WWE is a fascinating place in more ways than one, with one of the reasons for that being the hormonal nature of some of the superstars. Now obviously their reasons for "acting out" are justified more often than not, but regardless of the logistics, it’s always awkward to see a wrestler completely destroy the bridge between themselves and the company.
Of course that isn’t the case with all superstars, and every so often you actually get a girl or a guy who leaves WWE and comes back a few years later with a renewed sense of energy. Sure, it’s rare, but the fact that we’ve managed to even this list out at ten a piece should show you that the range in reasons behind leaving the biggest wrestling company in the world sure is varied.
So sit back and relax, before checking back on this piece in five years time to laugh at us for all the predictions we got wrong.
20 Muhammad Hassan – Wouldn’t
This one is fairly obvious, and it’s something that the majority of wrestling fans have heard about one way or another. To sum up, Muhammad Hassan was one of the more promising heel characters to come out of WWE in quite a few years back in the mid-noughties. His mic work was great, his character was great and his in ring work was solid enough.
But as we all know a poorly timed angle soon led to his dismissal from the company, with Hassan responding to that by retiring from professional wrestling altogether. With that in mind, it doesn’t seem as if any kind of contract offer from Vinnie Mac would be enough to tempt Hassan back into the picture.
19 Ethan Carter III – Would
Ethan Carter III is an example of why WWE changed up the NXT system, with his former character suffering on the game show version of the brand. Many fans felt as if he had a great amount of potential, but it wasn’t until he went to TNA that he was able to finally showcase himself as a potential main event star for many years to come.
Everything he did was so seamless and it surprised absolutely no one when EC3 eventually captured the World Heavyweight Championship. Now, having established himself as a man who is more than capable of thriving at the highest level, we can’t help but think that Carter would jump at the chance to right the wrong that was his last WWE run.
18 Josh Mathews – Wouldn’t
We’re just going to say this right off the bat: Josh Mathews is not a great commentator. In WWE he was always quite underutilised which, for some reason, made members of the WWE Universe believe that he was actually a world-class talent. Thankfully, as time has gone on, wiser heads have prevailed, but we’ve still got a sneaking suspicion that he could be invited back one day.
If the TNA/Impact/GFW ship eventually goes under, which we all know is a possibility, then the likelihood of Mathews coming back to the place where he made his name becomes even greater. Obviously as you can tell by our criticism of Josh we don’t really care for the idea, and given his comments about WWE in the not so distant past, we think that an official return would be a no-go.
17 Jack Swagger – Would
Jack Swagger was never really given a fair crack of the whip on the main roster, which is an odd thing to say given that he’s a former World Heavyweight Champion. Swagger has been navigating his way through the indies as of late, and recently he even revealed that a future MMA career could be on the cards.
Alas, we can’t really see that coming to fruition, and instead it seems much more likely that good old Jack would walk right back through the doors of WWE if the opportunity presented itself. Obviously it’s not a certainty, but age is still on Swagger’s side despite what many people may say.
16 Colt Cabana – Wouldn’t
When a podcast you were on directly leads to a lawsuit in addition to a very angry Vince McMahon, you know that things aren’t going to end well for you. Colt Cabana is the ultimate jokester of the independent scene, and an argument can be made that he’s one of the first guys to really burst into life using something other than wrestling itself.
Colt seems perfectly happy with where he’s at in his life, and given how much money there is to be made on the indies, an offer from WWE really wouldn’t change his view point on things. Plus, can you imagine the outrage from the likes of his former best friend CM Punk if it gets unveiled that Colt has sold his soul to the devil?
15 Brie Bella – Would
We all know that Brie Bella is probably the less capable performer out of the two Bella Twins, but you still can’t deny the impact she’s had within the world of WWE. She, alongside sister Nikki, is an icon in many ways, and the only reason she left the squared circle in the first place was in order to try and get pregnant.
Now that she has welcomed daughter Birdie into the world alongside husband Daniel Bryan, there seems to be nothing standing in her way of a return to the ring. Plus, if her workout videos on the Bella Twins YouTube channel are anything to go by, Little Miss Brie Mode could be back on our television screens sooner than anyone expects.
14 Alberto Del Rio – Wouldn’t
Boy oh boy, we’d bet our lives on Alberto Del Rio never even being mentioned on WWE television ever again at this stage. The multi-time world champion, now known as Alberto El Patron, has had a car crash past few months, and a big part of that has been to do with his "relationship" with WWE superstar Paige. Yes, we’re opening that door.
In addition to this Alberto hasn’t exactly had the nicest of things to say regarding the Triple H's of the world, and he seems intent on blowing up every former friendship he once had within the company. He wouldn’t go back, they probably wouldn’t even want him back, and it’s best for everyone if he just shuts his mouth from now on.
13 Cody Rhodes – Would
Despite what some people may choose to believe, Cody doesn’t have an awful relationship with World Wrestling Entertainment. After all the guy was able to successfully pull off some of the most ridiculous gimmicks imaginable, all the while smiling and agreeing to be the perfect company guy under any and all circumstances.
Thankfully, now that he’s on the indies, he has a bit more freedom, but we imagine that the end goal is still to make a triumphant return to the homeland. Give him a few more years in ROH and NJPW, and WWE will be begging to sign him to a very long-term and very lucrative deal. Fact.
12 Bobby Lashley – Wouldn’t
Bobby Lashley is a multi-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion, is booked to look like a complete badass and has a sensational record in mixed martial arts with Bellator. Why on earth would be want to leave all that? The 41-year-old had a decent enough tenure in WWE, and whilst he didn’t reach the heights they had once hoped, it was still an average-to-good stint.
There would be absolutely no desire for Bobby to slide back into the mix over at WWE because there aren’t really that many benefits to it. On both Raw and SmackDown Live there are several superstars who would be ahead of him in the world title pecking order, and there’s no way that he’d be able to juggle an MMA career like he’s doing right now.
11 Wade Barrett - Would
When it comes to the discussion of “they should’ve been world champion,” Wade Barrett is most certainly towards the top of the list. The Englishman came into the company through NXT back in 2010, instantly making an impact and leading everyone to believe that he was a shoo-in to become England’s first WWE champion.
Then for one reason or another (horrendous booking), Wade wasn’t able to move up beyond the mid card scene despite an extremely promising start to proceedings. Still, never say never, and if they re-packaged him and made him the leader of a stable once more, then we think Barrett would be more inclined to come back.
10 Mr Kennedy – Wouldn’t
It seems as if Mr Kennedy, also known as Mr Anderson, doesn’t understand the meaning of keeping his mouth shut when it matters most. If you believe the dirt sheets then you’ll know that Kennedy’s attitude apparently got him thrown out of not only WWE, but also TNA. That one's got to hurt.
Given his age and experience, we can’t see a scenario in which good old Ken agrees to step back inside the squared circle, and why would he need to? Kennedy’s sole purpose would be to put younger and more talented stars over, and given his desire to become a world champion everywhere he goes, we don’t think that’ll fly in his book.
9 AJ Lee – Would
AJ Lee is no longer a WWE Superstar because we as fans don’t deserve nice things. The former Raw general manager was arguably one of the catalysts behind the Divas Revolution, despite exiting through the back door just a few months prior to it really getting underway, and before WWE retired the "Divas" branding. Seriously, the woman was an incredible performer.
Of course, her association with husband CM Punk makes this entry a bit more debatable, but AJ herself has stated that she misses wrestling sometimes and Punk has said that he’d never stand in the way of allowing his wife to live her dreams. So then, surely we should be allowed to start fantasy booking an AJ Lee vs Sasha Banks match, right?
8 Jeff Jarrett – Wouldn’t
This one should be obvious, but we’ll run down the highlights anyway. Jeff Jarrett is one of the only men on planet earth that can say he has been utterly despised by Vince McMahon for the better part of two decades, with the former Intercontinental Champion holding up the boss for a shedload of money prior to jumping over to WCW.
Jeff is and always has been a yes man, and the worst part of it all is that we could see a scenario in which the creator of TNA is invited to WWE for a one-off appearance or interview. Needless to say, Vince doesn’t need to have Jarrett anywhere near his organisation, but if it were to happen we think we know where Jeff would tell McMahon to shove it.
7 Batista – Would
Contrary to popular belief, Batista doesn’t hate professional wrestling, and in fact the man himself has admitted that he has pitched several ideas to WWE regarding a big time to return to the company. This would naturally make sense given that he’s a huge movie star now following the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, but for whatever reason, they didn’t want to play ball.
Batista desperately wants to do a retirement angle with Triple H, as we’ve all heard, and if Vince were to offer that idea to him then Big Dave would probably say yes (pending a quick schedule check). The former world champion doesn’t deserve to be remembered as Blue-tista, because his legacy in the business means so much more than that.
6 Ryback – Wouldn’t
Hands up if you saw this one coming? "The Big Guy" Ryback could’ve been something special and we aren’t just saying that for the sake of this article. There was a time back in late-2012 when every single person in arenas up and down the country were chanting "feed me more," and somehow WWE allowed his momentum to slip through their fingers.
However, that doesn’t justify some of the comments Ryback has made since walking out the door. Sure, he’s bitter and we understand that, but the guy has revealed himself to be a fairly unlikeable character outside of the ring, and it goes without saying that he’d sooner become a professional gymnast then join WWE again.
5 Rey Mysterio – Would
Booyaka, booyaka – please come back. Rey Mysterio is one of wrestling’s great babyfaces and we don’t care what anyone says, his World Heavyweight Championship win back in 2006 was a great moment. Mr 619 was a marketing machine for the company, and that would still be the case if he were to return tomorrow.
Apparently Mysterio is in talks with both WWE and GFW regarding his future, and we feel as if the fans deserve to see Rey have another 6-12-month run one last time. He had a great tenure there and as long as they handled his run to perfection, we see no reason why this couldn’t work out for the best.
4 CM Punk – Wouldn’t
We had to get to him at some point, and we’ve finally arrived. The Voice of the Voiceless has been tipped to return to WWE ever since he actually walked out back in 2014, which is ironic given that we probably should’ve known this was coming for quite some time before he actually pulled the trigger.
Disgruntled stars have made their peace with Vince in the past, but when it comes to Punk, he really doesn’t need to go back there ever again. With lawsuits, his stable finances and a career in mixed martial arts, Punk can happily reject any advances that are made by Vince from now until the day he dies. That must be a nice feeling.
3 Shelton Benjamin – Would
Ain’t no stopping Shelton Benjamin – aside from shoulder injuries, that is. The veteran superstar was all set to return to SmackDown Live last year when his aforementioned injury put him on the shelf, and ever since then fans have been wondering whether or not the company would actually go through with it a second time around.
Judging from certain interviews in months gone by, Shelton himself seems extremely interested in the idea, and why wouldn’t he be? It’s a chance to show newer fans why he’s so highly regarded among fans, and we could even see a couple of dream matches that a lot of fans wouldn’t have even realised they wanted to see. Benjamin vs Jason Jordan, anyone? (Or maybe Chad Gable, now that Jordan's on Raw as Kurt Angle's "son.")
2 Sin Cara – Wouldn’t
No we aren’t talking about Hunico, we’re talking about the original Mistico. The masked sensation was all set to become a huge star within WWE, with initial plans calling for him to face off against Rey Mysterio a few years down the line in what would be something of a “passing the torch” moment between the two luchas.
The problem was that good old Sin Cara loved a botch here and there, and when you couple that up with an extremely bad attitude, he was never going to make it all too far. So then, given that he’s finding success once again in Mexico, it seems incredibly unlikely that he’d even entertain the idea of going back.
1 John Morrison – Would
We finish with a man who quite possibly could’ve been a multi-time WWE champion if he’d remained with the company: John Morrison. Thankfully, the former tag team specialist hasn’t completely faded into obscurity, thriving in a number of different promotions, with the most notable being his stint in Lucha Underground.
Morrison himself believes that he has unfinished business in WWE and we as fans tend to agree, with a multitude of interesting storylines and feuds still being on the table for him if he ever decides to give it the old college try once again.