Four names WWE completely missed on in recent years

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 17: KUSHIDA enters the ring during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling - G1 Climax 32 at Nippon Budokan on August 17, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 17: KUSHIDA enters the ring during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling - G1 Climax 32 at Nippon Budokan on August 17, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

WWE has dropped the ball on multiple performers and these four individuals are some recent examples.

News of Lacey Evans’s tenure with WWE broke on Wednesday. More than a few voices expressed their opinion on the matter, with some turning the conversation to whether the company dropped the ball on her or not. Evans was a member of a talented and deep women’s roster, many of whom often miss out on their fair share of opportunities with the company. WWE is an organization that has a well-known track record of misusing uber-talented performers. This is a look at four names in the last few years that were signed and released after what can only be called abysmal utilization by WWE.


Kushida is one of the best wrestlers in the world, full stop. This is an individual that has held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship six times, the IWGP Jr Tag Team Championship 3 times, and the Ring of Honor Television Championship. He’s put on a slew of fantastic matches and some will slot him at or near the top of the best junior heavyweights to ever perform. And yet his 2019 – 2022 run with WWE was nothing more than a footprint.

He had a brief stint as a force when he was the NXT Cruiserweight Champion and challenged for the North American Championship, but nothing stands out about his time with WWE. In fact, the part people may remember the most is the gimmick of Jacket Time with Ikemen Jiro that raised eyebrows, seeming more like a throwback to offensive characters that were meant to make Vince McMahon chuckle. Kushida’s done great things since leaving the company, but so much opportunity was left on the table.


Swerve is one of the best character and in-ring performers in All Elite Wrestling. This is a man who fans are rallying behind as a future AEW World Champion. Many saw that same potential for him in WWE, but that moment never came.

Swerve held the NXT North American Championship but wasn’t involved in any meaningful feuds during his 105-day run. He defended it once against Santos Escobar, before dropping the title to Carmelo Hayes minutes later. Hit Row was drafted to SmackDown, just to be released weeks later. Fans hoped to see Swerve rise the ladder and show off his undeniable talents, but that moment did not come in WWE. Swerve’s star is shining brightly in AEW, and there’s a lot of hope that he will be a top champion in the future.

Deonna Purrazzo

Deona Purrazzo is one of the most important women in professional wrestling today. Her work in the Impact Knockouts Division shows that she is one that has long been ready for a division to be built around her. Yet, from 2018 to 2020 she was a part of the WWE roster that kept her firmly in the shadows. According to Cagematch, during that time with the company, she had 24 matches on television, going 2-22.

This is the same woman that would hold the Impact Knockouts Championship for a combined 441 days starting in July 2020 through October 2021. Along the way, she would become a double champion while picking up the Triple A Reina de Reinas Championship. WWE has long struggled with how the women’s division was booked and missing on Purrazzo is yet another example.


Sareee was an under-the-radar signing to NXT in February 2020. She fits the mold perfectly of the “young prospect” that could be a foundational piece for the future. Due to delays because of the COVID pandemic, she made her debut in the company later than expected, but she was immediately booked as a force in the women’s division. With that basement dropkick of hers, fans were ready to rally around Sareee.

But then came the shift in NXT. The brand went away from being a show that focused on wrestling and returned to the character and shenanigans work that WWE is known for. Thus entered the booking focus on individuals like Mandy Rose, Toxic Attraction, Nikkita Lyons, and Tiffany Stratton. That pushed Sareee into the background. She would disappear from television in August of 2022, with her release coming in March of 2023 and her return to Japan. Sareee is one of those individuals that could hang with any of the women on the roster, and WWE completely overlooked her, instead leaning toward a type of women’s performer loved by a target audience of one.

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