For countless Superstars in the past, a failed WWE career has either caused them to change career paths or to slowly fade away, wrestling for small independent promotions. Rarely do you see wrestlers thrive outside of the company in an attempt to recreate themselves. Cody Rhodes is the latest example of a wrestler who is attempting to do so. The good news is, some wrestlers today have thrived doing what Cody has done, leaving many to speculate that this will actually do wonders for Cody’s future as a performer.
On another note though, some have failed to regain the form they had under the bright lights of a WWE stage. More times than not, released WWE Superstars have faltered away from the company, so statistically, odds are that you won’t succeed.
The following article will take a look at both sides of the spectrum, featuring examples from the 90s, 2000s and today. Some of these wrestlers thrived while others plummeted to irrelevancy quickly. So let us begin. Here are seven wrestlers that found success outside of the WWE and seven that didn’t. Enjoy!
14 Did: Kevin Nash and Scott Hall
13 Didn’t: Ultimate Warrior
12 Did: Gail Kim
11 Didn’t: Bret Hart
10 Did: Matt Hardy
9 Didn’t: Jeff Hardy
8 Did: Shelton Benjamin
7 Didn’t: Scott Steiner
6 Did: Drew Galloway
5 Didn’t: Ted DiBiase Jr.
4 Did: Ethan Carter III
3 Didn’t: Sunny
2 Did: DDP
1 Didn’t: Vince Russo
It’s hard to find a wrestling personality that failed worse than Vince Russo outside of the WWE. His stock absolutely plummeted without the guidance of Vince McMahon. Russo put in the final dagger during his run with WCW. His journey with the company was so bad that those within the promotion thought Russo was brought in to purposely destroy WCW. His ideas tried to be innovative but just came across as wacky and so over the top that it was just embarrassing to watch. His run was so bad that wrestling fans remember him today more so for his failed WCW run than his success with the WWE during the hot Attitude Era. His legacy was ruined following his WWE release in 1999.
Sources: thesportster.com, bleacherreport.com, si.com
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