6 Indie Stars Who Failed to Make an Impact in WWE

WWE is the undisputed leader in the world of sports and entertainment. The company used to sign pro wrestlers from all around the world until Vince McMahon decided against it. Stars like CM Punk, AJ Styles, Bryan Danielson, and Samoa Joe were all big names on the independent circuit before they got signed by WWE. Then there are wrestlers like Sami Callihan and Christopher Daniels who failed to retain their momentum in the WWE. That being said, here are six indie stars who didn’t have a great career in the WWE.

Low Ki

The first-ever ROH World Champion had an underwhelming career in the WWE. Low Ki joined Vince McMahon’s conglomerate in 2008 and was repackaged as Kaval. However, he failed to impress the higher-ups despite winning the second season of NXT.

Low Ki

This coupled with the notoriety he gained for being difficult to work with led him to his departure from WWE on December 23, 2010. Kaval returned to the independent circuit as Low Ki and the rest, as they say, is history.

Christopher Daniels

Christopher Daniels had a less than memorable stint with WWE that preceded the success he had in ROH and TNA. Daniels worked as an enhancement talent during the Attitude Era, feuding with the likes of Taka Michinoku. He was supposed to be the “Higher Power” in the Stephanie McMahon abduction storyline, but Vince McMahon scrapped the idea.

Christopher Daniels

Daniels left WWE to become one of the founding fathers of ROH and later their world champion. He played the “Fallen Angel” gimmick in IMPACT (then TNA) and became associated with their X Division. Together with Samoa Joe and AJ Styles, Daniels gave IMPACT their first and only five-star match to this day.

Colt Cabana

Colt Cabana is a veteran of the independent circuit and taught Kevin Owens how to make money out of merchandise sales. Cabana is an ROH original and one of the most respected people in the business. Like other wrestlers on this list, Cabana had his little stint with WWE that did not last well, to say the least.

Colt Cabana

Cabana signed with WWE in the latter half of 2000s and worked in their OVW developmental for two years. He spent the majority of his main roster career jobbing out to other stars before returning to the indie scene for good. He’s currently signed to AEW. Most recently, Cabana played the Brooklyn Brawler on NBC’s Young Rock.

Fandango

Fandango is mostly known for his time in the WWE despite having a career before that. Fandango broke into the business in 1999 and worked for numerous independent promotions till 2006 before receiving an offer from WWE.

Fandango

Fandango had a promising start in WWE as he won the fourth season of the earliest version of NXT and defeated Chris Jericho in his debut match at WrestleMania 29. Unfortunately, the great start came to an abrupt end as Fandango was relegated to doing comedy sketches with Tyler Breeze as The Fashion Police.

Apollo Crews

Apollo Crews honed his craft on the independent circuit before signing with WWE in 2014. Crews competed for indie promotions such as Dragon Gate under the ring name Uhaa Nation. His strength, speed and agility caught the attention of WWE.

Apollo Crews

Crews ran out of luck as soon as he joined the main roster in 2016. Despite achieving little success as a member of Titus Worldwide followed by two stints as the U.S. and Intercontinental Champion respectively, Crews failed to recapture the success he found at Dragon Gate.

Sami Callihan

Sami Callihan returned from injury at IMPACT Wrestling’s Under Siege special. Callihan has been a regular on IMPACT TV ever since he signed up with the promotion 2017. His feuds with Penta, Brian Cage and Tessa Blanchard made him a top heel in IMPACT.

Sami Callihan

Callihan had a brief stint with WWE as Solomon Crowe that saw him work live events and dark matches between 2012 and 2015. His only televised victory for the company came against Bull Dempsey on the March 4, 2015, episode of NXT. He was released from his contract on November 24, 2015.

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