The roster of World Wrestling Entertainment has seen a variety of shifts and changes over the past couple of years. Developmental brand NXT, the new pet project of WWE Executive Vice President Triple H (Paul Levesque), has caused an influx of talent to hit the main roster, and the hope is that the trend will continue in the future. Wrestlers such as Neville will ideally be followed by the likes of Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Sam Zayn, Hideo Itami, Charlotte, Sasha Banks and others who continue to shine in NXT before appearing on national television shows Raw and SmackDown.
These new performers who can get the job done inside of the ring and on the microphone should make for a better overall product so long as those making meaningful booking decisions for WWE do not bury the up-and-coming wrestlers. Those individuals being called up to the main roster will also fill up positions held by, no disrespect meant to the men and women involved, wrestlers who are frankly not as talented. WWE is like any pro sports franchise out there in that the top wrestling company in North America only has so many roster spots that are up for grabs at any time.
Not all of the individuals mentioned in this piece are cases of wrestlers who cannot go in the ring or who are taking up a roster spot that would be better served for a different performer. There are some cases in which it would probably be better off for all involved if the WWE were to cut ties with the wrestlers. That is especially the case for the person who is in the No. 1 spot on this list, a man who did everything that the company could have asked for in getting over with fans but who was also, for reasons that boggle the mind, buried time and time again by the WWE.
10. Adam Rose
The Adam Rose character was just fine for the NXT brand, and maybe he could return and have some solid matches while working with up-and-coming-performers. Rose is currently floundering while on the main roster, however, and the WWE did not even bother to capitalize on what could have been an electric Rose ring entrance at WrestleMania 31. The WWE clearly does not know what to do with the character, booking the party guy as a babyface and/or a heel whenever the company feels like flipping the switch. Rose, 35 years old, has likely already hit his ceiling while with the WWE.
9. Heath Slater
It is easy to forget from time to time that Heath Slater is actually still on the WWE roster until you see him in the background or when he is making an occasional appearance on either Raw or SmackDown. Slater can be a fine hand in the ring, and he could possibly serve a purpose while working in NXT. Now that the days of the Three-Man Band, a faction that was far more awesome than it was ever given credit for, are but a thing in the past, the WWE could give Slater’s roster spot to a performer who could have potential to evolve into a main event talent for the company.
8. Erick Rowan
Erick Rowan has become an odd man out following the breakup of the Wyatt Family that occurred literally out of nowhere and for little reason in storyline. Rowan has not done much of anything as a singles competitor, and he is now merely a background performer who is used as an extra body in events such as the Andre the Giants Memorial Battle Royal that occurred at WrestleMania 31. The possibility exists that Rowan could eventually become somebody who feuds over a midcard title, but all indications right now are that there are better talents in NXT who could take the roster spot.
7. Sylvester Lefort
Sylvester Lefort, who made a name for himself as the “French Stallion” during reality television program “World of Hurt,” flashed some promise while working in the NXT brand, and he has also sporadically been used on the main roster. Lefort has not been seen for some time, and there has been wide speculation that he could be on the cut list whenever the WWE does a bit of spring cleaning that usually occurs this time of year. Lefort can be an entertaining performer, but only if he is actually used by the company. Cut him loose, WWE, if you’re going to have him on the roster for nothing.
6. Bull Dempsey
The Bull Dempsey character had a solid run in NXT until he was fed to Baron Corbin, and that was probably the beginning of the end for Dempsey. Dempsey is not going to be booked as strongly as Kevin Owens has in NXT or as Brock Lesnar has on the main roster, and for good reasons. The WWE will likely never give Dempsey any reasonable push, as he has already become nothing more than midcard fodder on NXT. It was fun while it lasted, Bull, but the company cutting ties with him before the summer months come along would not be shocking.
5. Jack Swagger
The WWE has tried on multiple occasions to build Jack Swagger into a main event performer, but it has not worked out well for one reason or another. It did not help matters, in his defense, that Swagger was not pushed as a legitimate World Heavyweight Champion after he won the title via cashing in his Money in the Bank contract, and Swagger was later depicted to be the weaker part of the tag team The Real Americans. Swagger is a talented worker inside of the ring, but he is not going to amount to much in the WWE without having a mouthpiece. Even when he has Zeb Colter, the WWE still hasn’t made much out of the great wrestler.
One thing has become clear over the past several years, and that is that the WWE has zero clue on what to do with Cody Rhodes. He was in the lousy “Legacy” stable. Rhodes has been dashing, then un-dashing, then dashing once more. Rhodes is now playing the Stardust character, which does not make all that much sense since he is no longer teaming with real-life brother Goldust. He is currently just a guy on the WWE roster at the moment, and one would have to believe that he could do better for himself outside of the company if he were to be interested in working for multiple organizations.
3. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler is an incredible worker who can put on tremendous matches with a variety of talent. He can cut entertaining promos in front of crowds and also behind the scenes. Ziggler is just not, or at least he has not been over the years, going to be a main event talent while working with the WWE, and he is apparently not even worthy of a midcard championship at this time. There is little doubt that Ziggler could move on from the WWE and make a good amount of money working in organizations that would appreciate him and not treat him as if he was merely a forgettable talent.
2. The Ascension
I am sure that they are nice enough guys. I do not doubt that they try their best to be a good tag team duo. It just is not working on the main WWE roster, and the company has seemingly seen the light in that the Ascension have descended down the card as quickly as the team was pushed during their first appearances on Raw. Sometimes acts click with crowds and with fans, and sometimes they do not. The Ascension is a case of “not,” and the company probably is not going to get much more from the duo moving forward.
1. Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder was an afterthought wasting away in the midcard when he utilized YouTube and social media websites to interact with fans and also become an over babyface. The WWE gave Ryder a brief run with the United States Championship before the company apparently grew tired of pushing him. Ryder is once again mostly a jobber who is at least making good money. Events that occurred in the past suggest that Ryder would be just fine on the independent circuit and overseas if forced to fend for himself. He has done it before, and the WWE should set Ryder free and let him attempt to once again be a star.
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