It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone that some professional wrestlers are jerks. While some are larger than life heroes that do charity work and bring comfort to fans across the globe, some have no use for their fans and express their contempt every chance they get.
Let’s face it; performing in front of gigantic crowds week in and week out can change anyone. There are masses of people cheering and chanting for them on one hand or booing and jeering them on the other. Fans are swathed in their merchandise and follower their favorite wrestler with cult-like devotion in a way that is really not replicated in any other industry. Of course some wrestlers are going to develop egos. Some of them of course develop super egos and begin to think that they are larger than life, that their mere presence is a gift. Below take a look at the top 15 90s wrestlers who took being a jerk to a new level and were proud of it.
15. Kevin Nash
Kevin Nash has a big personality. He was one of the biggest stars wrestling during his time. He worked well with his peers and always put on a good show when he was performing. With his fans, however, Nash is brutal. He mocks them for being hard core fans and takes to social media to do so. Nash doesn’t only criticize his fans online; he has no problem berating them face to face as well.
On several occasions Nash verbally destroyed his fans at public appearances, even though it is them that made him a star. Nash makes no secret of the fact that if you disagree with him he will be the first one to tell you so, devoted fan or not. Somehow though, Nash actually has many friends in the business.
14. Bob Holly
Bob Holly is widely acknowledged to be a complete jerk. He was abusive and aggressive with his fans and co-workers alike. In one instance, he even kicked his tag team partner 15 times in the head because he forgot to pay a parking ticket for him.
Holly has admitted he hates fans and has been known to scream at them and, on some occasions, beat them up. There also is the instances of Holly acting like a jerk to his coworkers, including stiffing a lot of the rookies in the ring and lashing out on fellow employees. He once took extra liberties with Tough Enough contestant Matt Cappotelli, giving him a black eye. Bob Holly is, without question, a giant jerk.
13. Buff Bagwell
Buff Bagwell was one of the biggest personalities of his era. He was well known for flexing his muscles and talking to the camera instead of his opponent. Bagwell was also known for turning on his partners, like he did to Riggs when he joined the New World Order. Bagwell joined Scott Norton for a while and became part of a team called Vicious and Delicious. That was when the flexing and self-admiration really got kicked up a notch.
Turns out this wasn’t far from the real-life Buff Bagwell. Bagwell once tried to fake an injury to get out of competing in a match with WWE, and even had his mother call in sick for him to get out of it. Unsurprisingly, WWE didn’t keep him around for long. He also once bullied Gregory Helms, before Helms had enough and whipped a full water bottle at his head.
12. JBL (Bradshaw)
JBL has always been known as a difficult individual. He never got along well with colleagues or with fans and has always been known as a jerk so his presence on this list should come as no surprise. JBL has very little tolerance for most people. Anyone that even remotely rubbed JBL the wrong way was sure to catch his wrath, be it a co-worker, fan, or anyone in between.
His temper is notorious and more than one person has accused him of being racist and aggressive. JBL is notoriously known as one of the biggest bullies in wrestling history going back to how he would treat rookies, to most recently being rumored to bully WWE announcer Mauro Ranallo, which led to a Ranallo taking a hiatus from the company earlier this year.
Sabu was a wrestler ahead of his time. Known for his innovative moves and acrobatic performances, few wrestlers at the time, put on the kind of show that Sabu did. He was a tremendous athlete and helped propel wrestling to the next level.
Despite all of his contributions to the sport, Sabu was known for being a jerk to the very people that made him popular, his fans. Sabu had a very difficult time dealing with fans and when they got too close to him, or tried to talk too much to him, he was known to lose it. On more than one occasion, Sabu got into an altercation with a fan. One time, he even struck a fan who accidentally touched his turban.
10. New Jack
We’ll stick with the ECW trend for now, because we have to get to New Jack at some point, right? You didn’t need a lot of thinking to figure out how much of a jerk New Jack was, particularly to his co-workers. He’s notoriously dangerous with no regard for his co-workers’ safety, even though that’s what makes the business of pro wrestling work.
There was of course, the Mass Transit incident where New Jack cut the 17-year-old repeatedly and yelled on the microphone “I don’t care if he dies!” Then of course, there’s the rude way he treats fans, as he often laughs them off whenever they ask for an autograph or has downright struck them when they would approach him. Not that you’d want to go near him anyway.
9. Scott Hall
Scott Hall, being a member of the Kliq, was one of the most famous wrestlers in the history of sport entertainment. His character was larger than life and he was considered to be the coolest member of the group by far. What fans didn’t see at first was the fact that behind the scenes, Hall was a jerk. He made it known he was proud to put business before personal relationships and his goal was to further his brand, his image, and to succeed, not to make friends. Hall constantly harassed fellow wrestlers backstage and manipulated their careers with the power he yielded within wrestling.
On occasion, Hall would engage in fights with fellow wrestlers backstage if they dared to challenge him. Hall wasn’t necessarily good to his fans either and would often decline to sign things or interact with the very people that made him a superstar.
8. Ken Shamrock
Ken Shamrock is one of the world of MMA’s biggest names. Having been a mixed martial artist, as well as a wrestler, Shamrock lent wrestling a feel of actually having real fighting incorporated into it. Shamrock also brought with him a legion of fans from mixed martial arts that only served to increase his, and wrestling’s fan base.
While Shamrock had a legion of fans from all over he was a jerk in the ring, in the cage, and with his fans. Much like his character in the ring, Shamrock has exhibited erratic behavior. Back when he was coaching The Ultimate Fighter, Shamrock clearly didn’t take coaching seriously, even though there were many hopefuls looking for a new UFC contract. Many MMA and wrestling fans can vouch for the notion of Shamrock being a jerk.
7. Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon is one of the most brilliant and visionary businessmen the world has ever seen. He has grown wrestling from a small production to a mighty powerhouse and he didn’t do that by being sweet. It is well known that McMahon is one of the biggest jerks in wrestling. McMahon has used his power to further his purposes and motives like no one else.
He has manipulated, blackmailed, controlled, and cheated multitudes of wrestlers and has been brutal on fans at times. McMahon might have built an empire but he did it by being a gigantic jerk. McMahon once said on the mic that ‘it takes a real SOB to be successful in this business” and sure enough, McMahon’s actions in real life have proven that.
Taz is one of the most famous wrestlers in the sport. His character was larger than life and he held multiple titles within different organizations. Taz was best known, however, for his feud with Sabu, which reached epic levels and spanned the entire course of his career. Taz and Sabu were constantly at war with each other and the fury sometimes spilled out and onto co-workers and fans. His inability to control his anger and to, in fact, take it out on other people lands him on our list. Even today, Taz manages to upset old coworkers and calls them out on his podcast. He’s even accused fellow wrestler Chris Jericho of boasting false numbers about his own podcast, Talk Is Jericho. Why does he feel the need to try and undermine one of his peers?
5. Scott Steiner
While Steiner only broke out as a singles star at the turn of the century, he still wrestled throughout the 90s alongside his brother Rick. Ever since Scott went into singles competition, his personality has come out both in character and out of character. Actually, we’re not sure which is which anymore. Steiner’s attitude certainly didn’t help him when he returned to WWE in 2002, as he showed up out of shape to wrestle and his attitude got him bumped down the card.
In recent years, Steiner also harassed Hulk Hogan’s wife Jennifer at an airport on her way to WrestleMania and allegedly threatened to kill the Hulkster. Recently he went on a rant against Triple H, challenging the WWE’s current COO to a fight, for no reason.
Sable was perhaps the most iconic female figure of the Attitude Era, and she was just as big a star as some of the top males in the company. Unfortunately, that ego got to her head very quickly and she began treating her co-workers like they were beneath her. She thought that she was bigger than the WWE and left the company in 1999, suing them for sexual harassment in the workplace. The fact that she returned to the company just a few years later may have meant some of what she claimed was exaggerated.
Nowadays, Sable has admitted that she wasn’t a pleasant person to be around, but even today, she isn’t the most welcoming of wrestlers when it comes to interacting with fans, as she and her husband Brock Lesnar, likely won’t acknowledge fans if approached.
As the years have gone by, fans have gotten to see an uglier side of Sunny. Back in her day, she was known as a huge prima donna backstage and got around in the locker room, even though she was still in a relationship with Chris Candido. Over the years, Sunny has done some very questionable things, including Skype sessions with fans where she would charge money to perform certain acts. She also has done fan meet-and-greets where she poses with fans in bed. Anything to make a buck!
She’s also been arrested dozens of times and at one point, Sunny even pretended to have cancer and accused an old boyfriend of transmitting an STD, with no truth to it. Her ex-boyfriend Damien Darling recalled the incident: “She called TMZ and said that she was writing an autobiography and that she was cured of cancer … She accused me of giving her an STD, that was HPV, that turned into cervical cancer. HPV is an STD that could turn into cervical cancer.”
2. Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels once had the reputation of being one of the biggest jerks in wrestling. His co-workers and fans alike would have readily agreed that Michaels was, at best, a difficult individual. He was particularly annoyed by his fans and often could be seen treating them badly. It seems that since his time in the spotlight Michaels has toned things down a bit and is a little easier to deal with, at least as far as public appearances go.
If in a setting where he must sign autographs or behave for a short period of time, Michaels seems able to handle that. However, if a fan approaches him when he is out and about or not paid to be nice to them then they are much more likely to see a different side of Michaels.
1. Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan, without question, is one of the biggest jerks in wrestling. Hogan worked hard to build a reputation and a legacy and yet was willing to throw it all away for a quick buck. Sex tapes, lawsuits, wild racist rants and statements have all tarnished the reputation, legacy, and history of Hogan.
Hogan has been known to have quite an ego but it is his actions and his disregard for others that lands him on the number one position on our list. Hogan seems to interact with his fans just fine at contract signings or when the cameras are on, but as has been proven, Hogan seems to be a different person when the cameras are off. There’s probably a lot of disappointed Hulkamaniacs out there.
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