WWE has a wide array of pictures featuring on their website to help promote their events and performers to the mass audience that visits on a daily basis. Whether it is to see the stats of their favorite superstars, or to catch up on the hottest Instagram pictures, the WWE is great at engineering photos for their fans to review. At times, photos are also available outside of the WWE, much to the disheartened thoughts of WWE officials, particularly because these pictures do not always fit the style of WWE's current branding.
Or, pictures that were thought to be hidden from the rest of the world end up resurfacing when they are least expected (or wanted). Either way, these instances can end up causing performers their jobs, and it is usually hoped that they would stay hidden. In this day and age, WWE Superstars have to be more careful than ever before about what they post. We saw Baron Corbin recently see his push suffer a major hit after he got into a Twitter altercation with some military vets. We've also seen wrestlers quickly delete a post, giving you the impression someone at the company was not happy with them.
Then there are some that just get photographed at an inopportune time. All in all, here are 15 pictures/posts that may have gotten these wrestlers fired from WWE.
15 He is Robbie...at a TNA Show
Some of these entries include “blink-and-you-miss-them” types of performers – one of those tag teams in WWE during the mid-2000s was The Highlanders. Having a fairly uneventful run, Rory and Robbie McAllister portrayed fun-loving Scottish wrestlers. While I am a strong supporter or Canadian wrestlers we make it to the “big time” in WWE, the way that that Dereck “Highlander Robbie” Couch’s career went in WWE falls on to his lap for the above picture. During a 2008 episode of TNA Impact, Couch was shown to be watching in the crowd.
Unfortunately, it was not a case of him being spotted sitting in the back rows wearing a sweater and sunglasses to hide his identity – he was shown on camera with the billing of “WWE Wrestler”. Whether this was made with Couch’s approval is unknown, but we can surmise that this was the catalyst for him (and his partner) being released in 2008. In a later interview with SLAM! Sports, Couch referenced the incident –by saying “in retrospect I think it was kind of my way to get fired” (SLAM! Sports).
Mission accomplished Robbie, mission accomplished.
14 Adam Rose Has a Note!
Sometimes pictures from the past surface for previous WWE stars which prevent them from getting a second run in WWE, and other times they happen while currently employed and result in them being released from their contact. Unfortunately for Adam Rose, who began posting pictures on the Internet in 2015, it simultaneously ended his current WWE career and would prevent him from being hired in the future. During this time period, Rose was on suspension for failing the company’s wellness policy, which is normally met with wrestlers addressing the situation by apologizing to fans and the company. However, Rose began posting on Twitter about how the test was incorrect and that he was only following directions from his doctor.
Coupled with this, Rose posted a note from his Doctor showing the prescription for the substances that violated the Wellness Policy, showing that they were prescribed. Public attempts to essentially prove your company wrong can be seen as a career limiting maneuver, and to couple this with Rose’s charge with domestic violence days later, he was suspended indefinitely from the company, eventually leading to his release. Sounds like a lemon to me.
13 Yeah, They Know How to Google You
As I mentioned previously, some of these entries include some obscure wrestlers from WWE history, and this is probably one that will be news to the uninitiated. During the third season of NXT (you know, before it became a successful wrestling promotion and was a reality TV show) which featured female performers vying for a WWE contact featured one of the stranger cases of WWE getting cold feet with a performer. Isis the Amazon, or Aloisia as she was known during her brief stint in professional wrestling, was being touted as one of the corner-stones for the season due to her six-foot-eight stature, and was being promoted in various pictures and videos leading up the premiere. Aloisia was scheduled to be paired with Vickie Guerrero during the competition. However, before the premiere was scheduled to air, Aloisia was pulled from the show as a result of an “off-screen argument” with Vickie Guerrero.
Coincidentally, this also aligned with pictures of a previous career in adult entertainment being revealed to the public, along with accompanied pictures, which surely played a part in her release. Aloisia was eventually replaced with Kaitlyn during the season, who was the eventual winner of the season, which begs the question if Aloisia was slated to win the season.
12 Be Careful What you Post..
While the upcoming entry could go in two directions for Zahra Schreiber, I’ve decided to focus on the more outlandish one in WWE history. During Schreiber’s very brief stint in WWE developmental, she showed promise as in-ring performer, particularly because of her previous experience on the independent scene and training with then-boyfriend Seth Rollins. Unfortunately for Schreiber, no amount of promise or training could save her from when WWE would review her Instagram posts. While female wrestlers' Instagram pages normally focuses on revealing photos or shots of their personal life, a deeper dive into past photos revealed an disastrous focus on Nazi imagery, with a very odd one that included a swastika on a My Little Pony character.
This was quickly flagged by WWE’s team, who swiftly released Schreiber for inappropriate content. Despite the interest being of historical context according to Schreiber (TMZ.com), the use of offensive symbols is not something that WWE wants to be known for.
11 Oh Mickie...
During the mid-2000s, Mickie James appeared in the WWE Women’s division and quickly became a main-stay due to her brilliant character and portrayal of an obsessed fan-girl feud with Trish Stratus. Coupled with an athletic wrestling ability, and James became a refreshing performer for the division, with a WWE career that lasted from 2004 to 2010 which included multiple championship runs. During those championship runs (as is the case with several of these entries) some pictures surfaced of her career prior to entering WWE. While this is the case for several performers in WWE, James’ pictures included references to foot umm... preferences, which is abnormal, even by WWE standards.
While these pictures were revealed early on during James’ WWE career, it is likely that they were always on the mind of WWE officials due to their strange nature. Eventually in 2010, James was released from her contract, taking her feet with her. Thankfully for all of us, James returned to WWE in 2016 and has continued to wow us with her abilities.
10 Stand Back, Mr. Hurricane
WWE’s use of cruiserweights has always been draining to fans of high-flying professional wrestling, which is currently evident when viewing 205 Live programming. However, one of the bright spots the division was the Cruiserweight Classic tournament that took place in 2015, which included wrestlers from all over the world competing in matches that are reminiscent of former WCW cruiserweight division matches, as well as independent wrestling styles. Also included in this tournament were two former WWE wrestlers getting a “second chance” – Brian Kendrick and Tajiri were both featured in the tournament, and Kendrick remained on contract after the tournament ended.
One former cruiserweight star that was not included in the tournament was former Cruiserweight Champion Gregory “Hurricane” Helms, despite his previous career spanning from 2002 to 2010. Putting this side-by-side with Helms’ driving under the influence charge from 2011, it is evident that Helms could not be included in the tournament after his mug shot was released on the Internet. No need to watch out, there is no hurricane coming through WWE any time soon.
9 Don't Try This on Tough Enough
This is an instance of someone being crossed (no pun intended) off of WWE’s list of potential hires due to something emerging from their past. During WWE’s revival of the reality show Tough Enough, they featured someone who looked very familiar to long-time followers of independent wrestling in the United States. A man known as Matt “M-Dogg 20” Cross was on the cast, and to those that are aware of his athletic, gymnastic and mat-wrestling abilities were thrilled to have him as a part of the show, particularly because there were no other recognizable faces on the show from the independent wrestling scene.
Unfortunately for the excited viewers, Cross was the second one eliminated from the season, which is not an absolute shock considering it was an edited television show. For those that know Cross’ past in wrestling, the theme of “backyard wrestling” springs to mind, especially for those that played the awful video game “Backyard Wrestling: Don’t Try This at Home”, which featured Cross on the promotional cover. Cross is not one to hide his roots in professional wrestling, but it is certainly possible that it cost him a longer run on the show.
8 London Laughing it Up
For those that have followed Paul London’s career over the years cannot dispute his athleticism and wrestling ability – his matches in Ring of Honor and the independent circuit made him a highly sought after talent during the early and mid-2000s. Whether it is a breath-taking shooting star press causing fans to chant “Please don’t die” during his matches, or a memorable elimination from the Royal Rumble, Paul London’s athleticism cannot be disputed. While this is still the case during London’s current independent wresting run, it is unfortunate that his laid-back attitude has cost him a spot as a real money-making wrestler in the past.
During a segment on RAW in 2007 which was dedicated to the “death” of the Mr.McMahon character was meant to feature a moment which a hallway of wrestlers were watching Vince walk down towards his limousine, with the tone meaning to be around why Vince was acting so strangely. The only piece of this puzzle that does not fit together is that Paul London is the only wrestler with a gigantic grin on his face. The WWE rumor-mill is that London when into business for himself, making him stand out differently than the other wrestlers in the segment. While London would later dispute this claim in interviews stating “I’m just the idiot standing here smiling. That was my motivation. It wasn’t this is so stupid and I’m going to laugh so I can wink at my friends back home and let them know I’m too cool for this” (WrestlingInc), it is unlikely that when producers viewed this footage that it didn’t sit well with them.
7 Very Big Daddy V
Nelson Lee Fraizer Jr. was employed by WWE from 1993-1996 and again from 1998-2000 and 2004-2008, and there is one common thing during all of his employment runs – whether it was Mabel, Viscera or “The World’s Largest Love Machine”, he was a very big man. Fraizer’s imposing form either had him using his physique for comedic effect (like when Viscera would gyrate towards his opponents) or to strike fear into them, especially prevalent during his run as a member of The Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness.
During Fraizer’s last run in WWE during 2007, he debuted as the Big Daddy V character on ECW, which used his physique in a different way – it exposed it. His ring attire was a wrestling singlet, which is normally reserved for performers who display high-athletic backgrounds, like Kurt Angle or American Alpha. This attire was very unflattering for Fraizer, whose body was packed tightly into the singlet. While body positivity should always be promoted, Fraizer’s physique was not appealing to wrestling fans, and coupled with his diminishing wrestling ability, he was released from his contact in 2008.
6 Calling all Diva Search Contestants
The WWE’s use of the Diva Search to find female talent yielded some variable results – for every success story of AJ Lee or Michelle McCool who went on to win championships and develop great wrestling abilities, there are others who were involved in the contest who fizzled out of their wrestling careers quite quickly. Unfortunately, one of those instances was also the winner of the 2005 Diva Search. Ashley Massaro was the odds-on-favorite to win the competition – she was one of the only contestants that had a distinct character or personality during the competition, and her “punk-rock” style fit in well with WWE’s programming at the time.
Unfortunately for Massaro, rumors began to circulate in 2007 about her past before joining WWE, which involved her allegedly working as a high-priced escort for a website called Bella Models. Massaro denied to allegations outright, stating “Just got buzzed on some BS that is going around. Don’t believe it for a second. Getting in touch with my lawyer as we speak” through her MySpace account. While there wasn’t anyone from WWE who responded to these allegations, Massaro has not been invited back to WWE programming since the photos from the website allegedly featuring her as a “lady of the night” were released.
5 Kassius Oh-No, Never mind
Since the early 2000s, Chris Hero was a mainstay of many high-profile independent wrestling companies, such as Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling, Jersey All Pro and Pro Wrestling Guerilla. His reputation for English-style pure wrestling - multiple submission hold variations combined with hard-hitting strikes – made him a highly sought after resource in the pro wrestling world. So, when he was signed to WWE’s developmental territory in the 2011, it was no surprise to anyone that has followed his career. In 2012, Hero was repackaged as Kassius Ohno and was featured in a high profile angle involving William Regal. Suddenly in 2013, Ohno was released from NXT and returned to the independent circuit. Given Ohno’s wrestling ability, it was surprising that he was not more successful during his NXT run as many onlookers had high hopes of success for him. However, during his independent run following his release, it became clear that his physique has played a factor in his release – Ohno began to gain a considerable amount of weight, but never once lost a step with his wrestling ability.
I am certain that WWE officials kept their eye on Ohno during his independent career, but were off put by his changing physique, which would have prolonged his return to NXT. Thankfully, Ohno returned to NXT in 2017, and despite any physical changes he is still one of the best pure wrestlers on the roster.
Depending on your level of knowledge outside of WWE programming will shape your opinion of Rob Van Dam. For those that only viewed him during his WWE tenures, he is known as a quiet, laid back, high-risk performer who would go to any lengths to win his matches, whether it be in ladder, hardcore or Money in the Bank matches. The WWE version of Rob Van Dam was a very popular competitor with the fans, and remains a performer that etched his way into the history books by simultaneously holding the WWE and ECW World Championships during the 2006 revitalization of the ECW Brand. While the ECW version of Rob Van Dam is just as popular, it is with a different set of characteristics which mainly center around his love things other than professional wrestling. The main love of his character involves a woman named Mary Jane, and not the character from Spiderman.
During his run in ECW, Rob Van Dam’s character was full of references to marijuana use, including having the numbers 4:20 emblazoned (no pun intended) on his tights, and using numerous catchphrases such as “I just smoked your a**”. While RVD did enjoy an length run in WWE from 2001 to 2007, and again in 2013-2014, when photos like this pop-up during a WWE Executive’s search for talent, it is certainly playing a part in why Rob Van Dam has not returned to WWE since his last run.
3 The All-Night Rockers
Shawn Michaels is known as one of not only WWE’s greatest performers, but one of the best professional wrestlers in the world. His is often referenced at the top of most writer’s “Top Wrestlers of All Time” lists, and is one of the most often cited performers that has inspired other wrestlers during their youth, particularly during his single’s career in the 1990s due to the high quality matches he produced with the likes of Bret Hart, Mankind and The Undertaker. While all of his accomplishments in WWE have given him the monikers “The Showstopper” and “Mr. WrestleMania”, there is another one from Michaels’ past that he is also famous for – Shawn Michaels, The Party Guy. Specifically during the 1980s during his run as one half of The Rockers with Marty Jannetty, he was a notorious partier, which he has unapologetically discussed in his autobiographies.
During his first run in 1987 in WWE, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty were fired after only two weeks due to an incident at a bar involving a broken beer bottle and Jimmy Jack Funk. While Michaels has claims that this was due to a misunderstanding, when pictures like the above are found, it raises certain questions about his explanation. Certainly the Internet was not available during this 1987 incident, however if this picture came across Vince McMahon’s desk, it would raise questions for him as well.
2 Candice Michelle, Enough Said.
Candice was a contestant on the 2004 Diva Search competition and despite not making it into the finals on television was hired to appear on WWE television in a non-wrestling role, only making her wrestling debut a year later. During her time on television, she was used mainly in a sex appeal type role competing in bikini contests and lingerie show-downs. While all of these segments received ample time during her time on Smackdown in the mid-2000s, Candice received her most attention while starring in a series of GoDaddy.com commercials which played during the SuperBowl’s half-time which put her in various scantily-clad situations.
These commercials were the mid-2000s equivalent of going viral, and really featured Candice as “too hot for WWE TV”. Whether the commercial involved an ill-timed wardrobe malfunction or a very seductive dance, it allowed Candice to feature herself sexually in a way that she could not regularly on WWE television during the later-half of her career as the company started to transition away from vulgar behavior. If any of the current female performers were to adapt themselves into the commercial world like Candice did by flaunting her sexuality, it would surely lead to their removal from television. Perhaps a new producer came across these commercials and it played into her release in 2009.
1 Eva Marie Is Too Red Hot
In regards to women’s wrestling, WWE has a storied history – at times WWE thinks highly of female athletes and promotes them as well-rounded performers with athletic ability. Conversely, WWE has also advertised their female athletes strictly as scantily clad eye-candy. At the time of this article, Women’s wrestling is currently undergoing a renaissance (I refuse to call it a revolution) in WWE due to the talent of wrestlers such as Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks. The focus on these women’s athleticism and talent is very enjoyable, and their positive portrayal has been inspirational for young female wrestling fans. During this revitalization of Women’s wrestling, there has been one talent who did not necessarily fit into this new vision. Without being disrespectful, it is fair to say that Eva Marie was never brought in to WWE for her athletic ability, but for her other “assets”.
However, even though this was the case, some of the pictures that Eva Marie has shared with the world is far and beyond the photoshoots that WWE posts on their website in terms of sexuality. Eva Marie’s Instagram alone is stimulating and revealing enough for those that are looking to admire her female form. Is it possible that someone from the WWE offices viewed a particularly racy picture of Eva Marie and decided that it did not fit the WWE’s vision of PG-type programming?