It comes a time in the career of every athlete that they take a good hard look at what they accomplished and what they need to do moving forward to secure a legacy. Some stay in the same comfortable place they have always been to ride out their journey in their respected sports, or some decide to flip the game on its fucking head, shake up the industry, give their current employers Vietnam flashbacks and go to a competitor.
Yeah. We are going to talk about those select individuals today. Here are the top athletes who jumped to another company, and changed the industry for the better (or worse).
Chris Jericho Jumps to AEW
Chris Jericho was one of the best wrestlers in the world at the time WCW was on the top of the game and kicking WWE's ass on a weekly basis, naturally the company was focused on already established stars and decided to overlook the lionheart, so it only made sense he would go to the WWE where he was destined for greatness.
Fast forward to now - With WWE on top of the industry, you would think they wouldnt make the same mistake, especially with the talent they helped build and create, right?
Nope. And in turn, they let Jericho go to a new brand and give that brand legitimacy.
Demetrious Johnson goes to ONE
DJ is a weird case - he has been UFC's longest reigning champion, pound for pound best in the world, a human highlight reel of finishes and stoppages to his fights, and he couldnt draw a dime in pay per view revenue.
One could say "Well he fights in a smaller weight class that nobody cares about".
Then I say "Fuck your argument, because if the machine got behind marketing that weight class like they did with Mcgregors, he wouldnt be on my list".
Naturally, DJ goes to ONE Championship and for casual MMA Fans, it is the first time they have heard of ONE.
Hulk Hogan Jumps to WCW
You young whipper snappers wont remember the time when Hulk Hogan was the biggest thing since sliced bread in the 80's-90's, but us older folk recall a simpler time when Hulk Hogan wasnt just the biggest thing since sliced bread - he was actually on the fucking packaging.
After the steroid trial went down, WWE were entering in their "New Generation" faze, and the faces of old like Macho Man were sent behind a commentators booth - Hulk saw the writing on the wall, joined a once considered inferior promotion, and gave WWE it's much needed competition.
The Radicals Jumps to WWE
In 2000 - WCW was almost dead, almost. They needed just one more nail in their coffin before the AOL Time Warner merger would send the Georgia based promotion to their final resting place.
Enter in the Radicals joining the WWE, sending a clear message to their peers that this was the only place to go to build their young careers and sending a clear message to the last 10 WCW fans that the talent roster wasnt going to get any better than what they have now.
Tito Ortiz Jumps to Bellator
Bellator wasnt exactly lighting the world on fire with their season format and roster of fighters when Tito Ortiz, the staple of UFC and at one point of time their poster child, joined the promotion.
UFC likes to rewrite history and tell you that Chuck Liddell was their biggest star, but no, at one point of time (1999 to 2003) all of the companies eggs were in the Tito Ortiz basket. Fast forward to now, Bellator now has under contract some of the biggest names in the world.
Did we miss someone? We are sure we did. Drop us some knowledge and make a comment in the comment section below!