Look at the greatest of athletes like Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods. They're both similar in many ways: Arguably the best ever in their respective sports, had millions of fans, did so much off-the-field with charity, and made one hundred gazillion dollars in sponsorship deals.
But what's the difference? Manning is well-respected just about everywhere unless you're a New England Patriots or we suppose (at this moment) Carolina Panthers fan. Woods tarnished his legacy with his cheating scandal on his wife. One of the biggest role models in sports history suddenly lost a lot of love, and his sponsorships ended immediately.
WWE Superstars are no different. We love ourselves the legends of The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, John Cena, The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, and Shawn Michaels, among others. But in that handful of Superstars I just mentioned, some of them let us down big time. And it's hard to forget.
Professional wrestlers are athletes/actors, given how they perform like athletes but work as actors. Even though many of them are supposed to play "bad guys" on the microphone, they're way better outside of the ring than you think. If you hate Triple H, see what he did with Connor the Crusher, and how he and his wife Stephanie McMahon help out charities.
But some of our favourite wrestlers who played hero and even bad guy were, well, bad guys at some points outside of the ring. As a result, their fans were let down quite drastically, to say the least. Here are 12 times our favourite wrestlers let us down.
12 Kevin Nash
'Big Sexy' Kevin Nash gave us one of the best angles of all-time when he was one of the original three members of the New World Order. Though his legendary status was made as a heel in the group, fans still loved him for playing the super bad guy.
But he sure embarrassed himself and the WWE. During the Christmas season of 2014, a family fight broke out that included his wife and son. Allegedly, his son Tristen was out of control and Nash apparently chokeslammed him.
Both guys were arrested and none of them received any significant jail time. But we certainly think a 6-foot-10 giant could be more friendly than to use a dangerous move in real-life. Especially on your own child.
11 Randy Orton
Randy Orton has lived up to the expectations as a multi-generation Superstar, but that doesn't mean it comes without controversy.
One of the biggest names in the WWE, Orton's been a hot-head that's captured our attention. Orton and has been suspended multiple times for violating the Wellness Policy. When looking for a role-model, especially in this modern era, Orton being caught in violation of such a policy proves as a let-down to many young fans.
10 Rey Mysterio
Fans are missing The Master of the 619, as Rey Mysterio was one of the first true Superstars of the Cruiserweight Division. He appealed so much to the fans, and was one of the most popular Superstars for kids.
Even though he was basically one of the top faces his entire WWE tenure, Mysterio was disappointing to some fans. He was caught in a steroid scandal, even though we wouldn't expect one of our favourites to commit the act.
9 Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner looks more intimidating than 99 percent of wrestlers on the planet, with his giant biceps and tough-guy character. But the sad fact is that he has been a very intimidating person outside of the ring.
He's gotten into many troubles with the law: He hit a transportation employee with his truck because a road was simply closed. He also broke character during a show in WCW by attacking the company, leading to a suspension.
He attacked an emergency technician in a 2001 incident and was banned from going to the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony after threatening to kill Hulk Hogan. So yeah, we hope he'll show more goodness in his heart than outrageous incidents. But the damage has been done: He's let us down a lot.
8 Jake Roberts
Jake 'The Snake' Roberts was one of the main Superstars who helped bring Vince McMahon's company to the stage it is today. That being said, he still got embroiled in many controversies that let his fans down.
Roberts got himself into alcohol and substance issues, and has needed plenty of rehab and support to pull through. Luckily, his letdowns have been somewhat forgotten as he appears to be on a great road to recovery.
7 Lex Luger
Lex Luger's jumps between WWE and WCW heightened the intensity of the Monday Night War, and wherever he went, he was one of the most popular faces, playing the patriotic American hero.
However, nobody will forget his incident with Miss Elizabeth. The former manager of Randy Savage stole millions of hearts in the wrestling industry, but Luger was arrested for domestic violence on her.
She'd pass away just a few months later while still living with Luger. Though he's been a fine role model as an employee for WWE's Wellness Policy, it was a huge letdown for fans who grew up idolizing 'The Total Package.'
6 Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy and his brother Matt became one of the most dynamic tag-teams in the WWE. Jeff made a name for himself after performing countless Swanton Bombs, which were definitely life and career threatening.
However, Hardy probably won't return to WWE and is lucky to have stayed in WWE so long due to his major alcohol and drug abuse incidents. He's been arrested multiple times and even fought Sting in TNA when he was clearly intoxicated. Luckily, Sting was able to improvise and end the match quickly.
But for Hardy, one of the most popular wrestlers of his time, he's let down many fans, as his problems with self-control have probably cost him a shot of returning to WWE glory.
5 Scott Hall
No wrestler has had a more devastating and tragic life in many opinions than Scott Hall, also known as Razor Ramon, when he made himself huge in the WWE.
He's gone throw many drugs and alcohol problems, due to going through a divorce with his ex-wife. He's also been arrested for groping a woman and many other incidents. You don't exactly have to pin-point a certain incident that made him a letdown for his young fans, but there have been far too many to overlook.
4 Shawn Michaels
If Hollywood is looking for a wrestler to star as Two Face in a Batman movie, Shawn Michaels just might be the one, considering he's lived basically a double-life outside of the ring.
During the '90s, when his career was taking off, he was known for being a jerk backstage. He was condescending and a bully to younger stars, was heavily involved in the infamous Montreal Screwjob, and had problems with alcohol. He was not easy to like outside of the ring.
There are also cases when he refused to sign an autograph for a 10-year-old inside his own mother's bar, with Michaels telling the kid to leave him alone. There was another instance when he was angry about driving through a fast food joint in Texas. He was asked for autographs and insulted the workers and demanded the food be free.
However, those moments are in the past. Michaels found religion in his life and did a full turnaround, where he's become much more loved outside the ring.
But that kid and those fast food workers probably won't forget those incidents anytime soon.
3 The Ultimate Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior would have probably been WWE's biggest star ever if not for what Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage accomplished. Still, nobody has forgotten what he did inside the ring, but also what he sadly did outside the ring.
Warrior was well-known for being very hard right-wing in politics. He allegedly made a horrible insult towards a Middle Eastern student at UConn and that was one of the many racial and homophobic things he said that we'd rather not mention.
A legend in wrestling, but when he retired, he said some things that would offend millions.
2 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin
Perhaps there was no wrestler in WWE as beloved as 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin. The man who helped WWE transition to The Attitude Era and win the Monday Night War did a lot of good for the company.
Sadly, however, every shining moment on Austin came to a halt in 2002, when he was arrested for domestic abuse. His wife believed it was from roid rage and she claimed to have been a victim of assault from him three times.
In today's society, any man that hits a woman automatically becomes a coward and shouldn't be referred to as a real man. Austin has thankfully stayed out of trouble since, but this was a devastating thing for fans to hear about.
1 Hulk Hogan
Up until Austin arose, there was nobody ever as big in the wrestling industry as Hulk Hogan.
He was basically the reason that the WWE became the ultra king of sports entertainment and why professional wrestling remains as big as ever. His appeal to the fans was insanely awesome, and even John Cena couldn't match what he did.
Every good thing about Hogan came to a crashing halt when a tape in the summer of 2015 revealed him using a racial slur towards black people, because his daughter Brooke was dating an African-American.
Hogan was immediately fired from WWE, had every mention of his name removed from the website, and lost many merchandise deals. In a time where everyone is equal, regardless of race, age, gender, and sexual orientation, Hogan made an awful remark that embarrassed himself and the WWE. Though he's begged for forgiveness, fans can't help but wonder if this mistake will cost him from stepping into a wrestling ring again.