Top 5 WWE superstars who should not have been released

By: 
Joshua Waddles
Staff Writer

The WWE has a huge stable of talented wrestlers, and a lot of them play second fiddle to Vince McMahon’s favorites. Through no fault of their own, these wrestlers are banished to obscurity until they finally get the news: “The WWE wishes you all the best in your future endeavors.” They get handed their walking papers as the WWE continues to bring in more talented wrestlers from NXT, many of which get wasted.

Here is a list of the top five wrestlers the WWE should not have let go.

Damien Sandow

Damien Sandow was over with the fans as a villain. Coming out in his robes and with his intellectual snob gimmick, he presented a character that the fans loved to hate. His tag team with partner Cody Rhodes (who eventually quit because he hated being forced into the Stardust gimmick) gave us The Rhode Scholars, a heel team that managed to stand out against the rest of the roster.

Sadly, after the team split up, Sandow struggled to keep his head above water. Desperate for screen time, Sandow resorted to comic relief gimmicks: dressing as movie characters, playing a stunt double and miming The Miz’s actions from the ring apron.

After attempting to get serious again, Sandow promised that he was going to get back on top and he told fans, during a dark match in Little Rock Arkansas, that he was not going anywhere.

Sadly, this turned out not to be true.

Zeb Colter

Not a wrestler, but great on the mic. Zeb Colter worked both as a heel (who was unsettlingly popular in some areas) and as a face when they downplayed the nationalist aspects of his character.

Colter had taken some time off with an injury and when he returned, he had to ride around on a scooter. This appeared to be a legit need and not just a gimmick.

The WWE, in a decision that seemed bizarre even for them, put him with Alberto Del Rio with a “one-America” gimmick. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it just didn’t fit Colter’s character. The WWE quickly let him go.

Honorable mention to Jack Swaggar, who seems to have rage quit.

Santino Marella

Not a conventional wrestler. Santino Marella came of much like an Italian Hacksaw Jim Duggan. (Marella is actually Canadian, but played a foreign gimmick.)

Marella may not have been main-event level, but he was interesting and memorable. But the WWE had absolutely no idea what to do with him. The feud with Fandango lasted a few months and involved Emma (teamed with Marella) and Summer Rae (teamed with Fandango).

Every single week, we saw basically the same match: Marella against Fandango, Emma against Rae, or Marella and Emma against Fandango and Rae in a mixed tag match.

Marella was released in 2016.

The Great Khali

The innovator of the Punjabi Prison match, soon to be adopted by Jiner Mahal.

Khali impressed fans with his size and strength. Even for wrestlers, 7 feet tall is huge.

What makes Khali’s release so strange is that fans in India absolutely loved him. For Indian fans, RAW and SMACKDOWN were The Great Khali show.

Jinder Mahal’s sudden push is probably related to the WWE’s attempts to get that audience back.

Jim Ross

If I were to make a list of the dumbest things Vince McMahon has ever done (which I won’t because that would probably take months), firing Jim Ross would have to be somewhere in the top 10.

Ross’ firing resulted from a video taken to promote WWE 2K14. Ross said there were no production meetings and Ric Flair, who had very recently lost his son, broke down on the air.

Ross took the blame for the incident and according to Ross, Vince McMahon fired him in order to show the rest of his employees and investors that he had control over the company.

Yeah.

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