When it comes to handing out big pushes, Vince McMahon can be pretty random with who he rewards. Sure, he has a propensity to push dudes who are tall and muscular, but he also gives opportunities to a wide variety of wrestlers with all sorts of body types and skills.
However, the problem is he has no problem dropping an act before giving them much of a chance to get over, which then dooms them to be perceived as midcarders forever.
It’s far from the best way to run a business, but the boss is notoriously stubborn, and when he sees someone in a particular light, it can be almost impossible to get him to view them in a different way. Right or wrong, there have been countless examples of this in the past. Val Venis had one semi-prominent feud with Mick Foley, and never received a spot like that again in his career. After Billy Gunn's feud with The Rock ended, his days as a potential main-eventer were over. Then there's giants like The Great Khali, who turn into comedy figures after their big push ends and are only used in throwaway segments until they're released.
Right now, there are quite a few men and women on the WWE roster who have already peaked in the eyes of management. While fans may not agree with it, their time as a future (or former) star is done for.
Let’s start with the most obvious person on the list.
The rise of James Ellsworth resembles the classic Simpsons episode “Bart Gets Famous”, where Bart stumbles upon the catchphrase “I didn’t do it” after knocking over a set on TV. The world immediately became obsessed with him, but all they wanted was that one little line. Once the audience kept on hearing the same joke, they grew tired and wanted their next silly diversion.
When Ellsworth began showing up multiple times in WWE, fans were enthralled. He quickly established himself as the new hero of the wrestling world. He was featured in a ton of interviews where he shared his life story. He got to buddy up with Dean Ambrose. He even had a hot selling t-shirt. But just like Bart, that fascination played itself out fast.
While Ellsworth was solid in his original role, he was quickly exposed as having no range when asked to do anything more. He could be that lovable underdog, but he has been unable to play the role of pesky heel or whipped boyfriend in convincing fashion. He’s not going to be getting shots at the WWE Title in the future, and he’ll likely never be featured in a big program again.
At this point his 15 minutes of fame are beyond up, and most fans are wondering why he’s still around. If he didn't do it. Who did?