Professional wrestling has an extremely rich history. WWE alone stretches back around 60 years and that's really just the tip of the iceberg. We all have our own favorite memories of pro wrestling from its rich history. We remember the business and the Superstars within it for a multitude of different reasons. Of course, some of those are good and some are bad. Many of you may remember Hulk Hogan for a number of different reasons. It could be when Hulkamania was running wild throughout the 1980s. It might be when The Hulkster infamously turned on the fans and joined the nWo. It could even be the sordid last few years Hogan has had more recently.
What I'm ultimately trying to get at here is that any Superstar who has had any sort of run in the pro wrestling business will have high and low points, but they're not the ones who decide what they're remembered for specifically. There are some Superstars and some moments though that sometimes overshadow everything else a wrestler has done. It's not a case of a few people remembering you for the wrong reasons, it's a case that your entire career is remembered for one or two bad things. Whether it be a tape or simply some negative comments made at the wrong time, WWE and wrestling as a whole is littered with these moments.
Here are fifteen Superstars we think had and in some cases are still having fantastic careers, but have had a moment or two that is overshadowing all of their other hard work.
Batista is a multiple time World champion. From his time in the famous 2000 developmental class alongside Orton, Cena and Lesnar, to his time with the awesome Evolution, to his fantastic singles run. The pro wrestler turned movie star had one hell of a run. Then he came back. Batista returned to WWE in 2014 and seemingly picked up right where he left off. Fans did not like that. In his absence, a new star had risen in Daniel Bryan and that new hero was pushed aside in favor of a returning Batista.
The plan was for the ex World champ to win the Rumble and go on to WrestleMania. Instead, the fans reacted so poorly that Bryan was added to 'Boo-tista', as he was not so lovingly named by the fans, and Orton's Mania main event.
14 Alundra Blayze/Madusa
Madusa. Alundra Blayze. Whichever mantra you know her by she was a revolutionary woman in the business of professional wrestling. Despite Madusa being a deserved WWE Hall of Famer, she is largely remembered for one moment in her career. During the Monday Night War between WWE and WCW, Medusa was one of the many Superstars to jump ship.
In 1995, she made the move to WCW from WWE and took the WWE Women's championship with her. Already pretty poor form. On top of that, Blayze would appear behind the announcer's table on her first night with her new company and drop the title she had brought along with her in the bin. A symbolic gesture to her former employers that is still what the star is remembered for over 20 years later.
13 Dynamite Kid
Dynamite Kid is widely renowned as one of the best technical wrestlers of all time, certainly one of the best performers to hail from the UK. He revolutionized pro wrestling in a way that still inspires Superstars to this day. Sadly, since his departure from the squared circle, the Brit has sullied his name somewhat. An account from his ex wife reported of the pair having a violent home relationship. She even claimed that at one point Dynamite Kid held a gun to her head.
Not only that but during Kid's career, he wasn't exactly renowned for being easy to work with. Despite being respected among his peers as well as being related to the famous Hart family, the Manchester native was notorious for getting into altercations backstage. Just another reason why an otherwise great career is overshadowed.
12 The Iron Sheik
The Iron Sheik had one incredible career. Feuds with Hulk Hogan and a former WWE champion, the man is a bonafide legend and deserved Hall of Famer. Especially considering Sheik's path to stardom from his native of Iran. More recently, Iron Sheik is known for his sometimes downright baffling rants on social media. The 75-year old is very active on Twitter, particularly during WWE shows of course, but also seems to tweet about anything and everything in popular culture.
The tweets are often in broken English and contain some pretty foul language. It's a very odd legacy being created so many years after Sheik's in-ring work. What's constantly up for debate though is whether the veteran is tweeting these things himself or someone is in fact acting on his behalf.
11 Bret Hart
The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Bret Hart unquestionably is one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time. Sadly, there is one night in The Hitman's career that is remembered far above any other, the night of The Montreal Screwjob. Despite his title runs, whenever you think of Bret, you instantly think of that night in Canada.
Bret was off to WCW and refused to drop the WWE title, so Vince McMahon had to take matters into his own hands, claiming that Hart tapped to Shawn Michaels even though he didn't. On top of that, in recent years, Bret Hart has become a bitter veteran, criticizing the business. In particular his comments about Seth Rollins being an unsafe worker.
As far as ECW Superstars go, Sabu is a pretty legendary one. His feud with Taz at the height of the company's fame is certainly legendary. I'm sure that fans who watched ECW's product at that time will remember Sabu fondly for how great a star he was back then. Unfortunately for some younger fans and more modern day fans, Sabu will be remembered for his lacklustre run with WWE.
Sabu was brought in by Vince McMahon to be a part of the highly unsuccessful ECW reboot around ten years ago. Not only was Sabu a part of a project that was never going to be able to replicate the incredible ECW of the 1990s, but midway through his WWE tenure, he and Rob Van Dam were arrested for possession of drugs. Not a good look and something that further damaged Sabu's great legacy.
A very recent one for you with this entry. Former WWE Diva's champion Paige. The WWE Superstar has sadly had a pretty tumultuous week or so as of late. On March 17th 2017, private photos and videos of Paige were leaked. Photos and videos of her performing sexual acts both by herself as well as with other talents, former WWE Superstar Brad Maddox and current New Day member Xavier Woods.
This most recent scandal has only added to the bad rep currently following Paige around. We've not seen the former NXT star on WWE television since serving two suspensions under the company's wellness policy last year. Outside of all this, Paige is such a talented wrestler so here's hoping she can overcome all this and make a comeback sometime soon.
8 CM Punk
CM Punk took a long time and put in a lot of hard work to reach the lofty heights that he managed in the pro wrestling business. He fought against all the odds and wound up becoming a two-time WWE Champion. Sadly, the politics at play in WWE wound up proving too much for Punk to continue battling with. At the top of 2014, The Second City Saint famously turned his back on WWE after what he viewed as a poorly booked Royal Rumble was the final straw.
Following the official end of his contract with the company, Punk took to Colt Cabana's podcast to tell all about his time with WWE and exactly why he left. He said some pretty telling things and is more than likely still embroiled in a court case with the company. If he'll ever be back in WWE, I'd think it's still a long way off yet.
7 Chris Benoit
Earlier on in this list I mentioned how long it took and how much hard work was put in to get to the top by CM Punk. Well, that dwarfs in comparison to Chris Benoit's methodical climb to the top of the pile. He worked his way through various companies, putting on incredible matches to finally get to WWE and eventually become World Champion at WrestleMania XX. Sadly, as I'm sure most of you know Benoit is not remembered for his amazing wrestling ability nor his underdog story.
Instead, he is remembered for his tragic end. In 2007, Chris was found dead at his home along with his wife and young son. Upon further investigation, it became clear that Benoit had killed his family and then himself. A baffling and deeply upsetting turn of events that will never be able to be fully explained or understood.
6 Buff Bagwell
Buff Bagwell had a pretty impressive career during his time with WCW. He worked his way towards the top of the card and his run there, while not anchored by a World title reign, was punctuated with runs with various belts. The future looked bright for Buff even when WCW folded. Along with Booker T and a few others, he was one of the top stars to take WWE up on an offer of a contract right from the off.
The plan was to have Bagwell as a featured Superstar on a newly launched version of Nitro under the WWE banner. Unfortunately for Bagwell, you can almost pin the reason for that plan never coming to fruition solely on him. Buff had a stinker of a match with Booker on Raw in the summer of 2001 and following that Vince didn't fancy giving the WCW stars a stage of their own.
5 Jimmy Snuka
Another WWE Superstar who passed away leaving a tragic story partly untold is Superfly Jimmy Snuka. Snuka was somewhat of a trailblazer in the pro wrestling business. His splash from the top of the cage at Madison Square Garden back in the 1980s is synonymous with WWE. Sadly, towards the end of Superfly's life, a dark time from his past re-emerged. In the early 80s, Snuka was accused of murdering his girlfriend. Nothing ever came of it back then but more recently the case was reopened.
Due to Snuka's poor health, it was decided that putting the former WWE Superstar on trial was not a wise decision. Snuka subsequently died shortly after and now many fans will be hesitant to remember him fondly, not knowing one way or the other what happened with the whole situation involving Jimmy and his girlfriend.
In 2016, we lost perhaps the most revolutionary female performer in pro wrestling history. Tragically The Eighth Wonder of the World, Chyna passed away well before her time. What many are lobbying for now more than ever is for Chyna to be finally and deservedly inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Controversially though, once Chyna was done and dusted in the ring she went on to a very different line of work.
Following her time with WWE, Chyna made some adult films. Coupled with that, the former Intercontinental champion went down a pretty bad path. Triple H candidly admitted before Chyna's passing that her inclusion in the Hall of Fame still hasn't happened because of her career following wrestling. He added that he and WWE wouldn't like children Googling Chyna to find out more about her and not knowing what might pop up.
3 Diamond Dallas Page
Like many other fans my age I'm sure, I did not know much about WCW before some of its stars showed up in WWE. I was just 11 years old and had only watched WWE up until that point. Because of that I had little to no idea about the massively successful career Diamond Dallas Page had in the now defunct company. Of course later in life, I learned all about it but forever in my mind DDP's great career will be tainted by his time in WWE.
A former WCW World champion who arrived on the doorstep of his rivals only to be embarrassed by The Undertaker upon arrival. After a strange storyline that involved DDP stalking Taker's then wife Sara, The Deadman got his hands on Page and absolutely destroyed him. It was effectively a squash match, one that DDP never really came back from.
2 Jake 'The Snake' Roberts
It could be argued that if it wasn't for Jake 'The Snake' Roberts' battle with addiction that he would be as big a name as Hulk Hogan or The Ultimate Warrior. Through the 80s and early 90s, Jake was an absolute mainstay in professional wrestling. Following that time however, Roberts battled a lot of demons and it wasn't until relatively recently that he managed to finally shake them loose.
The now WWE Hall of Famer was becoming infamous for turning up at independent bookings not really knowing where he was and embarrassing himself, as well as pretty much being taken advantage of. Thanks to help from DDP, Roberts has overcome those problems and as I mentioned is a Hall of Famer and very much a part of the WWE family once again.
1 Owen Hart
Owen Hart still to this day is spoken about by wrestlers in the business as one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. Not just that but as a member of the Hart family, he was of course a fantastic wrestler to boot. What Owen is tragically remembered for though is the incident that led to his untimely death. At WWE Over the Edge in 1999, Owen was due to wrestle and enter the ring from the rafters via a zip line.
Unfortunately, Hart was not strapped in to said zip line securely enough and fell from the top of the arena into the ring. Unquestionably the biggest tragedy in WWE's history. Owen passed away from his injuries on his way to the hospital following the incident. Hart had his whole life and career ahead of him and sadly left a wife and young daughter behind when he passed.