While WWE is probably not the worst company in the world to work for, at certain times, for a variety of reasons, wrestlers have decided that they just can’t stand being a part of it anymore. And when wrestlers leave WWE on bad terms, they tend to say and do things that you should really only do if you never plan to work for someone ever again. Unfortunately, as WWE is the biggest wrestling company on the planet, very often wrestlers who have sworn never to work there again often find themselves returning. It’s hard to blame them, after all, if you want to be involved in wrestling and, more importantly, get a guaranteed paycheck, WWE is where you’re most likely going to have to go. This became especially true once WWE Network launched, making WWE the curator of most the record history of pro wrestling, and through that, the ability to determine the legacies of every wrestler to ever work for them. As a result, there is a fairly long list of wrestlers who have parted ways with WWE, seemingly for good, that somehow eventually ended up finding their way back.
10. Steve Austin
In mid-2002, just after WrestleMania X-8, Steve Austin, the biggest star the industry had ever seen, suddenly walked out of WWE. It was initially seen as a negotiating ploy by Austin, who was reportedly unhappy with being stuck in a mid-card match against Scott Hall at WrestleMania while The Rock got the big main event match against Hulk Hogan, and wanted out of the floudering nWo storyline by any means necessary. Austin actually returned a week later, and looked like he was headed for a feud with Eddie Guerrero, a great wrestler who Austin allegedly wanted to work with. Then, he left again, after vehemently disagreeing with plans to have him lose to Brock Lesnar in an unadvertised King of the Ring qualifying match on Raw (in Austin’s defense, he had no issues losing to Brock, but felt their first match should have been a big deal, and on PPV, and he was almost certainly correct). WWE went out on Raw and absolutely buried Austin, claiming that he “took his ball and went home”, and spent several months basically erasing him from existence, ascribing the successes of the Attitude Era to “loyal” employees like D-Generation X and The Rock. Admittedly, more than a few WWE employees felt that Austin was just taking a much-needed break and would return when things cooled down, which is exactly what happened, just before WrestleMania XIX.