If you try at first and you don't succeed, don't give up. That sentence is something we are used to hearing and for these 14 wrestlers, the fear of rejection, or the feeling of leaving a company, did not phase them or remotely stop them from pursuing their dreams and becoming something truly special, Perseverance was certainly the key for these 14 superstars. Overcoming obstacles is common amongst those who try and make it in the wrestling community. How you react to this type of adversity will ultimately determine who you are and what you’re truly made of. Whether it was being released by the company for being too violent, a failed tryout or leaving an established company for a necessary change, all these superstars ultimately believed they could still reach the top of the business, regardless of what had previously happened. Let’s now find out who these 14 former and current WWE superstars are. Enjoy this list.
14 Dean Ambrose: 2006 WWE Tryout
13 Scott Hall: Released by WCW in 1992
12 Rob Van Dam: Released by WCW in 1993
At the young of 22, and despite his limited amount of experience, RVD made his debut under the name of “Robbie V” for World Championship Wrestling. Van Dam was dressed in a black karate suit, and his most notable match was against “Vinnie Vegas” (aka Kevin Nash) during a WCW TV Title tournament. After his short stay, Van Dam Wrestled for “All Japan Pro Wrestling” and “World Junior Heavyweight Championship”. In 1996, Van Dam would sign a deal with the promoter Paul Heyman, to be a part of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Van Dam would enjoy a tremendous career, and would later go on to capture the WWE Championship at “ECW One Night Stand”, in 2006.
11 Diamond Dallas Page: Failed tryout with WWE, released by WCW in 1992
10 Lita: Released by ECW in 1999
9 Edge: Released by WCW in 1996
Everyone’s got to start somewhere. After wrestling independently for a couple of years, Edge fought two matches during episodes of “WCW Pro”. Edge fought under the name of “Damon Striker”. He was destroyed quickly by Taskmaster Kevin Sullivan in his debut match. One month later, Edge would fight again on WCW Pro, losing to Meng. And one year after that, Edge would fill in for the WWE in a house show under the name of “Sexton Hardcastle”. He would later debut under the name Edge.
8 Mick Foley: Released from WWE in 1986 & Released by WCW in 1994
7 Kurt Angle: Left ECW in 1996
6 Triple H: Released by WCW January 1995
5 Daniel Bryan: Released from tryout & Released by WWE in 2010
4 The Undertaker: Released by WCW in 1990
3 Shawn Michaels: Released by WWE in 1987
2 Hulk Hogan: Released From The WWE In The 80s
1 Stone Cold Steve Austin: Released by WCW in 1995
In 1995, WCW lost one of their biggest gems for seemingly nothing. After leaving USWA in 1990, Austin signed a deal with WCW the next year. A couple of weeks after his debut, Austin beat Bobby Eaton, earning himself his first WCW World Television Championship on June 3rd, 1991. After bouncing around for a little bit, Austin was surprisingly fired by Eric Bischoff after suffering a triceps injury. Bischoff claimed there was no market for a wrestler like Austin. Bischoff also claimed Austin was extremely difficult to work with. With regards to his statements, Austin felt very bitter about his release and called Bischoff a “coward” for firing him through the phone.
Austin was later contacted by Paul Heyman, and although he could not wrestle, Austin used his promo time to develop his “Stone Cold” character. Austin used that time to also burry the WCW and mostly Eric Bischoff. After catching heat in ECW, Austin was later signed by the WWE, in large part thanks to Kevin Nash and Jim Ross. Austin made his debut in January of 1996, defeating Matt Hardy on RAW. Shortly after, the “3:16 Era” would revolutionize wrestling forever.
Sources: slam.canoe.com, wwe.com, bleacherreport.com, cagesideseats.com
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