Bullying is something that seems to affect every walk of life. Get enough people together, and someone is going to start harassing someone else. There are many reasons why that might be the case, but the fact remains that bullying is an issue that goes well beyond the schoolyard. Still, there is something about WWE that seems to attract bullies. For years, the company has housed a number of employees who seemingly never found a reason to abandon their schoolyard bullying ways. Others simply became bullies just to adapt to the environment they suddenly found themselves in.
Of course, there’s not point in talking about this issue as if it was something that happened during a less civilized time. No, bullying in WWE is as big of a problem as it ever was. Every year, we hear new stories about someone in the organization trying to make life hell for those around them. What sometimes gets lost in this conversation are the victims. We give the bully the spotlight, but we don’t always talk about the people they have harassed. However, there is always the bully and the bullied. These are 8 WWE stars recently accused of being bullies and 7 who have been bullied.
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15 Bully - Paige
Paige is one of the most fascinating WWE performers in recent memory. She was raised in a wrestling family and seemed destined to become a professional wrestler herself. During her early career, everyone praised her as WWE’s next big female star. She seemed to be on track to earning that title, but fate and life choices have drastically hindered the progression of her career. While Paige has been the victim of bullying, there are also stories which suggest that she too can be a bully.
Lana accused Paige of bullying her during their time in NXT, which some wrote-off as a part of a storyline.
However, Paige’s personal life with Alberto Del Rio and some of their public hostilities have people thinking that there might be more to the accusations.
14 Bullied - Mark Henry
Mark Henry is a legitimately strong human being who may just be one of the best powerlifters of all-time. He’s also a guy that has convincingly played an in-ring bully in the past. However, nearly everyone who knows Mark Henry says that he’s actually a pretty nice guy. He’s incredibly funny, always willing to lend a hand, and exudes veteran presence. While we can’t possibly comprehend why anyone would provoke a nice guy who can squeeze your head between his hands, Henry has reportedly been the target of bullying. On a fairly recent episode of Chris Jericho’s podcast, Henry revealed that he was often bullied during the early days of his WWE career. It seems that he was one of the favorite targets of JBL’s gang.
13 Bully - Brock Lesnar
Not all big guys are secretly gentle giants. Actually, there are some accounts of Brock Lesnar that portray him as a pretty decent guy. Lesnar is certainly a simple kind of man who will certainly take the big paydays but would probably live about the same personal life if he didn’t have them. However, it seems that you shouldn’t take his quiet nature as a sign of kindness.
Lesnar has previously referred to himself as something of a lifelong bully who has always tried to intimidate those around him when it was advantageous to do so.
Specifically, those who knew Lesnar during his OVW days said that he was a real terror in the locker room who openly harassed many fellow performers. It’s hard to say whether much has really changed.
12 Bullied - The Miz
The Miz is an historical anomaly in the world of wrestling. He got his first real break in entertainment as a reality television star, which...well, let’s just say that’s not a group known for an abundance of actual talent. WWE fans immediately smelled a rat when The Miz arrived on the scene. They did their best to make him feel unwelcome, but The Miz pushed on and eventually became one of WWE’s most reliable performers. However, it seems that the fans weren’t the only ones who were hard on The Miz. Reports suggest that The Miz was one of the biggest targets of WWE’s most well-known hazers. The details are vague, but Miz reportedly suffered through hazing and ridicule even when he was main eventing WrestleMania.
11 Bully - Randy Orton
If Randy Orton isn’t a jerk, he sure does a great job of playing one on television. Orton’s first breakthrough character in WWE was a cocky - yet capable - young wrestler who felt that he was god’s gift to the business. It seems that the real Randy Orton is pretty similar to the “Legend Killer.” There have been reports for years about Orton’s antics. Besides his general fondness for being arrogant, Orton has specifically attracted negative attention over his harassment of the Divas.
While Orton has reportedly turned over a new leaf in recent years, he’s not above being a bully to fans and other wrestlers on social media. While some of those interactions are provoked, Orton has also been known to provoke and irritate those that encounter him in real life.
10 Bullied - Mickie James
This one was actually a little while ago, but it’s certainly one of the most notable instances of a star being bullied right out of the company. During Mickie James’ first WWE run, she quickly established herself as one of the absolute best performers on the roster. Over time, though, it seemed that WWE’s management cooled towards James. What their problem with her was remains up for debate, but it soon became clear that she was being forced out of the company.
Fans were clued into this when WWE ran the highly controversial Piggy James storyline which mostly consisted of Mickie James being called fat show after show.
The hostile backstage environment is a big part of the reason why James left WWE. We just hope it’s gotten better since then.
9 Bully - Hornswoggle
No, we’re not kidding. In recent years, more and more superstars have come out of the woodwork to talk about why Hornswoggle was one of the biggest backstage bullies of his era. Specifically, it was former WWE performer Brodus Clay who talked about what it was like to travel with Hornswoggle. It seems that Hornswoggle loved to aggressively rib his fellow performers. He would leave his travelling companions stranded in the middle of nowhere, he would get Clay in trouble with management by spreading lies, he would find wrestlers with low self confidence and tell them that they sucked, and he would generally irritate everyone that he came in contact with. By his own admission, Hornswoggle was a relentless bully.
8 Bullied - Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns is another one of those guys that you wouldn’t think would be the prime target for bullying. Not only is he a physically intimidating dude, but he’s basically on the top of the mountain in WWE. Of course, it’s not the boys backstage that are harassing Reigns. Well...that might happen too, but that’s not what this entry is about. No, we’re talking about cyberbullying. Reigns has become one of WWE’s most outspoken denouncers of cyberbullying.
Part of the reason why he talks about it so much is that because Reigns has been the target of some pretty hardcore cyberbullying ever since he became a singles star.
We’re not just talking about some playful ribbing. Reigns has had to endure tons of racism, death threats, and a general onslaught of negativity.
7 Bully - Bill DeMott
This is another one that actually happened a little while ago, but it’s too notable to not include here. There’s a small chance that you remember Bill DeMott from his time as Hugh Morris in WCW. There’s an even better chance that you don’t. For some reason, though, WWE still offered DeMott the role of head trainer. Nobody is entirely sure why. In 2015, the company’s bizarre decision to hire DeMott as head trainer became a true disaster. Several trainees came forward to accuse DeMott of verbal, physical, and even sexual abuse. The most severe of the accusations against DeMott go well-beyond bullying, but the general picture that DeMott’s victims painted was one of a true bully who rose above his station and took out his inadequacies on those around him.
6 Bullied - Nia Jax
It can’t be easy to be a relatively green WWE performer who receives any kind of push. Those green stars share the backstage with WWE veterans and those who busted their backs for years on the road just for a chance to see the WWE logo on their paychecks. Surely, then, Nia Jax had to endure a bit of ribbing in her early days. However, it seems that that the worst that Jax had to endure goes far beyond gentle mocking.
Jax recently took to social media to share a somewhat vague story about being body shamed in the back.
Jax didn’t specifically accuse anyone of body shaming her, but that didn’t stop people from trying to name the culprit. Everyone from Jax’s fellow performers to WWE’s top brass have been identified as candidates.
5 Bully - Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks’ WWE career thus far has certainly been an interesting one. After a slow start in NXT, she reinvented herself as one of the absolute best female performers WWE has ever seen. Banks’ in-ring and character work was praised by nearly every veteran wrestler. However, there’s always been another side to Banks that hasn’t been spoken about quite as often. Some say that Banks is a bit of a hothead and a bully when it comes to her interactions with fans and other performers. The most notable incident involving Banks’ ways occurred when she called a fan out on social media for asking her for an autograph at an airport at 5 a.m. She referred to him as a creepy stalker which caused other wrestlers to set her straight.
4 Bullied - Mauro Ranallo
Mauro Ranallo may not be a WWE wrestler, but if we’re talking about the biggest bully victims in recent WWE history, you have to include Ranallo. Fans were incredibly excited when they heard that Ranallo had joined the WWE announce team. After all, Ranallo was a well-respected MMA and boxing announcer whose love of professional wrestling was obvious. However, it wasn’t long after Ranallo joined the company that many began speculating he had left for good. It seems that Ranallo had become the target of some of WWE’s most notable bullies. Ranallo had long dealt with depression and seemingly had a tough time making a go of it in an environment where he was constantly being harassed. Ranallo is back with WWE on a limited basis that allows him to stay away from those that bullied him.
3 Bully - Kevin Dunn
You may have never heard of Kevin Dunn, but we can assure you that you know his work. Dunn is a long time WWE producer who is often credited with establishing the presentation style and production values that make WWE so much more notable than so many of their competitors that have had television deals. However, you’ll have a hard time finding too many people who have worked with Dunn that have nice things to say about him.
While we can understand a person in his position being demanding, reports suggest that Dunn is an absolute monster.
He’s previously tried to get performers cut simply because they have accents he doesn’t like - that seemingly includes anything but a southern accent - and has been known to be particularly harsh towards female performers.
2 Bullied - Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston has enjoyed a pretty nice WWE career, but there was a time when it looked like he was going to be doomed to the midcard. However, Kofi’s general likeability and clear talent eventually helped him earn a part in a memorable star-making program with Randy Orton. During that time, it seems that Kingston had to endure quite a bit of harassment.
You may remember that Randy Orton lashed out against Kingston following an incident involving some botched spots, but it’s also been said that Vince McMahon rode him particularly hard during this time.
There were reports of Vince telling Kingston that he was never going to be a star which may have led to some physical clashes between the two. Kingston has also spoken about being a bully and enduring bullying in his lifetime.
1 Bully - JBL
Who else could it be? With the possible exception of Vince McMahon, JBL is the most famous bully in WWE history. For years, he supposedly orchestrated the harassment of many WWE stars. When we say harassment, we mean that in the truest sense of the word. The details of how he abused his fellow performers are honestly too brutal and too grotesque to share in full here. What’s truly disturbing, though, is the implication that JBL was kept in his position by purpose. That is to say that Vince McMahon and others seemingly encouraged the behavior of JBL and his gang members because they felt it helped create the type of locker room atmosphere that they were looking for. While those reports have yet to be verified, they are the center of a story that could bring the company to its knees.
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