Some people will tell you that wrestling is a whole bunch of lies. In a way, they’re correct – in the days when kayfabe was sacred, wrestlers and promoters would steadfastly maintain the illusion that everything that happened in the ring was 100 percent real and unscripted. Heck, they’d even maintain this illusion to their own families. And what about the numerous “evil foreigners” who turned out to be as American as apple pie? But we’re not talking about those kinds of lies that took place many, many decades ago, because after all, wrestling fans accept that it’s all predetermined, and that there’s just as much entertainment mixed in with the sports aspect of it all.
For this list, we’ve compiled 15 wrestlers and wrestling personalities who told stories or made comments about real-life situations or facts, only for those statements to be debunked as nothing but big fat lies. These are wrestlers who lied about their ages, lied about the people they were seeing on the side, or lied about backstage incidents they purportedly witnessed, or creative plans that may or may not have been intended for them. You name it, they’ve probably lied about it.
You better believe that we’ve got 15 pairs of pants on fire in this list, as we shall now be looking at 15 wrestlers and their respective blatant lies.
15. Kevin Nash: A Lying “Witness”
“Big Sexy” Kevin Nash has often been accused of putting his foot in his mouth, may it be when talking about “vanilla midgets” or making one comment or another in shoot interviews. In one such interview with Kayfabe Commentaries, Nash was asked about the most intense real-life backstage fight he had ever witnessed, and mentioned the one where road agent Paul Orndorff and Big Van Vader duked it out in the WCW locker room over the latter’s tardiness.
Yes, that fight did happen, and Mick Foley did mention it in Have a Nice Day. There was one little problem, though – it took place in 1995, months after Orndorff’s in-ring retirement, months before Vader joined WWE, and months before Nash was even part of the WCW roster for the first time since his Vinnie Vegas days! There was no way Nash could have seen the fight with his own two eyes, and chances are he simply wanted to earn some brownie points by saying he saw one of the most infamous backstage brawls of all-time when he, in fact, couldn’t have possibly been there.
14. Jake Roberts: Born-Again Liar
It’s hard to say how legitimate Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ born-again Christianity claim was when he made his WWE return in 1996. But many a colleague had a story to tell about Roberts not taking long, if having taken any time at all, to return to his self-destructive ways, including Mick Foley, who recalled in the book Have a Nice Day that Jake seemed a little too enthusiastic when he told stories of how he used to be before becoming a man of God, and might have even hinted that money and women were the best aspects of his Bible-preaching gig.
Nonetheless, Roberts’ second WWE run was defined by references to born-again Christianity, and for some time, he had the makings of a feel-good redemption story. But as 1996 turned into 1997, the returns kept diminishing, and it was basically confirmed that Jake did fall off the wagon when he was fired from the company in February that year.
13. Goldust: Booby Trapped
Did he, or didn’t he? When Dustin Runnels was reintroduced to the WWE Universe as Goldust in the mid 1990s, he was meant to be an androgynous movie buff whose homoerotic actions against his male opponents was a lightning rod for heat from homophobic fans (and some colleagues). Of course, he was a straight man in real life, but he was rumored to be so invested in his gimmick that he was planning to get breast implants.
When asked about the rumor in a 2005 shoot interview, Goldust shot it down, calling it an internet myth and little more than an urban legend. And while we wouldn’t normally trust the word of Vince Russo, it wasn’t just him, but also Bruce Prichard who claims that breast implants were indeed on tap for Goldust, only for the expensive plan to be scrapped at the last minute.
12. Serena Deeb: Straight Edge Firing
This was a case where the “lie” in question pertained to a wrestler’s in-ring character, and a case where the punishment did not fit the crime. As part of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society, Serena Deeb made her WWE debut as a plant, a woman so enthralled by Punk’s no-drugs-and-alcohol ideals that she agreed to have her head shaved on live TV. With that, she became the stable’s newest member, joining Punk and Luke Gallows as they spread the gospel of clean living in the shrillest way possible.
Like many a wrestler, Serena enjoyed kicking back a few drinks during her free time, and since she was supposed to be part of a straight-edge faction, WWE fired her in August 2010 for essentially not living her gimmick outside the ring. That was despite the fact she broke the straight-edge code in storyline just a month prior!
11. Mickie James: She Lies, She Cheats, She Steals
She’s currently married to former Impact Wrestling star Magnus, but years before that, Mickie James was in a relationship with another man several years her junior – Spirit Squad Kenny/Kenny Dykstra, or Kenn Doane as he’s known in real life. In the late 2000s, the pair was reportedly engaged to be married, but things went sour one day when Doane caught James in the act of Googling the term “Mickie James and John Cena dating.” After corroborating what he saw with other colleagues, Doane dumped Mickie, and was transferred from Raw to SmackDown and jobbed out for his troubles.
Meanwhile, James enjoyed a good push in Raw‘s women’s division, but when Cena ended the affair and got married to Liz Huberdeau in July 2009, that left the decorated women’s wrestler devastated, and ultimately moved to SmackDown, where she was put into the career-jeopardizing “Piggy James” storyline. For those who aren’t familiar with LayCool’s ruthless bullying of James during that storyline, let’s just say it makes Alexa Bliss’ recent series of old-age jokes to Mickie sound like a stream of fawning compliments.
10. The Boogeyman: Age Is Just A Number
He may have been “tough enough,” but was he young enough? Taking part in the Million Dollar Tough Enough in 2004, Marty Wright was a tall and muscular rookie who had made it as one of the eight finalists. After going through the first day of eliminations unscathed, he would drop a bombshell that was big enough to get him booted out of the competition.
As it all turned out, Wright was not 30-years-old as he had earlier claimed, but was actually a full decade older. But instead of further punishing Wright for the lie and leaving him out of sight and out of mind, WWE did the opposite and signed him to a developmental contract, proving that a muscular physique will always be good reason for Vince McMahon to give you a second chance. One year later, he was on SmackDown television as the worm-eating, facial growth-chomping Boogeyman.
9. Eric “Mass Transit” Kulas: Untrained & Underrage
Weighing in at about 350 pounds, Eric Kulas looked every bit like a grown man, and with Axl Rotten unable to compete at a 1996 ECW house show, Kulas convinced Paul Heyman to let him fill in, claiming to be a 23-year-old wrestler with previous training. He was then given the ring name Mass Transit as he tagged with D-Von Dudley in a match against The Gangstas – Mustafa Saeed and the always-violent, always-unpredictable New Jack.
What transpired was one of the bloodiest beatdowns New Jack had ever dealt out, as he specifically picked on the green-as-grass rookie, using various foreign objects, including a surgical scalpel he used until Kulas passed out from blood loss. Later on, it was revealed that the guy called Mass Transit was an untrained 17-year-old, which resulted in terrible PR for ECW, and the cancellation of their Barely Legal PPV.
8. Dana Warrior: WrestleMania Rumors
Yes, we realize that Dana Warrior is not a wrestler, so this entry is cheating. Yes, we know her late husband told his share of big fat lies during his WWE heyday – we’ll get to him, don’t worry. But this entry proves that a wrestling personality can tell a lie by accusing someone of telling a lie.
So let’s examine this lie in detail – recently, Ryback claimed on his podcast that he was once considered to face The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania XXX, a plan that obviously fell through on account of Warrior’s failing health. This drew the ire of Warrior’s widow Dana, who tweeted Ryback and accused him of lying to promote himself and living in a fantasy world.
Now Ryback has been known for being extremely bitter and whiney about his WWE run, and the things he says on his podcast are best taken with a grain of salt as big as his muscles. But doing a simple Google search will show you that Ryback may have been telling the truth – there were indeed rumors ahead of WrestleMania XXX hinting at Ryback vs. Warrior, with the Big Guy being mooted as a fill-in for the man he’s been accused of being a cheap ripoff of, a certain Bill Goldberg.
7. Stephanie McMahon: A GIANT Lie
This is a rather interesting case, because the lie had taken place on an episode of Monday Night Raw, while the ostensible liar was speaking in character. We’re talking about that Raw episode in 2013 where The Authority was trying to convince Big Show to join their cause and turn heel for the zillionth time. Trying to play with Show’s emotions, Stephanie McMahon made an interesting comment about having known the World’s Largest Athlete since she was 12-years-old, when Show was supposedly mentoring her backstage.
Perhaps Steph had mistaken Big Show for his original kayfabe father, who was one of Vince McMahon’s biggest draws of the 1980s. But since Andre the Giant’s death in 1993 makes that all impossible, she may have been trying to shave at least 11 years off her real age on live television – after all, Big Show is a mere four years older than the Billion Dollar Princess, meaning he and Steph were both adults when Show made his WWE debut in 1999. Nice try, Steph, but a millennial you aren’t.
6. Lita: Rated R Liar
During the early years of WWE’s Ruthless Aggression Era, one of the most prominent real-life locker room cliques was the one featuring The Hardy Boyz, Lita, Edge, Christian, and the Hardys’ fellow North Carolina natives Hurricane Helms and Shannon Moore. They were young and edgy, most of the guys had long hair, and if you didn’t know they were wrestlers, you might have guessed they were in a rock band. (Which would have been accurate for Jeff, Shannon, and Lita.) But there was trouble within this tight little clique in 2005, when Matt Hardy discovered that his girlfriend Lita was fooling around with Edge.
Even with Matt discovering numerous text exchanges between Lita and Edge that essentially confirmed their affair, Lita constantly denied it, and when she admitted the affair and explained she was just in a bad state of mind due to injuries and life on the road, Matt believed her when she said she’d break it off. Regardless, the affair continued, and when Matt found out, he was so angry he threw Lita out of their house and ended their relationship.
5. Ric Flair: Space Mountain, Baby, WOOOO!
By his own count, Ric Flair has slept with about 10,000 women in his 68 years on this planet, because he’s a stylin’, profilin’…ah, you know how the rest of it goes. And when his podcast co-host, Conrad Thompson, asked the Nature Boy last year about the celebrities whom he had slept with, he claimed that those famous women included Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, right around the time she had just split from MLB slugger David Justice. It was shocking, but not completely implausible – at that time, Justice was playing for the Atlanta Braves, and WCW, of course, called Atlanta its home base.
Soon after Flair made that audacious claim and seemingly stood by it, Berry’s camp issued a statement, stressing that the actress had never heard of Ric Flair, much less ridden Space Mountain with him. Two months after the whole brouhaha took place, Flair backed off on his story when speaking to a TMZ reporter, suggesting that he was blowing smoke up his listeners’ behinds when he made his earlier claim.
4. The Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Liar
There’s been a lot of controversy regarding The Ultimate Warrior and how his name is being used for the Warrior Award, which is supposed to honor people for their strength, perseverance, and compassion. Compassion, of course, was nowhere to be found when Warrior ranted about the LGBT community, and also about New Orleans residents’ decadence when the city was just ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. But apart from these transgressions, which took place well after Warrior last competed in the WWE, there’s also the matter of the lies he told Vince McMahon when he was holding WWE up for money and missing house show dates.
The most notorious lie Warrior told McMahon around that time was that he had missed a house show because his father had just passed away. That would have been fair enough, had it not been for the fact Warrior and his father, whom he had a rough relationship with, never seemed to have reconciled before the older man’s passing. In truth, it was disputes over licensing agreements that was making Warrior miss house shows, and not a desire to bury a loved one who turned out to be estranged all along.
3. Shawn Michaels: Losing His Smile
In the 1990s, there were few men as despised in the locker room as Shawn Michaels was, and it was largely because of how he and his Kliq kept on getting over at almost everyone else’s expense. And you better believe that HBK was capable of telling his share of tall tales and/or exaggerations. Try his barroom brawl with a bunch of Marines – he’d claim that there were many, but it was most likely just one angry off-duty soldier pissed off that Michaels was making a move on his girlfriend. Or how about the “I lost my smile” retirement speech? Most of the WWE locker room circa 1997 will call BS on HBK’s allegedly career-ending (or threatening) injury at that time.
Michaels even took his lies to WWE storylines, as he so infamously claimed on an episode of Raw that Bret Hart was having his share of “Sunny days.” While it’s true that Bret was a notorious womanizer, as he himself admitted in his autobiography, the person who was actually having “Sunny days” back then was HBK, as Sunny herself and a few others later clarified.
2. Hulk Hogan: Steroidmania Is Running Wild!
The very act of telling kids to say their prayers and eat their vitamins is a lie in itself, but there’s so much more to choose from. Did the Hulkster nearly beat out Jason Newsted to replace the late Cliff Burton as Metallica’s bassist? No, dude. Did he date so-and-so for some time as he claimed in his autobiography? Probably not, brother. Was Bret Hart losing the WWE Championship at WrestleMania IX all on Vince McMahon? Hulk also must have had something to do with it, jack. Indeed, Hogan has lied about a lot of things.
The Hulkster’s most egregious lie, however, is probably the time he appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show and told the eponymous host that he had only taken steroids three times, and that it was only to help him recover from injuries. Take stock of what you just read and take a look at any picture of Hulk Hogan from the late ’70s to the early ’90s, when the interview took place. If that doesn’t look like a steroid abuser to you, then you probably believe Pamela Anderson didn’t get implants.
1. Vince McMahon: No Explanation Needed
Who else would you expect to lead a list such as this one? Yes, we know. Vince McMahon is technically NOT a wrestler. But he’s wrestled some matches, won a few titles, and led the predominant wrestling promotion in the world for a good 35 years now. So we might as well take a look at all the lies Vinny Mac was caught telling his WWE Universe and his own employees.
Well, let’s just focus on some of them, in the interests of keeping this article manageable. He’s lied about attendance figures for WrestleMania. He’s lied about pushes and title shots that never came after all. He lied during his early 1990s steroids trial, and how. He lied through the Montreal Screwjob. Heck, he’s told so many lies in all those decades as a wrestling executive that his nose would stretch from one coast to another if he were Pinocchio.
Sure, Mr. McMahon deserves our utmost respect for all he’s done for pro wrestling. But that’s not to say he hasn’t been caught telling a pack of lies through the years.
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