Social media has become arguably the biggest tool in pro wrestling today. Wrestlers have the ability to promote themselves and engage with the fans on a daily basis within a few simple clicks. A few top names have become massive stars outside of WWE thanks to social media. The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes and Marty Scurll all having top selling t-shirts in Hot Topic show just how much you can positively get out of a strong social media presence. WWE is doubling down as well promoting their social media presence as one of the most important things to market.
However, there are equally terrible things one can do online to hurt their career and it's easier than finding success. We all love reading Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and various other social media platforms to keep up with each other and the people that interests us. An offensive, rude or regrettable post can be deleted from your page, but it can’t be deleted if someone screenshots it. Wrestlers have learned that the hard way in recent years leading to ramifications from a poor decision. We'll take a look at fifteen specific incidents that resulted in a wrestler getting in trouble over a social media post.
13 Batista Bashes Stephanie McMahon
Batista is very outspoken about how much he disliked his most recent WWE run back in 2014. WWE tried to push him as a face in the main event of WrestleMania XXX leading to fans revolting against him in favor of Daniel Bryan. Batista ended up losing the main event to Bryan in a triple threat match and worked the rest of his tenure in PPV matches reforming Evolution against The Shield.
One specific moment from his tenure that Batista hated featured Stephanie McMahon trashing him in the ring before slapping him across the face. Batista eventually responded to a tweet of hers referring to her slap by essentially calling out how it hurts every wrestler she feuds with. Stephanie never responded but the comment from Batista may have destroyed his chances of another return. Batista recently revealed that he has pitched to come back to WWE for a retirement match against Triple H. He gets lip service before they stop talking to him about it. Maybe the tweet has something to do with WWE not wanting his services.
12 Josh Is Not Tough Enough
Josh Bredl won the most recent season of Tough Enough back in 2015. Vince McMahon and Triple H were both reportedly very high on the potential of Josh due to his look and athletic background in the NFL. The WWE locker room didn’t agree with the two bosses when Bredl made a huge mistake on social media. Josh upset many wrestlers of credible nature when taking shots at the Social Outcasts faction.
Heath Slater, Adam Rose, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas tried to make the group of lovable losers a success comedic act. Josh responded to one of their segment's on Twitter by referring to them as the “social jobbers.” Kevin Owens and Cody Rhodes specifically bashed Bredl for the world to see implying he wouldn’t be allowed to dress in the locker room if ever called up. All four Social Outcasts had the same anger towards the rookie. Josh would never get called up and was forced to retire to injury avoiding the drama.
13. Seth Rollins' Private Pictures
The public perception of Seth Rollins took a hit in 2015 when a love triangle went wrong in the worst of ways. Rollins cheated on his fiancé with fellow wrestler from NXT Zahra Schreiber. The actions of Rollins would not go unpunished as he apparently left his phone with his fiancé as she found out. Seconds before an episode of Monday Night Raw began, Rollins’ Twitter and Instagram accounts posted nude pictures of both him and Zahra.
Rollins’ fiancé admitted to posting the photos before they were deleted and his passwords changed. The irony of it all was Rollins was on television as it all happened. WWE clearly wasn’t happy with one of their biggest stars being involved in such a public controversy. Rollins was told to apologize on social media for the pictures coming from his accounts. WWE didn’t hold it against him in the long run as he cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase a few months later in the main event of WrestleMania 31 to become the WWE World Champion.
11 Cameron Gets Fired For Defending Ryback
WWE will definitely react harshly if they feel an employee of little value is disrespecting them on social media. It's one thing if a main eventer or future star has a controversial post. The company will protect them and deal with a punishment that won’t hurt their career in the long run. Cameron however was one female wrestler that didn’t hold much value for WWE.
Following years of bad in-ring work, WWE sent her down to the Performance Center to learn and hopefully improve. Cameron would never get to show if she really did get better due to one social media mistake. Ryback trashed WWE for treating their employees poorly at the time before he went home to run out his contract. Cameron foolishly agreed with him publicly leading to WWE firing her the following week.
10 Jessicka Havok's Racist Comments
The timing of controversy to strike Jessicka Havok proved how huge a mistake making terrible comments on social media can be. Havok was attending a WWE tryout at the Performance Center and many believed she was one of the favorites to land a contract. Instead, someone on Twitter found multiple old tweets from Havok that were extremely offensive.
Havok posted various comments using racist and homophobic terms back in 2011 and 2012. They resurfaced in 2015 to destroy any chances of WWE signing her following her tryouts. Havok deleted all of the tweets and claimed they were things she barely even remembered tweeting. It still got her in hot water with WWE not wanting her and her previously strong reputation taking a hit. Havok has apologized but still holds a grudge over those who messed with her livelihood by looking up her regrettable tweets.
9 Jay Briscoe Threatens To Shoot Those Who Preach Same Sex Marriage
Ring of Honor star Jay Briscoe was the World Champion back in 2013 after getting a huge victory to end Kevin Owens’ reign. The new face of ROH was given the ball to run with at a time when the company was trying to get more relevance. Briscoe however made one horrible comment on social media that hurt the perception of ROH.
Delaware passed a bill that allowed same sex marriage and Jay decided to make his opinion known. Briscoe tweeted that he would shoot anyone that tried to teach his children that gay marriage was okay. The comment created headlines for ROH in the opposite direction of attention they were looking to get. ROH made Jay issue a public apology before donating two shows worth of his pay to the Partners Against Hate charity.
8 Michael Cole Uses Slur Against Josh Mathews
The idea of banter from Michael Cole looking to have fun at the expense of his former color commentary partner Josh Mathews led to a lot of controversy. Cole used a gay slur to reply to one of Mathews tweets and it became a huge story online. TMZ, The Baltimore Sun and various other websites called out Cole for using such a term when WWE was practicing anti-bullying campaigns.
Cole deleted the tweet and issued a public apology. It's very likely that WWE made sure he did these things within hours of the story catching fire. WWE received some negative coverage for this poor post of Cole’s but it didn’t impact his stability. Cole has remained the voice of WWE all these years and the apology was all that was required of him.
7 Adam Rose Calls Out WWE's Suspension
WWE tries to present their Wellness Policy as being more credible than any other sport when it comes to cracking down on enhancements. Following the shocking Chris Benoit tragedy, WWE tried to change their image of endorsing their wrestlers to use dangerous drugs. The Wellness Policy was made and has been the law in WWE for the past decade.
Wrestlers to fail the drug test or violate the policy in any way will get suspended for a month. Adam Rose felt this was unfair and that he didn’t deserve to be suspended. According to Rose, the drug he used was prescribed medication from his doctor and WWE treated him unfairly. More controversy would hit Rose when he got involved in a domestic dispute shortly after. Both incidents led to WWE releasing him from his contract to start the downfall of his career.
7. Mick Foley's DM Insulting Summer Rae
This wasn’t a public post, but it was a horrible use of social media that Mick Foley clearly regrets. Foley loves engaging with the fans and may have gone too far when a fan of Summer Rae called him out. The fan wanted to see more of Summer on Raw following the brand split as she’s been an underrated part of the roster yet to get a break.
Foley replied by implying to the fan that Rae was nowhere near the caliber of performer that Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair were. As the Raw General Manager on-screen, Foley tried to defend the program but instead saw his insulting comments towards Summer posted online. Rae wasn’t happy at all about such comments being made about her. WWE encouraged Foley to stop messaging angry fans and he claimed to have stopped following this incident.
6 Melina Accidentally Roasts John Morrison
The on again, off again relationship between Melina and John Morrison seems to finally be over now. Morrison is engaged to fellow Lucha Underground wrestler Tara Valkyrie. However, one final moment between him and Melina led to a very embarrassing social media post. Melina tweeted a picture of a bottle of Cialis pills with Morrison’s real name on them as a prescription.
It was apparently a huge mistake as Melina deleted it and posted a follow-up tweet that times like this made her hate social media. Fans took screenshots and the moment lives forever on the internet. No one knows for sure if this was the real reason they finally broke up, but the relationship ended shortly after. A regrettable social media post can end a relationship which is worse than professional punishments in many ways.
5 Hulk Hogan RTs Defense Of Him Using N-Word
Hulk Hogan was black-listed from WWE when a sex tape was leaked showing him in a very embarrassing light. Not only did Hogan being in such a tape provide negative attention, but he was filmed saying racist comments and went as far as to use the n-word. WWE released Hogan from his ambassador contract and he became an even bigger joke in the public’s eyes.
Hogan did go on to win a lawsuit for millions of dollars after suing Gawker for distributing the tape that destroyed his legacy. Despite claims of regret and not being an actual racist, Hogan did try to defend his use of the n-word in a horrible Twitter moment. Hulk retweeted a fan asking why it was okay for President Barack Obama to use n-word and get cheered (he didn’t), but not for Hogan. The decision to share this comment showed Hogan didn’t learn anything and could very well play a role in WWE refusing to bring him back.
4 Everything From Alberto Del Rio & Paige
The relationship of Alberto Del Rio and Paige has done nothing to help the career of Paige. Both of them would become controversial figures in WWE after the company disapproved of them being together. Paige and Del Rio each violated the Wellness Policy leading to a suspension. Del Rio requested his release but Paige remained under contract. Paige tweeted that the drugs she failed the test for using were prescriptions for her neck pain during her injury.
This response just made her a bigger enemy of WWE as they retorted she was lying about the prescription. Another issue arose when WWE was skeptical of Paige truly needing the neck surgery she opted to get. Del Rio posted a text message claiming her doctor told her she needed the surgery. However, it was a screenshot of a random message that literally anyone could texted. WWE is allegedly considering just letting her contract run out as a result of all these issues.
3 Abraham Washington Fired For Supporting Linda At Wrong Time
The end of Abraham Washington’s career in WWE featured a couple of massive wrong decisions. Washington was working as the manager of the Prime Time Players when he made a controversial comment on air joking about Kobe Bryant’s rape allegations. The topic of rape is clearly not something WWE wants used on their product as a source of comedy.
Another terrible decision came shortly after when he publicly endorsed Linda McMahon on social media during her political campaign for Senate. The terrible publicity he received for the Bryant joke was bad enough, but he brought Linda into it by trying to kiss up at the wrong time. WWE reacted by firing him to basically end all relevance he held in wrestling. Washington tried to continue his career but it ended with two bad decisions back-to-back.
2 Randy Orton Humiliates Fan
Randy Orton is one of the biggest names in WWE but he often doesn’t care about it. The actions of Orton shows he demonstartes little desire to protect the company’s reputation if he was something he wants to say. One regrettable action featured him going out of his way to humiliate a fan that wanted a picture with him. Orton did take the picture with her but a post on Twitter showed his motives.
The term “Latina Miss Piggy” was used by Orton to insult the fan’s appearance when he posted on his popular Twitter page with millions of followers. Orton claims this fan was rude to his wife on social media in the past and this was his revenge. It instead just made him look like an even bigger jerk than most already thought. WWE made him apologize and take the post off his page.
1 Zahra's Pro-Nazi Posts
If you thought the love triangle with Seth Rollins was the lowest point for Zahra Schreiber on social media, you were sadly mistaken. Fans found old posts on her Twitter and Instagram pages showing highly offensive content. Zahra posted multiple pictures with Nazi paraphernalia ranging from swastikas to a cartoon character dressed as Hitler. That wasn’t all as she also posted various racist comments about Disney having toys of black princesses.
The old posts of Schreiber came back to haunt her as this became a huge story in the wrestling world. Fans wanted her hired and popular outlets picked it up to continue adding momentum to this wish. WWE obliged by releasing her from her developmental contract to stay away from the controversy. Rollins would break up with Zahra shortly after WWE fired her. This is another example of why you need to think about what you post on social media and more importantly reflect on yourself if you have such terrible thoughts you want to share with the world.