Throughout the years, WWE has featured some amazing superstars. Regardless of era, wrestlers like Bret Hart, Steve Austin, John Cena, Shawn Michaels and more have entertained fans across the globe. But for every headliner, there are dozens of equally talented individuals that never got the credit they deserve.
We won't blame Vince McMahon here, however, there are only so many hours to fill on TV every week. This means that every now and then, some stars will slip through the cracks. Yet, when you take a look at WWE over the decades, the number of misused superstars starts to add up. Some got better chances than others, but regardless, they deserved better. In honor of those stars, here are 10 WWE Superstars Vince McMahon Got Wrong.
10 Mark Henry
Mark Henry debuted in WWE in 1996 after winning The World's Strongest Man Competition. With his stature, he was placed in a feud with Jerry Lawler, but after that, he didn't do much. In fact, even after he joined the Nation of Domination, he was an afterthought. It wasn't until 2005 that he began to be looked at as a main eventer when he started interfering in Undertaker matches. Even still, however, he was never depicted as the monster he needed to be.
Eventually, with the creation of his Hall of Pain Gimmick, he was given a run as a legitimate butt-kicker who could topple anyone who stood in his way. This all culminated in a fake retirement which led to a feud with John Cena. Unfortunately, Big Match John still got the better of Henry, and he slowly slid back down the card. Thankfully, WWE recognized his accomplishments and placed him in the Hall of Fame, but he could have been so much more.
Tazz was the cornerstone of ECW for years, and his blend of MMA and pro-wrestling put him on the map for fans, and the WWE. Upon his debut for Vince McMahon, he beat Kurt Angle, giving the WWE Universe hope that maybe, they will have a new main event star, but that never came to be.
After a short time as part of the WWE roster, Tazz was placed on commentary, where to, his credit, he was great. Now, he uses his voice as a radio host, so it was a pretty smart move on his part.
When Raven came to WWE, fans were excited. He was a big deal in ECW, and while his stint in WCW featured some memories we'd rather forget, he was entertaining despite the material he had to work with. Unfortunately, however, his three year run in WWE featured a lot of time on Sunday Night Heat and a pretty fun run in the Hardcore division.
While the latter isn't the worst thing in the world, Raven was one of the most unique wrestlers of his era, but it always felt like WWE never really knew how to get the most of the character.
7 Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura came to WWE after a legendary run in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), so people were excited. Everything started out well too, he debuted in NXT, with a fantastic match against Sami Zayn, and eventually, he went on to win the show's championship. For the rest of 2016 and into 2017, Nakamura was the top guy in NXT, and his rivalry with Samoa Joe was something fans around the world clamored to see. Yet, things changed when he got his call up.
Nakamura toiled on the main roster until he was given a monster push by winning the Royal Rumble to challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. After their anticipated bout, he turned heel and kept kicking the champ in the family jewels. He never really recovered after that time, but he captured the Intercontinental Championship in a surprise win at Extreme Rules 2019.
In many ways, Christian always felt like a bride's maid to Edge — and that's pretty unfair. Throughout his run with WWE, Christian consistently proved he was one of the better wrestlers in the company, and he succeeded in whatever he was given. Whether it was a foil to Chris Jericho, one-third of The Unamericans, or the insufferable Captain Charisma, Christian was an entertaining part of WWE for a decade — capturing a few tag team and mid-card championships — before leaving for TNA.
It was there where Christian showed his main-event potential. He cut scathing promos on his former employer, put on some fantastic matches, and captured the NWA Championship during an undefeated streak in 2006. Eventually, he found his way back to WWE, where he finally won a World Championship — though it was mostly a way to capitalize on the retirement of Edge.
5 Steve Blackman
Steve Blackman was really cool. Dubbed "The Lethal Weapon" Blackman was a legitimate butt-kicker with a background in martial arts. Not only that, but he was built like Bruce Lee, making him an imposing opponent for anyone he stood across from. Unfortunately, during an era that included over-the-top personalities like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, and The Undertaker, Blackman had no chance of standing out on a loaded roster.
Throughout his time in WWE, he won a few mid-card titles, but he was mostly remembered for his tag team with Al Snow, Team Head Cheese.
4 Dan Severn
During the attitude era, WWE got more and more interest in former UFC stars. Ken Shamrock was the biggest name they snagged up, but Dan Severn had more accomplishments in pro-wrestling. As a former UFC and NWA champion, Severn combined sports entertainment with a more grounded fight-style that would make old-school fans proud. Unfortunately, though, he just wasn't what the company was looking for in that era.
He only wrestled for the WWF for a year, accumulating no championships in the process. Apparently, the roster was afraid of him, and many thought he'd legitimately hurt them in the ring.
Cesaro is easily one of the best wrestlers WWE has employed in recent memory, yet outside of some unforgettable championship runs with mid-card titles, The Swiss Cyborg hasn't found much success in singles action. Instead, he's succeeded in tag-team action, most notably with Tyson Kidd and Sheamus. Yet, WWE never feels safe going all-in on a solo run.
In an interview with Steve Austin, Vince McMahon said Cesaro is missing that special something that allows him to connect with fans, but the Cesaro section signs that flood the crowd when he makes his way to the ring suggests otherwise.
Vader was one of the biggest names outside of WWE when they signed him in the mid-1990s. He was an absolute monster in WCW and NJPW, striking fear in the hearts of his opponents with his stiff strikes and unusual agility for a man his size.
In fact, he brought so much clout to the ring that most figured he'd be a multi-time world champion by the time he was done with the company. Unfortunately, some backstage politics, a few injuries, and one bad night against Shawn Michaels ruined all of that.
1 Dean Ambrose
If 2019 has taught us anything, it's that WWE didn't know what they had with Dean Ambrose. The superstar now goes by Jon Moxley and has wrestled a handful of times in NJPW, accumulating a few five-star matches along the way. As a member of the AEW roster, he's brought a level of excitement to the company, despite only wrestling one match for the company.
It appears as though the lunatic fringe is on his way to becoming one of the biggest names in wrestling, and it hasn't even been a year since he wrestled his last match with Vince McMahon. Talk about dropping the ball.