Unfortunately, the WWE has a long history of superstars succumbing to addiction. It’s a story that has nearly grown cliché over the years. People suddenly have glamour and fame thrust upon them, their wallets suddenly bulging in their pockets, and they succumb to a rock star lifestyle. Unfortunately, such a life style also has its trappings. Addictive substances take their toll on the psyche as well as the body, and often it can be a vicious cycle that the victim feels helpless to break free of.
Back in the heyday of the Attitude Era, this lifestyle seemed to nearly be encouraged by the WWE. Even earlier, in the eighties and nineties, drug culture was viewed less harshly than it is in the modern day. This is presumably why there have been a rush of stories of former WWE superstars who have checked into rehab as of late.
The WWE has since picked up its slack, and offers extensive rehabilitation services to any superstar in need. It was a wise move, and it has already paid dividends for plenty of struggling wrestlers. Addiction typically requires a helping hand from the outside in order to life oneself out of the cycle. The WWE has begun to provide this very thing.
Curious as to which wrestlers have checked into rehab? Look no further. Here are ten wrestlers you won’t believe have checked into rehab clinics for drug addiction.
10 Sean Waltman
Back in the late 1990s, Sean Waltman was a notorious alcohol and drug abuser. In fact, it was nearly commonplace for the WWE to actually create promos based off of it! Jim Cornette and Mick Foley are among the wrestlers the WWE featured in short cut videos containing insinuations and connotations of Waltman’s issues.
Fortunately for Waltman, he got his act together after traveling to a treatment facility. It turns out, Waltman had quite the difficult upbringing. Much of his childhood trauma translated into his adult life, and he turned to other substances in an effort to counteract such trauma. The added medical attention coupled with legitimate drug therapy led him on a road to recovery, and thankfully his issues have subsided.
9 Rey Mysterio
Mysterio has been a pioneer for professional wrestling. He’s infused every match he’s been involved in with a newfound sense of energy that results in some high-flying wrestling. He’s a fast paced superstar who lives his life just as he wrestles: with reckless abandon. While that certainly makes for an entertaining WWE superstar, it doesn’t necessarily translate well into the realm of real life.
Mysterio developed an unfortunate substance abuse problem during his years inside the ring. It’s said that his body began to wear down due to the general wear and tear that the sport brings. He eventually began taking painkillers as a result. The numbing proved to be too enticing, and Mysterio became addicted to the pills. He was forced to enter WWE rehab as a result.
8 Davey Boy Smith
Smith was a renowned wrestler in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His frenetic style and sophisticated arsenal of wrestling moves were truly one of a kind. In fact, his Summerslam match in 1992 is considered to be one of the best in history. He and Bret Hart duked it out, showcasing the extreme dedication they each had for the sport. Years later, though, it was revealed that Smith was actually on crack cocaine throughout the match’s entirety.
Smith struggled with several vices during the peak of his popularity. It’s well known now that many wrestlers in that day in age frequently used human growth hormones and steroids. Smith was no exception. In fact, when he died in 2002 due to a heart attack at age 39, doctors theorized it was the years of drug abuse that contributed to his early passing. WWE CEO Vince McMahon realized Smith had a problem back in 2000, paying for Smith to head to rehab. Unfortunately, rehab doesn’t always work for the best, and we lost a talented wrestler much too soon.
7 Tomas Prichard
“Dr. Tom” Prichard was underrated throughout his years in the league. An early wrestler, he began his career in the late 1970s, eventually signing with the WWE (WWF at the time) in the 1990s. He is especially known for his tag team the Heavenly Bodies, and his character actually showed great promise before being derailed by drug and alcohol problems.
Prichard is another wrestler who went through the WWE’s rehabilitation system. In an effort to clean up their image and dish out the help that their past superstars deserved, the WWE gave as much money as necessary to get Prichard and other wrestlers clean and healthy. He’s rather open about his experience, and even wrote an article about his experience in rehab. Prichard remains involved in the league in various aspects, most notably as a trainer.
6 Sean O’Haire
O’Haire wrestled for both the WCW and the WWE. He was a well-known commodity throughout his years, all the way up until his retirement in 2006. After retiring from wrestling, he moved on to kickboxing and MMA fighting before eventually settling down for retirement. Out of nowhere, it seemed, O’Haire sadly committed suicide in 2014.
After his passing, many of O’Haire’s issues came to light. In fact, it was revealed that over the course of six years the WWE actually sent him to six different rehabilitation clinics. O’Haire struggled with alcohol throughout his entire life, and many believe it is one of the more significant factors behind his battle with depression. Yet again, we have a sad case of someone’s addictions getting the better of them, and it makes for a saddening trend.
5 Kurt Angle
In 2013, Angle was nurturing a wrestling career that seemingly had a second life. A WWE wrestler up until 2006, Angle actually spent eight years in the league before moving on to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). He was a big name in both leagues, which made his announcement that he’d entered rehab in 2013 an even bigger deal.
After a DWI arrest, Angle took to social media to let it be known he was working on his problems. It wasn’t his only DWI instance, it turns out. In fact, the wrestler had been arrested for the same incident four times over a period of six years. His struggle with alcohol still continues, though his stint in rehab is reportedly going rather well.
4 Matt Borne
You may see this name and say “Who?”, but don’t worry we have the answer for you. Borne was the original Doink the Clown. He began the gimmick in the early 1990s and it eventually took off. Doink was a villainous clown that had no problems pulling tricks on his opponents in order to secure victory. He was an example of how goofy the WWE could be at times. Behind the scenes, though, everything was not so lighthearted.
In his later years, Borne gave frequent interviews in which he was open with his drug addictions at the time. His chief struggle was with cocaine, which he admitted to frequently taking during events. It was also a big reason behind his contract termination in 1993. Borne eventually went to rehab in an effort to clean up his act. He passed away at the age of 55 back in 2013.
3 Jake Roberts
Jake “The Snake” Roberts has a storied history with his personal demons. In 1997, his troubles with drugs and alcohol actually led to his firing from the league after a failed comeback attempt. It was one of the first times his troubles were exposed to the public. His public image worsened further after the documentary Beyond the Mat depicted him smoking crack in a hotel room.
Over the course of his life after his stints with professional wrestling, Roberts has been in prisons and rehab clinics. Drug abuse has been largely credited to his longstanding problems. In 2007, the WWE actually began a program that funded former wrestlers in need of rehabilitation. Roberts was one of those wrestlers. After several tries at various locations, as well as some help from his friends and the healthy influences of DDP yoga, Roberts is now sober.
2 Scott Hall
Hall’s situation is quite similar to that of Jake “The Snake” Roberts. It’s been revealed that he struggled mightily with drugs and alcohol during his time involved with the league, and after he was released in 2002 his struggles only intensified. In fact, he’s claimed at times that he should have died on multiple occasions.
Hall was enamored with the Rock N’ Roll lifestyle that WWE superstars enjoyed at the time. Unfortunately, it became a cycle that was too addictive. Hall checked into rehab under WWE supervision, and Stephanie McMahon has even said that the league has spent money “in the six figures” in an effort to get Hall healthy. Today, Hall is very open with his past struggles, and encourages his children to break the family cycle of drug abuse.
1 Eddie Guerrero
Guerrero’s relationship with the WWE brass was very strained as a result of his drug issues. That said, they realized the potential they had with this superstar, and the league did everything in its power to make sure Guerrero got back on the right track. It’s been reported that before the WWE sent him to rehab, Guerrero was addicted to painkillers, was an alcoholic, and smoked various other drugs on a regular basis.
Guerrero had troubles staying healthy, however, relapsing soon after his release from the rehabilitation clinic. After he was arrested for a DUI, he was released from the league. Once again, he was sent on the path of cleaning up once and for all, and he actually seemed to pull it off. In fact, he appeared so clean that he was back wrestling within months. He won titles and gained big name feuds in the process. Unfortunately, the damage to his body was already done, and Guerrero tragically died in 2005 due to heart failure.