Personalities in the wrestling business sometimes clash in the locker room because of different mentalities. Many wrestlers are known for being jerks due to their inability to get along with their fellow wrestlers or, even at times, lack respect for fans. The old approach was to become a star at all costs. A few wrestlers adopted the mentality of “it’s the wrestling business, not a friendship business.” They stepped over anyone in their way and didn’t respect their peers or supporters. Those are usually the biggest douchebags in the industry, as the stories pile up against them.
In turn, there are quite a few wrestlers known for being more polite and endearing to those around them. The art of being humble has been pivotal to these guys maintaining a good reputation in the wrestling business. Not many wrestlers possess those qualities making the ones that do stand out even more just for being cool. Neither side of the coin correlates to success or failure, but it's always best to be a good person. Keeping connections strong and doing right by fans will allow more opportunities to come later in one’s career. We’ll look at both sides of the industry with eight of the coolest wrestlers and seven of the biggest douchebags.
15 Cool: Mick Foley
Mick Foley's pristine reputation made him one of the most beloved figures in wrestling history. Foley got along well with just about everyone on the roster and was regarded as a team player. There’s a reason WWE still loves working with him on various projects, as the fans still support him and he has good relationships with many of the current talents.
Foley earned his reputation as a legend through hard work. The success never got to his head and Foley always remained humble. Mick connected with the wrestling fans by not separating himself too far above them. The fact that he dedicates a lot of his time and efforts into charitable causes also shows another facet to him. Foley is one of the kindest and well-respected performers in wrestling history.
14 Douche: Randy Orton
Randy Orton has been a consistent member of the WWE roster for the past thirteen years and his reputation of being a jerk has remained with him the entire time. His ego grew to new heights at a young age with a big push coming early in his career. Stories were reported of Orton picking on people backstage, particularly new women entering the company.
Orton allegedly destroyed the personal belongings of the ladies backstage to send a message to them. Various stories outside of the ring also showcased the negative side of Orton. Fans are better off avoiding him in person, as Orton actually took a photo with a fan and posted it online, mocking them due to his girlfriend disliking the fan, though there are rumors the fan harassed Orton as well. The last few years have appeared to humble Orton a little, but he’s still someone you do not want to associate with.
13 Cool: William Regal
William Regal's WWE career endured its fair share of ups and downs, but he's always won over the fellow wrestlers. Regal traveled the world making a name for himself before signing to WCW and later the WWE. His in-ring work always delivered the goods and was ahead of its time. Sadly, Regal’s personal demons held him back on multiple occasions, but thankfully, today, he is clean and an important person in the WWE.
His connections and knowledge coincided to land Regal a gig as a lead trainer for the Performance Center and a head scout finding new talent for the company. Regal has reached out to many independent wrestlers over the years and formed an important relationship as the mentor of Daniel Bryan. There are few people in the wrestling business to show as much respect and likability as Regal.
12 Douche: Bubba Ray Dudley
All Attitude Era fans have fond memories of The Dudleyz putting their opponents through tables on a weekly basis. Bubba Ray Dudley was the leader of the team and put forth a tremendous career. Unfortunately, Bubba was one of the bigger jerks in the industry and still is. Many wrestlers have shared stories about Bubba being rude to them backstage or being stiff in the ring.
His reputation sees him as one of the bigger backstage bullies, similar to JBL and Hardcore Holly. His persona carried over outside of the ring and he was especially rude to fans. Bubba tried to incite riots at the ECW Arena by going over the line and saying repulsive things to those in attendance. That hasn't changed much today, as his Twitter feed features him trying to instigate drama with anyone that he doesn’t like.
11 Cool: Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns is definitely not loved by the fans and does not showcase the friendliest personality. Interviews have shown Reigns talking down to the fan base that chooses to boo him. Still, he is supported by the majority of the WWE locker room. Most of the top wrestlers have at least a few detractors in the locker room wanting to bring him down, but that doesn’t appear to be happening with Roman.
All of the wrestlers have kind words about his personality and work ethic. Reigns has support from his peers and is regarded as one of the cooler people to be around. The fans of Reigns also feel the love with him being quite personable to those who show up to his appearances. Reigns will reciprocate the love if you like him, but you should watch your back if you heckle him.
10 Douche: Triple H
Triple H's career is without a doubt one of the best of all-time. Following years of excellence in the ring, Triple H is now the successor to Vince McMahon. Fans have grown to appreciate Triple H for his work in NXT, signing many of the top free agents on the market and helping to create change into the WWE for the better. That doesn’t erase many years of being a jerk to others however.
Triple H is selfless as a promoter trying to improve the product, but he was quite selfish as an in-ring performer. His desire to be the best performer and biggest star in the industry saw him abuse power to remain on top. Many young stars on the rise lost to him and failed to hit their potential. Triple H was a jerk to the roster making sure to continuously bury the rest of the talent, unless you were one of his buddies that is.
9 Cool: John Cena
Another polarizing figure in the wrestling business that is undoubtedly a cool person would be John Cena. Fans heckled Cena for a decade due to not liking his in-ring style or character, but everyone respects him. Cena goes above and beyond to fulfill his duties as a wrestling star on and off screen. The fact that he has the record for most wishes granted to the kids in the Make a Wish program says it all.
Cena is always giving back to his fan base. There’s a reason no one has been able to surpass him as the top star in the company. The fans that love Cena truly love him and that’s something that can’t be replicated without a genuine connection. Cena is also viewed as a great locker room presence. Guys like Kevin Owens and A.J. Styles credit their work with Cena to their current success today in WWE.
8 Douche: CM Punk
CM Punk is viewed very differently by many people within the industry. His malcontent nature made it tough for him to keep friendships that lasted past his WWE departure. Punk clashed with top names in management like Triple H to peers he worked with such as Ryback. His personality rubs a lot of people the wrong way and he has been a bit rude to both wrestlers and fans.
There are countless stories of Punk talking down to fans he feels are crossing the line by invading his personal time. That can all be understood but ending friendships for silly reasons has recently harmed his reputation even more. Punk apparently called it quits with longtime best friend Colt Cabana due to the latter attending a WWE show backstage to visit friends. Another story saw Punk cut bait with Hornswoggle for asking for the phone number of a mutual friend.
7 Cool: Kane
No one exemplifies the professionalism needed to thrive in pro wrestling more than Kane. The veteran has spent almost two decades in the WWE without any time outside of the company. Kane is not only a future Hall of Famer and a loyal employee, but he is also one of the coolest guys in the industry. No wrestlers have a negative word to say about Kane.
It's nearly impossible for a wrestler to stay in the WWE for such a long time period and not have any enemies, but Kane's managed it. Daniel Bryan specifically named Kane as one of the presences in the locker room that made WWE a better place. His charm and down to earth nature makes him among the more respected talents in the WWE for a reason. A veteran that old still being employed usually means they have important leadership qualities and that is true for Kane.
6 Douche: Scott Hall
Scott Hall found his name in controversy many times throughout his wrestling career. The negative aspect to his personality often outweighed his superb in-ring talent. Hall was a member of The Kliq with Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman running roughshod over the WWE roster for years. Hall earned the reputation of being a manipulative bully that followed him into WCW.
Chris Jericho claimed people like Hall made the rest of the boys miserable and that was what created the poor climate in WCW. Hall’s return to WWE in 2002 proved he still was the same jerk from before. On his first night back, he flat out told The Dudleyz he couldn’t wait to kick out of their 3D finisher. Hall has tried to repair his reputation in recent years but the past stories will always make him one of the biggest douchebags in wrestling history.
5 Cool: Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio's long journey has made him one of the most unlikely wrestling stars in recent memory. Mysterio has never lost sight of who he is and stays humble at all times. Wrestlers like Chris Jericho, CM Punk and Edge have all named Mysterio among their favorite opponents to work with. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone that has a negative story about interacting with Mysterio.
Not only does Mysterio treat his peers with respect, but he has a great deal of love for the fans. MVP interviewed Mysterio on his podcast earlier this year and shared a story about how the wrestlers would jokingly get mad at Rey for making them wait so he could sign every autograph when spotted at public places. Mysterio believes in giving back to the people that supported him to such a successful career.
4 Douche: Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan’s success speaks for itself, but he did as many terrible things to unfortunately even it out. The political nature of wrestling saw Hogan exploit the business by using his power to his advantage. Hogan monopolized the top of the wrestling world with his friends getting noteworthy spots at the expense of the other, more talented members on the roster.
Many credit Hogan for a lot of the negative changes to take place in WWE, WCW and TNA over the years. Hogan is often viewed as a terrible person in real life as shown with his racist tirade during the sex tape leak. Fans meeting Hogan won’t get a picture or autograph unless agreeing to his official price of at least $100. Hogan’s reputation seems hard to overcome and it tarnishes his legacy to some extent.
3 Cool: Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan's genuine personality as a human being tied to his success as one of the biggest WWE stars in recent memory. Bryan never let the fame get to his head and that allowed fans to connect with him. The fans rallied behind Bryan forcing the WWE to have him win the WWE World Championship at WrestleMania XXX.
Bryan does not like to be considered a big star or above any other people. His modest approach to life has seen him go out of his way to try to help other wrestlers get over, such as Ryback and all three members of The Shield. Bryan is the most humble wrestling icon of his time with no selfishness attached to him and fans feeling they could relate to him for the positive traits he possessed is the biggest factor of his success.
2 Douche: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is a jerk and he does not shy away from it at all. The reason Lesnar initially left the WWE in 2004 was due to the fact that he hated being around people. As an antisocial individual, Brock has shown zero interest in making friends. Lesnar allegedly doesn’t speak to any of his co-workers and just shows up to do his segments or matches before leaving.
His lack of interest in the rest of the roster is not a good thing for such a tight knit sport like pro wrestling. Lesnar also manages to show a lack of respect for his fellow wrestlers at certain times. Dean Ambrose revealed that Lesnar shut down his ideas for their WrestleMania 32 match and just wanted an easy night, leading to a bland match. Brock also found his name in the news using homophobic slurs to insult Chris Jericho backstage after being questioned over the stiff shots delivered to Randy Orton at SummerSlam.
1 Cool: The Rock
The coolest person in wrestling history has to be The Rock. His charismatic personality and genuine likability make The Rock a loveable figure in the industry. The Rock always treated the roster with respect and is one of the view top guys to never abuse his power. Shane Helms shared a story about The Rock intentionally messing up pre-tapes during one of their promos so they would be forced to do it live and Helms could get more lines.
Almost every wrestler to work with The Rock states he’s remained humble and never acted like he was above his peers despite the success to follow him. The Rock often took clean losses to put over guys like Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and many others. Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and various others refused to do that once in that same elite tier. Rock also goes out of his way to treat his fans with respect. You can’t ask for more in your favorite performer than what The Rock gives you.