The landscape of WWE leads to a lot of drama going down in the locker room. There have been many wrestlers to leave the company in dramatic fashion. These wrestlers primarily had differing opinions with Vince McMahon, Triple H or someone else in a high powered position in WWE. Wrestlers to leave WWE in controversial manner often find themselves blacklisted. However, WWE will make peace with any talent they feel can make them money. The Ultimate Warrior, Bruno Sammartino and Bret Hart all joining the WWE family after years of hostility showed that the company is willing to do business if they can benefit.
There are certain wrestlers that unfortunately remained blacklisted from WWE until their death. Randy Savage and Chyna never got to make peace with the company or experience the Hall of Fame inductions that their peers did. WWE will hold on to the grudge if the bad blood is deeper than the positives that can come from reuniting. Everyone has a chance to return but there’s a short list of names that have a way more difficult time getting back on WWE’s good side. We’ll look at ten names that will always be blacklisted from WWE and five that may return.
15. Blacklisted: Alberto Del Rio
The actions of Alberto Del Rio following his departure from WWE have ensured all he will never work for the company again. Del Rio left in controversial fashion after the company disapproved of his relationship with Paige. A failed drug test led to Alberto getting suspended and he replied by requesting his release. Life after WWE has seen him grow even more hatred for the company.
Del Rio curses out Triple H in online streams all the time claiming he’s the reason for the ugly departure. Alberto goes overboard by leading offensive chants about WWE at the shows he works on. The recent story of his alleged domestic abuse towards Paige makes it all even worse for him. WWE has reached the point of no return and he’ll never be brought back into the company.
14. Blacklisted: Ryback
The departure of Ryback from WWE completely ruined all he built during his time in the company. Ryback received one of the biggest pushes of the time as an undefeated face. Following his first loss, Ryback’s momentum ended and he failed to stand out without the magic of an unbeaten streak. This all led to Ryback trashing WWE before leaving the company.
Ryback claimed WWE treated their performers poorly and didn’t pay enough money. While this could have been forgiven in the long run, Ryback continues to trash the company and its wrestlers on his tawdry podcast. Some of his recent comments range from demeaning the women’s roster for not showing enough skin and calling Seth Rollins a terrible person. WWE will not want to do business with someone that is clearly not worth all of the baggage that Ryback has.
13. Might Return: AJ Lee
AJ Lee left WWE due to the drama involving her husband CM Punk along with wanting to recover from her own injuries. The work environment was clearly awkward for Lee remaining in the Women’s Division for over a year after her significant other became the most hated man of WWE management. AJ found her own way in controversy by publicly calling Stephanie McMahon a hypocrite regarding her feminist views.
Lee could however return to WWE at some point in the near future. During her book tour for her autobiography, AJ revealed that she definitely misses wrestling. WWE is the only place we’d likely ever see her wrestle again. Both parties would benefit greatly from her return to the company. The Women’s Division is significantly better than her time and Lee would add another top name for WWE to create dream matches.
12. Blacklisted: Zahra Schreiber
Zahra Schreiber became a controversial figure in WWE for multiple incidents that painted her in a negative light. Seth Rollins cheated on his fiancée with Zahra leading to her leaking nude pictures of both guilty parties. The relationship between Rollins and Schreiber continued on with WWE hoping it would all get out of the news cycle.
Things would get worse for Zahra when fans found old posts on her social media pages of pro-Nazi and racist content. The story blew up and led to WWE releasing her from her contract. The relationship between Schreiber and Rollins ended a few months later to end her one connection to get back. Zahra never achieved much success in WWE and the company will have no reason to end their blackballing of her.
11. Blacklisted: Teddy Hart
WWE signed Teddy Hart at a very young age with the hopes of him becoming a big player for the company. Teddy being a member of the legendary Hart family and having an incredible athletic ability made him a valued prospect. However, he was way too immature and had a lot of personal demons that ruined his career. Hart found trouble with the other wrestlers due to poor attitude.
Between causing problems with others and partaking in illegal activities, Teddy was let go by WWE. The antics of this wayward Hart continued after WWE with it getting worse as time went on. Hart still rants about other wrestlers and makes ridiculous claims proving he has learned nothing through the years. Teddy is never going to get another chance in WWE and it would be shocking if he receives an opportunity in any other company at this stage.
10. Might Return: Cody Rhodes
The desire of Cody Rhodes to leave WWE was based off his hunger for success. It was clear WWE wanted him to portray the Stardust character in the long term and had no plans for him to move up the card. Rhodes decided to bet on his own skills by leaving WWE for the independent circuit. This has led to one of the biggest success stories outside of WWE.
Rhodes is the ROH World Champion, a member of the Bullet Club and a fixture in New Japan. The claims of Cody declare he’s making more money now than he did in WWE. However, WWE would be willing to increase that figure with his name value and star power higher than ever. Rhodes is one of the biggest names outside of WWE and he has said he’s open to returning in the future if it makes sense.
9. Blacklisted: Nailz
One guy that has zero chance of ever returning to WWE in any form is Nailz. The lower tier performer never did much to stand out in the ring but he created a legacy backstage. Nailz got into a fight with Vince McMahon allegedly over a disagreement in his pay. Following his obvious firing, Nailz claimed that McMahon gave him steroids and tried to harm the reputation of WWE.
Most incidents of this category find their way into WWE documentaries discussing what went down. Nailz attacking Vince is something that has never been talked about by WWE for good reason. The lackluster performer has no strong name value which gives them no reason to end their blacklisting of him. You’ll never see Nailz back in any form on WWE’s content.
8. Blacklisted: Justin Roberts
The recent book written by Justin Roberts regarding his time in WWE put him on their blacklist. Roberts told all the details of the things he witnessed including the bullying that went down on the regular. The ring announcer named JBL as the person that made his life a living hell and actually stole his passport during an overseas tour.
This all came out during the Mauro Ranallo controversy that put both JBL and WWE in a negative light. Roberts’ stories about JBL and media appearances discussing it made WWE look terrible for how they operate such a large company. There’s definitely a grudge there now and Roberts will have no shot of returning to WWE again as the company will look elsewhere for a ring announcer if needed.
7. Might Return: Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan found his way on the blacklisted names from WWE after his intercourse tape leaked. That would have been bad enough, but he managed to make it worse by unleashing a racist trade in the tape. Hogan received tons of deserving horrible press for his racist comments. WWE terminated his legends contract the day before the news broke to distance their brand from him.
Hogan has been out of WWE for about two years now. WWE has lessened their stance on him as they reference him historically again after banning all connections for quite some time. Rumors of Hogan returning have been going around for months now. We’ll likely see Hogan back at one point since Vince McMahon has a soft spot for him and he’s one of the biggest legends in company history.
6. Blacklisted: Buff Bagwell
The career of Buff Bagwell is finally reaching the end of the line. Bagwell has occasionally wrestled on the independent circuit and has announced he’s starting his retirement tour to go into 2018. Buff had one of the shortest WWE careers following the purchase of WCW. The original plans for Bagwell were to have him be a top star in the Invasion.
Unfortunately, Buff was a primadonna and got into hot water right away. Bagwell had a terrible performance in his one match before getting into a backstage fight with Shane Helms. Jim Ross claims Buff “no-showed” the following week and had his mom call in sick for him. It painted Bagwell in the worst of light. Buff would love to be welcomed back into WWE but he has “no chance in hell” of returning after the all-time worst exit.
5. Blacklisted: Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett bounced back and forth between WWE and WCW through the 90s before making one bad decision. The way Jarrett departed WWE in 1999 saw him hold up Vince McMahon for money. Jarrett’s WWE contract expired while he was the Intercontinental Champion and he demanded a lot of money to drop the title to Chyna or he would have taken it to WCW.
McMahon paid Jarrett but held a grudge that has never ended. The final episode of Nitro featured Vince proclaiming Jarrett was fired and would never work in WWE again after he purchased WCW. Jarrett is now viewed as a con man that is somehow running the sinking ship of GFW/Impact. Once the company finally dies, Jarrett will be looking for a new home in wrestling. WWE is one promotion that will never hire him back.
4. Might Return: Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is one of the wrestlers to leave WWE after requesting his release. There was a bit of drama with WWE not wanting to grant his wish since they held the legal rights. Ultimately, they allowed Rey to leave the company to continue his career on his own terms. Mysterio has remained healthy throughout the entirety of his time away proving he can still perform at a high level.
Both WWE and GFW are rumored to be discussing a contract with Rey right now following the end of his Lucha Underground tenure. Mysterio has admitted that he’s more than open to returning to WWE and ended his time there on great terms. The chances of Rey coming back to WWE are growing with the recent news and it’s more than likely we’ll see him at some point.
3. Blacklisted: Vince Russo
Vince Russo somehow found his way into hosting a daily podcast about the world of wrestling nearly twenty years since he was last relevant. The booking style of Russo worked in WWE under the leadership of Vince McMahon filtering his ideas. Russo has been a complete disaster everywhere else helping destroy WCW and TNA both.
The current podcasting duties of Russo see him trash the WWE stars of today and just about everything related to the wrestling industry. Russo also makes controversial comments about wrestlers and fans ranging from sexist to racist to homophobic. He has every red flag that WWE avoids these days. One of the sadder things about Russo is that he still emails McMahon stating he could save the WWE. The fact that he never gets a response shows just how much they value his input.
2. Blacklisted: Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner has many wrestling wars still going on from his past today. The issues with WWE stem from his horrible time working in a feud with Triple H. It ultimately came down to Steiner thinking Triple H sabotaged him to ruin his singles career in WWE. The hostility from Steiner lives on today with him still trashing Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in interviews.
Steiner claims WWE is in bad shape ratings wise because of Triple H and Stephanie being horrible for the wrestling business. WWE actually reached out to him a few years ago offering a legends’ contract. Steiner turned it down and publicly claimed the contracts were financially worthless for the wrestlers. The doubling down of his hatred for WWE will keep him out of the company forever after the final chance back.
1. Might Return: CM Punk
CM Punk quitting WWE after growing frustration with Vince McMahon and Triple H is one of the biggest recent WWE stories. Punk trashed the company, their doctors and just about everything they represent. The words of Punk claimed he would never return to the company. On the other side, WWE clearly didn’t like the fact that one of their biggest stars quit and made them look horrible in the public eye.
WWE influenced their doctor suing Punk for his derogatory comments and sent the wrestler his release papers on the day of his wedding. There’s clearly hostility on both sides. A few years have since passed since this drama. Punk’s MMA career looks dead and he still has passion for wrestling. WWE would reportedly welcome him back since they want as much star power as possible. It wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world.
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