The glamorous world of pro wrestling may be one where the in ring action is largely staged, but have no doubt about it not everyone is the best of friends behind that curtain. Pro wrestlers having real life animosity for each other is pretty much as old as the business itself. If you ask WWE, even in the present day, nothing makes for great in ring action like two Superstars who actually harbor a genuine dislike for each other. Some would argue that it's a dangerous line to tip toe as the wrestlers in the ring actually want to hurt one another, whereas those making the money would argue that it makes it seem more real, thus more entertaining for the viewers in the crowd and those watching at home.
In a business like wrestling with Superstars spending large chunks of their lives with an array of people, there are going to be at least a few that don't get along. The upcoming 30 entries will feature a number of different reasons as to why wrestlers simply didn't like each other. Infidelity, screwjob finishes, blocked contracts, just a few reasons certain Superstars have made themselves into an enemy to not only a fellow employee, but often someone they formerly called a friend. As you'll soon tell from this article no one holds a grudge like a pro wrestler, and although a lot of the problems that arise in this list have since been resolved, there are just as many that haven't and some that can now sadly never be.
30 30. Scott Steiner and Triple H
In 2002 Scott Steiner made a not so triumphant return to WWE. He had spent some time with the company in the past, along with his brother Rick, before moving on and enjoying a long and successful spell with WCW. His ascent with WWE's rivals made it feel like a big get for them once Steiner finally agreed to rejoin Vince's ranks, but it did not live up to the hype. Steiner was immediately entered into a rivalry with then World Champion Triple H, and some poor in ring performances from the pair soon turned into real life animosity. Scott began to talk poorly of The Game back stage to anyone that would listen, not a great idea considering Triple H's standing in the company even at that point.
29 29. Ric Flair and Bruno Sammartino
Two names that are simply synonymous with the pro wrestling business are Bruno Sammartino and Ric Flair. You could make legitimate arguments for either man being the greatest the business has ever seen. Bruno plied his trade in the North East and made WWE a household name, holding their championship for almost twelve years, while Ric reigned atop the NWA. Even though they were at the tops of their games at similar times, their paths rarely crossed. Also because of their different careers and lifestyles the two had some real life disdain for each other. Flair claimed that he was a bigger name than Bruno as Sammartino was only a big deal in the New York area. The long reigning WWE Champion flat out disagreed with those claims from Ric, naturally, and still harbors a bit of a grudge for the comments The Nature Boy made.
28 28. Vince Russo and Hulk Hogan
Vince Russo is not exactly the most popular man on the pro wrestling landscape, something that will become continually clearer as you make your way through this article if you didn't know it already. One of the biggest names Russo has had real life beef with is the immortal Hulk Hogan. It stems from an infamous incident that happened at WCW Bash At The Beach in 2000. In a work/shoot angle that Russo claims Hulk knew all about, Vince used Hogan's constant abuse of his creative control to effectively bury The Hulkster live on pay per view. Naturally Hogan claimed he wasn't clued in to what Russo had planned and hence left the company as well as suing Vince for defamation of character. The two have actually worked together at TNA since, so maybe it's water under the bridge now that we're seventeen years removed from the event.
27 27. Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett
TNA has not taken off to the levels it perhaps once could have for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is the fact that those in charge have constantly been obsessed with it being the same as WWE, whereas they should have been trying to offer up something different. They copied WWE so much in fact that they even decided to use their Superstars' real life heart break in order to further story lines. I am of course talking about the love triangle between Kurt Angle, his now ex-wife Karen, and Jeff Jarrett. While Kurt was having issues with drug addiction, Karen found solace in the arms of another, that other being Jeff Jarrett. Sleeping with a co-worker's wife is really something that should be kept out of the work place, but TNA didn't think so. The company put Angle's real life animosity for the man who stole his wife to good use, in their eyes, and had them play out a long and drawn out story line involving all three parties.
26 26. Nikki Bella and Maryse
At WrestleMania 33 Nikki Bella and Maryse met in the ring in a culmination to their feud that involved them wrestling alongside their real life partners John Cena and The Miz. Well it turns out some of the story line animosity that Maryse was demonstrating towards Nikki was actually rooted in truth. The Miz's wife has of course been with WWE before, and it turns out that the French-Canadian had attempted to return prior to her comeback after WrestleMania 32. The company were actually looking to recruit Maryse when they launched the reality show Total Divas, however Nikki and her sister Brie allegedly blocked Maryse's return in order for them to have more of the limelight. Pretty low if true and not the only time Nikki did something like that, but more on that later.
25 25. Randy Orton and The Independent Scene
While the majority of the entries on this list will focus on simple one on one dislikes between people, this entry is a little different. Thirteen time World Champion Randy Orton recently managed to offend the entire independent wrestling scene in the space of a few minutes. The Viper, who later admitted to having had a drink or two at the time, utilized his social media to make his feelings known about wrestlers who throw themselves around in front of crowds of a few hundred for next to no money. Needless to say a lot of wrestlers and fans had a fair bit to say in response to that. Many indy wrestlers believed it to be pretty offensive to what they were doing, and that not everyone is lucky enough to get the head start in the business that Randy would have had with his father and grandfather being big time names in wrestling before him.
24 24. Chris Jericho and Eric Bischoff
There were plenty of names throughout the latter half of the 1990s that WCW under used and hence wasted. A Superstar that wound up being one of the biggest names out of that bunch was Chris Jericho. Despite competing pretty much all over the planet before arriving in WCW, then winning the fans over once he arrived there, Eric Bischoff refused to let Y2J rise above the company's cruiserweight division. Jericho would pitch ideas to Eric and effectively take him through step by step how he could use him successfully in other areas, but Bischoff would always send him away. Eventually of course Chris would go to WWE and his talents were put to very good use, but he did hold a resentment for Eric for a while after for not giving him that opportunity at WCW.
23 23. Sting and Jeff Hardy
Ask anyone in the wrestling business if they would have loved the opportunity to compete in the ring with Sting, they'd probably say they would have absolutely jumped at the chance. Not many wrestlers still wrestling today can say that they've done that. One man who can is Jeff Hardy, although he squandered one of the big opportunities he had to be in the ring with The Icon. Jeff was due to compete with Sting at TNA's Victory Road pay per view in 2011 but had been drinking and taking drugs before the match. Subsequently Hardy was unable to compete, but unfortunately still made it out to the ring. Sting had to hold Jeff down for the pin and bring the match to a premature close before angrily returning to the locker room.
22 22. Vince Russo and Jim Cornette
Another entry featuring everyone's favorite pro wrestling writer, Vince Russo. I did warn you that there would be a few because let's be honest, he's not the most likable guy in the world. This is one is particularly strange and is actually still developing as I type this. The pair's hatred of each other was reignited when Cornette appeared on the WWE Network show Table For Three and slated Russo somewhat. Since then the two of them have used any way of broadcasting their thoughts to the fans at their disposals to go back and forth between each other. Russo has even gone as far as taking a restraining order out on Cornette, claiming that he's been stalking him since 1999. Sounds absurd, as does Cornette's challenge to Russo to meet up somewhere and fight him.
21 21. Dolph Ziggler and John Cena
Aside from Triple H and Stephanie themselves, WWE's resident power couple right now is unquestionably John Cena and Nikki Bella. One of the most memorable moments at WrestleMania 33 was Cena proposing to Nikki, a moment that many saw coming but Bella had convinced herself was never going to happen. Well while Cena has a WWE dating history he would rather forget, look out for that later, so does his new fiance. Before Nikki was with John, she actually dated Dolph Ziggler. The reality show Total Divas would even have you believe that very recently The Show Off tried to win Bella back. When you work with a man who clearly still has feelings for your fiance, it's going to be awkward, although Cena is ever the professional as that has never been reflected in his in ring work with Dolph.
20 20. Kevin Nash and Goldberg
Kevin Nash is pretty famous for two things outside the ring. The amount of people who dislike him for how he treated them while in WCW, and how outspoken he is about those people. One of the biggest of those Superstars who didn't agree with Nash's booking in the late '90s is Goldberg. Understandably so as well since it was Nash who brought Goldberg's famous streak to an end with the awful taser angle. What's worse is that Nash not only got his way and ended the streak, he then completely wasted it with the even worse finger poke of doom debacle the following night. Nash disliked Goldberg for never losing, and Goldberg disliked Nash for that 48 hour period. I know who I'm siding with in this one.
19 19. JBL and Mauro Ranallo
One of the more recent scandals to hit WWE was that of the controversy surrounding announcers JBL and Mauro Ranallo. Ranallo was seen as somewhat of a major scoop by WWE considering his work commentating other combat sports, and most fans instantly fell in love with his announcing style. However earlier this year Mauro disappeared from television rather suddenly. Over time the truth began to come to light, and the horrible fact of the matter was that Mauro had taken time away from the announce desk due to problems with his bipolar disorder. What's worse is that JBL constantly berating Ranallo is what caused his mental state to deteriorate. The good news now is that Mauro is back with WWE and will be working with the NXT announce team, so far away from JBL.
18 18. Vince McMahon and Ultimate Warrior
At one time in WWE, Ultimate Warrior was truly on top of the world. At the culmination of WrestleMania VI Warrior held both the WWE and Intercontinental Championships high above his head, to this day he is still the only man to hold both titles at the same time. Seemingly it was all down hill from there though. Warrior would be fired from the company in 1991, only to return, leave again, and then return yet again in 1996. Clearly what went down between Warrior and Vince McMahon during that last stint was the final straw. The pair would file lawsuits against each other, and Vince saw that a DVD named 'Self Destruction' detailing Warrior's down fall was created. It took until just days before Warrior's death for the two to finally set aside their differences, as the former WWE Champion was inducted into the Hall of Fame just prior to WrestleMania XXX.
17 17. Chris Jericho and Sin Cara
Being around for as long as he has, Chris Jericho is currently one of the veterans of WWE's locker room whenever he's around. So when Sin Cara continually made loud noises on a WWE bus during one of their European tours, it was Y2J who stepped up and asked him to be quiet. Sin Cara continued and that's when things started to get heated, so heated in fact that the luchador ended up swinging for the former nine time Intercontinental Champion. You try to punch a man of Jericho's stature in WWE you're not only going to make yourself an enemy, but WWE probably aren't going to be your biggest fans either. Reportedly Sin Cara was sent to ride with the SmackDown Live Superstars instead. That meant he not only didn't wrestle for the rest of the tour, but also didn't have his flight changed due to his altered schedule so got into a little bit of bother when he arrived at the airport to fly home.
16 16. Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff
During the 1990s Ric Flair spent a lot of time hopping back and forth between WWE and WCW. Since those torrid times he has openly commented on how different the company would be each time he returned, to WCW that is, and how bad a time he had there during the later years. One man he held a particular hatred for up until very recently was Eric Bischoff. The pair of them would constantly clash over a number of things. WCW wanting Flair to shave off his trademark hair, which he reluctantly did. Bischoff suspending Ric for no-showing an event after Eric refused to give him time off. All of this culminated in the pair fighting back stage at WWE once Bischoff joined the company in 2002. While both versions of the story differ quite a bit, what is for sure is that the two of them aired their grievances in the form of a physical altercation and are more or less friends in the present day.
15 15. The Bella Twins and Maria
This entry actually takes a couple of aspects from previous ones in this list and adds a little extra to them. While The Bella Twins apparently didn't think too much of Maryse years ago, rumor has it that they also didn't like Maria Kanellis. Allegedly the dislike of Maria stems from a moment back stage where Kanellis was dancing with Dolph Ziggler, a man Nikki was in a relationship with at the time. Like they allegedly had done with Maryse, Brie and Nikki approached the higher ups at WWE and convinced them not to re-hire Maria after she had been away from the company for a little while. Fast forward to the present day and Nikki, Dolph and Maria are all on SmackDown Live, shouldn't be awkward at all right?
14 14. Chris Benoit and Kevin Sullivan
Back in the mid to late 1990s, Chris Benoit was trying to make a name for himself in WCW. Well on top of getting his name out there before moving on to WWE in 2000, he would also meet his wife Nancy. The only trouble with that is it wasn't as simple as it sounds. When Nancy and Chris met and fell for each other, the former was already with someone else at the time, Kevin Sullivan. Nancy would eventually leave Kevin for Chris, and in true wrestling fashion WCW would take the real life turmoil and turn it into an on air story line. At the end of the feud Sullivan would cut back on the wrestling side of things and moved into a more creative role. One of the reasons Benoit left for WWE is because he believed Kevin was using his new found office role to stop him progressing further in the company.
13 13. Chris Jericho and Triple H
Another man who did all they could to make it big in WCW but eventually had to make the move to WWE to further his career was Chris Jericho. It wasn't Kevin Sullivan holding Y2J down though. When he arrived in WWE, Jericho made an entrance that no one will ever forget when he interrupted The Rock on Raw. After that though he floundered for a while, and at first it was unclear as to why. Turns out a certain someone by the name of Triple H wasn't too fond of WWE's newest acquisition. In fact allegedly The Game didn't like WCW talent coming over to his show much at all, despite doing it himself just years earlier. Triple H would bad mouth Jericho back stage and subsequently it took a while for the now six time World Champion to make a name for himself in WWE.
12 12. Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior
Vince McMahon wasn't the only person Ultimate Warrior mended fences with just days before he passed away in 2014. Another man it looked like he had damaged his relationship with beyond repair was The Immortal One himself, Hulk Hogan. As already mentioned in this article, the two of them famously did battle in the main event of WrestleMania VI. Well Hogan and Warrior also had a much less glamorous rematch years later when they were both in WCW. It was terrible. The build involved The Hulkster apparently being scared of Warrior and then during the match the latter didn't take a bump. The awful nature of their match up led Warrior to believe that he was set up by Hulk and he left the company the next day. In the time that followed Warrior would rant to any internet fans that listened about a number of things, one of the main topics being his dislike of Hulk Hogan.
11 11. Mickie James and John Cena
Back in the late 2000s Mickie James and John Cena allegedly had an affair that resulted in a lot of mess and a lot of turmoil. Namely because John was married at the time and Mickie was with fellow WWE Superstar Kenny Dykstra, aka Kenny from the Spirit Squad. Following the affair coming to light and the two parties' actual relationships ending because of it, Mickie was moved to SmackDown and at the time it seemed like Cena had a hand in the move. At the time SmackDown truly was the less popular brand, so it resulted in James becoming less and less prominent in WWE and to her eventual release from the company. She's back now and is currently on Raw, but with a free agent John Cena about to return, their paths may very well cross sooner rather than later.
10 10. Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon may have begun turning WWE into a global super power, but there was a time before the glory years of the 1980s where there was one man who bled WWE, Bruno Sammartino. The Italian was the company's champion for just short of twelve years, an absolutely incredible feat by any standard, let alone today's. Well late on in Bruno's career Vince would continually call on the former champ to return to the ring n order to help boost business. It got to a point where steroid use was so rife in the locker room that Bruno not only refused to return, but he cut himself off from the business altogether. Years later it would take Triple H getting in touch with Sammartino to convince him that what had driven him away was a thing of the past. Thankfully he believed him and bridges were built so that Bruno and Vince could talk and Sammartino could take up his rightful place in the Hall of Fame.
9 9. Chyna and Stephanie McMahon
Before Triple H got together with Stephanie McMahon and formed the ultimate power couple, The Game was actually in a relationship with the late Chyna. The two were both members of D-Generation X and clearly both keen body builders. However as so often happens, in the realms of this article alone, Hunter and Steph were paired up on screen and that kayfabe romance turned into something real. Allegedly there was some overlap between The Cerebral Assassin's two relationships and that unsurprisingly caused some tension. Chyna understandably disliked Steph, and apparently Triple H used his new found power to force Chyna out of the company. She would return later in her career, but I can't imagine the hatchet between her and Stephanie was ever completely buried.
8 8. Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo
This is the last time either of these two will appear in this list, I swear. Simply put they just weren't the two most likable guys in the business, so naturally they would both harbor a white hot burning hate for each other. Eric Bischoff is one of the main reasons, if not the main one, WCW did so well for so long in the '90s. Vince Russo deserves a lot of credit for how well WWE did later in that decade also. So any genius with the money and power to do so should bring the two of them together and just watch the magic happen, right? Well someone at WCW did decide to do that, and the results were catastrophic. Rather than work like a well oiled machine, Bischoff and Russo seemed to clash on absolutely everything and what resulted was the latest segment in WCW's inevitable down fall. Eric would eventually walk out, but the beef between the pair of them continues to this day.
7 7. Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan
A fair few of these entries have involved the late, great Ultimate Warrior. Despite his untimely death, at least Warrior got to make peace with all of his former enemies before he passed away. One man who didn't get the chance to do that was Randy Savage, and one man in particular he had a strong dislike for was Hulk Hogan. The Macho Man believed at one time Hogan was fooling around with Miss Elizabeth, something The Hulkster categorically denies being true and going by Savage's documented paranoia, Hogan was likely telling the truth. In interviews Hulk would speak of how he longed to make up with the man he once considered a close friend, but alas he never had the chance. In 2011 Randy passed away and with that left his and Hulk's real life feud forever unresolved.
6 6. The Rock and John Cena
Every once in a while we the fans are lucky enough to witness two larger than life Superstars from different generations clash. Well for two straight WrestleManias those Superstars were John Cena and The Rock. The two would physically and verbally barb on and off for two years, and it soon came to light that the men's dislike of each other wasn't just reserved to the ring. Cena decided to take things to the next level in story line and in real life by publicly embarrassing Rock live on Raw. The pair were going back and forth on the mic when Cena decided to point out that Rocky had his promo notes written on his arm. Consider the stakes raised and by all accounts The People's Champ was not happy at all. The dust has since settled and their matches are in the past and now the two mega stars can apparently see eye to eye.
5 5. Goldberg and Chris Jericho
Earlier in this article we covered Eric Bischoff and Chris Jericho's disdain for each other. Well there was one man in WCW Y2J disliked even more than his boss, and suffice to say the feeling was mutual. In an attempt to make a name for himself despite Bischoff's plans for him, Jericho went after Goldberg week after week. Bill did all that he could to ignore the then cruiserweight as he didn't have any interest in running a program with Jericho. Eventually though he had to respond, and respond he did. Goldberg showed up and delivered a massive spear to his antagonist. Ironically it was exactly what Jericho wanted as it should have sparked a story line feud between the two. However Goldberg was still as disinterested as before and contributed to Jericho looking for work elsewhere.
4 4. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart
Bret Hart is known to be a little bit of a grumpy guy, so it's surprising he hasn't appeared on this list until now. Never fear though, this won't be the last time you see him before the curtain falls on this article. First up is his active dislike of the Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels. Tough to get all of this in one entry so we'll stick to the highlights. Not only did Shawn accuse Bret of sleeping with WWE Diva Sunny, something he was doing himself at the time, he was of course involved in the infamous Montreal Screwjob. Shawn was the man who would synch in the Sharpshooter, Bret's own hold, and take the WWE Championship from The Hitman despite him never actually tapping. It was an act that Bret took an awful long time to forgive Shawn for, and honestly I'm surprised he ever did.
3 3. Triple H and CM Punk
CM Punk infamously walked out on WWE in 2014. It took a while for Punk to reveal to the world why exactly he had finally had enough of the company, and pro wrestling in general, mainly because he was waiting for the contract he had walked out on to come to an end. When it all came to light it turned out there were an awful lot of things that had him disillusioned with a business he had once loved, and one of those things was Triple H. Along with his father in law Vince McMahon, according to Punk The Game did all he could to hold him down in WWE. In hindsight it's pretty plain to see too. Even though Punk was WWE Champion, he still wasn't really ever in the spotlight that often. He was rarely in PPV main events and his stock was always far lower than the likes of part timers such as Brock Lesnar and Triple H himself, both men he had to lose to among others.
2 2. Matt Hardy and Edge
It has already been established in this article that pro wrestling companies, WWE in particular, like to play on real aspects of wrestler's lives whenever they can. Well this was never truer than when a love triangle occurred between Lita, Edge and Matt Hardy. For years Lita had been the third member of Team Extreme with The Hardy Boyz, and during that time formed a relationship with Matt. Well later in her career Lita would get a little too close to fellow Superstar Edge, and the two would wind up together before her and Matt were done. Matt actually left the company for a period following the affair, but WWE couldn't resist. They brought Matt back in and had the whole awkward situation play out live on air.
1 1. Vince McMahon and Bret Hart
A return to Bret Hart for the number one spot in this list, and more specifically a return to the Montreal Screwjob. While The Hitman may have held a grudge against Shawn Michaels for playing a part in the whole ordeal, it was Vince McMahon who of course orchestrated the whole thing. What Bret did to Vince following the match is almost unbelievable. Live on air Hart leaned over the ropes and spat in the face of WWE's owner, that was bad enough but he wasn't done yet. Back stage Bret sought out the boss and Vince offered him up one shot, a shot that Bret took. The Hitman lived up to his name and punched Vince square in the face for what he had just done. Bret would of course leave WWE that night only to return many, many years later. Everyone comes crawling back eventually, but honestly Bret Hart in WWE after that night I think was one return fans never thought they would see.
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