Fans have heard about the planning that goes on behind the scenes to make a match a success. However, behind the curtain a number of scenarios come about that demonstrate that everyone has their tipping point, and that at any moment someone’s fuse will blow. Below, we look at altercations that took place in WCW, ECW and WWE. Sometimes, being involved in a sport that requires people to live their character can crossover into reality.
We have wrestlers trying to show their worth, while others appear to interject themselves where they shouldn’t. It isn’t always about pent up frustration that boils over, but rather moments where a dust up happened because someone wanted to settle a score right there and then. While it would be ideal for everyone to get along, the reality is that when money is on the line, ego is at stake and character is questioned, then it was either put up or shut up. Whatever was being planned behind the scenes goes out the window when a wrestler’s pride may be at stake. Here are 15 More Backstage Fights in Wrestling You Probably Didn’t Know About.
Did you already know about some of these backstage fights or were some of them new to you? Let us know what you think. Feel free to share and comment below.
15. Batista vs. Booker T
While it is common knowledge now, at the time word was slow to get around about the altercation between these two former WWE heavyweight champions. In May 2006, a photo shoot was taking place, and former WWE heavyweight champion Batista was said to be walking around with a brashness about him. That type of attitude didn’t sit well with others, notably another former WWE heavyweight champion in Booker T. It was reported that Batista had challenged Booker to essentially “go at it” However, he was unaware of Booker’s background and how he had to fight all his life. Booker bested Batista for the majority of the battle, with Batista getting in some shots of his own. Nothing more came of it, as Booker hoped that Batista would succeed down the line. Talk about underestimating your opponent.
14. Ernie Ladd vs. Jack and Jerry Brisco
Stories are often told today of wrestlers that challenge each other either backstage, in the parking lot, or even back at the hotel. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported that in 1977, Ladd was slated to lose the National Wrestling Alliance Florida Championship, but “The Big Cat” rejected the idea of having to lose if the match was pre-recorded. So when he saw a video camera he walked out, refusing to job. Eddie Graham sent the Brisco brothers out to beat up Ladd, to teach him that what he was doing wasn’t professional. What Graham hadn’t anticipated was that the Big Cat was waiting for the Briscos with a tire iron in his backseat. Ladd laid out both brothers and then apparently put them in the trunk of his car and dropped them off on Eddie Graham’s lawn.
13. Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Balls Mahoney
This incident took place at a time when Mahoney had a fire-breathing gimmick. Prior to their match, he and Duggan went over what was supposed to happen, including the fire breathing spot. Duggan blew the first two planned spots of the match, so Mahoney decided that he was just going to end it. In the midst of the finish, Mahoney had the fluid in his mouth and ignited the lighter, just to have Duggan knock the lighter out of his hand, and Mahoney ended up spitting fluid with no fire. He stopped mid-match, told off Duggan in the ring, and rolled out. He had to be locked in the office backstage because he was ready to kill someone. Duggan was informed that Mahoney blamed him for everything that went wrong, and if he didn’t leave it would be bad for his health. By the time Mahoney left the office, Duggan had left the arena.
12. Tony Atlas vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
This altercation was reported to have taken place prior to their time in the WWF, during their time in the territories in Georgia. The story was shared by Mr. Wonderful who had said that he was travelling on the road with both Brian Blair, later of the famed Killer Bees, and “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas. Apparently Atlas was getting on his nerves, so he asked Blair, who was driving, to pull over. Orndorff stated that he proceeded beat Atlas’ “ass” so badly that he put him in the hospital. Orndorff doesn’t go on to state what Atlas said that had bothered him so much, though apparently prior to this skirmish the two got along well.
11. Brian Pillman vs. Sid Vicious
Back in 1991 an incident took place between Pillman and someone that isn’t any stranger to having issues other talent in WCW, Sid Vicious. The two had a run in that didn’t turn out how many would think, considering the size difference. Pillman was at a bar in Georgia when Sid, who was employed by the WWF, walked in. Apparently Sid was boasting about his new salary and antagonizing Pillman and other WCW wrestlers in the process. Pillman, who had been drinking, challenged Sid to a fight on the spot. Sid walked away only to return with a squeegee in hand! We aren’t sure whether Sid thought it was a challenge to clean Pillman’s, car or hurt him with it. Regardless, the response to Sid was that he was laughed at so hard he left the bar out of sheer embarrassment.
10. Andre the Giant vs. Dick Murdoch & Blackjack Mulligan
As this story has been told by many wrestlers of this particular generation, the late Andre the Giant, Blackjack Mulligan, Ric Flair and Dick Murdoch were altogether at bar that was on a beach. The incident was believed to be caused by Flair, who was provoking both Mulligan and Murdoch and encouraging them to take part in what has been described as a slap-boxing match against Andre. During the incident, the slaps turned into something greater than had originally been anticipated. Andre was sucker-punched and proceeded to drag both Mulligan and Murdoch into the ocean nearby, holding one man with each hand. Andre dunked both men and didn’t let them go until Flair got involved. Andre’s anger could have been fuelled by the fact that he drank 60 beers at the point.
9. Dan Spivey vs. Adrian Adonis
This altercation was shared by Dory Funk Jr. and validated by Spivey himself. For no rhyme nor reason, the late Adrian Adonis was looking for a fight. Unbeknownst to anyone, he came up to Danny Spivey, challenged him and questioned his toughness. Adonis said, “C’mon Spivey, let’s see how tough you are.” Spivey promptly took up the challenge. Adonis attempted to go right for the legs of the much taller Spivey. However, as he lunged, Spivey struck him with a straight left to his left eye and cheek, busting him open immediately. Spivey followed up again with another solid punch before anyone could step in and break it up. It appears the fight ended almost before it began.
8. Shane Douglas vs. Brian Lee vs. Tracy Smothers
This story happened during ECW’s existence. A match between “Prime Time” Brian Lee and Pitbull #2 went into the crowd, and whether that was the original plan was uncertain. After, Shane Douglas approached both Tod Gordon and Paul Heyman and said that both men should be fired! The Sandman and Tracy Smothers overheard Douglas’ comments, and Sandman repeated them to Lee. Lee found Douglas, grabbed him by the throat and brought him across the hall into the shower, threatening him before letting him go. After the incident, Shane went back into the locker room and demanded to know “Who stooged me out?” Before Sandman could admit to it, Tracy Smothers jumped on Douglas and began pounding on him until others stepped in and separated them. Douglas had previously lived at Smothers’ house rent free when he was younger.
7. The Sandman vs. Shane Douglas vs. Bill Alfonso
This incident involved former referee and manager Bill Alfonso, The Sandman and Shane Douglas. It began with the team of the Triple Threat facing Sandman and two other wrestlers. Sandman told the other wrestlers to not touch his Singapore cane when he dropped it because of a planned spot. At the time of the spot, Sandman was knocked out of the ring leaving his cane in the middle of the ring. Douglas picked it up, shook his head in disgust and dropped it. After the match, Sandman said “Shane, if you ever touch my fu**ing cane again, I’m gonna beat the hell out of you.” He then went down the hall and into another locker room with Bill Alfonso. Apparently when Douglas approached Sandman and Alfonso, Alfonso tackled the Franchise. We aren’t quite sure why Alfonso got involved.
6. The Big Show vs. Ballz Mahoney
One interesting story involves Paul Wight, the Big Show, who was training at Larry Sharpe’s Monster Factory. Balls Mahoney was training others there at the time. One time Wight came to the training facility with some friends, who were standing nearby, while he was using the weights. Mahoney came up to Wight’s friends and asked them to leave. They responded, “Oh, well we’re with Paul Wight and he said we could stay.” That didn’t sit well with Balls, who once again told them to get out! Wight walked over wondering what was going on. His friends explained what was happening, and he tried to calm the situation down, but Balls didn’t relent, and challenged Wight. He said, “Sure you’re 7 ft. tall, and 500 lbs., and you could probably kick my ***, but what happens if I kick your ***?” Wight simply took his friends and left the gymnasium.
5. Brock Lesnar vs. Bob Holly
This altercation began when Holly was told he was going to be putting over Lesnar back in 2002. Holly decided that rather than put over Lesnar he was going to teach him a thing or two. For the entire match, Holly worked incredibly stiff against the younger Lesnar, which didn’t appear to bother The Beast. At one point however, when Brock went to deliver a powerbomb, and rather than help Holly acted like dead weight in the middle of the lift so Lesnar couldn’t lift him like he was supposed to. So Lesnar decided to show Holly what he thought of this and dropped him right on his head! The consequence was Holly being out of action for a year due to a bad neck. Lesnar’s act only helped to cement his push as the video was used numerous times.
4. Lex Luger vs. Bruiser Brody
This story involved the late Bruiser Brody and a young up and coming Total Package, Lex Luger. One of things that were noteworthy about Brody was that even though he had charisma and the ability to engage the fans, he was regarded as a pain in the a**. A young Luger was leaving a territory and refused to job on the way out. Brody showed up to the arena hung over, with razorblades taped to his knuckles! During the match, he played around for a bit before he completely no-sold everything Luger tried to do. Bill Alfonso, who was the referee, said to Luger that it was all a joke, only to realize later that it wasn’t, and then told him to go right to the ref bump. Luger did the bump and scampered out of the cage right away.
3. Rick Steiner vs. Corporal Cajun, Big Vito and Konnan
This incident showed how tough the dog-faced gremlin could be. WCW was in the midst of going being sold to the WWE. Steiner was said to have taken blatant liberties with each of these men during singles matches. Though a legitimate tough guy, he had no real reason to shoot on any of these three men. All three remained professional, and attempted to work through their parts in the match. According to rumours since WWE had purchased WCW, a number of wrestlers were planning on getting involved in the Steiner match on the last Nitro to teach him a lesson, but that never occurred.
2. New Jack vs. Brian Pillman
This incident involved the late loose cannon and the original gangster. Pillman returned to ECW in 1996, a week after his infamous Humvee accident that nearly ended his life. Pillman cut a promo in the ring where he made a comment about the popular rap group NWA (not to be confused with the National Wrestling Alliance.) To this day no one other than New Jack is sure what he either heard, or if he was misinformed by someone backstage, but he believed Pillman used the N-word during this promo, and lost it. When Pillman came backstage after the promo in his wheelchair, things got very heated. New Jack was so upset that many believed he would have attacked Pillman then and there, and Pillman never backed down. New Jack threatened to leave the company over the altercation, and Pillman never went back to work for ECW after the incident.
1. Bradshaw vs. Duke “The Dumpster” Droese
One incident took place during transition from the new generation to the attitude era, and involved Duke “the Dumpster” Droese and Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw (known now as JBL). Droese had apparently earned notoriety for slipping GHB into women’s drinks and taking advantage of them. Wrestlers backstage, including Bradshaw, became aware of this and were disgusted. Bradshaw was told to take care of it, so he tied Droese up in the showers, and what happened next varies depending on who, is telling the story. The most popular story was that Bradshaw did to Droese what he was rumored to be doing to the women. While that may not have happened, Droese may have simply had the fear of God put into him, stopping him from making that mistake again.