Every year, WWE comes up with a list of Superstars to be released from the company. The reasons may vary but it usually occurs after WrestleMania. Those names are usually waived since they contribute very little to the product, and with the WWE hiring so many talents on a yearly basis, it's only normal to expect some others to be let go. But there are always firings that happen on the spot. Some Superstars may land into trouble or demand a release outright. These are usually the controversial releases that get the fans talking.
WWE has made it a tradition to release a statement on their website (and now their social media accounts) indicating the status of the Superstar as well as a "good luck" message. Many of these firings are warranted even if fans may not like to see their favourite wrestlers depart from the company. But you also have many names who get released for mind blowing reasons. With all the wrestling sites around, the rumours begin to pile up as more details leak to the public. In recent years, many released stars have taken to social media to give their side of the story, which further strains the relationship between them and the company.
All companies are prone to make mistakes and WWE aren't an exception to the rule as they have gotten it wrong on many occasions throughout the years. With today's list, we look at 8 WWE Superstars fired for ridiculous reasons and 7 who deserved it!
15 No Good Reason: Mr. Kennedy
Mr. Kennedy being fired is one of the many things that fans still don't understand to this day. It happened following a match on Raw, in which his team faced off against John Cena and Randy Orton, who complained about Kennedy after the match. They claimed that he was dangerous to work with and nearly injured Orton in the match. Accidents happen in the WWE and we have seen plenty of injuries occur yet WWE never took action.
Fans were shocked to see Kennedy released from the company, who had been viewed as the next big WWE star.
What makes the situation even more complicated is that Kennedy and Orton had been friends, so he couldn't believe that the latter would complain to WWE officials. Most fans sided with Kennedy, believing that it didn't warrant a firing as all sides involved had overreacted to what happened in the ring.
14 Deserved It: Austin Aries
Austin Aries is an impressive talent who could have accomplished more in the WWE, but a number of factors led to his release. He was unhappy with the company, and not performing up to his potential. During a recent interview, Aries admitted that he deserved being fired by the WWE and he understood their decision. He wasn't bad by any means, but it seems like Aries didn't work hard enough to earn the spot that he wanted. Like his former rival Neville, Aries wasn't too pleased about being stuck in the Cruiserweight division as he had greater aspirations.
But Aries had become tough to deal with backstage as his frustrations grew day by day. While the door may be open for him in the future, he is likely better off competing on the independent circuit and Impact Wrestling where he is guaranteed to shine more.
13 No Good Reason: Emma
A few years ago, Emma's WWE contract was terminated after she was arrested for allegedly stealing an iPhone case that was worth $21. Two hours later, the company re-signed Emma much to the surprise of everyone. Perhaps the company found out all the necessary details which changed their mind, but they made a bad call way too early.
Emma denied the accusations, claiming that the item didn't scan.
Whether true or not, they simply didn't warrant a release and it didn't take the WWE long to realize that.
The fact it was only a $21 item makes it even worse, but the company just moved on past it as if nothing had happened. A few months ago, Emma was once again released from the WWE albeit for an entirely different reason this time. It just seems like it wasn't meant to happen between the two sides.
12 Deserved It: Cameron
It wasn't exactly shocking to hear that Cameron was fired from WWE. First of all, the company hadn't been using her. Second, she failed to make an impression whenever given the chance, and had some backstage heat with several members of the company including Paige. Lastly, she failed to mind her own business. During RyBack's ongoing feud with the WWE, Cameron tweeted him in support.
Days later, WWE announced that she was released from the company.
Not exactly the brightest move by Cameron who had already been in trouble in the past. When she sides with RyBack over the WWE in a serious matter, it puts the company in a tough spot since the public saw her comments. For whatever it's worth, Cameron stated that the independent scene was beneath her status following her WWE release, which should really tell you all you need to know.
11 No Good Reason: Daniel Bryan
The Nexus invasion was one of the best things to happen in the WWE in recent years. While most members failed to reach expectations, it remains one of the more memorable angles. Daniel Bryan went on to have the best career out of all members, but it was derailed early on due to his involvement in the storyline. They were booked to destroy everything and everyone in their way, but Bryan took it one step further when he attacked Justin Roberts and choked him with his tie.
Fans were extremely upset that Bryan was fired for this incident, believing that he had only helped the angle in making it more impactful. Despite having been in a tough position, Roberts also came forward to defend Bryan. He would later be re-signed by the WWE, and went on to start the 'YES' movement to become one of WWE's top Superstars.
10 Deserved It: Jeff Hardy
In 2003, Jeff Hardy was fired by the WWE after failing a substance test. The company tried to persuade him to seek treatment, but once Hardy refused they chose to let him go. Hardy continued wrestling on the independent scene and TNA before ultimately returning to WWE in 2006. At the time of his firing, Hardy was stuck in no man's land with his career suffering. The quality of his matches have diminished while bad booking certainly didn't help his case.
But it worked out for the better as Hardy managed to clean up his life some time afterwards, and re-established himself as one of the best workers in the business while working for TNA. Despite his potential at the time, it was the best move for Hardy who had been struggling with the WWE schedule as so many Superstars do, and had ongoing personal problems.
9 No Good Reason: Alberto Del Rio
In 2014, fans were surprised upon hearing reports that WWE had fired Alberto Del Rio for unprofessional conduct. And they were even more surprised once the details of the incident had leaked, earning the company plenty of criticism from fans and media alike. It was reported that Del Rio had slapped a WWE employee for making a slur about him, although it happened behind his back.
Del Rio wasn't pleased upon learning of the slur and confronted the employee about it.
The employee refused to apologize so Del Rio took matters into his own hands. While we don't condone violence, it is understandable as to why Del Rio reacted the way that he did and most people sided with him in this situation. WWE ended up re-hiring Del Rio about a year later although his second run was also cut short. Now you can watch him compete for Impact Wrestling.
8 Deserved It: Hulk Hogan
Being wrestling's biggest star and a hero to so many people, it's natural to expect some fans to be upset by the release of Hulk Hogan. But it's entirely possible to acknowledge his impact on the industry while also seeing it from the WWE's perspective. A tape had leaked in which Hogan made prejudiced remarks towards his daughter's boyfriend with some explicit slurs. WWE didn't hesitate and fired Hogan immediately. While so many refuse to let go of their Hulkamania fandom, it is mind blowing as to why so many fans were upset with the release.
Regardless of Hogan's influence, it doesn't excuse the despicable comments heard on the tape. WWE's decision to fire Hogan was certainly warranted, and they have stuck with it since then - even when rumours had piled up regarding a Hogan return at RAW's 25th year anniversary show.
7 No Good Reason: Matt Hardy
Long before he turned into Woken Matt, Hardy was involved in a feud with Edge over Lita which transitioned from a real life issue to a storyline. Hardy had been dating Lita for several years at the time when Edge was one of his best friends. In early 2005, Hardy was out of action as he recovered from an injury, while Edge and Lita began a relationship on the road.
Upon finding out, Hardy was extremely upset and didn't hold back as he went off on both before jumping to his blog to reveal the dirty secrets to the internet. With heat rising in the locker room between them, WWE decided to fire Hardy. Fans were upset, believing that he had been wronged. Fast forward to July of 2005, Hardy was re-signed by the company and agreed to feud with Edge and Lita.
6 Deserved It: Scott Hall
In his prime, Scott Hall was one of the best Superstars around. Once he made the switch to WCW, it all went downhill for him. He had a great start with the nWo but personal problems held him back during that period as he often showed up incapable of performing. Once WCW folded, Hall was brought back by the WWE but he didn't last long. Hall failed to clean up his act despite several warnings, and he wasn't performing up to the company's standards as he continued to struggle with substance abuse.
Hall was fired by the WWE despite having had many friends backstage. Unlike his days in WCW, he wasn't untouchable anymore and the company had no use for him. Although fans would have loved to see Hall engage in feuds with several WWE Superstars at the time, they understood the company's decision.
5 No Good Reason: Muhammad Hassan
Not many Superstars were able to generate heat as much as Muhammad Hassan did in 2005. Hassan was released in the summer of 2005, paying for a gimmick that WWE had given him. An Italian-American of origin, Hassan portrayed an Arab character who felt discriminated against by the country following 9/11. Hassan became a heel for practically telling the truth about the ongoing discrimination, as fans greeted him with jeers and USA chants.
During his feud with The Undertaker, some masked men came to the ring to help Hassan in assaulting him. It happened around the same time as the London attacks in 2005, which upset the TV network that SmackDown aired on. They threatened to pull the deal unless the gimmick was dropped, and WWE ended up firing Hassan who was never seen again on television.
4 Deserved It: Mr. Perfect
Mr Perfect made one of the most memorable returns during the 2002 Royal Rumble, and managed to be in the final four. But for the next few months, he was mostly used to put over other Superstars. Mr. Perfect only lasted a couple more months with the company before being fired for instigating a fight with Brock Lesnar during the infamous plane ride. He had trouble with substance abuse at the time, which already had put his spot on the roster in jeopardy.
Mr Perfect challenged Lesnar to a fight, claiming that he could easily take him down. It ended as you would expect with Lesnar having full control of the situation. That incident among other antics on the plane made it an event that changed the WWE. Many Superstars were either fired or punished for their actions, including Mr Perfect.
3 No Good Reason: The Highlanders
In the mid 2000s, WWE was attempting to revive Raw's tag team division by introducing some new faces. They aired several promos for The Highlanders, who eventually made their on-screen debut. The team lasted about two years on the roster, and never won the titles. While you can argue that the team was going to be released sooner or later, the reason was pretty ridiculous. Robbie, one half of The Highlanders, had attended a TNA event to catch up with some friends backstage and joined the crowd to watch them in action.
But TNA put him on the spot by showing Robbie on camera when he was trying to keep a low profile. Needless to say, WWE officials were very upset as The Highlanders were punished by not receiving their WrestleMania bonus. A few months later, WWE announced the release of The Highlanders once Robbie had recovered from his injury.
2 Deserved It: Enzo Amore
The most recent WWE firing came a few weeks ago when the company released Enzo Amore following serious allegations. Whether he is innocent or guilty remains to be seen, but that's not the reason WWE let him go. Enzo had known about the allegations since October and didn't tell the WWE - they found out once the accuser tweeted the accusations. Enzo had already been in hot water with the company for several incidents, but they finally had enough.
Having already caused trouble in the locker room on more than one occasion, Enzo wasn't worth keeping around. You have to understand the decision from WWE's perspective. Rumours claim that Enzo was planning to leave the company to pursue a rap career, so it was best to just cut him before anymore bad press came their way. But first, Enzo must deal with the accusations being thrown against him in court.
1 No Good Reason: Paul London
During the Monday Night Wars, WCW introduced the Cruiserweight division to American audiences, which WWE could never match. Even a decade later when they attempted to revamp their very own division, it never got over with the fans. But one name that stood out from that era was Paul London, who was one of the most impressive talents at the time. Not only did he achieve success in the division, but he formed one of the better teams along with Brian Kendrick.
Fast forward to 2007, London was fired from the WWE for one of the most ridiculous reasons. During a segment in which Vince McMahon walked past by WWE Superstars before his limousine blew up, London was spotted smiling at the chairman. WWE officials were upset by London for reportedly acting like a goof during a serious moment, and he was fired shortly afterwards.