Not to worry folks, Vince McMahon has made it clear, the XFL is a separate project and in no way affects anything WWE-related (including company money). For that reason, returns and signings remain wide open. The WWE recently inked several wrestlers to deals; the likes of Ricochet, Ethan Carter III and War Machine all signed deals with the company. However, fans are still hoping that other names aren’t too far along either.
In this article, we explore multiple names that we hope Vince McMahon signs. We’ll include talents that have never stepped foot inside of a WWE ring, along with familiar names that most fans would welcome back with open arms. Some even appeared at the Royal Rumble event and left fans wanting more. Seriously, if you don’t want Mysterio back in the WWE, check your pulse.
From Batista to Matt Sydal to Rosemary, we explore a variety of talents in this article. Vince, if you're reading this, take out that fat cheque book and sign the names on this list, signed the WWE Universe! Without further ado, here are 15 wrestlers Vince McMahon should pull out the cheque book for. Enjoy and like always, be sure to share the article with a friend. Let’s begin!
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been almost four years since we last saw "The Animal" Batista inside a WWE ring. As we all know by now, his latest stint was a major flop. The WWE had plans for a marquee WrestleMania match featuring Dave and Randy, however fans were having none of it and plans changed on the fly with Daniel Bryan entering the match.
Batista has voiced his displeasures pertaining to the run and surely, he doesn’t want his final WWE days to be remembered as such. He’s stated in multiple interviews that despite his hectic Hollywood schedule, he is in fact open to return and believe it or not, on a full-time basis, which would include live events. Batista can easily fit on either roster putting over some talents like Finn Balor and A.J. Styles, just to name a couple. Given Batista’s tremendous run on SmackDown, a feud with A.J. would be a pretty noteworthy one if booked properly.
14 Bobby Lashley
Speaking of returns that are long overdue, Bobby Lashely hasn’t been a part of WWE programming for nearly a decade now, if you can believe it. He was projected to be a major star for the company and one that was at one point considered an equal to John Cena (in terms of potential). Sadly, his potential was squandered and he opted to leave the company.
Instead of becoming an afterthought, Lashley did the right thing and built a tremendous reputation for himself with Impact Wrestling. Impact worked to his strengths and he became a dominant champion with the brand. With Lesnar needing a new program following WrestleMania, we can’t think of a better opponent for The Beast than Bobby Lashley. Get the cheque book out, Vince and sign the guy!
13 Toni Storm
With the Women’s Division hotter than ever, you can bet WWE scouts are constantly looking out for new female talent out on the indie scene. At the age of 22, it doesn’t get any better than Toni Storm, who’s a mouth-watering prospect for the future. Her name might ring a bell, as she took part in the Mae Young Classic making it all the way to the semi-finals before losing out to the eventual winner, Kari Sane. The New Zealand native was one of the most impressive competitors from the tournament and a wrestler that has Superstar written all over her.
Without a doubt, she’s eventually going to get signed to a WWE deal. Given her age, it’s likely the WWE wants her to gain a little more experience with the likes of World Wonder Ring Stardom. However, it’s best for business that Vince signs the talent before she's snatched up and locked down to a deal with another promotion.
12 Matt Sydal
The WWE certainly hasn’t shied away from invading the Impact roster, particularly in the last couple of months. Among their newest signees includes TNA alums ECIII, Drake Maverick (Rock Star Spud) and the latest rumor, announcer Jeremy Borash.
Looking at their current roster, there only remains a handful of names that have a noteworthy shot of joining the WWE. One of them is a former talent and a Superstar that WWE fans would welcome back with open arms. Of course, we’re talking about Matt Sydal (aka Evan Bourne from his WWE days). Sydal would be a perfect fit for the Cruiserweight Division giving fans a familiar face and another reason to tune in. At the age of 34, he’s still at the very top of his game making the singing that much more effective.
11 Michelle McCool
Fans joked that The Undertaker was a big reason for Michelle’s involvement in the Women’s Royal Rumble match. However, she proved during the Rumble that there was another reason for her inclusion, and that’s her obvious talent, which was on full display during the match. She eliminated several opponents and despite the ring rust and not having wrestled in seven years, she seriously looked as though she did not miss a beat. Fans were shocked at how smooth her cameo was during the match.
With such a performance and seeing as though she’s a four-time combined Divas and Women’s Champion, bringing her back for an extended run wouldn’t be a bad idea. Either champion, whether it be on Raw or SmackDown, can use a boost in such a match against the veteran; when in character McCool can serve as a fantastic heel – this would be a welcomed addition if possible.
10 The Hurricane
Speaking of returns, Hurricane Helms received a nice ovation by the Philly crowd. His appearance in the match was truly awesome, though some would argue was way too short as he was quickly ousted by John Cena. Nonetheless, his appearance had the online world buzzing; perhaps an extended stay wouldn’t be too bad of an idea?
So the next question you might be asking is how would WWE utilize a 43 year old in the twilight of his pro wrestling career? Well, the answer in pretty easy, the Cruiserweight Division. The brand is starving for established names and Hurricane would certainly add some comedic relief to the show. It also helps that he’s a legendary Cruiserweight, becoming the last champion in WCW. A return can go a long way in acquiring more viewers to the 205 Live show – for entertainment purposes, if nothing else.
9 Zack Sabre Jr.
Remember the days of true technicians working their craft inside of the squared circle? It seems kind of like a lost art nowadays with the current landscape of WWE matches being so darn fast. The true masters of the technical art, such as Bret Hart, Dean Malenko and Daniel Bryan, are likely cringing at some of the matches nowadays.
Take a look at the WWE rosters on all three shows and you’ll be baffled at the shortage of technicians left within the company. Seriously speaking, the company is starving for a wrestler which such skills, thus the signing of Zack Sabre Jr. seems to be that much more important. Sabre took part in the Cruiserweight Classic and put on some fantastic displays. Wisely, he chose to leave the company and continue working his craft out on the indies – a decision he surely does not regret given the state of 205 Live. Grab a pen, sign the guy and get him on the main roster with the big boys; his skill-set would work wonders and perhaps even welcome back a wrestling style that appears to be a lost art.
8 James Ellsworth
This one might sound ridiculous given the fact that Ellsworth was recently released, but seriously speaking, was he really all that bad in his role alongside Carmella? If anything, he helped elevate Carmella by adding even more heat to her character.
Like a good technical wrestler, the role of the manager is another lost art within the WWE. During the Attitude Era, who can forget the various iconic managers that served a purpose on the show. Women need managers as well, especially to gain heat or legitimize their gimmicks. Bring back Ellsworth and make him manage an upcoming Superstar or even a Superstar in need of a boost like Dana Brooke, for example, or heck even the newly acquired main roster talent Mandy Rose - both can gain some substantial heat with Ellsworth by their side.
7 Xia Brookside
Another prospect in the making, 18 year old Xia Brookside is making her name be known independently. Her last name might ring a bell, as she’s the daughter of NXT coach Robbie Brookside. She began in 2014 (if you can believe it), serving the role of a manager and by 2015, she was already inside of the squared circle taking bumps. She’s all over the indie scene at the moment earning her stripes; without a doubt, she’ll be signed to a WWE deal in the very near future and become another female Superstar with great potential.
Thanks to the NXT system, the WWE has the luxury to be able to ease her into the company. Once signed, she’ll be slowly polished into a WWE Superstar. The WWE is now very cautious with their treatment of younger talent since their push to Paige. Paige was too immature for such a boost and it caused her to go off the rails; for that reason, expect the company to take their time with green talents, no matter how great they are.
Remember when the rumor mill led us to believe that Rosemary was Sister Abigail? Man, did the WWE drop the ball with that one - how awesome would that have been though, to see the Impact talent revealed as the creepy sister of Bray Wyatt? We can hear you guys putting them hands in the air right now and chanting: YES! YES! YES!
Well, unfortunately that wasn’t the case and the 34 year old Canadian is still working her craft with the likes of Lucha Libre AAA and Impact Wrestling. She’s just so different, making her a must addition to either roster, whether that would be NXT or heck, even getting fast-tracked to Raw or SmackDown. Asuka’s set to have a dominant run as champion and seeing as though she’ll need new talent to work with, we can’t think of a better future opponent than the mysterious Rosemary character.
5 Rey Mysterio
His return during the Royal Rumble turned out to be the loudest pop among all of the entrants in both the male and female Rumble matches. His comeback was long overdue and what made things even better is the fact that he looked to be in incredible shape, not missing a beat inside of the squared circle. Sadly, he didn’t sign a deal and his appearance for now was just a one-off.
Rey has remained optimistic however, claiming he’s on good terms with the WWE and that a deal can be agreed upon in the very near future. The WWE isn’t ignorant to what the high flier brings to the table, heck his return had even more views than Ronda’s Rumble cameo. In terms of booking, don’t waste the guy’s talent by putting him in 205 Live though, put Rey on either of the main rosters as we watch some dream opponents for Rey such as A.J. Styles, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Chad Gable, just to name but a few.
4 Trish Stratus
What Rey Mysterio was in the men’s Royal Rumble match, Trish was in the female Rumble main event. Entering at number 30, Trish looked flawless and arguably better than ever inside of the ring. Fans went bonkers for her entry in the match even chanting “you still got it” - without a doubt, she certainly does.
Wasting her talent on one match truly isn’t enough. Most would agree, Vince should take out the cheque book and at least sign the Hall of Famer to a one year deal. It looks as though Asuka’s going to dominate the title picture, with that in mind, Trish would serve a tremendous role in elevating other talents, such as Sasha Banks. In an ideal world, Asuka challenges Charlotte over on SmackDown while Banks walks out of the chamber as the champion and takes on Trish at WrestleMania in a must-see dream matchup between the two.
3 Hulk Hogan
Arguably the most recognizable face in pro wrestling history, it’s hard to believe that Hulk hasn’t been associated with the WWE for nearly three years now. Back in the summer of 2015, he was immediately released by the WWE for making disturbing racial comments on a leaked tape. He’s been gone ever since, working on restoring his image with the people.
Triple H has stated that the WWE is open to having Hulk back at some point. The WWE is also referencing him a little more nowadays; A.J. Styles even busted out a Hogan quote at the Raw 25 show. However, it appears as though the time still isn’t right as investors might find it a little too soon for Hulk to return. Nonetheless, most fans are willing to forgive Hulk and a return would be embraced by most fans at some point down the line.
2 The Rock
Bringing back The Rock is never a bad idea, however for this year’s WrestleMania, it seems like an absolute must with the signing of Ronda Rousey. Scrambling a Ronda versus Asuka match just wouldn’t make any sense at this point, and we can all agree that pulling the trigger on such a match is way too premature. Instead, revisiting this rivalry which began at WrestleMania 31 seems to be the right way to go.
Everyone is on board for the match, heck even Stephanie recently expressed her desire to return to the ring. The one difficulty would be bringing back The Rock given his insane acting schedule - that’s what happens when you’re the most highly paid actor in the entertainment business. Nonetheless, we hope Vince will write a big fat cheque while ensuring his safety in the match; that should be enough to entice The Great One.
1 Chris Jericho
Seeing Chris Jericho back on Raw during the anniversary show was like seeing that best friend who moved away; we love seeing him but we knew he would be leaving again after a brief return. Chris Jericho completely enhanced his legacy with a phenomenal run in 2017. As if that wasn’t enough, he took his talents to New Japan taking on Kenny Omega to kick-off 2018. The match was not only booked brilliantly on route to the encounter but the bout itself was worthy of five stars by the Wrestling Observer. His name value might be higher than ever which is baffling for a wrestler nearing his 50s.
Jericho has confirmed that he won’t be at WrestleMania and discussed the fact that the timing just isn’t right for a return at the moment. Nonetheless, we hope to see him back in 2018 as his presence is much needed.