A recent survey carried out by Magna Global for Sports Business Daily Global revealed something surprising. The research discovered that the median age of pro wrestling viewers increased over the past 16 years. The median age kept growing as the years evolved; the median age of viewers in 2000 was 28, in 2006 it was 33, and in 2016 it skyrocketed to 54.
So, what does this data signify?
The fans who started watching WWE during this “thrilling era” still stuck around, unlike the new age kids who aren’t feeling it, because nothing is thrilling enough like it used to be. So, how can WWE tackle this issue (that’s if they know there is an issue)?
Send the boring wrestlers in WWE packing, away from the main roster to somewhere else, perhaps to some other sport or wrestling league but not WWE, because their laxity has begun to take a tow on the “new generation of viewers.”
In the past, we ignored all the boring wrestlers we couldn’t stand. The best we could do then was to go the particular WWE arena, carry a placard giving our comments about the wrestler, praying and hoping that the camera catches a glimpse of our poster. Thanks to the internet, we don’t have to go to the arena; all it takes is share a comment on the supposed star’s Facebook account.
In this article we will be unveiling 10 WWE wrestlers we we miss and 10 wrestlers we want gone from the current roster.
We promise to keep you glued to your screen as we talk of great and worse wrestlers, like Owen Hart and The Ascension. Which wrestler do you think should leave? Share your thoughts by commenting.
20 We Miss: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
The looks of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin could sometimes be deceiving, especially after he became bald, as a lot of us assumed he was 48 years old two decades ago, whereas Steve was 38 years old when he retired. He sustained both neck and knee injuries which plagued all through his entire career.
Stone Cold’s injuries became worse when he fought with the infamous Owen Hart Tombstone at the Summer Slam in 1997; it added more insult to injury. He somewhat overcame the injuries, and he went back on TV. Of course, it wasn’t long before the Texas Rattlesnake threw in the towel because of the injuries.
19 We Want Gone: No Way Jose
Whenever he comes out with his perky theme, No Way Jose gets a lot of love and chanting from the crowd—but it doesn’t limit the fact that he’s been unconvincing lately, especially, on the main roster. WWE thought he was a character that deserved a chance because he seemed to be super at certain NXT shows, so they promoted him to the main roster. It didn’t take few weeks before he was moved down again to perform on Main Event.
There have been few wrestlers in the past who were able to bounce back after entering that show; No Way Jose has a very slim chance of joining the big league again.
18 We Miss: Corey Graves (As a Wrestler)
Everyone in WWE knew that Corey Graves was a great wrestler set to do remarkable things. Even his looks and charisma was something out of this world. His entrance was fantastic; every fan just wanted to shake his hand—Graves was the people’s man in short. One thing fans always remembered was his super submission move. He was a renowned submission wrestler in NXT, and he always made life bitter for The Wyatt Family and Seth Rollins in WWE’s developmental system.
However, he ran out of luck quick in his career, and he wasn’t able to even get out of the gate as injuries forced him too early retirement.
17 We Want Gone: Curtis Axel
Boasting to have all the qualities a WWE wrestler require such as style, great microphone skills, in-ring ability, and family pedigree; could be useless if you don’t have the one skill you need to stay in the game—which is being able to connect to the crowd, and Curtis Axel lacks that skill so bad. For some reason, WWE didn’t invest him enough; they left him to fall by the wayside.
WWE never gave him any prolonged push as they did to other big and successful names like Big Show and John Cena. Axel isn’t getting better, and that’s not good for WWE business.
16 We Miss: Christopher Nowinski
If you are looking for a wrestler that has the physique, the words, confidence, charisma, and the looks to make it far in WWE, Christopher Nowinski would have been the perfect fit to check all the boxes. He had this clean-cut dapper look which earned him a natural heel, plus he always boasted being a graduate of Harvard, which was true and unusual of a typical wrestler.
Even though he sometimes angered fans with his lofty Ivy League attitude, the crowd couldn’t doubt the fact that he was a great wrestler. After Chris won the Hardcore Championship, he was diagnosed with the post-concussion syndrome—which forced him into early retirement.
15 We Want Gone: Dolph Ziggler
In the books of WWE, Dolph Ziggler is still a right hand because they recently re-signed him to a multi-year contract. It appeared that Ziggler found his role as an on-screen ally of Drew McIntyre at a higher level and that WWE was set to push Dolph Ziggler into his next level, but that's probably not going to happen.
The question is, where will the company place him when he is pushed to the dust once again? Dolph’s biggest challenge is, the fans aren’t feeling him anymore, and it may be time to leave.
14 We Miss: Owen Hart
Anyone who watched the WWE (formerly the WWF at that time) in the early '90s, will remember the Hart family who rocked wrestling in that era. Owen Hart, in particular, was the youngest son of the legendary Hart family. He had a charismatic character and super fighting ability in the ring like his elder brother Brett Hart. Owen had the potential to be WWE Champion before an unfortuanet incident.
It was a sad day for wrestling when Owen was taken. Nonetheless, he remains one of the most beloved WWE Superstars of all time.
13 We Want Gone: The Ascension
After claiming a win over Chad Gable and former NXT Champion Bobby Roode, The Ascension has gotten a lot of push from WWE, especially in recent times. However, every keen fan knows that The Ascension is only built by WWE to legitimize the feud because their wins are irrelevant and small.
Of late, it seems WWE recognized that The Ascension isn’t ascending. Instead, they’re descending, so they are beefing up to push up new tag teams like Street Profits and The Undisputed Era. The Ascension was in the best position last year to replace The Road Warriors, but their laxity stopped them.
12 We Miss: Edge
Edge was one pro wrestler that liked to attempt high-risk performances which led to a lot of injuries and hard bumps for him. So, his young retirement wasn’t much of a surprise, because fans didn’t want to lose him in more drastic ways like getting paralyzed or losing his life.
His love for taking deadly risks paid off after all because he was one of the only two men to win Money in the Bank, Royal Rumble, and the King of the Ring. At 37 years old, Edge called it quit after he retained the World Heavyweight Championship title at WrestleMania XXVII two weeks earlier.
11 We Want Gone: Mandy Rose
First off, we must say that Mandy Rose is a curious case. If you analyze happenings on WWE, you will notice that they found solid reasons to give Dana Brooke limelight occasionally. Mandy was used occasionally even when she paired up with Paige.
From the look of things, their breakup shifted the spotlight to The Riott Squad’s direction. The idea of her Mixed Match Challenge skits with Goldust didn’t get her over with the fan base of WWE. There’s a possibility that WWE may retain Sonya Deville since she’s better than the two when it comes to in-ring skills; Amanda Saccomanno that plays Mandy Rose has to go.
10 We Miss: "Ravishing" Rick Rude
In 2007, Rick Rude’s induction took place in the WWE Hall of Fame, and if you ask, we would say it was long overdue. Oh yes! It was long overdue because Rude was amongst the all-time great wrestling heels. Rude was undoubtedly an Attitude Era character that existed long before the era came to pass. Despite his impressive performance, he went down in history as one that never won the WWE Championship.
As if that wasn’t enough, Rude had to retire when he was 35 years old in 1994.The abrupt retirement was as a result of a severe back injury that ended Rude’s career. The injury occurred at the time Rude won the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship.
9 We Want Gone: Dana Brooke
If you follow WWE's Women’s roster, you’d observe that it’s indeed brimming with talent. It’s easy for you to agree to this because so many capable women have created an all-woman potentially annual pay-per-view referred to as Evolution. However, it’s necessary to point out that some performances that seem incapable of matching the likes of Charlotte Flair, Asuka, and Becky Lynch.
When it comes to Dana Brooke, it’s obvious that her performance looks out of place. The reason is simple; WWE called her up quickly when she still had a long way to go with her skills. Brooke has even worked with veterans like Luke Gallows, Ric Flair, and Karl Anderson, but it was all in vain as she didn’t improve.
8 We Miss: Kharma
If the name Kharma isn’t a familiar name to you, Awesome Kong should strike a chord. Kharma was the Undisputed Women’s Championship in TNA. She had a high propensity to do much more in the Women’s Division. The moment she decided to sign with WWE, her name was changed as a way of rebranding.
When she came to WWE with the name Kharma, fans were excited. Her fans expected Kharma her to go through the Diva’s Division with ease and even end the career of so many “Barbie dolls.” However, all the excitement eneded because she took off early to give birth.
7 We Want Gone: Titus O'Neil
If you think that Dana Brooke was a write-off, then your opinion about Titus O’Neil would be worse. Titus was meant to be a wrestler that focuses on how to improve himself to avoid his career from hitting the rocks, but he chose to pay more attention to other things. No doubt, the “other things” got him fame, but it wasn’t so relevant to his career.
It’s easy to know when a wrestler isn’t bent on being his best when he uses his best moment is a botch. With this act Titus put up, the world was talking about him. But the question is “should a wrestler get over with the crowd that way?” He may have good works outside the crowd, but he offers little value in wrestling today; he has to go.
6 We Miss: CM Punk
The moment Stone Cold Steve Austin chose to step away from the ring as a result of health risks, it translated to fans being denied of one of the most anticipated all-time dream matches: Stone Cold vs. CM Punk. Even though most wrestling fans knew that the match wasn’t going to happen, they never stopped dreaming.
The way CM Punk retired from professional wrestling was unusual; he left on his terms. The reason for CM Punk's actions was because he didn’t like the way the WWE product was moving. We miss CM Punk, but for fans that are still hoping that he will surface in professional wrestling sometime in the future—gear up for some disappointments.
5 We Want Gone: Jinder Mahal
In recent times, WWE has been faced with so many tough decisions, and one of them was trying to turn heel Becky Lynch heel. It’s only natural that mistakes from bad decisions abound when a company is faced with so many.
Nevertheless, it’s necessary to point out that pushing Jinder Mahal was a well-calculated decision—which we can’t call a mistake. It’s obvious that WWE realized that they had an untapped market in India, but it had a negligible effect on the WWE Network Count in India.
Due to Mahal’s poor run with the WWE Championship, he has been reverted to his previous gimmick.
4 We Miss: Christian
You can't mention Edge, without remembering the great fighter Christian Cage, who was the WWE storyline brother. He signed a deal with WWE in 1998 only to debut in 1999, and Cage quickly got his first title: the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship.
Edge and Christian gained notoriety together as a tag team, where they won multiple Championships. However, in 2001, after years as a team, the duo went their separate ways, and Christian found some success on his own. However, his career ended without a real payoff feud or match.
3 We Want Gone: The Colons
There are two Colons in question: Epico and Primo. Epico spent eight years with WWE while Primo has been in the company for twelve years. If you’re familiar with the duo, you will notice that they got a lot of upcoming talent treatment from WWE Universe and the company.
Even though they were able to win the WWE Tag Team championship, it never happened again despite the numerous repackaging, according to ESPN. It appears that WWE has kept them on their payroll for a long time because they cater to the Latino audience. If we consider the Colon’s performance over time, it’s safe to say that they aren’t worth the repackage again—it's best they go.
2 We Miss: Nigel McGuinness (As a Wrestler)
When fans hear the name Nigel McGuiness, it has a way of flooding their hearts with so much joy for two primary reasons. First, McGuiness’ in-ring career ended on a sad note, but his post-wrestling achievements are something to celebrate. Second, as Desmond Wolfe of TNA, he turned out to be a fantastic commentator that infuses credibility to analysis.
In 2009, Nigel signed with WWE; he wasn’t able to make it to the company as a result of injuries. Later, he appeared on TNA as Desmond Wolfe. Nigel then missed 14 months of in-ring action for health reasons The former ROH World Champion was 35 years old when he retired.
1 We Want Gone: Alicia Fox
In WWE, Alicia Fox has done a lot and seen a lot as well. Alicia wrestled Melina, face-timed on live television with Noam Dar, won the Divas Championship, planned Edge and Vickie Guerrero’s on-screen wedding, and captained her Survivor Series team. Despite all the activities, Alicia doesn’t have anything to prove. Since a lot of wrestlers are waiting for a crack at the main roster run, it’s best she steps down.
Alicia is a remarkable performer, but when it comes to wrestling, she’s no match for the likes of Sara Del Rey or Mercedes Martinez to become a trainer at the Performance Center.