Professional wrestling is all about big moments, like when wrestlers make their unexpected returns. We have seen guys join (or re-join) the WWE throughout the years that we never would have expected, including Sting, Bruno Sammartino and The Ultimate Warrior. For years leading up to their surprise entrances, we thought we would never see the day where the beef was squashed between the talent and the WWE.
Then, there are those people that you can almost bank on never coming back to the WWE. Whether it be because Vince McMahon screwed them over, they screwed Vince McMahon over or they just flat out weren’t good at their job, these people shouldn’t be expected to make a surprise entrance at Monday Night Raw... ever.
Clearly, WWE has been able to squash a lot of the beef that they have had with former employees, but some are too far gone to salvage a relationship with. Things change between people and you never know, but you definitely wouldn’t want to put your money on it. Who are we talking about, exactly? Here are 15 former WWE employees that will never return. As much as we might want some of them to make a comeback, it’s just not going to happen.
15 Kurt Angle
The former Olympic gold medalist, Kurt Angle, became a huge part of the WWE as a main eventer from 1998 to 2006. Angle won five world titles while with WWE and even added a multitude of other title runs, including being the 2000 King of the Ring. Angle departed the WWE in 2006 due to multiple injuries and went over to TNA. Over the past decade, there seem to be rumors about Angle making a return to the WWE ring, but it has never come to fruition.
14 Zahra Schreiber
Zahra Schreiber definitely wasn’t as well known as Kurt Angle and was struggling just to get on television. Schreiber started out with WWE in 2014 as a member of the NXT roster where her highlight at first was being one of Adam Rose’s Rosebuds. She then became a ring announcer after a collarbone injury and eventually became a manager in 2015. Later on, photographs made their rounds on the internet of Schreiber having some Nazi memorabilia in her house.
13 Colt Cabana
Colt Cabana is one of those indie darlings that has been popular all over the world, but never found long term success with the WWE. Cabana had wrestled for many different promotions before finally landing a gig with WWE in 2007 and moved up to the main roster the next year. Cabana wasn’t there very long, lasting just five months before getting released from his contract after he had primarily been a jobber.
12 Josh Mathews
After trying out as a wrestler with Tough Enough in 2001 (and finishing second), Josh Mathews was eventually offered a job at WWE as an announcer. Mathews had been a backstage interviewer for the first four years before becoming a commentator for some of the “B” shows like Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam. Mathews wasn’t exactly the most well liked announcer that the WWE has had and he was released from his contract in June 2014.
At the time of writing this, it has only been a few days since Ryback was officially released from the WWE and it felt right to include him. Ryback showed a lot of promise after being repackaged from his Skip Sheffield Nexus days. After squashing jobbers left and right, Ryback had gotten himself into the main event scene with title matches against the likes of CM Punk. Although Ryback never won the big one, he did win five Slammy Awards and an Intercontinental Title.
10 Earl Hebner
If there were any big WWE matches happening throughout the late 1980s to the mid 2000s, Earl Hebner was sure to be the official. Hebner was certainly the most famous referee that the WWE had, and he was included in the infamous 1997 Montreal Screwjob. Things seemed to be going well until 2005, when his career in WWE quickly came to an end. Hebner and his brother, Dave, were both released from the company after selling WWE merchandise without permission.
9 Mike Adamle
A former NFL running back that played in the league for six seasons, Mike Adamle was more well known for his time as an announcer, particularly for American Gladiators from 1989 to 1996. Adamle had announced in two Olympics on top of that and was hired by the WWE in early 2008. It was there that he started as a backstage interviewer and was completely out of his element. In his first ever segment, he called Jeff Hardy “Jeff Harvey.”
8 Mr. Kennedy
It’s hard to see someone with so much potential squander it all, but that’s what Mr. Kennedy did while with WWE. Kennedy made his debut on the WWE main roster in 2005 and quickly won the United States Championship. It appeared that Kennedy was in line for a huge push in 2007, but it was all for naught. Injuries ruined his time as Mr. Money in the Bank and then he started to flounder in the midcard before eventually being released in May 2009.
7 Jim Ross
Pretty much every WWE fan out there will tell you that Jim Ross is their favorite all-time announcer. The Oklahoma native and BBQ connoisseur was a big part of The Attitude Era and called some of the biggest matches in WWE history. Ross had come back part-time earlier this decade, but was released after the WWE 2K14 roster announcement. Vince McMahon said that Ross’ behavior at the event was unacceptable. McMahon even added that there was “no heat” between the two, but we’re not likely to see Good Ol’ J.R. back.
6 Vince Russo
Vince Russo started his career with WWE as a freelance writer for the magazine and then became the editor. After the ratings hit their lowest in 1996, Russo was asked to become a storyline writer and was promoted to head writer in 1997. Throughout that time, the ratings for Monday Night Raw started to climb and it became more watched than WCW Monday Nitro. A dispute with Vince McMahon led to Russo parting ways and he joined WCW.
5 Justin Roberts
A fan favorite among the WWE ring announcers since Howard Finkel’s departure, Justin Roberts joined the WWE in 2002 and was the ring announcer for pretty much every show. Roberts had some big moments, including doing the main event at WrestleMania XXIV, and was known for his signature announcements for whenever John Cena or The Undertaker were making their way to the ring.
4 Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett started out his time with the WWE back in 1993, but left briefly for the WCW in 1996. The next year, Jarrett would return to WWE, but it would end in a messy fashion. Jarrett’s contract expired in October of 1999, but he still wrestled a day after it ended to lose his Intercontinental Championship to Chyna. Chyna would claim that it was Jarrett and Russo that colluded to push back the match so that Jarrett could extort WWE for more money.
3 CM Punk
While you don’t want to say “never,” it seems that the likelihood of CM Punk returning to a WWE ring gets less and less with each passing day. Punk was given a long reign as WWE Champion, lasting 434 days until it came to an end in January 2013. Punk would stick around for another year before he seemingly disappeared in January 2014. Vince McMahon said that he was “taking a sabbatical,” but there appeared to be a lot more to it than that.
2 Bill DeMott
A lifetime jobber that wrestled under interesting monikers that include General Hugh G. Rection and Hugh Morrus, Bill DeMott wrestled with the WWE from 2001 to 2004 until retiring from the ring to become a trainer, instead. DeMott was also doing booking for the developmental Deep South Wrestling and it was there that the seeds of abuse allegations were planted. DeMott was let go in 2007 after Kenny Omega’s accusations of abuse and DeMott worked away from the WWE for four years before being rehired.
1 Jim Cornette
After working with multiple promotions across the United States, Jim Cornette was hired by the WWE in 1993 and worked in a lot of different capacities over his 12 years there. Cornette had been a booker, commentator and manager, though things didn’t always go smoothly. Cornette and Vince Russo got into it countless times over creative decisions (and still do despite not working together anymore).
Cornette was suspended by WWE in 2005 after slapping Santino Marella and was eventually let go by the company. Cornette has since worked with TNA, Ring of Honor and Global Force Wrestling while also making the rounds on the internet as a podcast host. Cornette has been willing to blast the WWE at pretty much every opportunity since leaving, including saying that the WWE would have “been a lot better off if Vince had gone to prison” as a result of the steroid scandal of the 1990s.
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