Since WWE turned PG over a decade ago, the company has been quite persistent in changing up their rosters. Those who perform well consistently and maintain a great attitude backstage manage to stay in the company for a long time. Then, there are certain individuals who act arrogantly backstage, and their poor performance level doesn’t allow them to be in WWE for very long. While the company has been quite tolerant in keeping underwhelming wrestlers employed for many years, they have let go of some valuable talents over the years.
While WWE has the tendency of prematurely releasing underperforming wrestlers, they have rehired many of their employees in the past. Certain wrestlers who thrived after leaving WWE are often brought back by the company for their own benefit. Although, some wrestlers have managed to burn all bridges with WWE after their departure and worsened their relation with the company. There are also wrestlers who were released without being given the chance of fulfilling their true potential and upon realizing these mistakes, WWE often re-signs those individuals who have unfinished business in the company.
There have been quite a few wrestlers who weren’t booked properly by WWE and deserve a second chance to succeed in the company. However, some of their ex-employees deserve to stay away forever because of their poor behavior after leaving the company.
20 Deserves 2nd Chance: Wade Barrett
Despite being tailor-made for success, Wade Barrett never really fulfilled his utmost potential at WWE. After breaking out as the leader of the Nexus, Barrett seemed to be a future main-eventer, but injuries tarnished his career. However, in spite of his terrible injuries, Barrett was pushed decently as a mid-carder. Barrett won the Intercontinental Championship five times as well as the King of the Ring. He was released after a disappointing run but deserves a return to WWE. Barrett has worked hard to keep himself injury-free during his time away and wants a return to wrestling. WWE should give him another chance to prove his potential, as he could have a similar impact as Drew McIntyre if booked well.
19 Should Never Be Rehired: The Great Khali
The Great Khali was used by WWE pretty well during the Ruthless Aggression era when he terrorized superstars on Smackdown. The 7 feet Punjabi Giant didn’t really have any charisma, but his powerful demeanor and huge size made him an intimidating figure on Smackdown. Khali even won the World Heavyweight Championship during his strong push(which was to gain the Indian audience’s attention) but was later reverted to a disappointing comic role after turning babyface. Khali has been brought back by WWE on numerous occasions since his release, but they should limit his appearances. Khali can’t provide anything good to WWE’s product right now because of his limited skill set and poor mic skills, which is why he should never be rehired as a full-timer again.
18 Deserves 2nd Chance: Austin Aries
“The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” didn’t really have that much of a “great” time at WWE, where he was restricted into being a Cruiserweight for much of his time. Aries did enjoy a bit of success during his short stay at NXT but then moved into 205 Live! in an attempt to give it some star-power. Aries had a long feud with Neville but just couldn’t manage to dethrone the Cruiserweight Champion. He was really wasted by WWE in terms of booking and left them after being frustrated with the way he was treated. Aries has since gone on to soar as a main-eventer at Impact Wrestling and proves why he deserves a 2nd chance at shining on the main shows of WWE.
17 Should Never Be Rehired: Sin Cara (Mistico)
Ever since he was officially announced as a WWE signing, Sin Cara was hyped up as this new mystical element of WWE many years ago. He got a lot of special treatment, including different lights and atmosphere for his matches. He was all set to be Rey Mysterio’s long-term successor, but he could never get going at WWE and despite putting on some decent matches, Cara didn’t get over enough. He quit WWE after becoming frustrated in 2014, blaming them for his lack of success, not letting him perform the way he used to. Mistico has since had a turbulent relationship with WWE, so he's not coming back.
16 Deserves 2nd Chance: Sami Callihan
Sami Callihan didn’t really enjoy the best of times at WWE, where he was booked in a peculiar manner at NXT. Named “Solomon Crowe”, he initially looked to be an utter menace at NXT but wasn’t booked well at all. He got frustrated at the lack of opportunities in WWE and was granted his release soon, after which he’s gone onto thrive elsewhere. Callihan has become a real menace at Impact Wrestling and other promotions, gaining a lot of heat with some controversial matches. He’s proved that he deserved better at WWE, who must be regretting letting him go prematurely. Crowe definitely deserves a second crack at thriving at WWE, who can do good with an unstable character like him on their programming.
15 Should Never Be Rehired: Carlito
The WWE fans started to really admire Carlito after he broke through as this cocky, cool heel on Smackdown during the mid-2000s. Carlito was a highly successful mid-carder for WWE, winning both the Intercontinental Championship and the United States Championship. He even won the Tag Team Championship and was flying high before his abrupt departure from WWE. In reality, WWE tried to get Carlito help for some personal matters. Carlito downright refused and was released afterward. Carlito hasn’t been willing to return to WWE, which shouldn’t look to rehire him in the future.
14 Deserves 2nd Chance: Rich Swann
Rich Swann was one of the most entertaining elements of 205 Live! during his tenure at WWE, with his charismatic demeanor getting good reactions from the fans. Swann even won the Cruiserweight Championship and was a real “feel-good” babyface in the division. But personal matters struck him last year and he was inevitably suspended by WWE. He was later released by the company and after a hiatus, returned to wrestling earlier this year. Swann is doing well at Impact Wrestling nowadays and proving to be an entertaining individual there. He was really unlucky to be released by WWE; Swann deserves a second chance to star in WWE’s Cruiserweight division.
13 Should Never Be Rehired: Big Cass
Despite having all the tools to become a big star in WWE, Big Cass just couldn’t stand out as a singles star in WWE. After a prolific tag-team partnership with Enzo Amore came to an end, Cass was booked as a heel who loved to punish the smaller guys. After returning from a long-term injury, Cass started a feud with Daniel Bryan which he ultimately lost. He was abruptly released earlier this year, because his relationship with Vince and the locker room had soured. It's no big loss (pun intended) as Cass wasn't great in the ring and mediocre on the mic; bottom line, he should never be rehired.
12 Deserves 2nd Chance: Juice Robinson
Known prominently to WWE fans as CJ Parker, Juice Robinson has really surged ahead ever since he was released by WWE. As Parker, he played the role of putting over upcoming NXT talents and was going nowhere with his career. It was for his own benefit that he got released by WWE, which allowed him to move to New Japan Pro Wrestling and became a prominent babyface. Robinson even won the IWGP United States Championship in New Japan and is among their most popular American stars. WWE must be regretting treating him so poorly and will look to re-sign him soon. Robinson deserves a second chance to thrive at WWE and has everything in him to become a popular WWE superstar.
11 Should Never Be Rehired: Eva Marie
Eva Marie was never really a “popular” figure among WWE fans because of her inability to wrestle, but her appearance and charm made WWE push her all the years. Marie developed a unique gimmick of just not showing up in her matches towards the end, but was rocked when handed a suspension by WWE for violating their Wellness Policy. She did not return to the ring after that and slowly drifted out of WWE programming to pursue her career as a movie star. With the Women’s Revolution shifting focus towards the “wrestling” part of their female competitors, Marie has no more business in WWE and should never be rehired due to her disappointing lack of wrestling skills.
10 Deserves 2nd Chance: John Morrison
Many fans were perplexed when John Morrison left WWE in 2011, as many predicted him to a future main-eventer for the company. Morisson was unhappy with his booking and left for a new adventure, which he found at Lucha Underground. Morrison thrived at Mexico and recently attained mainstream popularity after appearing in Netflix's hit TV show “GLOW.” Morrison is currently competing as a top star for Impact Wrestling, but definitely deserves another shot at climbing to the top of WWE. He’s proved his potential as a main-eventer in recent years and could spice-up the main-event picture with his glamor and wrestling ability. Morrison deserves a second chance at soaring in WWE, as he still holds the ability to dazzle fans with his exquisite style.
9 Should Never Be Rehired: Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner has remained a highly volatile and controversial figure in the wrestling business over the years and hasn’t maintained a good relationship with WWE at all. Steiner last appeared in WWE in the early 2000s, when he was given a decent push into the main event, but mostly was used as a mid-carder; he was obviously left disgruntled after. Steiner recently worked with Impact Wrestling and he also criticized WWE’s programming and the way they functioned during that. Steiner is a disrespectful wrestler and knowing his ability to seek out controversy, WWE should never rehire him or even induct him into the Hall of Fame.
8 Deserves 2nd Chance: Jack Swagger
It looked like Jack Swagger would have a prolific run in WWE after he won the World Heavyweight Championship early into his career. Swagger was known to be a technically gifted athlete, who could put some great matches with just about anything. But his lack of charisma or a proper gimmick hurt his chances of staying at the top of WWE and quickly after his World Title reign, he became a jobber to the stars. Swagger put over many stars before leaving last year and is now signed with both Bellator MMA and Lucha Underground. Swagger will look to prove WWE wrong about him by thriving elsewhere and show why he deserves a second shot at redeeming himself at WWE in the near future.
7 Should Never Be Rehired: Brad Maddox
Brad Maddox was never really that much of a prominent figure in WWE, but his unique charisma made him a decent non-wrestling figure. Maddox played the role of both a referee and general manager in WWE with conviction but was quite poor as a wrestler. He was mostly made to put over other stars and wrestled dark matches, but was fired after getting into it with the audience during one event. Since then, Maddox has gone off the radar; WWE will absolutely never rehire the man, as he lacks any sort of memorable it factor.
6 Deserves 2nd Chance: Tenille Dashwood
Tenille Dashwood’s release from WWE came as a surprise to many, as she was let go off exactly when things were looking to improve for her. Known prominently as “Emma” in WWE, she portrayed this cocky heel to perfection and was pretty good in the ring as well. She’s proving why WWE was wrong to let her go prematurely with her work in the Independent scene, as she’s been a hit figure at Ring of Honor. Dashwood has put in some great matches at Ring of Honor and is one of their top ladies right now. She has a lot of unfinished business at WWE and deserves a second chance to come back and shine at the top of their Women’s Division.
5 Should Never Be Rehired: Enzo Amore
Ever since parting ways with Big Cass and later turning heel, Enzo Amore became a really obnoxious figure on WWE programming. But it seems like he wasn’t just being annoying in character, but was like that in real life as well. Enzo got a lot of heat on him during his singles run, with many superstars complaining about his lavish way of treating himself. The former Cruiserweight Champion was fired earlier this year after personal issues. Amore is trying to create a musical career, but he’ll be never rehired by WWE; sure, he was great on the mic, but that can only take you so far in the WWE if you can't entertain in the ring.
4 Deserves 2nd Chance: Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes was left frustrated when WWE continued misusing his talents for the worse, which forced him to leave the company a few years ago. Cody has since gone onto take the wrestling scene by storm, thriving wherever he goes to compete. He’s currently the NWA Heavyweight Champion, NJPW United States Champion and a prominent member of the Bullet Club. Cody has gone leaps and bounds into making him a big figure in Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling and is making WWE regret treating him poorly. Rhodes definitely deserves another chance to excel at WWE in the near future and should be respectfully pushed as the excellent main-eventer he’s developed into since leaving them.
3 Should Never Be Rehired: Ryback
“The Big Guy” Ryback could never really fulfill his potential like the way WWE wanted him to, which is why their relationship soured down towards the end. After being initially pushed strongly, Ryback’s lack of charisma and fan reaction made WWE transition him into a mid-carder. He did win the Intercontinental Championship once, but the Big Guy was mostly made to put over stars during the final period of his WWE career. In the end, Ryback's relationship with Vince McMahon fell through; Ryback left WWE a few years ago, never to return to the company.
2 Deserves 2nd Chance: CM Punk
CM Punk was frustrated with his booking towards the end of his WWE career, which triggered him to walk out, as things got personal between them. But when it comes to the wrestling bit, Punk still has much to give and knowing his lack of ability to impress at the UFC, he should ponder returning to pro wrestling. Punk’s relations with WWE hasn't really improved over the years, but with names like Bret Hart making a comeback, never say never when it comes to the wrestling business. It could give him the second chance he deserves to come back and prove himself as a top WWE star.
1 Should Never Be Rehired: Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio was one a beloved figure among WWE management because of his ability to draw in a lot of Hispanic audiences towards their programming. Del Rio was always kept in a good light by WWE, winning a number of prestigious championships and often being part of the main-event scene. But his poor demeanor after leaving the company won't help his case. Despite WWE’s rumored interest in bringing him back, they really shouldn't, as he's an older talent that offers nothing new to the table. He would take up an important spot that should be given to a rising star, like Andrade Almas.