Thursday, April 18

10 Biggest Wrestling Busts Of 2023: What Went Wrong?

2023 was a great year for the wrestling industry, as major promotions like WWE, AEW and NJPW put on amazing shows, and even the independent promotions produced great events. There were several wrestlers who had great performances, with some becoming top stars, and others justifying their position at the top.


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While some WWE wrestlers took their careers to the next level in 2023, others just had a bad year.

However, there were also wrestlers who, for one reason or another, had a disappointing year. Fans expected great things from these wrestlers, like championship wins, phenomenal matches, or memorable moments, but ended up being disappointed because none of that happened, or at least not on the scale that they thought it would.


10 Karrion Kross Had Feuds That Led To Nothing

He Could Not Connect With The Audience

  • Karrion Kross had a good return to WWE.
  • He lost relevance over time.
  • Kross couldn’t connect with the fans despite his great character work.

When Karrion Kross returned to WWE, he was cool, as he targeted Drew McIntyre and other top superstars. Kross’ character was intriguing, and it seemed like he would be a threat to the entire roster. However, as time went on, he lost relevance for a number of reasons. His booking wasn’t consistent, he didn’t have a captivating storyline and his in-ring skills aren’t good enough. So, despite his great character work and good promos, fans couldn’t connect with him when he was in the ring.

9 Ronda Rousey Has Been A Bust Since Her Return To The Ring

Rousey Is Nowhere Near Her Level During Her First WWE Run

  • Ronda Rousey had a great start as a pro wrestler.
  • Her second WWE run was very disappointing.
  • She is no longer with the company and few fans miss her.

“The Baddest Woman On The Planet” had one of the most impressive career starts in wrestling history, as she adapted quickly, and her star power was massive. That’s why her first WWE run was so good. However, when she returned in 2022, she looked like a different wrestler. In 2023, fans expected her to regain her level, but Rousey continued to cut lackluster promos and have boring feuds. Ronda Rousey is no longer with the company, and few WWE fans miss her.

8 Odyssey Jones Was Absent

Odyssey Jones Has Not Debuted In The Main Roster

  • Odyssey Jones was drafted by RAW.
  • He has not made his main roster debut.
  • 2023 was practically a lost year for Jones.

Odyssey Jones was selected by RAW in the WWE Draft, and he hasn’t even made his main roster debut. He has the potential to be an outstanding monster heel, as he has talent. But for some reason he hasn’t been used, which makes you wonder why they selected him in the draft then. If he wasn’t ready, then why draft him to RAW? 2023 was practically a lost year for Jones, which makes him a bust, though it’s not necessarily his fault.

7 Johnny Gargano Has Not Found His Footing On The Main Roster

People Expected Him To Succeed On WWE’s Main Roster

  • Johnny Gargano is one of the best wrestlers in NXT history.
  • Fans wanted to see him succeed on the main roster.
  • He did pretty much nothing in 2023.

Johnny Gargano is one of the best wrestlers in NXT history, as he was one of the faces of the brand during perhaps its greatest moment in history. That’s why everyone wanted to see Gargano on the main roster, but unfortunately, he hasn’t lived up to expectations.

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Fans expected to see him shine in 2023, but Gargano did virtually nothing. He spent a lot of time off TV and lost a lot of matches, although it has to be said that he had good performances when he got opportunities. So, you could say it wasn’t Gargano’s fault that he was a bust in 2023.

6 Adam Cole Was One Of The Biggest Wrestling Busts Of 2023

He Was Supposed To Be A Bigger Star In AEW

  • Adam Cole was one of the main faces of NXT during its best time.
  • Fans expected him to be a megastar in AEW.
  • Injuries and overall booking are ruining Cole’s AEW run.

Like Johnny Gargano, Adam Cole was one of the faces of NXT during the brand’s best times. He went to AEW, and fans thought he would become a megastar and be a benchmark for the promotion. However, injuries, poor booking and Cole’s performances made him one of the biggest wrestling busts of 2023. Certainly, his storyline with MJF has been very good, but overall, fans expected much more from Cole.

5 The Hardys Had A Disappointing Year

Fans Thought The Hardys Would Have One Last Fun Run

  • Jeff Hardy signed with AEW to reunite with his brother.
  • It meant the return of one of the best tag teams in wrestling history.
  • The Hardys did not meet expectations in 2023.

When Jeff Hardy signed an AEW contract, everyone thought of only one thing; the reunion with his brother Matt. We’re talking about the reunion of one of the best tag teams in wrestling history, so it was impossible not to get excited. However, unfortunately, The Hardys haven’t done anything remarkable together in AEW. It seems they are just too old and rusty, and their magic is gone. Also, the way they have been booked has left a lot to be desired.

4 Hit Row Has Been Perhaps The Biggest Bust During Triple H’s Era

They Could Not Connect With The Audience

  • Hit Row was one of the first WWE returns during the Triple H era.
  • Every time the group was in the ring, the fans got bored.
  • The group did not work and was disbanded.

Hit Row was one of the first WWE returns during the Triple H era, but Swerve Strickland didn’t return with the group because he signed an AEW contract. And maybe Strickland was more important than Triple H thought, because Hit Row was an absolute disappointment.

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10 Wrestlers Triple H Booked Well In NXT (But Not On WWE’s Main Roster)

Certain wrestlers thrived under Triple H’s leadership in NXT, but have struggled on WWE’s main roster.

They had no interesting storylines and every time the group was in the ring, the fans got bored and even changed the channel. In the end, the group disbanded, Top Dolla was released from his contract, B-Fab seems to be joining Bobby Lashley and Ashante Adonis hasn’t appeared on TV in a while.

3 Indi Hartwell Is Still Looking For A Meaningful Storyline

Indi Hartwell Has Done Pretty Much Nothing On The Main Roster

  • Every wrestler who has held the NXT Women’s Title has been very talented.
  • Indi Hartwell, however, could be the worst NXT Women’s Champion.
  • Hartwell is still green.

The former NXT Women’s Champion got the call-up to the main roster and fans immediately felt some hype for her. After all, all the wrestlers who have held the NXT Women’s Title have been very talented and most have had brilliant careers.

However, after her lackluster 2023, fans are starting to think that Indi Hartwell could end up being the worst NXT Women’s Champion yet, as she hasn’t done anything notable on the main roster, and it’s clear that she’s still green.

2 Wardlow Has Been Completely Mishandled

Fans Have Lost Interest In Wardlow

  • Wardlow was one of the most over wrestlers in AEW.
  • He had everything to succeed in AEW.
  • Tony Khan didn’t capitalize on Wardlow’s momentum.

At some point, Wardlow was one of the most over wrestlers in AEW. Fans loved watching him destroy his opponents, just as fans enjoyed Goldberg’s matches or Batista’s style. Wardlow had everything to succeed in AEW, but Tony Khan didn’t know how to book him and didn’t capitalize on Wardlow’s momentum. He had three forgettable TNT Title reigns and that’s it. Fans have lost interest in Wardlow, and he definitely has cooled down.

1 Austin Theory Has Made Little Progress

Austin Theory Did Not Show Improvements This Year

  • Vince McMahon chose Austin Theory.
  • Theory got a big push too early and his flaws were exposed.
  • He had a lackluster 2023 and made virtually no progress.

Vince McMahon chose Austin Theory as a kind of heir apparent in WWE. That is, Vince saw him as the face of the company in the future. Theory got a big push too soon and his shortcomings were exposed, and instead of endearing himself to the fans, he earned boos and hate, because he simply wasn’t ready for the spotlight.

Fans expected to see Theory’s potential in 2023, but he had a lackluster year and made virtually no progress. That’s precisely why Theory is one of the biggest wrestling busts of 2023.

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