No matter how successful a wrestling promotion is, there are always at least a few wrestlers who fans feel are struggling, either because they’re a poor fit or because the company has no interest in using them to the best of their abilities. This seems especially true of WWE, where countless wrestlers languish, get buried, or are used simply as stepping stones for other competitors.
In recent years, WWE has stopped feeling like the only game in town, as there are several big-name promotions that unhappy or underutilized wrestlers could go rather than rely on Vince McMahon’s company for their livelihood. Let’s look at some of these wrestlers and where they should go instead of staying with WWE.
9 T-Bar - AEW
It’s so weird that a wrestler as tall as Donovan Dijak is struggling in WWE. As Dominik Dijakovic, he seemed en route to being a top star in NXT, continuing his indie rivalry with Keith Lee for some instant classics. But ever since he was moved to the main roster as Retribution’s T-Bar, he’s been cursed with a silly name and a distressing unimportance. As a tall guy who can work “indie style,” he’d best work over in AEW, where he could put on matches with fellow titans like Wardlow, Luchasaurus, and Jake Hager.
8 Cedric Alexander - Impact Wrestling
Similarly, Cedrick Alexander seemed suited for greatness, as he was a solid athletic babyface nicknamed “The Soul of 205 Live” who started developing an edge as part of the Hurt Business until WWE pulled the plug on that faction for some reason, only to randomly reunite them. While AEW seems like an obvious place for him, Alexander should actually head over to Impact and prove himself there first, as he’d be a great fit for the X Division-to-Impact World Title route that others have embarked on.
7 Sarray - AEW
It may seem too early to write off Sarray, but the sea change in NXT as of late makes it feel like the Japanese star wasn’t meant for the 2.0 era, as she seems to have been reduced to jobber status after facilitating Mandy Rose’s reinvention. Rather than be an afterthought, she needs to go somewhere where she can wreck other ladies to her heart’s content.
That place, of course, is AEW, which could always use more talent in its ever-improving women’s division. She just has to make sure nobody she defeats suddenly gets a character-changing dye job.
6 Viking Raiders - AEW
WWE is so baffling when it comes to certain wrestlers. Whether one calls them War Machine, War Raiders, The Viking Experience, or Viking Raiders, Hanson and Rowe seemed like a slam dunk — a hard-hitting tag team with a simple gimmick that made them seem cool. So of course their transition to the main roster had them adopt goofy names (Erik and Ivar) and take part in unfunny comedy. These guys deserve to go over to AEW and put on bangers with The Young Bucks and FTR.
5 Elias - Impact
At this point, it’s unclear what WWE was doing with Elias after using him to facilitate a Jaxson Ryker face turn (?) and dropping his heat magnet troubadour gimmick. Either way, Elias is actually perfect for Impact Wrestling, which has proven as of late to be a land of opportunity for the undervalued midcard and undercard of WWE. Even if he never plays guitar again, whatever stupid thing he’d come up with to annoy people in the Impact Zone would probably be pretty fun.
4 Shane Thorne - NJPW
Like his buddy T-Bar, Australian wrestler Shane Thorne was a promising NXT guy who found himself in the dead-on-arrival faction Retribution with a baffling name (Slapjack) before that whole concept fell apart. Lately, he’s back to his previous moniker, working SmackDown dark matches with a near-prehistoric Crocodile Dundee gimmick.
The answer to rescuing Shane Thorne is obviously to go to NJPW and team with his old tag team partner Mikey Nicholls (a.k.a. NXT’s Nick Miller) again and remind fans that 'The Mighty Don’t Kneel'.
3 Ember Moon - AEW
A former NXT Champion, Ember Moon seemingly returned to the now-former black and yellow brand to revitalize her WWE career and regain some buzz, not unlike Finn Balor before her. But she lost her tag team partner and they changed what NXT even was, so it feels increasingly like Moon has been set adrift. Ember Moon should be out there having awesome women’s matches, so the best solution would be for her to go to AEW and get the Ruby Soho treatment.
2 Doudrop - Impact Wrestling
One could argue that the former Piper Niven isn’t struggling in WWE because she’s on TV every week. As a counterpoint, one must remember that WWE renamed her “Doudrop,” which is not the name of a wrestler who’s going to go on to one day main event Night 4 of WrestleMania 39. Before showing up on Raw, Doudrop was a very capable in-ring performer, putting on great matches in NXT UK, Stardom, and the independent scene, and she’d do wonderfully in Impact Wrestling, which might boast one of the strongest women’s divisions in wrestling.
1 Ricochet - AEW
There’s still a possibility that WWE may see the light and realize they have a high flying attraction in Ricochet, but for now he’s a main roster loser who secretly puts on great matches on Main Event. If there’s one thing Ric was made for, it was for indie-style aerial showcases, which means he’d be perfect for AEW. There’s already such an array of talent he can work with there, including Rey Fenix, Matt Sydal, Dante Martin, and PAC — many of whom he’s put on awesome matches with in the past.
Whether he's done it as Ricochet or under a mask as Prince Puma, he's delivered great matches in every company he's worked for.