Do not try this at home. The world of wrestling has brought a whole new meaning to this phrase. With moves that could leave you incapacitated or worse kill you, this is one warning that should be taken seriously by us normal folks. Let’s face it, a good chunk of the stuff we see in wrestling is contrived and the wrestlers are professional enough to make it seem real. However they really do get badly injured sometimes with some having their careers come to an end. There’s also the trauma that comes as a result of being struck in the head multiple times. This can cause mental disease and has led a number of wrestlers to perform some abominable actions. The prevalent drug use has also turned many wrestlers into questionable characters and ruined both their personal and professional lives.
Be it from mental disorder, drug or alcohol abuse, wrestlers have been known to commit some of the most violent and gruesome crimes. Quite a number of wrestlers can’t seem to hold their anger and with theirs being a violent sport, this has often translated to violent actions outside the workplace. Some wrestlers tend to act like bullies and go about harassing and assaulting people. With their muscular physiques and acquired skill, most people don’t stand a chance against them. This is a proven fact as even the police have occasionally had a tough time trying to rein some of this guys in. However, this kind of behaviour isn’t only restricted to the commoners as some have been involved in real life altercations with their fellow wrestlers. Now while some actually lead peaceful lives in the real world, it is a certainty that there will always be some who are eager to disturb the peace. Here are the 15 times wrestlers took the violence outside the ring.
15 Nicole Bass
Bass is a bodybuilder who had a brief stint in the WWE where she debuted as Sable’s bodyguard. In 2005, she started drinking heavily one day after she had trouble filling her prescription for a painkiller (she suffers from pancreatitis). After she threatened to take a bunch of pills and slit her wrists, her worried husband tried to call the police and got a beating for it. He finally managed to call them and when they arrived, she bit the hand of an officer. This apparently wasn’t new for she also bit an officer’s thumb in 2000. She was subsequently taken to a psychiatric unit for 72 hours.
14 Scott Hall
His alcohol abuse more often than not got him into a lot of trouble and this is what happened in 2010 when he was arrested for disorderly intoxication. He was drunk and apparently became aggressive inside a bar, pushing a customer, arguing with a bartender and punching the window of a car one of the bartenders called for him. When the police arrived, they found him yelling and cursing at other patrons and he tried to resist arrest. He was ordered never to return to that particular bar and was released by TNA the following month.
13 Big Van Vader
In 1997, while on a talk show in Kuwait to promote a match between him and The Undertaker, the host asked the popular “Is wrestling fake?” question. While The Undertaker calmly answered the question, Vader got up from his seat, flipped a table and grabbed the host by the tie. He was arrested for assault and ordered to pay a fine before being allowed to leave the country. The scenario turned out to have been staged but no one remembered to tell Vader that the host knew nothing about it.
12 Ric Flair
In November 2005, a man was on his way out of town for Thanksgiving when he noticed a car behind him flashing its headlights, so he pulled over. The car pulled up alongside him and Ric Flair came out, grabbed him by the neck and damaged his car by kicking it. Flair was charged for simple assault and damage to personal property. The case was dropped but it did bring about a few laughs with Edge deciding that it warranted a re-enactment.
11 Buff Bagwell
After a taping of WCW Thunder in 2000, Bagwell racially insulted and punched a crew member after an argument. The argument started after the crew member tried to carry a carpet past Bagwell and his group, who were blocking the doorway. He was arrested and charged with battery but the only punishment he received was from the WCW who suspended him for 30 days and stripped him of his half of the World Tag Team Championship.
10 Matt Hardy
On New Year’s Eve 2014, Matt Hardy and his wife who also happens to be a wrestler, were arrested at a motel for assault and battery. They both spotted several marks on their faces from the altercation. The arrest came about after a guest heard them fighting and informed a staffer who then called the police. They were released on bail and were soon back to normal posting happy photos days after the incident.
9 Juventud Guerrera
During a WCW tour of Australia in 2000, Guerrera stripped naked in the hotel the WCW crew was staying in and proceeded to cause a fracas. He shouted obscenities at fellow crew members and began throwing chairs near a dining area. Fellow wrestlers couldn’t restrain him and called the police who arrived with capsicum spray. An officer was injured during the incident and he was charged with three counts of assault, indecent exposure, obstructing police, disorderly conduct and possession of a drug (which reportedly was PCP). He only received a fine but was expelled from the rest of the tour and later released by WCW.
8 Ken Patera
In 1984, Patera and AWA’s Masa Saito were denied service at a McDonald’s restaurant when they arrived after hours, prompting Patera to throw a boulder through the window. Both wrestlers then assaulted the officers who came to investigate the matter and were only subdued after they brought in reinforcements. It reportedly took 18 officers to restrain them with 10 of them getting seriously injured.
They were both convicted of battery of a police officer and sentenced to two years in prison. Patera has always maintained that it was another person who threw the rock. So apparently you had an Olympic weightlifter and a random guy and it’s the other guy who throws the boulder? Forgive me for being unconvinced.
7 Thomas Latimer
Ric Flair’s former son-in-law (Charlotte's ex) is a TNA wrestler who goes by the ring name Bram. He was released by the WWE in 2012 after he was charged with battery of a law enforcement officer and disorderly intoxication. In August this year, he was arrested after he pinned his girlfriend to the bed by her neck, then held her against her will inside their home. He faced charges of false imprisonment and domestic battery by strangulation and was suspended by TNA. His suspension was lifted in October after the charges were dropped.
6 Jerry Lawler
In 1999, “The King” had some difficulty following orders after he was ticketed by an airport officer for leaving his car in a no-parking zone. He proceeded to tear up the ticket and then ran over the officer’s foot. He was charged with reckless endangerment punishable by up to two years in prison. There was no prison term however for in October that year he was running for mayor. He lost the election.
5 Verne Gagne
Gagne is remembered for founding the AWA and finishing off his opponents with the trademark ‘sleeper hold’. However, the WWE’s growing popularity led to the decline of the AWA forcing it to eventually shut down. Years later, Gagne was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and began living at a health care facility. In 2009, he picked up a 97-year old fellow patient, threw him on the floor and broke his hip. The man died in hospital three weeks later and the death was ruled as a homicide. Gagne wasn’t charged though for he was judged to have lacked the mental capacity to knowingly inflict harm on the victim.
4 Dick Slater
In 2003, the former WCW wrestler went to his ex-girlfriend’s house to pick up his possessions. While there, he stabbed her three times and was later found at a nearby home overdosed on pain medication he took for his injuries. Luckily, the victim survived with Slater claiming to have no recollection of the incident. He was ordered to pay restitution to the victim and told to keep away from her. He was also sentenced to one year of house arrest and two years probation.
3 Brian Michael McGhee
He is a former WWE developmental wrestler who went by the name DT Porter. In 2013, a witness reported to have seen him walk up to his girlfriend’s apartment and appear to punch her in the stomach. The witness ran to call for help and returned to find the victim, who died at the scene, with a knife sticking from her stomach. McGhee then hopped into a car and fled.
He confessed his crime to his sister and mother when he called them and they tried to convince him to give himself up. His car was spotted and the ensuing chase caused him to crash. He was arrested on a first-degree murder charge.
2 Jose Gonzalez
In 1988 Jose Gonzalez, a wrestler and booker approached a fellow wrestler known as Bruiser Brody in the locker room before the latter’s match in Puerto Rico. He asked him to go into the shower area to discuss business and shortly after, screams were heard. Tony Atlas went into the shower stall, found Brody bleeding profusely and saw Gonzalez holding a knife. The paramedics were called but Brody couldn’t be saved.
At first, Gonzalez was charged with first-degree murder but it was later reduced to involuntary homicide and he was acquitted by a jury that ruled he was acting in self-defense. The outcome of the trial has remained controversial as the knife mysteriously disappeared and none of the American wrestlers who were in the locker room at the time of the stabbing testified at the trial.
1 Juana Barraza
Known as La Dama del Silencio (Lady of Silence), the Mexican wrestler later came to be referred to as Mataviejitas meaning Old Lady Killer. This is because she was a serial killer whose targets were women aged 60 or over, whom she mostly strangled then robbed after killing. She was arrested in 2006 after she was caught fleeing from the home of her latest victim. Fingerprint evidence linked her to 10 murders but she was believed to have killed over 40 victims.
In 2008, she was sentenced to 759 years (you read that right) in prison after being found guilty on 16 charges of murder and aggravated burglary. She targeted old women due to the resentment she felt towards her own mother, an alcoholic who sold her at a young age to an abusive man for three bottles of beer. Parents, please be nice to your kids.