This is one slide, but it accounts for two wrestlers.
In 2006, Ryan O'Reilly and Krissy Vaine were both under developmental contracts with the WWE at its Deep South Wrestling territory. O'Reilly won the DSW Heavyweight Championship on two occasions, while Vaine worked for a time as General Manager.
Vaine in particular was expected to have a bright future in wrestling, and by the fall of 2007 she had already begun an angle on SmackDown with Torrie Wilson.
But just when O'Reilly and Vaine were called up to the main roster, they both decided to walk away from pro wrestling.
In an interview with The Post and Courier, Vaine cited family health issues as one of the reasons she decided to forego the opportunity.
"I was slated to go to Europe and be away for over two weeks," she says. "I've been having some health issues within my family in North Carolina, and I was terrified to leave the country. I couldn't imagine if something would have happened while I was gone. I decided that I couldn't do that to myself or my family."
Additionally, Vaine and O'Reilly had begun a new relationship and were looking forward to starting a life together. They were all too familiar with the difficulties a pro wrestling life presents to couples, and the prospect of starting their WWE careers on separate brands left a bad taste in their mouths. Both agreed that the timing just wasn't right for them.
"I would've sold my soul, too," she says. "I was lucky, though, and I was able to realize that while WWE may be a dream job, it won't fill that void that I had been missing for so many years. I had never been in love, and my family and I weren't close. I was selfish and lonely... Success to me now is not how much fame and fortune you have in your life, but it's what you have in the end. When it's all said and done, when I go, I'll be able to say my life was filled with love and happiness. I don't need a lot other than that."
[...] O'Reilly echoed his girlfriend's sentiments.
"I feel that every person has to make a choice rather it's right or wrong in their life. People will always have opinions, people will always judge you, but it's you who has to live with your decision, not anyone else. I mean who hasn't been judged? Who hasn't been insulted? Is there a chance that I might have that opportunity again? I feel I left on good terms, and I feel and speak very highly of WWE if anyone asks me. Hopefully that door will be there when it's right."
For O'Reilly, opportunity did present itself again. He re-signed another developmental contract with WWE in 2010 and participated on two seasons of NXT under the name Conor O'Brian, although a second call up to the main roster is yet to be seen. '
Vaine returned to wrestling, as well. She is a former NWA Mid-Atlantic Women's Champion, and currently wrestles for MTV2's Lucha Libre USA as Kristin Astara.
They even are still together. Perhaps they made the right decision, after all.