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Finn Bálor, Ricochet and 25 Stars Who Would Be More Successful Outside WWE

Finn Bálor, Ricochet and 25 Stars Who Would Be More Successful Outside WWE

Finn Bálor, Ricochet and 25 Stars Who Would Be More Successful Outside WWE

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    Finn Bálor may be in one of the top stories in WWE, but he's a main event act who cannot get his time in the sun.

    Finn Bálor may be in one of the top stories in WWE, but he’s a main event act who cannot get his time in the sun.Credit:

    The wrestling landscape is constantly evolving. While WWE is the top promotion in professional wrestling, not everyone can reach their peak potential in the company.

    For every Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch, there is a Dean Ambrose and Toni Storm. However, many have found success is possible beyond the WWE bubble, including Matt Cardona and Deonna Purrazzo.

    Recent WWE releases will leave many seeking a brighter future in the larger wrestling landscape. Dolph Ziggler, Mustafa Ali, Shelton Benjamin, Emma, Dana Brooke and more have a chance to rebuild their careers.

    All Elite Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, National Wrestling Alliance, Major League Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling and more are seeking fresh talent who can showcase their potential to a smaller but dedicated audience.

    Those opportunities are plentiful and extend to many still employed with WWE. Finn Bálor, Ricochet, Shayna Baszler, Chad Gable, Butch, Baron Corbin and more are among those who need one of those fresh opportunities.

    The following are the many Superstars who would be more successful outside of WWE.

NXT Returns

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    Apollo Crews

    No matter how athletic Crews may be, he has struggled to get over in WWE. His lack of top-star charisma has held him back, but it would not stop him from succeeding on a smaller stage. He could shine in a more wrestling-focused promotion.

    Baron Corbin

    While Corbin will likely never leave WWE, he has reached his limit in it. He is likely stuck in a midcard role for his career. He would stand out beyond the company as someone who can talk for himself and perform. He would shine in a role like Matt Cardona.


    One of the those rare athletes who is way more fluid than he should be for his size, Dijak cannot seem to get a fair shot in WWE despite great performances. He has the blend of attributes that would make him stand out in a smaller roster.

    Duke Hudson

    Hudson has reinvented himself multiple times in WWE, finally showcasing his charisma with Chase U. While he has gotten over in the role, it doesn’t seem like he will ever leave NXT. He looks and acts like a star but would need an independent stage to become one.

Forgotten Women

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    Alba Fyre

    The former Kay Lee Ray has not been the same since she came to the United States from NXT UK. While still talented and charismatic, Fyre has been lost in the shuffle with Isla Dawn. She could be a No. 1 woman in a variety of promotions outside WWE.

    Blair Davenport

    Even with a solid story behind her, Davenport has lost her spark in NXT. Given her history outside WWE, particularly in World Wonder Ring Stardom, she needs to escape the system to reclaim her magic.

    Candice LeRae

    As long as Johnny Gargano is committed to Triple H, LeRae is likely to stay with WWE. However, the company has never valued her at his level. She has been stuck working short forgettable matches when she could working as a top name anywhere else.

    Nikki Cross

    Outside of a forgettable reign as Raw women’s champion with a gimmick that never suited her, Cross hasn’t found her footing in WWE. She has so much talent left to explore and could genuinely shock fans with a run like Deonna Purrazzo in Impact.

Forgotten Men

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    Akira Tozawa

    AT 5’7″ and 156 pounds, Tozawa was never going to be more than a bit player in WWE, but since the Cruiserweight and 24/7 Championship are defunct, he cannot even get TV time most weeks. He could have a late career renaissance in a wrestling-focused company.

    Cameron Grimes

    Grimes cannot find success on the main roster. Even after recently bulking up, WWE cannot capitalize on his talent in the same NXT once did. He would steal the spotlight if he returned to Impact again with newfound confidence.

    Karrion Kross (and Scarlett)

    The Herald of Doomsday was set to take over independent wrestling following his first release from WWE. He may have made the wrong returning as the company has done nothing with him. He could be a world championship in MLW or NWA.

    Scarlett should have fit perfectly in WWE, but because the company has not trusted her in the ring, she has been defined purely as a manager with a client who rarely performs and never wins. She can find much more success outside the system.

    Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

    The Good Brothers do not work in WWE. This has been provedtime and again. They were multiple-time champions in Impact and New Japan Pro-Wrestling. If they ever want to do more than sit on their laurels, a return to the indies would make them serious money.

Underutilized Alliances

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    Alpha Academy

    Chad Gable and Otis are regularly featured on television, but they’ve always been so close to glory without achieving it. At 5’8″, Gable may just be too short to get serious credit in WWE.

    The excuses are less clear with Otis, who should be doing so much more as an entertainer and performer. Both would thrive in companies such as Impact or NJPW that would highlight their strengths.

    Butch and Tyler Bate

    The former Pete Dunne has found a fine role in The Brawling Brutes, but he should be as successful as Gunther. He would be a technical wizard back on the independent scene.

    Bate has not even found Butch’s level of success despite his role as the original breakout star of NXT UK. Once a 19-year-old prodigy, he is 26 and still waiting to do anything. He would blow people away let loose with the top athletes in the world.

    Katana Chance and Kayden Carter

    While both Chance and Carter are WWE Performance Center stars, they have outgrown the company. They could find greater success as wild athletes unleashed, following the example of stars like Tay Conti or Marina Shafir.

    The Viking Raiders

    Whenever it seems like everything is coming together for Erik and Ivar, something goes wrong. Injuries have hampered the Raiders, but bad booking has hurt them more. They could dominate tag team-focused companies like Impact or AEW.

Great Talent with Higher Potential

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    Finn Bálor

    The Prince has struggled to reach his potential in WWE despite consistently working in a reliable role. His involvement with The Judgment Day could even be coming to an end soon.

    Bálor will always have a place in WWE, but he seems likely to never be a world champion again. He would be a legitimate main event talent in any other company, including AEW or NJPW.


    The One and Only has gotten some solid focus in 2023, but he remains too limited as an actor to rise to serious heights in WWE. His athleticism is on another level and would be showcased better in an environment where talent can match him.

    Shayna Baszler

    Will WWE ever commit to The Queen of Spades as a top champion? She has gotten close but never won the big one despite her talent. She could use a fresh environment where she can be presented as one of the best in the world.

    Xavier Woods

    The New Day is one of the most important stables in WWE history, but Woods though has always been the third man—even with Big E and Kofi Kingston out injured.

    Woods can become an even bigger a star on his own. He has main event talent that needs to be unlocked by bookers who believe in him. WWE has not shown that belief as he has yet to win a singles title in over 10 years.

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