WWE Future Endeavors: 5 Wrestlers Who Could Have Succeeded with a Better Gimmick
Johnny Ace looking totally tubular
Over the years I have been watching wrestling I have seen dozens, maybe hundreds, of wrestlers come and go from WWE.
Sometimes these guys are with the company for less than six months before getting a pink slip, while others put in years before being let go.
Sometimes it is the wrestler who is just not up to snuff and can't hack it in the ring, but other times it is their charisma or even gimmick which holds them back.
I have seen many great wrestlers be let go because they never quite clicked with the fans, but sometimes that is the fault of the creative team for giving them a bad gimmick.
Here I will list five superstars who could have been successful had they been given a better gimmick.
I know that when he was released Shelton was already frustrated with WWE, but it was half their fault and half his fault that things never worked out.
Benjamin was a pure athlete and did not need a gimmick to have an incredible match. The fact that WWE tried repeatedly to get him over with personality changes shows how little they knew about what he was capable of.
Does anyone else remember when he cleanly pinned Jericho for the IC title? What about that amazing match he had with Shawn Michaels on one episode of Raw?
Shelton was in the highest ranks of WWE in terms of sheer physical prowess, and there were things he did that I still never see anyone else even try.
Very few people could take a vertical leap to the top rope and execute a suplex like Shelton, and in WWE, I do not think I have seen anyone else do that.
Some wrestlers like Dean Malenko and Arn Anderson had less of a gimmick than they did a nick name. Malenko was called The Man of 1,000 holds, but really he was just a stiff wrestler who was great at his job.
Shelton should have been booked this way. Don't give him promos and interviews, just let him go out and whoop butt the way he knows he can.
I know he is happy with ROH right now, but I would love to see Shelton come back to WWE and become a world champion now that it seems talent can actually get you to the top of WWE again.
The Moscow Mauler was one of WWE's fastest rising stars for the first few months of his run, than he seemed to fall further and further down the ladder as time went on.
Before his releases, he was part of a comedy tag team with Santino. He was entertaining and seemed to enjoy what he was doing, but I believe this led to his downfall.
This guy not only had WWE title matches within months of showing up, but he has a clean win over the Undertaker, not something many rookies can claim. Come to think of it, no rookies can make that claim.
When he first came to WWE, I was very intrigued by his character. He came to the ring with no music, no video on the titantron and a simple spotlight which followed him down the ramp to the ring.
This was such a different type of entrance for a superstar that it made his boos seem even louder. It was a great gimmick and could have worked well for longer than they allowed it to.
Somebody had to go and give him a video and theme song, and he went from being unique to just another big wrestler.
His skill in the ring is unquestionable, not the best, but very good. He had some great signature moves and had the potential to be the WWE's next great foreign heel.
Foreign heels used to work so well in WWE. The Iron Sheik was such a great heel, and he used his gimmick to make people hate him that much more.
We now know him to be a hilarious personality, but back then he was so menacing with the crazy moustache and giant arms.
Kozlov was never given the right time to make his heel character work. I think he could make a big impact if he was brought back the right way.
Imagine Punk or Cena in the middle of the ring giving one of their standard promos when suddenly the lights go dark. Everyone naturally assumes it is the Undertaker or Kane, but then a spotlight lights up the stage to reveal Kozlov looking pissed.
He rushes the ring and destroys whoever is in his path and then just walks away with the spotlight following him to the back.
Like Kozlov, I just never got why WWE did not position Knox as a monster heel who could dominate anyone at anytime.
He had the size, strength and crazy look to pull it off. I am not saying he would have been the next big thing in WWE, but he certainly could have contributed more than they allowed him to.
Knox was never a standout in the ring, but he never botched anything either. Knox could easily have been paired up with another heel to make a great heel tag team.
When he was still with WWE, it seemed like he was entering a program with Kane where even though Kane won their matches, Knox enjoyed feeling the pain.
This seemed like it intrigued Kane, and I was hoping for them to form an untouchable tag team.
This never came to fruition, and he was released. Jim Ross was one of Knox's biggest supporters, and with his reputation for having a good eye for talent, I thought this would help Knox.
This one is all WWE's fault. They had to go and break up their only really popular tag team for absolutely no reason. I am 100 percent sure that both of these men would rather be in a tag team than where they are now.
Smith is said to be interested in MMA now, and I wish him luck, but I had high hopes for him and Tyson Kidd to be a great tag team.
They would fit in so well with what is happening in the tag team division right now, too. They may not be family necessarily, but Smith is the son of Davey Boy Smith and Kidd trained in the Hart Dungeon.
The possibilities for feuds between them: The Usos, The Colons and Air Boom could have made for some very entertaining tag team matches.
Maybe WWE will come to their senses, rehire Smith and put him back with Kidd so they can go back to being awesome.
When they broke up they had two matches to settle their feud, which were great matches, but WWE did little to push either man afterwards, and now Kidd may end up going the same way as Smith when cost cutting time comes around for WWE.
Some superstars can blame their release on whatever they want, and it will be BS, but Smith has a great case to blame WWE for his downfall.
When The Hart Dynasty came to the ring, the crowd would pop big, now Kidd gets jobber roles. What kind of justice is that?
WWE loves guys who have impossibly huge muscles, so how this guy slipped through the cracks is beyond me.
I will admit that Masters' first WWE run was nothing special, but when he was brought back, it was clear he was making strides to improve.
He did not want to rely on his size as his only attribute like some muscular wrestlers have done in the past, he wanted to stand out on his own as a good wrestler.
Even CM Punk gave him a little shout out after his release by saying he had worked his butt off to improve over the past year.
Masters was never the most charismatic or the most talented, but with guys like Cena, who are muscular and exciting to young fans, it is hard for Masters to carve his own path.
Masters old gimmick of having an unbreakable full nelson worked for a long time, but after Lashley broke it, he never had the same momentum again.
Masters should have been repackaged instead of WWE just letting him go out there with no discernible gimmick.
I would be surprised if WWE brought him in for a third time, especially since he may be showing up in TNA soon, but he deserves to be somewhere where he can continue to improve.
Who Were You Sad to See Go?
There you have it ladies and gentlemen, five superstars who I feel could have succeeded with better gimmicks.
Feel free to share your thoughts and additions to my list below and have a happy and safe holiday weekend.
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