The wrestling industry is one of the pettiest businesses when it comes to talent having issues with each other. Many of the subjects of hatred in the real life rivalries shown on this list are due to decisions, issues or moments that caused one of the parties to have a negative effect on the other’s career. Whether it is due to someone losing a main event spot, a push or a job, it likely starts with someone feeling they were screwed out of what they deserve by another wrestler.
The popularity of the internet and the introduction of social media have also added a new factor in giving wrestlers more options to get petty and take sly shots at each other. Wrestling podcasts, shoot interviews and blogs tend to attract more attention than it does in other sports or entertainment genres and it’s because there’s usually more drama associated with it. Egos are more fragile and volatile as the nature of the wrestling business creates an interesting dynamic. Unlike sports, being “the best” doesn’t mean you’re going to make the most money and be the most successful. Getting a push is required and drama or politics involving other wrestlers can affect that.
Not all of the situations discussed are intense hatred on both sides as they would likely work together for the right money but it shows how easy it is to get sucked into the political side of wrestling with immature feuds and bitter mindsets. Granted, many of the folks are justified in defending themselves and striking back against someone who wronged them. It all depends on perspective but you can’t argue this is more common in pro wrestling than it is in other art forms – at least publicly. Looking at the real life situations that caused it to happen, these are the top stories of wrestlers who hate each other.
20. Triple H and Goldberg
The bad blood between Triple H and Goldberg has lived through many years as the two just can’t seem to get along. On an episode of Tough Enough, Triple H verbally destroyed the cast of wrestling hopefuls for having a poster of Goldberg in their home. Triple H stated Goldberg had no respect or passion for the business and made it clear he didn’t appreciate that. When Goldberg came to WWE, his momentum was halted when taking his first pin fall loss to Triple H. The loss changed Goldberg’s position in WWE and he credits it as politics being used to slight his chances at success. As recently as 2010, the hatred lives on as Triple H said Goldberg was not “Hall of Fame worthy” when looking at his career.
19. Konnan and Curtis Axel
— Curtis Axel (@RealCurtisAxel) July 15, 2015
Most of the examples of dislike exhibited between wrestlers on this list are due to run-ins the parties endured while working together, but this is an exception to the rule. Retired WCW star Konnan is very outspoken on his Twitter when it comes to giving his thoughts on the current pro wrestling landscape. Konnan buried Curtis Axel in 2013 for being boring and not having a personality, referring to him as “wonder bread.” Axel responded and the two exchanged insults over social media. A few months ago, Axel said his late father, the legendary Mr. Perfect, hated putting over Konnan in what may have been the dagger.
18. Stephanie McMahon and Chyna
Triple H ending his relationship with Chyna to date Stephanie McMahon resulted in Chyna losing her job in WWE, along with her boyfriend. Life changed dramatically for all parties as Triple H and Stephanie became the most powerful couple in wrestling history controlling the future of the industry. Chyna’s life fell apart with poor choices and personal demons bringing her down. Chyna has stated she feels the heartbreak that came from Stephanie going after her man caused a downward spiral. Stephanie does not comment publicly about Chyna but based off WWE’s desire to keep her out of the Hall of Fame and the lack of her presence in specials about the Attitude Era, the ill feelings still lives on both sides.
17. Ric Flair and Scott Steiner
Two of the biggest names in WCW history have a negative history when working together. Scott Steiner believes Ric Flair used his name and power in WCW to hold him down. Steiner is one of the most outspoken people in wrestling and has become popular for his incredible rants on talent he dislikes. Flair was one of the original names Steiner would run down and many believe it started due to a match in the early 90s. Steiner was getting a singles push and his first big match was against Flair. Despite being known for his elite in-ring work, Flair did not look like his usual superb self that night and many wondered if he intentionally performed poorly to sabotage Steiner. Holding a grudge, Steiner has been taking shots at Flair for years with Flair occasionally throwing a jab back.
16. Taz and Chris Jericho
An extremely petty case of dislike between wrestling personalities come in the new world of wrestling podcasts. Chris Jericho is the host of “Talk Is Jericho” on PodcastOne and claims his episodes gets millions of downloads and listens. Taz is currently hosting “The Taz Show” on CBS and has publicly expressed his lack of belief in Jericho’s claims both on Twitter and on his podcast show. The issue started when Jericho promoted his interview with Samoa Joe as Joe’s first interview after leaving TNA. Taz interviewed Joe a week prior and was not pleased about Jericho ignoring his show. While they don’t get extremely personal, Taz still takes shots at Jericho when referenced on his show.
15. Melina and Candice Michelle
Melina has the reputation of being one of the more difficult female wrestling personalities to work with, earning her the apt term of “diva.” One of the wrestlers that did not get along with her was Candice Michelle. While working together in WWE, the two would trade insults online as the internet was starting to give wrestlers more opportunities to bury each other on audio shows, blogs and social media. Michelle accused Melina of stealing one of her moves when doing an interview and Melina struck back blogging her frustrations with Michelle being handed a spot rather than going to wrestling school and paying her dues. The two engaged in more insults and rumor had it that they had backstage heat for years until each left the WWE.
14. Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo
The hatred between two controversial figures in pro wrestling has lived many years between Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo. When Russo was originally brought into WCW, it was to replace Bischoff as the man in charge of creative but soon after, plans were changed and the two were forced to work together. They couldn’t get along as their personalities were different and Russo was against veterans like Hulk Hogan, who happened to Bischoff’s closest ally. Almost a decade later, TNA had the bright idea to make them work together again and, of course, it failed. In the recent weeks, Bischoff has appeared on WWE Network programming trashing Russo’s work in WCW. Russo has responded by saying Bischoff was a jerk to work with and he’s “tired of taking his crap.”
13. New Jack and Balls Mahoney
A case of dislike between wrestlers getting very real saw ECW wrestlers New Jack and Balls Mahoney get into a fight at an Extreme Rising wrestling show. The two had heat for months before this moment but things escalated when Mahoney used the n-word when referring to New Jack on a shoot interview DVD. The fight started as the two encountered each other at the show following the interview and New Jack attacked Balls, getting the better of him. Both men filmed a shoot interview together debating their issues leaving many to wonder if it was all a work but New Jack claims it was legitimate and he still holds a grudge against Mahoney.
12. Alberto Del Rio and Sin Cara
Two of the biggest stars in Mexican wrestling history to make the jump to WWE were Alberto Del Rio and the original Sin Cara, Mistico. Despite having the similarities in their career progressions, they never got along and were engaged in a backstage feud for years. Konnan revealed the former Sin Cara once pulled a gun on Alberto in Mexico at the height of their hatred. Years later in WWE, Del Rio would work stiff with Sin Cara to the point where even the most casual fan realized this was not ordinary action on Raw. The rivals seemed to have squashed their hate for each other while working together in AAA following their departures from WWE but a few months ago, Del Rio went off on the original Sin Cara on Twitter and threatened to beat him up.
11. Scott Steiner and Triple H
Scott Steiner returned to the WWE as a singles star at Survivor Series 2002 and was welcomed with a massive ovation from the Madison Square Garden crowd. Many thought Steiner’s tenure in WWE would be a success with such a tremendous re-introduction. Steiner was used in a title program against Triple H a few months into the return but the two had negative chemistry. Following a couple of terrible matches and a mediocre WWE run following the loss to Triple H, Steiner ranted about Triple after leaving the company. Steiner has delivered harsh words for Triple H for years. claiming he’s “the Kevin Federline of wrestling” due to his relationship with Stephanie McMahon. Triple H has responded with little digs about Steiner passing blame for failing in WWE.
10. Sunny and Ashley Massaro
The story of Tammy “Sunny” Sytch and Ashley Massaro reached new levels of hatred this past year on social media. Their dislike for each other started with Sunny making comments over the years about the rumors of Massaro working as a high end escort at one point during her WWE career. Ashley responded by posting very unflattering nude pics of Sunny, who has been performing sexual web cam shows for paying customers on Skype. Sunny claimed the photos were doctored but considering her new line of work, it was likely legitimate and it gave Massaro the knockout punch.
9. Kevin Owens and Jim Cornette
Before signing with WWE, Kevin Owens was one of the biggest stars in standout independent wrestling promotion Ring of Honor. Jim Cornette was brought to the company for a creative position and he did not get along with Owens. Following months of tension, Cornette sent Owens home for a while, wanting him to lose weight. When Owens returned to ROH, he would cut harsh promos about Cornette that was based off reality and the two feuded on the program before Cornette would leave the company. This was when the hatred really showcased publicly as Cornette didn’t respect Owens as a professional due to his nontraditional look and brash personality. Owens responded with many insults as well, claiming Cornette treated him unfairly and tried to take away his livelihood.
8. Shane Douglas and Ric Flair
“The Franchise” Shane Douglas made his name in ECW with his popularity forming due to edgy “shoot” promos calling out many people in the wrestling industry. The most popular target of Douglas’ insults was Ric Flair. Douglas believes Flair held him back in WCW when he was a young rising star with potential and Flair had booking influence as the biggest star in the promotion. Douglas would vehemently trash Flair for years using any opportunity to demean the legend. Flair responded calling out Douglas’ lack of success in WWE and WCW and mocked the former ECW Champion for working at a Target in 2005. The two still trade insults whenever asked about the other.
7. Bret Hart and Triple H
The disdain between Triple H and Bret Hart started during the Attitude Era as Triple H was the best friend of Hart’s enemy, Shawn Michaels. Hart and Michaels had the strongest hatred in wrestling history before making peace a few years ago but Bret held onto his grudge with Triple H. In interviews, Triple H stated he played a large role in “The Montreal Screwjob” telling Michaels to refuse to lose to Hart and still believes Hart takes himself way too seriously. When asked about Triple H’s place in wrestling history, Hart said he was overrated and called him a “4 out of 10” when ranking the talent. The two are cordial enough for Bret to make sporadic WWE appearances but clearly, the hatred lives on in their comments.
6. Paul London and Matt Hardy
A love triangle is always the perfect recipe to form an ol’ fashioned wrestling war. After ending a relationship with Matt Hardy, Ashley Massaro started to date Paul London and that’s where things got started. London ranted strong on Hardy when released from the WWE saying Hardy was very rude to him and tried to get him in trouble with the office. Hardy responded by calling London delusional and refuting the allegations. For years, London took insults at Hardy’s hardships when having a poor run in TNA. The two worked together again briefly in ROH but London claimed in a podcast interview that he refused a pitch to work a storyline with Hardy as there’s still issues there.
5. Randy Orton and Mr. Kennedy
Ken Anderson, formerly known as Mr. Kennedy, was one of the fastest rising superstars in WWE and looked like a surefire future world champion. Situations like injuries and failing a wellness policy test caused his major pushes to end but his career in WWE died due to heat with Randy Orton. In a tag match, Kennedy dropped Orton harder than Orton expected during a move and Orton complained to management about Kennedy being unsafe. Kennedy was released shortly after and vented about Orton in interviews following claiming Orton was out of line. Orton responded by trashing Kennedy in a blog claiming he never apologized for working reckless and called him a marginal talent.
4. Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan
Following his WrestleMania IX title win over Yokozuna, Hulk Hogan was scheduled to lose it back to Bret Hart at SummerSlam as a “passing of the torch moment” but Hogan refused. This caused Hart to hold a hatred for Hogan over the years that still lives strongly today. Hart has called Hogan many insulting terms including a “phony piece of s**t” and a “dirtbag.” At one point, Hart illustrated an unflattering picture of Hogan as “the roid king” and posted it on social media. Hogan tries to shrug off the hate by saying he has love for Hart but he also holds a grudge as he has gone on the record to call Bret a bitter person who needs to find happiness.
3. Jim Cornette and Vince Russo
With a very different approach to the wrestling business, Jim Cornette and Vince Russo instantly become longtime enemies. Russo was named head writer of WWE as the company was going in a more edgy style with the Attitude Era and Cornette was demoted with his traditional mindset not gelling well with it. The two were forced to work together again in TNA and it worked out just as poorly. Cornette was fired after emailing a fellow co-worker about wanting to murder Russo. While likely not speaking in literal terms, the company did not take a death threat lightly. Cornette has been running down Russo for years since calling him one of the dumbest minds in the industry. Russo doesn’t respond as bluntly but he makes it clear he doesn’t respect Cornette either.
2. Hulk Hogan and Scott Steiner
The most interesting thing to come from Hulk Hogan’s time in TNA was how pissed off it made Scott Steiner. After leaving TNA, Steiner went on Twitter and delivered some absolutely vicious insults to Hogan, Hogan’s family, Eric Bischoff and a few others he felt were bringing the company down. Steiner was sued by TNA on behalf of Hogan and Bischoff, which stopped the tweets for the time being. At an airport during this year’s WrestleMania weekend, Steiner had words with Hogan’s wife at an airport and she claimed he threatened her, leading to police reports and Steiner getting banned from attending WWE’s Hall of Fame. During a more recent twitter tirade, Steiner claimed security footage showed he didn’t threaten Hogan’s wife and it was a ploy by Hulk to get back at him.
1. CM Punk and Triple H
The hatred between CM Punk and Triple H is so fascinating that you question how the company never made more money off of it. From Punk’s debut, internet rumors claimed Triple H disliked him from the start due to his look and unconventional style. Punk would become a big star but his hottest momentum ended during a questionable storyline involving Kevin Nash and Triple H. HHH and Punk would cut very personal promos against each other that blurred the lines between script and reality. Triple H got the big win in their match and Punk held on to that questionable decision. One of the factors in Punk walking out of WWE was refusing to work with Triple H at WrestleMania XXX. Punk claimed Triple H sabotaged him and never respected him. The claims weren’t unfounded as WWE sent Punk his official “termination” papers from the company on the day of his wedding with A.J. Lee. That’s how you play the game.
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