WWE is like a conveyor belt. New superstars are being signed to the company every day, which means that there has to be some that are released on a regular basis to maintain an even pay scale. However, there are a number of superstars who have shown signs of greatness over the past few years, only for the company to lock them into gimmicks that don’t work. As a result, they haven’t been able to connect with the WWE Universe in a way that they once did. WWE has the ability to repackage superstars as many times as they want but it seems that the more they repackage their mid-card stars, the less believable they become.
As well as the option to repackage, WWE also has the ability to sent stars back down to NXT if they feel that they could do with a boost, the likes of which can only be found in front of the Full Sail crowd. Loyalty in wrestling isn’t a common thing and when a wrestler stops connecting with the WWE Universe, the company has to make a decision when it comes to their future and what their options really are.
If the company doesn’t decide that they need to make some releases in line with budget cuts, then instead they will make a number of other decisions, such as giving them a different character or even sending them back down to developmental. The following list looks at just 15 stars in WWE right now that could benefit from being either repackaged or sent back down to NXT.
15. Repackaged: Mike Kanellis
Mike Kanellis only made his WWE debut alongside his wife Maria back at Money in the Bank a few short months ago, but it seems that WWE has already given up on the push that was planned for the former TNA and Ring of Honor star when he arrived.
Mike and Maria recently announced that they are expecting their first child, which means that Mike will want to ensure that he is a consistent part of the roster so he can still bring home the money for his family. His current gimmick isn’t working and the feud with Sami Zayn didn’t help either star, so perhaps a repackage could be in order for Mike in the coming months. Perhaps he’s being kept off WWE TV so that the company can repackage him and at least try to push him forward one last time before they give up on him completely.
14. Repackaged: Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze was promoted to the main roster after a lengthy stint down in NXT and it was thought that the company was waiting for the perfect time to promote Prince Pretty to the SmackDown Live brand.
The feud with Dolph Ziggler wasn’t the best rivalry for Breeze to begin his main roster career with and it seems to have left Breeze in an unfamiliar position on SmackDown over the past few months. As The Fashion Police, Breeze and Fandango have been able to gain quite a bit of popularity but it seems that WWE has pushed this so far now that their segments are becoming quite tedious. Once again, the company has killed what Breeze and Fandango created for themselves and now the only option is to pull the two out and allow them to become characters on their own. Breeze and Fandango deserve much better; they are surefire Champions one day.
13. Sent To NXT: Mojo Rawley
It is still unknown why Mojo Rawley was actually promoted to the main roster during the brand split last year since all he has managed to accomplish is the Andre The Giant Battle Royale win back at WrestleMania.
Mojo’s rumoured rivalry with Zack Ryder is still yet to become a reality as well, since WWE hasn’t pushed the button on their breakup yet either. Mojo isn’t the best wrestler in the world but he could have gained a lot more from a few extra months in NXT rather than being called up too soon. If WWE wants to push Mojo as a singles competitor then they should probably allow him to go back down to the developmental brand and gain some experience. Mojo should at least be given a gimmick that the WWE Universe can get behind since right now Mojo isn’t really connecting with the audience under his new character.
12. Repackaged: Rusev
It’s incredible to think that Rusev was once an undefeated entity on Monday Night Raw, so much so that WWE did everything they could to protect that streak until John Cena managed to end it.
Rusev has been on a downward spiral ever since his streak ended and his career seems to be at an all-time low right now after being defeated by John Cena back at Battleground and then Randy Orton inside 10 seconds at SummerSlam. Rusev no longer has Lana by his side and he definitely can no longer be seen as The Bulgarian Brute, which means that a repackage could well be in order if Rusev wants to be taken seriously once again. Rusev has the skills to be a top performer in WWE. He just needs to be given a chance and a change of character could be the perfect way for him to turn over a new leaf.
11. Repackaged: The Colons
From Primo and Epico to Los Matadores, The Shining Stars and now The Colons, it seems that WWE just can’t find the perfect character for these two cousins. The duo has never been taken seriously in the Tag Team Division and has only ever been used to make up the numbers in Championship matches.
The brother and cousin of former WWE star Carlito have never been given a proper chance to become something in WWE and their recent switch to SmackDown Live has left the duo in a position where there are rumours about whether or not they want to leave the company. Repackaging them again could be a bad idea, but their current character doesn’t seem to be enough. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be AWOL from SmackDown Live right now. WWE needs to do something with The Colons, or they should just release them if that’s what they want.
10. Sent To NXT: Sin Cara
Sin Cara had a shocking reputation a few years ago as one of the superstars who once botched pretty much every match he has been in. Sin Cara then went down to NXT, joined with Kalisto, and they became The Lucha Dragons, a team that was quite popular with the WWE Universe for a while.
The duo was split back in the summer of 2016 when Sin Cara went to Raw and Kalisto was put on SmackDown. They are now once again on opposite brands, but while Kalisto is a former Cruiserweight Champion, it seems that Sin Cara has become another star with nothing to do on the SmackDown roster despite it being called “The Land Of Opportunity.” Sin Cara found himself down in NXT last time he was there, so WWE could attempt the same thing with the veteran once again to see if it works in their favour.
9. Repackaged: Summer Rae
Summer Rae hasn’t been seen on WWE TV for almost 600 days. The last time she competed as part of the company was back at WrestleMania 32 when she was part of a 10-Diva tag match. Summer was then put out of action with an injury and hasn’t been seen since.
The former NXT star has been fit to return to WWE for a long time but it seems that the company is unable to fit her into any current storylines because Raw is focused around three women. Summer never had a great character to begin with, but she proved that she was a talented wrestler while she was part of NXT, only to be wasted on the main roster. If WWE gave Summer a decent character and she was able to make a return in the near future then she could definitely add something to the Women’s Division on either Raw or SmackDown right now.
8. Repackaged: R-Truth
R-Truth was once a popular character that WWE was able to slot into some of the biggest storylines that the company has ever created. Incredibly, R-Truth’s character is still based around a phrase that hasn’t been used in society for a number of years, which shows just how much the veteran needs an upgrade.
The last time Truth was relevant was when he was in a tag team with Goldust, a star who has reached his sell-by date as well. Even when the two veterans were put together, WWE never took full advantage of their ability and instead they were used as jobbers on the Raw roster. Truth has been in WWE now for a number of years and deserves a chance to be part of the company at the highest level one last time before, like many others in the near future, he decides to hang up his wrestling boots.
7. Sent To NXT: Lana
Lana has been WWE’s secret weapon for a number of years, but it seems that instead of using her incredible mic skills to their advantage, the company decided to train Lana to be an in-ring competitor.
Lana made her in-ring debut back at Money in the Bank but it wasn’t the debut that the WWE Universe was expecting. It seems that after only a handful of matches on the main roster, WWE has given up on Lana’s push. The Ravishing Russian is now being used as a manager for Tamina Snuka, which is a shocking storyline for both women. Lana could do much better and if the company sent her back down to NXT and allowed her to gain the experience that she needed as an in-ring wrestler, then she would be able to return and actually challenge for the Championship on the SmackDown brand and be seen as a legitimate contender.
6. Repackaged: Big Cass
Big Cass and Enzo Amore became one of the most popular tag teams in NXT a few years ago, so the company brought them up to the main roster and began their plan to push Cass as the next big star. Unsurprisingly, it was Enzo who came out of the duos split looking like the much bigger star, which left Cass in an unfamiliar position on the Raw roster.
Cass’ injury came at the perfect time because he wasn’t connecting with the audience and he didn’t look as though he was ready to step into a new feud anytime soon. Cass has nothing unique about him right now since the company is only pushing him because of his physical appearance. Enzo was the star of their tag team and now the company needs to do something if they have any hopes of seeing Cass at the top of the company in the coming years.
5. Repackaged: Goldust
Repackaged or released? Given that Goldust is a veteran in WWE and the only member of the famous Rhodes family that is still employed by the company, it seems harsh to release Goldust, even though he is coming to the end of his career.
That being said, Goldust can’t return to WWE TV with his face paint and gold bodysuit anymore since Bray Wyatt defeated him and then wiped off his face paint in the middle of the ring and showed the world that Dustin Rhodes is a mere mortal man underneath. Rhodes then wrestled as himself the following week, only to lose once again before he targeted Finn Balor. If Goldust is able to appear on WWE TV again, then the company needs to give him a new character, or at least a reason as to why he is putting the face paint back on after that level of humiliation.
4. Sent To NXT: Dana Brooke
There isn’t a single superstar in WWE right now who has received the kind of criticism that Dana Brooke has over the past few months. Dana wasn’t fully prepared for the push she received when she joined Charlotte Flair as her protege, something that only came about because of Emma’s injury.
Dana has tried to prove that she has talent in the ring in recent months, but it seems that Dana is another star that has been called up too soon and could really benefit from a few months down on the NXT brand right now. Dana isn’t being used effectively on the Raw roster anyway and the Women’s Division on NXT could probably benefit from having someone like Dana as part of their division right now too. Dana has something that no other woman on the roster has, but she isn’t at a level where she is able to showcase her skills yet.
3. Repackaged: The Ascension
The Ascension has been on lists of this type for the last few years, and it still seems that WWE is not prepared to do anything with the former NXT Tag Team Champions. The Ascension was the team who set the tone on the NXT roster with the longest reign in the history of the titles, but they have failed to find their footing on the main roster over the past few years.
The Ascension has great characters, but they are currently being used as comic relief on whatever segments The Fashion Police decide to put together. This devalues the duo, who are talented wrestlers and deserve a chance to prove this. If Luke Harper and Erick Rowan can be repackaged after their Wyatt Family stint, then there’s no reason why Konnor and Viktor can’t be given the same treatment. It could be argued that The Ascension need the character change much more.
2. Repackaged: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler was once one of the biggest stars that WWE had. He is a former World Champion and Mr Money in the Bank. Dolph is definitely one of the best pure wrestlers that the company has right now and his current gimmick has proved that, but it isn’t a gimmick that can last.
Rumours suggest that Dolph could be leaving WWE in the near future, with his contract ending in October, so it will be interesting to see what happens with Ziggler moving forward. Will the company allow him to go back to being the superstar who captured the hearts of the WWE Universe or will they allow him to continue with the character that he has recently developed and walk away from the company at arguably his lowest level? Dolph definitely deserves much better, but with his future currently unknown, perhaps the company has no idea what to do with him.
1. Sent To NXT: Shinsuke Nakamura
The King of Strong Style left quite an impression on the NXT Universe after he became a two-time NXT Champion during his short stint on the developmental brand, but the worst thing that WWE did was promote Shinsuke Nakamura to the main roster.
Nakamura has become just another star on the SmackDown brand. He doesn’t seem to be performing with the same kind of intensity that he did in NXT and he doesn’t look like the same kind of star. Many of the WWE Universe have commented on the fact that Nakamura isn’t the same on the main roster. The best thing the company can do for him is to send him back down to NXT where he can continue being the star that he once was. NXT has changed since Nakamura left earlier this year, but it seems that the Japanese star could slot back in on that brand much easier than he has on the main roster.
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