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Hostility On The Set / Professional Wrestling

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A major example of Real Life Writing the Plot

Professional Wrestling is a dog-eat-dog business which attracts a lot of people whose egos make Axl Rose and the Gallagher brothers look like Ned Flanders. And when two egos clash for whatever reason (money, booking decisions, company hierarchy, botches...) hostility happens.

United States

  • Lou Thesz
    • He had a longstanding rivalry with/hatred of "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, beginning when Rogers made derogatory remarks towards Thesz's manager and longtime friend, wrestling legend Ed "Strangler" Lewis. When Rogers was booked to lose the NWA World Title to Thesz, Thesz straight-up told him that he was leaving with the belt "the easy way or the hard way." The two would reconcile before Rogers' death in 1992.
    • Thesz had similar, but lesser, problems with Bruno Sammartino, mostly related to the fact that Thesz despised Sammartino's main backer, Joe "Toots" Mondt, and swore he would never make one of his proteges look good in the ring. After kayfabe was destroyed Sammartino came to Thesz's defense on the subject of never winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt, saying Thesz would have gone through with dropping the belt to him if it meant gettting the WWWF back in the alliance but Sammartino himself refused to put up with the NWA World Heavyweight champion's schedule if he wasn't at least given Sundays off.
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    • Thesz's refusal to participate in any tomfoolery or slapstick put him at odds with Antonino Rocca, whom made his career out of fast paced high flying moves, humiliating holds and strikes designed more to embarrass than physically harm the opponent such as his barefoot sole kicks. Thesz would in fact go out of his way to put over Rocca as a star, but only in his own way on his own terms with threat to seriously harm and humiliate Rocca in his own way if Rocca stepped out of line.
    • Thesz and Karl Gotch were as vocal as it was possible to be in the heyday of kayfabe about their different philosophies on professional wrestling, which escalated far enought to become physical during a brawl in the ring. However, Thesz made up with Gotch, who as it turned out was not bitter about it anyway, revealing he only took things that far out of the mistaken belief Gotch was part of a doublecross attempt. From then on the two men kept in touch until their deaths in spite of their sharp differences of opinion in their profession.
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  • Jerry Lawler, the self styled "King" of Memphis, signed a WWF contract in 1993. Lawler was a co-owner of the Memphis based USWA promotion, which featured past-their-prime talent and rookies working Memphis and associated towns for very low payoffs. This led to at least one WWF wrestler with Memphis experience shitting in his crown when he left it backstage for a match.
  • Bruiser Brody:
    • He used the ring name "King Kong Brody" out of respect for Dick the Bruiser in areas where Dick The Bruiser was already established. But do not mistake "respect" for "fondness", as Brody did not like Dick, at least not after Dick became a promoter in addition to a wrestler. In one match between them Dick pulled Brody's hair after being specifically told not to touch it. Later in the locker room where Dick expected to be giving Brody payment for the match Brody instead bashed Dick with a chair.
    • He apparently got along with two of the formerly legendary Garbage Wrestling Power Trio, The Invaders, apparently having a falling out with Invader #1 after #1 became the booker of CSP/WWC. Regardless of when their falling out happened, Brody was supposed to make Invader #1 look good on a CWC/WWWF show but instead just beat the crap out of him. Later in CSP/WWC there were again sounds of commotion in the locker room, with the assumption being Brody beating someone up again only for Invader #1 to found unscathed standing over a bleeding Brody with a knife. After Brody died from his wound it in turn lead to much hostility between several wrestlers and Invader #1, including popular draws like Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr., who were friends with CSP/WWC promoter Carlos Colon but refused to return to Puerto Rico on principle. Manny Fernandez felt obligated to work with Invader #1 in an angle, but this was only after almost killing the innocent Invader #3 in Misplaced Retribution, who he mistook for #1 (they wear masks, in case you're wondering).
  • Ric Flair may have once exposed himself to children while inebrated (gaining a life long grudge from Shane Douglas), Arn Anderson may have been legitimately afraid of his Tag Team partner Ole Anderson for a while, but the man in the original Four Horsemen lineup who had the most people in the locker room reaching for his neck was Tully Blanchard. No less than Jim Crockett, who eventually took control of the entire NWA, hated his guts. Hence Blanchard initially wasn't part of WCW when it succeeded JCP, despite being a proven draw, but Arn Anderson wasn't either as he was loyal to Blanchard. But eventually Arn and Tully had a falling out too over Tully experimenting with cocaine.
  • Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage had a longstanding love/hate relationship, with Savage at one point challenging Hogan to a real life fight for charity, which Hogan refused and Savage mocked him for it on his rap album's title track "Be a Man". Hogan claims that he and Savage made peace with each other not long before Savage's passing in 2011, but not before Savage turned down TNA in 2004 after already having made a couple of appearances there when Hogan appeared in the locker room to visit with friends.
  • Savio Vega had it with Invader #1 after the stabbing of Bruiser Brody, which he initially avoided when founding his own company, IWA Puerto Rico, by simply refusing to allow Invader #1 to be booked. To a lesser extent he had a grudge with Victor Quiñones for overruling him and booking Invader #1 in IWA Puerto Rico (as it was an extension of IWA Japan, giving Quiñones the final say) and Richard Negrin, for overruling him and booking Invader #1 in The World Wrestling League. In the latter case, Vega and Negrin had a public burial of the hatchet before turning their hostility into an angle that resulted in Vega "breaking away" after a temporary Hostile Show Takeover and restarting IWA Puerto Rico after six years of inactivity.
  • Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels - to the extent that Bret's 2010 return to WWE broke kayfabe on TV and had them bury the hatchet. For more information see the Montreal Screwjob.
  • Jim Cornette and Paul Heyman worked well on camera together as the managers of The Midnight Express but off camera did not enjoy each other's company. As behind the scenes incidents of professional wrestling became more widely known, their real life antipathy was used for an on camera feud in WCW, most memorably in a tuxedo match where the two men ignored the stipulation and convinced fans they had decided to settle their differences then and there.
  • Mark Henry got sent out of WWF to the attempted revival of the Stampede territory in Calgary to learn discipline after he threatened to beat up Shawn Michaels for stealing on of his crutches. The leg injury prevented Henry from catching Michaels but that was only going to last so long.
  • Triple H and Shawn Michaels weren't very high on Rocky Maivia when he tried out for WWF and continued to tried to cut off his run in the company until he joined The Nation of Domination. The Rock and Triple H would move past this, but The Rock has notably never worked with Michaels. (Admittedly, Michaels was forced into a four-year hiatus from wrestling due to a severe back injury that coincided with the height of The Rock's career, but there were still several opportunities both before and after.) About a decade later it would repeat, only with Michaels and HHH burying CM Punk during his WWE tryouts. Again, Punk and Triple H managed to work something out (at least before Punk's departure from WWE in acrimonious terms in 2014); if Punk and Michaels did too, they haven't felt the need to make it known.
  • New Jack had issues with the bookers of both Smoky Mountain Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling, with the former in fact trading him to the latter after deeming him an ill fit. New Jack believed Jim Cornette to be a racist, and while it would be a stretch to call Cornette a white supremacist, when cutting promos and as a booker Cornette had no problem using politically incorrect stereotypes for the purpose of building heat and had only a tiny respect for N-Word Privileges. Cornette, for his part, viewed Jack as a violent troublemaker, and while Jack will argue his actions were justified, even sensible, he did admit to trying to kill an opponent during a match once. With Paul Heyman, Jack took his work being relegated to non televised dark matches personally and was offended when they were later put back on television in an effort to get TNN to cancel ECW. Jack also refused to work with a few wrestlers Heyman was intent on pushing, such as Taznote  For what it's worth, Jack would eventually rebuild his bridges with Cornette after their semi retirements, and even when their relationship was at its worst, Jack said doing business with Cornette was never difficult.
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin had a laundry list of people he would never work with in the ring when he was on top. Notable names include Jeff Jarrett (who claimed his Austin 3:16 slogan was blasphemy on a Raw promo following Jarrett's return in 1997, something Austin feared could tank his merchandise sales), Owen Hart (Hart broke Austin's neck doing a tombstone piledriver, very nearly permanently paralyzing him; to make matters worse, Owen not only did the move in a manner Austin told him not to [he dropped to his butt, instead of kneeling, and Austin's head was too low for the former], but never apologized for it) and Marc Mero (who Austin was going to at least squash until Mero jobbed to Sable).
  • Sable:
    • During her first run with the WWE, she reportedly let her popularity go to her head and couldn't even be spoken to directly on the phone. Luna Vachon claims that she was supposed to be Women's Champion but Sable refused to drop the title or claimed she hadn't brought it with her. Luna was eventually fired for getting into a backstage fight with her.
    • In the second run Torrie Wilson says that they were initially friendly, but after they posed for Playboy together their relationship soured. She recalls a big shouting match in the locker room where Sable called Dawn Marie over to say "my Playboy cover sold more than hers".
  • Torrie also claims that The Undertaker's second wife Sara Callaway hated her, and she and Debra ganged up on her during the brief 2001 period they were both on the road.
  • Chyna alienated a lot of people shortly before her departure from the WWF. Ivory was irritated by her multiple times during their program for Chyna's lack of professionalism - condescendingly asking her if she knew how to do a hair-pull slam, covering her disrespectfully after their title match at WrestleMania X-Seven and not being quiet about how she viewed the women's division as being beneath her.
  • According to Stacy Carter (best known as Miss Kitty or The Kat) the nastiest person in the WWE (or the Attitude Era specifically) was Janet the make-up artist. Stacy recalls her one day locking the Godfather's Hos inside a dark room and wouldn't let them out. Josette Bynum - best known for her run in TNA as Sojourner Bolt, and who encountered Janet during some of her tryout matches - confirms this, saying that Janet would attack her for being in a certain area of the building (that she had been told to be in by agents).
  • Gabe Sapolsky's dislike of Low Ki and Steve Corino explains why they had shorter pushes than their popularity would suggest in Ring of Honor, where he did the booking. Still, Sapolsky found them nothing if not reliable until Ki legitimately knocked out Ahtu on an EVOLVE card, where Sapolsky was again doing the booking. He also described Kevin Steen and El Generico as "difficult" to work with, though still used them in an effort to establish ROH in Quebec, which for better or worse didn't pan out.
  • The WWE Diva Search was a gimmick thought up in 2003 where they would audition a lot of models, actresses and Ms Fanservices to find a new Diva for the company. The first winner just won a photoshoot for a magazine, but the next year it was upgraded into a search for someone who would join the company and earn a contract worth $250,000. The talent were not happy with a non wrestler immediately making more than most of them, and this was exacerbated when the contestants were told not to bother them backstage - earning them reputations for being aloof and snobby. Within the contestants themselves, Carmella DeCesare earned a lot of heat by acting rude towards everyone else. Amy Weber claims that all the girls got on very well, but Carmella acted like an Alpha Bitch towards them; Maria Kanellis confirmed this, detailing an incident where Carmella arrived late and literally kicked her out of the make-up chair (it's very telling that while the contest was going on, Carmella was also facing criminal charges for assaulting another woman in a night club). In a segment titled 'Diss the Diva', allowing the remaining contestants to have a live mic and trash talk their opponents - the other three gave Carmella a "The Reason You Suck" Speech each (compared to the more playful teasing they gave the others). Ironically when they turned this into a storyline, Carmella's kayfabe rival Christy Hemme, was the one girl she appeared to get on with (in her 'Diss the Diva' promo she said "Christy, I hope you win" and sincerely congratulated her when she won).
  • Teddy Hart entered Ring of Honor with baggage from an earlier feud with Steve Corino, warning Gabe Sapolsky that he would beat Corino up if he signed Hart. Instead of that promised confrontation, Hart picked a fight with CM Punk, decided to back out of it when Punk showed up, then changed his mind again and tried to rearrange Punk's face before Sabu separated themnote . This, along with several other backstage incidents in TNA and several unplanned scramble cage dives in ROH got Hart blackballed by both companies note . Contrary to popular belief, Punk was not fired for his part in the fight but willingly left TNA over a contract dispute when TNA tried to bar him from returning to ROH after the Rob Feinstein scandal.
  • Back in 2005 after he was traded over to WWE SmackDown, Batista was very unhappy about this, stating that the "B" show roster was lazy because they knew if they goofed up on Tuesday, they could just edit it to what they wanted before the Thursday broadcast. This won him zero respect backstage and the tension continued while filming promos for that year's SummerSlam with him and Booker T getting into it which culminated with the latter knocking the former down with a single punch.
  • In 2006 the tag team MNM had to be split up, and Johnny Nitro and Melina moved to Raw because tensions in the stable between them and Joey Mercury were just too high. In fact, Melina in general was a nuclear heat magnet, to the point where she was taken to Wrestler's Court and yelled at until she cried. Shortly after the 'Me Too Movement' emerged, Melina opened up about being sexually assaulted and harassed backstage multiple times (though she never named names).
  • Chris Hero and STIGMA were rivals for the affections of the same woman. A rivalry that would lead to Hero being expelled from Chikara, and having the name "Chris Hero" auto censored to "John Kerry" on the Chikara message boards.
  • Maria Kanellis:
    • She claims she initially got along with Melina "but then she drove me crazy", giving their Poisonous Friend angle in 2009 an uncomfortable Reality Subtext (and sparked rumors that Melina's sudden move to Raw was to separate them, though Maria was away filming The Celebrity Apprentice at this point, so the truth is up in the air). After both leaving the company (in 2010 for Maria, 2011 for Melina) they appeared on several After Buzz interviews together seemingly good friends again.
    • There was also a bit of tension between Maria and the Bella Twins, though the specifics were never known. In an interview, when asked about Maria, the twins declined comment. Rumors that the twins had prevented WWE from rehiring her, Kelly Kelly, Maryse and Beth Phoenix hit the internet in 2013, leading to Maria becoming quite outspoken about them. She later apologised, and actually returned to WWE a couple of years later.
  • Michelle McCool and Beth Phoenix were a mild example. They worked a match together in 2008 that ended with Michelle getting a concussion due to a botched Glam Slam from Beth. The latter never said anything about it afterwards, leading Michelle to believe she hadn't realised. Then over a year later when they began feuding on-screen, she read an article in a magazine that showed Beth did know she had injured her after all. Their 2010 program was apparently marked with a few moments where Beth went to the office to get some of their segments changed. Beth did, however, thank Michelle in her Hall of Fame induction speech in 2017.
  • TNA became a hostile working environment for Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle after the former had an affair with the latter's wife that lead to a divorce, and a custody settlement that ended up being more public than Angle wanted. This one ended up being turned into an onscreen angle, but not before TNA's financial backer Dixie Carter flipped and suspended Jarrett from tapings. When TNA stopped making a profit as Carter exerted more and more control over it, Jarrett attempted to buy back the company from Panda Energy but opted out of the deal after Carter's parents insisted Dixie remain in a visible place with some level of authority.
  • Austin Aries has a long running feud with TNA management in general and Impact Vice President Don Callis in particular, at one point showing up at ROH shows "as a fan" in protest to TNA contract terms and signing an ROH contract on the spot the moment he was fired long distance for it. Another case was he and Davey Richards actively trying to have an underwhelming match after leaving Impact Wrestling, again, on not so well terms. His most visible instance of defiance though was on an Impact Wrestling pay-per-view where he no sold the Starship Pain, the Finishing Move of John Morrison, just to flip the bird to Callis, leaving Morrison bewildered. To a lesser extent, Aries has a vocal feud with Jim Cornette, who was in TNA, ROH and MLW with him, though it was the usually docile Cary Silkin who ultimately fired Aries for mouthing off about not getting paid enough, even if Cornette was the one who had issue with Aries getting more money than every other wrestler in ROH while doing the least work. Aries actually believes Silkin was correct but has personal issues with Cornette that go beyond money.
  • The tension between Mercedes Martinez and the Midwest Militia when they feuded in WSU was quite real. In an interview with Diva Dirt Mercedes said that things got to the point where she suffered a concussion in their War Games match at the 5th Anniversary Show and, despite warning Jessicka, the latter still hit her with her finisher anyway. That said, Martinez worked out enough with Havok to have a SHIMMER title defense against her in a cross promotional event (Garly Pop's Life Love And Lady Wrestling) without incident and a lengthy program with Allysin Kay in SHINE.
  • The on-screen heat between John Cena and The Rock during their 2011-2012 feud was apparently legit, based on both men having taken potshots at each other years earlier in shoot interviews. They seemed to have patched things up by the time the feud was revisited in 2013.
  • AJ Lee had a couple of incidents. She revealed in her autobiography that she suffers from Bipolar Disorder.
    • After her famous 'Pipe Bombshell' promo on the Total Divas cast, there was legitimate heat between AJ and Natalya. The latter was genuinely offended by AJ's words, feeling it had invalidated all her hard work to make it to WWE (as she was the only non model-turned-wrestler in the cast).
    • Cameron has said that AJ was very difficult to work with and seemed unwilling to help guide a greener opponent in the ring. She was given a title match against AJ that she didn't have much time to prepare for because AJ was feeling sick on the day, and didn't give the okay until the last minute.
    • Subverted with Nikki Bella. A lot of dirtsheets reported that Nikki was the Diva offended by the above promo, while Nikki later clarified she was simply annoyed with how little mic time Brie got in the subsequent feud with AJ (Brie would never say anything when AJ would get lengthy promos trashing her, making her look quite weak). It was however rumored that Nikki's final promo before their match at WrestleMania 31 was Leaning on the Fourth Wall ("we've seen you less than Brock Lesnar") - referring to AJ's lack of appearances and interest in the division for several months. She did however say in a 2019 podcast with Paige that a dream match would involve the twins getting to team with her and AJ.
  • Sasha Banks
    • Sasha and Charlotte Flair were initially good friends but had a falling out backstage, resulting in their alliance on NXT quietly disappearing.
    • Tensions between Sasha and Alexa Bliss have been evident for years, until both women essentially confirmed it in 2017. While the reason wasn't stated, many believed it was due to a match at NXT back in late 2014 in which Sasha busted Alexa's nose, and allegedly never apologized backstage. The two even made occasional potshots at each other on social media since. By 2020 however, they appeared to have patched things up - as both have praised the other in interviews. Sasha also admits to suffering from depression, resulting in her sudden departure in 2019.
  • Scott Steiner:
    • Tensions between Diamond Dallas Page and Scott Steiner boiled over after Scott Steiner called out Page in an unscripted promo on WCW Nitro, saying that Page needed to get a sex change because he had no balls. Steiner was infuriated when Page's then-wife Kimberly implicated Tammy Lynn Sytch for drug possession, leading to Sytch's departure. After Steiner returned to the locker room, Page confronted him and they started fighting backstage. In a departure from many recollections of backstage brawls and real fights of professional wrestlers, Page freely admits that he was no match for Steiner.
    • While Steiner and Page are on decent terms nowadays, Steiner still has nothing but seething hatred for Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan, two other men that he eviscerated on shoot promos, more or less calling them both used-up has-been who were holding down younger stars. Regarding Hogan, the two had a confrontation at an airport prior to the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, as Steiner was enraged that Hogan was chosen to induct the late "Macho Man" Randy Savage into the Hall of Fame, given the tensions between Hogan and Savage while the latter was still alive (see above). Allegedly, Steiner went as far as threatening to kill Hogan (which Scott denies) and he was banned from attending the Hall of Fame ceremony.
  • Jim Cornette and Vince Russo worked together in WWF (during the Attitude Era) and TNA, and couldn't be any more different if they tried. Cornette is a wrestling traditionalist, while Russo, well, isn't, so there were many creative differences between the two. To this day, Cornette has nothing but unbridled disdain for Russo (and Russo isn't too fond of Cornette either), to the point where Cornette's life goal is to outlive Russo so that he can piss on his grave.
  • In addition to Chyna, Ivory had a few problems with several workers. There was a period in the 2000s where she was denouncing half the roster in shoot interviews. Years later, she appeared to mellow out (especially in light of her Hall of Fame induction) and owned up to some residual bitterness after her WWE release. Still...
    • She joked about hating the PR gigs she had to do with Bradshaw, because of his reputation as a backstage bully, and described him as a very insecure Manchild.
    • Mildly with Lita, who she found difficult to work with - as she was unwilling to improve or step outside her comfort zone. There was also backstage drama after a match where Lita got a nasty cut above the eye after one of Ivory's boots supposedly hit her while Lita was doing an enziguri.
    • She took a shot at Terri Poch in a shoot interview with RF Video, but didn't elaborate.
    • She hated Stacy Carter, because she didn't want excessive Fanservice associated with the Right to Censor act, and was annoyed at a segment where she had to pretend to be afraid of The Kat. This appears to be one-sided, as Stacy has praised Ivory in interviews.
    • When she was acting as a trainer at OVW, she was rather notorious for being a Drill Sergeant Nasty. A developmental talent Bobbi Billard detailed instances of Slut-Shaming and going so hard on them in training that several got injured and later released (when Ivory and Jacqueline, who was also infamous for working stiff, got released she called it Laser-Guided Karma on a blog). Others ended up quitting because of the mental health problems resulting from this bullying.
  • Lita actually got into a fight with Stacy Keibler when the latter first joined the company in 2001. Stacy apparently got drunk in a nightclub and started flirting with Matt Hardy (who Lita was dating at the time). She apologised the next day and they never had any other problems.
  • Krissy Vaine admitted to having some tension with Michelle McCool during their time in DSW. Krissy was experienced on the indies and was told by trainers they expected her to be a locker room leader and, due to a misunderstanding of what that meant, she alienated Michelle by giving her feedback after one of her matches. While they had a talk sometime afterwards where Michelle claimed she didn't have a problem with her, Krissy recalls things being extremely tense between them.
  • Kia Stevens:
    • In a YouShoot interview, when playing the 'Ho Bag' game (where the interviewee is given a list of female wrestlers and puts them in the bag if they were rude or promiscuous), she immediately put Madison Rayne in the bag - but didn't clarify why.
    • In 2010, she had a well documented backstage fight with Bubba the Love Sponge after he made inappropriate tweets about victims of the Haitian earthquake. She ended up getting ambushed weeks later on a radio show, where the host was one of Bubba's friends.
    • There was some rather extreme beef between Kong and Reby Sky, stemming from the latter calling out Sid Vicious for no-showing an indie event (and allegedly scamming the organisers out of money). Kong went off on a tirade about her during a YouShoot interview and when the news reached Reby, she called her a "fakeass bitch" on Twitter. When they both ended up in TNA together, a backstage altercation happened when Kong threw Reby's luggage out of the locker room. Rumor has it she tried to assault her in front of her young son.
  • Amy Weber, who was with WWE from 2004-2005 as JBL's "Image Consultant", detailed two incidents of backstage bullying that led to her leaving the company.
    • While training for a match with Joy Giovanni, she took a bad bump and was advised to get some ice and Ibuprofen from the men's locker room. On a flight back from Japan, she recalls Randy Orton knocking her out of her chair "like a line backer" and yelling "you're gonna learn, bitch!"
    • On the same flight, she had a drink poured on her while she was sleeping, and woke up to see Edge as the apparent culprit. He denied it, and this led to a shouting match right there in the aisle. As soon as the plane landed, she handed her notice in and never returned to the company.
  • Kelly Kelly had a run-in with Randy Orton too. During their 2009 program, he apparently went off script during promos and said things about her that made her feel uncomfortable. She ended up going to the office about it and, while she claims there were no hard feelings, he ended up taking a potshot at her in an interview ("I could name about ten guys who have method acted with Kelly Kelly"). Notably for the following year, they were placed on different brands.
  • While Trish Stratus appears to have gotten on with most people during her time in WWE, her return in 2011 to work a program going into WrestleMania led to some hostility with the man she was working with - John Morrison. Allegedly he felt the spot should have gone to his then-girlfriend Melina (never mind that she'd just turned heel, and Trish was appearing as a face), and proceeded to act very cold and resistant towards Trish for the remainder of their time together. She described a moment where they'd just had a match, and he cold shouldered her in the post-match celebration. Edge reportedly was so disgusted with this, he likewise snubbed him backstage the week of his retirement.
  • Ivelisse Vélez
    • One of Lucha Underground's long-running angles was the nigh universal hatred of Jack Evans, and it apparently wasn't all on camera, as he went so far as to challenge Vélez to a fight, and ended up citing her as a reason for leaving the show. Vélez for her part expressed her shock and disgust, claiming that she had no intention of feuding with Evans and that he challenged her because she "spoke to him as an equal."
    • Ivelisse Velez also became hostile to Kobra Moon during a Lucha Underground pareja match where Moon refused to do spots called by Velez's then-Tag Team partner Bengala, and broke his jaw in an exchange of punches. Velez was honored to work with Bengala, and felt that as the rookie, Moon had no right to treat the veteran in such a manner. Moon insists she didn't know how to do those spots and had simply given Bengala a receipt for a potato. If Moon is to be believed, the hostility is also one-sided, as she claims to have no intention of feuding with Velez outside of the ring. Nonetheless, this continued in AEW, where both Vélez and Moon ended up (Moon now known as Thunder Rosa), where Vélez claimed Rosa trying to "sabotage" her was one of the reason why she was released.
  • Jay Lethal drew the ire of ACH when the latter could not make it to a Ring of Honor show where Lethal was defending the Television Title belt and cut a promo with then manager Truth Martini to explain the absence, where they claimed "ACH" stood for "A Crack Head". Half a decade later, after leaving ROH and being offered a return, ACH decided to burn his bridges with the company, or at least with Lethal, by calling him an "Uncle Tom" before opting to try to return to NOAH in Japan.
  • After seeing him rejected by the company once, Mark Henry decided to take Lio Rush aside after Rush successfully signed, to teach him how to continue to succeed in the WWE system. This attempt at mentorship was not well received by Rush. It started as a simple and brief disagreement, aparently over bag carrying, but escalated to a war of words on podcasts and twitter after Rush's WWE release that lead Henry giving Rush the call in number to Henry's radio show and then threatening Rush with legal action after Rush claimed Henry torpedoed the careers of black wrestlers.
  • Goldberg and Chris Jericho had a backstage rivalry in WCW that carried on into WWE. Jericho was pushing for a storyline with Goldberg, calling him out in some entertaining programs, with the goal being for him to lose to Goldberg in a PPV squash match. Goldberg didn't want to do this because he thought working with Jericho was beneath him. Goldberg ultimately won out, and it was this that made Jericho realize that he'd hit the glass ceiling in WCW and left for WWF in 1999. When Goldberg made his way to WWE in 2003, Jericho was willing to make amends, but Goldberg still carried that chip on his shoulder. The two would get into a backstage fight which Jericho came out on top of after he put Goldberg into a front facelock until other wrestlers split them apart.


  • Saraya and Ricky Knight were likewise black balled by several of their former trainees. Saraya in particular was accused of stiffing them if she was having a bad day or just "felt like it", as well as giving Groin Attacks to male trainees. A fourteen-year-old female trainee was also advised to dress up like a school girl to appeal to a booker's fetishes. Charlie Morgan likewise revealed she was caught kissing another girl while still closeted, and outed in front of the entire training school to be laughed at.
  • Raven Creed was anonymously accused in 2020 of bullying trainees in the Phoenix Wrestling school - despite her outspoken criticism of the abuse she'd suffered in the past. The report just said "a female wrestler", but there were enough specifics to make it obvious who it was referring to.
  • Lee Cahalane - promoter of Celtic Championship Wrestling in Ireland - was not a popular man.
    • Raven Creed confessed in 2019 that as soon as she had turned eighteen, Lee tried to kiss her in a nightclub. Months later when she was the victim of a drink being spiked, Lee tried to kiss her again while she was barely conscious. Her boyfriend Matt Skylar threatened Lee to never do that again, and was punished by not being booked for six months.
    • LJ Cleary and Valkyrie eventually stopped working for CCW after Lee refused to pay them for their matches (they initially had travel costs covered, but asked for actual payment after they'd had more bookings). Lee eventually granted this but told Raven Creed to stiff Valkyrie in retaliation for this. He had only booked Valkyrie in the first place in the hopes of sleeping with her.
    • Darren Burns referred to the promotion as "a cancer to Irish wrestling" and only wrestled there because it was too far for him to travel to train at other promotions.
    • Katey Harvey was constantly clashing with Lee, first for being booked in a degrading 'Hairspray on a Pole' match that she's embarrassed of to this day. Then for unsafe working conditions - she publicly denounced them when Lorcan Wood got a broken jaw thanks to his inexperienced opponent. She continued working for them for a few more years, but eventually stopped after a show where a botch led to an opponent getting a broken neck.
    • Marion Armstrong claims he witnessed the first attempted molesting of Raven Creed, and Lee then tried to kiss him to cover it up. The last straw for him was a debacle of a press conference to promote a show where only six people turned up. After said show, he took the CCW roster with him and set up a new promotion in Phoenix Wrestling.
  • Bobby Calloway didn't reveal the name, but he admitted to having an exhausting series of matches with another wrestler who worked extremely stiff and would occasionally behave unprofessionally in the ring. He was also pressured into doing spots he wasn't comfortable with and got a concussion in the middle of one match simply because the other guy got Lost in Character and legitimately punched him in the side of the head. Bobby also admitted to being bullied by several other workers, including an authority figure, who made homophobic and transphobic taunts and joked that he should commit suicide (unbeknownst to them, he attempted it a few weeks afterwards). This had a knock-on effect when he ended up alienating several other workers due to his deteriorating mental health.


  • The professional turned personal rivalry between Rikidozan's proteges, the Tag Team known as BI Cannnon, eventually lead to them splitting Rikidozan's company, JWA, in two after his death, with Giant Baba going on to found All Japan Pro Wrestling and Antonio Inoki founding New Japan Pro-Wrestling. While the rivalry was no longer on set, All Japan vs New Japan became legendary in pro wrestling circles, with Super World Of Sports basing half of its programming around it when it poached both of their locker rooms to fill its own locker rooms.
  • While not the main factor (that might be the unfortunate story of Plum Mariko), a split right down the locker room caused by boxer Rumi Kazama and The Beauty Pair's Jackie Sato almost certainly contributed to JWP's inability to effectively compete with All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling. The difference in philosophy between Kazama and Sato was the driving force of the divide, as Kazama derided Sato as an "entertainer" rather than a "wrestler", but the breaking point came when Sato shot on Shinobu Kandori, who had called Sato a sloppy wrestler after Sato injured Kandori. After being injured again by Sato deliberately, Kandori warned the staff not to book her against Sato again, but they let it happen and Kandori beat Sato into retirement before herself leaving pro wrestling for five years to try Mixed Martial Arts (see Tiger Mask below), before becoming the ace of shoot style promotion and JWP breakway LLPW.
  • Riki Choshu was an infamous locker room terror who had stories of hostility with basically everybody, and once got his ass kicked by no less than Karl Gotch. Osamu Nishimura even blamed his testicular cancer on the stresses of working under Choshu as booker. Another popular story is that Akira Maeda, himself a notorious locker room terror, shot on Choshu in his final New Japan Pro-Wrestling match as a parting gift before leaving the company (though Maeda denies it, claiming Choshu simply missed his cue and failed to protect himself).
  • Akira Maeda and "First" Tiger Mask had a famously strained relationship regarding money, card positions and victories that eventually left the locker room and was brought in front of Universal Wrestling Federation fans when Maeda shot on Sayama during a match by kicking him below the belt and Sayama responded in kind. This lead to the dissolution of UWF as Sayama went on to found the world's first Mixed Martial Arts company, Shooto, while Maeda founded a shoot wrestling promotion that eventually became MMA in its own right, Fighting Network RINGS. Both Shooto and RINGS ended up being relatively obscure to MMA fans, considered the failed first steps of MMA's toddler years, due to Sayama and Maeda continuing to be pains in the asses of their new business partners and locker rooms.
  • Minoru Suzuki was infamously difficult to work with in his youth, and he was notoriusly hostile to foreign talent. This didn't change, but rather worsened, when he moved into MMA in Pancrase, as he now had an excuse to kick people in the head when he was supposed to be helping them.
  • Nobuhiko Takada and Keiji Mutoh didn't get along whenever they worked together in NJPW. The root of the heat was that Takada and the rest of the shoot-style cadre had been Mutoh's superiors in the NJPW Dojo, and the latter described them as crazy people who only wanted to beat everybody up. Although the group left, Mutoh retained all the resentment when he became an established star, so he and the returning Takada had many a brawl. They apparently reconciled in Takada's retirement, after which they went to work together in Fighting Opera HUSTLE (although still playing opposite character).
  • Takao Omori was infamous for being hard to get along with in All Japan Pro Wrestling, but it only worsened in Pro Wrestling NOAH. His main enemy was Masahito Kakihara, whom Omori often tried to stiff out on their matches; Kakihara eventually got tired of it, and when they met in the ring during NOAH's first show, he gave Omori a savage body kick that left Takao having to sit out of the match for minutes. Omori would eventually be fired from NOAH some years later.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi hasn't exactly made his feeling of betrayal for Katsuyori Shibata's departure to form "Big Mouth Loud", where he would bash New Japan Pro-Wrestling while Tanahashi was trying to save it, or his distaste for Shibata's stiff style of wrestling a secret. While the two might not be professional enough to keep their mouths shut, it hasn't lead to any locker room fights or match breakdowns; they do business together well enough.
  • Rumoredly, Akebono and Big Daddy Voodoo had heat in the AJPW locker room. Some claim the former was jealous that BDV could take his place of the company's big man, while others suspect the latter's reputation of being difficult to work with had something to do. It is also believed Akebono pressed AJPW into not booking Big Daddy anymore.
  • Yoshiko admitted that she and Act Yasukawa didn't get along after she turned the latter's shot at the World Of STARDOM into a shoot so ugly Kyoko Kimura had to throw in the towel to prevent a repeat of Kandori and Sato. This in turn lead to animosity among World Wonder Ring ST★RDOM's owners, as their inability to come to a consensus on how to punish Yoshiko split the company in two, Nanae Takahashi forming SEAdLINNG with her half. Nanae thrashed Yoshiko in the SEAdLINNG ring... before becoming her Tag Team partner and then pushing YOSHIKO as the singles champion, as she had in STARDOM.


  • As Konnan already had some bad run-ins with Mil Máscaras, including a locker room brawl after being hit with a shoe by Máscaras during an argument Konnan wasn't even a part of, and an incident during a two-out-of-three-falls match in which a fall was cut short after Máscaras shot on Konnan and then told the referee Konnan had submitted. After Konnan became a breakout star in CMLL and became more familiar with the booking and promoting sides of lucha libre, he developed a rather strong dislike of Máscaras for his absolute refusal to job to pretty much anyone up to and including multiple opponents at once. However, as Konnan's career wound down Máscaras approached him and mended their relationship.
  • Juventud Guerrera has publicly accused Konnan of trying to monopolize the lucha libre industry of Mexico and of shitting in his bag. Konnan actually confirmed the bag shitting incident, but passed the blame to X-Pac, stating he merely did nothing to stop it because he found it funny. Regardless, it lead to a fight between the two that had to be stopped by Jack Evans when Guerrera grabbed a chair.
  • Místico and Dos Caras Jr. haven't exactly kept their disdain for each other secret. The former actually pulled a gun on the latter during a locker room confrontation. Neither this nor both ending up in WWE (as the original Sin Cara and Alberto Del Rio, respectively) did anything to stop their animosity, with Caras Jr./Del Rio threatening to beat down Místico/Sin Cara after the latter called for referee stoppage due to a jammed finger during a match they had in WWE, and later still their mutual hostility caused Místico to leave AAA.


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