The free agent market is hotter than it has been in about two decades for the pro wrestling world. Many stars have left WWE to do great things and make an impressive living on their own terms outside of the biggest promotion. Independent wrestlers have also signed with WWE to become huge stars. Basically, wrestlers can find success doing what they want to do regardless of their situations. Change is vital for most performers looking to find happiness and that has been the story of the free agent market over the past couple of years.
There have been some surprising names trying to find their way back to the WWE. Various interviews and podcasts have revealed bizzare names will want to return to the company that made them famous if an opportunity presents itself. This is due to the potential to make huge money in WWE. On the other side of things, there are those doing well outside of WWE and have no need to return. We'll look at both sides of the names currently outside of WWE along with each of their stories. These are eight of the most bizarre names that want a WWE return and seven that are better off without WWE.
15 Wants to Return: Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley has not been on WWE’s radar for quite some time after his horrible run about a decade ago. WWE pushed Lashley huge with the hopes of him becoming a similar success to John Cena. Lashley was too inexperienced and failed to succeed in WWE. After a few runs with Impact Wrestling, Lashley has finally found a groove over the past few years.
14 Better Off Without WWE: Batista
The recent rumors about Batista have made it seem like he badly wants to return to WWE. Batista had a terrible run in 2014 with a lot of hostility on both ends regarding how poorly it ended up going. However, it appears that Batista is looking to end this chapter of his life with one more run. Unlike most of the veterans to return, Batista wants to work a full-time schedule traveling for all live events.
13 Wants to Return: Michelle McCool
A surprising name to resurface in wrestling circles this past month is Michelle McCool. The retired women’s wrestling star interacted with Charlotte Flair on social media regarding a dream match. Both ladies expressed personal interest in the joy of competing against each other. McCool has remained close with WWE through the years partially thanks to her husband The Undertaker being Vince McMahon’s most loyal performer. She also recently expressed interest in taking part in Women's Royal Rumble.
12 Better Off Without WWE: Cody Rhodes
The success of Cody Rhodes has inspired wrestlers all over the world. It proved you no longer must work for WWE to make a great living and a wrestler can actually tell them he wants to leave to find success. Rhodes had the best financial year of his career thanks to the popularity in the Bullet Club dominating both Ring of Honor and New Japan.
11 Wants to Return: Chris Masters
Chris Masters has struggled for years since his WWE career to an end. The high point of his departure came when CM Punk referenced him during a promo taking WWE to task for firing someone working hard to improve. Unfortunately, Masters has not shown this improvement since leaving WWE. The jacked wrestler has continued wrestling on the independent circuit to minimal success.
10 Better Off Without WWE: Jack Swagger
The move of Jack Swagger leaving WWE earlier this year proved to be the best thing for his personal happiness. Swagger worked for WWE for many years with the latter stages of his run seeing him failing to get on television. Both WWE and Swagger came to the agreement that they would release him since creative had no plans for him.
9 Wants to Return: Kelly Kelly
The WWE career of Kelly Kelly has been basically erased from existence since she represents everything the current women are against. Kelly Kelly signed with WWE at the age of the 19 with Vince McMahon wanting her to strip on live television during the early run of her career. WWE eventually pushed her as a wrestler and made her a Divas Champion despite the lack of wrestling ability.
8 Better Off Without WWE: Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett has been relatively quiet since leaving WWE in early 2016. The career of Barrett saw his consistently fail to hit his potential in WWE. Once the initial push in Nexus ended, Barrett struggled to get another strong run as a top guy. The decision to leave WWE saw him get burnt out of working the hectic schedule with nothing changing in his favor.
7 Wants to Return: Tommy Dreamer
The fact that Tommy Dreamer still regularly wrestles for relevant promotions in 2017 is rather shocking. Dreamer saw his peak run over two decades ago in ECW and is still making a full-time schedule wrestling all over the world along with running his own House of Hardcore promotion. Ring of Honor recently had Dreamer appear in a tag match on their biggest show of the year.
6 Better Off Without WWE: Gail Kim
Gail Kim is one of the greatest women’s wrestlers of all time despite having two terrible runs with WWE. This was back when WWE gave zero respect to the Women’s Division. Kim despised working with Vince McMahon due to the sexism she felt whenever interacting with him. Jim Ross revealed that McMahon never wanted to push Gail because he felt Asian women weren’t attractive and no one wanted to see her.
5 Wants to Return: Melina
The return of the WWE brand split in 2016 inspired many wrestlers to try to get a deal back in WWE. Raw and SmackDown each having their own rosters meant more roles would be open for each show to have deep talent lists. Melina is one wrestler that was involved in rumors regarding a potential return during the early stages of the brand split. Nothing came to fruition, but she has been wrestling more often since then.
4 Better Off Without WWE: John Morrison
John Morrison has been having the time of his life while working outside of WWE. The mutual decision for him to leave allowed Morrison to open his opportunities. Morrison made his own movie and has been getting consistent roles in various movies and television shows. Along with the acting career gaining some momentum, Morrison has improved his reputation in wrestling.
3 Wants to Return: Cryme Tyme
The tag team of Cryme Tyme had some success in WWE during their early years together. JTG and Shad had a couple of big moments together working with D-Generation X and John Cena in various segments. Both wrestlers worked well together with different skill sets, but neither man made it far in WWE. Shad got fired and JTG would join him on the free agent market later.
2 Better Off Without WWE: Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio has been involved in rumors regarding a WWE return for quite some time. WWE needs someone to add credibility to the failing Cruiserweight division. Meanwhile, Mysterio recently saw his Lucha Underground contract expire and contract talks with Impact Wrestling fall apart. The future of Rey is up in the air after the past few years outside of WWE built back up his name value.
1 Wants to Return: Trish Stratus
A shocking name to tease a return to WWE recently is Trish Stratus. The announcement of the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble match coming in 2018 led to Stratus posting a tweet expressing excitement about the history being made, but she also referenced wanting to find her wrestling boots again. Royal Rumble matches are the easiest way for a legend to return in an impactful way without having to do much.
Stratus returning as a surprise entrant for one night only would be the biggest realistic move WWE can make regarding the Rumble. Trish lasting long in the match could be helpful to the woman that eliminates her. It doesn’t even matter what she does in the match. Stratus coming back to WWE for the Rumble would be a memorable moment to help make the historic match something special.
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