Wrestling sparks drama far easier than other forms of entertainment. There’s a nature of gossip and animosity in pro wrestling due to information being reported online, along with the popularity of shoot interviews, tell-all podcasts and many more media outlets. WWE’s overall size and being the only noteworthy mainstream wrestling outlet in North America adds to it all. Wrestlers are on edge due to the pressure and small margin of error with the company. One person in the company disliking you can ruin a career full of hard work. This is one of the many reasons talent will end up despising WWE by the time their tenure is up.
The majority of wrestlers leaving WWE or getting released will end it on good terms in hopes of returning one day. Alberto Del Rio’s story proved a bitter ending isn’t a deal breaker and the star came back to WWE last year. There’s even room for a return in a legends capacity for those in their post-wrestling careers. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn talked badly about Triple H, but ended up returning in trainers roles. These are of course very rare instances and the best for a wrestler is to keep the peace with WWE for work in the near and distant future both.
WWE does give valid reasons for talent to get upset at them. The political game in WWE is second to none in the entertainment world. No other business demands as much physical action as the schedule is hectic with no offseason. The pay isn’t always the best either and you can argue no performer is making as much as they truly deserve. All of these elements cause wrestlers to get frustrated and, in some cases, despise the WWE. We’ll look at that side of the coin today and the stories that led to getting there. These are the top fifteen wrestlers that have completely ripped for the WWE.
Batista doesn’t necessarily hate the people in WWE, but he hates what it represents. “The Animal” became a star in the mid-2000s and despised the change to the PG rating. WWE completely stripped away any edge from the product and made it more family friendly. Batista has gone on record numerous times that he thinks the company has gone downhill since the change. Batista's return in 2014 led to even more frustration with fans rejecting him in favor of Daniel Bryan. Batista blamed WWE creative and shows very little interest in returning again. The recent Titus O’Neil suspension for playing too rough with Vince McMahon saw Batista defend Titus publicly and encourage him to ditch WWE because they didn’t deserve him.
Big Dave left WWE for life in Hollywood and it worked out to his advantage. Guardians of the Galaxy became an instant hit and made Batista a hot commodity with the ability to get work in other films. Batista doesn’t need WWE anymore so he has no reason to bite his tongue. The most recent instance of him trashing WWE featured a criticism of Stephanie McMahon slapping the male performers on the roster and them having no way to get a receipt on her. Batista doesn’t care and loves speaking his mind – the perfect combination for trashing WWE.
14 Josh Mathews
Josh Mathews's release by the WWE caused the broadcaster to hate his former employer. TNA signed Mathews right away as the new voice of Impact Wrestling, along with a daily office job. Mathews has spoken out against WWE during his time in TNA and clearly has no love for them. Fans will get ignored, insulted or blocked on Twitter for asking questions about his time in WWE as a commentator or an aspiring wrestler on the Tough Enough reality show. Mathews unleashed a rant against the big wigs in WWE when Samoa Joe debuted in NXT last year and TNA was not given proper respect for helping build Joe.
Mathews has become a huge part of TNA’s branding with an emphasis on social media and the company has taken shots at WWE on the official Twitter in the past year. This was likely the work of Mathews carrying over his grudge through the social media world. Mathews even insulted Jim Ross and had a falling out with Taz following his WWE release. The bitterness has carried over to his other aspects of his life and it’s a shame. Mathews is arguably the worst commentator in the business today which makes his anti-WWE stance have less credibility behind it.
13 Bill Goldberg
The death of WCW led to many fantasy matchups with the stars of WCW being able to enter WWE. Goldberg was finally signed in 2003 but his run only lasted a year before he decided to let his contract expire. Goldberg was not used very well and most of the magic from his WCW days did not carry over to WWE. Triple H ended up holding the title at the end of their feud while Goldberg moved back down into less hyped storylines. Goldberg has taken it personally and trashes WWE any chances he gets. There are rumors that Goldberg will return at WrestleMania every year, but the bad blood on both sides will likely never allow it.
WWE and Goldberg recently made amends to make him part of the video game WWE 2K17. Goldberg’s persona will play a big role in the game and the marketing of it, but it is unlikely to see him ever return in the ring. The ugly side of the relationship stems more towards how he was used on television and WWE won’t mess with that. Goldberg still wanted it to be known that he only spoke to Triple H once in the past decade. so fans are aware he still holds a grudge and isn’t friends with the powers that be.
Konnan is one of the most successful wrestlers of the past twenty-five years to never have a substantial stint in the WWE. The Mexican wrestling legend achieved most of his fame in WCW during the Monday Night Wars. Konnan was originally meant to play Max Moon in WWE but a bad falling out caused animosity on both sides. Today, Konnan hosts a podcast on MLW and takes harsh shots at the WWE product and the people that run the company on a weekly basis. WWE taking a long time to free Rey Mysterio from his contract and initially firing Alberto Del Rio after striking a racist employee further put the company on Konnan’s hate list for treating his friends poorly.
The criticism from Konnan is aimed mostly towards WWE and he feels the company gets in their own way. The talent is never the ones being insulted by him, but WWE’s use of them and overall booking philosophy gets trashed often. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H are usually the targets of Konnan, as he believes they are hurting the company by putting themselves on television far too often. We won’t see Konnan getting inducted into the Hall of Fame or becoming part of the WWE family any time soon.
Raven's controversial career saw his biggest spotlight end when WWE let him go in 2002. As one of the most popular characters of the late 90s, Raven showed a great world of potential but would never get to fulfill it in WWE. Raven would make the bold decision to sue WWE over their inability to provide the proper requirements to match the talents’ independent contractors’ status. The lawsuit would get thrown out and you can find Raven taking shots at how WWE is run today on his Twitter account or shoot interviews. Raven isn’t as brash or hateful in his disdain for WWE as others, but it’s clear there's some frustration any time he talks about the company.
The recent podcast appearances of Raven on The Steve Austin Show and Talk Is Jericho provided an insight into why he dislikes the WWE. Raven basically just felt he deserved to make more money than he did, but it impacts his outlook of the business today. The critical eye of Raven views WWE as self-destructing with poor decision making. Raven also feels he has the potential to be a great booker for a wrestling company and WWE having no interest in him likely factors into his dislike for the company.
Ryback’s recent controversy, regarding him asking to go home, has put him on the hate list of WWE and he’s returning the favor. The Big Guy used the power of the internet to express how much he disliked the process of how the pay system works. Ryback is not shy about stating his disdain for how the WWE booked him and failed to capitalize on his potential as well. The company is likely going to respond to Ryback’s complains by letting his contract run out and releasing him. Expect Ryback to pull no punches once he's officially a free agent and calls out everything and everyone he dislikes in the WWE.
The writing is on the wall with Ryback showing no signs of changing his tune on social media and making jokes about wrestling for other companies. There are rumors of TNA getting ready to offer a six-figure contract to a WWE star once their contract ends and that is likely Ryback. WWE is losing out on a former promising prospect and his anger at the missed opportunity is clear. If Ryback thrives outside of the WWE, expect him to trash the company even more and rub it in their faces.
9 Teddy Hart
Teddy Hart showed a great deal of potential on the independent wrestling scene with some of the more dazzling high-flying moves you’d ever find in a wrestling ring. His personal demons and overall poor attitude ruined Hart’s chances in WWE developmental but he would never get to the big leagues. Hart however blames WWE for being intimidated by him and thinks the top stars were afraid of Hart outshining them. Teddy Hart's career is hanging on the threads right now, but he still trash talks WWE and everything it stands for.
In fairness to WWE, Hart insults just about everyone in pro wrestling from TNA to ROH to CM Punk. His uncle Bret Hart actually spoke out on his podcast stating no one should take his nephew seriously and believes he has mental issues. The claims from Hitman are likely true given some of the ridiculous things Teddy has to say. Hart actually showed up to various shows and events at WrestleMania 32 weekend in his gear hoping to get attention from fans. There’s no doubt this was an effort to try to prove he was a big star that WWE dropped the ball with. Hart’s story is a very unfortunate one and his shots at WWE are just a part of it.
ECW’s toughest badass, Taz, entered WWE with a world of hope but he failed to replicate his success in the bigger pond. Taz did transition into a very successful broadcaster and never expressed anything negative towards WWE until very recently. CBS employs Taz to host a daily radio show breaking down the pro wrestling world. Taz has waged war on WWE for taking away “Taz Show” signs and not allowing talent to appear on his show as guests. The Human Suplex Machine feels WWE is trying to hurt his show and views him as competition. Taz has insulted the company on multiple occasions and criticizes many folks running the WWE product right now.
A recent instance of Taz going after WWE was due to a controversial moment involving Roman Reigns. Another CBS talk show asked Reigns if he knew Taz and Reigns claimed the WWE PR people were counting him down to end the interview. Taz felt this was a personal shot at him and he has continued to bring it up on a weekly basis. In fact, he believes WWE will never induct him in the Hall of Fame solely due to his comments about the company. Taz also shows a great deal of resentment towards WWE for making money off the ECW library despite trashing them in the 90s.
7 Gail Kim
Women’s wrestling has become a vocal point in the direction of the WWE today but that wasn’t always the case. Many great female performers were unable to get a fair chance at getting over due to WWE wanting eye candy and short matches for the division. Gail Kim was arguably the most talented woman to get used poorly by WWE and she still holds a grudge. Kim has stated she will never go back to the WWE and is perfectly fine wrestling in TNA or on the independent circuit for the remainder of her career. Vince McMahon apparently didn’t find Kim attractive and that’s why was rarely showcased her on television. You can’t blame Gail for her hatred of the company.
TNA has their fair share of screw-ups and is viewed as laughing stock but Kim is proof that they sometimes do good things for the wrestling business. It’s a shame Kim has such an understandable disdain for WWE because her matches against the likes of Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley would be spectacular. The dislike is mostly for how McMahon runs the company and unless Triple H completely takes over, the war against WWE will likely continue on for Gail Kim.
6 Shane Douglas
“The Franchise” Shane Douglas achieved his greatest success in ECW but could never find such luck in WWE or WCW. Douglas blamed Shawn Michaels and the rest of The Kliq for the political game in WWE keeping him down. The sharks in the WWE were too much for Douglas to handle and it ended his time there in depressing fashion. Douglas made the decision to head back to ECW, but he has trashed the WWE for years ever since then. Most assumed it was just for promos during his rebellious ECW character act, but he still buries the company and many people in it to this day.
Douglas, at this point, is basically known for how much he hates the WWE and everything it represents. Douglas continues to talk about wanting to start a promotion that treats wrestlers better. On multiple occasions, he has referenced having a wealthy investor but nothing has materialized. Douglas actually found himself being interviewed for various WWE Network specials, so he clearly doesn’t hate the money associated with WWE. The premise of Douglas hating WWE was based off things in the 90s but it still is something he holds close to home. Your dream job treating you poorly is a wound that will never heal.
5 Vince Russo
Everyone’s least favorite wrestling personality is back on the internet talking trash about WWE. Vince Russo has created his own website and hosts various talk shows on it, selling a subscription service. The majority of the content is Russo claiming WWE has gone downhill due to his absence and completely burying the product today. Russo clowns the McMahon family and the performers while saying his writing would be able to make WWE’s ratings grow once again. Things ended poorly between WWE and Russo, causing much of the hatred being spewed by Russo today.
Russo's podcast has grown in popularity due to other longtime fans being disinterested in the product. Russo speaks to those that never outgrew the Attitude Era and wants to “make wrestling great again.” The targets of Russo have been Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and others of that ilk. Russo believes the vision by Triple H and lack of insight by Vince McMahon has allowed a horrible decline in the wrestling business. Russo appears to believe WWE owes him more what he contributed to the company’s success in the 90s and is offended they won’t call him for help. This is the sad story that takes place when you are no longer wanted by any wrestling promotion.
4 New Jack
Most of the popular ECW acts would end up getting hired by WWE in some capacity. Rob Van Dam and The Dudley Boyz represented how successful things could be for the former extreme guys with Raven and Taz giving a sign of how disappointing it could be. New Jack was one of the very rare beloved ECW icons to never get hired by WWE due to his controversial and dangerous reputation. This caused New Jack to talk trash about WWE for years and claim they copied a lot of his ideas. Shane McMahon jumping off the titantron and recently the Hell in a Cell specifically led to New Jack ranting, with a great deal of profanity, about WWE.
The post-ECW life of New Jack essentially featured him trashing anyone relevant in the wrestling business, so it’s hard to believe he’s serious about these things. One factor that could give legitimacy to his claims was WWE snubbing him during the ECW brand return in 2006. It was one thing to avoid him as a talent in general but not allowing him to be a part of the company he gave his all to must have been difficult for him to accept. Regardless of the rational, New Jack will be trashing WWE at any convention you find him at.
3 Jim Cornette
No one in pro wrestling has ever made as many headlines expressing hatred for others in wrestling as Jim Cornette. WWE actually would pay Cornette to bury other wrestlers and wrestling promotions on RAW for a few months in 1997 because it was so entertaining. Cornette’s ultimate release from WWE years later would cause Cornette to rant about his former employer. The old school wrestling pundit despises a lot of the new elements that have been progressing over years and that’s why he has a genuine hatred for WWE. Cornette trashes Vince McMahon, Triple H, many wrestlers and the overall WWE brand every week on his podcast and his social media accounts with intense vitriol.
The recent success of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn has given Cornette new ammunition to go after WWE with. Cornette had negative interactions with both men during their time in Ring of Honor together and the bad blood has been public for years. Two of his newest enemies working for his longtime enemy just added more incentive to bury the company harder. Cornette believes WWE is in the worst shape it has ever been in, due to subpar talent, horrible writing and an emphasis on entertainment over wrestling.
2 Scott Steiner
The very outspoken Scott Steiner is not one to bite his tongue and WWE is one of the biggest targets of his wrath. Steiner hated his time with WWE in the early-2000s and claims Triple H tried to bury him during their feud. Triple H did always look like the bigger star during their segments and the matches were horrible, so maybe he had a point. Steiner demeans Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair specifically as being politicians backstage that kissed up to get their spots. A recent interview showed Steiner saying he turned down a WWE Legends contract because it was a huge rip off. Steiner went on to absolutely bury the company and reminded us why he is one of the biggest WWE haters.
Any time he is asked about it, Steiner finds new reasons to trash WWE. CM Punk and Rey Mysterio both choosing to leave WWE has been cited by Big Poppa Pump as proof the company is in shambles if top names don’t want to be there. Steiner shows no interest in ever returning to WWE in any capacity due to his absolute hatred for it. We may never see the greatest Hall of Fame speech of all time due to Steiner’s inability to make peace.
1 CM Punk
There is no one that hates the WWE more than CM Punk right now. Feeling like he was being disrespected for years led to Punk walking out on them after the 2014 Royal Rumble. The company sent Punk his termination papers on his wedding day, showing there was no love lost on their side. Punk went on friend Colt Cabana’s podcast to verbally destroy the WWE in a tell-all interview. Naturally, his biggest enemy in WWE was Triple H but he was fed up of Vince McMahon’s antics as well. You could feel the hatred in Punk with each word uttered when talking about WWE and he still goes out of his way to avoid ever talking about his time with the company he now loathes.
Punk goes out of his way to avoid speaking about WWE today, but the hatred is still there. He recently “liked” Batista’s tweet insulting Stephanie McMahon and unfollowed a few former friends that still work for the company. A.J. Lee’s autobiography is slated to be released very soon and the hot buzz states she still take shots at many people in WWE on behalf of her husband. Punk will likely hold a grudge for the rest of his life as he genuinely hates everything about the company today.