10 Hyped WWE Debuts That Were CANCELLED

When all the build-up amounts to nada.

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For those who endured the utter torment of the marketing campaigns for Emmalina and Veer Mahaan, WWE's reckless abandon in over-hyping and under-delivering is the norm.

As disappointing as their debuts might have been, at least they actually debuted before all was said and done. Under the ever so flighty watch of Vincent Kennedy McMahon, the world's No.1 wres-sports entertainment promotion, a wide variety of so-called future stars have received a mountain of hype - only to vanish without a trace.

The causes of such bizarre promotional 180s have varied, from the workers in question proving to be dangerously pea green to last minute script rewrites having career-ruining butterfly effects. In such cases, WWE often don't even take the time to deliver a kayfabe explanation. Instead, they simply hope the fans will completely forget the hype was ever a thing, and move on.

Needless to say, the company sorely underestimates their audience in this regard. The ever-growing, ever-critical internet wrestling crowds, along with wrestling journalists (CM Punk's least favorite thing this side of Matt and Nick Jackson) will often do some in-depth sleuth work to crack the case of why a rumored debut fell through.

From top tier indie stars to once red-hot prospects, here are 10 figures that were supposed to set the WWE on fire but wound up extinguished before they even got going.

10. Kassius Ohno

Gable Steveson drafted

The Kings of Wrestling just about lived up to their obnoxious moniker at the start of the 2010s.

The world's premier tag team unsurprisingly garnered interest from WWE, who wound up signing both Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero. While Castagnoli's rebirth as Antonio Cesaro led him to a topsy turvy main roster run, Hero's rebirth as Kassius Ohno never quite landed.

Playing up the hard-hitting style that had made him a household name on the indies, Ohno adopted a more sadistic persona during his time in NXT. While his elite-level work rate made him a hit with the NXT faithful, the big man's relatively loose physique by WWE standards proved troublesome, with him even being taken off TV to try and tone up.

Ultimately, the WWE top brass' frustration with Ohno's approach to strength and conditioning proved to be too much for either party to budge on. After an acclaimed feud with William Regal and a brief rivalry with The Wyatt Family, Ohno was out of the picture, as was a highly-anticipated potential Kings of Wrestling reunion on the main roster. Brought in more as a coach the second time he arrived on the black and gold brand in 2016, it was clear to both fans and Hero himself that a main roster debut simply wasn't going to materialise.

Had CM Punk had his way, we would've gotten Chris Hero in Roman Reigns' role in The Shield. What a bizarre timeline that would've been...


John Cunningham hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.