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.
Most fans who follow the independent wrestling circle will be familiar with the otherwise very talented Teddy Hart’s notorious temper issues. Teddy has become known as reckless and his anger problems have seen him involved in many a confrontation with his fellow wrestlers. Teddy worked briefly for WWE years ago but was let go due to his infamous attitude. He’s remained in the public eye by competing consistently on the indie scene and has recently given interviews during which he has challenged Triple H to bring him to NXT as a competitor.
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.
That shot fell through, however, when the company released her for reported attitude problems. Rumor has it Ivelisse was constantly complaining that she shouldn’t need to undergo training and should have already been competing with the elite on Raw and SmackDown. She still has a huge following, however, and is more popular than ever due to her appearances alongside the likes of Son of Havoc and Angelico on Lucha Underground, where she still competes.
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.
Juventud was not happy to be losing a Cruiserweight Championship match one night to his opponent, Kid Kash, and proceeded to tank the match by attempting to make Kash look bad and by performing moves he was previously instructed to stay away from. He was fired following that incident and went on to wrestle for independent organizations.
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.
Bill DeMott had become the head trainer for NXT, WWE’s developmental territory, which has produced nearly all of the company’s biggest stars in recent years. In 2015, allegations came to light from former employees that DeMott had been verbally abusive and quite offensive in his training methods. This led to the company parting ways with him, though he remains in the public eye, particularly working to put an end to drunken driving as seen on his Twitter account.
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.
Kurt Angle was a staple on WWE SmackDown for many years until he was moved to the newly revived ECW in 2006. It was around this time that Kurt was asked to enter rehabilitation for a substance abuse problem, which he outright refused so the company was forced to let him go. He remained active in wrestling, competing for TNA for an entire decade before leaving that company as well in 2016. Angle seems to be clean now and has expressed a desire to return to WWE for his retirement.
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.
Paul London’s attitude problems eventually led to his release from WWE and the two parties have not been on the best of terms since then. London has stated that he believes WWE to be a horrible place to work and doesn’t seem to have any interest in renewing the relationship. He remains active in wrestling and, in 2016, he began working with the popular Lucha Underground promotion.
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.
Her moments of glory would not last long, however, as her knack for causing drama, especially among her fellow female employees, eventually got her into some hot water and she was released from her WWE contract. Stacy Carter remains active on social media today and is vocal about her vegan diet and love of animals. She continues to talk wrestling as well, recently appearing on Jim Ross’s podcast.
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.
But substance abuse issues and a problem with showing up late for shows cost Jeff his spot in the biggest wrestling company in the world, and though the relationship is not bad and he’ll possibly return to work for Vince McMahon someday, that day is not currently on the horizon. Today Jeff competes for TNA where he has wrestled for several years and is one of their more popular acts, naturally.
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.
His release came following an incident at a non televised WWE show during which Maddox used some language the company found to be inappropriate for its family friendly audience. He never found his footing in WWE despite being a talented grappler, but he continues to compete on the independent circuit under his altered ring name Mad Braddox.
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.
After Punk sat at home refusing to come to work for many months, WWE sent him his severance papers on the day of his wedding to former WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee. Punk has never looked back and recently made his mixed martial arts debut with UFC, though he suffered a loss. It is unknown if he will continue to pursue his MMA career, but he has also taken up comic book writing since retiring from wrestling.
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.
In 2016, she was suspiciously released after she publicly showed her support for some criticism of WWE made by Ryback, a fellow WWE Superstar who would soon be released from his own contract. While it can’t be proven, the general consensus seemed to be that Cameron was released due to her support of Ryback and other past comments the outspoken Diva had made. Today Cameron – whose real name is Ariane Andrew – is fighting bullying and looking to get into acting.
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.
Though it didn’t last long, Bryan was released for several months following actions he took on live television which did not fit with the PG theme WWE was intent on producing. Of course, he would return and find legendary success, though injuries have forced him to retire from the ring and he currently appears in the role of the SmackDown Live General Manager.
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.
Melina was seemingly always tied up in one drama or another with her fellow female performers and was even said to have been causing lots of problems related to a relationship with Batista. The company eventually released her, reportedly for attitude issues, but she has returned to compete on the independent circuit in 2016 following an absence from the ring.
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.
In 2014, Alberto Del Rio had begun to fall into the background on WWE television and things were about to sink even lower when he struck a coworker backstage for making racist comments about him. Following this incident he was released from his WWE contract due to unprofessional behavior, but he did not falter, returning almost instantly to the independent wrestling scene and even coming back to WWE around a year later. He has now left WWE once again and has gotten engaged to WWE Diva Paige.
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.