I cannot stress this enough. When I use the term “useless”, it’s not a reflection on the wrestler themselves. The WWE machine has a plan for how they want to book things and the wrestler in question may not fit their plans. This has absolutely nothing to do with what the wrestler has to offer in terms of in-ring skill and character, but strictly with working around the “New Era” talent that they are trying to push. And although some of these wrestlers may be great as a backstage presence, this 5 and 5 list is looking primarily as an in-ring, on-screen performer. So with that being said, here we go!
USELESS: CHRIS MASTERS
The factor that made Chris Masters a draw during his first run with WWE was his physique. That’s not even a question. The man looked like he was chiseled out of a granite boulder by Michelangelo. But that was really all he had going for him. He wasn’t particularly talented on the mic and his in-ring work was choppy. After the new wellness policy was implemented, he also lost some of his size as well. If he were to return, WWE could try and use his real life story of ripping a tree from the ground to save his mother. But there are enough “super-heroes” in the WWE.
Carlito still has the potential to be a major factor in the WWE. As a main eventer? Most likely not. As a mid-card champion? Most likely. As a way to bring relevance back to his family. Yes. His brother and cousin, Primo and Epico, have been floundering around trying to find their place on the roster. They have been a generic tag-team, matadors, and now time share agents. Neither one of them are particularly magnetic on the mic. But Carlito is. He has a way of coming off as arrogant as a heel or snarky and sarcastic as a face. Carlito’s return would allow him to raise The Shining Stars’ relevance as a tag-team. And for Carlito, depending on the relationship status between him and WWE, can enter a redemption story line that is sure to be a great feel good story.
USELESS: CRYME TYME
It’s a shame that Cryme Tyme never got the proper push that they should have had, especially when they were linked to John Cena during his feud with JBL. Both of them are capable workers and their presence was always felt. But it’s simple why Cryme Tyme would be useless in the WWE; their gimmick. With social tensions at a high, especially for the past few months, bringing in a tag-team with a name like theirs portraying an over-the-top parody of thugs is not a good idea. Altering their character would be a disastrous move, especially since they are well known for their current team and gimmick. Changing them to braggadocio athletes would make them too similar to The Primetime Players, with whom they have a little beef with. Ultimately, although WWE needs to expand on credible tag teams, Cryme Tyme is not one of those teams.
USEFUL: SHAWN DAIVARI
Admittedly an underutilized and underrated wrestler, Shawn Daivari never really gained any traction during this time in WWE. Being linked to Kurt Angle gave him great exposure and being linked to The Great Khali allowed him to showcase just how great he is on the mic. But he unfortunately fell victim to unsure booking and never really got to showcase what he can really do. With his brother competing in the cruiserweight division, Shawn Daivari already has a possible connection that could see him being brought back. And in all honesty, although his brother Ariya is a talented wrestler, the cruiserweight division is filled with many more interesting and memorable personalities. Joining the Daivari brothers together would be a great new dynamic to any of the brand’s cruiserweight division. Just leave the “evil foreigner” gimmick at the door.
USELESS: KELLY KELLY
Kelly Kelly may have been one of the more popular divas during her run, but when it all boils down to it, she was not a good wrestler. Granted she was employed during a time where WWE still referred to their women’s division as “Divas” in which the bulk of this division were athletic models, her in-ring work never really quite shaped up. Despite winning the Divas title, Kelly Kelly would not be able to offer the backstage wisdom to help guide the next generation of hopeful women, especially with Mickie James back in the fold and with Lita and Sara Del Rey already with the company. Kelly Kelly’s return would expose the skill gap between the different generations of women’s wrestling.
USEFUL: BETH PHOENIX
Out of all of the useful picks on this list, Beth Phoenix is the only one where giving her a title run would be just the thing she needs to make the women’s division stronger, both literally and figuratively. Pitting her against the “New Era” talents would be a great way to further put them over. And with a title victory for the Glamazon, it adds a layer of depth for the “New Era” and Phoenix’s own fortitude. What are the odds of her coming back to wrestling? Slim to none now that she has started a family with WWE Hall of Famer Edge. But if she returns, she will undoubtedly shake up the pecking order in the women’s division.
USELESS: TOMMY DREAMER
If you are involved in wrestling, whether you yourself are a wrestler or a backstage personnel or a fan, and you don’t have respect for Tommy Dreamer than you might need a few weapon shots to the body. With that being said, every time Tommy Dreamer shows up on WWE programs, the “ECW” chants grow quieter and quieter. It’s a sad thing to think about as Tommy Dreamer, the heart and soul of ECW, has become a relic of the past. At 45-years-old, his age shows every time he enters the ring. A few months ago, he stated that he was no longer willing to take a chokeslam bump again. There was no botch, just his war-torn body giving out. This is an indication that there really may not be much he can do or is willing to take should he return. Although there are other guys his age still wrestling, beating someone like Tommy Dreamer doesn’t exactly have the same face value as beating someone like Kurt Angle, Triple H, or The Undertaker. He has miles of experience that could help the aspiring brawlers of the “New Era”, but he has his own wrestling promotion to run and he most likely wants it to continue to run.
USEFUL: MONTEL VONTAVIOUS PORTER
While creating this post, I went back-and-forth on this pick for a while. It’s not a reflection on MVP himself. The ring work he produced was always solid and his mic work his great. His gimmick is what sells him the most. That and his wrestling attire. The “Power Ranger” chants were funny. The high-paid ballin’ superstar was always able to sell that his character thought he was larger than life. Adding him back to the roster would shake-up the mid-card. More importantly, MVP would be the best choice to go with in terms as a mentor to Apollo Crews, who has been floundering since his call-up from NXT. MVP’s return could give Crews a direction.
USELESS: ROB VAN DAM
Like Tommy Dreamer, beating Rob Van Dam doesn’t exactly have the same value of beating guys like Triple H, The Undertaker, and Kurt Angle. Sure he beat John Cena to become WWE champion and became the ECW champion by default, making him the only person to simultaneously hold the ECW and WWE world title. But if you really looked at the situation, WWE was trying to revive the ECW brand and wanted someone who the WWE universe knew and that the ECW universe would respect. Rob Van Dam was the most marketable in WWE’s eyes, though this isn’t saying that he didn’t deserve that spot. Van Dam returning would only relegate him back to the mid-card with meaningless wins and damaging losses.
USEFUL: KURT ANGLE
Until he finally shows up on WWE programming and announces his intent to wrestle, he will always be one lists like these. Kurt Angle may be the most valuable wrestler that’s not in the WWE at this moment. He has been in the business for close to 20 years and has won major titles everywhere he’s been. He’s also conquered The Conqueror not once, not twice, but three times. Cleanly. Even submitting him. Yes, Brock Lesnar has defeated Angle twice and one of those times was a grueling and fantastic 60-minute Iron Man match, but the fact the Angle has the most clean victories over Lesnar is enough for a feud. Angle, being the consummate wrestler, would also be a great addition to the roster in terms of boosting star power and allowing two generations of wrestlers to collide.