Pro Wrestling

10 Former WWE Superstars We’d Like To See Come Back Source:

Quite a few wrestlers have come into WWE over the years, and many of them have found their way out of the company as well. Some have been fired, some leave to pursue outside interests, and some simply leave of their own free will and return to the independent scene. However, just because they’re gone doesn’t mean they can never come back, and with WWE once again splitting the rosters into two separate Raw and Smackdown brands, there are definitely going to be spots available for some of those departed stars to make a comeback. With that in mind, we thought about the former WWE talent that might possibly be available to return to the company, and these are the ones we’d most like to see back in WWE’s good graces.

10. Batista

Given that Big Dave has had some fairly harsh words for WWE ever since his last aborted comeback, and has basically entrenched himself into a niche in Hollywood that he seems quite comfortable with, this is probably an incredible longshot. However, he is presumably still friends with Triple H, so never say never. More importantly, when he left just before hitting it big with Guardians of the Galaxy, Batista was still a good wrestler that fans actually loved to watch, and he even left them wanting more due to his split from the resurrected Evolution (and vaguely mocking “Miss America” wave goodbye). Unfortunately, he was no spring chicken when he made it to WWE, and as years go by, the chances that he’ll even want to wrestle shrink to an infinitesimally small number, but before he’s done for good, we’d really like to see at least one more match out of the Animal. If nothing else, we’d hope that WWE could at least mend enough fences that we get a Hall of Fame induction and some Raw appearances, because the idea that we’ll never see “Hollywood” Dave Batista and his unusual fashion decisions in WWE again makes us really sad. Source:

9. Chris Masters

For Chris Masters, it seems like his entire WWE career was a matter of bad timing. When he debuted, he had an impressive look and gimmick as “The Masterpiece”, but he was green as grass and couldn’t wrestle a good match to save his life. In addition, not that we’re accusing anyone of anything, but when WWE tightened up its Wellness Policy, Masters noticeably lost a lot of the muscle mass that gave him his physique, and was even mocked about that on TV. This eventually torpedoed his career and saw him released from the company. However, Masters didn’t just give up, and actually spent two years on the independent circuit learning and training, and returned for a second go-round in WWE, now a more well-rounded competitor. Unfortunately, now that he actually had the skills to back up any push he might have gotten, it seemed like there wasn’t really a spot for him in WWE, and after a couple of half-hearted attempts at comedy gimmicks, he was on his way out again. Now a veteran of the ring, but still fairly young overall, we feel like Masters might be able to find a niche as a “good hand” on either brand. Plus, he’s even got a great “feat of strength” story to drive his gimmick now, as in 2013, he reportedly pulled a tree out of the ground by its roots in order to break a window and save his mother from a fire in her home, which, you know, is kind of impressive. Source:

8. Damien Sandow

WWE’s handling of Damien Sandow both confused and enraged us at times. Clearly, at some point they thought they had something in him, as they even gave him the Money in the Bank briefcase and let him have a really good match with John Cena. Even though we weren’t too thrilled with the fact that Sandow lost, we kind of understood, but then WWE basically ignored the fact that Sandow existed, and turned him into a massive jobber who did bad imitations. Then, when that caught on, after Sandow became The Miz’s “stunt double”, Sandow earned himself a tag title reign and a featured spot on Raw. But then Miz and Mizdow broke up, and there were clearly absolutely no plans for Sandow after that point. The man even went out and did a terrible Macho Man imitation, and the fans still loved him, but an incident outside of his control saw that act removed from TV, and then…nothing. Sandow was basically off WWE TV for nearly an entire year, but even when he made an appearance on the pre-show at the 2016 Royal Rumble, the fans gave him a massive ovation, showing that they were still interested in seeing him. So WWE, in their infinite wisdom, continued to keep him off TV, and released him shortly after WrestleMania. Few wrestlers have earned a second chance more that Sandow, and hopefully he’ll get his one day. Source:

7. Cody Rhodes

The fact that Cody Rhodes left of his own volition and continues to maintain some tenuous ties to the company (he signed a Legends-style deal that will let them use his likeness for video games and such) suggests that this one might be only a matter of time, as Rhodes was clearly burned out on WWE after a decade of what must have felt like running in place for most of his tenure, and may have just wanted a break to recharge himself outside the spotlight. Honestly, if nothing else, WWE won’t let the son of Dusty Rhodes get too far away for too long, and it’s not like his older brother Dustin hasn’t left and returned at least half a dozen times in his career (frankly, if his brother and father are any indication, Cody might get even better at this the older he gets). He’s just to versatile a performer with too rich of a family legacy for WWE not to make attempts to bring him back in the future. In the meantime, we fully expect Rhodes to raise his profile on the independents, so that when he does return, it will also be on his terms, with maybe a little more control over his own career path than he’s had previously. Source:

6. Montel Vontavious Porter

Honestly, we thought that MVP was going to be a huge star in WWE, right up until the point where he left. He had a great look and character that seemed insanely marketable, and he constantly evolved and improved as a wrestler to the point that we actually anticipated his matches on any given show. However, somehow he got stuck on that weird treadmill in WWE (along with a couple other talented Superstars that we’ll get to) where it seemed like WWE was keeping him down to ensure that he “paid his dues” and “appreciated the business” by having him stuck in a limbo between midcarder and jobber after pushing him fairly hard in the first year of his debut. Apparently they justified the shoddy treatment because they’d been burned recently by a bunch of Superstars ditching the company after getting a push (Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley are the two names that always came up), but claerly, it wore on the Superstars themselves, so instead of WWE having some decent future stars, nearly an entire generation, including MVP, left to find a place where they might actually be treated like they mattered. However, with enough time having passed, and some spots clearly opening up, maybe someone like an MVP could see it as a good opportunity to get that main event spot they deserved the first time. Source:

5. AJ Lee

By all accounts, Lee is retired and living in perfect wedded bliss, and we don’t begrudge her that. However, it’s truly unfortunate that now that the WWE Women’s Division is inching towards respectability, and actually contains a bunch of wrestlers that AJ would probably fit in very well with, rather than the roster full of Total Divas that she had to deal with for most of her WWE career, that she’s now no longer particularly interested in being part of WWE. The possibilities of AJ facing off with Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley, among others, could carry the women’s share of Pay Per Views for a very long time, and would give them yet another incredibly talented wrestler for a group that definitely lacks roster depth. Of course, AJ’s contentious exit (and choice of huband) have probably doomed this possibility from the start, but she’s still relatively young, and as someone wise said at some point, never is a very long time, so we can’t count it beyond the realm of possibility just yet. Source:

4. Drew McIntyre

For someone who was brought in with as much fanfare as Drew McIntyre, who was given the appelation of “The Chosen One” and personally endorsed by Vince McMahon, WWE sure did completely forget about him for what seemed like no reason. Despite having great matches and really evolving as a performer, it seemed like Drew’s push evaporated when the allegations of domestic abuse against him by his wife surfaced, with reports that he was seen as weak for “letting his wife beat him up”, which is such a neanderthal attitude towards a serious subject that we have no trouble believing that it happened in pro wrestling. To his credit, Drew stuck it out despite no indication that his lot would ever improve, until WWE released him in a spring cleaning endeavour. Since then, the re-christened Drew Galloway has been tearing it up on the independent scene, showing a fire he rarely got a chance to display in WWE after his initial run. McIntyre deserves another shot in WWE not only because it really seems like he got unfairly screwed over in his first shot, but because by all indication, he’s actually one heck of a wrestler and performer. Source:

3. John Morrison

Now safely ensconced in Lucha Underground under the name Johnny Mundo, John Morrison absolutely should have been a World Champion in WWE at least once, if not for a combination of backstage issues and a perceived lack of promo ability that sunk him and made him decide to seek greener pastures elsewhere. We’re not going to discuss whether or not it would have been a really good idea for him to distance himself from his girlfriend Melina in WWE, because hey, the heart wants what it wants, but we take issue with the idea that his promo skills were so bad that his incredible wrestling abilities couldn’t make up for it. This is an industry that has made main event stars out of people who could barely speak English, and spent two years pushing Roman Reigns despite his continued inability to string together a coherent thought, for crying out loud. Nobody ever paid money to listen to Jeff Hardy talk, either, and he’s still one of the biggest and most marketable stars in the business, despite a history of serious drug issues and possibly being legitimately insane. If John Morrison came back tomorrow, he would probably instantly be one of the company’s biggest stars, and depending on the status of his Lucha Underground contract, we actually expect that to be the case sooner rather than later. Source:

2. CM Punk

Listen, he’s a grumpy jerk who says a lot of things that make him look like a worse person than he probably is, and his UFC tenure is pretty much a disaster, even if he ever wins a match, but damn it, we’d still go insane if he showed up on Raw or Smackdown next week. Whether you like him or not, CM Punk was still one of the best wrestlers in the world when he suddenly left WWE, and looking at some of the new talent currently on the main roster or about to debut, it seems a shame that we won’t get to see world-class competitors like AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn face off against Punk (or Daniel Bryan, but that one we have to learn to live with). It’s too bad that Punk’s problems with WWE pretty much start at the top, as he’s made no bones about being none to pleased with how his character was handled over his last couple of years in WWE, and it’s fairly uncertain that there would be any forgiveness from those in charge even if Punk were inclined to make a return. Ultimately, even if his UFC career tanks after a single fight, we might have to accept that there’s just no future in which CM Punk, at one time the Best in the World, ever wrestles again. Source:

1. Kurt Angle

Let’s be clear, out of pure concern for his health and future, we don’t really want to see Kurt Angle wrestle again. He’s had a long career full of great matches, one that was far longer than anyone would have believed, given the nature of the injuries he’s suffered and the other personal issues he’s fought through, and that’s enough. But the personality of Kurt Angle, the sheer charisma of one of wrestling’s best performers, is something that should be put to good use in WWE. In addition, the legacy of Kurt Angle in WWE is one that needs to be recognized, if only because at the very least, he should be an integral part of any Brock Lesnar career retrospective DVD (in addition to several others, obviously). Angle’s matches need to be a regular part of features on WWE Network, and we need to have nostalgia segments about things like his romance with Stephanie, or him wearing a tiny cowboy hat and singing songs with Vince McMahon and Steve Austin. We understand that there are valid concerns about Angle, but we need to hear that theme music in WWE at least one more time. Source:
Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.