Behind closed doors the world of wrestling is much different than what we see when the cameras are rolling. Some of our childhood heroes such as Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Triple H and Shawn Michaels may have seemed unstoppable and oh-so-lovable in the ring, but behind the scenes, this was not entirely true. These four larger than life icons are part of a long list of wrestlers that were strongly disliked behind the scenes for a variety of reasons. When Triple H was asked about how he felt with regards to all the hate that past wrestlers had towards him, he simply answered “Hey, everyone’s got to blame someone for not making it”. Jealousy is possibly a core reason for why these 12 superstars have experienced so much heat from a variety of former co-workers in the past. Other reasons such as bullying, ego and backstabbing, have also played a big part in the careers of these 12 superstars behind the scenes. Let’s now get started and find out who the top 12 most hated wrestlers backstage of all time are.
Bradshaw was strongly disliked by many of his peers during his in ring days. JBL was known to be a bully with the new talent in the WWE. Jeff Hardy, Rene Dupree and the Blue Meanie can all confirm this about JBL with stories from the past. According to former WWE Diva Ivory, JBL would frequently hit new talent for real in the ring. In one instance, Bradshaw almost knocked the head off of a new wrestler when delivering his finishing clothesline. It is said that Vince McMahon and Jim Ross would actually use JBL to test and intimidate new talents that were entering the WWE. Some, however, did not take the abuse, and it is believed that on a couple of occasions wrestlers fought back and hit JBL in the face (the rumored names to have done so are Steve Blackman and Joey Styles). Things have calmed down reasonably since changing to a commentator’s role, however some are still complaining about his behavior. In a recent shoot interview, former WWE writer Vince Russo, commented on how JBL buries young talent, and is still trying to put himself over despite his status with the company. Russo believes JBL should stop promoting himself constantly and focus on pushing the new exciting talent, instead of burying them on live television.
11) Bill DeMott
Like JBL, Bill DeMott was known to be a bully with the younger superstars. With a role as a former trainer, the constant theme with new wrestlers training with Bill was that they were being pushed extremely hard, being yelled at constantly, and ultimately not really learning anything about the business. Many compared their experience with DeMott as a boot camp, as opposed to actual training to become a professional wrestler. On March 6th, 2015, things finally came to an end for the former WWE trainer. After receiving numerous allegations about his behavior, DeMott stepped down from the company (he reportedly did so in order to save the WWE from any embarrassment or damage). The allegations that came forward were made by wrestlers Kevin Matthews, Mike Bucci, Devon Nicholson, Chad Baxter and Chase Donovan. The wrestlers accused DeMott of numerous things such as performing dangerous drills, physically assaulting and bullying trainees, using homophobic and racial slurs, leaving trainees naked while training and condoning sexual harassment. All these allegations lead to a Twitter trend of #FireDeMott.
10) The Miz
Since making his debut for the company, The Miz was extremely unpopular coming from a non-wrestling background. The Miz came with credentials as a reality show star, something most wrestlers did not appreciate as a credential. Jim Cornette bashed The Miz on several occasions, believing he was in wrestling to gain exposure and later on use the exposure for a future job as an actor. Cornette certainly wasn’t too far off, with the Miz having just finished filming his new movie, The Marine 3: Homefront. Things were rocky with Miz since day 1, after he dropped food on Chris Benoit’s bag (The Miz was apparently not allowed back in the locker room for the next 6 months after the situation). Other wrestlers have also voice their dislike; during a shoot interview, Alberto Del Rio admitted he hated working with the Miz. Del Rio admitted he strongly dislikes The Miz outside and inside the ring, comparing his in ring abilities to a little girl. Alberto also commented on the Miz outside of the ring, claiming he was extremely loud and obnoxious.
9) Brock Lesnar
Early on in his career, Brock Lesner was not too popular amongst his peers. Lesnar was seen as someone who was very arrogant outside the ring and extremely reckless with talent in the ring. His behavior almost got him an early ticket out of the business, if not for Vince McMahon who was obsessed with Brock’s image. Lesnar was in hot water with the company after scoop slamming a female extremely hard, after she told Lesnar before the match she was sustaining an injury. The husband of this diva was Jim Cornette. Cornette didn’t take too kindly to the situation and got into a heated exchange with Brock. After surviving this situation, Brock went on to have a tremendous career in the ring. Outside of the ring, it was a different story. Lesnar was never a people person, and typically did his job and left the scene quickly. During a shoot interview with Paul Heyman and Chris Jericho, according to Edge, Brock simply “hates people”. Heyman backed up Edge’s comments by saying that Brock simply does not like to talk. Jericho added that moving to Saskatchewan pretty much sums up who Brock is. Chris stated that no one moves to that part of Canada unless they have no choice. In Brock’s case, he moved to that farm in order to get away from people. The legend of Brock Lesnar just continues to grow.
8) Randy Orton
Destined to be a star in the WWE, success seemingly got to Orton’s head early on in his career. Many disliked Randy’s attitude because of his cockiness and arrogance towards younger talent and Divas, typically playing the role of a bully towards them. During a shoot interview, former WWE diva Maria Kanellis, justified these claims. Maria claims that Orton was extremely unpleasant to be around when she entered the company as a part of the “Diva’s Search”. Kanellis also recalls a time when she was in a car with the late Umaga and Carlito, and Orton threw fireworks at their car; Kanellis said she was never more scared in her entire life. This was not the first time Orton went after a diva. When rookie Diva Rochelle Loewen did not realize who Orton was, Randy was furious, to the point that Orton decided to leave the rookie with a gift by filling her bag up with different kinds of creams.
7) Ultimate Warrior
For the late Ultimate Warrior, his blunt in your face attitude rubbed many people the wrong way backstage. Warrior was also extremely reckless in the ring, and this caused a lot of talents to not want to work with the Warrior, despite his status with the company. WWE legend, Bret Hart took a major shot at the Warrior in his autobiography; Bret recalls a time where a Make-A-Wish child attended the show and met most of the wrestlers after the show. For some reason, the Warrior refused to meet the Make-A-Wish child, and Hart referred to Warrior as a “coward” following this event. Selfishness was a big theme that surrounded the Warrior throughout his career backstage amongst his peers. Thankfully before his passing, Warrior managed to mend many fences.
Many superstars coming out of the “attitude era” believe Sable was one of the most unpopular superstars backstage in the history of the company. Sable was very distant from the other talent and would always do her own thing, usually alongside ex husband, Marc Mero. Sable believed that she was the core reason RAW drew such high ratings, prompting many to dislike her. According to X-Pac, the dislike towards her was so apparent that they decided to leave her with a parting gift before she left the company for good. During her final show, X-Pac decided to let out some “waste” (for lack of a better word) in Sable’s travelling bag. What makes the situation even more humiliating is that X-Pac managed to do this just before going out in a match against Shane McMahon in Wembley Stadium.
Eric Bischoff blames fame for getting in the way of Bill Goldberg’s perspective on pro wrestling. Bischoff discusses how easy Goldberg was to deal with early on, but later when people were in his ear, the situation became much more difficult to deal with professionally. Bischoff claims that Dealing with Goldberg during his success was one of the most difficult parts of his career. Eric referred to Goldberg as a “business monster”. Among the talent, Goldberg wasn’t too popular either. His reluctance to put young talent over frustrated many wrestlers. Others strongly disliked Goldberg in the ring. During a shoot interview, William Regal described Goldberg as being extremely limited in the ring. Regal recalls a match against Goldberg that ended up being a complete disaster. The match saw Goldberg look extremely confused trying to counter Regal’s European technical wrestling skills. Other wrestlers simply disliked Goldberg for his match quality; the belief was that Goldberg could not go longer than 5 minutes in the ring, and was also extremely reckless. In one instance, Goldberg caused Bret Hart to suffer from a severe concussion after kicking him straight in the head. Many former wrestlers have mixed feelings when discussing the legacy of Bill Goldberg.
4) Hulk Hogan
Being one of the biggest faces in wrestling history, it’s only normal some will be bitter about all of Hulk’s success throughout the years. Scott Steiner even blames Hogan for the death of WCW. Steiner claims the entire show ran around Hogan and his schedule. The late Doink the Clown also strongly disliked Hogan, and claimed that Hogan only took matches that benefited him and not anyone else. The heat between the two began when Hogan turned down a match against Doink at WrestleMania IX. Many have been critical about Hulk’s work and his treatment of others behind the curtain, and this list of high profile wrestlers includes Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage.
3) Ric Flair
The general knock on Ric Flair backstage was that the former sixteen-time World Heavyweight Champion was “two-faced”, telling a wrestler one thing and later telling management something else. The late Ultimate Warrior justified these comments by saying that Flair claimed he was the best, but yet would not take matches against certain wrestlers. Scott Steiner also accused Flair of being a backstabber. Steiner claimed the only reason why Flair ever had any success in the wrestling business was because he was a “kiss ass”. Other wrestlers have also voiced their displeasures about working with Flair, wrestlers such as Bruno Sammartino, Honky Tonk Man, Shane Douglas, Sid Vicious, Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Eric Bischoff and Bret Hart.
2) Shawn Michaels
Despite being one of the greatest in ring performers of all time, HBK was extremely difficult to deal with during the 90s, in large part due to his heavy drug use at the time. Shawn was generally described as not being a “team player” and going about his business with (and only with) his buddies (aka the Kliq). What frustrated many about Shawn’s attitude was that he was only willing to drop matches against his buddies and no one else. When he came back in 2002 as a born again Christian, Shawn mended many fences from years past. Despite this attempt though, some still don’t buy Shawn’s new outlook on life. During a shoot interview, Shane Helms described Michaels as a “hypocrite” and also feels that Shawn’s born again Christian belief is all a front. Helms states that his beliefs do not match the actions of his actual life, using hunting as an example. Despite the hate by many wrestlers, one thing’s for sure, in the ring Shawn will forever be remembered as one of the greatest of all time.
1) Triple H
Similar to other wrestlers on this list, Triple H has been accused of just caring about himself and being a “two faced” individual. Many dislike the fact that Triple H has his favorites and will only push those that he has a personal friendship with. Dolph Ziggler backed up this claim in an interview. Others also don’t like the fact that Hunter has always been the center of attention, when instead, the company could have focused on pushing younger talent. The New Age Outlaws backed this statement up, describing Hunter as being selfish and always putting himself over others behind the scenes, no matter who he had to throw under the bus. Others (like Scott Steiner) credit Triple H’s success to being tied to the family. Bret backed up this statement by calling Hunter a real “ass kiss” towards Vince. Paul London, Ken Shamrock, Bill Goldberg and Chyna are just some of the others who disliked Triple H behind the scenes.