While AEW caused a stir in the professional wrestling industry with its fresh and engaging content, proving to be a healthy alternative to WWE product, Impact Wrestling did the same but subtly with limited resources in its heyday. .

They had a unique roster with a healthy mix of legends and young wrestlers, who then put Impact wrestling on the map and have also made a name for themselves. Some of these wrestlers eventually found their way to WWE later in their careers. But only a few managed to succeed in promoting Vince McMahon.

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Some wrestlers lost all the credibility they had built up after joining WWE, with the promotion dropping them altogether after a while. With that said, let’s take a look at ten former Impact Wrestling talents who suffered the same fate in WWE.

ten Ethan Carter 3

EC3 to NXT takes over

EC3 became well known among pro wrestling fans after making his WWE debut as a rookie in NXT Season Four, with Daniel Bryan as pro. He competed as Derrick Bateman and settled for third place in the tournament. He was again part of the fifth season but couldn’t get anything out of this opportunity and ended up being released in May 2013.

He then reinvented himself in Impact Wrestling as Ethan Carter III, the spoiled nephew of Impact President Dixie Carter, and took the opportunity to become a two-time world champion.

However, his career went downhill again after he joined WWE with the EC3 gimmick in 2018. His NXT days were much more fruitful than on the main roster, where he got lost in the shuffle as soon as he arrived and ended up being released as part of the 2020 budget cuts.

9 Mahabali Shera

Mahabali Shera in WWE

Mahabali Shera introduced himself to the global pro wrestling audience as another upcoming Indian prospect. He found his place in the spotlight after debuting in Impact Wrestling’s Indian project, Ring Ka King.

His performance earned him a full-time contract with Impact Wrestling and competed for them between 2014 and 2017. He chose to expand his boundaries by signing with WWE in 2018 and being assigned to the WWE Performance Center.

He made his NXT debut in March 2018 at a live event and went on to perform on various house shows before being released in September without even making a single TV appearance.


8 Austin Aries

Austin Aries

Austin Aries is one of the most decorated performers in Impact Wrestling history, with three World Championships under his belt. He also won the Impact Grand Championship and is a 6-time former X Division Champion.

He brought his talents to WWE in 2016 and made his NXT debut on the March 2 episode. Things were going well for him until he suffered a big eye socket injury and had to be sidelined until early 2017.

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He made his comeback in March 2017 and slotted himself into the Cruiserweight title picture. But after several failed attempts to win the championship, he was released in July 2017 after WWE writers allegedly told him they had no plans for him.

seven Drake Maverick

maverick drake

Drake Maverick was called Rockstar Spud in Impact Wrestling from 2012 to 2017. He became a 2-time X Division Champion during his time with Impact Wrestling also won the Feast or Fired match and the World Cup. 2015 Impact alongside Jeff Hardy, Gunner, Gail Kim, Davey Richards and Crazzy Steve.

He made his WWE debut in 2018 as General Manager of 205 Live and later as AOP Manager on Raw. He quickly got involved in the 24/7 title picture and had some hilarious moments with R Truth.

However, his talents went unrecognized as he was released as part of the budget cuts. Although he returned to WWE after tons of fan support, he was unsuccessful in his second run and ended up being released again.

6 Low Ki

Low Ki as Kaval in WWE

Low Ki was one of the original tag team members of Impact Wrestling when it was formed in 2002. He was a two-time X Division Champion and three-time NWA Tag Team Champion with Impact Wrestling when he signed with WWE in 2008.

He was among NXT’s season 2 rookies with Layla and Michelle McCool as pros. He won the season and was assigned to SmackDown but couldn’t do much on the main roster and even lost his Intercontinental Title opportunity to Dolph Ziggler. He was eventually released in December 2010 and returned to Impact Wrestling in June 2011.

5 James Storm

James Storm in NXT

Cowboy James Storm is one of the most decorated wrestlers in Impact Wrestling history and was already a 13-time Tag Team Champion, 1-time World Champion with the promotion when he tried out for WWE in 2015.

He made his WWE debut on the October 21, 2015, episode of NXT, where he defeated Danny Burch in a one-on-one match. He defeated Adam Rose in his second NXT match in November, and it turned out to be his last match for WWE.

RELATED: James Storm & 9 Other Wrestlers You Forgot To Wrestle In NXT

He revealed that he chose to return to Impact over signing with WWE due to the intensive travel schedule. But if WWE really wanted James Storm on their roster, they could have made a proper counter offer to keep Storm on the roster, but they didn’t see him as a potential superstar and let him sign with Impact at the time. square.

4 Eric Young

Eric Young in WWE

Eric Young signed with WWE in 2016 after finishing an excellent run with Impact Wrestling, where he won several championships to his name, including a reign as World Champion.

His NXT days were fruitful as he topped the roster as leader of the Sanity faction alongside Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain, and Nikki Cross, and even held the NXT Tag Team Championships.

However, he was unable to replicate the same momentum on the main roster as the writers disbanded the faction and made him a bachelor artist with no meaningful plans. After floundering on the undercard for months, Young was released from WWE as part of the April 2020 budget cuts.

3 Mike Bennett

Mike and Maria Bennett in WWE

Mike Bennet was only with Impact Wrestling for about a year during his first run with the promotion between 2016 and 2017. But he had a rocky run with the promotion and even won the X Division Championship but didn’t. had only a short reign with the title.

After being convinced by Kevin Owens, Mike Bennett signed with WWE along with his wife Maria and debuted a nerdy Power of Love gimmick, which didn’t sit well with fans.

WWE had the pair involved in the title picture 24/7, and the two short reigns Bennett had with the title were the only memorable things he did for WWE before being released during the budget cuts. April 2020.

2 Robert Rode

Robert RoodeWWE

It might be premature to say that WWE has already given up on Robert Roode, but judging by how the promotion has used him since his call to the main roster, there’s a lot of suspicion there.

Robert Roode was one of the main attractions of his NXT days and even won the NXT Championship, which he held for an impressive 203 days.

His main run didn’t have the same impact as he only had lackluster runs with the United States title and the 24/7 title. He became a three-time tag team champion, but it appears WWE has no meaningful plans for Roode outside of the tag team division.

1 Joe of Samoa

Samoa Joe in WWE

Samoa Joe has to be the biggest missed opportunity for WWE in recent years, as the promotion has made no use of his talent and star power. He was one of Impact Wrestling’s originals and helped put the promotion on the map.

He is a former Impact World Champion and five-time X Division Champion, to list some of his Impact Wrestling accolades. Triple H used him to his full potential in NXT and made him the first NXT Triple Champion.

His main roster didn’t go to plan, and other than multiple failed attempts at the WWE and Universal Championships and US title reigns, he didn’t do much and ended up in January 2020. .

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