There’s a very particular image of WWE that Chairman Vince McMahon has been trying to convey to the world for many years now; one of wholesome family entertainment completely free of controversy and scandal. The PG era, which was adopted years ago, has helped him attain that goal to a certain degree as the televised product has seen a marked decrease in blood, exposed skin and harsh language. This is the type of thing that has seen such untainted gems as John Cena rise to legendary status as increased armies of children have flocked to pro wrestling.
But it’s not difficult at all to come upon questionable material when you use the WWE Network to delve into the company’s past, which is full of lewd, adult oriented material, especially within the confines of the Attitude era during the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was a time when sexual innuendo and scantily clad women dominated wrestling television and it proved to be perhaps the most lucrative and, ironically, respected era in the history of the sport.
That’s just the on-screen portion of the business, though. If these were the types of shenanigans going down on live television, one can only imagine what was happening behind the curtain. For the entire history of WWE, the company has been littered with scandalous rumors and urban legends. From romantic affairs and secrets to nudity, body doubles and toilet humor, there is no shortage of stories that implicate WWE as one of the strangest businesses in the world. Here are fifteen legends that might sound completely insane, but have never quite been proven wrong.
15. Triple H & Christy Hemme
Triple H is one of the biggest names in the history of professional wrestling, not to mention one of the most successful WWE Superstars to ever step into the ring. He got his start as a mid-card star known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley, but skyrocketed to fame as a member of the popular D-Generation X faction. Throughout the 2000s, Triple H blazed a trail for himself with a singles career that saw him rack up a plethora of World Championship reigns. He also married into the McMahon family and is set to inherit the keys to the WWE kingdom.
With his position in the company holding so much weight, it should come as no surprise that the wrestling world was shocked when rumors started making the rounds of an affair that Triple H supposedly had with Diva Search winner Christy Hemme. Those rumors say that Hemme was released from her contract when Stephanie McMahon got wind of the romance, and though Hemme herself has given other vague reasons for her release, the rumors have never been outright denied.
14. A Real Kane Imposter?
Ever since his impactful debut in 1997 when he ripped the cage door off of the Hell in a Cell structure to reach his older brother the Undertaker, Kane has been a staple in WWE. The Big Red Machine has constantly reinvented himself, transitioning from a cold, calculated monster to a corporate “yes” man over a period of more than fifteen years. Somehow he’s managed to remain relevant, even long after the first time he initially removed his trademark mask, which many critics were certain would destroy his wrestling career.
Glenn Jacobs, the man behind Kane, has done such a swell job of keeping his act fresh that a particular urban legend of sorts has risen over the years that, due to his changing physique and deteriorating in ring work, Jacobs was perhaps not always the one portraying the character. And though it seems like common knowledge that this is indeed untrue, there remains a lingering uncertainty among many in the WWE Universe who believe there’s just no chance that the Glenn Jacobs we know today was ever able to pull off some of the things the more ripped Kane of the 1990s did.
13. The Vixen Jacqueline?
In 2016, Jackie Moore, perhaps known more commonly as Jacqueline, was finally inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and recognized for her contributions to women’s wrestling. WWE fans might remember when she joined the company during the Attitude era and became the first Women’s Champion after that title was reinstated following a lengthy hiatus. Jacqueline famously feuded with Sable during the blonde bombshell’s monster run in the company and would go on years later to win the Cruiserweight Championship, a title historically competed for almost exclusively by men.
Jackie’s skills in the ring were unmatched by her female peers, but she wasn’t just turning heads as a professional wrestler if the urban legends surrounding this Hall of Famer are to be believed. According to the tales, Jackie was quite promiscuous and was known to go to bed with a plethora of her male co-workers throughout her lengthy wrestling career.
12. “Superstar” Billy Graham Drank Bleach
“Superstar” Billy Graham was one of the most flamboyant professional wrestlers of his era, known for his bleached hair and colorful ring attire. Graham was a huge star in the 1970s and ‘80s and feuded with the likes of the longest reigning WWE World Champion of all time, Bruno Sammartino, even defeating Sammartino for the title at one time. Billy Graham has also always been known for being quite outspoken and has been very critical of World Wrestling Entertainment in more recent years, even claiming he wanted to be taken out of the WWE Hall of Fame into which he was inducted in 2004.
A particular urban legend involving “Superstar” Billy Graham is that he was once dared by his fellow wrestling comrades to drink Clorox bleach and Graham responded by actually doing it. This wild rumor is one that is difficult, if not impossible, to prove or disprove, but it’s certainly a wild one considering he apparently managed to walk away from such a crazy stunt.
11. Raven The Nudist
Some fans might remember him as the World Wrestling Federation’s Johnny Polo in the early 1990s, but Raven’s pro wrestling career really took off when he began competing in ECW and became one of the most popular ECW World Heavyweight Champions of all time. He famously feuded with Tommy Dreamer in a rivalry which helped that company cement its place in history as a cult favorite among wrestling fans, but Raven continued his legacy further when WWE bought ECW and he returned to work for Vince McMahon. He was a regular in the company’s Hardcore division for a few years before leaving to compete in TNA and eventually on the independent circuit.
Many rumors have suggested that Raven used to enjoy walking around nude backstage throughout his wrestling career, something that once got him into trouble with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Apparently, Raven was letting it all hang out a little too close to Austin’s wife at that time, Debra Marshall, and the two got into a heated discussion over the issue.
10. The Ultimate Warrior & PEDs
The Ultimate Warrior is one of the most legendary and respected grapplers in the history of the sport of professional wrestling. Not only was he responsible for some of the biggest matches at WrestleMania against household names such as Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage, he’s also seen as one of the greatest Intercontinental and WWE World Champions of all time. If only all the controversy surrounding Warrior hadn’t gotten in the way, he might have gone on to become most revered competitor in the entire industry.
Those controversies largely involved his wild attitude problems, which led to two decades of bad blood between himself and WWE, but some of them also involved his use of performance enhancing substances. Those substances are widely attributed to Warrior’s changing physique over the course of his WWE career, though many fans have long held a more colorful explanation for his altered appearance. Warrior looked so drastically different at times that an urban legend arose that he was secretly portrayed by two separate men.
9. Virgil & Pat Patterson
The man named Virgil is not just the center of a popular internet meme. In 2016, he seems to have trouble attracting visitors to his autograph signings and that has lead to fans taking pictures of him sitting by himself at merchandise tables and posting them to the internet as a part of the “lonely Virgil” phenomenon, but he was actually once a pretty popular part of the World Wrestling Federation. Virgil was originally the bodyguard for WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase until he broke out on his own, turning on DiBiase and winning Ted’s unsanctioned Million Dollar Championship.
Unfortunately for Virgil, once his program with Ted DiBiase was behind him he didn’t have much left to offer and his appeal began to fade. Perhaps he can take some solace, though, in being known as Lonely Virgil and in being the center of an urban legend that says the reason he received his job in the WWF is because he showed his penis to Pat Patterson, who was very impressed with what he saw.
8. “Macho Man” Randy Savage Was The Jealous Type
The name “Macho Man” Randy Savage very likely breaks the top five on any list of pro wrestlers that just about everyone, even those who aren’t fans, have heard of. Savage was the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to Hulk Hogan’s “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, or perhaps the Randy Orton to Hogan’s John Cena, to make a more modern reference. Randy Savage was nearly as popular as Hogan himself in the 1980s and the former World Wrestling Federation Champion was known just as much for his wife, Miss Elizabeth, as for his work inside the wrestling ring. Savage and Elizabeth perhaps still remain as the most beloved couple in wrestling.
What is almost as well known as his wrestling career is that of Savage’s real life jealousy as it related to Miss Elizabeth. Rumors have persisted for years that their marriage fell apart due to the issue and urban legends have long stated that Savage would have Elizabeth locked inside her dressing room when he wasn’t around so that his male co-workers would not be able to see or speak to her.
7. Jerry “The King” Lawler Gets The Kliq Treatment
Few wrestling stars have remained as consistently employed over the decades as Jerry “The King” Lawler. The Memphis wrestling icon has been with WWE since the early 1990s, when he began as an in ring performer but soon made a transition to a role as a color commentator for the company, a job he held until 2016 when he was reassigned and became a pre-show analyst. Alongside “Good Ole” Jim Ross, Lawler was one of the voices of the famed Attitude era and will go down in history being known perhaps more for his commentary work than for his wrestling days.
In a show of respect for his contributions to the wrestling industry, WWE inducted Lawler into the Hall of Fame in 2007. However, The King was not always so revered if rumors are to be believed. A popular but unconfirmed story is that when Lawler first joined WWE decades ago, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels took it upon themselves to defecate in Lawler’s trademark crown in order to teach him some respect.
6. Lita Sleeping Around
Along with her real life best friend and on-screen arch enemy Trish Stratus, Lita is one of the most frequently credited women when female WWE Superstars are asked who their in ring inspirations were when they were young. Not only was Lita beautiful and charismatic, she was the first WWE Diva to ever adopt the high flying, daredevil style which had never been seen before outside of the men’s roster. Her antics inside the ring captivated the WWE Universe and made her an instant icon, and her rivalry with Trish is considered the most legendary women’s feud in the history of wrestling.
Lita had multiple reigns as the WWE Women’s Champion and today is still employed with WWE in a backstage role and as an on-screen analyst. She’s also remembered for her real life affair with WWE Hall of Famer Edge when she was still in a relationship with Matt Hardy, a scandalous story which was made into an angle for WWE television. But perhaps her promiscuity doesn’t end there, as urban legends say Amy “Lita” Dumas was known to sleep around with a slew of men during the early years of her wrestling career.
5. Bret Hart’s Affair With Sunny
Sometimes a pro wrestler hits the big time as a household name and a huge money maker. Those men are the Hulk Hogans, Steve Austins and John Cenas of the industry. Other times a wrestler becomes revered for simply being the best at the actual wrestling side of the business, and Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels both fit that description to a tee. Not only are Michaels and Hart two of the best technical wrestlers in history, they’re also two of the most notorious rivals of all time. Everyone knows the story of the “Montreal Screwjob,” but the history between these two men stretches so far beyond Survivor Series in 1997.
Hart and Michaels never seemed to get along and there were heavy rumors in the 1990s that Bret Hart had an affair with Sunny while she was still in a relationship with the “Heartbreak Kid.” These rumors got most of their steam from a comment Michaels made on WWE television referring to Bret Hart’s “Sunny days.”
4. Shawn Michaels & Vince McMahon’s Love Affair
Bret Hart and Sunny weren’t the only two people Shawn Michaels was rumored to have a scandalous history with. Shawn Michaels is one of the most revered WWE World Champions in the history of the company and he has always been known for his remarkable ability to put on a great match with just about anyone of any skill level. He’s called “Mr. WrestleMania” because he’s widely recognized as the best performer to ever step foot in a wrestling ring at that legendary event, but his accomplishments as a pro wrestler have at times been outshone by his controversies.
One urban legend involving Michaels that seems too crazy to be true, but has still never been denied, is one that says Shawn had a secret romantic relationship with the Chairman of WWE himself, Mister Vincent Kennedy McMahon. The two have always been famously close and Michaels got by with a lot of things other wrestlers would have been fired for, and this is likely the basis for such a wild rumor.
3. JBL’s Shower Antics
John “Bradshaw” Layfield has been an employee with WWE for a very long time. He became known for his work with Ron “Faarooq” Simmons as the Acolytes, and later the Acolytes Protection Agency, and his tag team accomplishments should not be diminished simply because he went on to be perhaps more remembered for his lengthy reign as the WWE World Champion in his solo run as a super rich and conservative Texan. JBL eventually moved to the commentary booth where he still serves as a very controversial color commentator.
It’s difficult to tell sometimes whether the WWE Universe loves or hates JBL, as they frequently cheer him at live shows but his commentary is regularly criticized. However, it’s even more difficult to know what to make of rumors that he used to inappropriately touch and sometimes soap down fellow male wrestlers as they were taking showers. Supposedly this was done to younger stars as a sort of hazing, and WWE Hall of Famer Adam “Edge” Copeland even referred to JBL’s shower antics in his autobiography in 2004.
2. Mae Young & Moolah’s “Closeness”
When we speak of the modern women’s wrestling revolution we tend to credit stars like Sasha Banks, Paige and Charlotte as helping that movement gain steam, or otherwise we talk about Trish Stratus and Lita during the golden age of women’s wrestling throughout the 2000s and how those women helped pave the way for the ladies of today. But, too often, we ignore the true pioneers of women’s wrestling and without a doubt the two most notorious of those are The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young.
Moolah and Mae are famous today in no small part due to WWE’s use of them in comedic roles over the years, but many decades ago these two women were proving to the world that women can get just as gritty in the ring as the men. They weren’t just friends on screen, either, but actually lived together in the real world and were dear friends. The two were so close that rumors arose over the years that they were more than friends and indeed involved in a romantic relationship. That is one sweet urban legend.
1. Randy Savage & Stephanie McMahon
Vince McMahon may have his own urban legends floating about the wrestling world, but don’t think for a second that the boss’s daughter Stephanie doesn’t have her own share of controversy. She’s famously at the center of all the drama between Triple H and Chyna which went down fifteen years ago, but as it turns out the great Hunter Hearst Helmsley may not be the only beefed up wrestler that the Billion Dollar Princess has enjoyed company of.
According to a very widespread rumor among the wrestling world, a young Stephanie McMahon actually had a romance with WWE Hall of Famer “Macho Man” Randy Savage. This supposedly caused the falling out between Savage and Vince McMahon which saw the Macho Man ousted from the company never to return, and was the reason behind McMahon’s reluctance over the years to induct him into the Hall of Fame. There has never been any confirmation on this famous urban legend, although there’s never been any denial of it, either.