It’s easy to forget that the roots of professional wrestling can be traced back to the carnival days. In the early days of the business, secrets were as common as headlocks. The very nature of the business was a secret, so it only stands to reason that wrestlers and promoters would keep certain pieces of information in the dark. This culture of deception means that the pro wrestling business is a popular place for urban legends. It also means that many fans are willing to believe your average professional wrestling urban legend simply because...well the world of pro wrestling is a pretty crazy place.
However, there are some rumors that aren’t just difficult to believe...they’re difficult to accept. They are particularly dark urban legends that are often too disturbing to be the kind of rumors you hope are true because they are also interesting. While some of them are quite frankly so absurd that we have a hard time believing that they are close to the truth, others are a little too close to the truth for comfort. Even by pro wrestling standards, they’re downright crazy. These are the 15 darkest wrestling urban legends that we hope aren’t true.
15 Fabulous Moolah's Drugs and Prostitution Ring
This is one of those rumors that has been around for so long that it’s easy to forget that it’s never actually been confirmed. The Fabulous Moolah was one of the first women wrestlers to achieve a level of notoriety that rivaled her male counterparts. What we know for sure is that Moolah used her success to convince promoters she basically was the women wrestling scene in America and that she should be paid far more than her counterparts. However, some state that Moolah went so far as to exploit her fellow female performers for the privilege of wrestling.
The nastiest allegation concerns the rumors that Moolah would get other wrestlers addicted to drugs and then serve as their supplier as well as “rent” their personal services to male wrestlers in order to make some extra cash on the side. The most extreme of these allegations remain unconfirmed.
14 ECW’s Murderers Club
So, as you may know, the ECW locker room was an...interesting place. While big names did pass through ECW, most of the roster consisted of misfits who simply didn’t fit into other wrestling organizations or many other places in the world for that matter. They were a rough bunch who loved sex, drugs, and booze. If you believe the most persistent ECW urban legends, however, some members of the ECW live a rougher life than the rest. A long-running rumor suggests that there are four notable members of the old ECW roster who were unconvicted murderers. Who, you ask? Well, that’s where this rumor loses some of its steam. New Jack is usually named as the top suspect, but the other three names are prone to change based on who you ask.
13 The Two Ultimate Warriors
Ever since the Paul McCartney urban legend, people have long been obsessed with the idea of body doubles. If you believe the internet, then just about everyone who has ever lived may have been replaced with someone who looks just like them. Wrestling’s most famous version of this story concerns The Ultimate Warrior. According to an urban legend, The Ultimate Warrior that returned to WWE and later wrestled for WCW is not the same Ultimate Warrior that originally wrestled for WWE.
The theory is that the original Warrior had died. It sounds absurd, but there are a couple of things that make this old rumor especially interesting. First off, WCW did actually use a body double for the Ultimate Warrior when they couldn’t get the real one and WWE used body doubles for Razor Ramon and Scott Hall. When Warrior “debuted” in WCW, Hulk Hogan also mouthed, “I thought you were dead.”
12 The Rita Chatterton/Vince McMahon/Geraldo Rivera Conspiracy
Rita Chatterton was the first full-time female referee in WWE. To date, she is also the only full-time female referee in WWE history. Why is that? Well, it might have something to do with the lawsuit that Chatterton filed against WWE in which she states that Vince McMahon sexually assaulted her. However, that’s not where this story gets weird. As part of his countersuit argument, Vince McMahon and Linda McMahon suggested that Chatterton was part of a large conspiracy theory that includes ex-wrestler David Schultz, former police chief Tony Tuce, and talk show personality Geraldo Rivera. According to Vince, all of these people - and likely more - worked together in order to accuse Vince of sexual assault and either get money or attention from the deal.
11 David Von Erich’s Post-Death Autographs
At the height of his career, David Von Erich died during a tour of Japan. To this day, the circumstances of his passing remain a source of debate. Some say it was a simple stomach failure while other attribute it to an overdose. That's not the disturbing part, though. What's troubling is how his dad reacted to this horrific event.
Shortly after his death, David's dad began selling the last David Von Erich signed photos he had in his possession at various shows. What's strange is that David's dad seemed to have quite a few of these "final autographs" on his hands.
Some believe that the initial run of David Von Erich autographs were the real deal and Fritz Von Erich just refused to stop making money off his dead son when supplies ran low. As such, he decided to get hire a few people to forge David's signature and sign a series of photos that he could pass off as the real deal.
10 Billy Graham’s Clorox Injections
Superstar Billy Graham was not a particularly great in-ring wrestler. In fact, at a time when most professional wrestling champions were amateur wrestling stars, he was often downright awful. However, his muscular build, unique look, and seemingly nonsensical promos were eventually copied by guys like Jesse Ventura and Hulk Hogan. Graham was certainly a character on-screen, but according to some rumors, he was even crazier in the back. There are quite a few stories about Graham’s backstage shenanigans, but the most persistent is that Graham would often use Clorox to win bets. Apparently, Graham would either drink or inject Clorox in order to prove to other wrestlers that he could. So could a person even survive such a thing? Well...technically, maybe, if a small dosage was occasionally used. It’s also possible that Graham just said it was Clorox.
9 Road Warrior Hawk’s Monkey Hormone Mood Swings
As you know, many famous ‘80s wrestlers used performance enhancing substances. Now, there is some debate regarding who, exactly, used these substances, but you can typically tell just by a glance who used and who didn’t. The other thing you have to remember is that it technically wasn’t illegal for wrestlers to use performance enhancing substances during that era. Even still, there are rumors of specific substances that wrestlers used which we do have to question the legality of. For instance, it’s long been rumored that Road Warrior Hawk used Rhesus Monkey Hormones to achieve his legendary build.
These hormones were apparently some of the most effective available at the time, but did come with some unpleasant side effects such as violent mood swings. In fact, Hawk once apparently told Bill Watts that his first thought each morning was that he wanted to kill someone.
8 The Extent of Paul Heyman’s Paycheck Stealing
Remember when we said that the ECW locker room was apparently a wild place where just about anything went? Well, it’s rumored that the head of that atmosphere has always been Paul Heyman. Apparently, Heyman loved to facilitate such an environment in order to promote the brand image and keep his wrestlers happy. Of course, part of the reason he may have wanted to keep his wrestlers happy is that he apparently had a bad habit of never actually paying them.
In fact, towards the end of ECW, Paul Heyman apparently withheld all paychecks and used the money to woo network executives with lavish parties in the hopes of securing a TV deal. Apparently, he kept promising wrestlers they would receive paychecks, but when they saw Heyman on WWE Raw, they knew the score.
7 JBL’s Shower Punishments
When it comes to JBL’s history of backstage bullying, it’s starting to feel like a “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” situation. So many people have accused JBL of bullying that we’d be far more surprised if it turns out that the allegations aren’t at least somewhat true. As for which allegations are true...that’s up for debate. For instance, there’s the long-standing rumor that JBL once used his unique brand of backstage hazing to punish a wrestler who was boasting about date raping a young woman.
Now, the most popular version of this story alleges that the wrestler in question was Brian Christopher. However, nearly every version involves JBL dragging the wrestler into the shower and nearly performing a...similar act on them. This story is often cited as a reason Vince likes keeping someone like JBL around.
6 Bruiser Brody Assaults Fans With A Vomit Mop
Prior to his untimely death, Bruiser Brody was known as one of the toughest and all-around greatest big men in the wrestling business. He was going to be a huge star before another wrestler decided to stab him in the back following a show in Puerto Rico. Of course, for as beloved as Brody was, he was still a regular guy prone to making bad decisions from time to time. One of the most infamous Brody bad decisions apparently came during his time in Georgia...or Minnesota...or some other place depending on who is telling the story. Regardless of the location,
Brody was upset that the local booker had stiffed him on pay. So, he grabs a nearby mop that a janitor just used to clean up vomit. He then proceeded to hurl the mop’s contents at fans and thrust it at them in order to ensure that they never came to one of the booker’s shows again.
5 Dynamite Kid Would Wake Up His Wife With a Loaded Gun
When it comes to Dynamite Kid and seemingly unbelievable stories, you should never really rule anything out. After all, Dynamite Kid was apparently an absolutely awful human being who wasn’t above doing some truly despicable things to the people closest to him. While it’s hard to say what the worst Dynamite Kid story is, one of the worst persistent rumors about Dynamite Kid involved the unique alarm clock he used for his wife.
Apparently, often for no reason at all, Dynamite Kid loved to put a gun under the chin of his wife in the mornings and assure her that one day he was going to pull the trigger. Now, to be fair, Dynamite Kid only claims that he did this one time with an ex-girlfriend and that it was an unloaded shotgun.
4 The Von Erichs Killed A Cat WhileThey Were High and Bored
This is seemingly one of the most random rumors on this list, but it’s also the most oddly persistent. Prior to their tragic deaths, the Von Erich brothers were known as big partiers who had a particular fondness for cocaine, amphetamines, and other uppers. Now, people who have a fondness for such substances tend to make less than intelligent decisions when they’re using. In the case of the Von Erichs, it apparently led them to killing a cat.
There are two versions of this story, but the popular one takes place in Japan and involves David Von Erich and his brothers throwing his famous iron claw at a nearby cat when they were high and bored. The claw hit the cat and killed it. The other version has this occurring in Texas and involves David throwing a circular saw and not an iron claw. This is certainly one of those “So random, why would someone make it up?” stories.
3 Kevin Sullivan Was the One Who Actually Murdered the Benoit Family
This is a particularly ugly rumor that just refuses to go away. In the days that followed Chris Benoit’s shocking murder of his family and eventual suicide, fans across the world didn’t know what to believe. It somehow seemed impossible that such beloved figure to do something so horrible seemingly out of the blue. Desperate for answers, some fans began to speculate that Benoit was not the real murderer. According to these fans, the real murderer was Kevin Sullivan. The idea here is based on the idea that Kevin Sullivan was still upset about the fact that Nancy left him for Chris and eventually decided to have them both murdered as an act of revenge. Sullivan and Nancy’s rumored past as devil worshipers has also come into play.
2 Lita Slept With Anyone Who Would Train Her
Let’s get one thing out of the way. Just about every female wrestler that has ever enjoyed a moderate amount of success in the business has been accused of sleeping their way to the top. It’s an carry over from the incredibly sexist days of the industry when male fans had a tough time believing that any woman could make it in this business any other way. When it comes to Lita, though, the rumors get a lot more persistent. For years now, it’s been rumored that Lita slept with anyone in Mexico who would train her and proceeded to sleep with most of the locker room of some indie promotions in order to get her foot in the door. Part of the reason this particular rumor refuses to die has to do with Lita’s known history of sleeping with wrestlers.
1 Vince McMahon Helped Jimmy Snuka Cover Up a Murder
In 1983, Jimmy Snuka called 911 and informed them that his girlfriend had been severely injured. When the ambulance arrived, they found that Nancy Argentino had seemingly been beaten horrifically. The medical investigators immediately came to the conclusion that Jimmy Snuka had to have been the one who beat Argentino to death. Despite damning evidence and a lack of other suspects, Snuka wasn’t formally charged for murder at the time. Nobody could quite understand how such a thing was possible.
The popular theory is that Vince McMahon paid the right people a great deal of money in order for the investigation to be put off. Snuka confirms that Vince met with him when speaking to the police and medical investigators, but the exact conversation those parties had has always been a mystery.