The year 2017 just started and the wrestling industry is still the way it always is. There are still great technical wrestlers with the potential to become main event superstars that most likely will not get their chance, there are still great wrestlers that are amazing at doing promos, but are too short to be considered for a shot at a World title, and there are still big guys that will still be pushed… for absolutely no apparent reason other than their sheer size. Unfortunately, there will be some wrestlers who will most likely get fired. As you could’ve probably realized from the title, that’s what this article is about.
For this list, don’t expect to hear the names Nikki Bella, Seth Rollins, or Chris Jericho, et cetera, et cetera… I know there is a lot of speculation that these particular superstars are leaving or out with an injury, but with them meaning so much to the company and being so important, it’s hard to believe that they are going to actually get the dreaded “good luck in your future endeavors” shtick and more than likely that they’ll come back at their own discretion or come back whenever they are fully healed, for those who are out with injuries. So sit back and enjoy and of course as usual… don’t hate me.
15. Titus O’Neil
Ever since Titus O’Neil’s little mishap with Mr. McMahon that got him suspended happened, things just haven’t been the same for The Real Deal. Sure, he’s been embroiled in a pretty humorous story line with The New Day, but we all know what path that normally leads down most of the time, when a wrestler becomes nothing more than a comedy act.
O’Neil has always added some form of humor in whatever angle he’s involved in, but if this becomes the performer’s only way of winning over the crowd, it could end up hurting that particular wrestler in the long run. If you don’t get what I’m saying, then just think about the likes of Damien Sandow, Curtis Axel, or to a lesser extent, Rusev. All three were/are great performers that, at their start in WWE, they all got some pretty big pushes. However, when it became more about the jokes and less about the actual in-ring skills, that’s when things started to go left. Let’s give the big guy credit, he has come quite a long way from being a tag team competitor with fellow WWE superstar Darren Young. Come to think of it, the two individuals I just mentioned are former WWE Tag Team Champions, so that’s gotta count for something, right?
14. Bo Dallas
To many wrestling fans, Dallas is seen as a wrestler with loads of potential to be a main event star, but is instead stuck in the mid to lower card, for whatever reason. What a lot of people think holds him back is his size and look. While he has shown he can hold his own on the mic and that he can entertain us with his humor, he is stuck jobbing or being a part of some none-threatening stable like The Social Outcasts, which, while it was pretty entertaining to watch, just seemed to be one big giant “F you” to Dallas, Slater, Rose, and Axel. Recently his gimmick has changed to a somewhat darker version of his previous “Bo-lieve” gimmick, but the change doesn’t seem like it’s going to be enough for him to achieve main event status, to be honest. Then again, Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas are related, so maybe he will hang on a little bit longer, or then again, maybe he won’t. I guess only time will tell.
13. Eva Marie
If you’re wondering or if you didn’t know why Eva Marie has been out of action, it’s because she’s off being a film star… and she also got suspended last year. Most people think she’ll be gone by the end of this year and I don’t think I’ll argue with that. Well, she’s had her fair share of moments in WWE. There was that interesting feud with Becky Lynch where she continuously finds some way to get out of wrestling her and not getting her “lass” possibly kicked, including one time where she pulled the old “wardrobe malfunction” trick on an episode of SmackDown Live. This was one of the only times after the Attitude era that something like this happened. And just know I’m trying to be funny, it’s a shame I’m not, but that is the case.
12. Sin Cara
It probably isn’t because he got into that incident with Chris Jericho, it’s not because his act is utterly stale, it’s not even because of that one time he got exposed after being video taped jumping off a trampoline on what looked to be another edition of Monday Night Raw (if you’re a hater, answer me this one question, how else do you think he jumped that high?). It’s because… there really doesn’t seem to be much he’s doing lately and usually when a wrestler is inactive for too long, it’s a pretty good sign that they could be on their way out. If this is his last year in WWE, he’s had a pretty nice run and has lasted a lot longer than some critics and doubters thought he would. Especially for a guy who is only about 5’7, because we all know that in the WWE, it takes one heck of a little man to make it big… No pun intended!
11. Jack Swagger
To be honest this one is kind of iffy. Jack Swagger has gone from being an up and coming superstar on ECW (the WWE’s version, anyway) to a mid carder with potential, to a main event star and World Heavyweight Champion (although, not everyone respected his run) back to a mid carder to getting another push for a world title (that he was unsuccessful at winning) to the whole Zeb Colter/Cesaro stable. Then, he was the guy who wrestles on occasion and seems to job most of the time.
Sometimes wrestlers hit their peek and then fizzle out after years and years of being successful and I honestly think that’s the case here. You can say what you want about his mic skills being a bit off or say that his world title run was a fluke, but you can’t say that he didn’t accomplish anything during his peek years. On a side note, the reason why this is so “iffy” is because Swagger has been with the company for so long and seems to be on good terms and since not every wrestler can be a Stone Cold Steve Austin, he could be used as a jobber or used solely for comic relief.
And while I’m sure some were thinking that Paige was included as part of the “etc, etc” that I wrote in my introduction to this list… she unfortunately wasn’t. Long before the divas revolution reached the point that it’s at now, Paige was considered a pretty big deal, and prior to her hiatus from the company, she was embroiled in some pretty epic feuds. Things started to go sour when, apparently, Alberto Del Rio (the man who she is engaged to) got fired. Whether there’s bad blood between the WWE and Paige because of this, no one knows, but what with Paige being out of action for so long, it’s kind of a foregone conclusion, don’t you think?
On a personal level, it really does suck if that’s the case. She seems to make a really good heel (despite a few distasteful moments that we can thank the writers and/or creative team for.) Sure, we got to see her in matches with the likes of Sasha and Charlotte before she left, but there was (and I guess still is) potential for much more, and since the divas revolution has evolved into much more since she’s been gone, that makes it all the more sadder.
9. Mark Henry
Yeah, yeah. I know. The world’s strongest man really isn’t everyone’s cup of tea when it comes down to wrestling. The thing that many people don’t like about Henry’s matches is the fact that a lot of times, if he’s the one dishing out the punishment, the match seems to take like 45 minutes. And by taking 45 minutes I don’t mean like a 45 minute, quick-paced iron man match that pits a Seth Rollins vs. an AJ Styles. I mean you can expect a couple of body slams, a bear hug, a big splash, and maybe a world’s strongest slam… in approximately 45 minutes. Meaning that’s probably all you’ll be getting out of a Mark Henry match.
On the flip-side of that coin, you have Mark Henry fans who think more like this: a big tall man that is well over 400 pounds is kicking the crap out of this smaller guy! Now that’s believable! That’s my boss in there getting the crap kicked out of him or that’s that one douchebag that always thought he was so cool in high school getting destroyed. So the next time you take a dump on Mark Henry’s wrestling ability and call his matches boring, remember that.
8. Tyson Kidd
While I may joke around sometimes when writing these lists, this entry is an exception. As many wrestling fans know, during a match with Samoa Joe, Tyson Kidd suffered a career, and for that matter, life threatening injury. It has been rumored that Tyson Kidd will never be able to wrestle again. If the WWE does decide to release him, this would obviously be the best decision. Much like Daniel Bryan, this doesn’t have to be the complete end of Kidd’s time in WWE as he could most likely find work within the company. In all honesty, Kidd is super lucky this whole situation didn’t kill him and if that match with Samoa Joe was really the last time that he will ever wrestle again, I can say it was a true honor and privilege watching him wrestle.
Honestly, what happened? A while back, Rusev was a force to be reckoned with in the WWE, gaining victories over some of the WWE’s biggest names, including and perhaps most notably, John Cena AKA the guy that a lot of people are starting to call John Burial. This may come as a shock to some who say that Rusev is still relevant, and while he isn’t main eventing pay-per-view after pay-per-view, he is still seen a lot more than some wrestlers. This may be true, but his importance has definitely decreased and he seems to be become somewhat of a Big Show 2.0. What I mean by that is when Show makes his entrance, the announcers (be it, JBL, Micheal Cole, etc) always hype him up and it seems to be a big deal (as it should) but then what happens next? I’ll tell you want happens. The guy he’s facing defeats, and in most cases, embarrasses him. The young talent gets somewhat of a push and The Big Show is just left there to get laughed at. This seems to be the road Rusev is going down. By the way, check out his feud with Enzo and Cass if you don’t know what I mean.
6. Curtis Axel
The Curtis Axel that most people know about is nothing like the one we see today. If you think the WWE weren’t planning on doing something big with him, think about this: he can actually say he beat Triple H (another guy that a lot of fans think buries some talent) in his first match on Raw. He then became the Intercontinental Champion and not too long after that, he fell off the face of the earth. He teamed with Ryback and formed a short-lived stable called RybAxel. Not too long after that, we basically got a rip off of something the Big Show did in the early 2000s. If you don’t know what I mean, visit YouTube and look up Big Show makes fun of DDP or look at the match he had a Backlash in 2000 against Kurt Angle.
5. Heath Slater
The undisputed king of comic relief, Heath Slater may be on his way out of the WWE. We all know that a World Championship is highly unlikely for the one man rock band and that’s cool, because somehow Slater has managed week in and week out to keep us entertained as a comical goof, and obviously because of this he has done quite well for himself. The only problem is how much more of this does he have left before it starts to become stale and people lose interest? On the upside, he has recently had a tag team title run with Rhyno (you know, the “I need this job” gimmick), but now things are starting to look like they did before, which isn’t good for a Mr. Slater.
4. The Usos
Since turning heel, The Usos have managed to impress a lot of people. When it comes to impressing whoever is in charge of giving the big storyline or a major push, it doesn’t seem like they’re having much luck, however. I mean don’t get me wrong, SmackDown, in a lot of fan’s eyes, is much better than Raw. One thing that doesn’t seem to be taking off is the tag team division, which has loads of potential. You know, I actually could’ve included the entire division instead of just The Usos, and it may have made a lot more since. Either way, if someone doesn’t do something soon, they’re going to end up getting put into matches that no one cares about (kind of like now) with storylines that are totally random or unimportant, which eventually leads to the creative team thinking it’s a waste of money to keep, which eventually leads to them getting fired. Hey, it sucks but it has happened before.
3. Jinder Mahal
He might not be the greatest superstar to ever live, but give him credit, he’s been with the company for multiple years and that isn’t an easy feat. The problem, like most on the list, is the fact that no one seems to care about putting him in storylines that would help evolve his character. Instead, we get him teaming with Rusev or him in the 3MB or Jinder Mahal in The Social Outcasts. I’m not saying he ever even has to see the main event picture, but jeez, couldn’t they put him in storylines that were just a little more meaningful? There are plenty of guys that might not become main event stars, but could do much better, if given the right story lines.
2. Darren Young
I almost didn’t put Young on this list, because he’s on the injured list and sometimes, they’ll at least give a wrestler a chance to come back. To be honest, I don’t think the Prime Time Players should have disbanded. If you recall, there was a time where they were over with the crowd and very much liked. Add the fact that this was a time when legit tag teams were non-existent, for the most part, and that makes it even more impressive. Nowadays, Young is being mentored by Bob Backlund, and while it has been entertaining, something tells me it just won’t last long.
1. James Ellsworth
Since joining WWE, Ellsworth has been the butt of every internet trolls YouTube comment, a meme superstar sensation, and is currently involved in an onscreen relationship with Carmella. WTF. It’s surprisingly a pretty decent story line, probably because you don’t know how it’s going to pan out. And before anyone says “she’s going to dump him because she’s just using him to win matches and attempt to get a title shot,” that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. What if somewhere along the lines Carmella truly falls in love with Ellsworth, but it’s too late because he thinks all this time he was being used and abused and taken advantage of, so it’s him that breaks up with her? Or… or get this! What if the two become somewhat of a power couple, Big Cass gets drafted to SmackDown live and sees said couple making out in the lobby and challenges James Ellsworth to a match… at WrestleMania 40 for Carmella’s heart? If you’re a true James Ellsworth fan or troll, I’m sure you’ll get what I did there.