Top 10 times WWE stars were fired on screen, and Why?

Ruby AgarwalRuby Agarwal

September 28 2023
Top 10 times WWE stars were fired on screen, and Why?
(Courtesy : WWE)

In the world of WWE, dramatic storylines are as essential as body slams and suplexes. One recurring storyline that never fails to captivate fans is the “You’re Fired!” moment when a WWE superstar faces the wrath of authority figures, fellow wrestlers, or even their own misdeeds. Over the years, these moments have become iconic and have added layers of intrigue to WWE programming. Join us as we count down the top 10 times WWE stars were “FIRED” on screen and explore the reasons behind these unforgettable moments.

10. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn on SmackDown (2018)

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were fired on SmackDown in 2018

In 2018, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn found themselves on the wrong side of then-SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan. Their insubordination and constant troublemaking led to their “firing.” However, this was merely a storyline to keep the audience guessing. The duo returned to action shortly afterward, proving that even a “You’re Fired!” moment can’t keep true talents down for long.

9. Cody Rhodes and Goldust on Monday Night Raw (2013)

Cody Rhodes and Goldust, sons of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, faced the ire of WWE’s authoritative figure at the time, Triple H. The duo was dismissed from the company, setting up a classic underdog story. Their redemption arc saw them fighting their way back into WWE, winning the Tag Team Championship in one of the most heartwarming moments in recent memory.

8. Raw General Manager Mick Foley on Monday Night Raw (2017)

The lovable hardcore legend Mick Foley was put in a tough spot as the Raw General Manager in 2017. His empathy for the underdogs led to several clashes with Stephanie McMahon. After a series of disagreements, Mick Foley received his “You’re Fired!” moment. However, the fans’ emotional attachment to him made this firing a bittersweet one.

7. Chris Jericho on Monday Night Raw (2005)

In 2005, Chris Jericho faced a harsh firing at the hands of then-General Manager Eric Bischoff. His abrupt exit left fans stunned, and it was a testament to Jericho’s character and in-ring ability that he would return in grand fashion, proving that Y2J couldn’t be kept away from the squared circle for too long.

6. Shawn Michaels on Monday Night Raw (1998)

One of the most dramatic “You’re Fired!” moments in WWE history involved Shawn Michaels in 1998. Following a controversial match against Stone Cold Steve Austin, which had stipulations that could see Michaels lose his smile, he voluntarily vacated the WWE Championship and took time off. The decision was met with a harsh dismissal from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, setting up a long-running rivalry when HBK eventually returned.

5. John Laurinaitis at No Way Out (2012)

As the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the Interim General Manager of Raw and SmackDown, John Laurinaitis was a polarizing figure. His antics and misuse of power led to his firing at No Way Out in 2012. His tenure as GM provided numerous memorable moments, but ultimately, the WWE Universe rejoiced at the sight of him being relieved of his duties.

4. John Cena at Survivor Series (2010)

In 2010, John Cena found himself on the wrong side of a match stipulation. If he failed to defeat Wade Barrett at Survivor Series, he would be “fired.” Cena fought valiantly but lost, resulting in a shocking moment when the franchise player was sent packing. His absence added an element of unpredictability to WWE programming, keeping fans eagerly awaiting his triumphant return.

3. Miz and R-Truth on Monday Night Raw (2011)

The chaotic duo of Miz and R-Truth went on a rampage in 2011, attacking both superstars and officials. Their actions led to their firing by then-General Manager John Laurinaitis. This dramatic dismissal was part of a broader storyline, showcasing the consequences of their unruly behavior. Of course, Miz and R-Truth would later resurface in WWE, causing more havoc.

2. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at Judgment Day (1998)

One of the most iconic firings in WWE history occurred at Judgment Day in 1998. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was fired by Vince McMahon, who declared that Austin was no longer fit to be the WWE Champion. This move was motivated by McMahon’s personal vendetta against Austin, setting the stage for their legendary rivalry.

1. Eric Bischoff on Raw (2005)

Taking the top spot is Eric Bischoff’s firing in 2005, culminating years of power struggles and contentious relationships with WWE superstars and management. Vince McMahon’s declaration “You’re Fired!” was a monumental moment in WWE history, signifying the end of an era. Bischoff’s departure paved the way for new leadership and storylines, refreshing WWE programming.


In the world of WWE, firings are often temporary, serving as plot devices to further storylines and create emotional engagement with the audience. These top 10 “You’re Fired!” moments remind us that in WWE, nothing is ever truly permanent, and redemption is always possible. Whether they were fired due to insubordination, personal vendettas, or stipulations, these moments have left an indelible mark on the history of professional wrestling. So, the next time you hear the words “You’re Fired!” in WWE, remember that it’s just another chapter in the ever-evolving drama of sports entertainment.

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