WWE's roster is currently the biggest it has ever been with the company's three main brands as well as 205 Live and NXT UK. The fact that their roster has added so many new faces in recent years means that almost every wrestler is seen as replaceable, which is they there have been so many releases over the past few years.
Many WWE stars are aware that their time on the main roster is fleeting since there aren't many stars who are able to remain as part of the company for more than a decade. This means that a few stars have made future plans for themselves after their careers come to an end, but others have struggled since their release came from out of nowhere and there was no plan B in place.
It's hard for many stars to move on after their 15 minutes of fame, which is why some struggle to remain in the spotlight, while others squander on the independent circuit for a few months or years until they decide that their future isn't in the ring.
Of course, this isn't the case for everyone since there are the select few who have been able to become even more popular since they left WWE. Many stars have dropped off the radar since their WWE release since many have found new outlets for their creativity which allow them to live normal lives.
The following list looks at just 10 of the most recent male and female WWE releases and what they have decided to do since their departure. Many stars have remained in the wrestling business while others have retired and taken new paths completely.
20 Male: Enzo Amore
Enzo Amore was released from WWE following Raw 25 back in January and he later stated that he would never return to the ring. He has focused the past few months on his budding rap career and even released music online that has gained some positive reactions from the WWE Universe.
Amore was recently seen at Survivor Series when he decided to enter the arena and attempt to cut a promo in the crowd. He was shown out the door by security and it was later reported that the company doubled their security efforts the following night on Raw to ensure that The Certified G wasn't allowed inside the arena a second time.
19 Female: Summer Rae
Summer Rae was released from WWE along with Emma and Darren Young last year and has since been able to continue her modeling career outside of the company. Summer already had some experience from WWE and even stepped into acting when she starred in The Marine, so she has tried her hand at moving into acting as well.
Rae was never given a fair chance in WWE and was left of TV for more than a year before she was finally released, which meant that she already had plenty of time to plan for her future. Summer hasn't actually retired from the ring but hasn't wrestled since her release.
18 Male: Big Cass
Big Cass was released from WWE following this year's WrestleMania after he seemingly fell out with a number of stars backstage and was on a tightrope with many WWE officials. Like many other stars who's departure seemingly came from out of nowhere, Cass has continued to wrestle on the independent circuit.
Big Cass sat out his 90-day no-compete clause before he made his debut for Big Time Wrestling back in November. He has since been called both Big C and Big Cazz on the independent circuit as any bookers still continue to hope that Enzo and Cass will reunite on the indies in the near future.
Cass also had a huge scare in the ring recently, when he collapsed due to seizures.
17 Female: Emma
Emma's WWE release came from out of nowhere since Emma was working well on Monday Night Raw, but it was reported that the former NXT star had frustrated a number of officials backstage when the Emmalina character didn't work out.
Emma has since been working regularly on the indies under her real name, Tenille Dashwood, most notably at Ring of Honor, but she recently revealed that she needed to take some time away to undergo surgery on her injured shoulder. Emma was offered a new contract by Ring of Honor and is expected to return to the company in the new year.
16 Male: Simon Gotch
Simon Gotch was released from WWE following WrestleMania back in 2017 when he reportedly had a backstage altercation and the company decided that the best option was to terminate his contract. Gotch made a name for himself as one half of The Vaudevillians, but he has since become known as Simon Grimm on the independent scene.
Grimm has been landing many bookings throughout his time on the independent circuit since he was a known name when he left WWE. The former Tag Team Champion has since spoken openly about his time in WWE and the fact that he would never return.
15 Female: Eva Marie
Eva Marie was released from WWE back in 2017 after more than a year of being inactive while still contracted to the company. Marie came to WWE though the 2013 Diva Search and was a star of Total Divas, but it was obvious that she was more focused on creating a career for herself in the acting business rather than her role in the wrestling ring.
Marie has since moved onto new a career on while landing various gigs but is completely retired from the ring at the moment. She hasn't ruled out a WWE return in the future, but for now, she seems occupied with a new career.
14 Male: Austin Aries
Austin Aries was a surprising signing for WWE, to begin with, but the fact that he was sent down to NXT and then pushed towards 205 Live didn't sit well with the former Impact Wrestling star, which is why he was released from the company following WrestleMania back in 2016.
Aries has since wrestled for the likes of Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling, but he walked out of the latter following his Championship match with Johnny Impact where he seemingly no-sold the finish of the match and walked out after getting pinned while um, 'saluting' the crowd. Aries has since refused to talk publicly about the walkout but it appears that he is done with Impact Wrestling.
13 Female: Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn asked for her WWE release back in 2014 after she dropped the Divas Championship to AJ Lee and seemingly didn't have any creative direction in the company. The former Champion left the company to start her own company, but following various changes in her life, she decided to step back into the ring.
Kaitlyn returned to WWE as part of the Mae Young Classic earlier this year but she was eliminated fairly early on in the competition and hasn't been used on WWE TV since. Kaitlyn has returned to the independent circuit but could return to WWE as part of the upcoming Women's Royal Rumble.
12 Male: Rich Swann
Rich Swann had a number of personal circumstances surrounding his departure from WWE, but the former Cruiserweight Champion had no problems gaining bookings on the independent circuit. Swann worked on the indies before he was signed to WWE and was easily able to step back into this way of life.
Swann retired from the business last year after he announced that he would honor his last bookings but he changed his mind a few months later and still makes regular appearances on the independent circuit. The former star is currently contracted to Impact Wrestling but due to their partnership with AAA, Swann can now also appear at Lucha Libre AAA as well.
11 Female: Brandi Rhodes
Brandi Rhodes was never used as a wrestler in WWE after the company made the decision to take her out of the ring after her stint in FCW. Instead, Rhodes made a name for herself as a ring announcer under the name Eden Stiles but surprised the world when she walked away from the company alongside her husband Cody Rhodes back in 2016.
Brandi and Cody have since had successful stints in many indie promotions including Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling and continue to be two of the most successful former WWE stars. Brandi has also been able to return to the ring and now regularly wrestles alongside Cody. She'll now hope to do that alongside him as they look to grow All Elite Wrestling. Brandi will play a big role as Chief Brand Officer for the promotion.
10 Male: Darren Young
Darren Young was released from WWE along with Emma and Summer Rae in the fall of 2017 after almost a year of being inactive on WWE TV. The former Tag Team Champion had been working alongside Bob Backlund for a number of months but even the WWE Hall of Famer was unable to push Young's career into a prominent position.
Young has since continued to wrestle on the Independent Circuit over the past year since he was part of Chikara's King of The Trio's tournament earlier this year where he teamed with former Nexus stars, Michael Tarver and Justin Gabriel but they were unable to pick up the win.
9 Female: AJ Lee
AJ Lee made the decision to leave WWE following a successful career back in 2015, Lee teamed with Paige at WrestleMania 31 where they picked up the win over The Bella Twins, but the former Divas Champion decided just a week later to walk away from the company.
Lee has since written a New York Times Best Selling book called Crazy Is My Superpower, which documents the beginnings of her professional wrestling career. It was announced earlier this year that Lee's book was set to be turned into a series and she would be acting as an executive producer on the show. She was recently offered a WWE return, but she turned it down.
8 Male: James Ellsworth
James Ellsworth was released from WWE back in 2017 but he made his return earlier this year to help Carmella to defeat Asuka back at Money in the Bank. Ellsworth then helped Carmella with a number of title defenses before he was fired by General Manager Paige a few weeks later.
Ellsworth hasn't returned to the company over the past few months and it's believed that he was working with WWE without a contract, which means that he can be pulled back at any time. While he awaits another call from the company, Ellsworth continues to ply his trade on the independent circuit.
7 Female: Lilian Garcia
Lilian Garcia was one of the longest tenured female performers in WWE at on point but the former Diva requested her WWE release back in 2016 when she revealed that she wanted to return home to look after her ill father.
Over the past two years, Garcia has started her own podcast called Chasing Glory where she sits down with a number of stars on a regular basis and even made her return to WWE at Raw 25, announced the first ever Women's Battle Royal at WrestleMania and was then part of Evolution last month where she joined JoJo Offerman and Kayla Braxton as the female ring announcers for the show.
6 Male: Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger was released from WWE back in March 2017 after the former World Champion stated that he had requested his release from the company a few days before. Swagger was being underused in WWE at the time and had become frustrated with his position, something that he has been able to rectify on the independent circuit.
Swagger has been working as part of the Lucha Underground roster ever since the beginning of 2018 under the ring name "The Savage" Jake Strong. Strong is the current Lucha Underground Champion, a title that he has now held for almost three hundred days.
5 Female: Rosa Mendes
Rosa Mendes came to WWE through the annual Diva Search back in 2006 and was unable to make much of an impact on the company when it came to her in-ring style, but was still able to remain an active member of the roster for more than a decade.
Mendes retired from the ring back in 2017 but it appears that Mendes is finding it hard to stay away since she recently revealed that she was back in the ring training. Mendes returned to the ring back in May at MCW Pro Wrestling where she teamed with former WWE star Adam Rose.
4 Male: Neville
Neville walked away from WWE back in October 2017 and refused to make his return despite the company offering him numerous options if he came back to the company. Neville was finally granted his release from WWE earlier this year and he has since been able to make his return to the independent circuit where he first found fame.
Neville, now going by PAC, recently won the Open the Dream Gate Championship at Dragon Gate's "Fantastic Gate 2018" when he defeated Korakuen Hall. The former Cruiserweight Champion has since been booked for a number of other promotions and is due to face Will Ospreay at RevPro next year.
3 Female: Zeda
Zeda was a representative of China in the 2017 inaugural Mae Young Classic and with WWE wanting to expand into new territories and trying to reach new audiences, it seemed Zeda would have a place with the company. However, Zeda just wasn't measuring up to the likes of fellow emerging female talents in NXT like Bianca Belair, Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler, and so Zeda was released in June 2018.
Zeda has since returned to the independent circuit and hasn't had all that much work, aside from a handful of appearances in the United States. We'll see how she fares as more months go by since her release.
2 Male: Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes made the decision to leave WWE back in 2016 after growing frustrated with the Stardust character that the company was giving to him. Rhodes has been making waves on the independent circuit over the past few years and has proved a number of people wrong by becoming a huge name outside of WWE.
Rhodes even booked and promoted All In earlier this year which was seen as a huge success as well. The former champion has proved that WWE isn't the biggest platform in the world anymore and has made quite the difference in promotions like Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor. Rhodes recently revealed he turned down an offer to return to WWE and plans on continuing to grow the business outside of the WWE umbrella. He'll obviously have a big role in how big of a success AEW turns out to be.
1 Female: Cameron
Cameron's WWE release wasn't much of a surprise since the former Tough Enough star was unable to step up alongside the rest of the women in the company when the revolution first began. Cameron was released from WWE back in 2016 after agreeing with comments made with Ryback and has since pursued a career in the spotlight.
Cameron has since taken to a new endeavor away from wrestling as a TV host. Cameron now goes under her given name as Ariane Andrews and continues to pursue a career as an actress at the same time. It doesn't seem like she has any plans of getting back in the ring at the moment.