Sometimes finding a job is a difficult thing to do. When you find that job, it may be you're dream job and under ideal circumstances you would stay with the same employer for your entire adult life. Due to differences in personality between you and your employer, or fellow employees, it is not always a match made in heaven. If that is the case, leaving under your own accord would be the second best option. Unfortunately life doesn't always work the way we want and, at times, no matter what you do, it is unavoidable to hear the words "you're fired."
Professional wrestling is no different then any other employer. No matter how well a wrestler performs in the ring, behind the scenes they may not be a model employee. Whether the termination is because of insubordination, general disdain towards the job, or an inability to get along with their fellow wrestlers, the reasons all lead to the same result. While other times they are fired simply because they are no longer needed with the promotion. To the joy of all of us at home, and in the arena, that termination of an employee will occasionally happens on screen for the world to see.
Then there are the times when the wrestler is fired kayfabe just to advance a story or to make the crowd either feel empathy towards the face, or satisfaction when the heel is fired. Mr McMahon with his low growl and extended pronunciation has made the moment something to look forward too. While Vince has portrayed arguably the greatest on-screen boss in wrestling history, he isn't the only one to fire people. Commissioners, owners and general managers have all had the honor of firing talent on screen for the world to see. We've found the top 15 instances where someone was fired on screen and we will let you know whether it was real or part of the story being told
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15 Chavo Guerrero Jr.
We will start our list off with a firing that was 100% real. On December 12th, 2013, TNA Wrestling had their annual Feast or Fired match in which 12 wrestlers competed to get one of four briefcases that were hanging above each ring post. Three of them contained guaranteed title matches for the Heavyweight, Tag Team, and X-Division Championships. The fourth contained a pink slip. In this match, Chavo grabbed the case that had the pink slip and the following week it was revealed that he had indeed gotten fired when his profile was removed from the website. TNA also confirmed it through a press release.
14 Eric Bischoff
The December 5th, 2005 episode of Raw will go down in history as "The Trial of Eric Bischoff." During the trial, Mick Foley was the attorney presenting a case against Bischoff, while Vince McMahon sat as the judge. After presenting their case against Bischoff, Mr. Mcmahon growled his famous "you're fired" and John Cena delivered an Attitude Adjustment on Eric. Vince then dumped him in to the back of a garbage truck which was driven out of the arena. Eric took the next nine months off before sporadically appearing with WWE again. This firing was not real and it was widely thought that Bischoff's contract was expired. In a later interview, he revealed that he was indeed under contract until late 2007.
13 John Cena
As a way to advance the story line with Wade Barrett and The Nexus, John Cena was forced to join them and follow Wade's orders or be fired from WWE. Cena then officiated a match between Randy Orton and Wade Barrett for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series, 2010. The stipulation with this match was that if Barrett lost, Cena would be fired. Barrett lost and the next night on Raw, Cena gave a farewell speech and said goodbye to friends in the back, trying to play up that he was indeed gone. Sadly this firing was confirmed as fake when Cena returned on next weeks Raw as a "fan" who interfered in matches involving the Nexus.
12 Mick Foley
Mick had many farewells in his time with the WWE. He had the pink slip on a pole match with The Rock, he retired after losing to Triple H, and he was fired on screen by Melina in a terrible angle. The one firing that sticks out though actually happened in TNA. In 2011, Mick was the "Network's consultant" and was feuding with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. A segment aired where Hogan read a court document that was served to Bischoff. In that document, it was written that Foley was fired. This was somewhat real firing since the week before Mick made a joke on Twitter about the attendance at a TNA house show. Mick had been asking for his release for a while and since they wouldn't give it to him, he went all "George Costanza" and got himself fired!
11 Paul Heyman
In 2001, after Vince purchased WCW, the storyline was that his son Shane was the real McMahon that signed the purchase agreement. They started an invasion angle where WCW wrestlers were trying to take over Raw. Around the same time, Paul Heyman was brought in to be an announcer after Jerry Lawler had quit. He reformed ECW and joined forces with Shane against Vince. After the 2001 Survivor Series, Vince called Heyman to the ring to address the comments Paul had made on the previous SmackDown. After a very short exchange, Vince told him the immortal words "You're Fired" and Heyman was carried out by security. The firing was done in a way to open up the announce booth for a returning Jerry Lawler and Heyman went on to be the lead writer for SmackDown.
10 Bret Hart
A cash strapped Vince McMahon, having realized he couldn't afford Bret Hart's contract, allowed Bret Hart to seek employment with rival WCW. Hart Agreed to let Vince terminate his contract at the end of the year and he would proceed to leave graciously. Having real life issues with Shawn Michaels, Bret wanted to drop the belt to anyone at a later date, just not to Shawn in Canada at Survivor Series. Vince was paranoid Bret would leave the WWE with the belt and thus, the Montreal Screw Job happened. This would constitute as a legitimate firing, since Vince let Bret go a month before his contract was up.
9 Vickie Guerrero
As the widowed wife of the late Eddie Guerrero, Vickie went on to beecome one of the greatest heel general managers of all time. A simple "Excuse Me" could incite a crowd like nothing else. In 2014, she had decided that she had enough of the wrestling life and wanted to move on to a career in medical administration. She asked for her release and after a few months, she was to face Stephanie McMahon in a match where the loser would be the one thrown into a swimming pool of mud. She was blind sided by McMahon, tossed into the mud and ultimately fired. In true Guerrero fashion, she got her retribution by throwing McMahon into the mud and leaving the company to Eddie's old entrance music, replicating his famous crowd taunt and pointing to the sky mouthing the words "I love you." All the while being cheered by the fans for what an incredible performer she was.
8 Cody Rhodes
In 2013, The Authority was in its infancy against Daniel Bryan. Cody Rhodes was outspoken about the treatment Bryan was receiving. Triple H made him put his career on the line in a match against Randy Orton for the comments that were made. Of course, he went on to lose the match. The firing was done for two reasons, the first being to give Rhodes some time off for his wedding and honeymoon. The second was to help draw some heel heat for The Authority who had recently turned evil. In a way, this was the end of Cody Rhodes' career because he was on the cusp of the main event and now he's floating around the bottom of the card as the Stardust character.
7 Jim Ross
We're not sure if there is anyone who has been fired more times, whether it's in storylines or in real life, than Jim Ross. One of the more memorable firings of all time was when the entire McMahon family (minus Shane) fired him on the October 10th, 2005 episode. This firing was done by Linda because they didn't get the proper apology from him for not helping when Austin stunned the entire McMahon family. The reason for this firing was to explain JR's absence while he attended to some very real health issues that he had recently found out about.
In 1995, ECW was really starting to get rolling. The company was being built around Sabu while he was a Tag Team Champion along with Tazz. On April 8th, for their weekly television taping, Sabu decided he would rather wrestle in Japan than at his scheduled title defense which was a tag team three way dance against Public Enemy and Dean Malenko/ Chris Benoit. When Sabu no-showed the event and wouldn't answer his phone, Paul Heyman marched out to the ring and told the story to all the fans in attendance and also to the cameras. Sabu was really fired in front of a live audience for failing to show up for a scheduled event and ruining a match that had been being planned for months.
5 Bobby Heenan
In 1993, while Bobby was doing commentary with Vince McMahon. Gorilla Monsoon, who was fed up with "The Brain's" constant insults, came down to the commentators booth to discuss Heenan's conduct. Grabbing Heenan by the ear, he dragged him to the back, and tossed his luggage out the back door of the arena. This was not an official firing by the WWE, but it was the last time Heenan was seen in WWE for eight years. The long hours were dragging him down and he wanted to leave the business. His original plan was to retire but WCW contacted him less than two months later and offered him a job with lighter hours and health benefits. This firing was kayfabe, just a way for Heenan to go out in style.
4 Hulk Hogan
Bash at the Beach 2000 was going to be a carefully planned story that included Bischoff, Hogan and Vince Russo, with Russo claiming that Hogan had won the belt by exercising his creative control clause and being storyline fired, only to return later as a conquering hero. After the match took place, Hogan and Bischoff left the arena to sell the story. Vince Russo, on the other hand, went to the center of the ring and declared that Hogan would never wrestle in WCW again. Russo delivered a shoot promo talking about how bad of a person Hogan was. When Bischoff and Hogan found out what was said by Russo, it resulted in a defamation of character lawsuit filed by Hogan and he was never seen in WCW again.
3 Vince McMahon
Triple H returned on the July 18th, 2011 episode of Raw to confront Vince McMahon in the ring. McMahon announced him as his son in law and Triple H proceeded to tell him that the board of directors, and the family, had lost confidence in him. Triple H then told McMahon that he was voted by the board to take over day to day operations. In a heartfelt goodbye, he told Vince that he was relieved of his duties. In true McMahon fashion, Vince got the last laugh by returning on the October 10th, 2011 episode of Raw to inform Triple H that the board had decided that this time it was Triple H's turn to leave the company. Both firings were just a work to advance storylines.
2 Daniel Bryan
June 7th, 2010 an invading group of rookies known as The Nexus attacked everyone and destroyed everything in the arena. During the attack, Daniel Bryan was shown choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with his own tie. The next week, Wade Barrett announced that Daniel Bryan would never be seen in the WWE again. The PG Era was just getting started, so WWE (in real life) fired Daniel Bryan because he had been too violent (which is mind boggling, how else is a heel supposed to act). Stating "they had sponsors they needed to deal with" was the reason that they gave Bryan for his firing. Thankfully, he was rehired a little over two months later.
1 Jeff Jarrett
The final WCW Nitro was aired on March 26th, 2001. During Raw that week, there were numerous backstage segments with Vince McMahon, who had just purchased WCW, watching both shows and commenting on both of them. In one unforgettable segment, Vince mocked Jeff Jarrett by saying they will be pronouncing his name in a different way from now on "G-double o double n double e Goonnee!!". This firing of Jarrett was real and stemmed from the end of Jarrett's previous run with WWE. Jarrett's contract expired the day before he was scheduled to lose the Intercontinental belt to Chyna. In order to lose the belt, Jarrett got a very nice payday from Vince which was widely considered as blackmail.
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