Whilst there are several WWE Superstars on the company's current roster who have been contracted for more than a decade, not every wrestler is that lucky. The developmental process is one of the hardest parts of many Superstars' careers and even if they are able to make it to the main roster, the company can decide to cut them at any moment.
The wrestling business is one where Superstars are constantly forced to fight for their place and sometimes WWE doesn't even give their talent a chance to perform before they are released from their contracts.
Whilst this choice is often taken away from Superstars by WWE management, there are several cases when a wrestler has decided that this isn't the career path for them and has requested their release themselves. This has been seen several times on the main roster in recent years, but this is also something that regularly happens in developmental as well.
The following list of Superstars were once signed to WWE and even had their ring names prepared for their debuts, but were then released from the company before they were ever able to wrestle a live match under the WWE banner.
#5. Former WWE Superstar Sarah Backman
Sarah Backman was signed to WWE back in March 2013 and was known to have a background in arm wrestling. The eight-time World Arm Wrestling Champion was signed to a developmental contract with NXT, but never made an appearance for the brand.
The following year it was revealed that Backman had been given the ring name Shara and it appeared that there were plans for her future with the company before she requested her release just two months later.
Backman did however meet her future husband whilst working in WWE, current Superstar Bo Dallas. The couple met whilst part of developmental together and went on to marry just two months after Backman's WWE release. Sadly, it was revealed late last year that the couple's marriage had taken a huge hit and they had opted to file for divorce in late 2019.
The former arm-wrestling champion has since walked away from the wrestling business altogether and is now working as a real- estate broker.
#4. Former WWE Superstar Aleksandar Jaksic
Aleksandar Jaksic was initially trained by former WWE Superstar Santino Marella at his Battle Arts Academy in Canada. After making his wrestling debut in 2017, he was later signed by WWE in November 2018, whilst playing semi-professional basketball in Germany, which allowed him to attend a German tryout.
After less than a year in developmental, the German star began making appearances at NXT live shows against the likes of Damien Priest, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch.
After just a handful of matches at live shows, Jaksic became one of several NXT talents who were released from the company back in April as part of the COVID-19 budget cuts.
Just four months after his WWE release, Jaksic returned to his home country and began wrestling for cOw under the ring name Zora Vesta. At their Back to Business event earlier this year, Vesta was able to defeat Drake Destroyer to become the new cOw Heavyweight Champion. Of course, much of their shows in recent months have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
#3. Former WWE Superstar Shadia Bseiso
Shadia Bseiso made history when she signed with WWE back in October 2017, becoming the first-ever female Arab wrestler. Bseiso already had an interesting background as a Jordanian TV presenter and Jiu-jitsu athlete.
The star was invited to tryouts in Dubai in 2017 alongside 40 other men and women, where she was later signed by WWE. Bseiso was expected to make her debut in January 2018, but this didn't happen, instead, the Jordanian star was used as a backstage interviewer as part of the second Mae Young Classic and as a manager but never officially wrestled for WWE on their NXT brand.
Bseiso was surprisingly released by WWE in April 2019 after just over a year with the company, but she wasn't alone the company also released her husband Nasser ‘Jimmy’ Alruwayeh was released from the company at the same time. Much like Bseiso, Alruwayeh made history when he signed a developmental contract with WWE as the first Kuwaiti man to be contracted to the company.
#2. Former WWE Superstar Alyssa Marino
WWE only announced the signing of Alyssa Marino back in January 2020, since the former wrestler was seemingly signed by the company as a commentator, interviewer, and announcer. The star was signed under the ring name Kat Marino and made her debut at the NXT house show in Florida in early January.
Interestingly, Marino had only been working for a few months in WWE when the company was forced to announce wholesale changes to their roster back in April. The COVID-19 pandemic forced WWE to make budget cuts and whilst many of the high profile names came from the main roster, there were cuts to NXT as well.
Marino was one of the stars who was released from WWE in April, just three months after the company had initially signed the star and looked to train her up to become a member of their broadcast team.
Before deciding to pursue a career in the wrestling business, Marino studied for four years to become an opera singer which means that she has several different options outside of the business following her release.
#1. Former WWE Superstar Hade Vansen
British star Hade Vansen may be memorable to several eagle-eyed WWE fans since a promo for his new character aired on an episode of SmackDown back in 2008 before he was unceremoniously released from the company just weeks later.
Vansen originally signed a developmental contract with WWE in May 2007 and went on to train in FCW. Whilst a knee injury kept him sidelined until the beginning of 2008, Vansen was the star that was chosen to be called up to the SmackDown brand at the end of the year.
The plan was for Vansen to have a similar character to Christopher Daniels 'Fallen Angel' and to step into a feud with The Undertaker, but after a promo aired on SmackDown in 2008, WWE decided to scrap the callup.
The promo was part of the December 12 edition of the show and Vansen was then released from the company in January. No explanation was given for the British star's release, but reports online suggest that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon wasn't impressed by his promo.