As massive a global operation as World Wrestling Entertainment has become and as many decades of history behind it as it has, it is simply no wonder why there have been such vast quantities of professional wrestlers cycling in and out of the company on a near constant basis. There have been many times more WWE employees over the years than the number of those remembered by the larger portion of wrestling fans and not all of those who have left the wrestling world behind have done so under positive circumstances.
There are so many reasons why an individual might move on from WWE aside from a simple retirement. Plenty of WWE Superstars were handed the pink slip because they had taken their careers as far as it seemed possible and done all they could do for the company, or perhaps those wrestlers decided WWE was not the place for them anymore and chose to move to other organizations. Other reasons for a WWE release could be violations of the wellness policy, which is in place to ensure Superstars don’t fall victim to substance abuse.
But then you have those men and women who just cannot seem to get their acts together. The world of pro wrestling is certainly no stranger to the plague of attitude problems among employees who are, by nature, very competitive animals. From picking fights and ignoring advice to breaking the rules or just being downright offensive, here are fifteen wrestlers who were let go from WWE due to attitude problems and what they’re up to in 2016.
15 Teddy Hart
Any wrestling fan in the world can tell the names of at least three members of the extensive and legendary Hart family. Names like Bret “Hitman” Hart, Owen Hart, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and Natalya among others are all associated with that name and most of them are either current or future WWE Hall of Fame inductees. One member of that family who may never even see the light of day in WWE ever again, however, is the ever controversial Teddy Hart.
For many years many of the most popular and talented female wrestlers in the world were not signed on to WWE contracts, but instead floated around the independent wrestling circuit. One of the most popular of those women, especially now that WWE has embraced women’s wrestling and finally brought many of them on board, is Ivelisse. Ivelisse has been admired as a woman of remarkable talent for years and actually once had a shot at WWE.
13 Juventud Guerrera
Juventud Guerrera was one of the biggest stars in the original Cruiserweight division of World Championship Wrestling. His eccentric personality and natural charisma had the audience easily behind him and that was even before he stepped into the ring to showcase his amazing lucha libre talents. He brought those skills to WWE in the early 2000s in that company’s own version of the Cruiserweight division on SmackDown and had some success until his poor attitude saw the dissolution of the working relationship.
12 Bill DeMott
As Hugh Morris in World Championship Wrestling, Bill DeMott was not what can be referred to as a main event star in the 1990s, but certainly a consistent part of the wrestling act. He also popularly portrayed the comically named General Hugh G. Rection before the company went under and Vince McMahon bought out his competition. DeMott briefly competed for WWE after the purchase, but eventually retired and found himself in a role behind the scenes.
11 Kurt Angle
The Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle saw a meteoric rise to main event status when he debuted for the WWE in 1999. He was a goofy, overly confident type of character and no one expected him to pick up a lot of wins in his wrestling career, let alone go on to defeat The Rock for the WWE World Championship within the span of around a year. Angle went on to many more World Championship reigns and became one of the most dominant WWE Superstars of all time.
10 Paul London
One of the most popular Cruiserweight Champions of the 2000s when WWE revived the division made famous by World Championship Wrestling was Paul London. This title reign was London’s first taste of glory, though things would go up from there when he teamed with Brian Kendrick and the two enjoyed one of the longest WWE World Tag Team Championship reigns in the history of the company. Once that team split up and London went on to a solo career, however, things fell apart.
9 Stacy “The Kat” Carter
She may not have been the most talented wrestler, but Stacy Carter gave male wrestling fans a whole lot of moments to fondly remember her for. Carter originally played Miss Kitty, an associate of Jeff Jarrett and Miss Debra, before that act finished playing out and she moved on to the side of the legendary Chyna and eventually went on to win the Women’s Championship when she started referring to herself as The Kat. She famously removed her top on live pay per view in 1999, shocking fans everywhere.
8 Jeff Hardy
It is a common occurrence for a WWE Superstar to shoot for the skies these days, as high flying styles not only dominate at times, they’re often expected of up and coming wrestling stars. Truly, it’s an infectious and exciting style, but it’s quite possible that if there’s one man we have to thank for the rise of the daredevil, it’s Jeff Hardy. Jeff and his brother Matt helped revolutionize tag team wrestling during the Attitude Era and Jeff in particular never seemed to have his feet on the ground.
7 Brad Maddox
To say you might have missed Brad Maddox if you had blinked wouldn’t quite be fair, as he was actually on WWE television for a decent amount of time. Unfortunately his role was a forgettable one which saw him play the least exciting authority figure since Mike Adamle. Before falling into that particular position, Brad was involved in a storyline with Ryback which saw Brad, as a referee, screw Ryback out of a win against CM Punk inside Hell in a Cell. His alignment with Vickie Guerrero while running Raw was essentially the highlight of his WWE career.
6 CM Punk
CM Punk is the topic of a discussion wrestling fans have beaten into the ground over and over again. Punk is a main who lit the independent wrestling world on fire before coming to WWE and who nearly fell victim to predictable misuse by the company. The audience was so well behind Punk that the company did eventually cave and give the man the longest WWE World Championship reign in decades, but what he felt was negligence and a lack of appreciation of his talents led Punk to bail on the company and wrestling as a whole in 2014.
As a WWE Diva, Cameron left a lot to be desired as it relates to her accomplishments. She was filled with charisma and certainly had the smoking hot looks required of a Diva, as evidenced during her time alongside Naomi when those two were referred to as The Funkadactyls. But the dancing skills she exhibited during that time wouldn’t help her in the ring and, even after years of training, Cameron still couldn’t seem to hold her own as a professional wrestler.
4 Daniel Bryan
Though Daniel Bryan was developing a passionate following on the independent wrestling scene for many years before coming to WWE, nothing could have prepared him for the legions of fans he would acquire during his time working for Vince McMahon. Few could have predicted his future successes when it was obvious from early on that the company didn’t initially see much in him, but even fewer could have known Bryan would become one of the most popular WWE World Champions in recent memory, especially after being released early in his time with the company.
Melina Perez first appeared for WWE as the manager for Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury. Together, the team was known as MNM and they would have a memorable run in the WWE Tag Team division, but Melina’s contributions to WWE would not be limited to a ringside role. She would make the transition to a full time competitor in the Divas division and enjoy many runs with the Women’s and Divas Championships, but if rumors are to be believed, she carried herself with an attitude that would ultimately be her downfall.
2 Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio was thrust into the main event spotlight essentially from the onset of his debut with World Wrestling Entertainment. He became a regular on the SmackDown brand for years and enjoyed many runs as the WWE World Champion, though he was just as well known for his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio was a natural heel, as was evidenced by the brief and much less impressive run he had as a face.
1 Hulk Hogan
It’s impossible to know for certain, but it can be argued that we wouldn’t even be able to enjoy professional wrestling on a mainstream platform in 2016 if it weren’t for the monstrous appeal of one Hulk Hogan in the 1980s. As Vince McMahon took the WWE national with the first WrestleMania and continued to expand it into a global phenomenon, Hulk Hogan essentially carried the weight of the entire company on his back and almost single-handedly made history.
Hogan’s contributions to the wrestling industry have spanned over three decades, but this does not make him immune to controversy. In 2015, some racist and homophobic remarks Hogan had previously made came to light and WWE was forced to sever ties with the Hall of Famer, releasing him from his contract and wiping their website of nearly all mentions of him. Today he is active on Twitter and still makes public appearances, and there have even been rumors about a possible renewal of his working relationship with WWE.
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