While in 2000s we saw the rise of several great superstars like John Cena, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesnar, many talented wrestlers joined WWE in 2010s. Some of these wrestlers are now considered top stars in Vince McMahon's company, such as the current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch.
Meanwhile, other superstars who joined the company during 2010s have had forgettable runs in WWE. While some of these wrestlers are now competing in lesser-known wrestling promotions, others have left the business and are currently working in different fields.
Here are five forgotten WWE Superstars of 2010s and where they are now.
#5. Former WWE Superstar Mason Ryan
Three years after kicking off his wrestling career in 2006, Mason Ryan signed with WWE. He then reported to FCW, the company's developmental brand at the time, where he spent two years before making his main roster debut in 2011 as a member of the New Nexus stable.
Although Ryan's appearance reminded many of Batista, the 40-year-old failed to reach the six-time World Champion's success in WWE. His main roster run ended later in 2011. He then moved back to NXT, where he spent a few years, during which he only made a few appearances. In April 2014, the company released Ryan from his contract.
Following his departure, Ryan competed for about a year on the independent circuit before hanging up his boots. The former wrestler is now the chief archer of Cirque du Soleil's production of KA at the MGM grand, as he describes himself on his Twitter account.
In an interview with WWE.com, Ryan disclosed how he started working for Cirque du Soleil.
"After I left WWE I was still wrestling independently over in the U.K., in Japan and all over the states. One day I got a call from WWE, and they said, 'We might have a job opportunity, if you're interested, with Cirque du Soleil,' which, at that time in my life, seemed like the most random thing in the world, really," he said.
The former New Nexus member also revealed how working in Vince McMahon's company prepared him for his current career.
"Yeah, definitely, especially in my role, because it’s more of a character-based role. I’m the Chief Archer in charge of a rebellious gang of archers, so my physical prowess is what makes me the leader. So having that intimidating presence was also part of who I was in the ring and I was able to bring that over. (...) There are two or three fight scenes in the show itself, so obviously having my WWE training for many years helped a lot," he added.
#4. Former WWE Superstar Cameron
Before signing with WWE back in 2011, Cameron (aka Ariane Andrew) participated in a non-televised Diva Search competition and the fifth season of Tough Enough. Less than a year later, she made her main roster debut alongside Naomi as Brodus Clay's Funkadactyls. She also starred in the first three seasons of Total Divas.
Despite all this, Cameron had a forgettable run as an in-ring competitor. In 2015, the 34-year-old moved to NXT. In an interview with the Edmonton Sun in 2016, she explained her decision to return to developmental.
"I didn't like where I was at the time. I wasn't happy. I wanted to have a storyline. I wanted to get better and ... sometimes you have to take a few steps backwards in order to move a few steps forward. So that's what I decided to do. I'm doing that in hopes of coming back bigger and stronger than ever," she said.
However, things did not go as planned by the former Funkadactyl. In May 2016, the company released her from her contract. She then stepped away from professional wrestling for nearly four years.
In 2020, she made a one-off appearance in AEW, she teamed up with Nyla Rose to face Anna Jay and Tay Conti. Nevertheless, her team lost the bout. After two more years of absence from in-ring action, Cameron returned this year to compete in the Women's Royal Rumble match. She entered the bout at number 13 and lasted 51 seconds before Sonya Deville eliminated her.
Cameron has been keeping herself busy since leaving WWE. The former WWE superstar is now a fitness instructor and has launched a fitness app. She is also the co-host of the Sippin’ The Tea TV and podcast series.
In addition to all this, Cameron is also pursuing a career in acting and music. The 34-year-old has released a few singles. Her latest song, "Born With It", was released last year. She has also appeared in a few TV series and is currently working on two movies.
#3. Former WWE Superstar Michael Tarver
After competing for a few years on the independent circuit, Michael Tarver (aka Monster Tarver) signed with WWE in 2008. He then spent two years in FCW before competing in the first season of NXT in 2010. Although he was eliminated early in the competition, he returned to WWE television a few weeks later when he made his main roster debut as a member of The Nexus on Monday Night RAW.
Nevertheless, Tarver's run in WWE is hard to remember. The company eventually released him from his contract in June 2011. Following his departure, the former member of The Nexus started competing on the independent circuit. However, he has only competed in three matches since January 2020. His final bout came in April 2021 at a VIP Wrestling event.
Meanwhile, the 45-year-old is now a Christian hip-hop artist and producer. Last January, he released his debut single, Black Roses.
#2. Former WWE Superstar Aksana
After a successful bodybuilding career, Aksana made the jump into professional wrestling in 2009 when she signed with WWE. The 40-year-old spent two years in developmental before making her main roster debut in October 2011.
The Lithuanian's run on the main roster lasted for about three years, during which she failed to make much of an impact. In June 2014, the company released her from her contract.
Following her departure from Vince McMahon's company, Aksana retired from professional wrestling. She is now a fitness trainer, according to her Instagram account. The former superstar is also a mother to a young boy.
#1. Former WWE Superstar Alex Riley
In September 2010, Alex Riley debuted on Monday Night RAW, aligning himself with his former NXT mentor, The Miz. The 41-year-old spent less than three years as an in-ring competitor, during which he had limited success. He then transitioned to a color commentary role in 2013.
In early 2015, Riley returned to in-ring competition on NXT. However, he sustained a knee injury later that year. After missing eight months of action, Riley made his comeback in January 2016. Nevertheless, the company released him from his contract in May of that same year.
Following his departure, Riley stepped away from wrestling. Although he has expressed his desire to get back in the ring on several occasions over the past few years, he never did.
"I've kept myself busy. And, you know, it's been good but I still have that itch, that burning desire. Something about wrestling, once you're in it, I can't let it go. It's very very hard to let it go. There's no performance sport like it on the planet and I want to give it one more shot," he told Chris Van Vliet in 2020. [3:45 - 4:04]
"The first thing I got in GLOW, and I know that was about three years ago, but that was such a thrill for me to transition right into an experience like that being a wrestler and an actor, and, you know, I knew it very well. It was the perfect transition. And then right from that got some opportunities to be in Bennett's War. And another opportunity to work with some great people, Michael Roark, Trace Adkins was fantastic, and, you know, it's a slow build. It's a marathon not a sprint," he added. [1:58 - 2:36]
According to his LinkedIn profile, Riley is also the owner of a real estate investment corporation, White Lion Capital.
We got the AEW Women's World Champion to run down the Forbidden Door Card with us here.