A blacklist (or black list) is a list or register of entities or people who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition. As a verb, to blacklist can mean to deny someone work in a particular field, or to ostracize a person from a certain social circle. Blacklisting can and has been accomplished informally by consensus of authority figures, and does not necessarily require a physical list or overt written record. Understandably, numerous companies and organizations have or maintain a blacklist for a variety of reasons and World Wrestling Entertainment is no different.
Over the years the WWE has obviously kept and continuously updated their own black list of various Superstars and Divas that they would not be willing to reemploy or in some cases refuse to acknowledge. The mere existence of this mysterious list (perhaps as illusive as Vince McMahon’s magical brass rings) sparks a plethora of questions including: which former WWE Superstars or Divas are on the black list? Why are those Superstars or Divas on the list? Will they be there forever?
All these questions are logical and acceptable queries, and today many of those exact questions will be answered. I’ll start by answering the question “Will they be there forever?” The answer to that question is very simple. In the crazy world of professional wrestling and sports entertainment, you "never say never”.
That question is actually one of the reasons that this list will also include wrestlers that were previously blacklisted and eventually came back to the WWE after both parties reconciled. However those individuals are obviously not in any of the top spots of this list as they have clearly settled any or all differences with the WWE so don’t worry about seeing them in any unwarranted positions.
Note: Performers like Bruno Sammartino and Bret Hart who at one time or another refused any contact with the WWE will not be included, as they were not blacklisted by the WWE.
10 Ultimate Warrior
Warrior’s issues with the WWE are legendary and are famously chronicled by the WWE DVD The Self Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior. Although there are a number of positive memories and cases of “credit where it’s due”, make no mistake about it: the DVD is a complete character assassination of The Ultimate Warrior.
However, in professional wrestling you never say “never”, as The Ultimate Warrior did eventually come back to the WWE and is the only wrestler on this list that was previously blacklisted and eventually returned.
Last year, The Ultimate Warrior was finally inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame. It was just one of those moments that wrestling fans had just begun to assume might never happen because of the bad blood between both parties, but time healed all wounds. After the induction ceremony, Warrior appeared at WrestleMania XXX with his fellow 2014 inductees and on Monday Night RAW the following night to address his legions of fans. It turned out to be a farewell, particularly with the cryptic language Warrior used in his promo. In an unfortunate turn of events, Warrior collapsed on April 8th while walking to his car with his wife in Scottsdale, Arizona. After being rushed to a nearby hospital he was pronounced dead at the relatively young age of 54. The authorities in Phoenix, Arizona, later reported that The Ultimate Warrior had died of cardiovascular disease.
9 Juventud Guerrera
The Juice has been pretty much backlisted from working any major U.S. event. He’s been known to have a major ego, drug problem, and truly believing that The Rock's gimmick was his. More importantly, Juvi is known for defying the brass at WWE and performing moves that he had no business performing in a WWE ring.
On January 6, 2006, WWE announced that Juventud had been released from the company. His final match aired that evening on SmackDown, a Cruiserweight Title rematch against Kid Kash, which Guerrera lost. During this match, Juventud would use many high flying moves – despite WWE telling its cruiserweights to tone down on dangerous aerial moves – and the 450 Splash, a move WWE outright banned due to an earlier match Juventud had with Paul London where he botched the move, resulting in London suffering several fractured bones in his face.
In 1992, Kevin Wacholz debuted in the WWE as Nailz, an ex-convict who, in a series of promos, alleged he was abused by former prison guard Big Boss Man during his incarceration. He easily defeated numerous jobbers en route to eventually facing Boss Man in a Night Stick Match at Survivor Series, but before Nailz finished the feud he began another one with The Undertaker. The two had a stare down on the October 24 episode of Superstars, a photo of which was used as the cover of the January 1993 issue of WWE Magazine.
However, Nailz was released from his WWE contract in December 1992, after he allegedly attacked Vince McMahon in his office over a financial dispute. Bret Hart recalled in his autobiography that Wacholz "cornered Vince in his office and screamed at him for fifteen minutes". Hart claims he was just down the hall from the office when he heard a loud crash, which was Wacholz "knocking Vince over in his chair, choking him violently". The incident led to a series of lawsuits between Wacholz and the WWE. Wacholz alleged McMahon had given him steroids on a number of occasions; McMahon denied the claim.
In 1994, Wacholz testified against McMahon during his trial on charges of supplying steroids to WWF wrestlers. He claimed McMahon had told him to take steroids.
7 Jeff Jarrett
The current founder of Global Force Wrestling left WWE in the fall of 1999, following writer Vince Russo out the door to WCW. Double J's contract was set to expire a day before the No Mercy ppv, where he was scheduled to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Chyna. Jarrett dropped the title to Chyna, but it was later alleged that Jarrett strategically chose to work the PPV to squeeze more money out of Vince McMahon. He and Russo delayed Jarrett's title defense to the PPV so McMahon would be more desperate for Jarrett to wrestle and drop the title before leaving. Jarrett was able to earn a payday of $300,000 to work at No Mercy, losing to Chyna in a "Good Housekeeping" match. Quite the exit for JJ.
It's no surprise after hearing this story that McMahon seemed to enjoy "firing" Jarrett on-screen after his purchase of WCW.
6 Macho Man Randy Savage
It is the biggest wrestling urban legend around, and considering the lack of coverage in major wrestling sites / magazines, the rumor is widely known and discussed amongst wrestling fans. So what is the story? Well, for the past 20 years, it has been whispered that in late 1993 a relationship developed between then 17-year-old Stephanie McMahon and then 40-year-old Randy Savage. The rumor states that Savage and Stephanie were involved through late 1993, and that is the reason Savage left the WWF abruptly in October 1994, presumably because Vince McMahon found out and was livid. Since Savage left, the WWE completely blackballed him, which further added credence to the story that Vince was furious because Savage was inappropriately involved with Stephanie.
5 Chris Benoit
The Crippler was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time but he will forever be blacklisted because of the final days of his life. June 24, 2007, was the date of the WWE pay-per-view Vengeance: Night Of Champions. This event was notable for being the weekend of the Chris Benoit double-murder and suicide case. Benoit was originally booked to face CM Punk for the vacant ECW World Championship, legitimately no-showed.
We all know what happened after that. When the details of the incident came to light, Vince McMahon addressed the WWE audience telling them Mr. Benoit's name would no longer be used on WWE programming.
4 Teddy Hart
In 1998, Hart became the youngest person in wrestling history to be signed to a WWE developmental contract, and was sent to train with Dory Funk, Jr at the "Funkin' Conservatory". He was later released by the WWE however, due to alleged attitude problems. Teddy Hart also worked for TNA and ROH. He was released from both of these companies for (surprise surprise) attitude problems.
One of the most infamous Teddy Hart stories comes from when he competed at Ring of Honor in a Scramble Cage Match in 2003. After losing the match, he began to perform moonsaults and executed a shooting star press from the top of the cage rather than selling the moves he had taken. Hart then vomited at ringside. His actions attracted the ire of many wrestlers, as he endangered some wrestlers by performing moves on them which they were not anticipating. He attributes his actions to a concussion suffered during the match.
CM Punk, who was involved in the match wrote a lengthy blog on his old Live Journal Account that was concluded with the following statement:
“No worries though, if it gets you anywhere, I'd bet my life and 100 dollars that you'd find a way to ruin it for yourself with your out of control ego as well as your piss poor attitude. There is no conspiracy, nobody is trying to blackball you. We're just looking out for our friends' safety as well as ours. We're just looking out for the product we all believe in, because it's US that want to give the fans a good show. We're just policing our locker room from a cancer that has no business in a business that he acts like he knows all about, but knows so little. We're just protecting our business.”
In 2012, Joanie Laurer (Chyna) posted a detailed explanation of why she left the WWE in 2001 on her Twitter account. She explained that during the time of the McMahon/Helmsley takeover, she was engaged to Triple H. About six months into that storyline, after the two began fighting she ended up finding a love letter that Stephanie McMahon had written to Triple H a year prior, saying that she was in love with him.
Laurer said that when she called Vince McMahon and told him, he just replied that the jig was up. The next day when she arrived at Monday Night Raw she was led into Vince’s office where he was waiting with Stephanie. She said that Stephanie basically told her that Triple H was hers and that she (Laurer) just had to deal with it. Laurer claimed that she told Stephanie that she was lucky her father was there otherwise she would have ripped her face off. Vince then told her to go home and take some time off and then they would deal with it (as she was near the end of her contract). She left the company on November 30, 2001, several months after she had been taken off of television. Jim Ross claimed that she was not fired, but rather chose to leave for personal reasons.
She did herself no favors if she was looking to reconcile with WWE. Laurer turned to the adult film industry, making her porn debut with the 2004 video '1 Night In China' with Sean Waltman (X-Pac). Laurer appeared in her second pornographic video, entitled 'Another Night in China' in 2009. In 2011, Laurer starred in her first professional pornographic film for Vivid Video entitled 'Backdoor to Chyna'. She also starred for Vivid as She-Hulk in their parody of The Avengers, released in May 2012. A spinoff feature centered on the She-Hulk character and titled She-Hulk XXX was released to video in April 2013.
2 CM Punk
Over Thanksgiving weekend two months ago, CM Punk went on his friend Colt Cabana's podcast to finally explain why he left WWE back in January. He talked about being compelled to work, even when suffering through injury, or recovering from surgery. He also cited another example. When he was recovering from surgery, he was not supposed to wrestle, but was booked on the card after doctors, specifically WWE doctor Chris Amann and noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews, cleared him without even seeing him in person. Punk claimed the WWE concussion policy was inadequate, allowing wrestlers to compete when they probably shouldn't, and he said it was created more to cover the company in public rather than to actually help the wrestlers.
In late 2013, he developed a mass on his back that the doctors refused to do anything about. He started to get ill at the same time, to which the doctors simply gave him Z-paks, which are widespread anitbiotics, which he used for several months, as his condition continued to get worse. Finally, after leaving the company, he visited a doctor that his girlfriend, now wife, AJ Lee used in Tampa. The doctor quickly diagnosed the mass as a full-blown staph infection.
Finally, Punk cited his dissatisfaction with the direction of the WWE. He talked about consistently working the best matches of the night, citing his matches with Undertaker and Brock Lesnar in 2013 specifically, and yet he still often lost the big match. He was particularly upset about not being involved in the main event of WrestleMania in 2013. Despite being told by many in the company that he was having the best matches, he also was being paid less than some of the other competitors for the same show, he said. Between the injuries, illness and finding out he was being booked to face Triple H at WrestleMania, it all boiled over after Royal Rumble, when he confronted Vince McMahon and Triple H, and decided to leave. After being suspended for leaving, he finally was officially fired on, of all days, his wedding day.
Now, it's important to note that this is only one side of the story. Although it has been reported by numerous sources that Vince McMahon hopes that they will be on the same page again in the future and work together again, it has also been reported that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were furious with him and have blacklisted the straight edge performer.
In December of 1995, the WWE decided to release the wrestler formerly known as Alundra Blayze for financial troubles the company was having at the time. To make matters worse, Alunda Blayze was still the WWE Women’s Champion at the time of her release. For whatever reason, the WWE didn’t take the actual title belt back from her upon her release, so she still had it with her when she was negotiating with WCW. Eric Bischoff had the bright idea of having her show up on live WCW television with the belt, and have her dump the championship into a trash can on an episode of Monday Nitro. According to Madusa, she wasn’t a big fan of trashing the championship title but agreed to do it after some more coercing from Eric Bischoff.