Throughout history (let alone sports history), there have been stories of individuals being bullied. In sports, there’s no surprise that something like this would even occur. Think about it. Locker rooms are almost always dominated by an alpha male or female, depending on the sport. A pecking order is usually distinguished the moment a team is assembled. Most organizations, coaches and players are okay with this because it sets a sort of hierarchy in order to keep new comers in line.
Also, in most cases, the leader tends to be the respected veteran who’s been associated with the team or organization for years. With that being said, there’s no doubt that some of the ruling being dealt by said veteran (and associates) can be a bit excessive, if not, damn near over the top. From locker room beatings, to paid dinners, to even having open luggage’s being thrown into the shower, locker room etiquette is sometimes thrown out the window.
We have no problem with having a proverbial sheriff who keeps things in order while the coach or higher end officials are away tending to other matters. As the saying goes, “When the cat’s away, the mice come out to play.” What we do have a problem with is having an authoritative figure think it’s okay to rib a young player in an egregious way. Busting ones chops should always be given and received in a positive way. However, when it exceeds the threshold of lighthearted humor, then that’s where we have a problem.
On this list, you’re going to read infamous tales of those who’ve been around the locker room culture and the horrors they had to endure. Some of it will shock you, while others might damn right disgust you.
11. The Miz/JBL
Not many were happy for The Miz when he became champion, as it’s been well documented that before stepping foot into the square circle, Miz was a contestant on MTV’s hit show The Real World in 2001. He also participated in Tough Enough, which is another reality based television show, only this one was created by WWE. Although he lost, it was the stigma of already participating in a couple reality shows that landed The Miz in hot water from the get go. Miz states that JBL (John Bradshaw Layfield) was one of the main culprits, claiming that on numerous occasions he had to change in public bathrooms because of being kicked out of locker rooms.
10. Joey Styles/JBL
Probably one of the most shocking confrontations on the list has to be this one between Joey Styles and JBL. Again. JBL’s history as one of the enforcers backstage has him back on our list. In 2008, during WWE’s Tribute to the Troops taping, Styles was facing an onslaught of hazing from Bradshaw. After purposely spilling his drink on the lap of Styles, he decided to retaliate. In a David vs. Goliath fashion, Styles clocked Bradshaw right in the eye, which many stated knocked him out for a bit. Clearly Styles action is a testament to show how tough little guys can be!
9. Vader/Shawn Michaels
It’s well known to most wrestling fans how much of a prima donna Shawn Michaels was while working in the WWE in the early 90s. Whether it was his drug issues or the group of friends he was hanging with, Michaels was always in trouble. One person who fell victim to his wrath was Vader. Jim Cornette, who was Vader’s manager at the time, recalled one instance during a match, where Vader was Michaels peppering him with shots in the face. Michaels didn’t take that too kindly and started yelling to him that the next time he did that, he’d be sure to have him lose his job, which caused Vader to actually cry. Rough.
8. Mark Henry/JBL
We can’t make this up. JBL makes the list… AGAIN. But, to the credit of Mark Henry, he did admit that he was bit too sensitive when he first came into the business. Henry stated when he first came into the WWE, Bradshaw rubbed him the wrong way. He went on to discuss the lengths certain individuals would go to haze one another, with some wrestlers taking someone’s luggage that was wrapped in plastic and throwing it into a running shower. Henry would later say that Bradshaw is now one of the guys he respects the most in the business.
7. Michael Cole/Owen Hart
During his tenure in WWE, Michael Cole has been subjected to a lot of hazing. How could you forgot the on-air antics between him and DX. Or The Rock giving Cole a taste lesson on “puntang pie.” When Cole first debuted many years back, he was set to do his first on-air interview with the late Owen Hart. With the reputation of being a prankster, Hart and his buddy The British Bulldog decided to take a liter of coca-cola and pour it down Cole’s pants beforehand. After this occurred, Cole was visibly shaken on camera.
6. Mickie James/WWE
In early 2009, Mickie James was getting in trouble with WWE officals due to the fact that she was gaining weight and they hold their Divas to an extremely high standard. In what seems like a terrible idea today, the upper brass decided to have the announce team publicly shame her in regards to her weight gain. On top of that, she was put into a storyline with then-Divas Champion Michelle McCool and Layla. Team Laycool would come out and ridicule James over her weight, which gave birth to the name “Piggy James.” Even if this was scripted, it’s absolutely socially unacceptable.
5. Daniel Puder/WWE Roster
Daniel Puder was the winner of the 2004 Tough Enough series and was placed into a sort of shoot match with Kurt Angle. What was supposed to be a one-sided match ended up being a heated confrontation between the two. Puder had Angle locked into a Kimura and watching Angle, there was no way he would’ve tapped. If it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of the refs, Angle’s arm would’ve been broken. Angle and management weren’t happy with the way it became a real shoot, which would explain why management allowed the likes of Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Hardcore Holly to light Puder up in the 2005 Royal Rumble with chops and all kinds of finishers. They definitely put Puder in his place.
4. The Rock/Backstage
A couple months back, Mark Henry was a guest on Talk is Jericho. He spoke about the instances of when he was being hazed, the constant racial slurs that were hurled in his vicinity, among other topics. He also mentionned how The Rock was also receiving the same terrible treatment during his debut and how he had to stop him from getting into fights with certain “cliques.” He also told a story of a time where the The Rock left his food unattended and one individual took the liberty to place feces in his sandwich. The culprit was left nameless, but Henry told Jericho that most of the fans may already know who it is.
3. Jim Ross/Vince McMahon
The hazing good ol’ Jim Ross had to accept from Vince McMahon was ridiculous. The majority of fans who watched WWE during The Attitude Era are aware of the tasteless comedy that sometimes took place, but it seemed like JR was also being picked on with offensive jokes. Like the time that Ross received a “Rectal Exam,” that was used to enhanced absolutely nothing. It was a useless and offensive skit, especially considering that Jim Ross had actually had colon surgery a week earlier and had to watch at home as his boss mocked his situation.
2. Enzo Amore/Bill DeMott
This is a story that is probably fresh in the minds of many wrestling fans. However, this shouldn’t have been a surprising story, as allegations of DeMott bullying wrestlers were present from his time at Ohio Valley Wrestling as a trainer. What was strange about this stint was the racial, homophobic and damn near sexist slurs he was hurling at some of these wrestlers, including current NXT star Enzo Amore. Austin Matelson, the whistle blower of it all and former wrestler in NXT, stated that DeMott would constantly come after Amore. It appeared that DeMott was so drunk on power that he’d force Amore and a few other individuals to attempt moves they had no business attempting. Luckily, DeMott has since resigned. The product is better without him.
1. Blue Meanie/JBL
Yeah, it’s clear that JBL wasn’t the nicest of guys on the roster back in the day. In 2005, during the ECW One Night Stand PPV, both ECW and WWE wrestlers flocked into the ring for what turned into a huge battle royal. During that moment, JBL took it upon himself to inflict damage to someone he didn’t like in the ring, The Blue Meanie. Left with a bloodied face and broken pride, Meanie contemplated filing a lawsuit but never went through with it.