If the title wasn’t enough of an indicator, it’s safe to say that this list is going to get ugly.
We currently live in a wonderful age: the age of the social media boom. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter not only keep us connected more than ever with our friends and families, but they also make celebrities and athletes more accessible. Athletes and celebs can interact with their fanbase and share with them more intimately than ever before--which more often than not, does more harm than good.
If social media has taught us anything, it’s that celebrities are human beings just like us. They can make mistakes and they can say terribly offensive and dumb things that they regret. And just like the rest of us, what they say or do on their social media accounts can bite them in the rear end—HARD.
As surprising as it may seem, what you tweet or post can have serious ramifications for those who dare hit “send.” Saying something inflammatory, being overly opinionated without a filter or divulging too much information can get us average joes fired from our jobs, grilled by all of those who know us or ruin our reputations. The result is no different for athletes and performers either, especially wrestlers.
With the WWE being a corporate company, they have to uphold an image of being wholesome and professional. But even with all the PR trainings and warnings from management, wrestlers can still say the darndest things to put themselves in hot water.
29 Adam Rose Defends Himself Over Suspension
Adam Rose’s party bus is no longer following the WWE’s route and much of it has to do with tweets he should have kept to himself. In early 2016, the WWE announced that Adam Rose was to be suspended for 60 days for violating the WWE wellness policy.
The unwritten rule of the WWE when it comes to suspensions is that the offender is supposed to accept his fate and merely apologize publicly for his offense and leave it at that. Instead, Rose would tweet a lengthy reaction to the suspension, claiming innocence.
“I can say right now I did not do anything knowingly wrong and was taking prescribed medication that my Dr and I followed all the correct protocol on.”
Rose would later post his doctors note, proving that he was prescribed legal medication. Trying to garner public sympathy may have been a shot in the foot as he was subsequently released by WWE for not keeping his mouth shut and creating controversy over his suspension.
27 Tough Enough Winner's “#SocialJobbers” Tweet
The winner of the 2015 edition of Tough Enough, Josh Bredl may have won over fans and judges with his unique look, charisma and physique to be awarded a WWE contract, but he certainly has not won over his peers in the WWE locker room after making a terrible judgment call on Twitter.
The Tough Enough winner, who now goes by the ring name Bronson Matthews in NXT, tweeted a reaction to the Social Outcasts stable consisting of Heath Slater, Adam Rose, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas by calling them “#socialjobbers” and received a ton of heat from the boys in the back over it.
Kevin Owens, Heath Slater, Cody Rhodes and Curtis Axel would rip into the rookie on Twitter in response to his disrespect and Josh would respond by deleting his tweet. After his faux pas, Josh may be hoping to not make it to the main roster anytime soon with so many feathers ruffled. Maybe in NXT he can work on being “Tough Enough” to withstand the backlash.
25 Jerry Lawler Receives Death Threats For Supporting Trump
WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler has long made a living under the WWE for voicing his opinions and making jabs about celebrities and politicians but on Twitter, his opinions and stances on things should be best kept to himself.
Lawler learned this the hard way when he voiced his support for fellow WWE Hall of Famer Donald Trump (sorry to remind everyone) in the 2016 Presidential Election. Lawler told WMC Action News in Memphis that he received numerous death threats as a result of his pro-Trump tweet. He has since said that sending a tweet out about his political stance was probably not the wisest decision to make. Lawler also stated that he’s going to try not to discuss politics any further on his social media channels.
A lesson learned: wrestling and American politics don’t mix. It would be in every wrestlers best interest to keep them separate.
23 Alberto Del Rio's Controversial MexAmerican Tweet
Alberto Del Rio returned to WWE in 2015 and oddly enough he was paired with former enemy Zeb Colter. Colter, who once railed against Del Rio in character for being a Mexican who needs to go back to his country now formed an alliance with Del Rio and harped on about forming a new country called MexAmerica.
The gimmick was received rather poorly mainly for its lack of logical sense of the pairing and confusing direction of the angle. Despite its shaky foundation, the MexAmerica angle carried on for a few months and even set Twitter abuzz for a bit as Zeb Colter would rail against haters of Colter and Del Rio’s new alliance and agenda.
Del Rio would chime in with a controversial tweet, posting an unflattering picture of ethnic Mexicans who he described were what “haters” looked like. Del Rio’s tweet touched a nerve with some fans, with some going as far as calling for his job. Del Rio would delete the tweet, perhaps upon company orders.
21 Ryback Calls CM Punk Fragile
Theres a reason Ryback has earned the nickname “Eat. Tweet. Delete. Repeat” from the internet wrestling community. Ryback has a penchant for tweeting out controversial opinions and setting the internet ablaze before deleting his tweets forever. There may be too many to list at the moment but one that stood out as particularly noteworthy was his tweet calling CM Punk “fragile and insecure”.
The tweet was in response to the 2014 podcast interview that Colt Cabana did with CM Punk, who had departed with WWE and kept silent on his departure until the interview dropped. In the interview CM Punk ripped into the company, Vince McMahon, Triple H, WWE doctors as well as Ryback. Punk claimed Ryback was unsafe and dumb and injured his ribs.
Ryback would go on to tweet various shots at CM Punk and would call him out to face him in person to air out their differences. Of course, in typical Ryback-like fashion, those tweets would be deleted as soon heat would start to form online.
19 Cameron Praises Ryback And Gets Axed
As stated in the previous entry, Ryback has a very opinionated social media presence and really pours his heart out in his online posts, usually to his detriment. In 2016, he famously would post a manifesto claiming that he was done with the WWE and complained at length about his role in the company, the direction of his character and about not being used properly or paid properly. Whether Ryback was in the right or just pouting about his spot in the company, fellow wrestlers and fans took notice and also took sides.
One of those who supported Ryback was Cameron who made a name for herself in WWE via the Total Divas reality show. She praised Ryback for airing out his grievances and was also outspoken about WWE’s lack of equal opportunity and their questionable pay structure.
It’s no coincidence that soon after her supportive tweet that she was released from the WWE. Railing against WWE publicly about how they conduct business while being under contract certainly is not the way the company would like their talent standing up for themselves.
17 Randy Orton Miss Piggy Tweet
The Viper made TMZ headlines in 2014 when a picture Orton took with a fan was shared on social media and he retweeted the picture and tagged his girlfriend with a pretty rude caption.
The tweet stated, "Look @kimklro I met the Latino Ms. Piggy today at the gym. I wish you were there to have a good laugh with me! #MsPig"
Orton caught a ton of flack from his twitter followers for the insulting remark as outraged fans tore into him for his disrespect. When digging deeper, apparently the fan was a stalker of Orton and had sent private messages to both Orton and his girlfriend, harassing them. Even with that context though, Orton was forced to remove the Tweet and publicly apologized for his behavior.
“I apologize if any of my previous tweets offended anyone. The answer to bullying isn't more bullying..."
15 Cesaro Wishes McMahon Gets Cancer #hacker
Cesaro has long been an internet darling who many feel hasn’t gotten his fair share of opportunities to be a main event star in the WWE and Cesaro himself is one of them. Cesaro has voiced his displeasure regarding the direction of his character and not getting enough opportunities to grab the proverbial “brass ring” and his boss Vince McMahon has gone on record to say that Cesaro lacks charisma perhaps because he’s “Swiss”.
It certainly didn’t help matters when in early 2015 Cesaro’s Twitter account spewed vile messages complaining openly about WWE management and then going as far as to say that he hopes Vince McMahon gets cancer. Eventually after a slew of tweets it was revealed that a fan hacked Cesaro’s twitter account to vent his feelings about his favorite Swiss star.
While rumors continue to float that Cesaro may have been involved, Cesaro wasn’t reprimanded due to the hacking but this incident did spark company held meetings on online behavior.
13 Jericho Backs Bill DeMott
In 2015, NXT head trainer Bill DeMott was forced to resign from the company after numerous allegations of misconduct began coming to surface from former wrestlers who had trained within the developmental system under DeMott. The accusations were terribly damaging as victims claimed various instances of physical and verbal abuse as well as sexual harassment.
What resulted was a firestorm of negative press and social media outrage to the point that #FireDeMott became a trending topic on Twitter. DeMott would deny the allegations yet still resign to save the company further embarrassment. Longtime pal Chris Jericho would voice his opinion on the matter and defend DeMott as a great trainer but he didn’t deny the abuses done but rather played the “silver lining” card stating his training was much worse. As honorable as it seemed to defend his buddy, it did not go well with his followers.
The tweet was deleted by Jericho perhaps after realizing that defending or belittling abuse was not a smart thing to do.
11 AJ Lee Tweets To Stephanie
Former Divas Champion AJ Lee is the wife of CM Punk so it’s not too much of a stretch to believe that some of the bold and opinionated nature of her husband rubbed off on her.
When CM Punk departed the company, his wife stayed. Many believed it was only a matter of time before AJ would leave a now-awkward environment. This became all too clear in front of the eyes of fans worldwide on Twitter when AJ Lee called out her boss Stephanie McMahon on Twitter.
Stephanie McMahon was praising American actress Patricia Arquette regarding women’s rights and AJ Lee decided to point out the company’s hypocrisy by talking about fair wages between male and females on the roster.
McMahon would respond on Twitter, “Thank You AJ Lee, I appreciate your opinion” but it was reported that Stephanie was furious for being made to look bad on a public forum. Not long after, AJ Lee would leave the company, fulfilling the rest of her contract before departing.
9 Zahra Schreiber Nazi Pics Seal Her Fate
Former NXT trainee Zahra Schreiber’s short stint in the WWE was riddled from beginning to end with social media controversy. If the dirty laundry from being the “other woman” who wrecked the relationship between Seth Rollins and her ex-fiance wasn’t enough, Zahra finally did herself in when Nazi images came up on her instagram.
Zahra has posted a Swastika on her instagram page back in 2012 and her past came back to haunt her when fans dug up the photos of Nazi symbolism on her page and Nazi memorabilia surfaced on her social media accounts. WWE fired her as a result.
Zahra would react to the release with a misguided attempt at damage control, claiming that she was “interested in the Holocaust” and had family who were part of the anti-Nazi resistance. While Zahra did her best to try to save face, at that point the damage had been done.
7 Hulk Hogan Retweets About The "N Word"
Hulk Hogan is a prime example of an older celebrity who is still trying to figure out how this whole dangfangled Twitter stuff is supposed to work. After the disaster that was his sex tape hurt his standing in the wrestling industry, things went even worse when in the same sex tape he voiced his opinions on black people, blatantly calling himself a racist and dropping the dreaded “N” word several times.
This led to WWE distancing themselves from the Hulkster and wiping away his likeness and name from all their materials. As a result, Hogan would go into damage control mode and apologize publicly and on National television for his mistakes and claimed that he isn’t a racist.
It certainly didn’t help matters when Hogan would retweet a post by someone who stated, “President Obama uses the N word, is applauded and keeps his job. @HulkHogan uses N word, is vilified and loses his job.” The utterly stupid retweet just showed how tone deaf the Hulkster is when it comes to understanding his wrongdoing and is likely why he still hasn’t shown up again on WWE TV.
5 Jessica Havok's Tweet History Ends Her WWE Hopes
Jessica Havok was a veteran women’s wrestler who had garnered some national success as a TNA Knockouts champion. It would only make sense that the next phase of her career would be to move up to the big leagues in WWE which was going to come to fruition had some regrettable tweets not come back to haunt her.
While in the middle of a WWE tryout, Jessica Havok was impressing scouts with her in-ring ability. However, news soon surfaced of her social media history as WWE staff discovered numerous derogatory and insensitive tweets. Once Havok caught wind of the controversy behind her old tweets, she tried to delete them but fans had already screen grabbed the inflammatory tweets and posted them online.
These tweets included racial and homophobic slurs, telling people to gets AIDS and die or kill themselves, as well as a tasteless racist joke about Mark Henry being angry on television.
Havok would apologize for her past and try to downplay her tweets as immaturity but she didn’t get much sympathy from fans or the WWE and her hopes of making it to the big time were dashed.
3 Michael Cole Uses Homophobic Slur On Josh Matthews
WWE has partnered with various organizations to combat homophobia and bullying and even boasts their much publicized Be A Star program centered on the subject. However in 2011, it wasn’t a good look for the company when the veteran voice of the company Michael Cole sent a tweet directed at fellow announcer Josh Matthews calling him a “f****t”.
A week prior to Cole directing a gay slur to his colleague, the WWE had announced a partnership with GLAAD and promised to rid its organization of homophobic language, humor and offensive portrayals on their programming. It’s safe to say breaking that pact within a week did not please management.
Michael Cole may have missed the memo about WWE’s new stance but once the firestorm followed, his tweet was swiftly deleted. Cole would apologize online, claiming he was just playing up his heel persona and didn’t mean to offend. WWE would also publicly apologize and claimed that Michael Cole would be taking part in a training session by GLAAD about tolerance.
1 Seth Rollins Nude Pic Leak
Seth Rollins may currently be on top of the world as a main eventer for WWE's modern era, but the self-proclaimed "architect of the Shield" wasn't the greatest architect when it came to his social mediapresence or in keeping his “junk” off theinterwebs,for that matter.
Inearly 2015, Rollins found himself in the middle of a terrible scandal involving a fellow wrestler, NXT hopeful ZahraSchrieber. Apparently these two had a relationship. The problem was that Rollins was engaged to be married to now ex-fiance Leighla Schultz who found out about Rollins unfaithfulness along with the rest of the world via an accidental leak of a nude picture of Zahra on his personal Instagram and Twitter accounts. The unsavory photo even made its way onto WWE's website because they automatically pull from their Wrestlers personal social media feeds.
Leighla retaliated by tweeting humiliating nude pics of Rollins on Twitter for the world to see. The leak made various news headlines and Rollins would subsequently apologize for the bad publicity he brought the company with his dirty laundry.