The recent drama of Enzo Amore’s antics in WWE has become one of the biggest stories in wrestling. Enzo has a knack for running his mouth and getting in trouble. Roman Reigns kicked him off of a tour bus during an international tour for badmouthing the business loudly on a phone call. Other wrestlers allegedly wanted to punch him in the face. Things got worse when Amore bragged on social media about spending $10,000 on floor tickets to see Floyd Mayweather defeat Conor McGregor. This all led to WWE punishing Enzo on television by having Braun Strowman destroy him along with turning him heel in the Cruiserweight Division.
There is a long history in wrestling of performers being embarrassed on screen for things that went down backstage. Promoters don’t want to fire talented performers that rubbed them the wrong due to being able to make money off them. It leads to a middle ground of making a fool out of the performer for a short time period as punishment before hopefully allowing them to have another chance at getting over. All of these situations showcase wrestlers that saw their careers impacted due to behind the scenes drama. These are fifteen wrestlers were embarrassed on-screen for something backstage related.
15 Roman Reigns
The current position of Roman Reigns as the golden boy that WWE wants to push to the moon makes you think he’d be above this. However, Reigns found his way on WWE’s bad side in 2016 when he violated the Wellness Policy during his reign as WWE World Champion. Reigns lost the title to Seth Rollins and left television for thirty days as per the suspension rule.
14 Perry Saturn
One real life incident that changed the trajectory of a career came when Perry Saturn broke character. A local enhancement talent apparently botched a move that put Saturn’s safety at risk and it made him snap. Saturn decided to pummel the non-contracted wrestler in the ring and it was uneasy to watch. WWE was livid at Saturn for putting them in risk of a lawsuit. Saturn also apparently didn’t apologize to the wrestler backstage.
13 Serena Deeb
The biggest break of Serena Deeb’s career came when she shaved her head to join CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society faction. Punk was arguably the most relevant heel in WWE at the time and his faction was getting tremendous heat. Deeb played one of the followers that was apparently brainwashed by Punk’s words demanding she cut her hair and follow the straight edge lifestyle.
12 Public Enemy
The tag team of Public Enemy was one of the first hot acts to come out of ECW. Following a disappointing run in WCW, both Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock signed a deal with WWE hoping to become successes during the Attitude Era. One issue that surfaced right away was heat from the rest of the locker room that believed Public Enemy had huge egos that made them the enemies.
The Legion of Doom is regarded as the most successful tag team of all time due to success in every promotion they wrestled for. Both Animal and Hawk created the perfect team of the era that destroyed everyone in their path. Their biggest issue would surface when Hawk’s alcohol and drug use became an addiction that negative impacted his life.
10 Bret Hart
Bret Hart is always going to go down among the greatest in-ring performers of all-time and one of WWE’s biggest stars. The one major issue between Hart and WWE would become a massive wrestling story that is still discussed today. Bret refused to lose the WWE Championship in his hometown to his legitimate enemy Shawn Michaels.
9 Triple H
One of the people that convinced Vince McMahon to go with the Montreal Screwjob was Triple H, but he also found himself in trouble earlier. The Kliq decided to break character at the end of a house show at Madison Square Garden before Kevin Nash and Scott Hall went to WCW. Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Nash and Hall all embraced despite wrestling each other earlier in the night.
8 Jim Ross
The backstage relationship between Vince McMahon and Jim Ross saw many ups and downs through the years. Ross was the VP of Talent Relations during the Attitude Era and beyond. The majority of top stars between the mid-90s and mid-2000s were hired by Ross’ vision. You’d think playing such a pivotal role on and off screen during the company’s peak time period would have made him immune to embarrassment.
7 Shane Douglas
The backstage landmine in WWE during the mid-90s featured wrestlers getting destroyed if they were an enemy of the Kliq. One of the wrestlers to experience this was Shane Douglas. Following a rocky career already making enemies in WCW, Douglas signed with WWE to play the heel Dean Douglas character. Shane tapped into his background in education to portray the hokey gimmick.
6 Dusty Rhodes
The legendary Dusty Rhodes could have had a huge career in WWE during the late-80s. Rhodes was second to none in cutting promos that resonated with the fans. The organic love between Dusty and the fans was one of a kind. WWE however didn’t care about making the most money off their investment. Vince McMahon seemed to have an axe to grind against Rhodes for helping other promotions compete against WWE.
5 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is arguably the biggest wrestling star of all time and even he wasn’t above being embarrassed by WWE. The prima donna antics of Hogan backstage existed throughout his entire career as a top star. WWE finally had enough during his run in 2003. Hogan started portraying the Mr. America masked character as a comedic way to get around Vince McMahon firing him.
4 Mickie James
The career of Mickie James is hugely underrated when looking at the former female wrestlers of past eras. WWE didn’t take women’s wrestling as seriously as it does these days leading to many of the more talented women being underrated. James did achieve success by winning the Women’s Championship multiple times, including at WrestleMania 22 when defeating Trish Stratus.
3 Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin is one of the more shocking recent examples of someone being embarrassed for backstage behavior. WWE originally planned to have Corbin cash in his Money in the Bank title shot to win the WWE Championship at some point before the year ended. There was a very realistic possibility of Corbin being the champion heading into WrestleMania 34.
WWE was forced into embarrassing JBL after his actions at ECW One Night Stand 2005. JBL had animosity towards The Blue Meanie due to Meanie referring to JBL as a bully in shoot interviews about his prior time in WWE. After being offended at being called a bully, JBL decided the right action here was to bully Meanie in front of everyone watching.
1 Ric Flair
The late 90s run of Ric Flair in WCW featured the biggest instance of a company embarrassing a wrestler for backstage reasons. Eric Bischoff developed an intense hatred towards Flair due to Flair speaking against how WCW was being run. The tenure of Bischoff saw Flair fall from the face of the company to a secondary main eventer that lost almost all the time.
Both men went back and forth in backstage meetings that culminated in Bischoff trying to ruin Flair’s career. The New World Order parody of the Four Horsemen was done in part to offend both Flair and Arn Anderson. WCW also booked Flair to be forced into a mental asylum, get his head shaved and have his family turn on him at different points. The main reason Flair was so happy to see WCW end was due to knowing he’d never be embarrassed by them again.
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