Every person who enters him or herself into the public eye is willingly or not allowing their lives to be viewed under a microscope, and this includes the professional wrestlers working for WWE. Despite the inherently violent nature of their careers, most superstars working for Vince McMahon and family are generally upstanding citizens with nothing to hide. On the flip side, quite a few of the most famous wrestlers on the planet have more than their fair share of skeletons in the closet, some of which WWE even helped them hide.
Wrestling’s history with unscrupulous characters is nothing new, as genuinely bad people have been taking out their rage in the squared circle pretty much since the sport was created. One can hardly blame WWE for the sins of the past, nor should the company necessarily be held culpable for every transgression undertaken by a former wrestler. If, however, a superstar is caught doing something illegal and the company blatantly looks the other way, they start to deserve some of the responsibility for any future negative behavior that those wrestlers continue to exhibit. Even worse are the few cases where WWE executives were outright implicit in the bad behavior, which they often were when the offending performer had a high enough profile. Keep reading to learn 15 things WWE wants you to forget about their employees.
15 Randy Orton Bullied Rochelle Loewen
WWE have been asking fans to look the other way on Randy Orton’s attitude practically since the day he walked into the company. The longer he has stayed, the better his personality has allegedly become and his position in the main event scene has solidified his reputation as an untouchable from WWE management on a greater level than his impressive lineage ever could have. Regardless of his current status, WWE and Orton specifically still need to answer to his ridiculously childish and petty actions in response to Rochelle Loewen not knowing who he was. Loewen was briefly hired by WWE in 2005 only to leave after a few days, largely due to harassment by Orton, including him dumping baby oil in her personal belongings. When Loewen complained to management, she didn’t even need to say his name before they knew he was the culprit, making it clear this was serial behavior. Although the worst of Orton’s attitude problems seemed to take place years ago, WWE still holds responsibility for never punishing him, not to mention the fact it happened under their watch.
14 A.J. Styles Has Made Homophobic Comments
The wrestling community in general hasn’t always been the most accepting of non-traditional lifestyles, although that reputation has slowly been progressing in recent years. Individually, A.J. Styles doesn’t have the best track record of understanding others, either, at least based on the language he uses when talking to his friends. Styles has been recorded using the word “f*****” at least three times, once in an angle with TNA, again in an interview with NoDQ.com, and lastly at an NWA event in May of 2015. Both kayfabe incidents occurred while Styles was a babyface. Fans have long speculated these were more than mere insults, especially when considering Styles views as a conservative Christian. Whatever the case, Styles has strongly toned the homophobia down on screen and in public since he joined WWE, for obvious reasons.
13 Bo Dallas Bo-Lieves In The Bottle
Plenty of WWE superstars have displayed their problems with substance abuse over time and the company has shown they do their best to get the talent help whenever possible. Repeat offenders prove it isn’t always an easy job to get an abuser to stop using, though, including a superstar who fancies himself a role model and has kept pretending he was one without ever speaking for his various crimes. Bo Dallas tells fans to Bo-lieve in his better qualities, despite having been arrested for a DUI in 2012, which apparently hasn’t curtailed his drinking in the slightest. Dallas was arrested again in August of 2016, this time while extremely intoxicated while attempting to board an airplane, reaching a level of drunkenness authorities worried he would be a danger to himself and others on the flight. WWE didn’t seem to punish Dallas or acknowledge his problems in either occasion.
12 Luke Gallows, Zack Ryder, And Bill DeMott's Bizarre Deal
WWE has been quietly public about the circumstances leading to Bill DeMott’s resignation from the company and this list is about current employees, so that situation isn’t immediately relevant in the first place. However, it needs to be brought up to describe the circumstances that revealed one of the more bizarre hazing story the wrestling universe has ever bore witness to. According to an independent wrestler named Hannibal, while training at Deep South Wrestling, he witnessed DeMott instruct Luke Gallows to perform a naked stinkface on Zack Ryder and Melissa Coates while DeMott held donuts in front of their faces. DeMott later admitted the story happen, and attempted to deflect blame by saying it was his students’ idea. Regardless of who came up with what, the whole incident is disgusting and outright weird, and not the sort of thing WWE wants people to think happens at their would-be respected training grounds.
11 Jerry Lawler's Arrest Record
Fans have growing increasingly weary of Jerry “The King” Lawler due to his decades of misogyny and exponentially mindless commentary, and yet his time with WWE shows no end in sight. Lawler’s few absences from the spotlight have been concurrent with his few run-ins with the law, which in fairness, two out of three saw the charges dropped. Ignoring those accusations, Lawler was once found guilty of refusing to pay a traffic ticket, throwing said ticket at a police officer, and then running over the officer’s foot with his vehicle. WWE probably wouldn’t care about the first two things, considering this list is a testament to the fact their superstars have done worse. However, the fact Lawler went so far as to attack the police officer and in a way that was certain to cause serious injury, paints him both as a danger to society and a bully.
10 JBL's Bully Pride
For all their lauding the idea fans should Be A Star and stand against bullying, WWE has proudly employed John Bradshaw Layfield for the better part of two decades despite the open secret he’s bullied a baker’s dozen of his fellow superstars. Mark Henry, René Duprée. Billy Silverman, Palmer Cannon, The Blue Meanie, Chris Masters, and The Miz are merely a few of the people to later allege JBL treated them with blatant disrespect at some point during their tenure in the company. The Miz and Mark Henry were the only two people to put up with him, hence becoming the most successful superstars of the bunch. Half of the others quit because of him and WWE always looked the other way and kept promoting JBL despite his transgressions. The worst of it does seem to be in the past, but each mention of the Be A Star campaign is less powerful when JBL is on the same show.
9 Aliyah's Racist Past
People these days are increasingly becoming aware of the fact the things you write on the Internet stay somewhere forever, although kids are less aware of this fact than adults. There is an obvious youth movement in NXT, considering the whole point of a developmental territory is creating stars for the future. Included amongst these future stars can occasionally include people who not long ago were kids posting questionable things on the Internet, including up-and-coming superstar Aliyah. In 2015, when she was 20, cyber sleuths looked into Aliyah’s Twitter history and discovered a number of strongly racist statements, posted between 2011 and 2014. Aliyah claims the posts were all made at times her accounts were hacked, not to mention at a time when she was a minor. While that could have been true for most of the posts, neither holds any water when viewing the most recent, made when she was 19, in which she referred to a black wrestler as her “slave.” WWE’s official response was that they believed her story about getting hacked, with no comment on how the most recent post discredits that theory.
8 Triple H And His Racy Sense Of Humor
In the heyday of D-Generation X, Triple H and Shawn Michaels made a bevy of jokes that seem questionable in retrospect considering Triple H’s current position in WWE, which makes it all the more confusing how proudly the company displays and even exaggerates the history of that group as being more significant than it was. It isn’t fair to judge Triple H’s current real life character on the actions of his wrestling performance decades ago, though, so lets instead look at more recent events that paint Triple H as just offensive now and in his personal life as his character used to be. While sophomoric and juvenile, DX at least had no particular targets outside of Vince McMahon. In real life, the consistent butt of HHH’s jokes appears to be Mexicans and other people of Latin descent. These claims have been made by both Alberto Del Rio and Roberto Rodriguez, with vague reports from the original Sin Cara backing up the accusation. Rodriguez was most specific, claiming Triple H never referred to him by his real name and only ever called him “Bumblebee” in reference to a character from The Simpsons. The more power Triple H receives, the less he’ll want his “jokes” made public.
7 Seth Rollins Nude Photo Scandal
WWE loves social media attention and that’s why the company Twitter page is constantly retweeting the posts made by its top superstars. Select Tweets have even started making it to TV and, even more commonly, WWE.com. This practice has completely backfired on the company in at least one incident in early 2015, when Seth Rollins, his current girlfriend, and his ex-fiancé decided to air some seriously dirty laundry on the World Wide Web. Because Rollins was already one of the top stars at the time, his tweets were reposted by WWE.com, including a nude photograph of said girlfriend. It wasn’t a mistake, either, as the fiancé wasn’t yet an ex, and had posted to Rollins account in spite when she discovered the affair. Nude photos of Rollins himself soon followed, although WWE.com had by this point caught on to what was happening and stopped reposting him. We can’t blame Rollins for any of the photos getting posted, as his ex-fiancé uploaded them without his knowledge, but nonetheless he was obviously at fault for cheating on his soon to be spouse.
6 Seth Rollins Dated Someone With A Checkered Background
It was bad enough for WWE that Seth Rollins cheated on his fiancé and had the affair made public on the Internet, and things only got worse when cyber sleuths tracked down some information on the woman Rollins was cheating with. His new girlfriend’s name was Zahra Schreiber, who at the time was wrestling for NXT. Several months after the nude photo scandal, fans discovered something arguably far worse from a PR perspective, in that Schreiber had proudly posted several pictures containing Nazi memorabilia to her Instagram page prior to being scouted by WWE. The three offending images included a drawing of a My Little Pony character in full Nazi garb along with two live photographs of Nazi memorabilia apparently kept in Schreiber’s home. Schreiber was immediately fired when the posts were once again made public. She later released a statement to the press claiming she wasn’t a Nazi and merely had historical interest, although that did nothing to save her job. While WWE made the right call, Rollins reportedly stood by Schreiber for six full months after the incident.
5 Brian Kendrick Is A Conspiracy Nut
Many fans called Brian Kendrick’s attempt at a redemption story one of the most powerful and emotional moments of the Cruiserweight Classic, including Kendrick’s close personal friend Daniel Bryan. Upon deeper inspection, the whole thing seems pretty inappropriate, considering Kendrick has a laundry list of insane opinions that make it amazing Bryan or anybody could have sympathy for him on a personal level. In 2013, Kendrick and Highspots Video released a shoot interview called “The Kendrick Theory,” wherein Kendrick outlined a plethora of conspiracy theories he presented himself as genuinely believing. The theories range from run-of-the-mill craziness about the moon landing being faked by Stanley Kubrick to more horrifically offensive ideals like Holocaust denial. He also called into question the Sandy Hook tragedy and claimed 9/11 was somehow a hologram. Obviously, WWE left all of this out in his grizzled veteran comeback story.
4 Emma Accidentally Stole An iPad Case
In June of 2014, Emma made the alleged mistake of forgetting to pay for an iPad case while using a self-checkout machine at a Walmart. Her lawyer worked out a deal where she performed community service and took an online course, which would lead to the charges against her being dismissed. The run-of-the-mill legal proceedings were made a point of public interest due to WWE’s reaction, which was to immediately fire Emma. Fans were quick to complain, especially as details came to light, and WWE reversed the decision and re-hired her within hours. In contrast to the other incidents on the list, WWE is far more at fault than the performer, as it looks like they ignored their usual policy to wait for an investigation despite the fact Emma’s crime was particularly minor in the first place.
3 Charlotte Allegedly Assaulted Her Father
The daughter of the legendary “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Charlotte Flair is fast becoming the rare child of a superstar to actually live up to her famous parent’s reputation. Early on, though, it seemed the two might have a dicey relationship and that was long before Charlotte showed any interest towards stepping inside a wrestling ring. In 2008, Charlotte, her first husband, and her father were involved in a domestic incident that ultimately saw Charlotte resist arrest by assaulting a police officer. Charlotte and her boyfriend at the time allegedly assaulted Ric during this incident, although he refused to press charges and it's unclear if Charlotte herself assaulted Ric. The officer did press charges, to which Charlotte plead guilty and paid a $200 fine. Unlike when Ric was arrested in 2005, WWE has never mentioned Charlotte’s arrest record on television. Likewise, Ric himself has never commented on the incident beyond his initial statement that he wouldn’t press charges.
2 Jimmy Uso's Driving Record
Jimmy and Jey Uso's family history is so integral to their gimmick it seemed perfect when WWE decided to make them part of a team called The Bloodline. Far more than simply being the cousins of Roman Reigns and the sons of Rikishi, The Usos are part of a giant legacy of wrestlers, including WWE Hall of Famers Yokozuna and The Wild Samoans. Jimmy and Jey are twin brothers, making them dual representations of this long history, who also share pretty much everything else in life, as well. The one area in which they separate is that Jey has no criminal record, unlike Jimmy, who has a history of traffic infarctions that also question his continued sobriety. Jimmy’s first offense was in 2011, when he was charged with a DUI for failing a breathalyzer by twice the legal limit. Two years later, Uso was arrested for violating the terms of his probation by driving without a license. Although alcohol wasn’t included that time, WWE doesn’t like fans separating The Usos in any manner, good or bad, so both stories have been hushed since they happened.
1 Steve Austin Repeatedly Abused Debra
No one made more money in less time for Vince McMahon than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Austin became the top star in company history by raising hell and embodying the spirit represented in nicknames like “The Bionic Redneck.” Less impressive is the fact Austin lived up to his “redneck” moniker through at least three domestic violence incidents with his ex-wife, Debra. The third and final time, Debra called the police and Austin was arrested and charged with assault, to which he plead no contest. Years later, Debra would allege this was actually the third time Austin attacked her and, most damning, WWE told her to cover the first two incidents up. Debra hasn’t been seen nor mentioned in WWE since 2002, while Austin still makes regular appearances with the company as of 2016, despite retiring more than 13 year ago. Even after Debra made her accusations public, WWE continues hiring The Rattlesnake to host new episodes of his podcast, a practice which seems unlikely to stop any time soon.
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