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10 WWE Stars Who Will Be Released By The End Of The Year And 10 NXT Stars Who Could Take Their Place

At its very core, WWE is like a conveyor belt, the company is only interested in talent when they are making money for them and when they aren't seen as marketable anymore they are handed their P45.

WWE currently has more wrestlers signed to deals than ever before with a number of upcoming special events including NXT UK and the second annual Mae Young Classic which means there are a number of female and United Kingdom-based stars who have recently been signed. WWE hasn't had a batch of releases in a long time, with the likes of Enzo Amore and Big Cass being the only prominent faces who have been released from the company this year so WWE is definitely due another clear out.

With all the talent that WWE is creating at the Performance Center on a regular basis and pushing through NXT, there are many stars who are patiently waiting for a slot to open up on the main roster, but sadly these places come at the expense of the stars who are already there. In order for NXT stars to be added to the main roster, someone on that roster has to lose their place, but luckily there are a number of candidates who have been dodging a release for more than a year that the company will catch up with, in the coming months.

The following list looks at just 10 current WWE stars who should be released at some point over the next year, as well as 10 NXT superstars who could easily take their place when WWE finally decides to bring back their annual budget cuts and trims their roster back down to size.

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20 Release: Dana Brooke

via wwe.com

Dana Brooke is one of a group of women that also includes Alexa Bliss and Carmella, who are complete products of the Performance Centre. All three women had no wrestling experience prior to signing with WWE and have since excelled in the Women's Division.

Brooke hasn't been allowed to wrestle on WWE TV for a long time and has been relegated to being a statistician of a team that is rarely able to pick up wins for her to count.

While Dana has improved in the ring recently, she has also been quite outspoken about her desire to wrestle on Social Media, which is something that WWE doesn't take kindly to.

19 Replacement: Dakota Kai

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The NXT Women's Division is currently packed with women who could take Dana's place on the main roster, but Dakota Kai has definitely proved her worth over the past few months in feud's with "The Lady of NXT" Lacey Evans and the NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler.

Kai is someone who has a lot of in-ring experience and knows how to play a convincing underdog when she's booked in a productive way. At some point, WWE will have to make the decision to promote her up to the main roster where she will easily be able to rise to the top regardless of her competition.

18 Release: Curt Hawkins

via wwe.com

Curt Hawkins was released from WWE once before, back in 2014 but much like Jinder Mahal and Shelton Benjamin, Hawkins earned a recall following the 2016 Brand Split but he's probably asking himself why he bothered to come back at all.

Hawkins has been on a historic losing streak in recent months; the only issue is that he hasn't been seen on WWE TV at all recently.

That could be why the WWE Universe have forgotten all about him and the streak that WWE was once pushing. It's hard to imagine that the former Tag Team Champion has any kind of future in WWE given his most recent storyline.

17 Replacement: Johnny Gargano

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Many of the WWE Universe believed that Johnny Gargano would earn a call-up to the main roster following this year's WrestleMania, but instead he has been stuck in a feud against his former friend Tommaso Ciampa and the duo have been ensuring that all eyes are on NXT in recent months.

Gargano is a fantastic underdog and has shown that throughout his current feud, but he also works well as a babyface and could easily turn heel if the company wanted to take advantage of how skilled he is and turn him into a cocky heel, much like the role Seth Rollins once played.

16 Release: Jinder Mahal

via wwe.com

Jinder Mahal shocked the world back in 2017 when he defeated Randy Orton to become the WWE Champion. Mahal then went on to have quite a lengthy reign as Champion before dropping the title to AJ Styles in the fall of last year.

Mahal is currently being punished by WWE since it's reported that he is the one shouldering the blame for the failure of his feud with Roman Reigns. Mahal hasn't had a decent feud since June and has been floating around the Raw roster aimlessly. Sadly since he's been released before, WWE probably won't think twice about doing it again.

15 Replacement: Adam Cole

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Adam Cole has much more of a personality than Jinder Mahal, even though the Modern Day Maharaja was definitely improving during his time as WWE Champion.

Cole is the sole reason why many fans tune into NXT each week, as he has quite an impressive following and an impressive arsenal in the ring.

NXT will definitely miss their NA Champion when he is promoted to the main roster, but the issue is that it will always be a case of when for Adam Cole, not "if" since he was always going to rise to the top of the company.

14 Release: Fandango

via liverpoolecho.co.uk

Fandango was once one of the biggest things in WWE, the WWE Universe was all Fandango-ing and he was able to defeat Chris Jericho at his first WrestleMania, but that is now a distant memory. Fandango has been reduced to jobbing to many talents that are much younger than him in recent years and is now part of a tag team with Tyler Breeze called The Fashion Police.

Breeze has shown his frustration about his current position on social media in recent weeks, but with Fandango currently out injured, he seems as though he's the one most likely to be released.

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13 Replacement: The Velveteen Dream

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The Velveteen Dream has become his own entity on NXT over the past few years and is now one of the best performers that the company has. Dream hasn't had a bad match in more than a year and is currently able to get the best out of every person that he stands across the ring from.

The character that Dream has was made for the main roster and when he finally is promoted he will take over much like Fandango once did. Hopefully, WWE learned their lesson the first time and are able to ensure that Dream doesn't end up in the same position that Fandango is in now.

12 Release: Karl Anderson And Luke Gallows

via wwe.com

Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows have won Tag Team Championships all over the world and shocked many wrestling fans when they decided to sign for WWE back in 2016. The Club has never been given the opportunities that they deserve and aren't even being used on WWE TV currently.

Interestingly, their contracts are set to expire at the beginning of 2019 and there is no word on whether or not the company is going to re-sign them. 

The former Tag Team Champions deserve much better than they have been receiving from WWE and should probably get out why they can.

11 Replace: The Mighty

via WWE.com
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When it comes to heel tag teams outside of The Undisputed Era on NXT, it's hard to look past The Mighty. Formerly known as TM61, this new attitude has seen Shane Thorne and Nick Miller to some impressive victories over the likes of The Street Profits and Heavy Machinery.

Sanity and The Authors of Pain were the most recent tag teams that were promoted to the main roster but they have failed to make any kind of impact. It would be interesting to see if The Mighty would be able to fill any kind of gap left by The Club.

10 Release: Titus O'Neil

via wwe.com

Titus O'Neil is a former Tag Team Champion but he is someone who has been falling down the ranks in WWE for so long that many of the WWE Universe have just accepted it. O'Neil's botch at The Greatest Royal Rumble should have been enough for the company to call it time, but instead, they made it into a joke.

That's exactly what Titus has become in WWE right now, as he is seen as a joke and Titus Worldwide is never going to be able to create any decent stars, because Titus himself can't even figure out the statistical chances of him becoming a main event star.

9 Replacement: Kassius Ohno

via WWE.com
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Kassius Ohno knows all about being on WWE's bad list, he hasn't been given a decent shot at a Championship in NXT for years and is seemingly used as their fallback option when the company needs a show-stealing match and has no one else to call upon.

Ohno was once the star that was pitched to be part of The Shield back in 2012, so he deserves a shot at being on WWE's main roster.

Given the personality that he has shown off in NXT over the past few months, he could easily do O'Neil's current gimmick much better than he is.

8 Release: Alicia Fox

via gotceleb.com

Alicia Fox has been missing from WWE TV since she injured her tailbone ahead of the Royal Rumble and it could be argued that she hasn't actually been missed. Her match against Natalya on Raw this past week proved that even though she's a veteran of the business, she still isn't at the level of all the other women.

The women are pushing forward as part of a revolution and are looking to make even more history in the coming months but Alicia was left behind a long time ago, just because she's been with the company for more than a decade doesn't mean that she should stay.

7 Replacement: Candice LeRae

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Candice LeRae is also a veteran of the wrestling business and even though she has only been part of the company for a few months, she has been wrestling since she was a teenager. LeRae has won Championships all over the world and is someone who has mastered the art of intergender matches.

The wife of Johnny Gargano will be extremely useful for WWE in the coming months as part of their Women's Revolution and could easily move into Alicia Fox's spot on the main roster when the company decides that it's time for the former Divas Champion to leave her wrestling career behind.

6 Release: The Ascension

via wikipedia.org

The Ascension was once the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in NXT and now they have also been reduced to jobbing to every other team on the roster when the company needs someone to build up a breakout star.

Konnor and Viktor were one of the best things in NXT for a very long time but ever since they were promoted and beaten down by legends, they have been unable to build themselves back up.

A complete character change would be needed to help these two stars push forward right now and it's something that WWE aren't prepared to do.

5 Replacement: Mustache Mountain

via totalwrestlingmagazine.com
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Much like The Ascension, Moustache Mountain has become a popular team in NXT over the past few months and even had a brief Tag Team Championship reign. Tyler Bate and Trent Seven will be busy as part of NXT UK in the coming weeks, but there is nothing stopping them from appearing on WWE's main roster as well.

Tyler Bate has already appeared on the main roster before and could easily do it again if the company is in need of a dominant tag team. Interestingly, WWE has a number of Tag Teams on their main roster that they are not using right now, so a clear out is probably needed.

4 Release: Tamina

via twitter.com

Tamina Snuka is another veteran of the Women's Division, but she has nothing to show for her time in WWE and has been missing since the Royal Rumble but the WWE Universe hasn't noticed. The daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka isn't someone that has ever connected with the WWE Universe and is easily a forgettable addition to the Women's Division.

The Women's Division is looking to move forward in the coming months and Tamina is one of the stars that really doesn't add anything to the division, which means that she should be one of the first names on the release list.

3 Replacement: Lacey Evans

via orlandosentinel.com
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Tamina Snuka likes to think that she's hard-hitting but she's never been in the ring with ex-Marine Lacey Evans.

"The Lady of NXT" has quite the resume from her time down in NXT, but is yet to cross paths with Women's Champion Shayna Baszler.

Evans would be a solid pick if anyone was to guess who will be the one to finally defeat Baszler for that Women's Championship, but if Evans is one of the stars that are able to bypass the championship picture and head to the main roster, then Tamina's spot would be ripe for the taking.

2 Release: Neville

via thestraitstimes.com

Neville hasn't appeared on WWE TV since October 2017 when it was reported that the former Cruiserweight Champion had walked out of the company and refused to make a return. Neville is seemingly angry at the way he has been booked over the past few years and the company hasn't been able to fix this over the past year.

The British star has moved back to his native country and despite WWE trying to hold talks with the former NXT star, he doesn't appear to be interested in a return. Could the company finally be ready to cut their losses?

1 Replacement: Ricochet

via wwe.com
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Neville was once seen as one of the highlight reels of 205 Live, who better to replace him than the man who is the highlight of any NXT show, Ricochet. It was recently reported that the addition of The One and Only to NXT Live shows is helping to boost ticket sales, which means that WWE is already aware that they have a star on their hands.

Hopefully, Ricochet isn't reduced to 205 Live much like Neville was and the company is able to find a way to let him do what he does best as part of their flagship show.

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