WWE is a constantly evolving business that has talent coming and going on a frequent basis with new Superstars being signed more frequently than ever as Triple H looks to change the business.
However, at the same time as new, fresh faces join the company, Vince McMahon also stays loyal to tried and tested names who he allows to return for one more run to give older fans something to remember. Names such as Chris Jericho, Batista, and Goldberg have all enjoyed more than one spell with WWE and past names are always looking to return to the company for the payday and the chance to restart their careers.
However, while there is always talent knocking on the door for another run, making their cases on social media, that doesn't mean that the WWE Chairman is willing to let them back, whether it be for past issues or the fact they are over the hill. On the other hand, while some wrestlers are looking to make one more appearance on Raw or SmackDown, some of the best names in the world are doing everything in their powers to do the exact opposite, and never appear.
With wrestling outside of WWE growing by the day there are now viable options to make a living outside of Vince's company and no matter what Triple H promises NXT to be, some talent no longer want to take that risk.
Within this article, we will look at 10 wrestlers who Triple H wants to sign but won't be able to, as well as 10 wrestlers who are itching for a return, but Vince McMahon won't allow to come back.
20 Return Vince Won't Allow: Scott Steiner
He may have been one of the greatest performers during his run, but he managed to make an enemy out of Vince McMahon during his time and therefore he is a return that the WWE Chairman simply will not allow. While Steiner might not even pass a medical to compete again, he won't even be accepting a Hall Of Fame induction anytime soon either because Vince has banned him from attending the annual event, even as a fan.
Steiner and McMahon have major issues with each other and Scott has made it very clear how he feels about him during podcasts and interviews so Vince isn't going to be bringing him in anytime soon.
19 Signing Triple H Won't Make: Tetsuya Naito
Tetsuya Naito is one of the most exciting wrestlers on the planet and has an incredible amount of charisma which is why he has become one of the biggest names in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Triple H always has a keen eye on what is happening in Japan which is how WWE ended up with the likes of Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, and AJ Styles and Naito is now the latest name that The Game wants to pick up.
The top New Japan star revealed that WWE had actually given him a contract offer but that he had turned it down as he doesn't have an interest in joining WWE, making him one name that Hunter might have to give up on.
18 Return: Gail Kim
While Gail Kim has officially retired from in-ring competition there is no doubt that Triple H would be interested in bringing her in for a one-off match or a special appearance in the women's Royal Rumble.
She might not have had the best experiences in WWE, but there is no denying that Kim is one of the best women's wrestlers of all time, however, even though Triple H might understand that, Vince McMahon will not. All he will see in Kim is someone who has called him out social media and bashed his daughter constantly in interviews, which is why he will not be interested in allowing her to return, even for a one-off match.
17 Signing: Zack Sabre Jr.
Triple H has taken a keen interest in the British wrestling scene, picking up some of the biggest and best names available from Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate to more recent signings like Joe Coffey and Ligero.
However, the original UK name that Triple H was interested in was Zack Sabre Jr, who is arguably the biggest name to come out of the UK wrestling scene in modern history, flying the flag for Britain all around the world with his incredible technical ability.
Zack Sabre was used as one of the biggest names in the original Cruiserweight Classic but decided to turn down a WWE contract alongside Kota Ibushi and has since continued working hard in Japan and in the UK, showing no interest in a WWE career.
16 Return: Vince Russo
A lot has been made of the writing in WWE as of late with many fans complaining about the product that is being put out and views reaching an all-time low and Attitude Era writer, Vince Russo has made his thoughts on the matter very clear.
Russo has joined the masses in bashing WWE's product and claimed he knows how to fix it and that he could improve everything if he was to return to WWE, but the chances of Vince McMahon allowing that to happen are slim to none.
The two Vince's do not get along and the fact Russo tries to take all the credit for the Attitude Era is something that doesn't sit well with McMahon, who doesn't want the edgy writer back in his employment.
15 Signing: Hangman Page
While Triple H is working hard to try and sign all of The Elite, there is only one name that WWE has actively attempted to bring in so far and that happens to be Adam 'Hangman' Page, with the company making him two offers already.
His future is still unknown but after already turning down two WWE offers it doesn't seem like he is in a big hurry to pick up a WWE contract right now. Hangman had a breakout 2018 and became one of the biggest names in wrestling and he owes a lot of that to The Elite.
While he is certainly talented, The Elite has given Hangman some fantastic exposure and there is likely a lot of loyalty on Page's behalf towards the group. However, he is still fairly young so down the line, it might still be possible.
14 Return: Melina
Right now WWE is bringing back plenty of female talents for surprise and special appearances with Evolution and the Royal Rumble the company is looking back to some of its biggest legends in past years. However, one name that is unlikely to get the call for an appearance is Melina who Vince McMahon doesn't seem to like. The company always remembers WWE legends but Melina is never mentioned or shown in highlights.
Despite being incredibly talented inside the ring, her attitude backstage was reportedly incredibly poor with Melina often being taken to the infamous wrestlers court, and Vince doesn't seem to have a desire to bring her back.
13 Signing: John Morrison
When wrestlers leave WWE and manage to continue making a fantastic living it is often very difficult to attract them to return to the company and John Morrison sadly fits into that category. Morrison had a solid WWE career but was never given the true main event and since leaving he has only improved, especially in his promo work after putting in the time with acting classes and in movie roles.
WWE has now caught up with Morrison and focuses more on the style of wrestling that he is great at, but sadly it might be a little too late to persuade Morrison to make a return as he has enough going for him on his own.
12 Returns: Ken Shamrock
Bringing in former top MMA stars might be Vince McMahon's thing at the minute, but that is for top current talent like Daniel Cormier, not old-timers such as Ken Shamrock who have had their moment in the sun.
Shamrock and WWE didn't end things on great terms when they parted ways but he has made a statement that he wants to be a World Champion in wrestling and is determined to get back into the sport. However, at his age, it's unlikely Vince is going to be bringing him back anytime soon for anything other than a spot in the Royal Rumble with Vince simply looking forward to the future with younger and hungrier stars.
11 Signing: The Young Bucks
As one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history, it would be a major shame to never see The Young Bucks in WWE, especially in their prime, but it seems like the brothers are more focused on changing the industry for the long run rather than one run with WWE.
Their contracts are up very soon and the window of opportunity is there for Triple H to strike, but sadly for the WWE COO, the 'Bucks are apparently focusing on not just creating magic in the ring but setting up their own promotion. We'll see how they fare with All Elite Wrestling.
10 Return: Jim Ross
It might not be what people want to hear, but Jim Ross isn't going to be returning to WWE anytime in the near future. Even though he is arguably the greatest commentator of all time, he won't be getting a call from Vince McMahon to do any commentary work.
He might make the odd appearance on the WWE Network in a legends role, but he won't be commentating anymore. It's clear Vince is moving in a new direction with the commentary team, pushing younger talent such as Renee Young and Corey Graves instead.
With that in mind and the fact that Jim Ross is past his best when it comes to commentating, as has been seen by some of his work in New Japan, meaning his legendary WWE career is over.
9 Signing: Kota Ibushi
Just like Zack Sabre Jr earlier in the list, Kota Ibushi has technically worked for WWE spending some time in the original Cruiserweight Classic tournament where he was the clear star of the entire thing. However, after the Golden Star turned down WWE's contract offer it was clear that he just isn't interested in working for the company. Ibushi has always stated he wants to have the freedom to do whatever he wants and that is why he doesn't want a WWE deal.
Ibushi has said he would be willing to work one-off special matches for the company, which could be a unique deal but Triple H would not be allowed to do that as Vince McMahon wants to own anyone who is working for the company.
8 Returns: Ryback
He might be the Big Guy who has the exact look that Vince McMahon tries to go for and traditionally pushes but in the case of Ryback he isn't going to be getting a call from Vince anytime in the near future. Ever since he was released by WWE, Ryback has gone on to make ludicrous claims about his WWE career and issues with the company, from the fact people aren't paid the same to things he was promised and never given.
Ryback hasn't had a problem in badmouthing the company and because of that WWE will try to distance itself from him. Vince is normally happy to forgive and forget if you are a blockbuster name, but with Ryback not being that, he doesn't have much hope.
7 Signing: Will Ospreay
Will Ospreay wrestles a style that Triple H is very fond of, as can be seen by how Ricochet has been booked so far in NXT. The Aerial Assassin has turned down offers from WWE before and sadly for Hunter, he will do again. Ospreay has made it clear many times that he currently has no interest in working for WWE and instead wants to wrestle around the world, helping to make the independent scene as big as possible.
He has a goal of main eventing a Wrestle Kingdom and that is something that will take a few years (at least) to achieve and given that he has just launched his own wrestling company in the UK, Ospreay is currently very focused on plans that don't involve WWE.
6 Return: Enzo Amore
The one thing Vince McMahon doesn't take kindly to is being embarrassed and having someone try to make the most out of his name which is exactly what Enzo Amore tried to do with his stunt at Survivor Series.
Buying a front row seat and causing a scene during the PPV is something that Vince did not appreciate and the fact that he has gone on to continue antagonizing Liv Morgan has ensured he is banned from all future WWE events. Vince clearly was frustrated and annoyed at how Enzo has dealt with things since being released and there is no doubt Enzo won't be getting a call anytime soon.
5 Signing: Nick Aldis
There was a time when Nick Aldis was desperate to land a WWE deal and prove himself on the biggest stage possible, but after years of being overlooked, it seems like Aldis has now given up on the idea and instead wants to prove what WWE is missing out on.
Aldis had an incredible 2018 with his work as NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion and his feud with Cody Rhodes was one of the best of the year which has no doubt gained WWE's attention and Triple H would likely want to bring Aldis in to join his wife, Mickie James. However with Aldis now back as NWA World Champion, it seems like he has the chip on his shoulder that is needed to carry a brand like the NWA and Aldis is now going to attempt to have an even bigger 2019 growing the classic NWA brand.
4 Return: Bill DeMott
It isn't just in the ring where WWE tends to bring back former wrestlers, with many ex-talents being used in non-wrestling roles such as producers or trainers which is where Bill DeMott was placed when he retired. DeMott managed to become the head of WWE's developmental and was still in charge during the NXT regime, but was promptly released due to some reports about how he treated various talents.
The entire situation was a massive PR disaster for WWE and with sponsors being so crucial to WWE, that is the sort of thing that the company has to avoid and because of that DeMott is never going to return.
3 Signing: Tessa Blanchard
Tessa Blanchard is arguably the most talented female wrestler outside of WWE right now and wherever she appears fans follow. Her star power is higher than ever and she is certainly ready for a run in NXT, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon. Triple H opted to not sign Blanchard following the first Mae Young Classic and that rejection was something that Blanchard took as fuel to go an achieve bigger things away from the company and she opted to join IMPACT.
Since joining IMPACT Wrestling Blanchard has been made the number one female in the Knockouts Division and with the company putting everything around her, it is unlikely she is going to just walk away from that right now.
2 Return: James Ellsworth
Vince McMahon clearly saw something in James Ellsworth with the unlikely Superstar going from a one-off appearance to a one-year contract that saw him defeat AJ Styles multiple times, but any chance of another run with WWE is over. Vince might have brought the Chinless Wonder back several times since his original run came to an end, but since then a situation about his personal life has harmed his reputation and damaged any hope of more WWE appearances.
The recent news that has surfaced about Ellsworth isn't something Vince will gamble on; especially since he isn't a main event talent.
1 Signing: Kenny Omega
Triple H is a student of the game and does a great job at searching the wrestling globe for the very best talent available and right now there is nobody better than Kenny Omega, who is the number one wrestler in the world in most people's opinions.
The Game would love to secure Omega on a WWE contract and is probably furious that he wasn't in charge of developmental quicker when Omega was originally part of the company, but no matter what he offers the Cleaner, the chances are he will turn that down. Omega didn't enjoy his previous spell with WWE and the fact he has become such a big name without the company shows he doesn't need the machine behind him. Omega is determined to change the world with his work and for that he needs creative freedom, which he will only have outside of WWE's control.