In May, both Cody Rhodes and Aaron Haddad (WWE’s Damion Sandow) asked to be released and their request was granted by WWE. We believe the disgruntled superstars clashed with creative and a lack of direction for their characters. With an enormous wealth of talented performers on the roster, it’s no surprise that they got lost in the shuffle and faded into obscurity.
Losing your job might be the toughest challenge you have to go through, but for Rhodes and Haddad, leaving the WWE could be the best thing for their careers. We live in a great time to be wrestling fans. Everyone knows of the WWE but a global wrestling revolution has taken root because the internet allows us to watch different promotions all around the world. From New Japan Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Noah, and Dragon Gate in Japan, to Asistencia Asesoría y Administración and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre in Mexico, wrestlers have a lot of options. Let us not forget in the States, you have Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Lucha Underground (an extension of AAA), Ring of Honor, and TNA Impact Wrestling as destinations for wrestlers leaving the WWE.
A lot of these promotions are the complete opposite of the WWE in regards to structure, work flow, creativity, and in-ring action, which can be a benefit to these superstars who leave the big show. What’s the saying? One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. What if Rhodes becomes the biggest thing outside of the WWE? Is it plausible, yes, will it happen, maybe not, but the fact of the matter is there’s success beyond the WWE.
We live in a time where every match can be streamed or uploaded in due time. This is a reason why these “indie” and global promotions have become popular over the years. So don’t be surprised if your favorite wrestler ends up asking for his or her walking papers. Just know that it won’t be the end of their career and they may have a brighter future ahead.
16 Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio’s track record for success after leaving the WWE is widely known and it wouldn’t change if he departed from the company today. In August 2014, Del Rio was involved in an altercation with then WWE's Manager of Social Media Live Events, Cody Barbierri. The incident led to the termination of Del Rio’s contract and he would return to AAA as El Patrón. It didn’t take long for him to feud with the top guy in the promotion, beating El Texano Jr. for the AAA Mega Championship in Dec. He would work for other promotions such as World Wrestling Council, ROH and Lucha Underground before coming back to the WWE in late 2015.
15 Sin Cara
14 Zack Ryder
13 Jack Swagger
12 The Ascension
10 Mark Henry
9 Curtis Axel
7 Tyler Breeze
5 Hideo Itami
4 Luke Harper
3 Dolph Ziggler
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