It's been a long time coming, but last year, WWE had thankfully retired the term "Diva," instead choosing to refer to their female talents as women, ladies, girls, but definitely something not as unflattering as the aforementioned word. While the term could be used in a complimentary way, such as when referring to female pop singers, it often takes on a negative connotation, suggesting that a person, usually female, acts like a spoiled brat, not showing any empathy for anybody, and just going their merry own way because they think they can.
Through the years, many people in the wrestling business have conducted themselves as divas, much to the chagrin of their brothers and sisters in the locker room. Who are these wrestlers, and what did they do to deserve such an unflattering title? We'll be taking a look at some of them in this list, but before that, we've got a bit of a disclaimer.
When we use the word "diva," we aren't specifically referring to female wrestlers alone. In fact, most of the wrestlers in this list are male, yet have epitomized the definition of the word, regardless of gender — someone who sees themselves as being more important than they really are, tends to make unreasonable demands, and/or tends to complain when things don't go their way. So now that we've gotten that out of the way, here are 15 wrestlers who act like, or acted like divas behind the scenes.
15 Caristico (Original Sin Cara)
If you don't recognize the above name, that happens to be the new ring name being used by Luis Urive, who was best-known in his native Mexico and in Japan as Mistico. For fans from the U.S. and the rest of the world, he's probably better-known as the original Sin Cara, patron saint of Botchamania, and one of the biggest busts in WWE history. And it's that WWE run that's also the reason why he makes this list.
See, OG Sin Cara had a less than savory reputation backstage. For one, he reportedly refused to adjust to the WWE style of wrestling. Then there was his refusal to learn English, which he defended after his WWE release by saying that he didn't like the language. If you can understand this, Mr. Urive, here's some advice: you don't have to like a foreign country's language, but you HAVE to at least make an effort to learn it when competing there.
14 Eva Marie
As it seems, Eva Marie was the last in a long line of gorgeous women hired by WWE with no wrestling skills to her name, and possibly no familiarity with any kind of wrestling product beforehand. Remember the time she referred to the current, surprise number one contender for the WWE Championship as "Ginger Mahal"? We're sure you do, and you should also be aware of how this woman is a walking heat magnet for fans due to her utter lack of improvement in any aspect of professional wrestling.
Apparently, Eva Marie wasn't just horribly incompetent in the ring and on the mic, but a literal diva on the set of Total Divas, as Figure Four Weekly's Bryan Alvarez suggested back in 2013. She was also reported by Dave Meltzer to have lost favor with WWE's creative team due to her "undeserved ego." And now that she's apparently done with WWE, I guess it's safe to say the only thing we'll miss about Eva Marie is her SmackDown Live intro.
13 The Miz
Granted, The Miz didn't deserve to be bullied round the clock by JBL and his crew of backstage bullies when he was just starting out in WWE — nobody deserves that. But he does make this list for the way he carried himself for most of those first few years — cocky, seemingly playing up his background as a reality TV star (MTV's The Real World), and not too mindful of the rules, written and unwritten, of WWE's locker room. And he also may have been lazy too, as some have cited that as the reason why he lost his main event push, not long after winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXVII.
Several years and said trip to midcard limbo later, The Miz appears to be limiting the arrogant, entitled behavior to kayfabe, as there's no one out there who plays the "male diva" like he does onscreen. And it's worked out well, or should we say, awesomely, as he's enjoyed a big-time return to relevance since last year.
We're going to have to draw some lines for this entry — we're referring to WCW-era Goldberg and a bit of WWE-era Goldberg during his first run, not the older, wiser Goldberg whose recent WWE comeback tour was a surprising success. As Chris Jericho suggested in his autobiographies, Bill Goldberg had refused to work with him back when he was the biggest draw in WCW, thinking that a smaller guy like Jericho wasn't a big enough deal. Take note that Goldberg was a guy who had little to no interest in professional wrestling back when he was in the NFL, while Jericho was, despite his youth, a well-traveled veteran who'd also competed in Mexico and the U.S. indies.
Fast forward to 2004, and Goldberg and Brock Lesnar mailed in a stinker of a match at WrestleMania XX, dogging it as everyone knew that he and Lesnar were both on the way out of WWE. But as we mentioned above, he did come back 12 years later, apparently a changed man, and genuinely thankful that WWE gave him a second chance.
11 Brooke Hogan
Sure, she looked, and still looks great, though I'd probably not rush out to buy one of her albums. And I'd probably not pay to watch her wrestle or act as an on-air authority figure either. You know the deal here — during her time in TNA, Brooke Hogan couldn't wrestle, couldn't cut promos, and couldn't act, yet played a very important role in the company because her dad, Hulk Hogan, was pretty much running the show. Her face might as well be on Webster's Dictionary in the entry for "nepotism."
Not surprisingly, Brooke's lack of any discernible wrestling-related skill got her nuclear heat backstage. And it wasn't just because of that — apparently, she was a chip off the old block in terms of backstage attitude, unlike fellow wrestling-equivalent-of-a-celebutante Garett Bischoff, who was far better-liked by his TNA colleagues despite his undeserved push.
10 Simon Gotch
Alas, it wasn't just that botch at Payback 2016 that cost The Vaudevillains their push. While the concussion Enzo Amore suffered at that pay-per-view was clearly an accident, albeit a clumsy one for a tag team freshly called up to the main roster, there was something else, or should we say someone else, making WWE Creative think twice about The Vaudevillains. And that someone wasn't Aiden English.
Indeed, reports have claimed that Simon Gotch wasn't easy to work with. There's the backstage brawl he had with Sin Cara, as well as claims that he'd often show up late and carry himself like a much bigger deal than he really was. He's since been released by the WWE, and now that's he's working the indies as Simon Grimm, here's hoping he's learned his lesson from his tumultuous, albeit brief run on WWE's main roster.
We can't blame you if you're looking at the title of this article, then seeing a big, intimidating guy like Batista somewhere in it. Once again, the term "diva" CAN apply to male wrestlers who act the part, and the Animal was pretty much that way in his two stints with the WWE. His first run, of course, included an infamous backstage scuffle with Booker T, who was upset about Big Dave mouthing off that SmackDown's ratings had tanked since he switched brands to RAW. Basically, he saw himself as indispensable, and made that known in the most abrasive ways possible.
As for his second run, one only has to observe how he argued with, and cussed at fans who were upset that it was he, and not Daniel Bryan, who won the 2014 Royal Rumble match. Take note he was supposed to be a babyface. A few months later, Batista left WWE, never to return again, and knowing him, it's no surprise that he always takes the opportunity to trash WWE and its current product whenever someone asks him about it.
"This is for all the women who want to be me and all the men who come to see me." As she delivered that line with the mechanical inflection of a Sable-Tron 2000 (hey, it was the '90s!), Rena Mero (as she was known in real life back then) summed up the person whom she apparently was backstage. Once she became one of WWE's biggest draws, the fame went to her head, and she would purportedly refuse to cooperate with Luna Vachon as she tried to at least make her look competent in the ring. Both women's issues would come to a head in a backstage catfight that also seems to have involved their respective partners at the time — Marc Mero and Gangrel.
Despite her poor work ethic and entitled attitude, Sable was given a good push multiple times in her WWE career, and even became a Women's Champion. And with that, I hope and pray that her current husband doesn't give me an F-5 and a boatload of German suplexes for my troubles.
On one hand, Melina was one of the few exceptions to the mid-late-2000s rule — wrestling skills are optional for WWE's female talents. But on the other hand, she was also one of the least popular women backstage. Even as a relative WWE newbie, she developed a reputation as someone with a huge ego, and as the years passed, she'd have public real-life snipes with fellow female talents such as Candice Michelle, Sharmell, and Mickie James, Leave it to Brooke Adams (Tessmacher) to sum Melina's backstage attitude in probably the best way possible — "She was such a rude, fake, b***h to everyone."
Somehow, Melina lasted over six years in the WWE and won two Divas Championships and three Women's Championships. Her talent in the ring definitely made it hard for WWE to let go of her, but they were probably relieved when she was finally cut loose in 2011.
6 Mil Mascaras
Although he's one of the most iconic Mexican luchadors in history this side of El Santo and Blue Demon, Mil Mascaras was also one of the hardest to deal with when it came to his U.S. appearances. Numerous wrestlers have described Mascaras as a difficult person, with Mick Foley relating in his book Have a Nice Day that the Mexican legend had showed up at the last minute, and refused to cooperate with Foley (then Cactus Jack) during their match at Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shootout in 1990, no-selling his moves and pretty much going into business for himself.
If you're an older fan, you might also remember the time Mascaras had eliminated himself from the 1997 Royal Rumble match. Crazy as that spot was, it was apparently because he didn't want any of his mostly American opponents to look good by throwing him over the top rope. Stay classy, Mil.
5 Shawn Michaels
Again, we're drawing a line between a wrestler's present-day backstage attitude and their latter-day backstage attitude — in here, we are definitely referring to the younger, wilder, druggier Shawn Michaels from the 1990s. Always one for "livin' after midnight" (to quote the Judas Priest song that inspired the original Midnight Rockers tag team name), Michaels added "locker room prima donna" to a calling card that may have already read "hard-partying youngster," and was off to the races. Partying too hard, politicking, refusing to job, faking or exaggerating injuries, threatening to quit over a legitimate backstage brawl, you name it — HBK did it in the mid-late-'90s, and he did it all while WWE oftentimes turned a blind eye to his antics.
With WWE mollycoddling HBK in the '90s, it was easy for him to get away with acting every bit like his arrogant heel character. He's since reformed and become a born-again Christian, and while he still may rub some people the wrong way, it is, for the most part, a real-life face turn for the Showstopper.
4 Randy Orton
Back when Randy Orton was a young "Legend Killer," he would make sure everyone knew that he was WWE's "next big thing," and a product of wrestling royalty, being the son of "Cowboy" Bob Orton Jr. and grandson of Bob Orton Sr. A penchant for temper tantrums didn't help much either. That all made him quite a pain to deal with backstage, especially during his first few years in WWE.
The most notorious Randy Orton backstage incident took place in 2004, when Randy, apparently incensed that rookie WWE Diva Rochelle Loewen didn't know who he was, either took a dump or spilled baby oil all over her gym bag. He's also had a reputation of being rude to fans, having recently fat-shamed a female fan on Twitter and cussed out two men who approached him at a gym, though there have been claims that it was the fans who were acting rude and out-of-line in the latter incident.
3 The Ultimate Warrior
Yes indeed. Parts Unknown once had a very famous locker room prima donna as one of its residents, and his name was The Ultimate Warrior. (Or James Brian Hellwig, as his birth certificate reads.) It didn't take long for Warrior's mega-push upon debuting in the WWE to get to his head, and when it did, he was damn near insufferable, refusing to socialize with the rest of the boys as he saw them as being beneath him.
Throughout his run as WWE Champion, Warrior was also ungrateful to men such as Andre the Giant and Rick Rude, who'd help him have matches that were, at the very least, watchable. He notably ignored a young Make-a-Wish child who was dying of cancer, leaving the boy and his family waiting for hours. And boy, did he love holding Vince McMahon up for more money. We'd love to think Warrior died in 2014 as a changed man, but back in his WWE heyday, he was a diva in the truest sense of the word.
If WWE had a Divas Hall of Fame, meaning one for those who acted like divas in the literal sense of the term, Sunny should be there as well. And the deal with her was simple. The fans knew she was a looker, she knew she was a looker, and she didn't care whether her real-life boyfriend Chris Candido knew or not — she'd carry on illicit affairs with other male wrestlers, not the least of these being Shawn Michaels.
WWE finally had had enough of Sunny's antics in 1998, and she would then move on to ECW and WCW, both of which fired her for the usual — bad backstage behavior and a bratty attitude. She's since racked up an impressive arrest record and made wrestling headlines for her erratic behavior, which has included, but not been limited to, charging fans for nude Skype chats with her. Whatever it takes to pay the bills, we guess, but we can't say that Sunny's present-day woes aren't related to her diva attitude from back in the day.
1 Hulk Hogan
Oh, we don't think this one needs any explanation, but I'm required to provide one nonetheless. For those who have been living in a rock since the death of kayfabe (whenever that was), Hulk Hogan wasn't the squeaky-clean, vitamin-eating, prayer-saying hero he proclaimed himself to be in his promos. In fact, when he turned heel by revealing himself as the nWo's third man in 1996, his persona had never been closer to how he really was behind the scenes.
You just can't tell where to begin with Hogan when citing examples of his diva behavior in three major companies — WWE, WCW, and TNA. When Hulkamania ran wild, he began to demand his own dressing room, and he'd often distance himself from most of the "boys," preferring instead to hang exclusively with his fellow main eventers. And you can't ignore his long-running penchant for politicking — back in the day, it would take an act of God to force him into doing the job, and even when he did, it went against the meaning of the term "put (one) over," as those who did beat him often looked like they merely pulled off a fluke.
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