Hearing about a backstage fight in wrestling is like opening up your first gift on Christmas morning. Usually you are super excited to discover what’s in store, and in most instances, you aren’t disappointed. Over the past few decades, there have been hundreds of backstage fights between wrestlers, many of which we will never hear about. Luckily for us, the internet has done a great job of preserving the stories that we do have on record so that they will live on forever. Today we will be taking a look at every backstage fight in the history of wrestling.
Well okay...so maybe not every single fight, but we are going to detail every single fight that we were able to find details about. I feel like I need to establish the definition of a fight that qualifies for this article. First, there has to have been some sort of physical contact besides a chest bump - this article would be at least double this size if we included guys who only barked at each other backstage. The second thing to keep in mind is that I disregarded fights that don’t have at least one participant who was a big name in wrestling. Sure there were some indie show fights that could have made the list, but do you really want to read about two guys you never heard about before going at it? Didn’t think so. Lastly, to be included on this list, the two participants had to have been part of the wrestling business. Sorry to all of you who want to read about Shawn Michaels getting beat up by Marines, that would be included here today.
With all that being said, I’d like to give credit to armpit-wrestling for providing the backstory for many of these fights. As always feel free to let me know which fights I missed, or which were your favorites in the comments section.
49 Jericho vs. Sin Cara II - 2016
Perhaps not learning his lesson after his near fatal experience at SummerSlam with Brock Lesnar (more on that later), Chris Jericho once again created front page news by getting into a scuffle with Sin Cara backstage. During a bus ride on the WWE’s European tour, Cara was making annoying fart noises, annoying everyone in the process. Being the veteran he is, Jericho shouted for Cara to stop, to which the Luchador replied “F*** off”. If Jericho is crazy enough to confront a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, you’d have to imagine that a cruiserweight wouldn’t be able to intimidate him away.
The two men exchanged some words until Cara threw a right hand at the former WWE Undisputed Champion, which missed, and the two locked up with Jericho biting Cara’s hand. The fight was quickly broken up and Jericho was reported to have yelled the Sin Cara would be losing his job soon; only time will tell if this was a threat or a promise.
48 Sin Cara II vs. Simon Gotch - 2016
You may have heard about the scuffle between Sin Cara and Simon Gotch last year, and if you have good eyes you may have caught Gotch sporting a black eye at WWE Battleground too. While nobody is really sure where the heat between these two actually stems from, it’s pretty well know that the two men had issues with each other dating back to NXT. The heat apparently carried over to a SmackDown taping while the two men were standing in the catering department. By all accounts, the two men started arguing out of nowhere, and before anyone had a chance to jump between them Cara gave Gotch a black eye. Now here is where the stories split. Some people claim that Cara threw an entire soda can at Gotch’s face, while others have reported that Cara actually connected a punch to Gotch during their exchange. While we don’t know the specifics, we do know that Gotch’s eye was extremely puffy on television a few days later.
47 Brock Lesnar Vs. Chris Jericho - 2016
Chris Jericho is easily the bravest person to ever set foot inside the WWE. I don’t care what you say or how you feel about it, the fact that he was ready to fight a former UFC Heavyweight Champion who had 100+ pounds on him proves it. The legend goes that Jericho was legitimately upset that nobody would tell him the finish of the the Lesnar/Randy Orton match at SummerSlam. Right in the middle of his rant, Lesnar entered the gorilla position and told Jericho to mind his own business. Jericho, of course didn’t. He instead walked up to Lesnar and shouted in his face, to which The Beast responded with a finger push. Jericho immediately jumped into Lesnar’s face, pressing his forehead against the former UFC star’s forehead.
Apparently at this point, Lesnar decided to kiss Jericho on the forehead and told him to either kiss him back or punch him. According to some accounts, Jericho pushed Lesnar into a wall before the altercation was finally broken up by Vince McMahon and Triple H. You can call Chris Jericho many things, but you can never call him a coward.
46 Sheamus vs. Sin Cara I- 2014
It’s hard to say who was in the wrong during this altercation between Sheamus and Sin Cara. The story goes that Sin Cara disrespected the long-standing tradition of shaking the hand of every wrestler in the backstage area. Traditionally wrestlers will greet every wrestler with a handshake, no matter how high or low they are on the card. Allegedly Cara would only shake the hands of people he deemed as “big stars”, and in the process inherently disrespected the wrestling business. Sheamus got wind of this behavior and tried to strong-arm Cara off the trainer's table after a match. After Cara stood up, Sheamus took a shot at him but was taken down with a leg sweep by the Luchador. Cara was allegedly able to get one clean shot in at Sheamus before the fight was broken up by WWE officials.
45 Big Show vs. Great Khali - 2009
There is a real thing in wrestling called “giant heat”, and it’s just as you would imagine. When two giant men both want to be the biggest guy in the room, sometimes tension builds until it boils over. WWE had a case of giant heat in 2009 when The Big Show and The Great Khali got into a fist fight backstage. Described by Show as “the worst fight ever”, the altercation occurred because Khali stole Show’s trademark corner chops. The World’s Largest Athlete was reported as taking the first few swings at Khali, with the Punjabi Playboy bobbing and weaving away from the haymakers. Tripping over bags of luggage, the two giants ended up on the ground and Khali was able to mount Show until he was pulled off by The Undertaker and William Regal. Chris Jericho described the fight as a brawl between Godzilla and King Kong, and noted that it was the greatest thing he’d ever watched.
44 Sheamus vs. Yoshi Tatsu - Late 2000s
There are many uncertainties that play into this altercation between former WWE Champion Sheamus and former WWE employee Yoshi Tatsu. The facts are that the two men once shared an apartment during their time in developmental, and many people thought that Sheamus behaved as a bully. The facts become a bit alternative from that point forward. Some people believe that the Tatsu utilized his background as a former boxer to beat the tar out of Sheamus, while others say Yoshi merely slapped the taste out of Sheamus’ mouth. In either case, the fight was apparently caused due to a blender that Sheamus refused to clean, and in an attempt to teach him some respect, Tatsu confronted his roommate.
After the fight/slapping the story spread around the locker room about the incident, and many people were hoping that the real life loss would derail his push in the WWE.
43 JBL vs. Joey Styles - 2008
Technically Joey Styles shouldn’t be on this list because he isn’t a wrestler, but come on - don’t we all want to hear about a time JBL was put in his place? During a trip to Iraq in 2008, a drunk JBL was being especially JBL-ish to Joey Styles after one of the shows. This behavior had taken place every night of the tour, but this night Bradshaw dumped a beer on Styles’ head and talked about his family. Standing up for himself, Styles stood up and the two men charged at each other before being held back by the roster. Breaking free Styles unleashed a wild haymaker on JBL, which was strong enough to cut open AND knock down the 6’6” bully. Before anything else could come of it, the fight was broken up and JBL was effectively humiliated in front of everyone...again.
42 Batista Vs. Booker T - 2006
The Batista/Booker T fight is probably one of the most famous backstage brawls of all-time. Maybe it is so famous because it is the only fight that the WWE actually promoted on television and their website! The fight itself was caused by a number of factors. The driving factor in the scuffle was disrespect. Being a veteran of the business, Booker T demanded respect from younger talent, and when Batista refused to shake his hand in the locker room King Booker had enough. It’s also important to note that the two men had heat through their significant others (Sharmell and Melina), who may or may not have inadvertently accelerated the hostility between Booker and Batista.
The altercation began with Booker calling Batista out in the locker room in front of everyone. The two men had a five-minute argument which culminated in Booker suggesting that the men find a room to settle the beef. Though many tried to talk Batista out of it, he accepted and as soon as they found a room he sucker punched Booker as he was closing the door. The WWE roster let the fight go on for half a minute before rushing in to find Booker in a full mount utilizing a ground and pound. When they were pulled apart a humiliated Batista demanded they continue and grabbed Booker’s dreadlocks. Though he had the advantage, Batista couldn’t connect any punches on the former WWE World Champion, as Booker blocked them all with his elbows. When WWE management caught wind of the situation and pulled them apart, Batista took one final sucker punch at Booker. Though Booker had a black eye, he laughed as they were pulled apart and the common consensus is that Batista lost the fight.
41 JBL Vs. Blue Meanie - 2005
Though the bulk of this conflict happened live on television, there were parts of the JBL/Blue Meanie fight that weren't on camera. For example, did you know that the reason there was heat between the two men was because Meanie testified against JBL in court? Or that the only reason Meanie testified was because JBL harassed him so bad backstage during the ‘90s? Well if you didn’t know, keep that in mind while watching a drunk JBL absolutely pummel Blue Meanie in the background during ECW One Night Stand in 2005. The fight itself should be considered a backstage fight by itself, as you can only see it if you look closely at the footage. Following the brawl in the ring, JBL again went after Meanie in the gorilla position but this time it was broken up before any real damage was done.
40 Santino Vs. Jim Cornette - 2005
Like most “fights” on this list, this one between Jim Cornette and Santino Marella is more of a one-sided physical confrontation. Back in 2005, Jim Cornette was still in the good graces of the WWE and was running OVW as a developmental territory for the company. One of the talents that Cornette was trying to develop was The Boogeyman, who was in the infant stages of developing his character. During one of Boogey’s early promos, Cornette had all of his students pretend to be scared as he left the ring. The only student who didn’t run away scared from Boogeyman was Santino, which infuriated Cornette. After the show, Cornette confronted Santino and slapped him in the face much to the surprise of everyone.
Though Santino was a trained Judo champion, he didn’t fight back out of fear of losing his job. On the contrary, Cornette did lose his job with the WWE, but claimed that he only slapped Santino because he didn’t want The Boogeyman to confront the former Intercontinental Champion. Way to defuse a situation Corny.
39 Ric Flair Vs. Eric Bischoff - 2003
Though this altercation happened while both men were signed to WWE, the heat between Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff actually stemmed from years of scorn while they were employed by WCW. Flair long-windedly wrote in his book about the incident, but all you need to know is the cliff notes version for this entry. Upon learning that Bischoff was alone in a room after his 2003 hire to WWE, Flair instructed Arn Anderson to watch the door so that he could confront his former boss. Bischoff was on a phone call, which quickly ended by the way of a slap across the face. After knocking the phone out of Bischoff's hand, Flair swung on him three times and mounted the back-pedalling Bischoff on the couch. Flair then stuck his finger into Bischoff's eye and told him that he could take his eye out, but would rather fight. Bischoff refused and Sgt. Slaughter rushed in the room to stop the fight.
Take this story with a grain of salt, as it has only been publicly acknowledged by Flair in his book. Allegedly Vince McMahon laid down the law that nobody was allowed to talk about the incident, and the company should act like “it never happened”.
38 Kurt Angle Vs. Eddie Guerrero - 2004
During the final years of Eddie Guerrero’s life, there is no doubt that he wasn’t the competitor he once was and though he could still put on good shows they were becoming far and few between. This type of streaky performance is what instigated a fight between Guerrero and Kurt Angle in 2004. Following a match, Angle began screaming at Eddie for not pulling his weight in the ring which led to a loud argument in gorilla. After being shoved twice, Eddie went for a single leg takedown of Angle but sadly forgot that Kurt was an Olympic Gold Medalist. Angle easily reversed the move into a headlock and held Guerrero in that position until The Big Show came over and broke up the fight.
When asked by JBL why on earth he would pick a fight with Kurt Angle, Eddie replied: "Because I'm stupid!"
37 CM Punk vs. Teddy Hart - 2004
Teddy Hart has always been the black sheep of the Hart family, who has famously gotten into legal trouble and couldn’t sustain a relationship with the WWE. Hart is however, a talented performer who is capable of death-defying moves in the ring. During his days in ROH, Hart was actually fired partially for performing these moves after established ROH stars complained that he was not selling long enough. One of those stars was CM Punk, who had made mention that he would slap Hart if he ever saw him again. When Hart confronted Punk about this, Punk stood up and slapped Hart in the ear. Hart, who had experience boxing, delivered repeated blows to Punk who ended up on the ground until the fight was broken up by Sabu and Johnny Devine.
36 Chavo Guerrero Vs. Big Show - 2004
Back in 2004 Chavo Guerrero went temporarily insane and tried to fight The Big Show. Apparently there were some unhappy smaller guys on the SmackDown roster back in 2004, and they all resented Big Show for his push. The feeling was intensified by the fact that Show had let himself go by this point, and was barely recognizable from the man who debuted a few years earlier. Guerrero was so upset that he actually worked himself up enough to confront The Big Show, calling him fat and lazy in the process. To the credit of Show, he simply mushed Chavo’s face when the former Cruiserweight Champion approached him aggressively. When Chavo decided he was going to rush Show, the giant simply pushed Guerrero into a bunch of wrestlers who then held him back.
35 Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley - 2004
I don’t know about you, but it’s very hard for me to imagine Mick Foley in a real life argument, let alone a fight. Sure enough though, he and Ric Flair had a physical altercation in 2004 stemming from what they wrote in their respective autobiographies. The written words quickly transitioned into wrestling promos as Foley took shots at Flair during independent shows, claiming that he was “no Ric Flair” because he never “carried Batista’s bags”. When the two men eventually met up during an episode of RAW, Foley refused to shake Flair’s hand which sent him over the edge. Flair punched The Hardcore Legend in the face and was quickly pulled away by Arn Anderson. Flair suggested that the two men lock themselves in a room and settle their differences, but this never happened. Instead, John Laurinaitis had a sit down with the Hall of Famers, where it’s said they worked out the bulk of their differences.
34 Eddie Guerrero Vs. Charlie Haas - 2003
Respect for seniority is one of the most important qualities in the backstage wrestling culture, and usually that respect translates to the ring as well. When a veteran ring general instructs someone to do something between the ropes, younger talent should always listen. In the case of a 2003 match between Eddie Guerrero and Charlie Haas, the latter didn’t exactly follow the direction of the former. Guerrero was teaming with his nephew Chavo against Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas), and hyperextended his elbow during the match. Guerrero told Haas to ease up on his arm during the match, but felt that his opponent didn’t show any additional concern for his injury.
Following the match, Guerrero berated Haas in front of everyone backstage prompting Haas to walk away. When Guerrero went after him, Haas took Eddie down over a table. The altercation was quickly broken up by Bill DeMott, but additional damage was inflicted to Eddie’s already injured elbow. Neither man was punished for the incident.
33 Chris Jericho vs. Bill Goldberg - 2003
Chris Jericho’s giant “grapefruits” make another appearance on this list, this time taking on Goldberg during a 2003 taping of RAW. When Goldberg eventually signed to the WWE in 2003, Jericho still had some resentment towards the WCW megastar for taking the spotlight away from smaller wrestlers. When Jericho found out that Goldberg was badmouthing him in the WWE - a company that Jericho was now established in - he confronted the former NFL linebacker head on. After a few harsh words, Goldberg grabbed the throat of Jericho but his hand was immediately slapped away.
The first Undisputed Champion was able to surprise Goldberg by grabbing him in a front face lock, a lock that he held onto for dear life. When the former WCW Champion was finally released the two men were separated, but Goldberg became free and grabbed Jericho by the hair. At this point the scuffle had moved into a common area around fans, and though the two continued to argue the fight was over.
32 New Jack Vs. Gypsy Joe - 2003
So technically this wouldn’t count as a “backstage” fight, but there is no way that I couldn’t mention the debacle of a match that took place in 2003 between New Jack and Gypsy Joe. Joe went into the bout upset at Jack for not having any respect for him backstage, and just minutes into the match the show turned into a real fight. Even though New Jack was legitimately hitting Joe with real weapons, Joe refused to sell any of his opponent’s offense.
Eventually, after nearly seven minutes of uncomfortable feelings, the show promoter came out and stopped the fight due to excessive violence. To the credit of Gypsy Joe, he was able to wrestle the next day despite being hit with fists, chairs and chains.
31 Buff Bagwell vs. Hurricane Helms - 2001
After WCW was purchased by Vince McMahon, many of the WCW mainstays decided to sit out their contracts and get paid to wait it out. This left the WWE with few actual “stars” to pluck out of the WCW merger and scraping at the bottom of the barrel to fill spots in their invasion storyline. One of the people who got a chance to rise to main event status was Buff Bagwell. However, his actions behind the scenes quickly brought a screeching halt to his push, as an altercation with Hurricane Helms would lead to him being released from the company. Bagwell and Helms got into an argument after Bagwell told the future Tag Team Champion that he would never be a star in the company. Helms responded by accusing Bagwell of being on steroids in front of everyone present. Buff didn’t take kindly to this and slapped Helms in the back of the head, and was quickly busted open when Hurricane threw a bottle of water at Bagwell’s head.
Reports say that Helms quickly was able to get in a few shots at Bagwell, but stopped once he saw how severely he was bleeding. Bagwell was fired the week after the incident took place.
30 Scott Steiner Vs. DDP - 2000
In wrestling there is crazy, and then there is Scott Steiner crazy. Unfortunately for DDP back in 2000 he dealt with crazy up close and personal. Following the adoption of the Big Poppa Pump gimmick, Steiner changed both physically and personally. When Steiner found out that DDP’s real life wife Kimberly told WCW management about finding drugs in the locker room, he chased her out of the building causing heat between him and Page. The following week Steiner went off script during a promo insulting DDP repeatedly. When he returned to gorilla, Page sucker punched Steiner and was immediately suplexed to the other side of the room.
It took four men to remove Steiner from DDP, but after breaking free once again put Page into a double leg takedown. Steiner finally released him after being bit by DDP, but the damage was done to Page who suffered cuts all over his face.
29 Goldberg vs. Evan Karagias - 2000
Why is it that Goldberg only gets into backstages fights with guys who are considerably smaller than him? In this case, his opponent was Evan Karagias, who was at least 70 pounds lighter than Goldberg during the time of this altercation. The story goes that Karagias went to shake Goldberg’s hand, but the WCW Champion didn’t react fast enough so the 3-Count member insulted him. Goldberg took offense to the comment and grabbed Karagias by the throat and threw him over the guardrail. In what was perhaps the best choice of his life, Karagias walked away from the situation without striking back at Goldberg. To be fair, the reason Goldberg wasn’t quick to react was because he had his hands down his pants and Karagias didn't realize that at the time of the hand shake.
28 Sandman Vs. Tommy Dreamer - 2000
You would think that a company like ECW would have countless stories about backstages fights given all the huge personalities that were featured there. One fight that we do know about however, is Sandman versus the world, but for the sake of name recognition, we will limit it to just Tommy Dreamer. In the year 2000 during a rare traveling show for ECW, Sandman cut a promo in the middle of the ring for the crowd. No big deal right? Well did I mention that he pulled out his “big cane and little cane” in the ring? Yup, that’s right, Sandman exposed his penis for the entire paying crowd to see.
The ECW locker room was furious at Sandman for his lewd behavior, as many saw this show in Florida as a way to revitalize the company. Tommy Dreamer was especially furious and got into a fist fight with Sandman in the gorilla position before being pulled apart by Paul Heyman. In case you are wondering, yes… Sandman was drunk during the show.
27 Ernest Miller vs. Buff Bagwell - 1999
During the downfall of WCW, the backstage might as well have been the wild west. Everyone was looking out for themselves, which makes it surprising that there weren’t more backstage fights during that time. One fight that did happen however was between an on-screen feuding Ernest “The Cat” Miller and Buff Bagwell. It started with Bagwell complaining to Kevin Nash, who was booking at the time, that he was losing to Miller too much on television. As a result, Nash changed the ending to their pay-per-view match, and this infuriated Miller. The two men had words backstage, which led to Bagwell slapping Miller in the face. Miller, who had extensive martial arts experience, immediately punched Bagwell in the face twice and took him to the ground. When it was all said and done, The Stuff didn’t have enough for The Cat.
26 New Jack Vs. Junkyard Dog - 1998
By 1998 Junkyard Dog was past his wrestling prime, but was still very active on the independent scene. Knowing that JYD was available, Paul Heyman booked him to appear on the ECW pay-per-view Wrestlepalooza. During the day of the show, JYD got into a scuffle with ECW “wrestler” New Jack over $300 worth of marijuana that he owed him. New Jack apparently wanted his money back for the drugs he gave him, but Dog refused to pay Jack back. Though Heyman asked Jack not to start anything, he claimed that JYD was antagonizing him and he needed to retaliate. Jack claims that the two were bumping chests and that Dog charged at him trying to take him to the floor, but JYD maintained that he was hit from behind by Jack. Both stories involve them eventually throwing punches at each other until JYD was cut open underneath his eye.
Keep in mind that New Jack collapsed during his match with Bam Bam Bigelow later that day, so either he used all of his energy to beat up Dog, or Dog beat the energy out of New Jack.
25 New Jack Vs. Pitbull #2 - 1997
Similar to the way that the world rejoiced when Bradshaw finally got his comeuppance, had to be how the ECW locker room felt to watch New Jack get brutalized by Pitbull #2. The story goes that Pitbull freaked out after New Jack tried to get someone to blade (cut their head open), who had no prior experience doing it. The two men began shouting at each other, and Pitbull eventually called New Jack a racial slur. Of course, the use of racial epithets incited New Jack to punch Pitbull in the face twice, but to his surprise the 6’4” Pitbull was unfazed. Apparently, the ECW locker room enjoyed watching the fight and didn’t break them up until Paul Heyman forced them to help. Although Pitbull #2 was wrong for his choice of words, watching New Jack get handled was obviously justified enough to let the slur slide for some of the ECW talents.
24 Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels - 1997
Despite being two of the greatest wrestlers of their generation, and putting on some of the best matches of all-time, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels couldn’t stand each other by 1997. Though they didn’t like each other personally, the feud didn’t boil over professionally until Michaels inferred that Hart cheated on his wife with Sunny during an episode of RAW. Three weeks after the comment Hart confronted HBK backstage during a taping, shoving Michales into a wall. After exchanging some words Bret swung on Michaels and missed, but didn’t miss his takedown which occurred a second later. Bret even managed to rip a chunk of HBK's hair out. Each man had the other by the hair, and the fight was quickly broken up by WWE officials. It even startled Jerry Lawler who was taking care of his business in the bathroom when he heard the scuffle.
23 Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon - 1997
Hmm, I wonder what this fight between Bret Hart and Vince McMahon was about? Well unless you have been living under a rock for 20 years you know why this entry is on this list. After refusing to drop the WWE Title to Shawn Michaels during his last appearance in the WWE, Vince McMahon had to ensure that his Heavyweight Championship wouldn’t appear on WCW television. McMahon would accomplish this by screwing over Bret in his final match, creating a divide that lasted for nearly 15 years. Following the match, McMahon refused to leave Hart alone backstage, which prompted a physical altercation between the two men. After locking up with Vince, Bret stepped back and hit his boss with a clean uppercut to the chin. The punch knocked McMahon out and somehow left him with a black eye for a few weeks to come. This night is what triggered the Attitude Era, and Bret Hart’s uppercut is what created the greatest wrestling heel of all-time.
22 Roddy Piper Vs. Kevin Nash - 1997
It’s no secret that Kevin Nash rubbed people the wrong way during his run in WCW as part of the original nWo. One of the people who had the most flare ups with the giant was Roddy Piper, who was one of the biggest stars in WCW prior to Nash joining. For whatever reason Piper continually decided to go rogue during matches and segments, leading to a few nWo members (including Nash) to not sell for the Hall of Famer. This behavior led to many bad matches, and the two eventually had a blow out backstage when Nash found out Piper was trashing him behind the scenes. Depending on who you believe this is the part where Nash either pushed Piper down or slapped his face so hard that he collapsed to the ground. In either case, when Piper got up he went for a leg sweep on Nash’s bad knee, but the two were pulled apart before he could connect. It was thought that the two buried the hatchet in the years that followed, but the rivalry was renewed with a Twitter war shortly before Piper’s death.
21 Road Warrior Hawk Vs. Macho Man - 1996/1999
One night while having dinner with Road Warrior Hawk and his wife, it was reported that Savage made an inappropriate comment while Hawk was in the restroom. The comment was unbeknownst to Hawk for nearly two years, but when he found out he went to confront Savage immediately. When Hawk found Savage, he hit him so hard that they actually had to stop the show because Macho Man hadn’t regained his composure by the time of his match. Three years later while at a Kid Rock concert, Savage saw Hawk and walked towards him. When Hawk put out his hand for a shake, Savage threw a single right hook that put down the Road Warrior. When Hawk got up he threw Savage into a mirror in the bathroom before getting ripped off by police and security. The two men still had not buried the hatchet by the time of their untimely deaths.
20 Steve Blackman vs. JBL - Late 1990s
All of the stories you hear about Bradshaw being a locker room bully makes this story about Steve Blackman humbling him sooooooo much better. After a night of excessive drinking, JBL was still drunk while waiting on a plane at an airport. With nothing else to do, Bradshaw started to look for people to pick on; Steve Blackman was in his cross hairs. After giving Bradshaw two warnings, Blackman finally backhanded the former WWE Champion and continued to jab/kick him until he accidentally slipped on someone’s luggage. After being pulled apart Blackman calmly told JBL that he was going to kill him.
The two men went their separate ways until coincidentally meeting at the same hotel later that day. JBL tried to apologize, but Blackman wasn’t having it and told him that he was going to finish him later at the arena. When JBL finally showed up to the WWE event, Blackman stood up in front of the entire locker room and told JBL to apologize in front of everyone or he would “finish” him. Obviously, JBL apologized, as the bully didn’t want to face off against The Lethal Weapon.
19 Vader vs. Paul Orndorff - 1995
Vader has never been a guy who people would call a victim, especially when it comes to his hard hitting shoot style in the ring. Behind the scenes wasn’t any different, as Vader was rarely challenged and was feared among many of the boys for being a legitimate tough guy. One man who did challenge Vader however, was Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff. After Vader was late to a WCW taping Orndorff, who was a road agent at the time, got into Vader’s face and told him to take his best shot. Vader refused Orndorff’s advances, but that didn’t stop Mr. Wonderful from getting in 400 pounder’s face and calling him a “fat prima donna”. After about a minute of being berated Vader threw an open hand slap that sent Orndorff flying towards the wall. Feeling guilty about his actions, Vader refused to fight Orndorff after the slap, and claims he let Orndorff get the better of him over the next few minutes. Mr. Wonderful certainly seized the opportunity by punching Vader in the face a few times, throwing him on the ground and kicking the big man six or seven times.
The two men had a second round a few minutes later, where upon hearing that Orndorff was talking trash, Vader decided to not take it easy anymore. Apparently, Vader had the upper hand during round two but was stopped by Meng as he was passing by. Though the fight was fierce, the two men have since made up.
18 Road Warrior Hawk Vs. Eddie Guerrero - Mid-‘90s
This fight between Road Warrior Hawk and Eddie Guerrero only became public knowledge due to it being written about in Eddie’s book in 2005. In the biography, Eddie took full responsibility for the “fight”, as he was drunk and looking to pick a fight with the future Hall of Famer. By all accounts, Guerrero was drunk out of his mind during a tour of Japan in the mid-'90s, and wanted to show how tough he was. Logically the future WWE Heavyweight Champion picked a fight with Hawk because he was the biggest guy around. After pushing Hawk a few times Eddie began to walk away, only to be punched in the back of the head multiple times.
When Eddie woke up he was upset, but as he began to sober up he realized that he deserved the beating because of his behavior. Eddie learned a life lesson that day but also gained the respect of all the boys who saw him stand up to the toughest guy in the locker room.
17 RVD Vs. Taz - Mid-‘90s
Though most mainstream fans will remember his commentary in WWE, Taz was thought by many to be one of the toughest guys on the ECW roster during the 1990s. He may have talked tough, but RVD wasn’t buying the talk and confronted Taz backstage during an ECW taping. Apparently, Taz was caught red handed talking trash about RVD and Sabu’s match, and rather than arguing with his coworker RVD just had a simple request; “pick a hand.”
After Taz didn’t respond with a choice, Mr. Friday Night chose for him and punched him in the mouth. From that point, it was reported that Taz wanted no parts of RVD and backed down immediately. It’s pretty funny that Rob Van Dam is known for his calm demeanor, and that it even carries over into physical altercations.
16 New Jack vs. Dances With Dudley - 1995
During a match between The Gangstas and The Dudley Boyz in 1995, an actual stiff fight began in the ring and was finished backstage. After New Jack (big surprise right) felt that Dances With Dudley was being too stiff in the ring, he stiffly broke Dances’ nose during the match. When Dudley made his way backstage, Jack rushed him and cracked him in the head with a nightstick. Dudley was dazed but stayed on his feet and immediately tackled New Jack near a broken window, which could have killed either man. It took the entire ECW locker room to break up the fight, with Dances needing 12 stitches following the altercation.
Many people within ECW felt that Jack should have been fired for the incident, but due to scheduled appearances, Paul Heyman didn’t release the trouble maker. This decision would continue to haunt Heyman, as New Jack caused several more disturbances over the next few years.
15 Road Warrior Hawk Vs. 2 Cold Scorpio - 1995
This fight is unique in the fact that it wasn’t actually one fight, but rather multiple fights over the course of a week between Road Warrior Hawk and 2 Cold Scorpio. The dispute started on a bus in North Korea after Hawk was defending Ric Flair after overhearing Scorpio call him some derogatory names. Hawk dropped a racist name in the argument and Scorpio jumped onto him immediately after. Scorpio says that he must have hit Hawk at least 20 times before he was pulled off of the former Tag Team Champion. The next day while Hawk would sucker punch Scorpio from behind before again being separated by other wrestlers. During the third and final day of the dispute, both men were plotting on how to get the better of the other one but were finally coaxed into settling the dispute and burying the hatchet.
14 Arn Anderson vs. Sid Vicious - 1993
In what is probably the most infamous backstage brawl of all-time, the story ends with the near death of a top guy in WCW. I’m getting ahead of myself though, the story starts with a drunk Arn Anderson getting angry at Sid Vicious for bragging about a raise. The ire for Sid comes from the fact that Arn had to watch many in the company take pay cuts for Sid to receive his raise. Additionally, Sid had held the company up for money twice all while missing shows on purpose. Anyway, a drunk Arn was sick of hearing Sid talk so he threw a mug of beer at him with Sid following suit. The boys who were out with the two men kept them apart and escorted them to their respective rooms.
The story splits here between Arn’s version and Sid’s version. Arn claims that he heard someone banging at his door, and when he opened it up he was smacked by a chair leg and left passed out. When he woke up Sid was on top of him and Arn was able to get free and grab a pair of scissors to stab Sid with. Sid on the other hand, claims that he was at Arn’s door but calmed down and tried to hash things out because they were too drunk to fight. When Sid tried to leave, Arn came after him with the scissors and stabbed him in the stomach.
The stories reconvene at the point where somehow Sid got the scissors and repeatedly stabbed Arn to the point that he lost nearly two pints of blood. 2 Cold Scorpio heard the commotion and stopped the soon-to-be murder, saving Anderson’s life in the process. Both men were badly injured, and their fight made national news, serving a big blow to the wrestling industry in the process.
13 William Regal vs. Van Hammer - Early ‘90s
Van Hammer was a forgettable WCW creation, who the company pushed pretty heavy for the better part of 1991. As always whenever a green wrestler receives a push over more established wrestlers, the locker room gets upset. Van Hammer made it worse by actually bragging about himself, and burying wrestlers who were from other countries. William Regal heard him talking about British wrestlers and took offense, delivering four or five headbutts to Hammer at DDP’s house during a Christmas party. According to Regal, he left Hammer with a bloody lip and a scar that is still visible today. It’s hard to say whether or not that the story is true, as Hammer hasn’t been on television in nearly two decades.
12 Vince McMahon vs. Nailz - 1992
While it’s hard to believe that anyone would physically attack their boss, keep in mind that we are talking about professional wrestling and these wrestlers are nuts. In 1992 when Nailz was upset about a payoff, he confronted McMahon in a locker room at the arena. What started as a conversation turned into a nearly hour-long shouting match between the two. Though they were alone in the room, witnesses reported hearing a loud thud followed by silence, which prompted WWE employees to rush in. They found Nailz on top of Vince with his hands around his (soon to be former) employer’s throat. In a wacky turn of events, Nailz actually claims that Vince sexually assaulted him in the room and that is what led to him attacking McMahon. Very few people actually believe his sexual assault story, but many respect Nailz for finally giving McMahon some of his own medicine.
11 Ric Flair vs. Brian Knobbs - 1991
One night Ric Flair was out styling and profiling (as Ric Flair does) in New York City back in 2001. While at the China Club, Flair and a friend ran into The Nasty Boys and Vince McMahon who also happened to be out that night. Apparently, Brian Knobbs (the nastier of the nasties) broke Flair’s friend's sunglasses, which prompted The Nature Boy to confront Knobbs. After Knobbs told Flair to “f*** off”, Flair punched Knobbs in the face and the two began to tussle. This fight was detailed in Flair’s book so it’s hard to believe that he was able to handle Knobbs with ease like he says he was. One thing that did come of the fight was $3,000 worth of damages to the bar charged to Flair’s personal credit card.
10 DDP vs. FireBreaker Chip - 1991
The first half of the 1990s was radically different for WCW than the latter half of the decade, with the company hemorrhaging money until Eric Bischoff took over. Not yet established stars were just getting their start during the early ‘90s, like DDP who had transitioned from a manager into a full fledged wrestler. Though he was green in the ring, DDP knew he was being taken advantage of in his second match for WCW by eventual jobber Firebreaker Chip. Chip was working Page’s arm too hard, and as a receipt, DDP delivered stiff kicks to Chip’s body. When the two men came through the curtain they began to bump chests and Chip threw the first punch at DDP’s temple.
Though he was cut open, DDP kicked Chip in the gut and immediately threw him into a face lock and refused to let go. When Page did eventually let go Chip stormed away. The two made up the same day, and enjoyed a beer later that night. I guess they just had to blow off some steam.
9 Ken Shamrock vs. The Nasty Boys - 1990
After partying at a club prior to their WWE days, The Nasty Boys made some inappropriate and harassing gestures towards a woman who was sitting with Ken Shamrock. Shamrock was going to let it go until the Nasties started grabbing the woman’s breasts repeatedly. After telling the duo to stop, Brian Knobbs gave Shamrock a pie face with his palm and was carried out by security. An enraged Shamrock went looking for Knobbs and found him passed out on his motel bed. Shamrock, who was trained in MMA at the time, jumped onto Knobbs and began beating his head in, until he was hit from behind by Jerry Sags. Sags claims that he actually pulled Shamrock off of Knobbs and was getting the better of him without any kind of sucker punch happening.
Eventually Shamrock was on the floor passed out from repeatedly blows to the head from the Nasty Boys, and was beaten to within an inch of his life. There are still hard feelings from Shamrock on this incident, as he has confronted both men since, but hasn’t had the opportunity to actually lay hands on them.
8 Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty - Early ‘90s
Although Marty Jannetty didn’t have nearly the wrestling career that his former partner Shawn Michaels had, he did get the better of Michaels on multiple occasions in street fights. Jannetty won multiple Golden Gloves boxing titles, so from the outset Michaels really never stood a chance. One of the scuffles that the Rockers got into with each other was caused by Roddy Piper riling the two up after a WWE event. Jannetty and Michaels apparently brawled from their shared hotel room, into a hallway. Jannetty obviously got the better of Michaels, as HBK nearly quit the WWE due to how banged up his face was after the fight. Eventually the two had a sit down meeting with management regarding the incident and were able to continue their partnership for a few more months.
7 Rick Rude Vs. Ultimate Warrior - 1989
There isn’t much known about the fight between Rick Rude and Ultimate Warrior, and all we have to go on are two interviews from Smash and Ric Flair. In both accounts of the story, Warrior did something to anger Rude; Smash says it was being stiff in the ring and Flair said it was a passing comment. Both men agree however, that Rick Rude beat up Warrior pretty badly during their altercation. Sadly both men have since passed away so we can never get a true recollection of what happened between them. One thing is for sure though, every wrestler who speaks about Rude (including Steve Austin) talk about how much of a tough guy he was in real life.
6 Brian Pillman vs. Brick Bronsky- 1988
You may not know who Brick Bronsky is, but for the sake of this story just remember that he was a friend of The Bulldogs who worked for Stampede Wrestling. If you are reading this article, then I am going to assume that you know who Brian Pillman is, and his reputation in the business. As for the two men’s confrontation, well it would seem that the entire thing was instigated by Dynamite Kid of The Bulldogs. Kid didn’t like Pillman and orchestrated for Bronsky to ambush Pillman during a Stampede show - all went to plan and Pillman was knocked out via sucker punch. While Bronsky was high fiving The Bulldogs, Pillman returned to his feet and tackled Bronsky into a set of lockers. What ensued is probably better described by Bruce Hart who was there that night:
“Pillman began raining punches and kicks on Beltzner (Bronsky) in one of the most one-sided utter s***-kickings I’ve ever seen. When the smoke had cleared, (Bronsky’s) face had been pounded into a bloody pulp, with his cheekbone protruding grotesquely through his skin and both eyes swollen shut.”
It’s almost as if some people forgot that before entering the fake world of professional wrestling, Pillman was a legitimate tough guy in the real world of professional football. I don’t think Bronsky ever forgot that after this encounter.
5 Haku vs. Jimmy Jack Funk - 1987
Have you ever heard that story about the time Haku/Meng ripped someone’s eye out? Well that was during a fight with Jimmy Jack Funk back in the ‘80s. In reality Haku didn’t actually remove Funk’s eyeball, though he claims he was ready to do it. The fight, which began when Haku heard Funk making derogatory comments about women, was fast and furious. Apparently in the midst of his rage Haku had a moment of clarity and decided not to continue assaulting Funk. Haku attributed his mercy to the fact that Funk was his “road brother”, and that he had a wife and kids at home. Shortly after the incident Funk was released from the WWE, because honestly are you going to try to fire someone who nearly ripped an eyeball out?
4 Scott Hall Vs. Marty Jannetty - 1985
Back when Scott Hall was a newbie in the business, he worked a territory in Kansas City alongside future Rocker, Marty Jannetty. Jannetty was known for partying hard during the mid ‘80s, and was notorious for destroying property at night. After learning that Jannetty used Hall’s name to check into a hotel room, and destroyed the room that night, Hall was furious. Though he was rightfully upset, Hall actually had wrongfully accused Marty as the culprit but wouldn’t learn that until after he laid a beating on Jannetty. Hall found a passed out Marty and beat the future WWE star so bad, that he would actually dislocate a few of his knuckles. Ouch. When Jannetty came to he was so upset that he grabbed a lead pipe to get revenge, but couldn’t find him until the next day. When they did meet up the two were able to settle their differences without the use of violence.
3 Paul Orndorff Vs. Tony Atlas - 1982
Many fans know that Paul Orndorff was considered one of the toughest guys in wrestling during his prime, and with good reason too. Orndorff wasn’t scared to tangle with anyone back in the day, including a very intimidatingly looking Tony Atlas. Back when the two men were working for Mid-South Wrestling they often were riding partners, but as we know, tight quarters can cause people to turn on each other. Atlas and Orndorff weren't immune to this, and ended up pulling over to a truck stop to fight over legroom in the car.
Unlike others on this list, this wasn’t a fight for show and neither man wanted to be held back by the rest of the boys. Reports say that Orndorff was able to duck most of Atlas’ punches, and quickly spear him to the ground. Fighting dirty, Orndorff bit off Atlas’ ear lobe which caused blood to flow everywhere. Knowing the cops were coming and due to the large amounts of blood, the two stopped fighting immediately so that Atlas could have the ear sewn back on. To add insult to injury for Atlas, Bill Watts fined him when he returned to work for losing a fight in real life.
2 Kamala vs. Andre the Giant - 1982
A story that has circulated among many wrestling fans throughout the years is about how Kamala once pulled a gun on Andre the Giant in the ‘80s. Many people don’t know that prior to Kamala pulling out a weapon on the Eighth Wonder of the World, the two men actually got into a fist fight. While on the Steve Austin Show podcast, Kamala stated that he “beat up” Andre after he called him a racial slur during a match.
It makes you wonder though, if Kamala (a giant in his own right) got the best of the seven footer, then why would he need to pull a gun out afterword? My own personal thought is that the two may have gotten into a fight, but there is no way that Kamala came out on top.
1 Honrable Mention: Bruiser Brody Stabbed In Altercation
We don't have this incident on our official list of backstage fights, as this incident was well beyond a fight. At a show in Puerto Rico in 1988, Bruiser Brody was found in the locker room bleeding to death after allegedly being stabbed by Jose Gonzalez. Following a match with Dan Spivey, Gonzalez asked Brody to go to the shower area where they could discuss business. A few minutes later, Tony Atlas claims he found Brody hunched over holding his stomach, while Gonzalez was wielding a knife.
Gonzalez was never convicted for the death of Brody, as he cited self defense. Brody was known to have made plenty of enemies in the wrestling business, but his death remains an unsolved mystery to this day.