Every WWE Superstar deserves their spot on the roster. It is unfortunate when we hear that they have been released from their contracts.
For the audience, it means not seeing their favorite performers on TV anymore. But for the superstars themselves, it is much worse. Being released means losing a steady and lucrative job, which often leaves the performer in question quite uncertain about their future. More often than not, they do bounce back and ply their craft in other promotions.
In the "never-say-never" world of WWE, a released Superstar quite often returns to the company at some point down the line. While this is usually after an extended period of time, there have been a number of released Superstars who have been rehired in quick fashion.
Let's take a look at 5 such examples and explore the reasons why they were brought back so quickly.
#5. Daniel Bryan: Rehired by WWE two months after being released
Daniel Bryan's fairytale run with the company almost never came to pass in WWE. He first joined the company as part of the original NXT. Bryan was set to make a memorable debut alongside The Nexus on the June 7, 2010 episode of Raw.
As per the storyline, The Nexus was meant to be portrayed as outsiders who laid waste to the arena and every person at ringside. This included wrestlers, announcers, cameramen and other officials. Keeping with the script, Bryan targeted ring announcer Justin Roberts, whom he began choking with his own tie.
While the angle was met with wide praise from fans, Bryan's actions did not sit well with the company's sponsors. They felt as if he had gone too far for a PG show and the unfortunate decision was made to release The American Dragon. Explaining his absence, The Nexus claimed that Bryan felt remorse for his actions.
However, plans had already been put into motion to bring Bryan back once the heat had died down. At Summerslam 2010, Bryan was unveiled as the last member of Team WWE to help bring down his former allies. The current AEW star has harbored no ill-will for his release, saying that the company apologized to him and were reluctant to let him go in the first place.
#4. Drake Maverick: Rehired by WWE two months after being released (and again three months after being released a second time)
One of the many WWE Superstars released in 2020's infamous Black Wednesday, Drake Maverick was among those whose future remained uncertain after losing his job in the midst of the pandemic. Fortunately, he was able to reclaim his spot on the roster thanks to his pure passion and the support of the fans.
Making his WWE debut in 2018, the former Rockstar Spud worked a number of storylines that allowed him to feature heavily on TV. Initially starting off as the general manager of 205 Live, he soon transitioned into the manager of AOP and later as a staple of the increasingly popular 24/7 Championship scene.
Having been announced as part of a tournament to crown a new Cruiserweight Champion, it seemed that Maverick was transitioning to a more active in-ring career. However, this all came crashing down when he was released in April 2020. Despite his release, Maverick would still compete in the Cruiserweight tournament.
Posting a heartfelt video on social media, Maverick promised to give his all in his last few matches and won the support of the fans as he made it to the finals. Despite failing to win the championship, the company could not ignore his passion and offered him a new contract on the show itself.
Unfortunately, Maverick was released once again in November 2021. Interestingly, he was promptly rehired once more just three months later and is now part of WWE's creative team. This makes him the only person on this list who was quickly rehired after being released twice.
#3. Emma: Rehired by WWE one hour after being released
Emma, or as she is known today as Tenille Dashwood in Impact, was one of WWE's hottest female prospects. One of the earliest female NXT call-ups and the first Australian woman to compete on the roster, Emma was poised for a bright future.
However, this almost came to a screeching hault on July 2 2014. Dashwood was arrested for allegedly shoplifting at a Walmart. WWE went into complete damage control mode and released the Australian superstar.
Soon enough, the true facts of the incident began to come to light. It turns out that Dashwood did not intentionally steal an iPad cover but had mistakenly forgotten to properly scan it on a self-checkout machine. When the news became public, fans were quick to voice their displeasure at the company for jumping the gun before the full facts were known.
Thus, just a mere hour after being fired, the company released a statement confirming that they had indeed reinstated Emma. She remained with the company for another three years before carrying on to other promotions.
#2. Samoa Joe: Rehired by WWE two months after being released
One of Triple H's biggest signings, Samoa Joe proved himself to be capable of any role WWE had given him. Joe began in NXT and became the first ever two-time NXT champion. He then moved to the main roster and was featured in top programs with the likes of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar.
Unfortunately, upon his call-up to the main roster, Joe's success was hampered by injuries. However, he soon found a new calling as a color commentator for Monday Night Raw. Although he proved himself to be a capable commentator, Samoa Joe was released in April 2021.
Triple H was reportedly unhappy with the news and quickly acted to bring the veteran superstar back into the fold. The Cerebral Assassin was able to secure Joe a role in NXT. Initially brought back as William Regal's enforcer, Joe would soon capture the NXT Title for a third time.
A Covid diagnosis would force him to relinquish the title and during his absence, NXT would transition into NXT 2.0. With no place on the card, Joe remained as a trainer for WWE until his release in 2022. Although now a member of AEW, the door will always remain open for a return to WWE, especially with Triple H in charge of creative.
#1. Karrion Kross and Scarlett: Returned to WWE nine months after being released
A double header here, we'll close off the list with the most recent example to date. Karrion Kross and Scarlett were once viewed as one of WWE's biggest wasted opportunities. Having dominated NXT, the former NXT Champion's first run on the main roster was disappointing to say the least.
When Karrion Kross made his main roster debut, he fell victim to poor booking. His wife and manager Scarlett, whom he worked excellently with, was inexplicably left out as well. Eventually, the two became lost in the shuffle and were released in November 2021.
Despite how his main roster run turned out, Kross spoke fondly of his time in NXT and praised Triple H's leadership. He seemed open to working with the company again if The Game held greater influence. Having primarily been a free agent since his release, fans eagerly awaited news of a possible return following Triple H's promotion to head of creative.
The audience did not have to wait long as both Kross and Scarlett made their returns on the 5 August 2022 episode of Smackdown. Attacking Drew McIntyre and confronting The Bloodline, it seems like Karrion Kross' second run is going to be far more eventful than his first one.
Poll : Will we see more recently released Superstars make their WWE returns soon?