WWE: Finding the Best Fits for Ex-Talent


Which promotion would work best for the released stars?

WWE trimmed the fat with its annual roster purge. Sadly none were the members of the ‘creative team’ who can’t find a creative way to utilize the talent in a creative fashion. Thankfully there’s still some viable options for ex-WWE stars looking to keep a presence on TV while matched up against top talent on the independent scene. Clearly the goal is to return to the WWE, but in the interim, here are the best fits for the released stars that would help their chances of getting a return call from Vince.

Wade Barrett. Since his debut in NXT, Barrett looked like he was being honed to be a main star for the next decade. Due to injuries and spotty booking that never materialized. Barrett has an enviable skill set, look and skill on the microphone. He should never have been put in this position, but the WWE’s loss is another promotion’s gain.

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Though he’s taller than the average roster member, Barrett would make a strong addition to the ROH locker room. Let him team with Matt Taven in a revamped Kingdom as he regains his confidence and completes the final steps to being a legitimate main eventer. It’s worked in the past with other WWE stars and ROH talent is clearly on WWE’s radar.

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Hornswoggle is more of a personality than full-time wrestler making his next promotion placement tricky. He may be more of a joke character, but joining Impact Wrestling is probably where he’d fit in best. In ROH, he’d be limited to a manager’s role and the Lucha Underground crowd would want him to display a rougher, daredevil style than he can provide. At Impact, he could do a little bit of everything and be a fun addition to the roster.

Cameron was working on improving her wrestling skills. She still had a ways to go, but you could see she was putting in the effort. Her future in wrestling probably isn’t as a full-time wrestler, though. She’s more of an old school valet type who occasionally gets roped into a mixed tag match after crossing too many faces.

There’s no denying Cameron has a stop and take notice look, which is why she’d fit in nicely in Lucha Underground. She can manage/valet some monster or cocky bastard and rival Catrina for Queen B status. That Lucha Underground is filmed in L.A. where she lives makes it even better.

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For Damien Sandow, the big thing is to head to the next promotion and immediately establish himself as a big-time player so the WWE kicks itself and resigns him a year or two later. The mix of personalities and potential opponents in ROH would make distinguishing himself difficult and while he’d be alright there Lucha Underground isn’t the best fit. Sandow would benefit most from joining Impact Wrestling. He can cut promos and is a solid worker that Impact won’t feel obliged to immediately put the world title on him like most WWE outcasts.

Impact is a bit more of a talky territory than the other two promotions as well, which would give Sandow the spotlight to further refine his promos beyond mere comic relief. Being a comic act will get you in the door in the WWE, but it also makes you disposable when your shtick becomes old.

Sandow’s former Rhodes Scholars partner Cody Rhodes, however, would be a perfect fit in Lucha Underground. Rhodes would — no pun intended — be a natural in the more TV style presentation of LU. Rhodes is one of the better actors currently in wrestling with an ability to inhabit his gimmicks like he fully believes in them. That kind of versatility would serve him well in Lucha Underground where the luchadors’ personality and how they connect with the audience is just as important as their wrestling ability. Rhodes could finally be treated like a big deal.

Based on his old feud with Rey Mysterio Jr., Rhodes wouldn’t have any problem working with the luchadors. Additionally, he could have some very intriguing matches with guys WWE is likely keeping an eye on like Johnny Mundo, Cage, and Angelico. Of all the released stars, Rhodes definitely has the biggest superstar potential.

Alex Riley never really had that It Factor to shine. He’s always come across as just a regular guy fans were supposed to treat like a higher tier talent. The good news for Riley is he’d literally fit in at any promotion.

For him, his best option though would be to get signed by ROH, which would potentially lead to a deal with New Japan. He’s got the look of a top talent and between ROH and NJPW, maybe he could reach his full potential.

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Hopefully, these talented performers get that next opportunity to showcase their skills in a way they rarely were able to in the WWE.