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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1 Alberto Del Rio
I always tweet about how amazing @impactwrestling is.. but you have no idea unless you are not only in the front but behind the scenes of this company. I couldn't be happier and more content. Thank you again to everyone attending and watching the #slammiversary PPV yesterday. What an incredible show, fans and talent. And newwwww impact champion, an reigning GFW champion and history making Undisputed champion now those championships are combined into one!! #sisisi
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.
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