In sports, an injury can end everything in the blink of an eye. So can somebody better than you taking your spot, leaving you out in the cold. In entertainment, if you’re not drawing audiences and making money, you’re not going to be employed very long. It’s no wonder why there seems to be such a revolving door when it comes to talent who work for the WWE.
Sometimes, it’s painful to see people make their return to wrestling. Those last few times Kevin Nash made appearances in WWE rings it looked more like a giant with arthritis trying to move around. Sometimes, it’s great to see people return. Mickie James took on Asuka at a recent NXT pay-per-view and it seemed like she was better than ever before. Better than the woman who was once mocked as “Piggy James”.
In the movie Beyond the Mat, Jim Ross said he didn’t care what happened inside the ring. The wins, the losses…none of it matters. What mattered was that there was a butt every 18 inches in the seats watching the show. When those butts stop filling the seats or those eyeballs stop tuning in to the show every week, tweaks need to be made. They also need to be made when an injury happens. A storyline that is supposed to last six months may need to be rewritten with only a couple of hours notice. It’s just the nature of the sports entertainment beast.
There are people we miss who once entertained us greatly in WWE rings but who no longer currently work for the company. We hope they’ll be back. Then there are other who we think back upon and thank the universe for taking them off of our TV sets. We never want to see those people back in wrestling. In that spirit, here are 8 wrestlers we hope to see return to the WWE in 2017 and 7 we never want to see again.
15. Please Come Back – CM Punk
OK, now that we get his point that he was serious and it turns out he sucks at MMA, it’s time for everybody to shake hands and welcome CM Punk back to the world of play-fighting, where he belongs. Hopefully he at least makes nice with the WWE or we’re likely never going to see him on a Hall of Fame ceremony stage, which would be a travesty. Yes, we understand the WWE did some uncool stuff to him and treated him poorly (in his opinion) but for that to be a surprise to anybody, especially one who worked for the company as long as Punk did, somebody wasn’t paying attention along the way. We know Punk is hard-headed and stubborn, and we can assure it him it won’t look like swallowing your pride if you return. Just consider your break to be similar to the one Shawn Michaels or Chris Jericho took. You’ve got 5-10 great years left. Put on your big boy pants and come back.
14. Please Stay Away – Hulk Hogan
WWE likes to pretend Chris Benoit never existed. We get it. They also like to pretend Jimmy Snuka doesn’t exist as long as it’s hanging out there that he may or may not have had something to do with his girlfriend’s death 35 years ago. If a guy is going to have sex with his best friend’s wife, be seen in photos rubbing tanning lotion on his daughter’s butt and can spit out racist rants about whom said daughter is dating, we think the WWE should give the permanent shun treatment to this relic. Yes, he’s the Babe Ruth of wrestling, but from all accounts Babe Ruth wasn’t exactly a saint. Hulk Hogan has his time and place. He looks like an elderly hound dog with sad eyes these days and it’s best for everybody involved if he is kept out of a WWE ring.
13. Please Come Back – Cody Rhodes
You didn’t want to be Stardust. OK. You got that out of your system. You’re the champion of a dozen indies, wrestling in front of dozens of dozens of people every weekend in towns most of us have never heard of with your hot wife, the former WWE ring announcer Eden Stiles, in tow. Here’s the thing you’ve got to remember. You never got over as Cody Rhodes. You were vanilla and the lisping promos did nothing to help. You had your chance as Cody. When the WWE said they wanted you to stick with Stardust, you should have just looked at your brother’s Hall of Fame career, shut your mouth and cashed the checks. Odds are, if you return to the WWE, they’ll give you a big push, either as Cody or Stardust. Then you’ll fade back to the mid-card, where you actually do belong. Sorry, not everybody is Dusty Rhodes. Some people are just his sons.
Read the rest of the list here.