The backstage aspect of wrestling that we don’t get to see is as fascinating as anything that takes place inside the ring. Wrestlers have been known to have egotistical mindsets over the years, causing drama and tension in the locker room. Some personalities disrupted the backstage environment by trying to politic for a bigger push. It can come from harming the careers of others to stay ahead or by just being a jerk to others. There are also the instances of backstage bullies abusing power to make life difficult for any peers they have an issue with.
Wrestling has always had an environment similar to high school with pettiness and pointless negativity. We’ll look at some of the names that have become synonymous with drama in the locker room. There is the belief that becoming a backstage pain will cause one’s career to go downhill. Others have the mindset that it helps as the power being used to disrupt the backstage dynamic is a sign of holding down a top spot. Each individual story will be discussed to see just how things ended up going for the following names. These are fifteen of the biggest backstage disturbers in wrestling history and where they are now.
15. Scott Hall: Non-wrestling Appearances at Indie Events/Meet & Greets
Scott Hall’s talent was always impressive, but his personal issues always prevented him from reaching main event status in both WWE and WCW. Hall’s ego grew with his association to The Kliq in WWE and the New World Order in WCW. The latter saw him use his guaranteed contract and high profile spot to create tension in the locker room.
Chris Jericho and Bill Goldberg both shared stories through the years about Hall’s WCW presence being downright evil in the locker. Hall manipulated wrestlers into having issues with each other and he would put down those that he didn’t like. Time has humbled Hall with his personal demons putting him in a bad spot. Hall has finally overcome his addiction issues thanks to DDP Yoga turning his life around and many wrestlers claim he’s a much better person to be around these days.
14. Ric Flair: Podcast Host/Appearances
Many wrestling pundits name Ric Flair as the greatest in-ring performer in wrestling history. Flair saw great power come backstage along with his success in the ring. WCW allowed him to have power at different stages of his career as the only major Superstar in the company before the Monday Night Wars led to other huge names joining.
Scott Steiner and Shane Douglas are two wrestlers that believe Flair tried to sabotage them both in backstage meetings and anytime they worked together in the ring. Flair has also been involved in his fair share of drama with the likes of Mick Foley and Bret Hart. Most of Flair’s old rivalries have been squashed, but he’s still a controversial figure. Flair spends his days hosting a podcast, appearing at sporting events to rile up the crowd and watching his daughter Charlotte continue the Flair legacy in WWE.
13. New Jack: Indie Circuit/Shoot Interviews
One of the more intimidating backstage disturbers in wrestling was hardcore wrestling legend New Jack. The ECW star made his name by pulling off crazy stunts during his matches and having a persona that made you believe he was really a dangerous dude. That’s because he actually was dangerous, with a very long rap sheet of violent incidents in his past.
New Jack continued that reputation in the locker room by having issues with many other wrestlers. An example of his fury saw him beat up Brian Knobbs for making a racist joke backstage. It was definitely a well-deserved beating, but it just added to New Jack’s history of personal issues. After retiring four years ago, New Jack is back taking bookings on the independent circuit and appears on shoot interview.
12. Goldberg: WWE Superstar
Bill Goldberg is not remembered as negatively as many other wrestlers on the list. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a pain to deal with backstage. Goldberg entered the business with the biggest push in wrestling history by going 173-0 before suffering his first loss. With such a big push came a huge ego, making him treat others poorly.
Chris Jericho was one of the main targets of Goldberg’s wrath. Goldberg refused to work matches with Jericho, viewing him as a lesser player on the roster. Jericho was desperately trying to earn an opportunity, but Goldberg went out of his way to stop it. Many wrestlers have gone on the record about their displeasure for working with Goldberg. Today, he’s one of the biggest stars in WWE after making an exciting return. Goldberg is currently the number one contender for the WWE Universal Championship.
11. The Nasty Boys: Indie Events
Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags overachieved for many years in the wrestling industry. Both WWE and WCW employed them as The Nasty Boys for successful runs in the tag team division. However, Knobbs and Sags developed the reputation for being annoying personalities backstage. Anyone to witness Knobbs’ behavior on the microphone can see how his could’ve personality rubbed others the wrong way.
Colt Cabana revealed on his podcast that The Nasty Boys have continued their old ways on the independent circuit. Knobbs and Sags have created drama backstage and gone into the ring to continue it with drunken rants at various points. The Nasty Boys still wrestle on the indies with rather disappointing results. Both men struggle to walk to the ring and are way too old to continue but that isn’t stopping them.
10. Sable: Motherhood
The gorgeous Sable was one of the first major female stars in WWE history. Fans showed more interest in Sable than the wrestlers she managed leading to a huge push coming her way. Her success saw a rise in her ego. A few female wrestlers from that time period in WWE have spoken out over the years to discuss how Sable treated them poorly to cause tension in the locker room.
Sable left the business back in 2004, but her second run in the WWE led to her meeting her future husband, Brock Lesnar. The couple raises their family on their farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. Sable is out of the public spotlight and is settling for being a wife and mother these days.
9. Jim Cornette: Podcast Host/Meet & Greets
Jim Cornette is known for hating just about everyone he has worked with through the years. Unfortunately, he has burned all of his bridges leaving no options available for the controversial personality. Cornette has never shied away from speaking his mind and it led to drama with quite a few wrestlers. The memorable incident of him slapping Santino Marella backstage following a segment he disliked led to a firing from WWE.
Cornette clashed with stars on the independent circuit as well, having issues with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Colt Cabana to name a few. The natural next step for Cornette after being fired from WWE, TNA and ROH was getting his own podcast. Cornette rants about the state of the wrestling industry every week on The Jim Cornette Experience and appears at smaller independent shows to sign autographs.
8. Teddy Hart: Indie Events
Teddy Hart’s athletic ability should have made him a wrestling star. WWE signed him at a very young age due to the fact that he was a member of the highly respected Hart Family. Unlike his uncles Bret Hart and Owen Hart, Teddy was not reliable and did not do what was best for business. Teddy constantly butted heads with other wrestlers and showed no respect to promoters.
Ring of Honor found this out when Hart did backflips off the top of a cage after a match, instead of selling like any sane wrestler would after a match. Teddy also wanted to fight CM Punk and Samoa Joe at different points for trying to steer him in the right direction. Things are still all over the place for Hart today. Teddy currently raises cats and is clearly still dealing with addiction issues.
7. Kevin Nash: Meet & Greets
Kevin Nash’s cool demeanor and charisma allowed him to get away with being a jerk for many years. Nash and Shawn Michaels were the main players in The Kliq and used their power to harass the other wrestlers in the WWE locker room. A move to WCW saw Nash become even more powerful by changing the entire dynamic there with the success of the New World Order.
Nash used the popularity of his act to run the WWE locker room for many years. Other wrestlers would be held down, manipulated or just insulted by him. At one point, Nash found his way into the booker position, running the company and harming the careers of others. Nash has mellowed out over the years, losing the political side with him no longer having to be in the trenches. The retired legend still makes autograph appearances and attends the WWE WrestleMania weekend festivities every year.
6. Scott Steiner: Indie Circuit/Shoney’s Restaurant
Scott Steiner is unlike anyone else in the wrestling business. He was never one to be messed with, but a change of appearance and attitude in the late 90s added to that. Steiner was no longer a tag team wrestler and became Big Poppa Pump. His personality became confrontational, as he would verbally attack others on the microphone with shoot promos, completely blindsiding them.
Diamond Dallas Page’s wife Kimberly was one of the targets and it culminated with Steiner brutally beating up DDP, to the point where people thought it might cause serious injuries. Steiner continued to build drama with many star wrestlers over the years and still insults the likes of Triple H, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. Aside from making rare appearances on the independent circuit, Steiner runs a Shoney’s restaurant in Georgia.
5. Triple H: WWE’s Excutive Vice President of Talent, Live Events & Creative
The polarizing reputation of Triple H sees the negative side come from his antics backstage. A romantic relationship with Stephanie McMahon at the height of his career allowed Triple H to use political power to stay on top of the WWE. Wrestlers like Rob Van Dam, Booker T and CM Punk were all buried by Triple H at various points of his run on top of WWE.
Time has changed the perspective and the job title of Triple H. Today, he is barely a part-time wrestler and spends the majority of his time doing other work for WWE. Triple H is responsible for new signings, the success of NXT and various main roster job responsibilities. Many of the current young stars to come up in NXT credit Triple H for their success. His reputation has completely changed from someone sabotaging others to helping out.
4. JBL: WWE Commentator For SmackDown Live
Backstage bully is a term no one wants associated with them today, but it was a real thing for many years in the past. JBL was one of the most well-known bullies back when he was in the lockeroom. Anyone JBL disliked or felt didn’t show proper respect backstage would be harassed and picked on by Bradshaw for quite some time.
The Public Enemy, Blue Meanie and Brian Christopher were a few wrestlers to have short tenures in the company. JBL’s bullying and backstage antics could have played a role in their runs in WWE falling apart. Like others on the list, Bradshaw has changed since leaving the ring. JBL is currently the lead color commentator for SmackDown Live and spends his free time working with many charitable organizations.
3. Melina: Indie Circuit/ Meet & Greets
The women’s division in WWE was treated with little to no respect for many years. It meant the ladies would only get one short segment per television show. Competition for the few spots that would be pushed caused tension in the locker room. Melina is one name that was always associated with drama during his time in WWE.
Mickie James, Candice Michelle and Trish Stratus all had disputes with Melina that went public online. Melina would call out James and Michelle in very public blogs that showed a lack of professionalism. Melina always had talent, but the drama and backstage disruptions held back her career. Melina left the wrestling business for a few years to attend college. She is currently back making occasional appearances on independent and international wrestling shows.
2. Shawn Michaels: WWE Employee
Shawn Michaels is a nearly flawless wrestler that always put out a tremendous performance in the squared circle. His only issue took place backstage, as he was one of the worst humans to deal with during the 90s. Michaels often picked fights with others, abused his powers and sabotaged the careers of those he didn’t get along with. Bret Hart, Shane Douglas and Bryan Clark were just a few to feel his wrath.
His personal demons and addiction issues impacted his attitude at work to become one of the biggest backstage distractions of all-time. Michaels luckily cleaned up his life and returned to have a run that went better than his first. Many of his former enemies forgave him and have made peace with the WWE Hall of Famer. The retired legend is still a member of the WWE family becoming a trainer in the WWE Performance Center to help the future stars of the company.
1. Hulk Hogan: Appearances
No one spent as much time and effort using political power backstage as Hulk Hogan did. The iconic wrestler became the first massive mainstream star for the industry. That saw him become the most powerful person as well. Hogan often used it to dominate the main event scene in both WWE and WCW. Numerous wrestlers have complained about Hogan holding them down.
Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels saw Hogan refuse to do the job for them, twelve years apart, to show he never changed his ways. The entire WCW locker room were forced to work under him with a creative clause in his contract allowing Hogan to do whatever he wanted. Today, Hogan has finally retired, but wants to return to WWE in a role outside of the ring. A racist rant in the embarrassing sex tape leak led to Hogan being black-listed from WWE. Time will tell if he ever returns.