Being a wrestler in the WWE not only means your wrestling, looks, and other skills have to be up to par, but it also probably comes with the very real chance that you'll get fired by Vince McMahon. Thousands of wrestlers have been signed by the company and many have been fired for whatever reason. Whether it’s poor wrestling ability, backstage shenanigans, or just hitting their peak, wrestlers will be hired and released at the whim of the CEO of the WWE.
Every year, typically after WrestleMania, the WWE will fire a group of wrestlers who they deem not worth keeping. Last year we saw the company release wrestlers like Damien Sandow, Hornswoggle, Zeb Colter and several others, so something similar is bound to happen after WrestleMania 33. So with the WWE no longer an immediate option for these wrestlers, where will they go?
Some wrestlers manage to find work in other notable wrestling promotions while other wrestlers have to work smaller promotions to make ends meet. There are even some wrestlers who decide to hang the boots up for good and leave the wrestling business after their time in WWE comes to an end. No one knows what the future holds for the next crop of fired wrestlers, but there are a few educated guesses that can be made.
Therefore, in this article, we'll discuss 15 wrestlers that are most likely to get fired and predict where they'll end up working next in the wrestling business or whether they’ll continue wrestling at all. Enjoy!
15 James Ellsworth - Adrenaline Championship Wrestling
The Chinless Wonder truly captivated the WWE audience last year when he debuted as Braun Strowman’s first local competitor on the Raw after Battleground. The fans were so into him that he was brought back to the company as a member of the SmackDown Live brand and even had matches against the WWE Champion, A.J. Styles.
14 Paige - What Culture Pro Wrestling
Over the past two years, the relationship between Paige and the WWE has seemed to become estranged. She went from one of the top female wrestlers in the company to a side show act who fell to the wayside in favor of The Four Horsewomen and Stephanie McMahon’s Women’s Revolution. Her relationship with Alberto Del Rio caused even more problems as rumors of her being asked to end the relationship by the WWE officials ran rampant. As of now, she's recovering from neck surgery and has been reported to be backstage at Raw, which indicates she may be on her way back. The likeliness of her getting fired is low, but she has violated the Wellness Policy twice. All it would take is one more violation and the company would have to fire her.
13 Primo and Epico - World Wrestling Council
No one can claim that the WWE have not tried to get Primo and Epico over. They’ve given them the Tag Team Championships, a manager, and three different gimmicks in the seven years they’ve been employed by the WWE. For whatever reason, the WWE has tried their best to make these two wrestlers a team that fans would care about, but they just weren’t successful. The closest they ever got to over was when they were Los Matadores, but even that was only interesting because of El Torito.
12 Apollo Crews - Dragon Gate
Apollo Crews has been with the WWE since 2014 and hasn’t really seen much success. He had a few feuds and matches in NXT, but he didn’t stay there long enough to get involved in anything substantial. When he was called up in 2016, he slowly but surely lost steam and eventually became irrelevant.
He was drafted to SmackDown Live, but has yet to do anything on that show either. It’s never a good sign for a wrestler to be called up to the main roster and to have nothing to show for it. Even Tyler Breeze, who is a similar position, has formed a tag team and found some use in that. Crews is a good wrestler, but lacks charisma and mic skills to get people invested. A stint in the Cruiserweight Division could be suggested, but it’s unlikely he could drop from 240 to 205 considering how he’s built.
11 Mark Henry - Retirement
Mark Henry has been employed by the company since 1996 and is one of the big-time veterans like Kane and Big Show. But unlike those men, there isn’t much left for The World Strongest Man left to do. He’s won World Championships, had a great dominant heel run in 2011, and has his legacy in weightlifting to make him a notable name both in and out of the ring.
10 Erick Rowan F1RST Wrestling
It’s rather unfortunate that this could be a possibility, but Erick Rowan could be gone sooner than many people think. Rowan has the look of an intimidating human being as well and has put on some good matches as a member of The Wyatt Family, but his biggest obstacle may come in him being prone to injury. He has suffered two injuries in the last two years that have kept him off of television for weeks and months at a time. His latest injury in October could keep him off the WrestleMania card with a recovery time of four to six months.
Not to mention the fact that he always loses his matches and is the main man to take the fall for The Wyatt Family in all their bouts. His match against The Rock was an indicator of how they don’t take him seriously.
9 Jack Swagger - TNA
The story of Jack Swagger in the WWE is similar to many wrestlers who have had short runs in the main event only to see their stock go further and further down. However, unlike most of those men, Swagger had gimmicks and storylines that fans really got behind. His team, The Real Americans, were one of the better aspects of the WWE in 2013 and his feud with Rusev was something the fans enjoyed. Swagger probably should’ve been a more successful mid-carder, but it never came to fruition.
8 Mojo Rawley - Out of Wrestling
Mojo Rawley is the perfect example of the type of wrestler WWE used to seek out. There have been many wrestlers similar to Rawley in the past who have a history in football or bodybuilding and that is the primary reason for them being on the roster. Many of them have come and gone and it’s likely that Rawley may be gone in the future.
7 Rhyno - Politics
Rhyno returned to the WWE in 2015 as a member of the NXT roster and has been working with the company ever since. He and Heath Slater managed to form an interesting tag team and were the inaugural SmackDown Live Tag Team Champions. They lost the championships a while ago and now they’re just another tag team competing for the belts on the show, but the fans still seem to enjoy them.
6 The Ascension - Lower Level Indies
The Ascension have been a colossal failure on the main roster since their debut in 2015. In NXT, they managed to win the NXT Tag Team Championships and hold onto them for nearly a year, but have yet to recreate any of that success on the main roster. Many fans cite their change in gimmick as one of the reasons the fans didn’t care for the duo, but the fact remains that they have failed on the main roster and are not likely to achieve any success in the near future.
5 Sin Cara - Chikara
Though a bit of a botch machine, the original Sin Cara was a very exciting wrestler to watch. His wrestling was always fast-paced and full of high-flying action, which made him stand out from other wrestlers on the roster. The original Sin Cara was eventually replaced by Hunico and he hasn’t had much success with the gimmick.
4 Jinder Mahal - Continental Wrestling Entertainment
When rumors of the WWE contacting former wrestlers for the brand split surfaced, many fans were expecting men like MVP, Carlito, and Rob Van Dam to make returns to the company. What they got instead was Jinder Mahal and Curt Hawkins.
In the case of Jinder Mahal, he accomplished nothing in his time in the WWE. His group 3MB were nothing, but the new version of the J.O.B. Squad and no one remembers anything about his prior run in the company. Plus, with rumors of enhancement use and the dramatic change to his look in the prior month, Mahal may not be enduring a long run for the company.
3 Curt Hawkins - TNA
As previously stated, Curt Hawkins was not who the fans had in mind when rumors of WWE contacting former talents began to circulate. Hawkins was hyped up for weeks with outdated Chuck Norris-esque vignettes only to come back and lose a lot of his matches. At this point, WWE has no need for Curt Hawkins because they have too many wrestlers who could be used in that role.
2 Mick Foley - Holy Foley
Many fans have been expecting this ever since Stephanie McMahon appointed Mick Foley as the Raw General Manager. Foley has never hit his stride in his role as GM and he’s been more of a negative part of Monday Night Raw rather than a positive aspect of it. Not to mention the fact that Stephanie has made it abundantly clear that she's willing to fire Foley at a moment’s notice and it’s easy to see that Foley’s role as GM will only last for so long.
1 Titus O'Neil - Out of Wrestling
Vince McMahon was willing to fire Titus O’Neil over the altercation that took place on Monday Night Raw. While he didn’t do that, he still suspended O’Neil for 60 days and made him miss out on the WrestleMania payday.
Since that time, O’Neil had done nothing but lose match after match and has been made to look like a fool with the recent segments alongside The New Day. O’Neil seems happy to have the job, so it’s not likely that he’ll want to leave, but there’s a strong chance that McMahon will still hold a grudge and release O’Neil this year.
If O’Neil was to get fired, it’s very likely that he'll leave the wrestling business in general. Many people have suggested that O’Neil quit the WWE and become a spokesperson for other companies or even go and coach different sports. If this unfortunate situation were to come to pass, it could open some more doors than whatever he would be capable of in the wrestling business.
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