5 Wrestlers Who Were LEGITIMATELY Fired On The Air

As opposed to all those John Cena firings.

Vince McMahon Ultimate Warrior

In most ordinary professions, ordinary people get fired for the most ordinary reasons. Perhaps they get caught stealing office property, or maybe they're just a bit useless, and take five days to perform tasks most can accomplish in an afternoon.

Wrestling, of course, is very different.

Extraordinary wrestling reasons include, but are not limited to: receiving your marching orders because your partner is cheating on you, a Twist of Fate that befell Matt Hardy in 2005; failing to calm down your "tired and emotional" colleague who retained his ambassadorial role, in the sort of morbidly hilarious patter that could only happen to Poor Ol' JR; suffering racial abuse, as Alberto Del Rio did in 2014; using the word "prick", when the word "b*tch" is the language de jour of the company's top babyface; performing your televised role in exact accordance with the script, as Muhammad Hassan did in 2005, when WWE could have just repackaged him as the Italian-American he was (or, you know, an act not defined by his ethnicity!); falling pregnant, because how are you going to bump with a fetus inside you, Dawn Marie, come on; popping for steroids when not even a performer (this was Billy Gunn and not, of course, Vince McMahon or Triple H...)

Brilliantly, this sort of thing has also transpired onscreen...

5. Jeff Jarrett

Vince McMahon Ultimate Warrior

Vince McMahon wasn't F-O-N-D of J E Double F.

Jarrett was always perceived by the WWF as a midcard performer, but as a worker, he was and remains in the top tier. Knowing ahead of No Mercy '99 that his contract was up but the Intercontinental Title remained around his waist, Jarrett, per the 15 November 1999 Wrestling Observer, held the WWF up and refused to drop it "unless he got what he perceived was all the money that would be due him". The figure cited by Dave Meltzer ranged between $100,000-200,000 and "was probably a higher number, significantly so, than he would have eventually received under normal circumstances". Jarrett, hilariously, agreed on a price and then reneged on it.

McMahon, furious, ordered onscreen talent and backstage personnel alike to sign letters confirming that in the event of their departure, even if they were fired, they would not work for WCW for a period of one calendar year. The parallel departures of Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara hardly helped his foul mood, which must have simmered for a good 18 months, if the events of the 26 March 2001 RAW are any indication.

On that famous RAW/Nitro simulcast, the WWF went to the contrived lengths of splicing Jarrett in - he wasn't physically present at Nitro that Monday - purely to enable McMahon to fire him, or at least, make d*mn sure that he wasn't about to receive an offer. Shawn Stasiak was deemed worthy of the expense, but not Jarrett. This was peak pettiness on Vince's part - so much so that his promo barely made any sense. "G Double O Double N Double E"?


D I S Double M I Double S E D might have made more sense, or, you know, his very famous "You're Fired!" catchphrase.


Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champions Kenny Omega and MJF, and current Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!