Sunday, April 14

Modern Failed WWE Gimmicks

There have been plenty of wrestlers that WWE has failed to use or get the best out of over the years for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s because the timing of a push was wrong or that the creative team failed to get the best out of them with storylines, it has been clear that the company isn’t capable of pushing everyone perfectly.



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These wrestlers made their demands known backstage, using their power and influence to get their way.

This isn’t just the case for the past either, because even in modern times when WWE has been praised for its creative work there have still been things that have gone wrong. Seeing certain characters not be capitalized on can be frustrating, not just for fans but also for the talent themselves.


Omos Should’ve Been A Modern-Day Dominant Giant

Reason For The Failure: Stop-Start Booking

  • Omos was managed by MVP
  • He only had nine televised matches in 2023

Typically, WWE is brilliant at booking giant wrestlers as the company has a great history in getting this right. Regardless of in-ring talent, having giants in the ring is an obvious selling point, and while WWE has attempted to make things work with Omos the lack of consistent push has stopped that from happening.


One moment Omos will be getting a WrestleMania bout against Brock Lesnar, then the next he won’t be on television for months. The stop-start push has meant that Omos has never been able to gain any traction.

Xia Li Could’ve Been A Major Player

Reason For The Failure: She Came Off TV Soon After Debuting

  • She was drafted to the main roster in 2021
  • Li turned heel just months into her run on SmackDown

For a gimmick to truly get over it is crucial for it to be given television time, which is ultimately why Xia Li ended up failing. She’s a unique talent due to the character she has, which started off superhero-like and had real potential due to its entertaining entrance.


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The fact she’s a great performer inside the ring helps matters with her striking being a lot of fun to watch. However, after an impressive debut, WWE ended up taking her off television for months and then brought her back as a heel, which just left people confused.

Bringing Back The Baron Corbin Character Should’ve Worked

Reason For The Failure: The JBL Partnership

  • WWE paired Corbin and JBL in October, 2022
  • Corbin embarked on a losing streak and eventually wound up in NXT

Baron Corbin is someone that WWE has always utilized well, putting together a variety of fantastic gimmicks that have all been different. After taking on the goofier Happy Corbin run, it felt like the perfect time to switch things up when he returned to the traditional Baron Corbin character.


Pushing him as a top heel made sense, but pairing Corbin with JBL felt random and didn’t work. It seemed like WWE just thought to throw two heat magnets together, but the pairing didn’t feel natural and wasn’t something Corbin needed, but it ultimately hurt him in the long run.

The Hurt Business Didn’t Reach Their Potential

Reason For The Failure: WWE Ended The Faction Too Soon

Tenure

Members

2020 – 2022

  • Bobby Lashley
  • MVP
  • Cedric Alexander
  • Shelton Benjamin

There’s no denying that The Hurt Business was a fantastic faction, with all three active wrestlers holding gold as Bobby Lashley had a great run as WWE Champion. However, the group was still wasted because there was so much more for them to achieve together.


It’s something they’ve all spoken about openly because splitting them up was the wrong call. WWE addressed it, brought them back together, and then split them up again. WWE missed out on a huge babyface run for them, and it created a major missed opportunity.

Mustafa Ali Got Stuck In A Bad Spot

Reason For The Failure: His Big Push Came With Poor Execution

  • Mustafa Ali was revealed as the mystery hacker
  • Retribution never got over with the fans

Mustafa Ali is a brilliant in-ring performer, and that should’ve led to him being a top star in the company because he had the talent and promo skills to pull it off. His big push came when he was made the leader of Retribution, and that could have been a breakout moment for him as a performer.


The idea of him being a hacker was exciting and fit well with the modern world, but WWE completely fumbled the faction. Good talents were brought together, but the way Retribution was treated ensured that he was never going to thrive.

Madcap Moss Was Left To Fizzle Out

Reason For The Failure: Lacked A Major Storyline

Coming out of his turn against Baron Corbin, Madcap Moss had tons of momentum behind him that could have led to him becoming a top act on the show. While fans didn’t expect Moss to become a World Champion, it was clear he had the potential to be a strong mid-card act.


Unfortunately, coming out of his work against Corbin the creative team just gave him nothing. Moss had a lot of fan support, but it quickly faded away as they had nothing to sink their teeth into.

Austin Theory Didn’t Work As A Main Event Star

Reason For The Failed: WWE Pushed Him Too Hard, Too Fast

  • He was the youngest star to ever win the Money In The Bank
  • He’s a two-time United States Champion

Austin Theory is someone with a lot of potential, and that much is clear to see. However, he wasn’t ready for the major push that the company gave him on the main roster when it came, to getting tons of television time, promo opportunities, and PLE matches which fans didn’t buy into.


His Money In The Bank run was a huge flop because WWE didn’t have faith in him, and he quickly slipped down the card. Fortunately, he’s now working hard to recover that alongside Grayson Waller, and with less pressure it’s clear that things are working better, proving that not everyone is ready to be pushed to the top straight away.

Alexa Bliss’ Supernatural Gimmick Didn’t Click

Reason For The Failure: She Wasn’t Given A Major Storyline

  • She had a demonic doll named Lilly
  • There were teases that she would reunite with Bray Wyatt

Alexa Bliss has always been able to work well with the gimmicks she’s been given, and that was the case with the darker character she was given when working alongside Bray Wyatt. Toward the end of that run, WWE went all in on her, getting supernatural powers with a doll that she could use to hurt others.


The character was always a little cartoonish, but it certainly had potential. It was different, and that could have worked in her favor, but she wasn’t given a major rivalry to sink her teeth into.

Dexter Lumis Went From Eerie To Comedic

Reason For The Failure: It Was Revealed The Miz Had Paid Him Off

  • Lumis returned to WWE in 2022 on the main roster
  • Lumis started his run by kidnapping The Miz

Dexter Lumis was a gimmick completely different from anything else WWE had on its roster. It was incredibly eerie and was presented perfectly in NXT, never speaking and managing to creep people out, yet also becoming popular enough to work as a babyface.

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However, his main roster introduction didn’t work due to the creative decisions made. It started off well with him kidnapping The Miz which seemed like an interesting idea, but it was spoiled by the revelation that Miz had just paid him off, which took away from Lumis’ gimmick.


Samoa Joe Was A Wasted Talent

Reason For The Failure: His Main Event Push Came At The Wrong Time

  • Joe challenged Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at Great Balls Of Fire, 2017
  • Joe never won a World title in WWE

Samoa Joe is an incredible wrestler who has proven himself wherever he’s gone, and while he had a good career in WWE he was still wasted. Joe could’ve been a World Champion and when he was pushed to that level the fan reaction showcased that audiences were behind him.

Unfortunately, his push as a threat to that level came at the wrong time. Brock Lesnar had a dominant grip of the Universal Championship and WWE wasn’t willing to budge which meant Joe missed out.

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