Let’s be honest in order to succeed in the WWE, you have to have it all meaning you need the wrestling skills as well as entertaining ability. The only problem is that some wrestlers have all the characteristics of being a good wrestler, but aren't exactly entertaining. Some careers may dwindle on success for a while, but then something bad happens like an injury, they get fired, or they just straight up quit. Throughout the years of WWE, it clearly shows superstars need the ability to talk on the mic because it draws the WWE fans attention. That’s why WWE has segments such as the Cutting Edge, Miz Tv, the Highlight Reel, and others. The mic can literally bump up their careers or for some end it.
Many superstars over the past have grown uncomfortable with WWE so they decide to quit and that includes big names such as CM Punk, Goldberg, and others. Then there are those that have to retire due to serious injuries like a favorite superstar, Daniel Bryan, recently announced he had to retire with a heartfelt YES ovation. The YES movement won’t be forgotten since his wife, Brie Bella is still with the WWE , but Daniel Bryan obviously hated to call it quits because the YES movement was so strong, it even took over Monday Night Raw. Fans will keep doing the YES chants as long as Bryan’s name is still relevant.
Then there’s people like Batista, Goldberg, CM Punk, and others who quit on their own terms. They quit WWE because they were frustrated with the ways things were headed for them in WWE. WWE fans probably didn’t forget CM Punk’s infamous rant he did towards the company. WWE was even tired of it, that they turned off his mic. Also, just recently WWE wrestler, Titus O’ Neil was suspended from the WWE with an incident with WWE chairman, Vince McMahon and almost got fired from it. McMahon wasn’t happy about what happened. While he's still with the company, you wonder if he'll take the advice of his friend Batista and say adios to the WWE. If so, that would be a terrible way to see him go out.
Here are 15 wrestlers whose WWE careers ended terribly. This list will not include career-ending injuries or deaths, but rather wrestlers who left or dismissed without a good sendoff, going out with a whimper.
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15 Mr. Perfect
Mr. Perfect had a tremendous run in the early 90s in WWE, but a back injury eventually forced him into early retirement. He would eventually come out of retirement in WCW, but when WWE won the war, they brought back Curt Hennig in early 2002. While he had a strong showing in the Royal Rumble, he would quickly be relegated down the card. Perfect would mostly be used in dark matches or on Heat, before being released in May, following the "Plane Ride from Hell".
Who can forget the frizzled, afro hair, apple eating guy and spits it at his opponent’s face, Carlito. Carlito’s gimmick was known for that when he entered the ring. First, he’d take a bite out of his apple stare at his opponent, introduce himself, and then spit in their face. It was silly yet entertaining at the same time. His release from WWE didn’t come as a shock. Carlito got released from WWE because he had a drug problem and WWE wanted to send him to rehab, Carlito refused. One thing led to another and Carlito got released.
13 Justin Gabriel
This name may not ring a bell, but if you remember the Nexus in WWE then you may have heard of Justin Gabriel. When Gabriel eventually started doing singles matches, Gabriel was known for his 450 splash against opponents. Gabriel was another high flying wrestler, fans can’t cheer for anymore. Gabriel left on his own terms so a return might not happen since he wasn’t a big name. Gabriel was hoping and waiting to get that bump, but it never really happened so he left.
12 Jeff Hardy
As many wrestling fans probably know Jeff Hardy is currently with TNA Impact wrestling. WWE fans can still cross their fingers for WWE return, but for now that may seem unlikely. When Hardy was with the WWE, he faced CM Punk for a career vs. career match in the steel cage for the World Heavyweight title. Hardy lost, but even when saying his goodbye Punk decided to ruin it hitting him behind. WWE fans certainly miss the high flying Jeff Hardy sacrificing his own body doing the Swanton Bomb off the top of ropes and ladders. Hopefully there’s a Hardy return in the near future.
JBL quit on the biggest stage of them all, WrestleMania. At that time, JBL was facing Rey Mysterio for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 25 and lost within 30 seconds. JBL was one of the top wrestlers back then so that win was a surprise, but when he grabbed the mic JBL seemed troubled. JBL then finally blurted out that he quit. Years later, he became the commentator for Monday Night Raw.
The balling superstar had quite the run with WWE. What some may not know was that MVP was a former convict before joining WWE. MVP was grateful enough to be part of the business and it shows. Much like any wrestler he had his ups and downs, at the end of the day, MVP was still a joy to watch. Fans were distraught hearing about MVP’s release from WWE, but he cleared the air and said himself that he asked for his release. He decided to take his talents internationally and later he joined TNA Impact. He made his impact there for a while, but then eventually got fired.
9 AJ Lee
AJ Lee had many things to love about her not only is she super good looking, but she had the wrestling skills of being a former Divas champ. Much like her husband, CM Punk, it’s hard to imagine both of them back in the WWE again. AJ clearly was frustrated with the way the divas division was going and took upon it on social media to address the issue with the Chief Brand Officer of WWE, Stephanie McMahon. So last year AJ announced her retirement leaving behind her memorable black widow submission as well as her screams and skips around the ring.
8 Alberto Del Rio
Although, Alberto Del Rio is currently back with WWE, his incident can’t be ignored. Del Rio had a confrontation with a WWE employee, after that individual made racist comments towards Del Rio and Del Rio got mad and slapped him. That employee is no longer with the WWE now, but he threatened to sue WWE so as a result WWE fired Del Rio. Del Rio was rumored to join TNA Impact Wrestling, but eventually came back to WWE surprising fans. An even bigger surprise was that he was with Zeb Colter when he came back promoting Mexican Americana. He’s currently with the League of Nations.
7 Scott Hall
Scott Hall was one of many faces of WCW brought into WWE following the company's demise. While Hall's initial run in WWE ended unceremoniously in 1996, his 2002 run in WWE bordered on disastrous. After a short feud with Stone Cold, Hall was eventually released from the company following that infamous "Plane Ride from Hell" in which Hall was asleep, but many believed he was intoxicated while on WWE's European tour.
6 Kurt Angle
The Olympic gold medalist and former WWE star, Kurt Angle was known for his Angle Slam, but in this case he was slammed out of WWE. There’s no question Angle has the athletic ability to win the gold. The only problem with him is that during his time in the WWE, he suffered injuries and he had a substance abuse problem. WWE couldn’t take it anymore and decided to move on from Angle. It’s been almost a decade now and Angle is on his farewell tour so the chances of him coming back to the WWE are pretty slim.
Batista was truly an animal especially since he was a big guy, his power was intimidating while he was in the WWE. However he wasn’t intimidating enough when Triple H who’s now the WWE COO didn’t let Batista have his title shot until the group they were feuding with during that time which was the Shield was gone forever. So Batista got mad and walked out on Evolution. WWE had hopes that Batista would be a mega babyface for his 2014 run, but fans rejected it, resulting in Batista turning heel and soon being pushed down the card.
Batista now is enjoying his time acting and it seems like he may not be back with WWE. If he does come back, that’d be great, but for now he’s been in movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Heist, and others.
Goldberg had reservations about signing with WWE and as a result, only took a one-year contract in 2003. He was worried WWE wouldn't book him properly and those suspicions turned out to be right. After a strong opening program with The Rock, Goldberg was thrown into mid-card programs. His big moment should have come at SummerSlam, but instead Triple H kept the World Heavyweight Championship after the Elimination Chamber. By the time WrestleMania XX came around, Goldberg had made up his mind to leave, as did his scheduled opponent Brock Lesnar. As a result, the two half-assed their match and stunk the joint out. That remains Goldberg's last match and hardly the ending his career warranted.
3 Hulk Hogan
It was sad to hear the WWE cut ties with Hulk Hogan after a video surfaced online in which Hogan used racial slurs. Now it seems as though Hogan will now be known as the guy who uses racial slurs. Hogan has appeared in many interviews over the past year with support of WWE fans and wrestlers saying he wants to rectify this whole situation and wants to be part of the WWE once again. Hulkamania is still a beloved figure and WWE will fans must miss cheering for the Hulkster so it’s hard not to believe Hogan will be given that second chance.
2 CM Punk
What can there be said about the straight edged, CM Punk. First, fans can adore him yet hate him at the same time. His departure from WWE wasn’t really a surprise. It was more of an omen because when he was WWE champion he complained about numerous things that he should deserve. While Punk walked out on the company the night after the 2014 Royal Rumble, Punk says he was deliberately fired on his wedding day. To this day, WWE fans still chant the name CM Punk hoping for a return because when he talked people listened. Who knows maybe WWE and Punk can come to an agreement for now he’s with the UFC. For now the last visual of CM Punk in a WWE ring is being eliminated by Corporate Kane.
1 Randy Savage
Randy Savage deserved a major angle to end his time in WWE, but instead, he left very quietly in late 1994. Having been phased out a full-time wrestling role, Savage was used mostly on commentary and his idea for a long retirement feud with Shawn Michaels was rejected by officials. Savage signed with WCW late in 1994 and Vince McMahon acknowledged the Macho Man's departure on television, thanking him for his contributions. That would be the last time Savage appeared in WWE, as he never re-signed after WCW's demise and wasn't inducted into the HOF until well after his death.
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