Any entertainer knows that you have to have confidence in order to perform. Without some form of an ego, it's easy to wilt under the bright lights of super-stardom, so there's nothing wrong with believing in yourself.
You should always have faith in your abilities, lest you fail. So no matter what, you got to strut.
When confidence becomes cockiness, however, it can be a little irritating to those around you. After all, no one likes a braggart. And, as ego morphs into arrogance, the problem just gets bigger. In the world of pro wrestling, the selfishness that accompanies such an attitude can rub co-workers, promoters, and even fans, the wrong way.
WWE has had its share of sports entertainers who, for one reason or another, seemed to get a little too big for their britches. Their success, whether real or perceived, leads them to believe that they are bigger than the sports entertainment industry. Before long, no one can stand to be in the room with them.
With a whole roster of big bodies and big heads, let's take a look at the cockiest of the cocky. Here are the 15 Most Over-Inflated Egos in WWE.
15 Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman waves the microphone in the ring as if he is holding a scepter and issuing a creed to the peasants. And in his mind, he is.
Heyman seems to have a holier-than-thou attitude now that he is among the elite in the WWE Universe. On the first episode the Network's "Bring It To The Table" with Peter Rosenberg and JBL, Heyman took the audience behind the wood shed.
Heyman essentially called the fans stupid for not liking some aspects of the current product. He also talked about them attempting to high-jack the show and told them if they didn't like the presentation, they just didn't 'get it.'
Paul Heyman used to be the renegade leader of the ECW hardcore movement. But on that episode, he came off like an old man yelling at a cloud. It's as if he's traded in the beer drinkers of the bingo hall for the wine connoisseurs of Fifth Avenue. 1996 never seemed so far away.
Sadly, the guy who used to fight the system now looks like a sell-out. And even worse, he looks like a stuck-up sell-out
14 Ric Flair
Ric Flair will be a part of WWE until the day he dies. And even though he is done as a wrestler, his ego still looms large on the professional wrestling industry. Whether it was his influence as a wrestler, a booker or a business partner, Flair always had to be the one out front, accepting his share of adulation.
Recently, however, his boasting reached a new level when he commented on his podcast that he had once slept with Halle Berry. Of course, this turned out to be false.
Flair has apparently reached a dangerous level of grasping at straws. After years of being at the very top of the industry, he is now a side player. And while he has become a wrestling icon and a mainstream celebrity, it's still not enough to feed the massive ego that powered Space Mountain for decades.
Flair's semi-drunken ramblings eventually caused the plug to be pulled on his broadcasting career. But, it's odd to see that someone who worked and lived at such a high level still keeps chasing acceptance. It's a case study of how reckless one's self-importance can truly be.
13 Stephanie McMahon
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Pro wrestling's platinum princess just drips with arrogance...and not from the atomizer once used by Rick The Model Martel.
Born into millions as the daughter of the company's owner, Stephanie McMahon is clearly Daddy's Little Girl. The favored McMahon child comes off as spoiled and contemptuous. The fact that she inherited her position causes her to be the object of some fans' disdain.
From her walk down the ramp to her snotty expressions in the ring, much of McMahon's character is only somewhat of a put on. While she can be charming in her dealings with the public and charitable organizations, rumors of her ruthlessness have abounded.
Backstage rumblings say that Stephanie's ego has even been a major factor in her brother, Shane, departing the company for six years. It's been said the siblings have a cordial-but-cold at times, due to Stephanie's insistence that she is the rightful heir (or heiress) to the WWE throne.
12 Kevin Nash
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The WWE big man hasn't been an active competitor for a while now, but there's always rumors of him stepping back in the ring. And, as The Kliq have now become elder statesmen, the group is in the mix at all times in the WWE Universe.
Kevin Nash is, quite simply, one of the more intelligent people to ever walk into the wrestling industry. because of that, he seemingly looks down on pro wrestling, its traditions and even its fans. At times, it appears he thinks he is too smart for the average guy buying popcorn.
He also thinks he's a lot cooler, too. Now taking a long look at his golden years, the old Diesel isn't quite as pristine as it thinks it is. And much like other famous playboys, he's more than happy to drop the names of all the celebrities he's had the good fortune to rub elbows with.
The man gave himself the nickname, Big Sexy, for goodness sake. Maybe in his 30's or 40's that was cool, but now it's just sad. And, kind of an indication that perhaps the Diesel doth protest too much.
11 Bubba Ray Dudley
Now retired, Bubba Ray Dudley has long had a very overblown opinion on his spot in wrestling history.
The truth is, the self-important Superstar flopped as a singles performer after winning world championship gold in TNA . Given a chance to carry the ball for the company, he fumbled. And, TNA sagged further behind WWE during his tenure, when they initially looked to make a really big... Impact!
Whether working in a tag team with D-Von or on his own, he really was a bully- using his veteran status to push younger wrestlers around. He justifies it by saying he has earned that right after paying his dues in the business. Several wrestlers have been injured by the receipts they have received in the ring from Dudley, and he makes no apologies.
It's as if Buh Buh has deemed himself the judge, jury and executioner of anyone he sees fit. It's too bad he was the only one casting a vote.
10 Seth Rollins
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Look... it's the ladies man.
Seth Rollins is no stranger to controversy, as his reckless attitude towards his personal life was splattered all over the internet in 2015. After some erotic photos of The Architect were discovered by his fiancee, she was quick to share them with about six billion of her closest friends.
Having almost no remorse, Rollins weakly apologized publicly for the event, but never expanded on his behavior. In an era when Superstars are expected to be choir boys and representatives of the company, Rollins didn't seem to mind how the affair might effect his status.
And why should he? Clearly, Rollins knows he's a major player in WWE's present and future. He's also been rumored to have been incredibly hard to deal with since returning from his major knee injury.
There's no doubt that he will become a huge star in the business. Here's hoping his ego doesn't get just as big.
9 Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is a rock star...in real life, and in his own mind.
One of the most talented performers to ever come down the Canadian pike, Y2J is a certain Hall of Famer and still going strong. So, there's certainly a case for him when he say that he is the G.O.A.T.
It's more his attitude towards anything that isn't WWE-made that makes him come off as such a snob. He repeatedly puts over his time with the company by saying that he had always been a star, but wasn't allowed to shine until his arrival in 1999.
In essence, Jericho portrays himself as a diamond in the middle of a septic tank prior to his 'christening' at the Y2J countdown. His disdain for his past carried over to some of his former co-workers when they followed him to WWE, as well.
At times, Jericho is nothing more than a product of his own cocky Kool-Aid. And he certainly loves to take every chance he can to drink it in, man.
8 Kurt Angle
How many times have we heard Kurt Angle talk about winning a gold medal with a broken freakin' neck? Geez... get over yourself.
In all seriousness, some could argue that Kurt Angle is the greatest all-around wrestler ever, and he certainly has himself on a few occasions, While there's no denying his accomplishments, Angle seems to be prouder than a peacock at times. And, his constant reminding of what he's achieved, both as an amateur and a professional, tend to take a little luster off their shine.
In more than one alleged DUI stop, Angle had reportedly used, or tried to use, his celebrity to circumvent the law. In many ways, he's been successful, as it seems he has put his demons aside and is now headed for the Hall of Fame.
Still, you can't help but picture Kurt dropping a , "Do you know who I am?" line to the cops with booze on his breath. That level of douchebaggery alone lands him on this list.
In what may be one of the craziest cases of misguided greatness, John Bradshaw Layfield once labelled himself a 'wrestling god'. That alone, is enough to tell you that he thinks rather highly of himself.
On top of that, this self-appointed locker room sheriff took it upon himself to impose his will on his fellow workers. Mind you, hazing his fellow wrestlers wasn't part of his job description, he just felt that he had the standing to hand out discipline. No one deputized him for this assignment, he did it himself.
It backfired on him a few times, particularly when diminutive announcer Joey Styles became frustrated by Layfield's actions and decked him.
Since retirement, the loud Texan seems to have toned things down, but still displays his usual braggadocio every Tuesday night, as an announcer on Smackdown. So, you can still hear Layfield conflating his accomplishments, as he reminisces on a past that he remembers differently than the rest of us do.
6 Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar doesn't need you. And, he doesn't need pro wrestling, either.
Brock Lesnar has had a love/hate relationship with sports entertainment since 1999, with him doing most of the hating. After walking away once, to try pro football and then go on to success in UFC, Lesnar has returned with much the same attitude he had in his first go-round.
Basically, he's too great for all this. For the man from Suplex City, his pro wrestling career is like a steroid pimple on his back: It's something he wants to ignore.
Which is why Lesnar insists on big bucks for very few appearances. The less this combat fighting man-child has to deal the weird world of wrestling, the better. He has been quoted numerous times as saying he doesn't like to be bothered full-time, and he is paid only for his time in the ring.
Sadly, Vince McMahon and most wrestling fans are willing to put up with Lesnar's boorish behavior and attitude towards the industry. It's a shame. Lesnar could go down as one of the greatest pro grapplers ever, if he would embrace the sport instead of being above it.
5 CM Punk
CM Punk has not wrestled in WWE since 2014, but the stench of his ego still lingers with the company. His act worked for a while, as perhaps no wrestler ever has ascended from the modern indy ranks to have so much political power in the company.
Punk's greatest weapon is also a tremendous weakness. While his mouth probably talked his way into WWE, it certainly was a great contributing factor in his departure.
He was basically given everything, including a budget for one hell of a cool theme song. Sadly none of this brought any color to his personality. He eventually complained his way to the point that he took his ball and went home.
His detractors see an undersized guy who didn't have the traditional look. To them, he should be thankful to have made it to WWE at all, let alone be at the top of the card. His pathetic showing in the UFC only gave his critics fuel to their fire.
To some, Punk is a loudmouthed prima donna who is never satisfied. To others, he is a cult hero who stands up for his principles. Speculation about his career has been ongoing since he left WWE. Considering his ego, Punk is probably relishing that.
4 Randy Orton
Randy Orton is better than you. If you don't believe it, just ask him.
Orton makes no bones about his disdain for the audience. He has said on several occasions that he is not approachable, so please don't approach him. What he fails to realize is that projects an attitude to fans that he thinks he is better than them.
And he is... right? I mean, he's wrestling royalty, a third-generation star trained right there in the old school mecca of pro wrestling, St. Louis. When he arrived to the WWE roster, he was like the crown prince to the pro wrestling throne.
Perhaps Orton's pedigree is his biggest problem. Quite frankly, he knew from day one that he would one day be appearing at WrestleMania. Not too many performers starting out can say that. Maybe if Orton had paid his dues in a similar position, he wouldn't take his stature for granted,and he wouldn't feel so entitled.
3 The Miz
Mike Mizanin is a curious case. Displaying two different personalities on the (not so) reality show, 'The Real World,' Mizanin began forming the character The Miz by annoying his housemates. His tremendous ego had the whole season thrown off kilter.
Little did wrestling fans know, they were in for years of the same.
The Miz has repeatedly done interviews with mainstream media where he's either trying to stay in character, or he's just being a jerk. And that's the problem, you can't tell. And the fact that he is an admitted phony and gimmick guy makes him even less credible.
In a recent interview with Sam Roberts, The Miz scolded the mic man by saying that, by bringing up champions of the past, he was downplaying the schedule and the work The Miz has put in. He even went so far as to say he had it tougher in his role as Intercontinental Champion.
In that one statement, he not only put himself in the class of names like Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, and Bret Hart... he put himself above them. That level of disrespect suggests The Miz may place a higher value on his career than the rest of us do.
2 Triple H
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Many of his co-workers will tell you: the size of Triple H's head has nothing to do with HGH.
As the one wrestler who has somehow infiltrated the McMahon family, Paul Levesque holds all the cars. As not only a Hall of Fame performer in the ring, his greatest asset is the power his marriage and position have accorded him.
The stories of Triple H's shovel are legendary. There's no doubt that his ego was enough to bury several wrestlers over the years. And while no one can be sure that Trips was behind every burial, we can certainly say for sure that he threw at least a little dirt.
And the company protects his confidence, as well. When Acclaim rolled out a version of the WWE video game, McMahon made sure the makers didn't show Triple H in a 'weakened position' during its promotion. If he has an ego that fragile, you KNOW it has to be huge.
1 Vince McMahon
Was there any doubt?
The bombastic WWE owner has spent the better part of 40 years proving to the world that he doesn't give a damn who likes him. In fact, he often shakes it in our faces.
From taking on the NFL to slapping around Ted Turner, McMahon's brashness has served him well. Sitting on top of the wrestling world, he looks down upon a massive empire that dominates an industry that he revolutionized.
He's also shown an almost sick obsession with bodybuilding, as if he thinks the almighty Vince McMahon can even cheat death. His drive to maintain a virile physical appearance, even into his 70s, landed him on the cover of 'Muscle & Fitnes' in 2015. At the same time, critics called it a desperate attempt by an old man to satiate his male ego.
However, the greatest example of Vince's massive arrogance may be his image OUTSIDE of the wrestling world. To many mainstream observers, McMahon is nothing more than a carnival barker who somehow struck it rich.
McMahon can't handle that. So, he's spent several millions and made many attempts to cross over into pop culture in other genres. It was a failed attempt for acceptance. Like anyone with a big ego, rejection only fuels his desire to be recognized.
Sadly, Vince will never be satisfied with being the greatest wrestling promoter ever. Like many people on this list, his love of himself has been like a rocket fuel for success.
For several performers in sports entertainment, their biggest fans are themselves. And while a mix of brashness never hurts, too much can definitely be toxic... like drinking bleach.
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