For those growing up, dreaming of becoming wrestlers, the holy grail is WWE. Get contracted with the promotion, climb the ranks, and for many, that’s the pinnacle. But wrestling is a tough, grueling business. Take the foot off the gas, let personal issues creep in and have an effect, and things could unravel pretty quickly.
Wrestling, and especially WWE, is filled with big personalities and testosterone-fuelled egos. There are plenty of larger than life characters in the business and facets of their personalities are just exacerbated due to the in-ring personas they portray. On occasions, wrestlers lose it, make decisions that go on to affect the rest of their careers in the industry. Make a mistake, do something outlandish when with the promotion, feel the wrath of those at the helm of WWE, and it’s tough to come back. Here are 20 WWE stars who made mistakes and consequently became a disgrace to wrestling.
20 Scott Steiner’s Personality Got Him Into Hot Water
Scott Steiner’s physical presence was awe-inspiring. When he first stepped into the ring, people couldn’t believe what they were seeing. But after a while, WWE had enough. He was a pro at rubbing people up the wrong way and got in numerous backstage disputes during his tenure with the promotion.
The bottom line is that the Big Poppa Pump’s personality was too big for WWE.
19 Paige’s Tenure With WWE Was Certainly A Page-Turner
Paige is someone that you just can’t help follow. Love her or hate her, she’s mightily entertaining. But she was first and foremost a wrestler, and when you’re contracted to WWE, there are certain rules you have to abide by. She was entertaining, but for WWE, for mostly the wrong reasons.
18 Daniel Puder Messed With The Wrong Guy
WWE looks after the best, look after their stars. Put these stars in danger, anger them in some way, and it can spell curtains for your career. In 2004, Daniel Puder took part in a shoot wrestling match with Kurt Angle. Angle was on top, but the tables turned and Puder nearly broke Angle’s arm. He subsequently became the most hated man in the locker room and was shortly let go.
17 Controversy Has Followed Batista Around
The Animal is a proven main event draw. But look through his tenure with WWE and there are a string of controversial moments. Batista loves to rant, and his war of words have gotten him in hot water. Occasionally it’s his fists that do the talking. Recall that Booker T incident?
He has considerable star power, star quality, which is why despite his indiscretions, he keeps coming back to WWE.
16 The Troubled Life Of Chyna
Chyna’s regarded to be one of the most influential women in wrestling. She led a rollercoaster of a life. Some would say she was booted out of WWE due to backstage politics. Her life was unraveling, she was facing legal troubles and was combating substance abuse issues.
15 Jeff Hardy Has Had Numerous Run-Ins With The Law
There was a point where WWE was trying to clean up its image and become more PG. Jeff Hardy, despite his prowess as a wrestler, just didn’t fit in with their plans. He has a rap sheet as long as his arm and judging by his recent indiscretions, doesn’t look to be simmering down.
14 Matt Hardy Has Faced Criminal Charges
Just like his younger brother, Matt Hardy hasn’t had an easy time of things in his personal life. He’s faced numerous issues over the years in terms of his health, facing addictions, and according to Bleacherreport, he’s been arrested on felony charges. He was given a chance of getting his life back on track but was booted out of WWE-sponsored rehab.
13 WWE Have Forgiven Randy Orton
Randy Orton is too valuable to just toss by the wayside. Some would say that it’s because of his connections, the fact that he’s a third-generation wrestler, that means he’s still with WWE. But his conduct has been anything but ideal. He’s been open about substance abuse issues. According to Sports Illustrated, he’s used performance enhancers. Then there are allegations of abuse, harassment, and bullying which he has apologized for.
12 Sunny Has A Tough Time Looking On The Sunny-Side Of Life
This decade hasn’t been one that Sunny will look back at with fondness. In 2012, Sunny was arrested five times in a month. More arrests came a few years later. 2019 Hasn’t been kind to Sunny either in terms of her legal troubles. Such issues aside, she was known for being controversial in the WWE locker rooms, such as her alleged affair with Shawn Michaels.
11 Hulk Hogan’s Infamous Controversies
When it comes to mainstream wrestling stars, Hulk Hogan is the pinnacle. But his image has been tarnished somewhat. His contract was terminated due to racist outbursts. There’ve been homophobic comments, court battles relating to other issues, and who can forget the biggest controversy that rocked WWE in the 90s, during which Hogan eventually admitted taking performance enhancers?
10 Scott Hall Has Lived Life In The Fast Lane
Scott Hall has been open with his various addiction issues. WWE paid for his rehab treatment. The promotion is good at looking after their own. But they were never going to invite him back, not with his criminal record. He took someone’s life in the '80s and has said the incident still haunts him to this day.
9 JBL’s Dubious Legacy At WWE
JBL the wrestler is long gone but his antics will be remembered. He’s been banned from Germany after giving a certain salute, has deliberately targeted wrestlers he dislikes, has allegedly used his clout to force departures. JBL was the bad guy and he knew it, but there were plenty of things he did off his own back that he’s not remorseful for, and that’s worrying.
8 X-Pac Didn’t Fit In With WWE’s Image
It’s tough not to be sympathetic when learning about X-Pac’s life. He’s faced many trials and tribulations, and not all of them were of his own making.
A couple of years ago he faced felony charges. Since then his appearances have been sporadic. Due to his involvement in The Kliq, one feels that WWE has been a tad lenient on him.
7 Alberto Del Rio Fired Due To Unprofessional Conduct
Controversy has dogged Alberto Del Rio’s wrestling career. His tenure with WWE can best be described as forgettable. He’s intense and passionate, but this often spills over the edge and lands him in hot water. Alberto’s relationship with Paige was the most memorable event of his time with WWE. Eventually, he was fired due to his "unprofessional conduct and an altercation with an employee."
6 Koji Kitao’s Short-Lived WWE Career
Remember Koji? Probably not. He faced disciplinary issues wherever he went. He was expelled from the Sumo Federation, then turned to wrestling. This career choice didn’t go much better. Whilst at WrestleMania VII, he broke kayfabe started ranting to the fans and had to be pulled backstage. Koji ruined his own careers with poor decision making.
5 Chris Benoit Never Existed In WWE’s Eyes
Of course, Chris Benoit had to make this list. Technically, he was one of the best. But everything he did in the ring was overshadowed when he committed those heinous acts in 2007. There were plenty of theories as to why he went down that dark path.
Understandably, WWE was quick to brush all of his accomplishments under the carpet.
4 The Ultimate Warrior Will Never Be Forgotten
He’s a wrestling icon alright but not necessarily for the right reasons. WWE inducted him into their Hall of Fame, but this followed a long absence from the wrestling scene. He had a number of tenures with WWE but was let go each and every time for ill-discipline and other such reasons. His career as a public speaker didn’t do much better as he’s made a number of disgraceful comments over the years. Yet, WWE still celebrates the late wrestler's career.
3 Zahra Schreiber’s Social Media Posts Got Her Fired
Zahra belonged to an age when social media was coming to the fore. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t get much guidance as to what or what not to post. Although she shouldn’t have needed anyone to tell her that posting Nazi-themed images wouldn’t have gone down well. Unsurprisingly she was subsequently ousted from WWE.
2 Not So Superstar Billy Graham
Billy Graham is perhaps the poster boy when it comes to performance-enhancing substances. He’s openly admitted taking them and getting several other members of the wrestling fraternity into them. On top of this, he’s a bitter veteran who holds grudges and trashes a lot of the current stars.
1 The Fabulous Moolah Broke Kayfabe
The Fabulous Moolah went about life ruling with an iron fist. But when it comes to her tenure with WWE, she’ll always be remembered for the so-called Original Screwjob incident. Moolah broke kayfabe with a dirty tactic. There’ve also been strong allegations of Moolah exploiting female wrestlers.
The Fabulous Moolah; no-so fabulous Moolah in WWE’s eyes.
Sources: Bleacherreport, WWE