"Aw sh*t, this ain't good!".
That thought has surely dashed through the brains of many a worker when they've signed on the dotted line for major companies like WWE then see what the creative team has for them. Older fans recall the dire "creative services" (the folks who wanted to turn Steve Austin into "Chilly McFreeze") and laugh, but things aren't any less harum-scarum these days.
The Viking Raiders are a class example of modern-day woes - they were fine as War Machine in NXT, but Vince McMahon wanted to put his own stamp on The Viking Experience/Raiders and market them his way. So, Erik and Ivar have been consistently undermined and are only just finding their mojo as face-painted heels three years on.
Others weren't even that lucky.
One need only look into the eyes of these performers during their debuts to see that they knew fine well everything looked bleak. Some had dodgy gimmicks, others weren't welcome in the locker room and a few blew their first chance to make a positive impression on TV.
These are the wrestlers who absolutely knew they were doomed from minute one.
10. The Public Enemy
The Dudley Boyz must've been sh*tting bricks when they found out what happened to fellow ECW-ers Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock. The Public Enemy bombed spectacularly in the WWF, and no amount of broken tables could save them from scathing glances backstage.
Public Enemy became the enemy (they'd signed for WCW a few years before), and pretty much nobody liked them. That hatred turned physical when Bradshaw and Faarooq kicked the living hell out of Grunge and Rock on an episode of Sunday Night Heat in early-1999. Their fate was sealed; this was The APA's way of saying, 'Go back to your bingo halls, and never choose WCW over the WWF again!'.
WWF life had to be a white knuckle ride for Paul Heyman's pet project. Both Grunge and Rocco had to privately question why they were so despised, but all they could do was try to ride it out and then lick their wounds elsewhere.