It’ll come as absolutely no surprise to hear that some wrestlers are absolute jerks in real life. They perform regularly in front of big crowds representing larger than life characters with cult followers. Some are fan favorites and have their names chanted by tens of thousands of people. Others are loathed heels, but still admired for their ability in the ring. The majority develop large egos, some of which cannot be contained.
These rampaging egos often lead to undesirable behavior. Some wrestlers are despised backstage for their willingness to disrespect their peers if it means career advancement. Some refuse to follow orders in the ring, and won’t let themselves be pinned by a wrestler they’re supposed to be putting over. Others are simply backstage bullies, and draw nourishment from making the existence of those beneath them on the roster a living hell.
Then there are those wrestlers who refuse to interact with fans in the appropriate fashion. They might put on a happy face at a sanctioned autograph signing or fan day, but it’s often a different story when they’re approached in the street for a photo. In fairness to them, fame no doubt has its frustrating moments. But flat out refusing to even acknowledge a fan, especially a child, is unnecessary.
Not all of these wrestling egos manifest themselves through their interactions with colleagues or fans. Sometimes these wrestlers believe they’re above the law, and act accordingly. Be it by disobeying traffic laws, skirting financial regulations, or trying on some of their wrestling moves in real life. Perhaps the most common circumnavigation of the law is through drug abuse. Steroid use is not uncommon in the industry, and neither is the abuse of painkillers and other substances.
Sometimes it’s not the ego at all. Occasionally people are just jerks from the moment they’re born. We'll try to keep the list as current as possible, as many wrestlers from the past, especially in the era of kayfabe were said to be huge jerks. But here is a current crop, a list of 20 wrestlers who are best avoided.
21 20. Billy Gunn
20 19. Kevin Nash
19 18. Brock Lesnar
We'll give Brock Lesnar credit; at least he's honest about who he is. Lesnar has repeatedly said he's not a nice person and has a distaste for people in general. Back in a 2004 interview with ESPN The Magazine, Lesnar was pretty blunt on his homophobia: "I don't like gays. Write that down in your little notebook. I don't like gays." You won't see Lesnar waving to fans and he has said he doesn't talk to anybody at WWE events, other than those he's directly working with. Don't feel bad that we're writing this. In true Lesnar fashion, if he ever were to read this, he wouldn't care.
18 17. The Miz
17 16. Batista
16 15. Melina
15 14. Sable
If you want to hear some entertaining stories about Sable's attitude problems while she was with WWE, have a listen to Jim Cornette's various shoot interviews. Perhaps it was a case of a star buying into her own hype, but Sable was not well liked by her peers and some superiors due to an inflated ego. At one point it was said that Sable viewed herself to be as big a star as Stone Cold. Her and Lesnar seem to be a good couple for each other.
14 13. Scott Hall
13 12. CM Punk
12 11. Greg Valentine
11 10. JBL
10 9. Bubba Ray Dudley
9 8. Goldberg
8 7. Randy Orton
7 6. Ric Flair
6 5. Hardcore Holly
Bob Holly’s reputation as a bully stayed with him throughout his WWE career. Former World Tag Team champion Rene Dupree felt the entire brunt of it one day when he forgot to pay a parking ticket for Holly. He offered to pay him double what he owed him but Dupree says Holly refused to accept that, instead threatening to kill him. He was then booked in a match to fight Holly, and says Holly kicked him 15 or 20 times in the head with a steel capped wrestling boot.
4 4. Triple H
This won’t come as a huge surprise. Triple H has collected a lot of enemies over the 20 years or so that he’s been climbing the WWE ladder. He’s one of the most successful wrestlers of all time, but it’s important to caveat that with the simple fact that he married the boss’s daughter all those years ago.
3 3. Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan spent the pinnacle of his career as the biggest wrestling superstar in the world. That meant that he was getting paid a huge amount of money, much more than any other guy on the roster. It led to strained relationships with most colleagues throughout his career, and several superstars have happily spoken of their distaste for the man.
2 2. Vince McMahon
1 1. New Jack
This man epitomizes the term wrestling jerk. His lowest moment came in 2004 while wrestling William Jason Lane for Thunder Wrestling Federation. Early in the match Jack pulled out a metal blade and began stabbing Lane repeatedly. He was later accused of stabbing Lane 14 times, and spent three weeks in jail. Eighteen months earlier New Jack wrestled the aging Gypsy Joe in a hardcore match. What unfolded was one of the most brutal fights ever seen. Jack decided to make his point by turning the match into a real fight, bludgeoning Gypsy Joe with a chain, a barbed wire baseball bat and several chairs, much to the disgust of the crowd.
Let’s not forget the scaffold incident either. New Jack suffered brain damage when he and Vic Grimes fell 20 feet from a scaffold, missing the tables that were in place to break their fall. In a rematch between the pair, New Jack threw Grimes off an even higher scaffold and later admitted he’d hoped to injure or kill Grimes with the stunt.
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