There comes a time in every professional wrestler's career where they have to hang up the boots for good. As newer talent arises the older veterans in certain situations often get bumped down a notch or two to make way for fresh faces that companies can test out in front of the millions of viewers that tune in each week. Of course people like John Cena tend to be in the spotlight a little longer than usual. The time will come when Cena has to retire but there's no reason for him to complain since he's lasted much longer than a majority of the wrestlers that have competed in the WWE. While the 16-time world champion will most likely get to leave the squared circle on good terms, there have been several other stars that didn't quite get the happy ending to their stint in the premiere wrestling organization that they deserved. Saying Vince McMahon and the rest of his crew play favorites might be a bit too much.
What's safe to say is that the superstars working under his watchful eye are on a short leash and any slip up or incident that causes negative publicity may warrant the dreaded pink slip. In this list we will discuss those who were unceremoniously released from the WWE to the dismay of those who watch them week in and week out. Not every wrestler can have top notch job security like Mr. Cena. Here are the top 15 WWE wrestlers who were released for ridiculous reasons.
15 Muhammad Hassan
When it comes down to it Muhammad Hassan was released because of horrible timing and bad luck. He simply did what he was instructed to do and paid dearly for it. On an episode of SmackDown that was taped on July 4, 2005, former SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long announced that The Undertaker would take on Hassan at The Great American Bash pay-per-view that was set to take place later that month. On that same episode Long placed Daivari, Hassan's manager, in a match later that night against The Deadman. Daivari was defeated, but Hassan decided to pray on the ramp to summon five men wearing black masks to attack The Undertaker.
14 Elijah Burke
When Elijah Burke first appeared on television sets back in 2006 he was the manager for Sylvester Terkay. Terkay was nothing we hadn't seen before. A foreign brawler who was an imposing figure that could toss around a jobber or two. Boring. Burke appeared to be the more intriguing of the two since he was working the mic most the time which caused many to wonder what he was made of. After Terkay was released in 2007, Burke got his shot at making a name for himself by becoming a singles competitor. The talent was clearly there but the WWE creative team failed to work with a more than capable wrestler at their disposal. Burke basically vanished from TV for several months in 2008 before the typical future endeavors article was posted on WWE.com.
Telling someone that made their career off of their size to lose some weight is like asking Stone Cold to stop drinking beer. It just doesn't make sense. Sure it probably wouldn't have hurt for Rikishi to lose some pounds but we all know the Stink Face wouldn't be the same without his girth behind him. After being asked repeatedly to shed some weight the WWE was fed up with the former Too Cool member and released him in 2004. I would assume that Rikishi is pretty healthy these days and he looked to be in good shape in 2015 when he was inducted in to the Hall of Fame.
12 Damien Sandow
Damien Sandow was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After gaining popularity with his awesome gimmick of being The Miz's stunt double in 2014, Sandow looked to be on his way to a storyline that would allow him to showcase his talents even better. Unfortunately that shot at a more promising role never came to fruition. The WWE ushered in a "new era" and no longer had use for Sandow. This is another example of the creative team dropping the ball. The stunt double gimmick was fantastic, surely they could have come up with something equally as entertaining instead of simply letting the Kentucky native be released.
11 Shelton Benjamin
If promos weren't a part of professional wrestling Shelton Benjamin would have been one of the greatest competitors we've ever seen. While his limited mic skills held him back at times, Benjamin put on some of the most entertaining matches we've seen in a long time. Sure he botched a move every now and then but who hasn't? His athletic ability stemming from his amateur wrestling background was second to none and he showcased his athleticism with several awe-inspiring maneuvers. It's too bad that the creative team behind Benjamin couldn't think of a decent storyline to put him in. Seriously that's why he was released in 2010.
10 Isis The Amazon
It's not often that we see a woman that's almost seven feet tall. Isis The Amazon, who was set to go by "Aloisia" on NXT, was supposed to make her debut on the show during season three of the all-female competition but was never seen again after being introduced to the wrestling world in 2010. For quite some time no one knew why the 6'9" rookie never made it to the ring. Turns out that a set of risque photos was what ultimately made the company hold her back from appearing on television; they wound up releasing her before even attempting to use her in another role.
9 Jim Ross
Ring side announcers play just as big of a role in the professional wrestling industry as the wrestlers themselves which is why Jim Ross is included in our list. Ross is synonymous with the WWE. One could even say that the company wouldn't be where it is today without Ross manning the mic. The announcer who is considered by many to be the greatest of all time at his profession, was released from the company after a press event for WWE 2K14 took a bizarre turn for the worse. Ric Flair joined Ross for the event that was held during the weekend of SummerSlam and was inebriated throughout the event.
Unlike most of the names on this list Emma was given a second chance after an incident at Walmart occurred back in 2014. The Australian pro wrestler was using a self-checkout machine and forgot to scan an iPad case that she had grabbed earlier while shopping. She was subsequently arrested for shoplifting. Hours after hearing about the arrest the WWE released Emma from her contract. Fans on social media voiced their displeasure over her firing and the outrage got to the point where the WWE decided to re-hire her the same day.
7 Mickie James
There haven't been many women that have garnered the attention that Mickie James attracted. She is second to only Trish Stratus in women's title reigns; that is some great company to be associated with. In May 2010 James was on tour with the rest of the WWE Superstars in Europe. On more then one occasion she was late to the bus, holding up the travel plans from city to city. This, along with a desire to work in the music industry and weight issues, was enough to warrant her release. The WWE isn't crazy about their employees pursuing other opportunities while working full time as a professional wrestler.
6 Matt Hardy
The Hardys are one of the most well-renowned tag teams in wrestling history. The argument as to which brother is the better performer will always be up for debate. After Jeff left for TNA in 2004, Matt was left to fend for himself in the singles division. Matt proved that he could carry his own weight by showing that his work could still thrive without his younger brother by his side. The real life relationship between Matt and former Women's Champion Lita soon found its way into the WWE. Lita had cheated on Matt with "The Rated R Superstar" Edge and things got ugly soon after. After finding out that Lita was messing around with Edge, Matt took to social media to voice his displeasure. It wasn't the craziest tirade we've seen online and it was understandable since Lita really did hurt Matt with her actions.
5 Albert Del Rio
Racism in the work environment should never be tolerated. Unfortunately in the case of Alberto Del Rio it was. Del Rio was fired on August 7, 2014 after being involved in an argument with Social Media Manager Cody Barbierri. Del Rio claims that Barbierri made racist remarks towards him and slapped him in the face for doing so. At first the WWE was going to suspend him but took their punishment a step further and fired him instead. So who was in the wrong here? Del Rio probably didn't have to hit Barbierri but at the same time Barbierri had no right to use racial slurs towards the former champion.
4 Highlander Robbie
TNA is the reason why Highlander Robbie got fired. Plain and simple. Okay it might not have been the wisest decision on Robbie's part to attend a TNA event but he could have gone unnoticed. In 2008 the WWE made a stop in Florida, the home of Impact Wrestling. Robbie decided to check out some of the local talent and bought some tickets to the Impact show that was going on before WrestleMania. So Robbie shows up to the event and what does the TNA production crew do? Show him on TV. Dirty move TNA, dirty move. Of course Vince heard about this and removed him from his bout at WrestleMania. Throw in a $5,000 fine and you have one of the most unnecessary disciplinary actions ever. He was simply trying to enjoy some professional wrestling from the other side of the entertainment business but wound up paying for it as he was released a few months later.
3 Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan was released twice from the WWE - once in 2001 and later in 2010. The latter is what earned Bryan a spot on our list. During season one of NXT the rookies from the show formed The Nexus and began destroying everyone that got in their way. On June 7, 2010 the stable of young talent invaded an episode of Raw and began wreaking havoc by attacking John Cena and destroying the ringside area. During the brawl Bryan pretended to choke ring announcer Justin Roberts with his own neck tie. The act was deemed too violent for PG era television (nothing compared to Attitude Era standards) and led to Bryan's firing four days later.
2 Ken Kennedy
Mr. Kennedy had main-event potential written all over him. His promo skills were second to none and his performances in the ring were just as brilliant. Unfortunately one slight miscue led to his firing in 2009. During a 10-man tag-team match on Raw, Kennedy performed a backdrop on Randy Orton. The move looked to have been done without a hitch but Orton, who has had a history of shoulder injuries, did not receive the move well and made it well known to management that Kennedy was reckless in the the and that the move could have ended his career. Kennedy was released later that night.
1 Dawn Marie
When someone becomes pregnant they're often given a leave of absence from their job. That's not the case in the WWE. Dawn Marie wasn't the best in-ring talent we've ever seen but she did play a rather large role on SmackDown's programming, specifically during her feud with Torrie Willson. In 2005 Marie let the world know that she was pregnant. This didn't sit well with the WWE so they released her because she was carrying a child. Crazy. Imagine being fired from your job as soon as you find out that you're expecting a newborn baby. I can't imagine the stress that fell upon Dawn Marie.
A move like this would not go over well by today's standards. They could have at least given Marie her walking orders after she gave birth but apparently that would have been too much to ask for back then. Dawn wound up filing a lawsuit against the WWE and the case was settled in 2007. Rosa Mendes should count her blessings since she became pregnant during her time as a professional wrestler as well. Instead of getting fired, she was given a leave of absence. She retired from wrestling about a year after she gave birth. At least she went out on her own terms.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!