10 Wrestlers Who Left WWE & Became World Class

Kenny Omega, Juice Robinson, Raven, and others failed by the WWE system.

Kenny Omega transformation
WWE/IMPACT Wrestling

WWE has well over two hundred wrestlers currently under contract. Trying to find a space for each of them with just under ten hours of programming a week is always going to prove difficult.

Not everyone WWE signs is going to be a top-tier talent in the company. WWE knows this. Every time new pictures are unveiled from the latest Performance Center class, you see a group of hopefuls with gleeful smiles. Behind those smiles, though, they themselves know that they're unlikely to make it far in the 'E unless Vince McMahon happens to like them.

Let's look at this group, for example. Alexander Jaksic and Marcos Gomes were released on Black Wednesday in 2020, while EJ Nduka and Santana Garrett both suffered the same fate recently. Catalina Garcia appeared for a blip alongside Sin Cara vs. Andrade and Zelina Vega (all of whom are no longer in WWE) before being shipped back to obscurity. Briana Brandy only just made it to NXT television as B-Fab in Isaiah 'Swerve' Scott's new Hit Row group.

Tehuti Miles and Reita Reis are now wrestling on NXT and 205 Live as Ashante 'Thee' Adonis and Valentina Feroz, respectively. Only Austin Theory is doing something of note, aligned with Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, and Indi Hartwell in The Way.

These former WWE stars know that feeling all too well...

10. René Duprée

Kenny Omega transformation
Pro Wrestling NOAH

René Duprée was never going to be anything big in WWE.

He was prevented from ever doing so when he was presented with the patriotism gimmick. He's a French-Canadian. Pair him with other French-Canadians, make them decree France as the greatest nation, and make them do that funny dance, goddammit! In all fairness, Duprée - alongside Robért Conway and Sylvain Grenier - won the World Tag Team Championships within La Résistance's first few weeks on television, with Duprée being a teenager at the time.

It wasn't all bad. Just most of it was, hence why they were the Wrestling Observer's worst tag team of 2003. In Japan, however, 'The French Phenom' had a far better experience.

Granted, Duprée never quite made it to New Japan, but regardless, he became a somewhat major player in the promotions he did wrestle for, although nowhere near the level of your Stan Hansens and Kenny Omegas in the country. Runs in WRESTLE-1, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and, most recently, Pro Wrestling NOAH, where he's a former GHC Tag Team Champion with El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr., have allowed René to redeem himself.

Unless you're a diehard Japanese wrestling fan, chances are Duprée fell off the map for you. He's worth looking up, though. Surprisingly, he's a corker of a wrestler, something his WWE never run never allowed you to realise.

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WhatCulture's resident Impact Wrestling guy. All dog pictures should be directed to @AdamMorrison40 on Twitter.