Controversy has been as much part and parcel of the WWE as the in-ring showmanship aspect of it and perhaps due to kayfabe, the WWE universe has always been explicitly interested in the real life goings-on of wrestlers. Over the years, scandalous and ridiculous incidents have littered the WWE landscape that sometimes threatened to destabilize the company even, and in such cases the WWE have done their best to hush up the incident and wait for the heat to cool off.
Thanks to the advent of internet and inherent human nature, some of these incidents eventually find the public gaze, albeit in hushed tones and amidst raised eyebrows. These are the scandals that the WWE are not prepared to address for fear of it offending sensibilities to a potentially damning extent. Here are 7 Scandals that the WWE did not want you to know about.
The Vince McMahon-HBK Relationship
As Road Warrior Hawk once alleged, Vince McMahon’s relationship with Shawn Michaels was not entirely one of that between employer and employee. While whispers of a homosexual relationship also made cautious rounds in the dirtsheets, the validity of the claims have never been proven as you may surmise.
And considering that Road Warrior Hawk was not on good terms with WWE when he came up with his ‘insightful’ opinion, one can be forgiven for brushing this rumour away. Besides, he was also a habitual trouble maker who had backstage beef with a good number of wrestlers over the years. Judging by the sheer number of shoot-fights that he has been involved in, Hawk had more than just a passing penchant for trouble mongering.
However, HBK did get away with many things that other superstars might not have. When he was out with a back injury, Vince ensured that Shawn was paid in full despite not wrestling for an elongated recovery period of 4 years.
Later on, HBK has termed the relationship between himself and Vince Mcmahon as akin to one between a son and a father, so I guess there isn’t much to read into this rumour. But while the two remain close beyond professional requirement, this particular rumour might not quite die out ever.
The Plane Ride from Hell
Now this one would be a PR nightmare for the WWE were it to transpire in the current internet era. As it is, a detailed account has nonetheless spilled forth from X-Pac, who was in the plane and involved himself heavily in proceedings.
It was the 5th of may, 2002. A red letter day in WWE history, and a day where meltdown and anarchy occurred amongst WWE wrestlers – the whole kicker being that it occurred in the sky.
The entire RAW locker-room was, including the McMahons, on a flight back to American shores after doing a show at London, in the UK. A combination of drugs, booze and easily combustible men soon took over as pandemonium reigned.
Rather than hearing a third person recount of the ludicrous events that occurred on that fateful day, I think it offers more perspective as to the working environment of the WWE when heard straight from the horse’s mouth. This is a must-watch!
The Steroid Trial
In some senses, the duo of Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan were hand in glove responsible for the massive wheels of momentum that the WWE gained as a business. Their confluence can be dated back to the 80s where Hogan was the star attraction and Vince’s WWE provided the global stage and reach. In the old days of wrestling, the lines of legitimacy were blurred when considering wrestling as a mainstream industry unlike today. Things that happened in the locker-room to the wrestlers, was accepted as a way of life that they chose.
These wrestlers who lived out their lives generally expecting to put their bodies on the line each night in order to make a living though, found that they struck gold when WWE went global and mainstream. Suddenly, a quasi-taboo industry found its stock rise and its fan base multiply. A large part of this process involved portraying wrestlers as larger-than-life characters, and that made steroid use an acceptable facet of the wrestling landscape.
in 1993 though, Vince McMahon was charged on the count of distribution of steroids to wrestlers and the star witness who was called forth to give testimony was none other than Hulk Hogan.
Vince and Hogan both accepted that they used steroids in the past and it was revealed that around 75 to 80% of the wrestlers under the employ of the company also used steroids, but Vince never got convicted of distributing the substance. A close shave, not only for the WWE, but also for Vince McMahon personally.
The whole episode was too close for comfort – so much so that suddenly, the Hulk Hogans and the Ultimate Warriors were replaced by the likes of smaller built wrestlers like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. The WWE rolled on...