Stepping out of the WWE spotlight can be a harsh reality. Sure, lots of other alternatives exist, however few can match WWE, especially in terms of the reach. Some fade to irrelevancy while others leave the business altogether. However, as we’ve seen in more than a few cases, the grass isn’t always greener, which leads to returns more times than not. Not everyone is as lucky as Batista or Wade Barrett with success in other fields or walks of life. In this article, we’ll feature five examples of wrestlers that recently decided to return.
On the flip side, we’ll also feature wrestling stars that never left, though some fans might think they did, given their lower level gigs with unknown promotions.
Enjoy the article, folks. Let's get started!
16 Returned – Cameron
This one has to be among the more surprising returns considering Cameron’s lackluster WWE run. Nonetheless, according to The Ring Report, Cameron recently teased a returned to the squared circle, perhaps wanting to redeem herself for those past failures.
Let’s not forget, this is the same talent that once pinned an opponent the opposite way with their stomach facing the mat... Maybe this time things will be different, who knows.
15 Never Left - Spirit Squad
Not only did they never leave the business but they actually recently signed a deal with a significant indie promotion, MLW.
The team wants to capitalize on the new exposure; according to SEScoops, they plan on holding an open workout for all. Who knows, if they succeed, maybe they’ll reunite with their buddy Dolph back in WWE.
14 Never Left - Cryme Tyme
We can’t help but to think of Cryme Tyme when we see the success of the Street Profits; both teams had lots of charisma, though clearly, Montez Ford has the upper hand in terms of in-ring ability and so does partner Angelo Dawkins.
Cryme Tyme continues on with lower-level bookings along with various convention appearances. Shad also has several gigs in the entertainment industry, keeping him busy.
13 Never Left - Earl Hebner
Yup, at the age of 70, Earl recently signed a new deal with AEW. Not only that, but he’s active in the industry still taking on various interviews and podcasts. He was recently featured on Go Pro Wrestling’s YouTube channel just a month ago.
Earl also answered questions on Wrestle Talk, stating that he’s open to a WWE return.
12 Never Left - Simon Gotch
The average WWE fan might assume that Gotch left the business after his WWE release. That just isn’t true. Gotch wasted no time re-identifying himself as Simon Grimm following the release.
To his credit, he’s constantly booked, whether it be on lower level indie programs or under contract with MLW. Age 36, a WWE return doesn’t seem likely at this point.
11 Returned - RD Evans
For those that aren’t aware, he’s known as RD “Quitman” Evans. This is the writer that quit WWE during the Hall Of Fame ceremony this year. Heck, he even made Quitman t-shirts to profit off of his epic departure from WWE.
He’s returning to the business and it seems as though he’s making a return as an in-ring talent, leaving his creative days behind for the time being.
10 Never Left - Gangrel
Just mere days ago, the 50-year-old was taking bumps in the ring at a live indie event. Not only that but he also remains active as a full-time trainer at his wrestling school.
The veteran is a common face at wrestling conventions as well, he continues to bank off of his ‘90s fame.
9 Never Left - Carlito Cool
Refusing to enter a rehab program, Carlito’s WWE career came to an end in 2010. Looking back, Cool might have some regrets about the decision. He hasn’t been a prevalent name since, taking on lower-end gigs.
He fought in a match for NAW Wrestling last month. The footage is available on YouTube. Clearly, age has taken over for Carlito; surprisingly he also lost the match to Jason Vara, an unknown.
8 Never Left - Chris Masters
Oh, what could have been for Chris Masters... Similar to Carlito, Chris was once considered a possible WWE Champion, especially given his look.
Failed wellness exams sunk his career. To his credit, it didn’t deter his passion one bit. He appeared at a Live Pro Wrestling event last month in the marquee matchup of the Breaking The Rules event.
7 Returned - Damien Sandow
After a disastrous run with Impact, Sandow basically disappeared from the wrestling scene – two years later, he’s finally re-emerging.
He made his return this July using a new character, Aron Stevens. Stevens picked up the win in his return wrestling for Battle Arts Academy. It remains to be seen what’s next for the veteran.
6 Never Left - Shannon Moore
The 39-year-old has been all over the map and then some. He started in the ‘90s with the likes of WCW. More made numerous pit-stops along the way with WWE, TNA and a slew of other indie promotions.
He’s keeping the dream alive today with smaller companies. Moore is also a mainstay at wrestling conventions as well. Maybe a reunion with Matt Hardy in the future, resurrecting the V1 gimmick? Sounds good to us!
5 Never Left - James Ellsworth
He didn’t look like a star but we can admit, Ellsworth was a likable guy, he even got cheers from the crowd after ruining the first-ever women’s Money in the Bank match.
The big issue is McMahon not viewing Ellsworth as a full-time act. James made a living on the indie scene prior to WWE and that’s what he continues to do away from the company nowadays.
4 Returned - David Arquette
This return has us really confused. Not only did Arquette lose in the return but he was also hospitalized after the match. According to SB Nation, it was basically an attempt to earn the respect of wrestling fans.
We can admire that mindset but perhaps he should have thought out this idea ten years prior. He’s almost 50 years old, making the return a pretty hazardous one.
3 Never Left - Darren Young
Darren Young didn’t leave. Well, his WWE name did because of trademark issues, he’s using his real name nowadays, Fred Rosser or Freddie.
At the moment, Rosser continues on with smaller indie gigs. He’s also keeping busy with a new podcast recently launched. Surely, we’ll see him back on WWE TV soon enough, at least as a special guest.
2 Never Left - Rob Van Dam
RVD’s name recently resurfaced after his return to RAW during the reunion special. Fans were delighted to see Van Dam, even rocking his signature gear.
The truth is however, he never left the industry and continued on. In addition, he’s under contract with Impact and got the company’s blessing prior to accepting the request.
1 Returned - Big Cass & Enzo Amore
We’re not entirely sure what the future holds for these two. What we do know is that they appeared at an ROH event just a couple of months back. It was the first time we saw Cass since the scary seizure incident.
It was also the first time we saw these two together outside of WWE. Here’s to hoping they extend their run together.