WWE has a lot of problems with Monday Night Raw considering it's a weekly three hour live show that is in a different city each week. It has been reported that the script is sometimes being rewritten as the show is going on. Here are a handful of stories of how disjointed and convoluted things backstage can be.
Krissy Vaine was brought up to debut on an episode of WWE Smackdown. She showed up at the arena for the tapings and none of the agents she asked had a clue what she was doing that evening. It wasn't until Victoria witnessed her talking to an agent that she went to get Stephanie McMahon and asked her to direct her on what was happening. Krissy also wore an absolutely hideous wrestling outfit (she herself has described it as "looking like a frigging Christmas Clown") for her segment, only to be told afterwards by producers that they wanted her in street clothes. She had walked around backstage for an hour wearing her wrestling gear and nobody had said anything to her.
Mike "The Miz" Mizanin faced frequent hazing from veterans backstage. He was reportedly kicked out of the locker room for getting chicken crumbs on JBL's gym bag. Many employees resented that he had come from a reality TV show and attempted to bully him out of the company. He once had to change in a stadium's public bathroom amid fans wearing his merchandise.
Gail Kim claimed in an interview after leaving the company that she and her fellow Divas often faced restrictions placed on them by management. They were frequently told to make their matches more girly and forbidden from punching one week and kicking the next. Melina and Michelle McCool were reportedly told off for doing a spot that was "too high risk". Gail claimed that she frequently had to sneak spots past the agents into her matches.
Two words: Wrestlers' Court. One wrestler does something that a locker room leader doesn't approve of. They are brought in front of the entire locker room and put on trial. Mick Foley and Al Snow were taken to court for standing up to backstage bullyBob Holly - they were punished by having to pay his road expenses for a week. The Hardy Boyz were taken for unknowingly sitting in two seats that had previously been reserved for veterans. Melina was taken for being shy and not talking to anyone except her boyfriend.
Developmental Divas faced vicious bullying from trainers Ivory and Jacqueline. Former developmental Diva Bobbi Billard claims that she and another woman were called to the front of the class by Ivory who announced "sluts like you all fuck your way to the top", while Jacqueline went so hard on them in training that many girls were injured and then later released. Kristal Marshall told a similar story on how she felt that her trainers resented that she came from a modelling career on The Price Is Right. Despite her wanting to learn how to wrestle, she claims she felt they didn't want her to get good.
Ashley Massaro won the 2005 Diva Search and was immediately placed on TV with no wrestling training whatsoever. She later revealed in an interview that she had only been trained on a per-match basis (if one looks at her matches, that explains a lot). This resulted in frequent injuries for her. She was even placed on a WrestleMania card purely because of her Playboy cover and had to compete with a broken foot. She and Melina also claimed that they spent most of the night in gorilla position not knowing if the match was going to happen.
Financial abuse is sadly incredibly common in TNA, a company that is backed by a million dollar energy company and has a weekly TV deal.
Jesse Neal caused an uproar when he tweeted that he had qualified for food stamps and was immediately let go by the company.
Homicide suffered a groin pull and attempted to rehab it because TNA would not pay for the necessary surgery. According to reports, many wrestlers don't get injuries checked out because the TNA office refuses to pay for them. The procedure is to front the wrestler the necessary money and then take it out of their paycheck.
When Gail Kim's contract was up, she was forced to leave TNA and return to WWE because she could not afford to stay. Despite being a proven ratings draw and one of the company's top stars, TNA offered her a ridiculously low amount to re-sign. She had to be talked into signing with WWE because she didn't want to leave TNA.
Taylor Wilde revealed in an interview that while she was the reigning Knockouts' Champion, she was also working a minimum wage job at Sunglass Hut. She resigned immediatelynote From Sunglass Hut; she stayed with TNA for two additional years once she was recognised by a fan.
Awesome Kong claimed in her 2013 shoot interview that TNA once stiffed her for a bill. She also said she heard that Dixie Carter reportedly said in a business meeting "well let them go home and starve". Kong also claimed that she was denied a minor pay rise at the same time TNA went mad with the hiring in 2010 (see below). Bear in mind that Kong wanted the pay rise so that she could afford a car - she was already a 2-time Knockouts Champion and at the time was one of the reigning Knockouts Tag Team Champions.
TNA has banned their wrestlers from appearing for indie promotions that are being taped for DVD or internet PPV. Meaning that if a TNA talent isn't being used on television, then they're not likely to get much more indie bookings as promoters won't be able to justify the cost of bringing them in with DVD or PPV sales.
In 2010 a huge sum of money was spent on hiring former WWE and WCW talents. These included Jeff Hardy (who was facing drug trafficking charges), Scott Hall (battling alcoholism and depression) and numerous others well past their prime. Hulk Hogan was also brought in on a ridiculously high salary ($10,000 per appearance reportedly) while many of the TNA talent who had never worked for WWE or were lower on the card were being paid only three figures per appearance (when they were being used at all). Generation Me (or The Young Bucks for those familiar with them on the indies) were rumoured to only be making $200 per appearance. Additionally, reality TV "stars" such as Johnny Fairplay (who got health insurance despite making very few appearances) and J-Woww were brought in for considerable amounts of money; the latter was especially funny when you consider Jersey Shore aired opposite Impact.
Knockouts' Champion Madison Rayne had to miss a series of house shows in 2010 and it was rumoured it was because she couldn't afford the travel costs. At the time she was rumoured to be one of the lowest paid people in the company.
Wrestlers (particularly among the X division) who attempt to tone down highspots for a safer style have been sanctioned by the company's road agents. In addition, wrestlers suffering from concussions were placed under considerable pressure to get back into the ring (one, [Daffney Unger Shannon "Daffney" Spruill]], was pulled from publicity appearances after refusing to wrestle in such a state). This was during the same time that the company used a concussion suffered by Ken Anderson (who received the legitimate injury from a mistimed chairshot by a fucked-up Jeff Hardy) as a TV storyline.
The now defunct WCW is defunct for a reason. There are far too many to detail on just this page but it sums up in the following:
Horrible booking of storylines. Vince Russo in charge meant that the Shocking Swerve could happen at any time. The worst of these was David Arquette winning the WCW World Heavyweight Title to help promote the movie Ready To Rumble. This is particularly notable as Arquette, a long-time wrestling fan, hated the idea; he knew that he wasn't qualified to hold the title and that fan response would be overwhelmingly negative. (He ended up donating all of the money he earned to the families of deceased wrestlers and to Darren Drozdov, a wrestler who had suffered permanent paralysis after a move gone wrong.)
The Fingerpoke Of Doom - a title changed hands because one guy was literally knocked down by a finger poke to the chest.
Full Throttle Wrestling - a very short-lived Irish promotion that caused a lot of controversy in 2013. Intended as an over-18's themed promotion, its second show caused a miniature scandal. Ironically the production values themselves and the actual wrestling were praised...but everything else however...
The MC was a pimp character and he referred to a female wrestler that accompanied him as a "slut" and "whore" that "sucked cock", as well as dropping numerous racist and homophobic slurs.
One wrestler got on the microphone and claimed "queer night was last night" - a reference to the Dublin Pride Festival.
An intergender match featured a woman wrestler who later revealed she had been told she wasn't allowed to get any offence in and was also asked to do a spot where she was knocked out and her opponent would feel her up.
A mixed tag team match had two women (one of whom was mentioned above) told by bookers not to wrestle and just do a few lesbian spots. The match also had a spot where the Face woman was unconscious and her male opponent pantomimed raping her.
The promotion had to shut down the day after the show due to people threatening to take the story to the newspapers.