For years, pro wrestlers appeared to be separated in a special kind of way from the normal breed of human. They seemingly walked different, talked different, and lived very different lives than the rest of us.
Incessant travel, non-stop attention and grueling physical requirements contribute to those odd patterns of behavior. Another factor in this phenomenon is that the business tends to attract people with eccentric personalities, as well. For someone who lives their entire life on the go- and in the spotlight- the world can often be viewed through awkwardly colored glasses.
Following that logic, wrestlers often also have very unique experiences in both their personal and professional lives. Depending on the situation, those experiences can get a little unusual, sometimes even downright perverse, to those on the outside.
Performers often live their lives as if there's no disqualification, and no counting on what they'll do next. Here's a few examples of that, as we take a look at 15 Crazy Wrestling Stories You've Never Heard Before.
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15 ECW Pay, Stuck In Terminal A
Many stories have been told by former ECW employees about non-payments or bounced checks. Bubba Ray Dudley once recounted a time where Paul Heyman gave him a FedEx number over the phone. When Bubba explained it was one digit short, Heyman told him to just stick a '6' on the end.
Perhaps none of the stories, however, are as absurd as the 'lost at the airport' tale.
For whatever reason, ECW's checks were being air-mailed(?) to the performers at shows. According to one shoot interview with Danny Doring, the wrestler said that they would often call the office, asking where their pay was. After other excuses had been exhausted, air travel was named as the potential culprit. The response was that the checks had been sent out, but must have been lost in transit.
In other words, the money couldn't make it to its destination... It was stuck at the airport.
14 Meng Fought The Law And Won
Tonga Fifita has been recognized for years as possibly the toughest guy in pro wrestling. His legit fighting skills have been lauded by famous bruisers like Perry Saturn, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Bill Goldberg. When guys who have a reputation for brutality don't even want to mess with you, it kind of lets the rest of the world know that you are one... bad mother...
Shutting up any doubts about Meng's prowess was an incident that occurred in 1999, following the WCW pay-per-view event, Slamboree. The show was being held in St. Louis, and several of the wrestlers had made their way downtown to mingle afterwards.
At some point, a scuffle broke out, which Meng tried to assist in breaking up. When several of the Gateway City's finest arrived, they mistook the massive grappler as being the aggressor. When they tried to apprehend him, Meng reportedly snapped a set of handcuffs and dropped seven armed police officers before finally being subdued. After witnesses gave their account and informed authorities that Meng was actually trying to control the mob, he was released.
On top of other tales of him biting off someone's nose and shattering another individual's entire face with one punch, this one is legendary. As time has passed that legend has continued to grow. Nobody, not even THE MAN, messes with Meng.
13 The Dream Never Forgets
Terry Taylor has often recounted the story of a WWE airplane flight where he was sitting across from the late Dusty Rhodes. The man known as The Red Rooster was crammed across the Polka-Dotted Wonder with nothing to do. Meanwhile, the Dream was quietly enjoying the flight, with his Walkman earphones pumping music into his ears.
After a few minutes off the ground, the Rooster began imitating Rhodes' folksy catchphrases and signature drawl, as the three-time NWA World Champion rode quietly alongside. Every so often, Rhodes would remove his earpiece and ask if Taylor had said something.
Impishly, Taylor would reply, "No, sir." This scene repeated itself several times during the course of the trip.
Several years later, the two were once again working together in WCW. Taylor says that they were with their wives and spending an evening together for dinner and drinks. As the ladies retired to another part of the home, the two men had some quiet time to reflect on life and the wrestling business. Nearly a decade after that old plane ride, Rhodes turned to Taylor and said simply:
"By the way...the volume was never on."
12 Kerry And The Cheeseburger
By now, many fans know that the Von Erich brothers weren't quite the Holy figures of the wrestling church, as they were portrayed on World Class Wrestling. Stories of drinking and drugs have been scattered throughout the re-telling of the family's legacy. That mixture led to addiction problems that most certainly contributed to the circumstances of their premature deaths.
It also appears at least one of the brothers had a serious addiction to fast food, as well.
When Kerry Von Erich was injured in a severe motorcycle accident in 1986, it is rumored that the doctors had to work diligently to save his ankle and part of his foot. After an initial first surgery, Kerry was ordered to stay off it, and prepare for a follow up exam.
Instead, Von Erich decided to risk it all for some McSatisfaction. Eyeing a cheeseburger from across the room, he attempted to walk a few feet to get it, crushing the ankle. Doctors were forced to amputate part of Von Erich's foot, and he continued to wrestle for years with a prosthetic attachment.
11 A Flair For The Dramatic
It's no secret that Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff rarely saw eye to eye during their time together in WCW. When Bischoff catapulted to power and brought Hulk Hogan into the fold, it relegated Flair to an afterthought in the mind of the WCW President.
So in 1998, when Flair skipped a scheduled appearance to attend his son's amateur wrestling tournament, Bischoff went ballistic. He suspended Flair and threatened to "sue him and his family into bankruptcy" according to backstage witnesses.
What Bischoff didn't know is that while Flair was suspended, he was negotiating a possible move back to the WWE. The covert discussions progressed to the point where Flair was reportedly circling a packed WWE arena in a limousine. He wasn't sight-seeing; he was on the phone with the company's officials, and if given the green light, was prepared to pop up on RAW unannounced. He was about to pull one of the most daring career moves of all time, live on television... just to stick it to Bischoff .
Alas, the WWE's legal department thought it may not be a good idea, so the stunt never happened. Shortly thereafter, Flair returned to WCW and eventually turned the real drama into an onscreen angle with Bischoff.
10 Scott Simpson Turns His Life Into A Real Nightmare
In the heyday of territories wrestling, nearly every organization had at least one or two foreign heels. More than often, these wrestlers were simply just regular Americans playing the stereotypical role of Nazi sympathizers or Japanese ninjas.
Nikita Koloff was one of those characters. As The Russian Nightmare, Scott Simpson wore the moniker proudly. Perhaps, too proudly.
Simpson, er Koloff, would use his worked name and accent in public, at the airport... everywhere. He would often have his second act as an 'interpreter' at restaurants, or would use his supposed lack of understanding to get out of certain situations. For most of the waking hours of his life, Scott Simpson WAS Nikita Koloff, both in the ring and out.
Simpson would eventually change his name legally to Nikita Koloff. Today, as a born again Christian, he is a religious speaker and makes occasional appearances at industry shows. Ironically, his next door neighbor is former wrestling rival, Lex Luger.
9 What Remains Of X-Pac
Some wrestling ribs are fun. Some are mean. And some others are just downright disgusting.
One of wrestling grossest pranksters might very well be The Wrestler Formerly Known as Sean Waltman. Despite his dozen or so incarnations, it's his time in the WWE as The 1-2-3 Kid and, later X-Pac, that he took ribbing to a stinky, new level.
As Sable was exiting the company to end her first tenure, she was not well-liked by the majority of the then-WWE roster. X-Pac deiced to fight the good fight on behalf of his co-workers. As Sable was out performing, he let his feelings be known by defecating in her gym bag.
Rumor has it, when the remains were discovered, Waltman had plausible deniability, He eventually admitted to his dirty deeds in an interview, only "coming clean" about the incident years later.
8 Service With A Shoot
Many wrestling historians could argue that the greatest crazy wrestling story EVER involves Jim Cornette, a van, and cheeseburgers.
In what has now become known as the 'Dairy Queen incident,' Cornette and some of the wrestlers from his promotion, Smoky Mountain Wrestling, stopped after a show for a little bite to eat. Like any good customers, they waited patiently in the drve-thru of the cozy little burger joint, located in Hyden, KY. What happened next would be captured on video, and become one of the most hilarious YouTube clips of all time.
One order, gone wrong. With his crew watching, including Chris Jericho (who was happy to commentate during the incident), Cornette exits his vehicle and fires off the kind of language only a sailor would love. What followed was comedy gold.
Mr. Cornette, we thank you. And, YouTube thanks you.
7 Shooting Into The Future
On January, 24, 1963, the course of professional wrestling changed forever, and the embryonic stages of sports entertainment were formed.
When NWA World Champion began favoring his northeast bookings with Toots Mondt and Vince McMahon Sr., the other promoters in the country were worried. They called on someone to unify the organization, and they called upon NWA President Sam Muchnick and former champ Lou Thesz to right the ship.
They did. Before a match between Thesz and Rogers to return the title back to Muchnick's control, the original Nature Boy had reservations. In other words, he didn't lose the match or the title. Thesz remedied the problem by stepping forward and addressing Rogers:
"Buddy, we can do this the easy way, or the hard way."
With that, out of fear of in-ring retribution, the preening Rogers took a quick loss, Soon after, he would be crowned the first -ever WWWF World Champion, launching what would go on to be the biggest promotion in the history of wrestling.
Perhaps that one line from the mouth of Thesz set the course of future events. Perhaps we'll never know if there would have been a WrestleMania or a Hulk Hogan if that match hadn't gone the way it did. It's quite possibly the most significant moment in the history of a make-believe industry, and it all started with a shoot.
6 Harley Race vs. Harley Riders
Longtime fans know about the in-ring accomplishments of the legendary Harley Race. They've heard about his many world title reigns and have surely memorized his historic Starrcade '83 match against Ric Flair. What they might not know is that Handsome Harley had as much clout outside of the building as he had in it.
Reportedly kicked out of school at 15 for beating up the principal, Race is no stranger to a good scrap. His legitimate tough guy image, as well as his ability to readily shoot on opponents, kept most potential aggressors at bay.
A group of bikers in Eugene, Oregon, apparently didn't get the memo in regard's to Race and his prowess. When they appeared at a show to heckle the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, He happily invited them into the ring.
Reportedly, Race tangled with the biggest, baddest of the bikers, breaking his nose and choked him unconscious. Reportedly, the biker lost control of his bodily functions while in the champ's grasp. So let this be a reminder: Even if you're a big, tough biker, don't mess with Harley Race. He'll squeeze the crap out of you.
5 Face Of A Heel, Heart Of A Hero
Sputnik Monroe was an extremely important figure in Memphis history. Not just wrestling history. History period.
Roscoe Monroe Merrick began wrestling in 1945, and adopted the 'Sputnick' moniker sometime around 1957. After venturing into the Tennessee territory, he worked as one of its top heels, infuriating its southern fried fans. He would often prance around in a bright robe and carry a cane.
At the time, most wrestling events in the south were segregated. Monroe recognized this, and soon refused to work shows that separated the audience, which defied promoters and often led to death threats. Monroe felt that the segregated wrestling shows were a big problem with the business in the south, and embraced the idea of both cultures enjoying events together. He risked his life to break down those walls, all while being simultaneously adored by black audiences and booed by white fans.
Monroe would socialize with members of the black community, and even hired an African American attorney when he was hauled in by the cops for public drunkenness. In an era when racial divisions were a chasm, word got around that Monroe had embraced a community that long been left out in the wrestling world.
Monroe became the biggest wrestling draw at the time, and pretty much got his way with promoters. Soon, almost all wrestling shows, as well as other southern sporting events, would desegregate as well... All because one heel showed the actions of a hero.
4 Phil Hickerson Gets Reverse-Ribbed
Before Dennis Condrey went on to fame as a member of the Midnight Express with Bobby Eaton, he teamed in Memphis with Phil Hickerson.
The two heels portrayed a prissy pair, angering bible belt fans with their androgynous in-ring relationship. This caught the eye of local legend Tojo Yammamoto. Considering the times, the Japanese grappler was a little homophobic and just a bit put off by Hickerson and Condrey's antics.
Condrey suggested the two pull a rib on Tojo, where they would simulate fellatio in front of him. The plan was for Hickerson to be on his knees with his mouth open, while Condrey stood in front of him with his pants down, just as Yammamoto was entering the dressing room.
Things took a turn for the worse for Hickerson, as Condrey reversed the rib. When Tojo rounded the corner, Condrey switched gears and REALLY stuck his manhood in Hickerson's mouth. An enraged Hickerson broke away, and chased Condrey out of the building and down the street. reportedly, he gave his partner the silent treatment for a week after the uncomfortable (yet very funny) incident.
Hickerson thought he was in on the joke, but ended up getting one played on him. This story appears to be a case of the worm turning... literally.
3 Snake vs. Bulldog
The British Bulldogs were known for being brutal ribbers backstage. Their practical jokes would range from violent to disgusting, and often led to confrontations with their co-workers.
On this particular occasion, it was Jake Roberts who the Bulldogs were trying to irritate. Apparently, when Jake had left his bag containing Damien unattended, Davey Boy and Dynamite harassed the snake by throwing lit cigarettes inside. When Jake unknowingly returned and attempted to handle the python, it was unruly.
After learning of the rib, Roberts decided to have some fun of his own. On the road a few days later, he grabbed some chili dogs and nachos from the concession stand and a bottle of Ex-Lax. Then with no one watching, he fed the Bulldog's mascot, Matilda, a colon cocktail with those ingredients.
Later that night, Smith and Kid exited their motel room and left their bloated Bulldog behind. Meanwhile, Roberts would sneak to the door, and agitate it by knocking. When the Bulldogs returned later, they found a giant mess left by their pooping pooch.
2 Billy Joe Travis
Billy Joe Travis holds an incredibly rare spot in wrestling history. He was arrested once during an episode of USWA wrestling from Memphis.
In an era where we've seen everyone from Stone Cold to Roman Reigns all 'escorted out of the building,' this sounds like no big deal. By the end of the episode, the audience figures, they will somehow make bail and return to the arena to further the storyline.
Except Travis' arrest wasn't part of any script. It was very real, and captured on the promotion's live Saturday morning broadcast on WMC-TV.
Travis was legitimately arrested in 1997, when Memphis police arrived at the WMC studios where the USWA was performing. They cuffed and arrested Billy Joe for being delinquent of child support payments, right there on live television. Officials frantically actually tried to work the show around the apprehension, and later used the shoot incident as part of an onscreen angle.
Travis was a solid, top-of-the-card heel for regional promotions in the '80s and '90s. But on this day, he came to the building and was treated like a jobber... and a deadbeat.
1 Hardbody Harrison
"Hardbody" Harrison Norris was known for being wildly eccentric. The former WCW preliminary wrestler would often discuss his strange theories on life and crazy booking ideas with his fellow wrestlers.
One of Harrison's pitched angles was that he would somehow be used in angle against Sting. The fairy tale storyline apparently involved Diamond Dallas Page, a magic crystal, and a tank full of piranhas. (Harrison never revealed how the story would come to an end, so there's no word on whether or not the final match would be held in Vader's ice cave. )
But the most bizarre story involving Hardbody is not a funny anecdote about a wrestling angle, but a very scary, real-life situation.
In 2007, Harrison Norris was convicted for holding eight women as sex slaves at multiple locations in the state of Georgia. During the trial, Harrison testified that he had befriended the women, supported them, and was training several to be professional wrestlers. The prosecution contended that Harrison tortured and raped them, and forced the women to perform sexual acts on up to eight men at a time. He acted as his own lawyer in the trial, and was overwhelmingly found guilty 24 counts relating to the charges.
Norris is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
There are literally thousands of stories like these about the real life action figures in the ring. The good, the bad, and the ugly behind the scenes of the pro wrestling world can be as wild and crazy as what we see on television.
As the business has gotten tamer and tamer, these types of tales are getting fewer and farther between. But, the wild lore of professional wrestling will always have its fair share of crazy characters and silly stories.
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