If you want to learn what really goes on backstage in the crazy world of wrestling, just listen to a shoot interview. In a world where kayfabe is dead, or at least might as well be, the shoot interview is the perfect place to see the people you love to root for (or boo), talking candidly about the business, and and the crazy things that have happened while on the road. Unlike a traditional sit-down, the shoot leaves all politics at the door, getting right to the dirt, which is probably why they’ve become so popular recently.
Over the years, many of the WWE’s biggest stars have sat down for shoot interviews and have revealed some pretty crazy things about today’s roster. From Randy Orton filling Rochelle Loewen’s bag with tanner and baby oil, to Randy Orton causing $50,000 worth of damage to a hotel room to Randy Orton, well doing a lot of stuff. The interviews have not only given us a bit of insight on who in the business is truly good as well as which wrestlers to straight up avoid, but have proven that there may be no business crazier than professional wrestling.
The following list looks at some of the most shocking and/or surprising revelations wrestlers have made about the current WWE roster during a shoot. Some focus on crazy antics on the road, others get down to what your favorite wrestlers are really like when the cameras aren’t rolling and some reveal surprising things from their pasts. Here are 15 shocking things we learned about the current WWE roster during shoot interviews.
15. Randy Orton Shot Fireworks At Maria’s Car
Randy Orton has a long-standing reputation of not being overly welcoming to the women of the WWE. It’s a history that Maria Kanellis knows all to well, admitting in a YouShoot interview that when she first came into the company through the WWE Diva Search, he was routinely rude to her, only growing bored when he failed to get a reaction. However, in one story she recalled a terrifying time where one of Orton’s “pranks,” left her fearing for her life.
“I was in the car with Umaga and Carlito and all of a sudden Randy decides to start shooting fireworks at us and let me just say, that was one of the scariest moments of my life because I was sure, something’s going to happen, there’s going to be a little thing of gas somewhere and the whole [car] is going to blow up.” She later clarified that Orton was shooting fireworks at them from another moving car nearby. Thankfully no one was hurt.
14. Chris Jericho Tried To Kiss The Undertaker
Chris Jericho is known for being one of the most lively men in the locker room. From his larger-than-life personality and outlandish style, it’s not surprising to hear that he’s got a war story or two from his partying days. However, on an episode of Talk Is Jericho, Y2J revealed a story few could have seen coming about an alcohol-fuelled same sex kiss with The Undertaker. “I spent one night in Tokyo, about three hours I spent hanging out with him and we were in another world that night. I was trying to get him to let me kiss him on the lips and he would not let me kiss him on the lips but he finally acquiesced and let me kiss him on the cheek. So that was my activity that night, I got to kiss The Undertaker on the cheek.”
13. Matt Hardy Says Brock Lesnar Changed
There are few men in WWE history as dominant and intimidating as Brock Lesnar. The Beast Incarnate is known for his stiff wrestling style and reported surly attitude backstage, however, according to Matt Hardy that wasn’t always the case. In a shoot interview, Hardy spoke of his experiences working with Lesnar over the years and recalled the Minneapolis-native being very easy going when he first came into the WWE. “I remember every time we’d do something for Brock, I remember he gave me the F-5 on the stage one time, which hurt like s***, but I just remember after, Brock was just so thankful. He was like, that was so great, if there’s anything I can do to pay you back, I will. Thank you, thank you, thank you, he was full of thank you’s.”
However, Hardy revealed when he was scheduled to have a one-on-one match with Lesnar some time afterwards, he was far less collaborative, trying to turn the match into a glorified squash match. “That was a big change in Brock over the years. At this point he had been the champion and he was a top guy and he could have really helped elevate me there and he kept trying to cut my s*** out.” Hardy says when it comes to the change in Lesnar, that he believes he was a victim of getting too much, too fast and being unprepared for how to handle such meteoric success.
12. Chyna And Stephanie McMahon Almost Came To Blows Backstage
By now, almost every wrestling fan knows about the Chyna, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon love triangle and how the resulting affair impacted each of their careers. It’s one of the organization’s most talked-about scandals, however, as Chyna revealed a few years before her untimely death, there was a time when the tense situation almost turned physical. In 2011, Chyna recalled finding a year old love letter from Stephanie in the brief case she bought Triple H. She says she immediately called Vince and he informed her that he knew of the romance and set up a meeting between them the following night backstage on Raw.
“I was lead into Vince’s office where he was there with Stephanie. She basically said that Paul [Triple H] was her’s and I just had to deal with it. I said she was lucky her father was there or I would have ripped her face off.” She says Vince then sent her home and seeing as she was at the end of her contract anyways, the WWE chose not to resign her, prematurely ending what could have been an even more groundbreaking WWE career.
11. JBL Sent The Hardy Boyz Dumpster Diving
It’s safe to say that John Bradshaw Layfield isn’t going to win any Mr. Congeniality awards anytime soon. The former world champion has faced several accusations of bullying from wrestlers and workers alike backstage, known for his penchant of hazing talent. However in a shoot interview, Matt Hardy recounted an experience of his own being hazed by JBL, recalling a time when the Smackdown Live announcer, sent him and his brother dumpster diving. He said it all began when they returned to the locker room one day to find their bags missing.
“[JBL] says, well if you wouldn’t dress in your own personal locker room like a couple of prima donnas, somebody would probably watch your bags and nobody would be able to mess with them. He said, that’s terrible that they’re missing. If you come dress beside me every week, I’d make sure nothing ever happened to your bags.” Seeing as their bags contained their credit cards, money and all of their other personal belongings, locating them became extremely important. Hardy said it was actually Road Dogg who helped them out, letting them know JBL had stashed their bags in a dumpster out back.
10. Dolph Ziggler & Sunny Went At It For Seven Hours
When it comes to the ladies in his life spilling all about his sexual prowess, Dolph Ziggler just can’t seem to catch a break. Be it Amy Schumer or Sunny, the WWE heartthrob has seen the private details of his lovemaking exposed to the press on multiple occasions. This was no different during an appearance on the Wrestlingus Show, where Sunny revealed that she had a marathon encounter with Ziggler in November of 2010 that lasted upwards of seven hours. “Nick was really fun. We went from 12 o’clock at night till seven in the morning. He’s a machine, I should say, yeah, he’s a machine and he does not tire. His stamina is insane.”
Considering Ziggler said he was worried his mother and grandmother would hear comments his former girlfriend Schumer made about their love life on Howard Stern’s radio show, one can only imagine how he responded to that explicit review.
9. Jerry Lawler Broke Paul Heyman’s Jaw
While most feuds in wrestling are a work, there is no faking the real-life animosity between Paul Heyman and Jerry “The King” Lawler. In fact, during a shoot interview Lawler recalled disliking Heyman almost immediately when the legendary ECW founder came to him through the Memphis territory system as a wrestler. “Paul and I never really got along. I broke Paul’s jaw one time in Arkansas and I don’t think I did it intentionally, I may have. He certainly thinks I did.”
Lawler blames the impetus of their bad blood on a Scaffold Match that Lawler had booked against Heyman. Shortly before the match, Heyman went up to Lawler with a confession that would have a drastic effect on the match. “The scaffold’s built, we got a sell-out crowd, out there and it’s almost bell time and Paul comes up to me and says, I can’t climb up on that scaffold. I’m afraid and I thought he was ribbing me. I found out later when we went out there, he wasn’t ribbing, he wouldn’t climb up on that scaffold and it killed the whole match. I got so mad at Paul, I think I always held it against him. I almost, didn’t really have any use for him after that.”
8. Kevin Owens Played With Dolls Well Into His Teens
Prior to becoming one of the most exciting performers on the WWE roster, Kevin Owens hosted his own Internet talk show called The Kevin Steen Show (his real name), in which he sat down with his fellow wrestlers for a loose interview. The show was chock-full of revelations but perhaps the most unexpected was that Owens enjoyed playing with action figures far later into his life than most. Sitting down with Jimmy Jacobs he told a story about the lengths he’d go for a proper entrance with his wrestling figures.
“When I used to play with my action figures, I’d have the music cued up for the guy’s entrances. But for Steve Austin I felt like the music wasn’t enough, I needed a special effect so I threw a mug at a wall to do the glass break.” The problem was, the mug wasn’t glass and ended up getting stuck in the wall. It’s then that Owens revealed the real kicker to the story, “My dad came home, I was 17.” The revelation caused Jacobs to do a legitimate spit take, unable to control his laughter. Truth be told, it’s nice to see the softer side of K.O.
7. Vince McMahon Confused Two African-American Wrestlers
As anyone who’s watched the WWE over the last 30 years could probably tell you, the sports entertainment giant has had some pretty problematic portrayals of non-white performers over the years, which is what makes this story even more relevant. During a Kayfabe Commentaries shoot, Curt Hawkins recalled a time when Vince McMahon confused two African-American wrestlers during a major company-wide meeting. The event took place before the 2008 Great American Bash pay-per-view, McMahon getting the entire roster together to announce that the company would be entering the PG era, including former Nexus member Michael Tarver.
“So in this huge, massive meeting, [Tarver] stands up and asks a question. Vince is at this podium in front of everyone giving this thing and we don’t know this guy [Tarver] from a hole in the wall because he hasn’t been around.” However, Hawkins says it was McMahon’s response to the question that had everyone bursting into hysterics. “So he asks his question and Vince responds by going, excellent question Shelton,” referring to acclaimed wrestler and former Intercontinental Champion, Shelton Benjamin. Unsurprisingly, the room exploded in laughter, leaving McMahon scratching his head.
6. The WWE Allegedly Screwed CM Punk Out Of $20,000
While not involving a current roster member, this does concern the WWE office. When you listen to some of CM Punk’s stories from his time in the WWE, it’s no wonder his relationship with the company is strained. The wrestling superstar has minced no words when talking about his treatment by higher-ups throughout his eight-year career and that was especially true during his appearance on Colt Cabana’s Art Of Wrestling podcast. In a two-part event, the former WWE Champion aired many of his grievances, setting the record straight about his departure from the company. One story in particular that stands out revolved around an appearance he was scheduled for at Wizard World Comic-Con where he was to be paid $20,000 for four hours work.
When the convention announced that he was being pulled from the event without informing him, Punk called Mark Carrano for answers. “Mexico’s not doing so good and we need you on the Mexico tour. It was four dates. Okay, I’m going to let you know now that 20 grand was my payday for four hours of work, for not bumping. My check for that Mexico tour has to be at least $20,000, no if ands or buts. Take a guess what my check from Mexico was? And I was doing hardcore matches in the main event every night and yes, I probably had a full-blown staph infection at that point. It was $5,000.” He said that he took his check to TV that week and demanded they pay him the full amount but they never did.
5. Sasha Banks’ Brother Was Taken Away The Day She Left For WWE
Sasha Banks may be riding high as the Legit Boss of the WWE these days, but growing up things weren’t easy for the three-time women’s champion. Banks was raised by her single mother who barely scraped by trying to support both her and her brother who has autism. In an emotional interview on Lillian Garcia’s Making Their Way To The Ring podcast, the notoriously private superstar revealed that taking care of her brother was extremely challenging, the police becoming a weekly presence on their doorstep due to his outbursts.
In a heartbreaking turn of events, Banks revealed that officers showed up yet again, the day she left for the WWE. “When I did get signed by the WWE, the last day I left, I packed up all my stuff and here’s the cops at my house again. And they had to take my brother to a psych ward and here I am driving off in a U-Haul, saying goodbye to my mom and seeing the police take my brother away. I felt so guilty. Who am I getting to leave my family to live my dream?” Thankfully, Banks says that her brother is now in a program that addresses his needs and is doing a lot better.
4. Goldust Nearly Destroyed His Relationship With Dusty Rhodes Over A Woman
While Goldust has remained a welcome presence on WWE screens for more than 22+ years on and off, the charismatic performer has often been compared to his father, the legendary Dusty Rhodes. And while the two were known for being extremely close prior to his unfortunate passing in 2015, in a 2002 shoot interview, Goldust’s portrayer Dustin Runnels revealed that they were actually estranged for three years due to his marriage to Terri Runnels. Runnels said that his father never approved of the relationship and that when his former wife began filling his head with negative things about Rhodes, he stopped speaking to him for three years.
The interview was conducted at a tumultuous time in his relationship with his former flame, admitting that he would often avoid her backstage. When asked if it was awkward working together, he replied, “It’s not uncomfortable, I just don’t have two words to say to her.”
3. The WWE Asked The Bella Twins To Get “Enhancements”
When going on an audition to become a WWE Diva, there are certain questions that you expect to be fielding. Can you wrestle, for instance, is probably a good place to start. Will you let us surgically alter your body on the other hand, is one you’re probably not expecting. At least, that was the case for Brie Bella who detailed the unorthodox request on the debut episode of Lillian Garcia’s podcast.
“I understand that they had to have some weird questions but there were a couple I wasn’t too comfortable with. They talked about my breasts, I didn’t have big ones. They asked if I would allow them to pay for me to have a boob job. I literally stood on stage and was looking around like, what?” While Brie would decline the offer, her sister Nikki would later take them up on it, making their “Twin Magic” a little easier to tell apart.
2. Matt Stiker Says Kurt Angle Threatened Him Backstage
Kurt Angle may be the happy-go-lucky GM of Raw who responds with glee to the “You Suck” chants but at the end of the day, he’s still that guy who won a gold medal with a broken freaking neck, a fact Matt Striker learned the hard way when he wrestled one of his first matches against him. “Kurt Angle turns the corner and he shakes your hand and then before you pull away and he kind of squeezes your hand a little harder and goes, I just want you to know, if you don’t do business out there I’m going to break your f**king ankles.”
He said that Angle would go on to explain, “I can’t tell you how many guys come here and they’re so ginger with me and so light with me. If you don’t hit me, I’m gonna hit you. In my head, I said to myself, what have I got to lose? I never thought I’d get this far, punch Kurt Angle in the face.” The two would go on to beat each other senseless in the ring, leading to Vince McMahon to proclaim, “Dammit that’s good TV!” and sign him on the spot.
1. John Cena Was A Bully
While John Cena may be the WWE’s ultimate babyface, known for encouraging kids to “Never give up,” and becoming a 16-time WWE Champion, backstage, not everyone thinks he’s so squeaky clean. In fact, wrestler Tyler Reks has been very outspoken about his feelings for the face that runs the place, accusing the superstar of being a bully. Reks says that Cena would regularly torment Alex Riley, berating him in front of the locker room and even allegedly going through his bag on one occasion. It’s an attitude that he says he dealt with first hand, recounting a story in which Cena demanded Reks change his finishing move after it went wrong at a house show and resembled the Attitude Adjustment.
“He started yelling at me, asking me who gave me permission to use that. He belittled me, called me an idiot, asked me if I enjoyed working there, I told him of course I do, he told me, find another finisher or you’re fired. I was humiliated, I was a full grown man, why can’t we talk about this like human beings?” Reks says that after cooling down he tried to apologize once again but Cena made him feel small. “He looks over at me and says, what was there to be miscommunicated? I asked you to stop using that finisher, are you stupid? He wouldn’t even allow me to apologize. Finally I was like, yeah, I’ll find another finisher. That’s the whole story of John Cena making me feel like a six year-old boy.”
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