The wrestling business gives us joy and creates memories. It’s been said that there are two types of wrestling fans – those that watch as children and those that never stop watching. The belief is once you have the wrestling fandom past a certain age, you’re destined to love it for the rest of your life. WWE frequently celebrates and markets their history because fans from every prior era still have a fond memory of their time and want to watch it. The positives are overwhelming but there are quite a few negatives involved with the pro wrestling industry and especially in WWE.
Wrestling has a reputation of many of their talents having bad attitudes. This has seemed to change for the better today with many of the current stars being known for their kindness and appreciation of the business. The past state of the industry saw a lot of the wrestlers become complete scumbags. The 80s era featured drugs, money and power corrupting the scene with WWE starting to become a worldwide phenomenon. The 90s featured petty drama such as gossip and bullying between the wrestlers backstage. Wrestlers having issues with each other or with the fans have been a staple of the business for a long time and it’s created interesting stories.
This list will look at many of the worst people in wrestling and the things they did that made them outcasts to fellow wrestlers and to us fans. Unfortunately, not all scumbags are created equally and some of the scumbags in wrestling were stellar performers that cause us to remember them fondly for the on-camera memories. We’re going to look at the ones that flat out disgust you and give great shame to the wrestling business. These are the wrestlers that are so terrible that you don’t want to remember anything about them. Without further ado, here are the top fifteen wrestling scumbags we would like to forget.
14 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan's reputation has officially destroyed the great memories he delivered for wrestling fans. There was always the elephant in the room, of him not being a very good person due to stories of him burying and demeaning other wrestlers but it reached a new low last year. The sex tape tirade heard all over the world saw Hogan exposed for saying racist things and using horrible slurs. Between his personal slips and his racist rant, he personifies the negative side of wrestling. The Hulkster is unfortunately one of the worst people in wrestling fans are hoping to forget.
13 Hardcore Holly
Bullying is no longer tolerated in society and by proxy is no longer accepted in pro wrestling. We weren't always so evolved, as wrestling has a plethora of horror stories where talent bullied each other backstage. Hardcore Holly has the reputation of being one of the veterans that would assert himself by picking on rookies. The Tough Enough footage of Holly basically assaulting rookie Matt Cappotelli in the ring lives on today. There was also the time Holly beat up Rene Dupree and gave him a black eye for getting a ticket on their rental car.
12 Mark Madden
WCW’s last few years featured some of the more ridiculous ideas in wrestling and commentary was not exempt from that. Mark Madden is most known for being a sports radio host but WCW decided to make him one of the commentators in a rebuilding effort. The decline from the likes of Bobby Heenan or Mike Tenay to Madden was staggering and embarrassed the promotion. Madden made horrible jokes and showed an overall lack of wrestling intelligence despite being a fan of the product. His reputation is even worse now, as he still insults many wrestlers and makes frequent offensive comments on Twitter. The time Madden spent in the business is shameful to all wrestling fans.
11 Juventud Guerrera
The WCW Cruiserweight division of the 90s featured many future stars of the business such as Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio. Most of the other wrestlers in the division were extremely talented but just couldn’t connect on such a broad level. Juventud Guerrera was one of those names and he is still bitter about it. Mysterio stated in his book that Guerrera was resentful of his success, which strained their once close friendship. Another instance of Guerrera betraying his friends featured him revealing details of Sean Waltman’s suicide attempt against his wishes. Guerrera has one of the larger egos in wrestling and has spurned too many wrestlers with low class moments.
10 Kevin Dunn
The average wrestling has no clue who Kevin Dunn is, but he’s one of the most powerful people in WWE. Dunn has worked as a television producer for over two decades and is often referred to as Vince McMahon’s right hand man. Recent rumors have surfaced stating Dunn has gone out of his way to bury NXT talents coming up and is in a power struggle with Triple H due to their difference in ideologies. The word of mouth is Dunn has used his production power to show signs or accentuate moments that portray wrestlers he dislikes in a negative light. The hope is that Triple H will let Dunn go when the regime officially changes.
9 Bubba Ray Dudley
Most of us remember The Dudley Boyz with fond memories. With success in WWE, ECW and TNA, there is no doubt Bubba Ray Dudley is a future Hall of Famer and one of the most successful tag team wrestlers of all time, but there’s also no doubt that he’s a scumbag. Bubba was known for being one of the bullies in both WWE and ECW. There’s a reason he was given the name Bully Ray in TNA and it's very fitting. Rene Dupree claims Bubba would hurt other wrestlers on purpose and gave him multiple concussions in his career. Between his current disappointing run on WWE television and the stories of him being a jerk, we all want to forget Bubba.
8 The Original Sin Cara
Sin Cara is one of the biggest disappointments in WWE history and the original portrayal by the former Mistico is the major reason why. Mistico failed to adapt to the WWE style and it resulted in comedic botches on a nightly basis. The personality behind the mask made it worse as Mistico had a huge ego following his success in WWE. The former Sin Cara had heat with Alberto Del Rio in WWE, but it went all the way back to their days wrestling in Mexico. Konnan claims Mistico pulled a gun on Del Rio at one point during one of their arguments. Mistico’s ego already caused him to leave AAA but thank goodness he’s not returning to WWE.
7 The Honky Tonk Man
The popularity of podcast interviews has opened up a world for wrestling fans to get all of the inside information. Before podcasts took over the internet, wrestling had shoot interviews where wrestlers would answer all the juicy questions on a DVD. Very few wrestlers filmed as many interviews as The Honky Tonk Man. With a silly gimmick, Honky Tonk lucked into success in WWE with a memorable Intercontinental Championship run. The 80s star has buried countless wrestlers, throwing dirt at just about everyone he worked with and to make matters worse, many of those guys have provided proof that he was lying about the stories.
6 Bill Goldberg
WCW struck gold with the popularity of Bill Goldberg, making him one of the hottest stars in company history. Goldberg was given everything right away with a huge push that saw him win every match to continue his 173 match winning streak despite having terrible matches. Through his entire career, Goldberg only suffered a handful of losses and it made him entitled. Goldberg developed a poor attitude and was reckless with other wrestlers in the ring. Chris Jericho and William Regal roughed him up at different points to send a message and those two guys are often referenced as true professionals. Goldberg still believes WWE should call him back for a WrestleMania main event level match. Get a grip, Bill.
A couple of the wrestlers on this list abused their power by bullying other wrestlers and JBL may be the most popular choice for that act. Bradshaw bullied many young wrestlers coming up and tried to make the life of other wrestlers a living heel for little to no reason. As a lifelong midcarder until 2004, Bradshaw was given a world title push with the new character JBL and the popular belief was this happened due to his close relationship with Vince McMahon. Looking back at the work today, most of his matches were boring. Now, he’s currently a mess on commentary. JBL’s history says he’s a scumbag and his current work makes us want to forget him as soon as possible.
5. John Laurinaitis
John Laurinaitis had a career of ups and downs as a wrestler. Laurinaitis would obtain more success in a management role. WWE retained him from WCW after the latter was bought out and he actually survived longer than just about every other employee to make the change. Vince McMahon was a fan of Laurinaitis’ mind and gave him a position as the head of talent relations for over eight years. The criticism comes from Laurinaitis hiring models and bodybuilders with very little scouting rather than looking for the best talents. Almost every wrestler to get fired from WWE under his regime has nothing but negative things to say about Laurinaitis and he definitely harmed the product with his decisions.
4 Buff Bagwell
When you talk about a terrible wrestler with an overinflated ego, Buff Bagwell has to stand out among the 90s wrestling stars. WCW gave Bagwell every opportunity to succeed but he flopped every single time. Bagwell had the reputation of talking down to other wrestlers and actually instigated a fight with Shane Helms after both were brought over to WWE. Jim Ross tells the story that Bagwell had his mother call WWE to let them know that Bagwell would be missing a show due to being “under the weather.” Bad attitude, terrible matches and the worst excuse possible makes Bagwell a definite case of a scumbag we want to forget.
3 Bill DeMott
The success and importance of NXT has become a new aspect of the WWE operations. NXT and WWE’s multi-million-dollar Performance Center is the key to the company’s future on many levels. Former wrestler Bill DeMott served as the head trainer for a few years but many stories broke of him taking advantage of the talent in the WWE system. Dozens of tales emerged from various wrestlers stating DeMott abused them physically or verbally and it caused WWE to let him go. DeMott was an aggressively average wrestler during his entire in-ring career, so it made it even more humorous for Hugh Morrus to play drill sergeant.
2 Teddy Hart
Teddy Hart was one of the more athletically gifted wrestlers of the last twenty years and trained at The Hart Family dungeon. While he should have been known for his unbelievable high-flying displays, Hart’s reputation was for being a scumbag to others. CM Punk came to blows with Hart as the two had a real life fight while working for TNA. Hart continues to trash other wrestlers and bookers to pass blame for his failures. Bret Hart has even tried to sever ties and called his nephew delusional. Teddy's career has unofficially come to an end due to sexual assault and drug charges.
1 Vince Russo
The greatest example of a scumbag in the wrestling business who continues to make us want to forget him is Vince Russo. Following success in the WWE during The Attitude Era, Russo has used the drawing power of Steve Austin and The Rock to carry his wrestling career for another two decades. His failures in WCW and TNA showed us all we needed to know about Russo’s shock jock writing style. Russo refuses to let us forget him by making foolish comments on a weekly basis. The former writer is trying to transition into becoming another wrestling podcast personality and has taken shots at many of today’s top stars. The sad part is Russo likely believes everything he says and continues to keep his presence in the wrestling community, but we just want to forget him already.