Wrestlers can be very intense individuals. They will often spend countless days on the road away from their families earning a living. Time away from their personal life can lead to emotions that run high. For so many wrestlers, committing their lives to their craft means that what they do in the ring, how they are perceived by their peers and the public perception of them is often everything. The importance of perception, both in ring and as a character, often will lead to confrontations with one another. A number of incidents between wrestlers have come to a head, and legitimate fists were thrown.
Emotions can be intensified when wrestlers are faced with constant ribbing, or jokes that are offensive. Other times, wrestlers will stand up for one another and confront others in order for those issues to be resolved. It’s a competitive field where achieving success and maintaining character is important. While some incidents stem from issues between wrestlers that were never resolved, other ones end up reaching a resolution and the issue dissolves. Some wrestlers are notorious for having issues with other wrestlers, while others never forget an incident that happened years earlier and appear to seek retribution. While some listed here may surprise fans, other ones may have been understandable seeing as they involve repeat culprits. Here are 15 Backstage Fights You Probably Didn’t Hear About.
15. Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper
The animosity between these two began during their time in WCW. It became an issue much later when the two engaged in a Twitter war with one another. As the story begins, the two of them they were not working well against one another during a tag team match. During the match, Ric Flair, Piper’s teammate, and the Hot Rod became upset at the way the match was going. As the story continues, Nash came into the dressing room after, but here the stories differ depending on whose perspective you follow. Sean Waltman stated that Piper said something to Nash (he didn’t specify what,) and disputed Piper’s story that the two wanted to fight, saying that wasn’t the case. Nash did injure himself during the incident, as he apparently stated that Piper was a liar, out of place and went into business for himself, and open hand slapped him.
14. Yoshi Tatsu and Sheamus
Early on in his time with WWE, Sheamus was unceremoniously taught a lesson by former WWE wrestler Yoshi Tatsu during an exchange. At the time, both men were set to move up from FCW, the WWE’s developmental system; Tatsu‘s time in the company was generally spent relegated to the ECW. As the story goes, Sheamus had asked Tatsu if he could borrow some money. It was a simple enough request, and one Tatsu had no problem obliging. Eventually, of course, he wanted to have the money returned. Tatsu continually asked Sheamus for the money back, but was always met with an excuse. Eventually, Tatsu grew tired of asking him repeatedly and knocked on Sheamus’ door. When Sheamus opened the door, Tatsu beat him senseless. Tatsu eventually got the money back. This certainly takes away from the tough guy reputation that Sheamus had prior to this altercation.
13. Kamala and Andre the Giant
Former WWE wrestler “The Ugandan Giant” Kamala has shared this story on different occasions. As the story goes, prior to their time in the WWF, Kamala and Andre had an ongoing rivalry throughout several wrestling territories. Despite that, both knew that making money was more important than anything during these times. But in reality the late Giant from Grenoble didn’t much care for Kamala. In an interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kamala shared that Andre wasn’t necessarily the friendliest guy and used a racist remark towards Kamala during a match. Kamala didn’t appreciate it and let him know. This led to a confrontation between the two backstage. Kamala stated that he beat Andre up at the time. He also stated that he didn’t have any other problems with him after the altercation.
12. Hulk Hogan and Verne Gagne
The story of one of these backstage altercations comes from someone notorious for exaggerating, Hulk Hogan. Hogan once stated that Andre the Giant weighed over 700 lbs, and while that could be in character, it’s still an exaggeration. In an interview with Chris Jericho, Hogan stated that former AWA owner and legendary wrestler Verne Gagne began to make merchandise to sell to the public, but wouldn’t share a portion of the sales with him. When Hogan approached Gagne about this, an exchange ensued and Gagne challenged him, stating he “wanted to see what they taught him down in Florida” (where Hogan initially trained as a wrestler,) to which Hogan replied “Enough to kick your a**”. Gagne came at Hogan, who grabbed him in a front face lock. Greg Gagne, Verne’s son, apparently was going to stand up for his dad but “Dr. D” David Schultz stepped in and prevented the altercation from continuing.
11. Scott Hall and Marty Jannetty
This lesser known altercation was shared by Scott Hall. The incident took place when they were competing in the territories, prior to both achieving greater success. At the time, Jannetty and his teammate Shawn Michaels were known for enjoying life outside the ring. Jannetty usually owed more money than he was earning, as he would often have to pay for damages to hotel rooms. As the story goes, Jannetty was hungover in the dressing room, and ended up with a split lip after Hall punched him repeatedly while he slept. When Jannetty came to, he took a pipe and went after Hall. The next night, Hall asked Jannetty if he wanted to go at it again. The reason for the altercation was that Hall was told Marty used his name to sign into a hotel, and then caused damage to the room. The altercation was all based on a misunderstanding, and the two made amends.
10. Shane “Hurricane” Helms and Buff Bagwell
There have been a number of stories about Buff Daddy, but this one took place after the WWE’s purchase of WCW. Confidence can sometimes be confused for arrogance, and this was the case between Helms and Bagwell. Helms had grown tired of Bagwell’s belief in how great he was. There was an incident where both were training and Helms was matched up with Bagwell. Helms was hurt, as his back was bothering him on this particular day. Other wrestlers were exchanging pleasantries, but things got a little testy. Helms yapped at Bagwell and Bagwell slapped him, then asked Helms if he had something to say now. Helms replied no and Bagwell told him to keep his mouth shut. According to Bagwell he turned his back and Helms hit him over the back of the head with a frozen water bottle that had been under his shirt. Helms says that the story is a lie.
9. Road Warrior Hawk and Eddie Guerrero
Both of these sadly departed men had their demons, and also had issues with one another at one point in their career. Unfortunately, the substance abuse issues both suffered with played a role in their altercation. In his book Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story, Eddie discusses a time when he and Hawk came to blows. Guerrero was under the influence, and he was looking to create a problem. It was not provoked or a retaliation; he didn’t care who Hawk was, he was looking for a fight. Hawk told Guerrero to back off or there would be consequences, but Guerrero refused to back off, pushing Hawk. When he turned away, Hawk hit him in the back of the head causing him to land on his butt. Hawk continued to beat on him a few more times to ensure he got the message loud and clear that he should have backed off.
8. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and Vader
This issue stemmed from something business related. Every wrestler has obligations to the company they work for, and Vader feels Mr. Wonderful had an issue with him because of his missing photo shoots. According to Vader, Orndorff approached him about it and began to berate him, calling him a “fat ass.” After this berating, Orndorff challenged him to a fight. Even though Orndorff took some shots at him, Vader went to finish him off and things would have been worse had it not been for Meng, who broke up the altercation. As Orndorff tells the story, he sent Vader to the floor and continued to kick him until he was being pulled off of him. The last thing he remembers was he kicked Vader in the face, and it hurt because he was wearing flip flops at the time. Orndorff says he’s glad he wasn’t really hurt or he’d be in jail for killing Vader.
7. Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle
We have heard how Eddie was in a dark place during periods of his life, and sometimes created issues where there otherwise wasn’t one. This one was reported by John Bradshaw Leyfield. As the story goes, Eddie and Kurt Angle had an issue with one another over something that took place during a match. They had worked together a number of times, but on this particular day miscommunication led to a confrontation after the match. After discussing the issue of what had just taken place, Guerrero took a leg dive at Angle in anger. A leg dive is essentially when someone attacks their opposition’s leg to take them down, an amateur wrestling move that was not expected by Angle. The fight was immediately broken up. Angle asked Guerrero why would he leg dive a gold medalist? Guerrero quickly replied because he was stupid, a priceless response. The two maintained a very good relationship with one another after the event.
6. Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson
This story was told many times, years ago. The story has had different versions when retold, but apparently Sid made a comment about Ric Flair being an old man while at a bar with some of the other wrestlers. Arn Anderson, one of Flair’s good friends, heard this and did not hesitate in going after Vicious. He pursued Vicious with a chair and then later threatened him with a broken beer bottle. Vicious let the incident burn in his mind, and rather than things cooling off, they escalated. Vicious went to Anderson’s hotel room to continue the fight, carrying a chair leg. On arriving he came to his senses and threw the leg down. But when he walked away, Anderson opened the door and charged at him with a pair of scissors. WCW wrestler Too Cold Scorpio broke up the altercation after Sid was stabbed in the abdomen. While still bleeding, Sid retrieved the scissors and pursued Anderson.
5. Chris Jericho and Bill Goldberg
The feud these two had with one another during their time in WCW was based on Y2J thinking he was better than the former WCW Champion, typical heel stuff for a program. The real-life issue arose when Goldberg didn’t want to finish the angle they had with one another. Jericho has stated that one of his issues with WCW was that certain people didn’t think it was worth the time; he didn’t specifically name Goldberg. However, when Goldberg arrived in the WWE there was an incident when Goldberg insulted Jericho and Chris reportedly locked him in a front face lock. The words that Goldberg said that led to the skirmish are unknown, but one has to think that their reported issues back in WCW contributed to this confrontation.
4. Diamond Dallas Page and Scott Steiner
One of the more interesting issues of bad blood originated in the early 1990s and continued on into the later part of the decade. They could have easily chalked it up to just being young and dumb, but that may not have been the case. It is believed that Scott Steiner had issues with DDP because DDP would share how he was ribbed by the Steiners during battle royals, and Steiner didn’t like these stories being shared. Keep in mind that ribbing means joking, not something blatantly hurtful being done. Several years later, it was said that Page’s wife Kimberly had accused Tammy “Sunny” Sytch of having drug paraphernalia in the locker room. Tammy denied the claims, and Scott supported her denial. But Steiner reportedly assaulted her, which was what set DDP off. Page confronted Steiner and was taken down by the bigger Steiner almost instantly.
3. Too Cold Scorpio and Road Warrior Hawk
Too Cold Scorpio disclosed this backstage altercation with RF Video. He spoke of a time when he and the late Road Warrior Hawk were on a tour of South Korea while with WCW. Scorpio made a comment during a bus ride about Ric Flair, and how Flair was taking a limousine while he was taking a bus. This was probably part of how Flair kept up appearances and maintained the persona he was portraying. Apparently, Hawk took issue with Scorpio’s comment and made a racist remark towards him. The racist remark led to a lot of pushing and shoving between the two, but that was about the long and short of it. Scorpio said that afterwards he ended up sharpening chop sticks in the event of Hawk coming after him at some point down the line. Scorpio said that Hawk also punched him in Tokyo, in response to which he laughed and said that Hawk’s mother hit harder.
2. Bad News Brown and Andre the Giant
This was another occasion where two now departed wrestlers had an altercation due to racist remarks. Brown said he was fed up with Andre’s constant racist comments, and offered to shut him up if he didn’t stop. Brown stated that during a tour of Japan, he told Andre to stop with the remarks, to which Andre replied with another racist joke. Brown then asked the bus driver to pull over and asked Andre to step outside. Hulk Hogan stepped in and calmed the situation down, as Andre refused to step off the bus. Andre later apologized for what took place (whether that was because he was encouraged to has never been stated). However, Brown never forgave Andre for the constant racist jokes made towards him. Everyone has their breaking point and Brown had about enough of Andre’s constant racist ridicule.
1. Nasty Boys and Ken Shamrock
This particular feud took place prior to Ken Shamrock‘s time with the UFC. All three men were appearing on the independent circuit in North and South Carolina, and an incident occurred in a bar. Shamrock has stated that both Brian Knobbs and Jerry Saggs made an inappropriate gesture to his friend’s fiancé. Shamrock told both men off , but the confrontation didn’t end there as Shamrock knew where both men were staying and confronted them in Saggs’ hotel room. Knobbs hit him from behind with a steel phone or lamp post, and both Saggs and Knobbs beat the hell out of him. Apparently they wanted to toss Shamrock over the hotel balcony, but other wrestlers intervened. The incident must have garnered a lot of attention to spawn a reaction from others in the hotel since the scuffle was taking place in one particular hotel room. Eventually things cooled down.