Wrestlers Who Will Never Work For The WWE Again

Many wrestlers have fallen in and out of the good graces of the WWE over the years, particularly during the 40 years Vincent K. McMahon ran the company. McMahon, who is a big personality in his own right, was not beneath having public issues with some talent for reasons both justified and unjustified. However, McMahon was never one to let a personal issue get in the way of making a sound business decision. Such thinking paved the way for polarizing wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan to return to the company on multiple occasions, and laid the foundation for many wrestlers once exiled, such as Bret Hart, to return to WWE programming.

Not every previously exiled wrestler is able to work their way back into the company's good graces, however. Many men and women who have walked through the doors of the largest wrestling company in the world walked out of the doors as persona non grata and were never able to repair the burned bridge due to one of several reasons. Post-WWE legal trouble has often stood in the way of many once popular stars making their way back to the publicly-traded company, but others conducted themselves in such an unprofessional manner on their way out, that it effectively dashed any hopes of a return to "New York."

Here are 12 former WWE superstars who will probably never work for the company again.

Shane Douglas

Shane Douglas went on to earn the "Franchise" moniker in ECW and became one of the greatest heels in the history of the Philadelphia-based wrestling promotion. However, Douglas also accrued experience working in larger companies such as WCW and WWE. After gaining some buzz for his rejection of the NWA World Championship at an August 27, 1994 tournament for the coveted title, Douglas heated up in ECW and earned himself a second stint in the WWF as a result. Douglas made his WWF return as Dean Douglas, a "dean" character with roots in academia.

During his time as Dean Douglas, Shane Douglas made enemies with "The Kliq," a backstage coalition made up of current WWE Senior Vice President Shawn Michaels and Chief Content Officer Triple H, among others. The what happened between Douglas and The Kliq depends on whose version of the story is to be believed. According to Douglas, Michaels had a personal issue with him. "He had run his mouth when I was in Germany in the dressing room three weeks prior saying he was going to embarrass me on national television," Douglas told BeneathTheMat.com's Brian Soscia. "I said to Davey Boy Smith, rest his soul — one of my best friends in the business who was a great ribber and loved to stir the pot — that if he tries to embarrass me on national TV, that I'll stretch his rear end." Kliq member Kevin Nash, meanwhile, mentioned on his podcast, "Kliq THIS" that Douglas' issues with the group were one-sided and he doesn't have a problem with the former Dean Douglas. Douglas is not likely to return to WWE, particularly with Vince McMahon back in the fold, who Douglas told Sportskeeda has a "lack of respect" for the talent.

Buff Bagwell

There was a brief time when Buff Bagwell, a WCW mainstay for more than a decade, figured heavily into WWF's "Invasion Angle" plans. Initial plans called for the company to have "WCW matches" on WWF programming. After the WWF seized control of WCW's assets and library, Bagwell was one of the first wrestlers to accept the buy-out on his AOL Time-Warner contract and become a member of the WWF roster. His time with the company would be brief, though he did appear in the first-ever WCW match to be held on WWF television, one that would forecast the demise of the "Invasion Angle." Bagwell made his WWF televised debut on the July 2, 2001 episode of "Raw is War," fellow WCW name wrestler Booker T for the WCW Championship. The match bombed, with Bagwell made to be a scapegoat for the negative reception. Match-ending interference from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Kurt Angle served as a further precursor for the programming to come.

The WWF released Bagwell from his contract one week removed from his match with Booker T. Rumors swirled about Bagwell's backstage attitude. Stories made public included a backstage fight with Shane Helms and an apparent injury he sustained at the hands of Bradshaw at the subsequent "SmackDown" tapings. Another rumor claimed his mother, Judy, phoned the office to request that her son get time off from house shows. Bagwell has disputed the rumors, and to this day claims he was never made privy to why the company released him from his contract, though he places the blame on former executive Jim Ross. He has not appeared on WWE programming since. 

Today, Bagwell is living in Diamond Dallas Page's accountability crib as he looks to get his life back in order after years of alcohol abuse.

Tessa Blanchard

Tessa Blanchard became one of the most polarizing figures in women's wrestling in 2019. The daughter of Four Horseman member Tully Blanchard and granddaughter of AWA wrestler Joe Blanchard had a fast rise as one of the most talented women's wrestlers in the world, winning both the Impact Knockouts World Championship and Impact Wrestling World Championship within the span of a year, the latter of which is a belt traditionally reserved for male competitors. From there, Blanchard's stock dropped dramatically after she was accused of making racist comments as well as bullying by several of her colleagues. The accusations, both plentiful in nature and deep in context, combined with Blanchard's refusal to film vignettes for the company during the COVID-19 pandemic, caused the promotion to terminate her contract and strip her of the world championship.

With Blanchard without a contract and free to sign anywhere, she seemingly had an inroad into both AEW and WWE. Blanchard has to both of the top North American companies, having worked the All In pay-per-view that served as the precursor to AEW as well as the inaugural Mae Young Classic, hosted by WWE. However, Blanchard did not sign with either company and instead landed with the much smaller WOW — Women Of Wrestling promotion. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the WWE initially lacked interest in signing Blanchard to a full-time deal after the MYC due to reported attitude issues stemming from her time in the tournament. These days, Blanchard is once again a free agent, stemming from a falling out she had with WOW prior to the start of the show's latest season.


The story of Nailz' interaction with Vince McMahon that led to his WWF departure is one many wrestling fans are familiar with. Kevin Wacholz, the man behind Nailz, played a menacing ex-convict brought in specifically to feud with the Big Boss Man. Donning an orange prison jumpsuit, Nailz alleged in promos he was abused by the Boss Man and sought revenge. Standing at 6'5 and weighing over 300 pounds, Nailz seemed like a good fit on paper as an adversary for the Boss Man, and was even teased as a future opponent for The Undertaker in late 1992. A photo of a stare-down between Nailz and The Undertaker was used in the January 1993 edition of WWF Magazine, which hit shelves one month after the confrontation between Nailz and McMahon.

The incident occurred on December 14, 1992 when Nailz put his hands around the neck of McMahon after an argument over finances. Bret Hart recalled his memories from the confrontation on an episode of Kayfabe Commentaries' "Timeline: The History of WWE" series. "I was right outside the door," Hart said. "I didn't see it happen, but I could hear all of it. Nailz was shrieking in a really high-pitched shrill. Clearly, the guy on the other side of the door was losing it and losing it badly, but I had no idea. He said he had enough of the bull**** and lies. Then you heard a big bang and kind of a gurgling sound." By the time the agents intervened, Nailz left the premises with his hands up, then summoned the police, claiming McMahon attempted to arrest him. Once the police officers got the full story, Nailz was charged on the spot and became persona-non-grata in the years to come. Later, Nailz put the final nail in the coffin of his WWF career when he testified against the company in the 1994 steroid trial.

Mr. Kennedy

Armed with one of the most unique gimmicks of his time, Mr. Kennedy, who is also known as his real name of Ken Anderson, quickly rose to the upper-midcard of the WWE in the mid-'00s. With such a significant push comes undeniable backstage baggage and jealousy. As a result, Kennedy made an enemy out of Randy Orton, another young star who fit the profile for what the company wanted their main event wrestlers to be. Triple H, a confidant of Orton's, was also supposedly a skeptic of Kennedy as a main-event talent. While working as Mr. Anderson in TNA, Kennedy made reference in a promo to Triple H "getting in the boss' ear" about killing his push.

Kennedy and Orton crossed paths briefly on "SmackDown," but their most infamous interaction came shortly after Kennedy made his return to "Raw" in 2009. Kennedy spoke of his final day in WWE in an August 2009 interview with Pro Wrestling Report on 540 ESPN Radio and alleged that Orton's grievances with him led to his eventual firing. "To be honest with you, I kind of had a weird vibe all day," Kennedy said. "Randy Orton and I had become very good friends. We rode together; we were tight. We were buds. When I got to the building, I ran up behind him and gave him a big bear hug from behind, and he treated me like I was just an acquaintance of his." During a 10-man tag team match that took place the night he returned to "Raw," Kennedy allegedly "dropped Orton on his head" on the heels of a backdrop. Orton gave his side of the story on the now-defunct "Randy Orton Message Board," alleging that Kennedy never apologized and even called him a liar after the match.

Ken Shamrock

When many people think of Ken Shamrock, they likely think of the former UFC champion as an MMA fighter before a pro wrestler. However, Shamrock's brief run in the WWF between 1997 and 1999 did wonders for his visibility and even led to him becoming the first NWA World Heavyweight Champion under the TNA banner. Shamrock accrued a heap of momentum in the WWF during one of the hottest periods in company history. Billed "The World's Most Dangerous Man," Shamrock thrived as both a face and heel and endeared himself to the fans as a legitimate athlete. However, Ken Anderson is not the only "Ken" to find himself on the outs with WWE in modern times, as Shamrock has not returned to the company in any capacity since his 1999 departure. 

In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Shamrock chalked his departure up to burnout from the WWF's hectic travel schedule. He also mentioned a lack of synchronicity between the creative team and himself, as both parties had two different visions for what "The World's Most Dangerous Man" could become. Shamrock also told Kurt Angle on an episode of "The Kurt Angle Show" that his trust in the company began to wane after the Montreal Screwjob, and waned further after Owen Hart's tragic fall at "Over the Edge" in 1999. 

However, Shamrock has long been open to a WWE return and openly questions why the company has not contacted him for a return. That said, he also spoke of a potential issue with Triple H in a 2014 interview with MMA News, mentioning a dispute the two had over a ribbing incident as well as Triple H's apprehension toward putting him over.

Brad Maddox

Brad Maddox' issues with WWE are two-fold. Maddox was a developmental talent who came into prominence as the hand-picked crooked referee for CM Punk in the former WWE champion's title defense against Ryback at "Hell in a Cell" in 2012. Maddox went on to take an on-screen role as "Raw" General Manager Vickie Guerrero's "Assistant 'Raw' Managing Supervisor" before becoming the "Raw" General Manager himself in 2013. While The Authority eventually relieved Maddox of his duties, the on-screen personality returned to television for a spell in 2015 before being promptly fired from the company. Vince McMahon personally fired Maddox after he went off-script during a pre-dark match promo, calling the fans in attendance "cocky pricks." "Oh my God, [Maddox] was fired before he got back," former WWE talent Dutch Mantell said in an episode of his podcast, "Storytime with Dutch Mantell" (h/t Sportskeeda). "I was there, sitting right beside Vince and he said, 'Tell him to go home and not come back.'"

Since leaving WWE, Maddox has come under fire for his involvement in a series of lewd pornographic videos he created with former WWE star Paige during their time in developmental. Maddox and Paige dated between 2014 and 2015 when it was believed the videos were created. After the videos leaked, Maddox subsequently deleted all of his social media accounts. Although it has been proven that Maddox did not personally leak the lewd media, his involvement in the scandal has not given his former employer any additional incentive to bring him back into the fold. Maddox recently resurfaced in photos on his wife Ryan's marriage coaching website. He also changed his legal name from Joshua Klutz to Tyler K. Warner in an effort to position himself for a film career.

Bill DeMott

Bill DeMott, a former WWE and WCW wrestler who became the head trainer of the WWE developmental system between 2012 and 2015, will probably never work for the company again after allegations of misconduct and bullying became public knowledge. DeMott first came into his own as a trainer when he signed on to work for Deep South Wrestling, one of two WWE developmental territories at the time. DeMott soon became the head trainer at DSW, but left the company in 2007 only to return in 2011 to replace Dr. Tom Prichard as the head trainer at Florida Championship Wrestling, which later became NXT. Four years into his tenure, numerous stories from wrestlers willing to attach their name to their allegations came forward with stories that painted DeMott as someone who fostered a toxic workplace culture as the head trainer for WWE developmental talent.

Some of the stories that came about the culture under DeMott included a willingness to let wrestlers train naked, as well as physically assaulting and bullying trainees. Former developmental talents Chase Donovan and Chad Baxter appeared on fellow wrestler Kevin Matthews' podcast in 2013 and detailed a story of DeMott pulling out a gun in front of trainees in addition to the frequent use of homophobic slurs. In spite of the overwhelming quantity of allegations against DeMott and his methods over the years, WWE never actually fired DeMott. Instead, the embattled trainer resigned from his role to "avoid any embarrassment or damage" to the WWE. Matt Bloom, formerly known as A-Train and Lord Tensai, replaced DeMott as Head Trainer, a role he has held for more than seven years. As for DeMott, his lack of popularity amongst his trainees spelled an end to his training career. He has also had zero involvement in wrestling since his WWE departure.

James Ellsworth

James Ellsworth cut his teeth on the indies for the better part of 16 years before becoming an unlikely star with WWE in 2016. He previously appeared as an extra in 2014 as one of Adam Rose's "rosebuds" in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, but made his in-ring debut against "The Monster Among Men" Braun Strowman in 2016. Ellsworth caught a quick beating from Strowman, but garnered praise for his appearance and subsequently went viral for his unique look and pre-match promo in which his catchphrase, "any man with two hands has a fighting chance" came to be. The attention Ellsworth received online paved the way for his return to WWE two months later, debuting on "SmackDown" and involving himself in a storyline with AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, and John Cena. Ellsworth later turned heel and aligned himself with Carmella for a spell before being written off the show and released in November 2017. 

After reappearing for sporadic appearances in WWE in 2018, allegations surfaced that Ellsworth sent nude photos of himself to a 16-year-old girl. While he initially categorically denied the claims made against him, Rajah reported shortly after news of the allegations broke that Ellsworth offered to pay someone to go to the girl's house and destroy the phone the pictures were sent to. Later, more women came out with accusations about Ellsworth, suggesting a pattern of lewd behavior. Since the revelation, Ellsworth has not been mentioned on WWE programming and a return to the industry leader seems doubtful, though the alleged victims never pursued formal legal action against him.


For as creative as Raven has proven himself to be over his lengthy wrestling career, he is not likely to ever return to WWE in any capacity. While two full decades have passed since Raven last appeared in a WWE ring, Raven's relationship with the company dates back to 1993, when Vince McMahon brought him into the fold as Johnny Polo, a preppy Connecticut snob. Despite wrestling as Scotty Flamingo in WCW, the Johnny Polo character was created specifically to be a manager to midcard wrestlers such as Adam Bomb and the Quebecers. However, Raven, real name Scott Levy, endeared himself to Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson and took on an expanded role with the company as an Associate Producer. However, Raven did not last in the role, instead expressing a desire to return to an in-ring role elsewhere.

During an episode of "Talk is Jericho," Raven spoke about being "persona non-grata" in WWE due to a lawsuit he enacted with fellow wrestlers Chris Kanyon and Mike Sanders. The lawsuit claimed the WWE insisted on treating its wrestlers as regular employees despite labeling them internally as "independent contractors" to evade having to provide health care and other benefits regular employees are entitled to. In the Jericho interview, Raven intimated his goal was to positively change wrestling by forcing WWE to provide healthcare for its employees. However, the statute of limitations expired and the case was eventually dismissed. Raven sued the company again in 2017 for unpaid royalties stemming from WWE Network appearances. The WWE, meanwhile, sued Levy for intimating during his appearance on Chris Jericho's podcast that Vince McMahon paid off a judge to get away from his independent contractor lawsuit. While the suits have since been settled, there is no love lost between Raven and the WWE.

Colt Cabana

Getting released by the WWE was the best thing that ever happened to Colt Cabana. After reaching the WWE in 2007 and debuting as Scott Goldman, Cabana found himself on the outs with the company and received his release on February 20, 2009. From there, Cabana laid the blueprint for what independent wrestlers need to do to have a profitable freelance career. He started his podcast, "The Art of Wrestling," in which he interviewed colleagues and friends of his also involved in wrestling. The podcast grew rapidly and became a platform for Cabana and others to speak their mind openly and freely. Cabana briefly flirted with the idea of a return to WWE after his friend, CM Punk, rose to prominence in the company, but nothing ever came to fruition.

Much like Raven, Cabana soon found himself in the WWE's legal crosshairs after CM Punk made bold accusations about the company and more specifically Dr. Chris Amann over two episodes of "The Art of Wrestling." Punk alleged that Amann misdiagnosed his staph infection, an action that could have produced dire consequences. Amann and the WWE named both Punk and Cabana in a lawsuit, and together, the two Chicagoans successfully defended themselves, but at a cost. A financial dispute over legal fees put an end to Punk and Cabana's friendship, a subject that continues to be a hot wrestling topic in 2022. Now in his 40s, Cabana has no reason to seek out a WWE reunion at this point, and given the damage done both inside and outside the court room, both sides seem content to be done with one another.


Tammy Sytch, also known as Sunny during her time in the WWF may be a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, but has done just about everything in her power since her induction to fall out with the company. Her unsavory and criminal behavior outside of wrestling have even led to some calling for her removal from the Hall of Fame. Since her 2011 induction, Sytch has built one of the most infamous criminal rap sheets in wrestling. It began in 2012 when she was arrested five times in a four-week span for disorderly conduct, third-degree burglary, and three counts of violating a protective order.

Sytch violated her parole less than two years later, then would be arrested twice in early 2018 for separate DUIs in New Jersey. Her 2018 DUI also came with a charge for fleeing the scene of an accident. From there, Sytch's legal troubles persisted. She was arrested in 2020 for allegedly eluding a police officer, contempt/violation of a domestic violence restraining order, and operating a motor vehicle during a second license suspension, then again in 2022 for unlawfully possessing a weapon and making terroristic threats to a "romantic partner," allegedly threatening to murder them with a pair of scissors. Sytch's most recent and most significant arrest in March 2022 stemmed from her involvement in a fatal car wreck that killed a 75-year-old man in Volusia County, Florida. Toxicology reports found that her blood alcohol content was about 3.5 times the legal limit and could face up to 26 years in prison if convicted of the maximum charges. As a danger to herself and those around her, it is highly unlikely the "First Diva in WWE History" will ever be seen on company programming again.