Pro wrestlers are, unfortunately, often in the news for a drug bust here and there or some form of physical aggression. But sometimes their names appear in the news on much more disturbing charges; the incredibly disturbing crimes of smaller names in the pro wrestling world may have gone under the radar. Bar fights, getting caught with some weed or coke, even minor domestic disturbances which we often hear about among high-profile wrestlers pail in comparison to the most shocking crimes other pros have committed.
There is no doubt that wrestling is a different, more unconventional sort of sport that tends to attract a quirkier athlete and a dominant personality type. Pro wrestlers are not only known to be large, strong and aggressive people, they also typically fall into the category of the dramatic and even comical. However, there's nothing comical and everything dramatic about the crimes that the following ten professional wrestlers have committed.
10 Scott Hall - Second Degree Murder Charge
At age 55, Scott Hall is presently battling many health and addiction problems – he was supposed to have made an appearance at the Big Time Wrestling’s Wrestlefest in May, but didn’t show up because he was temporarily debilitated and reportedly 'in a bad place'.
He is an American professional wrestler who is well known for his time with the WWE, under the ring name Razor Ramon, and is a two-time world champion holding titles from the WWC and USWA. In 1983, he was charged with second-degree murder after shooting a man outside a nightclub but was acquitted under self-defense. After that he ran into many problems with drugs and assault – in 2008 he was arrested for cocaine, in 2010 he was arrested for resisting police officers and has been arrested for domestic disturbances.
9 Ion Croitoru - Police Station Bombing
Ion Croitoru is a Canadian former professional wrestler, born and raised in Ontario. Besides wrestling, he is known to be a member of the Satan’s Choice motorcycle club in Canada and was the president of the gang for some time. In the early 1990s, he served ten months in prison for cocaine trafficking and soon after that spent another seven months locked up for assault. In 1996, to get revenge for being kicked out of a strip club, Croitoru and his gang decided to bomb a police station – which caused about $133,000 in damages to the Ontarian station and a nearby bank and injured a police officer. Croitoru was sentenced to 33 months in prison for this crime.
8 Nick Gage - Bank Robbery
Nick Gage – whose real name is Nicholas H. Wilson – is a hardcore professional wrestler who is best known for his Combat Zone Wrestling. Gage has held the Heavyweight Champion, Tag Team and Iron Man titles during his wrestling career. In April 2011, Gage was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree bank robbery. The year before the robbery, Gage was evicted from his home and was living on the streets. He's believed to have stolen a couple of thousand dollars in the robbery and tried to gamble the spoils before finally surrendering to authorities. He will be up for parole within the next year.
7 Lex Luger - Domestic Abuse, DUI, Drug Possession
Three-time world champion Lex Luger is now a retired professional American wrestler. 2003 was a bad year for this wrestler, and one month in particular was inglorious. He was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend – who is also a wrestling character, Miss Elizabeth – and was charged with assault and battery. He was let off with a $2500 fine. Two days after this incident, he was arrested for driving under the influence, and without a license. Only a little over a week later, Miss Elizabeth was found dead from a drug overdose. Her death was ruled accidental but Luger was arrested for more than 14 drug possession counts, and was given five years' probation.
6 Jose Gonzalez - Fatal Stabbing of Bruiser Body
Jose Gonzalez - AKA Invader #1, his ring name - is a former professional wrestler, mostly known in Puerto Rico, and infamous for his role in the death of a fellow wrestler. In 1988, Gonzalez fatally stabbed his opponent, wrestler Bruiser Body, at some point during a match in Puerto Rico.
Surprisingly, Gonzalez was fully acquitted of all charges on the account that he was acting in self-defense. There are conflicting reports and witnesses that state they saw the stabbing take place outside the locker room or in the shower, but there has never been any physical evidence to support one definitive story.
5 "Handsome" Bill Armstrong - Statutory Rape
Known in wrestling as “Handsome” Bill Armstrong, Gary Dean Mabe was an independent professional wrestler. In 1998, he was arrested for two counts of statutory rape and two counts of aiding in the delinquency of a minor, which both involved a 10-year old girl from North Carolina believed to have been known to the accused. Aged 36 at the time, Armstrong reportedly fled the same day the charges were filed against him, but was eventually convicted and registered as a sex offender. He was released in 2013.
4 Andre Heart - Felonious Assault
Andre Davis, who wrestled under the name Andre Heart, was arrested in April 2011 for second-degree felonious assault for having sexual relations with more than a dozen women, knowing he was HIV positive and failing to inform his partners. Heart knew he was HIV positive since 2009, but continued to wrestle in bloody matches without saying a word, well into 2010. The story goes that the mother of Heart’s two children found his HIV positive test papers and started to inform his girlfriends. Heart’s defense attorneys insisted he was not aware of having the virus and that those papers were false. Nonetheless, Heart was found guilty on 14 charges with a sentence of up to 32 years in prison.
3 Douglas Whitton - Quadruple Murders
Douglas Whitton, who claimed to be an independent professional wrestler and was supposedly a recovering alcoholic, originally from Texas, was charged in a quadruple murder case in 1997. Whitton was charged with the murders of his four housemates, which included his ex-girlfriend and a 9-year-old boy. All four murders were described as bludgeoning and stabbings and were ruled first-degree.
2 Chris Benoit - Double Murder and Suicide
Montreal-born Chris Benoit was a well known Canadian professional wrestler and was a two time-world champion. However, he will be remembered not for his sporting achievements but for the murder of his wife and son in 2007 and then, two days later, taking his own life. His wife, Nancy, was found bound by the ankles and arms and the cause of her death was found to be asphyxiation – Benoit suffocating her with a cord around her neck. Their 7-year-old son, Daniel, was also killed in the same manner. Benoit took his own life after murdering his family.
A post-mortem revealed that the wrestler's traumatic head injuries and concussions during his career meant his brain showed clear signs of advanced dementia, which may have led to radical changes in his behaviour and could account for the tragic events.
1 Hardbody Harrison - Sex Trafficking
In 2008, Harris Norris Jr. was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for human sex trafficking in Georgia – holding women as prisoners and forcing them into sex work. Before this, Norris was an American professional wrestler who had made several appearances in the World Championship under the name Hardbody Harrison. Of course, his wrestling career pales in comparison to the much more disturbing legacy of his crimes.