"I'm not f***ing coming back" - 5 former superstars who have emphatically ruled out a return to WWE
Over the past few years, WWE has let go of several superstars for different reasons, including budget cuts. A few other wrestlers have willingly departed the company to join other promotions or pursue different careers.
Some of these former WWE Superstars remain open to returning to the company. For example, Hit Row's Top Dolla has previously stated that he would not close the door on a possible return to WWE. Killer Kross (fka Karrion Kross) also refused to rule out the possibility of a return.
Meanwhile, a few other former WWE Superstars have ruled out ever returning to WWE. While some of these wrestlers left the company on bad terms, others are just currently happy pursuing different careers.
Here are five former superstars who have emphatically ruled out a return to WWE.
#5. Former RAW Tag Team Champion Karl Anderson
After spending about 16 years competing on the independent circuit, Karl Anderson signed with WWE in 2016 alongside his long-time tag team partner, Doc Gallows (fka Luke Gallows).
The two spent nearly four years in the company, during which they won the RAW Tag Team Titles twice. However, WWE released them from their contract in April 2020 due to budget cuts.
A few months after their release, rumors suggested that the former RAW Tag Team Champions were on their way back to the company. However, Anderson emphatically denied these rumors in a tweet:
"Absolutely F***ing Not. Quote that. Dumb a**."
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Anderson addressed his departure from WWE, stating that it was the best thing that had ever happened to him:
"I was taking my frustrations from the road back home. My wife didn't understand what I was going through; my kids couldn't understand why I was in a bad mood. All I wanted to do was get out of that bad mood. I was only home for two or three days, and then I had to go back to this f***ing place I didn't want to go back to. A couple weeks very quickly turns into six months. I love my family so much, but that affected my life at home. Getting released by WWE was the best thing that ever happened to me."(H/T: The Sportster)
Anderson and Gallows are currently active in IMPACT Wrestling as The Good Brothers. They now hold the Impact World Tag Team Championships.
#4. Former RAW Women's Champion Nia Jax
In 2014, Nia Jax joined Vince McMahon's company. She then made her NXT in-ring debut about a year later. After spending about two years in the Black and Gold Brand, the 38-year-old joined the main roster in 2016.
Jax spent nearly five years on the main roster, during which she became one of the top female competitors, winning the RAW Women's Championship once and the Women's Tag Team Titles twice. Nevertheless, the company released her from her contract in November 2021.
Jax has since openly criticized WWE's management on several occasions. In an interview with Oral Sessions, she surprisingly revealed that she received an official offer to return to WWE to participate in the 2022 Women's Royal Rumble match, which she refused:
"I was in the middle of trying to get my stuff back. They sent me a box with half my stuff missing, so I called and asked what the hell was going on. So when I got the call, I thought it was about my stuff. They then asked if she wanted to be in the Rumble. I started hysterically laughing. I thought it was my friend joking with me. And he was like, 'no this is an official call'. And I was, like, 'f*** no! I'm not coming back! First of all, I'm still under my 90 days so you're still going to be paying me, so you're not actually offering me anything. I was like, 'no I'm not f***ing coming back. Absolutely f***ing not." (H/T: Wrestle Talk)
Jax recently stated that she would never wrestle again. However, she explained that she could make sporadic wrestling appearances to put another talent over or do a fun storyline:
"I always said I would never wrestle again. I don't know if I'd ever, I don't think I'd go back to full-time wrestling because it was, it's crazy because now they have it different, but it just took a lot. It took a toll on me, but I wouldn't mind going back and doing like a fun little story and, you know, putting somebody over whatever it like, something like that," she told Wives of Wrestling.
In the same interview with Wives of Wrestling, the former RAW Women's Champion disclosed that she now prefers to get married and have kids.
#3. Former NXT Tag Team Champion Viktor
Eleven years ago, Viktor signed with Vince McMahon's company. He later formed a tag team, The Ascension, with Konner. During their time in NXT, the two wrestlers won the NXT Tag Team Titles.
In 2015, The Ascension debuted on the main roster. They competed on SmackDown and RAW for about four years before the company released them from their contracts in December 2019.
Although Konner did not close the door on a possible return to WWE, Viktor revealed to SLAM! Wrestling that he would never work again for Vince McMahon's company:
"No, never. It's hard to say never, and I won't go into why because it only partially has to do with us and our past experience, but my definitive no is a more personal reason. It's not that I wouldn't be happy to ever get to call and say, 'Hey, guys, want to come back?' But I'm pretty sure that answer will always be no. A line was crossed and it wasn't crossed to either of us, it was due to a different situation and it caused me to lose complete and utter respect or to ever have any desire to work there again."
Viktor and Konner are currently active on the independent circuit. However, they have not competed since February when they lost to The Rock 'n' Roll Express at an Outlaw Wrestling event.
#2. Former WWE Women's Champion Gail Kim
Gail Kim had two runs in WWE. She first joined the company in 2002 and spent two years there - during which she won the Women's Championship once - before leaving in 2004. Four years later, the Canadian returned to Vince McMahon's company. She spent about three more years before quitting in 2011.
Since leaving WWE, Kim has had a long and successful run in IMPACT Wrestling as an in-ring competitor. Although she is now retired, the 45-year-old continues to work for the promotion as a producer.
In an interview with Busted Open Radio, Kim addressed the possibility of ever returning to WWE in a coaching position, stating that she believes her personality would not fit within the corporation:
"Someone recently put me in a position of like, 'Would you go work for them again?' As a trainer or whatever, and I'm like to be honest, I'd probably get into a physical fight. That's what I always say, only because I've experienced that company twice now and I hope it's changed and I've heard from some people here and there that it has changed, but ultimately, my personality does not fit within that corporation. It's too controlled for me." (H/T: Wrestling Headlines)
Kim has previously criticized new WWE Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon, claiming that The Billion Dollar Princess did not fight for the women's division during her time in the company.
#1. Former WWE Champion Batista
Over the past few years, The Animal has been pursuing an acting career in Hollywood. As he became successful in his career, the former WWE Champion made it clear that he would never return to the squared circle:
"It's hard to convince people that I'm actually retired. You have no idea how tough that discussion is. When professional wrestlers retire, they don't really retire. They kind of retire. But, you know, when the pay cheque's big enough or the event's big enough, they come out of retirement. It's just not that way with me. I exited the business in such a storybook way, I'd never go back. I would never take away from that. I am just done, man. I really got to finish on my own terms and nothing is going to take away from that," he said during his appearance at Zack Snyder’s Justice Con in 2021. (H/T: Metro)
Batista's latest movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, recently premiered in the United States and several other countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia. The 53-year-old plays the role of Drax the Destroyer.