Leaving the WWE for a certain Superstar usually works one of two ways. One, the star leaves on quiet terms and works the Indie scene in hopes of returning to the company one day. We’ve seen numerous examples of that with the likes of Shelton Benjamin who rarely have anything bad to say about the company. The other extreme, however, sees Superstars leaving the company on a terrible note which leads to constant bashing of the product. This happened on various occasions with the likes of Scott Seiner, CM Punk and most recently Ryback. With so much built-up rage and testosterone, these types of situations are bound to go down.
In this article, we take a look at a variety of wrestlers that most recently criticized the WWE, whether it pertains to something behind the scenes or having to do with the actual product itself. The list includes wrestlers that left on bad terms, decent terms and even some that are still attached to the WWE or even under contract. Here is the list of 15 recent controversial remarks made by pro wrestlers about the WWE. Enjoy and let us know which Superstars you think have a point and which are just out of their minds!
15 Booker T: Rips James Ellsworth
Every now and then, the WWE strikes gold with some of the most random gimmicks that just happen to work.
The company decided to bring long time Indie wrestler James Ellsworth, for a cameo on Monday Night Raw against Braun Strowman. Ellsworth was obliterated in the match but the fans seemed to be by his side regardless. This little moment as an enhancement talent later warranted the long time Indie star a permanent role.
Ellsworth would appear on SmackDown as A.J.’s surprise tag partner; he’d later get the best of Styles, defeating the Champion with the help of Dean Ambrose. The fans truly ate it up, but some weren’t too pleased with the idea. WWE legend Booker T was one of them saying he was “sick of Ellsworth”. Booker claimed the idea and story was way passed its peak and believes James needed to go back to the Indies ASAP. Booker also showed some frustration with the WWE, claiming that they sign a guy like Ellsworth, yet the more talented wrestlers from his promotion The Reality of Wrestling, are still knocking at the door of the WWE despite their superior talents in comparison to Ellsworth. Shots fired? We’ll let you decide.
14 Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho: Shoot On The Raw Locker Room
Winning your first World Championship is certainly a special moment but when it happens to a guy like Kevin Owens, it just means that much more. KO began his journey on the independent scene for more than a decade before finally getting the call from the WWE. Triple H was the only person into Owens as the other company executives opposed the idea of bringing Kevin in. Triple H made no guarantees to Owens and told him he might not even get out of the developmental brand.
Well, not only did he get out in a couple of months, but he was instantly feuding with the likes of John Cena. Fast-forward to August 29th,2016, and KO captured his first ever Universal Championship, quite the accomplishment to say the least.
KO and best friend Chris Jericho, discussed the victory on Y2J’s podcast. The two actually began to bury the talent without naming any names. According to the two, some of the Superstars had left the arena even before the Fatal-Four-Way Championship main event took place. On such a prestigious night, you’d figure they’d stay to not only congratulate Kevin, but pick up some pointers watching such a match. The two weren’t too pleased with the situation and Chris made mention that there’s a reason why some wrestlers never move up the card. Ouch.
13 Cody Rhodes: Creative Doesn’t Listen
Although the WWE won’t admit it, the departure of Cody Rhodes was a pretty tough one to swallow, especially given that he was entering the prime of his career at the age of 31. Rhodes ultimately chose to live his dream as opposed to remaining an unhappy background player; pretty admirable to say the least. There simply aren’t too many wrestlers that would walk away from a WWE contract, but Cody did, so props to him for that.
Following his release, Cody sent out a letter via his Twitter page discussing his time with the WWE. For the most part, he kept things clean and did a lot of thanking while looking to the future. His thoughts on the creative team however weren’t so kind. Cody basically stated that the creative team didn’t listen to anything he would pitch. Cody wanted to give his old character one more try but the writers simply weren’t buying it, avoiding the former WWE star at all times. Rhodes specifically pinpointed two of them out, one being Brain Gewirtz, claiming he would pretend to be busy. He also took another shot at a creative head that he decided to not name. Rhodes claimed that writers were too busy hitting on developmental Divas. Ouch. A sad ending to an otherwise great WWE run.
12 Rey Mysterio: Lucha Underground Inspired The CWC Tournament
Rey Mysterio’s departure from the WWE came with a bit of controversy. According to Rey, the company held him hostage for several years wanting the master of the 619 to stay on board because of his tremendous merchandise numbers. Ultimately, with a desire to go back home to Mexico, Rey refused to sign a new deal and watched his contract expire as he finally departed from the company, putting an end to his spectacular run.
Since leaving, Mysterio has spent time with AAA Mexico and the underground wrestling sensation, Lucha Underground. The revolutionary program is once again putting an emphasis on the Lucha Libre style which seems to be a lost art in the world of pro wrestling. The company is thriving with this style and Mysterio believes the WWE brought back the CWC because of it. According to Rey, the WWE wanted to tap into this part of the business because of the success coming out of Lucha Underground. Rey truly believes the WWE was inspired by the company and watches the program as well for ideas and inspiration. What you guys think, does Rey have a point or is it a case of wishful thinking?
11 Jim Cornette: Bad Writing & Wasting Time With Indie Talents
We could seriously make a list of 50 times Jim Cornette bashed the WWE. Without a doubt, Cornette is the online king when it comes to ripping the WWE.
His latest remarks pertained to a variety of topics, one being bad writing. According to Cornette, nowadays, the creative writers already have scripts made for the Superstars and basically attach a face to it. As opposed to back in the day, where a specific script was written for a specific wrestler and not totally randomized.
Another pet peeve of Cornette’s was the WWE’s handling of Indie talents. According to Jim, the company wastes way too much time “developing” wrestlers down in NXT that are already main roster ready. Cornette found it laughable that Finn Balor spent as much time as he did down in the developmental branch when he was main roster ready from day one. With such a thin roster on both Raw and SmackDown, it sounds like Jim has a pretty good point, don’t you think?
10 Bruce Prichard: Problem With The Brand Split
Prichard started off playing the role of Brother Love and later expanded behind the scenes becoming Vince McMahon’s right hand man during the mid 90s. Bruce helped contribute creatively and was one of the most respected faces backstage. His run with the company finally came to an end in December of 2008, after a 22 year run with the company. Today, he discusses his thoughts on the WWE’s product via his very own podcast.
Prichard recently shed a light on why the WWE’s brand split is failing at the moment. For one, Prichard said that the title situation is disastrous with too many belts in play; Bruce claims the company should have elected to have one Champion who would spend time on both brands. This would cause an increase in storylines.
Bruce also commented on the uniqueness of the shows. According to Prichard, both brands just seem way too similar. He used examples like the WWE recapping Raw on a SmackDown show which really doesn’t make sense considering the two are in a "competition for supremacy". The man’s got a point...
9 Shane Helms: Bashes WWE Road Agents
Stephanie McMahon made it abundantly clear to Shane Helms that the road agents were the biggest critics. Writing detailed reports, the agents would send what they saw over to McMahon, who for obvious reasons, couldn’t attend every single show. So basically, no matter how well the crowd responded to you, that didn’t matter, it was all about what the report indicated.
Helms would bash the road agents, claiming they were walking on eggshells backstage fearing for their futures. He also made the claim that most of them never got over as wrestlers, so taking their advice was pretty odd and made no sense. In order to cope with the agents, Helms tried to use them by playing to their specific strengths, so he’d ask Arn Anderson for in-ring advice, but not ideas from promo work. Helms went on to say that the entire agents-working-with-wrestlers ordeal is extremely flawed and needs to be fixed because it simply makes no sense at the moment.
8 Scott Steiner: The WWE Treats Employees Like Crap
Running his own restaurant nowadays, you’d figure Steiner would stop bashing the WWE, but that is still yet to happen. Steiner has bashed the company on numerous occasions, specifically ripping Triple H every chance he gets.
In this instance, Steiner criticized the WWE for the way they treat their employees. Steiner used his personal friend Rey Mysterio, as an example and also furthered it with a CM Punk reference. Scott claimed the company gets away with their treatment of wrestlers simply because they're a monopoly at the moment, being the only show in town. According to Scott, the WWE can chose to release anyone at any point and this is made easy because they simply have no other competition.
Several former Superstars have been critical of the company’s behavior in the past and considering what Steiner said, he might have a point. The WWE simply has no competition today and it has allowed the company to flex their muscles in more ways than one.
7 John Morrison: Raw Is Too Long
Watching John Morrison depart from the WWE was a tough pill to swallow for the company. Morrison was a great worker and gave the WWE years of valuable service in the mid-card. Ultimately, Morrison saw himself as a bigger star while the company refused to make him “the guy”. This led to his departure from the WWE after a long run with the company.
Since leaving the WWE, Morrison has become a crucial character on the Lucha Underground wrestling show. John has also made the claim that the product is actually superior to the WWE’s. Morrison took a shot at his former company claiming the show is way too long, leading to storylines being all over the place. On the contrary, Morrison pointed out that Lucha is a one hour show, and follow its stories intensely and on a weekly basis, unlike the WWE which seems to be a wild circus at times with stories coming out of everywhere.
6 Lance Hoyt: WWE’s Backstage Politics
Who? If you blinked, you probably missed Lance Hoyt and his run with the WWE. The wrestler is more known for his time on the Indie circuit wrestling for the likes of TNA, New Japan, Pro Wrestling Noah and Global Force Wrestling.
Along the way, Hoyt made a brief pit-stop with the WWE debuting on the ECW brand under his alias of Vance Archer. The gimmick was a flop and his contract was later terminated after a brief run on the SmackDown roster.
Lance recently spoke about his brief pit-stop with the WWE and blamed his failed stint on backstage politics. According to the pro wrestling veteran, just by looking at someone the wrong way, it can cost you your job without you even knowing or being told a thing. Hoyt went on to say that it’s unfortunate and a real aspect of the business especially in the WWE.
5 Bret Hart: Too Much Talking
It’s pretty apparent, Bret Hart is outspoken when it comes to all matters pertaining to the WWE and its current product. In recent comments, Bret Hart made headlines for bashing Seth Rollins and his reckless in-ring style. Bret claimed that Seth’s flying knee can kill a person. Too harsh? Maybe, but Bret was all about protecting his opponents back in the day so his claims shouldn’t be too shocking.
His recent claim pertained to the WWE’s style of promos. Bret discussed the fact that episodes of Raw and SmackDown are watered down with way too much talking which kills the momentum of the shows. Bret went on to talk about how the new writing staff killed the art of a promo and how everything just sounds the same. What made everyone so unique back in the day was how genuine their promos were, according to Hart who does have a point on that. Is it time the WWE acknowledges this long-standing problem?
4 Ryback: Broken Promises & Pay Inequalities
Ryback’s sudden departure from the WWE came with a degree of controversy, as “The Big Guy” had several disputes with the company behind the scenes. One of them was broken promises from both creative and Vince. According to the former WWE star, the company promised big things for the former IC Champ, but those things never came. Ryback even made a claim that he was apparently slated to destroy A.J. Styles in a one-on-one match. The constant lies would eventually drive the talent out of the company.
He also had an issue with the pays he was receiving. According to Ryback, all wrestlers should make the same salary given that the sport is pre-determined. Looking at the WWE’s thoughts on this judging by their history with unions, it’s apparent; the company has no interest in implementing such concepts. Despite all his harsh criticisms, many believe Ryback will in fact one day return to the company.
3 Kurt Angle: Matches Are Too Fast/Indies Are On Par With The WWE
Recently appearing on the Stone Cold Podcast, Angle discussed some of his thoughts pertaining to the WWE and the state of pro wrestling. For one, he was very critical on the WWE’s current in-match style claiming that it’s way too fast. Angle touched base on how the wrestlers need to take their time and slow down the matches, taking a page out of the old school wrestling book. Kurt also stated that making this change would lead to fewer injuries, a problem area for the WWE as of late.
Kurt also shed a light on how good the Indie talent is nowadays. Since leaving TNA, Angle has joined the Indie scene and has seen some great talents, especially in the UK. According to Kurt, the Indie wrestlers are just as good as the WWE guys but the only difference is the size of the platform they’re performing on. Some harsh words by a guy who’s being linked to a WWE return in the future.
2 Batista: PG Era
During the Chris Jericho Podcast, Batista opened up on the major reason why he decided to part ways with the WWE for good. The former World Champion parted ways because of the company’s direction in implementing the new PG style. Batista claims the WWE went against everything they were and that the company lost its art form. According to Batista, “the company robbed us of our tools”. The lack of blood toned down the in-match scenarios and really hurt the overall of the company as “The Animal” discussed.
Batista furthered his on-slot making mention of the current WWE crop and how they don’t question anything the company has for them. Batista made reference to his time in the company and would make it a focal point when creative handed him an idea he didn’t like. Today however, this seems to be a lost art as most wrestlers just do whatever is thrown their way.
1 Stone Cold Steve Austin: Wins And Loses Don’t Count Anymore/The WWE Stars Of Today
With his own weekly podcast, Steve Austin is very critical when it comes to the WWE’s current product. Recently, Austin bashed the WWE’s win and loss department pertaining to a match, making the claim that it just doesn’t matter anymore in comparison to back in the 90s when the WWE was in its prime. Austin made mention that winning and losing was a big deal to a wrestler’s gimmick. Today however, it seems like each WWE Superstar bounces around the win and loss column every week which is simply a waste according to Steve.
One of Steve’s more prominent bashings came from his extremely awkward interview with Dean Ambrose. Austin not only questioned the entire WWE locker room but he also took a shot at Ambrose as the Champion. According to Steve, Ambrose nor anyone else on the roster was pushing the envelope enough. Dean was truly caught off guard by the comments and basically told Austin that the company is different nowadays with restrictions left and right. Dean has a point, just look at his work prior before the WWE and you’ll agree. So who was right in this instance, Austin or Ambrose?