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10 of the most controversial wrestlers of all time

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.10K   //    17 Mar 2019, 13:05 IST

Hulk Hogan as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Hulk Hogan as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Recently, comic book nerds rejoiced when the news that James Gunn had been reinstated as the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. It seems that James Gunn had made some controversial tweets some ten years ago, and Disney saw fit to fire him from his directing job.

That is how powerful the court of public opinion truly is. In the pre internet days, entertainers could get away with saying and doing a lot more, such as John Wayne, who made some pretty unsavory comments about African Americans during a Playboy interview. The Duke got away with it, and kept his Oscar to boot.

But times have changed. These days, every entertainer must be extra cautious about what they say and do, because the world is watching. Forget about Big Brother: the real concern now is Little Sister, who will tattle on you to the world wide web if you don't watch your step.

Pro wrestling has not been safe from this recent accountability--not even close. Here are ten pro wrestlers who have been in hot water with the court of public opinion because of things said, written, or done.


#1 John "Bradshaw" Layfield

John Bradshaw Layfield as WWE Champion.
John Bradshaw Layfield as WWE Champion.

At six and a half feet tall and pushing three hundred pounds, John Bradshaw Layfield seemed destined for wrestling stardom. However, the journey was not an easy one.

Initially he was pushed as Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw, a generic cowboy gimmick that didn't go over well during WWE's Attitude Era. Then he was packaged as one of Undertaker's minions in the Ministry of Darkness, one half of the Acolytes which also included Farooq (Ron Simmons.)

Then WWE finally struck gold by rebranding the Acolytes as the APA, a pair of beer swigging mercenaries who would beat up anyone for the right price. When the tag team finally came to an end, he was again re packaged as JBL, a wall street tycoon.

However, it's not JBL's wrestling career that makes him controversial, rather it's the way he conducted himself backstage. JBL has been widely acknowledged as being something of a bully.

His antics went on for years, until he pushed NXT announcer Mauro Ranallo to quit. Ranallo was, and is, a very popular announcer, possibly the most popular in all of wrestling, and fans didn't take kindly to JBL tormenting him. JBL soon found himself without a job, and Ranallo was re-hired, proof that controversy will catch up to you eventually.

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ANALYST
Christopher Scott Wagoner is a fiction writer and freelance journalist from Austin, Texas. Dune is his favorite novel and Dean Malenko is his favorite wrestler.
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