Everyone has regrets, especially when it comes to social media.
We've all posted or chatted about something that we later were embarrassed about. It's like a modern-day version of 'drunk dialing', except for all the world to see. Whether it be an errant statement or an embarrassing photo, there's always a million eyes waiting to observe your latest slip up.
Pro wrestlers are no different. Now more in the spotlight than ever, performers are seen, heard, and exposed in ways that their predecessors had no access to. Through social media, they can promote themselves, interact with fans, or send out public messages to their co-workers.
And just like in everyday life, wrestlers are people, too. The average person always seems to post something they wish they hadn't, so it only makes since that a superstar would do the same.
These days, their postings are seen instantly by thousands, sometimes millions. And because of that, many a wrestler has fallen victim to a devastating finishing maneuver known as The Screen Shot.
Here are 15 instances where wrestlers have posted something they regretted later:
17 Yes! I Can
Some guys just don't know what's good for them. And some fans don't really care.
After finally making it to the top of the WWE mountain, Daniel Bryan was forced to retire prematurely. Shamefully, he had been underappreciated and misused for so long, it only seemed like a Shakespearean tragedy that his star shined so brightly, yet so quickly.
In wrestling, we see the potential for a perfect world, where the hero rises and resoundingly conquers in the end. Unfortunately, fans only got a taste of that with Bryan. Despite proclamations by doctors and WWE that he won't be an active competitor again, Bryan has posted several messages on both Twitter and Instagram hinting that he was training like he was planning on getting back in the ring.
Only adding to this speculation are his onscreen clashes with The Miz recently, which lead observers to believe Bryan might be looking for a WrestleMania matchup with The A-Lister. Fans have had mixed emotions about the prospect of a comeback by The Yes Man. Should he get injured again, he risks paralysis. None of his fans would ever want that.
But on the flipside, the prospect of him returning to the ring for matchups with names like A.J. Styles, Finn Balor, and Shinsuke Nakamura has the audience's collective mouths watering. For now, Bryan can train and hope his body heals. But, it might be a good idea to weigh the risk, versus the reward, before he posts any more news of a comeback on Instagram.
16 Foley's Finger Fumble
Mick Foley is known for his jovial interaction with the WWE Universe and his everyman approach to stardom. Always quick to shake a hand or crack a joke, he may be professional wrestling's most fan-friendly performer.
But in October 2016, an online exchange between Foley and a Twitter user named '@drinkbleachT' became public when screen shots of the conversation made the rounds of the Internet Wrestling Community. In it, Foley and the fan discussed the career of Summer Rae, and Foley appears to downplay the Superstar's potential in RAW storylines..
In Foley's defense, there were no real slanderous or defamatory statements made. It was a simple difference of opinion that Foley handled quickly, yet politely. But the fact that a direct message between one of their high-level employees and an average joe on the street became public didn't sit too well with the folks in Stamford.
At the encouragement of WWE, Foley cut off the direct connection with fans, tweeting on Oct. 20, 2016:
"Unfortunately, due to a fan posting DM's that were obviously meant to stay private, I will no longer be able to communicate with fans by DM." ----@RealMickFoley
It was nice for a while, but apparently Mick Foley won't be too chatty with fans online anymore. No word on whether or not Cactus Jack, Mankind or Dude Love will take Foley's place in answering fans' questions in the future.
15 Del Rio And The Disabled List
Hmm 🤔interesting and they say she's not hurt... pic.twitter.com/6rr7e5Ob6r— Alberto El Patron (@PrideOfMexico) October 15, 2016
Alberto Del Rio and Paige have had a weird and wild relationship since they hooked up. Besides their obvious age difference, their bizarre behavior makes them the Mickey and Mallory of professional wrestling. So, giving them access to social media has potentially insane consequences.
In this internet incident, it was maybe a case of a guy being a little too over-protective. Paige had been scheduled for neck surgery by her doctor, but there were questions by WWE management on whether not it was necessary
In mid-October, Del Rio took the lunacy to another level. Miffed that WWE was considering not covering the cost of Paige's medical expenses, he decided to reveal a second opinion: a note from his girlfriend's doctor.
The text from Paige's doctor read,: “You have a disc herniation at c6/7 pushing on the exit of the C7 nerve root and causing all your r side upper extremity pain and some of your neck pain. Also, you have a lot of wear and tear for your age.”
Del Rio posted this message from Paige’s personal doctor in a screen shot. He then typed underneath the image, “Hmm interesting and they say she’s not hurt…”
Del Rio's up-and-down, in-and-out relationship with WWE the last few years has confused fans. It seems that he and Paige can't seem to keep quiet since hooking up, and this tweet was just another example of their 'crazy love'.
14 Gage Out Of The Cage
Combat Zone Wrestling's Nick Gage has a reputation for being a good guy backstage. He's respected by fans of the ultra-violent promotion for his toughness and willingness to do anything to win a battle.
Critics of CZW, and hardcore matches in general, scoff at performers like Gage, saying that their only real talent is bludgeoning other human beings with foreign objects. Often, any venue from a barn to a backyard is sufficient for the cult following of these small, outlaw companies.
Gage (real name: Nicholas Wilson) is one of those outlaws, in more ways than one. He was convicted of bank robbery in 2011, and sentenced to five years in prison by the State of New Jersey.
Since his release, his return to life as an indy wrestler hasn't been the smoothest. So, if he was trying to salvage any kind of dignity, he probably shouldn't have posted his travel papers.
He assured fans of the criminally violent IWA-Mid South promotion that he would INDEED be at their show in Indiana by posting his DOC travel papers. He wanted to let all 75 people in attendance know that the New Jersey State Parole Board was not going to stop him from showing up.
It's an odd way to instill confidence in your paying customers, don't ya think?
Gage was later picked up on a parole violation for something else. He was released in November of 2016, and there's hope that he will go on to bleed more buckets for his loyal following in the years to come. Hopefully, there will be enough barbed wire and steel chairs to go around.
Based on his past, it's pretty safe to assume he's not going to be invited to any of the Money in the Bank pay per views, though.
13 Cesaro Gets No Homecoming
There have long been grumblings that Cesaro hasn't been happy with the way he's been used in WWE. Many fans would have to agree with him. In The Swiss Superman, they see World Championship potential and incredible in-ring ability. Yet, despite some outstanding matches and a lot of support from The Cesaro Section, the talented European grappler hasn't scratched the surface of his enormous potential.
Most of Cesaro's frustration has been expressed incognito or at least subtly, although he once outwardly questioned his placement on the RAW brand during a WWE Network broadcast. After carrying the company banner for so long, Cesaro was just about fed up around November of last year. That's why it was no shock when he complained on Twitter about not being included on a promotional poster... in his own country of Switzerland
In yet another strange twist in his journey through the WWE Universe, the former Claudio Castiglioni chirped about this ironic oversight to his fans. And while the story is, management only spoke with him about the post, Cesaro may want to steer clear of any more hints of frustration. Note to the Big Man: Big Brother is watching.
12 Ryback Feeds The Fire
For a guy who wasn't in WWE for very long, Ryback sure had a lot to say.
The guy once tagged as a Goldberg clone has since departed and gone on many long rants regarding the company, how he was pushed, and his fellow wrestlers. Distancing himself even further from McMahonland, he recently launched a podcast that has given a verbal sledgehammer beating to his former boss, Triple H.
To point out one single incident in Ryback's myriad of social media blunders would take far too long (we provided an example anyway where Ryback tweeted about Jerry Lawler's ex-wife). It's essentially been a cavalcade of personal and professional shots. Some are most definitely warranted, but in other instances, Ryback comes off as a guy who has a higher opinion of his place in the industry than it warrants.
That's precisely why Ryback has almost no shot at an imminent return to WWE. And apparently, he doesn't care. He's planning do this all on his own.
Like many performers who have left the company in the past, Ryback is about to learn how valuable the WWE public relations machine is. If he believes that starting his Ryback brand (complete with every endorsable product imaginable) is the right response to his departure, then so be it. Let's just hope it keeps food on the table for the guy who shouted for somebody, ANYBODY, to feed him more
11 Coming From A Different Angle
The world was a very different place back in 2011. And, Kurt Angle's mind was in a different place as well.
During his time in TNA, Angle struggled with a lot of demons. There were multiple driving while intoxicated incidents, public confrontations, and the much-publicized love triangle between him, his ex-wife, and fellow co-worker, Jeff Jarrett.
Around the time of WrestleMania XXVII, Angle had fired some shots at WWE and a few of their performers, most notably Jack Swagger and Randy Orton. According to Angle, the tweets were sent by a family member, who had been playing on his account while he was sleeping.
And while Kurt has recently returned home to be enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame, there may still be a little bad blood from his wild comments. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, now that the Olympic gold medalist is back in the fold with the McMahon regime.
9 Rusev and Lana's Nuptial No-No
The real-life relationship between Rusev and Lana was initially kept quiet by WWE. That all changed, however, when the couple sent out a tweet about their real-life engagement. This didn't sit well with management, as they were hoping to actually use some form of a 'wedding' as part of the on-air development of their characters. It also conflicted with an ongoing angle that involved Summer Rae proposing to Rusev on television.
The rage by the company was met with disdain from not only wrestlers, but fans as well, who didn't like the idea that the company would be interfering in any way with the couple's happy moment. Observers of the industry questioned whether or not it was fair of any organization to tell its employees how to conduct something as sacred as their engagement.
In the end, the furor over the tweet didn't hurt much. Since the incident, Rusev and Lana have gone on to tremendous success, with the Bulgarian Brute dominating the U.S title in recent months. Add in the blonde bombshell that he has chosen as his bride, and Rusev is a champion on all levels.
8 Batista Slams Stephanie
Plus it helps to get guys over!😐And it builds a great angle for when you get your receipt😳 it looks good😖 I tried! 🙁 https://t.co/m4zlY9BzeJ— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) May 18, 2016
Stephanie McMahon probably thought she was doing a good thing when she got on Twitter in May of 2016 to explain to the fans the difference between the real person and her evil onscreen character.
In the past, she has explained to fans that she played a 'bad guy on television,' and that when she slaps a performer it is to help get them over as a babyface. As somewhat of a lark, she joked asked fans what they though of 'the slap' and other 'finishing maneuvers.'
The always amusing Batista hopped on this, sarcastically posting:
"Plus it helps to get guys over!And it builds a great angle for when you get your receipt it looks good. I tried!" --- @DaveBautista, May 18, 2016
Steph has long been accused of getting heat, without there ever being a real payday in the end. In other words, she seems to dish it out, but never takes it. So, Big Dave felt the need to call her out on it.
In the end, this is probably something they both regret. Stephanie, for being called out on the fact that she doesn't 'give much with her character. And, Batista, who looks a little like a spoiled brat who's just sitting on the sidelines and bitching. Neither one of these exchanges did much for WWE, and further revealed the creative infighting that happens between the McMahons and their higher paid talent.
7 The Architect of Erotica
Needless to say, a good-looking guy like Seth Rollins probably attracts a lot of babes. I'm sure he doesn't mind showing off whatever pretty little thing he has on his arm at the time.
But, that's about where the public's knowledge of his personal life should end.
Unfortunately back in of 2015, his then-fiancee, Leighla Schultz, didn't think so. After becoming enraged over an alleged affair between Rollins and NXT wrestler and model Zahra Schreiber, she posted explicit photos of the wrestlers on HIS Twitter feed. Apparently, she had discovered them in Rollins' phone.
(NOTE TO CHEATERS: HIDE AND/OR LOCK YOUR CELL PHONE.)
To add even more insult to injury, the photo was also picked up by WWE's website, which automatically takes info off of Rollins' Twitter feed. The pictures were deleted quickly, but the damage had been done. The embarrassing love triangle had been exposed, and Rollins issued a quick apology.
Schreiber makes an even more auspicious appearance later in our list. As for Rollins, if another enraged girlfriend tries to get revenge, he would probably just prefer a boiled rabbit in the kitchen next time.
6 More Than Stockings Were Hanging
Hey YO... Most fans know that Scott Hall is a funny guy and an eccentric kinda cat, so no one's sure if this was a joke or really just an accident.
When The Bad Guy gets into the Christmas spirit, he really gets into it. Sending out an Instagram message this past December of him hanging ornaments on his tree, Hall was hoping to warm the cockles of his fan's souls. Instead, he may have warmed up some other kind of cockles.
In the picture Hall posted, the TV in the background is clearly showing a pornographic movie playing. Because of his snarky sense of humor and professed love of sarcasm, many fans felt at the time that he was just trying to be funny.
Whatever the reason, one of the funniest guys on the mic gave everyone a chuckle on the web. So, while it may have left egg(nog) on the face of some others, Hall was probably just trying to show off his own version of 'sharing' during the holidays.
5 Orton: No Fan Of The Pork
The Viper is not always known for being the most fan-friendly guy. There have been countless stories and whispers of him shunning fans or being downright rude. So, it was probably no surprise when the ever-sour Randy Orton took a picture with a fan... then took a shot of his own.
In 2014, a fan who had taken a picture with Orton took with a fan was on social media. No harm done. But then, Orton re-tweeted the picture and tagged his girlfriend with an insulting message about the fan.
Orton typed, “Look @kimklro I met the Latino Ms. Piggy today at the gym. I wish you were there to have a good laugh with me! #MsPig”
A HUGE backlash followed, with fans screaming of Orton's sensitivity. Fans who were angered by his reference to the woman's weight and ethnic background demanded a suspension or possibly even that Orton be terminated. And while he was lightly reprimanded by WWE, Orton's biggest punishment may have come from social media observers themselves. They showered he and his girlfriend with insults of their own, prompting Orton to offer this weak explanation for his actions:
“I apologize if any of my previous tweets offended anyone. The answer to bullying isn’t more bullying.”
Unfortunately, Orton doesn't seem to be following his own advice, as he still hasn't shaken his reputation for being surly. However, he probably won't attempt to publicly shame anyone with more insults that come...out of nowhere.
4 Boom! Goes The Dynamite
In June of 2015, wrestling fans were told that there was a boom coming in the industry. almost two years, later, they've barely heard the sound of a pop gun.
Notorious self-promoter Jeff Jarrett fired off a series of tweets promising the world that said boom would be arriving, and he was the man to deliver it. Longtime observers scoffed. Jarrett was a guy who many questioned as a legitimate main event star when he was in his prime, what did he expect to deliver that was so earth-shattering now that he was in his late 40s?
Global Force Wrestling, the Jarrett brainchild that was supposed supply those pyrotechnics, opened to sparse crowds in minor league baseball stadiums and struggled to get mainstream or attention from a broad audience. Turns out, despite the best efforts of The King of the Mountain, it was more fizzle than fire.
Jarrett recently returned as an Executive Consultant to the company he founded, TNA, where he will presumably spend most of his time doing the wrestling equivalent of rubbing two sticks together.
He may be regretting those June 2015 tweets now. Despite his best efforts, he didn't have the gasoline or the matches that he thought he had.
3 Melina Delivers a Stiff Shot to Morrison's Manhood
Former WWE Diva Melina has gained a lot of notoriety for her actions outside the ring. Her soap opera-esque relationship with John Morrison has had its twist and turns for around 12 years now. Perhaps no moment stuck out as much as this one
Melina took to Twitter perhaps a little too vigorously in November of 2015, when she posted a photo revealing that Morrison (real name: John Hennigan) was receiving prescriptions of Cialis.
Later, Melina deleted the original web entry, and posted this limp explanation:
"FOR MOMENTS LIKE THESE, I WISH SOCIAL MEDIA & SMART PHONES DIDN'T EXIST. --- MELINA (@REALMELINA) NOVEMBER 19, 2015"
But, the damage to Morrison's libido had already been done. Screen shots of the post had already began to surface around the web. Within hours, the Internet Wrestling Community had a field day with jokes that featured stiffness, meat, and a slang word for roosters.
These days, Morrison is one of the stars of Lucha Underground, as the always-exciting Johnny Mundo. After all the insanity over Melina's tweet, you have to applaud Little Johnny for his die-hard attitude and ability to rise to the occasion.
2 Schreiber Salutes An Awful Part Of History
Maybe Zahra Schreiber should just stay away from the internet. It doesn't appear that she knows how to use it, other than to embarrass herself. After being a part of the big Seth Rollins Nudity Scandal, more seedy details of the performer's past began to surface.
In August 2015, the former WWE Diva was terminated after some pictures she posted back in 2012 came back to haunt her. The tattooed bombshell had apparently made public some images of her surrounded by Nazi paraphernalia and imagery, including swastikas and a "My Little Pony" character dressed as Hitler. She had removed the images, but as always with the internet, they somehow came back from the dead. She is even reportedly giving the one-armed, traditional Nazi salute in a photo.
The incident also came on the heels of internet and reality TV oddity Tila Tequila being released from the TV show, "Celebrity Big Brother," due to her affiliations with Nazi propaganda.
So, needless to say, WWE didn't have much choice in the matter. And after all the trouble she had already caused, they were probably more than happy to fire Schreiber for "inappropriate and offensive remarks."
1 No Political Talk From Washington
In an early example of how social media blunders can cause the ultimate sacrifice, WWE performer Brian Jossie, known on camera as Abraham Obama Washington, was fired after posting his support for Linda McMahon's Senate campaign.
In the irony of ironies, Washington was either genuine or trying to suck up, but it didn't matter. WWE informed him shortly after he sent out his online message, that his services were no longer needed. The company released Washington, with a statement that, in part, stressed that WWE was not a political entity. Despite Linda's attempts at Congress, the company wanted no part of Washington's declaration of support.
So, in an instance where someone tried to do something positive with social media, it still came back to bite them. It's a cautionary tale, that in the world of the web, even your best intentions can often be spun, misconstrued or even flat out embarrassing.
Take a note from these performers and be careful the next time you reveal anything for the world to see. Stop and think about how you might regret what you're about to say or do. Goodness knows, the stars of professional wrestling will.
That is, unless it's Matt Hardy... In which case, he'll just DELETE it.