Sasha Banks recently came under the microscope for lambasting the fans who turn up at the airport at unconventional times to meet up with her. She said on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast: “When I’m in the airport at four in the morning and I see somebody with a carry-on and they open it with a hundred items of everyone and they’re bothering everyone to get an autograph and then I see it on eBay, that’s not okay to me.” Even Bully Ray, who is never known to be the friendliest wrestler, chimed in on the situation, having a swipe at The Boss. It’s safe to say that the issue was blown out of proportion, but she’s never been the one to engage the fans outside the arenas and, as public figures, one is expected to be friendly with the fans although there’s no clear justification as to why they ought to be friendly.
There are a good number of wrestlers who acknowledge the fact that they’ve reached the position they find themselves in only because of the fans that buy their merchandise and The Miz, who usually manages to garner the loudest boos on any particular night, claimed in a recent interview that he’s grateful to the fans. However, there are a few who are rude to the fans despite playing babyfaces in front of the cameras. Despite wrestling characters now built based off the real-life traits of the wrestler who portrays that, we still find drastic differences between the real-life and in-ring characters of wrestlers.
We’ll be looking at 15 stories wrestling fans have shared across the internet about their meeting with the wrestlers. If you have one such disturbing encounter with a wrestler, you can use the comments’ section to share your story.
15 Mick Foley cold shouldering fans
Despite putting his colleagues through thumb tacks, tables and announcers’ tables, Mick Foley has earned a reputation as an amiable person. However, a few stories that those who have attended his meet-and-greets have shared incidents that makes one question if he deserves the adoration he gets. At one of his meet-and-greets that cost the fans a hefty $50 for an autograph and photo, he showed his other – ugly – side.
The Hall of Famer didn’t even bother to speak to those who had queued up to get his book autographed and, when a fan tried to ask him a few questions, he said pointing at his book, “It’s all in here.” It’s very possible that he’d had a bad day that day, but treating fans who had shelled out $50 to meet their childhood idol isn’t really Dude Love-ish, is it?
14 Batista leaving a FCW kid hanging
Despite spending a major chunk of his WWE career as a babyface, Batista never really received as much love as Randy Orton or John Cena from WWE Universe, and rightfully so. He seemingly left a kid hanging, as he refused to look at a drawing the kid wanted to show their favorite wrestler. He didn't even care to take the drawing backstage with him. Apparently, he was wearing sunglasses the whole time indoors, making many in attendance think he had showed up drunk. Many fans even mumbled that he had looked drugged up.
According to the grapevine, though, Batista has grown humbler, with his popularity growing in leaps and bounds, as evidenced by his response to the fans’ booing him upon his return to the company during The Yes Movement.
13 Jake Roberts’ other side
Not wanting to talk to fans shouldn’t and doesn’t spark criticism, but refusing to engage in small talk during meet-and-greets warrants censures, for they’re basically receiving money from the fans to do just that. Jake Roberts often makes clear that he shows up at such meetings only to rip off the fans who have grown up idolizing him. An anonymous fan on a wrestling message board told the community that The Snake was desperate to flog his shirts and pictures for a combined $40, and he added that he showed no emotion while shaking hands with those who had only spent on entrance tickets. When the fan told him it was cool moment to see him in person, he apparently remarked, "Yeah, whatever! Are you buying a shirt? $20. Next!"
12 Andre the Giant intimidating a kid
While touring San Francisco in the late ‘80s, the person who shared the story on a wrestling forum last year spotted Andre the Giant as he was walking through the terminal. Leaving their parents behind, the person ran to The Giant only to find then-heel Ted DiBiase near him. The Giant apparently picked him up before asking if he listened to his mother. With the awestruck kid not saying a word, he warned the kid that he ought to listen to his mother always. With the mother herself looking terrified, The Million Dollar Man leaned over her to tell her that he hoped her son was fine. The Giant’s intimidation might have been disturbing for the kid – and perhaps, his mother, too – back then, but three decades later, it ought to be a memory the fan holds dear to his heart, and he hasn’t dared to ever disobey his mother since.
11 Sabu’s looking to score MJ
Sabu has never got along with his fans despite smoking as much marijuana as fellow ECW legend Rob Van Dam. Many fans have often stated that he came off rude when they would strike a conversation with him. An ECW fan who was working with an indie promotion was tasked with picking Sabu up from Kansas City International Airport and taking him to Lawrence. The car ride apparently took one hour, and the fan had to endure his non-stop bitching for 60 minutes. The former ECW and WWE star also bugged him as he continued asking him where he could score marijuana from. At a different event, Sabu turned down a autograph request from the fan in a not-so-friendly way despite the fan being the only person who was requesting an autograph from him that night. Thirty two years of extreme wrestling has surely taken a toll on his attitude.
10 Virgil’s earning his Olive Garden money
Virgil is the holy grail of disturbing stories. Many wrestlers have learnt the art of tricking fans into buy their shirts or autographs, but Virgil is a pioneer of sorts, as he has perfected the art of annoying fans into giving him money he proudly calls **** money. At a flea market in Rogers Ohio, the former WWE performer stopped a fan who had recognized him, and they began talking about wrestling for a while. After spending a few minutes talking about his time at WWE and how Vince McMahon offered him so much money that he got, umm, blood flowing to his nether-regions, Virgil became so chatty that the fan actually wanted to walk away from him, and it took a $15 autograph for Virgil to let the poor fan go about his day.
9 Bret Hart’s failing to fulfil commitments
Besides Jake Roberts and perhaps, Mick Foley, every wrestling legend somehow seems to be good at striking friendly conversations with their fans, and it’s understandable, for they may not have the food on the table without the gullible fans buying their autographs. Bret Hart has been known to be an amiable person, but he has certainly had days when he annoyed the fans who had paid a good amount of money to see him in flesh. Although a huge number of fans turned up to get his autobiography autographed, he left after doing just a couple. A fan in attendance claimed that he looked visibly bored as he signed. The shop that was hosting the event was forced to offer refunds to those who had ultimately paid for the autograph.
8 Shawn Michaels' ‘90s self
We’ve discussed Shawn Michaels’ misdemeanor in the locker room a few times on TheSportster and, apparently, he’s been a jerk to fans as well. In the late ‘90s at Warner Bros. Studios where the WWE stars were scheduled to meet up with fans, he low-key insulted the fans as he looked nonchalant throughout. When a few fans tried striking a conversation with him, he said, “I don't have time for this sh**. I'll sign autographs but I'm not taking any f***ing pictures.”
The Rock who was then on the cusp of a huge push was quite humble, as spent over 10 minutes talking to fans. A fan who attended that event remarked, “I was so glad to see that The Rock’s star power and career left HBK’s in the dust.”
7 Honky Tonk Man’s disrespecting paying fans
Honky Tonk Man’s character is easily one of the most-celebrated ones in professional wrestling history. Many fans still associate Intercontinental Championship with him, but Roy Farris, his real name, is a person no fan who has had an encounter with him wants to bump into again. Unlike most other wrestlers on this list, he didn’t really shout obscenities at his fans; however, his attitude toward them was downright abominable. At a convention, after signing a fan’s shirt, he, without even making eye contact, told him to move along as his ‘paying customers’ were coming through. Of course, they were paying him, but labelling them customers instead of fans left a bad taste in the fan’s mouth. The fan who reported this event concluded, “I could hardly believe he said that.”
6 Raven’s ripping ECW fans off
Raven easily has one of the most loyal fan bases but, when it comes to dealing with his fans, he’s a business-first person, apparently. A wrestling convention promised unlimited autographs and a photo for everyone who bought the $15 meet-and-greet passes. It’s natural that the wrestlers sign autographs for free only to goad the fans into buying merchandise, but Raven apparently ripped off a 15-year-old zealous fan. Raven told the fan that he should buy one photo that cost a whopping $15 to get two autographs, as opposed to signing his three items for free. The distraught fan ended up paying for it. He didn’t stop there, though, as he tried to receive $30 more from the poor teenager by shilling his shirt. The fan stated that he came off as arrogant and rude anyone who wasn’t an attractive woman.
5 Jimmy Havoc’s lashing at fans
It’s not surprising to see the likes of CM Punk and Randy Orton flip out at fans given the number of fans they encounter every day. However, one-time Progress Champion Jimmy Havoc, whose three most notable bouts saw him job to bigger names such as Drew Galloway, Abyss, Mike Bennett and Eric Young in Impact Wrestling, has often sworn at his keyed up fans outside wrestling arenas. A fan stated on a message board that he told a disabled person in a wheelchair who asked for a picture with him to buzz off; the fan killed his intentions to approach him, apparently.
Another wrestling fan chimed in, stating he asked him to buzz off as well when he made same request; he, however, added that the wrestler offered him beer instead. The second fan branded him a nice person. Perhaps, the 33-year-old England-born wrestler just wants the fans to treat him like their buddy.
4 Ken Anderson’s worst nightmare
Just like every other fandom, pro-wrestling has its share of weird fans. Given how a few wrestlers don’t enjoy talking to fans, it’s easy to figure out how weird some of them might have been. One TNA fan, however, went the extra mile when he was talking to Ken Anderson, whom many know as Mr. Kennedy. When posing for a picture, a wrestling fan accidentally brushed his genitals. The former Money in the Bank winner jokingly asked if he had just touched his genitals.
The fan wasted no time before groping him to proudly say, “Nope, I didn’t, but I have, now.” The fan’s friend claimed that the wrestler’s reaction was priceless. The fans aren’t the victim always, for the wrestlers find themselves embarrassed in front of fans sometimes.
3 Rob Van Dam knocking out a fan
A lot of fans have said nothing but nice words about Rob Van Dam; truth be told, it’s not difficult to stay cool when a person’s high all the time. A fan, however, ensured he got knocked out by arguably the coolest wrestler in wrestling history. A TNA fan, after finding out which bar the TNA wrestlers went to in Florida, managed to hang out with RVD. Halfway through the night, he got the brilliant idea of asking a 235-pound wrestler to headbutt him. The WWE Grand Slam Champion wisely didn’t give in to his demands, though, as he faked a headbutt. The drunk fan, however, didn’t want to settle for a wrestling-esque headbutt as he encouraged him to legitimately headbutt him only to be knocked out in the bar.
2 Mickie James’ signing her old picture
Many wrestlers have spoken out about fans’ pestering them for autographs only to flog them on eBay, and an incident involving a jerky fan and Mickie James highlights why a few wrestlers are cynical. A fan who’s big on body building apparently flashed a printed naked pictorial of hers from her pre-wrestling years during a convention to get it autographed by her. The Raw wrestler was initially shocked but maintained composure as she signed it, wearing a smile. She even folded the picture up just so no one else saw it. The fan claimed that he managed to make a few bucks from that picture and even added that he hadn’t really cared about her autograph. He apparently expected to be taken away by the guards, but he succeeded in observing her reaction as he flashed her naked picture.
1 Alberto El Patron’s hitting on a South African
No matter how arrogant or cocky a wrestler is, they always has a good number of religious fans. Our research tells us that The Colons have a few fans buying their shirt. Alberto El Patron or Alberto Del Rio, however, has been struggling to win over fans despite wrestling for almost two decades now. His real-life demeanor doesn’t help things either, unfortunately. While touring South Africa with WWE, he hit up a bar with his League of Nations partner Sheamus. The duo then began talking to a group of friends there, but the Mexican was only there to hit on the girls in the group. Sheamus even texted a lass for over two months, but the Mexican’s antics looked weird, apparently. At one point, he even threatened to punch a guy in his face after confessing that he didn’t like him. Intimidated, the group of friends left the bar immediately.