Oh, the bitterness; when it comes to the world of sports and entertainment, the athletes involved take what they do to heart. Some leave the company in an attempt to resurface their brand and potentially return, while some others take the bitter route and bury the company any chance they get.
The new school wrestlers generally leave on a good note in an attempt to leave the door open for a return. Ryback and Cody Rhodes were only a few of the wrestlers to have some harsh words for the company, and others have left with class and are now wrestling overseas attempting to improve and return one day. C.J. Parker is a prime example.
Old school wrestlers in particular understand their window isn’t so open and instead, completely fire several shots at the company. This article will feature an array of veteran stars that have destroyed the WWE with no remorse whatsoever. Many view their displeasures based on the fact that they left the company.
Let us know begin and take a look at 15 wrestlers that still, to this day, complain about being released by the WWE. Enjoy this list of wrestlers that are quite frankly still playing in the 'bitter barn'.
15 Rob Van Dam
He has a calm and cool demeanor in the ring, but outside of it, Van Dam never shies away from discussing his shortcomings with the WWE. To this day, Van Dam still speaks out about his release and problems with the company, especially pertaining to backstage politics which left a bitter taste in his mouth.
Rob’s downfall was not creating any type of bond with Vince during his time with the company. RVD acknowledged this in several interviews. He also told a story on how he was so fed up with the boring atmosphere in the company and how brutal the travelling aspect was. He discussed a particular instance where he was looking forward to a ten day vacation during Christmas, but instead the company would book Van Dam on a tour overseas for the Troops (which infuriated him to the point that he almost hit Vince). Eventually, the entire trip was cancelled because of security reasons. Who knows what would have went down if things worked out differently.
His 2014 return was uneventful to say the least. The crowd was not into Batista anymore and it showed big time with their reactions towards the Superstar.
To this very day, Batista is still quite vocal about his failed return blaming the WWE for dropping the ball. During an interview with MLW Radio, the animal discussed how things were rocky from the start between him and Vince, sharing different creative views on his return to the ring. Problems began to arise when McMahon demanded Batista return as a babyface, though he was none too pleased claiming he was a heel at heart. Things only got worse, and Batista was constantly arguing with Vince. He still blames everything on the company’s direction and how soft it has became under the PG rating. He concluded the interview by claiming, “he’s still a little sour about it to this day”. Not very surprising.
Some would argue, that if not for Goldberg’s constant bashing of the WWE pertaining to his release, he’d probably be in the company right now. Instead, his words and constant jabs have put his return on hold for years now since he departed back in 2004.
Bad blood between Goldberg and the WWE started way back in the days of the Monday Night Wars when the WWE would take jabs at Goldberg on their telecast with the Gillberg character. Things got worse after Triple H had some harsh words for the WCW megastar, and this caused a confrontation between the two at a convention.
With all this in mind, things were rocky from the start. Losing to Triple H and feuding with Christian only made things worse for Goldberg, who still makes claims that the WWE was out for blood in booking his character poorly. He might be right considering the WWE is notorious for burying WCW guys, but to still go on about it today just isn’t right. Hopefully, a future WWE return will end this ongoing saga once and for all.
12 Bret Hart
Since his bitter departure from the WWE nearly two decade ago in 1997, Bret still takes jabs at the WWE for not only his release, but the entire product, aiming his anger at specific higher ups in the company.
It turns out, Triple H was one of the masterminds behind The Montreal Screwjob. His infamous backstage quote stating, “if he doesn’t want to do business, we'll do it for him” caused Vince to rethink the entire situation and eventually screwed Bret Hart out of his Championship on his final night with the company. Bret hasn’t forgotten and still takes verbal shots at Triple H. Just recently in a 2K event, Bret laughed at the fact that Hunter was rated higher than him; he called it laughable and didn’t care how many World Titles he'd won. Bret claims, “Hunter could never lace his boots”. Shots fired!
Although Bret has patched things up with the WWE, his anger and bitterness lives on to this day (at the now age of 59).
11 Shane Douglas
Can’t help but to feel bad for the guy; to this very day, Douglas still bashes the WWE for how poorly they treated him. Although he does have a point, the situation took place in 1995 and lasted a handful of months, so I think he might want to move on. After all, it has been more than 20 years.
Douglas still tells his failed WWE tales at various wrestling conventions. Douglas was brought into the WWE hotter than ever in 1995, but failed to live up to expectations. Shane claims the company made him fail because of backstage political maneuvering by the Kliq, who simply didn’t like Douglas and apparently wanted to bury him quickly. His terrible run came to an abrupt end before the 95 calendar year came to a close, and he headed back to ECW for the next three years.
Whether or not he was affected by the backstage politics, Douglas still managed to have a great career filled with several titles and accomplishments. I think we can all agree, he should just drop it.
10 Jim Cornette
If you’re an avid listener of wrestling shoot interviews, you’ve probably crossed paths with various interviews featuring former WWE employee Jim Cornette, absolutely destroying the company he once worked with for over a decade. His weekly podcast buries the WWE product at every chance, as it seems.
His WWE run began back in 1993. During his run, which lasted till 2005, Cornette worked on and off screen. During his final years, he worked with OVW sharpening the skills of the younger talents. After several altercations he was finally let go.
It's been more than ten years since his departure but Cornette hasn't stopped ripping the WWE, claiming the company destroyed wrestling. Cornette fails to comply with the modern day sports and entertainment ideology, and instead constantly relies on his outdated pro wrestling mind. With that mentality, he’s criticized the WWE for just about everything, from Triple H, to storylines, to wrestler signings, to even recently calling out the WWE for giving Kevin Owens the title. The odds of Cornette moving on are rather slim.
9 Rene Dupree
We’ve seen this time and time again, a wrestler is just too young and fails to keep up with the WWE lifestyle; this is exactly what happened with Rene Dupree during his WWE run, which spanned from 2003 till 2007. He would eventually ask for his release and is still burying the company for their treatment of him to this very day.
Dupree shoots about how politics are everything with the company. No matter how talented you are, at the end of the day the company will manipulate those they want to see succeed. Dupree went as far as to say that the WWE would plant fake fans in the audience to put certain wrestlers over. Now that’s deep...
He took things a step further recently by filing a lawsuit directed at the WWE for using his content on the WWE Network. Dupree is suing for copyright claims and wants royalties out of his work which is being exposed on the network.
Although he overcame many obstacles and overachieved in the eyes of many pro wrestling fans, Rikishi however, still claims that he was sabotaged during his time with the WWE.
The California native still watches the product and is still an avid fan. He takes to Twitter regularly and also still does various wrestling conventions and shoot interviews. During one of his recent sit downs, Rikishi discussed the fact that J.R. buried him during his time with the WWE. According to Fatu, Ross had a problem with the “heavier guys”. He went on to claim that Jim would actually go out of his way to make sure that he, and other bigger WWE Superstars, would not reach high levels of success.
Rikishi parted ways with the WWE in 2004; ironically, the company released Rikishi because of his weight. The WWE apparently asked him to drop some weight several times but he refused, which caused his departure. Even if that is the case and he was bitter, the WWE would induct him into the Hall of Fame in 2015. With a spot in the HOF, I think it’s time to drop it.
7 Marty Jannetty
His peak with the WWE occurred in the early 90s, but sadly, his head and heart never left that era to this very day.
At the age of 56, Marty is still extremely bitter about his time with the WWE. He’s discussed it literally everywhere from various shoot interviews to conventions all over the world. His most common platform is actually on his Twitter account, where he constantly bashes the WWE for various things (among one of them is the fact that he still isn’t in the Hall of Fame).
He’s clearly not in the right frame of mind when Tweeting about his indifferences with the company, but he took things a step further when he went off the rails during WrestleMania week this year in Dallas. The former WWE wrestler got kicked out of several bars in the area and even found himself in a hotel lobby fountain, fully clothed. We seriously hope Marty can put those feelings aside in the very near future, as they’ve noticeably haunted him till this day.
6 Val Venis
The Ontario native enjoyed a very respectable career with the WWE during a time when the product was hotter than ever in the 90s. Venis peaked during the Attitude era, becoming a prominent mid-carder. He’d go on to capture two Intercontinental Titles, a Tag Team Championship reign and a European Title run.
After the Attitude Era slowly began to fade away, so did Val. The Canadian’s character struggled to maintain relevancy and he was eventually released by the company.
His approach hasn’t been as aggressive as the others on this list but Val has still discussed some of the bitterness pertaining to his release. Venis specifically blames the creative writers for not listening to the wrestlers. According to Val, if it wasn’t their idea, they didn’t care for what you had to say. Morley praised Stephanie for always giving him the time of day to speak his mind, but had nothing but negative things to say about the writing team.
Many moons ago Sunny was arguably the most popular WWE Superstar. The Valet was the most searched-for person at one point in time, and her stock grew to new heights.
The WWE added to her TV time giving her random spots on the show, but eventually her stock would begin to fall. Problems would ultimately pile up for Sunny and before she knew it her fame was gone and she was out of the company. Problems with Sable, showing up late to events and apparent drug problems caused her undoing. All of a sudden, a person that seemed untouchable was out of a job.
She was extremely bitter about her release. Ever since her release, she has flopped around the Indie scene and various other companies. Looking to still capitalize on her fame, Sunny took her talents to the adult industry, looking to abuse her popularity.
Despite all of this, Sunny was still inducted into the WWE's Hall of Fame (surprisingly) in 2011. As a thank you to the company, she sold the ring online via Ebay, putting out a starting bid of $3,000. She then said, she was "done with the WWE". Keeping it classy as it seems...
4 Kurt Angle
Some call Angle bitter, while others just claim he's being honest. Fans are split when it comes to Angle's comments about the WWE since leaving the company back in 2006.
The wrestling world was absolutely rocked when Kurt Angle jumped ship to TNA and departed from the WWE out of nowhere. After weeks of silence, Kurt broke out and discussed his issues about his time with the WWE. It happened a decade ago, but Angle still talks about the problems he had with the company today on various shoot interviews.
His bitterness came from a terrible road schedule. Angle was pretty much out of gas but the WWE kept riding him hard. This caused Kurt to lose his love for the company. Rumors also indicated he had heat with Hunter during his time with the company.
No matter what the case may be, Angle is now rumored to be returning, this time under an easy schedule. His return will finally put an end to this bitter relationship and we can all agree that Angle at least deserves that one final goodbye on a proper note.
3 Vince Russo
From defending Bra and Panties matches to burying Kevin Owens as the Champion, Vince Russo is still bashing the WWE and sadly, he has his own online show where he does so on the regular.
Wrestlers like Kevin Owens believe it's all an act and Russo generally doesn’t feel that way. Owens believes Russo constantly buries the product for attention and to cause a stir online. Whatever the case may be, truth be told he hasn’t stopped bashing the company since parting ways for good in 2002.
Russo constantly bashes the WWE and still take credit for the Attitude Era, claiming he built the likes of The Undertaker and Degeneration-X. Russo has an inflated ego which only seems to have gotten bigger since he parted ways with the company a long time ago. Today, he uses that fuel to bury the product every chance he gets. This grudge seems to be sticking for a long, long time.
2 Scott Steiner
From running a restaurant to working Indie shows and appearing at wrestling conventions, Steiner still manages to keep relevant away from the WWE at the age of 54.
Steiner's WWE run was a disaster, to say the least. After a pretty great debut things turned sour quickly and Steiner was gone before you knew it.
Still to this very day he is widely remembered for ripping the WWE at every chance. Just recently, during an interview, he discussed the fact that the WWE was a monopoly that treated their employees like "sh**" and took advantage of being the only megapower in the wrestling industry. Steiner used Rey Mysterio as an example of the WWE abusing their power on someone just because they made the company money.
That's just really only the beginning though, as Steiner's torn the company to shreds about various other topics as well, especially concerning Triple H, who pretty much buried Scott after their feud came to an end after a terrible No Way Out encounter. Since then, Steiner has ripped Triple H and those associated to him (Flair and Michaels) every chance he gets. Don’t expect Steiner to settle down any time soon.
1 1.CM Punk
His WWE departure in 2014 was one of the most talked about WWE exits of all time. Since leaving, the bitterness between both sides hasn’t ended, despite Punk venturing out full time into the world of UFC.
Things got really sour between Punk and the WWE when they released the wrestler on his wedding day, sending him a fax notifying him about the release. His Colt Cabana shoot interview also caused quite the stir.
From then on, jabs have still been thrown both ways. Even just before his UFC fight Punk bashed the current crop of WWE stars claiming they were built like children compared to the old guard. The WWE fired back in ironic fashion, replaying Punk's failed UFC bout in one of their own matches, which started off with the exact same sequence when The Miz and Dolph Ziggler fought at WWE Backlash recently. The bad blood between both sides won’t come to an end anytime soon, and has noticeably left a bitter taste on both sides.