WWE Superstars are usually known for being some of the best wrestlers on the planet. WWE does not hire scrubs normally, as they feel anyone they push to the top of WWE has something special. While some at the top may not be fantastic in the ring, something about them makes them a star to the WWE.
The biggest issue for WWE happens to be kind of a good problem. Due to being a hub for the greatest workers on the planet, the company has a lot of amazing talent. Most of them are hard to overlook, which provides a major issue. Due to how impressive everyone is, not all get an opportunity to be in a top position in the company.
The independent scene is hotter than ever, which means the money there is terrific. Due to the money provided, men and women can make even more than they do in WWE. With that said, many are considering getting out of their WWE deals to take to the indies. The schedule is decided by them, and they can charge a nice amount per show that promoters will happily pay.
Cody Rhodes is perhaps the best example of a person who went to the indies, made an even bigger name for himself, and proved the money is good. Cody leaving was a shock, but he did so to prove he could be a top star anywhere in the world… and has done so. With this in mind, other WWE Superstars have taken notice and many want to join him. That brings us to now. This is a list of WWE Superstars who need to be fired before 2018. Some need to go to become better, but others just plain need to go.
15. Nia Jax
Nia Jax has been in the news recently over an issue she had with WWE management. While rumors are hard to completely rely upon, the story is quite interesting. Nia was upset that Emma was getting the debut match for Asuka at WWE TLC over her. Jax has also been frustrated with the fact that she has skated all around the WWE RAW Women’s Championship for well over a year now, while others have been given many reigns with it.
All of this came to a head and resulted in Nia leaving. It is now being reported that Jax was given a leave of absence, but there is no word on how long that will be or why she was given the absence. At times, this can be a fluffed up way of saying one is being suspended. Jax has a lot to offer people in the indies. While her wrestling ability might not be high, she is someone unique and easy to notice.
She could easily go to all-female places like SHIMMER or Stardom and probably dominate the field, while also learning how to work better along the way from these women. Jax could dominate the indies and thus lead to WWE paying her more to come back and putting her at the top of one of the women’s divisions. It’s a gamble, but it could pay off.
14. Tye Dillinger
This Canadian technician is one heck of a performer. When you talk about guys who can get it done, and done well, Tye Dillinger is your guy. Perhaps the biggest drawback to Tye is that he may be great at literally everything, but he does not scream “WWE Champion”. While no one on this list should just be expecting WWE World Titles, they do need to look as if you could see them as the top champ.
Tye has a good look, he’s great on the mic, and excellent in the ring. There is almost no flaw to him, and that is scary. The issue is that while fans like him, management is not as high on him. Though he is getting time on WWE SmackDown Live to prove himself, many feel it is not enough and that he should have stayed on NXT and won the NXT World Title.
Regardless of what happens with Tye, many are big fans of his. Due to the landscape of the indies, it might be smart for him to get out of WWE right now while he has fans building up. This would allow them to follow him to the indies, and thus open an opportunity for him to get seen more. A lot of companies would flood his inbox for work, so money is going to be made and it is likely he could prove how much of a star he truly is if he does this.
13. Noam Dar
Noam Dar is part of WWE’s Cruiserweight division and has been lost, like so many others, in it. Refusing to give these men a chance to wrestle other bigger talents to get noticed, WWE has pretty much handicapped the division since they brought it back about a year ago. Many fans were overjoyed seeing it return, and then even happier when an entire show was going to be dedicated to them, thus giving them a shot to shine.
The issue is that this did not work out well, as WWE has booked them poorly and resulted in many unhappy Superstars. Many are not being used well and could become much bigger names if they headed back to the indies, with Noam Dar being one of the many. Why would Dar want to be released or why would WWE fire him? Dar happens to be the youngest in the division at age 24.
This means Dar could leave for a while, develop as a star on the indies, and come back still under 30 years of age. Dar might have the biggest upside of the cruiserweights simply because he is so good yet still so young. That said, he could easily benefit from being let go.
12. Heath Slater
Heath Slater has been a well-liked WWE Superstar for years now, but it seems he has not lived up to the potential that fans believe he has. Slater has won multiple WWE Tag Team Titles, but a singles title has been out of his grasp. He has been part of matches that could have allowed this, but each time he has come up short, despite fan-demand. Slater once led a group called 3MB.
Interestingly, the people he led went on to become major champions. Drew McIntyre would leave WWE and win multiple titles outside the company only to return and become NXT World Champion. Meanwhile, Jinder Mahal would become WWE Champion, and yet Slater has not even sniffed a World Title. He is well-liked by fans, so it could be that Slater just needs an opportunity.
Slater is getting older and now has a school open called Face 2 Face Wrestling that he is at as often as possible. Many names help out at the school, and Slater truly loves training future talent. But he deserves success himself, so a WWE release could be a huge opportunity for Slater to do big things. Not only for his school, but for himself.
11. Dana Brooke
When it comes down to it, Dana Brooke is an impressive athlete. Her looks may be something most fans might disagree on, but the one thing we know is that she is impressive. Looking at her, you see a strong and independent woman who can truly get it done as a heel or a face. On WWE NXT, she was their top female heel for a time, which led to big matches. It was apparent to most, however, that Brooke had a lot to work on.
Her promos were alright, but her wrestling was not as good as it needed to be. Due to this problem, she was put alongside Charlotte Flair to improve and help her out. WWE liked her a lot, so Brooke was given to Flair to stay on TV but not have to wrestle every night. The featuring also allowed for her to watch and learn from Charlotte. She did pretty well with that but was not as good as she needed to be.
Various things got in the way once she turned into a face, and she has been practically useless to the WWE RAW roster. She would be easy to release, and most would assume she would go on to do something else. It is possible she leaves wrestling completely, but more likely she goes to the indies and shows that WWE was missing what she could do for them. There is always a possibility, but either way, she is taking up cap space and there is no reason to keep a person you intend to do very little with.
10. Zack Ryder
When you talk about people who create their own opportunities, look no further than Zack Ryder of the WWE. The man was not getting any chances to be a star with WWE. He was jobbing every week or not even on the show. That was when he took to YouTube and created Z! True Long Island Story, a series that would show off Ryder’s character and personality. WWE did not quite embrace internet culture yet, and Ryder forced them to take places like Twitter and YouTube seriously due to his work.
Fans loved Ryder from this show and WWE felt it was right to feature him more. This allowed him to win the WWE U.S. Title and propel him into a storyline involving John Cena. The features were good for Zack, but after dropping his U.S. Title he went nowhere. Eventually going to NXT, he showed he could continue to get stuff done as a tag performer. Though he still wanted to be a top singles act, he would push for this to be so.
He got in amazing shape and continued to do well in the ring and on the mic. Then WWE gave him a WWE Intercontinental Championship win at WrestleMania 32. While he would drop it the next night, it was huge. The problem is, moments are very slim for Ryder and regardless of how good he is… WWE misses the boat on him a lot. A WWE release could, in theory, prove even more on why Ryder deserved a chance to compete at the top of the mid-card at least.
9. Rusev and Lana
Rusev has been a multi-time WWE United States Champion, but he has proven to be a valuable heel for WWE for years since his arrival. He has the ability to be a babyface on top of this, as Rusev is really a good guy that is someone many fans would enjoy. He grew on fans after a while, as most never thought of him as a top guy originally. Eventually, his wrestling ability was so good that fans took notice. Though everyone took notice of Lana the moment she arrived.
Considered to be one of the hottest female WWE Superstars ever, WWE has had some trouble booking her. She has learned to wrestle and she is pretty good at it, plus she can talk very well. Her managerial experience combined with Rusev’s wrestling is a great combination, but WWE seems to be against using them together these days… for some reason.
Both would be paid very well on the independent scene, and due to the star power the two still ooze, they could be huge anywhere they went. Both are draws and both are good at what they do. They’re also married, for real, and happy together. If one leaves, the other is heading out too. WWE would not want to lose either, as they do see value in them. However, they seem to refuse to use either in better positions or together. The indies would allow this, and again, would add freedom. Plus, Lana wants to continue her acting career and this would allow time for that.
8. The Ascension
Victor and Konner of The Ascension were once an amazing tag team on WWE NXT, where they became the longest reigning tag champs ever for the brand. They also had the longest reign of any kind on NXT, until this year when Asuka passed them with her women’s title reign. Many thought they were amazing on NXT, and they were. Impressive matches and impressive characters led them to success… then they arrived to the main roster.
Initially hyped as pretty good, this quickly ended. It was mostly due to booking, too. They went from more serious, character-driven promos on NXT to a much campier version of themselves on the main roster. It destroyed the characters, but both were still able to do well as a tag team. They’re now relegated to SmackDown, asking for Breezango to be their friends. It is heart-breaking more than anything to see this once powerful team go to being nothing special overnight.
Fans know this team is good, but they are simply not getting chances to prove it. If they were to go to the indies, where tag divisions are used pretty well, they would most likely be beloved. They could prove themselves and perhaps another WWE run could come, but if not, they would still be a valuable team to the indies that people will enjoy seeing.
Neville has made the news a lot lately due to his recent message to WWE that he does not agree with the direction of his character or use and wants to be let go. WWE took his match with Austin Aries off the WrestleMania 33 DVD, costing he and Aries the pay for the spot on the card that they had for the Cruiserweight Title. He was then given a shirt that sucked, which he had no say in the making of. It became a major issue, and even fans wondered why Neville was even thinking about sticking around.
Most hope that Triple H can come to terms with Neville on trying to make things right, which would interest the King of the Cruiserweights enough to stay. However, if he does not want to stay and needs to be released, it is quite likely we could see Neville blow up on the indies. While WWE would never want to fire Neville for any reason, they would cut him if he says he refuses to work for the company again. It’s just wasted money really.
Known as Pac before he arrived to WWE, Neville proved he was a star before he ever arrived. Upon getting to WWE, he packed on muscle and proved to be good at everything WWE could want from him. He was NXT Champion and a long-reining WWE Cruiserweight Champion as well. But his use was going to be zilch after the title, and he knew it. This made him want out, and many hope WWE gives in and lets this happen. As it would be best for Neville in the end.
TJ Perkins, now going simply by TJP, was the first WWE Cruiserweight Champion of this new era. He won the Cruiserweight Classic last year, thus making him the champ. He would lead the division for a while and provide some impressive matches, but it seemed that the way he was booked clearly hurt him. TJP is a fantastic performer, but he’s technically not a cruiserweight performer, as he works mostly against guys bigger than him.
Treat him like Finn Balor, in that he would be good with cruiserweights but amazing with the guys outside of 205. He’s amazing to see against so many, and the best thing WWE could have done was put him on NXT to show he was worthy of better treatment. Instead, he has fallen behind in the cruiserweight division and it seems anyone who once wins the title and loses it ends up hardly used.
It is almost a pattern that no one gets an interesting story or build unless it involves the title, and without the ability to prove themselves against people fans know, these men are hardly liked. It is not because they’re bad, but because fans do not know them well enough to decide how they feel. TJP needs to be let go, as he is too talented to be in a place where he’s barely used and underpaid at that.
He could make over double on the indies and a ton of companies would want him all over the world. It is obvious that if TJP left WWE, he would be an instant star on the indies once again, without hesitation.
5. Darren Young
Darren Young has been through a lot of problems while with WWE. While he has a WWE Tag Title to his name, he has also shown a ton of potential as a singles performer. The problem? He has been injured a lot with WWE, thus putting titles on hold for him. The one thing that WWE loves about him, which makes him unique among WWE Superstars, is that he is the only openly-gay performer they have. While Young has claimed he knows others that are gay as well, he is fine being open about it.
It is commendable that he is, because it is quite a difficult thing to talk about in a world like pro-wrestling. He is liked by fans a lot, and WWE would love if he could manage to stay healthy as he has everything you need to be a top guy. He has a good look, can talk well, and has great ability in the ring. The problem is that he gets hurt too often.
The reason for many injuries in the WWE has to do with their tough schedule, where talent works about 4 to 5 days a week, minimum. Part-timers have various schedules, but the big issue is that full-time talents are on the road so often and thus, get hurt a lot. The body can only take so much regardless of how tough one is. Darren could really do well on the indies, and due to his interesting life story, a lot of companies would go after him. He could make a nice living there. Though getting away from WWE would be unlikely, since they adore Young, it may happen if Darren wants it to.
4. Dolph Ziggler
It has been confirmed that Dolph Ziggler is unsure he’ll re-sign with WWE again when his contract comes up next year. The reason for this has a lot to do with his position in the WWE, but an earlier release is not unlikely. He can still go with the best of them, but he’s been part of the WWE for a very long time and the company is focused on the new generation Superstars, thus making Ziggler job out. He is better than this, for sure.
He has been a World Champion in WWE, as well as IC and U.S. Champion. Not to mention his WWE Tag Team Title run. He’s certainly a great performer and well-worth any investment put into him. WWE would like to keep him around, but Ziggler is getting more opportunities for his acting, which he wishes to take up more. On top of this, he still wants to wrestle great workers.
There are A LOT of companies who would want Ziggler if he was released by WWE. He could hit up any top indie promotion and they would be willing to give away the bank for him. Most would flock to bring him in for dates automatically, so the money would be good and the freedom would be too. For a veteran performer, could you ask for more?
Cesaro arrived to WWE and had a pretty good run initially. He was put in FCW at first but went to the main roster with some major opportunities behind him. He would become the WWE United States Champion and do well with it. He became a multi-time WWE Tag Team Champion with the likes of Tyson Kidd and Sheamus, but that is all he has done. He proved, when Tyson got hurt, that he could get it done as a singles performer.
He has put in good match after good match, but WWE seems to be allergic to giving him a good opportunity as a top singles worker. He was a huge name on the indies before arriving to WWE, where he went by his real name of Claudio Castagnoli. He could easily go back to the indies and get opportunities at top companies like Ring of Honor, where he put time in before coming to WWE, and even New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Cesaro looks like a star and performs like one. Oh, and he knows a bunch of languages as well. This makes him easy to use as a global star, especially in places like Europe, where he is from. The Swiss Superman has proven to be terrific, but WWE does not seem to know what to do with him as a singles act. If he were to leave and become a top name in the world again, which would not be hard for him, he might prove he deserved an opportunity at the World Title with WWE a bit more.
2. Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews has been practically useless since coming to WWE. He first arrived to WWE NXT, where he would shine pretty quick. Vince McMahon liked him and wanted him up quicker, which Triple H gave in to. Apollo would hit the main roster the night after WrestleMania 32 to the shock of many. He just arrived and they’re already putting him on the main roster? It seemed like he might at least get a shot to prove something, but did basically zip.
The WWE Draft came, giving him a chance to go to WWE SmackDown Live and shine there. He did not move much of a needle there either. Now he’s on WWE RAW, and while he makes the show weekly, it’s just not really good to see. Apollo has become relatively pedestrian, which is beneath him. Apollo was a huge star under the name Uhaa Nation on the indies, so he needs to go back to that world it appears.
If Apollo can go back, there is a high chance he proves in less than a year that he was worthy of at least a mid-card title in WWE. The man is massively talented and it is shocking that he has not been used as much as he could have. Perhaps the early call-up hurt him, but it is obvious that he is too good to fail… yet WWE is dropping the ball on him. He needs to prove he’s worth more.
1. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan should be wrestling right now, seriously. The reason he has not been cleared by WWE but has been cleared by just about every major neurologist and brain expert in America is due to one reason. WWE is going through a concussion lawsuit and thus Bryan is held back due to it. He had to retire due to WWE forcing him to, despite Bryan not feeling he needed to. The reason had to do with a scan that scared him and made WWE feel the time was right to do an announcement.
A while later, Bryan would learn what the scan found nothing to be concerned over, and would continue to speak with doctors. All continue to clear him except WWE’s doctor, Joseph Maroon. He’s not clearing Bryan for business reasons, not health. Bryan knows this, which is why he has used experts and sent their reports to WWE… yet nothing has changed. He’s a huge star, but they’re not willing to take the risk of him getting hurt and losing money in the concussion lawsuit.
Bryan’s deal ends next September, but he needs to be released far sooner. WWE may never let him work another match, and if that remains the case, Bryan should be let go so that he can wrestle away from WWE. He made amazing money when working the indies before and now he could make a huge amount more due to his star power. With his time as a new father and husband, he would want a lighter schedule than what WWE could offer anyway. The indies could do that, and he would get a ton of attention anywhere he goes.
He clearly needs to be let go so that he can do what he loves to do. There is no other option to consider.
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