In wrestling, they say to never say never. But that isn't always the case in certain instances. There are certain acts in wrestling that are unforgivable. While time heals some wounds, other wounds simply leave scars that are too deep for time to heal.
In the ever-changing world, the WWE has become more protective of its ever-important religion. This means that, if a star posts something on their social media that goes against the WWE's family-friendly image, the WWE have to let them go. If a performer decides to get too violent on WWE programming, they may also receive a fancy pink slip (looking at you, Daniel Bryan). Yet while Bryan received a second chance and cemented his status as a future WWE Hall of Famer, there is a long list of performers that will never receive such an opportunity.
Yet there are also some performers that have committed such acts that the WWE would consider giving another chance. There are plenty of reasons for this. Some may say that the WWE truly acts as if absence makes its heart grow fonder. In other cases, the WWE may realize that a star it previously let go has a lot of potential it can give to its current product. Or in rare cases, it may realize that it was in the wrong in the first place and decide to make amends with a past performer.
Regardless of what the case may be, here are 10 performers who are arguably blacklisted from a WWE ring, and five that could make a comeback in some way, shape or form.
15 NEVER: Sunny
There is little debate that Sunny was the WWE's original diva. There is also little debate that Sunny will ever be featured on a WWE live event ever again.
Yet a few years ago, many fans were speculating that Sunny could have one last run with the company. She was reffing matches at WWE live events and was inducted into the WWE's Hall of Fame in 2011. However, she would face multiple arrests in the year following her induction. The WWE could come out and state that they would no longer finance her rehab, a first for any performer in the company. While the WWE has apparently taken back their word and financed her most recent rehab stint, Sunny's recent decisions, including starring in an adult-rated film, do not line up with the WWE's PG-rated product. While Sunny helped women obtain a more central status in the sport, the WWE likely doesn't care to acknowledge her contributions at this point.
14 NEVER: Jeff Jarrett
One of Jeff Jarrett's most famous tag lines was, "Don't Piss Me Off!" Needless to say, he's pissed off plenty of people in wrestling over the years. He likely pissed off Vince McMahon when he decided to create TNA shortly after WCW's collapse.
It's very rare that the WWE would hire an executive from a rival promotion, even after its competition was bought out. Fans were shocked to see Eric Bischoff become the General Manager of WWE Raw in 2002, yet the tension between the McMahons and Jeff Jarrett has been brewing for almost two decades. It's very unlikely that we would ever see Jeff Jarrett return to the company, especially since his most recent venture, Global Force Wrestling, has joined forces with TNA/Impact.
13 Might Return: AJ Lee
Since the days of Lita and Trish Stratus, no female has been able to become as much of a standalone success in wrestling as AJ Lee. Mickie James and Paige have come close, but AJ Lee truly helped define the role of a woman in the WWE's Reality Era.
AJ Lee stated in her memoir that a permanent injury forced her to retire. However, despite the tensions that her husband, CM Punk, has with the company, she has yet to rule out a return. She has acknowledged that Punk would never hold her back from returning to the ring (which is very much a good thing). Lee stated that she wouldn't want to tarnish her pitch-perfect career, but if the right opportunity came about, it would not be surprising to see AJ Lee back on WWE programming, even in a non-wrestling role.
12 NEVER: Colt Cabana
Before his days as WWE's Scotty Goldman, Colt Cabana was an extremely popular name on the WWE's independent circuit. Fans wanted to see him excel in the WWE, only to see him flounder as the forgettable Goldman.
Cabana didn't stay on the WWE's main roster for very long (and that's most definitely a good thing). He would experience a much-deserved resurgence of his career on the independent circuit. Cabana has also said a series of comments on his podcast about the WWE that his former employer would not approve of. Cabana was also named a co-defendant in WWE doctor Chris Amann's lawsuit against Cabana's former friend, CM Punk. Cabana himself has openly stated that he feels he's on WWE's 's----list' and doesn't see himself being welcomed back.
11 NEVER: Justin Roberts
When you think of ring announcers that are staples of the WWE, two names may immediately come to mind: Lilian Garcia and Howard Finkel. In the modern era, Garcia's name may come to mind, but so may the name of Justin Roberts.
Roberts served as a voice of WWE for more than a decade. He's had more than his share of infamous moments, including being choked by Daniel Bryan with his own tie (that led to Bryan being released from the WWE). After 12 years with the company. Roberts was let go. He has since went on to release a very candid autobiography, where he describes his positive (and negative) experiences with working with the WWE. He's also come out to describe Triple H as not being as receptive to ideas as he should have been. Calling out a major WWE executive is not a way to get your former job back. But it's unlikely that Roberts even cares.
10 MIGHT RETURN: Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes's situation seems very similar to that of Drew McIntyre. A wrestler with tons of untapped potential, tossed into a lame gimmick and not given an opportunity to shine, gets released, and gets a chance to grow his name. Rhodes has spent the last year or so since his release growing his brand on the indie scene and has won several championships across several promotions. He's likely making enough money that he doesn't even miss a WWE paycheck. Rhodes doesn't seem to be in any hurry to go back to WWE, but if he ever does get the itch to return, it's likely WWE will give him a better opportunity, considering what Rhodes has proven since his release. They've gotta realize what they missed out on now, right?
9 NEVER: Ashley Massaro
Out of all of the WWE's Diva Search winners, Ashley Massaro went on to have the least memorable career of them all. That's not to say that people do not remember at all, but she is often remembered for all of the wrong reasons.
Massaro was never a great wrestler. She was often seen by fans as a liability in the ring. Yet that's not why she would never return to the company. After joining the class action lawsuit against the company regarding concussions, Massaro described a sexual assault that occurred while she was in Kuwait representing the WWE. She said that while she reported the incident to WWE executives, she was told by said executives that it would be in the company's best interest to not report the incident. The WWE would not want to be tied with someone shortly after they made such a serious accusation.
8 NEVER: Ryback
In recent years, there have been plenty of WWE releases that have occurred on not the best turns. The most public of them all - aside from CM Punk - comes with Ryback.
In the months prior to his release, it was well-documented that Ryback was not happy with his position in the company. Ryback has went on to say that leaving the WWE was the best decision that he ever made, and that he is happy that no one is telling him "no." He has also made plenty of suggestive comments about the company's performers. A video clip of him recently leaked telling Charlotte to shake her a** while performing a moonsault. Saying that during the company's Women's Revolution is absolutely repulsive and his continuous bashing of the company has undoubtedly burned a bridge.
7 Might Return: Kenny Omega
You may be surprised to find this out, but Kenny Omega was once signed to the WWE under a developmental contract. As a matter of fact, Omega worked the WWE's at the time developmental facility, Deep South Wrestling.
His time in developmental wouldn't last long, however. Omega would come out and be very critical of his time in WWE's developmental system, specifically criticizing Bill Demott and Bob Holly. He would then be released from his contract in 2006 before truly finding his style on the indies and becoming the megastar he is today. Since then, the WWE has offered him contracts numerous times. While Omega has turned them down, many would say it is only a matter of time before Omega decides to give the grandest stage of them all another shot.
6 NEVER: Zahra Schreiber
The most unfortunate thing about Zahra Schreiber is very much debatable. While some may recognize her name due to her personal associations with Seth Rollins, other may associate it with a former NXT developmental star whose social media was associated with anti-Semitism.
Photos of Schrieber having Nazi memorabilia in her home spread throughout the Internet. This came after nude photos of her were leaked as a result of a controversy surrounding Rollins. While Schrieber stated that she did not condone anti-Semitism or discrimination, the WWE ended up releasing her from her contract before she ever made television. It also appears that the WWE has plenty of women that can fulfill her role, so don't expect to see Zahra on WWE programming anytime soon.
5 NEVER: Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio has been released by the WWE not just once, but twice. After his second release in particular, Del Rio has been increasingly vocal about how dissatisfied he was during his time with the company. While Del Rio never became as large of a star as he could have been, he certaingly had plenty of success.
Del Rio's name, however, has largely been associated with controversy over the past year. This controversy has largely come in association with his relationship with WWE Superstar, Paige. Some have said the relationship is unhealthy. This speculation was fuelled by leaked audio of a domestic altercation the two got into at an airport earlier this year. It's also been said that WWE executives feel that Del Rio is not a healthy influence on Paige.
4 MIGHT RETURN: Hulk Hogan
When tapes of Hulk Hogan saying the n-word leaked, many fans were stunned. The man who was seen by many as the ultimate American role model was using racial slurs to describe his daughter's boyfriend.
As a result of that rant leaking, the WWE decided to sever its ties with Hogan, who was serving as a judge on the WWE's Tough Enough program at the time. The WWE refused to stand with racist etiquette at the time, and it did what was best for business. However, Triple H has said that the WWE would be open to a Hogan return. While some fans may not necessarily agree with this decision, Triple H's words and actions have shaped the future of the company over the last few years. His influence could very much bring Hogan in for additional appearances with the company.
3 BLACKLISTED: Juventud Guerrera
It has been more than a decade since we have last seen Juventud Guerrera in a WWE ring. When Guerrera was signed to a WWE contract, many were ecstatic to see one of WCW's greatest Cruiserweights finally get a chance to show his in-ring prowess on a grander stage.
Unfortunately, his tenure with the company wouldn't last very long. After reports of poor backstage behavior became increasingly frequent, the WWE decided to release Juvi from his contract. Guerrera also performed plenty of dangerous maneuvers that the WWE was wanting to limit during the time. During his last match against Paul London, Juvi went for a 450 Splash, which he previously botched on London. Guerrera was practically unbearable for WWE officials and he's way past the point of being relevant anyway for WWE.
2 NEVER: Nailz
What are the odds of fans remembering who Nailz actually was? Those odds are slim to none, but that's okay. Nailz didn't really contribute much to the business, except for some stories of backstage lore.
Nailz's biggest claim to fame may come from the story where he allegedly attacked Vince McMahon in his office after a financial dispute. Nailz and his former employer would engage in a series of lawsuits after the WWE (then known as the WWF) terminated his contract. Nailz would go on to say that McMahon gave him steroids multiple times. After all these years, it's easy to say Nailz will never make so much of an appearance, but to be fair, there aren't exactly fans picketing outside of WWE events demanding for a Nailz return.
1 MIGHT RETURN: CM Punk
CM Punk's departure from the WWE was one of the most controversial in the history of the sport. Fans were furious to see one of their favorite superstars leave the organization. It was well-known that Punk was not happy with the way that he was headed on television. Fans knew that he deserved to be main eventing WrestleMania. Fans knew that he was talented. Punk felt that his employer didn't recognize that.
After participating in the 2014 Battle Royal, Punk left the company. This left many fans shocked, and from time to time, CM Punk chants will continue to fill arenas. Yet rumors have begun to swirl that Punk could return to the WWE due to his relationship with WWE announcer Mauro Ranallo, who also returned to the company. Here's to hoping that Punk will come back for one last run and receive the royal treatment he deserves.