Saturday, April 13

10 Best Wrestlers To Never End Up In WWE, Ranked

WWE is the biggest wrestling promotion of all time, and many legendary wrestlers have competed there. WWE has been home to wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena, The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Ric Flair, among others.

RELATED: Why These 10 Former WWE World Champions Failed

However, there are several all-time greats who never worked for WWE. For one reason or another, it was never possible, and these wrestlers built unforgettable legacies outside of WWE. Most of them, obviously, are Japanese. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 wrestlers who never ended up in WWE.

10 Toshiaki Kawada

Toshiaki Kawada

Toshiaki Kawada is a former Japanese wrestler who was active between 1982 and 2010 but never worked for WWE. He competed at WWE/AJPW/NJPW Wrestling Summit in 1990, but he wasn’t really a WWE worker, so it’s safe to say Kawada never ended up in WWE.

It’s a shame he was never a WWE wrestler, as he was an extremely talented in-ring performer and would have captivated American fans.

9 The Great Muta

The Great Muta WCW

The Great Muta, also known as Keiji Muto, is a WWE Hall of Famer, but he never worked for WWE, not even one match. Although he did wrestle in WCW in the 1990s. Either way, WWE recognizes his illustrious career and great legacy, and that’s why he’s in the Hall of Fame.

RELATED: The Great Muta & 7 WWE Hall Of Famers Who Never Worked For WWE

The Great Muta competed for nearly 40 years, leaving his mark on the industry and earning the respect and admiration of millions of fans around the world.

8 Katsuyori Shibata

Katsuyori Shibata atAll Out

Katsuyori Shibata is still active and 43 years old, so he could still end up in WWE, but in this list, we are not talking about improbable cases but facts, and the fact is that Shibata has never competed in WWE.

We are talking about one of the most talented Japanese wrestlers of all time, who has had several memorable moments throughout his career. Had he not retired twice, his legacy would have been even greater, but unfortunately, he went more than five years without competing.

7 Minoru Suzuki

Minoru Suzuki

Minoru Suzuki is still active today, but he is 55 years old, and it is unlikely that he will end up in WWE. So, considering his talent, he is one of the best wrestlers to ever work for WWE.

It’s a shame because American fans like Suzuki’s style, as that becomes clear when he wrestles in All Elite Wrestling. Suzuki delivered several memorable matches throughout his career, including the incredible match against Hiroshi Tanahashi at NJPW 40th Anniversary King Of Pro-Wrestling.

6 Manami Toyota


Manami Toyota is the only woman on this list, and that shouldn’t be surprising, since we are talking about one of the best female wrestlers of all time.

She is a true legend of women’s wrestling, as she competed for over 30 years, leaving her mark on the industry and proving that women could also put on a show as good as men. Her match against Aja Kong on November 20, 1994, was long considered the best women’s wrestling match.

5 Mitsuharu Misawa

Mitsuharu Misawa

Mitsuharu Misawa, one of the four pillars, developed a legendary career in All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah. He debuted in 1981 and competed until 2009 when he unfortunately died during a match.

He was known for his innovative and high-impact in-ring style. He won numerous championships, including the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship five times. He never worked for WWE, although at WWE/AJPW/NJPW Wrestling Summit, he drew against Bret Hart.

4 Kenny Omega

kenny omega
via AEW

Kenny Omega is still active and could one day end up in WWE, but at the moment he has never had a WWE match, so he qualifies to be part of this list. Omega is one of the best in-ring performers of all time, as his arsenal of moves is ridiculous, definitely one of the most complete movesets in history.

RELATED: 10 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About AEW’s Kenny Omega

In addition, his execution is flawless, and he knows how to tell a story in the ring. That’s precisely why his matches are so amazing. Fans hope that one day he will compete in WWE, but it seems highly unlikely.

3 Kazuchika Okada

Kazuchika Okada in Forbidden Door PPV

Like Kenny Omega, Kazuchika Okada is one of the most brilliant wrestlers of all time. In fact, their rivalry in NJPW is considered one of the best rivalries in wrestling history, especially from a match quality standpoint.

Okada is nothing short of phenomenal and at times, his talents exceed belief. Hopefully, he will compete in WWE someday, but for now, he is one of the best to never compete in WWE.

2 Hiroshi Tanahashi

Hiroshi Tanahashi

Hiroshi Tanahashi has worked for NJPW since 1999. He is considered one of the best wrestlers of all time and has won several titles, for example, he has been IWGP Heavyweight Champion eight times.

He is called the “Ace of the Universe” for his charisma, skill, and popularity. He has had many memorable moments in his career, and we have to enjoy him while we can because his retirement is approaching.

1 Kenta Kobashi

Kenta Kobashi

Kenta Kobashi competed at WWE/AJPW/NJPW Wrestling Summit, he teamed with Masanobu Fuchi to face Jimmy Snuka and Tito Santana. However, as we clarified above, that doesn’t count, so Kobashi is arguably the best wrestler who never ended up in WWE.

But some fans go further and say that Kobashi is the greatest wrestler of all time. Rather than get into a debate, let’s just say that Kobashi was incredibly talented in virtually everything he did, and is definitely a wrestling icon.

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