Even at the age of 72 years old, Vince McMahon is still leading the charge for the WWE after many decades. And despite his current plans to revive XFL, he still intends to maintain his role as McMahon is known for wanting control over everything. And for all the success the WWE has achieved, there are still some fans who think it's time for the power to be passed on to Triple H, who has done an impressive job with NXT. Additionally, the latter seems to have better all-around relationships with fellow wrestlers and is said to be much more forgiving than the current boss.
There is an unofficial list of blacklisted former WWE Superstars who have burned bridges with McMahon for one reason or another, and are highly unlikely to be re-hired as long as he is around. Some of these grudges date back to the Monday Night War, but there are also some personal incidents that have occurred over the years. When you get on McMahon's bad side, it is nearly impossible to heal the wounds as we witnessed with the legendary Randy Savage who had been away from the company for nearly two decades before his posthumous WWE Hall of Fame induction.
Predicting how the landscape will change under Triple H's reign is quite difficult as we have never seen him in full control. He may end up being much worse than Vince, but we are going along with the thought that he will carry on from his NXT work. Here are 15 wrestlers Vince McMahon would NEVER welcome back to WWE but Triple H would:
15 Mr Kennedy
Some fans still can't make sense of Mr. Kennedy's release in 2009. He was the hottest up and coming Superstar and quickly faded away once John Cena and Randy Orton complained about him being a dangerous worker. Vince McMahon sided with his two stars and let go of Kennedy almost immediately. Since then, Kennedy has competed for TNA for several years and yet there haven't been any contact between him and the company. It seems like he is unofficially blacklisted from the WWE, which isn't surprising when you have two powerful figures working against you.
As for Triple H, he had a decent relationship with Kennedy and used to give him advice regarding his promos.
While we may never see Kennedy as the World Champion that he was supposed to be, and likely not even back for a full-time run, the door would be open for him to come back for a brief stint or a one time appearance once Triple H takes control.
Carlito was one of the most promising talents in the mid 2000s and had the perfect start to his career after defeating John Cena for the United States Championship. Since then, he showed flashes of greatness but he was held back for numerous reasons.
Many WWE officials, including Vince McMahon, thought that he was lazy and going through the motions.
He also wanted Carlito to fill in the shoes of the late Eddie Guerrero, which isn't an easy task by any means.
Carlito grew frustrated with the company as tension continued to rise, and he was eventually released from the company. Despite numerous rumors about Carlito returning to the WWE, it always ended up just being internet gossip as McMahon doesn't seem interested in giving him another chance. As for Triple H, he may welcome the chance to have Carlito back in the WWE.
13 Jeff Jarrett
The relationship between Vince McMahon and Jeff Jarrett is beyond repair at this point. Although the former initially forgave him for leaving to WCW, he would end up doing it once again except that it was much worse this time as Jarrett supposedly locked him in a room until McMahon met his contract demands. And when you add Jarrett's association to TNA, which was a minor rival to WWE for some years, then you understand why Jarrett has no chance in hell at a return.
But once Triple H is running the company, there may be an opportunity for him to have a role backstage. It's hard to say since Jarrett seems to be among McMahon's most hated wrestlers, so he may ask his successors to continue blacklisting him from the WWE for the rest of his life - and nobody would be shocked by that decision.
12 AJ Lee
AJ Lee had a controversial exit from the WWE but nothing ground breaking by any means. We have seen so many Superstars end up on much worse terms with the company only to be brought back later. However, two reasons as to why that may be unrealistic for her at the time being. The first one is her marriage to CM Punk who obviously is involved in a much more intense beef with the WWE.
While the second is that Vince McMahon wasn't a huge fan of Lee, and seems to have disliked her. But Triple H had a better relationship with her, so he may add her to the already impressive women's roster when the time is right. We aren't so sure whether AJ Lee would be willing to return since she seems to be enjoying life away from the WWE, but as they always say: never say never.
11 Enzo Amore
Obviously, this potential re-signing would all hinge on how the ongoing investigation against Enzo Amore plays out. Enzo was finally finding his ground on 205 Live as the cruiserweight division's heel champion. However, on the day of WWE's 25th anniversary of RAW, it was revealed that Enzo was under investigation for sexual assault allegations. The WWE announced Enzo was suspended indefinitely, only to release him just a day later. The reported reason wasn't the investigation itself, but the fact Enzo failed to notify WWE officials of the investigation beforehand. If that was the reason behind his release and the allegations against him turn out to be false (there's already been some evidence that cast doubt on the allegations), Enzo could be brought back down the line.
Triple H was always one of Enzo's supporters backstage, despite heat he garnered among some co-workers. If Enzo is found to be innocent, Hunter may convince McMahon to overlook Enzo's failure to notify his bosses of the case.
When the WWE re-introduced ECW as a brand in 2006, many originals were brought back. Among them was Sabu who is one of the most celebrated hardcore wrestlers, and although he had some memorable moments, nothing truly stood out in his run. Sabu's brief run had its fair share of controversy, as he was arrested along with RVD for carrying marijuana and painkillers. Although he never came to blows with McMahon, he didn't enjoy a great relationship with the chairman as evident by his comments since leaving the WWE.
Sabu has been very critical of the WWE in recent years, but he has also continued to tarnish his reputation through some unjustified antics on the independent circuit.
It's unlikely to see Sabu back as long McMahon is running the company, but new leadership may be more forgiving. While we can guarantee that Sabu will never have another WWE match, a one-time appearance wouldn't be unrealistic.
9 Lex Luger
When Lex Luger broke into the industry, tides were shifting as many of the old guards had left or retired. Vince McMahon was looking for someone to fill in the shoes of Hulk Hogan, who had left a massive gap, and Luger did get over at first. But he could never reach expectations, and soon enough he showed up on WCW as the Monday Night War escalated.
Vince McMahon always held a grudge against Luger for betraying him despite forgiving many others who also left for WCW.
If it hasn't happened after all these years, then we likely won't see Luger around until the power is passed over to Triple H. There is also controversy surrounding the death of Miss Elizabeth and Luger's suspicious involvement in the case, which may be another reason why the WWE won't do any business with him anymore.
Long before the women's revolution, Victoria was one of the many names who made an impact by putting on good matches. It's been years since she left the WWE but it seems like she hasn't been on good terms with the company since then.
Last year, she tweeted that she had attended a SmackDown Live show and was denied entry to backstage, where she hoped to catch up with some of her friends.
But for whatever reason, Vince McMahon isn't a big fan and hasn't shown any interest in working with Victoria again which earned him criticism from the fans. It may be due to the recent leak of an adult tape involving her, or a past affair with John Cena but the door isn't open at the time. Once Triple H begins running the show, there is no reason as to why we won't see Victoria on WWE television again.
7 John Morrison
Unlike many names on this list, John Morrison and Vince McMahon don't have any heat - nothing has occurred to really set off a long term beef. It's just that the latter simply doesn't respect Morrison. Although fans hold him in high regards and view him as someone who should have and still could be a top WWE Superstar, McMahon doesn't share that same feeling. The reason being is that Morrison's ex girlfriend Melina was having multiple affairs backstage, and Morrison was aware of it yet allowed it to happen.
McMahon reportedly lost all respect for him since then, as well as any desire to push him. He had been expecting Morrison to step up to Batista, but once Morrison opted to remain quiet then his career suffered. Triple H seems to admire Morrison's talents enough to not allow such petty reason to stand in the way of a future WWE contract.
6 Austin Aries
When Austin Aries joined the WWE, fans were excited to finally see him get an opportunity. For those who may not know, Aries was a Triple H signing as he recruited him and helped him out towards making his transition to the company. Triple H also spoke highly of him on numerous occasions and is believed to have played a hand in pushing him before it all went wrong.
As we all know by now, Aries grew frustrated with the company and he admitted that he deserved to be let go - some may even say that he was anticipating it since he didn't care anymore.
While Aries got along well with Triple H, the same cannot be said about Vince McMahon who wasn't exactly one of his biggest supporters.
And it appears that Aries won't be returning to the WWE with Vince around, but Triple H surely wouldn't mind bringing him once again.
5 Young Bucks
Fans may be unaware that the Young Bucks have previously appeared on WWE television, mainly as jobbers, but also served in a comedy segment in which they pretended to be Triple H and Shawn Michaels. They also received a tryout but that didn't result in a contract, as they began their journey by wrestling for different promotions.
Despite being very popular at the moment, interest isn't nearly as high as one would think on WWE's part, mainly due to Vince McMahon.
A few months ago, they were told by WWE to stop using the "Too Sweet" gesture, so as you can tell there is clearly tension between the two sides. Although McMahon may not be keen on adding them to the roster, Triple H would likely be open to recruit them to the WWE. But a deal may not come easy due to the ongoing heat since a few months ago.
4 Gail Kim
Gail Kim was one of the bright spots at a time when the women division was struggling. She fought to make changes but her efforts fell short, as company chose to stick with eye candy rather than talent. Kim got fed up with the company and decided to leave, but that all changed as the women's revolution took place years later. Kim has been critical of the WWE and particularly Vince McMahon for not taking women's wrestling for so many years.
She hasn't held back at all by constantly criticizing the company for acts of hypocrisy, which probably burned down any bridge she had left with McMahon. Her relationship with Triple H is relatively normal, and she's even commended him for changing WWE's women's division. It wouldn't be shocking to see him re-hire Kim in a suitable role. She is one of the better and most respected women in the industry despite her short WWE run.
3 Eli Drake
In 2008, Eli Drake received a tryout with the WWE. At the time, he was dealing with an injury and was trying to recover to the best of his abilities in order to impress WWE officials. He decided to put in extra work at the gym, but that strategy completely backfired since he was late to the tryout.
Many officials including Vince McMahon were said to be frustrated with him, which is why he didn't get a deal or a second look.
Eli Drake has made a name for himself in TNA and is now arguably their best all-around performer, and while it seems like McMahon wouldn't be interested in giving him a shot, we are willing to bet that Triple H would be open to the idea. He clearly has the charisma and ability to get over with the fans, which is more than you can say about plenty of current Superstars.
2 Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett and Vince McMahon had a decent relationship but it became rocky by the time he departed from the company. It's unknown whether he would be welcomed back to the WWE but he hasn't been contacted since then, so perhaps McMahon has given up on him and moved on. Barrett got over multiple times during his WWE run but some feel that he was always held back and not allowed to proceed to the next level.
Fans were disappointed him to see Barrett leave the company since he had been one of the most promising talents, but it's McMahon who simply never bought into the hype and had him change his character numerous times. On the other hand, Triple H was a bigger believer and even tweeted about Barrett several times, so perhaps he would be willing to allow him to finish what he had previously started.
1 CM Punk
CM Punk had plenty to say about the WWE when he left the company, calling them out for buying younger Superstars and not properly taking care of their performers. He had some harsh words towards Vince McMahon and Triple H, which obviously didn't go too well with them. But it seems like the ship for a Punk return has sailed as long as Punk is around because he did one of the few things that is unforgivable in McMahon's book.
He called out WWE for forcing Superstars to perform while injured, which made plenty of headlines and required an official response from the company.
But of course we have seen some more personal and intense beefs over the years that we never thought would be resolved. During an appearance on Stone Cold's podcast, Triple H indicated that he would welcome back CM Punk if it made sense and that he had no problem with him. Time will tell if he was only telling lies to calm down the angry CM Punk fans.