The art of professional wrestling is one that involves two or more athletes completing what one could call a makeshift dance while inside of a ring. Matches are a matter of give-and-go between the performers, and both have to be in the same book and on the same pages throughout the contest to avoid making noticeable mistakes that will draw jeers from those watching. Criticism is not all that the athletes have to worry about during such scripted battles. A wrestler being out of position even an inch or so for a spot could lead to either he and/or his opponent suffering a serious injury.
Nobody, not even the biggest optimist out there, should believe that every performer behind the curtain in any organization or federation are friends. They are, after all, competitors, and everybody inside of a pro wrestling locker room wants to be at the top of the card so that he can make the most money possible and also, depending on where he is working at the time, potentially receive better gigs from a different company. Getting over among fans and also among promoters who produce storylines and who sign off on checks is the top priority for anybody who breaks through into the business.
Sometimes, just as at any office or any place of work, emotions get the better of the employees either behind the scenes or inside of the ring, and thus chaos ensues. Such real-life feuds have, in certain instances, led to matches that are featured on national television being clunky and ugly. In other scenarios, however, storylines have had to be changed and rewritten due to performers being unable to put animosities aside for the good of all involved. Just to be clear, some of these wrestlers ended up working together, but either refused to work together for a period of time or wrestled them and decided to never face them again.
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12 CM Punk and Ryback
The Thanksgiving weekend of 2014 gave wrestling fans quite a bit of news. CM Punk thoroughly explained why he had left World Wrestling Entertainment earlier in the year while appearing on a podcast hosted by real-life friend Colt Cabana. During that show, Punk claimed that Ryback had injured him on multiple occasions, and the “Straightedge Superstar” left no doubt that he had little interest in ever again working with “the Big Guy.” Ryback has, to his credit, defended himself in multiple interviews since Punk's comments.
11 Hulk Hogan and Jake Roberts
Here is one of the stories featured in this piece that has been confirmed to be true by one of the men involved. Hulk Hogan and Jake Roberts were on the verge of feuding for the WWE Championship when Roberts hit the babyface Hogan with his DDT finisher during a “Snake Pit” segment. A funny thing happened, however, as the fans in attendance cheered the supposed dastardly heel when he attacked Hogan. Hogan then nixed the feud, potentially because of fear of a similar response occurring, and he has since, on multiple occasions, admitted that he made a mistake in not keeping with that program.
10 Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart
Hogan once again was booked to play the role of hero, this time at WrestleMania IX after Yokozuna had defeated Bret Hart. The Hulkster hit a quick legdrop on his opponent to win the WWE Championship, and the unwritten agreement was that Hogan would do the job to Hart at the subsequent SummerSlam in a passing-of-the-torch moment. Stop me here if you can guess what actually happened. Hogan went back on his word, and he instead dropped the strap back to Yokozuna before leaving the company. Hart eventually got his big win and he became the face of the company for some time.
9 Shawn Michaels and The Rock
It is a WrestleMania dream match that has never happened and one that will likely never occur due to the fact that Shawn Michaels has retired from in-ring action. The hot rumor that has existed for years is that Michaels had disrespected members of The Rock's family during the early stages of the career of the “Heartbreak Kid,” and it has also been speculated that Michaels and Triple H both tried to hold The Rock down behind the scenes in the beginning of “The Attitude Era,” according to PWTorch. It is a real shame, as these two could have put on a true clinic at a WrestleMania.
8 CM Punk and Triple H
CM Punk was tired, he was beaten up, and he was outraged by the storylines pushed for him in the winter months of 2014. It had been clear to Punk that he was not going to be in the main event of the upcoming WrestleMania, and he has since stated that he had zero interest in once again feuding with Triple H leading up to that event. Punk, who is reportedly financially secure, simply walked out of the company, and he has publicly stated that he is retired from pro wrestling and never returning to the WWE. He signed for the Ultimate Fighting Championship not long after appearing on the Colt Cobana podcast during the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend.
7 Steve Austin and Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett gets a lot of flack from pro wrestling fans for whatever reasons, including the disastrous experiment that has been Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The story goes that Jarrett had been promised main event status upon returning to the WWE in 1997, but nobody told Steve Austin about that agreement. Austin and Jarrett reportedly had real heat with one another for years, starting back during the early days of their careers, and “Stone Cold” was in a much better spot in the WWE in '97 and thus he allegedly made sure that Jarrett never emerged past the midcard, according to Complex.com.
6 Ric Flair and Lex Luger
“The Nature Boy” had become fed up with World Championship Wrestling in 1991, during which he had his booking power stripped from him and he was asked to make substantial changes to his character. Flair was also asked to drop the World Championship to Lex Luger, but the all-time great refused. He has since explained in interviews that he desired to do the job to Sting and that his suggestion was turned down. Flair and WCW eventually parted ways without a title change occurring, and thus he showed up on WWE television wearing what he proclaimed to be the “real world's championship.”
5 Sting and the WWE
It seemed obvious to most outsiders that Sting would link up with the WWE after the company bought World Championship Wrestling, even if the WCW icon would wait some time before joining the WWE. That move did not happen, however, as Sting was reportedly not enamored with what those running the WWE – most notably Vince McMahon – would do with his character. He inevitably went, but he refused to go for a long time. It now seems that Sting may have had a point all along, as he was booked to lose his first WWE match to Triple H at WrestleMania 31. The hot rumor on the matter now is that Sting may never wrestle for the company again.
4 Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan
2002 was a strange year in the world of sports entertainment. The WWEhad conquered World Championship Wrestling, but the WWE had also failed to retain the popularity that the company had enjoyed over the past several years. In an attempt to ignite a spark and attract interest, the company hired the three founding members of heel faction the “new World order,” including icon of the industry Hulk Hogan. Steve Austin was reportedly none too happy about the hiring, and it is alleged that he and Hogan were not interested in working together at WrestleMania X8, according to Bleacher Report. The Rock, instead, got Austin's spot for that match.
3 Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar
Steve Austin's tumultuous 2002 in the WWE came to an end in late springtime. He had reportedly been unhappy with the company's creative team for some time, and it all came to a head when it was suggested to Austin that he put over up-and-comer Brock Lesnar. Lesnar was being pushed to the moon and was set to win the WWE Championship by the end of summer, and yet Austin did not see the merits in putting the youngster over on multiple occasions. Austin would eventually walk out of the company and he would not return until 2003. He has since stated that he regretted refusing to work with Lesnar in that summer.
2 Chris Jericho and Goldberg
Jericho and Goldberg reportedly had heat all the way back to their days spent in World Championship Wrestling when the man with the famous undefeated streak allegedly was not all that interested in working with the artist who would become “Y2J.” A fire was lit under this supposed feud when the two were again working together, this time underneath the WWE umbrella. The story of what exactly happened has changed over the years and from the person who has told the tales, but the public perception of the encounter is that it was Jericho who got the better of his rival during a brief scuffle that occurred backstage.
1 Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart
In what remains one of the most famous promos in the history of Monday Night Raw, Shawn Michaels vacated the WWE Championship leading up to WrestleMania 13 because he had “lost his smile.” In reality, Michaels allegedly did not want to return the favor and do the job to Bret Hart on the biggest pro wrestling stage of them all. Following successful knee surgery, the “Heartbreak Kid” returned to action as if he had never left. Michaels got his wish in this instance, according to Bleacher Report. it would not be the last time that Michaels would not have to put Hart over when requested to do so.
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