You have to be a certain type of person to want to get slammed on a wrestling mat every night of the week; it takes a special dedication to pain, that some may call a little crazy.
Crazy is pretty relative to the person that you are talking to, but in the world of professional wrestling, insanity is mostly defined as a deranged aggression in some area. As you will read on in this article, that area of derangement will vary from having too much fun, to popping eyeballs out of someone’s socket. These two examples sound like pretty good in-ring gimmicks, but we are actually referring to things that happened outside the ring.
It really should come as no surprise that there are so many real life nut jobs in wrestling, as most of these athletes are in between visits to concussion city. Now keep in mind that some of the people who have been entered onto this list aren’t bad guys, in fact some are considered generally good at heart, just unable to shake the crazy man persona, leading some to even adopt it into their wrestling gimmick.
Today however we will be staying away from gimmicks, and just focusing on the people behind the scenes and their notoriety in the wrestling community. Reputations covered today will generally include paranoia, tough guys, loud mouths, dangerous workers, bad decisions and lunatics.
As a reminder, this list will not include workers who did crazy things in the ring, so Foley, Funk, Sabu, and The Sheik will not be on here. These are all real life accounts that have been witnessed by at least one person according to sources.
As always feel free to comment below and let us know who exactly we may have forgotten on this list of the top 15 craziest wrestlers of all time.
16 Hulk Hogan
The Immortal Hulk Hogan should have gone down as the greatest wrestling star of all time, after his successful run through three decades in the wrestling industry. Instead of protecting a legacy that should have been solidified, Hogan made the crazy choices to keep exposing himself more and more over the years.
The Hulkster brought in a reality show to film every aspect of his life, which ultimately led to his divorce, leading to his mid life crisis, leading to his sex tape being released, finally resulting in America hearing his views on interracial relationships. All of which are caused by Hogan's crazy narcissistic nature.
15 Scott Steiner
Is Scott Steiner completely certifiable? Maybe not, but there is no doubt that the wrestling legend is a little off of his rocker. Steiner’s mouth has gotten him into trouble more times than anyone else on this list, with two separate occasions of him being charged with making terroristic threats against another person. In fact Steiner is now persona non grata at most wrestling companies since making alleged death threats against Hulk Hogan before the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
14 Harley Race
The first commandment of professional wrestling is “Thou shalt not mess with Harley Race”. Even at his older age Race is still considered one of the craziest professional wrestlers alive. Ric Flair tells a story about Race finding out that Vince McMahon was entering his NWA territory back in the 80s.
The story goes that as soon as the Mad Dog heard about it, he grabbed his 9mm gun, tucked it into his waistband and went to go shoot Hulk Hogan’s kneecaps off. Hogan confirmed this story saying that before actually pulling the gun out on him, Race attempted to set the WWE ring on fire prior to the show.
13 Scott Hall
We are going to see all kinds of crazy on this list today, Scott Hall is on here for being crazy enough to wrestle under the influence of multiple substances at once. Hall has made no attempt to hide his struggles with prescription drug and alcohol abuse over his career and has now fully admitted that he was toasted during most of his run at WCW.
Being a big guy, who often hoisted other wrestlers around, it’s a wonder how Hall didn’t hurt anyone during his run, especially during the time before he was suspended for personal issues.
12 Iron Sheik
Sometime life imitates art, with wrestlers especially falling victim to the difficult task of separating their in-ring persona from their real life personality. The Iron Sheik has walked this blurred line for quite some time, often living in an outrageous style that can’t be real...right?
To be fair, the former Iranian soldier is from the old school of kayfabe and he may be playing off the fact that people think he is actually nuts. Since starting a Twitter account, the Sheik has made some outrageous statements, that are so crazy a list could be made just highlighting his most outrageous tweets.
“Darren Young the gay, I respect him for he honest” and “EBOLA HAS RAISIN BALLS”.
11 Andre the Giant
Maybe it was his size or his confidence that no one could tell him different, but Andre the Giant did whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. For example, once while at a bar (a recurring theme on this list) Andre was heckled by some patrons and became angry so he chased them out of the bar. When they barricaded themselves in their vehicle, Andre flipped it over with them in it. Other things that Andre chose to do included pooping in bathtubs, which he would frequently do while traveling.
10 The Ultimate Warrior
We all know that The Ultimate Warrior had one of the most bizarrely captivating characters in all of wrestling, but the man who played him also had some pretty weird moments. First off after legally changing his name to Warrior, the former World Champion jumped ship to WCW and demanded creative control of his contract. With that control he created a storyline that was so ridiculous and cartoony, that the adult demographic wanted no parts of it.
In addition to his wrestling antics, Warrior was outspoken about his views on the universe and the world. He even claimed that losing New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina would help to get rid of a city that “was nothing more than a pornographic cesspool of decadence and depravity.”
When he wasn’t trying to inform the world on his political views, Warrior was writing comic books. He was an odd fellow to say the least.
9 Sycho Sid
It makes sense that a guy whose first name is Sycho, may not be the most balanced individual in the world. Whether you know him as Sid Justice, Sid Vicious, or Sycho Sid, it doesn’t change the fact that the man viciously delivered justice to Arn Anderson like a psycho (see what I did there), nearly beating him to death during the 90s.
As the story goes, Anderson and Sid were having an argument over who was a better wrestler and by the end of the night the two had a fight with a pair of scissors. By the end of their tussle, Anderson was on the ground stabbed multiple times, with boots being delivered to his face. If other people hadn’t arrived, The Enforcer may not have made it out of the fight alive.
8 Macho Man
Ohhh Yeah! The Macho Man Randy Savage rivaled Hulk Hogan’s iconic status for most of the 80s and 90s, with his athletic style and off the wall personality, he was the perfect counterbalance to Hogan. Savage however had some personal demons that plagued him until shortly before his death, and some of the stories that surround him are pretty nutty.
Specifically the former World Champion had paranoia issues in regards to his wife Miss Elizabeth. It’s been said that Savage would force his valet turned wife to stare at the ground while backstage, so that she didn’t look any of the other wrestlers. If that isn’t crazy enough, it’s also rumored that when Savage would travel alone, he would literally lock Elizabeth in his home, and she wouldn’t be allowed out until he returned.
7 Vince McMahon
We couldn't leave Vince McMahon off the list. It's said that geniuses are often quite eccentric, but when you hear stories of Vince, crazy comes to your mind before eccentric. On top of his insane work ethic, he is said to have a hatred for sneezing "I should be able to control it dammit!", pitching an incestual storyline with Stephanie and challenging Kurt Angle to a grappling match. There's no doubt that McMahon sees the world a different way from the average person. Given his success, there must be some method to his madness, right?
6 Ric Flair
Apparently Ric Flair liked to party...a lot. The Nature Boy is legendary when it comes to stories of partying all night, and then wrestling all day. By most accounts the 16 time World Champion didn’t sleep, despite being the first one in the building and the last one to leave it.
So what makes Flair show up on this list, well first off he has literally gone broke from buying drinks for strangers. Then after handing drinks out at the bar, Flair would find some married women, strip down naked, and dance with them in front of their husbands, all while shouting... WOOOO!
5 Jesse Ventura
Since leaving the world of professional wrestling, Jesse Ventura has done pretty well for himself. Besides serving as a Governor for the state of Minnesota, Ventura has also become one of the most respected figures in the conspiracy community.
The Body has some interesting theories on everything from the Kennedy assassination, all the way to the existence of the reptilians on Earth. Though he doesn’t believe in all of the conspiracies that come his way, most of the media and public have written him off as a nut job.
3 Buzz Sawyer
There is only folklore that surrounds the life of Buzz Sawyer, with him being characterized as a crazy person inside and outside of the ring. The former Mid-South Heavyweight champion was into some wild things, like starting fights with police officers outside of bars while on drugs. Speaking of drugs, Sawyer was also allegedly involved with drug smuggling during the height of his career in the early 90s.
But the craziest thing that Sawyer ever did was cheat a future wrestler by the name Mark Calaway out of a good bit of money to train the future star to be a wrestler. Mad Dog Sawyer taught Calaway how to do a lock up the first day, and skipped town the second day. In case you didn't know, Calaway is who you know as The Undertaker.
Haku or Meng depending on where you saw him wrestle, is universally considered the toughest man in the history of professional wrestling. The legend surrounding Haku’s life is crazy at times, but seemingly true by most accounts of eyewitnesses. Speaking of eyes, Haku is said to have ripped out the eyeball of Jimmy Jack Funk because he felt he disrespected a “working man”. His most brutal confession however, is biting someone’s nose off for calling wrestling fake in a bar one night. There are entire lists dedicated to his crazy antics over the years, so many that we can't cover them all here.
1 New Jack
As always, when New Jack is mentioned a disclaimer is needed: New Jack if you are reading this I am not disrespecting you, I am stating facts.
ECW Original New Jack has always been polarizing to say the least, as most opponents didn’t know what they were going to be getting when facing off against the controversial figure.
There are countless tales of New Jack starting real fights in the middle of matches, such as his shoot hardcore match with Gypsy Joe in 2003. The former ECW Tag Team Champion absolutely destroyed Joe, with multiple weapons and then his fists until the crowd had enough and broke up the match. This is just one of many stories involving New Jack taking liberties with other performers, and isn't as bad as him bringing a knife in the ring and stabbing his opponents... yeah that really happened.