For the lack of a better alternative, the WWE Hall of Fame continues to be the most-coveted one of its kind in the industry today. Many wrestlers consider it the pinnacle of wrestling. Although we’ve seen a few wrestlers trash the ring in one form or the other (Ric Flair’s ridiculous shenanigans with it in Impact Wrestling, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, or Global Force Wrestling and Sunny’s attempts to flog it), a huge chunk of the wrestling fan base and even those in the business treat it as respectfully as WWE wants everyone to.
However, the WWE Hall of Famers are no saints themselves as they are awarded arguably the biggest prize in sports entertainment only for their in-ring, managerial or commentating accomplishments. The personal lives of many Hall of Famers, however, are so shady that I can write long-form articles about the shady things they have individually done.
The following article discusses the 15 things Vince McMahon and co. don’t want you to know about 15 well-known persons to have earned a HOF induction. It wasn’t easy to choose one such shady thing from an array of those, so I’ve mentioned two or more abominable things they’ve done wherever necessary.
I’ve tried to discuss only the confirmed incidents as I’ve chosen to snub those that sound like hearsay and unconfirmed rumors. If you think I’ve failed to mention things that are shadier than what I’ve discussed, you can kick-start a discussion by dropping a comment on the website or our social media profiles.
15 Andre the Giant’s racist remarks
Andre the Giant’s decorated wrestling career ensured he became the first WWE HOF inductee in 1993. Many viewed him as a nice guy who played a character on the screen. Although much of what he is made out to be is true, he has a dark side that his long-term admirers in the McMahons want you to be oblivious of. According to the grapevine, the Giant had a penchant for ribbing his African-American colleagues although he himself engineered a WWE contract for one of his victims in Kamala. Kamala, real name James Harris, told a dirt sheet that the Giant had often berated him, dropping the N-bomb on many occasions.
In another instance, he cracked jokes on the African-Americans for Bad News Brown to hear, and when the now-deceased black wrestler challenged him to a fight, he hid behind on-screen nemesis Hulk Hogan as he was genuinely terrified of him.
14 Jimmy Snuka’s arrest
Jimmy Snuka was never convicted although many still believe that the he had killed his then-mistress Nancy Argentino. WWE, despite taking Chris Benoit off the history books, acknowledge his accolades with the company as they even chose to induct him into their famed-Hall of Fame. Spending seven years over two stints as a full-time wrestler failed to earn him a WWE title but, despite his perceived notoriety, he came across as a company man, making numerous cameo appearances until his demise in 2017.
With WWE staying as away as possible from David Benoit, they have gone as far as hiring Superfly’s daughter in Tamina Snuka. Apparently, WWE doesn't mind celebrating the career of a person, no matter their criminal history as long as it doesn't tarnish their reputation in any way.
13 Accusations against Pat Patterson
No gay wrestler commands as much respect as Pat Patterson; however, his alleged backstage antics tarnished his reputation greatly. While working as an agent for WWE, he allegedly molested numerous employees, offering them a push or better position in the company in exchange. Such employees have come forward to make his actions public.
Numerous trustworthy wrestlers, including Bruno Sammartino, Jesse Ventura, Roddy Piper, Barry Orton and Billy Graham have claimed they have walked in on his being in compromising positions with ring boys. Former WWE employees such as Tom Cole, Tom Hankins and Murray Hodgson have made public their being sexually harassed by the Hall of Famer.
Patterson has since addressed the allegations, saying in his book that the allegations were false and that he was singled out as the perpetrator because he was one of the only openly gay wrestlers in the industry at the time.
12 Sensational Sherri’s final moments
Sensational Sherri is a largely forgotten name in WWE history. WWE did put their one-time Women’s Championship winner in their Hall of Fame; however, her decorated WWE career that saw her manage Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase and Shawn Michaels hasn’t garnered the recognition it deserves and understandably so. She died of drug overdose in 2007, ten years after ceasing to perform full time; she had consumed multiple drugs, including high amounts of oxycodone at the time of her death. She was 47.
She had already been inducted into Hall of Fame by The Million Dollar Man in 2006, one year after teaming up with Kurt Angle to sing the now notorious parody of Shawn Michaels’ theme music. Given WWE’s desire to stay away from unsuccessful attempts at their employees' recovering from a drug addiction, she won’t be mentioned as much as most other wrestlers who are as accomplished as her.
11 The Von Erichs’ mental health
Only a handful of wrestling families are as popular as The Von Erichs. Similarly, very few wrestling families are as ill-fated as theirs. They did manage to win numerous NWA singles and tag-team titles; however, the mental health issues and drug addiction running in their families meant unnatural deaths weren’t uncommon. Fritz Von Erich, the father of the Von Erich dynasty, according to the grapevine, didn’t bother his son’s abusing drugs as their fame ballooned. Jack Adkisson was the first of his four sons to die prematurely. David Von Erich died of an alleged drug overdose in Tokyo as Kerry Von Erich, Mike Von Erich and Chris Von Erich all committed suicide at 33, 23 and 21, respectively.
Legend has it that Kevin Von Erich, the only surviving second generation wrestler from the Von Erich family, was goaded by his father to follow in his siblings’ footsteps to commit suicide himself. Had their mental issues been treated, we’d have seen individual HOF inductions instead of a solitary one.
10 Addiction Problems
In the past, WWE incorporated their employees’ drug and alcohol addiction into storylines but, with such issues garnering them negative publicity, they have refrained from using such sensitive stuff in their storylines. Their newfound mentality has seen them never mention the lifelong battle their Hall of Famers in Kurt Angle, Scott Hall, Jake Roberts and numerous others have faced. The Raw GM has developed a smartphone app called AngleStrong, akin to DDP Yoga while the latter two’s recoveries have been made into documentaries.
Eddie Guerrero’s drug addiction and similar issues took his life prematurely, but Vince McMahon and co. will only want you to remember his against-all-odds win against their golden boy Brock Lesnar. With WWE extending their helping hands to their former employees battling addiction, their never mentioning their struggles on WWE Network or television isn’t a bad move after all.
9 Sting’s TNA career
It looked as though Sting would never wrestle for Vince McMahon, but he finally ‘jumped ship’ in 2014 when he made an appearance on Survivor Series. WWE billed him as the only WCW wrestlers standing from Monday Night War. They never seemed to cast light on his post-WCW career and understandably so. On the back of WCW’s bankruptcy, he didn’t move to WWE, unlike most other former colleagues of his; he instead chose to build Jeff Jarrett’s Impact Wrestling as he remained a mainstay in that company until his departure, winning numerous titles and becoming the first Impact Wrestling Hall of Famer.
Sting was allowed to mention his Impact Wresting career only briefly during his WWE Hall of Fame speech. With Sting all but retiring, WWE won’t have to ever mention his Impact Wrestling tenure on their shows ever again.
8 Kevin Nash’s arrest
Kevin Nash is a true badass. Standing at 6ft 11in tall, he looked a dominant figure inside the squared circle. He even kick-started the movement that almost put WWE out of business. One would say he started the movement that put WCW out of business as well. WWE took pride in inducting him into their Hall of Fame, as they mentioned his Diesel persona, WCW career and subsequent brief WWE spells. With his best friend Triple H at the helm, they seem open to bringing him back for one-off appearances should the need arise. However, one aspect of his life they would particularly not be happy with ought to be his domestic abuse arrest.
His intoxicated son prompted him to attack him in order to defend his wife, but the officers weren’t buying it at that moment although he was later released. One can never expect WWE to mention domestic abuse-related arrests as they never think twice before firing or never hiring wrestlers with a domestic abuse history.
7 Lita’s alleged exchanges
Lita is one of the only 10 women to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame. She’s the only female Hall of Famer to still be employed by the company as she now works as a producer. WWE even recently made her the co-commentator for the upcoming Mae Young Classic tournament. WWE brags about her in-ring toils and WrestleMania moments with fellow Hall of Famer Trish Stratus. However, given her age and position, they will likely never discuss her personal life ever again.
Many wrestling insiders claim that Lita received wrestling training only by sleeping with her trainers as she didn’t make enough to pay them. She was also involved in a now-notorious love angle involving her two ex-boyfriends Matt Hardy and Edge after she cheated on the former with the latter. WWE will never want you to know about her checkered past.
6 Everything about Sunny
Sunny's life has been a rollercoaster. She allegedly slept with her colleagues to get drugs. Jim Cornette, Paul Bearer, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman have all revealed in shoot interviews about her sex life. She apparently slept around behind her boyfriend Chris Candido’s back. Her appetite for sex never lowered even after her fall from grace as she began doing favours for her fans in exchange for buttons. She recently made a not-so-PG film titled Sunny Side Up: In Through The Backdoor after signing a six-digit contract with Vivid Entertainment.
As mentioned above, she even tried auctioning her Hall of Fame ring online to pay off debts before turning to adult entertainment. Vince McMahon probably regrets ever inducting her into Hall of Fame.
5 HBK’s backstage antics
Shawn Michaels reinvented his life upon the turn of the century to not only fulfill his potential but also ensure he remained an active wrestler for longer than many other wrestlers of his generation. WWE brags about his being an outstanding wrestler in four different eras; they, however, refrain from ever mentioning his attitude before the inception of the Attitude Era. The Texan often rubbed colleagues the wrong way and, with the aid of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Triple H and Sean Waltman, ensured no one ever reached his status.
He often humiliated wrestlers, including and not limited to Mabel, Shane Douglas and Vader, merely to showcase his power. He also made a fool out of Chris Candido, sleeping with his girlfriend Sunny behind his back. It took his losing his smile to become normal again as he had been a certified d-bag to almost everyone backstage.
4 Steve Austin’s arrest
As mentioned above, WWE never even ponders signing someone with a domestic violence history. The only exception they have made is the man who’s one of the major reasons why they are a global company today – Steve Austin. Steve Austin makes WrestleMania appearances and hosts his own show on WWE Network. WWE continues to sell his merchandise 14 years after his last WWE match. However, if it were any other wrestler, he’d be blacklisted, given his breaching the law.
His ex-partners Tess Broussard and Debra Marshall have both made public accusations about Austin beating them, with the latter attributing roid rage to his fits of rage. He was even put behind bars. WWE has elected to forget his arrests ever happened and according to Debra Marshall, placed a gag order on her about the incident.
3 The Fabulous Moolah’s 'school'
The Internet Wrestling Community rejoiced when WWE didn’t name the upcoming women’s tournament after The Fabulous Moolah and rightfully so. The Fabulous Moolah, real name Mary Lillian Ellisor, apparently pimped her students to male wrestlers and promoters after luring them to her ‘academy’. Many accounts suggest that she got her students hooked on drugs before forcing them to perform favors for promoters. Many wrestlers, including Luna Vachon, Susie Mae and Sandy Parker have all publicly spoken about her being a pimp. Most female wrestlers even paid her 25 percent of their earnings as most wrestlers received much fewer offers without her help.
She single-handedly held back women’s wrestling in America as wrestling promotions reduced female talents to eye candy and sex objects. WWE will only want you to know about her four WWE Women’s Championship and five NWA World Women’s Championship reigns.
2 Jerry Lawler’s arrest
Jerry Lawler has been in WWE for 25 years now. He has put on his wrestling boots for Vince McMahon besides being his go-to color commentator for years. WWE brags about his numerous title reigns with AWA, NWA and other such famous wrestling promotions of his era. The company repaid his loyalty in the form of a WrestleMania match against co-commentator Michael Cole that earned him $130,000 in a matter of minutes. WWE doesn’t bother portraying him as a womanizer on their shows, but they’ll never want you to know about his arrest.
He was once accused of raping a teenager; he was arrested when he assaulted his girlfriend recently. WWE brought him back when the charges were dropped. WWE somehow thinks charges being dropped somehow makes their employees and the company itself look innocent.
1 Hulk Hogan’s Scandal
WWE never bothers writing people off their history books should the need arise, no matter how prominent the person is. WWE never blacklisted him on the back of his sex tape when Bubba the Sponge Clem’s wife became public; however, when transcripts from that was released, WWE could do nothing but blacklist him and never mention his accomplishments ever again. He claimed he was racist to an extent in that sex tape, even using the n-word more than a few times. They even proceeded to remove from their website.
WWE now tries to distance themselves from him as signing him or featuring him in segments will only tarnish their reputation. They have lately begun referencing him occasionally, but the odds of his signing a WWE contract are low.