There are few things that fascinate human beings more than a good mystery. As much as we would all love to know how the pyramids were built or who was behind the infamous Jack the Ripper murders, we must admit that a good portion of the intrigue stems from not knowing exactly what happened.
Professional wrestling is not without its mysteries. Over the past couple of years, WWE has given its fans plenty to wonder about, such as who was the anonymous Raw general manager (Hornswoggle is not an acceptable answer), who was behind G-TV, and, most recently, what was in Vince’s lockbox? Of course, these mysteries are all related to storylines and are usually nothing more than the result of WWE not having a long-term plan in place. That being said, there are quite a few behind the scenes mysteries in WWE which have caused fans just as much puzzlement and confusion as the mysteries we’ve seen play out (or not play out) on television.
Some of these mysteries are firmly rooted in reality while some of them verge closer on conspiracy theories. However, every WWE mystery is both interesting and frustrating in equal measure. Interesting because we will probably never know the truth and frustrating because, well, we will probably never know the truth.
Here are 15 of the craziest WWE mysteries.
15. Hulk Hogan’s Black Eye
WrestleMania IX has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. It is considered by many to be the worst WrestleMania of all time and the perfect example of Hulk Hogan’s ego getting in the way of what was best for the company. There is also a pretty intriguing mystery surrounding the event, unsurprisingly centered around Hulk Hogan.
At the event, Hogan appeared with a legitimate black eye, with the announcers speculating as to its cause. Hogan later claimed that it was the result of a jet ski accident during which he miraculously avoided being decapitated. A reasonable explanation which would be easy to believe if Hogan wasn’t such a notorious liar.
According to some sources, the black eye was actually caused by “Macho Man” Randy Savage during a backstage altercation. The story goes that Savage was convinced Hogan was sleeping with Miss Elizabeth, who he was still married to at the time. Savage confronted The Hulkster about it and things got a little heated. Unlike what transpired in the ring later in the night, Hogan walked away the loser.
14. Was WWE Planning To Release Daniel Bryan?
For much of 2015 and 2016, former WWE World Champion Daniel Bryan was kept off television due to an injury. Although Bryan claimed to have been cleared by numerous doctors outside WWE, the company refused to clear him and forced him into retirement.
In January of 2016, reports began to circulate that Daniel Bryan had grown tired of WWE’s constant refusal to clear him and requested his release so he could go and work elsewhere. Shortly after these stories surfaced, a man claiming to be a member of WWE HR got in touch with a WWE news and rumors site to say one of his co-workers had processed a release for Daniel Bryan earlier in the week and that the news would be announced by WWE in the coming days.
Of course, this never happened and Daniel Bryan was eventually brought back to WWE television, but that does not mean the man’s claims were without foundation. It is possible that WWE did indeed plan to release Bryan but decided against it at the last minute?
13. Chris Benoit – What Really Happened?
We all know the story of Chris Benoit. According to the official report, Benoit, suffering from years of concussions and steroid-related issues, murdered his wife and child before taking his own life on June 24th, 2007.
To be honest, that is probably what happened. But there are a couple of factors which have made WWE fans question just what happened in the Benoit house in Fayetteville, Georgia during that summer weekend. Some fans are convinced that Kevin Sullivan, who was the ex-husband of Nancy Benoit, was behind the murder. While it is admittedly unlikely, it should be noted that Sullivan had sworn in the past that he would kill Chris Benoit for stealing his wife.
On top of this, Chris Benoit’s neighbor, who was enlisted by police to control the family’s guard dogs, stated that she encountered former WWE superstar Dave Taylor as he carried a plate of deli meat to Benoit’s house. Taylor insists that he was at a WWE event that weekend, but there is no record of him performing or even being booked to appear.
12. What Story Was CM Punk Going To Tell?
Everybody was talking after CM Punk’s infamous pipe bomb promo back in the summer of 2011. The frustrated WWE superstar sat atop the Las Vegas ramp and aired his grievances with the company, saying the things other WWE employees didn’t “Have the balls to say.”
Vince McMahon, knowing ratings when he sees them, allowed Punk to go on and on without cutting off his mic. That was, of course, until he was about to say something that would negatively impact the company.
After promising to tell a story about Vince McMahon, Punk began to talk about WWE’s anti-bullying program. Before the story really had a chance to go anywhere, his mic was cut off and Raw went off the air. Punk has never clarified just what he was going to say, leaving many fans to speculate about Vince McMahon and Be-A-Star.
11. What Happened Between Bret Hart And Sunny?
During Bret “The Hitman” Hart’s heated rivalry with “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, HBK insinuated that Hart was sleeping with WWE’s girl next door, Sunny, stating Bret had been enjoying “some Sunny days.”
The Hitman was understandably furious about this as the remark was made on WWE television, which his children watched fanatically. At the time, Sunny – real name Tammy Sytch – had a reputation of sleeping with the top superstars in the World Wrestling Federation, despite the fact she was married to Chris Candido. In fact, Shawn Michaels had been enjoying some “Sunny days” himself during this period, but that wasn’t quite so outrageous as he was single.
Bret himself has admitted to having several affairs during his time away from his family, but there has never been any solid evidence to support HBK’s claims either way. We will likely never know just what happened between the three, but speculating about it is a great way to spend a rainy day.
10. What Happened Between Shawn Michaels And Vince McMahon?
Sticking to our theme of scandalous affairs in what was then the World Wrestling Federation comes this entry. It has been claimed in the past, usually by disgruntled former employees, that Shawn Michaels was given such a great deal of attention during the 90s because he was secretly in a gay relationship with Vince McMahon, the owner of the company.
There are a couple of things which fans point to as evidence of the affair between Michaels and McMahon, such as the fact that the Heartbreak Kid managed to get away with some serious misdeeds backstage, things which other performers would have been fired for. Of course, this isn’t that unusual as WWE has a history of letting its top guys off the hook.
The rumor of a sexual relationship between the two is not helped by the fact that Shawn Michaels once posed for the magazine Playgirl under the belief that his pictures would be purchased by women all across America. It was not until after his issue was published that Michaels discovered Playgirl had predominantly homosexual fan base.
9. Was Russo Sent To Kill WCW?
Vince Russo’s work with Vince McMahon during the Attitude Era was partly responsible for WWE defeating WCW in the Monday Night Wars. However, some people suspect that Russo was more instrumental in WWE’s success than either party acknowledges.
Toward the end of the 90s, Vince Russo’s relationship with Vince McMahon (apparently) began to sour. Russo was infuriated by the growing workload and the fact that McMahon wouldn’t grant him time off to spend with his family. Promised a lighter schedule, Russo left the company for WCW in 1999.
Things went from bad to worse for WCW after Vince Russo came on board, with storylines and matches becoming more absurd than ever before and any object that wasn’t nailed down being hung from a pole. Shortly after, the company went under and was purchased by Vince McMahon. Vince Russo did such a bad job writing for WCW that it has been suggested he was working for the McMahons all along and intentionally did a bad job with Ted Turner’s company. It is interesting to note that Russo was also brought in as a writer for TNA just before the company’s booking went downhill.
8. What Was The WrestleMania 32 Attendance Figure?
When WWE started planning for WrestleMania 32, Vince McMahon was absolutely adamant that the attendance at the event would be above 100,000. He refused to listen to those who said it couldn’t be done and, surprise surprise, it couldn’t be done.
Despite the fact the event did not draw the 100,000 strong crowd WWE wanted, it did bring in a massive number of fans. Reports vary as to the legitimate WrestleMania 32 attendance figure, with some sources saying it was a little under 80,000 and others saying it was above 90,000 and just short of the 100,000 goal.
7. Why Does Vince McMahon Hate Jeff Jarrett?
When WWE purchased WCW in 2001, one of Vince McMahon’s first acts was to fire Jeff Jarrett on live television. At first, most fans presumed the firing to be a part of a storyline, but it soon became clear that Jarrett, one of WCW’s biggest stars, would not be joining his former colleagues for the invasion storyline.
Just why Vince McMahon fired Double J – and why he took so much joy in doing so – remains unclear, but according to some rumors, he had 300,000 reasons to do so. It has been said that during his reign as WWE Intercontinental Champion in 1999, Jarrett decided that he was going to leave Vince McMahon’s company and join WCW. Apparently, Jarrett colluded with head writer Vince Russo, who was also WCW bound, in order to keep the title on him after the expiration of his WWE contract.
By holding the Intercontinental Championship while out of contract, Jarrett was able to name his price for a one-off appearance with WWE, which was necessary if the company wanted him to drop the title. Jarrett supposedly held WWE up for $300,000, making a nice bit of cash but costing himself a high paying deal in the long run.
6. Owen Hart – What Went Wrong?
Owen Hart’s death at the 1999 installment of the WWE pay-per-view Over The Edge is one of the most infamous incidents in the history of professional wrestling. Owen, performing under a superhero gimmick, was due to make his entrance by descending from the ceiling of the arena, creating the illusion of flight and delighting the children in the crowd. However, something went tragically wrong and Owen ended up falling over 70 feet to the ring below.
Just what happened to cause Owen’s early death is unclear, but numerous theories have been put forward. Some fans have suggested that Owen, who had been unsure about the stunt, changed his mind at the last minute and unhooked the harness, believing he was in a safe location and able to walk away. Owen’s widow, Martha, believes that he was going through with the entrance, but was wiggling around inside the harness to get comfortable. This inadvertently caused the harness to release and sent Owen crashing to the canvass.
5. Was The Streak Supposed To End?
Fans were stunned into silence at WrestleMania XXX when “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar hit The Undertaker with three F5s and pinned him to claim victory, thus ending The Undertaker’s 21 match winning streak on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
While major mistakes rarely happen in WWE, fans immediately began to speculate about the match, with many suggesting the finish had not gone as planned. Even WWE legend Ted DiBiase stated his belief that The Undertaker was the planned victor and the victim of a botched pin fall.
At a recent Q&A session, Paul Heyman added fuel to the fire and encouraged rumors that the match had not gone as intended. The manager of The Best Incarnate floated the possibility that Brock Lesnar had decided during the match that he was going to go against the booker’s decision and snap The Undertaker’s streak for his own benefit.
4. Is Jimmy Snuka A Murderer?
In the early 1980s, the cops were called to Jimmy Snuka’s hotel room, where they found the battered carcass of Nancy Argentino, the superstar’s mistress. Snuka claimed that he had returned to the hotel room to find Argentino beaten to a pulp, though authorities were reluctant to believe his story. Vince McMahon, not wanting the career of one of his top babyfaces to be destroyed, went to bat for Snuka and made the allegations disappear for some time.
Unfortunately for Snuka, the case was never officially closed and he was formally charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend toward the end of 2015. In early 2016, the case was taken to court and Snuka was set to be put on trial. Snuka’s defense team claimed the former professional wrestler was suffering from dementia brought on by multiple concussions suffered throughout his career. It was ultimately decided that The Superfly was unfit to stand trial.
3. Was The Screwjob A Work?
When Bret Hart’s WWE contract was set to expire, the company needed a way to get the World Championship off him so he couldn’t bring it to WCW. The Hitman refused to go along with a storyline which would have seen him drop the title to Shawn Michaels on his last night with the company and so Vince and the rest of the WWE crew conspired against him. A corrupt referee rang the bell as soon as Shawn Michaels put Hart in the Sharpshooter and HBK made off with the belt, and the Montreal Screwjob was born.
The Hitman was understandably furious and spat on McMahon while still in the ring before miming the letters W-C-W. The incident sent shockwaves through the world of professional wrestling and even brought some mainstream attention to the sport. In the years that followed, WWE made a ton of money by exploiting the Montreal Screwjob, using it in storylines and to sell DVDs.
Because WWE managed to turn the Screwjob into such a profitable incident, many fans believe that Bret Hart himself was in on the whole thing. He obviously made quite a bit of money due to his image being used in all those replays and when he finally returned to WWE years later he received one of the biggest ovations of his career. While it may seem unlikely, there is no denying that Bret Hart had something to gain by playing along with the Montreal Screwjob.
2. What Happened Between Stephanie McMahon and Macho Man?
You ever wonder why it took so long for WWE to reference “Macho Man” Randy Savage on television after the Monday Night Wars came to an end? Or why Savage, an undeniable legend in professional wrestling, was not inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame until 2015? It may have had something to do with the Macho Man’s relationship with Stephanie McMahon.
It is believed by many inside the wrestling business that Randy Savage, toward the end of his tenure with WWE, became involved in a sexual relationship with Stephanie McMahon, the boss’ daughter. If this story is true, Savage would have been in his 40s and Stephanie in her teens during the affair, which is a poor reflection on the Macho Man.
Although there is no proof that this affair transpired, many former WWE employees claim they were instructed to never mention Savage’s name in Vince’s presence, which certainly adds some validity to the story.
1. Who Was Cranky Vince?
There are a lot of WWE related parody accounts on Facebook and Twitter. The WWE Creative Humor Twitter page is one of the most popular fake accounts among wrestling fans and a Facebook page, Humans of Pro Wrestling, has been gaining momentum as of late. However, none have been so mysterious as the Cranky Vince Twitter account.
This account tweeted outrageous remarks portraying Vince McMahon as old and out of touch, as well as a major narcissist. The tweets reportedly mirrored things that Vince had said in meetings and behind the scenes, which lead WWE officials to believe it was being operated by somebody inside the company. All eyes fell on John “Bradshaw” Layfield in May of 2014 when JBL and Cranky Vince posted the exact same tweet, only for Cranky Vince to delete it moments later.
Layfield denied that he was behind the hilarious tweets and the Cranky Vince account was eventually deleted as part of WWE cracking down on parody accounts.