Secrets are hard to keep in the wrestling business. The years go by and information will leak out one way or another. In real time, there are many backstage sources that provide wrestling website with the information that could damage the reputation of a fellow wrestler. The power of the internet and the accessibility of the wrestling industry will also give the talent many opportunities to admit their worst moments. Quite a few top names have either willingly confessed or have been forced to admit a regrettable action during their career that could harm the legacy of the WWE.
Vince McMahon loves getting the real story and using it for profit in storylines or documentary releases. However, there are a few instances of him shying away from discussing something too much. The shameful moments that would make both him and the company look terrible by association will get swept under the rug in the grand scheme of things. We'll take a look at some of the most surprising stories that painted the WWE in a poor light. These are specifically the tales of fifteen confessions by wrestling talent that Vince McMahon definitely did not want the media or fan base to know about.
15 Roman Reigns Violating The Wellness Policy While WWE World Champion
One embarrassing confession in recent memory that WWE was forced to witness featured Roman Reigns violating the Wellness Policy in 2016. Reigns was suspended for thirty days after failing the drug test during his WWE World Championship run. Following losing the belt, Reigns was sent home for the month with WWE having to publicly announce the violation given the importance of credibility.
Reigns never admitted what drug he actually used to fail the test but he did not give any excuses. The guy that was built to be “the face of WWE” was busted for violating the company’s own policy. Reigns did say he took his punishment and vowed to move forward learning from the mistake. WWE moved Roman down the card for a few months before getting back on the bandwagon to make him “the guy” the company is built around. It will still always one big strike against him that fans remember.
14 John Morrison Admits JBL Asked Him To Steal Justin Roberts’ Passport
Many stories about the bullying tactics of JBL backstage were revealed publicly following the story regarding Mauro Ranallo leaving WWE due to it. One of the more high profile tales featured Justin Roberts sharing the story of someone stealing his passport during an overseas tour at the request of JBL. The story started to blow up and JBL claimed Roberts was lying.
John Morrison ended up proving JBL a liar by discussing how he and Joey Mercury were asked to steal the passport. MNM were getting heat backstage from JBL as well and they could have won him over by pulling the harsh prank. Morrison claimed he and Mercury chose not to take part in the awful idea. The confession outing JBL was behind the prank was damning enough to get a glimpse into how awful he was backstage.
13 Daniel Bryan Was Happier On Indies Than WWE
WWE wants both fans and the wrestlers of the industry to believe they're the only place one can happily make a living as a professional. Daniel Bryan proved that to be wrong with the release of his autobiography. The move to WWE came when he wanted to finally make some big money and save for his future. Bryan however claimed he did not completely enjoy his time there.
Aside from meeting friends and enjoying visiting new places, Bryan found less happiness in his work and confessed the money wasn’t all that better in WWE until he moved into the main event scene. One of the shocking aspects of his WWE life was about how miserable he felt as a performer. Bryan considered leaving after his contract expired before meeting Brie Bella and seeing his success start to grow as a singles star.
12 Jim Ross Reveals Real Reason Vince Didn’t Push Gail Kim
Gail Kim is easily one of the best women’s wrestlers of all time, but none of her best work came in her two WWE tenures. The talent of Gail was wasted both times due to Vince McMahon not seeing anything special in her. Kim stated she felt McMahon thought she was unattractive leading to a lack of success with less talented wrestlers being ranked above her.
Jim Ross interviewed Gail on his Ross Report podcast and confessed about McMahon’s views of her. The reason Vince didn’t push Kim is he felt no one would want to see an Asian woman and didn’t believe anyone thought Asian women were attractive. The offensive comments clearly rubbed Gail the wrong way but at least it confirmed her suspicions. Given WWE’s desire for diversity as a global brand today, McMahon can’t be happy about this being out there.
11 Shawn Michaels Used To Wrestle Drunk
Everyone knows Shawn Michaels used to have his addiction struggles with drugs and alcohol. No one could have predicted he worked under the influence given how tremendous his matches were every single week. Michaels had arguably the greatest in-ring career of all time, but some of his 80s and 90s matches featured him having drinks before performing.
An interview with Maggie Gray on SI Now featured Michaels confessing that he did wrestle a few times while drunk. Michaels stated he had the talent to get through it and felt he could wrestle blindfolded if needed. Vince McMahon can’t be pleased with one of his biggest legends admitting to working while under the influence considering other performers safety was in his hands. Michaels confessing it all these years later with no real reason to makes it even worse.
10 Ultimate Warrior Homophobic Tirades
WWE is strongly trying to present their product as being welcoming to all viewers and performers. The support of the LGBT community has become a bigger deal to WWE in recent years. However, they still celebrate The Ultimate Warrior and actually have a Hall of Fame induction in his celebration every year. Warrior confessed many problematic views through the years that completely differ from what WWE is looking to represent.
The homophobic views of Warrior were the most vocal going as far as to say actor Heath Ledger deserved death for playing a gay man in the Brokeback Mountain film. Warrior almost started a riot speaking at a college back in 2006 due to his radical beliefs. There’s also a history of Warrior making racist comments. The confession of Warrior’s true beliefs is something WWE hopes fans don’t remember now that they;re celebrating his legacy.
9 Kurt Angle Took 65 Vicodin a Day
The shocking departure of Kurt Angle from WWE back in 2006 was partly due to his drug addiction. Angle’s body was falling apart with various health issues after all of the wear and tear. One of the terrifying things he did towards the end of his career was taking 65 extra-strength Vicodin pills per day to get through the pain he faced so he could continue wrestling full time.
Angle has admitted in many interviews just how bad his pills addiction was during his rough days. The fact that Angle only had addiction issues as an effect of this is actually lucky given the dangers. WWE took a few years to bring back Angle due to this confession. Vince McMahon allegedly said he didn’t want to have an Olympic gold medalist die in his ring. Angle luckily appears to be in a better place today with a clean life.
8 Triple H Cheating On Chyna With Stephanie McMahon
The love triangle behind Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Chyna is still one of the most controversial stories in wrestling history. WWE obviously has tried to protect Stephanie and Triple H whenever referencing the background of it all. Documentary productions discussing the relationship always references Triple H and Stephanie mutually falling in love while working together and then getting to be a couple.
They conveniently leave Chyna out of it despite the fact she was dating Triple H during this time frame. Triple H has tried to avoid discussing Chyna but he has unofficially confessed the cheating by saying Chyna couldn’t handle their relationship ending during the same time his relationship with Stephanie started. Given the fact that Chyna’s life fell apart and she died due to her addictions, Vince doesn’t want you knowing about the love triangle.
7 The Rock Breaks Script To Call CM Punk
This confession is a little less serious than the others on the list, but it's very important in the grand scheme of WWE. Every wrestler has to follow the script and guidelines WWE sets in place for them considering it’s a television show. The Rock is one person that doesn’t care about doing what he's told and often goes over the line to get his own segments over.
Rock showed up in dark segments before and after an episode of Raw to film segments for his movie about Paige’s life. The live crowd was treated to a promo by Rock that was meant to feature a few jokes before he thanked them and ended the night. A chant of “CM Punk” broke out that saw Rock break the plan to give a call to the former WWE star. Punk did not answer the phone but Rock had fun with the crowd. Rock admitted that he did this off the cuff and it was not welcomed pleasantly backstage.
6 Many WWE Talent Way Underpaid
Various wrestler confessions have revealed that many current WWE Superstars are not being paid very well. Alberto Del Rio stated one of his friends recently signed with WWE and made a bad decision as he made less money than Lucha Underground offered. Ryback also had similar criticisms calling out WWE for not paying talent fairly across the board unless you're in the main event picture.
The recent projects of the Cruiserweight Classic and WWE United Kingdom tournament featured wrestlers allegedly signing deals for low pay. Wrestlers like The Young Bucks, Will Ospreay and Marty Scrull have signed with Ring of Honor and New Japan for money confessing the deals the recent independent talents signed are significantly smaller and not worth the move. The fact that many wrestlers are happy to work elsewhere is not want Vince McMahon wants being passed around as news online.
5 WWE Sent CM Punk Termination Papers the Day of his Wedding
CM Punk had many harsh words for WWE when he did his tell all podcast on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling regarding his exit. Many confessions from Punk featured stories of WWE breaking promises and not caring about his well-being despite having success as one of their most popular performers. The most shocking moment came when Punk said WWE sent his official termination papers on the day of his wedding with AJ Lee.
Punk came off sympathetic because you have to be pretty damn evil to plan something like out on a person’s wedding day. Vince McMahon apologized on Steve Austin’s podcast when asked about Punk and said it was a mistake the company didn’t plan. That isn’t a likely story but McMahon apologizing for something is rare. It shows just how much he hated this story being out after Punk revealed the actions of WWE.
4 Owen Hart’s Final Entrance Was Not Originally Planned
The death of Owen Hart during an error with his stunt entrance coming down from the rafters is the most heartbreaking moment in wrestling history. Owen was having a new run with his old Blue Blazer character. Vince Russo revealed in an interview with Steve Austin that this entrance was not even planned as part of the original show until the last minute.
It was the idea of Russo to add something new to Hart’s character. Stories have it that Owen was not comfortable with it but did not want to get any heat for turning down the idea. Russo went on to say that Hart never shared any concerns and the new entrance was written in shortly before the show with enough time to practice. The crushing moment of the legend dying in the ring would have never happened if this wasn’t added at the last minute for no real reason.
3 Hulk Hogan Steroid Trial
One of the first shocking confessions to hurt WWE’s reputation featured Hulk Hogan taking the stand at the infamous 1994 trial. Vince McMahon and WWE were feeling the heat of steroid allegations. Hogan took the stand and put a huge nail against his former employer. The confession of Hogan stated steroid use was very common in WWE during the 80s and he used to call McMahon’s secretary to illegally get the steroids to him from a doctor.
McMahon ended up surviving the federal trial and WWE obviously did not die. However, nothing was certain at the time and most assumed the company wouldn’t last too long following the ordeal. At the time, Hogan was the biggest star in WWE history and no one else was close. The admittance of steroid use in WWE will forever remain one of the things WWE hopes to hide.
2 John Cena Bullied Alex Riley Backstage
John Cena is the biggest WWE star of the past decade. The success of Cena in the ring is perhaps second to reputation he has in real life. Cena has dedicated much of his free time to various charitable efforts. The record for most wishes granted in Make-A-Wish history is still held by Cena. It's obvious he loves using his platform to help provide others with happiness.
One confession from various wrestlers about Cena that paints him negatively regards Alex Riley. Cena did not like working with Riley and held a grudge for a long time. Ryback, Tyler Reks and other wrestlers have confessed to being backstage witnessing Cena trashing Riley both to other wrestlers and to his face. Riley is known for being a jerk, but Cena going out of his way to humiliate him is not a memory Vince McMahon wants associated with his cash cow.
1 Steve Austin Brutally Attacked Debra
Another legend in WWE with a mistake that haunts his legacy is Steve Austin. The success of Austin made him arguably the biggest star in WWE history. Austin however made headlines for the negative side of things when he was arrested for beating his wife and fellow wrestler Debra in 2002. This is one story that Austin goes out of his way to never discuss in interviews.
Austin has admitted it once in his book stating he regrets the incident. The actual claims of him brutally beating her were never addressed, but his regret along with not denying it basically confessed the guilt. Austin has repaired his reputation and is still a part of the WWE family today. Vince McMahon, WWE and Austin all want this removed from the memories of fans that still value his wrestling genius.