Professional wrestling fans know that the story lines involving their favourite wrestlers are planned and scripted, yet what makes the WWE brand so popular is the fact that the actors themselves and the drama in which they're embroiled are engrossing enough to blur the lines separating fiction from reality.
Since its inception in the 1980s, the WWE has been broken down into different eras, and the entertainment company is now in the midst of its most recent Reality Era. Thanks to the digital world and social media platforms, fans now get unprecedented access to the behind-the-scenes mechanisms of the entertainment machine.
Whether they're watching the daily lives of the Bella twins unfold on the E! TV show Total Divas or following the WWE’s chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon on Twitter (where she displays a much nicer persona than the villain she embodies on air) there is much less mystery surrounding the pro wrestling world than there used to be.
But one thing remains the same: With their signature moves and distinctive personalities, the stars make the show. And throughout the years, some of the WWE’s biggest legends have been the subjects of not just great fan appreciation but the wild rumours that inevitably accompany celebrity status. Some of these rumours have been floating around for years and outsiders might never know the full truth about the speculations.
From myths involving Hollywood celebrities to hazing allegations and death conspiracies, here, we're taking a look at the truth behind the top 10 craziest rumours in WWE history.
10 Rey Mysterio and Jennifer Aniston Dating
In the mid 90s, the National Enquirer ran a story about wrestling sensation Rey Mysterio and actress Jennifer Aniston dating. Back then, Aniston was at the peak of her fame for her role in Friends and Mysterio was making a name for himself in the WCW. The masked wrestler, whose trademark is the Lucha Libre high-flying Mexican wrestling style, later debunked the rumour in his autobiography. In the book, the WWE star says that he has no idea how the rumour started but that he thought it was funny and even bought a copy of the magazine to show his wife.
9 9. Raven’s Exhibitionist Tendencies
It is said that the 26-time Hardcore Champion, known for his grungy sociopathic gimmick, likes to walk around in his birthday suit. There is a rumour that when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was married to WWE diva Debra McMichael, he caught Raven strolling backstage nude. Austin did not like the idea of another man parading naked around his wife, who was practicing a promo nearby. A heated confrontation ensued.
8 Lita’s Mexico Days
Lita is one of the most famous former WWE divas. Even though she is now retired, she was once eager to break into the business. Inspired by the style of the Mexican luchadores, she began her career by traveling to Mexico to learn the sport and train to become a pro wrestler. There are rumours floating around that during her time in the country, Lita would offer special favours in exchange for training.
7 7. Sid Put a Squirrel Down his Pants
The 6’ 9” tall superstar apparently had a pet squirrel that he took with him everywhere he went. One day, other wrestlers challenged him to put the animal down his pants and keep it there for a full minute. Sid accepted the bet and ended up in the hospital after the squirrel attacked his sensitive parts.
6 JBL Shower Hazing Antics
John Bradshaw Layfield, known as JBL, has held several roles during his career: wrestling champion, colour commentator, financial analyst. But he is also known as being quite the bully. He openly admitted to (but did not apologize for) hazing The Miz, a WWE champion who started his career in reality TV and publicly spoke out about the abuse he endured from JBL.
During his wrestling days, JBL apparently liked to terrorize young recruits. One of the most unsettling allegations about his hazing antics was that he would haze newbies by joining them in the shower and helping them soap up.
5 The Ultimate Warrior’s Death Cover Up
The Ultimate Warrior and WWE champion became famous in the late 80s. He stood out by hiding his face behind a neon-painted mask and making high-energy entrances wherein he would sprint down the ramp and run in circles around the ring before shaking the ropes.
In the beginning of the 90s, he had a falling out with the WWE due to contract negotiation issues. But he made a return at Wrestlemania 8, where a strange rumour started. Many fans started to believe that the real Ultimate Warrior had died and been replaced with a new wrestler pretending to be the same one. People thought his look appeared different and noticed a change in his performances. The rumours persisted over the years even if Jim Hellwig, who played the character, insisted they were untrue. Hellwig passed away in April 2014.
4 Randy Orton Pooped in Rochelle Loewen’s Bag
Rochelle Loewen was initially hired in the WWE as a model, with no wrestling history behind her and very little knowledge about the brand. She quickly learned about the backstage hostility that can take place within the company, however. Even though she is no longer working in the wrestling universe, Loewen has been the subject of a rumour that involved the first-ever WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton.
In 2005, she spoke about the incident and the claims that Orton had pooped in her bag. Loewen says Orton did vandalize her expensive belongings in the locker room, but that her bag was covered in baby oil and self-tanning lotion, not poop. According to her, Orton was upset that she had no idea who the superstar was when they met and hence carried a personal vendetta against her.
3 Ben Stiller Smoking Marijuana at Raw
In 1999, movie star Ben Stiller made a television appearance on WWE’s Raw. It turns out that before the taping, producers could not find him anywhere. WWE’s former writer Vince Russo says that they finally found the actor smoking marijuana with Road Dogg and X-Pac behind the trailers. Russo says that he always wondered if Stiller happily agreed to take a blow to the head later because he was high.
2 2-Randy Savage Gave Hulk Hogan a Black Eye
Everyone wondered why internationally renowned WWE star Hulk Hogan showed-up to Wrestlemania 9 sporting a black eye. Even though Hogan and WWE officials explained that the black eye was the result of a jet-ski accident, rumour has it that Randy Savage was the one who caused it.
Some say that Savage believed that Hogan and his then-wife Miss Elizabeth were having an affair and punched him during a backstage confrontation.
1 1-Randy Savage and Stephanie MacMahon affair
Throughout his reign, WWE CEO Vince McMahon has had falling outs with some of the company’s biggest stars. Nevertheless, he has also allowed several of the people he had bad blood with back into the WWE, even awarding them Hall of Fame spots. So why has “Macho Man” Randy Savage been banned from the WWE for over twenty years? Many fans wonder why the wrestling legend has never been featured on the Hall of Fame, even after his passing in 2011.
There is a widely accepted rumour that Savage had an affair with McMahon’s daughter Stephanie while she was still a teenager. When McMahon found out, he ostracized him from the company forever. The WWE has never addressed the allegations. But things are about to change with the release of a DVD documentary on Savage’s life, which allegedly addresses the long-standing claims.