Fans around the world have their favourites when it comes to professional wrestling, and more often than not they spend years picturing what it’d be like to meet their idols face to face. Unfortunately a lot of them never get the chance, whether that be because of their “don’t care” attitude or because they just let fame and fortune go to their heads.
Whatever the case may be, every single name on this list has earned the title of being “washed up” in one way or another, and they’ve also stooped to depths that would shock and disgust the members of the crowd that had been cheering their name for years and years on end.
As we all know, not every story has a happy ending, and the term fortune can vary from superstar to superstar, but the majority of people who feature here brought it on themselves. Whether it be arrogance or stubbornness, the fall from fame is always a dramatic one and the dirtsheets were there to uncover the whole story.
With one hand on the prize and another on temptation, these guys and girls chose the latter and they’re all going to have to live with that.
15 Kevin Nash
Kevin Nash has been regarded by many as being one of the lowest-drawing WWE Champions in history, when in reality he’s probably one of the better big men of the '90s era in pro wrestling. Alas, all that means nothing when you consider what he decided to do with his creative mind during his tenure in World Championship Wrestling.
Nash, as one of the key leaders in terms of how the show was booked, played a big role in the sinking ship that was WCW. On top of this he’s also considered to be one of the biggest jerks in the industry and whilst you can say that about a lot of guys, few made as much money as Nash did for doing very little. Period.
14 Scott Steiner
It’s fair to say that Scott Steiner has one of the bigger egos in pro wrestling, and that’s saying something when you consider some of the personalities that have made it big in the business. Steiner was always a popular figure during his tag team days, and to a degree, during his singles run, but he just keeps clinging on for dear life when nobody wants to see it anymore.
Some would argue he’s a legend, but to what degree? The guy has a ridiculous attitude and approach to his line of work, and god only knows why companies continue to hire him given his reputation. He was already washed-up back in 2003 during his matches with Triple H, and not that much has changed in the last 14 years.
John “Bradshaw” Layfield was able to seamlessly transition from being a tag team wrestler into a WWE Champion, which is something that few members of the WWE Universe could’ve expected. Following his in-ring career he moved over to the commentary table, where he’s been residing on and off for a few years now.
Obviously that's not the point of this entry, because what we really need to be discussing is how much of a bully this man is. A number of wrestlers past and present have come out and told stories of how JBL would victimise them backstage, and what it all boils down to is that this overrated former wrestler doesn’t deserve to be in the position that he’s in.
Captain Arrogance himself X-Pac seemed to be turning a corner of sorts recently, even starting up his own podcast. Whilst it wasn’t exactly on the same level as the Talk is Jerichos and the Stone Cold Podcasts of the world, it did give us an interesting insight into how he saw the business, which was a cool perspective to get considering his work in WWE.
Unfortunately it seems as if the saying is true – a leopard never changes his spots. Waltman was apparently caught trying to smuggle meth and marijuana through an airport and whilst we understand that addiction is a disease, how damaged do you have to be to consider doing that to be a great idea? A foolish, foolish decision.
11 New Jack
New Jack is known to be one of the most extreme wrestlers to ever step foot inside a squared circle, but we’d hesitate to even call him a wrestler. The guy is a barbarian as far as we’re concerned, and every dime that he’s earned from this business is wasted. Seriously, if you make your way through the lowest of the low and keep going, you’ll find New Jack.
He’s inflicted a great amount of punishment and pain on a number of superstars that he’s stepped into the ring with, and there’s just no place for that kind of behaviour in this industry. It’s not about proving who the toughest or maddest guy is, it’s about the psychology of putting on a great performance for the fans. New Jack, never resurface again.
10 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is undoubtedly one of the biggest professional wrestlers in the history of the industry. The guy has done it all in this business and to be honest, there’s only really one man that can claim to have had more of an impact than The Hulkster – and his name is Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Unfortunately, Hulk’s bad backstage reputation has extended outside of wrestling, as he’s also made the headlines for a number of unfortunate reasons as of late which have all but destroyed what little credibility he had left. Arrogance, sex tapes and alleged racism isn’t a great combination for a man who was once an idol to millions upon millions of children and adults alike all around the globe.
9 Honky Tonk Man
Believe it or not, Honky Tonk Man is still the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in history to this day, which is baffling when you consider that his gimmick was nothing more than that of an Elvis impersonator. He did some great character work in WWE and put on some serviceable matches, but that’s where the positives end.
HTM has been known to betray a number of his fellow colleagues behind the scenes by revealing things that were told to him in confidence, and several fans have reported that he’s one of the most unpleasant superstars they’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting. All of this adds up to a guy who doesn’t appreciate the business that made him, and that more than earns him his spot.
8 Bill DeMott
You could copy and paste a lot of what we wrote for JBL into this section, because Bill DeMott is also regarded to be one of the biggest bullies we’ve ever seen in WWE. The former WCW and WWE wrestler was in charge of coaching a number of main roster talents during their time in NXT, and a few years back, reports began to surface of his questionable methods.
That includes overworking the athletes, being overly physical and reportedly making a number of homophobic and racial slurs. If that doesn’t qualify good old Bill for a full-time ban from socialising with humans then nothing will, because that shouldn’t be accepted in any kind of society – especially when you’re a grown-ass man who knows better.
7 Mr. Anderson
From the moment Ken Anderson stepped foot in WWE as Mr. Kennedy, it was obvious that he had a chip on his shoulder. Despite this, he managed to rise up the ranks extremely quickly, even managing to defeat a string of former World Champions on his way to becoming Mr Money in the Bank. Then, everything changed.
Developing an attitude alongside a drug problem seemed to take precedent for Anderson and even after being released from the company, he continued to self sabotage his career by also being let go by Impact Wrestling for the same reason a few months back. A lot of people work their entire lives to get an opportunity that Ken received, and he decided to flush it down the toilet.
Where do we even start with Sunny? The woman has done just about everything to burn every single bridge she’s ever built, which is a shame when you consider that she was the original diva back in the Attitude Era. She was a symbol of strength, seductiveness and sexuality during her run and it’s sad to see how far she’s fallen.
The rehab facility that she’s currently booked into reportedly costs a staggering $10,000 per month, and whilst we can only hope that she makes it through this as a better person we aren’t holding our breath. She represents both the good and the rock bottom of women in this industry, and that just can’t be received positively.
5 Abdullah The Butcher
There’s no doubt that Abdullah The Butcher is a fascinating presence and always managed to capture the imagination of fans who attended his matches, but that doesn’t excuse his behaviour inside the squared circle. He’s been accused of giving a number of wrestlers hepatitis C over the years, with one superstar winning more than $2 million in damages because of it.
It's not like there haven't been wrestlers that were equally as reckless, but the fact that The Butcher carried on for so many years past his prime is what makes him deserving of a place on this list. Putting the welfare and well being of the superstars you’re in the ring with in danger is beyond forgiveable, and he needs to be aware of that.
4 Vince Russo
Yes, we’re putting Russo in here, because he’s a former WCW Champion – as much as we’d like to forget about that. Back in his day, good old Vinnie was responsible for some of the hottest gimmicks and storylines throughout the Attitude Era, however, if he wasn’t kept on a short leash by Vince McMahon then things would quickly get out of control.
But that’s not why we’re putting him on here, no, no. The reasoning for that is his unbelievable lack of humility, in addition to his obvious sexist remarks towards women on his podcast. (Despite being a self-professed born-again Christian!) Not only that, but he also regularly trashes anyone who enjoys getting invested in pro wrestling as a product. Know your audience, and know when to shut up – mark.
The Big Guy Ryback was a huge success story after a few months on the main roster, with his meteoric rise leading to a WWE Championship bout against CM Punk inside Hell in a Cell. Unfortunately that’s where everything kind of fell apart for the former Intercontinental Champion, and thus his downward spiral began.
Since leaving WWE last year he seems to have gone out of his way to trash everything and everyone related to the company, making himself come across as a real tool in the process. He hasn’t really been able to thrive on the independent scene as of yet, and his attitude has slowly chipped away at any respect we had left for him.
2 Alberto Del Rio
It was Alberto Del Rio’s destiny to be a success in WWE, and to an extent he succeeded. A few world title reigns coupled with some strong matches helped to build the guy’s reputation quite well, until his second tenure ended about as controversially as you can imagine. Au revoir, Alberto.
The Mexican sensation violated the company’s Wellness Policy, and from that point onwards he proceeded to follow in Ryback’s footsteps by singlehandedly tearing WWE a new one. He lives to be in the spotlight, even managing to miss some indie dates when it’s quite clear that he’s able to compete.
Del Rio had the potential to be something special, but in reality he was just another washed up star.
1 John Laurinaitis
From bleach blonde tips to Big Johnny, Mr Laurinaitis has had quite the career in the world of professional wrestling. As of late he’s been featured as a general manager, had a pay-per-view match against John Cena and even featured on the first ever season of Total Bellas. Alas, that last one was quite clearly a desperate attempt to salvage his already horrendous reputation.
After many people behind the scenes commented on Laurinaitis’ poor work in his current position, AJ Lee put the final nail in the coffin recently by confirming that the former GM had made some particularly horrendous comments to the former Divas Champion. It comes as no real surprise, and in all honesty we’re surprised that the bloke still has a job.