The wrestling industry definitely isn't for the soft-hearted, as these wrestlers have to be tough in order to produce the hard-hitting action in the ring and entertain the audiences. But when the curtains are lowered and the personal lives of these wrestlers kick in, some of them don't actually have it easy as they have some disturbing personal conflicts because of how they faced bullying earlier in their lives before becoming famous in the wrestling industry.
The WWE is quite adamant at keeping a clean name these days as they've launched their own anti-bullying campaign with "Be A Star" which teaches everyone not to bully anybody in school or outside. Some of WWE's own wrestlers have faced their share of bullying in their past, be it in their own school days when they weren't as intimidating looking as they are now, or within the company limits before they attained some popularity.
Bullying is obviously an awful thing and never should happen to anyone, as these wrestlers have faced some traumatic events of their own earlier in their careers before they became the stars they are today and have publicly expressed just how they were bullied. So Let's have a look at the 15 Wrestlers Who Were Bullied Before Becoming Famous.
15 Enzo Amore
Before Enzo Amore was signed by the WWE in 2012, he didn't really have any experience in wrestling prior to his signing with the company and had to be taught from scratch. But sadly for Enzo, he'd be under the guidance of Bill DeMott, who was fired a few years back for being a controversial figure and allegedly abusing his trainees while serving as the head trainer of NXT. Amore was apparently one who was bullied by DeMott, as he would have to listen to DeMott throw racial, homophobic and sexual slurs at him and constantly abusing him for making a mistake. He even apparently said to Amore that "he hoped he dies" which is absolutely shocking, as this disturbing bullying by DeMott did leave some of his other trainees depressed but Amore was extremely mentally strong. He kept calm and went onto become a renowned star in NXT and then on the main roster, as the trash-talker is now the talk of the town while the bully DeMott is deservedly out of the company.
14 Rene Dupree
Rene Dupree looked like a million dollars when he came to the WWE in 2003, as he'd become the youngest ever champion in WWE when he won the Tag Team Championship as part of La Resistance at the age of 19. But before he'd get popular with the crowd, Dupree had to go through a lot of bullying backstage thanks to the infamous backstage bully in JBL who would make his life at work an absolute nightmare. JBL would apparently throw racial and homophobic slurs at Dupree every day at work. Knowing how big of a bully JBL is, one can understand the torment Dupree had to go through back in the day as this awful bullying is something WWE should pay attention to before another talent (like Dupree was at the time ) is ruined in the future.
13 Eve Torres
Eve Torres might be remembered as the gorgeous former Divas Champion in the WWE who was always glowing on screen during her years in the company, but even the strong and beautiful Eve had faced bullying in her life before. She revealed about how she was bullied in an interview, where she mentioned how she faced bullying at a rather mature age of her life when she was in high school and college. Apparently the bullies would try to ruin her name with disgusting rumors, as Eve indicated how she couldn't really do anything about it because of how frail she was mentally and physically at the time. The former Divas Champion would prove her bullies wrong when she went onto become a top diva for WWE, as she stood up to them perfectly by going onto become a star in the future.
12 Damien Sandow
Damien Sandow might not have had the most illustrious of careers in the WWE, but he surely attained his share of popularity while in the company. Be it as Damien Mizdow or the Intellectual Savior of the Masses, Sandow was always entertaining at whatever he did and became quite famous at one point of time as well. Sandow also proved his doubters wrong, as they would actually be the bullies who picked on him as a child. Sandow spoke about how he'd get laughed upon a lot when he was little, and how the bullies often mocked him when he spoke about his aim to become a WWE Superstar and told him that he'd never become one. But Sandow would prove those horrible bullies wrong when he became quite the popular WWE superstar, even winning the Tag Team titles at one point and proved why one should never give up on their dreams.
11 Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston might have come a long way in the WWE to become one of its mainstay entertainers, but he has had to work a lot to prove his doubters wrong in the past. Kingston was also at the end of suffering from bullying when he was a child, as he'd often come home crying due to the bullies making fun of his name and constantly ribbing him for it. But that didn't stop once Kingston made it to the WWE, as he was apparently bullied by none other than Vince McMahon! McMahon apparently often told him that "he could never get over" in the WWE and while Kofi states that was for motivation, it seems like downright bullying from this side. But the New Day member has silenced his critics and stood up to his bullies in the long run, as the longest reigning tag team champion is enjoying a lot of success right now and will only get more famous as the years pass by.
10 David Otunga
David Otunga might have his share of people who dislike his work in the WWE, but he has retained his position in the company over all these years and is doing pretty well in his commentary job right now. The former tag team champion was chosen by the WWE because of his impressive figure and how he looked better than he wrestled, but he always didn't have all these muscles and abs to show off to other people. Otunga is an avid supporter of WWE's "Be a Star" campaign and has attended many rallies where he has discussed how he himself was bullied as a child. Otunga was a bit chubby as a child and wore some thick glasses, therefore making him a victim for the bullies to pick on when he was a child but he proved them wrong when he attained a tone figure and went onto become famous in the WWE. Otunga also encourages kids to stand up to these bullies which he couldn't at the time, but gradually he took that bullying as motivation to become a star and raise awareness amongst kids of this horrible ordeal.
9 Brodus Clay
Brodus Clay looked like a real fun guy when he was in the WWE, as the Funkasaurus rose through the 3rd season of NXT and later became this dancing big man in the company. While he was quite famous for his entertaining stint in the company, Brodus also took his time to raise awareness about bullying for WWE's "Be A Star" campaign where he spoke about how he faced bullying as a child as well. Clay stated about how he faced bullying first-hand when his biological father would physically abuse him, his mother and his brother as well in his childhood. He also got picked on by bullies at school, where they would mock him for having large feet by calling him "Big Foot" or "Duck Foot" and humiliating him whenever they got the chance. Brodus danced his way into success in the WWE and attained fame to send quite a message to the bullies who didn't think he'd get where he is now and are probably regretting their decision to bully him now.
Hornswoggle was quite the pesky little fellow while in the WWE, as he roamed around with Finlay and always hid under the ring and pulled off mischievous stunts during matches. The leprechaun was nonetheless quite an entertaining and lovable fellow, but he had to go through a tough childhood because of his state and was on the end of some bullying as well. Hornswoggle attended many "Be A Star" rallies and spoke about how he was bullied by everyone because of his size and had to endure a LOT of mockery and jibes because of his state, as the horrible bullies didn't even think about his situation before making fun of him. But instead of crawling under a hole, Hornswoggle took the bullying head on and didn't let it faze him as he went onto achieve quite a lot of success in the WWE and even became the last Cruiserweight Champion before the title was reintroduced. He proved his doubters wrong and showed how bullying can sometimes be motivation for someone to become something great in the future.
7 Mark Henry
Mark Henry might be the World's Strongest Man with whom nobody would want to mess around with, but that didn't stop the bullies from getting to him as even the gigantic Henry was bullied as a child. Mark has spoken about how he was bullied when he was younger for his size and weight problems, as he couldn't really do much about it them as well. It didn't end then and there, as he was also bullied by a certain John Bradshaw Layfield when he first came to the WWE. He would be on the wrong end of the constant "ribbing" by JBL, as Bradshaw also apparently threw plastic stuff and other things into his bath when he was taking showers as well as insulting him with racial slurs. But Henry wouldn't let all this bullying faze him, as he stuck on with the WWE for over a decade and became famous quite late into his career, as the World's Strongest Man's shocking history of being bullied shows how just about anyone can be a victim of this heinous crime.
Natalya has remained as one of WWE's mainstay women in the past decade or so, as the technical wizard has attained a lot of mainstream success in the past few years as well and is looking to be going well right now. But Nattie was also on the end of some ruthless bullying when she was a child, as the Queen of Harts was bullied as a child because of her voice! She had a raspy voice and other children would bully her for it, as she'd also get bullied in her high-school/college days as well for her weight and voice. But she kept strong and proved everyone wrong when she was the first female graduate from the infamous Hart Dungeon and later went onto become famous in the WWE, as Nattie is working hard with the WWE's "Be A Star" campaign and making sure others don't get bullied like the way she was, despite coming from the star-studded background.
5 CM Punk
CM Punk might have been the "Best in the World" in the WWE, but he attained that honor quite late into the company and had to really work his way into success in the company. Punk was actually not liked by many people when he came to the company, and almost immediately faced a lot of bullying from none other than Triple H and his buddy Shawn Michaels. The DX members apparently didn't like Punk's work and would talk bad about him all the time, as they tried to bury his WWE career even before it properly began. According to a former WWE writer, Triple H would bully him by annihilating his looks and telling about how he'd never be a star in the WWE, but Punk managed to improve himself in the WWE and become the company's biggest star in 2011 when he won the WWE Title and later held it for 434 days. He proved all his doubters wrong as his success was a punch in the face of the bullies who undermined him when he entered the company, as he rose about bullying to become a mega-star in the WWE.
4 The Miz
The Miz is probably having the best period of his WWE career right now with his work over the past year, and while he's seemingly loved by everyone nowadays, that wasn't the case a few years ago. The Miz was a victim of being bullied by his WWE colleagues, as he was bullied when he came to the company in quite the brutal manner. The bullying campaign against him was apparently led by Chris Benoit, but taken to another level by JBL who loved to haze him and bully him in front of the camera and in real life as well. The whole WWE roster apparently even kicked him out of the locker room for a whole six months. The Awesome One didn't let that distract his WWE career and has since become a definite "A-Lister" in the company. The Miz took the torment of bullies as motivation to prove everyone wrong, and is currently reaping the rewards as one of the top guys in the company.
"The Celtic Warrior" Sheamus has to be one of the toughest individuals in WWE right now, as the strong Irishman is someone nobody would want to pick a fight with. He has attained a lot of success in the WWE in the past few years, having won the WWE Championship numerous times and is always in some relevant feuds to keep his image intact. Despite looking like someone nobody would want to mess with, Sheamus surprisingly admitted about how he was bullied as a child in interviews over the years. The Celtic Warrior was apparently bullied for his height and weight in school, but dealt with it well but has himself spoken about how bullying can cause severe depression. He was bullied for having pale skin and red hair which isn't cool at all, as he'd fight back the bullies and prove them wrong when he became one of WWE's top stars and has been doing really well to spread awareness of anti-bullying and make sure nobody ends up a victim.
2 John Cena
John Cena has been the "Face That Runs The Place" for the WWE for well over a decade now, as WWE's "Superman" has had his share of critics in the past but has always performed for the WWE. Cena might look like a superhero right now, but even the 16-time World Champion was a victim of bullying. Cena was heavily bullied as a child, even getting thrown into the lockers and being abused by the bullies. But he decided to take a stand and started to lift weights to build himself, and the bullying started to stop gradually. He'd also prove his bullies wrong by "rising above hate" and becoming WWE's golden boy for such a long time, as Mr. Hustle, Loyalty & Respect has that slogan for a reason and does his anti-bullying stuff to make sure nobody is a victim like he was as a child.
1 The Rock
The Rock has now being developed into one of WWE's greatest creation, as his change from "Rocky Malvia" to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been incredible over the past decades and he deserves all he's earning for his hard-work. But even someone as intimidating as The Rock was bullied as a child, as he had to keep moving from places to places because of his dad's wrestling job and was bullied for being "the new kid" in town. He got into a lot of fights and had to look after himself. But things weren't so bright for The Rock once he arrived at the WWE, as he was also bullied here by the Kliq who didn't like him and almost buried him early on in his career. In an incident, one of the Kliq's members apparently put feces inside The Rock's sandwich when he left his food unattended and he had to endure a lot of bullying early on in his career. But he kept fighting on with the bullying and became the most electrifying man in all of sports entertainment, as the Brahma Bull is now a world-wide star and has proved his bullies wrong about him.