When something big happens in the WWE, there is always going to be a group of fans who believe that things aren't as they seem. A company, in large part, so profitable based on its ability to tell a story, the WWE makes money blurring the lines between real and fake and when the appearance of drama becomes real, it makes for better television.
So too, the WWE works with all sorts of characters — both on screen and off. Some of these characters are not the most gentle, kind or caring of individuals and as such, it's never truly a shock to hear that a talent, employee or connected celebrity of the product has made the mainstream media because of behavior that is a bit unbecoming.
Some of these stories become legendary. Like a message that gets passed on from person to person, along the way, the truth of the matter is lost and the story becomes so big and so expanded, fans come to believe that what they hear is what really took place. For the most part, it's all hogwash.
Here are 15 theories that over the years have grown to take on a life of their own. These are stories most of us logically know to be untrue, but something tells us they might still be possible. 10 of these theories we know to be untrue. Five, we're not so sure.
Of the five we included that we title "actually true", keep in mind, we have no proof. Just as most of our theories we're suggesting as fake, have little to corroborate that claim. We've simply put two and two together and, in some small way, there is a possibility that something fishy took place. Enjoy as we debunk 10 theories that have grown to legendary status. Then wonder, are we right that five of them could have happened?
15 Totally Made Up - Montreal Screwjob Was Staged
If the Montreal Screwjob was a work (a fake wrestling angle), and everyone involved was in on it, it will go down in history as the greatest work in the history of the WWE and Bret Hart as perhaps the WWE's greatest actor. That would likely be giving both sides too much credit. Here's what we know.
Bret Hart was a decent actor but not a great one and he likes to hear himself speak far too much for him to have kept this a secret for so long. We also know he was legitimately headed for WCW based on a contract dispute and if the WWE was settled on letting him leave to the competition, why would the company want to promote sending one of their top stars to their enemy only for eyeballs to move over to that product?
Bret Hart and Vince McMahon were not happy with one another. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were not happy with one another. The WWE did not come up with this whole thing to make the Mr. McMahon character (the greatest heel of all time), even though that's what happened.
This one feels like a lot of fun and would be awesome if it were true, but it isn't.
14 Totally Made Up - Vince Russo Was Sent to WCW By Vince McMahon
Again, if we're to believe that Vince McMahon sent Vince Russo over the WCW to work as their head writer, but the entire time Russo was a plant set to destroy WCW from within, then McMahon is the most genuine evil-genius ever to grace the wrestling industry (some will already suggest that's true). Still, Russo is so full of himself, it's far too difficult to believe that he could have controlled himself and unsupervised, nonetheless, to keep that plan together.
This theory would also require believing that McMahon doesn't have faith enough in his own product to win simply by being better. McMahon and Russo do not like each other and McMahon has an ego the size of his company. This theory is way too hard to swallow.
13 Actually True - Rey Mysterio Won The WWE Title Because of Eddie Guerrero
With rumors everywhere that Rey Mysterio will be making a more public return to wrestling, perhaps even with the WWE, the mention of this theory seems quite fitting. Some believe the only reason Mysterio won the WWE Title, to begin with, was because of Eddie Guerrero's untimely death. In part, this is true. But, it's important in saying so, to not ignore what Mysterio would have accomplished anyway.
Rey Mysterio was already headed toward main event and championship status. Eventually, he would have won the title. However, the process was likely sped up thanks to the WWE wanting a face to represent the Latino/Mexican audience, and Mysterio became that wrestler.
Mysterio was clearly a fan favorite, a high-flyer when fewer high-flyers existed and he was bound to make it in the WWE despite his size. He would have one day been in the main event at a WrestleMania. It might just not have happened so quickly.
12 Totally Made Up - Triple H Loss To Ultimate Warrior Was Punishment
At WrestleMania 7, the Ultimate Warrior made a triumphant somewhat controversial return to the WWE. He hadn't been seen in a while, no one really knew what he would look like or how he'd fare in the ring, so the WWE stuck him with a wrestler who could help make Warrior look like a million bucks. That wrestler was Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Triple H). The match lasted less than two minutes and Triple H got in absolutely no offense.
It wasn't just that Triple H lost, it was that the Warrior no-sold HHH's trademark Pedigree and it set "The Game" running into a feud with Marc Mero (not exactly the WWE's greatest acquisition).
Many fans believe this match was punishment for the infamous "Curtain Call" with Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. It wasn't. The Curtain Call incident at MSG happened nearly two months after his match with the Warrior. What did happen was that Triple H was no longer booked to win King of the Ring.
11 Totally Made Up - Two Different Ultimate Warriors
Speaking of The Ultimate Warrior, one of the craziest theories that never seems to go away is that there were two of them. No, not two like what the WWE did when The Undertaker fought The Undertaker, but two as in, one died and a different person took on the role of the character from that point on.
Warrior was a huge star but in 1991, he disappeared from wrestling. It was at the height of his career. Back then, it wasn't as easy to get wind of the behind-the-scenes stuff like it is today, but it came to light that his absence was due to a financial dispute.
When he came back the following year, something was a bit off. Warrior’s hair was shorter, had gotten a bit leaner, and he wasn't quite as energetic. People began to wonder if this was the same guy. From there, the idea took on a life of its own. It turned into a theory that the original Warrior (Jim Hellwig) had died and that the WWE saw too much money in the Warrior character to let it die too.
There was only ever one Ultimate Warrior and he passed away in 2014.
10 Actually True - CM Punk Pipe Bomb Was Staged
The "Pipe Bomb" changed the career of CM Punk. Before it happened he was popular. After it happened, he was a huge star. It's one of those moments on WWE television that will be remembered with great fondness and it's created a whole grouping of wrestling fans who believe that WWE programming is too scripted and that wrestlers are too handcuffed. The theory is, CM Punk took his frustrations out on the company and they didn't know he was going to do it, which proved, that you can become a huge star if only the WWE would loosen the reigns a little and trust.
It's a wonderful theory, but in this case, it isn't true. The CM Punk "Pipe Bomb" was actually planned and, for the most part, scripted. The WWE knew enough about what was going to be said that they knew when to cut his microphone. Punk gets all the credit here, but the WWE doesn't get enough for thinking outside the box.
9 Totally Made Up - Bruiser Brody Murder Went Unsolved Because of Wrestler Code
There is a long standing rumor that wrestlers don't snitch on other wrestlers or that what was going on behind the curtain stays there and that the "boys" police themselves. In some respects this is true, but there is a theory out there that suggests when Bruiser Brody was murdered in 1988 in Puerto Rico; the murderer, Jose Gonzales, was never found guilty because the wrestlers refused to snitch.
This theory took on some life because, despite dozens of witnesses backstage seeing Gonzales going into the back with Brody and being the last person to see him alive, nobody would testify against Gonzales in court. The few American wrestlers there gave statements but were never called to testify.
The real issue was not the wrestlers, but the Puerto Rican police who had no desire to arrest one of their local heroes. As a result, the trial proceeded before many of the wrestlers could make it back to Puerto Rico to testify.
8 Totally Made Up - Regal Was Fired For Shooting On Goldberg
In 1998, right at the height of the WCW's push to make Bill Goldberg the company's biggest star, something weird happened. It was in the midst of a massive undefeated streak that saw Goldberg squash everyone he ever faced in a matter of seconds and instead of easily plowing through Steven Regal, as he'd done to so many opponents before, Regal and Goldberg had a longer, awkward match in which Regal often had the upper hand.
Known as a legitimate shoot fighter before entering wrestling, Regal, was putting more complex moves and holds on the new face of WCW, and much of the match looked like a shoot (real instead of fake). What brought the rumor to the front page was because Regal was fired from the company shortly thereafter (falsely reported as the same night).
This whole theory is much neater than the truth, which is that Regal was fired for substance abuse related issues and he was told by a booker to have a six-minute competitive match. Goldberg simply wasn't sure how to counteract the style Regal was going for.
7 Actually True - McMahon Owned ECW
To say that Vince McMahon "owned" ECW isn't necessarily true from a business standpoint. But, to say he owned the company from a figurative one is very accurate. It's been admitted now that Paul Heyman was accepting financial investments and aid from McMahon to keep ECW going. Vince did so for the rights to exchange talent, to keep ECW from partnering with WCW and for having some say over how ECW operated.
It's the only time in history that the WWE actively brought in talent from a rival show. Why? Because they weren't actually rivals. The WWE worked a deal to use ECW talent on their TV shows, ECW got free marketing and it gave Vince extra leverage to acquire ECW’s assets when they eventually went bankrupt. The deal actually required ECW be sold to WWE because Heyman couldn't go to WCW to partner up which was presented as an option at that time.
What isn't proven is that Vince’s financing of ECW gave him decision-making power within the promotion. There is no certainty he was ever in on booking decisions or storylines, but it shouldn't come as a surprise if in some way he was.
6 Totally Made Up - Randy Savage/Bret Hart Punched Hulk Hogan
Something was wrong with Hogan's face at WrestleMania IX. He had a black eye that looked an awful lot like a punch. There are two theories. First is that Randy Savage punched Hogan over a dispute regarding Miss Elizabeth. The other is that Bret Hart punched Hogan because Hogan was clearly trying to hold Bret down.
The rumors about Savage had everything to do with the fact that, allegedly, before WrestleMania IX, Savage found out that Hogan boinked his wife in real life and gave him a shot for good measure.
The rumors about Bret gained momentum both because Bret has already famously punched someone (Vince McMahon) and that it was common knowledge Hogan was not helping Bret Hart become a star. Hogan was booked to swoop in after Hart's title defense and win the belt in a matter of seconds after being away for an extended absence.
Both rumors are untrue. According to Hogan, in his autobiography, it was just a jet skiing accident.
5 Totally Made Up - Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon Were An Item
To say that Vince McMahon and the WWE let Shawn Michaels get away with a lot of things that other WWE Superstars couldn't get away with is fair. To say that McMahon had a soft spot for Michaels is also fair. But, to suggest that McMahon's leniency with Michaels was anything more than Vince either feeling like a father figure or that he felt he owed something to Michaels, who was his biggest star in a time that the WWE struggled to stay alive, is a bit much. Yet, there are many who have taken this relationship to the next level and suggested it was romantic in nature.
It started because people needed a reason to justify the preferential treatment. It got bigger as people started to jump on the 'Michaels is gay' bandwagon. Then even bigger when Michaels got paid while on the shelf. It ballooned with Road Warrior Hawk claimed it to be the case.
It's possible, but it's extremely unlikely.
4 Likely True - WWE Withheld Jimmy Snuka Evidence
Including this item here is not to suggest Jimmy Snuka was a known murderer. We are not claiming that to be the case and have no idea what happened. What we are suggesting is that there was something going on behind the scenes when Snuka's then-girlfriend Nancy Argentino, died and the WWE knew more than they made public. It's logical to conclude that perhaps sharing everything would have made Snuka look guilty, whether he committed the crime or not.
It seems a stretch to suggest what many theorists do, in that the company did everything they could to get Snuka off the hook knowing he'd committed a crime, but it's only logical that they would try to shield a valued employee, if he'd made a mistake, including perhaps not sharing everything Snuka may have told people about what happened.
While Argentino's death was ruled to have been caused by something consistent with a stationary object striking a moving head, the trial never took place so we'll never really know what happened.
3 Totally Made Up - NWO Was Planted
There is a theory that the WWE couldn't compete with WCW's financial pockets so that instead of paying Kevin Nash and Scott Hall what they were going to earn in WCW, McMahon worked a plan with the two former WWE Superstars to go to WCW and (like was suggested with Vince Russo) crumble the company from within. That they were then joined by Hulk Hogan (a long time WWE employee) and that all three had creative control over their storylines sealed the deal.
First, that would mean Hall and Nash were lousy at their job because WCW beat WWE in the ratings for almost two years. It would also mean that Hogan thought beyond money, which most people know to be his primary motivation.
The whole idea is absurd, especially when you consider that it almost killed the WWE and when he brought back the NWO to the WWE after WCW's demise, he didn't know what to do with the group. He clearly wouldn't have been able to make it work from far away.
2 Totally Made Up - Stephanie McMahon and Randy Savage Had A Thing
It's not out of the realm of possibility that Stephanie McMahon and Randy Savage had a slight connection. It's possible there was even a romantic relationship blooming, but what seems extremely unlikely is that Savage and Stephanie were lovers and that McMahon would ever forgive a close friend for getting it on with his 17-year-old daughter. Even if it took longer than a decade to finally put Savage into the Hall of Fame, no one would be surprised if Savage was never in had he done that.
The reason the theory has taken on such vigor is that Macho Man was overlooked so many times for the Hall of Fame and that he was unceremoniously "let go" by the WWE and never spoken of again.
The real matter is that Macho Man wanted to wrestle. The WWE wanted to go younger. Savage found better money in WCW and jumped ship. It upset McMahon, but he eventually forgave him.
1 Actually True - Brock Lesnar Beating The Undertaker Wasn't Predetermined
Well, this isn't exactly true. Everything in wrestling is predetermined in some way. And, we won't go so far as to say that Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker called an audible mid-match which some would have you believe. But, we believe The Undertaker losing to Lesnar was not something that the WWE and Vince McMahon had planned out well before it happened.
Instead, The Undertaker was becoming more immobile in the ring and the WWE was becoming more convinced by the day that Lesnar was going to stick around. Not knowing who to have Taker pass the torch too and realizing that it would only be believable if Lesnar pinned the Deadman, McMahon made a last minute judgment call — one he likely regrets.
You can argue on both sides the merit of the decision. What you can't argue is that far too many people were completely shocked within the WWE for this to be a total coincidence.