Vince McMahon has always put business first. He’s not afraid to work with someone who he’s been in conflict with, and we’ve seen that numerous times over the years.
There are some wrestlers however, quite a few actually, who have crossed a line, and gotten themselves unofficially banned from wrestling’s largest promotion. While you never say never in the wrestling business, it seems very unlikely at this point that any of the names on this list will ever return to WWE.
A notable omission here is CM Punk. While Punk and WWE are involved in litigation at the moment, we have seen in the past that this has not prevented Vince from bringing people back. It will only stop Vince from bringing back unpopular stars, but not ones he feels could make the company money.
Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart, and Sable all went through about as nasty a breakup with WWE as one could imagine, yet all were brought back at one point. Vince said on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast that he would be open to working with Punk again in the future. Whether Punk would ever be open for that is another story, but it doesn’t sound too likely.
This isn’t to say there aren’t wrestlers who can draw money that Vince has not unofficially banned from the company however, as this article lists several of them. It is only to say that a wrestler has to have done something worse than just sue the company.
On the flip side, those who can’t draw money are often banned for mere minor infractions.
15. Kenny Dykstra
In 2016, it looked like Spirit Squad Kenny, a.k.a. Kenny Dykstra, or Kenneth Doane Jr. in real life, was back in WWE after an unfortunate exit nearly a decade earlier. Now he’s gone again, and it is unlikely he will ever return.
Kenny was only in his early-20s when he was engaged to Mickie James around 2006-07. Then it was discovered that James was having an affair with John Cena. WWE moved Dykstra to a different show from Cena, had him lose a bunch of matches, then released him. James too was gone after allegedly taking her breakup with Cena poorly.
Mickie James also returned to WWE in 2016. Unfortunately, when James made public remarks about the negative things Kenny said about her after their engagement ended, he was gone from WWE again a short time later.
14. Brad Maddox
Triple H was said to be a big fan of Maddox. He has a naturally hate-able persona similar to the Miz. He was never one of Vince’s favourites, however.
Maddox was fired under somewhat bizarre circumstances. He uttered the phrase “cocky pricks” during a non-televised dark match, and that was all the excuse Vince McMahon needed to fire him. As we will see throughout this article, Vince will fire people who don’t draw money at the drop of a hat.
If saying “cocky pricks” was enough to get him fired, his appearance in some illegally hacked sex tapes of a current WWE superstar will be enough to keep him away for good. Sadly, Maddox deleted all of his social media accounts after the scandal broke. Hopefully he comes back to wrestling someday, but it won’t be in WWE.
13. Gail Kim
Many will credit Gail Kim as being far ahead of her time. Kim could have given WWE high-quality women’s wrestling matches years before Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch & Charlotte would. There wasn’t the interest on WWE’s end, however, and Kim ended up creating her legacy in TNA instead.
She departed from WWE in 2011 in epic style, something Vince won’t easily forget.
On the August 1st, 2011 episode of Raw, Kim was in a battle royal to determine a new #1 contender for the Divas title. WWE told Kim to get eliminated from the match in under a minute. Upset with WWE’s unwillingness to push the women’s division, Kim eliminated herself from the match shortly after it started, causing quite a stir in the process.
12. ZZ Loupe (Tough Enough)
Vince McMahon didn’t like that Zamariah “ZZ” Loupe became as popular as he did on Tough Enough. ZZ’s style was gritty and real, while Vince likes his wrestlers to be bodybuilders that recite the lines he has approved for them.
Loupe made it all the way through the competition until the very end. He was runner-up to Bronson Matthews, who despite rumours to the contrary, is still in NXT. ZZ is not with the company anymore, having been released last summer. Despite his popularity with fans, ZZ was not what Vince sees in a wrestler. The first chance WWE got to release him, they did.
Loupe only ever wrestled one match in NXT. He defeated Christopher Girard at a house show in March of 2016.
Scott Levy, aka Raven, is well-respected amongst wrestlers, for the most part anyway. Although WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin has consistently talked about Raven as being one of the smartest guys ever in wrestling, and Mick Foley echoing such sentiment, Raven will never be brought back by WWE.
Raven committed the unforgivable act of suing the company whilst not being a money-drawing performer. He was one of a handful of wrestlers that sued the company for not providing them with healthcare benefits while performing for them. Chris Kanyon and “Above Average” Mike Sanders were also involved in the lawsuit. The suit was dismissed in 2010.
10. The Original Sin Cara (Mistico)
Do not expect WWE to ever bring back Luis Urive, aka the original Sin Cara, aka Mistico. Alvirde had a three-year run with WWE that ended under dubious circumstances.
He had been a superstar in Mexico, and WWE seems to be in a constant quest to find a superstar who could connect with Latin American audiences the way Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio did. They went all in on Urive for the role. They gave him a unique entrance, lighting, and an elaborate costume.
Urive refused to report to WWE developmental, however, and insisted on debuting on the main roster. This caused some problems as the lucha libre style he was used to didn’t translate well to WWE’s style. He is also said to have refused to learn how to speak English, as WWE had wanted him to.
9. Zahra Schreiber
Do not expect Seth Rollins’ ex-girlfriend, Zahra Schreiber back in WWE anytime soon. The onetime NXT wrestler was fired in 2015 after some controversial social media posts she made years earlier came to light.
Turns out Schreiber is something of a WWII historian. Schreiber was found to have made a series of posts which indicated she is a supporter of the Nazis. Schreiber, however, contends that she is just interested by history. How the picture of a My Little Pony character dressed up as Hitler plays into her love of history is still unclear.
Months earlier, nude pictures of Schreiber and Rollins’ were posted to both Rollins’ and his fiancee’s account. This may have led to someone searching Schreiber’s social media accounts, and finding the offending posts.
8. Scott Steiner
As of this writing, 54-year-old Scott Steiner has just reappeared in Impact Wrestling. Do not expect the same to ever happen in WWE, Big Poppa Pump will never be back there, ever.
Steiner’s picture was discovered to have been distributed amongst security personnel at WrestleMania XXX, in order to prevent him from getting into the building. It appears that the man who once brought a live tiger to the ring on Nitro, made what police referred to as “terroristic threats” to Hulk Hogan’s wife at an airport earlier that weekend.
According to a police report, Hogan’s wife arrived in the San Francisco area earlier than her husband, when she crossed paths with Steiner at the airport. Steiner allegedly told her he was going to kill her husband when he landed. He has always blamed Hogan for the downfall of WCW.
7. The Brooklyn Brawler
For 33 years ,Steve Lombardi, aka the Brooklyn Brawler, was a WWE employee. He did one thing wrong one day and they fired him.
Now 56 years old, Brawler was fired last year. While it was not given as an official reason for his release, Brawler had called into Taz’s radio show earlier without first getting WWE’s permission. WWE requires all superstars to get approval before outside media gigs, but Brawler was a producer behind the scenes and rarely performed.
The Brawler was basically a career jobber, although he got a brief push in the buildup to WrestleMania IV, when he was feuding with the Red Rooster.
If Steve Lombardi hadn’t earned enough points with Vince McMahon after 33 years to survive one minor infraction, what chance does he have of ever being brought back?
6. Chavo Guerrero
Some might find it surprising that the nephew of Eddie Guerrero would find himself black-balled by Vince McMahon, but that is the case.
Guerrero would request his release from WWE in 2011, upset that WWE failed to capitalize on his talents and famous family heritage. That is not why he’s pretty much banned for life from WWE however. Chavo is another one who has filed suit against WWE, having officially done so last summer.
Chavo is one of several former WWE stars to take part in an ongoing class action lawsuit, alleging that WWE concealed the impacts of repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries from their employers.
Currently, Chavo works with Lucha Underground as a producer. He occasionally wrestles for the company as well, even participating in Lucha Underground’s first ever televised match, a loss to Blue Demon Jr.
In 2013, WWE sent out a release stating they were no longer willing to pay for Sunny’s rehab. In the past WWE had a policy of paying for any former employee’s rehab if they were struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. Sunny apparently took the rehab all-you-can-eat buffet a little too far. WWE said that Sunny’s continued poor choices led to their decision.
In 2017, Sunny was sent to court-ordered rehab as a result of numerous DUI charges. Unconfirmed rumours speculated that WWE did step-in to pay for this particular trip to rehab however. Her sober house is said to have cost $10K a month.
Despite the best efforts of the company to keep her WWE legacy intact, Sunny has burned every last bridge with the company now, it seems.
4. Jeff Jarrett
According to some, Jeff Jarrett and Vince Russo conspired to hold Vince McMahon up for $300,000 before both left for WCW in 1999. Jarrett’s contract was conveniently set to expire one day before he was scheduled to defend his intercontinental championship against Chyna. Seeing as Russo was head writer at the time, and also on his way to WCW, some believe he played a role in making sure Jarrett didn’t lose the title until after his contract expired.
WWE and Jarrett were forced to negotiate a deal for Jarrett to stay with WWE one more day in order to lose the title to Chyna. He is said to have received $300,000 for the match.
3. Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura successfully sued Vince McMahon’s company for just under $1 million one time. Unless he somehow becomes the Governor of another state, don’t expect him back in WWE anytime soon.
In 1987, Ventura waved away his rights to royalties from WWE home video. At the time, Ventura was falsely told that only the top performers received these kinds of royalties. When Jesse found out otherwise, he took Vince to court, and won.
Despite Vince saying Jesse would never be back in the company, he did come back for a onetime gig while he was Governor of Minnesota. He refereed the main event of SummerSlam 1999, which was held in Minneapolis.
Wrestler Kevin Wacholz, better known to wrestling fans as Nailz, had a short but impactful pro-wrestling career. At 6’5″ and almost 300 pounds, he was just the kind of guy the WWE loved in the early-’90s.
He was brought into the company under the story he was a prisoner that was once held in the same jail where Big Bossman used to work. The story was Nailz was coming for revenge. After the angle with Bossman, he was expected to go into a program with the Undertaker, only he got himself fired first.
In his autobiography, Bret Hart described an incident in December of 1992, where Nailz knocked Vince over in his chair and began choking the life out of him. Lawsuits were filed from both sides, though none of them seemed to lead to anything. Nailz would later testify at Vince McMahon’s 1994 steroid trial, stating that Vince had told him to take steroids.
1. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Granted, the fact that Randy Savage is no longer alive is the main factor preventing his WWE return, but there is just no way to write an article of this nature without including “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
The often-heard but never-confirmed rumour is, of course, that Savage had an affair with a teenage, and quite possibly underage, Stephanie McMahon.
Stephanie was born in 1976, which would have made her 17 or 18 at the time Savage left for WCW in 1994. Savage was born in 1952, making him 42 when she was 18. Did it happen? Is that the reason Savage was never brought back?
Bob “Hardcore” Holly addressed the rumour in his biography. Holly would only say that the two seemed awful friendly when he saw them together. Crazy.
Savage was posthumously inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015, but probably wouldn’t have been inducted had he still been alive today.