A lot of wrestlers would carve out solid careers in the WWE. While some of them are immortalized by getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, unfortunately, there are also a lot of great wrestlers who don’t. Although the WWE is arguably the best company to be in for world-class wrestling performers, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. In fact, throughout the history of the company, we’ve seen various wrestlers exit the WWE in controversy. For this piece, let’s take a look at the 10 most controversial exits from WWE.
As a monster heel, Umaga wrecked through the competition before establishing himself as a main event star. The Samoan Bulldozer wrestled with the likes of John Cena, Triple H, Bobby Lashley, and many more. He also had two dominant reigns as Intercontinental Champion. Unfortunately, he violated WWE’s Wellness Policy for the second time. With Umaga opting not to go to rehab, he was released. Months later, Umaga passed away due to heart disease and substance abuse.
Before the women’s revolution in the WWE, the women’s division never really had the opportunities that they enjoy today. One of the wrestlers who fell victim to that was Gail Kim. Kim notably eliminated herself from the Divas’ Battle Royal in 2011. Afterward, she never wrestled for WWE again, citing treatment towards women’s wrestlers and the lack of push. As a result, after her contract expired, Kim would go on to have a stellar career at TNA.
During his time in WWE NXT, Jordan Myles received a push that saw him win the NXT Breakout Tournament. Myles would go on to lose to Adam Cole in the NXT Championship match. Since then, things went south for Myles’ career. He blasted WWE by accusing the company of racism, as a T-shirt design that signified a Sambo doll caricature.
Shortly after ranting online, Myles was released from his WWE contract.
Among the wrestlers in this list, not a lot had a more dramatic exit than CM Punk. After costing Cena the match, the former World Champion cut a promo that was allegedly off-script. The promo was more about Punk not being respected enough to be the top guy of WWE despite his talents. Although he made a minor return in 2019, it might take a while before we see him in programming again.
Sasha Banks established herself as one of the best competitors of WWE. Having won several women’s championships, The Boss was one of the top stars in the women’s division. However, despite being ½ of the Smackdown Women’s Tag Team Champion, Banks and her partner Naomi walked out of an episode of Monday Night Raw. While the real reason has yet to be revealed, various reports have mentioned about Banks’ salary, bookings, and many more.
Sable was one of the company’s top female wrestlers back in the day, defeating Jacqueline for the Women’s Championship. But in 1999, Sable sued the WWE for alleged sexual harassment and unwell working conditions. She returned briefly in 2003 and left on better terms after her second run. Sable also married Brock Lesnar.
Ever since partnering with Big Cass, Enzo Amore had great mic-skills and decent in-ring work. Because of this, Amore was even a Cruiserweight Champion. However, Amore’s WWE run immediately came to an end after sexual assault allegations against him went public. Because of these, Amore was stripped of the Cruiserweight title and never mentioned in WWE programming again.
Ruling the WWE Chairman for 40 years, it looked like Vince McMahon was going to lead the company forever. But in July 2022, McMahon announced his retirement in the midst of sexual misconduct allegations. Based on reports, the former WWE Chairman paid at least $12 million to keep his misconduct and infidelity under wraps. While some celebrated his departure, that was short-lived as McMahon eventually wiggled his way back into the WWE Creative in 2023.
Hulk Hogan carved out a Hall of Fame-worthy career. In fact, at one point, he was even the face of the WWE. However, Hogan was ultimately banned from the company in 2015. The former WWE star made unacceptable racist remarks in a leaked conversation that was recorded on tape. Three years later, Hogan was able to return to the company and appeared in WWE”s Crown Jewel pay-per-view.
After a respectable run at the main roster, Mandy Rose dominated WWE NXT. Rose held the NXT Women’s Championship for 413 days, one of the longest reigns in the belt’s history. However, after dropping the belt to Roxanne Perez, Rose was fired by the WWE. Based on reports, Rose’s firing stemmed from her posting a revealing content on FanTime, a platform similar to OnlyFans. While it was considered by many as a harsh punishment, Rose earned $500,000 for her FanTime content since her release from WWE.
Mandy Rose breaks her silence regarding her release from WWE pic.twitter.com/SPbx2ZPtST
— Public Enemies Podcast (@TheEnemiesPE3) January 10, 2023