Wrestling isn’t a team sport, which means that the tension doesn’t only exist on-screen. In fact, many stars actually are competing against each other for screen time. There are a number of WWE stars who have taken the business far too seriously and their rise to the top has only been at the expense of other stars. Many wrestlers over the past few years have been the ones held accountable for destroying the careers of other stars in the company at the same time they were having their careers blossom.
Many WWE stars have been fired or even released from the company over the past few years because of the interference of another wrestler. There are also many stars who weren’t released by the company, but they were buried because someone much higher up the food chain took an instant dislike to them and wanted to ensure they didn’t get very far as a superstar. Sadly, that’s the way it works in big companies like WWE because bigger stars have a pull with WWE officials backstage so they can make things happen by just asking. The company would much rather keep a big name draw happy than treat everybody equally and risk losing one of their biggest money makers.
The following list looks at just 15 WWE stars whose career was ruined by another superstar. Sometimes the fallout from this was inadvertent and sometimes these careers were destroyed on purpose.
Vader made his WWE debut at The Royal Rumble back in 1996 and the company attempted to build him into the next big monster character. Vader went on to face Shawn Michaels back at SummerSlam later that year where the company was hoping to put The WWF Championship on to the heavyweight.
Michaels and The Kliq had a lot of pull backstage in those days and Michaels managed to change the company’s mind about him dropping the title. Instead, Vader won the match via count out and then by disqualification which meant that he never won the Championship. Vader’s monster push was put behind him and even though he did go on to have a number of memorable feuds with other superstars, Vader went on to leave the company back in 1998 and is only remembered by a handful of wrestling fans for his short stint in WWE thanks to Michaels’ backstage politics.
14. Mr Kennedy
Mr Kennedy is perhaps better remembered for his time in TNA than his stint in WWE at this point, and that comes mostly down to Randy Orton. Kennedy had a much larger than life character while he was part of WWE and was seemingly being pushed towards the main event picture as a former Mr Money In The Bank. All of that changed when he annoyed The Viper.
The duo were in a tag team match when Kennedy hit Orton with a back suplex and the former World Champion then claimed that he could have been injured from this move even though Kennedy had delivered it properly. Orton went backstage and got Kennedy fired when he gave the company an ultimatum. While he did go on to a career in Impact Wrestling, his wrestling career was doomed from the start.
Cameron was brought up to the main roster merely months after she was signed to NXT so she was always lacking in experience. It seems that the company overlooked this because she had a background in dance, which was something that was needed for her to be able to partner with Naomi in The Funkadactyls.
When the duo split up and Cameron had already shown who she really was on Total Divas, the writing was already on the wall. When Cameron agreed with the comments that Ryback was making following his WWE exit, the company decided that they didn’t need any more troublemakers and promptly released Cameron. Her exit is something that many fans have since blamed on Ryback. The former Funkadactyl hasn’t wrestled since her release and has instead opted for a switch in career.
12. CM Punk
CM Punk is still in WWE’s history books as the longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern ear following his 434-day reign that ended at the 2012 Royal Rumble, but it was his actions two years later following his departure in 2014 that he will always be remembered for.
Punk walked away from the company because he was told that he was facing Triple H at WrestleMania and it wouldn’t be part of the main event. Punk and Triple H had a number of problems throughout their time working together and these issues were touched on as part of their on-screen feud but it was never fully exposed. Punk hasn’t returned to wrestling in almost four years because of what Triple H put him through and has vowed that he will never return to WWE.
11. John Morrison
John Morrison was one of the most under-utilized wrestlers in the company when he was brought in back in 2005 as part of MNM. Things didn’t improve for Morrison since WWE had no idea what to do with someone with his unique skill set.
The biggest problem that Morrison had in his career was his own girlfriend, Melina. She was released from the company a few months before him and was the reason that WWE decided that Morrison should follow her out the door because he kept bringing her back and allowing her to remain in the locker room. Morrison has gone on to have a successful career in Lucha Underground and has vowed never to return to WWE even though he finally broke up with Melina back in 2015.
10. Rich Brennan
Rich Brennan wasn’t a wrestler like many other stars on this list, but he was a recognisable face on the SmackDown brand and became a regular as a commentator on the Tuesday night show. That was until WWE wanted to put Tom Phillips in his position and he was only too happy to bury the former broadcaster in order to make a point.
Rich’s wife has revealed all the details of this as part of her many Twitter rants aimed at Tom Phillips, who apparently is happy to bury whoever he needs to in order to remain in his current position. According to Brennan’s wife, WWE is less about how well you can do your job and more about who you’re willing to step on en route to the top.
9. Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio has been public enemy number one over the past year ever since he made his relationship with Paige public knowledge. Not only was Del Rio released from WWE, but after a number of public arguments, the former Divas Champion began to affect the way he was booked by independent companies and her family’s UK based promotion even stripped him of his Championship.
Even though Del Rio was never charged following his arrest earlier this year, it seems that this has affected the way that many fans view the former World Champion. Paige and The Mexican star have since gone their separate ways, but it seems that fans are finding it hard to forget the past two years when it comes to Del Rio, but they are happy to forgive and forget Paige’s part in this now that she has returned to the company.
8. Alex Riley
Alex Riley will probably be best remembered for his time in NXT as The Miz’s rookie in Season two, before he became the muscle alongside The Awesome star for a number of months and completely failed when he tried to make it as a singles star.
Riley blames most of his problems in WWE on John Cena and the fact that the former World Champion took an instant dislike to Riley before he did everything to sabotage his career which even included talking about him backstage to other stars. Many stars have backed up Riley’s story about Cena, since they thought the former Champion was coming down quite hard on Riley for no reason most of the time. Riley has since been released from WWE and was part of Netflix show GLOW’s first season earlier this year.
7. Mad Lady Maxine
There are a number of female wrestlers who could claim that The Fabulous Moolah ruined their career, but it seems that Mad Maxine has the most evidence for this. Moolah was only one of the biggest stars in women’s wrestling back in her day because she managed to corrupt the system and had a hold over a number of women who were part of the business at that time.
Moolah only had to demand something and she was given it. This was the case with Mad Maxine when Moolah saw that the 6ft tall star could be the next big star, this made her feel threatened so she had Maxine taken off TV by claiming that she wasn’t ready. Maxine was taken off TV and left the company shortly afterwards, which allowed Moolah to go on to become a history-making Champion in the company under deceptive circumstances.
Chyna was once seen as the Ninth Wonder of the World and the first woman to lift the Intercontinental Championship, despite this she was still considered disposable to WWE when push came to shove.
The story behind Chyna’s release from WWE has become one of the best-told tales in WWE over the past few decades but in short, Triple H was dating Chyna and had an affair with Stephanie McMahon before Triple H decided to break up with his girlfriend and begin a public relationship with the boss’s daughter. Chyna lost her job because of her reaction to the betrayal, but it wasn’t only her career that ended that day, it seems that this was one of the things that ended up destroying the former Women’s Champion’s life as well.
5. Simon Gotch
Simon Gotch was a former NXT Tag Team Champion as part of The Vaudevillians, before he was called up to the main roster and like many other former NXT stars, he was completely wasted.
Gotch had a number of issues backstage which included a fight with both in Sin Cara and his own tag team partner Aiden English. It was reported that Gotch was dangerous in the ring and even his partner didn’t want to work with him anymore, which left WWE with no choice but to release the former NXT star from his contract following WrestleMania back in April. Gotch chose the wrong best friend this time. Gotch hasn’t been as successful on the Independent Circuit as many thought he would be since his release either.
4. Jim Ross
Jim Ross is a legend in WWE circles and even though he was never a wrestler, he is widely considered to be the voice of wrestling. Ross was a popular commentator alongside Jerry Lawler for a number of years before one mistake led to WWE releasing him from the company.
Ric Flair’s emotions got the better of him back in 2013 following the death of his son Reid and he expressed them as part of a panel promoting the WWE 2K14 video game. Ross was the announcer who was presenting the panel at the time and because he didn’t stop Flair’s drunken ramblings, the company blamed him and decided to release him. It was in no way Ross’s fault, but it seems that the company has sorted their issues out in recent years and Ross was able to return to the company to call Undertaker’s final match at WrestleMania 33 back in April.
3. Zahra Schreiber
Zahra Schreiber was happily training under the radar at the WWE Performance Centre before she was brought into the scandal with WWE World Champion Seth Rollins and his fiance.
Personal photos of Zahra were leaked online as part of this scandal before the couple then began publicly dating and many of the WWE Universe blamed Zahra for breaking up Leighla and Rollins’ five-year engagement. WWE fans then managed to dig up historic Instagram posts that WWE didn’t agree with which lead to Zahra being released from the company. Most recently it was noted that she was working as a merch girl for Chris Jericho’s band Fozzy, but it could be argued that if she was never dragged into Rollins’ personal life then she could still have a job in WWE.
2. Kenny Dykstra
Former Spirit Squad member Kenny Dykstra didn’t do a lot wrong during his time in WWE, except perhaps falling for the wrong woman. Kenny was engaged to Mickie James back in 2007 before her fiancee began an affair with John Cena.
Kenny then found out about this affair and obviously didn’t react too well. Cena had a lot of pull in the company at this time and was easily able to get Kenny fired from the company so that he didn’t have to deal with him. He also had Mickie moved over to the SmackDown roster and was apparently the brains behind the “Piggie James” angle before Mickie was eventually released. Kenny still blames Cena for prematurely ending his career in WWE, something that he isn’t likely to forgive and forget anytime soon.
Maxine is a former WWE superstar that many fans won’t even remember, Maxine was part of NXT back when it was being presented in a game show format that was later won by Kaitlyn. It was reported that Maxine came up with an idea for a gimmick and even a way to debut on the main roster, but that was then stolen by Triple H and given to Aksana.
Triple H apparently discovered the company’s first Lithuanian female wrestler and was happy to give her the idea that Maxine had shared and leave the former NXT star with no ideas moving forward. Maxine was later released from the company and has since been successful in Lucha Underground under the ring name Catrina so it seems that even though Triple H ruined her WWE career, he helped her to move on to a better and perhaps much more stable career instead.
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