TAWF Clean 12: Wrestling Walkouts
When a wrestler is unhappy with the way things are going with their current promotion, they normally ask for a release. Neville and Cody Rhodes are notable examples of this. However, some wrestlers decide to “take their ball and go home,” by simply walking out of an arena and never coming back.
Rick Rude (1987)
The Ravishing One and “Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez were the NWA Tag Team Champions. Rude left NWA for the World Wrestling Federation, while he was still one half of the champions. NWA used a pre-taped non-title match with the Rock and Roll Express as the title change.
Eric Bischoff held a meeting and basically said that the younger roster members weren’t draws and were ungrateful. He said that anyone who didn’t like the situation could get up and walk out the door. Raven got up and walked right out the door. Bischoff thought Raven was messing with him, but it turns out he didn’t want to come back. Raven was subsequently released and turned up in ECW in a legendary return.
Hulk Hogan (2000)
The world title match at Bash at the Beach 2000 was supposed to be a worked shoot. Jeff Jarrett lie down for Hogan, prompting him to walk out on the match. Vince Russo would grab the mic and run down Hogan in a worked shoot promo. However, Hogan thought Russo went too far in his promo and ended up suing World Championship Wrestling for defamation of character. He never returned to WCW after that.
Stone Cold Steve Austin (2002)
Austin was very unhappy with the creative direction of his career. He wanted a match at Wrestlemania X8 with Hulk Hogan, but was instead paired up with Scott Hall, who was going through issues of his own. Austin was then asked to lose to Brock Lesnar in a King of the Ring match on an episode of Monday Night RAW with no build up. The Texas Rattlesnake had no problem losing to Lesnar, as he felt like Lesnar was a surging star. He simply wanted to make a big payday off of the monumental showdown. When Vince McMahon put his foot down about the decision for Austin to lose, Austin flew back home to Texas.
CM Punk (2014)
Punk left WWE shortly after Royal Rumble 2014 A factor of injuries, mental burn out, and creative differences led to his departure. Many of these factors were discussed on an infamous appearance on Colt Cabana’s podcast. Punk has since claimed that he will never work with WWE again. He picked up a new sport, much like Michael Jordan, when he signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Much like Jordan’s baseball career, it went really well.
Next Episode: TAWF Clean 13: War Games
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