WWE is like any other business. When the biggest stars retire the company needs to know that there are people that will be able to take over. This means that sometimes WWE hires some of the most bizarre wrestlers in the hope that they can mold them into a superstar that will go on to create history and break records in WWE.
After all, John Cena wasn’t created overnight. WWE COO Triple H and Chairman Vince McMahon both believed that Cena wouldn’t last five minutes in the company when he first debuted on the SmackDown brand against Kurt Angle more than 15 years ago. It seems that the now 16-time Champion managed to prove everyone wrong and went on to become one of the biggest stars in the company’s history.
The problem with the wrestling business is that you don’t know until you take the gamble, which means that a number of WWE stars make it on TV in WWE through sheer luck since they are not very good wrestlers at all. In the modern era especially, it seems that WWE has signed a lot of talent just to take up spots on their roster when they didn’t actually deserve it, because the company has expanded so much over the past few years that they didn’t have a choice. The following list looks at potentially the 15 worst wrestlers of the modern era that WWE should actually be ashamed they put on TV in front of millions of fans.
15. Dana Brooke
It’s hard not to feel bad for Dana Brooke. She didn’t spend nearly enough time learning her craft down in NXT before she was called up to the main roster, which means that she is always the victim of negative comments from the WWE Universe.
Many of these comments are justified, as Dana isn’t a very good wrestler. Her background in gymnastics and bodybuilding has helped her over the past few years but since she is one of many wrestlers that WWE currently employs who is still unable to throw a clothesline correctly, it seems that Dana is pretty much doomed moving forward. She had so much potential when she was in NXT. It could have been the fact that WWE rushed her career forward that has hindered her the most over the past few months. Dana has the time to improve while she is still contracted to the company, before she becomes just another female wrestler in a long line of bad performers.
14. Enzo Amore
Enzo Amore wasn’t signed to WWE because of his wrestling ability, which is blatantly obvious. His former Tag Team partner Big Cass confirmed this in their podcast with Chris Jericho. He stated that he met Enzo at the Performance Centre and when he heard him delivering promos, he knew he wanted to work with him.
The duo later became a tag team and it seems that Enzo was never trained to the same level as every other star in the ring, since he is one of the worst wrestlers in WWE right now. Enzo is the Cruiserweight Champion, which makes things a whole lot worse. It seems like WWE decided that his promo ability was enough for him to be able to carry the 205 Live roster. No wonder Neville decided to walk away; this was the man that he lost his Championship to, despite being one of the best things about the 205 division for most of 2017.
It feels harsh including Fandango on this list since he has shown a lot of improvement in the ring over the past few months, but this could be heavily influenced by his change of character and rise in popularity. When Fandango first debuted on the main roster, he wasn’t the best of wrestlers and his finisher was a leg drop from the top rope, but the fans lapped it up because he was entertaining.
WWE seems to be trying the same thing again with The Fashion Police, but it seems that this time while he’s partnered with someone who knows how to perform like Tyler Breeze, all of his faults are quite easy to see. Fandango is a character that can do well outside of the ring and is great to watch in backstage segments, but he’s another star who has the time to improve in the ring, so he isn’t doomed to remain on this list in the years to come.
12. Erick Rowan
Erick Rowan has perhaps only survived in WWE for this long because he was able to hide behind his Wyatt Family teammates over the past few years. Rowan is the only original former member of the group that hasn’t been able to go on to win a singles Championship and now that he is seen as a singles star, all of his faults are there for the world to see.
Rowan isn’t anywhere near the level that Luke Harper is at, which is why their feud earlier this year was one of the worst that has been seen on SmackDown Live in 2017, and that comes with a lot of strong competition. Rowan and Harper have teamed up once again as The Bludgeon Brothers over the past few months so that Rowan can once again hide behind the talents of a much better wrestler and ride on his coattails for another few years.
11. Eva Marie
Eva Marie could actually be one of the worst wrestlers of all time. The former Total Divas star didn’t come to WWE to be a wrestler. She wanted to make a name for herself and become a star outside of the ring.
She later decided that she actually wanted to pursue an in-ring career and Brian Kendrick was then hired to help her to train ahead of her big debut. Eva obviously didn’t impress. She went on to injure Carmella while they were both still part of NXT before being called up to the main roster and being given a gimmick where she always found ways to get out of having to wrestle because she couldn’t actually do it. A Wellness Policy Violation was seemingly the best thing to happen to her career, since never returned to the WWE following her suspension and was released from the company earlier this year.
10. Santino Marella
Santino Marella had been part of WWE’s developmental roster for a number of months before the company decided to plant him in the crowd before their European Tour in Milan, and then allowed him to win the Intercontinental Championship on his debut.
Marella never had a lot of skill on his side, which could be why his finisher was one of the worst in WWE history. The American star was kept around for so long because the company was aware that he was able to make people laugh, which could be why he turned into one of their best comedic characters. Marella went on to be given a gimmick where he would dress up as his own sister called Santina, who was then able to win the Miss WrestleMania battle royal at WrestleMania 25. It was some of the worst creative writing that WWE has ever come up with and many of the WWE Universe were relieved when it was announced that Marella had decided to retire.
9. Ezekiel Jackson
Many of the WWE Universe perhaps won’t even remember Ezekiel Jackson because his time in WWE was so short. He debuted on the main roster as the bodyguard of former Cruiserweight Champion Brian Kendrick, before being able to branch off and have a successful singles career on the ECW brand, becoming the final ECW Champion.
Jackson was drafted to the SmackDown roster after ECW was deemed a failure and helped Wade Barrett to become the Intercontinental Champion. Jackson was unable to impress the WWE Universe while he was part of this feud and always came off as slightly lazy in the ring. Much of his move-set consisted of generic big guy moves that had been seen in many matches before, so there was never anything impressive about him. Because of how generic Jackson was throughout his career, he has just become another forgettable wrestler in the history of the biggest promotion in the world.
8. Brodus Clay
Brodus Clay lit up the Raw roster a few years ago when he debuted as The Funkasaurus along with his Funkadactyls, who were seemingly only hired to distract the WWE Universe from the fact that Clay himself wasn’t a very good wrestler.
Brodus was mentored by former World Champion Alberto Del Rio in NXT and somehow became the runner-up on the show, despite never really showing any actual wrestling talent. Clay was all about the entertainment and would always easily squash his opponents with his strength rather than being part of a lengthy match, because honestly, he didn’t have the cardio to get himself through them. Clay was out of shape for most of his career, but it seems that WWE didn’t mind this because he could dance badly in the ring before all of his matches and still entertain the WWE Universe in a number different ways.
7. Adam Rose
When Adam Rose was first seen on NXT’s roster he was under the name Leo Kruger, a sadistic wrestler that looked as though he could have made it on the main roster as part of a cult. WWE interestingly decided to scrap this gimmick and instead went on to give him a gimmick where he was a party animal and later ended up having a lengthy feud with his own Bunny.
Rose wasn’t technically gifted; he was a star that the company had attempted to mold in the performance centre but his lack of wrestling ability meant that he was never going to be anything more than a jobber. Rose didn’t connect with the WWE Universe in his later years with the company and even ended up as part of a group that was dubbed “The Social Jobbers.” His gimmick didn’t connect with the WWE Universe on the main roster the same way it did in NXT, so it comes as no surprise that WWE decided to cut their losses last year.
6. Mason Ryan
WWE has made this mistake a hundred times. They will sign a star because they look like a bodybuilder and are stupidly strong, but they don’t actually have any wrestling technique or ability. There have been so many superstars over the years that have been able to look intimidating but haven’t actually been able to back this up in the ring.
Mason Ryan is a good example of this. The former enforcer of The Nexus was able to be the intimidating presence that the company needed in the group, but he wasn’t able to continue this when he was booked in a match. Ryan had the strength, he was a powerful star, but he just wasn’t pleasing to the eyes. He didn’t know what he was doing in the ring and it seemed as though he was always one bad botch waiting to happen. Of course, Ryan isn’t the only member of The Nexus who will make this list.
5. David Otunga
Without being too harsh to David Otunga, there has been a question floating around WWE over the past few years when it comes to the former Nexus member: how does this qualified lawyer still have a job in the wrestling business?
Otunga was never a very good wrestler. He just made up the numbers when he was part of The Nexus and it was thought that WWE kept him around because of his relationship with former America Idol star Jennifer Hudson. Otunga was then moved to the commentary desk when WWE finally realized how horrific he was in the ring, but if it’s physically possible, he was much worse on commentary. It is unknown how the former NXT star has managed to keep his job with WWE over the past few years, because right now the WWE Universe is still trying to figure out what his talent actually is.
4. Alex Riley
Alex Riley will perhaps be remembered best as The Miz‘s sidekick who would help him win and retain his WWE Championship around WrestleMania 27 back in 2011. Riley and Miz seemed to work well together for a while, until inevitably Riley stepped out of Miz’s shadow and was forced to perform on his own. It was then that the WWE Universe realised that Riley couldn’t hold a match on his own.
While there have been rumours circulating about the fact that John Cena hated Riley and he was the reason why he didn’t get anywhere in WWE, the real reason is perhaps the fact that Riley wasn’t very good. There was never anything about him or his performances that made him stand out, which could be why the WWE Universe has pretty much forgotten all about him just over a year after his release.
Ryback was a strange WWE star, but not in the way he was supposed to be on WWE TV. Apparently he was a person that none of the other wrestlers wanted to approach backstage because he lived in his own world. The former Intercontinental Champion was a stereotypical WWE star with no brains and no talent.
The only chant that he managed to get over with the WWE Universe was “Feed me more,” and he was even partnered with Paul Heyman at one point, but the genius behind the rise of ECW knew that there was nothing he could do to fix Ryback. Many of the wrestlers who have fought Ryback over the past few years have come forward to talk about the botches they were part of and how difficult he was to work with. Incredibly, it was Ryback who decided to walk away from WWE last year, instead of WWE deciding to release him.
2. James Ellsworth
James Ellsworth was only originally brought into WWE to be another name on Braun Strowman’s list when he was building momentum as a monster. Because of the reaction that the chinless superstar received, WWE decided it was a good idea to bring him back to the company on the SmackDown brand and they made him part of the WWE Championship picture.
Incredibly, Ellsworth managed to defeat AJ Styles numerous times, but in one of their matches, Ellsworth forgot to lean back when the WWE Champion attempted to hit the Styles Clash and almost broke his neck. AJ saved him at the last minute by changing the way he usually performs the move, which only showcased how much Ellsworth didn’t belong in these kinds of matches. He was only ever there for entertainment purposes, but it seems that this had finally run its course last week after his alliance with Miss Money in the Bank Carmella came to an end.
1. The Great Khali
It’s actually quite impressive that The Great Khali lasted on the WWE roster for as long as he did, considering how bad he was. Khali couldn’t speak English so he was unable to cut any promos before his matches and couldn’t move very quickly either.
This meant that his main move was chopping other stars on the head and forcing them to act as though it was the most painful thing in the world. Khali became less able to perform the longer he stayed in WWE, so the company instead turned him into a dancing comedy act along with Natalya and Hornswoggle, until it was decided that his time was up. The Universe was given quite a fright a few months ago when Khali turned up to help Jinder Mahal retain his WWE Championship at Backlash. It was thought for a moment that he was returning, but luckily it was just a cameo.
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