World Wrestling Entertainment is the summit of the professional wrestling mountain. It is the top company in the industry, one that has gone far and beyond promoting only wrestling contests. Those who are frequently at the top of WWE cards land themselves opportunities to feature in movie roles and on television talk shows. WWE stories are covered by more than just wrestling journalists, as sports websites such as ESPN and Sporting News will post breaking wrestling news and also pieces about current company storylines and pay-per-view events. Regardless of what you may think about the product, there is no denying that the WWE is a media megapower.
With all of that said, the WWE is hardly the only company where wrestlers can work and also make a comfortable living within the industry. Some who have made it to the WWE move on to other organizations for one reason or another, eventually finding that working in the top wrestling was not all that they once thought it would be when they were in the early stages of their careers. Nobody can say for certain what the future holds for these individuals, and thus it is possible that you may see one or more of the wrestlers featured in this piece performing inside of a WWE ring at some point down the road.
15 Harry Smith
The son of former champion Davey Boy Smith enjoyed his most successful run in the WWE while part of the Hart Dynasty, winning the tag-team championship along with partner Tyson Kidd. Smith never really got off the ground as a solo worker in the WWE, however, and his time in the company was personally as much a negative as it was a positive for him. He found a second wind for his career working overseas as part of New Japan Pro Wrestling. It has also been announced that Smith will also be working for the newly created Global Force Wrestling.
14 Trent Barreta
Trent Barreta never had what could be classified as a major run while working with the WWE. Barreta did not come all that close to winning a championship during his stint in the company, and he was ultimately a talent that was, in the eyes of those running WWE, more suited for Superstars and NXT than for episodes of Raw and SmackDown. Barreta has worked for several different organizations since departing from the WWE in 2013, including Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Barreta will be given a chance to feature for Global Force Wrestling in the future.
13 Rob Conway
If Rob Conway never again does anything as a member of the WWE, fans will still be able to relive his incredible theme song and also an entertaining segment that included Shawn Michaels and Kane. Conway's best days in the WWE were when he was part of the La Resistance team, as his solo career in the company was largely forgettable. He found a new home in the National Wrestling Alliance following his time in WWE, and Conway even won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on multiple occasions. Conway is still signed to the NWA as of the posting of this piece.
12 Lance Hoyt
Lance Hoyt, who has gone by several names including Archer, Dallas and Vance Archer, seemingly has everything that the WWE would want in a star. He has size that makes him noticeable when he is out in public, and Hoyt also has the physical tools necessary to go in the ring. Hoyt was, more often than not, an afterthought while working underneath the WWE umbrella, and he now features as part of a tag team alongside Harry Smith. Along with wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling, Hoyt is also slated to work for Global Force Wrestling at some point in 2015.
11 Scott Steiner
It is 2015, and Big Poppa Pump is still at it. Scott Steiner has, for better or for worse, not been shy about speaking his mind over the years, and that has remained the case even though he no longer works for a major North American pro wrestling company. The former World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion spent time in TNA Wrestling after he made his WWE exit. He has also worked on the independent circuit. Steiner is one of the several former WWE stars who have been signed to make appearances in Global Force Wrestling. What his role in that company will be is not yet known.
10 Doc Gallows
It does not seem as if it was years ago that CM Punk was cutting a promo on an edition of Raw that included the “Straightedge Superstar” giving a shout-out to his friend Doc Gallows. Punk's words did not result in his buddy getting another shot in the WWE, and Gallows has since moved on to work for different promotions. Gallows caught on with TNA Wrestling for some time, and he has also worked overseas in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Global Force Wrestling will be the next stop for Gallows, where he will hopefully have a better run than he had as part of the “Aces and Eights” in TNA.
9 Colt Cabana
Colt Cabana has, throughout his pro wrestling career, been an example of a wrestler who has been better off working outside of the WWE. The WWE thoroughly wasted Cabana's talents during his short sting in the organization, making the character “Scott Goldman” into a jobber who was given a WWE.com segment now and again. Cabana has made a noteworthy living promoting himself as an independent worker, and it was on his Art of Wrestling podcast where CM Punk made those controversial statements about the WWE that made international headlines in November of 2014.
8 Shelton Benjamin
So what if Shelton Benjamin was not a gem on the microphone while working in the WWE? He had the physical gifts needed to be a major star in the company, and yet the WWE wasted his talents when Benjamin was not a part of a tag team. Those looking to watch Benjamin following his time in the WWE could have done so via Ring of Honor, and Benjamin has also since worked as a member of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Moving forward, Benjamin will also be working in Global Force Wrestling. That company hopefully will not waste all that Benjamin could be as a main event player.
7 Evan Bourne
Some arrangements are just not meant to work out for the parties involved. Matt Sydal made his name in multiple wrestling organizations such as Ring of Honor and Wrestling Society X before the character Evan Bourne made his WWE debut, and Bourne should, in theory, been an over babyface who delighted fans with his in-ring work and who sold merchandise. Problems following the WWE Wellness Policy coupled with an injury that he suffered in a car accident signaled the beginning of the end of Bourne's WWE run, and he is currently available for bookings as an independent worker.
6 Brodus Clay
Unless you pay attention to TNA Wrestling on a weekly basis – and most of you have not been paying attention judging by television ratings in the United States – you probably have missed out that Clay is currently working for that organization. Once thought to be the next monster heel of the WWE, Clay was turned into a comical character by the company after his time in NXT came to an end. Why the WWE thought it was wise to turn an athlete with Clay's size, look and physical skills into a dancing character is one that defies logic, and the thought is that Global Force Wrestling will not make a similar mistake once it is launched.
5 Chavo Guerrero Jr.
There was always only going to be one Eddie Guerrero. He was a one-of-a-kind talent in the ring and on the microphone, a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer in any such group of all-time great wrestlers. Chavo Guerrero did not have the WWE run that Eddie had as a solo worker, but he was a solid hand who could have good matches and who could be utilized to train up-and-coming workers. Chavo has, since leaving the WWE, worked in TNA Wrestling, on the independent circuit and also in Lucha Underground. Fans can see Guerrero on weekly editions of Lucha Underground as of June 2015.
4 Alberto Del Rio
Albert Del Rio did not need to wait for long to return to the wrestling industry after he parted ways with the WWE in 2014. Del Rio returned to AAA as El Patron, and he also made appearances overseas in Japan. The “Alberto Del Patron” character debuted in Ring of Honor in December of 2014, and he remains on the roster of the company. Del Rio is also working in Lucha Underground. A legitimate mixed martial arts fighter who had some meaningful wins during his career, Del Rio could star for any organization in the industry. The WWE would be wise to consider bringing him back at some point.
The former afterthought of an edition of the Raw “Diva Search” has gone on to have a successful pro wrestling career. Maria evolved into a wrestler while working for the WWE, and she has performed inside of the ring for other companies. She is now more so known as a valet as part of the Ring of Honor promotion, where she is paired up with her real-life husband Mike Bennett. Bennett has long been linked with the WWE, and he would seemingly be a good fit for the NXT brand. Maria could, were Bennett to join the company, make a return to the WWE in the future.
2 John Morrison
The former Johnny Nitro and then John Morrison was once thought to be a future star for the WWE. Morrison was booked to win the championship of the Extreme Championship Wrestling brand, and he was part of the best tag team in the WWE alongside of the Miz. While Miz went on to win the WWE Championship and also perform in the main event of a WrestleMania, Morrison never came close to reaching that level. Some speculated years ago that Morrison would one day work in TNA Wrestling, but he instead features for Lucha Underground. Morrison is one of the top stars in that company.
1 Jeff Jarrett
Global Force Wrestling. It is the company that has been mentioned throughout this piece, and Jeff Jarrett is the man that you can thank for the existence of the new wrestling organization. Jarrett has spent over a decade attempting to make his own version of WCW, first with TNA Wrestling and now with the company that is set to experience a full launch sometime in 2015. The former WWE wrestler made it to the mountaintop in both WCW and TNA, but his dream of making a true WWE competitor has not yet been realized. Maybe GFW will be able to do that which TNA never accomplished.