WWE, AEW Stars Who Have Glaring Roadblocks to Becoming Megastars
Every year, thousands of people around the globe embark on journeys to becoming pro wrestlers. Like any sport, less than 1 percent will achieve their dream.
For every person who has won a world title in a major promotion, countless others retired without reaching the same goal. Every Steve Austin leaves 1,000 Barry Horowitzs in his wake.
For a lucky few, they will be signed by one of the bigger companies like New Japan Pro-Wrestling or All Elite Wrestling. But making it to WWE is still the goal for most wrestlers.
Getting to WWE is just the first step to becoming a megastar. Once someone is hired, they have to reach the main roster, connect with the crowd and convince management they can be an asset. Unfortunately, some people have specific things preventing them from being more successful.
Let's look at which AEW and WWE stars have roadblocks preventing them from realizing their potential.
If someone had told you Braun Strowman would not have been world champion by now when he was having the biggest segments on Raw every week, you probably wouldn't have believed them.
In 2018 and early 2019, The Monster Among Men was unstoppable. He was tipping over ambulances, ripping apart sports cars and running roughshod over everyone.
WWE strapped a rocket to his back, but when it finally came time to put the world title on him, management stopped short.
Strowman has improved in a lot of ways over the past couple of years, but his biggest hurdle is mic work. He can give a good minute-long promo, but anything beyond that is a struggle.
Part of his gimmick is being a man of few words, but if you can't keep the crowd invested in everything you have to say for 10 minutes, WWE probably won't put a world championship around your waist.
There is still plenty of time for the big man to reach that goal if he is able to improve his promo skills.
When AEW launched, The Dark Order was a bad gimmick without much of a push. The past few months have been much better for the growing stable thanks to some vignettes and teasers from Evil Uno.
We have seen new members recruited and others turn them down, but one thing we have yet to see is Stu Grayson get a moment to shine on his own.
Uno is the face of the group, which is ironic since he wears a mask. Grayson is his right-hand man, and that position has relegated him to the background. Grayson has a good look and a great set of moves, but he needs to start talking if fans are going to know him as anything more than the bald guy in The Dark Order.
When whoever the Exalted One is finally shows up, Grayson could find himself fading further into the background. AEW is paying him, so it may as well give him a few opportunities to connect with the crowd on his own.
Lana has become one of the biggest heels in WWE during her storyline with Bobby Lashley, but that doesn't mean she is going to be the top woman in the division.
The Ravishing Russian can talk well on the mic and keep the crowd listening, but as soon as she steps into the ring for a match, people lose interest.
This is an unfortunate side effect of being someone who started as a manager before trying to become a wrestler. She has made significant improvements, but she is nowhere near the level of most of the roster.
Lana has a lot of great qualities, and one day we might look back on her early matches as outliers if she keeps practicing and improving. But in the here and now, her in-ring ability is what keeps WWE from booking her to fight every week.
Orange Cassidy is fun, isn't he?
He is a comedy character who acts like he barely cares enough to put on his sunglasses before heading to the ring. It shouldn't work, but somehow he has turned it into a popular gimmick.
However, comedy characters have a ceiling in pro wrestling. Unless he changes over time, Cassidy will continue to be used to generate laughs. And that is fine. There is nothing wrong with being the comic relief. Many people have made comfortable livings by making people laugh, especially in the wrestling industry.
If Cassidy wants to be a megastar, he will have to make some adjustments. If his only goal is to entertain the crowd, he should just keep truckin'.
Believe it or not, there are people who do not care about championships. They just want to wrestle. AEW is lucky to have Cassidy because the fans have fallen in love with him. Just don't expect to see him in any main events with Cody anytime soon.
Poor Cedric Alexander. This guy just cannot catch a break.
After having a successful run on 205 Live and producing some genuine Match of the Year candidates, Alexander was moved to Raw on April 17 during the Superstar Shake-up.
He had a brief push, but the past few months have seen him either losing most of his televised matches or not being used at all. You would think being as gifted in the ring as he is would guarantee success, but like Strowman, his mic skills are holding him back.
Alexander is not bad at giving promos. He just doesn't have a unique character the crowd can get behind. He is a bland babyface because WWE has booked him that way.
He would benefit from a heel turn and an alliance with someone who can do most of the talking. Being in Seth Rollins' new group would be a great opportunity for him, but WWE hasn't been keen on stables with more than four people since La Familia in the late 2000s.
There was a time when it seemed like Leva Bates would sign with WWE and win the Women's Championship. Blue Pants was over with the WWE Universe.
Unfortunately, she was never signed to NXT on a full-time basis and ended up with a librarian gimmick in AEW, and that is what is going to keep her from being successful.
Bates has made a name for herself on the indy scene with great performances and her love of cosplay. She was one of the people getting a lot of attention before the Women's Revolution began.
She has only worked a couple of matches for AEW, but her gimmick with Peter Avalon has failed to get over with the crowd. She needs to change her image soon because she is too popular and talented to use this way.
The name says it all. WWE took an Olympian named Chad Gable and turned him into Shorty G. It only goes downhill from there.
In a lot of ways. Gable is like a modern-day Dean Malenko. He is shorter than most wrestlers, but he is technically proficient enough to make you forget about that when he is throwing around guys who are twice his size. When he and Baron Corbin were fighting during the King of the Ring tournament, it seemed like WWE had a huge push planned for the former tag team champion.
Then management began having Superstars taunt him with short jokes. He went from being the next Kurt Angle to being a motivational speaker who tells people to stand up to bullies. It's a great message, but it's not a gimmick that will lead him to a world title.
With any luck, WWE will find the right tag team partner for him so he can pivot his character into something more entertaining.
Matt Riddle has a lot of great qualities. He is a former UFC fighter who has adapted well to the pro wrestling business. The crowd loves him, and he has a unique character in a world filled with forgettable Superstars.
The one thing that could prevent him from reaching the top of the mountain is his own mouth. Riddle keeps stirring the pot, and it might eventually burn him. In pro wrestling, most things are a work. People push feuds on social media just to keep people talking outside of the shows every week. But in order for something to be a work, both people have to be in on it.
Riddle keeps talking about Goldberg and Brock Lesnar like he is still an MMA fighter who is trying to get inside his opponent's head. Basically, he is not respecting the hierarchy of the business.
Being vocal and opinionated is not a bad thing. In fact, it has helped many wrestlers to become megastars. But those people knew when to push buttons and when to stop.
The Bro will be a world champion one day if he can focus on his own career instead of legends he will probably never end up facing in the ring.