits to pushing them, the chances are that they’ll have a great push in WWE. Things could get bad when it comes to the other end of the coin. McMahon often doesn’t understand why certain wrestlers have connected with the fans and it shows in the booking. The weaker booking or the inability to show why a wrestler can get over will hurt their chances of finding momentum. Fan support will usually only go so far before the booking destroys a wrestler with a fan base.
The current main roster is full of stories with both the wrestlers Vince struggles to book and those that he wants to push hard. Many of the wrestlers that McMahon doesn’t understand the appeal of featured Triple H booking them well in NXT and helping them get to this level. There’s no doubt these wrestlers would see their careers on the rise if Triple H gets power soon. Unfortunately for them, McMahon is the one in charge of their futures. There are also some wrestlers Vince does support and wants to push. Find out how the most powerful man in the wrestling industry views your favorite superstar. These are ten wrestlers that Vince McMahon doesn’t know how to book along with ten that he wants to push.
20 Doesn’t know how to book: Bayley
The difference between Bayley’s character in NXT and on the main roster shows just how much Vince McMahon doesn’t know how to book her. Triple H helped the character get time to grow and develop before getting a title program against Sasha Banks.
Bayley became a huge star in NXT through her underdog story and her overcoming the odds. McMahon booked her to win the Raw Women’s Championship within a few months and in a lackluster fashion on a random episode of Raw. Bayley would get broken back down after getting squashed by Alexa Bliss and has yet to find a way back. McMahon’s booking won’t be the solution to bring her back to the top.
19 Wants to push: Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin has been one of Vince McMahon’s projects since getting called up from NXT. The football background and taller size of Corbin made him a favorite of McMahon. Corbin was scheduled to win the WWE Championship after becoming Mr. Money in the Bank in 2017 until a backstage issue doomed him.
McMahon is once again back believing in Corbin as an important player. Corbin received the huge opportunity to serve as Raw General Manager in Kurt Angle’s absence. It places him in important segments and top storylines with countless appearances on the show. McMahon is likely hoping this gets Corbin to the next level.
18 Doesn’t know how to book: Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura had huge hype when joining the WWE roster due to his great work in NXT and legendary run in New Japan. The Royal Rumble win proved that Vince McMahon was willing to at least put him in a big match. Unfortunately, McMahon did not know how to spotlight Nakamura in a way that worked with the fans.
It felt like he was just a fun entrance and nothing more. Nakamura lost his title shots to AJ Styles, turned heel and has been part of the mid-card picture. The role of United States Champion is a decent spot, but the booking of Nakamura is different from what fans hoped for when he signed with the company.
17 Wants to push: Nia Jax
One of the ladies in the Women’s Division that Vince McMahon believes in more than the fans do is Nia Jax. The lack of in-ring skills and sloppy work compared to the rest of the roster often exposes Jax to the audience. Recent instances of her injuring Becky Lynch, Zelina Vega, and others have made Nia a controversial figure to the fans.
McMahon, however, appears to be all in on Jax having a huge role in the company. WWE has pushed her to the moon with a WrestleMania 34 win over Alexa Bliss, multiple feuds with Ronda Rousey and using the real-life injury she issued to Lynch to get heat. She is a Vince favorite that will continue getting pushed.
16 Doesn’t know how to book: The IIiconics
The tag team of The IIiconics was called up with fanfare following a great run in NXT. Fans have forgotten that Billie Kay and Peyton Royce were very over with the fans in NXT. Royce even had a few great matches and both ladies worked perfectly together as characters.
The call-up started well as The Iiconics cost Charlotte Flair the SmackDown Women’s Championship as their attack allowed Carmella to cash in Money in the Bank. That would be the peak as Royce and Kay have struggled to get consistent television time. Their only big win came at Super Show-down as part of a feel-good moment in their home country. Otherwise, they haven’t booked well at all by Vince McMahon.
15 Wants to push: Bobby Lashley
The return of Bobby Lashley made Vince McMahon remember just how much he wanted it to work during his first run. Lashley struggled in his early career and would leave WWE. A return featured him having more confidence and experience following a great main event run in Impact Wrestling.
Lashley received a noteworthy push over the summer, including scoring a clean pin fall victory over Roman Reigns. The face character was doing poorly, which led to Lashley turning heel with Lio Rush as his manager. Lashley will get every chance to move towards the top of the card due to McMahon’s support of him.
14 Doesn’t know how to book: Chad Gable
The team of American Alpha showed great results in NXT. Their call-up to the main roster had some short-term success, but Vince McMahon clearly did not see much potential in Chad Gable. American Alpha split within a year of their call-up, with Jason Jordan moving to Raw for a big push.
Gable remained in obscurity on SmackDown trying to get television time. The first opportunity following the split featured him forming another tag team with Bobby Roode on Raw. Both guys are trying their best to make it work, but the booking doesn’t help them one bit. Gable will likely ever get the chance to break out under McMahon’s booking.
13 Wants to push: Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss has been a huge part of both Raw and SmackDown since she was called up to the main roster. Despite not achieving much success in NXT like The Four Horsewomen, Bliss jumped up in the pecking order thanks to the support of Vince McMahon.
It was obvious from her SmackDown reign that McMahon viewed Bliss as being as good as any other woman on the roster. Bliss has already become one of the top stars in the company. Rumor has it that will continue to grow as WWE is considering having her in a General Manager role moving forward on Raw. McMahon wants Alexa to be spotlighted as much as possible.
12 Doesn’t know how to book: The Revival
The Revival were arguably the best tag team in NXT history following incredible matches against American Alpha, DIY, and other teams on the TakeOver specials. An old-school approach to tag team wrestling helped Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder break out as one of the top tag teams under WWE's umbrella.
Their main roster run has shown anything but that as Vince McMahon clearly does not enjoy their work. Most assumed this would happen given McMahon’s dislike for the old-school wrestling and tag team wrestling in general. The Revival are buried on Raw these days and many fans are speculating if they want out, following tweets hinting at a match with The Young Bucks.
11 Wants to push: Elias
One rare instance of a wrestler floundering in NXT but getting love from Vince McMahon on the main roster is Elias. The strength of Elias relies on character work, as he is not much of a worker compared to his peers when the bell rings.
Elias became a Vince favorite right away as he improved from being the butt of jokes backstage to getting the upper hand on names like Dean Ambrose and Finn Balor. The evolution of Elias has seen him continue to get more camera time even when he doesn’t wrestle. A recent face turn is only going to help him as McMahon wants to push him.
10 Doesn’t know how to book: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens did have a great start to his main roster run that should give us some more faith in how Vince McMahon can book him. However, it was the same character Owens played in NXT that brought him the most success on the main roster.
Owens would change things up after winning the Universal Championship playing a cowardly heel more so than a prizefighter. McMahon’s classic heel booking hurt the title reign. Owens has been trying to get back to the top since then with the booking limiting him. There is hope that KO will return as a face and can escape the one-dimensional heel character he was forced to play by McMahon.
9 Wants to push: Drew McIntyre
The return of Drew McIntyre has given us a wrestler that both Triple H and Vince McMahon both seem to be high on. McIntyre is back for his second stint and is a significantly better performer than he was in the past following an incredible run on the independent circuit.
WWE has pushed McIntyre hard in recent months as he’s only been pinned once since getting called up to Raw. Drew is getting spotlighted as the top heel on the Raw roster right now and the sky is the limit for him. There have even been rumors of him getting the chance to dethrone Brock Lesnar, as multiple guys are in contention for the spot.
8 Doesn’t know how to book: Rusev
The career of Rusev could have been a lot bigger than it has been. Rusev had a great first year in the company before his undefeated streak ended. However, the recent year has seen the Rusev Day gimmick becomed a huge hit with fans.
Fans have started supporting Rusev with chants, great t-shirt sales, and general popularity. Unfortunately, it has not led to much of a push. Rusev did have one solid WWE Championship title shot against AJ Styles, but that’s about it. The lack of direction for his character hurts Rusev from ever getting support in the booking. Vince McMahon doesn’t seem to have much love for Rusev.
7 Wants to push: Authors of Pain
Vince McMahon is not a major fan of tag team wrestling, but the Authors of Pain are one duo that is getting a noteworthy push. Both members of the Authors of Pain are larger performers that usually gets the support of McMahon with their booking.
Whether fans enjoy it or not, McMahon going with bathroom humor involving their manager Drake Maverick is a sign of support for the team. The strange booking is Vince’s attempt at trying to add character elements to Maverick and the Authors of Pain. They’ll likely remain Raw Tag Team Champions heading into WrestleMania 35 and beyond.
6 Doesn’t know how to book: Asuka
Asuka has been one of the top NXT stars to get used poorly when called up to the main roster. The undefeated streak in NXT featured Triple H booking Asuka to perfection. Fans were excited to see Asuka get a chance to shine on the biggest stage.
Vince McMahon believed in Asuka enough to have her win the first Women’s Royal Rumble match, but he didn’t believe in her enough to have her defeat Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 34. The end of Asuka’s undefeated streak led to the end of her relevance. McMahon booked Asuka to lose to Carmella multiple times, and she is still trying to rebound from it.
5 Wants to push: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman has been towards the top of Vince McMahon’s list of wrestlers he believes in since his main roster debut. McMahon protected Strowman during his time in the Wyatt Family and pushed him to the moon right away following the brand split.
There were times when McMahon used the fan jeers against Roman Reigns to get cheers for Strowman. The booking of Braun was as strong as any other wrestler in recent memory. Backstage issues have led to questions arising about if Strowman could be the face of the company. Vince will likely always push him in a major way regardless of these problems.
4 Doesn’t know how to book: Finn Balor
Finn Balor's underutilization on the main roster compared to his NXT success is a head-scratcher. Balor is arguably the greatest star in NXT history, given the success to come when he was the face of the brand. WWE did push him early on as Balor won the Universal Championship on his first main roster PPV.
An injury apparently destroyed any confidence Vince McMahon had in Balor. The booking of Finn has been horrible between awful angles with Bray Wyatt and Baron Corbin along with the lack of important matches for him in general. Triple H is reportedly Balor’s biggest supporter, but McMahon just doesn’t know how to Finn, nor does he care.
3 Wants to push: Lars Sullivan
Lars Sullivan is already slated to have a huge push on the main roster. Vignettes have aired with commentary claiming both Shane and Stephanie McMahon are trying to add Sullivan to their respective shows. In real life, Vince is the McMahon that is highest on the potential of Sullivan.
The rumored plans for Lars will include a huge spot on the roster with a push right away. Some have speculated WWE wants to build towards a big match between Sullivan and Braun Strowman. Sullivan's size and physique will make him a huge project for Vince when his main roster career officially starts.
2 Doesn’t know how to book: Sasha Banks
The main roster career of Sasha Banks has been a disappointment following the incredible NXT stint. Most fans believed Banks would be the top woman on the roster after her outstanding NXT work with a great character and a library of superb matches.
Banks did manage to have four Raw Women’s Championship reigns on the main roster, but they all ended on the first defense. Following her most recent reign in the summer of 2017, Sasha has been an afterthought in the title picture. Vince McMahon was reportedly down on Banks right away and the poor booking has shown this throughout her Raw run.
1 Wants to push: Mandy Rose
One woman that does have the support of Vince McMahon is Mandy Rose. There were reports of McMahon viewing Rose as a future star all the way back in 2015 when she was part of the Tough Enough reality series competition.
Triple H even kept Rose out of NXT storylines due to knowing she was on the call-up radar whenever she learned enough to progress in the Performance Center. Mandy has not been pushed that strong since her call-up, but she has been getting more promo time in recent months. Rumor has it Vince wants to push Rose into a top role in 2019 with huge plans in her future.