They say never meet your heroes; you will be disappointed. These heroes come as athletes, movies stars, musicians, comedians, painters, authors, etc. Everybody has a hero, more or less. If not a hero then at least a source of inspiration.
Take a look at the music world: do you really think that a kid meeting Kanye West for the first time and finding out that Kanye is self-centered and delusional would be disappointed? Absolutely not. However, and this is the sad part: that same kid would actually vote Kanye for President and join the delusion.
And how about Taylor Swift? What if a sweet, young, optimistic girl met Taylor and she proved to be a fraud? That all this female empowered heartache was simply an act to make money? That girl would be crushed and devastated as he impressions of people as a whole would then be altered for the worse.
There is nothing wrong with having a hero but even those you admire need to be held in a critical light. Do not take their word as gold and do not accept their actions as justified. If you feel a different way then question your heroes.
Another profession that has produced its share of heroes – especially to the children – has been professional wrestling. Currently, John Cena is the hero of all the children who watch WWE; a role Cena takes very seriously and a role that he has continued to assume in his every day life.
This piece will take a look at the wrestling heroes unlike John Cena. The ones who have disappointed by way of drugs, delinquency, and a scattering of other personal demons. This is not about demoralizing or condemning anybody (even Cena’s made his mistakes); this is an exercise in the human condition and an example of people being people.
We all find ourselves in hideous circumstances, it’s just easier to hide when we are not in the public eye. Unfortunately for the following wrestlers, the public eye is where they dwell.
These are the top 15 wrestling heroes who are let downs in real life:
15. Matt Hardy
Let’s be honest about Matt Hardy: he has long been overshadowed by his far more interesting and exciting brother. In WWE, Hardy would find himself involved in one major storyline which was a direct result of a real life cheating girlfriend.
However, despite being the lesser of the two, The Hardy Boyz have always been viewed as tag team heroes. Matt Hardy has always used the internet as a place to vent his frustrations which has also made him seem petty in the process.
Keeping with his love of internet controversy, Matt Hardy would actually post a “goodbye” video that provided the impression that Hardy was on the verge of suicide. This of course was nothing more than Matt Hardy craving attention.
14. Andre the Giant
Being the biggest man in a locker room full of jacked professional wrestlers can certainly provide that man with a certain sense of superiority. Andre the Giant was not called “The Eighth Wonder of the World” for nothing.
Andre would pass away young due to his gigantism which he used to his advantage throughout his short life and put to use on the professional wrestling circuit; one of the few places acceptant of giants.
However, according to reports from fellow professional wrestlers The Iron Sheik and Kamala; Andre the Giant was said to frequently spout racism and shun fans.
13. Lex Luger
When you lose Hulk Hogan, you lose Hulk Hogan. There is truly no way of replacing the biggest name in the industry. Of course, this would not deter Vince McMahon from trying back in the ’90s.
The WWE would attempt to place Lex Luger in the “All-American” hero capacity and for some, the formula worked. However, in the back of everybody’s mind, people knew that Luger was just a puff piece.
But how about Lex Luger’s real life? Does it depict the “All-American” lifestyle? Sure, if that lifestyle includes domestic abuse and driving under the influence then Luger has apparently found his personal piece of the American dream.
12. Randy Orton
While this generation of wrestling fans have John Cena to regard as their ultimate hero, they also have Randy Orton; a man who can be regarded as a reluctant and reckless hero of WWE fans.
Randy Orton has certainly found success in WWE, having been a twelve-time World Champion and securing his place as a main event talent. However, Randy Orton is not exactly a brimming example of excellence outside the ring.
Randy Orton knows and acknowledges the fact that he can be difficult to deal with and gets points for owning that fact but Orton has also had his trouble with substances and suspensions as well as being discharged from the Marines for going AWOL in his youth.
11. Jake Roberts
Perhaps Jake “The Snake” Roberts never wanted to be considered a wrestling hero as he played the role of “bad guy” so well but eventually Roberts grew on the people as his status within WWE would change.
In fact – after burning many bridges with the company – Jake Roberts was afforded a second chance in 1996 with his most memorable moment coming at King of the Ring where he lost in the finals to a rising redneck Superstar.
Away from wrestling, Jake Roberts has been riddled with personal problems that include years of substance abuse and detachment from his family. These tough situations are documented in the film “Beyond the Mat.”
10. CM Punk
“Are they really including CM Punk on this list?” … Yes, yes we are … You may hate him right now but there was once a time when CM Punk was considered a wrestling hero, the man who was going to alter the direction of WWE.
And what did we get for CM Punk’s efforts? A few cool promos back in the summer of 2011 and the return of Kevin Nash. Obviously, the change CM Punk had in mind did not match the vision of the company.
And this is where CM Punk becomes a let down. Punk is not on this list for drug or alcohol problems but for not being a man of his word and bailing on those who believed in his message of change.
There has never been a Diva quite like Chyna. No woman before or since has ever embodied that strange mix of beauty and brawn that could eclipse many of the male workers in WWE.
Chyna became something different. someone who stood out from the crowd with pride and confidence. This was a woman who girls could look up to as a role model. Chyna was kicking ass in a world dominated by men.
However, when Chyna fell from grace she landed with much shame. Chyna found herself lost in the Adult Film scene while also dealing with substance abuse issues and a seemingly endless need for recognition from WWE.
8. Shawn Michaels
The following entry dates back to the days of Shawn Michaels as a rambunctious egotist who felt the WWE locker room was his personal playground and that his “Kliq” was an unstoppable and untouchable crew.
Shawn Michaels had it all despite his size: the looks, the talent, and the charm. Michaels was the Man for a number of years in WWE until his back cracked and a whirlwind of personal problems swept HBK away.
While Shawn Michaels was a beloved wrestling personality, in the real world, Michaels was taking pills, having affairs, getting into fights, and living life full-throttled. Then of course, Michaels found the Lord and his Salvation.
7. Scott Hall
While Scott Hall may have lost the distinction of “wrestling hero” when he made the jump over to WCW, there was a time when Razor Ramon was a beloved character on the other side in WWE.
Scott Hall has long been a troubled man with legal issues dating back before his wrestling career. Nevertheless, Hall found a way to make a gimmick that was pretty corny work and get over with the WWE crowd.
Scott Hall now lives with a number of health issues stemming from hard years of alcohol and drug abuse. Hall has been arrested a number of times and seemingly remains rooted in his personal struggle.
6. Jeff Hardy
The more popular side of The Hardy Boyz comes in as a crazed and somewhat confusing personality. Jeff Hardy was once the hottest commodity in professional wrestling, riding a massive wave of popularity in WWE.
Jeff Hardy become a true underdog hero to the fans and when Hardy captured the WWE Championship it felt like a victory for the weird, the wild, and the wayward. Those who stray from what is considered “normal.”
Unfortunately, Jeff Hardy would find himself suspended by WWE and trapped beneath his substance abuse. Subsequently leaving the company and taking his unique style elsewhere, places WWE fans care not to look.
5. Kurt Angle
One of the most accomplished and all-around gifted performers to ever participate in the act of professional wrestling is undeniably Kurt Angle. The Olympic Gold Medallist turned WWE Champion.
Kurt Angle has been away from the WWE spotlight for a number of years now but has never been forgotten. The former hero would be welcomed back with open arms by the WWE Universe despite his indiscretions.
Kurt Angle has had multiple runs ins with the law and arrests based on intoxicated driving. Angle has also used performance enhancing drugs during his career, a real let down coming from such a tremendous athlete.
4. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin is considered more of a wrestling anti-hero than the typical kind of hero to which fans have grown accustom. Stone Cold changed the perception of the “face” performer and provided it with a brand new outlook.
In terms of WWE alone, there is no doubt that Stone Cold Steve Austin is the greatest WWE Superstar of all time. However, even the best of the best has experienced his share of dark moments away from the business.
Stone Cold Steve Austin – as much as everybody loves him – has displayed actions that have let even the biggest fans down such as steroid use and the abuse of his ex-wife, former WWE Diva, Debra.
3. Ric Flair
Throughout his career, Ric Flair loved to played the villain. In fact he would insist on portraying a heel. Flair never desired to be anybody’s hero, only the subject of their greatest envy.
This format worked early on but eventually the people grew to love Ric Flair. “The Nature Boy” has always been a magnetic character. Therefore, whether he liked it or not, Flair became a wrestling hero.
In the real world, Ric Flair has been known as a playboy who truly lives up to his wrestling personality. Flair has been arrested for road rage and has partied in excess. This may sound fun for some but for others these actions are a let down.
2. The Ultimate Warrior
Those fuzzy feelings of childhood. Those memories of face panting. Those good times watching The Ultimate Warrior run down to the ring and smash an opponent. The nostalgia sure kicked in when Warrior was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Then, like everything else that provides a good buzz, the nostalgia wore off and suddenly The Ultimate Warrior didn’t seem so cool. Then, unfortunately and abruptly, Warrior passed away and the feelings began to roll once again.
During his wrestling days, The Ultimate Warrior was a hero to many but observing the man as an adult makes one realize that Warrior was just another self-centered homophobe who happened to catch a lucky break.
1. Hulk Hogan
There is no bigger wrestling hero than Hulk Hogan. That is a fact that cannot be disputed by any old school fan, casual fan, or member of the IWC. Hulk Hogan was the biggest star in the industry and a hero to millions around the world.
Unlike John Cena, Hulk Hogan only played a hero on screen. In real life, we have all come to see the terrible side of “Hulkamania.” The dark side we never knew as children and now view in clear light.
Aside from the substances – which is a commonality among the wrestling world – Hulk Hogan has made a sex tape with the wife of a friend and has been caught on tape using derogatory terms towards black people.
Hulk Hogan the hero died long ago. This is Hulk Hogan the hack.
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