WWE has employed hundreds, if not thousands of superstars over the years. Some went on to be hugely successful, others not so much. Regardless, the company has tried to stay on good terms with the majority of its former employees. On occasion, the company pays for a former wrestler to attend rehab, particularly if their problems began during their time with WWE. The HR department of WWE has also been known to help former employees find jobs in the outside world. Sometimes, the McMahons will even rehire a former talent as a producer just so he or she can earn a regular pay check again. So for all the negative press Vince McMahon gets, he can actually be quite a caring guy; if you’re in his good graces, of course.
Unfortunately, not all wrestlers have such a good relationship with WWE. Of the countless superstars who have been employed by the company, there are some who left under terribly acrimonious circumstances. There are others who left the company rather amicably but went on to trash the McMahon family in shoot interviews and on podcasts, destroying their relationship with the company and pretty much guaranteeing that they will never again be employed by WWE.
These are wrestlers who, regardless of what they accomplished in the company, WWE pretends never existed. Ignoring many of these competitors is pretty easy, as their contributions to the company were minimal – and that’s if they contributed anything at all. Other wrestlers, however, aren’t so easy to ignore. They are legends, former world champions, former corner stones of the company. And yet, WWE somehow manages to find a way around their achievements, showing once and for all that the only person who truly matters in the history of the company is Vince McMahon.
Here are fifteen wrestlers that WWE pretends do not exist in 2016.
Sunny – real name Tammy Sytch – has had a complicated relationship with WWE. She left the company in the late 90s, driven out by a tall, blond, leather-clad problem.
After her WWE departure, Sunny’s problems with alcohol and drugs worsened and she wound up behind bars on more than one occasion. Sunny’s copious legal issues led many to believe that she would never be welcomed back to WWE, but she began making sporadic appearances for the company toward the end of the naughties and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011. That would have been a fantastic ending to the story, making Sunny’s tale one of redemption and triumph, but she fell off the wagon shortly after and her legal troubles began again.
Earlier this year, struggling to put her life back together after a lengthy jail sentence in 2013, Sunny began offering Skype sessions to fans, during which she would strip naked if the person on the other end of the call was willing to pay for it (or didn’t pay enough to stop it). She even recorded an adult film with Vivid Entertainment, pretty much eliminating any chance of WWE ever mentioning her name again.
14 Hardbody Harrison
If this list took the reason WWE wont acknowledge a certain superstar into account, Hardbody Harrison would be a lot further down, as the crimes he was found guilty of in 2007 are truly despicable.
After a brief stint in WCW, Harrison, who never competed in WWE, left the wrestling business in 2001. Fans pretty much forgot about Harrison, but his name ended up back in the dirtsheet headlines in 2007, when he was arrested for holding eight women captive in his home. According to prosecutors, Harrison used these women as sex slaves for himself and others, though he insisted they were in his house under their own free will.
Hardbody Harrison was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Because Harrison was mostly used as an enhancement talent, WWE has not had to use up a whole lot of energy to pretend he ever existed, which leaves them with more time to deny the existence of other wrestlers.
13 Buck Zumhofe
Like Hardbody Harrison, Buck Zumhofe is serving a lengthy prison sentence related to sexual misdeeds. Unlike Harrison, however, Zumhofe actually spent a period competing in the World Wrestling Federation. Although he was used exclusively as a jobber, Zumhofe is an important figure in the careers of many. He faced The Undertaker in one of the Dead Man’s earliest appearances and was Triple H’s debut opponent.
In 2014, Zumhofe was arrested for sexually abusing his own daughter and was subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison. Many fans of wrestling and justice were outraged by the sentence as it just doesn’t seem like enough, especially considering the fact Zumhofe was found guilty of similar crimes in the past.
In 1989, he was jailed after he was found to be in a sexual relationship with a minor. This is the crime WWE would most like to ignore as the company signed Zumhofe after he was found guilty, which could be seen as condoning sexual abuse.
12 Scott Steiner
If Scott Seiner had never been born, the world would be a much more boring place. As any wrestling fan will tell you, the man is like a cannon with a burning fuse when he gets on the mic. The things he says are hilarious and often times outrageous.That being said, it is perfectly understandable why WWE would like to pretend Scott Steiner never existed.
After his tame run in WWE in the early 90s, Steiner began to go off the rails in WCW. He became overly aggressive both in the ring and behind the scenes, and had numerous run-ins with the law. He returned to WWE for a brief period after the closure of WCW, but his newfound attitude caused multiple problems for himself and those around him. On one occasion, Steiner was asked to take a steroids test, which he refused to take unless Triple H took one too. According to Steiner, WWE dropped the subject.
In the years since he left WWE, Steiner’s relationship with the company has only worsened. In 2015, he was even banned from attending the annual Hall of Fame ceremony after accosting Hulk Hogan’s wife at an airport and threatening to kill her husband.
11 Nicole Bass
When Nicole Bass first signed with WWE, many were convinced that she would be the next big thing in the Women’s division. She was powerful, not unattractive, and had already built up a reputation among serious wrestling fans as a talented competitor. However, things went south for Bass shortly after her debut in WWE.
In the middle of a storyline with Ivory, Bass abruptly left the company, claiming she had been sexually assaulted by Steve Lombardi, better known to fans as The Brooklyn Brawler. Bass filed a lawsuit against the company, but it was ultimately dismissed and Vince McMahon added another name to his list of defeated adversaries.
Although Bass remains active on the independent circuit, do not expect WWE to mention her at any point in the near future. The company is probably well aware that publicity stemming from an apparent sexual assault means career destruction in 2016, even if the case was thrown out.
When WWE signed Místico back in 2011, it was treated as one of the biggest signings in the history of the company. And, in many ways, it was. Místico was a massive star in Mexico and his joining the WWE roster was major news. However, his run with the company turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments since the reveal of the higher power.
Místico debuted under the name Sin Cara and immediately received a push. But there was a clear problem from the get-go: he couldn’t adapt to the WWE style. Fans noticed that Sin Cara matches had significantly more botches than they were used to seeing, and his appearances became car crash television.
Místico was officially released from the company in March 2014, but the Sin Cara character continues to appear on television to this day. Nowadays, it is portrayed by Jorge Arias, who formerly competed in WWE as Hunico.
When Nailz arrived in what was then the World Wrestling Federation, he claimed to have been incarcerated in the same prison in which Big Boss Man worked before getting involved in wrestling. According to Nailz, the Boss Man used to beat him mercilessly, and so he had come seeking his revenge. It was the perfect silly storyline for early 90s WWF/E, which had an audience primarily composed of gullible children, but the Nailz character never really had the chance to make an impact.
Kevin Wacholz, the man behind the Nailz character, was notoriously difficult to deal with backstage. He was always looking for an argument, with the differences in pay between the top superstars and himself being one of his favorite issues to discuss.
Nailz was already on thin ice with the company when he burst into Vince McMahon’s office, infuriated about a pay related issue. According to witnesses, Wacholz pushed McMahon from his chair and began to strangle him. He was released from the company shortly after and any trace of the Nailz character was wiped from the company’s record books.
8 New Jack
This is a bit of a weird one because New Jack never really had any working relationship with WWE. However, he has such a bad reputation that the company has to actively block his image anyway.
New Jack achieved his greatest fame in ECW, with his matches often featuring a level of violence too much for even Paul Heyman. Unsurprisingly, New Jack was not signed by WWE after the closure of the company and was forced to hit the independents. During his time as an indie wrestler, New Jack had multiple run-ins with the law stemming from his actions in the ring. On one occasion, he blatantly stabbed his opponent with a shard of metal almost a dozen times. According to New Jack, he had no choice but to attempt to murder his colleague as he felt the guy was too green in the ring. In fairness, if the guy was too green for New Jack, he must have been pretty bad.
7 Jim Cornette
Jim Cornette spent a great deal of his career as the kayfabe manager of a number of wrestlers, but he also has one of the best minds in the business. The guy loves professional wrestling and has a very set idea of what it should be, which is detrimental when you’re working with Vince McMahon.
Cornette’s differences with McMahon and Kevin Dunn are well-documented, and he frequently rants about WWE’s Executive Vice President of Television Production in shoot interviews.
While much of what Cornette says makes no sense at all – he once claimed Kevin Owens would never make it – he does speak some truths and has a lot of ideas that would undoubtedly make WWE more enjoyable to watch. However, rather than take Cornette’s suggestions on board, McMahon and Dunn find it easier to just pretend he doesn’t exist.
6 Jeff Jarrett
The last time Jeff Jarrett was mentioned on WWE television he was being legitimately fired by Vince McMahon, something which likely gave McMahon as much pleasure as purchasing WCW in the first place.
Vince’s hatred of Jeff Jarrett stretches back to 1999, when Jarrett was planning to leave the World Wrestling Federation for the supposedly greener pastures of WCW. It is believed that Jarrett and WWF head writer Vince Russo, who was also leaving for WCW, colluded to keep the Intercontinental Championship on Jarrett after his contract expired. By doing this, Jarrett could charge the company as much as he wanted for a one-off appearance to drop the title. Jarrett ended up dropping the title to Chyna after his contract expired and made off with just shy of half a million dollars.
Jarrett should have learned from a similar situation involving The Ultimate Warrior several years prior that Vince McMahon does not take kindly to being held-up. By charging Vince such an outrageous sum for a one-off match, Jarrett ultimately sacrificed his future in the wrestling business and all of his accomplishments inside WWF/E.
5 Jimmy Snuka
“Superfly” Jimmy Snuka was a childhood favorite of millions, and his iconic dive off a steel cage onto Don Muraco inspired a young Mick Foley to pursue a career in the wrestling business. However, moments like that dive are unlikely to ever again be aired on WWE television as Snuka is currently in a very bad position.
Snuka, who once had a great relationship with Vince McMahon, was scrubbed from the company’s history and the Hall of Fame earlier this year, when he was charged with the murder of his girlfriend in a case which had been open since her death in the early 80s.
It was ultimately determined that Snuka, who claims to be suffering from a variety of concussion related issues, was not fit to stand trial and the case was pretty much dropped. Snuka being found neither guilty nor not guilty means WWE can’t, in good conscience, reintroduce him to its audience.
4 Muhammad Hassan
When Muhammad Hassan first debuted on WWE television, he received a major push. He was the typical foreign heel, with some adjustments made to fit the time period, and was immediately placed into top storylines. The rookie Hassan even had a WrestleMania segment with Hulk Hogan.
During a feud with The Undertaker, Hassan had his rival attacked by a group of men wearing balaclavas while he prayed to Allah. This was intended to be an edgy way to get heat on the superstar, but turned out to be too controversial for even WWE to get away with. The segment taped prior to the London Bombings, but aired shortly after, which caused just about as much outrage as you would expect.
WWE dropped the Muhammad Hassan character almost immediately. He was handily defeated by The Undertaker at The Great American Bash and has not been seen or heard from – or talked about – since.
3 CM Punk
For a while after CM Punk left WWE, authority figures and announcers would occasionally reference him, usually because they were forced to do so by incessant chants of “CM Punk” from the crowd. Recently, however, even those chants haven’t been enough to get the company to reference the longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern era.
CM Punk has brought so much negative attention upon WWE since he walked out of the company in January 2014 that Vince McMahon just can’t bring himself to talk about the guy anymore. One of the last times CM Punk was mentioned on WWE programming was on The Edge and Christian Show, in which the superstars claimed WWE would happily discuss CM Punk’s debut “if it ever happens.”
That debut did happen, and WWE never mentioned it. This surprised many as Punk was handily defeated in the first round, something which the Vince McMahon of old would have mocked relentlessly on television.
2 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan was released from WWE in the summer of 2015 after the transcript of the American icon’s racist rant leaked online.
Immediately after his release, perhaps anticipating the storm of negative publicity which ensued, WWE condemned Hogan’s actions and wiped him from the history books. He was removed from the WWE Hall of Fame and made unsearchable on the WWE Network, so fans couldn’t even relive the moment he body slammed Andre the Giant at WrestleMania 3.
There are rumors that WWE has since softened its “No Hogan” policy and is looking for ways to bring him back to television. However, there is little evidence to support that as of this writing. Right now, as far as WWE is concerned, Hulk Hogan never existed.
1 Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit topping this list was as sure as a Roman Reigns victory.
Benoit, who captured the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a fantastic Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania XX is easily the most infamous, loathed in-ring competitor of all time. This is because on June 24, 2007, Chris Benoit took his own life after murdering his wife Nancy and their son Daniel.
Benoit was due for another major push at the time of his death and was scheduled to win the ECW Championship at the upcoming Vengeance Pay-Per-View. Of course, this never happened and the title was instead awarded to John Morrison.
Benoit’s situation is unique because Vince McMahon came out and publicly announced that the company would be making a conscious effort not to mention his name again. This was a necessary move, especially considering the fact the company had held a tribute show for Benoit the night before, while the circumstances surrounding his death were still unclear.
Sources: Wrestling Inc., FOX News, NY Times, Rolling Stone
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