Not everyone gets along with all of their co-workers, do they? WWE wrestlers are no different. Sometimes, they end up ruffling someone or the other’s feathers, intentionally or unintentionally, and end up engaging in real-life fights and serious altercations.
It’s not surprising that these events are not uncommon given how each superstar tries his/her best to outdo the other. Even though the sport is scripted, your rise in it depends on fan support (and Vince McMahon’s approval). Ego clashes have led to quite a few real-life feuds in the business, and here are six such instances:
#6 WWE Hall of Famers: Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels
The Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels rivalry is one of the best known real-life feuds in WWE history. The two New Generation wrestlers worked their way up the WWE ladder, fighting each other for the Tag Team, Intercontinental and WWE/F Championships. Their sixty-minute Ironman match at WrestleMania XII was hailed by many as one of the greatest matches in WWE history.
From Hart claiming that Michaels faked his injury to the "Sunny" days comment made by HBK, there have been many instances where the real-life tension between the two has been visible. However, with the two men shaking hands on RAW a decade ago, we can believe that past grudges have been left behind.
#5 John Cena and Kenn Doane
A lot of people that don’t like John Cena for his knack of apparently burying talent. This is not something that Cena is currently doing, having taken a step back from WWE and wrestling only to elevate other superstars, but back in the day, Kenn Doane (Kenny from the Spirit Squad) had other reasons for hating the man who was the face of WWE for more than 15 years.
Kenn Doane was engaged to Mickie James in 2007, but their relationship ended after he found out that she was having an affair with John Cena. Needless to say, Kenn was livid and confronted the latter about it. Later, Kenny was shifted to SmackDown and began to phase out of TV programming. Mickie, too, found herself out of a job after John Cena went on to marry Elizabeth Huberdeau, his high school sweetheart, in 2009.
Kenny returned to SmackDown in 2016 for a brief stint as part of the Spirit Squad, while Mickie James also made a return in 2016 in what was a largely forgettable run. James also showed up at the 2022 Royal Rumble as the IMPACT Knockouts Champion.
#4 Matt Hardy and Paul London
Now, this was one serious feud that saw shots being fired from both sides.
Matt Hardy and Paul London's hatred for each other began when Ashley Massaro started dating Paul London almost immediately after her relationship with Matt Hardy ended. There has been no love lost between the two since then, and they have taken to interviews and social media to vent their anger at each other.
In an interview with False Count Radio, Paul London spoke about Hardy and said that he was wrestling Hardy trying to get away with as much as he could, without fatally injuring him.
“I think he's a piece of s---. And I was trying to go into that (match) with as much of a professional mindset as possible without trying to m***er this person. I think he's a coward.”
Hardy on his part remarked that London had made his name in the WWE after wrestling against him, and that his attempts to overshadow him were futile. He also went on to say that he could make or break careers if he wanted.
#3 The Batista-Melina-John Morrison Triangle
Batista was allegedly involved in an affair with Melina, who was rumored to be dating John Morrison at the time. Whether this is true or not has always been hotly debated. Melina herself has spoken about it, saying that all Batista did for her was stand up against the people that picked on her backstage.
But rumors have it that when Morrison and Melina took a break, she did hook up with Batista. However, due to her unpopularity in the locker room, this was often blown out of proportion and apparently had an effect on the main event push that John Morrison never really got.
#2 Alberto Del Rio and Mistico
The two are amongst the most famous Mexican wrestlers who have made the jump to WWE. They have been pretty vocal about their hatred for each other. Their real-life feud went so far that according to Konnan, Mistico once even pulled a gun on Del Rio in Mexico. Whether that's true or not remains unknown.
It did seem for a while that they’d put their differences aside while working for AAA, but after that, they lashed out at each other on social media yet again.
#1 Vince McMahon and Jeff Jarrett
Back in 1999, Jeff Jarrett was the WWF Intercontinental Champion and his contract was about to expire. Due to some reason, it wasn’t renewed. Jarrett was scheduled to face Chyna at No Mercy, a day after the expiry of his contract. Jarrett leveraged this situation to make $300,000 for that match.
Vince McMahon didn’t want Jarrett to move to WCW with the title, so he had no choice but to accept the demand (although some believe that he asked for that much to lose the title to a woman). Vince fired Jarrett shortly after he bought WCW, claiming that he would never do business with him again.
However, the surprising news of Jeff Jarrett's WWE Hall of Fame induction came in 2018. Double J entered the Royal Rumble match the following year, before working as a backstage producer for a couple of years.