In a world of dead men, like The Undertaker, terrifying backwoods families, like the Wyatts, and all manner of Mankinds, Ultimate Warriors, and Demon Kings, it seems as if nothing, and I mean nothing, can outdo the craziness that happens inside of a wrestling arena.
It’s strange to say, but there actually are some instances in the world of wrestling where the storylines that happen to make up the real life of performers are stranger or more unsettling than anything Vince McMahon could have had his writers cook up for them.
For the sake of this article not becoming a mess of drugs, sex, and the ever-so-common backstage brawls, those stories won’t be included, for the most part. A few are sprinkled in, but only because of the sheer insanity they involve.
That said, let’s get started with one of the craziest, but least verifiable ones.
15. Macho Man and Stephanie McMahon
This comes in at number fifteen because it’s one you have probably heard of before, but there is no way it doesn’t make this list.
The rumors of Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage and the big boss’s daughter was never really a thing until around the early 2000s.
Around this time, the Internet became popular and people began figuring out they could share stories anonymously on message boards and forums; true or not. Some of those anonymous storytellers alleged to be professional wrestlers and they’d share their tales of debauchery from behind the curtain.
Most people couldn’t understand the heat between Vince Mcmahon and Randy Savage at that time — seeing as how Macho Man was one of the most popular personalities in wrestling and Vince wanted nothing to do with him — so one of these anonymous wrestlers was kind enough to spill the beans on a situation most wouldn’t have guessed otherwise. The ‘truth’, according to the anonymous poster was the bad-blood stemmed from Savage hooking up with a then 17 year-old Stephanie McMahon.
From that point on, this story has taken on a life of its own, and it seems like it might never get settled unless Stephanie McMahon herself has something to say on the matter.
Scott Hall was most recently asked about the rumor, but the good friend of Triple H and Stephanie wouldn’t be the best source of an answer. Even if he was telling the truth when he said, “Having been around Randy, I would think no,” it’s easy for anyone that wants to believe the story to assume Hall was just trying to protect his friends.
This rumor has never been proven true, yet it might offer an explanation as to why one of the greatest wrestlers in the WWE was shunned.
Either that, or Randy never offered Vince the chance to ‘snap into a Slim Jim’. That’s downright unforgivable.
14. Buff Bagwell – Male Gigolo
No, that doesn’t have the same ring to it that Deuce Bigalow does, but the second part is true anyways.
If you’ve heard any of the rumors of how Bagwell got into the business, this shouldn’t come as much of a shock, but it does lend some credibility to the idea that Bagwell did certain favors to make it into the wrestling business.
Not one to shy away from the attention, Bagwell’s escorting gig came to light on an episode of the cleverly named Gigolos reality show, which follows around, you guessed it, real-life male gigolos as they do what Showtime wants you to believe male gigolos do — service beautiful women.
Whoever it is paying for his time, Bagwell is definitely putting in the time as a gigolo, and you can probably book him and act out some really interesting story lines if you have the cash, and the strange desire to do so.
Apparently, Buff is the stuff.
13. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper Was Haunted – Literally
When you are talking about the weird and strange, nothing embodies those qualities quite like ghost hunters.
Whether you believe in the paranormal or not isn’t the issue here, because the late Rowdy Roddy Piper absolutely did, and it all stemmed from his relationship with Adrian Adonis.
The two men had been like brothers as they grew together in the WWE (the WWF at that time), and, after Adonis’ unfortunate passing in a car accident, Rowdy and his family members had several encounters with the ghost of his departed friend.
Piper’s daughter would often wake up in fear after seeing a man in her bedroom, and his son would see and hear unexplained shadows and noises. Things really got strange when Piper came home from a road trip and met his son outside, who claimed there was a man inside the house. Rowdy stormed inside, prepared to defend his family, and instead discovered logs from the fireplace had somehow ended up on the rug and began a small fire. According to the story he told on The Haunting Of, it was at this time, while trying to extinguish the fire, that he encountered the ghost of none other than Adrian Adonis.
Adrian simply said, “Hey Roddy” and disappeared.
On that episode of The Haunting Of, medium Kim Russo claimed the spirits of other wrestlers were still watching over Rowdy Piper, including Owen Hart and Curt Hennig.
Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, the segment ofThe Haunting Of featuring Piper was evidence that he was unfortunately a haunted man, in at least one way.
12. Nikita Koloff – All-American Russian
The Russian Nightmare, Nikita Koloff, didn’t start off that way. In fact, he didn’t even start off Russian.
Born Nelson Scott Simpson, Koloff started life in the opposite of the Soviet Union, Minnesota, with dreams of becoming a star in the National Football League. Simpson sustained some injuries which dashed his hopes for superstardom in the NFL, but led him to another kind of stardom, as Nikita Koloff . The Russian Nightmare was originally created because Russians were the bad guys in practically everything put out during the 1980s, and his character was brought in as the nephew of Ivan Koloff to prove Russian superiority.
Taking on another nationality isn’t that big of a deal though, so how did Nikita Koloff, I mean, Nelson Simpson make this list? Because that’s where things stop being normal.
For nearly the next decade, Simpson dedicated himself to the character in a way only Daniel Day Lewis would understand. Instead of just speaking in a poor Russian accent, Simpson refused to speak more than a few words of broken English, to really convince fans he was new to the States. He then went a step further and became fluent in Russian. Then, he went many, many steps further and refused to break character, even off camera, no matter the situation. If he had to interact with other people, he hired an interpreter.
Oh, and he legally changed his name to Nikita Koloff.
11. Steve Austin Poops His Pants
When faced with the prospect of battling Yokozuna, most people, no matter their toughness, might evacuate their bowels, at least figuratively. When it comes to the Texas Rattlesnake, he just happened to crap himself for real.
It seems that most people originally assumed the person who dealt it was the imposing Yokozuna (to be fair, he did almost drop more than a leg on Bret Hart as he was battling Hart and diarrhea), but it was Austin that admitted to being responsible.
During their match in South Africa, Yokozuna hoisted Stone Cold up and slammed him into the ring, also slamming out the contents of his bowels in the process.
This is when Stone Cold broke Kayfabe and left the ring for the first available stall, right?
Nope. Like the man he is, Stone Cold did what he had to do and finished the match. Props go to Yokozuna as well for not refusing to wrestle the man with the smelly pants.
That must make you wonder, was it just crap karma catching up to Yokozuna?
Speaking of poop stories…
10. Sid Vicious and His Pet Squirrel
Sycho Sid is said to have soiled himself in his match with The Undertaker, but the more interesting tale here is how accurate Sid Vicious’ name, Sycho, actually is.
The story starts off pretty sweet, with Sid keeping a tiny, woodland creature with him everywhere as his companion.
The story becomes a bit psycho, or Sycho, though, when Vicious was bet by a fellow superstar. The bet was that Sid would have to keep his squirrel companion in his trousers for a minute, at least. Of course, Sycho Sid took the bet, because he is Sycho Sid after all. Roughly half way in, the squirrel did what squirrels do and bit Sid’s unmentionables, ensuring its demise as the enormous Sid fell over, crushing it in the process.
Sid received medical attention and a rabies shot, but there’s probably a tiny, squirrel-shaped hole, right where his heart is.
9. El Santo, Man of Many Masks
In another one for the ‘very committed’ column, we have Rodolfo Guzman Huerto, one of the greatest Luchadores in the history of Mexico, who wrestled in a silver mask and cape for 42 years as El Santo.
The other thing he did for those 42 years was wear a mask in practically every situation imaginable.
Because his popularity transcended the wrestling world, Santo could not be seen in public without his mask on, and he would carry different ones with him for different occasions. When dinner was on the table, El Santo would switch out his usual disguise for his chinless mask (Is the formal term ‘eating mask’?).
During those inevitable moments where he had no choice but to take off his mask, El Santo would plan ahead. Customs lines at the airport meant he had to take separate flights from the crew on films, and, once when crossing the border from Mexico to Texas with a producer, he made the man look away so he could take his mask off for border agents.
Even retirement couldn’t get him to part with his masked ways, and Rodolfo Guzman Huerto only revealed his face for the first time on television, a week before passing away.
Then, it was back in his mask for the rest of eternity, because he was buried in it of course.
8. George “The Animal” Steele Was Basically Dr. Jekyll
Dr. Jekyll was the educated, scientific minded man who felt he was battling between the good and evil in himself. Mr. Hyde was the monstrous result of his trying to suppress that evil. George Steele wasn’t exactly torn between his good and evil halves, but he spent many nights transforming from Jim Myers into George Steele.
Jim Myers earned a masters degree from Central Michigan University and went on to work as a teacher and coach at Madison High School in Madison Heights, Michigan, eventually becoming a member of the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame.
The Animal, on the other hand, was a crazy man with a green tongue, bald head, and a back so hairy it could only be described as fur, who would tear at the turnbuckle with his teeth, speak in grunts in interviews, and walk in a stooped posture that made broadcasters wonder if he was indeed “the missing link” between man and ape.
Since wrestling was separated into territories, and Jim Myers taught in Michigan while The Animal wrestled in the New York area (and only during the summer), there was no real expectation of being discovered. And when students brought in magazines, certain that Myers was in fact The Animal, Myers shut them down immediately by asking, “Do you really think I’m that ugly?”
Myers wrestled while teaching for the other three seasons of the year for an incredible 25 years. He pulled off this double life until 1984, when cable television came out. Myers knew he was finally caught thanks to his team of football players with green tongues.
7. Tony Atlas and His Love For Feet
Everyone has a thing. Some guys are into schoolgirl uniforms, and some enjoy the librarian look. Others appreciate a nice booty, or a nice pair of breasts.
And then there are guys who enjoy smelly, stinky toes and having women walk all over them. Or, taking it a step further, they might enjoy getting kicked, in the head, by a woman in steel boots. That happens to be Tony Atlas’ thing, and he’s not ashamed of it.
According to Atlas, it’s wasn’t so much a ‘foot’ fetish, as it was (and still is) a shoe fetish, but “feet have to be in the shoes, so I call it a foot fetish.” His strong foot fascination controlled his life and he even went as far as bringing women into the dressing rooms to have them walk on him, but there was a bright side. Like Dusty Rhodes once said, Atlas was lucky, because he could get away with grabbing a foot, but Dusty, a butt and chest man himself, wouldn’t be able to get away with grabbing either body part.
If you’re so inclined, and don’t mind feeling a little dirty, you can find footage of Jillian Hall helping Atlas by stepping on him, or use some Google-Fu to find the video with Atlas being repeatedly kicked in the face, and loving it.
There are other wrestlers who are rumored to enjoy feet, like Jerry “The King” Lawler, but none who admit it so openly, and that’s why Tony Atlas gets the number 10 spot.
6. Jerry Lawler’s Crap Filled Crown
If you read enough rumors about the wrestling business, you’ll notice a few things: there are a lot of drugs being used, there’s a crazy amount of sex being had, and wrestlers seem to think crapping in things is a good way to get your message across.
In this case, the alleged perpetrators were Curt Hennig, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Shawn Michaels, and the victim was none other than Jerry “The King” Lawler.
They filled his crown up, to the brim, after he left it in the dressing room to take part in the Royal Rumble that night.
What reason could they possibly have for using his crown as a toilet?
They just didn’t like his attitude.
5. Goldust’s Breast Implants
At a time when things seemed pretty black-and-white, for the most part, Goldust was an anomaly.
There had been the typical ‘softer’ characters before, but nobody had ever introduced androgyny into wrestling. In fact, the idea of androgyny was so obscure that Dustin Rhodes, a self-described country boy, said yes to the gimmick without having any idea what he was saying yes to.
At first, it seems he somewhat regretted the idea, but the popularity of the slithering, all-gold-everything heel changed his tune, and his career.
Rhodes found his groove with the help of Savio Vega and eventually wanted to put the character on another level entirely. It seems, he wanted to take the gimmick one, or two, steps further by getting actual breast implants.
That’s according to Vince McMahon on an episode of Raw back in 2001. By some reports, it was actually Mr. McMahon that suggested the crazy idea.
Now, just try not to picture the glittery heel slithering down the ramp, this time with cleavage on full display.
4. Sid Vicious, Again, and The Knife Fight
We’ve already established that Sid Vicious lives up to his namesake, but if you need another, less cuddly example, here it is.
In 1993, during a WCW tour of the UK, Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson were at a bar with several other wrestlers, and the two men got into an argument.
Later that night, after both men had returned to their rooms, Sid Vicious decided to go to Arn Anderson’s room to finish the argument. When Arn answered the door, Sid is said to have hit him over the head with a chair leg (which Vicious claims didn’t happen), and the two immediately began fighting. It’s at some point in the scuffle that Anderson grabbed a pair of scissors which he used to stab Vicious. Vicious took the scissors away from Anderson, after they fell out of his stomach, and proceeded to stab and kick Arn into something out of a horror movie, according to 2 Cold Scorpio.
Sid was stabbed four times, and Anderson suffered 20 wounds, and, somehow, they have since forgiven each other and are actually on good terms.
3. The Murder of Bruiser Brody
Threats of death are just another day at the office for most wrestlers, but they are normally reserved for use in selling a storyline. In the case of Bruiser Brody, there was no storyline involved, and bad blood spilled was the real thing.
Brody was known for his toughness as both a performer and as a negotiator. That toughness as a negotiator was displayed by his refusal to job for local talent, and that refusal to job cost him more than his reputation in Puerto Rico.
The details have never come out completely, like most wrestling tales, but the story goes that Brody was approached by Invader #1 (who happened to be hiding a knife beneath a towel draped over his arm) to discuss business. There was shouting, then a scuffle, and the much larger man, Bruiser Brody, came out bleeding.
Tony Atlas recalled it taking over an hour for an ambulance to arrive, and it only coming because they called around to a radio station to announce, on the radio, that they needed an ambulance at the arena. Even when the paramedics arrived, it appeared they weren’t taking the situation seriously, as they may have been assuming the whole situation was a work, for some strange reason.
Unfortunately, because of aspirin he’d taken earlier that night, doctors were unable to stop the bleeding, and Brody died that night.
Invader was never prosecuted for the murder, and it didn’t seem like the court was too interested in justice, since the witnesses to the murder, mostly American wrestlers, received subpoenas to appear after the court proceedings had already happened or didn’t receive them at all.
It’s claimed that Invader said he only wanted to teach Brody a lesson, for disrespect he’d been shown, but he had no idea Brody had taken asprin, which caused his blood to thin out, causing him to bleed to death from the wound.
2. The Von Erich Curse
When it comes to the bizarre, it’s hard to top the tragic story of the Von Erich family.
If you’re unfamiliar with them, the Von Erichs are known as the Kennedys of the wrestling world, because they are one of wrestling’s first families, and because, according to plenty of people, the Von Erichs are just as cursed.
Fritz Von Erich, born Jack Adkisson, lost his firstborn child in an electrocution accident at the age of six.
His third son, David Von Erich, lost his only child as well, and went on to die in 1984 from what was reported as acute enteritis, but was most likely a drug overdose, according to many other professional wrestlers.
Mike Von Erich, the fifth son of Fritz, suffered a career ending shoulder injury, and he committed suicide by overdosing on a tranquilizer in 1987. His brother Chris, who was distraught over his brother’s death and his own inability to become successful as a wrestler due to his asthma, brittle bones and short stature, followed suit shortly after and committed suicide in 1991. Kerry Von Erich followed his late brothers in 1993 by shooting himself on his father’s Texas ranch.
Whether they were actually cursed or not is up for debate, but there’s no denying that the Von Erich family is a tragic story.
There is some good that comes out of all of this, as the last surviving son, Kevin Von Erich, has gone on to find some happiness even after all of this tragedy.
1. Sandman Dies and Still Wrestles
The dead man gimmick is a popular one, whether it’s The Undertaker, or The Zombie.
In the case of James “Sandman” Fullington, it’s less of a gimmick and more of his actual condition, one night in Milwaukee before a taping of ECW.
On the way to the show, Sandman had injected himself with Nubain, a drug used as an anesthetic and treatment for severe pain. Unfortunately for him, he overdosed on the Nubain and was then practically dumped at a hospital by his fellow wrestlers, who claimed to have found the ‘dead body’ by the side of the road.
The good news is, hospitals are just the place for overdoses, and an injection of adrenaline, straight into the heart, was just the answer to his being dead.
And, because wrestlers aren’t built like the rest of us, he didn’t do the boring thing and go home to rest. No, he made it to work on time and wrestled like dead men do.
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