If you have been a wrestling fan for an extended period of time, odds are that you have heard some of the fanatical urban legends that exist in this sport – whether it is that Randy Savage once slept with Stephanie McMahon or that Lita paid for her wrestling training via ‘personal’ favors, there is no shortage of stories to make fans scratch their heads and wonder, “did this really happen or not?”.
Some of those stories have been reported but unconfirmed for decades, and it is clear that nobody is going to spill the beans and tell the truth about them, especially the embarrassing (or potentially incriminating) ones. Since those types of stories have been over-reported, I am here to list some of the lesser-known urban legends in professional wrestling, and hope that a whole new can of worms (or squirrels, in the case of one story) can be opened up to make even more people wonder. Some of you hardcore fans may have actually heard some of these, or possibly all of them, and if you have, then you truly are a hardcore wrestling fan. But for those less informed, let’s dive into some infamous urban legends in wrestling.
15. The Iron Sheik Was Offered $100K to break Hogan’s Leg
The birth of Hulkamania occurred on January 23rd 1984 when Hulk Hogan dethroned The Iron Sheik for the WWE Championship in a match at Madison Square Garden. While this seems like business as usual for professional wrestling, a legend exists that could have thrown a wrinkle in this plan. Sheik has a storied past with Verne Gagne of the American Wrestling Association which begins back during Sheik’s initial wresting training. Hogan also has a past with Gagne dating back to Hogan initially working in the AWA before leaving them high-and-dry to work for Vince McMahon.
Prior to Sheik dropping the title to Hogan, he was apparently approached by Gagne to break Hogan’s leg and bring WWE’s belt to the AWA. According to Sheik, “I [told] them [about] my conversation with Mr. Gagne. ‘He called me. He told me don’t lose the belt. Break his leg [and] take the belt to Minnesota. But I want to let you know, you guys, [because of the] respect [I have] for you and [the] respect [I have] for [getting] a break in New York. I can’t do that and I’m not going to go.”
14. Lawler’s Crown Was Used As A Toilet
Jerry “The King” Lawler has been presented as a legend on WWE programming for years, and the respect that he garners from the live audiences is indicative of his status in professional wrestling. While his accomplishments in the Memphis wrestling scene are well documented, and his career as a color-commentator for WWE has made him synonymous with Monday Night RAW, there are instances in Lawler’s past that have a left a bad taste in other’s mouths.
Reports have said that while Lawler was promoting his Memphis wresting territory, he was not very pleasant to wrestlers that travelled through and worked for him, including members of the Kliq, such as Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels. In order to take a measure of revenge on Lawler, The Kliq came across Lawler’s unattended crown backstage and decided to leave him a “too sweet” present inside, in the form of emptying their bowels inside. Imagine when Lawler returned backstage to find his crown in his dressing room? Do you really think it felt good to be The King at that point?
13. New Jack Purposely Endangered Vic Grimes
New Jack is genuinely one of the most terrifying wrestlers on the face of the Earth. In 2002, New Jack wrestled Vic Grimes at Xtreme Pro Wrestling in a Scaffold Match, which continued their feud from ECW where Grimes had accidentally caused Jack brain damage after botching a dangerous spot between the two. During the Scaffold Match, Grimes was thrown off of the scaffold, but did not land in the “safest manner”, and appeared to almost miss the ring below.
The question had always remained of whether or not New Jack pushed Grimes hard enough to miss his projected landing, but it was later confirmed by New Jack on the Forever Hardcore documentary when he said “I wanted him to land on the post – I was hoping he would hand head first on the post…I threw him as far as I could.”. Seriously, do not mess with New Jack.
12. Bruiser Brody and a Dirty Mop
While we already mentioned how questionable New Jack’s actions were in the ring due to his legitimate toughness, it can only be determined that the originator of this type of persona was Bruiser Brody. Widely considered the originator of the brawling style of professional wrestling, Brody was also known for being just as tough and no-nonsense outside of the ring as he was inside of it. While there are infamous stories of Brody taking liberties with opponents during matches, there is a legend of him getting revenge on an uncooperative promoter who had not paid him adequately.
Instead of putting on a bad match which would have damaged his career elsewhere, Brody took it upon himself to gather a filthy, dirty mop and chase and attack wrestling fans with it so they would not attending the promoter’s shows in the future. Disgusting? Yes. But was it effective? If it is true, it was more than likely very effective. The mop could have been brand new, and I still would have been terrified if he came at me with it.
11. Showering with JBL
Not every wrestling urban legend is a steamy kind, especially when they involve John “Bradshaw” Layfield naked in the shower. Wrestlers are notorious for “ribbing”, or playing pranks on each other for entertainment, and they particularly target new faces to their locker room as a way of initiating them. According to wrestling legend, JBL’s favorite way to “welcome” someone new to the locker room was to join them in the shower and begin rubbing their back suggestively with sudsy soap. JBL may not look like it on television, but he is billed as being over six-feet tall and over 300 pounds – that may be one of the most frightening things to see inside of a shower and it certainly lends itself to more investigation in what exactly goes on behind closed doors in WWE.
10. Miss Elizabeth Locked Away
Just like the fairy-tale of Rapunzel, legend has it that Miss Elizabeth has some experience with being locked away from the rest of the world. Randy Savage’s wrestling character always had a tendency of keeping one eye on Elizabeth during his wrestling matches, and was constantly jealous of other wrestlers paying attention to her. This created a great dynamic for television because Elizabeth was so beloved by the audience, and we all questioned Savage’s grip on sanity, but wrestling lore says that Savage also carried this character trait in real life.
There have been reports from various wrestlers who shared the WWF locker room during the 80s and 90s that Savage used to keep Elizabeth in her own private dressing room, and rarely let her interact with other performers in an effort to “keep her to himself”. Given Savage’s persona in relation to Elizabeth while on camera, this legend does not seem out of the realm of possibility.
9. Tommy Lee vs. Shawn Michaels
For any wrestling fans that have not been exposed to Shawn Michaels’ earlier work and only know him as an older and wiser performer, I will take the time to set the record straight for them – Michaels used to be a very well-known playboy (no, not PlayGirl like the magazine he posed for once) and ladies’ man who would not hesitate to hit on any beautiful woman in front of him, whether or not they were involved. This allegedly included Pamela Lee Anderson, who was originally set to accompany Michaels to the ring at WrestleMania XI until he hit on her too many times, angering her husband Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. The plan was then changed for Anderson to accompany Michael’s opponent Diesel instead as a way of keeping Lee from attacking Michaels again. This may explain why Anderson did not look happy during her time on camera in the slightest.
8. Bathroom Under the Ring
Having been in many wrestling rings in my life, it has unfortunately lost some grandeur for me – while it may seem larger than life on television, it is actually quite small when inside, beside or underneath it. Many wrestlers who have been forced to spend extended amounts of time underneath the ring no exactly what I am talking about, particularly “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. Legend has it that during an episode of WCW Monday Nitro, Hennig was forced to wait under the ring because he was scheduled to run in during on the final matches.
Having been under there for too long, Hennig realized that he had to relieve himself, and took it upon himself to use an “emergency bucket”, and filled it up in the same way that The Kliq had used Jerry Lawler’s crown earlier. The only thing that runs through my mind when I hear this story is – did Hornswoggle ever sue him for defecating in his house?
7. Goldust with Implants?
Dustin Rhodes as the character (or the Artist formerly known as for a brief period) Goldust is easily one of the most provocative wrestling characters in history – while his later appearances in WWE were not nearly as confrontational as his initial run in 1996, Goldust should be given a lot of credit for pushing the boundaries. The original Goldust was a quasi-homosexual character who used his sexuality to confuse and scare his opponents, all the while being a very dangerous and capable wrestler.
While this was surely a recipe for success as Goldust made waves in the wrestling industry at the time, Goldust had a big plan for his character… Well, two big plans. Rhodes propositioned to McMahon that he should get breast augmentation surgery. Former WWE writer Vince Russo claimed Goldust was willing to do it if the company gave him $1 million. Can you imagine if this had actually transpired?
6. Quote the Nudist
Raven is admittedly one of my favorite wrestling characters of all time – the darkness and intelligence that Scott Levy has portrayed this character with since the mid-90s makes him so multi-layered. Whether he is competing in a years-long feud with Tommy Dreamer in ECW, or going through an under-used period in WWE, I was always enthralled with Raven. Now that I have been looking at urban legends in wrestling, I feel very weirded out about Raven, particularly now that I know what he likes to do in his pastime.
According to wrestling legend, Raven famously enjoys hanging out in the buff backstage after matches (his jean shorts must be too sweaty), but he once got too close to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and his ex-wife Debra, and Austin proceeded to scream at him and kick him out of the locker room. But what about Raven?
5. Sycho Sid’s Pet Squirrel
I don’t think that anyone is about to accuse Sycho Sid of being an intelligent man, and he has given us a lot of evidence to prove this before (like this promo of his in WCW, for instance).
This is also the case if we look at unconfirmed wrestling stories – apparently based on a dare, Sid once put a live squirrel inside of his pants for a full minute. Just reading that sentence makes me lose IQ points, and the end result was exactly what you think it would be.
4. DDP Offered His Wife To Eric Bischoff For A Push
One wrestler that busted his ass to get to the top was Diamond Dallas Page. DDP stuck out like a sore thumb because of his age. While other wrestlers at the time like Ric Flair and Arn Anderson were older, they were talked up like they were legends, but Page was not given the same treatment, as he was only establishing himself as a star in his late 30s and early 40s .
If you had read into urban legends at the time, you would have come across a rumor that Page had “offered” up his ex-wife Kimberly Page to Eric Bischoff in exchange for a main-event push on television. Only three people in the world know if this rumor is true, and I doubt that any of them are going to talk about it.
3. Do the Wiggle, Mr. Steiner
Alright, this may be the urban legend that I personally have the most trouble believing – in one corner of a fight you have Norman Smiley, a fairly small man best known for being afraid of weapons in hardcore matches and doing a dance called “The Wiggle”. In the other corner, you have a mean-looking man with the nickname “The Dog-faced Gremlin” that looks like he could tear a phonebook in half. If you had money on the fight, who would you consider to be the odds on favorite? If you had picked Rick Steiner, you would be wrong.
Accordingly to many backstage stories, Steiner was antagonizing Smiley at a bar after a WCW television taping, and Smiley knocked Steiner out after one punch to the jaw. If this story is in fact true, I sincerely hope that Smiley did “The Wiggle” after Steiner hit the ground, or else I don’t think it was worth the trouble of punching him.
2. Christy Hemme-Helmsley
While the “Diva Search” competitions did not give us many television moments that have stood the test of time, it has given us a pretty wild rumor. The 2004 Diva Search contestant winner Christy Hemme may not have been a decorated wrestler, but her personality made her dynamite for television – she was spunky, energetic and was not afraid to make herself (and her body) the center of attention. Unfortunately for Hemme, this allegedly put her in hot water with WWE Management because her bubbly personality was seen as flirting with Triple H. Some have gone so far as to say that there was in fact an affair between the two.
While this may have been considered okay if it was anyone else, but once word got back to Stephanie McMahon about this, she promptly put in the word to release Hemme from her contract. While it is possible that the rumors are not true, it has been Hemme’s cryptic responses of the years when asked about her release that keep us guessing – when pressed about leaving, Hemme usually gives vague responses such as “It was one specific incident, so I’m just gonna leave it at that, ’cause I don’t need to go into details.”. Makes you wonder what really happened.
1. Flair and Morton on a Boat
If every wrestler from the 80s were to tell you some of their party stories, odds are that you would look at each of them very differently once they were through. One of the most notorious partiers is none other than Mr. Limousine-riding, Jetplane-flying himself, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. One of the most under-reported stories of Flair’s partying involves the Rock N’ Roll Express’ Ricky Morton partying together on Flair’s boat one night. Apparently while driving, a very inhebriated Flair fell out of the boat, but since Morton was also quite drunk, he didn’t notice and left Flair in the lake for a very long time.
Eventually he noticed that Flair was missing, and turned back to look for him and fished him out of the water as he thrashed around for his life. Once being rescued, Flair was incredibly mad, but not for almost dying. Flair was very angry that he had lost a sock in the water and spent the next several minutes trying to jump back in to retrieve it. Imagine being Morton in this situation and almost killing one of the greatest wrestlers of all time?
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