When it comes to the hirings and firings in the WWE there is really one man who makes the final call, as is the case with pretty much everything in the company, Vince McMahon. Someone who is legendary for his business acumen, it appears like he can forgive just about anything if he feels it would be advantageous to his company. Then, why is it that there are some people that seem like they will never be embraced again no matter what circumstance comes to be. “Macho Man” Randy Savage, for instance, is an absolutely beloved figure in the wrestling and even pop culture world but it took his death for him to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. For this list, we’ll be looking at some talented wrestlers who seem destined to suffer a similar fate.
When putting together this list, we looked at wrestlers who at one time seemed like they could make a difference to the WWE but now belong only in the annals of history. The WWE is a business that depends heavily on their archival footage to attract fans to their network so whether or not the WWE markets the footage they already own of a wrestler makes no difference. We certainly hope that the freeze between company management and these men and women thaw soon, which would prove us wrong, but we’re not holding our breath and neither should you.
Melina had a lot going for her. A hot body that was able to contort itself in ways we’d never seen in the WWE before along with an over the top personality that fans instantly reacted to, she seemed poised to be a star the caliber of Lita or Trish Stratus. Unfortunately, that fate we all saw in her future never came to be and if the wrestling press is to be believed it is all because she is an absolute heat magnet.
Also said to be a drain on the career of her on and off again beau John Morrison, she has been blamed for all manner of misdeeds. Included in that list are cheating on Johnny with Batista, acting like a diva in the locker room, and convincing her man to give Trish Stratus the cold shoulder. The latter story was even acknowledged by both Trish and John in various interviews and although Melina wasn’t present during the match, she has been forced to shoulder the controversy. Whether the stories we’ve heard about her are just that, there is enough anecdotal evidence that she at least has been blamed for a lot over the years and as a result will likely never be invited back under WWE’s umbrella.
14 King Kong Bundy
A former WrestleMania main eventer who dropped down the card dramatically by the following year, King Kong Bundy may not be everyone’s idea of a workhorse but he is great at what he does. A massive man, who was very adept at coming off as incredibly intimidating, Bundy holds an important place in wrestling history, both in the ring and out. Entertaining enough that he was able to put together a small acting career for himself, most notably as a cousin of Peggy Bundy on Married with Children, he helped make wrestlers look more mainstream. Also memorable for playing a part in The Undertaker’s vaunted undefeated streak, he was a multifaceted performer whose career is worthy of celebration.
Yet somehow, this legendary wrestler hasn’t gotten the call to enter the WWE Hall of Fame while perennial undercard talents like Koko B. Ware and Johnny Rodz have. Sure, the Hall isn’t the be all end all for former company employees but the fact that his career has largely been forgotten even on WWE.com after they added a profile for him several years ago is amazing. Every year that they don’t induct a man that they once felt was worthy of wrestling the industry’s biggest star at the time, Hulk Hogan, at the biggest event of the year, speaks volumes.
13 Shane Douglas
Another former main event wrestler who has only been covered on WWE.com with an alumni profile, Shane Douglas has fallen far from his once important position. The man chosen to win the ECW Championship the night they severed their relationship from the NWA, his reign on top of the company was a major turning point in ECW and the industry as a whole. After a very successful run under Paul Heyman, Shane would go on to work for WCW, in a major role, during their final years but was never brought in by the WWE after WCW closed its doors. Also working for TNA for a number of years, it is safe to say that the wrestling world as a whole recognizes his contributions.
Well, everyone but the WWE, who for the most part overlook him. A former WWE employee who had a disastrous run as Dean Douglas, the world’s biggest wrestling company has proven time and time again that they don’t want to touch him with a ten-foot pole. As we already mentioned, Shane is amongst a short list of former WCW employees who never had a shot at working for Vinnie Mac. In fact, despite the fact that the WWE went so far as to relaunch ECW for several years, Shane’s only appearance in a venue where a WWE show was happening was as a ticket-holding audience member. Perhaps, the fact that he tried to gain the camera’s attention by taking off the mask he was wearing in order to promote a show he was putting on, further served to render him persona non grata.
12 Sin Cara
We know, we know. There are probably some readers who are crinkling their foreheads, laughing at our stupidity as Sin Cara can be seen as part of the WWE Raw roster. Don’t worry, we haven’t lost our minds, we realize there is a version of the character still appearing for the company but we’re talking about the man who originally embodied him, who was also once known as Místico. An immensely skilled Lucha Libre star that turned himself into one of Mexico’s biggest wrestlers, when he signed a WWE contract it was one of their biggest Latino acquisitions ever. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out as intended.
Suffering injuries, violating the wellness policy, and rubbing many of his coworkers the wrong way, according to reports, the man that many felt could become a big difference maker was gone. Lasting just over three years, he has blamed his underwhelming run on the WWE’s insistence that he change up his style to match theirs. Meanwhile, reports say his egotistical attitude and inability to back it up in-ring doomed his run. No matter what the reason, the fact that the WWE evidently felt that they could just give another wrestler his role, despite a proven track record of success, is all the proof we need of how they view him.
11 Kid Kash
Kid Kash debuted in ECW all the way back in 1996 and ever since that time he has seemed like somebody who should be a much larger star. Fantastic in the ring and infinitely hateable on the mic, he has always been somebody who fans love to see lose and get his. That is why most of the people who have seen how incredible he is at entertaining fans have felt disappointed by the fact that his run in the WWE, which lasted just over a year didn’t amount to much.
Perhaps, the reason he was there such a short period of time and has been all but erased from WWE history is because a lot of his peers have revealed that he is difficult to deal with. Reportedly, the reason that he is so good at coming off as a jerk while portraying his character is because his true personality isn’t far removed from what we see on TV. Looking for confirmation? How about the fact that he said he wanted to break Owen Hart’s neck in 2012 and while it was said during a wrestling show, that caliber of comment is disgusting no matter the context.
10 Juventud Guerrera
From one talented Cruiserweight to another, Juvi was able to stand out in the heyday of WCW’s division, even amongst some of the most talented workers in the world. Only acknowledged by the WWE since they unceremoniously released him in 2006 with a where is he now feature on their website, we would be extremely shocked if they ever did business with him again.
A former five-time Cruiserweight champion who has a history of erratic behaviour, WCW released him after an incident on an international tour where he was found naked and screaming in his hotel. Given the Axe by the WWE after he supposedly regularly came to venues late, was a troublemaker and took liberties in a match with our previous entry, Kid Kash, he was gone and quickly forgotten. If only he could have held it together, he certainly would have provided a bevy of awesome matches and entertaining promos.
9 Ken Shamrock
At one time billed as “The World’s Most Dangerous Man”, Ken brought credibility to the industry that has only been eclipsed by the likes of Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar since. A former UFC standout that is remembered for rivalries with Royce Gracie and Dan Severn, he has been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and took part in some of the company’s biggest fights ever, against Tito Ortiz. Conversely, the other company he is most identified with, the WWE just seems to want him to go away. Despite the fact that he had a pivotal role in one of the best matches ever, Austin vs. Hart at WrestleMania 13, on top of having a pretty great run in the company himself.
Speaking to the fact that he is not on speaking terms with his former bosses, in 2015, Ken said he has “reached out several times and never got a response”. Ken has also said “I’m not sure what I did” and frankly, we don’t get it at all, but one thing is very clear, Shamrock’s phone won’t be ringing anytime soon.
8 Chris Hero/Kassius Ohno
In recent years, the WWE has raided the independents more effectively than they have since the national expansion. Signing the cream of the crop, men like Finn Bálor, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro, Samoa Joe, and Shinsuke Nakamura are only a few of the many indies darlings that have proven the policy a success. Then there is Chris Hero, a wrestler that pretty much everyone thought was going to be a huge deal, he amounted to very little before parting ways and making his way back down to the independents.
Given an awful name, Kassius Ohno because he had a KO punch (get it?), he was under contract for a relatively measly two years and never made his main roster debut. A six foot four wrestler who could be relied upon to have a good match with anyone and who’d spent years building the type of reputation today’s fans love, we were left scratching our heads as to what went wrong. Evidently WWE power brokers didn’t appreciate his physique and after he didn’t shape up, even though they encouraged him to do so, it was a big deal. Gone from the company today, the lack of respect they showed him during his tenure makes it seem incredibly unlikely that they will ever show any interest in him again. Hopefully, we’re wrong about this one.
Starting out in the industry all the way back in 1988, the man once known as the manager Johnny Polo completely remade himself during the Attitude Era and became the prototypical grunge wrestler. Starting out this new character as a part of ECW, he would also find huge success in WCW as the leader of a cult-like faction known as The Flock, a group that appeared in both companies. His character fit the moment in pop culture to perfection and still has a lot of fans today, many years later. A fantastic persona, most people rejoiced when he was hired by the WWE but they couldn’t have known how lackluster his run would be.
Used as a glorified jobber, the fact that he won the Hardcore title twenty-seven times may sound impressive but some reigns lasted mere minutes and the belt meant next to nothing. That isn’t reason enough for a wrestler to be included here, though and the reason they want nothing to do with him was Raven’s decision to sue them. There have been a few wrestlers who’ve been able to get hired again after suing Vince, but you need to be a difference maker like Brock or Sable, or the talk of the world like Jesse Ventura for that to happen.
6 “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka
One of the people who were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame long before the honor became what it is today; Jimmy Snuka at one time was a beloved and popular figure. Remembered for his tremendous agility and fearlessness, his Superfly splash is the thing of legend and helped inspire the more acrobatic version of wrestling that is popular today. Performing in the ring at WrestleMania XXV while he was in his mid-sixties, there was a time where Snuka was a go to figure whenever the WWE wanted to bring in a star from the past. That is to say nothing, about the fact that two of his children, going under the monikers Deuce and Tamina Snuka, have worked for the company in recent years.
So, what could go so wrong that the company that so thoroughly embraced him in the past would now distance themselves from him? Being charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter is more than enough to inspire such a change of perspective.
5 Gail Kim
When Gail Kim made her debut on WWE television in 2003, she took part in a battle royal for the WWE Women’s Championship and walked out with the belt around her waist. From such a momentous beginning sprang a career that has served as one of the best examples of the WWE’s history of squandering talented workers. Used far better by TNA, one of the very few people that can be said about, Gail’s had two runs in the WWE, both of which amounted to very little. In fact, when she returned to the WWE, her most memorable contribution was when it was revealed that her character was secretly dating Daniel Bryan, a revelation that was ignored very soon afterwards.
Set to be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame, in response to questions about another return to the WWE she has said she “was made more for TNA”, making it clear she has no interest. That’s ok, though, she also said that her bosses there “made it known that I wasn't one of those beautiful people” and it seems obvious that they are happy she is gone too.
4 Kenny Dykstra
The Spirit Squad, a group of wrestling cheerleaders that were universally hated and used as the pawns of the McMahons during their seemingly never-ending feud with DX. Five guys who found themselves sharing the ring with their boss and two legendary figures, it was a huge opportunity and most believed that one of them, Kenny, was best positioned to take advantage. Fast forward to current day and the only member that remains a star, is now known as Dolph Ziggler and Kenny has made a powerful enemy.
Once engaged to Mickie James, one of the best wrestlers of her generation no matter their gender, when their relationship came to an end, Kenny had an axe for the man he held responsible to grind in public. Seemingly someone who has moved on from the idea of WWE glory, Kenny publically claimed many, many times that his one-time fiancée had cheated on him with John Cena. The biggest WWE star for more than a decade, publically decrying the family friendly star as a scumbag is just about the best way we can think of to ensure you’re gone from the fold forever.
3 Jeff Jarrett
When the WWE bought WCW there was at least one name that pretty much everyone knew would likely never be brought back, Jeff Jarrett. Someone who’d allegedly forced the WWE to pay him a princely sum (some say three hundred thousand) for a single match. The WWE had messed up and left the Intercontinental title on him after his contract was up and he supposedly took full advantage. Also said to be disliked by the likes of Steve Austin and Jim Ross, two men who at one time had a huge influence on the WWE, Jeff seems to have burned a lot of bridges during his time.
Throw in the fact that he founded TNA and you have an equation that makes inclusion on a list like this a given. For those of you who think that his involvement in TNA should have no impact, as they’ve never managed to even come close to actually competing with Vince, we think you’re half right. Under normal circumstances, we’re guessing that it would indeed mean very little to Mr. McMahon but we can easily see there being some confirmation bias. By that we mean there is already evidence that Vince has a grudge against Jeff so founding TNA could just throw fuel onto an already burning flame.
2 The Dynamite Kid
There was a time when The Dynamite Kid was considered by some to be the best high-flier in the world. A former WWF Tag Team Champion, as one-half of The British Bulldogs a team that was named the best in the world by the Wrestling Observer, they took part in a legendary feud with The Hart Foundation. Muscular and athletic in equal measure, men like Dave Meltzer and Bret Hart consider him to be one of wrestling’s most influential performers because of his groundbreaking style. In short, Dynamite was everything that fans loved about wrestling and deserves all kinds of acclaim.
Except, he is a nasty man whose wife has said she “contemplated ending it for myself, my kids, and the baby growing inside of me” because of the way he treated her when his career came to an end. Suffering a debilitating back injury that has left him living his life in a wheelchair, he still has a lot of fans of his past but it seems as though most people, WWE included, would prefer to leave him there.
1 CM Punk
Ok, ok, of course, the WWE is still happy to monetize the years of appearances and matches Punk contributed to their past but that doesn’t mean they want anything to do with the man today. Currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the man who is the longest running world champion they’ve had in the last twenty-five years, Punk, of course, there is a level of spite in their relationship that is amazing.
A case revolving around an interview CM gave on his best friend Colt Cabana’ podcast months after he and the WWE parted ways, they took offence to his statements and began the legal proceedings. That isn’t too shocking as slander and libel lawsuits happen all the time but the fact that they went a step further and included his buddy who made no such claims in the suit says a lot. Then there is the fact that Punk claims that they sent him his walking papers on the day of his wedding, also saying they were well informed the event was happening on that day. Things between Punk and the WWE look awfully nasty. We’re not saying that it is impossible these two entities could work together in some manner in the future. We are saying that both Punk and the WWE would have to undergo a dramatic change of opinion.