Full disclosure: This list began as the “Top 25 Insane Stories Involving Wrestlers,” but it soon became apparent that there were too many crazy stories for even a list of this length. Even if the list were limited to events that occurred outside of the ring (which it is), it would still be too long. There are simply too many shenanigans constantly occurring in wrestling - especially back in the classic days - to summarize them in one place.
On that note, the list was pared down even more, eliminating the darker “insane” stories, or the ones involving crimes committed or actions taken that weren’t absurd in nature. What we’re left with are the crazy, borderline-unbelievable, yet still very funny moments that occurred outside of the wrestling ring while still involving the figures who found fame inside it.
As many fans are aware, a lot of nutty things can happen when you take deranged individuals who are playing even more twisted characters and force them to hang out together for extended periods of time. Pranks a-plenty were pulled, friendships were formed, alliances were drawn, and rivalries often developed - usually in the name of good fun, but things could occasionally get carried away. Adding to the humor, fellow babyfaces were sometimes at odds offscreen and offstage, and arch-enemies were often actually close friends in real life - which could confuse (and possibly anger) fans who might find out. In the end, it’s clear there is and was always a lot of absurdity abound in the industry, and although it’s nearly impossible to compile all the insanely-funny instances, we sure as hell tried.
Here are the top 25 hilarious stories involving wrestlers.
25 Harley Pulled A Piece On Hulk
Before WWE went national in the ‘80s, wrestling was operated on a city-by-city basis, with local promotions running all the shows in the area. Unsurprisingly, the old guard wasn’t too pleased when Vince McMahon took his show on the road and began televising matches nationally. Tensions were high in some locations, and during a stop in Kansas City, they boiled over. In 1984, Harley Race (then a partial owner of a regional NWA promotion) stormed into the dressing room of a visiting Hulk Hogan, punched the wrestler, and threatened him for the WWE’s alleged wrongdoing.
24 Jim Cornette’s Personal Smackdown
23 Daniel Bryan Busts A Burglar
21 Andre’s Drinking Accomplishments
20 Paul Bearer’s Pee Predicament
19 The Undertaker Meets His Match
18 Fire Away!
17 Mad Max: Wrestler’s Road
Despite ample planning, there’s obviously a lot of danger and general recklessness involved in wrestling, but why limit that to the ring? When Sting and the Steiner brothers would drive to the next venue, if they encountered any other wrestlers on the road, it would turn into an all-out war. They’d throw everything possible at the other cars, and would even try to pull open their enemies’ doors at full speed. In one extreme instance, Paul Heyman recalled riding with the Samoan Swat Team through North Carolina when they spotted the Sting/Steiner car, which proceeded to bombard their own with all kinds of food (including a whole watermelon).
16 Hacksaw’s Best Bud
Back in the ‘80s, there were two major no-nos as far as personal activities go: don’t get arrested (especially for drugs) and try not to break kayfabe. Hacksaw Jim Duggan managed to check both these boxes in a single incident. In 1987, Hacksaw was pulled over during a routine traffic stop and fessed up to possessing marijuana. Not only did he possess it on his person, but also in his system, as both Hacksaw and his passenger were high as kites.
15 Andre Flips Out
14 The Undertaker & Kevin Nash: Business As Usual
13 The Undertaker Protects The Boss
Vince McMahon is a super competitive persona and so is former Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle. The two were so competitive that they would have a series of grappling contests in which McMahon would try and take down Angle. One day, McMahon caught Angle off guard and was able to take him down. Angle sought revenge.
12 The Plane Ride from Hell
On May 5th 2002, an assortment of wrestlers and various WWE staff members boarded a chartered 747 with a full open bar (and a lot of GHB). Below is a summary of their offenses during the flight:
Numerous wrestlers repeatedly handed various syringes to flight attendants with instructions to dispose of them.
- Curt Hennig and Brock Lesnar started a friendly amateur wrestling-style ‘take-down’ tussle that soon got out of hand, and the duo went at it so hard that they almost popped open the emergency exit at 30,000 feet and had to be separated.
- Ric Flair was strutting around in an open robe while coming onto, harassing, and flashing the flight attendants (two of whom later sued him).
- Dustin Rhodes (a.k.a, Goldust) verbally harassed numerous flight attendants before taking over the plane’s PA system and drunkenly serenading his ex-wife, Terri Runnels.
- Scott Hall was unconscious for most of the flight, but apprently still had time to verbally abuse and slobber on the face of a flight attendant. He passed out so had they had to take him off the plane in a wheelchair.
- Michael Hayes was so wasted that he almost pissed on Linda McMahon, thinking he was in the bathroom. After passing out, X-Pac cut off his mullet. Hayes didn’t realize it until he was later going through customs.
11 Nelson Scott Simpson Sees Red
10 The Wild Samoans’ Silent Treatment
Remember the Wild Samoans? They were two big dudes named Afa and Siko who, despite hailing from American Samoa (where 80% of the population speaks English), pretended to only be able to communicate in noises and grunts. And they took this seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it once got Hulk Hogan in a mess of legal trouble. Get this: According to Hogan’s autobiography, the trio were once traveling from Florida to New York by car and were stopped by a police officer. When Hogan went for his license in the glove box, his brand new, unregistered gun fell out, and the cop understandably freaked out.
9 El Santo Unmasked
8 Rowdy Roddy Goes Boot Hunting
Want a pair of alligator boots? If you’re a normal person, you go to a store. If you’re Rowdy Roddy Piper, you try to kill the alligator yourself. In 1984, Piper, wrestlers Kevin Sullivan and Wally Dusek, and referee Bill Alfonso were traveling through Florida when they spotted a specimen. They stopped the car and Piper, armed with a pistol, shot the gator at least twice. “As soon as I hit him, he slid into the water and was motionless,” Piper later recalled. “For 10 minutes, we threw rocks at it, hitting it in the head. It did not move.” He and Sullivan then stripped down to their tights and began wading into the dark, opaque water to retrieve the prize; the former to grab it, and the latter to splash the water to scare other gators away.
7 DDP the Cookie Monster
Back before the big money days of wrestling, wrestlers used to have to share hotel rooms - often three men in a single one. Mick Foley, Steve Austin, and Diamond Dallas Page used to be roommates, but Foley and Austin would get annoyed by Page sleeping in the nude and decided the best way to lose him was psychological torture. Completely immature psychological torture to a man known for flying off the handle at a moment’s notice. Brilliant.
6 The Infamous Slip’n’Slide Incident
5 Stone Cold Shower
4 Curt Hennig’s Crappy Pranks
Although we tried to leave some of the more vile ribs off this list, we have to include a couple nods to Curt Hennig, one of the greatest pranksters wrestling has ever seen. In the first instance, Hennig took advantage of an opportunity where he knew the Ultimate Warrior would need to spend a significant amount of time waiting underneath the ring for a teleportation gimmick using a trap door. When Warrior arrived underneath, just before the Nitro taping began, he discovered Hennig had left a bucket of fresh excrement in his hiding place. Despite the unimaginable stench, Warrior had no choice but to remain under the ring for three full hours. He reportedly vomited at least once during this wait.
3 Owen Hart the Merry Prankster
This spot really should belong to ALL of Owen Hart’s pranks, because the true hilarity was how many he managed to pull on his fellow wrestlers. For purposes of narrowing it down, let’s focus on just the prank calls, because Hart was apparently exceptionally skilled at those. One time, while Hart was checking into a hotel, the front desk received a routine call from Hacksaw Jim Duggan about locating a nearby gym. Seeing an opportunity, Hart grabbed the phone and - pretending to be the receptionist - told Duggan to “look for it yourself, you lazy bastard.” When Duggan hung up and stormed into the lobby, he realized he had been had.
A similar story occurred when a fan at a meet-and-greet asked Val Venis to sign an entire stack of photos, to which Venis denied the request, thinking he planned to sell them. Later that night, Hart called Venis while pretending to be the fan and harassed Val until he too realized he was the victim of a prank.
In another, Hart called Ahmed Johnson while pretending to be someone from The Tonight Show and invited him on the show. Johnson bought an expensive new suit and waited quite a while for a limo that never came before Hart revealed his trick.
2 Cops Make Coach Cry
One of the most impressive pranks in wrestling history was actually pulled by Vince McMahon, and former WWE commentator, interviewer, and occasional wrestler Jonathan “The Coach” Coachman was the victim. In 2001, Jerry Brisco told Coach to start a $10 football pool and collect the money from everybody. Soon afterward, on the night a Smackdown taping, two cops showed up and arrested Coach for running an illegal gambling operation. While exiting the building, the trio ran into Vince, who got in Coach’s face and berated him in front of everybody for 45 minutes, and refused to pay the $1,500 for his bail, saying, “F--- no, he’s on his own.” The cops drove for a mile with Coach handcuffed in the backseat before turning around and heading back to Vince’s office, claiming they forgot something.
1 Basically Meng’s Entire Life
Tonga Fifita, better known as “Meng” or “Haku,” is one of the baddest dudes to ever wrestler, and his feats outside the ring are the stuff of Chuck Norris jokes - except worse, and actually true (allegedly.) We couldn’t possibly narrow this down to one funny story (and to be honest, most of the tales are only funny because they are completely insane) so here’s a list of the things Meng apparently did, with the source in parenthesis:
- During a bar fight: "Meng bit through the guy's shirt like a wolf, bit a chunk out of the guy's back, then spit it on the floor.” - wrestler/booker Kevin Sullivan
- When a man at a hotel bar said wrestling was fake: “I reached over without thinking - there are four other guys there - grabbed his face, and bit his nose off. Then the fight started.” - Meng himself, with witnesses
- When Meng was handcuffed behind his back by police for breaking up a fight, he looked at the police and snapped off his cuffs in one motion. - Ted DiBiase
- During another bar fight: "[Meng] took his two fingers on his right hand, his index finger and trigger finger, and he reached into the guy's mouth and he broke off the guy's bottom teeth." - Manager Bobby Heenan
- During a fight with eight cops: "They shot him with mace and he closed his eyes and sucked it in. He just opened his mouth and took a deep breath. I mean, some of the stuff he did was like, 'What the hell?' Scotty and I always thought we were tough guys, but that was before we met Meng." - Rick Steiner
- Meng was never fired from WCW because no one was brave enough to do it. - Former WCW head Eric Bischoff
We’ll leave you with this quote from Jake “The Snake” Roberts: "If I had a gun and was sitting inside a tank with one shell left and Meng is 300 yards away, he's mine, right? Well the first thing I'm going to do is jump out of the tank and shoot myself because I don't want to wound that son of a bitch and have him pissed off at me."
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