“They”’claim boys will be boys. But what about “the boys,” the men and women of the fraternity of professional wrestlers, who for the better part of their young adult life and sometimes old adult life only know life on the road and only know and hang around other people who only know life on the road - that's what a few in the industry has referred to as the wrestling bubble.
Now that social media is all over the place, so are wrestlers and their stories. The old game of telegraph-telephone-tell-a-wrestler is all over the internet, podcasts, and even on the WWE Network. There are all kinds of stories being told and some of them are really dark.
Like the items on list you're about to read. There's plenty of stories out there that make the business seem like the best in the world and it is, but here are some darker stories from the road.
16 Sunny Got Passed Around
It's always a little sad when idols, heroes, and yes even sex symbols we grew up idolizing are found to be complete and utter tragic stories. So it goes with Ms. Tamara Lynn Sytch – aka, the original WWE Diva, Hall of Famer Sunny. We all know how hot she was, and we all know how charismatic she was, and her relationship with the gone too soon and several underrated Chris Candido.
While by this point it is no secret that the blond bombshell had no qualms about cheating on Chris with HBK, and perhaps Bret Hart as well. But lately, more and more stories seem to crop up about Sunny’s seemingly profound ability to make wrestlers “crop up,” especially with newer wrestlers like Dolph Ziggler. But when she and Chris were drug-addled youths looking for a score - that's where this story comes from.
According to locker room lore, the couple came to Ahmed Johnson of all people to get some coke, which he complied with but only after Sunny agreed to take the Pearl River Plunge, which she apparently did and got her and her man some blow to take to their room. The sad fact though is after doing the deed to get the drugs and after she and her boyfriend had agreed to such nonsense, she up and does her drugs with Shawn Michaels instead.
The wrestling business as we know it dates back to almost 70 years ago, when the times were much different. But seeing as how racism unfortunately still exists today in some corners of the world, of course it would extend to wrestling as well. A famous story involves Andre calling Kamala the N-Word and the Ugandan giant retaliated by shoving a gun in Andre’s face. There's not a lot of proof that Andre was racist, just seemingly had no problem hurling racial slurs, but Kamala sure took offense to the racist remark!
And of course there’s the remarks of Hulk Hogan that got him blackballed from the company he helped build.
But even more pressing is Michael Hayes being suspended for racial comments towards Mark Henry (Henry accepting an apology saved Hayes’ job), and tweets from Jessica Havok surfaced during her WWE tryout and it clearly wiped her off the board completely from getting signed.
Bullying or ribbing, that's the grand debate. For years and years the fraternity of wrestling brothers and sisters constantly ribbed one another, playing all kinds of practical jokes on each other while experiencing life on the road. Good natured, albeit bat-crap crazy stories like The Wild Samoans and Paul Heyman in one car having a moving food fight with The Steiners in another car.
But as we know sometimes, ones idea of humor is not as funny as they might think it is. Yes JBL does come to mind immediately, but he's not the only perpetrator of ribs that could be considered hazing.
How about X-Pac, who seems to be a serial defecator deciding to drop one right into Mark Henry’s sandwich, which the then newcomer ate before unwrapping to notice. While this type of behavior would never be tolerated in today's corporate WWE, yes for some reason JBL is allowed to continue at least some of his old school ways - even at the expense of losing Mauro Ranallo.
In the old school, the days before PG, corporate, and stockholders, a wrestling heel that got stabbed or was threatened to be stabbed was a badge of honor for bad guys like Ole Anderson, Roddy Piper (supposedly three separate times), and Classy Freddie Blassie all were able to garner that much white hot heel heat from fans.
But then there’s the legit beef amongst some of the boys that led to the death of a beloved legend. Bruiser Brody, who along with Stan Hansen owned Japan, and was a staple in World Class was stabbed by another wrestler, Jose Huertas Gonzalez in Puerto Rico and was acquitted, supposedly acting in self–defense (witnesses Tony Atlas and Dutch Mantel have different stories but their subpoenas to testify weren’t mailed until after the trial was over.
Another famous account of violence happened in Britain in 1993 between Hall of Famer Arn Anderson and Psycho Sid. The two got into a brutal scuffle, Sid receiving attacked Arn with the leg of a chair and then the two stabbed each other with scissors – Sid four to Arn’s 20, and losing over half a pint of blood. According to the story 2 Cold Scorpio broke up the fight and saved Arn’s life.
No matter how far LGBTQ rights have come, there are still plenty of people who don’t want to see it anywhere near them (although some of these people don’t hate, they just don’t feel comfortable with it), and there are still a lot of close–minded people who flat out hate, or the very least use homophobic terms to slander. Unfortunately, this is a trend in wrestling, too.
Bill DeMott was fired over it due to a letter from an NXT trainee (among other reasons), Simon Dean accused (of course) JBL for leading the hazing of Chris Kanyon for being gay, perennial bad girl Zahra Schreiber is known for posting all kinds of homophobic remarks, and even top guys like Brock have been quoted as “I don’t like gays.”
Even though he was and is thoroughly not a homosexual (he was married to dime piece Terri for cryin’ out loud), Goldust was a thoroughly provocative character. So much so that when the match was set for WrestleMania XII for ‘Dust to work with Razor Ramon, the Bad Guy declined, because he’s apparently a Bad Guy towards homosexuals.
11 Vince McMahon Doesn't Care About Family
It has been said over the years that the Chairman can't stand weakness or things he cannot control, like sneezes for example. If you work for the company and you ever think about calling out sick with the sniffles, don't. You can be sick at work just as easily as you could be sick at home.
We have Vince Russo to thank for this nugget of information. The former head writer who took the company to new heights in the Attitude Era, but may have ruined the business in the process depending on who you speak to was given more and more freedom and more and more writing jobs to do for the company, especially when SmackDown launched in 1999. According to Vinny Ru, all he wanted was to have his wife move back home to Indiana to be closer to her family and help with the kids while he was on the road. That, and another million dollars to write for more shows. According to Russo, McMahon’s retort was “you make enough money to get a nanny, don't you?”
Normally, we've been conditioned to take anything Russo says with handfuls of salt, but most recently on Something to Wrestle With…Bruce Prichard, Vince’s right-hand man for over 20 years said he actually could see the Chairman saying that.
10 Gino Hernandez – Murdered?
Older fans who grew up in the south and in Texas might remember fondly the Von Erich boys and World Class. Their cast of characters was just as colorful as the WWE’s of the eighties, but it was regional. One of their top heels was the charismatic and good looking Gino Hernandez.
Originally getting his start with Houston promoter Paul Bosch (??his dad??), he'd head to Detroit for the original Sheik and eventually back to Texas and WCCW, where he was found dead, originally thought a homicide but then his death was ruled a cocaine overdose, something that several people in the business don't believe. David Manning, the guy who found him and a WCCW exec recounted that the deadbolt to door was not locked, which is something he supposedly always did.
Most famously Michael Hayes had stated as much on his Legends with JBL interview - "I have a real, real hard time believing that Gino Hernandez OD'd... he was most definitely hanging with the wrong crowd, and either ran his mouth too much, or knew too much, or all of the above."
9 The Plot To Kill Vince McMahon
So you think that wrestling is just a fake sport involving colorful characters all in a giant story thread woven by Vince McMahon? While you are correct about today's current product - the industry as a whole was very different before Vince Jr. bought the WWWF from his father and turned it into the WWF.
We all know that he expanded from region to region and either worked with and eventually bought that region’s top company or he simply stomped in gobbled his competition whole. It's seldom mentioned in WWE lore (and can you blame them), the promoters who hated Vince and despised that he was breaking every unwritten rule in the book actually sought to kill the guy.
The old NWA was actually run like the mafia (each territory’s head promoter = head of his family), and JR himself has told a story of how he was stuck in a bathroom stall with his feet up so no one saw him, listening to Bill Watts and LeRoy McGirk talk about how the promoters were plotting to kill Vince. How far along in the planning did they get? Unfortunately, JR only knew of that one conversation. But considering how people have been murdered in pro wrestling, it's entirely feasible that this story shouldn't be discounted.
7 Diva Ring Rats And Superstar Playboys
Dana’s with Dolph, Dana’s not with Dolph; Dolph loves Nikki, Nikki’s marrying Cena; Punk’s with Maria, Punks with Lita, Punk marries A.J.; Sunny passed around more than a doobie in a circle, even Sable was married to not one but two WWE Superstars. The dating scene in the WWE and NXT locker room is veritable smorgasbord of beautiful people dating beautiful people.
Some of the more recent hookups include Cass and Carmella, Aiden English and former FCW girl, Shaul Guerrero; and Renee Young and Dean Ambrose. Besides all of the “fun” mixed emotions one could have dating a coworker and/or dealing with a breakup with a coworker, there's a definitive double standard when it comes to all of this high school wrestling drama.
Seth Rollins photos get leaked, he gets the WWE title and the scandal is swept under the rug. Paige dates another wrestler who was either still married or seeing another wrestler there's a backlash for it, meanwhile the entire company dates each other, not to mention the company is set to be in the hands of wrestler who cheated on another wrestler to be with the daughter of the boss.
6 Dropping Deuces Wherever, Whenever
The old joke has always been when you gotta go, you gotta go, but the phrase takes a whole new meaning in the wrestling business. With the exception of one of these items in this entry, all these guys probably should have just gone to the bathroom instead of defecating in their coworkers bag - which is obviously one of the biggest insults you can pull on one of the guys or girls.
It doesn't matter who you are - supposed locker room rats like Sunny, primadonna Divas like Sable, and girls who said no to Superstars, even royalty, weren't immune. Usually all of these stories involve members of The Kliq.
Waltman crapped Sable’s bag, the group supposedly dropped a few into Lawler’s crown (although he believes it was someone that he pissed off in Memphis). Later on, friend of Kliq member Triple H Randy Orton dropped some kids off at the pool in Rochelle Loewen’s bag, supposedly because she didn't want to get RKO’d.
Mr. Perfect is the only guy here that it might have been warranted to leave one where he was laying. He was stuck underneath the ring after all and couldn't dart out in the middle of the show.
You're on the road over 200 days a year and several years ago 300 days a year. You're lonely and or horny and your girl is thousands of miles away - so you do what a lot of old school wrestlers did and line up at the very least a ring rat in every city you ran in to head home with at the end of a show.
Some guys like Bret Hart have either admitted to or others have accused of having all kinds of affairs all over the world with all kinds of girls (life before the internet), and with more and more ladies populating the locker room (again; Bret and Sunny), all kinds of things are bound to happen.
Most recently, married with children Eater of Worlds Bray Wyatt has been outed for eating JoJo’s world and his wife has filed for divorce. An entire life with kids tossed aside for what is probably just a fling. Not saying to fire the girl (or the guy for that matter), but the girl is a serial dater - having dated Justin Gabriel, Jesse White (Vader’s boy), and Randy Orrin, which it is unclear if she helped to end his marriage as well.
4 The Road Is Paved With Strip Joints
You work all night and when you're on the road and lonely, and there aren't a lot of places open, especially in smaller towns, you have several choices - fast food drive-thrus, parking lot of 7-11s, or Gentlemen’s clubs. Seeing as how plenty of guys like to eat healthy - Wendy's and In and Outs are not an option, and no one past 12 years old wants to hang out at 7-11, it looks like we're off to Al Bundy’s favorite spot - the Nudie Bar.
Rumor has it that if a wrestler wanted to know where all of the good ones are, Jake "The Snake" Roberts was a veritable encyclopedia of where to go for looking at good tail and where to go when looking for a good meal - it's actually one of the reasons The Deadman wanted to hang with The Snake.
Speaking of The Undertaker, at one point, plenty of the boys were going to all kinds of clubs that Vince tried to put a stop to it. While most listened, Kevin Nash decided he wasn't and when he showed up he saw another near-7-footer in the same club. He nodded at The Phenom and the two stayed to their sides of the bar.
3 The Hotels Are Littered With Hookers
There's a few differences between watching a girl dance and possibly getting a lap dance and then there's paying for one to come to your hotel room to do whatever you want with them. One certainly more than one occasion, several of the boys decided to give The Godfather a ring and send some girls over to the hotel room.
Unfortunately, some of the boys lost all sense of manners. When HBK was at his worst, he supposedly hired three ladies of the night to urinate in their mouths. Newest members of the Hall of the Fame, The Rock and Roll Express walked in on Jimmy Valiant um…not exactly being master of his domain while watching a call girl relieve herself onto a glass coffee table that the Luscious one was laying under at the time.
Neither of those are extreme enough for you? Leave it to ECW to top the hooker harassment on this list. Saturn was bored one night and hired a few dancers to come to the hotel to “put things in.” According to man from the Bowery, Saturn decided it would be funny to strap and phallic object to his head lay down on a slip and slide filled with booze and have Raven ski ball him into one of the gals’ unmentionables…and they wonder why they're not employed by WWE.
2 Did Someone in Stamford Know About Benoit?
This past June, it was ten years since a tragedy happened that shook the wrestling committee to its core. Chris Benoit, who every fan knew to be one of the top five greatest wrestlers of all time and every one of his peers knew to be a great guy for reasons no one knows even to this day, murdered his wife, Nancy and young son, Daniel before taking his own life.
There have been a few stories over the years about the madness that occurred over the weekend of Jun 23, 2007 - the first is the ludicrous mega-mark conspiracy theory that Kevin Sullivan masterminded the whole ordeal for ultimate revenge for ex-wife Nancy cheating on him with Benoit. But the more real and curious coincidence is that hours before anyone knew anything, Benoit’s Wikipedia page was updated with the news that he was going to miss his match due to Nancy's death.
The IP address for the update came from Stamford - headquarters of the WWE, although the person who updated the account asked to remain anonymous for his and his family’s safety stated that he likes to edit pages (Wikipedia called it vandalizing pages), and is in no way connected to Benoit or WWE and the whole ordeal on his end was just a terrible coincidence. But because of items like this, the tragedy is still scrutinized as something more nefarious going on than what was reported what actually happened.
Thankfully there's no nefarious or salacious acts going on in this entry - just the egregious double standards that the WWE has had for some of their wrestlers for a long time now. It's no secret Vince McMahon loves who he loves and pushes who he pushes, but there are times where another star would be suspended or worse for far less than Vince McMahon allows from his favorites.
Case in point - Titus O’Neil pushes the guy so that his daughter could go first and got suspended for it, but Shawn Michaels was absolute pill to work with and supposedly worked an injury several times instead of dropping titles clean and never saw any retribution for being as difficult to work with as he was amazing to watch work.
Most recently and perhaps egregiously was when Brock Lesnar failed a drug test for his UFC fight. The guy fails two out three tests for his fight at last Summer’s 200, but rather than suspend him and ruin the upcoming SummerSlam main event (which was a schmoz anyway), a loophole was found to say since Brock is a part time performer he's not subject to the same tests of the WWE wellness policy - so basically Brock could be a roided up monster and seemingly would not take any fines or suspensions for it.