It’s hard to think the wrestlers put themselves through hardships that help them eke out a living only to be ridiculed.
With TNA wrestler Jade, a Korean-American female talent, making her past of being a domestic abuse victim public, the movement against domestic abuse has gained unreal traction in the world of professional wrestling lately.
One prominent yet swiftly disappearing aspect of professional wrestling that torments the wrestler and his kith and kin is a repercussion of abusing anabolic steroids — roid rage. Thanks to it, many wrestlers have proceeded to batter their loved ones. However, it is only one of the many reasons wrestlers, much like domestic abusers from other professions, have assaulted their kith for a multitude of other reasons.
The following article will discuss the 15 major cases of domestic battery arrests involving professional wrestlers, defining the crime and the effect the arrest had on the abusers’ wrestling career.
The writer observed a pattern that saw prominent wrestlers get away with the abuse while those at the bottom of the pyramid have been buried, never to be relevant in the business ever again. However, the industry does not deserve flak as nepotism and a lack of objectivity are cornerstones of every business that humans have ever engineered.
Despite the pattern, WWE deserves plaudits for announcing in October 2014 that a talent would immediately be handed his or her pink slip in the event of being convicted for domestic violence, sexual abuse or child abuse.
If you reckon the writer has failed to include other serious incidents, you can single out such instances on TheSportster’s social media handles or the website’s comments section.
15. Jerry Lawler
Having worked as an in-ring talent, color commentator and pre-show analyst, Jerry Lawler has cemented himself as a WWE legend. However, despite his Hall of Fame career, he found himself in hot water in June 2016 when he was arrested on domestic assault charges.
His 27-year-old girlfriend, Lauryn McBride, was also arrested, with the couple accusing each other of battery. She alleged that he had struck her head and pushed her against a kitchen stove while he stated that she had kicked him in the groin besides bringing a knife into the equation.
WWE suspended the King of Memphis indefinitely immediately after the arrest; however, he returned to the pre-show panel, where he still spews out obscure statements alongside Booker T and Renee Young, among other people.
14. Jackson Andrews
Wrestling as Curt Hawkins’ tag-team partner and later as Cody Rhodes’ unidentified bodyguard, Jackson Andrews had a wrestling career as forgettable as his in-ring moniker. However, his limited skill set and charisma have not stopped him from making a list that features seven Hall of Famers and multiple-time world champions and dating a beautiful recently-retired Diva in Rosa Mendes.
Allegedly, he constantly beat her throughout their courtship, leaving numerous bodily injuries — including scratches and bruises. She was found sobbing under the influence of alcohol at San Antonio International Airport before she told the police about his misdemeanor. She even pleaded for help, stating he would eventually try to kill her for exposing him. Apparently, he was engaged to another woman Amber Stoval, his girlfriend of four years, at the time of his arrest.
Following in the footsteps of legendary Dusty Rhodes, his first wrestling heir, Dustin Rhodes — popularly known as Goldust — has enjoyed a lengthy career, spanning 29 years. However, unlike his father, he has struggled to remain a happily married man as his three marriages have lasted only a combined 12 years as opposed to his father’s 47.
In 2005, fittingly during his Total Nonstop Action Wrestling stint, his romantic life reached its nadir when he was taken into custody on one count of battery; he apparently hit his then-unnamed girlfriend. He was later released after posting his $1,000 bond and was asked to maintain a separate residence and shun alcohol and narcotics.
Goldust has seemingly turned his life around, marrying Tarel Roche in 2012, sharing cute pictures with his daughter Dakota Runnels on Instagram and forming a memorable tag team with fellow veteran R-Truth.
12. Taryn Terrell
Thanks to a somewhat illustrious spell with TNA, Taryn Terrell, who was known as Tiffany in WWE, remains a household name in woman’s wrestling. However, not so long ago, she garnered notorious fame for being arrested for domestic violence as she hit Drew Galloway after a heated argument at the Playboy Mansion, which was then hosting a non-PG party. On the back of posting $20,000 in bail money, she was released, though.
WWE swiftly responded, releasing her although her then-husband remained with the company. However, as she proceeded to lambast the company, stating she was asked to sleep her way into keeping her job, he faced the wrath of the McMahons; he was made a jobber after being labeled the Chosen One by Vince McMahon himself. However, his reputation has only skyrocketed after his divorce and since his release, as he has remained a main-event attraction in numerous promotions, including TNA, Insane Championship Wrestling, EVOLVE and WCPW.
Aged just 31, he will soon earn a WWE contract, especially given his Roman Reigns-esque physique. However, whether he emulates The Guy depends on whether his current wife, Kaitlyn Frohnapfel, accuses WWE of abuse on Twitter in the future.
11. Jimmy Snuka
A lot has been said about Jimmy Snuka’s involvement in his girlfriend Nancy Argentino’s controversial death, but he was never convicted despite numerous signs pointing to a homicide. However, what many casual observers of the trail may be oblivious of is the now deceased wrestler being arrested for assaulting her just four months prior to her death.
The WWE Hall of Famer even yanked her hair and dragged her face against a drywall in front of an officer before requiring six officers and two police dogs to handcuff him. Surprisingly, she swore in a deposition later that he had never hurt her intentionally.
He pleaded guilty to harassment in April 1983 as the judge accepted to drop numerous other charges against him. A month later, she had called her family, promising a visit only to pass away three days later.
Despite failing to be as successful as Roman Reigns, Goldberg or Baron Corbin, former National Football League offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnakka has enjoyed a more-than-decent start to his professional wrestling career. His sturdy figure — he weighs 300 pounds and stands at 6-foot-5 — has helped him come across as a credible wrestler. Having already wrestled for major promotions such as Ring of Honor, TNA and Global Force Wrestling, he already has one foot in the McMahon Empire, especially given WWE’s need for big men with laudable wrestling skills.
However, his lack of celebrity will act as a hindrance to his signing a WWE contract, given his 2009 arrest.
Moose allegedly spat on his ex-wife, who filed for divorce in light of his decision to pursue wrestling, after an ugly argument over his befriending of a woman on Facebook. She stated that he had thrown her on stairs before tossing her out of the house while the TNA Impact Grand Champion claimed to have been on the verge of being stabbed with a pen.
9. Chris Adams
Given the lives led by the wrestlers of the yesteryears, it looks as though they were destined to suffer after retirement. Although the hardships faced by Perry Saturn, Virgil, Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero are widely known, only a handful of wrestlers from the territorial era have made their sufferings well-known.
Chris Adams, who trained sports entertainment’s biggest superstar in Steve Austin, also suffered arguably the worst death as he was shot dead by his friend, Brent Parnell, at his home in Texas while he was visiting him. His wrestling pal was exempted from serving prison time as he stated that he had shot him only to defend himself.
After sustaining a career threatening injury, he turned to drugs. His girlfriend Linda Kaphengst died of a Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid and alcohol overdose. He was imprisoned for unintentional manslaughter, but he failed to appear in front of the judge as his friend had shot him days before the trial in 2001.
8. Scott Hall
Since retirement, Scott Hall has found himself at the heart of numerous controversies. However, nothing transcends his arrest in 2012.
In a drunken fit of rage, the WWE Hall of Famer apparently tried choking his then-girlfriend Lisa Howell after drinking for days together. Despite the officers finding numerous traces of abuse on her body, his girlfriend denied pressing charges against him, stating she was not abused physically.
The Kliq’s mainstay stated after the arrest that he had never gotten violent with his girlfriend and added that the officers overreacted.
Thanks to the timely intervention of Diamond Dallas Page and the famous DDP Yoga program, he now remains clean. Here’s hoping he does not relapse as he has already done enough damage to his body and reputation by virtue of his addiction.
7. Kevin Nash
Having openly abused numerous illegal drugs and alcohol during his prime, Kevin Nash has earned an unflattering reputation. However, since his retirement, he has come across as a changed man. Unlike most other former wrestlers, he has enjoyed a long marriage as he has remained married to Tamara Nash since 1988. However, his relationship with his family has hardly been a bed of roses.
In 2014, the WWE Hall of Famer was arrested after pinning his drunken son Tristen on Christmas Eve. His son told the police that he had harassed him for being drunk and about his romantic relationship. However, he was later released without bond as his wife later revealed that he had only tried to protect her from their then-teenage son, who had spit at him, sparking a prolonged quarrel and the eventual physical altercation.
WWE suspended him following the incident. However, in light of being acquitted, he returned to the ring one month later to beat down The Ascension with the aid of Scott Hall, X-Pac, the APA and the New Age Outlaws before the historic New World Order reunion at WrestleMania 31 during the bout between Triple H and Sting.
6. Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy and Reby Sky have taken the professional wrestling world by storm, but they have not always been the happy couple they are now.
On New Year’s Day in 2014, an employee from the motel they were occupying in Virginia called 911, stating a man had been beating his wife. The police identified the cut and bruised couple to be the eldest of the Hardy Boyz in his unbroken form and his wife. They were later freed on $3,500 bail.
The arrest looked like the nail on the coffin, especially since he had previously been handcuffed for driving under the influence and possession of illegal drugs in 2011. However, he reinvented himself in 2016 to become the hottest star in the business despite performing for only the second biggest promotion.
5. Adam Rose
Adam Rose’s run as the lollypop licking party boy was never taking him anywhere; his teaming up with three other talented jobbers Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel and Heath Slater toward the tail end of his WWE career seemed to be making him relevant. Sadly, his WWE run ended abruptly after two violations of the Wellness Policy and one domestic abuse charge.
After being unfairly suspended for consuming prescribed medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, his personal and professional life reached a new low when he was arrested for grabbing his wife, Cassandra Leppan and screaming at her, keeping her from calling 911.
He pleaded guilty and was duly fired by WWE. Accordingly, the WWE Universe’s chances of witnessing the return of Leo Kruger, a South African deranged hunter and mercenary, became unlikely.
The end of Charlotte Flair’s marriage with Bram seems to have marked the onset of great things for the former and not-so-great things for the latter. Since the divorce, the Queen has won numerous titles while Bram has only been arrested for domestic battery.
According to the police records, he pushed his unidentified girlfriend onto the bed before holding her down by her neck. The physical abuse apparently followed a loud quarrel that saw him lock her down in the bedroom.
The incident taking place just a few days after his divorce rendered him no favors as he earned a suspension from TNA. He has since bounced back, winning the King of the Mountain Championship and forming cryptic stable Death Crew Council with James Storm and Eddie Kingston.
Although Sunny cherished the perquisites of being involved in the professional wrestling industry during her prime, there was little could she do to keep herself away from the hardships of the industry. In other words, she went on an excursion with fellow-Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels to Mexico while she was arrested five times in less than a month at the peak and end of her career, respectively.
After Chris Candido ended his life, she sought refuge in Damien Darling, an indie wrestler. Initially arrested for assaulting him, she breached the court orders repeatedly, turning down help from WWE and sister Denise Stone. Breaking into Darling’s house after emptying bottles of hard liquor frequently made her a perpetual target for cops in Connecticut, and she was forced to cough up thousands of dollars to stay away from jail.
Her then-boyfriend admitted after the series of events that he shed tears, thinking he might lose his life at any instant as long as he stayed with her. Since their breakup, he has proved to be a decent independent wrestler although his chances of achieving half as much as what Sunny has achieved looks slim. Sunny, on the other hand, has inked a deal with an adult entertainment company.
Chyna’s life was tragic in every possible way, and she ensured she transferred some of her miseries and sufferings to her partners. Legend has it that she had mentally abused Triple H during their courtship, but the Ninth Wonder turned physically abusive towards X-Pac with whom she had also filmed a sex tape.
Towards the end of their two-year relationship, she was arrested for assaulting X-Pac in front of his children. However, after her release, in an interview with Howard Stern, she denied assaulting him although she proceeded to brag about how she slapped him around later. Thanks to her drug addiction and the mental illnesses it likely fueled, she suffered a premature death.
However, had she capitalized on WWE’s Former Talents Policy, she could have lived to, maybe, become a coach at the Performance Center. Perhaps, she would even be flaunting a WWE Hall of Fame ring.
1. Steve Austin
Many wrestlers have found themselves behind the bars for laying their hands on their family, but nobody’s arrest has been as widely discussed as the Texas Rattlesnake’s arrest.
He was put behind the bars in 2002 after San Antonio police officers found his third wife Debra Marshall bruised and injured after he had acted upon his roid rage. Upon paying a $1,000 fine and serving 80 hours of community service, the law granted him complete freedom again only for him to assault his girlfriend Tess Broussard two years later. She testified that he had broken her right hand during an altercation.
Thanks to WWE’s questionable decision-making, though, he remains employed, hosting a WWE Network show, the Steve Austin Show. He even made a WrestleMania appearance alongside fellow-Hall of Famers Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels.