It was so common to have wrestlers fight in all three major organization during their career (AWA, NWA, WWE).
Most of the time the wrestler would start in an independent or regional circuit and then work themselves up to the NWA and AWA.
Then as shown in the 80s, Vince McMahon would steal the popular wrestlers by offering large amounts of dough.
But there are some cases where accomplished wrestlers, who were well known and popular, turned down the offers for various reason.
This slide show will list ten wrestlers or tag teams who did not wrestle for Vince.
Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers began their career in 1984 with Mid-South Wrestling (which became UWF in 1986).
These young wrestlers were a hit with the women and were very similar to some of the other teams that were forming (Fabulous Ones, Rock N'Roll Express, Windham & Rotunda) and successful at this time.
They also fought in NWA, AWA, WCCW, and Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
They were ranked #63 out of PWI's Top 100 Tag Teams.
Even though they were successful, winning five different titles, Vince never called.
Shocking as their looks and style would have been a hit in the mid-80s.
The only reason I see is because Vince had Strike Force and the Killer Bees on their roster.
Tommy Rich's career dates back to 1974 when he fought in his home state of Tennessee and then in other regional organizations in Georgia and Alabama.
In 1981, Tommy Rich became the youngest wrestler to win the NWA Heavyweight Championship when he defeated Harley Race. Race won the belt back four days later.
During the late 80s he wrestled for AWA, feuding against Kevin Kelly and Adrian Adonis.
In the 90s, Thomas Rich joined Alexandra York's York Foundation teaming with Terry Taylor and Ricky Morton in the WCW.
The rest of the decade would see him jump from one organization to another but never joined the WWE.
Dubbed the son of the Great Kabuki, Muta was an instant hit in the late 80s under Gary Hart in the NWA.
Due to his outstanding moves and ring style, which included shooting mist into his opponents' eyes, Muta had feuds with the best at the time (Sting, Luger, Flair...).
Muta's obligation back home in Japan caused him to disappear for long periods at a time. This is probably the reason Muta never signed with the WWE.
It would have been great to see him face Hogan and Ultimate Warrior.
Kevin Von Erich is the last surviving son of Fritz Von Erich, unfortunately witnessing the passing of five brothers.
The Von Erichs had classic battles against the Freebirds in the early-80s.
Though his brother Kerry eventually went to the WWE as the "Texas Tornado," Kevin did not.
Probably since Abdullah The Butcher was one of the most brutal and hardcore wrestlers ever is the reason for him not to be in the WWE.
The Butcher's matches were some of the bloodiest matches seen, especially against Carlos Colon.
Bockwinkel became famous wrestling for Verne Gagne's AWA promotion.
His battles with Gagne, Larry Zybrysko, Billy Robinson, and a young Hulk Hogan were notable and the reason why AWA may have been the top organization during 70s and early 80s.
The closest that the former AWA World Champion got to wrestling in the WWE was an unification match against WWWF Champ Bob Backlund in 1979. The match ended due to a double count-out.
Early in his career, Jimmy was given two brothers (Kayfabe) name Terry and the more famous Ronnie Garvin (former NWA World Champion) who he managed.
He became famous in the WCCW in the early 80s due to his long feud with the Von Erichs and Chris Adams.
In '85 he teamed with Steven Regal (not the current wrestler in the WWE) to beat the Road Warriors. The win came with the help of the Freebirds.
The alliance with the Freebirds would continue on in the WCW in the 90s.
Garvin would have been a perfect fit with the WWE. His role and antics were similar to "Adorable" Adrian Adonis, but better. Plus he was solid mat wrestler and an excellent entertainer.
Nikita was supposingly Ivan Koloff's nephew, who formed the Russians with Krusher Khruschev (Barry Darsow, who was also Smash of Demolition) in Jim Crockett's NWA.
He held various titles in the NWA and was pushed to fight Ric Flair in 1985. At this time is when Vince McMahon offered Nikita a contract which included fights with then Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana or battles against Hogan for the World Championship.
Koloff turned the offer down and remained to fight Magnum TA. and Dusty Rhodes.
A year later, McMahon offered another lucrative deal to gain Koloff's services. Koloff turned the offer down again.
Unfortunately, people who didn't follow NWA missed out at a terrific heel who brought energy to the sport. He was one of the main reason why Jim Crockett Promotions was better than the WWE during this time frame.
Fans of WWE would remember the "New Midnight Express" which was formed by Bob Holly and Bart Gunn in the late 90s.
But the real Midnight Express was formed by Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose in 1980.
After splitting up, Condrey took on Bobby Eaton as his partner. PWI ranked this pair No. 21 in their top 100 tag teams rankings.
Due to Condrey's constant disappearances, Eaton's new partner was Stan Lane (formerly of the Fabulous Ones). This pair was placed #32 by the same rankings.
The true Midnight Express did not wrestle in the WWE, but should have been coaxed by Vince.
The Midnight's were excellent technical wrestlers and were arrogant heels who would have succeeded there.
Sting debut in the UWF as one half of the team called the Blade Runners. His partner was the Dingo Warrior, who everyone knows as the Ultimate Warrior.
Wow...What a team!!!
From '87 throught the 90s, Sting was the most popular wrestler in the JCP/WCW organization.
He won the World Title a combined seven times and the tag team titles three times. He also won every other title in this organization.
Unfortunately, Sting didn't accept the offer to come to the WWE in 2001 when Vince bought WCW.
Instead he toured in Europe then joined TNA, which is where he is today.
Sting would have fit nicely in the WWE and would no doubt have won the championship. Vince probably would have extended the feud with Ric Flair, which went on for 13 years.