There's drama, and then there's WWE drama. Through the years, so many stars have come and gone, have tested the waters elsewhere, eventually making their way back to the WWE after finding that the grass isn't always greener. Let's face it, one does not just leave a company that raised and nurtured their careers "just because"; there is typically a decent amount of frustration or unhappiness that goes along with any departure. Sometimes it is something as simple as contract and financial disputes that lead wrestlers into other companies.
In other circumstances, however, wrestlers find themselves caught in more intense predicaments that lead to ugly exits with no certainty of a future return. While some ties seem to be cleanly severed, all too often we find Vince McMahon feeling slighted in someway, shape, or form, leaving plenty of room for hostility. Vince McMahon, ever the businessman, is not quick to fold under pressure from some of his biggest name superstars' demands. However, that mentality has spelled out trouble for the company one too many times, and in the decades of his reign as CEO of the WWE, he has found himself in quite a few predicaments with discontented employees.
So we've compiled a list for you of 15 of the most notorious circumstances of WWE employees walking out the door on less than favorable terms.
15 Stone Cold Steve Austin
14 CM Punk
For a long time, CM Punk was silent about the precise reasons behind his leaving the WWE. However, Punk recently vocalized what went down backstage during his career, and what lead him to have such a hostile attitude toward his former employer. Mainly, their lack of concern for his health and safety are what did him in. In one instance, Punk suffered a knee injury that required a solid four weeks or more for full recovery. During this time, he was scheduled in a TLC match just three weeks post-surgery. The final straw was being told that a mass that was discovered on his neck was nothing, yet it turned out to be quite a serious staph infection that could have easily claimed his life if left untreated for much longer.
13 Hulk Hogan
Hell hath no fury like a scorned Vince McMahon! Longtime wrestling icon Hulk Hogan was fired from the WWE in 2015 after a sex tape of the superstar surfaced online. As if a sex tape with his friend's wife wasn't bad enough, it was Hogan's racist spiel on the tape the ultimately landed him in the unemployment line.
12 Vince Russo
The former head writer resigned from the WWE after finally being fed up with how he was treated, mainly by Vince McMahon. Russo states that McMahon's blunt disregard for Russo's finances or his emotional well-being as the end of the line for him in the WWE. In 1999, McMahon debuted a new program, SmackDown, a show that Russo acknowledges would bring in millions of dollars worth of revenue. Not only did McMahon not give Russo a proper warning of the new program in the works, Russo also claims that even after the revenue increase, the salaries of those involved remained the same - unlike their workload.
11 Bret Hart
Towards the end of his contract with WWE, Bret Hart began showing signs that he was ready to move on. The aging superstar began his descent as he demanded more and more money, although his physical abilities were deteriorating and not worthy of a sky-high paycheck. Hart decided to make the switch over to WCW, although he requested to win his final match against Shawn Michaels in order to retain his title belt and go out on top in WWE. Although Vince initially agreed to these terms, he suddenly ripped the rug out from under Hart and thus began the infamous Montreal Screwjob on November 9, 1997. Humiliating Hart in front of the crowd, Vince set it up so that Michaels would win the match, unbeknownst to Hart. The stunt led Hart to spit directly into Vince's face on live television.
10 Alundra Blayze
Debrah Miceli began her wrestling career in WCW, making a name for herself under the ring name Medusa. In 1993, Miceli was brought into the WWE where Vince adjusted her moniker to Alundra Blayze. After winning three women's championships during her two years in WWE, Blayze was released from her contract, however the exact reason why remains unclear. What is clear, however, is the fact that Blazye was none too happy with their decision.
9 Stacy "The Kat" Carter
8 Rick Rude
7 Matt Hardy
6 Randy Savage
5 Jeff Hardy
4 Ultimate Warrior
3 Brad Maddox
2 Alberto Del Rio
1 Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is currently on top of the WWE world. However, things were not always running so smoothly for the superstar. Remember back in 2004 when Lesnar suddenly decided to high-tail it out of the WWE to pursue other things. When Lesnar joined WWE, the company, and Vince, poured tons of time and resources into the up and coming star. However, once Lesnar booked it out of the blue, he left the company in quite a dilemma with ratings plummeting after his departure. Vince was none too happy that all of his energy seemed to have been wasted on him. However, the story ends happily, as you all know, because Brock is currently killing it in WWE now, becoming one of the biggest superstars in the current lineup.
Sources: www.theguardian.com; wwe
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