WWE is a difficult place to work in, with a large percentage of wrestlers ending their time there with unhappiness. The company has the pressure of any other major entertainment touring brand with minimal off days, but there is also the annoyance of backstage politics. Vince McMahon is referred to as someone most people would not want to work for. The variables of working for such a fickle company have caused a lot of ugly departures. Many wrestlers leave the company feeling disrespected and go on to spill all in shoot interviews, blogs or podcasts discussing their grudge with the company.
Time is the best solution in healing grudges that get personal. Most of the wrestlers to have a hatred of WWE will get over it as time allows them to make peace with everything. The wrestlers to end their grudges often will return on-screen in some capacity. There are still quite a few performers that hold on to their unhappiness and have their reasons for keeping the grudge alive. We'll take an in-depth look at the history of WWE with eight wrestlers that are still holding on to a grudge with WWE and seven that have gotten over their grudges.
15 Grudge: Batista
The recent WWE run of Batista back in 2014 was a huge disappointment for all involved. WWE booked Batista to win the Royal Rumble under the belief fans would support him in a WrestleMania main event match against Randy Orton. Fans rejected this by demanding Daniel Bryan in the match and it led to a Batista heel turn. Batista worked a few good matches with Orton, Bryan and The Shield.
14 Got Over It: Goldberg
Bill Goldberg’s initial WWE run back in 2004 is still referred to among the worst booking in wrestling history. Goldberg’s success in WCW came from destroying his opponents in a matter of seconds to make up for his lack of wrestling endurance. WWE placed him in actual matches that went over ten minutes and made him look very weak compared to his past life.
13 Grudge: Jeff Jarrett
One grudge that has lasted over the past eighteen years is WWE and Jeff Jarrett being at odds. Jarrett’s contract expired back in 1999 right before he was scheduled to lose the Intercontinental Championship to Chyna. The leverage saw Jarrett abuse it by demanding a large sum of money in exchange for losing the title or he was going to take the belt to WCW.
12 Got Over It: Paul Heyman
WWE never treated Paul Heyman with the respect he deserved as a creative mind. Heyman worked backstage on numerous occasions as the head writer for SmackDown and later the WWE rebirth of ECW. It featured him butting heads with Stephanie and Vince McMahon over his decisions. Heyman wanted to elevate CM Punk as the new face of ECW back in 2006, but the McMahon’s forced Bobby Lashley into that role.
11 Grudge: Ryback
The recent bitter ending to Ryback’s career with WWE saw him lash out against the company. Ryback claimed WWE lied to him and treated him unfairly in regards to pay and opportunity. Following his last appearance for WWE, Ryback released a blog trashing them and stating he has no desire for a company like that. WWE did give him multiple pushes but Ryback felt he deserved better.
10 Got Over It: Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Sammartino held a strong disdain towards Vince McMahon and WWE for many years after his time ended. Many would argue Sammartino was the first big WWE star being the champion for almost a decade. It ended ugly when WWE was involved in scandals regarding drug distribution and sexual harassment. Sammartino appeared on numerous talk shows discussing how awful the WWE was as a company.
9 Grudge: Shane Douglas
The failure of Shane Douglas in WWE during the mid-90s led to one of the longest grudges. Douglas left the company due to disliking both the locker room and management. Shawn Michaels and the rest of the Kliq made Douglas miserable during his time in WWE. The horrible character of Dean Douglas didn’t have legs to begin with and Douglas still blames Vince McMahon to this day.
8 Got Over It: New Age Outlaws
Both members of the legendary tag team New Age Outlaws had ugly splits that caused two grudges. Both Road Dogg and Billy Gunn absolutely trashed WWE in interviews, specifically their DX partner Triple H for holding them down and not treating them with respect. The one-sided war of words saw the New Age Outlaws sell shoot interviews based off their disdain for WWE and Triple H.
7 Grudge: Gail Kim
Gail Kim is one of the wrestlers on the list with a very valid reason for holding a grudge with WWE. Two separate runs in WWE proved the company just didn’t believe in her talent. Kim has always been one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world but WWE buried her in favor of the ladies with backgrounds in modeling. Jim Ross revealed McMahon didn’t think men would find her attractive due to her Asian heritage.
6 Got Over It: Kurt Angle
The instant reaction of Kurt Angle after leaving WWE was to completely bash the company. Vince McMahon, Triple H and John Cena were three major targets of WWE claiming they refused to give him the respect of taking time off to deal with his issues. Angle was in a bad place then battling drug and alcohol addictions leading to him speaking without a filter.
5 Grudge: Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio’s up and down relationship with WWE is currently on the down side with a heated grudge. The first run with WWE ended after he was fired for slapping an employee that made racist comments towards him. Del Rio put that in the past for another return and it somehow has ended even worse. WWE did not approve of his relationship with fellow wrestler Paige pitting both sides against each other again.
4 Got Over It: Jim Cornette
A recent case of someone getting over a very public grudge with WWE is Jim Cornette. WWE fired Cornette after he slapped Santino Marella in developmental for failing to follow his instructions. Cornette made WWE one of his biggest enemies ranting about the sports entertainment company killing what used to be the wrestling industry. The Jim Cornette Experience Podcast features him ranting about many people and companies today, including many WWE names.
3 Grudge: Scott Steiner
The controversial Scott Steiner is never shy about his opinions in the wrestling world and WWE is often one of his targets. A poor run with WWE as a singles star back in 2002-2003 caused Steiner to become a heated enemy of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair and the McMahon family. Steiner wasted no time bashing the company after his release personally throwing jabs at Triple H specifically.
2 Got Over It: Bret Hart
Bret Hart’s grudge with WWE was one of the biggest stories in the wrestling industry for over a year. WWE flipped the script on Hart by having him lose his final match in the company against Shawn Michaels despite telling him a different finish. Hart held a very personal grudge against Michaels and Vince McMahon for the way they disrespected him at the end of a long relationship that diminished all of his hard work.
1 Grudge: CM Punk
The most high profile grudge still going in the wrestling industry is CM Punk against the WWE. Things ended horribly when Punk walked out following his frustration growing with Vince McMahon and Triple H making false promises. Punk’s departure shocked the wrestling world leading to very public bad blood. Stephanie McMahon has trashed Punk on numerous occasions when fans chanted his name at her in an attempt to disrespect her.
Punk took that personally along with WWE sending his release papers on the day of his wedding with AJ Lee. Three years has passed and Punk is still vocal that he has no interest in returning to WWE. The fact that WWE’s doctor sued him following negative comments on a controversial podcast likely just intensifies the grudge. Punk almost takes pride in his claim that he will not return to WWE after the ugly ending.
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