Rusev and 5 Underutilized WWE Stars Who Would Be Perfect for AEWJune 5, 2019
Rusev and 5 Underutilized WWE Stars Who Would Be Perfect for AEW
With WWE possessing such a star-studded roster at all levels, it's perhaps inevitable there are going to be some stars who feel they're being underused by the company at any one time.
Ordinarily, that hasn't been an issue for WWE—until now. All Elite Wrestling has arrived on the scene and, on the evidence of Double or Nothing, is set to be a major rival for Vince McMahon's company moving forward.
So as some top stars sit on the sidelines on a weekly basis on Raw or SmackDown, speculation is going to mount about whether they may be tempted to switch sides and try their hand in the new promotion.
Here's a look at some of the biggest names who would be a great fit for AEW as it establishes itself as a major player in the world of pro wrestling.
There's a general theme surrounding WWE main roster talent who aren't being booked to their potential after emerging through the ranks of NXT.
Robert Roode is one such example.
He was a bonafide star on NXT, even claiming the NXT Championship and becoming one of the most popular guys on the yellow brand's roster.
But since stepping up to the main roster, things just haven't worked out.
Roode's booking has been abysmal, particularly in the last year or so. During that period, his tag team with Chad Gable had moments of promise but ultimately faded out quite quickly. Sure, he won the United States Championship, but that was at the end of 2017.
Someone with Roode's charisma and in-ring ability should be at the top of the card on a regular basis. If WWE isn't using him properly, AEW could certainly get their money's worth out of the Canadian.
Little over a year ago, Rusev was arguably the hottest property on SmackDown Live with the Rusev Day gimmick that got him over with fans.
Now, he's on a run of over four months without a win on television, and he hasn't appeared on an episode of SmackDown at all since mid-April, per ProFightDB.
That's an awful way to book a guy who has the potential to go all the way to the top, and you can't help but wonder if he'd get better treatment in AEW.
Rusev, first and foremost, is an incredible athlete and would have the potential to excel as a top wrestler in AEW, a company that is putting the emphasis on wrestling rather than gimmicks.
Hopefully things turn round for him in WWE because he should be a major champion at some point. But if not, AEW would surely be only too happy to make him a star.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
If Rusev's recent booking is worrying, then Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson's record over the past year is terrifying.
The duo haven't won a standard tag match on TV for over a year, dating all the way back to their win against The Usos last May (per ProFightDB). For a team that has the potential to generate real momentum and hype wherever it goes on the wrestling landscape, that is the definition of being underused.
Since WrestleMania 35, they've been on TV just twice, losing to The Usos in April before being involved in a 24/7 Championship match recently.
There's no doubting that if Gallows and Anderson—with their track record in other promotions like New Japan Pro-Wrestling—went elsewhere, they'd get better treatment.
And if AEW is looking to create a thriving and interesting tag division, then having Gallows and Anderson at the top of that would make sense.
They could get back to the heights they hit before their arrival in WWE quite easily.
It seems highly unlikely that Asuka will leave WWE any time soon, but ever since her undefeated streak abruptly came to an end at WrestleMania 34, things haven't been the same for The Empress of Tomorrow.
She should have been built into one of the strongest female wrestlers WWE has seen, but the company's insistence on having Charlotte Flair sit atop of the women's division for such a long time has dramatically hurt her standing with the company.
After WrestleMania 35, things have got even worse for The Empress. Sure, her alliance with Kairi Sane did seem to have potential, but they just haven't been given any TV time on a regular basis.
Few stars leaving WWE for AEW would have repercussions as sizable as Asuka departing for WWE's biggest rival.
It would send shockwaves through the wrestling world and show that AEW really did mean business.
Few, if any, WWE stars have a worldwide reputation and prestige in professional wrestling like Shinsuke Nakamura does.
His WWE career started promisingly, but in the last six months or so, he's become absent from television tapings on a regular basis, and that just isn't good enough for a guy who deserves so much more.
Nakamura has managed to make the best of most situations the company has handed him, including his underwhelming tag team with Rusev.
But with his TV time now limited, if not non-existent, it's not hard to wonder what sort of level he could hit in AEW if the new promotion made a move for The King of Strong Style.
Nakamura would almost certainly become one of the top names in AEW and show WWE what they've been missing in recent months.