On April 15, 2021, WWE, in its eternal quest to be crowned ‘most publicly beloved super nice company in the world best friend’ laid off a raft of both on and offscreen employees in their new WrestleMania week tradition of corporate spring cleaning, shortly before posting substantial profits.
A PR juggernaut indeed. There have been many whacky high profile wrestler firings in the past, often based on incidents that didn’t happen in the ring – Sid Vicious going on scissor-wielding rampage in a Blackburn hotel, Mr. Perfect for almost causing a goddamn plane crash on the infamous plane ride from hell, and Highlander Robbie for going to watch some TNA the worst offense someone could commit.
But all this got us thinking, are there 10 wrestlers who got themselves fired because of an actual match itself? Oh boy yes there are.
We actually found 11 but we won’t go into detail on the Koji Kitao incident, because we already did in our 10 Wrestlers Who Tried to Injure Their Opponents list, go watch that if you want to know more.
10. Bryan Clark – Unforgiven 2001
Well, this seems a bit unfair. So it’s 2001 and WWE is slap back in the middle of the Invasion angle, which if I remember correctly, everyone really liked.
As a favor to Big Evil Big Kinevil WWE brought in former two-time WCW tag champs KroniK, aka the Two Brians, Bryan Clark and Brian Adams, a friend of Undertaker from back when he was Crush, who better than Crush.
Oh turns out loads, because when KroniK fought the Brothers of Destruction in their first pay per view match at Unforgiven 2001, the match suuuucked.
A plodding boring mess with none of the teams even slightly gelling in the ring, the backstage reaction to the match was so strong that KroniK was told they were being demoted to developmental, with Clark reacting so poorly to that he was immediately let go, which is a little harsh because if you fired everyone who had a bad match in 2001 then the WWF would probably just consist of Kurt Angle and a whole bunch of mirrors.
8. The Ultimate Warrior – SummerSlam 1991
Oh brother. SummerSlam 91 was partly promoted on a match made in hell, Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa, and General Adnan and OH BOY WAS IT, less so for the kayfabe reasons and more the colossal shit-storm that happened backstage surrounding the main event of the second biggest show of the year.
Ultimate Warrior believed that WWE at the time owed him somewhere in the ballpark of half a million dollars because of the perceived pay disparity between himself and Hogan.
If Vince didn’t stump up the cash, Warrior threatened to no-show SummerSlam, despite half of the advertising centering around his match.
Well nobody puts Vince in a corner, and despite bowing to the Warrior’s demands, as soon as the world’s craziest jogger rushed backstage, running off Adnan and Mustafa with a chair he was met with a pink slip and told to get the hell out of the company, not even returning for the post-match celebration with Hogan.