A release from WWE can go either one of two ways for the talent who was let go. Some absolutely thrive under a new environment, while others sink to the bottom and fade to irrelevancy. Either way, WWE doesn’t want us to know, as it really doesn’t serve them in any way. In this article, we’ll feature both sides of the coin. We’ll look at pics featuring recently released wrestlers thriving elsewhere, whether it be with AEW, Impact Wrestling or heck, the Hollywood scene. On the flip side, we’ll also feature wrestlers that are struggling, working for lower scale independents.
In addition, we’ll delve into two photos WWE wants us to see. Perhaps the company might be interested in bringing these folks back given their work and comments since parting ways.
Enjoy, folks. Let’s begin!
17 Ryback’s Downfall
Ryback promised big things following his WWE release. In truth, the company would have been more than satisfied if this was the case. With a renewed confidence and better overall draw value, perhaps WWE would’ve brought Ryback into the mix once again.
A run with the Rock & Roll Wrestling’s World Championship really doesn’t measure up. It hasn’t been the best run for Ryback since leaving WWE, particularly in the ring.
16 Dasha With The Enemy
One of the more surprising releases saw Dasha Fuentes leave the WWE. What the company doesn’t want us to know is the fact that she’s still in the business and even showed up at an AEW event.
The photo above shows Fuentes with two of the biggest stars outside of WWE, Fenix and Pentagon Jr. The photo took place at a House of Glory event.
15 Retired Rose
The reality is some former WWE stars are forced to call it a career when their time with the company comes to an end.
Following his release, Adam Rose kept the dream alive on the indie scene with lower-tier bookings. It appears as though he’s now done with the industry, calling it a career most recently. He recently posted the pic above, bragging about the length of his beard.
14 WWE Wants Us To See – Eva’s Fame Continues
When it comes to fame, WWE always wants to be involved. Eva continues in that trajectory with various endorsement deals along with big gigs on reality shows such as Big Brother. Given these developments, the door is likely always open for a return.
Marie also recently landed a sponsorship deal alongside Reign Body Fuel – the same company that also sponsors the world’s current strongest man.
13 Del Rio Stepping In The Octagon
Perhaps if it was the UFC, WWE might promote the fight and maybe even bring Del Rio back afterwards.
However, the fight is for a lower-tier MMA company and it features Del Rio up against Tito Ortiz, a fighter whose better days seem to be in the rearview. Surely, WWE would rather keep this match on the DL.
12 Shawn Spears Rebirth
In just a mere couple of appearances, AEW is doing more with Dillinger than his main roster run with WWE altogether. For one, he’s renamed to Shawn Spears. Secondly, he has the backing of a legend in Tully Blanchard. Don’t tell McMahon, the guy despises managers.
In addition, Spears seems to be a little more not so PG in terms of his character work and look; the days of flashing the ten seem to be done and dusted.
11 TJ Meets His Old Friends
Perkins leaving WWE sounded laughable exactly three years ago. He was on top of the world winning the Cruiserweight Classic, a tournament that was a huge hit.
Once McMahon took hold, things went south for TJP and he’s now out of the company currently working with Impact. He met up with some old pals at the airport most recently, running into Sasha Banks and Kalisto.
10 Premature Gore
Fans have to respect Rhyno; he left more money on the table with WWE. Instead, he opted for a more prominent role alongside Impact Wrestling.
Vince might be infuriated by the picture above. In truth, Rhyno wasted no time appearing for the rival company, some even thought that he breached WWE’s contract policy.
9 The New Simon Gotch
He isn’t the tag team wrestler we remember from NXT or the main roster these days. He goes by the name of Simon Grimm, sporting a character that wouldn’t make it on WWE television.
Grimm turned to a hardcore style, different from his WWE days. To his credit, he’s keeping active on the indie scene with the likes of MLW.
8 Acting Grind
For whatever reason, WWE chooses to keep hush on certain stars and their acting careers. This was the case with Batista and the same goes for Wade Barrett.
Despite any mention from WWE, Wade is having quite the post-WWE life appearing on several TV shows and films, including some that are even featured on Netflix. In the pic above, he’s on-set for the filming of Vengeance 2.
7 Arn At Starcast
Arn’s WWE release was a big-time surprise. He was among the most respected faces behind the scenes. Arn was blamed for putting Alicia Fox in the ring despite her condition on the day. He was released following the incident.
He hasn’t wasted any time, appearing at the Starcast event. It is also believed that AEW has a lot of interest in bringing Arn in behind the scenes.
6 Swann’s Success
Following a dispute with his partner, Swann got his release papers from WWE. The company has made it clear, they do not tolerate problems outside of the ring.
What they don’t want us to know is the fact that Swann is enjoying more success with Impact Wrestling. Not only did he capture the prestigious X-Division Championship but he hung on to the strap for 194 days.
5 Sandow’s Brief Return
WWE fans weren’t happy with his release, however the company made the right decision especially when assessing his Impact run. His new gimmick completely sunk his career and he would leave the industry altogether.
He did make his long-awaited return most recently during an indie event but we really haven't heard much since. Perhaps he’s back in the world of show business, recently posting this on-set photo.
4 The New James Ellsworth
It hasn’t been the greatest last couple of months for James Ellsworth, especially since he got his WWE release papers. McMahon didn’t see James as a full-time act with the company, and that would cause his release.
Things spiraled for James as an indie wrestler posted a screenshot of their conversation via Twitter. The pic above shows James alongside his partner as he attempts to start from scratch.
3 WWE Wants Us To See – Big Cass & Enzo Admitting To Their Faults
This is what WWE likes to see, wrestlers cleaning up their acts and admitting to their wrongdoings. That’s exactly what Cass and Enzo did during an interview on Fox. Cass, in particular, admitted to being in a dark place during his final WWE days. He also agreed with WWE’s decision to let him go.
He’s in a better place today not only working on himself but also working alongside DDP and his yoga practice. Both are slated for a return to the ring.
2 Rebirth In Japan
Finally, Kenta or the man formerly known as Hideo Itami was set free by WWE. He was slated for big things early on, though injuries derailed those plans.
He’s starting from scratch, this time with momentum on his side. Itami already picked up a major win against Ibushi and he continues to solidify his name in storylines with New Japan.
1 The Game & The Rival
Jericho nearly broke the internet with this post. Y2J posted a picture alongside Triple H. Both took part in surprise festivities for Ric Flair’s birthday.
It wasn’t the first time Jericho took a pic with a former WWE employee, he did the same with Xavier Woods most recently on a flight. Let’s hope Vince didn’t see the images.
Sources – IG, Twitter & Wrestling Inc