5 Times WWE Superstars refused to travel with someone
With so many wrestling-related podcasts and media interviews these days, there is hardly a week that goes by without a WWE veteran telling an outrageous travel story from their days on the road with WWE.
In September 2020, for example, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle recalled the time that he wrestled Vince McMahon on the famous ‘Plane Ride From Hell’ in May 2002.
When a flight attendant warned McMahon that the pilot would land the plane if the wrestling continued, the WWE Chairman simply said, “Tell the pilot to go f*** himself. I’ll buy this f***ing plane.”
Anybody who watches WWE Network show Ride Along will know that WWE Superstars’ travel journeys are nowhere near as adventurous in 2020 as they were in past generations.
However, that does not necessarily mean that travel issues between WWE Superstars are a thing of the past just yet.
In this article, let’s count down five times that WWE Superstars – some past and some present – refused to travel with certain individuals.
#5 Triple H refused to travel with Mark Jindrak in WWE
One of the most interesting moments from the Ruthless Aggression series on the WWE Network came when Triple H revealed that he refused to ride in a car with Mark Jindrak ever again.
Shortly after the legendary Evolution faction formed, Batista suffered a serious triceps injury and had to miss several months of in-ring action.
As a result, Vince McMahon decided that he wanted to trial the up-and-coming Jindrak as the fourth member of Evolution, possibly as a permanent replacement for Batista.
Triple H, who was against the idea, recalled that he did not enjoy one particular car journey that he had to share with Evolution’s possible new faction member.
“I think we were in a car together for two hours. It was like being in a car – and no offence – but it was like being in a car with a third-grader. I’m not kidding.”
The WWE NXT founder said Randy Orton and Jindrak played around with an animal toy in the back of the car, while he sat in the front with Ric Flair.
“I told Ric, ‘Never put the two of those [together] in a car with us again. I mean ever, and I don’t ever want to be in a car with Jindrak again.’”
Triple H added that he could deal with Orton around that time, but he could not put up with the combination of Orton and Jindrak together.
Fortunately for the 14-time WWE World Champion, Batista returned later in the year and Jindrak never joined Evolution.
#4 Bruno Sammartino refused to travel with certain WWE Superstars
WWE legend Bruno Sammartino did not hold back whenever he gave his opinion on WWE’s reputation in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The 2013 WWE Hall of Fame inductee appeared on several American talk shows to discuss the drug and steroid issues that many WWE Superstars had around that period of time.
Speaking on Donahue in March 1992, Sammartino said the WWE environment had completely changed compared to his days as a wrestler between 1959 and 1981.
The Italian-American explained that Vince McMahon once asked him to travel to Arizona and New Mexico to replace another WWE Superstar who, in Sammartino’s words, was “out of it”.
Sammartino said he refused to travel with anybody on the WWE roster who used drugs, so McMahon asked Jay Strongbow to drive with him to shows.
“So he arranged for this other old time wrestler, Jay Strongbow, for me to travel with him because I wouldn’t be in a car [with WWE Superstars who had drugs], because I was always afraid of a car being stopped full of drugs. And he said to me, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll get the agent to rent the car so you can go around with him.’”
Sammartino, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 82, originally declined WWE’s offer to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
However, after witnessing the positive changes that the company had made both on-screen and off-screen, he accepted Triple H’s offer to become part of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
#3 WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan did not want to travel with The Big Show
As part of his WCW contract, Hogan used to have his own plane to get back to Tampa, Florida after episodes of Monday Nitro.
Big Show, known as The Giant before his move to WWE, would often ride on the plane with Hogan and Randy Savage, as well as one of his close friends at the time, Brian Adams (aka WWE’s Crush).
Many people have tried to impersonate Hogan and Savage over the years, but Big Show decided to go one step further by impersonating the two WWE legends in a romantic relationship with each other.
Adams, who knew Hogan and Savage would hate the impersonations, ribbed Big Show by encouraging him to perform the impersonations on the plane.
As the seven-foot WWE Superstar recalled, his attempt at humor was not appreciated.
“Brian looks at me and gives me the wink. And I'm a dumba** rookie, so what do I do? [In Hogan's voice] 'Whatcha gonna do, Macho, when the largest python in the world comes for you, brother?' [In Savage's voice] 'Ooh yeah, Hulkster. Go to infinity and beyond. Give me the beef, Hulkster.' And believe me, I'm cleaning it up for radio. The version I did was really, really raunchy.” [H/T Wrestling Inc.]
Big Show said he had a big grin on his face after his impersonations. However, he was met with dead stares from Hogan and Savage.
He added that the pilot of the plane, Captain Ron, told him one week later that he needed to catch a commercial flight due to possible turbulence and concerns about the weight on Hogan’s plane.
“And I'm like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, no problem.’ So it's like two months, I was kicked off the plane ride home.”
In reality, Big Show knew that he had been banned from the plane due to the way that he mocked Hogan.
#2 Former WWE Superstar Ahmed Johnson refused to travel with an unknown driver
After leaving WWE in February 1998, Ahmed Johnson had a brief spell in WCW from January 2000 to June 2000.
The former WWE Intercontinental Champion also received bookings to work on some independent shows, including an event that was run by Dennis Coralluzzo in Rahway, New Jersey.
“Ahmed was in his room and Dennis sent a guy to pick him up to take him to the show, and Ahmed didn’t want to ride in the guy’s car and said, ‘I need a limousine,’ and refused to leave the hotel.” [H/T Still Real To Us]
Johnson ended up no-showing the event, leading Coralluzzo to announce to the sold-out crowd that the former WWE Superstar refused to attend the show because his request to have a limousine was turned down.
Cornette added that Coralluzzo also gave out Johnson’s hotel phone number, which meant fans ended up phoning him all night.
#1 Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows stopped traveling with AJ Styles in WWE
While the majority of these WWE Superstars had a legitimate issue with someone else, that was definitely not the case when Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows stopped traveling with AJ Styles.
Speaking on Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast in August 2019, Anderson said that he and Gallows prevented Styles from riding with them at one stage of their WWE careers.
At the time, the former WWE RAW Tag Team Champions were unhappy with their roles in WWE and they did not want to bring Styles down by sharing a car with him.
“We were miserable. [Styles] would want to ride with us but we would kind of blow him off. We blew him off purposely because we didn't want him to listen to us complain. Because every ride - I don't know if it was healthy or unhealthy - but every ride we were riding, we were p****d.” [H/T Wrestling Inc.]
Styles added that Anderson and Gallows used their position on the card as an excuse to stop riding with him. However, he knew that the real reason was due to the way that they were being booked compared to him.
“I mean, I get it and I can understand where they were coming from because I was doing well and they weren't. At the same time, their excuse was that they were in the first part of the show and I was in the main event, so they would say that they were going to get to the hotel first. That was their excuse.”
In April 2020, Anderson and Gallows were released from their WWE contracts as a cost-cutting measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Styles has since claimed that former WWE RAW Executive Director Paul Heyman was responsible for the duo getting released.