Not everyone can make it big when they arrive in WWE.
If the wrestling giant is well-known for creating icons and legends, it’s even more notorious for letting talent slip through their fingers. By either not using them in the right ways or not using them almost at all, WWE have squandered more Next Big Things than you can count.
But there are also those that come to the company fully aware that they will never hit the dizzying heights of a Wrestlemania card or even have a storyline of any note. Hell, it’s more than likely that plenty of wrestlers sign a contract knowing that they’re just there for enhancement.
As the annual cull draws close, I decided to take a look at those in the firing line, the wrestlers WWE are most likely to let go in 2017. Bear in mind that although these may not be major draws, it’d be stupid to undermine them as lost causes with no future at other promotions.
1. Eva Marie
Well, maybe apart from this one.
Eva Marie has somehow stayed with WWE while other much better, more promising talent has fallen by the wayside. She’s been with the company since 2013 and has offered next to nothing ever since apart from Corey Graves’ always funny adoration of her.
Despite constantly training and being tutored by some of the best in the business, it’s hard to see much improvement in her overall game. When someone has been wrestling for four years, demoted to developmental in the process before being called back up and still looks green whenever they step into the ring, it’s probably not going to work out.
Plus, the doping doesn’t help, misunderstanding or not.
2. Jack Swagger
This one hurts.
It’s crazy to believe that Swagger was once a World Heavyweight Champion considering how far he has since fallen. He used to be one of the most promising guys on the roster and looked like a star, but in hindsight, it may have been a case of too much, too soon.
It doesn’t help that Swagger has a lisp in a WWE era where all performers are expected to be Ryan Gosling on the microphone. The fact that his opponents used to make fun of him for it is even worse, making him less of a realistic threat when he was being turned into a joke every week.
Considering the fact that Swagger has done almost nothing since 2014 (did you even know he was on Smackdown now?), it would be merciful to let him go elsewhere. He still has a future, but it almost certainly isn’t with WWE. Saying that, I would be happier than anyone to see him turn it around.
3. Bo Dallas
You have to feel for Bo. He hasn’t had it his way since he was called up from NXT, where he was once champion.
A part of the main roster since 2014, his Bo-lieve gimmick helped to get him over with fans and even racked up a decent winning streak in the process. Since he lost that, he’s done nothing apart from being jobbed out, even becoming a part of a jobber stable with The Social Outcasts.
He was also arrested late last year, and if there’s anything WWE hates most in the world, it’s controversy that will blemish their charity-loving, family-friendly veneer. Safe money could have been placed on them terminating his contract back in September after he was arrested for public intoxication, but nothing came of it, so who knows.
At the age of 26, it would be better for both parties if Dallas seeked pastured new and kickstarted his career again. Failing that, The Wyatt Family could do with a new recruit.
4. Titus O’Neil
Vince clearly hates him, WWE fans couldn’t care less, and he has hasn’t done anything of note in a long time, apart from kissing his son on the lips on live television. Titus O’Neil feels like the most obvious choice out of everyone here for the cut.
Just about the only thing saving him is his philanthropy, which is a PR dream for WWE. Once the buzz around his good deeds has worn off, don’t be surprised to see Vince finally get his revenge on O’Neil for daring to touch his bicep, the utter bastard.
I’m not going to delve into the personal life of Paige, but let’s just say that she’s been acting like someone who WWE don’t want to be on their merchandising for a long time now.
Her talent is hard to deny, but ever since becoming the biggest thing on the women’s roster, she’s not exactly been doing her best work. Her star has fallen, but her ego seems to have swollen at the same time, losing a lot of the goodwill fans had for her since her amazing debut back in 2014.
Just like Eva Marie, Paige has been on the rough side of WWE’s Wellness Policy, which immediately puts his near the top of the firing list. Add to that neck surgery which, according to reports, WWE didn’t feel was necessary and has shelved her for months as a result, and you have plenty of reasons to be worried for your WWE future if you’re Paige.
6. Sin Cara
Why did Sin Cara cross the road?
Because he jumped on the wrong trampoline.
The mind boggles over how Sin Cara is still with WWE. You could write a book on his many misdemeanours and failures with the company and yet, he still carries on. It says a lot that he can’t even get a look-in on 2015 Live, a show a wrestler like him would likely thrive on.
The only explanation for him avoiding the cut to date is that he must have threatened to punch every backstage, because he loves doing that. Expect Vince to finally find the special amulet to release the evil spirit before the year is over.
Other possible exits: The Ascension, Shining Stars, Curtis Axel, Erick Rowan