WWE is famed for the iron grip with which it holds its talent. If under the employ of Vince McMahon's sports entertainment behemoth, WWE will do its best to own your very soul.
Whereas other wrestling promotions can be open to their talent working elsewhere or seeking out non-wrestling ventures, WWE doesn't play that way. Instead, the industry leader pushes and prods its stars in whichever way it best sees fit.
This isn't something particularly new, with McMahon's organisation having done this for decades by this point in time. Even when looking at heavy hitters like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, The Rock and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, any non-WWE work they did over the years was either green light by WWE, lined up by WWE, or happened at a time when those names were no longer under WWE contract.
Up in Stamford, they've put a halt to the plans of many a wrestler, be that an opportunity a talent was looking to pursue outside of the company's gates, or even plans that a grappler had for something within WWE.
With that in mind, then, here are ten such wrestlers whose tentative plans were brought to a crashing halt by WWE management.
10. Blue Meanie Wasn't Allowed His Own Video Game
If thinking of the wrestlers who could have had their own video game over the years, with no disrespect, The Blue Meanie is somebody who doesn't immediately spring to mind.
Surprisingly, Meanie could've had his own gaming release back in 2000. Well, until the then-WWF put the kibosh on such plans.
This only came to light this month, with the real-life Brian Heffron taking to Twitter to make this revelation after a Pepsiman sign was seen behind CM Punk on AEW Rampage. For those unaware, Pepsiman is the name by which Danhausen refers to Punk... and it's also the name of a hugely popular 1999 Japanese video game.
In that game, players take control of the titular character - the Japanese mascot for Pepsi - as he runs through various landscapes. With Pepsiman unable to stop running, the aim of the game is to dodge the items that lie ahead of the fella.
Very simple, very addictive, and Western audiences so very nearly got a version of this game featuring The Blue meanie.
As Meanie explained upon spotting the Rampage sign, he was approached to be the main character for an American spin on the Pepsiman game. Despite Da Blue Guy's obvious interest in the project, WWF refused to allow permission for him to pursue this gig.
Even more of a slap in the face, the bWo favourite would be released by the company barely three months later.
True Story. In 2000 I had been approached about doing a video game based on the Blue Meanie that would be an American version of a Japanese game called Pepsi Man. I was all set to do it and was told by WWF I couldn't. I was released a couple months later. https://t.co/iJvEMXjkuD— Brian Heffron aka The Blue Meanie (@BlueMeanieBWO) November 6, 2021