The world of a professional wrestler can be an uncomfortable one. First off, the travel schedule is brutal, going from plane to car to boat to rickshaw in order to get to that next show. Second, since wrestlers are usually above-average size, it's hard to find comfortable clothes, furnishings and vehicles. Finally, being so easily spottable makes getting approached by fans an every day occurrence, and one you've got to be nice about, no matter how bad the day is. All that is what the average professional wrestler faces, and ones like Andre The Giant or the Undertaker have had to put up with even worse.
With all that said, it shouldn't be surprising that there are a number of weird, strange and awkward photos out there of pro wrestlers. What might be surprising is the context of some of these awkward snaps. A late night, a new job or an ill-conceived sign can easily ruin one's day, and leave the permanent photographic evidence to prove it. Most pro wrestlers are used to these kinds of things happening to them though, and they are able to weather the storm without being too worse for wear.
Come along as we explore some very awkward examples of wresting stories gone wrong, characters being broken forever, secrets uncovered wrestlers outside of the their natural habitat, and a few pictures that are just so weird and awkward they leave us as wrestling fans no choice but to ask "what the hell were they thinking?!?!"
22 Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose has given us more than his share of awkward moments over the years. From his self-admitted laziness on Stone Cold Steve Austin's podcast, so the saga of Mitch The Potted Plant, to whatever the hell an Asylum Match is, there've been some missteps in the Lunatic's fringes.
Such is the case with this gem of a fan photo.
While making faces and being silly isn't a new thing, one has to wonder how much the fan in question paid to have a nice photo with her favourite WWE Superstar. Dean, as our Mom's used to say "don't make that face or it'll get stuck that way!"
21 Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins is the Architect who wants us to "burn it down" once he's finished building it (whatever it is). What Seth might actually want to set fire to is this High School Yearbook photo. Now, most of us have had a bad year here or there, but this photo pretty much contains all the awkward elements needed to make one the lead singer of Creed. Wavy Hair? Check. Soul Patch? Check. Spencer's Gifts Necklace? Check! All that's missing is a tank top and the lyrics for "Arms Wide Open" tacked into the senior quote section of the yearbook.
20 Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels is easily named one of the greatest of all time to suit up in a WWE (or any) ring. He's won every title there is to win, competed in the most classic of classic matches that can be had, and been at the centre of WWE programming for almost 2 decades. So, it's pretty damn awkward to see this true superstar parade around in a tight Col. Sanders suit and try and sell some chicken. Other WWE superstars like The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and even Ric Flair have donned the white wig for KFC, so I guess there's some honor to being The Colonel... I guess.
19 Randy Orton
We begin with Viper, Apex Predator, and noted destroyer of sleeves, Randy Orton. Normally seeing a star of Orton's caliber "in the wild" doing the things we all do would be interesting at the very least.
This one clocks in as awkward however because it's the result of a fan doing something they should never do; bother someone in a bathroom.
Most celebrities, be they athlete, movie star or even sports listicle writer, are more than happy to snap a pic with a fan. But when it comes to the bathroom, let's let everyone do what they have to in peace.
18 Triple H
Considering he is a high-level executive with WWE, it's surprising how many awkward pictures of Triple H there are out there. Nailing it down to this killer, uh, look, was actually quite difficult. I suppose how silly someone can look is a testament to how much one loves something, but in this case, HHH actually thought this was a good idea. Now, I know we all have done silly things for fashion (1990's I'm looking at you), but considering this awkward pic, and Triple H's enjoyment of fanny packs, jeans-tucked-into-boots and wearing multiple coats at once, maybe he's taken it just a bit too far over the years.
17 Hulk Hogan
Over the years, the Immortal Hulk Hogan has given wrestling fans more than their share of memorable moments. From Hulkamania, to slamming Andre, to forming the NWO and returning to WWE, Icon vs Icon with The Rock, Hogan's in-ring legacy is pretty secure. It's his out-of-ring legacy that is a little awkward, including this 100% real screen shot during his lawsuit against the website Gawker. It wasn't awkward enough that he was suing them over a private tape, one that had him uttering slurs, they had to go and include this line of questioning about his manlihood, which I'm sure had a, um, big, impact on the trial.
16 Roman Reigns
Ok, I'll admit, this is kind of a cheap shot. The current Big Dog who runs the WWE Yard, Roman Reigns, is sharing a lovely tea party with his daughter in this photo. Sweet? Yes. Endearing? Of course! Awkward...? Well, a little bit when you consider that WWE has spent the better part of the last five years trying to convince fans to get behind the Superman-Punching Samoan.
I don't know how many out there are willing to buy Roman's tough-guy act when they know that he's just back from a formal tea.
But, that said, being a good dad is always cool, and even though it's slightly awkward, this photo might actually bring Reigns more respect in the long run.
15 Lio Rush
Lio Rush is a current NXT performer who made his bones on the indies and was snapped up by WWE at the first chance. He's a talented in-ring performer and decent on the mic, but his real problem is Twitter. After the dismissal of a fellow employee, Rush made several nasty comments about her on twitter, causing a backlash from fans, fellow wrestlers and the company itself. That makes it kinda awkward to see him on WWE tv these days. No one knows if he's really out of the dog house, or if he's got a long line of Main Event matches in his future as punishment.
14 Shane McMahon
When Shane McMahon made his return to WWE a few years ago, he was supposed to be our Saviour. Instead, what we got was an increasingly worrysome number of high-spot matches, and a lazy authority figure that got old, Fast. Which is exactly what Shane did, got old. At 48 years of age, this once-spry millionaire can't really get around like he used to, but darned if he isn't going to try! Shane's red face in the ring makes just about of his matches, photos and segments pretty cringe worthy. He makes it up, however, by continually jumping off of really high things, which is a pretty good way to get the fans to overlook the fact he looks like he's about to pass out.
13 Bray Wyatt
This photo is awkward for a whole different set of reasons. Snapped by a fan, the photo shows The Eater of Worlds, Bray Wyatt alongside announcer Jojo. Both of them did significant time in NXY, developing their skills and have each risen to high spots in the company, performance wise. What makes it awkward is that Jojo is most definitely not Wyatt's wife. This photo blew the lid off of a years-long affair the two were having and led to Wyatt's divorce. In 2018, everyone's got a camera and you can't be too careful who you end up sharing a rental car with.
12 Ric Flair
Being the best of all time doesn't get you special treatment at the airport. WWE, WCW and NWA legend Ric Flair learned that the hard way when he was accosted by security guards at the Atlanta airport. There had been reports that Flair had been drinking and was passing out all over the check in area. The awkward part is that he had not been drinking. Not at all. He was just old and falling asleep. It's no secret that Ric is getting up there in years, and sometimes doesn't appear to be all together, but I think we can give the 16-time world champion the benefit of the doubt.
11 Big Cass
Big Cass truly can't catch a break. First he was stuck playing second-fiddle to Enzo Amore. Then he tore his ACL and was on the shelf for almost a year.
During this time, he and his girlfriend Carmella parted ways and his tag team partner was fired from the company.
So, upon his return, you'd have expected some good to come Cass' way, right? "Nah!" shouted the wrestling Gods, and sure enough, Cass' return was awkward because of his very own name. Since coming back, Cass seems to have embraced it though, giving us about 8 weeks straight of Daniel Bryan short jokes. Maybe the name isn't so far off...
10 Vince McMahon
Not even the Boss, WWE CEO Vince McMahon can escape the awkward camera lens as it turns out. This is no more apparent in this Muscle and Fitness photo shoot from a few years ago. The then SEVENTY-YEAR-OLD was featured in a pictorial and article discussing his (granted, very impressive) workout routine. From the sheen of sweat on his muscles to the ridiculous chain he draped over himself for some reason, the only think that could have made it more awkward was if they'd gotten into his sex life. Mercifully, we were all spared that, but still, what has been seen, cannot be unseen... ever.
9 Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar isn't just the Beast Incarnate, he's one of the most legitimately terrifying humans ever to step into a WWE ring or UFC octagon. He's mauled almost everyone he's ever come across and earned a reputation for enjoying every violent second of it. The Beast's superhuman athleticism is practically a superpower and one that has served him well during his life. Not just career-wise, but in the "doing whatever I want because I'm Brock Lesnar" sense. Case in point is this painfully awkward High School Photo. But, let's be honest; would YOU want to be the one to tell Brock that the bookworm look isn't working for him?
Undertaker. The Deadman. The Phenom. Golf Dad. Big Evil. Wait, what was that? "Golf Dad?" Yup, straight up, here is a picture of the Undertaker, Gothic Cowboy and multiple-time world champion looking like my Dad on a Sunday Morning. I know that the pretend world of the WWE is just that, pretend, but I don't know what's more awkward; Taker's colour choice of shirt, or the fact that he's totally pulling it off. He looks comfortable and at ease, which for some reason, makes me more uneasy and uncomfortable. They say Kayfabe is dead, and if this doesn't prove it, I don't know what will.
7 Scott Steiner
Where do you start with the chainmail-clad, muscle-bound hunk of awkward that is the Big Bad Booty Daddy, AKA, Scott Steiner? What's the most awkward; Is it his catchphrases like "holla if ya hear me?" Is it his multiple nicknames like "Freakzilla?" Is it his impossible Physique or threats to murder other superstars? For me, it's simply this: His Shoneys franchise.
It's both fascinating and awkward to see Big Poppa Pump in a shirt and tie, hawking dinner specials and looking like he's having the time of his life doing it.
The restaurant also features a shrine to Steiner's wrestling career, and currently has a Yelp rating of 2.5 Stars.
6 Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett has done it all in Wrestling. He's been a wrestler, a promoter, a company executive and just about everything else you can think of in the business. This has a habit of catching up with a person, and eventually Jarrett was no exception. This awkward photo shows Jarrett at an indie show, allegedly drunk and rambling so badly that the promoter had to fire him. It was certainly a low point for the former World Champion, and he found himself in rehab later that year. Since straightening out, Jarrett has been doing much better, and was even inducted in the 2017 Class of the WWE Hall of Fame.
5 Big Show
The first time I saw the Big Show cry, I was impressed. Especially since it was during one of the silliest feuds of his career, with the Big Boss Man. But, Show could really emote and his performance connected with me, and seeing this larger-than-life human be so vulnerable was very moving. By the 50th time I'd seen him cry I was kinda over that and really left with nothing but an awkward feeling of "shouldn't he be punching someone?" Fortunately, Show's work these days has less to do with sobbing and more to do with being a great ambassador for WWE. Hopefully there are tears of joy in his future.
It could be said that only The Rock has had more success outside the ring than one Dave "Batista" Bautista. Since starring in three films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Drax The Destroyer, Bautista has landed roles in the sequel to Blade Runner, the next James Bond movie and more. His last run in the squared circle didn't quite go as he'd planned as his triumphant return was caught up in Daniel Bryan's ascension to the top of the heap at WrestleMania 30. This led to some painfully awkward moments, including this one where Bautista gave the WWE Universe a final royal wave goodbye for no reason. We may never seen him in the ring again, but we'll always have... this?
3 Stephanie McMahon
At first glance, this might not look like that awkward a picture of Stephanie McMahon, Billion Dollar Princess and her father, Vince. However, this photo was taken at No Mercy 2003, an event that saw Vince actually fight his daughter Stephanie in a brutal I Quit Match. To put it in perspective, the match ended when Vince choked Stephanie with a lead pipe. It was a brutal, bloody and completely unnecessary match that left a lot of fans squirming in their seats. So much so, that even a picture from the start of the match is pretty awkward for those that know what's about to happen to Stephanie.
2 The WCW Title (David Arquette)
Now this is an awkward picture, mainly for the WCW title. In the year 2000, fresh off of surviving Y2K, someone at WCW decided it would be fun to make a wrestling movie. Sounds ok, right? Ready To Rumble starred David Arquette, Scott Caan and Oliver Platt, and was an OK movie at best. But then some one *cough*Vince Russo*cough thought that it would be a good idea to put the WCW title on Arquette. WCW had never shied away from Celebrity involvement, but this was so awkward and cringe worthy (not to mention disrespectful the legacy of the title) that it has gone down in history as one of the worst professional wresting storylines ever.
1 John Cena
We learned a lot about John Cena during his stints on Total Divas and Total Bellas. We learned he has insane house rules. We learned he is extremely career-oriented. We also learned that he'll do anything for a little bit of booty when he squeezed into this wrestling gear and luchadore mask to impress Nikki Bella. While normally, we "can't see" John, unfortunately, the singlet left little to he imagination and it was pretty easy to see his "attitude" adjusting as he awkwardly pranced around. While Cena himself may never give up, he may want to consider giving up going commando if he's going to be hitting the amateur mats.