Since leaving WWE, Jon Moxley has shone a light on the difficulties and frustrations of working within Vince McMahon’s failing system. He has been unequivocal in his criticism.
There have been no punches pulled or fences creaking under the weight of Moxley’s muscled frame. He has nonetheless been careful to thank WWE for all they have done for him. He has good reason to be grateful.
Moxley joined WWE a decorated indie talent. He left the company a former WWE champion and beloved Shield member. The former Dean Ambrose is a talented guy and would no doubt have forged a decent career regardless, but these big league credentials certainly haven’t hurt.
Plus the narrative of Moxley, the man who escaped from the belly of the creatively-moribund beast, was part of the perfect storm that made him the single hottest thing in wrestling.
However, not everyone is so lucky. WWE has left a string of talented performers with tainted auras and tattered reputations over the years.
One caveat: your writer has no access or frankly interest in the following men’s financial remuneration. It may well be that WWE provided them with the means to live lives of luxury. Fair exchange for being made to look a bit crap at wrestling? Who can say?
As Seth Rollins was recently reminded on Twitter, it isn’t always about the bank balance....
EC3 seems like the very acme of a Vince McMahon guy. Good looking, muscled and a strong enough talker to handle the sports-entertainment rigours of WWE TV. Like God however, the movements of McMahon are mysterious. EC3 has been denied his favour and is now a man best known for looking grumpy while toting a red solo cup. Apparently this is punishment booking because, as a babyface, he wasn’t cheered over soon-to-depart fan favourite Dean Ambrose on house shows.
The worst of it is that EC3’s current run is not his first go on the WWE merry-go-round. He appeared on the fourth and fifth season of NXT in its original game show format as Derrick Bateman. He stayed with the brand as it transitioned into both a developmental territory and WWE’s most acclaimed show.
After an underwhelming run he was released from the company in 2013. This release was arguably the making of him. He managed to go to TNA and make himself a star under his new gimmick as the “Top one percent”. Twice TNA heavyweight champion and Impact grand champion, he earned himself another shot at the big leagues.
Bottom of this list because he’s in still signed to WWE and can hopefully turn things around down the line. Nonetheless, he must be wondering if he wasn’t better off out of it.