The World Wrestling Entertainment roster is as deep as the company has had in years. Names such as John Cena, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns make up main event cards for the company, and Brock Lesnar resigning with the WWE before WrestleMania 31 gave the organization the top draw in sports entertainment for the next several years at least. Add in the group of talent that is found in the NXT developmental territory, and all indications are that the future is bright for the WWE as it pertains to in-ring talent and performers who will be able to delight crowds.
Just as with any professional sports franchise or entity, the WWE roster could always be improved in one way or another. That could involve those who scout for the company reaching out to younger stars who feature for independent wrestling scenes or who make their names competing overseas. There are also multiple cases of wrestlers who have left the WWE for one reason or another who could, if given another shot by the organization, help the company out and draw ratings and pay-per-view buys if featured in WWE contests. Whether or not those people will ever make a return to the WWE could be dependent on if certain real-life feuds are put to bed for good.
Multiple performers who currently work for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling could be welcomed back to the WWE with open arms if they and the company would agree to terms that would make such a reunion possible. Last but certainly not least is an individual who fled the WWE early on in 2014 because of several factors, a man who has since claimed that he is retired as a professional wrestler and who is now pursuing a career as a mixed martial arts fighter. He has stated on multiple occasions that he would not return to the WWE, but that could change if the right offer were to come around.
25. Mickie James
Mickie James has teased retirement to focus on being a mother, but it is believed that she is eying at least one more run. That run will likely occur in TNA, which is a shame as it should occur with her working in the WWE. James would right now today be arguably the best female performer in the company were she to sign with the WWE, and she would not have to hang around for long were she to want to go all-in on retiring and being a mom. James having at least one more WrestleMania match could make for a solid moment for the woman who did help train at NXT after she departed from the WWE.
24. Alberto Del Rio
Of all of the wrestlers that the WWE has failed to properly push in recent memory, Alberto Del Rio may be the first that comes to mind. Del Rio has everything that the company yearns for in a performer. He has the look to be a top superstar. Del Rio can cut promos as a heel and as a babyface. He can get the job done with a variety of wrestlers inside of the ring. While he won multiple championships with the organization, Del Rio was never pushed as the next big thing and one of the top characters in the WWE. The company could right that wrong be giving Del Rio another chance to carry the ball.
23. Evan Bourne
Look at the talent that is currently featured on NXT and that is being called up from that developmental league to the WWE main roster, and then imagine the entertaining matches that Evan Bourne could have with them. Bourne versus Finn Balor. Bourne versus Neville. Bourne versus Kevin Owens. All of these could be fun contests for fans, and Bourne could be used in singles and in tag team competition. He may have to learn what he can and cannot put into his body while working for the company (allegedly), but Bourne having another run in the WWE if he can abide by certain rules makes all kinds of sense.
22. Gail Kim
Assuming that the “give Divas a chance” movement is for real and not just something that the WWE will push on social media platforms such as Twitter, Gail Kim would fit right into the women’s division in 2015. She can have longer matches that the WWE is supposedly planning for female performers in 2015, and Kim could serve as a trainer for up-and-coming talent that could one day make it onto Raw and SmackDown. Kim’s in-ring abilities are no secret to anybody who follows the pro wrestling business, and she would be an asset for the WWE in many ways if she was given a second chance in the company.
21. Michael Elgin
It was several years ago when Michael Elgin reportedly had a tryout with the WWE, and the two did not come to terms on a deal at that time. One would struggle to come up with reasons why he would not be a fit with the top pro wrestling company in North America. Elgin is in his twenties. He has a good look for the business. He can go inside of the ring. When you consider the performers that are, no disrespect meant to the individuals hinted at, dead weight on the main roster and in NXT, Elgin could shoot right up cards in the WWE if he was given the right push.
While Kazarian would never win the World Heavyweight Championship in the WWE, the company is downright silly for not actively pursuing the veteran of the business. Kazarian would be a gem for the WWE in that he can do it all as a performer. He is great on the mic and he is talented inside of the ring, and the company could do a lot worse than having Kazarian would with up-and-coming performers who are struggling to take that next step while developing their characters. Kazarian would also put on some great matches with the better overall performers in the WWE.
19. Drew McIntyre
There was once a time when Drew McIntyre was viewed as the next big thing in the WWE, the supposed pet project of company chairman Vince McMahon. McIntyre never reached that high ceiling with the company for one reason or another, although he did well to get over with some fans while in the comedic trio 3MB. McIntyre eventually became a forgettable wrestler that was cast off by the WWE, but he will turn only 30-years old this coming summer. It would be wrong to suggest that McIntyre could not have a positive run in the company were the WWE to give him a second chance.
MVP was one of the more underrated characters during his time in the WWE, and he has found new life as a performer in TNA Wrestling. He would be an asset to the company in 2015 for what he would be able to contribute to younger wrestlers. MVP, real name Hassan Hamin Assad, can work in the ring. He is solid on the mic. He has experience acting and in creating music. MVP would not be a mainstay on Raw or SmackDown, but he can still have entertaining matches and he could be used to help others develop. It also wouldn’t hurt that MVP would likely make more money in WWE than TNA.
17. T.J. Perkins
T.J. Perkins, who has worked as Manik in TNA Wrestling, received a shrug of the shoulder and not much more during his first WWE run that was not much of anything. That was before the days of NXT being featured on the WWE Network on a weekly basis. Perkins would fit right in working for the developmental brand, and he would be able to put together some great matches with that talent that is in NXT. Maybe, just maybe, Perkins would be able to break through the supposed glass ceiling and feature on Raw and SmackDown if he did manage to get over with NXT crowds.
16. Bobby Roode
Talk about not knowing what you’ve got until it is gone. Bobby Roode was signed by the World Wrestling Federation over a decade ago, where he worked in meaningless matches that either aired on weekends or not at all. The company failed to truly use Roode, and he eventually moved on to TNA Wrestling and found success as a tag-team wrestler and as a singles performer. It is widely believed that Roode would be pursued by the WWE if TNA ever dies. Roode could perform in several roles if signed by the WWE, and the company would be wise to not squander him if he were to get a second chance.
15. Awesome Kong
It is believed that Awesome Kong and the WWE have a positive relationship even though she does not work with he company, and some hoped that Kong returning to TNA in 2015 would be a first step in her eventually reuniting with the WWE. Those hopes could still be realized, as Kong would be a tremendous get for the WWE or for any promotion. She could be the Brock Lesnar of the Diva’s division in that fans at events would rise to their feet even at the sound of Kong’s theme song. She is a legitimate draw, and Kong would be an injection of life into the women’s division.
14. Low Ki
The WWE has a long history of wasting talent, and Low Ki is but one example. He was a participant of the old NXT competition, where he did get over with sections of fans even though the storylines presented to him did him little favors. While he won the season of NXT, the wrestler who was then known as Kaval was immediately placed into a midcard role, and he left the company with little fanfare. WWE has done well to hype talent such as Neville, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens and others. Low Ki could be the next in that line of wrestlers if the WWE booked him properly.
13. Austin Aries
Austin Aries wants to work for the WWE. The WWE is interested in bringing Aries into the organization. For whatever reasons, the two have not been able to come together on a deal that would see Aries featured on weekly WWE programming, and that is a shame considering how the company has shifted gears and featured former independent workers in NXT and on the main roster. Aries needs a first real chance with the WWE let alone a second opportunity to silence critics and show what he can do inside of the ring and on the mic. He has the goods to be a true star.
Daivari is unlike many of the wrestlers featured in this piece in that he could still have his best days as a performer ahead of him. He will be only 31-years old in the beginning of May 2015, and Daivari has had years of experience as both a manager and as a wrestler. There is no question that Daivari can still get the job done inside of a wrestling ring, as he is currently performing for Lucha Underground. He would never win the World Heavyweight Championship while with the WWE, but he would still be a solid hand to work midcard feuds and help elevate younger wrestlers.
Carlito’s first run in the WWE was an up-and-down roller coaster ride. He won the Intercontinental Championship in his on-air debut match with the company, and early indications were that he was on the fast track to being in WWE main events. That never occurred, however, and Carlito reportedly lost interest in working with the organization. He was released from the company in 2010 after he violated the WWE Wellness Program and then refused to enter rehab. Assuming that he has gotten those matters taken care of and that he is healthy, Carlitio could be a useful performer for the WWE.
10. Bobby Lashley
It took years – literally years – and several forgettable stints in multiple professional wrestling organizations until somebody got it right with Bobby Lashley, and he has recently performed very well while in the main event picture over at TNA. Lashley is currently signed to Bellator, and thus he would not be linking up with the WWE anytime soon. Whenever that deal is finished, Lashley could be brought in to have at the very least a match with Brock Lesnar that would involve the two massive men taking hard shots at each other. That could be fun for fans to watch.
9. Beth Phoenix
Whether or not Beth Phoenix would ever again truly be interested in working for the WWE is unknown to anybody other than her at the moment. Phoenix is currently enjoying life as a mother, and she is also in a relationship with Adam Copeland (formerly known as Edge in the WWE). Once known as the “Glamazon” while working for the company, Phoenix was a unique WWE Diva and a powerhouse who could go in the ring with the best female performers in the organization. Phoenix may be done as an active wrestler, but the WWE could use her skills these days.
8. Elijah Burke
Elijah Burke was largely a forgettable character during his first WWE run, a wrestler who could not break from the Extreme Championship Wrestling brand and one who was unceremoniously released from the company. It was in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling where Burke found his form and had his best run in a top North American promotion as D’Angelo Dinero, where he worked as both a babyface and a heel. It has been some time since Burke has been seen even on the independent scene, but the wrestler who has also obtained acting gigs could have one final fun WWE run left in him.
Plenty is going wrong over at Total Nonstop Action Wrestling these days, and thus it was no surprise that Tazz decided to leave the company in April of 2015. His days as an active in-ring performer are well into the past, but Tazz could make a return to the WWE as a commentator for Raw, SmackDown and/or the NXT brand. It would be easy to argue that Tazz’s best days as a wrestling announcer were when he was working side-by-side with Michael Cole, and that duo could be reunited for current and upcoming WWE programming. The company could certainly do worse for its commentators.
6. Matt Hardy
While he has been overshadowed by his brother throughout his wrestling career, Matt Hardy remains a performer capable of entertaining fans via his verbal skills and his wrestling abilities. Hardy would not be a main event performer in the WWE at this stage of his career, but that does not mean that he could not make positive contributions to others who are on the team’s roster. A Team Xtreme reunion would be fun for a one-off or for occasional tag team appearances, but Hardy could also go on his own and have feuds with multiple WWE performers as a singles competitor.
5. Jeff Hardy
The battles that Jeff Hardy has had with personal demons and with abiding by certain laws have been well documented, but the hope now is that the enigmatic superstar has gotten his life together and would be able to make a return to the WWE without bringing shame to himself and to the company. Hardy has never been as over with the majority of casual wrestling fans as he was when he was a main event player in the WWE, and he could still put on entertaining contests while working with the best overall performers in the company. Hardy could have fun matches with multiple WWE wrestlers in 2015.
4. A.J. Styles
The Phenomenal One is not getting any younger these days. He will turn 38-years old this coming June, and thus A.J. Styles is not the type of performer that is usually on the radar of the WWE. It would be ridiculous and inaccurate, however, to even suggest that Styles could not offer anything to WWE programming at this late stage of his career. He can still put on shows inside of the ring, and Styles could prove to be a mentor for younger WWE talent making their way through the NXT system. Styles, a former product of the WWE developmental system, would be an asset for the WWE.
3. Samoa Joe
While he was never called up to the main roster when he was part of the WWE, Samoa Joe did spend time with the company over a decade ago. That did not work out for the wrestler, and thus Joe made his name working in organizations such as Ring of Honor, TNA Wrestling and overseas. Joe is reportedly one of the hottest free agents in the business at the moment, and he is believed to be close to joining the WWE on what could be a lucrative deal. He would likely join the NXT roster for at least some time, but Joe should be called up to the Raw and SmackDown shows as quickly as possible if he does sign with the WWE.
2. Kurt Angle
By not resigning Kurt Angle despite the fact that the company has had an opportunity to do so for years, the WWE is essentially suggesting that TNA Wrestling is putting Angle’s life at risk each time that the organization allows the former Olympic champion to compete inside of a ring. Health concerns have been the obstacle preventing Angle from having one final WWE match, but one would imagine that he would be able to have a safe match and also work a limited schedule without endangering himself or another competitor. Angle should go out on his own terms and while working underneath the WWE umbrella.
1. CM Punk
The “Straightedge Superstar” made headlines when he walked out of the WWE in 2014. Punk then explained why he made that decision during what became a famous podcast episode hosted by his friend Colt Cabana over Thanksgiving holiday, and it is now hardly a secret that he and the WWE are not on speaking terms. While it is being reported that Punk is taking his leap into the Ultimate Fighting Championship very seriously, the reality of the situation is that he is only going to accomplish so much as a pro fighter. The WWE sorely misses Punk, a performer who can get the job done in the ring and on the mic.
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