An issue many wrestlers have a hard time dealing with is what to do once their time with the WWE is up. This article features 15 recently released wrestlers and shows the different paths they took once they were released, or decided to quit the company. As you might imagine, most wrestlers stay in the business because of lack of opportunity; although for others, this is not the case. When one door closes another opens for some wrestlers. Despite their dreams (sometimes) being shattered, it is not the end of the road, as some attempt to improve their gimmicks and craft by wrestling for other companies. Some of the wrestlers in this list have done just that and have been very successful thus far. Others have taken other routes, away from the wrestling business. Some have found God and want to make a difference everyday in giving to the community, while others are simply retired, doing modelling work or instructing self defense classes. Let us now take a look at what these 15 recently released superstars are up to today. Enjoy!
15 Ted DiBiase Jr.: Entrepreneur
14 Kelly Kelly: Model
What started off as a run as just another pretty face, actually surprised many with how it turned into somewhat of a success story. Kelly began her run as eye candy dancing on the ECW stage. Despite the unpopularity of the brand, her segments which featured the Diva pole dancing were actually quite successful gathering some decent ratings. The WWE later used her dancing success in the ring, giving her an improbable run with the Divas Championship. In September of 2012, the WWE announced her release. She later revealed thst it was her idea to leave the company in order to fully heel from a neck injury and pursue a career in modelling.
13 Matt Striker: Commentator for Lucha Underground & Global Force Wrestling
Transitioning from the classroom into the ring, Striker tried to use this as a gimmick to get over in the WWE. His in-ring ability was clean and fine at the WWE level, he just failed to develop a serious connection with the WWE universe and never won any championships throughout his run. He would surprisingly fair much better as a commentator for the company, using his clever wit during matches as a color commentator.
12 Derrick Bateman: Wrestler for TNA Wrestling
It’s not very often that the WWE passes on a young promising talent, but in this rare case, that's precisely what they did. Hutter wrestled for NXT under the name of Derrick Bateman, and was coached by Daniel Bryan. Despite his potential, Hutter never caught heat in NXT and was later released from his contract in May of 2013. Although he was released, Hutter continued to work at a high level and eventually made his debut for TNA wrestling under the name of Ethan Carter III. Since debuting in October of 2013, Ethan is still remarkably undefeated. ECIII is set to take on Kurt Angle for the World Heavyweight Championship at “Slammiversary." This is definitely a chance for ECIII to be the new face of TNA. Kudos to Hutter for finding success outside of a WWE ring.
11 Jillian Hall: Available For Bookings
In an era where Divas wrestling struggled to find relevancy, Jillian actually managed to gain some heat with the WWE universe using an annoying songstress gimmick which did endure some success as a comedic gimmick. She would further this by having an improbable run with the Divas Championship, a highlight in her WWE run. In November of 2010, the WWE would opt to not resign her, and this would be the end of her run with the company.
10 Drew McIntyre: Wrestles Independently & For TNA Wrestling
9 Ashley Massaro: Autograph Sessions & Appearances
Despite some massive popularity after winning the Diva Search competition, Ashley flopped when it came time for her to thrive. Rushed into the mix, Massaro’s talent failed to transcend in a wrestling ring, the place where it really mattered. After a failed run which was going nowhere fast, the WWE announced her release from the company. She later announced that she was the one who actually asked for a release because of her daughter who was suffering from an illness at the time.
8 Davey Boy Smith Jr.: New Japan Pro Wrestling & Signed With Global Force Wrestling
Similarly to DiBiase Jr., David Smith failed to walk in his dad's footsteps in the WWE. Though unlike DiBiase, Smith was released by the company. His stint with the WWE actually began on a promising note. Many believed he would achieve some serious success with the company early on, as it appeared he had the size and skill to do so. Smith broke out as a Tag Team wrestler using his name to his advantage, under a Hart Dynasty stable. He would enjoy instant success claiming both World Tag Team Championships and WWE Tag Team Titles alongside his partner, Tyson Kidd. Asides from making an impact as a Tag wrestler, Smith had a hard time making a name for himself on his own, and this led to his eventual demise. After creative lacked any sort of ideas involving his character, it was evident a release was to be followed. This is exactly what happened when WWE released Smith on August 5th, 2011.
7 Gail Kim: Wrestles for TNA
Many wrestling fans were extremely displeased in seeing Gail Kim’s talents go to waste late in her run with the WWE. Kim not only quit the company, but vowed to never wrestle for the WWE again. The former WWE Diva felt as though her talent was being completely wasted. She was pretty accurate when assessing her status with the company; according to rumors Vince McMahon just didn’t like Gail, and this is why she ultimately failed. At a point which saw the Divas division reach a new low in terms of wrestling quality, Kim was one of the only wrestlers that could have saved the division. After one run with the Women’s Championship the company decided to turn the other cheek and not prolong her success, despite her clearly being the best female wrestler on the roster.
6 Brodus Clay: Wrestles for TNA Under Tyrus
After being shipped back to NXT for repackaging, Brodus Clay never made it back to the main roster and in June of 2014, he was released by the WWE. His run with the WWE eventually flopped despite his size and look. Instead of using his monstrous look the WWE instead went the other way taking a comedic approach to the wrestler, making him dance with the likes of Naomi and Cameron. After it was apparent that he wouldn’t reach high levels of success, the company tried to repackage the wrestler down in NXT. Failing to emerge from a pack of impressive prospects, Clay was finally released by the company in June of 2014, ending his run.
5 Eve Torres: Head Instructor of Gracie Women Empowered Self-Defense Program
With a Divas division struggling to find its image, Eve actually thrived at a point where female wrestlers were struggling. Torres went on an impressive run for the company winning the Divas Championship on three different occasions. She would further this success by joining The Authority. Her rise was quite evident and a big time bright spot for the company.
4 Evan Bourne: Wrestles Independently
Many wrestling fans were very displeased to learn about Evan Bourne’s dismissal from the WWE. A big reason for his release was due to the fact that the high flyer failed drug tests on two different occasions. His in-ring talent was quite obvious which is a big reason why he is so successful outside of the WWE today. The problem with his WWE run was the company’s ability to establish him as a big match Superstar, as opposed to a lower to mid-card kind of guy. His career highlights included one title run as a Tag Team wrestler alongside Kofi Kingston. Rather disappointing when you consider how obviously talented he was with the company.
3 Maryse Ouellet: Actress
Maryse Ouellet now goes by her new name, Maryse Mizanin. Maryse married WWE star Mike Mizanin (aka “The Miz”), in late February of 2014. The couple currently lives together in Los Angeles. Maryse has been focusing on an acting career and making appearances for television and radio shows. The native of Montreal, Quebec, is currently working on two films: Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! and Karla. She also does realtor work on the side after earning her real estate license.
2 Chavo Guerrero: Wrestling for Lucha Underground
In June of 2011, Chavo Guerrero decided it was time to move on and requested a release from the company. Although he is mostly remembered for his work in the lower-card, Chavo had some memorable storylines with the likes of Rey Mysterio, which took his card level to new heights as prominent heel on SmackDown. Following Eddie’s passing, Chavo became a significant player for an extended amount of time putting on some memorable matches and partaking in some deep promos. His career highlights included an ECW Championship, along with four Cruiserweight title runs and two Tag Team Title reigns with Eddie Guerrero.
1 Rey Mysterio: Wrestles for AAA
After Rey Mysterio’s contract had expired it was finally time for both parties to move on. Five days after his release, Mysterio made his long awaited return to AAA. Mysterio signed a deal with the promotion for the first time since 1995, where Mysterio also decided to change his name back to Rey Mysterio Jr. Controversy quickly struck Mysterio after a shocking death to Perro Aguayo, which occurred in the ring after taking a “619”. The autopsy showed that the wrestler had a heart attack after breaking his neck in the ring from Rey’s finisher. Mysterio took the news very badly and almost quit the wrestling business for good. Mysterio later returned, despite the horrific event and teamed with the “dream team” which featured former WWE star Alberto Del Rio, Myzteziz and himself. The trio defeated former WWE stars Matt Hardy, Mr.Anderson and Johnny Mundo (aka John Morrison) in the finals of the Lucha Libre World Cup Tournament. The event recently took place on May 24th. Check out Rey Mysterio's new "Terminator" looking mask that undoubtedly gives the high flying superstar an edgy look.
cosmopolitan.com, washingtonpost.com, thesportster.com
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