Have you ever watched the National Football League (NFL) and thought, “This is great and entertaining, but would be much better if I knew all of these players had clean rap sheets?” If you have, you’ve got your priorities mixed up, but you’re actually included in the target demographic for Vince McMahon’s reboot of the Xtreme Football League (XFL). That’s right, likely due to boredom on his part and way too much money, the CEO of the WWE is planning to re-launch the failed football league in 2020. Nobody asked for it, but here we are. The XFL was disastrous and doomed from the start, which is detailed quite extensively in the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, however it was innovative in a number of ways, most notably the way in which it utilized unique camera angles to provide viewers with an immersive game experience – the in-huddle and overhead camera, for instance, has since been adopted by the NFL.
Despite talk of the NFL’s decline, the truth is the league is still the most prosperous sporting league in North America and by quite a wide margin. McMahon wants to create a counter league in which players MUST kneel for the national anthem and not discuss personal politics. Anybody who has spent a day in jail won’t be allowed in the league either, meaning someone like Johnny Manziel would be ineligible. If he’s going to use that rule in the XFL, wouldn’t it make sense that he applies the same to the way he runs the WWE? He would never do so, however, as these 15 stars mean way too much to the company.
15. Jey Uso
The most recent example of a wrestler who should technically be let go if Vince applied his XFL logic to the WWE is Jey Uso. The fact that he is one-half of arguably the best tag team in the world right now would mean little, because he was arrested in Texas last month for DWI. Questions arose in regard to his status with the company after news of the arrest broke, but he appeared on SmackDown a couple of nights later and The Usos even retained their SmackDown Tag Team Titles in convincing fashion at the Royal Rumble.
The WWE released a statement following his arrest noting that, “We are investigating the matter and awaiting information from local law enforcement officials.” Had Uso been a lower-card worker, you can be certain he would have been released by now.
14. Jimmy Uso
Jey isn’t the only guard of the Uso Penitentiary to have been arrested. In fact, there’s enough past negative news surrounding both brothers that you could make the argument they should have been fired long ago – or at least Jimmy. It’s unfortunate because both are highly active in the WWE’s charitable efforts and make a difference in a lot of people’s lives, but driving while impaired seems to be a reoccurring issue – if they’ve been caught only once, that ain’t the only time they’ve done it.
Jimmy has been able to keep himself out of the news in recent years, but back in 2011 he was arrested for driving drunk in Tampa Bay with a blood alcohol level of 0.180, well above the 0.08 legal limit. The Usos were a shell of their current selves back then in terms of talent and popularity, so it’s interesting that Jimmy managed to keep his job.
13. Rich Swann
Sticking with recent Superstars who have found themselves in hot water, Rich Swann was arrested this past December after an alleged domestic assault incident involving his wife, Vannarah Riggs. Swann was one of the top talents in the Cruiserweight division at the time, which might be a reason why he was suspended and not fired. The WWE has fired wrestlers for less, but kudos to the company for waiting for all the facts to come to light before making a decision on his future.
His wife wrestles on the indie scene and here’s where the story gets strange. According to the police report, Swann was criticizing her performance on the ride home from a show like an angry football dad and, after Riggs attempted to leave the car, Swann allegedly put her in a headlock and eventually chased after her as she jumped from the car, causing it to crash into a telephone pole. He was charged with false imprisonment and misdemeanor battery, but cleared as of January 26th.
12. William Regal
Talk to any professional wrestlers from the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras and they’ll tell you William Regal was one of the best workers during that time and, despite the fact he was never an upper-card draw, he was a two-time Intercontinental Champion, four-time European Champion, and four-time Tag Team Champion. However, had Vince been strict about his no criminal record idea back then, Regal would have never had such success in the WWE. That’s because back in the early 1990s, the UK native found himself in trouble on a flight from Tokyo, Japan to Detroit.
It’s a long flight, so we can’t blame him for having a few beers, but he took it a tad too far. In his own account: “I was relieving myself when the hostess tapped me on the shoulder and I spun round. Next thing I know I wake up in a jail cell, in Anchorage, Alaska, when I should have been in Detroit. I had no memory of why I was there. I was in an orange jump suit and was handcuffed to another guy and taken to court.”
11. Big Show
Big Show aka Paul Wight is never going to be remembered as one of the best wrestlers of his era – he earned Most Embarrassing Wrestler from Wrestling Observer Newsletter in 2002 – but it’s hard to imagine the industry without him. He’s a five-time World Champion and eight-time Tag Team Champion and continues to help put younger talent over from time to time. However, back when he was in WCW, Show was arrested in Memphis for allegedly exposing himself to a female motel employee.
We get it – it can be lonely on the road and there was no Tinder in 1998, but there’s no excuse for exposing yourself to an unsuspecting female, or anyone for that matter. The case was dropped due to insufficient evidence, but really what kind of evidence could police have gathered? Despite the arrest, he was signed by WWE the following year.
10. Charlotte Flair
“The Queen” Charlotte Flair has become the undisputed best women wrestler in the world. While Asuka might challenge for that crown in the near future, there’s no denying Charlotte’s impact on the women’s division in the WWE. She’s certainly in the company’s good graces as of now, but she is her father’s daughter and the Flair’s haven’t exactly maintained squeaky-clean lifestyles.
For The Nature Boy’s part, he has quite an extensive history with law enforcement. Charlotte, meanwhile, has already been divorced two times and ran into trouble with police in September 2008 as a result of a domestic incident that involved her boyfriend and father. Charlotte reportedly kicked one of the police officers and was sentenced to 45 days in prison, but later settled for a fine and probation. The incident didn’t stop her from marrying – and later divorcing – the boyfriend, nor did it scare WWE away from signing her.
Although it might not seem like he’s still with the WWE given his lack of TV time in recent months, R-Truth is still a valuable asset with the company in regard to live event performances and working with younger talent. He’s likely nearing the end of his career, but the 46 year old certainly had a decent run in the company, spanning from 2000 to 2002 as well as 2008 to present day. He’s a one-time United States Champion and one-time Tag Team Champion. He was kayfabe arrested along with The Miz during the 2011 Hell in a Cell, but has actually spent time in a real jail cell earlier in his life.
Before pursuing a career in wrestling, Truth wanted a career in music. To support his passion, he sold marijuana and was eventually busted and incarcerated for 13 months. With marijuana legal in several states and on its way to being legalized nationwide in Canada, it’s hardly the worst crime a wrestler has committed, but it gives him a criminal record nonetheless.
8. Jeff Hardy
If you’re a fan of professional wrestling and especially the Hardy Boyz, chances are you’ve seen the video of the two brothers obviously under the influence of something shooting on CM Punk in a diner. It’s not the most flattering video, and it’s particularly sad when you know their history with drugs and alcohol. In fact, back in 2009 after Jeff had completed his program with Punk for the World Heavyweight Championship, he was arrested after a major drug bust targeted his North Carolina home.
Hardy was found to be in possession of anabolic steroids several prescription pills. He was charged with multiple counts of trafficking as well as felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. It’s not all that shocking that Hardy would require pain meds given his recklessness throughout his career, but he definitely took it a step beyond that. It’s a little hypocritical that Vince allowed him back in the WWE.
7. Matt Hardy
Jeff isn’t the only Hardy Boy to have been in trouble with the law. Before he was Broken or Woken, Matt Hardy was similarly struggling with pain and a plethora of personal problems, most notably drug addiction. It’s one thing to allow your drug addiction to overtake your own life, but Matt endangered the lives of others on multiple occasions. Back in 2011, he was arrested three times in the span of a month, one of which was for a DUI. On the third occasion, his girlfriend, Reby Sky, placed a 911 call stating she was worried he “was strung out on pills and needed help.”
Police found 20 vials of anabolic steroids and some ecstasy. Hardy subsequently turned himself in and completed a three-month rehab program, but that didn’t fix things. Three years later, he was arrested at a Virginia motel after getting into a fight with his now-wife. The mug shots weren’t pretty and both were arrested for assault and battery, but later released on $3,500 bail.
6. Booker T
Admit it, you miss Booker T on commentary for Raw. Sure, you took to social media to complain or laugh about all the ridiculous things he said week-to-week, but it was entertaining at the very least. He genuinely comes across as a harmless, but hilarious dimwit who can take his fair share of verbal abuse. However, given his past, it’s a little strange to hear someone like Michael Cole berate him every now and then.
Booker didn’t exactly grow up well off; in fact, back in 1987 before his wrestling career, a then-22-year-old Booker T was arrested after committing numerous armed robberies of Wendy’s restaurants in Houston – interestingly enough, he also worked for a Wendy’s at the time. He ended up serving 19 months in prison, but he seemed quite proud of himself judging from his mug shot.
5. Brock Lesnar
Can you imagine the WWE without Brock Lesnar? The Beast Incarnate debuted as the Next Big Thing and helped the company transition from the Attitude Era into the Ruthless Aggression Era, keeping it relevant in the early 2000s before returning in 2012 and enjoying a decent five-year run, despite much of it being as a part-timer. Still, he’s an incredible draw and is one of the biggest names – and individuals – in sports entertainment.
However, Lesnar committed the horrible act of improper tagging of an animal during a hunting trip in northern Alberta, Canada and was fined $1,725. He even had his hunting license suspended six months! We’re kidding; that did happen, but it’s not the worst of his infractions. He developed a drug addiction during his first run with the WWE and, in 2001, was arrested for illegally possessing steroids. The charges were dropped four months later as the pills were actually found to be, according to Lesnar’s defense attorney, “a vitamin type thing.” Still, if we’re abiding by Vince’s XFL rules, Lesnar wouldn’t meet the criteria to perform.
4. Chris Jericho
Fans of Chris Jericho’s podcast Talk is Jericho won’t be too surprised to read this, but Y2J was once arrested for “alcohol intoxication in a public place.” The incident occurred in 2010 in Kentucky and Jericho wasn’t the only one placed under arrest. He happened to be with Gregory Helms, better known to WWE fans of The Hurricane. Both were later released on a $120 bond each.
On a recent episode of The Steve Austin Show on PodcastOne, Jericho told Stone Cold how he has never taken steroids or done cocaine, but he’s enjoyed more than his fair share of alcohol during his career. Most of it has been harmless, and by all accounts the aforementioned incident was as well, but an arrest is an arrest. Although Jericho isn’t currently signed to the WWE, he still regularly appears on its programming and is likely to reappear in 2018.
3. Kurt Angle
Oh it’s true, it’s damn true that Kurt Angle has had his run-ins with the law. If you’ve followed his career or even watched the recent WWE 24 documentary on his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, you’d know he suffered a terrible addiction to painkillers, which isn’t all that surprising given his recurring neck injuries. However, alcohol has been a crutch for The Olympic Champion as well.
From 2007 to 2013, Angle was arrested four times on a DUI charge. The last instance happened after an Impact taping as officers in Texas noticed him driving recklessly and detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from his vehicle. The six-time World Heavyweight Champion subsequently entered rehab and seems to have his life back on track now.
2. Roman Reigns
If we’re being honest, the WWE – and Vince – could survive without some of the aforementioned talent, but can you imagine the Gold Boy Roman Reigns not being under contract? Though it might sound like a wonderful dream, it would be reality if Vince applied the same XFL rules to the WWE. Back in 2010, just a few weeks before signing with the WWE to join Florida Championship Wrestling, Reigns was arrested for disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and unlawful assembly. Surprisingly, news of the arrest remained under wraps until 2013, when Mugshots.com posted his mug shot.
You have to believe the WWE wasn’t aware of the incident before he was signed or they believed in his potential so much that they didn’t care, but that seems unlikely, given he had no prior wrestling experience.
No, we’re not referring to the December 2015 episode of Raw in which McMahon was kayfabe arrested and got into a scuffle with police officers (that incident actually led people to call the NYPD, if you didn’t think people still believed wrestling was 100 percent real). Vince hasn’t actually spent time in prison, but he does have a criminal record and was once at the forefront of a high-profile case regarding the illegal distribution of steroids.
Back in November of 1993, Vince was indicted in Brooklyn on federal charges that the WWE (then WWF) conspired for years with a previously convicted steroid dealer to distribute the illegal pills to WWF Superstars. Two years prior, Dr. George Zahorian implicated Vince and others such as Hulk Hogan after he was indicted. Vince was eventually acquitted due to underwhelming witness testimony and a number of legal errors.
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