The lifestyle of a WWE wrestler can lead to unhappiness despite their success as the top wrestling promotion in the world. WWE has quite a few things that can turn talent off from wanting to work there in the long-term planning of one’s future. The travel is a huge concern with wrestlers often working 4-5 times per day with flights sending them to different cities each day of a tour, including many international dates.
There is also the political environment of having to win over the important people backstage to become a top player in the company. Many popular wrestlers have publicly admitted that they strongly disliked their time working for WWE due to multiple variables leading to the generally unpleasant experience. Find out which of your favorite wrestlers were secretly upset backstage during their time there. These are ten wrestlers that disliked working for WWE.
10 Jon Moxley
The recent departure of Dean Ambrose became a massive story in the wrestling world. Ambrose used his old independent name Jon Moxley to start his new path in AEW, New Japan and various independent promotions. Moxley ripped apart WWE during his podcast appearance on Talk is Jericho.
The main complaint of Moxley was that he could not find happiness working for WWE. A combination of the system preventing wrestlers from showcasing their artistic ability, Vince McMahon’s ideas not connecting, and the schedule led to Moxley leaving with no interest to ever return.
9 Paul London
Paul London was one of the first major independent wrestling breakout stars to land a contract with WWE in the 2000s. Fans of Ring of Honor witnessed London rise to the top ahead of names like Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, and Christopher Daniels.
WWE did not view London as a future star and most of his career would play out in the tag team division. A great tag title reign with Brian Kendrick could not prevent London from disliking the WWE environment. London stated he never wants to return after having issues with Vince McMahon, Triple H, and many others.
8 Shane Douglas
The ECW run of Shane Douglas often featured him trashing WWE and WCW in his wild promos. Douglas had disappointing runs in both bigger promotions with the WWE stint standing out as a failure. The gimmick of Dean Douglas destroyed any chances of success in WWE.
Douglas also disliked the political nature of Shawn Michaels and the Kliq having power over the other wrestlers. Vince McMahon’s leadership running WWE was not something Douglas viewed as a positive since he never wanted to work there again.
Ryback raised some interesting concerns about WWE after he made the decision to leave the company. The biggest reason to leave was the independent contractor label in WWE allowing the company to profit more off the wrestlers without contributing to expenses like they would with an employee.
Ryback spoke out candidly about the frustration that comes from working in WWE that makes it hard to find happiness there. Many fans learned for the first time just how many factors go into the life of a superstar. Ryback will likely never return to WWE after calling them out in such a fashion.
6 Frankie Kazarian
One of the forgotten stints of a relevant wrestler once working for WWE featured Frankie Kazarian joining the company in the early 2000s. Kazarian was a rising star for TNA and received the offer to make a run in WWE.
Many fans expected to see him spotlighted on Raw or Smackdown, but he spent most of his run on the secondary show Velocity. Kazarian struggled to break out and left WWE after refusing to cut his hair as requested. The lack of enjoyment working there played a role in Kazarian leaving.
5 Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner is among the most vocal wrestlers to voice their displeasure about working for WWE. The various stints in WWE would always see Steiner used worse than his WWE time. Steiner’s worst experience came in 2002-2004 when joining as a singles star.
WWE used him poorly with a Triple H feud essentially killing any main event chances. Steiner has trashed WWE, Triple H, and the McMahon family quite often since leaving the company. Recent history would see him turn down a legends contract with no interest in working with them again.
The WWE project of bringing back Sabu in the 2000s would see many wrestlers used poorly. Vince McMahon’s desire to take control of Paul Heyman’s vision would see former ECW stars lose most of their luster with disappointing tenures in WWE’s version of the promotion.
Sabu is one wrestler that was consistently unhappy during his time in WWE. The death-defying style of Sabu would see WWE try to tone it down. Sabu didn’t expect his run to last long as there was no surprise when he was released from the company.
3 Jimmy Jacobs
Independent wrestling legend Jimmy Jacobs joined WWE in a creative role as a writer. Jacobs was praised by Chris Jericho among others for his superb job helping create “the list” along with contributions to the entire storyline with Kevin Owens.
The eventual firing of Jacobs came when he took a picture with members of the Bullet Club during their “invasion” moment for the Being the Elite show. Jacobs revealed he somewhat hoped it would land to him getting fired. The experience of working for Vince McMahon was getting to be too much and Jacobs wanted a change.
2 Gail Kim
The career of Gail Kim makes her one of the all-time great female wrestlers due to her run in Impact Wrestling. Kim delivered countless classic matches against talents of all styles like Awesome Kong, Brooke Adams, and Taryn Terrell.
The reputation of Kim for being a superb in-ring worker meant very little to WWE during her two stints there. Kim has revealed she hated working for Vince McMahon and doesn’t want to work there again even with the changes in recent years. Jim Ross admitted McMahon didn’t want to push her due to her Asian background as another controversial moment to make Gail dislike the WWE experience.
1 CM Punk
CM Punk is one of the most successful wrestlers in WWE history to strongly dislike the working experience there. The great work of Punk made him a top player with fans often giving him the biggest pop of the night for months during his peak.
Punk decided to leave WWE much earlier than expected due to the physical and creative frustrations. Both Vince McMahon and Triple H were targets of Punk in his controversial podcast appearance on the Art of Wrestling show. This is one of the few top names in the industry that WWE may never convince to return at some point.