In the Information Age (or Digital Age, depending on how you like to refer to it), an abundance of knowledge is available to us at our very fingertips. A wrestler's privacy in the new millennium is vastly different from his/her privacy in the decades past. A wrestler such as Seth Rollins would likely never have had nude photos of himself published online had he competed in the 1980s. Moreover, a wrestler such as Ric Flair, who has never been a stranger to controversy, would likely have more trouble in this day and age.
For wrestling diehards, the majority of info on their favorite superstars, and even those they aren't necessarily fond of, are already known to them. The same can't be said about fair weather wrestling fans, but they are far from out of the loop. However, there are always facts that slip through the cracks.
Let's take a look at twenty things you didn't know about wrestlers from the 2000s.
20 20. Trish Stratus Is The Youngest Person To Be Inducted Into WWE's Hall Of Fame
In 2013, Trish Stratus was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during the WrestleMania 29 weekend at the World's Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden in New York City. Stratus was inducted by real life best friend, as well as godmother and fellow WWE alum, Lita. The Toronto, Canada resident was only thirty-seven years old when she was inducted. Touted by many as the greatest women's wrestler of all time, her induction was all but guaranteed, but it happened sooner than anyone could have expected. She retired as a full-time competitor from the WWE in 2006 and now devotes the majority of her time to her yoga studio as well as to motherhood. Stratus currently has one son, Maximus, and is pregnant at the moment with her second child.
19 19. Kurt Angle's Family Tragedies
Kurt Angle's sister passed away from a heroin overdose the day before he was supposed to face Brock Lesnar in an Ironman match in September of 2003 on Smackdown. Angle may have wrestled in the 1996 Olympics with a broken neck, which inevitably caused him immense physical pain, but the amount of emotional pain he was feeling on the day of his Ironman match with Lesnar must have been incomparable. Unfortunately for Angle, he is far from a stranger to tragedy. His Olympic coach was murdered and his father passed away when he was only sixteen in a construction accident. His first wife, Karen, actually left him for a fellow (and much less accomplished wrestler), Jeff Jarrett. Clearly, he has faced his fair share of adversity.
18 18. Brock Lesnar's Nickname Was "Broccoli"
Today, fans primarily know him as the "Beast Incarnate" and, to a lesser extent, the "Conqueror" as a result of Lesnar being the first wrestler to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania. When he first entered the WWE, fans knew him as the "Next Big Thing". Before all of these cool nicknames, however, he was called, of all things, "broccoli" during his childhood days in Webster, South Dakota. For those who have watched Brock Lesnar: Here Comes the Pain, this may not come as a surprise. In the documentary, Lesnar's childhood pal Justin Gaikowski says, "I used to call him broccoli. When you're young nobody likes to eat broccoli. I'd be like, 'hey Broccoli! You've got bad taste!'" Based on Gaikowski's reasoning for calling Lesnar "broccoli," it's probably safe to assume that he wasn't the funniest character in the room.
17 17. Shawn Michaels Proposed To Sunny
The irony here is that Michaels bills himself as the heartbreak kid (HBK), yet it was Sunny who was clearly the heartbreaker here. Sunny not only rejected Michaels proposal, but was caught by Michaels cheating. Sunny had cheated on Michaels with fellow wrestler, the British bulldog. Despite this, Michaels still proposed to her! In retrospect, Michaels who was likely heartbroken at the time is certainly grateful in present day considering Sunny's laundry list of issues. Not to forget, Michaels ended up marrying a dime piece any way. Michaels married Rebecca Curci in 1999 who is better known to wrestling fans as the former WCW Nitro Girl, Whisper. Looking at Michaels, you would be hard pressed to find many, if any wrestlers who have aged better than him. Sunny on the other hand, let's just say she's seen better days.
16 16. Edge And Lita Ruined A Marriage
Most are aware that Edge and Lita had an affair while Lita was involved in a six year plus relationship with Matt Hardy. However, most aren't aware of the fact that Edge was involved in a relationship of his own; moreover, Edge was married at the time being. Edge was in his second marriage to a woman named Lisa Ortiz (prior to that he was actually married to Val Venis' sister for three years before they divorced). Undoubtedly Edge must not have had the easiest personal life at this time, but his onscreen character thrived as it became so easy to hate him because of his actions. Edge became a formidable heel for the years to come after the revelation of his affair.
15 15. Jeff Hardy Debuted In WWE When He Was Only 16!
First off, for anyone wondering, yes, this was an illegal practice by the WWE and you need to be at least 18 years old in order to step foot in a WWE ring. Hardy, under the name of Keith Davis, wrestled everyone's favorite bad guy, Razor Ramon. He was inserted into the match because Razor's opponent for the evening was unable to compete. As a result, the WWE had to scramble in order to find a wrestler who could play the role of a jobber. Well, they found someone who could job, they just didn't find someone who could job that was eighteen or above. Thus, Jeff Hardy (or Jeff Harvey, as Mike Adamle refers to him) had his first WWE match at age sixteen.
14 14. The Undertaker Is Terrified Of... Cucumbers?
No, that is not a typo. Arguably the scariest character in the history of the WWE is afraid of a vegetable. The Undertaker's former manager, the late Paul Bearer, claimed that he is so spooked by cucumbers that he can't even lay eyes on them. Upon being ribbed by The Deadman, Bearer attempted to get the 7'0'' giant back by throwing some cucumbers in his hat, thinking that it would scare Taker and the two would be even. But what followed next was something that neither Bearer nor The Undertaker were ready for. Once the legendary wrestler saw the cucumbers, he wasn't just scared - he was petrified! Undertaker actually ended up vomiting as a result of the incident. Unfortunately, there isn't a backstory as to why The Undertaker is so afraid of cucumbers. I guess it's just a very specific form of lachanophobia (cucumberphobia? Did we just coin a term?).
13 13. Chris Jericho: Jack Of All Trades
Jericho received his two-year degree from Red River Community College in Manitoba, Canada. He is a jack of all trades and seems to be able to succeed at any and everything he puts his mind to. Jericho has often said that he knew at a young age that he wanted to be two things in life: a wrestler and a rockstar. He would then be told that he would have to choose between the two. Jericho thought this was blasphemous and was able to not only succeed in WWE on any and every facet of the card he has been placed on, but he achieved his dream of being a rockstar as a part of the band Fozzy. Now, it seems like he is putting that Journalism degree to use, as his current gimmick features his reporting of individuals to be put on "the list" for acts he deems despicable.
12 12. Triple H Once Had Sable As His Manager
Prior to having Chyna at his side as an intimidating manager, Triple H had tried out a number of of other valets. While Chyna proved to be the perfect fit as she provided a presence that was foreign to audiences due to her imposing physique, Triple H's other managers seemed to be forced. One of them happened to be the current wife of former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, Sable. At the time, she was the wife of then WWE superstar, Marc Mero. Triple H ended up feuding with Mero once he lashed out at Sable during a contest in which he was defeated by the Ultimate Warrior. Sable shouldn't feel too bad as she is one of numerous individuals who were unable to fit the role of Triple H's manager.
11 11. Vince McMahon Wanted To Be A Wrestler
Vincent Kennedy McMahon, best known to viewers simply as Mr. McMahon, purchased the company from his father, Vincent J. McMahon. When Mr. McMahon had relayed to his father that he had aspirations to be an in-ring competitor, his father quickly scoffed at the idea. McMahon Sr. firmly believed that promoters and wrestlers are two separate entities that were not meant to be commingled. While this may have been the belief of Mr. McMahon's father, it's clear as day that Vince did not agree. Mr. McMahon has been inside the squared circle on multiple occasions with the likes of his own son, Shane, his son-in-law, Triple H, and his arch nemesis of the Attitude Era, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
10 10. The Rock's Original Ring Name Was "Flex Kavana"
Those who watched the WWE in 1996 and 1997 likely remember The Rock's original ring name of Rocky Maivia, which did not go over well with the fans. Unfortunately, the most memorable thing about that gimmick is The Rock being showered with chants of "Die Rocky, Die". Johnson clearly found his footing with his Rock persona and is one of the best, if not the best, ever on the microphone. However, prior to the horrid Maivia character and the hysterical Rock character, he went by the name of Flex Kavana. The Flex Kavana name was never used in WWE; rather, it was used in United States Wrestling Association (USWA), which happened to be the promotion of none other than the WWE's Jerry "The King" Lawler.
9 9. D'Lo Brown Is a Certified Public Accountant
Brown received his degree from the University of Maine. He had moderate success while in the WWE, as he held on to the company's European Championship on four occasions and he also had one Intercontinental reign to add to his list of accomplishments. Brown's first stint in WWE lasted from 1997-2003. He returned in June of 2008, but was released seven short months later in January of 2009. Despite the forenamed accomplishments, Brown is perhaps unfortunately best remembered for his match with Droz in which he botched a power bomb. The move left Droz paralyzed and ended his wrestling career. Brown and Droz remain friends to this day, as Droz has said he believes Brown had no ill will towards him and the incident was simply an accident.
8 8. Randy Orton Went AWOL As A Marine
Orton being a member of the USMC isn't necessarily new knowledge, yet even those that know of Orton's time in the USMC are likely unaware of the fact that Orton once had a USMC tattoo. Orton had the tattoo on his left arm and it's since been covered up by which we can all pretty accurately infer has been replaced by a skull. Orion's tenure in the USMC is one he'd rather not recount or talk about considering he went AWOL leading to his dismissal from the prestigious USMC. Orton ended up serving thirty-eight days in a military prison in California as a result of going AWOL. There was massive public outrage by current and former marines when the WWE had initially cast Orton in the Marine 3. Orton was fortunately replaced by The Miz.
7 7. Chyna Was Supposed To Be The First Female Member Of The nWo
Both WCW and WWE were vying for the services of at-the-time free agent, Chyna. WCW's plan for Chyna was to bring her in to be the first female member of the nWo which would've clearly given her a level of importance right off the bet. With WCW offering her a contract, Chyna verbally accepted but she hadn't put ink to paper yet. Shane McMahon had given Chyna a ring to notify her that the WWE was going to sign her. At this time, Chyna ended up signing with the Stamford, Connecticut based WWE over the Atlanta, Georgia based WCW. Chyna went on to still be a part of one of the most revolutionary factions to date in DX as well as hold the Women's and Intercontinental Championships.
6 6. Eddie Guerrero Hated Eric Bischoff
Guerrero was most infamous in WWE for his "I lie, I cheat, I steal" gimmick which fans ate up despite Latino Heat using heel tactics. In WWE, Guerrero really hit his stride, but in WCW... not so much. Guerrero, who was fed up with WCW at the time, barged into Eric Bischoff's office to demand a release from his contract. Bischoff retaliated with anger that can only be depicted as matching or surpassing the anger of Guerrero. As a cup of coffee rested on a desk in Bischoff's office, Bischoff ended up knocking over the cup of coffee. This resulted in coffee residue landing on Guerrero. While Bischoff didn't technically throw the cup at Guerrero, no one wants to have coffee splattered on themselves. This must've made for quite the scene!
5 5. JBL Is A Backstage Bully
His incident with the Blue Meanie at ECW One Night Stand in which the former absolutely battered the latter is infamous for when a wrestler took a beating way too far. However, this wasn't JBL's first rodeo in the bullying department. Billy Silverman, a WCW referee had been hired by the WWE once they had purchased WCW. Silverman had liked to fly first class and would routinely upgrade his regular fare tickets to first class tickets. In the WWE world if you flew first class you were persona non grata, unless the higher ups purchased you a ticket. JBL hazed Silverman over this so bad that Silverman actually ended up quitting WWE and suing the WWE as well. It's unclear as to what Silverman walked away with in damages and it's likely the suit was settled outside of court.
4 4. Jack Swagger Has A Bachelors Degree In Finance
Swagger attended Oklahoma University, where the former Sooner not only excelled in the sport of collegiate wrestling but in the classroom, as well. Swagger could very well be working in the field of Finance today if it weren't for what can only be described as perfect timing. He was actually set to begin working for a company (the name of the company isn't known), but he received a contract offer from the WWE on the same exact day! Needless to say, we all know what happened next. Swagger has been with the company for a little over a decade (if we factor in his time in developmental) and he has seen moderate success during his tenure. To highlight Swagger's resume, he is a World Heavyweight Champion, a United States Champion and the winner of the 2010 Money in the Bank match.
3 3. Kane Has His Own Insurance Agency
Kane's been a legitimate third grade elementary school teacher, a kayfabe dentist, has been rumored to have possible political aspirations and arguably the most intimidating heel to sport a mask, prior to him having to remove it. Kane's mask doesn't hold the same allure as it once did. Now, you can add having an insurance company to Kane's resume. Kane along with his wife started the Jacobs Agency which is based out of Tennessee, where Kane resides. Kane's insurance agency offers a multitude of insurance options such as auto, home, life and commercial insurance. Kane's often been cited by his fellow wrestlers to not only be one of the strongest wrestlers the company employs but also one of the brightest. With his insurance agency in full effect Kane has set the groundwork to set himself up for when he hangs up his wrestling boots.
2 2. Steve Austin's Ring Name Comes From The Unlikeliest Of Sources
When trying to adopt a persona for his bold and brash Steve Austin character, Austin had come up with a character who disobeyed authority, threw back cans of beer like no tomorrow and was so defiant that the WWE had never seen anything like him. As we know today, the persona ended up being widely successful, but while the character was all Austin's idea, fans have his wife to thank for the name. By the way, some of the names Austin had in mind were "Ice Dagger" and "Ivan the Terrible." Upon giving Austin a cup of tea she said, "drink this tea before it gets stone cold", then briefly paused and said, "that's your new name, Stone Cold Steve Austin". Fortunately, Austin rolled with his wife's idea and the rest is history.
1 1. Birth Names Main Event WrestleMania XIX
While this match is best remembered for the unfortunate botched Shooting Star Press by Brock Lesnar, there is also another interesting fact about it: it was the first main event to feature two wrestlers with their birth name. For the casual fan, it was quite the sight to see Lesnar, a man who almost tipped the scales at 300 pounds, attempt this move; for the diehard fan, they were aware of the fact that Lesnar had nailed the move successfully on numerous occasions in OVW. Lesnar hasn't attempted the move ever since WrestleMania XIX, as a result of the concussion and neck injuries he sustained.
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