Vince McMahon is an absolute genius and a madman all at the same time. He is someone that everyone respects and doesn't want to cross but throughout his time he has had his fair share of bust-ups with talent. This has led to people walking out on the company or being fired while other people's careers have been cut short due to injury or personal reasons even if Vince didn't want them to leave.
Vince is often prepared to let history stay exactly that in order for the business to boom, meaning he will happily welcome someone back if it is going to create good business, but there are certain names that he is more than happy to see no longer under his employment. However, at the same time, there are tons of wrestlers that he would love to have back in the company, whether that be due to his personal taste of the fact that he knows they would make for great business. Vince has always been willing to give second chances to wrestlers if he feels there's still some business to do with them. He's also willing to bring wrestlers back if they left on good terms and he has an idea for another storyline/opponent for them.
Within this list we will look at 12 names who Vince McMahon would love to have back in WWE full-time and 12 names that he is happy have now gone from WWE. With Vince always searching for star power, we may indeed see some of these names re-appear in WWE.
24 Wants Back: Batista
Vince McMahon has always had a soft spot for a wrestler with Batista's look, tall and packed with muscle, Batista is Vince's ideal look for a Superstar and that is why he had a great career during his stint with WWE. Since leaving WWE Batista has only become an even bigger name in the eyes of the general public. Non-wrestling fans now know exactly who he is due to his career in Hollywood with roles in James Bond and Guardians Of The Galaxy taking him to a new level of stardom.
Vince would certainly have Batista back in a heartbeat knowing just how popular he is with wrestling fans and the number of eyes he could draw from outside of the sport it is something that Vince will look to do in the near future.
23 Doesn't Want Back: Paul London
When WWE created the Vince McMahon/limousine storyline it was supposed to be the biggest thing to happen that year and whilst it didn't end up playing out correctly due to the Chris Benoit situation, Paul London had caused it to get off to a bad start anyway. When Vince was walking to his demise the entire WWE locker room stood at the sides and were meant to be looking glum. London, on the other hand, decided to have the biggest smile possible which annoyed Vince to the point where he fired him for it.
The fact that London has spent all of his post-WWE career trash talking the company likely hasn't helped his case in the eyes of the WWE Chairman, so don't expect a random return at any point.
22 Wants Back: Sting
This is a case of injuries taking things out of Vince McMahon's hands (yes, something he actually cannot control), but if he could get one more match out of him then there is no doubt he would love to have Sting back. It took Vince an incredible amount of time to finally convince Sting that he needed to join the company when it finally happened it was clear that it was a great decision with fans being incredibly happy to see him.
There was plenty WWE could have done with Sting that they weren't able to do due to his career-ending injury, but there still are roles that The Icon could undertake if WWE really wanted, so there might still be a future for him yet.
21 Doesn't Want: Austin Aries
Austin Aries was part of 205 Live back when Vince McMahon was in full control of the show and that was the time when A Double decided to walk out of the company, demanding his release. Everything had gone well for Aries until he encountered Vince McMahon and he didn't grant him the Cruiserweight Championship which led to Aries spitting his dummy out of the pram and that's something Vince doesn't need.
Wrestlers who whine and complain are never going to win Vince over and he would have been only too happy to see the back of Aries, allowing to go and take his backstage antics to a different company.
20 Wants Back: Matt Hardy
It seems like Matt Hardy's in-ring career is now well and truly over with his body simply giving up on him, which is a huge shame as WWE had so much more to achieve with his Broken/Woken gimmick, but that doesn't mean Vince is finished with him. Vince is smart and knows when a wrestler has got more to offer outside of just competing inside the ring and with Matt Hardy he has exactly that. As one of the most creative minds in the history of wrestling, Vince would love to have Matt back in a backstage role.
He has already allowed Matt to practice being a producer to see if it's something he is interested in which shows that Vince wants to keep him around for as long as possible and Hardy will likely rejoin the company in the near future under a new role.
19 Doesn't Want: Original Sin Cara/Mistico
While the Sin Cara character has continued to be portrayed in WWE, the original wrestler behind the mask, Mistico, no longer works for the company after being released by Vince McMahon and the Chairman won't be complaining about that. WWE put a lot of money, time, and effort into making Mistico seem like a big deal with tons of promo videos and even his own mood lighting during matches, yet none of that mattered when Mistico struggled with the Wellness Policy.
Mistico apparently didn't have any interest in learning the language and once even stopped a match for a minor finger injury, which is not the sort of thing that goes down well in the eyes of most wrestlers, or Vince.
18 Wants Back: Goldberg
Goldberg's first run with WWE might have been a major disappointment in the eyes of many fans, but his second spell with the company certainly wasn't with his feud with Brock Lesnar being fantastically well done. Vince McMahon buried that hatchet with the former Universal Champion and it proved to be a brilliant idea as the fans welcomed him back.
Vince would also like to see more from Goldberg which is why he put him straight into the Hall Of Fame at the first available opportunity and he would certainly have him back for one more match whenever Goldberg is ready.
17 Doesn't Want: Sunny
She might have been a major name back in the Attitude Era but Sunny is someone that Vince McMahon won't be looking to re-hire anytime soon mainly because of the personal issues that she has gone through. Sunny has revealed plenty about her personal life which a PG WWE simply isn't going to associate itself with.
Even though fans would likely love seeing her make a small appearance at an anniversary episode of Raw or something similar to that, but Vince isn't going to be taking that risk at all. For her part, Sunny doesn't seem to have any issue with the fact that WWE likely won't want her back in any way.
16 Wants Back: Ryback
There is a reason that Ryback was featured on every single PPV during his WWE career when he was healthy. Vince McMahon was a big fan of his and a lot of that is down to the fact Ryback had a very muscular look. Even though he was released from the company The Big Guy has since created a podcast where he has bashed Triple H a lot, but always praised Vince McMahon and told stories of big ideas that the WWE Chairman had for him.
Because of this, it's clear that the two men had a good relationship and given that Ryback was always popular with WWE fans. It would not be a surprise if he ever returned as Vince would be happy to have him return.
15 Doesn't Want: Neville
While Neville might be one of the best wrestlers in the world and someone who Triple H is incredibly fond of, Vince McMahon won't be complaining about seeing the back of him because of the way he ended his WWE career. Opting to not lose a match to Enzo Amore and instead walking out of Monday Night Raw before the show starts is something that Vince McMahon doesn't take kindly to and once you lose Vince's respect it is a downhill spiral.
Neville might have been incredibly talented but it wasn't something Vince saw as he never pushed him on the main roster until 205 Live became a thing and he needed someone familiar, so it's unlikely he sees it as a big loss.
14 Wants Back: Carlito
During his WWE run, Carlito was always a heavily featured mid-card talent who was given good title runs and feuds against top stars such as John Cena and Triple H, which is why many were surprised when he was let go by the company. However, there's no doubt Vince McMahon would love to have him back and he did attempt to make that happen last year, hoping that he could pair Carlito up with The Colons on SmackDown Live.
The sheer fact he keeps The Colons around, despite the fact they do nothing on TV shows the respect he has for the family and therefore if Carlito ever wanted one final run, all he would need to do was call.
13 Doesn't Want: Bret Hart
He might pop up randomly on anniversary shows, but Bret Hart is not contracted to any legends deal and is one of the last names that WWE looks to when bringing back former Superstars for one-off moments. Hart and Vince McMahon might have buried the hatchet over Montreal but the tension between the two men is something that will never truly go away and that is clear by how disgruntled Hart still is about the company in interviews.
It isn't often that The Hitman has something positive to say about WWE and therefore it's not a surprise WWE doesn't bring him back as the company doesn't want to use people who don't actually want to be there.
12 Wants Back: Eva Marie
Whilst Triple H was busy trying to create an incredible women's division by pushing people such as Sasha Banks and Bayley, Vince McMahon was desperately trying to make Eva Marie his next big female star. Marie was pushed immediately, even before she had stepped into a ring with her inclusion on the Total Divas reality show and since that point, WWE put a lot of time and effort into making the model a big star.
In the end, a wellness policy violation saw the whole thing unravel and Marie was released, but after putting so much time into her character, Vince would be happy to take her back and continue where things left off.
11 Doesn't Want: Big Cass
It was Vince McMahon who really wanted to push Big Cass as a singles star and in the end, it was Vince McMahon who called time on his WWE career, releasing him after he became a major issue behind the scenes. After causing a major issue backstage, as well as some unprofessional conduct on a European tour, the writing was on the wall for Big Cass as those are not the actions that Vince is prepared to tolerate.
Cass was given a big opportunity to work with Daniel Bryan and during his feud went directly against an order from Vince McMahon, something else he doesn't want from his employees. After seeing how much Cass has struggled since leaving, he won't be begging for him to return either.
10 Wants Back: Cody Rhodes
He might have banned Cody from using his last name on the independent scene, but that was only to protect the Rhodes name for his own use and not because he was angry at Cody for walking away from the company. Vince McMahon and the Rhodes family go way back and his respect for Dusty Rhodes was immense, which is why he's always been good to his two sons, providing a steady job for both of them.
Cody likely had a job for life if he wanted it but instead looked to bet on himself and become a bigger name, which he has done. However, that doesn't mean that his lifetime job with WWE is off the table, as Vince would welcome him back with open arms.
9 Doesn't Want: Rob Van Dam
Vince McMahon doesn't like it when wrestlers managed to become famous names prior to joining the company. He likes his top stars to be creations that have come from his mind and RVD was never that, coming in as a top ECW star. While WWE did give RVD a good push during his time in the company, he was never maintained at the top and a lot of that has to do with him being seen as an "ECW Guy" and not a WWE Superstar.
RVD's love of a certain habit is also something that Vince McMahon never got onboard with and in a PG era is something he couldn't deal with on his roster every single week.
8 Wants Back: Mark Henry
Unfortunately in wrestling at some stage, the Superstars body is simply going to have had enough and for Mark Henry, that point has been reached, with his over twenty-year career coming to an end recently. However, that doesn't mean Vince McMahon wouldn't have him back if he healed up and felt like he could complete one more run. Henry is a loyal company man and that is something that Vince respects a lot.
Even though his booking was up and down throughout his career, Henry was always used by Vince and that shows how he felt about him, which is why he would love to have him back if possible.
7 Doesn't Want: Mr. Kennedy
Vince McMahon is loyal to his top talent to a fault and because of that Mr. Kennedy's reputation quickly became dirt in the eyes of the WWE Chairman after both John Cena and Randy Orton complained about him. As soon as the boss heard complaints from two of his biggest ever stars, Mr. Kennedy's career was finished and he found himself being released by WWE with Vince not even taking a second to think about the situation.
The Chairman wouldn't bring Kennedy back either, simply because two of his biggest names do not like him and whilst that might seem wrong in some people's eyes, Vince McMahon simply doesn't care.
6 Wants Back: Chris Jericho
It was a huge surprise when Chris Jericho appeared at New Japan Pro Wrestling, not only because nobody saw it coming but also because of how many years he has put into his WWE career and the respect that is well known between him and Vince.
Jericho is the true definition of a WWE guy and he has always been loyal to the company until this past year. He even said he wouldn't wrestle for anyone in the United States but Vince, then turned around and signed with All Elite Wrestling. While Jericho signing with a prospective competitor likely stung Vince, Jericho's former boss likely hasn't blacklisted him for good. Jericho simply has a new opportunity in AEW, but once Jericho's contract with them is up, there's no reason Vince wouldn't give Jericho another chance to re-join his company.
5 Doesn't Want: Melina
WWE has brought back countless former female superstars in recent times with the first ever female Royal Rumble and the Evolution PPV seeing some of the legends of the women's division return to the company. One name who has been absent from all those moments despite making it clear she is open to a return is Melina. The main reason for that is because even though she was great in the ring, Melina was known for causing major problems behind the scenes.
While most of the stories is just speculation, they have been backed up by countless wrestlers which adds credibility to them and is why Vince isn't going to be opening the door for a one-off return anytime soon.
4 Wants Back: Alberto Del Rio
The term "Vince's Guys" is often thrown around, but Alberto Del Rio doesn't seem to be the typical wrestler to fit that bill given he isn't a huge, jacked wrestler that Vince typically loves to push as much as possible. However, Del Rio is someone who Vince absolutely loves which is why he was pushed so strongly during his run with the company, achieving pretty much everything there is to do in the company at breakneck speed.
Even though Del Rio is an incredibly polarizing figure who constantly makes it clear in interviews that he doesn't respect Triple H, Vince still loves him and has constantly re-explored the possibility of bringing him back yet again.
3 Doesn't Want: Scott Steiner
He might have been a fantastic wrestler at one point in his career with his hard-hitting, no-nonsense style, but he is someone Vince McMahon is more than happy to no longer be involved with and someone who won't be getting the Hall Of Fame called anytime soon. Vince McMahon has actually banned Steiner from ever attending the Hall Of Fame ceremonies to watch his friends get inducted, showing just how badly he doesn't want to work with him again.
Steiner has become quite the controversial character and has made his feelings about WWE known with his constant outbursts about the company in interviews, showing that the feeling might be mutual.
2 Wants Back: AJ Lee
Obviously AJ Lee is someone that Vince could still use in the women's division. AJ Lee was arguably the one who spearheaded the women's evolution we're seeing now and it feels a little odd that she's not around to feud with the company's biggest female stars today. Fans are clamoring for a possible AJ Lee/Becky Lynch feud, or possibly AJ against Asuka, but due to her association with a certain someone, it's an incredibly awkward proposition for her to possibly return. There were reports in late 2018 that Vince did in fact reach out to Lee, regarding a possible return, or at least a one-off appearance, but it didn't lead to anything. It does prove though, that Vince still sees something in AJ.
1 Doesn't Want: CM Punk
He may very well have been the best in the world, but CM Punk is someone who Vince McMahon is more than happy to see the backoff and will likely not be welcoming back into the company at any point in the near future. The fact that Vince officially fired Punk on his wedding day shows just how badly Vince wanted to stick it to him for walking out on his company. Vince doesn't like other people having one-up on him and with Punk that is exactly what happened.
Left feeling embarrassed, Vince is very happy to see Punk gone and likely rejoiced in his defeats for UFC with Punk's attitude coming back to bite him. That being said, Punk is someone he would probably welcome back if Punk was open to it.