Folks have learned to “never say never” with WWE and guys coming back. Bret Hart, Kurt Angle and Ultimate Warrior were three folks most assumed would never return to WWE but have. True, some have burned bridges with Vince over the years but still a chance for returns. That’s more true for Triple H when he inevitably takes over as he won’t have the same beefs with guys Vince does. Even Hulk Hogan could get a return with time going by because of all he’s done for the company and Triple H seems open to others to come back. Triple H is now in charge of all talent so it's usually Triple H's idea as to who gets a WWE contract. Of course, Vince still gets final say.
But like Vince, Triple H has a major list of folks whose beefs are way too much for him to ignore. Some are personal, others more business oriented but they’ve all done something to anger Hunter and make it highly unlikely he’ll ever bring them back. In some cases, it’s guys most folks hate anyhow while others are ones fans would love to see come back to WWE. However, if Hunter is in charge, it’s unlikely he’ll overcome his own feelings to get them back under any circumstances. Here are 15 people who are highly unlikely to be brought back under a Hunter-led WWE and how, like Vince, crossing Triple H has its consequences.
15 Mike Adamle
Not a wrestler but obviously a guy WWE and Hunter would never want back. Adamle had a good reputation as a sportscaster so hiring him as an announcer made some sense. But from the moment he called Jeff Hardy “Jeff Harvey,” it was all downhill. If Adamle wasn’t botching names for workers and moves, he was making lame jokes (“You Jamaican me crazy!”) and driving fans nuts. Vince McMahon somehow thought that the heat would make Adamle a fun choice to be the RAW General manager. That backfired big time, fans hating his ideas like “The Adamle Originals” and the whole thing a joke.
Fans were overjoyed when he was let go and even WWE poke fun at his tenure. While Adamle is getting sympathy for his battles with health, that bad rep is a key reason Hunter will never want this guy back with the company.
Melina Perez was a true breakout, going from just a manager to a great in-ring performer. Not just the usual “costume” hijinks, Melina could work a good match and had a fun time. But her exit was under harsh circumstances with talk of her massive ego backstage and how she was made to cry during a “wrestler’s court” trial. Her backstage affairs with Batista and others didn’t help her case either. While the woman wowed with her great split-leg entrance and looking amazing, that attitude didn’t win her friends and thus few tears were shed when she left.
It’s been added onto by her bad-mouthing the company, once tweeting she wanted to puke seeing Triple H in public. Despite how her return would be great for the current women’s division, Hunter may not want someone who claims he makes her sick.
13 AJ Lee
It’s a shame a return is unlikely given the fact that Lee helped pave the way for the “Divas Revolution.” While the other ladies were doing their usual antics, Lee cut through for a long reign as champion, focusing on in-ring action more than sexy stuff. A geek gal fans loved, she was a great worker, fantastic with promos and truly winning over. But her connection to CM Punk hurts her in Triple H’s eyes. The fact the woman is amazingly outspoken and slamming Hunter and Stephanie a lot as well as WWE as a whole doesn’t make her many friends in the company. It’s highly unlikely Lee would want to come back anyhow given her release and the ugly circumstances but even with the push she’d give to the women’s division, Hunter is not likely to bring her back.
12 Bill DeMott
Better known as Hugh Morrus, DeMott was a tough guy in WCW who got himself over with some tag titles. Retiring, DeMott took a job as a trainer for WWE’s developmental systems. He handled the booking for the ill-fated Deep South Wrestling where accusations of abuse led to him let go. He did make a return on Tough Enough and among the first trainers for NXT. At first, his work seemed okay but then more wrestlers came forward talking openly about DeMott openly abusing his workers, male and female and risking injury. That was combined with accusations of him making racist and sexist remarks and dangerous stunts these rookies were unprepared for. It was a bad move for the early NXT and something Triple H had to overcome. DeMott was fired and thus a guy who quite clearly Hunter never wants to touch with a ten foot pole.
This one may be a surprise. After years of being slammed for his selfish behavior, Triple H silenced critics in 2005 by not only dropping the World title to Batista but putting him over in their rematches. For a guy who got into wrestling late, Batista did a great job, a major star and it was well known he and Hunter were buddies. But somewhere along the way, things went badly, probably just before Batista’s first walk-out on the company. Folks aren’t sure of what but when Batista returned in 2014, he was under the impression Triple H would support him all the way in another title run. Instead, Hunter realized the fans wanted Daniel Bryan and thus put him over instead.
Batista was not happy and his anger led to a short run and leaving the company again. Batista has spoken out on Hunter and his “selfish” attitude and made it clear he’s much happier in Hollywood. While Batista’s star power could help with an appearance, it’s unlikely that Hunter gets over their newfound bad blood to hire him back.
10 Zahra Schreiber
She’s not as famous in the ring as others on this list but her escapades got her some major press. The NXT diva was known for her great look with tattoos, sexy outfits and hot hair. She started off as one of Adam Rose’s Rosebuds and then an announcer while recovering from an injury. She was getting a push as a manager and the fact she was dating Seth Rollins got her a bit of a push. But then came the infamous photos and posts from her past of herself with Nazi memorabilia and making racist remarks. That led to her fast firing and WWE coming down harder on social media postings by their workers. While she has apologized, it’s highly unlikely Triple H will ever want her back as her firing was an embarrassment to NXT and, like Vince, Hunter isn’t one to forgive something so bad.
This is a surprising as Ryback has said he was a big fan of Triple H getting into the business. The former Skip Sheffield had a good start but an ankle injury hurt his standing and reports he was going to be released. He kept at it and repackaged into Ryback but fans not taking to what came off as a lame Goldberg rip-off. Ryback stated that Hunter openly told him they would have to “pull the plug” on his push as it just wasn’t working to hurt Ryback a lot. This led to slews of arguments over money and ego that shoved the guy down to underwhelming angles before finally leaving.
Since then, relations have gotten worse with Ryback ripping into Hunter on his selfish treatment and not understanding how to run the company. Given that and the failure of his whole act, it’s no shock that Hunter wouldn’t be rolling out the red carpet for Ryback any time soon.
8 Rob Van Dam
RVD is an interesting character. A fantastic worker in his prime and hugely over with his attitude, the guy now has detractors who note he basically hasn’t changed his act or moveset since 1999. Brought on as a star of the Invasion, RVD had many believing he should be WWE champion but Trips came out on top during their feud. This irked Rob who has gone on record slamming Triple on his ego and selfish nature. Of course, it should be pointed out that when RVD did get his shot on top in 2006, it took just a few weeks to ruin it with his arrest for drug possession. RVD did have a turn in TNA, a return to WWE but it ended badly and he’s back on the indies.
RVD is outspoken slamming Hunter a lot on his selfish spotlight-hogging ways and making it clear he’s happier outside of WWE. So it’s no surprise that Hunter wouldn’t want to have RVD back despite his heat.
7 Ken Shamrock
In 1997, the UFC star had a great shot in WWE, bringing in a major push with his fighting style and truly intense in the ring. He and Triple H had some feuds with Hunter coming out on top. Shamrock was not happy with that, his ego wanting him to be more the victor and it led to some clashes backstage. Shamrock doesn’t talk of his WWE tenure in good terms, clearly thinking he should have gotten far more of a push and says Triple H openly hated the idea of putting him over in any way in his WWE tenure. Shamrock is criticized for his own ego and big mouth (calling CM Punk a “spoiled brat”) but his shots on WWE in general and Triple H in particular make it highly unlikely Hunter is ever giving the former UFC groundbreaker another shot with the company.
6 Mr. Kennedy
Ken Kennedy was a guy who had stardom written over him in WWE. He was over with promos, good in the ring and major heat for him. But every time it looked like he was about to get that big push, something happened that ruined it from an injury to a suspension. He was to be named “Vince’s secret son” but it ended abruptly with a suspension and thus hurt his standing. Kennedy was finally let go, heading to TNA to become Mr. Anderson and some success there. He has been up front on not liking his treatment in WWE, thinking he was wrongly suspended and they should have had more faith in him. That includes trashing Triple H for holding him down and not pleased with his leadership skills. While Anderson seems okay in TNA, it’s unlikely Triple H is ready to take him back to WWE after his bad talk on Hunter in the past.
5 Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett has rubbed a lot of guys in wrestling the wrong way with the fact that he thinks he’s a much bigger star than he really is. While talented, Jarrett truly thinks he’s on the level of a Hogan or Flair and carries himself that way. He and Triple H had issues during Jarrett’s WWE run with Jarrett not happy over losing the IC title to Hunter’s then-girlfriend Chyna. When he began TNA, Jarrett went out of his way to slam WWE and often shots at Hunter. For his part, Hunter just ignored Jarrett and TNA in general yet Jarrett continues to toss his weight around in interviews with further trashing of Trips. True, Jarrett’s own time on top of TNA makes Hunter's spotlight-hogging look humble yet it’s unlikely Hunter would ever welcome back a guy who long burned his bridges with WWE.
4 Paul London
A great cruiserweight, London had shown his stuff in the dying days of WCW and then pushed in WWE. He had good runs as a tag team champion with Brian Kendrick but floundered a bit in the singles division. In 2007, London famously was shown smiling during the lead-up to the infamous “Vince blown up” angle and was soon pushed down and fired. Since then, he’s bad-mouthed WWE a lot and several shots on Hunter personally. Most recently, London called out Triple H as a hypocrite for ushering in guys like Kevin Owens who “don’t have the look of a wrestler” while pushing down little guys like London.
Even the recent push of Cruiserweights by the company doesn’t seem to sway him. London further added that Triple H is just using Owens and Finn Balor to “keep himself relevant.” Given all that, despite how great London would be in 205 Live, unlikely Hunter hires him back.
3 Scott Steiner
Hunter was never really a fan of “Big Poppa Pump” during his WCW tenure. Reportedly, he was against hiring Steiner when WCW went under. In 2002, Steiner was finally hired and coming in with a huge push right against Triple H for the World title. Sadly, Steiner was now a mess, totally jacked up and his promos more insane than ever to the point of messing up easy lines. This led to a match at the 2003 Royal Rumble where Steiner was blown up in about thirty seconds and could only perform overhead suplexes. Hunter was clearly upset during the battle and backstage complaining over having to carry Steiner to a terrible bout.
Steiner was fired and basically blackballed from WWE since, a move Triple H no doubt greatly enjoys. There’s little chance of a return, even for a Hall of Fame appearance as Hunter doesn’t want this reminder of one of his worst bouts around. It doesn't help that Steiner's trashed the company every chance he's gotten.
2 Alberto Del Rio
WWE gave Alberto Del Rio plenty of chances to be a star and it just never took. He was a great heel and good in the ring but his personality was just too overbearing for fans to get behind and his constant talk of “destiny” was rough when he had little to back it up. He had plenty of pushes, including a World title run and even a face turn but it never worked. When Del Rio was fired for slapping a guy after a racial slur, he went on record complaining of WWE condoning such behavior and he was a scapegoat. He made a return for another run but it ended with him leaving and he and announcer Ricardo had talked of openly racist attitudes in WWE, including from Triple H. Alberto is now in TNA and seems content there and it’s highly unlikely that after all his shots as well as his bad runs, a return to WWE is coming.
1 CM Punk
A pretty obvious pick. Triple H and Punk had a tense relationship in WWE all the time. While they might have respected each other in the ring, Punk made it clear he was never into Triple H personally and hated the entire WWE product. Hunter wasn’t that happy with Punk’s massive popularity and capped off by the “pipe bomb” of Punk taking shots at Hunter. They had great work in their feud but Punk clearly wasn’t happy with WWE or his direction in the company, leading to his walkout. It was also a personal insult to Triple H, as Punk felt it wasn't worth sticking around to face Triple H at WrestleMania XXX, which was the original plan.
Since then, Punk has slammed the company pretty much every chance he gets, including several nasty shots at both Hunter and Stephanie. So it’s no surprise that Triple H wouldn’t be that eager to have Punk back. Sure, it’d be a pickup in business and a major dose of fan heat. But given their bad blood, it’s just impossible to see either man willing to work with the other and thus Punk is one guy on Triple H's major hate list.