The WWE Hall of Fame is home to many of the greatest professional wrestlers and characters of all time. Chances are, if you are a member of the WWE HOF, it's because you were one of the best wrestlers or personalities and you deserve to be there. Unfortunately, being a great wrestler or character, doesn't always translate into being a great person.
There are plenty of people in the Hall of Fame who absolutely deserve it because of their in ring prowess and their real life character. Sadly, there are also quite a few people who wouldn't have made it if their entry was put to a vote like other professional sports Halls of Fame. So here's a list of the top 10 WWE Hall of Famers who are jerks in real life, and the top 10 who are sweethearts.
20 Jerk: The Iron Sheik
The Iron Sheik is undoubtedly one of the more memorable figures in the history of professional wrestling. Making his mark in the 1980s with an anti-American heel persona, the Sheik became one of the cornerstones of the "Golden Era" of professional wrestling. The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, and it was around that time that fans got to see who the Sheik really is.
After retiring from the ring, The Iron Sheik did what most other retired pro wrestlers do. He started recording shoot interviews in which he talks about his real feelings towards the business and other wrestlers. What makes the Sheik a jerk is the fact that most of his interviews involve him viciously attacking several people he used to work with. Now, everybody has had heat with another superstar, but the Sheik takes his hatred to inappropriate levels. Don't believe me? Go to YouTube and watch the Iron Sheik talk about Hulk Hogan, or Brian Blair. Or better yet, follow him on Twitter.
19 Sweetheart: Ricky Steamboat
Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009. Fans remember him most for his classic WrestleMania III match with 'Macho Man' Randy Savage. Ricky also holds a very rare distinction of never being a heel throughout his entire career. Plenty of wrestlers have come forward to vouch for the character of the Dragon.
In fact, Ric Flair once stated that "Ricky was one of the nicest guys in the business. Probably too nice of a guy for this business." Everyone from Flair, to the Honky Tonk Man, to referees who officiated his matches have all gushed about how nice of a guy he was and how much respect he had in the locker room.
18 Jerk: Michael Hayes
Although Michael 'P.S' Hayes isn't a household name, chances are you know who he is or have at least heard of him. Hayes has been in the business since 1977 and has taken on a variety of roles, for multiple companies. And who could forget his legendary run as a member of The Fabulous Freebirds. There are plenty of known instances of Michael Hayes being a jerk, and unfortunately they all involve alcohol.
According to multiple reports and stories, Hayes becomes belligerent and disrespectful when drunk. We all know about the infamous 'Plane Ride from Hell' story in which he got drunk and picked a fight with Bradshaw. But there's also the time he got hammered at Triple H and Stephanie's wedding and started singing karaoke. Or the time he was suspended for getting newly sober Rosa Mendes drunk again. Or the time he was suspended for using a racial slur toward Mark Henry. I'm honestly surprised he still has a job with WWE.
17 Sweetheart: Booker T
It's a bad cliche that gets used entirely too often, but Booker T truly embodies the rags to riches story. It's not a secret that Booker was arrested for armed robbery in 1987 and spent some time in prison. However, since then Booker has turned his life around and become one of the most beloved wrestlers in history. Booker has a reputation of being a true nice guy in a business filled with jerks and selfishness. Booker takes time to sign autographs, meet and greet with fans, and anything that shows his appreciation for the life he lives.
Despite a few backstage altercations, there really isn't anything floating around that involves Booker T being anything less than polite and cordial to wrestlers and fans alike. Booker's story is one that is motivational and should be shared at every turn. In fact, Booker T is currently gearing up for a campaign to be the Mayor of Houston. If that doesn't personify rags to riches, I don't know what does.
16 Jerk: Scott Hall
In 2014, Scott Hall was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame under his WWF ring name, Razor Ramon. Hall certainly had a great career that spanned over 20 years. From the AWA, to the WWE, to WCW, Hall has won multiple championships and solidified himself among the greats of wrestling. However, it doesn't take much research to discover that the 'Bad Guy', wasn't always a nice guy.
For starters, Hall was a key member of the infamous backstage group, The Kliq. Along with his buddies, Hall frequently used his political influence to elevate himself and his friends while burying other wrestlers they weren't fond of. And it didn't stop when Hall left WWE. His political antics continued when Hall arrived in WCW due to the creative control he negotiated for his contract. Politics aside, Hall also has a reputation for being less than cordial to fans.
15 Sweetheart: Jim Ross
Does anyone beside me feel bad for Jim Ross? Obviously I don't know him personally, but Jim Ross comes across as a guy who just truly loves wrestling and wants to do his job to the best of his ability. And for the most part he has. Many wrestling fans young and old regard Jim Ross as the greatest wrestling commentator of all time. And if you need proof, almost any classic WWE moment from 1993 to 2010 is guaranteed to have Jim Ross' voice on it.
Despite the many, many years of service J.R. has provided for Vince McMahon, Ross seemed to continually get the shaft from the man he had basically pledged his career to. There's the many times Ross got fired for ridiculous reasons, only to be brought back. Also, who could forget the countless times Ross was embarrassed on live TV in his hometown or on his birthday. And the final straw was the infamous SummerSlam panel controversy, in which Ross was fired for something he had no control over. Despite all these instances, Ross hasn't uttered a bad word about Vince or the WWE. Seems like a good guy in my book.
14 Jerk: Kevin Nash
Where to start with Kevin Nash? Although I've always been a huge fan of Nash, he doesn't seem like the nicest guy to be around. Nash carries a smug attitude due to a belief that he was a huge draw in wrestling and never hesitates to tell anyone who'll listen. However, in reality, the year 1995 in which Nash was on top of the WWE as Diesel is recorded as the worst financial year in WWF history. Yet Nash continues to tout himself as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Not to mention, Nash was also apart of the Kliq and helped to make other wrestler's lives miserable.
Nash's most egregious offenses come in the way of fan interaction. There are several reports of Nash being ugly with fans, refusing to sign autographs and shake hands. And it's a known fact that he wont even show up to an autograph signing if the pay isn't good enough. I'm not saying don't be about your money, but there should be a point where it's more important to give back to the fans than to make a good payday.
13 Sweetheart: Eddie Guerrero
Although Eddie Guerrero passed away over 10 years ago, wrestlers and fans alike still talk about how nice and genuine of a person he was. It's well documented that Eddie had his problems with substance and alcohol abuse, but he turned over a new leaf when he became a born again Christian after becoming sober. Eddie went on to become a locker room leader and was rewarded for his hard work with a WWE Championship run in 2004.
There are several stories from Vickie Guerrero and others about wrestlers coming to Eddie in the locker room when they had problems or needed prayer. It's been stated that Guerrero would talk to and console whoever needed it, and didn't hesitate to pull out his bible for extra help. When Eddie passed away in 2005, you could see the real emotion pouring from wrestlers and fans alike at the realization that the world had lost a truly good guy.
12 Jerk: Bret Hart
As my dad often likes to proclaim, Bret Hart comes across as the old guy in the neighborhood who is grumpy for no good reason. In fact, Bret seems to have just carried this grumpy, bitter attitude for the last 20 years. Although Bret is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, he lands a spot on this jerk list for his constant, unprovoked verbal attacks on past and current wrestlers. A simple Google search for 'Bret Hart comments' will show you what I'm talking about. For starters, we can point to the mini-rivalry he's stirred up with Seth Rollins. Hart has consistently called Rollins an unsafe worker over the past couple of years.
Another example would be when he randomly attacked Triple H's wrestling career by stating, "No matter how many titles he wins, he could never lace my boots." And the latest example would be last year when Hart blasted the WWE for inducting the Fabulous Freebirds into the Hall of Fame. Hart claimed The Freebirds, "never did squat in the WWE." So there's clearly a history of Bret dissing his former co-workers. He would probably be better off just focusing on himself though.
11 Sweetheart: Snoop Dogg
This might not be one of the names you expected to see on this list. But believe it or not, the legendary rapper Snoop Dogg is in the WWE Hall of Fame. Snoop has been a mainstay of the entertainment world since his debut in 1991. Snoop has sold millions of rap albums, played in movies, and even has a cooking show with Martha Stewart. Although he started his career in the 'Gangsta rap' genre, Snoop has actually turned out to be quite a nice person.
Snoop has multiple charities he donates to regularly, including one in which he buys turkeys for Thanksgiving and uses them to help feed the homeless. Snoop has also made it a mission of his to help troubled youth by starting a very successful youth football league. Snoop has had a few run ins with the law, but they seem to be due to the people he associates himself with, rather than actions committed on his part.
10 Jerk: Ric Flair
Ric Flair is arguably the greatest professional wrestler of all time. Despite WWE's claims of him being a 16 time World Champion, Flair is actually a 23-time World Heavyweight Champion. The man also holds the honor of being the only two time WWE Hall of Famer. Once for his individual career, and once for his work with The Four Horsemen. Unfortunately, despite all his accolades and accomplishments, Flair hasn't always been the nicest guy outside the ring.
Over the years, 'The Nature Boy' has had many public feuds with wrestlers such as Bret Hart, Shane Douglas, and Mick Foley. There's also the fact that every few months, we seem to get another Rick Flair public intoxication story, with the most recognizable being the one that cost Jim Ross his job. And most importantly, there's quite a few stories floating around about Flair not being too cordial towards fans. But hey, who needs fan support when you're The Nature Boy?
9 Sweetheart: Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. After a career which saw her win a record seven WWE Women's Championships, Stratus retired in 2006 and has made sporadic appearances since. Although she isn't a full time superstar anymore, the one thing about Trish Stratus that hasn't changed is that she is one of the sweetest people in the business.
Throughout the course of her career and retirement, Stratus had gained a great deal of respect from her peers and the fans. The Diva of the Decade seems to always be in good spirits when interacting with her legions of fans. And there isn't anyone who's had any bad things to say about Stratus inside the ring, or in real life. So for what it's worth, she seems to be a real sweetheart.
8 Jerk: Sunny
We now go from one end of the Diva spectrum, all the way to the other with Sunny. Tammy Sytch was billed by WWE as their first Diva. And Sunny didn't disappoint either. Her appearance and looks made her the object of many men's affections back in the 1990s. Unfortunately, it usually doesn't take long for people's true character to be revealed, purposely or not. Sunny was at the center of plenty of affair rumors backstage, most notably with Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Sadly this was all while she was dating her long time high school boyfriend, Chris Candido.
But it doesn't stop there. Sadly, since Candido's death in 2005, Sunny has pretty hit rock bottom. In a shoot interview recorded back in 2014, she claims that shes always drunk and has exploited the fans many times to make some quick money to buy more liquor. Some of her exploits have included half-hearted meet and greet sessions, and the infamous, 'Pay $50 to spoon with Sunny' event. Sunny was a revolutionary character that did a lot for WWE, but she needs to work on her people skills a bit.
7 Sweetheart: Mick Foley
Mick Foley probably belongs in the same category as Ricky Steamboat, as guys who were 'too nice for the business.' Foley is one of the rare people you can look at and see his character without really knowing him. Mick was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2013, and it honestly couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Fellow Hall of Famer Trish Stratus even once referred to Mick as the women's safety valve during their time together in WWE. This was due to the fact that the women of the locker room felt safe with Foley because he was a happily married man that had no intentions of trying to hit on them or sleep with them.
Over the years, Foley has donated to a number of charities and done plenty of WWE goodwill. Perhaps his most redeeming quality however, is his almost unhealthy obsession with Santa Claus. Foley dresses up as Santa every year and takes great pleasure in helping to provide memorable Christmas experiences for less fortunate children. It's kind of hard to believe that this is the same guy who competed as Cactus Jack in some of the most violent matches in wrestling history.
6 Jerk: Macho Man Randy Savage
'Macho Man' Randy Savage finally got his well deserved Hall of Fame induction in 2015, four years after his death in 2011. No one can argue the fact that Randy Savage is one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time, while some might put him at the very top of that list. No matter how you slice it, Savage was an all time great and we have seen many wrestlers over the years pay tribute to the Macho Man in some fashion. However, the man we saw and adored in the ring wasn't the same man who walked the halls in real life.
Many of Randy's former colleagues have vouched for the fact that the Macho Man wasn't always pleasant to be around backstage. There's quite a few testimonies involving him and his insane jealousy towards his then wife Miss Elizabeth. Wrestlers say that Savage was extremely jealous and possessive, and that he would threaten to physically harm anyone who even looked at Elizabeth the wrong way. This would explain his real life feud with Hulk Hogan. There are even a few people that believe that Savage was abusive to Elizabeth behind closed doors.
5 Sweetheart: Ted DiBiase
'The Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase has a very intriguing and inspirational story. We all remember who The Million Dollar Man character was. But what we didn't know is that WWE went to great lengths to make sure the character that Ted played on TV, was the same character Ted portrayed in real life. This led to him being supplied regularly with huge stacks of cash, private jets and limos, and very expensive suits. DiBiase became a huge star in the 1980s and '90s, and the fame unfortunately went to his head. Ted began experimenting with alcohol and had multiple affairs while being married at the time.
After everything came to the light, Ted realized that he not only wanted to save his marriage, but also wanted to rejuvenate his relationship with God. Fast forward to 2017, and DiBiase is a happily married man and a successful preacher in his hometown. What makes The Million Dollar Man a sweetheart is the fact that he saw his life headed down the wrong path, but instead of blaming others and giving up, he made a positive change and ended up better than ever.
4 Jerk: Stone Cold Steve Austin
This one is going to be a tough one for a lot of people to accept because of the popularity of 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin. Stone Cold, in fact, might just be the most popular wrestler of all time. But that doesn't save him from earning a spot on the jerk list due to his history of domestic violence. Austin was married to Debra Marshall from the year 2000 through the year 2003. During that time, Debra claims that Austin physically assaulted her on three different occasions, while WWE took extra precautions to cover this up and protect Austin.
After their divorce in 2003, Austin began dating a woman named Tess Broussard. Unfortunately, Broussard called the police on Austin in 2004, claiming that she had also been physically assaulted during an altercation. No one likes to visualize our heroes in situations like this, but there's no excuses for putting your hands on a woman.
3 Sweetheart: Sting
WWE fans worldwide collectively marked out when Sting made his WWE debut in 2014. It was a moment that had been delayed for way too long. What made Sting's debut special was the fact that he is widely regarded as the greatest performer in WCW history, but he had never stepped foot in a WWE ring. But the greatness of the Man Called Sting extends far beyond his prowess in the ring.
For many years, Sting has been labeled as one of the most trustworthy and respected people in the wrestling industry. But it's his charity work that defines his character outside the ring. Sting has been actively involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Starlight Children's Foundation for many years. It's said that Sting regards his charity work as his 'most fulfilling activity.' Also, for what it's worth, there aren't any negative stories floating around Sting. That's pretty impressive for a man who's been in the public eye for over 30 years.
2 Jerk: Hulk Hogan
For more than two decades, Hulk Hogan has been one of the most beloved figures in the world. Not just wrestling, but the entire world loved Hogan. So what makes Hulk Hogan a jerk? Well, it would be too easy to talk about his recent sex tape scandal in which he was caught using the 'N' word, and admitted to being a racist. But there are plenty of other instances that classify the Hulkster as the biggest jerk on this list.
For example, Hogan used all of his power and influence during his wrestling days to make sure that remained as the WWE's biggest star. This included always wanting to be around the World title and very rarely putting over other wrestlers. Or we could look at the fact that Hogan is basically responsible for the deaths of two major wrestling companies, in WCW and TNA. Overall, it's Hulk's ego that consistently lands him in trouble and has made many of his former colleagues hate him.
1 Sweetheart: Shawn Michaels
If I had written this list 20 years ago, Shawn Michaels would have probably taken all of the top five 'Jerk' entries. But the truth is, ever since finding God in the early 2000s, HBK has been a model citizen and as close to a 'Sweet-Heartbreak' Kid as possible. There have been no stories of Shawn getting in trouble with the law, reverting back to drug and alcohol abuse, or any extramarital affairs. In fact, it's been just the opposite.
Shawn is currently a leader of a youth group for his church back in San Antonio Texas, and has appeared on the Trinity Broadcasting Network in a special with fellow wrestler Sting. These days Shawn is focused on the growth and development of his children, and his part time appearances for WWE. What puts HBK at the top of this list is the knowledge of the person he used to be, and how successful he was at completely changing himself for the better. There aren't many success stories better than that of Shawn Michaels.
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