WWE Fires Goldust: A List of Employees Canned for Fireable Offenses
Just a few days after celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the plane ride from hell, multiple pro-wrestling media outlets are reporting that plane ride culprit Dustin "Goldust" Runnels has been released from his WWE contract yet again.
The controversial second-generation star had been with the WWE since 2008 after a forgettable run in TNA. Goldust was working primarily working with the WWE divas as a road agent after suffering a career-threatening shoulder injury late in 2010.
Goldust's unpardonable sin this time around pertained to a dangerous spot involving WWE superstars Yoshi Tatsu, Darren Young, and Titus O'Neil.
According to F4WOnline, Goldust was released on April 24 after orchestrating a spot where Tatsu was to take a modified Doomsday Device from the green tandem of O'Neil and Young, and the result was a scary bump that could have seriously injured Tatsu.
Suddenly, fans anxiously awaiting the return of Black Reign have been afforded a materialized ray of hope.
The severity and complexity of what it takes to go from zero to casualty on the WWE employment line is one of wrestling's most unexplored mysteries.
Of course, political standing will always be a deciding factor when it comes to things of this nature; however, there have been a wide variety of abrupt firings in the WWE for reasons ranging from lovers' quarrels to patriotic irreverence.
Goldust is not alone in what will surely be a brief stint of disciplinary unemployment, as the WWE has developed a reputation of being the worldwide leader in second chances.
1. Fit Finlay Fired for Booking the Interruption of the National Anthem
The WWE's eclectic blend of international superstars is what helps the promotion lay claim to being the worldwide leader in sports and entertainment.
However, it was the Irish heritage of superstar-turned-agent Fit Finlay that probably led to his undoing as he underestimated the importance of America's national anthem.
During a live event, Finlay booked then-WWE champion The Miz to interrupt the national anthem in order to garnish some cheap heat prior to a match against Randy Orton.
This move angered members of the armed forces who were not only in attendance, but are also among one of WWE's most beloved special interest groups.
Finlay was immediately fired for his role in the incident, although it has been rumored that the WWE has recently been in negotiations with Finlay.
2. Serena Deeb Parties a Bit Too Much for a Straight-Edge Character
After being warned multiple times for her bold partying habits and despite portraying a straight-edge character on TV as a part of CM Punk's Straight Edge Society, Serena Deeb was released from her WWE contract in 2010.
An otherwise promising career was curtailed as the WWE opted to punish the young diva for not adhering to the rules of kayfabe, which still continue to show flickers of life in Vince McMahon's world.
3. Mickie James Drama Leads to a Career in TNA
Mickie James was arguably at the height of her popularity at the time of her rather surprising firing in 2010.
James was fired after a string of dramatic incidents ranging from late arrivals to the bus during a WWE European tour, as well as weight issues.
James had previously been in the center of controversy due to a reportedly tumultuous relationship with former WWE star Batista that almost resulted in the wrestling mega star quitting the company altogether.
4. Iconic Love Triange Leads to Matt Hardy Being Future Endeavored
By now, any wrestling fan worth his or her salt knows the cosmic saga involving Lita, Matt Hardy and Edge.
With Lita and Hardy seriously dating in 2005, Edge's relations with Lita while Hardy and Lita were dating went public and wrestling history would forever be changed.
The result of the dirty-laundry soap opera lead to Edge's career reaching new heights, as he used the real-life incident to draw heat, while Hardy was released from his WWE contract for handling the situation unprofessionally.
Hardy would be brought back by popular demand, but never came close to the career accolades that Edge would achieve despite the head of steam he initially had upon his return.
5. The Ultimate Warrior Fired For...Something
Depending on who you believe—and let's face it, both the Ultimate Warrior and the WWE have been serially guilty of sensationalizing—the Ultimate Warrior was fired in 1992 for one reason or another.
According to the hatchet job that was The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, the once-popular WWE star was first released in 1991 for asking for an undisclosed sum of money moments before competing in the main event at WWE SummerSlam.
After being brought back in 1992, Warrior was then fired for undisclosed reasons, which he recently claimed stemmed from a failed drug test that he says was unfounded.
6. Stone Cold Steve Austin Infamously Takes His Ball and Goes Home
Stone Cold Steve Austin technically quit, but was formally fired after no-showing WWE RAW out of frustration with the planned storyline.
On that night, Austin was to abruptly do the job to Brock Lesnar in a match that was going to be inexplicably given away on free TV with no build.
Out of sheer frustration and ego, Austin intentionally missed RAW, and as a result, was released from his WWE contract.
7. Daniel Bryan Fired After Tie-Gate
If the WWE was starved of headlines during a routinely slow summer period, they got more than they bargained for in 2010 as Daniel Bryan was at the heart of online outrage.
During the memorable Nexus invasion of 2010, Bryan was caught on-camera choking WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts with his own tie.
The savage spot upset an important sponsor, and as a result, Daniel Bryan had to go away for a while.
Bryan would eventually resurface months later, and has gone on to enjoy a very successful career in the WWE that continues to this day.
8. Jim Cornette Burns Yet Another Bridge
Jim Cornette is pro wrestling's most notorious arsonist as he never met a bridge he didn't burn (just you wait, ROH, in time you'll be torched as well).
While working in WWE developmental, Cornette lost his cool with Anthony Carelli, also known as Santino Marella, following a storyline with OVW (which was then the WWE's developmental territory) star The Boogeyman.
Cornette took exception to Marella visibly laughing at The Boogeyman when the more productive reaction was to sell fear.
This lead to an physical altercation where Cornette allegedly slapped Marella and was subsequently let go from his WWE contract.
9. Shawn Michaels' Boots Were Made for Walking
During his early days in the WWF as a Rocker alongside Marty Jannetty, the legendary pair was fired following conflicting reports of their partying antics.
Michaels has maintained that an incident involving Jimmy Jack Funk was blown out of proportion as the two were accused of excessive partying, which led to Vince McMahon personally firing Michaels and Jannetty shortly after their arrival in the WWF.
10. Ken Anderson's Welcome Back Party Gets Pooped on
The truth was that Ken Kennedy was one of the fastest-rising stars in the WWE, but after a strong wind of misfortune that included injury and suspension, Kennedy was on the fast track to the WWE doghouse.
After returning from a shoulder injury in 2009, Kennedy was booked in a 10-man tag team match on his first night back.
Kennedy was promptly fired in the aftermath of reportedly giving Randy Orton a poorly-executed suplex on his bad shoulder, completing his WWE downward spiral.
Kennedy would later resurface under his real name of Ken Anderson in TNA.