Everyone loves a bit of controversy. Eric Bischoff said it best when he pointed out that controversy creates cash. As we should all know by now, nothing is more controversial or attention grabbing than a full blown scandal. Whether that scandal revolves around drugs, death, sex, lies, or videotapes, it'll be sure to captivate an audience based on all of the drama surrounding it. As the saying goes in the journalism field, if it bleeds, it leads. If we were to glance at any one of the number of scandals plaguing media outlets right now, it would go to show just how true that statement is. Scandals surrounding the lives of people like Bill Cosby, Tiger Woods, Dennis Rodman, or Meek Mill (just to name a few), the mainstream crowds love a good scandal. The same is especially true in the world of wrestling.
Do not let the extravagant theatrics and family friendly spectacle fool any of you. Wrestling is and has always been one of the most scandal rampant and seedy underbellies of any sports world. Wrestling related scandals have more famously rocked the overall news world when dressed under the guise of the Vince McMahon Steroid Trial of the 90s, the Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita love triangle of the mid-2000s, and the dozens upon dozens of wacky stories surrounding 80s wrestling scene that saw wrestlers laced in booze, women, and debauchery. There are several scandals in wrestling history that fans are familiar with enough to mention at the drop of a hat, but some of the more overlooked and unknown scandals are some of the most intriguing ones worth talking about. Here are some examples.
15 Ashley Massaro's (Alleged) Escort Life
Former WWE Divas Ashley Massaro and Sunny have been having a sort of social media beef for quite some time. In 2015, in light of Sunny live skype nude videos to her paying fans, she often got messages from said fans asking to "hook up." Sunny tweeted that if anyone wanted to hook up, don't ask her, but Ashley Massaro was the ex-WWE Diva to go to alleging that she was an escort.
14 Kevin Nash Twitter Hacked
On September 13th, 2015, a nude selfie of fitness model Jennifer Micheli was uploaded onto Kevin Nash's Twitter page and then quickly deleted. Nash would go on record of saying that his page was hacked. Fans have since speculated that there might be more to the story than we may be told.
13 From Miss Nitro To Registered Offender
For a special Spring Break episode of Monday Night Nitro from 1997, WCW decided to hold a Miss Nitro beauty contest. The contest was won by 19-year old Pamela Rogers. Years after her 15 minutes of fame, Ms. Nitro became Mrs. Turner when she married a man named Christopher Turner and then earned herself a teaching degree. She would go on to teach at Centertown Elementary School in McMinnville, Tennessee, where she would instigate an affair with a 13-year old boy. Her and the student had oral, manual, and intercourse on at least 12 occasions.
When their relationship was found out, Rogers was tried on 15 counts of sexual battery and 13 counts of statutory asault on February 4th, 2005. In addition to being divorced from her husband and her teaching certificate revoked, Rogers was sentenced to eight years in prison, which was reduced to 270 days.
12 Matt Hardy/Paul London/Ashley Love Triangle
The love triangle between Matt Hardy, Edge, and Lita has been well documented by this point, but few wrestling fans know about another love triangle between Hardy, Paul London, and Ashley Massaro.
Massaro had started dating Hardy first, but when their flame fizzled out, she started dating London soon after. This caused a backstage beef of sorts between London and Hardy that London has been open about discussing in interviews. London has expressed his disdain over Hardy spreading untrue rumors about him out of jealously. There's been speculation that Hardy spread rumors because he thought that London and Massaro were fooling around while she was still dating Hardy. Safe to say everyone involved has moved on particularly Matt who recently had his second child alongside Reby Sky.
11 Mero & Sable Vs Gangrel & Luna
While Luna Vachon and Sable were in the midst of an on-screen rivalry, WWE printed a story in the magazine claiming, in kayfabe, that Luna didn't think Sable paid her dues. As Luna explained a 2003 shoot interview, she was oblivious to these comments. Sable took them to heart after reading and so when Luna greeted Sable backstage as usual, she was confused to see Sable shove her hand in her face.
10 CM Punk's Legal Trouble With His Mother
When he was still a wrestler, CM Punk continuously made a strong effort to keep his private life private and separate from his professional life. However, he found it hard to do so in 2013 when news broke that Punk had filed a restraining order against his own mother. Punk has admitted in interviews that his family was often damaging to his well-being, but seldom went into specifics on the matter.
9 Rocky (Johnson) Relationships
We all know that The Rock comes from a well respected wrestling lineage based around his father, the legendary Rocky Johnson, and his mother, Ata Maivia, the daughter of "High Chief" Peter Maivia. Some of us may know that the two were married for 25 years, but few of us know about the affairs which Johnson had in that time period.
8 Harley Race Pulls A Gun on Hulk Hogan
Back in the territory days, the heat between different wrestling companies was as real as it could get. In 1984, WWE put on a show in the Kansas City area at the same time that NWA was putting on their own show. NWA main event star Harley Race took great offense to that, believing that this was WWE's sign of not respecting him and the promotion.
7 When Keeping It Kayfabe Goes Wrong
Back when wrestling was still real to everyone (dammit) who was involved in the sport, wrestlers went to extreme lengths to keep kayfabe alive, often at risk to their life. On a rather interesting night in 1964, as disclosed in his book Listen You Pencil Neck Geeks, "Classy" Freddie Blassie challenged Bruno Sammartino for the WWE Championship. After Blassie won by count out, he was met backstage by restaurant owner Jilly Rizzo, a friend of Sammartino.
6 The Butt Slap Heard Around The World (or At Least By Delirious)
In early 2016, it was reported by The Wrestling Observer that ROH referee, Kevin Keenan, was fired from the company for making sexual advances towards a female talent via slapping the employee on her backside. The next day, Keenan would bring clarity to the situation by explaining that while the crew and roster ran into each other on Broadway, Kennan smacked Mandy Leon on the butt in a joking manner. She laughed it off and jokingly shoved him back before the two shared a conversation.
5 Homicide & Dan Maff Beef
There was once a time when Dan Maff and Homicide were the best of friends on the indie scene. That all changed in 2005 when Homicide basically blackballed Maff from the wrestling business entirely. Homicide would issue a number of cryptic messages stating that Maff had "betrayed" him and for this betrayal, he will not work for any company that chooses to hire Maff.
4 Hiroshi Tanahashi Stabbed By His Girlfriend
In 2002, Hiroshi Tanahashi was just a hot young prospect on the rise in New Japan Pro Wrestling. At the time, he was riding a wave of momentum as part of the Kings of the Hill tag team with Kenzo Suzuki, but that tag team ended abruptly when real life tragedy struck.
3 Al Snow's Infidelity
Some years back, Attitude Era star Al Snow was married to Cynthia Lynch, who is best known as Bobcat, one of The Godfather's escorts and one of only four women to win the Hardcore Championship. The two married in 2009, but soon divorced in 2015 based on allegations of infidelity.
2 Awesome Kong Chokes Reby Sky
In 2015, Awesome Kong returned to Impact Wrestling with intentions of pursuing a full fledged comeback. However, within a matter of months, she was gone from the company thanks to a spat with fellow Knockout, Reby Sky.
1 Matt Wichlinski - The Pervy NXT Coach
Matt Wichlinski worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for WWE's Performance Center and their NXT Superstars. During the summer of 2013, there were some damning allegations against Wichlinski accusing him of sexually harassing the female wrestlers. Former WWE superstar Trent Baretta alluded to this being true when a fan on Twitter asked if Baretta was similar to Bayley. His response was "nope. She's way prettier...I don't even get sexually harassed by my strength coach." An anonymous female NXT talent went on to accuse Wichlinski of taking hidden pictures of the women in training (including Summer Rae, Paige, and The Bella Twins) and post them on social media, which were deleted in light of the claims.
Former talent Ryan Nemeth (Dolph Ziggler's brother) would call Wichlinski out on Twitter, calling him a sexual predator, but then deleted those tweets. There was an apparent investigation against Wichlinski on the matter made by WWE, but there was no concrete evidence found to validate claims made by the female talent. Whether it was true or not, Wichlinski was fired from WWE in 2016.
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