Most wrestlers spend their entire career working towards a tryout from WWE and many rarely even make it that far. It was thought that once you were part of the company you were sorted for life, but there are many stars who are currently employed by WWE that aren't being used to the best of their ability.
Cody Rhodes has proved that WWE isn't the only place that a wrestler can go to be seen and there are many others who could do with following in his footsteps if they ever want to be taken seriously in this industry. There are many other promotions that are able to push forward talent in this era, which means that these stars still have options.
These are the stars who are consistently overlooked and occasionally used to put over other talents when they are the stars who deserve to shine. Right now there are more stars on WWE's main roster than ever before and with many being promoted from NXT every year, it's easy for some stars to fly under the radar.
The following list looks at just 15 WWE superstars who should walk away from the company now to ensure that their brand is still big enough to be appealing to other companies like New Japan Pro Wrestling and TNA. WWE is the biggest wrestling promotion in the world and while it's a dream for some wrestlers to be an employee of the company, that dream is slowly turning into a nightmare for many others.
15 Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder has been part of WWE's main roster for more than a decade now, after making his official debut back in 2007. Over the past 10 years, Ryder has been consistently overlooked in favor of stars who have lasted just half the time that he has in WWE's employment.
Ryder is a former United States, Tag Team, and Intercontinental Champion but had to wait more than seven years to finally have his music played at WrestleMania when he was part of the Intercontinental Championship ladder match. It was reported by The Wrestling Observer that Ryder was only made part of this match after Neville suffered a fractured ankle, otherwise, he would have once again been relegated to a place in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Ryder managed to win the match but dropped the title less than 24 hours later to The Miz on the Raw after WrestleMania and it was the last Championship that Ryder was able to lift. It's been more than two years since Ryder has been given this kind of shot and since The Hype Bros split a few months ago Ryder hasn't been given a new feud, but he was moved over to Raw in the Superstar Shakeup, which hasn't affected him at all in the past few weeks.
14 Tamina Snuka
Tamina Snuka is another star that has been part of the company now for almost a decade and she still doesn't have a single Championship reign to show for it. Tamina's only contribution to the Women's Revolution was the part she played in the Women's Royal Rumble back in January and it was then reported by Sportskeeda that the second generation star was injured as part of the match and was then forced to undergo surgery for a torn rotator cuff.
Tamina's most recent push in WWE was when she was aligned with Lana so that she finally had a manager, but she has become so known for her botches in the ring that it's hard for many of the WWE Universe to take her seriously.
Tamina has only become a star in WWE because of her father and at 40 years old, it wouldn't be completely out of the question to suggest that she will depart the company in the near future so that she can focus her time on her two daughters. Tamina has been missing from WWE ever since January and her absence hasn't even been noticeable, which shows that WWE won't miss her if she does decide to leave.
13 Becky Lynch
Becky Lynch was once part of the Four Horsewomen of NXT and the only member of the group that was unable to capture the NXT Women's Championship before she was promoted to the main roster. WWE was able to remedy this by making her SmackDown Live's first draft pick and the inaugural SmackDown Women's Champion, but Lynch's career has gone downhill ever since and recently reached the point where something big is needed in order to save her career.
Becky won the Women's Championship two years ago and hasn't come close to winning it again in the years that have followed.
Since Charlotte has been moved over to SmackDown Live, the Women's Division has become all about The Queen and Asuka, with Lynch being added to multi-person matches to make up the numbers. Lynch's only real hope now is to turn heel, but there are already a number of heel female wrestlers on that brand. Sportskeeda even recently reported on the fact that Becky Lynch had been overlooked while the other three members of her group have gone on to make history. The writing has been on the wall for a while and as new superstars emerge, Lynch continued to be pushed further down the pecking order.
12 Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews was someone who Triple H took under his wing while he was in NXT and pushed him until he was ready to be promoted to the main roster, but it could be argued that Crews was promoted before he was ready. Apollo had a decent first few weeks on the Raw roster but his lack of personality and charisma means that regardless of how talented he is in the ring, there is nothing that WWE can do with him.
Apollo is a naturally gifted athlete but the worst thing that WWE did to him was aligning him with Titus Worldwide, a team that has now become a joke given his memorable stumble at The Greatest Royal Rumble.
Cageside Seats reported that the WWE Universe had turned this moment into a number of hilarious memes. Crews is destined for so much more and had a successful career on the Independent Circuit before he first signed for the company. It's easy to see him becoming frustrated with his current position in WWE and following in Neville's footsteps by walking away from WWE in the coming months. The company is not going to take him seriously unless he stands up for himself and shows them that he's committed to his career.
11 Curtis Axel
Curtis Axel is a third generation WWE superstar and the son of Mr. Perfect. He followed his father into the wrestling business, but he hasn't been able to measure up to the impressive career that the WWE Hall of Famer had. Axel hasn't had a single stand out moment in WWE since he made his debut back in 2010.
Axel has been aligned with Paul Heyman in the past, but even the legendary advocate couldn't help save the former Intercontinental Champions career since it was doomed from the beginning. Axel has since been reduced to working alongside The Miz in The Miztourage where he is basically a superstar who is in awe of Miz's success and chooses to do everything in his power to ensure that Miz stays at the top of the totem pole. Wrestling Rumors reported that the only reason that Axel joined Miz was that WWE didn't want a power couple on each show but mainly because WWE had no other future plans for Axel and Bo Dallas. Since Miz's move over to SmackDown, Axel and his partner Dallas have become jokes on their own and it's unknown what the future holds for them if there isn't a person that they can join in the near future.
10 Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze was one of the longest-tenured superstars on WWE's developmental brand, after being there for more than three years when he was finally promoted to the main roster in 2015, but it was believed that Triple H was waiting for a worthy storyline for him to step into.
Breeze was made part of a storyline with Dolph Ziggler, which wasn't the worst feud at that time, but it did end up being the last time he was taken seriously by the company.
Breeze has since been aligned with Fandango and the duo have become known as The Fashion Police. This is a gimmick that WWE gave to them and allowed them to then adapt to it and their backstage segments became comedy gold for a while until they were also canceled. Breeze and Fandango were recently moved over to Raw where they obviously aren't going to be taken seriously again. Tyler has been working for WWE for eight years and doesn't have a single Championship reign to show for it but Uproxx reported last year that Breeze is staying positive about his current position in the company and is seemingly OK with being overlooked at this stage in his career.
Neville was once known as Pac on the Independent Circuit and was able to make quite an impact before he was signed by WWE and became one of the hottest prospects on their developmental brand. Neville was once the longest reigning NXT Champion and many fans desperately waited for the day that he was called up to the main roster.
Neville's main roster career didn't go the way that anyone thought it would with him consistently kept out of the main title picture and pushed towards the 205 Live roster instead.
Neville's tenure in WWE ended abruptly last year after he dropped the Cruiserweight Championship to Enzo Amore back in October and then walked away from the company. Neville hasn't been seen on WWE TV in seven months, but BodySlam.net recently revealed that the British star has since moved back to the UK and isn't entertaining the thought of returning to the company right now. WWE also reportedly have given up on trying to bring the Champion back, which means that the writing could already be on the wall for Neville, who has been looking for a way out of his contract since he first walked away last year.
8 Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke is a former bodybuilder and someone who was brought to WWE to be something different in the Women's Division. It could be argued that Brooke was promoted from NXT too soon since she was nowhere near ready for the women on the main roster when she made her debut a few years ago but has since adjusted.
Brooke has recently been taken out of the ring and is now seen as the statistician for Titus Worldwide, a brand that also includes Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews. The group has always been considered to be a joke, but most recently they have become one of the biggest in the company. Brooke showed real signs of improvement the last time she was in the ring and she deserves much better than being a glorified valet for two of WWE's biggest jobbers. Sportskeeda reported that Brooke herself called WWE out back in January when they forgot to add her to the Women's Royal Rumble poster despite being a confirmed participant since she too was sick of being overlooked. The former NXT star had a better career outside of WWE than she currently does as an employee of WWE, so if the company continues to treat her this way, then there's nothing stopping her from walking away as well.
7 Aiden English
Aiden English was seen as quite a prospect while he was down in NXT and is a former Tag Team Champion alongside his former teammate Simon Gotch when the duo was known as The Vaudevillians. Gotch was released from the company last year and this left English in a position where he was forced to be a solo superstar once again, but luckily he wasn't alone for long.
English joined Rusev and the duo became known as Rusev Day, quickly becoming popular with the WWE Universe and even being named as one of WWE's biggest merchandise sellers. Recently it has been reported by RingsideNews that WWE is looking to break up the team of Aiden English and Rusev so that Lana can rejoin her husband, which would then leave English in a position where he would be forced to become a talent enhancer once again or be completely overlooked like a number of other names on the roster. English married into the famous Guerrero family back in 2016 and deserves to be treated much better by WWE. Rusev and English have had a fantastic few months together and could easily continue what they have started if they were given the chance.
Rusev may be seen as one of the most popular stars on WWE's current roster, but this is because he has worked on his gimmick and the fans have enjoyed watching him over the past few months. Rusev wasn't a star that was supposed to get over, which is why the company is thinking of breaking up the team of Rusev and Aiden English so that Lana and her husband can reconnect on WWE TV.
RingsideNews reported last month that Rusev had asked for his WWE release ahead of his match with The Undertaker at The Greatest Royal Rumble because he obviously thought that he deserved better. It isn't the first time these reports have surfaced, with the news that the Bulgarian Brute asked for his release from the company last year as well because he was unhappy with his position. It isn't much of a stretch to consider Rusev asking for his WWE release and the company finally accepting it this time. Even though he is one of their most popular stars, he appears to have found a way to control the company and ensure that they bend to his will, which isn't something that will go down very well with the officials behind the scenes.
5 The Ascension
The members of The Ascension were once the longest reigning Tag Team Champions on NXT, and now they are talent enhancers on the main roster. After being promoted to the main roster back in 2014 and taking the time to tell the WWE Universe that they were much better than any of the legendary teams that had come before them, they were finally silenced by the legends as part of Old School Raw.
This was the beginning of the end for the two, as the company was unable to book them into an angle that made sense after they were beaten by a group of legends.
Bleacher Report then revealed that Konnor had been suspended for 60 days following his second violation of the Wellness Policy, which left the team on the sidelines for a number of months as the star accepted his punishment. In recent years The Ascension has been relegated to only being seen on WWE Live Events and as part of multi-man matches to make up the numbers. The duo recently took part in The Greatest Royal Rumble match, but even though they have been moved over to Monday Night Raw, the future isn't looking any brighter for the former NXT stars.
Lana auditioned for the 2013 WWE Diva Search, thinking that her background in dancing and acting would help her to win. The competition was won by Eva Marie and JoJo Offerman and the two women were then given a place in Total Divas, while Lana was sent down to NXT and aligned with Rusev. Lana and Rusev began a relationship in real life and later went on to marry while also taking over the main roster as a pairing until WWE split them up last year.
Lana decided that she wanted to be seen as a wrestler and made her second in-ring debut at Money in the Bank before she then competed in a handful of matches and WWE informed her that they didn't want her to wrestle anymore. PWMania even reported that The Ravishing Russian and her husband asked for their release in the summer of last year, but the company was obviously able to talk them out of it. Lana was then aligned with Tamina as her manager but was taken off TV when she was injured. Lana has competed in the Women's Royal Rumble and the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal in recent months but it still seems that the company is not happy to push her as a wrestler and with Rusev pushing Lana to want children, it appears that the former dancer could be looking at options outside of the business in the near future.
3 Mike Kanellis
Mike Kanellis was known as "The Miracle" Mike Bennett throughout his career in Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling, but he changed his name when he came to WWE alongside his wife Maria. Mike and Maria debuted at Money in the Bank back in 2017 and the power couple has since been pushing their way into the spotlight on SmackDown Live.
Merely weeks after the couple's debut Sportskeeda reported that WWE was already giving up on the pairing since they believed that Bennett wasn't pushing hard enough to be part of the company. Maria hasn't been seen on WWE TV since last year when she announced that she was pregnant and her husband has since been dropped down to jobber status within the company as he tries to work hard to show WWE that he wants to be there. Bennett had a career before he came to WWE and if the company is not giving him the opportunities then it would be easy for him to leave and go back to either Ring of Honor or Impact Wrestling. Kanellis could be remaining with the company now because he wants to provide for his family, but in the future, he will realize that he has other options outside of WWE.
2 Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas is another second generation superstar that joins the list after what could only be called an underwhelming career. Bo is a former NXT Champion and someone who great things were expected of when he first made his debut on the main roster under his "Bo-lieve" gimmick. This quickly fizzled out and Bo was then used as a talent enhancer, the whole time knowing that his brother Bray Wyatt was being pushed to the top of the company.
Dallas was kept away from WWE for some time back in 2017 and rumors were circling about his WWE status, until Sportskeeda confirmed that this was due to illness.
The former Champion was aligned with The Miz and Curtis Axel last year as he made up one half of The Miztourage when it was reported that the company had nothing else for him to do. Dallas will find it hard on his own if he and Axel are split up on the Raw roster, but coming from a family of wrestlers, he will know that he has other options outside of the company. Hopefully, it won't come to that and WWE will allow him and his brother to work together in the near future instead.
1 Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley only returned to the WWE on the Raw after WrestleMania last month and already WWE has managed to make a mess of his character moving forward. Lashley has been billed as one of the most dominant wrestlers in the business in recent years and has a background in mixed martial arts, so for him to be aligned with Braun Strowman completely tones down everything he can do on his own.
Lashley had a stint in WWE before where he was able to lift the ECW Championship, so he is well aware of the way that the company books some of their top athletes, so he will know that he isn't being pushed to the top of the WWE when he's stuck in a tag team match with Braun Strowman. The Express reported that one of the main reasons why Lashley returned to the company was because of what could be a landmark feud between him and Lesnar at this year's SummerSlam. At the moment, rumours suggest that Lesnar isn't contracted to appear at The Biggest Party of the Summer so it would be easy to see Lashley walking away from WWE in the coming months if the feud he was promised doesn't go ahead.