The WWE is home to big matches and even bigger personalities. With every personality comes ego and controversy and World Wrestling Entertainment has had a lifetime of it. Since its founding in 1979, the WWE has had its fair share of issues and scandals. With so many weird stories, lawsuits, and rumors throughout its history, the WWE has had as many bodyslams in the ring as it has outside. As the company tries to veer toward being a more family-friendly and philanthropic business, there are a lot of things from its past that they would hope the millions of viewers from around the world forget about. Within its 39-year history, the WWE superstars and management have had their share of superstar scandals, but in many instances, CEO Vince McMahon has managed to make amends with many former stars and rehire them or allow them into the WWE Hall of Fame despite burnt bridges, misconduct allegations, or walking out on the company. We've seen the likes of The Ultimate Warrior, Alberto del Rio, and Alundra Blayze make surprise returns after issues with the company in the past, but there are still some sports entertainers who we won't be expecting to step foot in the WWE ever again. Here are 15 former WWE superstars that have been blacklisted.
15 Rich Swann Won't Make His Way Back
Rich Swann lit up the Cruiserweight Classic tournament back in 2016 and was an early favorite to watch with his charisma and athleticism. It felt like a no-brainer when he was hired to fill out the newly formed Cruiserweight division and made even more sense when he became the Cruiserweight champion on November 29, 2016. His hard work on the independent circuit paid all its dividends but came crashing down just as his second rise to championship glory was happening as he got in trouble with the law in December 2017 with Su Yung. WWE has a zero tolerance policy on that kind of behavior. Despite charges being dropped, Swann was released in February of 2018. Since then, Swann announced his retirement while his wife joined the Impact Wrestling roster. Rich has made some appearances in independent promotions, coming out of retirement, but probably won't be asked back to the WWE anytime soon due to his erratic behavior not showing much sign of improvement.
14 Enzo Amore Won't Get A Second Chance
This former Cruiserweight champion and NXT stand-out was known for his gift of gab but his backstage antics made him more infamous as he allegedly bragged about how much money he made, invited unwanted guests to the locker room area, and was subsequently kicked off the WWE tour bus by Roman Reigns. Many superstars and fans felt that Enzo took his gimmick too seriously and tried to live a life outside of his means, hoping to secure a rap career while also staying on top of the 205 Live division, but it all came crashing down after Philomena Sheahan said he did some terrible things to her in October after the two partied together. Amore was suspended by WWE in the middle of his second Cruiserweight title reign and despite denying the allegations, he failed to report it to WWE which was an embarrassing mark on both he and the company. In January, Enzo was released and the company didn't wish him well on his future endeavors hinting he won't have a future with WWE.
13 Zahra Schreiber Isn't Worth The Hassle
This tattooed 31-year-old didn't make it out of the WWE Performance Center without making headlines before her release. Schreiber was hired by the WWE in the spring of 2014 and appeared on a few live shows as the manager of Sami Callihan. On February 5, 2015, Schreiber was involved in a scandal with WWE superstar Seth Rollins because they were exchanging scandalous photos with one another, despite Rollins being engaged at the time. When his fiancee found out about it, he leaked both of their salacious pictures onto social media. Zahra and Rollins continued to date for a bit soon after, but on August 29, 2015, images from Schreiber's Instagram depicting WWII regalia was unearthed and she was released two days later. As the WWE makes strides to be inclusive, Schreiber probably isn't worth the hassle in the long run.
12 Rene Dupree Started A Feud
Rene Dupree had the distinction of being the youngest tag team champion in WWE history until Wrestlemania 34 when Nicholas helped secure the titles. So the French Phenom now may be known for a few other accolades including his tag team run with La Resistance, his feud with John Cena, and his lawsuit against the WWE for Network royalties. Dupree asked for released from the WWE in 2007 after violating the WWE Wellness Policy earlier that year. Dupree toured the European indie circuit for several years and has often bad-mouthed his time in WWE, the management, and other wrestlers. Dupree dropped his lawsuit against the WWE but that hasn't stopped his hatred for the company and he might be the rare case where a superstar doesn't want to return to the WWE.
11 Buff Bagwell Is Too Much For WWE
Buff Bagwell was a fan favorite in the days of WCW. He had a lot of marketability with his promos, physique, and being a member of the legendary n.W.o faction. His appeal didn't quite cross over with the WWE though when the company bought out WCW and many of the contracts in the spring of 2001. Buff wrestled the first WCW match on WWE television against Booker T. and the two were interrupted by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Kurt Angle. Despite being one of the names that got a bigger reaction by fans who were polled by Vince McMahon if he'd want to be seen in a WWE ring, Bagwell was the first to be let go. Bagwell has made multiple attempts at getting noticed by the WWE but probably didn't help by blaming WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross for his career's downward spiral, suing WWE for unpaid royalties. Buff is the Stuff that WWE doesn't want.
10 Scott Steiner Isn't Mr. Popular
"Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner is a former WCW Champion, United States Champion, and multi-time tag team champion including currently being one half of the Impact Tag Team Champions with Eli Drake but he's also the only former WWE Superstar who wasn't even allowed in the Hall of Fame after threatening the life of Hulk Hogan and his wife back in 2015.
WWE had to put Steiner's picture up to make sure he doesn't enter, but this wasn't his first nor his last bad run-in with WWE.
He's gone on record of saying how much he hates Triple H and when he last worked for the company and when he was asked to do a substance test, he said he'd only do it if Triple H did it as well and seemingly got himself some heat for that. He probably will remain banned from the Hall of Fame or ever being an inductee as he recently called the whole ceremony a "bunch of bull."
9 Alex Riley Tweeted His Problems
Alex Riley had the total package for the WWE. He looked good, he could talk on the mic, and he was seemingly competent in the ring outside of slipping and eliminating himself at the 2011 Royal Rumble. But the Varsity Villain was a standout in the original version of NXT and was poised to do big things until backstage politics got him pushed down the card until he found himself doing commentary for NXT. Thirsting to get back in the ring, he managed to have a small feud with Kevin Owens but was released from his contract soon after. Riley then went on a rambling series of tweets which didn't help his case and has mentioned his issues with WWE mega-star John Cena. Despite this, Riley had a bit part on Netflix's his series Glow, but as long as Cena is on top of the food chain in wrestling and Hollywood, we probably will only be seeing a few lines from Riley here and there.
8 Brad Maddox Disappeared From Social Media
Brad Maddox had quite the polarizing WWE career. Signing a developmental deal in 2010, Maddox was a natural smarmy heel and collected championship gold on the FCW brand before moving onward to NXT and the main roster as a referee. While his career trajectory was all over the place in front of the spotlight, behind the scenes, the married father was rumored to have made multiple attempts to hook up with some of the women in developmental and was taught a hard lesson by some of the coaches before having a relationship with Paige. Maddox began to make a name for himself on the main roster as Raw general manager and basically a punching bag for the likes of The Shield and The Authority before ultimately being released in November of 2015 for using inappropriate language during a promo at a house show. Following his release, explicit videos of Maddox were leaked online around the time that obsessive sounding videos surfaced on Youtube from Brad leading to him disappearing from social media altogether. We'd hope that Maddox is working to get his home life together away from the bright lights of the WWE.
7 Ryback Has Beef With Many People
Ryan "Ryback" Reeves first stormed the WWE ring at a part of the 2004 Tough Enough Competition. After spending several years in developmental, he debuted as a fun-loving cowboy named Skip Sheffield, but an injury put him down just as the Nexus storyline was making waves. Reeves returned in 2012 as Ryback, a monster babyface who began a streak in the WWE. He saw a lot of career ups and downs following a loss to then WWE champion CM Punk, a failed heel turn, and an Intercontinental Championship run that didn't really go anywhere. Ryback and the WWE parted ways in 2016 and he's since started a podcast called "Conversations with the Big Guy" where he's gone on insane rants with some aimed at Punk who deemed him dangerous to work with. Ryback has also rubbed many WWE brass the wrong way with calling out accusations of muscle enhancers on social media to the likes of Rusev and saying he was set to squash AJ Styles at Wrestlemania. With a wild card like that, WWE won't feed Ryback any more contracts.
6 Alberto Del Rio Kept Getting In Trouble
Alberto del Rio had the bloodline of a star. The son of Lucha Libre legend Dos Caras main evented in CMLL and AAA before making waves in the WWE as a Mexican aristocrat with his own ring announcer in Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio was heavily pushed in his time, capturing the WWE championship, World Heavyweight title, and winning both the Royal Rumble, and Money in the Bank, but was initially released from the WWE in 2014 after assaulting an employee he claimed made an unsavoury joke. Alberto returned to WWE the following Fall but it was an ill-fated return. Following this, Alberto had a series of run-ins with the law, abuse allegations, and rants stating he wanted to fight Executive Vice President of Talent, Triple H. Del Rio also had a penchant for no-showing events in the interim so WWE would be best staying away from a taking a shot of Patron a third time.
5 Val Venis Did Reflect WWE's Clean-Cut Image
The Big Valbowski was a highlight during the Attitude Era. With his enigmatic persona and innuendos following his trademark, "Hello ladies", Val Venis was a personality that encompassed the crass times that were that era in WWE programming. The brash star managed to capture European and Intercontinental gold portraying the role of an adulterous porn star before joining the Right to Censor. Venis maintained a longstanding career in the WWE before being released in January of 2009. He made sporadic appearances in Impact Wrestling and on the indie circuit but became a heavy advocate for the legalization of Mary-Jane and staunch Libertarian, often times going on rants on Facebook and Twitter about various conspiracy theories and politics. The former Chief Morley opened up a dispensary in Mesa, Arizona and with WWE's clean-cut family image, they probably will pass on puffing anything that Val has to bring to the table.
4 Simon Gotch Felt A Sense Of Release
Simon Gotch burst onto the NXT scene in 2013, teaming with Aiden English to form the old-timey nefarious duo known as the Vaudevillains. While at first essentially comedic heel fodder, the two quickly became fan favorites among the crowd and won the NXT tag team championships in 2015 by defeating Blake and Murphy at NXT Takeover. The reign wouldn't last long as The Revival defeated them shortly thereafter, but the team was shipped off to the main roster the following year and drafted to Smackdown in the tenth round of picks.
Gotch was released from his contract the following spring after Wrestlemania 33 and rumors exploded about him having attitude problems backstage and not being well-liked by management and his fellow wrestlers.
Simon has since opened up about all of this during various shoot interviews and what a relief it was to be released by WWE and the feeling is more than likely mutual with the company and this problematic strongman.
3 Gail Kim Had So Much Potential
Gail Kim debuted in the WWE in 2003 and rose to the top of the Women's Division as she became champion in her very first televised appearance on Monday Night Raw. A collarbone injury stalled her initial run and she was surprisingly released in November of 2004. TNA picked up Gail Kim in 2005 and she became the inaugural Knockouts Champion in 2007, helping shape the division as the best for women's wrestling at that time. She returned to WWE in 2009, but after gaining little traction, quit in 2011 after eliminating herself from a Battle Royal. In an interview with The Sun, Kim said she felt that WWE held back female talent and vowed to never come back. She returned to TNA, eventually becoming a Hall of Fame inductee for the company and subsequently retiring as a 7-time Knockouts Champion and
she remains vocal about her disapproval of the treatment of women in WWE, recently stating that Stephanie McMahon "had zero interest fighting for the women back then"
and calling the current push for women's wrestling in WWE "business motivated."
2 Bronson Matthews Didn't Have What It Takes
Joshua Bredl may be best known to WWE fans as Bronson Matthews, the 2015 winner of the sixth season of Tough Enough earning himself a one year $250,000 contract with the WWE. What he lacked in the charisma of Patrick Clark — now known to WWE fans as Velveteen Dream — or the charm of ZZ, he picked up for in size. He seemingly struggled with an identity as he kept proclaiming himself the Yeti but making noises like Chewbacca. He was sent to NXT to work out a gimmick but was rumored to be having a relationship with one of the coaches while his wife was at home with their two young children. That coupled with an alleged string of concussions ultimately led to the conclusion that Matthews would fall in the footsteps of other Tough Enough winners and be released and we won't expect The Yeti to be roaring on WWE programming ever again.
1 Bill Demott Was A Bully
Bill Demott may be one of the most polarizing figures in WWE's developmental history. The former Hugh Morrus became head trainer of FCW and NXT in 2012 and oversaw the rise of the performance center. Throughout his time there, allegations began to seep out about Demott's misconduct with trainees including attempting to rip a T-shirt off of future WWE Superstar Rusev while he was recovering from neck surgery, hitting Enzo Amore in the mouth, and covering up harassment of female trainees by the strength and condition coach. On top of all of this, Demott reportedly would make unsavoury remarks, but many were afraid to speak out in fear of being punished or fired. Demott also allegedly had Luke Gallows get naked in the ring giving stink faces to other talents while holding jelly donuts in front of their faces in order to get out of practice early. When all of these accounts were made public and put into the news, Demott resigned from WWE in March of 2015. With WWE's anti-bullying campaign, they'll likely keep this WCW misfit inactive.