Anyone who aspires to become a professional wrestler, the dream is usually to wrestle in WWE. While it might be different if they grew up in Japan, the fact is that WWE has taken over the pro wrestling/sports entertainment industry and monopolized it for decades.
For most pro wrestlers, there simply wasn't any other viable option, financially, apart from WWE. Even so, the reality is that the lights are brightest for Superstars on RAW and SmackDown. Every aspiring pro wrestler dreams of performing on the biggest stage of them all - WrestleMania.
However, the reality later sets in for many Superstars after being signed to WWE, that they may not be in the position that they want to be in. Everyone has a role in WWE, and for many, it results in a disappointing run.
Luckily, WWE isn't the only option for wrestlers, and in the last few years, an increasing amount of options have emerged for employment - where wrestlers can not only get a steady and satisfactory paycheque, but also get creative satisfaction that they want as well.
Looking at many Superstars who jumped ship from WWE, it's clear that it's not always about the big-money contracts offered to them. Wrestlers want to apply their craft and do what they do best - entertain. As a result, these five recently-released Superstars are unlikely to ever return to WWE.
The nature of Lio Rush's WWE release was a bit sad and unfortunate. Speaking to Forbes, Lio Rush revealed that he found out about his WWE release only after seeing it on the website:
“I saw that there were a lot of news sites posting about it. It made mainstream news, so I was like ‘oh man, this might be a real thing.’ So I called the Head of Talent Relations and I just asked—like, straight up—’Am I one of these people who is going to be released today? Because I’m seeing it all over the internet and I don’t want to find out over the internet or through one of my fans.’”
Speaking to Sportskeeda's Gary Cassidy, Lio Rush then admitted that his Tweet where he said he may never wrestle again was a clear indicator that he may move out of wrestling completely:
"There's also another layer of that tweet where it is a pretty real situation because, before the release, I always told myself and I would talk to my family members and friends, inside and outside of the business and say, 'I have a gut feeling that I'm not going to be in the world of wrestling anymore.' Obviously the memories and the mark that I left on wrestling will stay there but me physically being a part of the wrestling business might disappear sooner than later."
It's unlikely that we'll ever see him in WWE again.