Wrestling is full of drama, and not just in the ring. Out of every sport in the world, professional wrestling certainly has the most drama, with backstage politics and people constantly pushing each other out of the way to be in the top spot, the competition is real. That is true whether the action in the ring is real or not. Wrestlers do everything they have to in order to be in the best spot possible. Sometimes that means scratching or clawing their way to the top, no matter who is in their way on that journey.
Sabotage in wrestling is unfortunately quite commonplace, with many conniving people on the roster or people who chose to simply sabotage them right in front of their faces and in front of millions on national television. As a fan it can be very painful witnessing such lowly behaviour from some of our favourite stars. Some wrestlers will sabotage in the ring, either by putting on a poor match or doing things differently to make someone look bad, while others will go to the extreme of lobbying for someone to be fired. That alone can demonstrate just how ruthless some wrestlers can be in protecting their own interests.
This list will look at examples of wrestlers who have sabotaged others in order to get ahead in their own career, as well as those who have been sabotaged, either in a major way or a small matter, by others in the industry.
17 Sabotaged To Get Ahead: Bella Twins
This moment of sabotage is so well known that it was even made a story on Total Divas when Maryse joined the cast. The story goes that Nikki and Brie Bella pushed The Miz's wife out of a WWE contract.
With Maryse out of the picture, this allowed the Bella twins to jump ahead and become the stars of the women's roster, gaining reality show contracts and a whole lot more. According to Maryse, all three were set to sign return deals to the company after an absence. However, the Bella twins urged Maryse to wait in order to sign a better deal for more money. She folowed their advice, while the twins put pen to paper on a contract with no other offer going Maryse's way.
16 Sabotaged To Get Ahead: Stephanie McMahon
Stephanie McMahon never really needed any assistance in getting to the top of WWE. After all, she is a McMahon, and that alone is a guaranteed pass to the top of the business to do whatever she wants. But she did sabotage one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Chyna, in order to be seen as the most powerful woman in the company. After being romantically involved with Triple H, Chyna end up a victim of Stephanie's power. It became unbearable to stay on the roster with either of them.
As it was for Steph, who found a love letter from Chyna to Triple H. She made the decision to push for Chyna to be sent home. Chyna was dismissed and she never returned. She is still not in the WWE Hall Of Fame despite all her achievements... I wonder why.
15 Victim Of Sabotage: Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston might have reached the main event levels thanks to his role in New Day, but during 2009/2010 Kingston was being positioned for a major push on his own as a singles wrestler. Kingston was put into a rivalry with Randy Orton which was very entertaining and it appeared he was proving himself as being worthy of that level. Sadly, one mistimed moment on Raw derailed all of that.
The New Day member was supposed to take a Punt but instead got up, meaning Orton had to change things and hit a vicious RKO. Afterward, Orton went nuts in the middle of the ring, screaming at him for the world to see and Kingston promptly slid back down the card.
14 Sabotaged To Get Ahead: Edge
The Rated R Superstar might have had all the talent in the world and it is very likely he would have had a Hall Of Fame career regardless, but his decision to stab real-life friend, Matt Hardy in the back certainly played into his favour. With the love affair between Edge and Lita making the news and becoming a huge deal, things all seemed to fall in line for Edge, while Matt Hardy found himself without a job after being released.
The Rated R Superstar certainly helped himself with his actions both away from the ring and his promo and gimmick work taking shots at Matt in the ring to prove he could take himself to the main event and would do whatever it took to get there.
13 Sabotaged To Get Ahead: Stone Cold Steve Austin
It isn't covered as much as some of the others on this list but even the great Stone Cold Steve Austin put in his time doing a little sabotaging to ensure he stayed at the top of the mountain during his career. Austin did not like Jeff Jarrett and the pair had altercations before he became a megastar, but during the peak of his powers, Austin flat out refused to work with Jarrett as he believed he was too popular, something which cut Jarrett's momentum out from underneath him.
Of course, there is also the infamous Brock Lesnar situation, where Austin walked out on the company, refusing to show up to work because he didn't want to lose to Lesnar, despite the fact he was the rising star in the company.
12 Victim Of Sabotage: The Hurricane
Shane Helms is a well-respected wrestler who has had an incredible career, especially during his run playing the gimmick of The Hurricane, who recently returned to WWE at the Royal Rumble to a huge ovation. However, even though he was a well-liked individual, even Helms suffered sabotage by one of his fellow wrestlers; Shawn Michaels. During a YouTube interview, Helms discussed an incident involving the Chokeslam move.
HBK yelled at Helms for using the move in the opening match, when Kane (who HBK would face later) used the move as his finisher. Michaels didn't like Helms making the move look week and took the issue to management who banned Helms using the more in the future. While he did stop for awhile, Helms took the issue to Vince McMahon himself, and the move was back.
11 Sabotaged To Get Ahead: Hulk Hogan
Where do you even begin with Hulk Hogan? Let's just say, there is a distinct reason he kept himself in the very top spots over the years, doing everything in his power to ensure that results always went his way. Hogan has cut the rise of wrestlers off if they began to get too close to his star power and that was never more clear than when he landed in WCW and began making booking decisions like the Finger Poke of Doom.
Hogan's bribing of the referee ruined Starrcade '97 when Sting should have had the night of his career, and Hogan just managed to use his backstage politics so well that nobody ever overtook him, no matter what company he was in.
10 Sabotaged To Get Ahead: Shawn Michaels
While Shawn Michaels is considered a wrestling legend and someone who wrestling fans idolize, Shawn Michaels certainly had his moments, particularly within the first half of his career, where he would do whatever necessary to get ahead. His involvement in the Montreal Screwjob is incredibly well documented and something that can't not be mentioned, but he has also reportedly attempted to have an impact on the careers of people such as Mick Foley and CM Punk.
HBK also changed the result of the SummerSlam 1996 match with Vader on the fly, screwing him over and stabbing him in the back, with Michaels doing everything in his power to make sure he was the top guy at that time.
9 Victim Of Sabotage: Carl Ouellet
Better known as "Jean-Pierre LaFitte” during one of his runs with WWE, Carl Ouellet might be one of the lesser known names on this list, but that could all be down to the fact he was a victim of sabotage to his career. Ouellet wound up going against The Kliq in a political backstage battle when he refused to Diesel. He had been told by Vince McMahon not to lose, so a rematch in his home country of Canada would mean more and would be something that fans paid to see.
Well, this led to a major issue with Shawn Michaels reportedly threatening to sabotage and starve his career according to Shane Douglas in an interview with Kayfabe Commentaries. Given The Kliq's backstage power, it isn't a surprise to see that Ouellet didn't reach that main event level.
8 Sabotaged To Get Ahead: Kevin Nash
Kevin Nash's career was notorious for him being a backstabber who would often sabotage other talents by using his backstage power and politics to keep himself at the very top of the game. Whether it was with The Kliq or with NWO, it is something that followed Nash throughout his time in wrestling, often overwhelming what was a solid career. Nash would happily talk creative out of booking certain situations to ensure he got his own way.
Things got even worse when he took over control of WCW as Nash was in charge of booking the entire product, which led to many questionable decisions perhaps providing evidence to the theories over the years.
7 Victim Of Sabotage: CM Punk
Despite the fact, at one point CM Punk was the best wrestler on the planet and one of the hottest stars that WWE has had in years, it seems like someone in the company just did not like him. Punk wasn't directly sabotaged, but there were so many decisions that made it seem like the company was doing everything to not make him the megastar that he was, something which continued when he got his job termination papers on his wedding day.
It had been noted that Triple H hated Punk and whether he was behind the scenes pulling the strings it is unknown, but it seems like WWE always wanted to put him down and that was a huge shame because as big of a star as he was, with the machine behind him he could have been even bigger.
6 Sabotaged To Get Ahead: John Cena
You might not be able to see him, but you will certainly feel the effects of John Cena if he decides to sabotage you, something he has done several times over his career, which is probably a good indicator as to why he is at the very top of the WWE mountain.
Whether it is ensuring he goes over in certain matches, or helping some friends get pushes whilst others get put on the sidelines, Cena has had plenty of moments of sabotage throughout his career. The mysterious situation that surrounds Alex Riley is one of the worst bits of sabotage, with Cena reportedly pushing for him to be terminated and constantly giving him problems backstage.
5 Victim Of Sabotage: Hulk Hogan
That's right, even the Immortal, Hulk Hogan has been a victim of sabotage and in an incredibly infamous way. While Hogan has done plenty of devious things throughout his career, he has seen the other side of the coin too.
Shawn Michaels was the man who sabotaged Hogan in this instance, something that might not be a major surprise at this point, but the infamous SummerSlam 2005 match between HBK and Hogan was a complete shambles. Not happy with the fact he would be losing the one-off match, which was originally slated to be a three-bout series, Michaels decided to make a mockery of the match, overselling everything to the point where it just looked like something from a kids TV show, making Hogan look a fool.
4 Sabotaged To Get Ahead: Triple H
Wrestling fans have often claimed that Triple H has sabotaged wrestlers, with countless examples of times when The Game won matches that people didn't believe he should've, but when you marry the bosses daughter, you're always going to get those claims.
Despite the amount of talent he has helped, from Randy Orton and Batista to all the NXT roster, there have certainly been times when Hunter has used his backstage position to ensure a result goes his way. The most obvious example of this is from WrestleMania 19 when the obvious outcome was to have Booker T win and become a major WWE star. However, Hunter disagreed and used his position in the company to ensure he went over, staying on top as champion.
3 Victim Of Sabotage: Mr.Kennedy
Earlier in the list we discussed how Randy Orton played a role in Kofi Kingston's push being taken away from him, this is way worse and Mr.Kennedy was a huge victim of sabotage here, costing him his career.
Kennedy had a solid run with WWE, even though he never quite reached his potential, he had a career to be proud of and is fondly remembered. But one botched move where he dropped Orton harshly ended up costing him in a major way. Orton was visibly furious about the situation and it has been widely speculated that the Viper used his backstage power to make his voice heard and ensure that Kennedy found his way to the job center.
2 Sabotaged To Get Ahead: Fabulous Moolah
Fabulous Moolah might be heralded as one of the all-time greats by WWE, but behind the scenes and in real life, she was one of the worst people to enter the wrestling business with her sabotaging ways causing problems for all. Wendy Richter was one who suffered from Moolah after she was brought in to pin Richter with a quick count after she refused to sign a new deal. After the match, Moolah legitimately assaulted her.
Moolah's actions were worse than that though, often training women up and then telling them not to take certain jobs. Instead she took them herself, keeping talent back while she shone. WWE recently had to take away her name from the WrestleMania 34 battle royal due to the amount of backlash there was, proving just how hated she is by the wrestling world.
1 Victim Of Sabotage: The Nexus
This wasn't just one man being sabotaged, but an entire group of people, hence why it tops the list as the worst victims of sabotage. When The Nexus debuted on WWE, they were a huge hit and had potential to be a complete game changer in the world of wrestling.
The group destroyed everyone in its path and headed to SummerSlam 2010 for its first major test as a unit in a sanctioned match. However, John Cena used his backstage politics and ensured that he went over against the group, destroying The Nexus before the momentum had even reached its peak. Chris Jericho and Edge, who had been involved in the match have both discussed this issue on Talk Is Jericho, admitting they thought it was the wrong call, but either way, the decision was made and the group never recovered.