Many wrestlers work their entire career so that they can make it to WWE, but it isn't quite the dream they thought it was going to be when they arrive. While there are many WWE stars who have been released from the company in recent years and now hope that one day they will receive that phone call, there are others who will flat out refuse to ever return to WWE based on the way they were treated during their first tenure. WWE is now in the unique position where they can create their own talent in the Performance Centre, which means that they do not need to rely on former stars to return in order to get ratings.
There are a number of former stars who have walked away from the company over the past few years that many believe will never return to WWE. This could be because of the way they were fired, the way that they decided to leave, or because of an event or incident that has taken place.
Here are 15 former WWE superstars who many of the WWE Universe believe will never enter the WWE locker room again. It seems that these stars have walked down that famous entrance ramp for the last time and have now been able to move on to much better things.
15 Gail Kim
Gail Kim was once considered to be one of the best female wrestlers in the world, and someone who has definitely excelled in her time with Impact Wrestling ever since her WWE departure. Kim is a former Women's Champion in WWE, but someone that the company wasn't happy to push as their biggest star because it was claimed that Vince McMahon didn't think her ethnic origin was appealing to the WWE Universe.
Kim famously quit the company after eliminating herself from a Women's Battle Royal on a live episode of Monday Night Raw and then vowed never to return to the company again.
Kim disagreed with the direction of the division at the time and she has continued to make her dislike of the company public knowledge, only recently stating in an interview with WrestlingINC that Stephanie McMahon could have done more for the Women's Division years ago.
14 AJ Lee
AJ Lee retired from WWE back in 2015 after more than five years wrestling with WWE at the highest level. Lee was involved in a number of storylines with some of the biggest superstars in WWE at the time, including Daniel Bryan, Kane, Dolph Ziggler and even her future husband, CM Punk.
Lee married Punk merely months after he walked away from WWE back in 2014 and then returned to the company to be part of WrestleMania 31 before she announced that she was retiring from the company and the business for good.
Lee then revealed in her autobiography that was released in 2017 that the real reason that she walked away from the company was because she had discovered that she had caused permanent damage to her cervical spine, something that she didn't want to make any worse. She also revealed that she had achieved everything that she wanted to in her short time in WWE and now had much bigger dreams outside of the business.
13 Colt Cabana
Colt Cabana is now better known for his exploits outside of a WWE ring rather than his exploits inside the ring, but he did once have a spell with WWE back in 2007.
Cabana and CM Punk made a name for themselves on the indie scene for a number of years before they were both signed to WWE, but Cabana only lasted five months before he was released from his contract.
Following Punk's dismissal from the company back in 2014, Cabana decided to air a podcast where Punk was able to air all of his dirty laundries and finally tell his part of the story, which also included a defamation claim from one of WWE's doctors, Chris Allman, someone that is currently suing both Punk and Cabana in an ongoing court case. RingsideNews recently reported that the duo was looking to settle the case early, since it has been ongoing for more than three years. This, on top of all the reasons why Punk wouldn't return to WWE, could by why Cabana will never work for the company again.
12 Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio is a former World Champion in WWE and someone who many fans thought would never return after he was fired back in 2014 for assaulting an employee backstage after they made a racist joke.
Del Rio didn't find the employee's rude joke funny at all, apparently, and he was then given his termination papers.
Del Rio returned back in October of 2015 where he became a United States Champion and started a relationship with former Divas Champion Paige. This began a whirlwind romance that even saw WWE threaten to terminate Paige's contract if she didn't break up with her latest partner. In the end, Paige and Del Rio were both suspended and the Mexican star was able to negotiate an early release from his contract. The duo has since broken up but after everything WWE have put Del Rio through, it definitely wouldn't be in his best interest to return, even though Sportskeeda is reporting that Vince McMahon is trying his best to bring Del Rio back.
11 CM Punk
CM Punk is one of the most famous former WWE superstars who will never grace a WWE locker room again.
Punk made such a big deal about leaving WWE back in 2014 that he went on blast on Colt Cabana's podcast and told the public exactly what he thought of WWE and the people behind it.
Punk was fired from WWE on his wedding day after he was in breach of contract for not returning and has since been sued by the company because of this podcast. Punk himself has moved on to a career in UFC and has his second fight at UFC 225. The former World Champion has found a way to move forward without WWE and even though the company will continue to push for the self-proclaimed Best in the World to return to WWE, it's highly unlikely that he will ever return. Even Paul Heyman recently told Digital Spy that he can't see his former client ever returning to the squared circle.
Neville is a strange case, since the former Cruiserweight Champion is still actually contracted to WWE. He just refuses to return to the company where he first found fame.
Neville has been unhappy with his position in the company over the past few months and that led to him walking away after he dropped the Championship to Enzo Amore last year.
Neville reportedly wants to sit out the rest of his WWE contract and has refused to return a number of times, since the company has attempted to hold talks with the former NXT Champion. The latest reports from The Wrestling Observer claim that Neville is still refusing to return to WWE, hoping that he can negotiate his release in the near future so that he can then continue to work on the Independent Circuit where he first made his name before he came to WWE.
9 Brad Maddox
Brad Maddox first appeared in WWE as the referee who seemed to be helping CM Punk to retain his World Championship when he faced Ryback. A few months later he was the General Manager of Monday Night Raw and was then repackaged and brought back to WWE TV as Joshua Kingsley. According to Rolling Stone, Maddox didn't fit well into the role and was fired from the company after he used a banned word in a promo.
Maddox was later caught in the whole scandal with Paige last year when he was clearly seen in a number of her leaked videos and has since gone into hiding. Maddox wants to avoid the spotlight as much as possible now and given the fact that WWE hasn't reached out to help him at all. It's unlikely that he will ever want to return to the company, especially since many fans will remember Maddox and he wouldn't receive the best chants from a live audience.
8 Kenny Dykstra
Kenny Dykstra first made a splash in WWE as part of The Spirit Squad, an all-male cheerleading group that was mainly used as part of a feud with Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels. Dykstra was then the only one who was kept in the company after they were sent back to OVW but ran into a few issues when he got into an argument with John Cena after it was revealed that Cena and his fiancée Mickie James had become more than friends.
Dykstra was fired from the company at the request of Cena and then returned to the company a few years ago to be part of a storyline with Dolph Ziggler, something that he talked about in an interview with Fightful. When Cena returned to the company, it seems that Dykstra had overstayed his welcome and was once again released from his contract. It's highly unlikely that Dykstra will make the mistake of returning to WWE ever again.
Sunny was once seen as one of the most attractive female wrestlers in the world and is widely considered to be the first ever WWE Diva. Sunny is also a WWE Hall of Famer, but the former star has burnt all her bridges with WWE in recent years after a number of issues with the law and leaking some private stories about superstars to the public.
Sunny has dropped lower than many believed she ever would in recent years and some of the things that the former Diva was doing for money don't bear thinking about. Sunny even was even looking at a stint in prison earlier this year, but WWE has helped her through her issues in recent years and she's finally getting the help that she needs. However, it's safe to say that the company will never allow her to return, whether there is a Women's Revolution going on or not.
Batista is another WWE superstar who has been able to make the switch over to Hollywood after a successful stint in WWE. Batista is a former World Champion in the squared circle, but when he returned to the company back in 2014 it seems that he didn't get the reaction he had hoped for and after WWE refused to give him the World Championship, he walked away again a few months later and hasn't returned since.
Batista has made a name for himself in Hollywood in the years that have followed and hasn't even glanced at WWE since, so he is popular enough as an actor to be able to continue to see this as his main job. WWE has tried numerous times to bring Batista back to the company and while the star himself hasn't ruled out a return as reported by WrestlingINC, it seems highly unlikely that he will ever step back into the squared circle again when his current career is so lucrative.
Edge is one of the best known stars in the history of WWE. The Rated R Superstar is seen as one of the greatest heels of all time, but sadly his injuries caught up with him back in 2011 and he was forced to relinquish the World Heavyweight Championship and walk away from the only thing he had ever loved.
Edge was struggling with Cervical Spinal Stenosis, something that could have left him paralyzed if he took the wrong bump. The former World Champion has since been able to switch over into the world of movie making, according to Rolling Stone, and he seems to be making a living for himself and his wife, former Women's Champion Beth Phoenix, and their two daughters. While Edge is free to return to the company as a personality anytime he wants, it seems unlikely that the star will be back anytime soon since he isn't able to wrestle anymore.
4 Mr. Kennedy
Mr. Kennedy had a lot of potential when he was signed to WWE back in 2005 and after quickly winning the United States Championship, it was thought that he was sure to become a World Champion. He even won the Money in the Bank briefcase a few years later, before he got on the wrong side of Randy Orton and the Legend Killer headed backstage and got Kennedy fired, according to Bleacher Report, after claiming that he was unsafe in the ring.
Kennedy has since become a star in Impact wrestling and on the Independent Circuit and he has learned what happens when you're not on the same page as the company's biggest stars. Kennedy has never looked back and is a star that many imagine will never return to the company. It's been a decade since he left and he doesn't seem to be worried about returning.
3 Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty was once part of The Rockers with Shawn Michaels, but after being kicked through a barbershop window by The Heartbreak Kid, Jannetty's career began to stumble. While the former star has remained on the Independent Circuit ever since and is still featured on a number of shows all over the world, he's someone that WWE would never bring back.
The company brought him back briefly back in 2006 as part of the feud with Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon, but Jannetty once again managed to let the company down and a recent report by The Sun linked Jannetty to some pretty shocking behavior.
2 Paul London
Paul London was a star who had tons of potential when he was teamed with Brian Kendrick on SmackDown back in 2006 and is even a former Tag Team Champion with Kendrick. Despite this, the star made a huge mistake when he was part of a backstage segment with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon the following year. He was seen smiling as McMahon walked out to his limo, which then blew up. His smile completely ruined the segment for the WWE Universe.
London was released from the company for his part in the segment and has always been quite outspoken about the fact that he will never return. On the podcast Pancakes and Powerslams, London even went as far as to state that WWE was a horrible place to work and that he was disgusted with a number of stars, including WWE COO Triple H. There's no love lost between London and WWE.
1 Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam was associated more with ECW than WWE, but he had a brief stint in the company and is even a former Money in the Bank winner. RVD cashed in his contract at One Night Stand back in 2006 and became WWE and ECW Champion, before issues in his personal life saw WE strip him of both titles not long afterward.
RVD officially left WWE back in 2014 after he worked his contract to an end and decided to walk away. It was later revealed by The Sun that RVD can no longer wrestle because the concussions he has had over the course of his career have made it so that the company will never clear him. Rob has been asked to return to the company a number of times as part of various storylines, but he might be physically unable to step back into the ring.