The internet boom has changed the world and has made people more connected than ever before. Even in the celebrity world, social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the like have made celebrities--who at one point were untouchable and inaccessible--and has allowed fans to be able to interact with them in ways that were unprecedented previously.
For celebrities and athletes, the internet can be used as a tool for self-promotion, to maintain goodwill with their loyal fan base and to inform followers of their next moves. However, this avenue of communication has also been a place where celebrities have put their foot in their mouths and have said and done things in the heat of the moment that they probably wouldn’t have done had they given it a second thought.
This is especially the case for the superstars of the wrestling world. The following list explores the times when the stars of the squared circle had very public meltdowns which shocked and appalled fans online. It’s going to get ugly, folks.
15 15. Sunny Uses The N-Word And Causes A Stir On Twitter
“What Sunny wants, Sunny gets.” It was the catchphrase she was known for in the WWE, but Tammy “Sunny” Sytch didn’t necessarily want the negative attention which came her way when she got herself in hot water on Twitter by casually dropping the N-word on the social media site.
Sytch was responding to a friend who tweeted to her with the N-word and she responded back in similar fashion. Once she did that, the Twitter world laid into her. If you’ve followed Sunny’s career or internet history at all, then you know full well that she has a knack for getting into it and not knowing when to quit. Some of the WWE Hall of Famer’s defenses included her saying that the N-word was an affectionate “pet name” for her friend, claiming that black people get away with saying “cracker” to white people and don’t get the racist label and then finally stating that racism isn’t a problem anymore and for people to “get over it.”
Sigh…can somebody take this woman’s Twitter account away from her?
14 14. JTG Posts Angry Tweet About His Spot In WWE
JTG was part of the WWE for several years but outside of his initial run with Shad Gaspard as the tag team Cryme Time, he wasn’t utilized for anything worthwhile and mainly floundered on the midcard. JTG stated that he spoke to management about his lack of opportunity, presented ideas and worked hard to get noticed but it never amounted to anything. That’s when the gloves came off.
Not being used on another episode of RAW, JTG took to Twitter and lambasted the company with a series of tweets demanding change and even speaking up for the midcard by tweeting, “As a pro athlete, I'm tired of me and my locker room brothers being taken advantage of. Fans have no idea what we go through. #itsanillusion” and “Nobody wants to speak up, everybody's afraid of losing their job or getting taken off TV.”
His motive was to get the attention of management and he felt that going public on a forum like Twitter was his best chance of being heard. Unfortunately, it never amounted to anything as eventually, JTG was released from the company.
13 13. Alex Riley Disgruntled Tweets on Twitter
Alex Riley was a homegrown talent, signed by WWE in 2007 and honing his craft in FCW for quite some time before coming up in NXT. While he did shine for quite some time on the WWE’s main roster by aligning himself with The Miz during his WWE Championship run, soon thereafter he would be demoted to developmental where he would languish for some time, to the point where he couldn’t contain himself any further.
Alex would launch bitter Twitter rants online about being held back and even railing against WWE fans who he described as “Marks.” There was also a hashtag he was trying to get trending, the "#FreeRiley" campaign which featured poorly photoshopped pictures of himself in cages, which was criticism towards his employer for his lack of a push.
All the internet screams for attention came to a head when Alex Riley began taking shots at fellow wrestlers like Kevin Owens and AJ Styles who had been recently signed by the company. The result? Alex was gone from the company in May of 2016.
12 12. Adam Rose’s Downward Spiral
Ray “Adam Rose” Leppan had been trying to get noticed in WWE for some time, but after failed character after failed character, it seemed that he had struck gold with the Adam Rose persona. Rose would catch fire in NXT and soon enough be called up to the WWE main roster.
This is when things started to go downhill for the partying Rose. In early-2016, the WWE announced that Adam Rose was to be suspended for 60 days for violating the WWE Wellness Policy.
Rather than accepting his punishment, Rose felt he was unjustly suspended and made it known on Twitter with this response:
“I can say right now I did not do anything knowingly wrong and was taking prescribed medication that my Dr and I followed all the correct protocol on.”
Rose would later post his doctor's note, proving he prescribed legal medication. Trying to appeal his suspension on a public forum wasn’t a good look for Rose, and he encountered even worse PR when he was arrested for domestic violence. This spelled the end for Rose, as WWE would release him as a result of the bad press.
11 11. Ryback Complaining About Wrestler Pay
Ryback was a memorable character in the WWE but Ryback’s career trajectory wasn’t where he would have liked it to have been, causing the man behind the "FEED ME MORE” chants to become more and more disgruntled with the company. After becoming relegated to midcard fodder and dropping the United States Championship to Kalisto, it appeared that Ryback had had enough.
Ryback would be sent home from television tapings he was advertised for on May 2, 2016. The following day, Ryback would break his silence by blasting the WWE on Tumblr which became a big newsworthy topic.
In the post, he stated he made the decision to go home, citing issues he had with his creative push and his pay, and demanded equal pay for the wrestlers that put the big stars over. This public airing of his grievances with the WWE ultimately led to his release from the company.
10 10. Iron Sheik Rips Into Michael Richards
Retired WWE Hall of Famer has gained popularity in his post-wrestling career as the beloved foul-mouthed curmudgeon, with his memorable tweets and shoot interviews being seen as internet gold. How did the Iron Sheik of all people become a Twitter sensation and pop culture icon?
Well, it all started with the famous Iron Sheik video where he blasted comedian Michael Richards of Seinfeld fame. In 2006, Richards found himself as a subject of controversy from racist remarks he made during a stand-up gig that was caught on camera. Iron Sheik would hilariously respond by cutting an angry profanity-laden promo against Richards, David Letterman and Seinfeld. It was a bizarre meltdown that inadvertently led Sheik to become a social media comedy star.
Now Sheik's niche on social media is him blasting celebrities and wrestling stars. Nobody does it better.
9 9. Abraham Washington Twitter meltdown
The short-lived career of WWE personality Abraham Washington was not without controversy. Abraham Washington was a failed wrestler-turned talk show host who had his own segment on WWE’s version of ECW. Once ECW was canned, Abraham Washington would become the mouthpiece for the Prime Time Players, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. It wouldn’t last long as some inappropriate comments he’d make about Kobe Bryant while the duo was in a match would send him abruptly packing.
The pink slip would send Abraham Washington on an angry anti-WWE rant. In a series of tweets, he would bash the hypocrisy of WWE, mentioning things that John Cena, Randy Orton and even Vince McMahon have gotten away with on television for the sake of entertainment and the double standards when applied to him. It’s pretty safe to say he killed any chance of him ever coming back to the company.
8 8. Reby Hardy Goes Off On Impact
The Hardy Boyz's contract dispute and subsequent departure from TNA/Impact Wrestling was a mess for all to witness on Twitter. Once it was apparent that the Hardyz wouldn’t come to an agreement, the Hardyz struck a deal with ROH while WWE was also in talks with the legendary tag team. Impact at this point would then go on to sue The Hardy Boyz, Matt Hardy in particular for the "Broken" Matt Hardy gimmick, which was his own brainchild.
This legal battle would set off the wife of Matt Hardy, who would go off on Impact on social media. Reby would blast Impact for what she felt was disrespect in a series of tweets which was capped off by her lambasting the company’s new Owl emblem with a famous tweet which became a T-shirt: “F*** that Owl!”
As of now, both sides are still at odds over Matt Hardy's Broken Universe, but this Reby Hardy rant will go down in wrestling internet meltdown history.
7 7. Billy Corgan Goes Off On TNA Too!
Reby Hardy wasn’t the only disgruntled TNA/Impact Wrestling worker who ripped into the company for their business dealings. Short-lived TNA president/Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan had a burning desire to take over the company and make it go to a new direction and had put money into hopefully becoming the majority owner. This was met with resistance and Corgan would get fed up and leave the company, but not before demanding he be paid back the money he put into the company.
Much like Reby Hardy, Corgan couldn’t stay completely silent about the court issues and took to Twitter to complain about the company’s failure to live up to their promises and went so far as to threaten to sell his share of stock to WWE. Yikes!
6 6. Paige’s Various Twitter Meltdowns
If there is anything we have learned about Paige and the Internet, in general, is that they just aren’t a good mix for one another. Paige has used the internet and its various platforms of expression to rub a lot of people the wrong way, especially her employer, the WWE.
There’s not really one particular moment we can highlight, but there have been various instances where Paige had tweeted impulsively. Whether it was complaining about her wellness violation and suspension, to the fiasco that developed from the leaked sex videos and images featuring Paige, to the drama created every time she live streams with Alberto Del Rio/El Patron, Paige is someone who needs to stay as far away from social media as possible, or at least have someone to manage it for her so she doesn’t continue digging her wrestling career into a hole.
5 5. Mick Foley Breaks A TV In Protest Against WWE
The Hardcore Legend Mick Foley is a happy go lucky fan favorite due to his down to earth personality. Aside from being an esteemed author and taking a stab at standup comedy since his retirement from wrestling, the beloved Foley is still very passionate about the business and very vocal about what he likes and what he doesn’t like about the WWE.
Mick Foley was a big supporter of the organic Daniel Bryan movement by fans who wanted to see Daniel Bryan be the marquee star of the WWE against the front office’s wishes. After Royal Rumble 2014, Foley along with many fans were upset over Bryan’s exclusion from the Rumble match which fans heavily wanted to see. Foley took to social media saying he wanted to hurl a brick at his TV from his frustration.
He would actually follow through, breaking a TV with a baseball bat and posting it on social media. While the frustration with the WWE’s treatment of Bryan was warranted, why break a perfectly good flat screen? The TV didn’t do anything!
4 4. Alberto Del Rio Drunken NSFW Rant
Alberto Del Rio was a star that the WWE invested in immensely in hopes of him being a Latino star that could replace the void of Rey Mysterio for years to come. This investment would end up becoming a bust, not once, but TWICE. It’s highly unlikely that Alberto Del Rio will ever be invited back to WWE, but he made it clear he doesn’t want to in a series of drunken rants which streamed live on Periscope.
Alberto was walking the streets of New York with his fiancee, WWE’s Paige, who had become the subject of controversy due to leaked sex tapes. In the rant, Alberto would blast the WWE and talent exec Triple H in particular, calling him “Hey big nose with the small d*ck."
Del Rio would have a second rant further blasting the company, calling the folks in Stamford (where WWE is headquartered) "p*ssies" and how he would never work for “that f***ing company” again. The awkward thing about the whole deal is that Paige is still employed with the WWE, but perhaps not for much longer since her future hubby isn’t helping matters.
3 3. CM Punk Obliterates WWE on Podcast
CM Punk had been disgruntled with WWE for some time but in 2014, he had finally had enough and walked out of the company the night after the Royal Rumble in January. Punk was taken off advertisements and formally and fans were up in arms wondering what happened and let it be known with “CM PUNK” chants at every event. Punk, on the other hand, was hush-hush over the whole thing for 10 whole months.
In November of the same year, CM Punk finally broke his silence over his departure and problem with the WWE on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling Podcast. There he detailed the night of his departure, and his problems leading up to his departure with the company He went all in blasting as many people as possible that was instrumental in his losing passion for wrestling. Vince McMahon, Triple H, Ryback, WWE doctor Chris Amann and others were blasted in this uncensored and controversial podcast. The podcast led to a few lawsuits between Punk and the WWE, and it appears that they may never work with each other again.
Punk is not one to mince words, so people who anticipated an epic verbal smackdown got exactly that.
2 2. Chyna Posts A Bizarre Video Calling Out Triple H And Stephanie McMahon
Chyna captivated wrestling fans when she was on top of the world during the Attitude Era but during the last few years of her tragically short life, Chyna was going through some serious problems which may have been a cry for help. One such moment may have been a bizarre video that she posted to her YouTube channel in 2015, which surely raised a few eyebrows and concerns about her well-being.
In the video, a really rough-looking Ninth Wonder of The World calls out Triple H calling him an “a**hole” among other names, and then calls Stephanie McMahon a “b*tch”. This video was a response to Triple H stating in an interview that Chyna isn’t in the Hall of Fame because of her professional decisions after wrestling (read: making adult films) and he was afraid of his kids Googling her name. Well, those were fighting words for Chyna, so hence, a trainwreck of a video. It’s really a shame that Chyna never was able to turn things around for her, as she died in 2016 at the young age of 46.
1 1. Matt Hardy’s 2011 Suicide Hoax
Matt Hardy may have set the Internet Wrestling Community ablaze with the popularity of his Broken persona, but the character pales in comparison to the lengths the elder Hardy brother would go to try to gain the attention of wrestling fans a few years earlier.
In 2011, Matt Hardy was very active on YouTube and social media with his fans and suddenly left a video message on his YouTube channel with what appeared to be a suicide note.
"Goodbye world... My time here is almost complete... I only have a few hours and minutes... I loved you all... Regardless of how you felt about me... I'll miss you all... September 23, 1974-August 31,2011"
The note ended up being a publicity stunt by Hardy who wanted see how people would react. Fans had reason to take the hoax seriously due to Hardy’s recent erratic behavior like gaining a DUI, and being suspended then released by TNA for his behavior a little over a week prior to the note. A reporter in the locality of Matt Hardy’s residence stated that the police department received 25 to 30 emergency phone calls demanding a wellness check on the Hardy home. Not cool, Matt.
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