With rumors surrounding the WWE releasing disgruntled wrestlers, we look at the ten talents who could be on their way out.
The WWE could be set to release talent in mass for the first time in years. Several rumors are floating around about how the WWE could be releasing unhappy talent – assuming there is some concession made.
The WWE could ask the talent to sign a deal that states they won’t be able to sign with AEW and presumably NJPW for the remainder of their contracts. Both big brands pose serious threats to the WWE’s monopoly and together could really chip away at the presence the WWE has in the U.S.
So assuming that rumor is true and these talents are about to get cut, here are the ten names that make sense and the ten places they should go; excluding AEW or NJPW.
And for context sake, most of these talents would do great in any promotion. I’m merely thinking of general style, with what brand would or could use that particular person.
10) Rusev to AJPW
– The WWE really missed the boat with Rusev. He had such a hot start to his run, and really picked up steam in 2015. He lost to John Cena at that year’s WrestleMania but unlike MMA, a loss doesn’t mean anything in the world of pro wrestling if you book the aftermath well enough. They didn’t. Four years later he’s in a PG-13 Blacked angle, with the equally misused Bobby Lashley. Imagine Lashley in Bellator still, getting ready for Josh Barnett, Fedor Emelianenko or Ryan Bader? God, this company doesn’t know how to get stars over anymore.
Rusev has a style that would fit well in All Japan Pro Wrestling. He’s physical, quick and should stand out among their current crop of good young talent. I’d recommend NJPW above all else, but you know.
9) Mike Bennett to IMPACT
– Unlike with Rusev, Mike Bennett would be penciled in here no matter what. Bennett has already had a run with IMPACT that saw he and his wife Maria Kanellis do quite well for themselves. Bennett was in many high profile angles, feuding with the likes of Eddie Edwards, Ethan Carter III, Moose, and Cody Rhodes. He fought for and won the X-Division championship and contended for the world title. He had many big segments as well, like Cody Rhode’s debut, the entire Moose angle and the infamous Allie/Braxton Sutter wedding.
He’s got a lot of moments is what I’m getting at. He’s also got a lot of unfinished work in IMPACT. There’s a lot left to be done and room for him to do it. IMPACT has a new onus on characters, and that’s something he’s always excelled at. Perhaps a return to IMPACT could help his perception.
8) The Revival to IMPACT
– Now, The Revival might be in a different boat altogether, as their contract status has been up in the air. They might of signed short term deals or have an opt-out clause in their deals. If that’s the case then a debut in AEW or even NJPW seems likely.
If that’s not the case then IMPACT makes the most sense. Of all the brands out there, they’re the ones with the room for them, the big cable network, the growing brand reputation and a style that’ll allow them to stand out.
7 and 6) Io Shari & Kairi Sane to Stardom
– Much like with The Revival, Io Shari and Kairi Sane aren’t in the same boat as the others. Their deals are up and the parent company of NJPW, Bushido Road, acquired Stardom – the Japanese all women’s promotion. Both Io and Kairi are from Stardom, and Bushido Road has apparently offered both women big dollars to return.
Unlike a Shinsuke Nakamura or an Asuka, there’s no indication that Io and Kairi are anywhere near as happy in the states as their colleagues and a return to Japan is very possible, as not every wrestler likes being so far from home. A return to their home promotion at the same time as a new investor and an influx of cash is the perfect time to make a trip back.
5) Oney Lorcan to ROH
– The former Biff Busick is just the latest in the long line of disgruntled WWE performers who want out. Lorcan is a no-nonsense 205 Live wrestler, with a distinguished indy run where he got over as a blue-collar, gritty grappler. That’s been lost on 205 Live.
Heading to ROH helps the brand more than it might help him. ROH is currently stuck hiring luchadores and 50-year-old ex-WWE wrestlers because their reputation has been utterly destroyed. Lorcan, along with a Johnathan Gresham, might help bring ROH back to some semblance of their glory years when they were having iconic classics with the biggest names of the last generation of stars.
4) ACH to House of Glory
– It’s no surprise that ACH has made a mess of his career. He went on a race-related rant, targetting members of the WWE staff and calling them racist while accusing them of creating a racist-shirt and forcing him to wear it. Instead, others in the WWE came out and proved that ACH had complete say over the shirt and allowed it to come out, triggering a firestorm where ACH went after Triple H, Jay Lethal and others. ACH even suggests that while he believes what he said still, his outburst was due to lingering issues with his mental health.
Now ACH has requested his release and his mental health is going to cause a lot of companies to stay clear of him. Part of bringing on talent is having an understanding of who that contractor is and what they’re capable of doing in both a negative and positive sense. Right now the best bet is to parlay his “do it for the culture” mantra (whether it be authentic or an attempt to pander) and go all-in with Master P and House of Glory. HOG, the promotion started by Amazing Red, will have a huge new presence in 2020, assuming Master P is willing to invest some money into it. If he is, ACH might be the guy to build around. Assuming he seeks the proper medical help prior to joining and during his run.
3) Sin Cara to Combates Americas
– Sin Cara, aka Hunico, aka Incognito, aka Jorge Arias is looking at leaving the WWE for the first time in a decade. Debuting in 2009, the former masked luchadore has gone through many gimmicks, even one where he road a decked out bicycle with Tonga Loa as his personal bodyguard. He would then pick up the decade-long failed gimmick fo Sin Cara after the original Sin Cara, aka Mystico, aka Carístico left the WWE.
Arias isn’t looking at going to another pro wrestling company but instead into MMA. He’s apparently got an offer on the table from Alberto El Patron (Del Rio) about joining the group. The outlet based out of New York, NY, has put an emphasis on not just signing Hispanic fighters, but pro wrestlers as well. Beyond El Patron, they’ve also signed Thunder Rosa and Sexy Starr to deals as well.
2) Luke Harper to AJPW
– Much like with Rusev, Luke Harper would fit in real well with the Japanese promotion. Ever since debuting in the WWE, he’s been so misused it’s not even funny. The man was once heralded as the second coming as Bruiser Brody but was never given a platform to truly get himself over.
In All Japan there is less clutter at the top. Guys like him and Rusev could help bring prestige to the brand that’s been missing ever since NOAH splintered off from them in 2000.
1) Chad Gable to MLW
– Chad Gable could fit in anywhere. It’d be great to see him in IMPACT or even NJPW but right now he doesn’t seem like a good fit for iMPACT and the brand they’re building. The hopefully-former Shorty-G will find it far easier to adapt to the likes of Major League Wrestling.
The more sports-focused MLW is riddled with athletes just like him, purveyors of martial arts and overtly physical action. With MLW divided into weight classes, Gable could stand out as a main eventer in the middleweight division alongside the likes of Myron Reed and Teddy Hart.
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