World Wrestling Entertainment has quite the deep roster underneath its entire umbrella of properties. Granted, shows such as Raw and SmackDown could use some freshening up as of the spring of 2016. With that said, developmental product NXT has a plethora of talented wrestlers who could immediately be called up to the main roster and add additional depth to the programs that air on cable television. Names such as John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Brock Lesnar and Kevin Owens mixing it up with Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura could make for some entertaining and incredible long-term storylines.
There are nevertheless multiple wrestlers who we wish would come back to WWE sooner rather than later. It some cases, nostalgia plays a role in fans wanting to pop for the entrance theme and return of the wrestler. Other wrestlers, however, could potentially produce dream matches with current mainstays of WWE programming. The WWE is the largest wrestling entity on the planet and a media conglomerate that could theoretically afford to bring back any one of the wrestlers. Make it so, WWE, and provide fans with the one supercard that we could enjoy on the WWE Network; for only $9.99!
15. Daniel Bryan
Let’s be honest. Daniel Bryan is the top wrestler we wish would come back to the WWE as quickly as possible. Bryan retired from the WWE and from wrestling in February 2016 because of all of the concussions that he suffered throughout his great career. It is for the best that Bryan never wrestlers again, of course, but that does not mean that he could not return to the WWE as a character in a non-wrestling role. Bryan could, as an example, be a babyface general manager who replaces “The Authority” on Raw after WrestleMania 32. The WWE would be better off with Bryan on television.
Springtime means WrestleMania season, the weather outside getting warmer day by day and rumors of Goldberg making a return to the WWE spreading all over the Internet. There is one specific reason why we want to see Goldberg back in the WWE, if only for a single match. Goldberg could spear the Ryback character right out of the gimmick and into something that actually works. Maybe then fans would stop feeling the need to chant “Goldberg” whenever Ryback emerges from curtains at shows. Heck, Goldberg could be the best thing that has ever happened to the Ryback gimmick.
13. A.J. Lee
The woman who is married to CM Punk in real life has her reasons for not wanting to ever go back to the WWE. Just think of the promos that A.J. Lee could cut were she to return for any period of time. Maybe, just maybe, if Punk’s Ultimate Fighting Championship career does not go as he hopes and if he and certain individuals working for the company can repair what is a broken relationship, we could see Lee and Punk appear on television as a couple. They could be the ultimate WWE power couple, and they could also give us some great matches while feuding with other performers.
Batista does not have many reasons to make a return to the WWE in 2016. He is a proven movie star who has found success outside of the ring. It could, however, make for some intriguing television if Batista went back to the WWE for a short run similar to those had by Chris Jericho over the years. We can envision Batista cutting promos about the current state of the WWE and on wrestlers such as Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, only to then do jobs to such talents before again saying goodbye to the company and to pro wrestling. We miss you, Big Dave.
11. Evan Bourne
It’s been long enough since Evan Bourne was allegedly unable to follow certain WWE policies about what substances he could and could not use while signed by the company. Bourne should get another shot to work in the WWE. It would be understandable if the WWE did not trust Bourne to be one of the top stars working in main events. That does not mean, however, that Bourne could not be placed in a program with Neville. The WWE is not doing much with Neville, anyway, and the truth of the matter is that Neville and Bourne would probably be better off in NXT than on the main WWE roster.
It was learned in early February 2016 that Awesome Kong, known as Kharma during her brief stint in the WWE, had been released by TNA Wrestling after she was involved in a legitimate fight with another wrestler. This piece is about wrestlers that we want to see work in the WWE and not about whether or not she would be able to get along with others. Kharma going down to NXT and dominating some of the women in developmental would make for great squash matches. It would also set up that Kharma versus Nia Jax match that would either be awesome, terrible or terribly-awesome.
9. Derrick Bateman
We want to be clear and state right out of the gates that nobody needs to see the Derrick Bateman character back on WWE, NXT or anywhere. A version of Ethan Carter III showing up on WWE programming could, however, be interesting. While the company would have to come up with a new name for him unless TNA Wrestling (finally) died a death, the former Bateman has shown that he has the goods to be, at the very worst, a midcard heel for a large company such as the WWE. Bateman/Carter would be better than half of the midcard characters who are currently on Raw and SmackDown.
8. Shelton Benjamin
Remember that one time that the WWE teased that the company was actually going to do something meaningful with Shelton Benjamin by having Benjamin earn a victory over Triple H? Oh, those were fun times. We have the perfect spot on the WWE roster for Benjamin, and that is down in NXT. Benjamin could have entertaining matches with babyfaces and heels currently working in NXT, and he could help some of those performers improve and become more ready for call-ups to the main roster. That alone would make Benjamin going back to the WWE a win for viewers.
7. Bobby Lashley
We are not going to insult the intelligence of any reader or WWE fan by suggesting that Bobby Lashley was some great performer while working with the company. Lashley eventually found the right character outside of the WWE, though, and TNA Wrestling did well to push him as a monster and as a wrestler similar to Brock Lesnar. While Lashley probably would not have a long run in the WWE were he to return to the company, you have to admit that you would be at least a little intrigued to see him have a “mean guy match” with Lesnar, maybe inside of Hell of a Cell because; why not?
6. Brodus Clay
WWE fans have different opinions on different storylines and on the performers who are currently signed by the company. We would like to think, however, that we can all agree on one thing: The WWE horribly botched the Brodus Clay character. Nobody can say, for certain, that Clay would have been a megastar who drew millions of viewers for pay-per-views and special events. The whole dancing gimmick did Clay zero favors outside of the initial pop, and the WWE ultimately gave up on the character and also the wrestler. Bring Clay back, WWE, right that wrong and make him a heel monster who feuds with undersized babyfaces.
5. Gail Kim
We could not care in the slightest that Gail Kim turned 39 years old in February 2016. Along with looking as stunning as ever, Kim is also a talented in-ring worker who could teach a thing or two to many of the women currently working in the WWE. Assuming that Bayley is on her way to the main roster following the weekend of WrestleMania 32, the NXT roster could use an upper-tier women’s wrestler who could work matches with a champion such as Asuka. Kim being in the WWE for even half of a year could be worth it for the multiple memorable matches she could have during that time.
4. Matt Hardy
We can see WWE fans rolling their eyes at the thought of Matt Hardy making a return to the company. It needs to be pointed out that the version of Matt Hardy who was last on WWE programming should not again appear on any of the company’s shows. We, instead, want to see the character that Hardy has recently been portraying on TNA Wrestling. Truth be told, we wouldn’t mind seeing Hardy bring Reby Sky and their son Maxel into the mix. The group would, at the very least, be different than what we have seen on Raw in 2016, and that alone could be a positive for the WWE and also for viewers.
3. Jeff Hardy
Those of us who have followed Jeff Hardy since he and the WWE last parted ways know that the “Enigmatic Superstar” is not the athlete that he was in his physical prime. What also can’t be denied is that Hardy would be way more over as a babyface than are current WWE performers such as Roman Reigns and, to a point, even Dean Ambrose. While it probably would be best for all involved if Jeff Hardy never returned to the WWE as a full-time active wrestler, seeing him compete on shows from time to time would be a thrill. The WWE could even toss him onto a NXT Takeover show that occurs in a large arena.
2. Young Bucks
Casual fans may not remember, but the team that is known in ROH and in other promotions as the Young Bucks has had multiple stints in the WWE. There is, as diehard wrestling fans have probably already guessed, one particular reason why we want to see the Young Bucks link up with Finn Balor, and that is to create a WWE version of the Bullet Club/Balor Club/Bulletproof/Whatever they’re going to call the faction. Also, it would be fun to see real “Super Kick Parties” in the WWE rather than performers such as the Usos, no disrespect meant to them, blatantly stealing that gimmick.
1. Kurt Angle
Those who listen to wrestling radio shows such as Wrestling Observer Live are probably aware that fans call in about the possibility of Kurt Angle returning to the WWE to this day. Those of us who do not work for the company do not know if Angle could pass a WWE physical in 2016, but we do know that we would love to see him somehow become aligned with the American Alpha team that should be on the main roster before the end of 2016. Along with seeing Team Angle 2.0, we wouldn’t mind watching Angle and Brock Lesnar have one final encounter inside of a WWE ring.