Wrestling fans like to discuss moments when the lines between reality and fiction are blurred. One of the best recent examples of that was during an August episode of Talking Smack when The Miz called out Daniel Bryan after being called a “coward.” Some fans automatically called this a shoot interview on the WWE Network.
While it wasn’t scripted and it did give us some insight into real-life thoughts, it technically wasn’t what many would call a shoot interview. The thing about shoot interviews is that they can often get personal, kind of like the Bryan-Miz segment. But imagine things getting more personal than that.
Over the years, wrestlers have done sit down interviews away from any wrestling ring or promoter. It’s just them sitting in front of a camera with someone asking questions. Fans get a chance to learn about real-life issues between wrestlers. Shoot interviews can reveal a lot of dirty laundry about wrestlers’ personal lives.
This can include nuggets like drug addictions, sexual escapades, backstage fights and difference of opinion that led to personality conflicts. Many of these end up becoming the fuel for the expletive-laced shoots we listen to or read about online. It seems like the only reason why wrestling fans want to listen to shoot interviews is to hear who hates who and the reasons why.
They feature superstars that range from main event superstars to lower-tier wrestlers that a majority of fans may need to do a search on. The following is a list of the 15 biggest shots that have been taken towards wrestling stars within shoot interviews.
15 Sunny’s First Impression of Sable
Tammy Sytch was once viewed as the hottest female in the WWE during the 1990s as Sunny. That was before Sable was hired by the WWE; becoming one of the biggest female icons during the WWE’s Attitude Era. While Sunny said that professional wrestling was a business about competition, she apparently never liked Sable for reasons beyond just the competition. It was based on a discussion backstage about Sable’s first husband.
According to Sunny, Sable was happy about her first husband passing away because it allowed her to meet her husband at the time in Marc Mero. Sunny then said that there were other comments Sable would make behind the scenes that added to the negative image Sunny had of her coworker. Now, to be fair, many would also question some of the personal decisions Sytch made during her life and career.
14 Ahmed Johnson’s Heat With Road Warrior Animal
When Ahmed Johnson did a shoot interview in 2006, he apparently wasn’t aware of any heat between him and Road Warrior Animal. But during the interview, the heat escalated quicker than the battle of news teams in the movie Anchorman. Johnson was asked about how Animal claimed that Johnson had stolen his spikes at one point behind the scenes. A few moments later, Johnson would state that if Animal had heat with him, “then f*** him.”
Johnson clarified that Road Warrior Hawk actually gave him a pair of the spiked shoulder pads as a gift, along with other items. There was actually a period of time when Johnson did team up with The Legion of Doom in the 1990s and Johnson did wear the spiked shoulder pads. However, Johnson didn’t like that someone had heat with him as he continued to call him names such as “bloated” and other non-PG-friendly words.
13 Batista Blames John Cena for “Killing” Hardcore Wrestling
During the late 1990s, the WWE was an entirely different beast than the wrestling fans watch today. Back then, RAW and SmackDown were rated TV-14 with a focus on edgy, hardcore wrestling. Things like chair shots to the head and blood pouring from wrestlers’ heads were some of the main attractors to the product approximately 20 years ago. But in the past decade, the WWE made a shift to TV-PG.
During an interview on The Chad Dukes Wrestling Show in December 2011, Batista put the blame for the shift on John Cena. Because younger fans were drawn to someone like Cena, the WWE was forced to make a change to convince parents that it’s okay to let them watch WWE programming. While many of the hardcore fans who loved everything about the Attitude Era weren’t happy with the change, it all made sense.
12 Axl Rotten Calls John Zandig a “Glorified Backyard Wrestler”
Apparently, Axl Rotten was not a big fan of John Zandig’s work. But he didn’t really go public with his comments until after Zandig took shots at the Extreme Championship Wrestling original. It all started during a 2014 interview when Zandig called Rotten a number of insulting things that included the words “fat” and “pathetic.” We’re sugarcoating it by not including some of the expletives.
Obviously, an ECW original like Rotten wasn’t going to let something like that slide. He called Zandig a “glorified backyard wrestler” as part of a shoot fight challenge. Some might agree with Rotten’s claim. Zandig has had a history of unnecessary hardcore spots in Combat Zone Wrestling. Zandig was hung above the ring with meat hooks during a 2003 show. Don’t look it up if you have any tendency of a weak stomach.
11 Honky Tonk Man Calls Out Hulk Hogan
The Honky Tonk Man did an interview with RF Video back in 2011 where he seemed to let off a little bit of steam. One of his main targets was TNA Wrestling. Honky Tonk Man was invited to do a special question-and-answer segment with Hogan and other wrestlers that were doing well for a period of time. But radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge wasn’t happy with Honky Tonk Man being on the tour, which led to him being cut by Hogan.
Only that Hogan apparently didn’t contact Honky Tonk Man. According to the former Intercontinental Champion, he got word about the plug being pulled through Jimmy Hart. Honky Tonk Man said it was an unprofessional move that wasn’t handled properly. He would also go on to say some mean things about both Hogan and Bubba the Love Sponge with some words that are not exactly PG-friendly.
10 Iron Sheik Says Verne Gagne Offered Bounty on Hulk Hogan
It’s safe to say that The Iron Sheik has been plenty critical of a number of other professional wrestling stars who he worked with. He’s called Hulk Hogan a “jabroni” more times than one could count, along with more expletives than an episode of South Park. Back during a time when the WWE was building themselves as a wrestling giant, the Iron Sheik was planned to drop the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Hogan in 1984.
According to The Iron Sheik in multiple shoot interviews (i.e. YouShoot, Talk is Jericho), he was offered about $100,000 from Verne Gagne of American Wrestling Association to not drop the title to Hogan and to break his leg during the match. They also wanted him to bring the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to AWA. But Sheik refused to do it because he had a lot of respect for the McMahon family.
9 Chyna Talks Says Triple H Assaulted Her
Long before Triple H would marry Stephanie McMahon, have children, and gain the backstage power that came with it, he was in a serious relationship with Chyna. The two were part of the original D-Generation X faction and had a personal relationship during Triple H’s career. However, Chyna revealed in multiple shoot interviews about how things went south between them.
In an interview with Vince Russo, Chyna explained that Triple H tried to get Chyna to leave the relationship first so that he could date Stephanie McMahon. But Chyna would also claim that Triple H assaulted her and hit her. It was quite the accusation to make.
Shortly after their split, Chyna would leave the WWE and dealt with a number of personal problems related to drugs and alcohol for the remainder of her life. Shortly before she passed, she apologized to Triple H and the WWE and expressed hope in burying the hatchet. Triple H vehemently denied Chyna's accusations.
8 Kevin Nash Critical of Smaller Wrestlers
Kevin Nash has gone through a lot in professional wrestling. From the failed gimmicks in WCW to becoming Diesel, back to WCW to form New World Order and then stints with WWE and TNA Wrestling. Nash has shared a number of memorable stories that gave fans interesting tales from behind the scenes. However, Nash has also said things that didn’t go over well with the members of the internet wrestling community.
In an interview for a feature on ESPN’s Grantland.com, Nash talked about wrestlers like Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero who were loved by the fans. But Nash said they didn’t have in-ring personalities to match their skill – tagging them with the much hated “Vanilla Midgets” label. Nash even claimed that their hug at the end of WrestleMania XX was the “end of the business.”
7 CM Punk Claims Ryback Purposefully Injured Him
When CM Punk went on the Art of Wrestling podcast with his friend Colt Cabana, Punk said a lot of things that stood out in the wrestling community. Aside from his criticisms of the WWE’s medical staff and how he was tired of backstage politics, he may have reserved the worst words for fellow WWE superstar Ryback. The two had a feud for the WWE Championship from late 2012 to early 2013.
Punk said his rivalry with Ryback “took 20 years off of my (expletive) life.” He accused Ryback was a steroid user and was reckless in the ring. According to Punk, Ryback kicked him in the stomach as hard as possible, breaking his ribs in the process. Punk also noted that Ryback was supposed to Gorilla Press him onto a table, but missed and dropped Punk onto a concrete floor that caused a pelvic injury.
6 Ryback Says CM Punk Made Excuses
Did you expect that the things CM Punk would go unnoticed? Ryback was able to go on the record in an interview with The Franchise 107.7 FM in Oklahoma City, Okla. In response to how Punk was critical of Ryback and calling the “Big Guy” unsafe in the ring, Ryback would denounce those comments. Ryback added that Punk never said anything about their matches to him and instead chose to talk negative behind his back.
Ryback would continue when talking about Punk’s departure from the WWE in 2014. While he said he could relate to someone leaving the company feeling “beaten up,” Ryback said Punk’s interview with Colt Cabana was Punk “making excuses.” Ryback was critical of Punk for wanting the fans to feel sorry for him with everything that had happened. At least The Big Guy wished Punk the best.
5 Bret Hart Claims Triple H Isn’t Great
Considering he is known as “the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be,” Bret “The Hitman” Hart might be considered a good judge of quality wrestling. During a 2013 interview with Wrestle Talk TV, he said positive things for superstars like CM Punk and Rey Mysterio. But then he changes the subject to Triple H and asks “what has he done? What moves did he create that we never saw before?”
One match he was especially critical of was Triple H facing the Undertaker at WrestleMania in 2012. Hart claimed that he was able to predict what was going to happen before it happened, giving it a four out of ten rating; mediocre at best. This was part of Hart’s overall criticism of Triple H becoming a person with power in the WWE.
4 Jim Cornette Calls Shawn Michaels Unprofessional
Jim Cornette can often be compared to an older neighbor who yells at the kids down the street to get off of his lawn. During a 2010 YouShoot interview, he blamed Shawn Michaels for having a negative impact on Vader’s run in the WWE during the mid 1990s. Vader was a big star who had success in WCW and also in Japan. However, Cornette said that Michaels had some control in matches at the time.
Cornette’s shoot would then get personal when he called Michaels out for being addicted to pills at the time and almost “ruined the business” during the Madison Square Garden curtain call incident. Michaels has made a personal change since then with credit given to being a born-again Christian. But Cornette said when no one is willing to talk to someone, that person usually “turns to God.”
3 Scott Hall Calls Goldberg a “Mark”
Goldberg was certainly one of the biggest stars in WCW during the Monday Night War. However, Scott Hall had the opinion that he wouldn’t have gotten over without the beneficial booking he received in WCW. While he admitted that Goldberg was a talented athlete, Hall said in a 2016 YouShoot interview that Goldberg was over due to the winning streak and being built as someone who rarely lost. The former Outsider continued to claim Goldberg was overrated.
Hall also made a harsh comment that Goldberg was a “mark for himself.” Essentially, Hall said that Goldberg may have taken himself a little bit too seriously. Hall said in the shoot interview that he would actually approach Eric Bischoff and he needed to say more than just two words; “Who’s Next?” Hall said that Goldberg’s opinion of his character may have led to issues in Goldberg’s first run in WWE 12 years ago.
2 Kevin Nash Accuses The Rock of Being Homosexual
It was previously established that Kevin Nash has been known to take shots at other wrestlers that aren’t widely accepted. While the “vanilla midget” nickname was thrown at popular wrestlers like Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero, Nash might have topped that during a 2013 shoot interview with Kayfabe Commentaries. During a segment, Nash claimed that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was homosexual.
His reasoning was more based on how Johnson had rarely been seen with any women after his 2008 divorce from his ex-wife. It certainly wasn’t a popular comment and one that fans criticized for not really having a lot of factual base around it. Just like the comments against Benoit and Guerrero, fans quickly wrote online about how Nash was being a real jerk. This shot could be filed under the unnecessary insult category that would have been better left unsaid.
1 The Ultimate Warrior Takes Shots At Hulk Hogan
There were a number of wrestling legends who were not fans of Hulk Hogan behind the scenes. But one of the more iconic names to take shots at the man leading Hulkamania was The Ultimate Warrior in 2011. It was all part of a YouTube video he posted online that was nearly an hour long with the title “Karma is coming to collect.” Warrior didn’t hold back as he would claim Hogan was addicted to cocaine who distributed drugs to other wrestlers.
Warrior also claimed that Hogan and his ex-wife Linda had an open marriage. On top of that, Warrior also claimed Hogan would let other wrestlers have relations with his wife. There were a lot more included in the shoot, including criticism relating to Hogan’s children and how Hogan failed his son and daughter.
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