One huge negative about the wrestling business is how big the egos of wrestlers can get. Most wrestlers need an ego of some sort to perform at such a high level and succeed in the cutthroat world of WWE. However, if it gets out of control at the wrong time, it can hurt a career and damage a reputation. Quite a few wrestlers to leave WWE truly believe they will always experience the same level of fame that followed them in the company. WWE however has the brand value and creates a recognition that matches any other sport in the world.
The wrestlers that leave WWE and keep their egos at the same high level will often create negative results. This list will specifically find the names in the industry that hold their value way higher than they should. These performers don’t realize that a lot has changed since their glory days. From overpricing at conventions to expecting ridiculous pay days at independent shows to wondering why WWE isn’t begging them to come back, the stories all have the same result. We'll take a look at fifteen former WWE stars that actually believe they’re still famous even though in truth, they’re not.
15 Kevin Nash
Another wrestler past his prime that still thinks he’s a way bigger name than he is would be Kevin Nash. The legendary career of Nash saw him become a standout performer during the 90s. Nash won the WWE Championship and WCW Championship both within a few years, but that was over two decades ago. Similar to Rob Van Dam, Nash requests a ridiculous amount of money to do the minimal amount of work at independent wrestling shows.
Another business venture has him charge fans hundreds of dollars to attend parties hosted by him during WrestleMania week. The high number of fans gets some people there but it's often one of the least successful events all weekend. To make matters worse, Nash still pitches ideas to continue his career in WWE. Dolph Ziggler has revealed that Nash wants to be his bodyguard. Nash just doesn’t realize he’s not a big name anymore.
14 Eric Bischoff
Eric Bischoff spent a few years out of the wrestling business following the horrendous run in TNA. It was clear that Bischoff no longer had the magic touch that made him a great guy to run the company in WCW and a great character on-screen in WWE. Bischoff attempted to run his own production company along with 80s actor Jason Hervey hoping to create television shows instead.
All of their shows turned out to be flops and Bischoff found his way back to wrestling. The new project of Bischoff sees him hosting a wrestling podcast hoping to still have relevance in the industry. Bischoff often speaks with a large ego implying he still knows more than many of the successful wrestlers and bookers. That is no longer the case with his peak taking place twenty years ago.
13 Ashley Massaro
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Former WWE Diva Ashley Massaro actually achieved many great things in a short time period. Ashley’s career in WWE started by winning a guaranteed contract defeating thousands of other women looking to get a spot in the Diva Search. Massaro found fame in WWE allowing her to get opportunities as a Playboy cover girl and a contestant on the hit reality series Survivor.
The career of Ashley ended out of nowhere when she abruptly left WWE. Massaro’s reasoning for leaving was commendable as she had to deal with a personal issue. Recent years have seen her resurface at various conventions. Stories implied that she requested a pretty high fee from those asking to interview her for videos and websites. Unfortunately for Ashley, she just no longer has the fame that makes her interviews worth a price.
12 Rob Van Dam
The ego of Rob Van Dam has always been something that followed him throughout his career. We found it way more charming back during his best days. Van Dam was able to back up his ego with the must-see matches featuring moves that were never seen before in professional wrestling. RVD’s current life has seen him somewhat transition out of a full time schedule.
Still, Van Dam takes bookings from independent promotions and has a massive pay request. The desire to make money on RVD’s behalf is great, but he clearly isn’t famous enough to pull that off anymore. Van Dam having a match at a local show isn’t going to make enough of a difference to warrant the booking fee he charges. The belief of RVD that he’s still a top name on the free agent market is completely wrong.
There is no wrestler as historically insignificant as Virgil to truly think he was a big star. Virgil flopped as a singles star shortly after his run as Ted DiBiase’s lackey ended. WWE tried to make him a likeable face but nothing worked. Virgil would get released and did nothing of note for the rest of his career aside from standing in the background of the New World Order segments.
The current life of Virgil sees him still wearing the nWo shirts and trying to get money out of fans. Virgil is known for showing up to conventions, getting no interest from fans and demanding a lot of money from the few that care to meet him. In recent years, Virgil has started charging fans in exchange for follows on social media or eating dinner together at a restaurant. We can guarantee he makes very little on this endeavor given his lack of relevance.
Many old wrestlers that no longer have any fame try to get their names in the news by trashing the current stars. Vader did this in 2016 when New Japan stars Ricochet and Will Ospreay had a memorable match. The two youngsters received coverage on ESPN and other major outlets with many online debates. Ospreay and Ricochet clearly saw their careers improve thanks to the match.
Vader however tried to rain on their parade by trashing them following the match, especially Ospreay. The two would engage in various social media insults. Vader took shots at multiple other young stars trying to make a name in the following months. The belief of Vader shows he thinks he's up there with Steve Austin, Triple H and Ric Flair when it comes to his opinion mattering.
9 Honky Tonk Man
Honky Tonk Man’s career has essentially been all about him thinking he’s a bigger deal than he truly is for the past twenty years. WWE gave him a record breaking run as the Intercontinental Champion thanks to his heel persona as a gloried Elvis impersonator. The peak of Honky Tonk Man’s career would come to an end when he lost the title and moved down the card.
Following his eventual release from WWE in the 90s, HTM did a lot of work on independent shows and shoot interviews to continue making a living in the business. There’s nothing wrong with that in theory, but he has gone over the top when discussing his own fame. Honky Tonk Man believes Jeff Jarrett and other wrestlers ripped him off by using the guitar as a weapon. HTM still holds his value high charging fans $75 on the website CelebVM for a simple greeting video.
8 Billy Gunn
A recent instance of a wrestler realizing he’s not as famous as he believes featured Billy Gunn wrestling for New Japan. The Japanese promotion ran their first United States shows in many years in early July for two events in California. One of the biggest matches of the weekend placed Gunn as the challenger for NJPW Superstar Hiroshi Tanahashi’s IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
The belief of Gunn and New Japan was that American fans would cheer the former WWE star in creating a special matchup. Gunn however was booed out of the building and fans wanted someone younger to wrestle Tanahashi. It showed in a harsh way that Gunn was no longer famous enough to get cheers on a high profile show. You could even see Gunn was taken back based off his facial expressions at the show.
7 Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty is one of the wrestlers that still hang around conventions expecting fans to care for him as if it was 1991. The career of Jannetty unofficially ended the night Shawn Michaels threw him through a barbershop window. Nothing would ever be the same for the talented wrestler as he just couldn’t beat his personal demons.
The issues of Marty still haunt him today as seen with his tirades. Jannetty often rants about people in WWE for not being smart enough to bring him back in his old and broken stage. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are two of his targets. Marty also insults fans at various points with offensive content frequently on his social media pages. The ego of Jannetty is out of control.
6 Jim Cornette
The podcast world has allowed many outdated wrestling minds to show just how much they value their opinions of the industry. Jim Cornette was hired to host his own weekly audio show after dozens of shoot interviews featured him blasting hundreds of wrestling personalities. The shtick of Cornette now sees him going after the current generation of wrestlers that fans love.
Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks are just a few of the names that feel the wrath. Cornette has actually wished death on some of them due to his dislike of their wrestling skills. The sad part is Jim believes they should abandon what made them successful due to his opinion. Cornette has to understand that the business has passed him by and his words are less credible.
5 Vince Russo
You can’t mention Jim Cornette without bringing up his arch nemesis Vince Russo. The funny thing is both Cornette and Russo basically have the same presence in the wrestling industry making controversial comments on podcasts. One of the silliest things about Russo is he still thinks he's a brilliant mind in wrestling that can save the industry.
Russo has actually referenced emailing Vince McMahon offering his services to return to WWE as the lead writer. McMahon obviously never responded to him and Russo was offended. Russo also goes out of his way to insult the fans and wrestlers of today with his comments ranging from racism to homophobia along the way. The cliff notes for the current life of Vince Russo is that he’s an irrelevant jerk that thinks he still has the magic of 1998.
Someone that squandered their WWE fame in record time would be Ryback. The overrated WWE career of Ryback ended when he was the one to call them out for not treating him right. Fans to watch Ryback could argue we were the ones that suffered and felt the pain in their relationship. Ryback made it seem like he would show WWE just how much they underutilized him after leaving.
Instead, he wrestles once in a blue moon on the lowest tier of independent shows and talks trash on his podcast. Ryback believes fans should value his opinion over the likes of Triple H, CM Punk, Seth Rollins and other superior performers. The fact that he's also coming out with his own book and various other projects that require fans paying money for it shows Ryback no longer realizes he’s lost his fame through the past year of tantrums.
3 Scott Steiner
We all love the charm of Scott Steiner’s unpredictable nature. The ridiculous comments that came out of his mouth in live promos are some of the best videos to exist on the internet. Steiner however often crosses the line and too much time has passed to continue his act. Following his recent return to TNA, Steiner started trashing many of his old targets again.
Steiner claimed Stephanie McMahon kept a statue of Randy Savage in her bedroom and Triple H kept a statue of Ric Flair in his. First off, they would likely have the same bedroom as a married couple. Steiner’s rants have become less fun due to him losing all relevance after stepping away from the business. The fact that he works for TNA as their lowest stage has also hurt his standing as someone that still possesses celebrity in wrestling.
Tammy “Sunny” Sunny has been a huge train wreck following her peak as the top female star in WWE all the way back in 1996. Sunny clearly developed an addiction to both drugs and alcohol during her wrestling career that still haunts her today. Along the way, she has done many horrible things that come from her larger than life ego.
Sunny frequently bashed female wrestling stars such as The Bella Twins, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks for their looks stating WWE missed having women like her. The recent business endeavors of selling Skype adult shows or live in person cuddling showed just how far she has fallen. Sunny believes these services will help prove just how famous she still is. Unfortunately, time has passed her by and she’s just hanging on by trying to make others believe she can still be considered a big name.
1 Alberto Del Rio
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The recent year of Alberto Del Rio’s life has made him lose all relevance in the wrestling world. Del Rio’s controversial departure shows a man that went from a disappointing but famous wrestler to someone hanging on by making tacky comments. TNA/Global Force Wrestling recently signed Del Rio and has made him the face of their brands.
Alberto will end many of the live tapings by trashing WWE to the live crowd. The aftermath of his PPV main event win over Lashley featured Del Rio cursing his former employer. He genuinely believes he's leading a movement against WWE by succeeding in the half dead Impact Zone. Alberto also started his own restaurant in Texas expecting huge results but it has been quite disappointing in truth. Del Rio is no longer famous unless he says something crazy to make a forgettable headline or two.