On the latest podcast with Edge and Christian, Batista had an interesting quote in which he said that fans can separate an actor's image from the roles he play, but fail to do so with wrestling gimmicks. A large number of people still fail to distinguish wrestlers are simply portraying a character on television, and it isn't a true reflection of their real life persona.
Some of the most beloved faces have turned out to be jerks with Hulk Hogan as a prime example, and you have heels who are considered to be sweethearts by all parties associated with them as well as fans who have met. Many factors come into play to label someone as a jerk, it could be their attitude towards fans, real life scandals or treatment of co-workers. And unless it was a major incident, it is certainly unfair to refer to them as jerks if they have only committed one known mistake, but the list entries are repeat offenders with several available reports across the internet.
Times have changed as did the wrestling industry, long gone are the many controversial names around who had a hold on the backstage scene. In the WWE, there are currently numerous wrestlers who qualify as gentlemen. The company prides itself in having some great role models, especially since it has a huge following of younger children. Many of the names will come off as a surprise as we look at 8 current WWE stars who are jerks in real life and 7 who are gentlemen:
15 Jerk: Brock Lesnar
When someone admits to being a jerk, that alone should earn you a spot on the list. During an interview with ESPN, Lesnar spoke about how his real life persona doesn't differ much from his WWE character, which is unusual. Superstars tend to portray a gimmick that is rarely simiiar to their real life characteristics, but it's not exactly shocking to learn that Lesnar is somewhat heel-ish in outside of the ring as we have gotten used to seeing him on-screen.
During his run as a face, he failed to truly connect and was always much better at playing himself, which speaks volumes. Lesnar doesn't have a great reputation for those who are hoping to meet him, as he has refused autographs and blown off fans on several occasions. Perhaps it is his personality, as he prefers to avoid people in social settings for the most part.
14 Gentleman: Kevin Owens
If you happen to follow Kevin Owens on Twitter, you would probably be intimidated to approach him in real life. And while he might come across as a jerk from time to time, it is usually warranted as plenty of fans harass him online. Some have even dragged his family into the matter, which is pretty low and unacceptable. But Owens is very liked among his peers and fans who had the chance to meet him have always spoken highly of him.
Sometimes it may be difficult to predict how our favorite Superstars are in real life, especially in the case of Kevin Owens, who has given different signals. The fact that he has always been a heel might have led to his reputation as a jerk, but Owens is truly a gentleman in real life who treats his fans better than the majority of WWE Superstars.
13 Jerk: Seth Rollins
That entire fiasco involving his ex-girlfriend is enough to earn Seth Rollins a spot on this list. And while he might appear likable on screen, reports have portrayed him in a different light. According to many fans who have met him in person, Rollins is far from being the nicest WWE Superstars. He appears to have an ego that makes him come across as rude in real life, and some of his tweets haven't exactly helped his reputation.
There was also that infamous incident involving a WWE employee in which Rollins went off on him for practically no reason, and that certainly made some fans change their opinion of Rollins. And when it comes to his personal life, all the leaked details and texts involving Rollins and several women surely proved that it is reasonable to place Rollins on the wrong side of this list.
12 Gentleman: Roman Reigns
While his partner in crime Seth Rollins may be a jerk in real life, Roman Reigns is supposedly the exact opposite. All members of The Shield seem to have personalities that are tough to read - some have labelled Dean Ambrose as a weirdo in the past - but Roman Reigns is supposedly the nicest of the bunch. You wouldn't think so considering the boo's he has been receiving over the past few years, but of course that has very little to do with his real life persona.
This goes to show that it's not wise to judge a book by its cover, Roman Reigns does look mean and intimidating - certainly not someone that anyone would mess with - but as it turns out, he is a total gentleman. Reigns is a family man who is respected by his peers and has always left fans with memorable experiences upon meeting him in person.
11 Jerk: Dolph Ziggler
At one point, everyone had high expectations for Dolph Ziggler as he showed plenty of potential and he did manage to break through the main event scene for a while although he failed to really stick for long. And it seems like his run was always being reset with some placing the blame on WWE creative, while others feel that it was Ziggler's fault for failing to get over on his own unlike many of his peers.
But there is also a third theory that Ziggler has been held back for the simple fact that he isn't liked backstage as he comes across as a jerk, not only to fans, but to his co-workers as well. Ziggler seems to have an attitude as evident by his tweets, and many believe that he acts as if he has outgrown the industry. The combination of all these factors, especially his treatment of fans, earn him a spot on this list.
10 Gentleman: Finn Balor
Was there ever the slightest doubt in your mind? Finn Balor has one of the best reputations around with some praising him as the sweetest Superstar in the WWE. Looking through posts on Twitter, Reddit and wrestling forums, all fans have agreed that their experience with Balor was one of the best to the point they gained even more respect for him afterwards. It wasn't a shocking revelation as Balor just has that face that makes you believe that he couldn't be rude even if he tried.
You can probably find at least one complaint about nearly every single Superstar to have ever wrestled for the WWE, but Balor is one of the exceptions as he always makes sure to be very respectful and gracious towards his fans. And when it comes to his personal life, he has a clean record as there hasn't been any controversy to label him as a jerk.
9 Jerk: Triple H
Being apart of The Kliq, it's only normal to expect Triple H on this list. There have been numerous stories of him being a jerk towards fans. While his antics have significantly decreased since taking a management role, it doesn't erase his past nor does it justify some of his recent actions. For starters, he informed CM Punk that he was released from the WWE on the day of his wedding which tells you plenty about how petty he can be.
And aside from Hulk Hogan, Triple H is probably the greatest backstage politician of all-time, holding back several Superstars in their prime years for no particular reason other than he wanted to hog the spotlight. Whenever someone threatened to take his spot, Triple H would do what he does best in playing games to bring them down a notch.
He has made plenty of enemies on the industry who don't have such nice memories of working with Triple H, and to top it all off, the entire Chyna scandal has probably earned him a place on this life for life.
8 Gentleman: The Miz
As hard as it may be to seperate gimmicks from real life persona, The Miz is prime example that you should always keep an open mind when it comes to WWE Superstars. Throughout his WWE career, and especially in recent years, The Miz has been one of the few Superstars who can truly generate heat from the crowd. He has been one of the best heels and his work on the mic would have you convinced that he is probably the biggest jerk on Earth.
Thankfully, once the cameras are off, The Miz is a much different person than we have come to know him. According to plenty of fans who have met him, he is one of the nicest WWE Superstars who always takes his time by conversating with each person. There have also been some sweet stories involving The Miz and kids from the Make-A-Wish foundation, which is always great to hear.
7 Jerk: Big E
It was pretty surprising to learn that Big E isn't quite as fun in real life as the character he portrays on television. Many fans have reported their bad experiences upon meeting him, noting that he was arrogant and somewhat rude. He also blew off several fans who approached him for an autograph, which is always a recipe for disaster.
While we understand that it may happen from time to time due to the workload they have to put in as well as their lifestyle, there are just too many stories to ignore Big E's behavior. Perhaps the fact that we had hoped he would be much more like his gimmick, but unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case, at least not with fans. Despite some of the controversy surrounding him, those Booty-O's are still going to sell so we're sure that Big E won't be losing too much sleep.
6 Gentleman: AJ Styles
AJ Styles is one of the most beloved wrestlers among fans due to his incredible in-ring talent and consistency. But he has also earned a reputation as a gentleman for his treatment of those who have met him in real life. AJ Styles is said to be reserved and someone who is generally very private, which usually might trick people into believing that is rude, but thankfully that hasn't been the case.
He is one of the very few top Superstars whom people don't know much about outside of the ring, and his personal life isn't surrounded with controversy either - at least none that we know of. And when it comes to his peers, they all get along with him and have nothing but praise regarding his talent and behavior. AJ is one of the better role models in today's WWE and a certified gentleman.
5 Jerk: Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks may claim to be a boss in the squared circle, but she has been one of the most criticized Superstars in recent times. While there are some fans who dislike her for allegedly being sloppy in the ring, it's mostly her treatment of fans which has earned her some heat. On Twitter, Banks is one of the most active wrestlers and interacts quite often with fans but many have accused her of just putting on an act.
There have been many reports of Banks blowing off fans, as well as appearing to be rude at meet and greet sessions. To her defense, she did unleash an attack on fans who talk WWE Superstars, especially those who wait at the airport when wrestlers are tired from travelling. But many of the reports have come from different locations, which makes it safe to label Banks as a jerk overall.
4 Gentleman: Braun Strowman
Fans are always shocked to learn that many heels are in fact the exact opposite in real life, especially when it comes to monster character whom we immediately assume that they may be rude in real life. Braun Strowman is a lot of things; arguably the most dominant force in a long time and potentially the face of the big men division for years to come. But a jerk is one thing that cannot be said about Strowman.
Some fans may not have seen him outside of his character, but if you watch his interviews on YouTube, you will see that Strowman comes across as a true gentleman. But if that isn't enough, he is liked behind the scenes and is said to be very easy to work with. And despite portraying a monster character, Strowman has displayed a great attitude towards fans which certainly gains him some points.
3 Jerk: Sheamus
Sheamus has been around for nearly a decade now, which is pretty crazy since it seems like he debuted just yesterday. And regardless of how you feel about him, you cannot deny his accomplishments as he has one of the better resumes in recent times. Sheamus is another Superstars who prefers to stay away from the spotlight, but he can't seem to stay out of trouble. There was severe backstage heat on him for quite some time, mainly due to his altercations with Sin Cara and Yoshi Tatsu - both of which he supposedly lost.
Sheamus has also been accused of being a jerk to some talents and abusing his position, which may have instigated the aforementioned scuffles. There are many threads on various wrestling forums about experiences with meeting wrestlers, and most of them have indicated that Sheamus was rude in person who always showed very little interest in being around fans.
2 Gentleman: Matt Hardy
Both members of The Hardy Boyz are worthy of being featured on this list but since Jeff Hardy is out with an injury at the moment, we're going with Woken Matt Hardy. He has always been one of the few Superstars who interact with their fans even when social media was in its early beginnings. Matt's activity has allowed him to build a strong following, and many claim that he is one of the nicest wrestlers in real life.
And while he has certainly had his fair of controversy - mostly surrounding his relationship history - nothing really stands out in particular to warrant calling him a jerk. Hardy has significantly matured over the years while his mild antics are practically gone at this point. If you happen to be interested in meeting him in real life, then you certainly won't be disappointed with the experience afterwards.
1 Jerk: Randy Orton
The general consensus among wrestlers and fans alike is that Randy Orton is a jerk. If you're slightly familiar with his history then you wouldn't have the slightest doubt. You could go back to his OVW days when John Cena admitted once that he used to absolutely hate Orton and thought he was a huge jerk. Once he made it to the roster, he gained heat backstage for his immature antics including the harassment of WWE Divas as reported by many including Maria. He's probably one of the stars that you are better off not meeting in real life as many fans have complained about Orton over the years.
From throwing away a fan's camera to cussing people off, Orton proves that sometimes it's better to not meet your heros. Sadly, he hasn't gotten any better with age as we have seen him make some offensive remarks on Twitter, including a tweet in which he shamed a fan about her weight.