-You got no chance in hell!
Not only is this the opening lyrics to Vince McMahon’s theme song, it’s basically the motto for WWE when a lawsuit comes around. In 2016, over 50 employees of the WWE filed a class action lawsuit which alleged that talents incurred “long term neurological injuries” because the company “routinely failed to care” for them and “fraudulently misrepresented and concealed” the impact of those injuries.
It’s a heavy charge and we also have to remember that concussions weren’t in the spotlight until Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist and neuropathologist, found CTE in the brains of several former NFL players. This research would start in 2006 and doctors still are studying it to this day. It’s not fair to pin all the blame on the WWE because many of these wrestlers worked for the company for a small amount a time before this research was even thought out.
The WWE would respond to the lawsuit with this statement: "This is another ridiculous attempt by the same attorney who has previously filed class action lawsuits against WWE, both of which have been dismissed. A federal judge has already found that this lawyer made patently false allegations about WWE, and this is more of the same." Surprisingly, many of the wrestlers on this list still work in the ring today, despite the dangers the lawsuit explains.
This isn’t the first lawsuit the WWE has faced and it won’t be the last. Enjoy.
15 The Powers of Pain
Terry Szopinski (The Warlord) would make his debut in the wrestling industry in 1986. He would be spotted by the owner of a Minnesota gym that so happened to be Road Warrior Animal. Animal would get him involved with Jim Crockett Promotions and he would have a decent run as a heel. Sione Vailahi would make his wrestling debut in 1980, once a sumo practitioner, he would make his way into Jim Crockett Promotions in 1985.
The longtime tag team partners would be booked together in the promotion and the duo would become one of the more recognizable heel teams in the industry. Surprisingly, they still work the indie circuit today, which is incredible to think about because they’re both in their mid-to-late 50s and past their primes.
It’s going to be hard for anyone to win a lawsuit involving physical damages when their nickname is The Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal Maniac. Sabu would be trained by his uncle, The Sheik (Ed Farhat), and make his debut in the industry in 1985. He would bounce around many promotions but finally made a home at ECW in 1993. His hardcore style would be a welcomed sight but Sabu also could pull off high-flying maneuvers, as well as technical wrestling.
WCW would sign him in 1995 but would last less than a year. Sabu would return to his home, ECW, and become one of the most decorated champions in the company. Sabu would sign a one-year contract with the WWE in 2006 and would return to the indie circuit in 2007. Although he had sustained countless injuries and been through surgery, he still wrestles today.
13 Jon Heidenreich
When you’re 6 feet 8 inches tall and weighs over 300 pounds, people are going to notice you. Heidenreich would make his wrestling debut in 2001 but it would only last for eight years. In 2003, he would get noticed by the WWE while working for Ultimate Pro Wrestling. He would take a fast track to the big leagues and debut on Raw the same year he was signed.
His biggest contribution to the company was when he feuded with The Undertaker, resulting in a match at No Mercy in 2004. The two would continue their feud throughout the year but would flame out after the 2005 Royal Rumble. In 2006, he would be released from the company and would spend the rest of his year on the indie circuit.
12 Henry O. Godwinn
The West Virginia native is one of the last “southern country boy” gimmicks in the WWE. He would make his wrestling debut in 1989 and would be signed by the WCW by 1992. After two years in the WCW, Godwinn would sign with the WWE and get booked as an Arkansan pig farmer that carried a bucket of slop. Originally a heel, he would become a baby face after giving Ted DiBiase a bucket of slop to the face.
WWE would make the first ever “Arkansas Hog Pen” match between Godwinn and Triple H. He would stick with the company until 1999 but his momentum as a star would decrease each year. He would return to the company from 2006-2007 but as a member of WWE’s developmental promotion, Deep South Wrestling.
11 Marty Jannetty
The party boy Marty Jannetty seems like he makes the wrestling headlines every year for some reason or another so it’s not surprising he’s part of a class action lawsuit. After debuting in the industry in 1984, he would sign with the WWE in 1988. As one-half of the Rockers with Shawn Michaels, the two would become the biggest babyface tag team in the company. Vince decided to end that after noticing the epic potential Michaels had as a single's wrestler.
Although he won the Intercontinental Championship, Jannetty wouldn’t find that momentum again after his feud with Michaels was over. He would be regulated to the mid-card status at best and bounce around different promotions after leaving the WWE. He still wrestles today and you can find him wandering around a city hosting WrestleMania usually.
10 Shane Douglas
Douglas may not be the most well-known wrestler out there but will forever live in infamy when he trashed the NWA by supporting Paul Heyman’s ECW in 1993. One of the legends of ECW, Douglas wasn’t limited to a hardcore style. He could do it all and was charismatic enough to make the fans hate him or love him. After debuting in the wrestling industry in 1982, he wouldn’t sign with the WWE until 1990.
He would last about a year before leaving the company but re-signed with the WWE in 1995. Once again, his tenure with the WWE would be short-lived and he would never work for the company again. Douglas still performs on the indie circuit today but we doubt he will ever return to the company again because of the lawsuit.
9 Adam Bomb
Bryan Clark would become Adam Bomb when he signed with the WWE in 1993. He would be managed by none other than Johnny Polo (Raven) and would be given the gimmick of a survivor of a nuclear explosion. We’re not kidding, Bomb was billed as a survivor from the infamous Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown accident. At 6 feet 6 inches tall, Bomb would tower over the competition and had some potential to be a star.
He would work with a lot of the top talent, including Randy Savage, Kevin Nash, and Bam Bam Bigelow. His time with the WWE would last just two years and would return for a short period after the turn of the century. He would retire in 2003 due to injuries.
8 The Hebner Brothers
Dave and Earl Hebner are legends in the wrestling business and deserve to be called stars. The twin brothers were born in 1949 but entered the wrestling industry at different stages in their life. Dave would make his debut in 1963 and be a member of the WWE by the 1980s. His best work may have been his involvement with Randy Savage versus Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III and Hulk Hogan versus Savage at WrestleMania V.
Earl would make his debut in 1977 and would sign with the WWE in 1988. He's the more famous of the two as he worked the Montreal Screwjob involving Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Vince McMahon at Survivor Series in 1997. You may ask yourself why referees are pointing out the relationship between their health and the WWE. Just check out any time they had to get knocked out for an angle in a match.
7 One Man Gang
He'll forever be known as One Man Gang but George Gray also pulled off one incredible character, playing Akeem in the 1980s. The towering heavyweight would make his debut in the industry in 1977. For ten years he would work around the country for various promotions such as Jim Crockett Promotions and Universal Wrestling Federation. In May of 1987, he would make his WWE debut with his manager Slick.
His greatest highlights arguably was working with the Mega Powers, Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan. With Big Boss Man, Gray would play an important role in the storyline involving Savage and Hogan. He would leave the company in 1990 and never return. Unfortunately, Gray’s home in Baton Rouge was devastated by the 2016 Louisiana floods, you can help him by finding his GoFundMe page.
6 Ahmed Johnson
Johnson had a lot of potential when he signed with the WWE in 1995. Vince McMahon would book him as a powerhouse babyface and part of a new generation of Superstars that would catapult the company into the next century. Things started out great for Johnson, he would be booked in a hot feud right away with Yokozuna. McMahon would also put him in the ring with some of the best talents on the roster, such as Owen Hart, British Bulldog, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
A year later he would become the first African American to win the Intercontinental Championship when he defeated Goldust at King of the Ring. His biggest rivalry would come against Farooq (Ron Simmons) but it would also be his downfall as Vince decided to turn him heel. Johnson would never have the same momentum and ended his career in 2003.
5 King Kong Bundy
Anyone else notice King Kong Bundy on Raw recently? Oh wait, that’s the Big Show, never mind... A huge bald headed man in the WWE isn’t something new and King Kong Bundy is one of the pioneers of that look. After being discovered by the Von Erich family, he would make his wrestling debut in 1981. As a monster heel, Bundy quickly got work around the world and would go up against the top babyfaces of his time.
He would sign with the WWE in 1985 and would eventually feud with Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, and Big John Studd. His best highlights would come from his feud with Hogan, which climaxed at WrestleMania II. His last match would come against “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan in 2006.
The Mississippi native named James Harris would make his wrestling debut in 1974 after meeting Bobo Brazil. While working with Jerry Lawler in Memphis, the two came up with the famous Kamala character that scared the daylights out of many children. After having success and honing his craft, he would have several runs with the WWE between the ‘80s and ‘90s.
He would have a long career and may be the only wrestler to have worked with both Daniel Bryan and Andre the Giant in the ring. Sadly, things would turn for the worst in 2011 for Harris. His left leg would have to be amputated due to high blood pressure and diabetes. In 2012, his right leg would also be removed for the same reasons.
Fans that believe the WWE has nefarious intentions for all the bookings they make know all too well about Demolition. You think WWE would allow New Day to break the record for longest reign as Tag Team Champions because they’re stars, however, many fans believe they only got the nod because Demolition (the former record holder) would be part of the class action lawsuit against the WWE.
Ax and Smash would debut together in 1987 for the WWE. Their gimmicks were post-apocalyptic heels but fans began to love them. Billed from "Parts Unknown", there was an aura around them that made fans want to cheer instead of boo. The two would be a tag team together for decades before working their last match as a team this year.
2 Paul Orndorff
At 67 years old, Orndorff would step back into the ring this year after a 17-year absents. He would work a six-man tag match for CWE’s 8th Anniversary Show Tour. The WWE Hall of Famer would make his wrestling debut in 1976. After working several territories, the WWE would offer him a contract in 1983. It was the right timing for Orndorff because the Vince McMahon and the WWE were on the path to owning the competition.
In 1985, Orndorff would be involved in the main event of the inaugural WrestleMania, cementing his legacy in the industry. After leaving the company in 1988, Orndorff would work a majority of his time with WCW before retiring from in-ring action in 2000. Surprisingly, Orndorff didn’t win a single championship with the WWE.
1 Road Warrior Animal
What a rush! We’re not talking about the rush of blood to Road Warrior Animal’s head after getting turned upside down but the lyrics to his entrance music. Animal and his partner, Road Warrior Hawk, revolutionized the Tag Team Division in the 1980s with their charisma and powerful abilities. Warrior would make his wrestling debut in 1982 and would work sign with the WWE in 1990 after a great run with Jim Crockett Promotions.
Vince McMahon would book them to win tag team gold a year after signing with the company but a fallout would occur between Hawk and creative after the use of a wooden ventriloquist dummy called Rocco. Animal and Hawk would eventually reunite and the two would stay with the company until 1992 and then work for WWE again between 1997-’99. Hawk was another name added to the recent lawsuit, in an attempt to get some money out of his former boss.