WWE: 50 Superstars Who Never Should Have Worked in WWE
WWE is always looking for the next great talent and will comb the world over to find top stars. The basis of WWE as a mega wrestling promotion was their ability to pull talent from other companies and force them out of business.
Now, WWE looks throughout the planet for another great superstar for their company. Few of them make it to the main roster and even fewer make anything close to an impact.
This is a list is for those latter people. Upon this list are some of the more infamous names that did not become household names in WWE. In another company, some of these people have been very successful, but this is a WWE list. For all intensive purposes, this is essentially a list of WWE busts.
Enjoy and feel free to add your own inclusions in the comments section underneath.
Why not start off with a man that essentially inspired this article?
Sin Cara was known the world over as Mistico, but his popularity and success didn't fully change over. Sin Cara's problem is that he had trouble moving to the WWE style of fighting, where as other companies have their own ways to carry a match. Couple this with his lack of being able to finish moves properly as his constant heat and you can see why he is doing what he is doing now.
Mistico can blame his ego for costing him his job. His mask makes it a seamless transition from him to another man who can portray his character. In fact, it is rare that your gimmick is handed off to someone else, only to not point out reasonable differences. Sin Cara's wellness policy suspension was only the sugar on top.
Now with Hunico on board and driving his card, Sin Cara's recent heel turn may be to take the edge off the popular merchandise by him.
The Ultimo Dragon was a huge superstar the world over.
He had wrestled everywhere in the world and was one of the world's top cruiserweights. In 2003, he was a WWE superstar. Dragon was given titantron graphics like Rey Mysterio and music used by Ricky Steamboat.
Dragon never won any gold in WWE and was gone from the company by 2004. His legacy didn't need a WWE stint, but it had one, and it was a disappointing one.
Goldberg was one of the people who defined WCW during its time atop the wrestling world.
He wouldn't come over to WWE when the company bought WCW in 2001 but came in 2003 for a short run.
Goldberg won the World Heavyweight Championship, fought The Rock into retirement and feuded with Triple H. It just wasn't the same as WCW for Goldberg and having him in a WCW ring was unnecessary for his legacy.
Goldberg left after a match at WrestleMania XX with Brock Lesnar, which was Lesnar's last match also.
Believe it or not, Giant Gonzalez had some talent.
For a few years, WCW had Gonzalez as El Gigante. In 1993, WWE lured him away and made him one of the early victims of the Undertaker. His gimmick as Giant Gonzalez included him being billed as eight feet tall and wearing a body suit that had airbrushed muscles and random patches of hair.
While in WWE, Gonzalez seemed as stiff as The Great Khali does now. Gonzalez debuted in January and was gone by October.
Don't blink or you will have missed Eric Escobar on the WWE main roster. One of the first champions in FCW was called up to SmackDown and had Vickie Guerrero as his manager from the beginning.
Just a handful of matches later, Escobar and Vickie were splitsville, and Escobar was suddenly a face. Whether a face or a heel, he didn't work out. Escobar even had a match scheduled for Bragging Rights that was taken away from him.
He then had his contract taken away from him as he was released by WWE.
One of the most recognizable names in TNA history was once wrestling on Metal and other under-the-radar shows in 2002.
Styles never really caught on with WWE and was sent packing. It may seem like a failure, but it was more like a bad fit. A decade ago, Styles may not have been ready for WWE.
It was TNA's gain as Styles has become one of the best in the world from the exposure TNA brought. It's hard to say that Styles would have had a similar career had he stuck it out on WWE.
Kizarny was talented in my eyes. His gimmick was odd, but it worked for me.
For weeks, vignettes played for him. Once he debuted him, Kizarny was victorious against a struggling MVP. Then, Kizarny was g(iz)one.
I can't even say much about him since he was hardly there.
Colt Cabana may be returning to WWE, but his first stint in the company was a failure.
His gimmick as Scotty Goldman did not attach with fans, and people didn't really get it. It almost seemed like fans didn't know who Colt Cabana really was.
Goldman never had a real chance in WWE before he was gone. Will there be some redemption?
If you ask around to try and find out who decided that Colin Delaney was a good idea on the roster from those who ran ECW around the time he was there, don't expect anyone to own up to it.
While decent superstars were seldom used, Delaney was a glorified jobber that was bandaged up constantly and never put much offense into his matches. Does anyone really know what his finisher was?
The Sandman was a legendary figure from ECW, which would give him indy bookings for life if he chose to.
When ECW was brought back by WWE and the company came knocking for Sandman, he went to the company.
Sandman never fit into what WWE wanted to do, and while it was likely just for the paycheck, it was a career move that Sandman never should have done.
The man who portrayed The Boogeyman tried out for a season of Tough Enough but lost out on the final roster. He was too old for the competition and lied about his age, disqualifying him.
WWE kept his information and brought him in with The Boogeyman gimmick. He had a few stints but had time off to rehab injuries and, as odd as it may sound, dental implants.
Jimmy Wang Yang
After stints in WCW and TNA, Jimmy Wang Yang began his second stint in WWE in 2003.
His first was as a henchman for Tajiri, but this time had him as Jimmy Wang Yang, an Asian cowboy gimmick. Yang's gimmick irked a lot of people, but it still led to almost a two-year stint with the gimmick.
His matches were still good, but the gimmick was too ridiculous to really get on board with.
Yes, his name is Finlay. We know he likes to fight. We also know that he was in his 40s when he started in WWE.
Finlay had a good stint in WCW from 1995 to 2000, but it looked like it was the end of Finlay's wrestling career. Following the merger with WWE, Finlay became a trainer, until he tried a comeback in 2004 at the age of 46.
Finlay didn't need to be a superstar in his late 40s and early 50s, especially when his best years were behind him.
Ernest "The Cat" Miller
This guy annoyed the hell out of me.
After pissing off countless fans of WCW from 1997 to 2001, Ernest Miller debuted in WWE in 2002 with his gimmick of "The Cat." Miller would dance around and look like an idiot, even angering people during the 2004 Royal Rumble.
After Chris Benoit and Randy Orton were both lying in the ring, Miller came down and danced the entire time before being eliminated. Somebody call his momma and tell him to get out of a wrestling ring, please.
Luther Reigns had a tough life, so the fact that he made it to the main roster of WWE is a heck of an accomplishment. However, his stint with Kurt Angle was one to forget.
The entire time, I kept thinking about how this guy belongs in a porn movie. Reigns had already enjoyed stints in WCW and AWA before coming to WWE in 2004, so it wasn't like this was his only shot to make it.
Elijah Burke was a great athlete who lacked the gimmick and charisma to make it in WWE. It almost felt forced to see him every week, even on ECW, where the roster was a lot smaller than other brands.
Burke was given a lot in his push without being given what he wanted—the ECW Championship. His stint with the company now looks like a failure, especially when Burke is now in TNA as "The Pope."
He was super, and he was crazy, but Super Crazy was really just a bad fit in WWE.
A member of the original ECW, Super Crazy spent more than three years with WWE when he initially was a one-night superstar with the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view. Super Crazy was a member of The Mexicools, a faction of Mexican stereotypes that rode to the ring on lawnmowers.
The faction never ended up leading to any championship gold, and Super Crazy was seldom on pay-per-views, let alone getting pushes. Eventually, Super Crazy was rarely seen on television at all and asked for his release in 2008.
Carlito got pushed in a way that no other superstar on this list got pushed.
In his debut on SmackDown, he won the United States Championship from John Cena. In his RAW debut, he won the Intercontinental Championship from Shelton Benjamin. Carlito was also pushed into Elimination Chambers and was nearly in the world title hunt.
However, the second-generation superstar never got to hold a world championship. Carlito peaked early in his career, never living up to the hype as years wore on. Eventually, he turned out to be a lost cause.
Marcus Cor Von
The man known as Monty Brown in TNA signed with WWE and was assigned to their ECW brand.
Cor Von looked for an opportunity, but the former pro football player was linked with the New Breed, where exactly zero stars came out of.
Following that faction, Cor Von sort of faded into obscurity.
The last world champion under the ECW rule was Rhyno, a man who came to WWE in 2001 and was used in the Invasion storyline.
Rhyno always seemed to be booked pretty strong without many chances to win titles and gain prestige. Rhyno's legend grew from his ECW career and countless gores.
Does anyone even know who he is?
Waylon Mercy was inspired by a character in Cape Fear, but it might be best to follow a route best suited. I think we can all take the train and sit next to this man and not know that he was in the WWE.
They pushed him hardcore and did nothing with him. I'm actually struggling with words to describe him because I literally don't know much to talk about on him.
The suicidal, homicidal, genocidal,...yeah, we know the rest, nearly ruined his reputation with fans in my eyes when he joined ECW.
Sabu was too old to be wrestling for a major company as often as he did. Indy bookings would have been just fine for his destroyed body. However, the WWE schedule likely helped him by having matches with not as many dangerous spots.
No matter how you slice it, it isn't how you remember Sabu.
Tazz was an undersized wrestler than never caught anyone's attention until his potential was shown in ECW.
WWE caught on and brought in the Red Hook native to debut at 2000's Royal Rumble in Madison Square Garden. After weeks of vignettes, Tazz debuted as Kurt Angle's mystery opponent, delivering the first-ever loss to the former Olympic gold medalist. After that, there were very few high points.
Tazz is now relegated to commentary but not for nothing (see, I can use Tazz-isms too); his level of skill was never fully utilized in WWE.
In his first stint with WWE, Raven was known as Johnny Polo. I'm dead serious about that. After that failed, he went to ECW, where the gimmick of Raven was given to him. Eventually, Raven made it back to WWE, where you would think that he was successful by holding gold very frequently.
Raven is a 26-time Hardcore Champion in WWEthe most in the title's history. Even with all of that, Raven was a very distant and forgotten superstar. Most of his reigns came as a result of losing the title, only to gain it right back minutes later.
This poor guy never really had a chance but looked incedibly promising.
The young Hassan wasn't actually an Arab, but he portrayed the gimmick perfectly. Fans weren't sure if they should boo him or respect him, so many just did both. History has told us he was on his way to world title glory but was cut down by a storyline resembling a terrorist act that happened earlier in the day that a SmackDown episode aired.
Hassan wasn't allowed on UPN anymore and was regretfully released. The saga put some distance between WWE and other stations, as well as some advertisers. As great as the gimmick was, it might have been best if Hassan had never debuted if it meant saving reputations and relationships with other companies.
Poor Charlie Haas. There isn't much more to say.
One half of the successful Team Angle (later calling themselves World's Greatest Tag Team) with Shelton Benjamin, Haas could never have the same singles success that Benjamin did.
He also never found a good gimmick for himself, eventually just imitating other superstars for a few weeks in a row.
MVP was such a hyped superstar that never truly connected with the fans. For as good as he was as a champion, his moveset was never very fantastic, his mic skills were weak for a guy that had so much charisma and his attire looked like a Power Ranger.
They tried in the later years to bring out MVP's prison record to get sympathy from the crowd, but most of the crowd couldn't connect with that fact. The apparently highest-paid superstar in SmackDown history may end up being the biggest bust of them all.
Without WWE, Matt Morgan wouldn't even be in TNA right now. With that said, his WWE career helped him very little.
He was discovered through Tough Enough and eventually went to the main roster a few times. His WWE gimmick that is still revered by fans was a strong man who had a stutter.
It was just so awful, and while fans of TNA say that WWE messed this one up, Morgan has barely done much to justify that claim.
There was nothing wrong with Kaval. His offense was stellar, and his voice and look were unique.
However, he just never fit the mold of a WWE superstar. Kaval has always been more explosive in other promotions, and the pace of the WWE world may have been a dream of Kaval's, but it never was going to be a successful one.
The two sides parted ways amicably as they had nothing good for the NXT Season 2 winner. It was better off that way to not ruin Kaval's reputation with fans.
Don't know him? He was supposed to face the Undertaker at WrestleMania a few years ago.
The story goes that Vince McMahon saw him backstage one night and didn't like his look, pulling him from the storyline.
It led to his release not long after. Vansen was very forgettable, mostly because a lot never knew about him in the first place.
I loved this cocky gimmick from Rob Conway the best, but it never seemed to go anywhere.
His music was sung by himself, had a weird beat and his trunks were see-through on the sides. Yikes.
No wonder he rarely was seen on one of the main shows.
He was a pirate. He was a ripper. Most of all, he was a failure. Arg...
The Basham Brothers
A two-for-one slide, The Bashams were pushed so hard in developmentals that it is unbelievable.
They could barely do anything in singles action up on the main roster. Most of their careers had them switching out Bella Twins style and winning matches that way.
They don't even look that alike, though.
Have a man look strong. Don't give him a titantron or an entrance song for a while. Then, have him destroy almost anyone without giving him a championship ever. Then, turn him face with a comic relief character and take all of his hard work as a destructive guy and throw it out the window.
Finally, as a weakened superstar, give him the meaningless tag team championships. That is Vladimir Kozlov's WWE career in a nutshell.
He was Bull Buchanan. He was also B-2 for a short time, alongside John Cena.
Whatever the gimmick, Bull couldn't hack it. His best times were as a member of Right to Censor but even that wasn't very strong.
WWE refused to make Right to Censor a serious force on the entire company.
Mack was one of the latest superstars to pull the black card with their gimmick and was one of the least successful with it.
Having an ex-referee as a manager, Mack would beat up on jobbers in a White Boy Challenge.
When he had to wrestle the main roster, he wasn't as successful. I'm sure he will blame the white man for that.
Look at Nathan Jones and tell me what his gimmick is. Even if you know what he is, do you remember his nickname? Exactly.
There was nothing subtle about Rico.
He was flamboyant, and it made his opponents feel weird about it.
It may have all been head games, but it just reiterated the fact that gay gimmicks are just not going to work alone in WWE.
He was both Kevin Thorn and Mordecai in WWE, the two opposites in the evil spectrum.
In any event, his big frame looked like a good superstar, but his lack of getting over with the crowd made this project too much of a headache to deal with.
Okay, I'm kind of getting tired of going down WWE's road of broken dreams and missed opportunities, so let's speed it up with the remainder of these and get down to the nitty gritty with these last 11 names.
Call a man "Mr. 1.9," give him a boxing/MMA feel and don't have him throw one punch? Whoops.
Tomko has latched onto any promotion he has been in, seemed strong, and done nothing.
WWE was no different.
I don't need to exactly defend putting him on this list.
There's a reason Trent Barreta is still employed, and Caylen Croft isn't.
He was more bland than his bland tag team partner.
Seriously, what is a dudebuster?
Another vampire gimmick? Moving on...
Who? I know, right?
He may have been good as Chris Harris in TNA, but Braden Walker was awful for WWE.
The list of accomplishments for Braden Walker in WWE is shorter than mine, if that's at all possible.
Enjoy this video as I hope it is the best thing you will watch all week.
Yes, Rob Terry was signed to WWE before he was known in TNA.
As Big Rob down in FCW, he accompanied Nick Nemeth to the ring, even teaming with him in WWE dark matches.
In August 2008, he was released from his contract as Nemeth was given the gimmick of Dolph Ziggler. The rest is obscure history, kind of like TNA on a regular basis.
Yet another TNA superstar spun his wheels in WWE before getting his pink slip.
It turned out good in the long run for Daniels, but his time spent in development with WWE and matches on Velocity could have been better spent gaining experience and notability.
See: Christopher Daniels. Add in the fact that he is Samoan, which WWE seems to love to sign and rarely push.
Don't say Samoa Joe should come to WWE, because WWE only sees him as an overweight and older version of an Uso.
You better believe that I put Funaki last.
He was a member of Kaientai, which eventually was just a jobber tag team. At least Taka Michinoku had light heavyweight success.
All that Funaki got was to be a bad backstage interviewer and an even worse Ralph Macchio doppleganger.
Follow me on Twitter to see opinions on the latest WWE news and reminisce the great moments of Braden Walker. You know, both of them.