While several WWE Superstars have had a good year so far, others' careers have declined in 2021.
A few WWE Superstar are currently living their best days as their careers have thrived in the past 11 months. Some of them have only joined the main roster in late 2020 and earlier this year. Nonetheless, they successfully found their way to the top, winning championships and participating in major events.
Some WWE veterans have also enjoyed 2021 so far. Although they spent many years in the company, they have never reached the level of success that they did this year.
Meanwhile, a few other WWE Superstars' careers have suffered significant setbacks in the past 11 months. A former champion, who was once one of the top wrestlers on the WWE roster, barely won a few matches in 2021. Other superstars who fought for titles last year are now barely appearing on WWE television. Some former NXT Superstars have also struggled after moving to the main roster this year.
Here are three WWE Superstars whose careers declined and three whose careers thrived in 2021.
#6. WWE Superstar Bianca Belair's career thrived in 2021
This year has probably been the best in Bianca Belair's pro wrestling career. The 32-year-old moved from NXT to the main roster last year. However, she only had a few matches on Monday Night RAW and SmackDown throughout 2020. In 2021, the story has been different for The EST of WWE.
Belair started this year by winning the Women's Royal Rumble match. Her victory guaranteed her a title shot at WrestleMania. She then went into an entertaining feud with Sasha Banks on SmackDown.
The two wrestlers squared off for the SmackDown Women's Championship in the main event of the first night of WrestleMania 37. Belair defeated Banks to capture her first-ever title in WWE. Banks and Belair later won an ESPY Award for Best WWE Moment in 2021.
The EST of WWE held the SmackDown Women's Title for four months before losing it to the returning Becky Lynch at SummerSlam. Despite suffering some losses in the past few weeks, 2021 will be a year to remember for Belair as she has established herself as a top talent on the main roster.
#5. WWE Superstar Dana Brooke's career declined in 2021
Dana Brooke joined WWE eight years ago. Nonetheless, the 34-year-old has always struggled to establish herself as a top superstar in the women's division.
Brooke has never won a title in WWE. However, she received two shots at the Women's Tag Team Championships twice last year. In late 2020, she joined forces with Mandy Rose, creating an interesting tag team. It seemed Brooke's career was on the rise.
Nevertheless, Brooke received fewer opportunities in 2021. Although she started the year with a win over Shayna Baszler, her career soon declined. Despite getting into a feud with Natalya and Tamina, the Women's Tag Team Champions at the time, Brooke and Rose never challenged them for the titles. Rose and Brooke's team disbanded last July after God's Greatest Creation moved back to NXT.
Since July, the RAW Superstar has competed in only three matches and lost them all. Although she participated in the Queen's Crown tournament, the former bodybuilder was eliminated in the first round at the hands of Shayna Baszler. Brooke has not competed in over a month now.
#4. WWE RAW Tag Team Champion Riddle's career thrived in 2021
Riddle is one of the most talented individuals in WWE today, and he has proven it throughout 2021. The 35-year-old debuted on the main roster in mid-2020, joining SmackDown. However, a few months later, he moved to Monday Night RAW in the 2020 WWE Draft.
In December 2020, Riddle began a feud with the then-United States Champion Bobby Lashley, which they continued going into 2021. Although The Original Bro lost to the Almighty in a U.S. title match last January, he captured the championship a month later at Elimination Chamber after defeating Lashley and John Morrison in a Triple Threat match.
Riddle held his first-ever title on the WWE main roster for two months before losing it to Sheamus at WrestleMania 37. Despite losing the championship, Riddle's career was about to take another positive turn. In the weeks after WrestleMania, The King of Bros joined forces with Randy Orton to create RK-Bro.
RK-Bro is probably the most entertaining team in WWE today. The unlikely duo began their chase for the RAW Tag Team Titles in August. They successfully defeated AJ Styles and Omos at SummerSlam to capture the championships and have held them ever since.
#3. WWE Superstar Naomi's career declined in 2021
There is no doubt that Naomi is one of the most gifted athletes on the WWE roster. However, she did not have a good year in 2021.
The former SmackDown Women's Champion had a disappointing year in 2020. Her 2021 was not much different. She returned to WWE after several months of absence to participate in the Women's Royal Rumble match. Although she lasted in the Royal Rumble for over 47 minutes, Naomi was eliminated by Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler.
In the following weeks, Naomi joined forces with Lana to feud with the Women's Tag Team Champions Jax and Baszler. The two teams squared off in a Women's Tag Team Titles match last March. Nonetheless, Naomi and her partner failed to capture the championships. Between March and May, Naomi took more losses than wins.
Since Lana's release in June, Naomi has only competed in 11 matches. She lost eight and won only three. The former dancer recently returned to the Blue Brand in the 2021 WWE Draft. She has since been feuding with WWE official Sonya Deville.
Despite being a former Women's Champion, Naomi will not be at Survivor Series as she is not a member of SmackDown's team for the Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match.
#2. WWE Champion Big E's career thrived in 2021
WWE Champion Big E is currently having the best time. The 35-year-old joined Vince McMahon's company over a decade ago but never won a world title until earlier this year.
Big E started the year on a high note, defeating Apollo Crews to capture the Intercontinental Championship in January. He held the title for four months before losing it to Crews at WrestleMania 37.
Two months later, the former Intercontinental Champion won the Money in the Bank briefcase. He cashed it in on Bobby Lashley on the September 13 episode of Monday Night RAW to capture the WWE Championship for the first time in his career. Since then, Big E has defended his title against several superstars, including Lashley, Drew McIntyre, and Dolph Ziggler.
Big E will now go head-to-head with the Universal Champion Roman Reigns at Survivor Series next Sunday.
#1. WWE Superstar Toni Storm's career declined in 2021
Toni Storm was one of the top female performers in NXT, but her career has declined since she moved to the main roster.
Storm joined WWE following her participation in the 2017 Mae Young Classic tournament. She then won the 2018 edition of the tournament. The 26-year-old then became a regular competitor on NXT UK. In January 2019, she defeated Rhea Ripley to capture the NXT UK Women's Championship. After holding the title for 231 days, Storm lost it to Kay Lee Ray.
In 2020, the former NXT UK Women's Champion started appearing on NXT. She challenged Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women's Title but came up short. Despite her loss, Storm maintained her status as one of the top females on the NXT roster until she moved to the main roster last July.
Storm's move to the main roster has been met with much anticipation from the WWE Universe. Nonetheless, it has been a disappointment so far. The former NXT UK Women's Champion has competed in only three matches in four months. A few reports have even suggested that WWE has forgotten about Storm.
Following these reports, WWE official Sonya Deville added Storm to the SmackDown team for the Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match. Despite the hard times she has had in the past few months, Storm could end 2021 on a high note after all.