As if losing your job isn’t bad enough, losing it because of such an obscure reason is even worse. For the 12 superstars on this list, well, that was the case unfortunately. The reasons for dismissals on this list range from assaulting your boss to smiling at your boss during segment.
As you can see, the firings are wide open in terms of absolute ridiculousness. Although some were lucky to get their jobs back later on (like Alberto Del Rio who just returned), others weren’t so lucky and have never been seen on WWE TV again. Daniel Bryan is another name that will appear on this list. Can you imagine if the WWE didn’t bring Bryan back? There would have never been a “Yes” movement? That certainly wouldn’t have been good for business. Unfortunately though, not everyone was as lucky as Del Rio and Bryan to get their jobs back. Here are 12 of the most ridiculous reasons for firings in the WWE. Enjoy!
12) Jeff Jarrett: Contract Ends With Jarrett Still Champion
This goes down as one of the most ridiculous blunders in WWE history. For some insane reason, Jeff Jarrett was still the Intercontinental Champion when his contract was up. Realizing this, the WWE asked Jarrett to sign a one-day deal and drop the title to Chyna. Knowing how big of a deal this one-day contract was, Jarrett decided to blackmail McMahon and the WWE, asking for $300,000 for the one performance. Had the WWE not taken the deal, Jarrett would have brought the title to WCW, something the WWE did not want to see again. Ultimately, Jarrett’s ridiculous claim was granted. This goes down as one of the most ridiculous contract blunders in WWE history.
11) Alberto Del Rio: Released For Taking Action Against Discriminating Remarks
Yes that’s right, Alberto Del Rio literally got fired for standing up for himself. The WWE universe was shocked when it was announced that Alberto Del Rio had been released by the company because of unprofessional conduct towards a WWE employee. Ultimately, when the details of the story came out it seemed like it was the other way around. WWE employee Cody Barbierri allegedly made some discriminating remarks towards Del Rio. The former World Champion took exception to these comments and slapped Barbierri in the face and demanded an apology. The situation somehow ended up turning on Del Rio, causing his release from the company. It is rumored that Barbierri was going to file for legal action against the WWE and Del Rio. It looks like the WWE may have tried to avoid this situation and just released Del Rio to simplify things and avoid extra trouble in court. Thankfully, just recently Del Rio made his return to the WWE.
For those of you wondering, Barbierri is no longer employed with the company.
10) Nailz: Assaults His Boss
This is probably one of the most ridiculous firings of all time, so here’s some advice, if you assault your boss, chances are you’re going to get fired. I don’t think Kevin Wacholz (aka “Nailz”) got this memo during his time with the WWE. Following his match against Virgil at SummerSlam Nailz received a pay between $8,000 to 9,000 for the short match, not to bad right? Well Nailz didn’t think so. Following the match, Wacholz stormed into McMahon’s office demanding for more. The situation then turned physical with Wacholz choking Vince, but thankfully employees ran into the room and separated Nailz apart from McMahon. As you can imagine, Nailz was later released from the company. However his hate for Vince continued following his release; Wacholz even took part in the McMahon steroid court case. Wacholz was a witness for the prosecution, and while on stand the former wrestler discussed his hate for Vince. Nailz would go on to wrestle a couple more years before officially retiring in 2000.
9) Hade Vansen: He’s Too Small
Remember this guy? Well you probably don’t because he never got to appear for the WWE on live TV. Ridiculous to think that the WWE actually aired vignettes for this mysterious, Undertaker-like character. After a couple of weeks of vignettes, they oddly stopped. This was not a storyline. The story goes that when McMahon saw Vansen in person he immediately scrapped the idea because of Hade’s height of 5’11. Vince refused to put the newcomer on TV. What makes the situation even worse for Vansen was the fact that he was set to feud with The Undertaker. Ouch. He was released from the company weeks later. Talk about ridiculous.
8) Manu: RKO’d Out Of A Job
It certainly looked like the son of the great WWE Hall of Famer Afa, was on his way to becoming a long-time WWE superstar like his dad. Manu was instantly given a chance to shine by joining the Legacy alongside Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase Jr. and Randy Orton. Much to everyone’s surprise, Manu ended up failing to join the Legacy and was later released by the company. According to Orton, Manu was very disrespectful backstage and wanted everything to be given to him. Other sources claim that Orton told WWE officials that Manu just wasn’t right for the stable and should be removed immediately. Due to Orton’s suggestions, not only was Manu moved from the stable, but he was also removed from the company altogether.
It should be noted that this is not the first time a wrestler gets fired because of Orton. Mr. Kennedy also was released by the company after Orton refused to work with Kennedy due to a botched suplex on Orton by the former WWE superstar. To future WWE stars: be on your best behavior around the newly named, “Career Killer”.
7) Paul London: No Smiling Clause
So, Paul London got fired for smiling. During an angle with Vince McMahon walking into his fake death, the boss passed by many WWE superstars before entering his limo which was set to blow up. One of the superstars he passed was Paul London. Despite everyone looking serious as McMahon passed on by, London was the only one with a noticeable smile on his face. Turns out McMahon was furious about this, so much so that London was fired months later in large part because of his smile during the angle. According to London’s contract, there is a ‘no smiling’ clause which he breached (yes, a no smiling clause). During a shoot interview, London laughed about the situation claiming he wasn’t even told how to act when Vince passed by, he was literally just told to be there. You can listen to more of London’s take on this ridiculous situation in the video below.
6) Earl Hebner: Illegally Selling WWE Merchandise
You’d figure Earl Hebner was one of the most trusted WWE employees, being with the company since the late 80s. Turns out Hebner (along with his twin brother) were selling WWE merchandise to a St. Louis based Pro Shirt Shop without the consent of the WWE. Ultimately, Hebner and his twin brother were both released by the WWE because of this. In addition, Hebner’s share in the Pro Shop he was selling to were bought out by the company. This is certainly up there as one of the most bizarre and ridiculous situations involving a long time WWE employee.
5) Curt Hennig: Smashing Brock Into An Aircraft Door
Oh, the infamous “plane ride from hell” which took place in 2002. This plane ride had it all; from lawsuits to a naked Ric Flair to haircutting to alcohol abuse to aircraft doors almost being busted open. Yes, this flight truly had it all. For the late Mr.Perfect, unfortunately this flight would put an end to his tremendous career with the WWE. Hennig and Lesnar were great friends during their time together with the WWE, and they were also riding partners and travelling partners. During “the plane ride from hell”, Hennig had a lot to drink and challenged Lesnar to an amateur wrestling match in the plane aisle. The young jacked up Lesnar agreed and before you knew it, the two were apparently going at it and smashing into the aircraft door while in the air. Ultimately, Hennig was fired for this while Brock escaped with no harm because of his ‘high powered status’ with the company.
4) Mickie James: Weight Gain and John Cena
Three different stories came out when Mickie James was released. One side says that the WWE was upset that James was pursuing interests outside of the WWE (like her pursuit of being a country music star). The second story claims James was fired because of gaining too much weight; the WWE even went as far as to use this in a storyline, calling her “piggy James” (yes, very classy). The third story claims that James was fired because of her failed relationship with John Cena. Many in the company believed that keeping James around Cena was a bad idea for not only John, but the entire morale of the company. Despite these stories though, the WWE claims that Mickie was fired because of being late several times after she was previously warned. Which story is true? We will never know.
3) Jim Ross: Not Being Professional During A 2k Sports Symposium
Following a symposium promoting WWE 2k14, Jim Ross was fired from the company due to improper conduct. Despite reports that Jim Ross was intoxicated during the event, Ross claims these allegations are simply false and that he just had one cocktail before the symposium, unlike Flair who was noticeably intoxicated during the event. The puzzling part about the situation was that 2k sports was thrilled with how it went. Many were shocked to find out that after all the years of service, Jim Ross was let off for such an obscure reason while Flair wasn’t even reprimanded. You can see more on JR’s view of the situation in the video below.
2) Daniel Bryan: The Tie Choke
On June 11th, 2010, Daniel Bryan’s run would come to a shocking end when the WWE released Bryan for being too violent after strangling a ring announcer with his own neck tie. Bryan later apologized for his actions, and his apology was used as a storyline, as the NXT rookies claimed they kicked him out for showing remorse. After his release, Bryan returned to the Indy scene. On August 15th, 2010, Bryan returned to the WWE as the surprise 7th member of team WWE against “The Nexus”. Crazy to think the WWE universe might have never been introduced to the “Yes” movement because of such a ridiculous firing.
1) Chyna: Losing Her Man To The Boss’s Daughter
Not many wrestlers got it worse than Chyna. The situation blew over after Chyna found out about Hunter and Stephanie’s secret affair. After finding out, Chyna contacted Vince McMahon immediately to tell him about the situation, which Vince would respond with, “well I guess the jig is up”. Chyna would show up to work on Monday in tears from the situation, and Vince would go on to tell her to go home and that they would work on a new contract. When Chyna got home, she received a fax indicating that the company did not need her anymore. In 2012, Chyna responded to Vince with a series of Tweets, posting things like, “you are a loser”, “an abuser”. Chyna also went as far as challenging Vince to a fight through Twitter. It’s obvious Chyna has still not let go of her departure from the WWE more than a decade ago. It’ll be interesting to see if Chyna ever gets the opportunity to step inside a WWE ring again.