Some of you may be aware of this already, but the WWE is not exactly the best run organization. Or at least, it’s not the best run for the wrestlers. It runs really well if all you’re looking at is making money, for sure. But the way the WWE makes its money is by constantly using, manipulating, and taking advantage of the wrestlers on the roster
Of course, WWE isn’t the only wrestling organization that does this. WCW did (before being bought by WWE), ECW did (before being bought by WWE), TNA does, and so does NXT. They all may say they have the best interests of their wrestlers in mind, but it’s pretty clear that money is all that matters.
If you need any evidence of that, then please scroll on down through this article. This list is just a top picking of wrestlers who went through tough times (often because of their wrestling careers), and then were fired by the company because they were just becoming a burden, even though they needed help. The WWE is not a place for people who need help. I’m pretty sure they don’t really care. Not unless you’re going to make them millions.
15. Kurt Angle – Fired Because Of Injuries
Now, you might not think of Kurt Angle as someone who was fired for anything. You probably thought he just decided to take time off before coming back as general manager of one of the WWE franchises. Makes enough sense, I guess. But that’s not the case. Vince McMahon stated “Kurt has some issues he has to face, as we all do from time to time. We all have our demons, and as human beings, it is important for us to overcome them and become better human beings, athletes and business people.” What’s interesting about that is that his demons were a painkiller addiction and a broken body. Why was his body broken? Because of injuries he got while he was working with the WWE. It’s strange that Vince never mentioned that.
14. Alberto Del Rio – Fired Because Of Racism… Against Him
Ok, I have to say that this guy was a great showman. It was really unfortunate when his manager was fired for alleged drug issues, but that didn’t have anything to do with Alberto Del Rio‘s dismissal. No, he was fired because he slapped a WWE worker backstage. He apparently slapped the guy pretty damn hard. But there was a pretty good reason for him smacking a WWE employee around. I’m not going to repeat the slur here, but the guy made a Mexican racial slur toward Alberto Del Rio. That’s right, Del Rio, at the height of his career, hits some racist backstage… and because of that, he gets fired. He may not have hit rock bottom. He was doing very well. But all it took was one racial comment, and he lost his job. The guy who made the racial slur? Oh, he got to keep his job.
13. Mr. Perfect – Fired For The Plane Ride From Hell
Now, Mr. Perfect had spent a lot of time with the WWE, then left for a while before coming back in 2003. But this return didn’t last all that long. There was a plane ride that was dubbed the “plane ride from Hell”. Mr. Perfect and Brock Lesnar got into a fight about who was the best amateur wrestler. Brock feels that he won because he managed to take Perfect down once and Perfect didn’t get a chance to before the others on the plane broke up the fight. The fact that Lesnar “won” might be the sole reason that everything was blamed on Mr. Perfect who was then immediately fired. It didn’t take very long for Mr. Perfect to lose that title. He very quickly took a nose dive into drugs and was found dead that same year from an overdose. I wonder if Vince McMahon ever feels guilty.
12. Sherri Martel – Fired For Passing Out
WCW was never much better (if ever at all) at caring about their wrestlers than the WWE. And there is definitely one man in WCW who never really cared about anyone but himself. Eric Bischoff was one of the worst human beings to work in wrestling. He knew that Sherri Martel had drug issues. Apparently, he did confront her about it once in his office. But what happened? Well, she passed out. That was all that Bischoff needed as an excuse to fire her. Sure, a drug issue is a decent reason to let someone go, but there was no offer of rehab. And she was a great wrestler and superstar manager. Typically, they’re given second chances. It doesn’t help that Eric Bischoff was pretty well known for treating the women on the show like sh*t.
11. Gangrel – Fired For Being Fat
Gangrel was one of the creepiest and coolest characters in the WWE. I mean, it was a little ridiculous that there was a vampire in the company, but this was back in the days of Undertaker‘s Ministry. So, the Brood made sense with Edge, Christian, and Gangrel. Anyway, when the Brood split, Gangrel was forced to hit the ring by himself each night. Personal issues, as well as professional issues, led to Gangrel gaining a bit of extra weight. Enough that Vince McMahon noticed anyway. And apparently, that’s all it took to get him fired. during one of his matches, Gangrel’s shirt was lifted to some extent which exposed his belly. Seeing that flab exposed to the audience was all it took for Vince to fire a man going through some bad times and a bit of weight gain. At least Vince judges both men and women on looks.
10. Carlito – Fired For The Drugs That Kept Him Wrestling
The interesting thing about Carlito is that he asked to leave the WWE years before he was ever fired by the company. In 2007, Carlito seemed to think that there was no higher he could really go in the company. WWE convinced him to stay for another three years though. During this time, he dug into drugs to keep him going through this time. It was pretty clear that, during this time, Carlito was running out of steam. In 2010, Vince McMahon fired Carlito when he refused to enter a rehab facility. It’s not confirmed that Carlito did this on purpose to finally get out of the company, but it’s pretty clear that thanks to the company, Carlito ended up deep into drugs because he stayed in a job that he realized he didn’t actually want.
9. Kharma – Fired Because She Miscarried…
This is one of the worst reasons and worst times to let a wrestler go. It doesn’t help that Kharma was actually a pretty popular wrestler who was skilled and was definitely making the company money. Anyway, there was an episode where Kharma told the crowd that she was pregnant. Of course, there were cheers because the crowd wasn’t about to boo someone for taking time away to have a kid. Realistically though, the pregnancy story was to give Kharma time to recover from a miscarriage she had just had. That’s a pretty damn good reason for time off.
Once Kharma was ready to return, the WWE kept putting off her return. Why? Because she had gained weight. She was a big girl already, then was pregnant, then miscarried. She recovered and they put off bringing her back because she gained weight… they fired her for the same reason after only one more appearance. She lost her baby and then her job because of that.
8. Jeff Hardy – Fired For Refusing Rehab
It’s got to be no shock to anyone that Jeff Hardy has had some crazy moments and some pretty clear drug problems. If you didn’t notice, then you have never seen someone on drugs before and probably thought that Hardy’s character was just very strange. Anyway, Jeff Hardy has been released twice from the WWE. The first time was because of drug abuse that was likely because of the popularity he was gaining. He refused to enter rehab, which was a pretty dumb move on his part, but it might be that the WWE decided not to offer to pay for it. In which case, I would refuse too.
When he came back a few years later, it turned out that Hardy had several injuries all this time that he was using drugs to cover up. He was released again and has only just returned recently for the third time. Hopefully, this time the WWE might care about the safety of this awesome wrestler.
7. Dawn Marie – Fired While On Mat Leave
It’s no secret that WWE doesn’t often really care much about their female talent. At least not in terms of them being very good wrestlers. There was one point in the history of the company where they decided it was pointless to have a female division and canned all of their female wrestlers. Now they have the women’s division back, but it hardly gets any attention other than because of the amount of skin shown.
Anyway, Dawn Marie was one of those women who was hired for her body and not what she could do with it in the ring. Dawn didn’t exactly hit rock bottom, but was pregnant and was obviously forced to take some time off for maternity leave. Well, the WWE didn’t like that and decided to fire her while she was on her properly booked-off time away. She may not have been rock bottom when fired, but she then had a new baby and no job. Sounds pretty low to me.
6. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts – Fired For Family Issues
Drugs and alcohol seemed to always follow Jake Roberts around. The only reason he managed to stay in the game with wrestling was because of just how much the fans loved him (even when he showed up to matches drunk or ripped on something else). But things took an even darker turn into the alleyway of drug use when Roberts and his family split. Roberts then went too far with drugs. Because of how valuable he was to the WWE, they paid for him to go to rehab in 2007. He had cleaned up while there, but his health had gone down the toilet and once he was out, the weight gain and the health issues caused him to go right back to using. This put him out of the game very quickly, and he never came back as a regular wrestler. Thankfully for Jake, DDP was a good friend who took him in to get him clean. And it worked. Not that the WWE cares anymore.
5. Chyna – Fired For Naughty Stuff And Drugs
Chyna‘s story is a pretty damn sad one. Sure, there had been injuries here and there. That’s just the way for wrestlers. They know the risks. But things seemed to really take a bad turn once Chyna did her shoot with Playboy. Once WWE stopped being able to use that as a story angle in their shows, Chyna won the women’s belt…and then was no longer scheduled for matches. She was taken off the air. And then her boyfriend (Triple H) cheated on her with his now-wife Stephanie McMahon. Months went by with Chyna off the air before she decided to leave. She wasn’t fired, but she was basically told she wouldn’t be needed anymore. From there, she went straight to drugs, adult entertainment, more drugs, and death. I think the WWE has more than a little to do with that rock bottom story.
4. Test – Fired For Substance Abuse
A lot of people don’t think that this is a real thing, but stardom can really mess with a person and they can very easily find themselves abusing drugs to try and deal with the lifestyle of being a famous person. Test was at the height of his career. He was a powerhouse of a wrestler but he was fired for doing drugs (in spite of how many of the wrestlers on the roster do drugs every day). He struggled with having his popular wrestling lifestyle…and then he struggled with having it taken away and kept on the drugs when he was hired by TNA. But they fired him too after he got two D.U.I.s in one month. He shot up quickly in the business, took drugs to cope with the pressure, was fired from his dream job and from the competition…and then he was found not one month after his last match, dead in a hotel room. Accidental overdose apparently.
3. Umaga – Fired For Breaching The Wellness Policy
Umaga is another prime example of a wrestler who just couldn’t handle fame very well. He had a lot of pressure being part of the famous wrestling family that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson also comes from. To cope with the fame and pressure, Umaga went straight to drugs. After breaching the Wellness Policy of the WWE twice and refusing to go to rehab because he wanted to keep wrestling, Umaga was fired. With a very promising career down the drain, Umaga ended up overdosing that same year. I would understand just firing someone with drug problems if it wasn’t something that happened all the time. But considering just how many wrestlers turn to drugs…and how many of those have died after being fired for doing drugs that keep them functional in the ring…you’d think the WWE might try something new rather than just destroy the lives of their talent.
2. X-Pac – Fired For Covering Up Depression With Drugs
Yes, it’s true that X-Pac was a heavy user. He was definitely a drug addict. But why was he a drug addict? Wrestlers often have a hard time with fame. Or they have a hard time with injuries and constant pain (that they got from wrestling). X-Pac was different though. It was more than fame or pain. It was depression. X-Pac had attempted to commit suicide on more than one occasion before being fired by WWE, WCW, and TNA. Can you guess which of these companies went out of their way to get X-Pac back on his feet and back in the game? That’s right. Not a single one of these companies really gave a sh*t about this superstar once he started becoming a liability. No help offered, no care given…no wonder he felt like killing himself and covered it all up with drugs.
1. Mr. Kennedy – Fired For Being In Pain
Mr. Kennedy was meant to be Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son in a storyline in WWE. He would announce his own matches. He had one hell of a personality and he had a lot of skill to get him through those matches. He was ready to be a superstar, but he was injured more than once. How did he deal with those injuries? Drugs, of course. He didn’t want to take time away from wrestling, so he took drugs to numb the pain. Eventually, it got too much and he was let go. But he did make a comeback after sorting his life out and taking some time away from the constant pain of wrestling. But, during a match with Randy Orton, he was apparently a bit stiff. Well, that’s all that Orton, Cena, and McMahon needed to fire this now cleaned up potential superstar…I wonder if he went back to drugs after that.
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