The WWE Corporation prides itself on its assembly of the greatest wrestling talent in the world. The company has countless numbers of scouts whose sole purpose it is to find and evaluate the best individuals currently wrestling for other organizations. With that being said, there is a litany of individuals who have somehow managed to escape the McMahon’s grasp over the years, and whose inclusion into WWE would provide an immediate influx of interest in the company.
Many will argue that WWE simply can’t have every superstar, that there’s only so much room and only so many storylines which must already be parceled off to the superstars currently under contract. However, how can you argue that WWE, as the worldwide phenomena that it is shouldn’t have the best possible talent? That the company (and its fans) would be much better served with having a Kenny Omega than it would someone like Jinder Mahal. As such, this list will countdown the 15 Best Superstars Who WWE Should Sign to a Performer Contract. All facts and dates used in this list are taken from WWE.com.
As such, this list will countdown the 15 Best Superstars Who WWE Should Sign. All facts and dates used in this list are taken from WWE.com.
15 John Morrison
Out of all the superstars that WWE has “missed” on in the past fifteen years, John Morrison is probably the greatest. Previously Johnny Nitro, Morrison was a longtime Tag Team specialist who had significant success as part of the MNM group alongside Joey Mercury and Melina. Morrison would truly reach his potential, however, when he was given a pay-per-view match for the ECW Championship. Morrison actually had to be plugged into the match due to the tragic death of Chris Benoit. Benoit was supposed to win the title that night, but when he didn’t appear for the show WWE officials were forced to put the strap on Morrison.
After he dropped the title, Morrison didn’t feel that he was being given enough opportunities and would leave the company a few years later. Since then he has gone on to do great things for many companies including the fascinating upstart Lucha Underground. Thus making him one of the hottest free agents available to WWE right now.
Admittedly Batista’s last return to the WWE didn’t go quite as well as either he or the company had hoped. He was the obvious favorite to win the Royal Rumble and then WWE Creative mistakenly thought the fan base wanted to see him and Orton wrestler for what would have been about the thousandth time. After a few months, however, Batista once again began to find his niche in WWE.
It’s easy to criticize Batista’s Rumble win, but let's not forget that amazing rivalry that he (as part of Evolution) had with the members of the Shield. Similar “dream matches” for Batista are currently ripe in WWE, and there would be a plethora of storylines available to him should he decide to make another comeback. The Beast versus the Animal anyone?
13 Ethan Carter III
The #13 wrestler on our list is my own first choice for WWE’s next signee, Ethan Carter III. A TNA alum, he is one of their few main event stars who wasn’t a big name wrestler before they brought him in. If anything, Carter’s ability to thrive in such a toxic environment as TNA is a true indicator of the man’s talent and abilities. Carter did have a brief stint with WWE (he was previously a loser on an NXT season), but he has since developed into a much more accomplished and entertaining wrestler.
WWE has often been criticized for relying too much on its older talent (look to Goldberg and Undertaker’s entrance into the 2017 Royal Rumble as a perfect example), so infusing a young talent like Ethan Carter into their roster would be a monumental success for WWE.
12 The Young Bucks
I'm not one of those writers who thinks that WWE should bring the entirety of New Japan's legendary Bullet Club into its fold, but I think the Young Bucks would be a particularly good fit for the WWE style. This is especially true when you consider the current state of WWE's Tag Team Division. Despite having some seriously talented teams (the New Day, American Alpha), the division simply doesn't have the fan reaction or quality of matches that WWE execs crave.
The Young Bucks would be a healthy infusion of talent into the division, and their high-flying style has been sorely missed from the tag scene since the breakup of the Lucha Dragons. Throw in some potential confrontations with Gallows and Anderson or even AJ Styles and this becomes a very interesting addition that WWE would be wise to make.
11 Rey Mysterio
I talked earlier about Ethan Carter being my favorite superstar on this list, so I know present to you my least favorite. I always thought that Rey Mysterio was overrated in WWE (at least since his surprising Royal Rumble victory in 2006), however, recent changes in WWE has led me to believe that he could now significantly contribute to the company’s product. These changes, of course are 1) the recent brand split necessitating WWE to develop twice as many storylines and therefore to push more superstars, and 2) the reintroduction of the Cruiserweight Division.
I think a big problem with 205 Live, and the Cruiserweights in general, is the lack of notoriety of the competitors. While WWE has sought to remedy this with the introduction of Neville into the division, I think it could also benefit from the introduction of a former World Heavyweight Champion like Mysterio.
We just talked about Rey Mysterio bringing a veteran presence to WWE’s upstart Cruiserweight Division, now let’s talk about an infusion of young talent into the purple brand. Lucha Underground burst onto the scene recently, in large part due to the incredible amount of in-ring talent that the company was able to possess. One such talent was the high flyer Ricochet. This masked superstar (who has wrestled under other names) is an intense in-ring performer, and his non-stop style of wrestling could add a degree of excitement to a division serious lacking in it. I have seen criticisms of
This masked superstar (who has wrestled under other names) is an intense in-ring performer, and his non-stop style of wrestling could add a degree of excitement to a division serious lacking in it. I have seen criticisms of 205 Live’s reliance on submissions and other technical wrestling moves. People simply want to see these smaller wrestling flying around and showing off their arsenal of high-risk moves. Ricochet’s wrestling style ties closely to this want, and this masked superstar is definitely worth a serious look by WWE scouts.
9 AJ Lee
I think many in WWE like to act like the Women's Division was a total drought of talent in between the periods dominated by Trish Stratus and Lita, and the newly inaugurated Women's Revolution. While this is a discredit to superstars like Nikki Bella and Maryse, it especially disregards the supernova that was AJ Lee. For an almost three year period, AJ was the WWE Women's Division.
With an array of wrestling moves and an incredible knack for character and storyline development, I don't think it's overly gracious to call AJ Lee one of the most talented women's competitors of all time. However, with the firing of her husband, it was unsurprising that AJ would leave WWE a few months later. This leaves us to imagine the great matches which could have happened with her and the newly crowned superstars of the post-revolution Women's Division.
8 Jeff Hardy
There was a point not too long ago where Jeff Hardy was one of the fastest rising stars in WWE. He already had a strong fan base due to his death-defying stunts, and he was improving every week in regards to his promos and in-ring psychology. Then, due to some out-of-ring issues (and rumored tales of Hardy being “buried” by WWE COO Triple H), Hardy was let go by the company. Hardy would go on to have significant success with TNA, including a recent rivalry with his brother Matt that had the entire pro wrestling world buzzing. With the recent brand split in WWE, I think that Jeff would be a perfect fit for the blue brand and their underdog style. And let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to see Hardy take on the “Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose.
7 Hulk Hogan
For the #7 superstar on our list, if WWE brings them in for a match it should truly be for just one more match. The immortal Hulk Hogan will turn 64 this year and is obviously well past his wrestling prime. Therefore, if WWE decides to bring back the Hulkster, it should be for one reason only, a one on one match with John Cena. Cena has been compared to Hogan his whole career (Cena's boy scout persona in many ways mirrors Hogan's dominant face persona from the 80's), but the two have never had that "changing of the guard" match that everyone expected. Even at his advanced age, Hogan still has the star power to make this match a must see. The potential for one more super match between Hogan and Cena should provide the push needed to bring back this legendary superstar, even with the controversial stature he has garnered outside the squared circle.
6 Kurt Angle
With the news of him being the first induction into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame, this is the entry on our list most likely to happen in the near future. Angle was one of the few true main event stars to ever defect from WWE to TNA, so to have him back as a special attraction would be a huge win for Vince and company. A highly popular superstar in his time, one can only imagine the technical masterpieces this Olympic gold medalist would put on with the likes of Seth Rollins or Cesaro. Perhaps even a potential match with fellow TNA alum AJ Styles could be in the cards if Angle ever makes his much-awaited comeback to WWE.
5 Jay Lethal
I could go on and on in this entry about how talented Jay Lethal is. I could talk about how his mic skills are on par with any of the all-time greats in WWE. I could talk about how his in-ring wrestling style will be influenced and augmented by the relationship Lethal shared with his opponent, and how his in-ring psychology is almost unmatched in the current pro wrestling industry. Instead, I’m going to talk about the lack of African-American talent in WWE. Aside from the New Day, WWE simply doesn’t have any black wrestlers who they feel are worthy of putting into major spots. With the companies renewed focus on diversity, the infusion of such an immense black talent like Jay Lethal could have huge ramifications for the future of the company.
4 Ronda Rousey
Of all the superstars on this list, this is the one who has the most potential to change the very framework of WWE. Before her two recent losses, Ronda Rousey was perhaps the biggest star of any sport in the world. Rousey’s historic run changed not only the UFC but the very presence of women in MMA as a whole. While recent losses have certainly affected this standing and star power, Rousey would still be a huge get for WWE officials. She instantly brings credibility to the WWE Women’s Division and brings with her a sort of bad ass factor that I don’t think any other woman in the world could match. Compared by many to Mike Tyson at the height of popularity, I would argue that bringing Rousey in would be the only chance that the WWE women have of being in the main spot at WrestleMania in the near future.
3 Daniel Bryan
For me, this is the most debatable entry on this list. While the great Daniel Bryan still has the ability (and certainly the drive) to continue wrestling, his repeated neck issues have prevented him from being cleared to compete by WWE doctors. Going by this analysis, then Bryan would never wrestle again in the WWE, and his listing in this article is null and void. The issue with this, however, is that Bryan has reportedly been cleared to wrestle by several other independent physicians. I don’t really understand this discrepancy, but I do know that it opens the door (even if only the slightest bit) for a monumental return to WWE. As evidenced by the fan reaction to the new General Manager of Smackdown Live, Daniel Bryan continues to be one of the most popular WWE superstars of all time, and his return would be an instant uplift to the company and industry that he loves.
2 Kenny Omega
The #2 entry on our list, is the independent circuit star who has been rumored most recently to be making the trek to WWE and NXT. I think a good measure of a superstar’s talent on the independent circuit is the level of anticipation by hardcore WWE fans. If this is true, then Kenny Omega must be a hugely talented professional wrestler. From message boards to chants at NXT events, to the WWE Meme’s Facebook page, it seems that everywhere I look I am seeing references to this immense talent. In fact, if it wasn’t for the unique nature of the #1 person on this list, Omega would be a shoo-in for our top spot. As it stands, however, he must be content with being the #2 superstar that WWE should give a performer contract, and the one most likely to make his debut in the next couple months.
1 CM Punk
Anyone who's been a fan of wrestling in the past seven years had to see this coming. To this day, live fans will chant this name in hardcore wrestling cities like Philadelphia and Chicago (his hometown). I'm not one of those wrestling fans who worships Punk (and I think that he should be blamed for the disagreement which led to his departure), but I have to admit that it would be pretty awesome to see him make a return to WWE. Given the inordinate amount of press and attention that was given to Punk's riff with WWE, his return would be ripe with potential rivalries and storylines. Before you say that I'm crazy, remember that above all else Vince loves making money and CM Punk would definitely help with that. Plus, they brought back Bret Hart, so anything can happen right?