#9 - Tye Dillinger
While he may finally be a part of the WWE main roster, it has to feel like much of the same for Tye Dillinger.
After previously being signed by the WWE in 2006, Dillinger wrestled as part of Ohio Valley Wrestling under the ring name of Gavin Spears for the better part of two years. In that time, the then-Spears debuted on WWE television as part of the ECW brand. After a short stint with the company, Spears was unceremoniously let go from his contract the day after breaking his hand in a match.
Had that been all to Dillinger’s story, he certainly wouldn’t be making an appearance on this list. However, after years on the independent circuit, Dillinger re-signed with World Wrestling Entertainment, and a star (of NXT) was born. Slightly under a year after re-signing, Dillinger debuted the “Perfect 10” gimmick, and becoming one of - if not the - most popular member of the NXT roster. He seemed primed for a move up the card, and was involved in meaningful feuds up throughout his departure from the black and yellow brand. A WWE re-debut at the Royal Rumble (at #10 no less!) was a huge success, and it looked as though WWE could simply begin printing money.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case; after winning his first main-roster feud with Aiden English, Dillinger has only been on TV sporadically throughout the last year. The only minor feud to speak of involved him being the third man in the AJ Styles/Baron Corbin feud over the United States Championship. While not someone I expected as a heavyweight champion, Dillinger’s popularity alone should have been enough to keep him on our TV’s consistently. I’m still holding out hope for the Perfect 10 - just not much more.
WWE Last 5
- Ronda Rousey + WWE: An Odd Couple
- Fry and the Guy: Super Bowl, Royal Rumble, Win Column Debut
- NXT Preview: February 7th
- Smackdown Live Preview: February 6, 2021
- Over the Top Rope Podcast: Episode One