Year after year, people come to the WWE with hopes of making it big. They want to headline WrestleMania, win championships, put on epic feuds, and go down in history as one of the greatest, if not the greatest of all time.
Some of these men and women go on to do that. Of our current generation the names Randy Orton, CM Punk, and of course John Cena have all but solidified themselves in the annals of WWE history. However, many more never see such success.
For every John Cena, there's a Zack Ryder. For every CM Punk, there's a JTG. For every Randy Orton, there's a Sin Cara. Simply put, sometimes guys just don't make it. Whether through some fault of their own, or simply no luck on the draw, failure is a much more believable result than success in the WWE.
That's not even taking into account some superstars like Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes, and Santino Marella. These men have all seen some real success in the WWE. All three are multiple-time Intercontinental or Tag Team Champions. Santino and Kofi are former United States Champions as well.
Still, one has to think that all three of these men want even more. They are hungry. Though the question is, will WWE satiate that hunger, or perhaps it's time to find food elsewhere for some.
For some people, the best course of action at this point, would be simply to ask for a release. The WWE has had plenty of time to push certain people in some or another and in many cases it's become apparent WWE never will push someone.
People may want to argue that it's all about putting your time in and waiting for your shot, but after so many years of trying and waiting, and wasting talent year after year (these guys aren't getting any younger,) perhaps it's just better to take what success you do have and roll that into success elsewhere, and these are talents that I think could do just that.
Remember when R-Truth was arguably the second-most over person in the WWE? (You can probably guess who the first was/is.) When he seemed like a lock to win the WWE Championship? When Little Jimmy wasn't his sidekick, but arguably his arch-enemy?
Heck, I remember when he had victories over John Cena and Randy Orton. Seems like a lifetime ago these days, as people are shocked the former NWA World Champion picks up victories over the likes of Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett.
Say what you want about his advanced age, but show me a guy who's worked harder and longer to get over than The Truth. A man who I feel could carry the company, given the chance. Still, I understand that the world isn't fair and sometimes people don't get what they should and sometimes people get what they don't work hard for or don't deserve.
All the same, the former U.S. Champion has shown a lot of skill and ability and is still a highlight when he makes an appearance, in my opinion. R-Truth has more to offer than many people may think, but he's not going to get the chance to show that in WWE.
Still a pretty healthy guy, talented and fun in the ring, I think Truth can still do some work on the indy circuit here in North America. He may not be making WWE money, but at the same time, he'll at least have a less hectic schedule, more opportunity due to his name, and the chance to really cut loose for his fans that know what he's capable of.
It may seem a bit odd to see a veteran like Christian on a list of superstars who should ask for a release, but I think Christian would be best served leaving WWE. Being quite honest, Christian's done just about everything he can in the WWE and in professional wrestling in general. The accolades to the name of Christian are a testament to just how good he is. Count them off with me, will you?
- Two-Time NWA World Champion
- Two-Time World Heavyweight Champion
- Two-Time ECW Champion
- Four-Time Intercontinental Champion
- Nine-Time World Tag Team Champion
- Triple Crown Champion
- Grand Slam Champion
The Instant Classic has all but ensured his name will go down in history as one of the best to ever step foot in the ring. With that said, I think with his time can be spent elsewhere. Helping to refine young talent in places like TNA (if he has a change of heart, regarding the company) and ROH, not as a member of the roster, but more behind the scenes work.
Christian is a versatile worker. He can work with high-flyers, mat-technicians, power guys, etc. I think that versatility is something that will really help newer guys get over and Christian can be a great mentor.
Along with that, I think WWE has made it quite clear over the years how they feel about Christian. From his two-day World Title reign, his lack of a push for "unknown" reasons, and the way he won his burial at the hands of Randy Orton. I think Christian deserves a little more than that.
It's common knowledge that when you come from the Hart Dungeon, you're one tough cookie. It's an expectation that you're going to have some skill when your family tree holds one of the greatest tag teams in professional wrestling history, as well as numerous other greats.
With those things behind her and the name already made for herself on the indy circuit, one would expect greatness to be Natalya's birthright. Sadly, things haven't been going well for the Queen of Harts.
The former WWE Divas Champion finds herself doing nothing but winning meaningless matches on Superstars and the like and when not doing that, hanging around and dancing with The Great Khali and Hornswoggle.
A far cry from the top heel Diva Natalya can be, I think Natalya may have already peaked in the WWE, though not by any fault of her own. Given the way WWE treats its Divas, I think Natalya would be better off jumping ship to Impact Wrestling, (at least their women are given time, if nothing else), or perhaps traveling the indy circuit would be in her best interest.
Potential Route to Success: If Tamina can be persuaded to leave the WWE, a tag team between the two Generation Gals could make quite the impact on the indy circuit, especially in Japan or in America in the Shimmer promotion.
- New Japan is where her cousin Davey Boy Smith Jr. is currently competing. Perhaps Suzukigun could use her.
Did you guys even know Evan was back in the WWE? Appearing on NXT and possibly working the house show circuit, the former WWE Tag Team Champion has likely been working the kinks out of his body after sustaining a broken foot in a car accident.
Honestly, I'm a little surprised WWE didn't release him while he was injured. With that said, I'm a little more surprised Evan didn't ask to be released. I say that because after getting back-to-back suspensions, costing his tag partner for his mistake, and being away for so long I would think better of coming back.
Evan is a talented guy in the ring. He has the personality of a mailbox, but he's a talented guy in the ring. With that in mind, I have to say I don't really think there's a place for Evan to do much of anything in the WWE. There was a time when he was considered the best high-flyer in the WWE.
I like to think that Justin Gabriel has since taken that mantle for himself, but I also think he will inevitably be upstaged by NXT Superstar Adrian Neville. While Evan's Air Bourne is an awesome maneuver, I think just about everyone can agree that Neville's corkscrew variation looks even more impressive, and with The Man That Gravity Forgot looking to make his way to the main roster (likely in a tag team), I can't see Evan getting much for himself in the long run.
If I were in the position Evan is in, I'd likely look to take that tag team experience and try to make a name on the indy circuit.
Possible Route to Success: Evan Bourne holds the distinction of being the first Gaijin to win Dragon Gate's Open the Brave Gate Championship. Perhaps Evan could look to join one of the various stables between Dragon Gate and Dragon Gate USA (this would also enable him to work shows for Evolve as well.) World-1 International could be a good group to join, and a team with Ricochet could really put him on the map.
Zack Ryder has a pretty legit claim to be one of the most underutilized stars in WWE history. There was a time when Long Island Iced Z was the talk of the town. Through his wit and charm, Zack garnered enough interest to have fans chanting for him when he wasn't even on the program.
Survivor Series even saw a chant for Zack Ryder while The Rock was in the ring. It took some time, but WWE finally relented and Zack Ryder began a quest for the United States Championship. Unfortunately, WWE wasted little time in (points if you get this reference,) attaching Ryder to another object by an inclined plane wrapped vertically around an axis.
Since then WWE has all but ignored the former Tag Team Champion, save for the occasional jobber role, (coincidentally, two weeks ago, the fans did attempt a "Let's go Ryder" chant.) Still, it looks like The Ryder Revolution is over, as despite attempts by the former U.S. Champion to get over (including writing and recording his single "Hoeski,") WWE doesn't seem willing to give him another chance.
Perhaps it's time Ryder take his show on the road. The Internet Champion could always go the route of Internet fame, and get his own reality show...or not. On a slightly more realistic note, perhaps Ryder could use his talents elsewhere.
I always thought a the gimmick of a hacker would be fun for a Heel Ryder working with Impact Wrestling, though for some reason I also feel this would get over well in the All-Japan promotion. (Don't ask me why I say All-Japan. Just a gut feeling.)
Potential Route to Success: Aside from the above-mentioned route, if Ryder could convince Curt Hawkins to join him on the indy circuit it would be a great way for both to gain exposure and there are several companies that could use a young, impressive team on their roster.
The Infinite Diva Layla has had a pretty impressive career in the WWE since winning the Divas Search in 2006. Though she struggled for some time to find her footing in the company, it took a little molding and a push with former Tag Team partner Michelle McCool to show that Layla was a pretty entertaining woman, given the chance.
During her time with LayCool, the Beautiful Brit became the final WWE Women's Champion. An honor I think she has proven to be worthy of having.
With all that said, I think it may be time to hang it up in WWE. While it looked at one point as if Layla was set to be a major player in the division, an injury derailed her just as her big face push looked ready to take off.
Unsurprisingly, her return and subsequent capture of the WWE Divas Championship was met with the same apathy WWE has shown in anything else involving the Divas and she's suffered for it, and it's a real shame to see a talented beauty like her have to take an unwarranted backseat, not due to talent but mostly lazy booking/creative teams.
Being one of the few Divas to win both the Women's and Divas Championships gives Layla a lot of credibility, and I think she can put that to use in other places.
Proposed Route to Success: Layla is a versatile worker in the ring, and as such she can work a lot of styles. With that in mind, I think the best use of her talents would be working the indy circuit in England, or perhaps Impact Wrestling, where she could work with Magnus or Rockstar Spud.
The Cape Town Werewolf and in my opinion the greatest high-flyer in the WWE today has never failed to entertain when in the ring. Three times a WWE Tag Team Champion, JG has gained quite a few fans over the years.
He has picked up some impressive victories over the likes of Randy Orton and WWE Hall of Famer Edge, and even pinned John Cena in a tag match. Still, Gabriel finds himself at a point of stagnation in his career, and it's actually a little surprising.
WWE doesn't seem set on pushing The Daredevil and like many of the high-flyers, Gabriel finds himself in the role of enhancement talent on RAW and Smackdown, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that Gabriel's skills at least deserve a run with the United States or Intercontinental Championship, but I don't feel WWE will ever let him hold the gold.
Perhaps on the indy circuit, Gabriel can hone his mic skills or at the very least, find a place where his in-ring skills can be enough to pay the bills. WWE has talked about a cruiserweight show for a bit, but I don't think it's something we or the members of the roster it would focus on should wait for. Rather, Gabriel should leave and if it's actually any good, I have a feeling Gabriel will be called back for the show.
Proposed Route to Success: Justin could potentially reform his team with Tyson Kidd, if Kidd doesn't look to get a push upon return from injury. Both could be key parts of any tag division given the chance. Alternatively, the X-Division of Impact Wrestling has improved a bit in the past couple of years. Perhaps Gabriel can make a name for himself there and work on his mic skills if he's lucky.
So there you have it. Several superstars whom I think could do much better away from the WWE, as far as being wrestlers goes. It's getting to a point where I think some people could use the WWE as a stepping stone towards bigger things in the world of wrestling.
I'm not saying that these people aren't talented enough to be in the WWE, but that their skills would be better appreciated in other places.
The reason these names were chosen is because these are all men and women who have gained a good amount of success, but still have things to contribute.
Anyway, thanks for the read. As promised you'll find matches for Evan Bourne and Natalya below. These two matches were picked because they were long enough that I felt it would be best to give you the option to view them on your own, but still a good indicator of something important or just a good match in general.
- Evan Bourne/Matt Sydal, BxB Hulk, and CIMA vs. Dick Togo, TAKA Michinoku, and MEN's Teioh
- Natalya vs. LayCool for the WWE Divas Championship