Professional wrestlers are on top of the world when they're still in the company, but due to a lack of education and qualifications, they often struggle to adapt to the real world when they leave. It's therefore not uncommon to see many former wrestlers turn to a life of crime. That's not to say that all wrestlers who've committed crimes did it after they retired. Some, as you'll see, did it while in the midst of their careers.
Some of the so-called "heroes" or role models in the wrestling community turn out to have dark secrets in their personal lives that they wouldn't want their fans to know about. While some commit crimes because of their addiction to substances, others actually take part in serious crimes like murder, which isn't known by many.
Here we take at look at some of the heinous crimes committed by wrestlers you wouldn't imagine to have done anything of this kind, as these wrestlers seem to be very sane, exciting personalities on-screen but turn out to be disturbed men outside it.
Let's take at look at 15 wrestlers you didn't know were criminals.
15 The Big Show
The Big Show might be this intimidating giant in the WWE, but he mostly has a reputation of being a big, cuddly teddy bear outside the company who does most of the destroying in the ring. But when Show was still getting the hang of wrestling, he committed some really stupid crimes. In 1998, he was arrested for allegedly "exposing" himself to a hotel clerk, but was later released due to lack of evidence. He was again arrested the next year for apparently breaking the jaw of a guy during an altercation at a hotel but was again not arrested due to lack of evidence. Despite not actually serving a jail sentence, not many would believe that The Big Show would actually be accused of doing such crimes.
14 "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin might have been this beer-drinking Rattlesnake who was loved for his defiance of the rules set by the villainous Mr. McMahon on WWE TV, but it seems like the guy had some issues to sort out in his personal life. Austin might be THE icon of the Attitude Era, but he had some differences with his then wife Debra (also featured in WWE) as they had a serious fight in 2004, when it was reported that Austin had been arrested because of domestic abuse. According to Debra, Austin had attacked her head, neck and legs before she could call police, with the beating leaving her with a swollen cheek and eye, with bruises on her back and shoulder. Austin was later given one year probation and 80 hours of community service because of it. The Rattlesnake seemed to be quite the reckless person outside the wrestling ring with this horrible crime of abusing his wife.
13 Ahmed Johnson
Ahmed Johnson might be remembered by some as one of the more prominent African-American wrestlers in wrestling during the 90s, as he won the Intercontinental Championship soon after debuting for WWE and would later feud with the Nation of Domination. Even though he was quite a popular wrestling figure during the time, he seemed to have some dirty secrets outside it as he was arrested in 1999 for alleged prostitution as he was apparently pimping out 3 young girls. He was also caught in possession of several drugs and he was put into jail for quite sometime, and because of his bad name, couldn't ever return to the ring properly and would retire from wrestling soon after. It's quite shocking to discover a "good guy" like Johnson involved with prostitution, as things must have been bad for him to commit these heinous crimes which gave him a permanent bad name and never allowed him to gain popularity afterwards.
12 Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy might be one of the best things about wrestling right now with his "Broken" gimmick, but it looks like something is broken inside of him as well as he also has a bad criminal record. Matt not only has a bad history with drug-addiction, but was in the news in 2014 when he was arrested for allegedly having a bloody brawl with his wife, Reby Sky. Apparently both had gotten into such a bad fight that the motel management had to call police as Sky was found to have cuts all over, while Hardy had some cuts on his face as well. They both got restraining orders against each other, as Hardy got a bad reputation to his name for having that sort of bloody fight with his wife. This terrible crime of domestic abuse is what can hinder one's reputation in the wrestling community and dent one's legacy as well.
11 Lex Luger
Lex Luger might be remembered by many as one of the hottest stars of the 90s, as he got his glory in the WWE where he was touted to be the "next Hulk Hogan" after the Hulkster left the WWE but couldn't manage to get over and got a push that ultimately failed. He later joined WCW unexpectedly, as things started to go horribly wrong for him personally after that. He got into the bad king of drugs, with things getting worse when WCW folded with the turn of the century and his relationship with Miss Elizabeth being seen in bad light. He was arrested once in 2003 for allegedly beating up Elizabeth, later on also getting arrested again for a DUI. A few months later, Miss Elizabeth would tragically pass away due to an overdose of drugs, as Luger got arrested for having a lot of illegal drugs and was charged with 13 felony counts of drug possession. Luger's drug deals gave him quite the bad name towards the end of his career, because of the drugs which completely ruined him and turned him into a criminal.
10 Randy Orton
Randy Orton might be one of the top stars of the WWE right now, but he has had his share of bad history in the past in his personal life as he has been suspended on multiple times by the WWE for violating their Wellness Policy which made the rounds years ago. What many do not know is that Orton was arrested before his wrestling career, for a much greater crime as he served in the US Marine Corps after graduating. He was arrested for going AWOL multiple times and disobeying an order from a commanding officer, as he'd be tried and convicted in a special military court and spent 38 days in military prison for it. This was quite the shameful crime to keep with you, but luckily for him this wasn't know by many as he would later become a star in WWE and this crime would be all but forgotten.
Haku has many crazy stories to prove that he was probably the toughest wrestler ever, but not many could imagine that he'd ever commit a crime because of how passionate he was about wrestling and providing for it. Haku was arrested once for committing the craziest crime ever, as he was in a bar at a Baltimore Airport having drinks with a friend when a group of guys came and taunted them that wrestling was fake. Obviously offended with the remark, Haku would then take all of the three guys out by himself before going on to target the most vocal guy of the lot and biting a big chunk of his nose right off his face. He was arrested later on when police arrived at the location, as this horrifying crime probably wasn't even expected from a tough guy like Haku.
8 Scott Hall
One of the most charismatic men in wrestling history, Scott Hall might have been one of the legends of his time, but his horrible personal life is what has kept him from becoming bigger. Though most people know about Hall's horrible addiction to alcohol and drugs which reduced himself into a near-death stage at one point, not many know of him being a criminal, as he was involved in a murder. In 1983, Hall was charged with second degree murder, as he had shot a man with his own weapon (after wrestling it away from him) in an altercation outside a nightclub in Florida. Hall said in a 2011 documentary how he was unable to forget the incident where he killed the man, which could be the root problem of his substance abuse. It's rather shocking to discover him having a part in one man's death (even if it was in self-defense) and knowing him to be a criminal could be crushing for his fans.
7 Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner might tout himself to be this "genetic freak" in the wrestling ring, but he's only a freak outside the ring as he has some of the craziest stories among anyone in wrestling and probably the craziest and most horrible criminal history ever. In 1998 in Georgia, Steiner got into an argument with State Department of Transportation employee Paul Kaspereen after Kaspereen had informed him that an exit ramp was closed. He threatened him before actually going onto hit him twice with his Ford F-250 Pick-up truck, but thankfully Kaspereen wasn't badly hurt. Steiner was later arrested and pleaded guilty for the crime, as he was made to serve 10 days in Jail, while also being put under an 8-year probation order and also having to pay some fine or do community service. Steiner is quite the mad-man in real life as this insane crime story proves so, as he's quite the dangerous man which no-one should mess with.
6 New Jack
It's rather surprising to even believe as to how New Jack even was a thing in the wrestling business, as this wrestler almost took all his matches like a shoot fight and took it to the extreme. Going as to how he'd use the weapons in his matches, it's not really surprising to realize that he was actually did some crime for real as well as he was in the thick of things during ECW's "Mass Transit" incident. So New Jack was leading a stable called The Gangstas into a match vs Bubba Ray Dudley and Axel Rotten, but Rotten couldn't make it. So he was replaced by a 17 year old "Mass Transit" Eric Kulas, who convinced Paul Heyman that he was trained by Killer Kowalski. He was beaten up so badly by New Jack in the match that he had to be hospitalized, receiving almost 50 stitches. New Jack was arrested for assault because of it but was quickly acquitted, as Kulas would die at the age of 22 because of complications as his parents tried to sue Jack for causing the death of their son, as this crazy man was actually maniacal and almost killed a man in the ring.
5 Doink the Clown
Matt Osborne would more popularly be known as the man who portrayed the "Doink the Clown" gimmick in the 90s, as he was this villainous clown character who would frequently pull tricks on wrestlers at ringside and on fans as well. He had a short claim to fame in the WWE, most notably defeating Crush at WrestleMania IX, before going onto wrestle for ECW and mostly in the Indy circuit. But Osborne himself seemed to be a very disturbed man, as he was arrested various times and had a horrible criminal record to himself. Osborne committed crimes like vandalism, harassment, criminal mischief, trespassing, disorderly conduct as well as public drunkenness throughout his life and had a criminal record which didn't allow him to get much work in the wrestling field and outside it either as he was a bad criminal outside the ring and made for his own demise in the end.
4 Jimmy Snuka
Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka might be recognized as an icon of the 80s who was highly influential for the likes of Bubba Ray Dudley, Mick Foley and Tommy Dreamer, but it seems like he was a disturbed man in real life. In 1983, Snuka had called for ambulance after a taping of a WWE event when his girlfriend Nancy Argentino had been found injured. But when she was taken to a hospital, she died soon afterwards and later reports showed her to have some abuse all over her body. Snuka was the only suspect for the case as it remained open at the time, but the lack of evidence forced the authorities to close it. It was reopened in 2013, as more investigation was put onto the case this time. Snuka was charged and arrested with third degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in 2015, as he has been going through trials for it ever since and much of it being delayed due to his poor health. But going by the evidence, it's rather obvious that Snuka murdered his girlfriend at the time as this makes for such a huge dent to his reputation as it's rather shocking to discover that one of wrestling's icons was actually a criminal in hiding all this time and is getting the punishment now, almost 30+ years after the incident.
3 Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones is probably scarcely remembered by many due to his lack of years in the WWE, as he was only in the company for a couple of years as this intimidating heel who crushed over many. But before he was into the wrestling business or a Strongman, Jones was actually a notorious criminal in Australia as he was part of some very dangerous armed-robberies in his country as he was part of 8 armed robberies in Australia. During the time, he became one of Australia's Most Wanted men and was arrested and put into jail for sentence of 16 years at the age of 18, but that was reduced when he was released in 1994. Jones might have been the intimidating beast in the WWE, but not many could have made out that he was this terrifying criminal in his youth as he did some heinous crimes earlier in his career and was not the man anybody would want to mess with.
Montel Vontavious Porter might have been this pricy wrestler in the WWE with his "MVP" gimmick, but not many know about how rough a childhood he has had with almost tore apart his life. The charismatic MVP wasn't going into the right direction in his youth, as he joined a street gang at the age of 12 and later spent six months in juvenile detention after a robbery. He'd later go onto serve 9 and a half years of prison sentence in jail after being part of armed robberies and kidnapping which he had started at the age of 16. H would later see the light and do something worth-while with his life, but his childhood was a very dark phase of his life as he was heavily into the bad crimes during the time and the shocking crimes he has committed has put quite a dent into his reputation as he might have recovered from that well, but still has the crimes lingering over his head.
1 Booker T
Booker T might as well be the most successful African-American wrestler of all time, as the 5 time WCW Champion has won all the big accolades in not only WCW, but also some of the big ones in WWE later on as well. One of the more entertaining personalities of his time as well, not many know that much about Booker's past and how well he has transformed from that phase, as he was involved in some horrible crimes in his youth. Booker was part of numerous armed robberies in his youth and was arrested in 1987 when he tried to rob the Wendy's store he was working in the place for 2 and a half years as police suspected of an inside job and arrested him and some other accomplices. Booker would serve nineteen months in prison for it and was released on parole, as he would then make the jump to wrestling which would lead to much success in the future as the 5 time WCW Champion wasn't really the good kid in his youth and was part of some shocking crimes which not many would expect him to do.