Over the years, we WWE fans have learned the tragic truth about some of our favorite wrestlers. Even though they play good-guy characters and heroes on television while trying to be role models to your children, some of these wrestlers are the worst of the worst.
Tragically, a lot of these wrestlers turn out to be bad people after their wrestling careers. Some of them had to deal with problems before and/or during their wrestling careers, but ended up being fine post-wrestling. But as you'll read today, some of these wrestlers just got worse after their days of making millions and being on television ended.
Some Superstars became criminals, hardened racists or just all-around horrible people to fans. And many of them have ruined the incredible legacy they left behind in the ring. It's time to take a look at 15 wrestling superstars who went from legends to losers.
15 Shawn Michaels
Because Shawn Michaels has recuperated from his drug and alcohol addictions and is a new man, it was hard to put him on this list. But we found a happy medium - he makes the list but won't be too high on it.
Michaels' jerk attitude was tough to ignore during the '90s. Many wrestlers, including Bret Hart, couldn't work with Michaels backstage because of his all-around selfishness. Michaels also had an affair with Sunny, who was involved with another man. There are also stories on internet discussions about Michaels refusing to give a young child an autograph without paying him $10.
Even Vince McMahon discussed in WWE Network programming about how impossible it was to deal and work with HBK. Thankfully, he was able to find peace in his life. He's now drug free, is happily married with two children and is a devout Christian, which has obviously had a great impact on his life.
14 Andre the Giant
Despite his enormous stature (seven-foot-four, 520 pounds), Andre the Giant came off as an incredibly gentle giant (if you will), outside of the ring. However, many of his co-wrestlers have come out and let the public know that he was as mean in person as he appeared inside the ring.
Kamala, one of Andre's real-life enemies, told the world about how difficult the Giant was to work with. Andre was very condescending (no surprise), even called Kamala a derogatory term and was known to use racial slurs. Another (unconfirmed), story goes that a woman and her baby child went up to Andre and asked for an autograph. He simply shut them down.
It's not hard to understand if the story is true. Someone of incredible size like Andre the Giant would feel bigger, stronger and better than everyone. Nonetheless, maybe Andre wasn't as nice as we all thought.
13 Lex Luger
Like Michaels, Lex Luger struggled with drug addictions and didn't have great health for many years after wrestling. Before we dive into all the details, we also must acknowledge that he survived a stroke, has recovered fully and now works with the WWE's wellness policy. This tragic story has a happy ending.
As we know, Vince McMahon loved Luger and his super-muscular frame. The problem is, Luger was never able to put on a great match and the fans never bought him as the next Hulk Hogan. Luger had a forgetful tenure in WCW, and then ran into trouble with the law.
He was arrested for domestic violence after attacking his girlfriend, Miss Elizabeth. She tragically passed from an accidental drug/alcohol overdose a short time later. Luger was also suspended for drunk driving, and had a gun in the car.
In 2005, Luger was arrested for trying to fly to Winnipeg, as his probation outlined that he had to gain permission to leave the United States. After his stroke, Luger was able to turn his life around. But it doesn't stop us from remembering the few years where he was not a good person.
12 Kevin Nash
Kevin Nash managed to avoid any legal troubles during his days with the WWE and WCW. When he spent some forgetful years in TNA, Nash came back to WWE under a legends contract. But hey, he was even a jerk before wrestling! He basically ruined WCW with his terrible booking, including the idea of creating the infamous Fingerpoke of Doom. Nash wouldn't really admit that it was a stupid idea, ever.
Now back to his post-wrestling career. You see, many people probably thought Nash was a great guy, but Christmas of 2014 definitely left a case that tarnished his image. Nash and his son, Tristen, got into a dispute which allegedly led to a physical altercation, that reportedly included Nash chokeslamming his own son.
To be fair, Nash's lawyer did say that Kevin was defending his wife after Tristen became threatening towards her. We don't have the full answers, though.
Nash also said he wishes someone would get a tumor for criticizing his son's singing on YouTube. Sure, making fun of anyone is mean, but wishing a tumor upon someone? Come on, man.
11 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin
Steve Austin is by far the most popular and decorated superstar to ever live. He did avoid troubles with the law for most of his career, and his current podcast has been a major hit for WWE fans. That being said, Austin is on this list for one incident that tarnished part of his seemingly untouchable image.
In 2002, Austin was arrested for physically attacking his wife, Debra Marshall. He was given a one-year probation and sentenced to 80 hours of community service. This single case ruined a great part of Austin's reputation, and rightfully so.
I can't overemphasize enough how wrong and evil it is for a man to put his hand on a woman in a physical and threatening matter. I don't care what you have to say to defend Austin, there was absolutely nothing right about this. It doesn't matter how great of a wrestler he was, this was a cruel act that's impossible to turn a blind eye to.
10 Vince McMahon
Though being the chairman of the WWE is a lot different than being commissioner of the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, there's no excuse for some of the terrible actions Vince McMahon has done throughout his career.
Technically, he remains the boss man even though Triple H and his two children (Shane and Stephanie), are being groomed to take over the business. But it seems like every year, the boss man is embroiled in some form of controversy. Besides the Katie Vick storyline and Montreal Screwjob, Vince has done a great disservice to his fans and wrestlers.
Was it necessary to wait until CM Punk's wedding day to fire him? Was it worth telling the world you're donating money for Donald Trump to be president? Or openly cheating on Linda McMahon? And how about from a fan's point of view: His refusal to give up on Roman Reigns, push Big Cass and actually not make part-timer Brock Lesnar headline every pay-per-view?
Vince has also been accused of provided steroids to his talent and putting their lives at risk as well as sexual harassment.
9 Ric Flair
Even though The Nature Boy was 59 years old when he fought his final WWE match, it's probably safe to say he should have stayed on. Before and after he left WWE, Ric Flair was starting to show his true colours as a big-time bully.
In 2005, he was arrested for attacking a motorist while damaging his vehicle at the same time. In 2007, Flair opened up Ric Flair Finance, which was quickly shutdown and ended up being a completely illegal operation. Ring of Honor also filed a lawsuit against Flair for no-showing events that he signed up for.
Over the years, Flair has also become highly critical of a number of wrestlers. He called Mick Foley "a glorified stuntman," said Kevin Nash had "zero talent in the ring," and took constant shots at Bret Hart. You can even read up some stories of Flair no-showing autograph sessions and rudely telling fans to leave him alone, here!
Sunny's WWE career basically went downhill after she cheated on her boyfriend, wrestler Chris Candido with fellow WWE Superstar Shawn Michaels. But only over the past few years has Sunny really struggled to keep herself out of trouble. A sad case regarding one of our favorite Divas from the '90s.
In 2012, Sunny was arrested FIVE times in just four weeks. These charges included burglary and violating a protective order. She would get arrested again in 2013 for violating a protective order. Again. Sunny spent just under four months in prison, which seems generous with all those arrests.
Last year, she was arrested for drunk driving and was sentenced to 90 days in prison. Back in September, she got arrested for failing to show up to a drug/alcohol test. We can only pray that she finds peace and happiness again, but the amount of arrests she's been under is alarming and rather sad.
7 Dynamite Kid
Though he was one of the WWE's top stars throughout much of the '80s, it's safe to say the Dynamite Kid hasn't paid his due to the fans nor company. Over the years, Dynamite Kid has gotten into real-life fights with fellow wrestlers. On one instance, he broke a co-wrestler's jaw during an altercation.
There are a lot of wrestlers who had problems with Dynamite Kid backstage, who reportedly had an awful temper and attitude. His ex-wife even said how she would wake up in the morning with Dynamite Kid pointing a gun at her head and threatened to shoot her. Yeah, he was that terrible.
That incident started after she bought him a $3,000 ticket to fly to England, his home country. He responded by "popping out" her jaw. It forced his wife to stay with Bret Hart and his then-wife, Julie. Did we mention Dynamite Kid's a jerk?
6 The Ultimate Warrior
Despite his really cool look, The Ultimate Warrior was never the greatest wrestler. But Vince McMahon and the fans loved him and pushed him over as one of the best wrestlers of the '80s and '90s. But after his WWE career came to an end, Warrior unexpectedly became a total racist and seemingly rude person.
During a speech at the University of Connecticut, Warrior told a Middle Eastern student to "get a towel," and went on a brutal attack towards the city of New Orleans after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina:
"They claim New Orleans was (is) a great city. Maybe once it was, I don't know...truth is, today, it was nothing more than a pornographic cesspool of decadence and depravity. You know, an East Coast version of that Las Vegas take on vacation time...You go there, drink and drink and drink and behave like a pervert, reprobate and degenerate, take a huge dose of antibiotics and a nice extra long shower before you hop on the plane back home."
I don't really want to go on anymore. It's depressing to see one of our childhood heroes to have become such an outspoken racist.
5 Jerry 'The King' Lawler
One of the most legendary commentators in the history of sports entertainment, Jerry Lawler's image, reputation and legacy have taken a huge hit. Just last year, both he and his girlfriend were arrested for allegedly assaulting one another. The WWE immediately suspended him, but the charges against both parties were dropped and his suspension came to an end.
Back in December, WWE pulled Lawler from pre-shows, a clear sign they don't want him anymore. Though it's been speculated that it's because they want younger and newer voices on television, some may believe that they're having problems ignoring the domestic violence charges.
This goes back to the Austin slide: Putting your hand on a woman in a physical matter is never, ever acceptable. I don't care what Lawler did during his announcing career. It's enough to put him on this list.
4 Jimmy Snuka
Even though Jimmy Snuka will never stand trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino in 1983, it's hard to keep a good image of him for being tied to the crime in the first place.
After a WWE taping, Snuka called emergency services after Argentino was discovered seriously injured. She died after severe brain and head injuries, with an autopsy suggesting that she was viciously abused by someone out of passion. Snuka was the only suspect in the investigation that believed foul play was a factor. It wasn't until 2015 when he was charged with Argentino's murder.
Snuka pleaded not guilty, and the judge that presided the case deemed him unstable to stand trial. Last month, it was announced that he only has months to live. All around, just a horrible and tragic story regarding one of the most popular and wrestlers throughout the '80s.
3 Scott Hall
The sad case about Scott Hall is that his drug, alcohol and legal problems were ongoing before, during and after his wrestling career. It all started back in 1983 when Hall shot and killed a man outside a bar, but Hall claimed it was in self-defence, and a lack of evidence got him off the hook.
Back in 1998, as his time in WCW was drawing close, Hall was arrested for groping a woman in Baton Rouge. In 2008, Hall attacked a comedian at a show after making a crude joke about Owen Hart's death. The comedian claimed that Hall was drunk. And then in 2010, Hall was arrested for...resisting arrest after police responded to complaints about him being drunk and becoming threatening.
And in 2012, Hall was arrested for allegedly choking his girlfriend, though charges were dropped for a lack of evidence.
Thankfully, WWE paid for Hall's rehab, and he's now recovered from his drug and alcohol addictions. It's still hard to deny he was a not a great person in the right set of mind for over two decades, though.
2 Hulk Hogan
20-30 years ago, it'd be impossible to think someone as powerful, rich and beloved as Hulk Hogan would end up becoming a disgraced celebrity. Though he appears to be on the path to repairing his image, it's impossible to overlook some of the controversy that has surrounded him since his legendary wrestling career came to an end.
Hogan lost most of his finances after he and his wife, Linda divorced. She reportedly wanted to end the marriage in belief that he had an affair. Hogan also had rough relationships with his son Nick (who got into a bad car accident that left a friend paralyzed), and his daughter Brooke (Hogan was reportedly very over-protective of her).
Most recently, it's been one-and-a-half years since a leaked audio tape came out of Hogan using a racial slur to describe his daughter's boyfriend. The embarrassment and horrid language forced WWE to terminate their legends contract with him. Hogan has since pleaded for forgiveness, but the damage may be already done.
1 Chris Benoit
It's never fun discussing this story we've all heard a million times, but there's really no denying that Benoit is number one.
Tragically, one of the most beloved wrestlers had severe brain damage throughout his career. Excessive drug use and hits to the head throughout his wrestling career drove Chris Benoit into committing one of the most heinous things a human can possibly do. Nearly 10 years ago, everyone was shocked to hear that Benoit murdered his wife Nancy and their son Daniel before he took his own life.
WWE had a tribute for him on the following episode of Raw. Sadly, that was before the world learned the full details of the incident. WWE has since moved away from Benoit and they haven't acknowledged him since it was concluded that he was the one behind the family double-murder.
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