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The Top 5 Wrestlers Who Turned Down a WWE Contract

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Thanks, but no thanks. Over the years Vince McMahon and the WWE have heard these words on a few occasions, and it got me to thinking why? Shouldn't a wrestler want to join the biggest wrestling/sports entertainment company of all time? A wrestler can make a lot of money in the WWE. Not to mention the fame and acknowledgement that goes with it. But for some wrestlers that is not enough nor is it what wrestling's about. Today we are going to take a look at my top 5 wrestlers that are giving the WWE a cold shoulder so to speak, and their reasons for doing so. So without further ado here's the list.

Counting down the top 5 wrestlers to say "No Thanks" to the WWE:

5. Nikita Koloff -

"The Russian Nightmare" is a former NWA National Heavyweight Champion, was named the PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year in 1987, and was awarded PWI Feud of the Year in 1987 for his feud with the Four Horsemen. After his NWA World Title match against Ric Flair at The Great American Bash in 1985, McMahon approached the burgeoning superstar with a deal that promised Koloff an immediate massive push, in which he would give him either the Intercontinental Title, or a main event match with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 2. Nikita Koloff turned him down because he believed that the push he was set to receive in the NWA would give him greater leverage for a more lucrative WWF contract in the future. A year later he had become a megastar within the NWA, and McMahon approached him again, and again Koloff declined. The amount of money was huge, but Koloff wanted Hogan and was told no. Nevertheless, Koloff became a star in his own right, and it's interesting to ponder how the course of WWE history would have changed had he accepted that first deal.

4. Rebecca Reyes -

Most of you probably know her as Reby Sky, unfortunate girlfriend of the even more unfortunate ex-WWE and -TNA wrestler Matt Hardy. Last December, Reyes posted this on her Twitter account:
“Weird day. Just had to turn down WWE (per my Lucha Libre USA contract). Very weird day.”
Apparently she wouldn't have been able to continue working with LLUSA had she signed with WWE. It is unclear what kind of contract she was offered—it was most likely either a developmental contract or a contract to appear on Tough Enough—but the fact that she turned it down to continue her training with LLUSA speaks to her desire to learn the craft, rather than just to make a bunch of money.

3. Davey Richards -

Davey Richards is the current ROH World Champion and an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, and was ranked #25 in PWI's top 500 singles wrestlers of 2011. He turned down an offer from WWE in 2009 stating
"It's not for attention I do this, it's not for money, it's not for notoriety. It's for my beliefs, my morals, my creed. I am a man who believes hard work must be rewarded and laziness must be punished. I've simply walked away from places before who I feel have not shared this moral with me."
So apparently Richards isn't so interested in playing the politics game. It's a valid reason to turn WWE down, as its backstage politics have come under fire in the past.

2. A.J. Styles -

In 2001, the phenomenal A.J. Styles was under contract with WCW. He didn't get to do much while he was there because WCW was bought out by the then WWF. The WWE powers that be decided they didn't want Styles, and so he was left without a job. In April of 2002 he was offered a developmental contract; which he declined stating that he's steered clear of WWE because he believes it's a company full of "backstabbers." A.J. Styles went on to become a cornerstone of TNA; it's difficult to imagine what the promotion would be like without him. However, it seems that he has achieved all he can there. However, with all the complaining he's been doing about TNA's direction lately, maybe he'll rethink his prospects.

1. Sting -

What longtime wrestling fan doesn't know this story? Sting was one of the biggest, if not the biggest star in WCW history; and he's also the biggest star never to work for WWE. Not only did he turn down a contract back when WWE bought out WCW in 2001, but he turned down what would have been a legendary main event match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania XVII. In an interview with the U.K.'s Daily Star, he explains why;
“There are so many variables. Let’s just say that I turned it down for the same reasons I always have. Something in me never trusted what would happen up there, based entirely on the track record with other WCW guys and everything that went on after Vince bought WCW."
Nevertheless, fans still salivate at the mouth as they wait for Sting to finally make his appearance inside a WWE ring. Already there is some speculation that the mysterious "It Begins" promo could signify a run for Sting with WWE (even though I myself definitely think it's Jericho). Who knows, perhaps one day, to the surprise and delight of us all, he'll finally ink that contract, but it wont be today.

Well that's my list of the top 5 wrestlers to tell the WWE no. I hope you enjoyed reading it and feel free to comment and let me know what you think.

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Updated 11-27-2011 at 11:43 AM by Frank

Thoughts and Opinions


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  1. ejaspy's Avatar
    Not trying to be a dick dude, but there's no way you hadn't come across this article. The pictures are the exact same and 90% of the text, if not more, is verbatim from the original article.
  2. Dr. Death's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ejaspy
    Not trying to be a dick dude, but there's no way you hadn't come across this article. The pictures are the exact same and 90% of the text, if not more, is verbatim from the original article.
    Well you are being a dick! Believe what you want to believe asshole!!!!
  3. Murphdogg4's Avatar
    only one more I can think of off the top of my head, Bobby Eaton..Vince tried to get the Midnight Express and they chose to stay in JCP, eventually Cornette and Lane went to the WWE but Bobby stayed with WCW till it closed and retired.
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