WWE has been known as something of a revolving door in the past, with many talent both young and old coming and going as they please. More often than not, fans don’t tend to bat an eye lid when someone leaves because they know there’s a chance of them coming back, but in the case of these 15 individuals, they knew that WWE had messed up somewhere along the line.
Whether they held on for too long or didn’t hold on long enough, the trigger finger of Vince McMahon can lead to some questionable decisions and often it’s the fan favourites that fall through the cracks.
Now you may think that a lot of these entries will be quite similar to one another, but it’s actually just the opposite with all of them being relatively unique when it comes to their circumstances. Some were forced out of the door and others couldn’t wait to escape, and it’s that kind of inconsistency that leads to a great lack of trust from the WWE Universe.
15 Wade Barrett – Too Long
Now on the face of it, this one may seem a little bit odd, but allow us to explain. Wade Barrett is potentially one of the most misused talents in all of WWE history, with the Brit seeming like a bonafide main eventer from the moment that he walked onto the main roster back in 2010. Seriously, his heel character as the leader of The Nexus was that good.
What some people may not realise is that, on and off, Barrett spent a grand total of 10 years in World Wrestling Entertainment. That kind of tenure should’ve earned him a deserved run as world champion, and yet the company decided to keep the former IC title holder in midcard hell until he was eventually released. Bad move.
14 JTG – Too Long
It’s been an ongoing joke for years within the internet wrestling community, and we’re going to repeat it here with one very simple question – did Vince McMahon even know that JTG was still employed by WWE? After almost seven years there, during which time he floundered following his time with Cryme Tyme, JTG was finally released in 2014, and the wrestling world was stunned.
Some people genuinely thought he would outstay Vince, given that nobody seemed to realise he was there in the first place, and we tend to agree with that sentiment. Sure, he was an okay wrestler, but what on earth did he do to warrant being employed for that amount of time? Utterly baffling.
13 Muhammad Hassan – Not Long Enough
Poor old Muhammad Hassan was doomed from the start, with his slightly insensitive character being rejected instantly by the masses. Whilst that was to be expected, what WWE probably didn’t anticipate was the timing of the London bombings which happened to coincide with a rather tasteless angle involving Hassan on SmackDown.
It was certainly the right decision for WWE to have Hassan be squashed by The Undertaker in the eventual pay-per-view match, but releasing him altogether was a step too far in our opinion. They should’ve given him time to train in developmental before heading back up to the main roster, potentially with an entirely new gimmick.
12 Sin Cara – Too Long
No, not the one that’s still lingering around, but the one that was supposed to change the face of professional wrestling. Yes, we’re referring to the original incarnation of Sin Cara who was often referred to as Mistico over in Mexico. With a botch here and a suspension there, it’s no wonder that he was eventually sent on his merry way.
Unfortunately, WWE continued to persist with him as a midcard star despite every sign pointing towards the opposite, with his tag team alongside Rey Mysterio not quite clicking as many would’ve expected. So much for the passing of the torch, but hey, at least Hunico found some longevity in the role, right?
11 Bill DeMott – Too Long
Whilst Bill DeMott may have been primarily used as a trainer, he was formerly a wrestler for WWE, so we’re going to go ahead and count him on this list. Whilst DeMott has been through some personal tragedies as of late, that doesn’t mean we can’t point out any outstanding flaws, and boy oh boy, are there plenty from his time in NXT.
A few years back, numerous reports came out that highlighted Bill as a man who was way too hard on his students, with several former talents coming out of the darkness to comment on the issue. DeMott eventually departed from the company, but we have to question whether the men and women behind the scenes were aware of the issue for a while.
10 1o. Eva Marie – Not Long Enough
Call us crazy, but we think that WWE was really onto something in the final few months of Eva Marie’s onscreen career. Whilst the first few years of her tenure didn’t exactly set the world on fire and, ironically, were fairly awful, the company struck gold with her whole “larger than life” persona in which she never actually wrestled.
There was a lot of potential in Eva becoming a top heel on SmackDown Live, potentially surrounding herself with an entourage that would ensure she rises to the top of the food chain. Sure people didn’t like her, but that’s exactly what would’ve made her an effective bad girl, and we can honestly say that we miss her presence on a week to week basis.
9 Ted DiBiase Jr. – Too Long
Ted DiBiase Jr was bred for success in professional wrestling, and we’re basing that on the talents of his father alone. The youngster had the look and seemed to be progressing quite nicely in the ring, but it soon became obvious that he just didn’t have the personality necessary to succeed.
They threw the Million Dollar title on him, Maryse, threw him into a stable with Randy Orton and yet nothing seemed to work. He spent five gruelling years with the company with many fans just wanting them to pull off the band-aid and cut him loose, which eventually happened.
8 Aksana – Too Long
It’s going to be difficult to fill an entire entry here because quite literally nothing of note happened throughout the course of Aksana’s WWE career. Yes, she was partnered with Cesaro and yes, she was a valet, but can you honestly tell us that anything she did was something you found remotely interesting?
Aksana was, to put it bluntly, about as bland as you can get when it comes to a female Superstar and we do not say that lightly. Despite her enthusiasm (at times), things just didn’t work out, and we cannot fathom how she ended up spending a mammoth five years on the payroll. Vince, you’ve got some explaining to do.
7 Serena – Not Long Enough
From an overrated superstar to a dramatically underrated one, with the ever-dedicated Serena. The former Straight Edge Society member was painfully misused throughout her WWE tenure, with the bosses behind the scene just sort of throwing to her the side of the road, whilst using some pretty poor reasons as to why they did it.
Serena has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years, and even returned to WWE this year through the Mae Young Classic, but that doesn’t really make up for the poor treatment she suffered at the hands of management. Perhaps this run will be much more fruitful and, ultimately, much fairer to her as a performer.
6 Evan Bourne – Too Long
Evan Bourne looked like a guy who was bred for the underdog role in WWE, with his happy-go-lucky character matching his high flying ability inside the squared circle. Unfortunately, Bourne seemed intent on destroying his own momentum, creating problem after problem for himself under Vince’s umbrella.
The company gave him every possible opportunity to turn things around, and yet Evan always seemed to choose the road less fortunate. Of course, injuries also plagued his tenure, but it’s astonishing that they allowed him to stick around for as long as they did. Maybe they know something that we don’t know?
5 Ryback – Too Long
We aren’t sure that there’s been a superstar as vocal following their departure from WWE as Ryback. The Big Guy was floundering in the midcard for years following an initially strong run, and it became increasingly obvious that he wasn’t happy with the opportunities he wasn’t receiving. That makes sense, but what doesn’t make sense is how he’s behaved ever since then.
His many tirades have left us wondering why he wasn’t cut adrift sooner because it likely would’ve saved WWE a lot more hassle than they’ve ended up with. It seems incredibly unlikely that he’ll come back and speaking on behalf of the WWE Universe, we don’t really have a great desire to see it happen.
4 Awesome Kong – Not Long Enough
Awesome Kong was a juggernaut in the Knockouts division of Impact Wrestling, and when it was rumoured that she was heading to World Wrestling Entertainment the entire women’s roster was put on notice. Of course, as we know now, things didn’t quite work out the way that everyone thought.
A pregnancy followed by some issues between both parties led to Kong’s dismissal, with the now-39-year-old herself stating that she felt ready to come back on a number of occasions. Whatever the issue was she was released far too soon, with Nia Jax currently occupying her role as the monster heel of the division.
3 Alberto Del Rio – Too Long
Ironically enough, we aren’t even talking about Del Rio’s first run in WWE here, because we’re actually talking about his second that only lasted from 2015-2016. It sounds bizarre but it seemed evident that ADR just wasn’t interested in the booking that was being handed to him, and he seemingly couldn’t wait to get back out onto the independent scene.
WWE should’ve noticed from the word go that Alberto had a chip on his shoulder, with the money likely being the only factor in his decision to return. Nowadays Del Rio continues to spiral out of control, signalling to Vince that he probably shouldn’t have even considered bringing him back in the first place.
2 Hornswoggle – Too Long
Hornswoggle was just a kid who was living out his dream by becoming a WWE superstar, and it’s hard to dispute that. Unfortunately, what began as a jokey gimmick soon turned into a curse, with every single failed storyline being parred off as “let’s include ‘Swoggle so that we can get a few cheap laughs out of it.”
Things like the illegitimate son angle and the Anonymous Raw GM angle were scrapped and ended up involving the 31-year-old, which was the definition of being bad for business. Sure we got some fun things like WEELC out of it, but a decade in the company just shows how twisted Vince McMahon’s mind can sometimes be.
1 Christopher Daniels – Not Long Enough
We can sense some confusion amongst fans and it’s understandable, as some people won’t know that the legendary Christopher Daniels actually did compete in the WWE way back in the late-'90s. Daniels was one-half of Los Conquistadores, and when the angle was scrapped the indie legend was eventually kicked off to the curb.
Obviously, nobody could’ve envisaged what a superstar he’d turn out to be, but if they’d just stopped to embrace his potential then perhaps Daniels could’ve been able to carve out a lengthy career alongside some of the greats in this business. Still, he was able to have some world-class matches with the likes of AJ Styles, so it isn’t all bad.