Wrestling used to work differently in the yesteryears. Since Vince McMahon, Paul Heyman, Jim Cornette and Eric Bischoff all were influenced by their top stars back then, wrestlers ensured they formed strong backstage cliques to retain their positions in the promotions they worked for. Essentially, wrestlers used to put in a lot of effort into protecting not only their position in the company but also their friends’.
The most notable backstage clique was the Shawn Michaels-inspired The Kliq. Under him were Triple H, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman. Since all five were collectively more important to the company than any random group of five superstars back then, Vinnie Mac often gave in to their desires as they remained atop the food chain for a very long time. To combat their stranglehold, many wrestling factions popped up, but none were as powerful or popular as The Canadian Mafia and Bone Street Krew. The former comprised Pat Patterson, Bret and Owen Hart, Bad News Brown, Jacques Rougeau, Dino Bravo, Rick Martel, Ron Garvin and the British Bulldogs. BSK, headed by The Undertaker and Yokozuna, on the other hand, consisted of Rikishi, Paul Bearer, Savio Vega, Brian Adams, The Godfather, Mr. Fuji, Henry O. Godwinn and Phineas I. Godwinn.
Backstage cliques have become a rarity these days as WWE has been able to ensure no star holds enough backstage power to catalyze its booking decisions. However, we have numerous backstage friend circles that ride together and help together as much as they could. I’ve discussed at least one insane story about today’s backstage factions, except for the one that comprises The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, John Morrison, Zack Ryder and Justin Roberts.
If you have more insane stories, mention those in the comments’ section.
16 The Kliq Teaching Jerry Lawler a lesson in attitude
I think it’s only fitting to begin an article on wrestling cliques with a real life incident featuring The Kliq. The Kliq had a stranglehold on WWE, if not, the mainstream wrestling business during their prime. When they found a certain wrestler’s attitude questionable, they ensured they humbled them as only they owned the bragging rights to be obnoxiously cocky gentlemen. When Jerry Lawler, a Memphis wrestling legend, had a holier-than-thou mentality in the WWE locker room, The Kliq took it upon themselves to ensure he sat down. X-Pac, with the help of Curt Hennig, crapped in The King’s crown while he was away. Needless to say, he toned down his behavior at the back of this incident to become better suited to the WWE working atmosphere. This is not the only insane real life story involving X-Pac as he seemingly used his excrement more often than he did steel chairs to down his opponents.
15 NXT 5’s laid-back schedule
NXT gets a lot of positive publicity for being the platform indie wrestlers use to gain recognition and a fatter paycheck. However, there are aspects of it that apparently irks a lot of talents themselves. According to the grapevine, Triple H’s hand-picked NXT 5, comprising Finn Balor, Neville, Sami Zayn, Hideo Itami and Kevin Owens, enjoyed less tedious schedule while NXT originals such as Tyler Breeze and Baron Corbin all worked their socks off to grab the brass ring. WWE officials apparently felt that the NXT 5 had amassed enough experience working for indie promotions such as PWG, ROH and NJPW. Many lesser known insiders claimed that many developmental talents found WWE’s attitude insulting. However, making them train at the Performance Center while they were already main-roster ready might have been a bigger insult.
14 BSK’s in-house ribber
The Bone Street Krew definitely were like no other wrestling clique. However, nothing stopped them from doing the regular things most wrestlers of their period did. Although no in-ring performer was high on ribs, their in-house manager Mr. Fuji ensured he added humor to the gang. He often nailed colleagues' clothes to hotel ceilings besides lacing other’s food with laxatives only to have a laugh at their rushing to the nearest toilet. He delighted in leaving his co-workers stranded in airports after cancelling their flights without their consent. He even urinated in Lex Luger’s wrestling boots once. The most famous rib he’d ever pulled off saw him make then-novice Sunny braid Yokozuna’s hair that hadn’t been washed in ages. Mr. Fuji was essentially BSK’s answer to The Canadian Mafia’s Owen Hart and The Kliq’s Sean Waltman although modern wrestling fans seem unaware of his ribs.
13 The Kliq Taking MJ Before Curtain Call
Even if you were born after the turn of the century, I’m certain you’ve heard about Curtain Call, Montreal Screwjob and even the Gobbledy Gooker. The Curtain Call saw The Kliq’s four notorious faces – Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall – break kayfabe, on the latter two’s final day in WWE. They all embraced in the middle of the ring after facing each other in two singles matches, drawing the ire of pro-wrestling purists such as Jim Cornette. While many know about their breaking kayfabe, none seems to be aware of their being as high as a kite when they were making fans look fools.
Members of The Kliq have revealed in numerous shoot interviews that Scott Hall and Kevin Nash had smoked up for the first time since WWE’s introduction of hard line drug policy, knowing Vince McMahon couldn’t do anything about it. Committing what many consider a disgraceful act is one thing, but being under the influence throughout the ordeal is a different thing altogether. No wonder The Kliq were widely despised during their peak.
12 The Kliq Adding a 'flavor' to Sunny’s food
This is the last poop-related story, I promise. In fact, one can write a TheSportster article on poop-related stories, but I have more interesting (or nasty, if you will) stories lined up. Sunny has been known to be a junkie ring rat who cheated on her devoted boyfriend (or a dumb stooge, in the words of Kevin Nash himself) Chris Candido during her WWE stint. As you’d expect, The Kliq decided to teach her a lesson only days after warding off her boyfriend only for the unofficial leader Shawn Michaels to scr*w her backstage. X-Pac (surprising, innit?) added his excreta onto Sunny’s Chinese food when they were on the road and an unsuspecting Sunny apparently consumed it to become aware of X-Pac’s antics only the next day. Trustworthy persons such as Paul Bearer have confirmed the authenticity of this story, leaving one wondering if there were more poop-related incidents involving The Kliq.
11 Kevin Nash Talks The Cops Out Of Being Arrested
Given Kevin Nash’s shrugging off a wrong surgery recently, we all know he’s a badass. One incident during The Kliq’s peak certainly highlights how he’s always been a badass. With Shawn Michaels twitching after consuming ridiculous amounts of soma and liquor, the officers were questioning Nash what was going on. Maintaining composure, he told the officers that he was epileptic. The officers, who had handcuffed every member of The Kliq, set HBK and Nash free as they boarded the ambulance before laughing at the doctor who tried tending to HBK.
Most persons would have crumbled under pressure when three of your closest friends were high on somas and beer, but Nash ensured they all reached home safe without the officers being involved. No wonder many backstage loved Nash.
10 The Kliq/BSK cold war
Shawn Michaels recently revealed that The Undertaker and Scott Hall and Kevin Nash chummed around a lot. Apparently, The Kliq hung around with BSK a bunch; however, they didn’t really like each other very much. Apparently, The Undertaker and co. were furious when The Kliq broke kayfabe at Madison Square Garden. The Deadman even ensured The Showstopper did the job to Steve Austin when the word around the locker room was that he was planning on screwing the then-up-and-coming star out of the title win.
Many allege that Yokozuna and co. brought together a group of silent badasses to ensure The Kliq’s influence didn’t balloon. Although BSK members squashed the rumors about BSK and The Kliq disliking each other in a WWE interview, Mideon and The Godfather gave away enough to tell the readers that there’s a reason why they were considered enemies.
9 Yokozuna’s cracking The Undertaker and Bret Hart up
Although many backstage cliques existed back then, no amount of animosity stopped the talents from intermingling. The Canadian Mafia and Bone Street Krew, for instance, intermingled more than any pair of wrestling cliques did. Yokozuna, the silent badass who founded BSK, brought the cliques together at the expense of his looking stupid. As no toilet was ever big enough for the Samoan big man, he faced numerous troubles while answering nature's call; at a hotel the WWE wrestlers had checked in, Bret Hart and The Undertaker had to rush to the toilet Yokozuna had been using after sensing a loud sound emanating from it.
Laying on the floor was the 600-pounder, covered in poop, after having broken the toilet. Even though the duo tried keeping a straight face, they burst out laughing in front of an embarrassed Yokozuna.
8 BSK pledging their loyalty to WWE
The WWE locker room was stunned when Kevin Nash and Scott Hall made the jump to WCW. Many felt that they could follow in their footsteps to make Ted Turner money. Only a few felt that they ought to pledge their loyalty to the McMahons, and The Bone Street Krew was at the forefront of that movement. Savio Vega revealed in a shoot interview that The Undertaker had the chance to sign a more lucrative deal with WCW; however, he decided to turn down the offer from WWE’s biggest rival to date, becoming an inspiration for the rest of the WWE roster. Every other BSK member followed in his footsteps as they worked with WWE until WWE no longer needed them. The Undertaker’s loyalty had paid dividends as he now comes across as a wrestling legend while those who made the jump have achieved only half as he has.
7 Christian’s ‘stalking’ Chris Jericho
The Canadian Mafia is easily the biggest backstage clique I’ve discussed in this article, as they inducted every wrestler as long as they’re Canadian. Chris Jericho and Christian, two of the last few TCM inductees, loved ribbing back and forth without ever developing any animosity toward each other having worked together for years. Christian apparently set up a person to call his Canadian pal every now and then, pretending to be his superfan Gertrude. Although he didn’t mind much in the beginning, the messages Christian had aired through a messenger became too creepy for the first Unified Champion to bear. At one point, he began checking every motel he checked in for Gertrude’s presence as he was genuinely terrified of her. The GOAT sighed in relief when he was told that he was being ribbed as he was genuinely terrified.
6 The Hart Foundation’s downing Vince McMahon
Prior to WWE’s introducing a new drug policy, Vince McMahon partied with his talents as he looked to boost his relationship with Hulk Hogan, who had come under the microscope over anabolic steroid usage. One thing led to another as he found himself being on the receiving end of The Road Warriors’ finisher. Although Brutus Beefcake and Hulk Hogan caught him mid-air to avoid injuries, he only riled up Jim Neidhart, as he announced that The Hart Foundation would hit The Chairman hard, unlike Road Warriors, who delivered a watered down version of their finisher.
Bret Hart, not realizing Neidhart was serious, agreed and found himself trapped. The Hitman gave him the Hart Attack, with his tag-team partner Jim Neidhart rendering him defenseless. Vince hit the floor hard, but in his inebriated state, the only thing he could say was "you owe me a drink, Hitman."
5 The British Bulldogs tormenting Jake Roberts’ snake
Although Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid hailed from England, their training at Dungeon of Doom ensured they were inducted into The Canadian Mafia. Being associated with TCM, the clique that also had Owen Hart in it, in turn, made them bad ribbers. The duo often threw lit cigarettes into the bag in which Jake Roberts usually put his snake Damien, with the hope of riling the snake up to bite him whenever he opened it. Their rib kind of worked, but The Snake got one back at The British Bulldogs by feeding their bulldog Matilda laxatives behind their back as it coated the whole room with feces. The trio essentially abused each other’s pets but, by the looks of things, poop pranks are a essential part of wrestlers’ lives, truly.
3 The Scrub Room’s routine
Every other insane story we’ve discussed discusses the insane things that are usually considered normal in the wacky world of professional wrestling. This, I feel, is the only truly insane story for we seldom hear about successful wrestlers doing things that Scrub Room regularly did. Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Jimmy Jacobs and The Young Bucks all hung out together during their indie days in late ‘00s, as they regularly discussed the nuances of the business late into nights. They only held pizza parties in their hotel room while the rest of the roster partied how wrestlers usually do.
The Young Bucks, who remain the only Scrub Room members to fend off WWE interest to date, revealed in a shoot interview that they missed their late-night discussions. Given what they’ve all achieved, it’s proven that playing hard shouldn’t essentially be a thing.
2 BSK’s tattoo
Every wrestling clique takes itself seriously. Shawn Michaels had his Kliq members came out when he was inducted into Hall of Fame. The Scrub Room proudly claimed that they had taken over the industry when the members became prominent WWE employees. One wrestling clique that has kept its passion and pride somewhat lowkey is Bone Street Krew, as we never see them acknowledging their association often. However, they’re the only clique to get the clique’s name tattooed on their body, with The Undertaker, Savio Vega, The Godwinns and Mideon all getting BSK inked on their bodies.
With Vega’s getting the name inked on his arm while touring Puerto Rico, the others followed the suit, and The Deadman continues to showboat his tattoo every time he finishes his opponents off. We’ll definitely have more wrestling cliques in the future despite the locker room being somewhat politics-free, but we’ll never have a gang that loved and protected each other as much as BSK did.
1 The Kliq versus TCM
The rivalry between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart definitely transcended wrestling. It’s not a secret that Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart despised each other so much during their peak, to the point where they both accused each other of having an affair with Chris Candido’s girlfriend Sunny. However, the rivalry between The Kliq and The Canadian Mafia sort of reached its zenith when The Kliq masterminded the Montreal Screwjob. Although no one really believes that the infamous moment involving Vince McMahon, Earl Hebner and the cliques’ leaders was engineered by The Kliq, Triple H’s taking responsibility for the whole debacle makes one wonder if the controversial moment ensured The Kliq won the cold war over foes TCM.
We’ll never know anything related to the incident, but we all know that TCM was The Kliq’s real foes, while BSK only bothered about themselves, strip clubs and beer.