The year 2015 saw 13 releases, none bigger than Rey Mysterio. Despite his great merchandise sales, the WWE decided to not renew Mysterio’s contract when it expired. Today, Mysterio is working for AAA Wrestling in Mexico and in addition to this, Rey recently signed a deal to join Lucha Underground. Mysterio is scheduled to debut with the company during the second season. In the meanwhile, Rey is working on the independent circuit. It remains to be seen if and when Mysterio will return to the WWE. One thing’s for sure, the door on a return is definitely not closed.
For these other 13 other recently released WWE superstars, the road is not so simple. Some opted to leave the WWE to build their character further, while others were caught off guard by being released from the company.
How did these wrestlers bounce back from their releases or retirements? Let’s now find out. Here are 13 recently released WWE Superstars: Where are they now?
13 Zahra Schreiber: Wrestles for Dreamwave Wrestling
Following her controversial release from the WWE, Zahra Schreiber continued her pursuit to becoming a future Divas. Schreiber is currently working for Dreamwave Wrestling, a small wrestling promotion out of LaSalle, Illinois. Schreiber has taken on the role of a manger for a heel stable. The promotion she is a part of is expected to have several special guests this year, including Rob Van Dam in February and Bret Hart in March, for their Anniversary VII show. It remains to be seen if Schreiber will ever return to the WWE. With her relationship with Seth Rollins, the door is most certainly not shut forever.
12 Layla: Retired
Following an interview with wwe.com on July 29th, 2015, Layla revealed that she would be retiring from the WWE. The day before this announcement Layla announced she was engaged to fellow wrestler Richard Young. The two were recently married on November 27th in Glendale Arizona. The former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion is currently enjoying her time away from the ring with her new husband.
11 CJ Parker: New Japan Pro Wrestling
Many were shocked to find out that CJ Parker had asked for a release from the WWE’s developmental brand after a four year run with the company. Parker decided to leave the developmental brand based on a decision to grow as a performer and travel the world the old fashion way. Following his release, Parker hit the independent scene for a little while. He later signed a part time deal with New Japan Wrestling on August 24th, 2015. On October 11th, New Japan Wrestling announced that Parker would be staying with the company on a full time basis. Parker is now wrestling under the name of Juice Robinson.
Still only 26 years old, the possibility of Parker making a return to the WWE in the future is certainly a possibility.
10 Bill DeMott: Podcast Host
Following numerous allegations of misconduct, Bill DeMott resigned from the company on March 6th, 2015. A couple of months later Bill broke his silence and explained his side of the story, deeming that many of the allegations were simply false. After a couple of months laying low, DeMott debut his new podcast show The Bill DeMott Experience. You can find his podcast show on the RELM Network. The show touches base on a variety of topics including the state of pro wrestling.
9 Original Sin Cara: Lucha Libre Elite Promotion
Mistico played the original Sin Cara from January 30th, 2011, till March 26th, 2014. The original Sin Cara blamed his failed stint on the WWE’s unwillingness to accept his Mexican wrestling style. He was later replaced by Hunico, who is currently playing the gimmick of Sin Cara.
Following his release, Mistico signed a deal with AAA Wrestling in Mexico. He would go on to feud with Rey Mysterio. The original Sin Cara later parted ways with the company and joined Lucha Libre Elite on October 16th, 2015. Mistico changed his name to Caristico, a combination of Sin Cara and Mistico together.
8 Ricardo Rodriguez: Trainer at The Great Khali’s Wrestling School
Following Alberto Del Rio’s release from the company, Rodriguez took on the role as the Spanish commentator for WWE Pay-Per-Views. He was later released on July 30th, 2014. After hitting the independent circuit, Rodriguez reunited with Del Rio in Mexico for AAA Wrestling. After Del Rio would leave for the WWE, Rodriguez would not return with him. Instead, Ricardo joined The Great Khali’s wrestling school in Punjab as a trainer. The Continental Wrestling Entertainment School held its first event just recently on December 12th, 2015.
7 Cal Bishop: Recovering From Injury
Following an injury plagued stint with the WWE’s developmental brand in NXT, the former NCAA All-American heavyweight wrestler was released on October 9th, 2015. Despite the shock of his release, Bishop plans on getting healthier than ever and finally working injury free after several shoulder injuries. It is believed that Bishop may hit the independent circuit to gain some much needed experience.
6 Devin Taylor: Promotional Work
On October 9th, 2015, Devin Taylor was released from her contract with the WWE. Like Cal Bishop, injuries continued to be a concern with Devin. Her departure and release from the company was exposed during an episode of WWE’s Breaking Ground. It remains to be seen what’s next for Taylor. She also has experience as a model, modelling for NASCAR and appearing in commercials for Hewlett-Packard.
She is currently doing various promotional work for some fitness companies. Taylor is currently involved with the fitness company, Spearperform.
5 Solomon Crowe: Independent Wrestling Circuit
After signing a deal with the WWE in 2012, many believed that Solomon Crowe would have a bright future with the WWE. Surprisingly, his character went nowhere for three years with WWE’s developmental brand NXT. On November 24th, Crowe decided it was time to move on and earn his stripes elsewhere requesting a release from the company.
After his release, Crowe hit the independent circuit using his old name, Sami Callihan. Sami wrestled for various promotions since his release including All American Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerilla.
4 Jim Duggan: Global Force Wrestling
Jim Duggan continues to be very active on the wrestling circuit. Not only is Hacksaw still active on the independent circuit making various appearances, Duggan also recently signed on with Global Force Wrestling in 2015. Jim Duggan is now being used as a legend to help promote Global Force Wrestling during events and tours. It is good to see Hacksaw still so active at the age of 61.
3 Justin Gabriel: Lucha Underground
After Triple H and the WWE turned down a character idea, Justin Gabriel decided it was time to ask for a release from the company. His character was going nowhere fast, playing the role of Adam Rose’s bunny. After his release, Gabriel hit the independent circuit, and he later signed a deal to join Global Force Wrestling. After becoming the first ever NEX*GEN champion, Gabriel dropped the title after it was announced he’d be joining Lucha Underground, the promotion he is currently working for.
2 AJ Brooks: Author
Following her victory at WrestleMania 31, AJ Brooks announced her retirement from in ring action just 5 days later, on April 3rd despite being only 28 years young. During her time away from the ring, AJ wrote a book entitled Crazy is my Superpower. The book is scheduled to be released in early 2017. The book discusses her life as a pro wrestler. In addition, AJ appeared in a promotional short film and animated series for the Madden NFL 16 video game.
1 Hulk Hogan: Promotional Work
Following his controversial release from the WWE, Hulk Hogan made the safe decision to lay low for a little while. Considering some time has passed, Hulk is now beginning to be a little more active. Hogan is currently involved with a fantasy sports company called Fan Picks. Hulk has been promoting this company quite aggressively through his social media outlets. It still remains to be seen when Hogan will return to the world of wrestling.