In the wrestling business there is no greater place to be than the WWE. The wages are high, the exposure is great for a wrestler to make a name for themselves. The tours are grueling, travelling all over the world for most of the year. With a company as large as the WWE there are always going to be guys that fall through the cracks. Whether its due to them just not meshing with the audience or backstage, or if its due to the bosses not having faith in them to achieve greatness on the big stage.
The WWE is littered with names that fall into one of those two categories. It could be guys like Kaval or Ron "R-Truth" Killings, who came into the WWE having accomplished big things in other national promotions or on the independent circuit but struggle to make an impact in the WWE. It could be guys like The Macho Man Randy Savage, Matt Bloom(A-Train, Prince Albert) or Ricky Steamboat who the WWE thought had nothing left to give, only to then watch them win countless titles in other promotions after they left.
Then there are guys who just don't seem to get the chance to really showcase their talents. whether it is guys saddled with a horrific gimmick like Matt Morgan and Shane Douglas(Dean Douglas) Or guys who achieved some success but had the powers that be give up on them before getting a chance at the big titles like Christian(NWA World Heavyweight Champion in TNA) and John Morrison(Multiple time World Champ on the indy scene)
This article is dedicated to all the guys who for one reason or another the WWE just didn't think they had "The X Factor" that makes the great superstars great and then went on to achieve greatness in other promotions. So here we go, the top 15 wrestlers that were cast away from the WWE and went on to do BIG things outside the promotion.
15 15. Bart Gunn/Mike Barton
Bart Gunn was a huge part of the WWE Tag Team scene in the 90s, teaming with Billy Gunn as The Smoking Gunns. The Gunns won the Tag Team Championship on three occasions. After the Gunns broke up/had a short feud, Bart had a short lived singles run before being packaged in another tag team with Bob Holly called the New Midnight Express which was also luckily short lived. The peak of Bart's WWE career came in winning the Brawl for All tournament (a legit shootfighting tournament held in 1998) This huge win however led to the end of Bart's WWE career after Gunn was knocked out in 35 seconds by Butterbean at WrestleMania XV.
14 14. Matt Morgan
13 13. Frankie Kazarian
12 12. Shane Douglas/Dean Douglas
11 11. Max Moon/Konnan
10 10. Derrick Bateman/EC3
9 9. Matt Bloom/Prince Abert/A-Train/Giant Bernard
8 8. Ron Killings/ R-Truth
Ron Killings made his WWE debut in 2000, teaming with Road Dogg. After that pairing ended Killings (wrestling under the name K-Kwik) became a regular on the WWE Weekend show Jakked. Killings won the Hardcore title on two occasions (who didn't back then?) before being released. He debuted on the very first NWA-TNA pay per view K-Krush to minor success. However when he became Ron "The Truth" Killings and began talking about race holding him back he hit his stride. Killings defeated Ken Shamrock for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at NWA-TNA 8 becoming the first ever Black NWA World heavyweight Champion A Championship he would win on two occasions.
7 7. John Morrison
John Hennigan made a big name for himself in the WWE. He won the third season of Tough Enough, is a former three time Intercontinental Champion, four time WWE Tag Team Champion (including one title win in his WWE Smackdown debut) and was a one time ECW World Champion. Despite all these accolades Hennigan (known as John Morrision/Johnny Nitro in WWE) was unable to take the next step and win either the WWE or World Heavyweight title.
6 6. Drew McIntyre
Drew was announced by Vince McMahon himself as "The Chosen One" and a future World Champion. Drew had a good start to his run winning the Intercontinental Championship and having a tag title run with Cody Rhodes. A domestic violence altercation with his wife, former WWE performer Tiffany (Taryn Terrell) led to his WWE career goingdown in flames fast. Being saddled with a horrible gimmick as a member of 3MB the once promising performer had become a comedy act. Drew was finally released on June 12th, 2014.
5 5. Christian
4 4. Low Ki/Kaval
3 3. Christopher Daniels
Christopher Daniels really never had a shot in the WWE. He made a few appearances here and there on shows like Sunday Night Heat and Shotgun Saturday Night never gaining any real traction, his biggest match being under a mask as one of the Los Conquistadores during the Edge and Christian vs Hardy Boyz feud. Outside of the WWE, Daniels had a lot of success mainly in ROH and TNA. Daniels is as highly regarded for his time in ROH as WWE Legends CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
2 2. Macho Man Randy Savage
1 1. Ricky Steamboat
Okay, I know Ricky had one of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history at WrestleMania III against Macho Man Randy Savage, but besides that his WWE run was very underwhelming compared to the rest of his career. He maxed out as an Intercontinental champion. In WCW he won the World Heavyweight Title once, was a four time United States Champion, four time Television champion and an EIGHT time Tag team champion. His run in WCW far exceeded anything he did in the WWE.
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