It’s not easy to be the most well-liked employee for a very long time. At one point, you’re certainly going to face the wrath of the management or your co-workers, and the wrestlers aren’t any different. With the functioning of the wrestling business unfathomable and borderline weird, we find even our favorite wrestlers get the hairdryer treatment from Vince McMahon and co.
Even today’s fans seem to adore such as Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin who had nuclear heat backstage during their prime and, with the advent of the internet, the fans find more backstage information served to us by wrestling journalists and writers. With Dave Meltzer stating that Enzo Amore and Baron Corbin have pretty much lost the trust of backstage crew, from writers to colleagues, we now look at 15 current WWE Superstars who have received backstage heat at some point. We’ll also be discussing if they’ve managed to overcome.
Wrestlers who have received major backstage heat don’t really last long in the company. One half of The Vaudevillains, Simon Gotch is a good case in point. He was reportedly on the back of a handful of incidents that annoyed the powers that be. His being a loud mouth, flipping out when he sat on a faulty chair at a WrestleMania event and picking a fight with Sin Cara backstage only to be dominated by the masked luchador meant the WWE officials decided he’s more trouble than he’s worth. We may actually find a few wrestlers whom we’ll be looking at in this list follow in his footsteps outside the company.
If you think a more hated wrestler should have made the list, you can let us know by a dropping a comment.
15 Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze (and Fandango) is one of the major reasons why people watch WWE on Tuesday nights these days; however, there was a time frame when he made his entrances with a fancy selfie stick only to eat the pin. He even went over 49 matches without a win on the main roster. Rumor has it that the WWE head honchos making a mockery of a character that was popular among the NXT crowd was not unplanned. Apparently, after Prince Pretty’s request to leave the arena during a Tribute to the Troops show was granted by the higher ups, he crossed paths with Vince McMahon on his way out. The Boss didn’t take to his leaving the premises lightly and ensured he remained rooted to the bottom of the card for two years.
14 Rusev and Lana
Rusev and Lana should have some high-profile admirers at the company to still be employed. A simple Google search with words Rusev and Lana backstage heat returns numerous incidents from an array of news sources. The reasons why they’ve generated backstage heat seem petty, though.
Rusev’s getting a haircut without informing the officials and singing the praises of Jack Swagger, Lana’s revealing their engagement halfway through a love angle that also involved Dolph Ziggler and Summer Rae and bickering with Paige on Twitter, and the couple’s getting into an argument at an airport are the reasons why they’re rumored to be harboring backstage heat now. The couple, however, seem talented enough to not let the heat ruin their chances of taking home those WWE paychecks.
13 Sin Cara
Sin Cara was a character who was supposed to not just become Rey Mysterio’s successor but also become a bigger masked luchador than the two-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion ever did. However, frequent botches and poor backstage reputation meant his doppelganger ended up becoming his replacement. His forfeiting the match just because he had dislocated fingers didn’t bode well with the officials as they felt that the damage was too minimal to call off the match. The new Sin Cara, who’s also known as Hunico, hasn’t made friends either, as he has now locked horns with Drew McIntyre, Simon Gotch, Chris Jericho and Sheamus so far. Much to his luck, though, he hasn’t been booted despite fighting two former WWE World Heavyweight Champions; WWE clearly is a place where those who never back down from any challenge thrive.
12 Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman’s rise to the top is something that shouldn’t be happening today, with fans now only rooting for those who have made a name for themselves on the indie circuit. Promoted to the main roster just a few months into his NXT run, he now finds himself rolling with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns and doesn’t feel a fish out of water among the accomplished multiple-time world champions. However, his ascension isn’t a bed of roses, as he has faced his share of backstage en route to super-stardom. Rumor has it that Vince McMahon and co. chewed him out when he used a banned term on live television.
Instead of using the term 'title match', the 385-pound behemoth called a match with Brock Lesnar a 'title shot', thereby infuriating the powers that be. His popularity among the WWE Universe has helped him retain his position despite committing a grave mistake, at least according to officials. Well, he indeed does have that 'title match' now, as he'll face Lesnar at No Mercy.
11 Sasha Banks
Given how Sasha Banks hasn’t been able to be as successful as Alexa Bliss or Charlotte Flair on the main roster, one should know that the backstage officials aren’t high on The Boss. She continues to be in the main event scene because of her talent and support from her fans although WWE doesn't seem to think she has as much potential as say Charlotte. She further put her position in jeopardy when she cut a fake retirement promo in an episode of Raw in September 2016. Rumor has it that the backstage officials and numerous wrestlers found her promo distasteful, especially with many wrestlers on the injury table then. She’s since recovered from her injury and has even captured the Women's Championship again.
WWE is excellent at working marks into shoots, and the recent Emma debacle isn’t different. According the grapevine, WWE only made #GiveEmmaAChance a thing only because they didn’t want their talents bashing their booking policy online to set a precedent for other talents on the roster. However, this isn’t the first time she’s challenged the establishment as her voicing her frustration last time out got her got her the Emmalina gimmick WWE Universe grew to hate. Many inside sources claimed that the writers created – and swiftly destroyed – the Emmalina gimmick only to teach her a lesson. With The Four Horsewomen and Alexa Bliss proving perennial main eventers, it looks as though her chances of becoming a main-event talent is over, unless she receives the backing of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay out of nowhere.
9 Brock Lesnar
Given Brock Lesnar’s position in the company, it’s highly unlikely that he’s ever on the receiving end of backstage heat, but something along those lines happened recently. He busted open Randy Orton, with the WWE writers asking him to do at SummerSlam last year. Many reports suggested that that match ending in a TKO wasn’t the planned finish, and those backstage also didn’t see it coming.
Chris Jericho, who’s known to protect his friends always, stood toe to toe with The Beast Incarnate. Thankfully, they didn’t exchange blows, but the situation got so heated that they had to be separated. This is the closest he has been to receiving backstage heat as the reigning, defending undisputed Universal Champion is rumored to be basically choosing the dates he works, match outcomes and whatnot.
8 Alexa Bliss
With Alexa Bliss proving more successful on the main roster than even The Four Horsewomen, one might think that she’s immune to backstage heat, but she’s also received her fair share of backstage censure. Many dirt sheets suggested that she received backstage criticism as the This Is Your Life segment also featuring Bayley fell flat. Unlike most other wrestlers on this list, she’s managed to shrug off the criticism as she remains atop the food chain, and it looks as though she’s going to be remain there for at least one more year.
Additionally, her sharing only the marketable portions of her personal life has also wooed the WWE officials who seem to seek the highest degree of professionalism from their employees as long as social media activity is concerned.
Earlier this year, the Dirty Sheets Podcast also reported that officials weren't impressed with Bliss's in-ring skills which was why she was often paired with Becky Lynch while still on SmackDown.
7 Enzo Amore
Enzo Amore has had an unorthodox rise to the top, with WWE now predominantly pushing wrestlers who have already made a name for themselves on the indie circuit. His real-life persona is the major reason why he finds himself where he’s now; however, it’s also the reason why his WWE run may not be as long as it was initially destined to be. The Realest Guy In The Room was recently kicked off the bus by none but Roman Reigns during WWE’s tour of Europe after the former was overheard talking ill of the business besides bragging about the amount of money he makes to someone over the phone. Legend has it that his his gimmick is a fair reflection of his real-life persona and, as interesting as his personality is, having a person talk (nonsense) non-stop shan’t be fun.
At 25 years of age, Paige, who held Divas Championship and NXT Women’s Championship concurrently, has violated Wellness Policy, has had her sex tapes released and has been in many high-profile romantic relationships with Brad Maddox, Alberto El Patron, Kevin Skaff and Bradley Walden. Although she was seen as an likeable prodigy, she’s gone on to become a heat magnet in the last few years. Her being a potty mouth in a TV-PG environment didn’t really seem to help things, as she seemed to drop F-bombs at inappropriate places often. Her new relationship with Mexico’s Greatest Export has also irked a lot of backstage people, as they both are touted to be a bad influence for each other. At this rate, she won’t be able to bury the hatchet with those she’s rubbed the wrong way in the recent years.
5 Big Cass
Many expected Big Cass to become the next big thing but, without Enzo Amore by his side, he looks lost. The only good thing about him is his height now; he now looks out of place and seems quite incompetent on the microphone despite getting the crowd to boo him louder than they did Roman Reigns. He also tore his ACL in a recent match which will put him on the shelf for the rest of the year, seemingly halting his push.
To add insult to the injury, he’s not well-liked backstage. Although Vince McMahon and Linda McMahon are close to Donald Trump, not many of his employees are supporters. There’s nothing wrong about being a supporter of a certain politician, but the New Jersey native is an annoying and obnoxious one at that, according to the grapevine. His radical political opinions and being an in-your-face neckbeard has made him unlikable to his peers.
4 Sami Zayn
No one really knows how Sami Zayn ended up receiving backstage heat, but many signs point to his being censured backstage at one point or the other. Although he won NXT Championship and main-evented numerous TakeOvers, he has been booked as a doofus on the main roster, and one needs no further proof than the segment in which he acted goofy, with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins rolling their eyes at his goofiness.
Of course, Daniel Bryan, who went on to main event WrestleMania did numerous goofy stuff in front of the camera before finally replacing John Cena but, when reputed journalists such as Dave Meltzer claim that he’s receiving backstage heat, you know that something is wrong. Here’s hoping he manages to overcome the backstage heat to achieve things another indie darling underdog did.
3 Roman Reigns
With the wrestling business becoming more transparent than it has ever been and Dave Meltzer now having more sources inside the company than he ever did, we somehow become aware of every significant thing happening in the company at any point in time. Given how WWE have booked Roman Reigns since his main roster debut, one would think he would absolutely be immune to criticism, but he hasn’t proved an exception. He drew the ire of a good number of backstage people in light of his Wellness Policy violation, and WWE ensured none bypassed their system as they made his violation and suspension public. He has since bounced back and won everyone over, as evidenced by his Superman-esque booking since coming back from the suspension.
2 Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is easily the most censured main eventer in WWE today. Despite being the most popular Shield member heading into his main roster debut, he has fallen down the pecking order so much that his holding Universal Championship at this point sounds kind of strange. He has received backstage heat for numerous reasons, with Steve Austin letting WWE Universe know about his apathy. He shrugged off accusations of not caring much to become WWE Champion and SmackDown Live’s first pick in WWE Draft 2016. However, he hasn’t stopped giving the backstage officials reasons to criticize him, as his hugging Seth Rollins before the formal Shield reunion seemed to have infuriated the powers that be. Rumor has it that his hugging The Architect diluted how intense a moment the eventual Shield fist bump would have been.
1 Baron Corbin
One doesn’t really know why WWE made Baron Corbin unsuccessfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract or why he was buried the way he was done at SummerSlam. Rumour has it that he was made to lose the way he did to make him a more vicious heel, but counter reports claim that WWE officials deliberately made him look a fool thanks to the backstage heat he has been generating for a while now. Reputed wrestling journalist Bryan Alvarez has even supported the latter claims. The Lone Wolf has been getting into pointless arguments with numerous notable persons on Twitter, and his insults don’t seem as obvious as that of Twitter expert Kevin Owens, apparently.
Additionally, he has also been struggling to draw a reaction from the fans, and his feud with John Cena didn’t get the reception that the WWE officials had predicted. It's now come out that Cena even chewed Corbin out backstage recently after Corbin's attitude rubbed him the wrong way. Ergo, Cena went over at SummerSlam and Corbin's push is seemingly over.