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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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