It’s well known that if you cross Vince McMahon, he’ll remember it. The man is infamous for carrying petty grudges to a new level and often striking out at guys for the dumbest reasons. Paul London just smiled on camera and was fired and cast out. That’s just one of numerous examples of how Vince can go a bit too far with his bans. True, some guys are able to make surprise returns. Kurt Angle, the Ultimate Warrior, Lex Luger, Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, those are all guys who most thought would never work with WWE again but have done so. Thus, fans have learned to “never say never” but there are also a lot of cases of folks who WWE tries to pretend never existed. It’s not just current people but often deceased wrestlers who WWE still tries to ignore constantly. Many feel it’s not right but it can also be argued that some deserve it.
WWE is a public company and has to maintain a good image. Some folks just don’t fit that, having broken way too many rules, carrying a poor attitude and other stuff that’s caused them to be banned. But a few other times, folks don’t deserve these lifetime bans at all. They just fell out of favor for dumb reasons or stuff was blown out of proportion. To cut them loose for that just seems crazy and maintaining such bans for years afterward is even crazier. For every person who deserved the axe, another didn’t and shows how petty Vince can be. Here are 8 wrestlers WWE banned for basically no real reason and 7 who deserve to be forgotten.
15 NO GOOD REASON: Konnan
The tough and outspoken worker has gotten major fame over the years. He rose up well in Mexico and was taking off, landing a job with WWE. However, it turned out to be playing Max Moon in a rather ridiculous outfit which was hardly promising. Konnan was backstage when talk was made of hiring Jushin “Thunder” Liger and Vince said he’d never heard of the guy. Given Vince’s track record with such talents, that’s believable. However, in front of everyone, Konnan said he’d seen a photo of Liger and Vince together.
Openly correcting Vince in public was a good way to get Konnan fired fast. It’s remained as even after WCW went under, Konnan wasn’t invited along to WWE, moving back to Mexico. He had a later run in TNA, a couple of minor appearances on the odd WWE documentary but for the most part, he’s just not wanted. Trying to just point out an error by the boss is a crazy reason to carry a grudge for 25 years.
14 DESRVE IT: Bill DeMott
Best known as Hugh Morrus in WCW, DeMott was a tough guy and a good worker. He had his time in WCW and then a brief WWE run but finally decided to settle into the role of a trainer. He was soon working with their developmental places like FCW and then NXT. For a time, it looked like DeMott was doing well. However, allegations soon surfaced about him going way too far in his “training.” Not only was he overtly brutal with the workers but also berated them with homophobic and racist comments and allegedly made advances on the women.
It got way too much as WWE finally realized they had to cut things loose and fired DeMott. He’s defended himself, saying he was just “toughening them up” but most others agree that it was just pure abuse. So not shockingly, DeMott is no longer welcomed in WWE and not likely to change as there’s no way they can keep backing a guy who was behind this brutal methodology.
13 NO GOOD REASON: Brad Maddox
Vince makes a big talk about wanting guys to cut loose and be themselves, to do what they want to get over. But when they try, they end up getting their legs cut off beneath them (see Zack Ryder). Brad Maddox was taking off as a good heel announcer who could cut some decent promos. He was even RAW general manager to keep it up and looked like he’d take off as Triple H was a fan. But Maddox went a bit too far as during a “dark house” show, as he got on the mic to call the crowd “cocky pricks.” Maddox defended himself that he was just riling them up, it wasn’t on television and it was just him being the arrogant heel. Vince disagreed and cut Maddox fast. It’s bizarre seeing guys doing interviews and causing problems backstage, but Maddox got dumped for something so trivial and it's unfair that he hasn't been welcomed back.
12 DESERVE IT: Zahra Schreiber
WWE can put up with a lot of things. They can handle egos, addiction and other stuff. However, there are things that just cannot be tolerated. In 2015, Zahra Schreiber was being pushed via NXT and it didn't hurt that she had connections to Seth Rollins. Those connections were bigger than most thought as Rollins' fiancée broke the news Seth and Zahra were sleeping together. She also posted some of Zahra’s past social media accounts which included Nazi imagery. The tattooed worker apologized, citing it as just a mental lapse and her being interested in history. But given the feelings backstage and the mood of WWE, having anyone associated with Nazi imagery was way too much to handle. Throw in cheating with a mega-star like Rollins and that was the icing on the cake. Despite her promise, it’s clear Zahra will be gone from WWE for a long time and her “history” interest got her in hot water.
11 NO GOOD REASON: Kenny Dykstra
It’s well known how Dolph Ziggler started out with The Spirit Squad, that pack of heel male cheerleaders pushed hard in 2006. But Kenny Dykstra had a good shot at breaking out too. Cut back in 2007, the reason was Dykstra discovering girlfriend Mickie James was having an affair with John Cena. He was vocal about it but of course, no one was going to punish Cena, so Kenny was gone. But he worked his way back into the company’s good graces and was building himself up as well. But then Mickie made a big return to WWE and brought up that whole ugly mess. Dykstra was once more vocal over what happened and once more, he got the fall because Vince won’t let anyone talk crap about the face of the company. So sadly, through no fault of his own, Kenny is unlikely to ever show up in WWE again.
10 DESERVE IT: Scott Steiner
It’s a bit sad to look back at Scott Steiner and his amazing work as a young wrestler. While beefy, Scott was also fantastically gifted, pulling out moves in the ring in 1990 no one had ever seen before. It led to him and Rick becoming huge stars as the best tag team around. In 1993, they had a run with the WWE including winning a few titles before returning to WCW. There, Scott transformed into “Big Poppa Pump,” the overly bulky champion delivering some of the most insane promos imaginable. He dominated as WCW met its end and then vanished for a time.
In 2003, he returned to WWE and the results were a horrific match with Triple H and various bad feuds before leaving. Since then, Steiner has shown up in TNA while also pushing himself as a seriously huge star despite his age diminished skillset. Given how Scott has trashed every member of the McMahon family, half the roster and is regarded as a total nutjob, it’s no surprise WWE won’t have him back and most think that’s a good thing given the dangers he brings to the table.
9 NO GOOD REASON: Gail Kim
Breaking out in 2003, the gorgeous Toronto native had a great look and while still a little green in the ring, won the Women’s title in her debut. A heel turn was a bit more effective but she still seemed lost. Finally, in 2005, Kim jumped to TNA and after time as a valet for America’s Most Wanted, she clicked as a singles star. It was Kim who put the Knockouts division on the map and pushed it to great prominence and made it a great part of the company. She made a brief return to WWE but it was badly done as she was shoved down and thus literally walked on the company in the middle of a match.
She returned to TNA, once more rising up as champion and recently retiring after a great run. True, her work in WWE was rough but it still seems unfair to have banned her just because she found greener pastures elsewhere.
8 DESERVE IT: Nailz
You can’t get more “banned” than openly assaulting the boss. Kevin Wacholz was hired in 1992, a decent big guy with an imposing look. He was given the gimmick of Nailz, a former convict at the prison The Big Boss Man worked at and wanted payback for his treatment. He would attack Bossman a few times, setting up stuff like a “nightstick on a pole” match. He wasn’t bad but also not that impressive in a lot of ways. Thus, it was no shock he wasn’t given his due for payments. However, Nailz reacted badly, storming into Vince’s office to berate him and demand more money. Things got out of control and before anyone knew it, Nailz was strangling Vince and had to be dragged out. So it's no shock at all that Vince would never even let him buy a ticket to a WWE event, much less employ him.
7 NO GOOD REASON: CM Punk
Some can argue that Punk’s attitude and standing merited a ban. He was always a maverick to the point his official WWE documentary plays more like a shoot interview. Punk made no secret of how he considered himself the biggest star around and trashed WWE constantly. It got him major heat, but it also led to his huge success, the fans loving him as a rebellious type. That worked against him with Punk bad-mouthing the company more on its direction, including taking to the Internet and slamming them on their treatment of Daniel Bryan. Punk walked on the company which had him seen as almost heroic by fans but also meant he was on Vince’s hate list for life. The fact WWE gave him his termination notice on his wedding day just proves that. Thus, while not deserving, Punk is banned from WWE quite probably for the rest of his life. Not that he's expressed interest in a return.
6 DESERVE IT: New Jack
Now this should be no shock. Even before his brain injury, New Jack was getting attention as quite probably a certifiable lunatic. He was infamous for brutal battles in ECW and especially the Mass Transit incident that nearly killed the company. Wild and crazy, his promos could incite near riots and the gimmick was not that far off from the real guy. It’s gotten worse as this is a man who stabbed a guy multiple times, robbed a 7-11 and more. Throw in his often racist attitude, his insane interviews and how he’s trashed most of WWE in the past and it's no shock that whenever they try to revive or honor ECW, New Jack isn’t invited. He wears it as a badge of honor, claiming to just be too “extreme” for them but it’s also obvious how WWE wants nothing to do with this maniac and are banning him for public safety more than anything else.
5 NO GOOD REASON: Colt Cabana
Maybe it could have done better today with NXT giving indie guys a chance to be themselves. But in 2007, Colt Cabana’s run in WWE was not a good time. Given the bad gimmick of Scotty Goldman, he came out in a college-like singlet and helmet, a dorky look that didn’t allow him to be himself. It was a short run with ECW before Colt left and returned to the indies. One might think WWE would be happy to have him back and give him more of a shot thanks to ROH guys getting better opportunities with NXT. But Colt is not popular due to his past support for CM Punk. Colt has also done podcasts where he's been up front slamming WWE on their drug policy and poor treatment of workers. True, it’s not much different than many others but it seems to make him persona non grata in the eyes of the company. Thus, as talented as Colt is, a return to WWE is unlikely.
4 DESERVE IT: Jeff Jarrett
The problem with Jeff Jarrett is he’s the classic case of a guy who thinks he’s a much bigger star than he is. He’s a good worker but under the delusion he’s on the same level of ultra-fame as Flair or Hogan. His time in WWE had him winning the IC title and later the NWA belt during a brief partnership. But Jarrett was also majorly egotistical and constantly wanting a main event push he didn’t deserve. He decided to bolt for WCW in late 1999 while still holding the IC belt. As it happened, his contract expired one day before a big PPV so Jarrett held up Vince for a few hundred grand to drop the belt to Chyna or he’d leave with it. Vince paid and Jarrett did the job but it’s no shock Vince doesn’t want him around. Throw in Jarrett’s time with TNA and various bad-mouthing and this is clearly a deserved case of WWE not wanting him around at all.
3 NO GOOD REASON: Sexy Star
One would think this talented lady would be great for WWE. The masked starlet has made a name for herself on the indie circuit, especially in Mexico. Amazingly hot, she’s just as talented a worker, living up to her name wonderfully. This would make her a great candidate for NXT but it didn’t work out for a big reason. In July of 2017, Star was facing Rosemary in Mexico City, a hard-hitting bout. She forced Rosemary to submit with an armbar to the point where Rosemary’s shoulder was injured. Afterward, a huge outcry rose over how she had gone too far injuring Rosemary with Chris Jericho and others even suggested she be blacklisted. It led to WWE unofficially deciding she would never work with them which some feel is a bit over the top. It was an accident and many have injured guys without repercussions, so blaming Star for this seems a bit much.
2 DESERVE IT: Chris Benoit
Some can still argue this on “remember the work, not the man.” The problem was, Chris Benoit was so much his own self on screen and that’s a key reason his work is basically banned from WWE. Sure, they show his matches on the Network and there's the odd mention in a book but for the most part, they try to pretend Benoit didn’t exist. And it’s hard to blame them. This was a man who committed an utterly atrocious act, a horrible crime on so many levels that put a black eye not just on WWE but all of wrestling.
It’s worse as it’s clear Benoit was affected by his years of work. You can’t see him taking chair shots or doing the flying head-butt without thinking of what it led to and thus it's impossible to “honor” him at all. Maybe erasing his history is a bit much, but even Benoit fans admit they can’t see him in the same light and thus WWE distancing themselves to this degree makes sense.
1 NO GOOD REASON: Chyna
A groundbreaker for many, Chyna got a raw deal from WWE. When she broke out in 1997, she was impressive, this Amazonian woman who could easily manhandle guys and her work as Triple H’s bodyguard helped elevate Hunter to stardom. Chyna was a star herself, pushing up the women’s division and soon getting some surgery to look hotter. It all paid off with her appearing in “Playboy” and proud of showing off at her size. It was no secret she and Triple H were involved and that played a role in her success. But in early 2001, Chyna discovered Hunter was with Stephanie. She took it to Vince, unaware he was okay with it. Vince told Chyna he’d handle it and to just go home. When she got there, she found her release papers already waiting.
Thus, Chyna had bad-mouthed the company a lot but didn’t deserve getting fired for it. It led to her sad decline and thus her passing wasn’t as well honored by the company as it could have been. The fact was, Chyna was a groundbreaker but should have gotten more to remember her by than what WWE did to her.