“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”
– Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack
Who would have thought one of the brightest and most successful people to ever live on this planet could be as pessimistic as the rest of us? Secrets are part of life and we’re pretty sure everyone has them. Some secrets can be told to a select few, other secrets are kept hidden from everyone. Superstars in the professional wrestling business are no different, they bleed, eat, and hold secrets just like the rest of us.
For some reason or another, our society loves hearing about secrets. Maybe the reason is you know a bit of information or knowledge another person doesn’t know and that makes you feel better throughout the day? We may never understand the psychology of a secret but we do know letting these secrets out can sometimes be therapeutic.
The title has the word “dark” in it, but don’t confuse that with a secret being negative. It’s a dark secret because the person has kept it deep down inside his or her soul, hidden from the public. You may know about these wrestlers history but not their secrets; we hope you enjoy.
15 Randy Orton - Drug Overdose
The third generation wrestler was instantly put into the big spotlight at such a young age when he debuted in the WWE in 2002. Fame and success could topple and young athlete and Orton’s behavior almost tanked him as one of the greatest wrestlers of his generation. In 2006, Orton would come close to death when he overdosed and stopped breathing. Fortunately, his wife called an ambulance and his life was saved.
He would open up about his drug abuse years later in WWE’s special Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator. He would also confirm he did indeed overdose during an interview with Arizona’s rock station 98KUPD in 2011. Orton hasn’t had issues with drug abuse since then and the worst things he could probably do now is annoy the indie wrestling community.
14 Ric Flair - Owing $800,000 to Vince McMahon
Woooo! You’re a limousine riding, jet flying, rich S.O.B. so the last thing you want to do is come out publicly that you owed your boss money. Flair’s history of bankruptcy is well documented and the tale of his life became more public when he admitted to owing Vince McMahon $800,000. On Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast in January of 2016, Flair would talk about owing the large sum.
Flair would speak about McMahon, explaining, “When I’ve had financial woes, through my divorces, he’s [Vince] lent me money. But I’ve paid him back… One time, I was into him for $800,000. Eight hundred grand. He said, ‘I wouldn’t lend my kid this kind of money.’ But I got my WrestleMania check from Shawn… I won’t tell you what it was, but it was a lot. Biggest paycheck I ever got in my life, right? ‘For Deposit Only.’ I handed it right back to [Vince].”
13 Anthony Bowens - Coming Out As Bisexual
Anthony who? Bowens may not be on the same level as other wrestlers on this list, however, he has been one of the most recent professional wrestlers who’ve shared a deep and personal secret. The indie wrestler would reveal he was bisexual this year when rumors began circling about his sexual identity. Bowens and his boyfriend would make a video to final put the rumors to rest.
In an essay for OutSports, Bowens breaks down why he never came out in public, explaining, "I didn’t want my experience ruined because of other wrestlers thinking I got into it for the wrong (sexual) reasons," he wrote. 'Those thoughts have never crossed my mind. The ring is my sanctuary, where nothing else matters.” Bowens also hopes to inspire others to come out in the wrestling industry.
12 Goldust - Drug And Alcohol Abuse
Nine years sober from drugs and alcohol, Goldust’s career and life almost came crashing to a halt if it wasn’t for his faith in God and changing his destructive ways. Over the years Goldust has been very open about almost killing himself because of being hooked on pain killers, cocaine, and alcohol. In his book, Cross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of The Darkness, he mentions on several occasions of being high on cocaine before a match and immediately taking Vicodin and Lortabs every morning.
In 2013, Goldust was interviewed by Mike Mooneyham of The Post & Courier and explained, “It was day in and day out, probably two years solid, and I can go through the list of things. A half-gallon of vodka a day, probably 60 or 70 pills a day, plus other stuff like cocaine. It wasn’t good, but I didn’t care. I didn’t see the other way.”
11 John Cena - Intercourse With All Different Types Of Women
The squeaky-clean presentation of John Cena is one of the top concerns of the WWE. After all, Cena is the Hulk Hogan of this generation and the company can’t have public relation problems relating to their biggest star. We also have to give respect to Cena for not ruining his opportunities and never causing concern over his personality or way of life.
With that said, the WWE rather their young fans do not hear an interview that Cena had with Howard Stern years ago. In the discussion, Cena opens up about his sex life to the shock jock. Cena would reach down into his darkest secret bag and give the fans a small taste of the craziness of his life. He would admit to sleeping with a heavy set girl on one occasion and then multiple strippers at the same time on another (six to be exact). It’s good to be the champ.
10 Lex Luger - Addiction To Steroids
Lex Luger came out with a famous quote about his abuse towards drugs and alcohol. Luger states, "If you snort it, spray it, shoot it, inject it, I did it, buddy. Or I was around it. That was my life. Alcohol? I abused it all, buddy. I took a lot of pills. I was a pill popper." In 2007, Luger would speak with ESPN about someone of the closest kept secrets of his life.
The interview suggests he constantly wonders why he’s still alive while so many of his former colleagues are dead due to the rampant drug abuse in the industry. He even took the blame for Miss Elizabeth’s death, explaining, “"I take a lot of responsibility for that -- my influence in her life". Luger is still alive today and healthier than ever since finding Christianity.
9 The Rock - Depression, Steroids & Poverty
Do you smell what The Rock is cooking? The Rock may be on the top of the world now as he puts on blockbuster movies and hints at politics but it wasn’t always easy for the third generation wrestler. The Rock would go through depression as a young adult and even admitted to doing steroids during that time.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, The Rock talks about suffering from depression on three separate occasions. “I tried them when I was 18, me and my football buddies. Nothing happened,” The Rock said. You may not believe he hasn’t touched enhancement drugs since but at least he acknowledges his usage. The Rock also goes into detail about being locked out of his home at the age of 14 because his mother couldn’t afford the rent. We doubt he has any rent issues today.
8 Chavo Guerrero - His Last Conversation With Chris Benoit
It may not seem like a secret you keep locked and hidden away but let’s see you try to publicly talk about a person so close to you, as if they were a family member, and that person commits a horrible act. When news broke of Chris Benoit murdering his wife, youngest child, and then himself in 2007, it was a deep blow to the wrestling community.
Benoit was praised as a hero and a pioneer of the industry and no one really wanted to believe this was true, especially those closest to him. Chavo Guerrero was one of, it not the last, person to talk to Benoit before he took his own life. On Chris Jericho’s podcast in 2014, Guerrero would talk about the last conversation he had with Benoit. The horrible part is Guerrero talked to Benoit after he already killed his wife and son.
7 Jake Roberts - Drug & Alcohol Abuse
The WWE Hall of Famer has had an uplifting story as of late, contrary to what his life had been like for many years after leaving the WWE. For the longest time, Jake “The Snake” Roberts would consume a heavy dose of drugs and alcohol and eventually that trend almost killed him. Thankfully, he got in touch with Hall of Famer and yoga instructor Diamond Dallas Page in 2012.
The journey was chronicled in the film The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, and Roberts successfully became a healthier and sober person. Since his transformation, Roberts has admitted to battling depression that helped inflame his drug and alcohol abuse. Speaking with ABC News in 2015, Roberts was quoting saying, "I had given up on life completely; I was just waiting to die. I was praying it would happen soon.”
6 Darren Young - Coming Out As Gay
It’s very hard for non-heterosexual athletes to publicly discuss their sexual identity. Speaking from a male point of view, from an early age they’re brought into a testosterone filled world without homosexuality ever being discussed. The professional wrestling business hasn’t exactly opened the door up to openly gay wrestlers, however, it hasn’t been shunned either. It seems to be a "don’t ask don’t tell" type of situation.
An openly gay wrestler may not be respected by the rest of his colleagues in the locker room and could even be blacklisted. Homophobia is a real thing and the last thing a homophobic wants to do is wrestle with someone openly gay. That’s why it was courageous when WWE’s Darren Young admitted to being gay in 2013. When asked if a gay wrestler can have success for TMZ, Young replied, "Absolutely. Look at me. I'm a WWE Superstar and to be honest with you, I'll tell you right now, I'm gay. And I'm happy. I'm very happy."
5 Kurt Angle - Addiction To Pain Killers
Angle’s falling out with the company is well documented and we’re glad he worked things out with Vince McMahon. The WWE Champion and Olympic gold medalist is no stranger to drug and alcohol abuse. Not everyone can talk about their own vices but Angle found the strength to publicly address his former issues.
In an interview on the Dan Le Batard show in 2016, Angle would admit to taking 65 extra-strength Vicodin a day during the worst years of his life. "The only thing I could do was eventually go to rehab and try to fix my life again,” said Angle. “But I actually beat it on my own. I stayed in my house for about 10 days and didn't leave, and I was able to get through the withdrawal."
4 Hulk Hogan - Thinking Of Suicide
Fame and money doesn’t stop the thought of suicide and if you think it does, just look at Hulk Hogan. The legend of professional wrestling has been in a lot of heat outside of the ring in the last decade. From a leaked tape that caught him making racist remarks to a sex tape going viral on the web, Hogan hasn’t had it easy. The former WWE Champion even hit rock bottom following his divorce, contemplating to end it all.
In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, Hogan talked about what was going through his mind after the divorce. “Everything I’ve done, my whole career and my whole life, it’s like it never happened,” Hogan said. “It’s like I never existed,” said Hogan. “I was completely broken and destroyed and said, ‘What’s the easiest way out of this?’ I mean, I was lost.”
3 Shawn Michaels - Knowing About The Montreal Screwjob
Shawn Michaels was a prodigy when he first started working for the WWE and he knew it. Not only did he know it, but so did the owner Vince McMahon. It was why he was allowed to be disrespectful to a lot of people, go on drug binges without any disciplinary actions, and basically be an egomaniac backstage. His backstage antics and real-life feud with Bret Hart exploded at WWE’s Survivor Series in 1997 when McMahon pulled off the notorious “Montreal Screwjob.”
After becoming a born-again Christian, Michaels publicly admitted to drug and alcohol abuse. He also admitted on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast in 2015 that he agreed to the finish at Survivor Series. Michaels explained, “I saw that was the spot where you could ring the bell. This is the only spot we’ve got to do it. I just said, ‘Look, I put him in the sharpshooter and you’ve got to ring the bell.’”
2 Scott Hall - Killing A Guy
Like many of the Superstars on this list, Scott Hall has battled alcohol and drug abuse for a lifetime. He’s had to admit to being an addict as well as relapsing more recently, however, his alcohol and drug abuse isn’t why he’s on the list today. He’s destroyed his body due to drugs and even considered suicide, but one of Hall’s biggest secrets is he admitted to killing a guy in 1983.
In 2011, ESPN’s E:60 did a story on Hall and in those 15 depressing minutes, Hall claimed he killed a man. Hall explained the charges for the second-degree murder were dropped due to lack of evidence. No wonder he was called the Bad Guy. We joke about the nickname but that doesn’t change the fact Hall was involved in a murder case.
1 Pat Patterson - Coming Out As Gay
Pat Patterson is a pioneer, legend, and one of the hardest working individuals in the wrestling community. With countless accolades, championships, and creative successes (Royal Rumble) in the industry, wrestling wouldn’t be what it is today without Patterson. The Canadian native had to live with one secret for a very long time.
He would debut in 1958 in the wrestling business but wouldn’t come out as being gay until participating on WWE’s reality show Legends’ House, in 2014. Since the positive reception, Patterson has written an autobiography called Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE. Even at the age of 76, Patterson still has a voice in the WWE today and could really push the industry to be more open towards the LGBTQ community.