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Never Live It Down / Professional Wrestling

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    Pro Wrestling in General 
  • Pro Wrestling is fake entertainment that claims to be real. Well, it was, until the 1990s, when they finally came clean.
  • Due to a certain Vocal Minority in the dying days of Kayfabe, apparently anyone who watches wrestling thinks it's real. And will refuse to accept it if you "inform" them.
  • All professional wrestlers are steroid abusers in tights who make lots of money pretending to fight and then dying of drug abuse in their fifties (or younger).

    Specific Promotions 
  • WCW was once the second largest wrestling promotion in the U.S. and a dangerous threat to WWE (then known as WWF), but the catastrophic management, egos and bad booking during its last two years killed the company and it was purchased by its former competitor for scraps, with most people only remembering the negative things about the company rather than the positives. To list everything they can't live down could have its own page, but a few examples have stood the test of time as reasons why the company fell.
    • Madusa. When she left WWF (where she wrestled as Alundra Blayze) for WCW, she literally threw the WWF's womens' belt to the trash live on TV, which got her blacklisted for 20 years. Especially since this is widely considered a catalyst to the Montreal Screwjob a year later.
    • Tony Schiavone giving away the results of WWE Raw on the weeks that it wasn't aired live, most famously the night that Mick Foley won his first WWF title. Especially since this, combined with the Finger Poke of Doom that aired the same night as Foley’s victory is considered to be the moment that put WCW on its deathbed.
    • Pushing aging, ex-WWF part-timers ahead of their homegrown talent, and refusing to push younger stars.
    • The absolute clusterfuck of a finish to the match between "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan vs. Sting match at Starrcade 1997, done purely to capitalize on the publicity of the aforementioned Montreal Screwjob. Hogan was supposed to pin Sting and win via fast count. The enforcer, Bret Hart (who was the victim of said Screwjob), would restart the match and Sting would go over. All of that happened, except the fast count. Nick Patrick, the referee, counted at a normal pace, leaving viewers confused and completely ruining the impact of Sting's win. To this day, many believe that Hogan coerced the referee into counting regularly, and while Eric Bischoff has denied this multiple times, the fact remains that no one involved has told the complete truth about what really happened and likely never will.
    • The infamously terrible rematch between Hogan and the Warrior at Halloween Havoc 1998. The match was bad and full of botches and reportedly only happened in order to give Hogan his win back from WrestleMania VI. What made this match worse is that it preceded the match between Goldberg and Diamond Dallas Page for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Due to the previous match going on longer than expected, the PPV went off the air during the Goldberg/DDP match. Many buyers were understandably upset and WCW had to refund millions of dollars to those buyers, airing the entire Goldberg/Page match on WCW Monday Nitro the following night, which was a nice gesture but did little to repair the damage of incident.
    • Actor David Arquette winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. While intended to give WCW some publicity, it got them the wrong kind of attention as most news outlets that reported on it mocked WCW for putting their top prize on an actor with no wrestling experience. At this point, Arquette himself is likely better remembered (especially among wrestling fans) for being the actor who won the WCW World Title than he is for any acting role he's ever done.
    • The WCW Power Plant had a poor reputation as a training facility, largely because the biggest star they trained was Goldberg (see his listing), and while she was there, Madusa said "All [Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson] did was whine and complain". When they came to WWE during the Invasion, Ivory was assigned to train them and she said, "They were horrible! They were uncooperative, unwilling to learn. What did I ever do to deserve those two?" As a manager, Stacy regularly played the Damsel in Distress and the only times she was portrayed as someone who could hold their own the ring was when she kept going over on Molly Holly in October 2004 (generally regarded as Villain Decay on Molly's part rather than Stacy taking a level in badass), when WWE were trying to build her up in preparation to become Women's Champion, only to have her turn down the title on the grounds that she wasn't a wrestler (a similar thing happened with Torrie, who was groomed to become the inaugural Divas Champion when the title was introduced in 2008, but Torrie dediced to retire instead). Since leaving WWE, Stacy herself has said she was only in the business for the exposure to launch her acting career.
  • TNA/Impact Wrestling:
    • Even to this day, is still unable to get out of the shadow of their Dork Age, the Hogan/Bischoff era. The fact that the person who brought Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff in, Dixie Carter, remained in charge of the company until it was literally no longer called TNA, making a ton of boneheaded business decisions even while TNA came the closest it's ever had to going out of business since she bought her way into the company helped none. And given that the TNA name is no longer in use, even if the company does ever manage to live it down, the letters TNA likely never will.
    • The Knockouts Division has the infamous Jenna Morasca vs Sharmell match, which was a byproduct of Dixie's well-known obsession with reality television. Considered one of the worst matches in history (to the point of being a part of Botchamania's opening to this very day), it's perhaps the biggest (though not the sole) reason why the Knockouts' contributions to the rise of mainstream women's wrestling is not recognized or glossed over. Worse than that, it happened before the start of the Hogan/Bischoff era, during Victory Road 2009, and cemented the division's fall from grace — the decay had been ongoing since Gail Kim's departure from the company, but it was this match that landed it in the toilet and would prove to be the ongoing theme for the Knockouts for the next couple of years, even after Gail returned to TNA.

    Wrestlers and Wrestling Personalities 
  • To the Canadian Professional Wrestling fans, Shawn Michaels is forever known as the guy that screwed Bret Hart out of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. To this day, whenever Michaels, Vince McMahon, or former WWE and current TNA referee Earl Hebner appear in Canada, particularly in Montreal itself, the fans would chant "YOU SCREWED BRET!" at them.
    • Likewise, Bret Hart is remembered by casual (or non-wrestling) fans as that guy who got screwed out of the title, and the fact that he cannot get over it.
    • Shawn got some amazing heat thanks to his legacy in Montreal in 2005 prior to his match against Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam with a scathing heel-esque promo that included Trolling the audience with Bret Hart's music and entrance video.
    • This might've FINALLY been let down because of a 2010 edition of Raw in which Hart and Michaels shook hands and embraced in the ring (it was known that both were willing to bury the hatchet for some time). Interesting to note, though, that Vince and Bret had forgiven each other a long time before this, though the ending to that episode could've fooled some people who didn't understand the scripted nature of wrestling storylines because Vince decks Bret to close out the show (this was actually to begin setting up their eventual Wrestlemania 26 match).
  • Amy "Lita" Dumas' career was never the same again in 2005 after cheating on Matt Hardy with Adam "Edge" Copeland. She was on the verge of a mental breakdown due to the constant chants of "Slut" (among many others), and retired. Edge did get flack also, being one of Hardy's closet friends, but it actually helped him because he was already one of WWE's top heels at the time, and the success he's had since surpassed what anyone would have predicted during the previous seven years of his career. Hardy, in turn, became known for his inability to get over this for a while, although that would be only the beginning of his downfall. For more, see below.
  • While Vince Russo's boneheaded booking decisions may make him deserving of his bad reputation in the wrestling world, in his defense, many casual fans are under the impression that he regularly had wrestlers lay down in the ring for him, and held the WCW World Heavyweight Championship for an absurd period of time. In reality, he routinely allowed guys like Ric Flair to use him as a punching bag. And his WHC win? He was on the losing end of a cage match, when Goldberg "accidentally" speared him through the side of the cage, causing him to win by default. He vacated the title a week later.
  • Most of the people who were involved in the creative side of WCW within the last year or so of its run in some way (Russo, Eric Bischoff, Kevin Nash, etc) will probably never live down the stigma that they killed WCW. While their writing didn't help, the biggest factor in WCW's death was more likely the fact that an AOL Time Warner executive who couldn't care less about professional wrestling just so happened to be put in charge of its programming, so he cancelled their TV deal.
  • Speaking of Kevin Nash, here's a guy that suffered a biceps tear, took four months to rehab his injury, returned to action in a 6-man-tag and tore his quadriceps within twelve seconds of tagging in. To this day, one of the most common jokes among wrestling fans is how injury-prone Nash is, and that he'd probably tear his quad if he sneezed. And, as mentioned before, for a guy with a 20+ year career, he's always going to carry the stigma of the guy who tried to bury Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit, calling them "vanilla midgets", breaking Goldberg's streak only to drop the title eight nights later via the Fingerpoke of Doom.
  • In wrestling circles, Kevin Sullivan is notable for "booking his own divorce". And you know the rest: his ex-wife would later marry Chris Benoit...
  • In a more awesome fashion, Mick Foley will forever be known as the guy who took a headfirst bump off the top of the Cell during his Hell in a Cell match against The Undertaker, as well as getting chokeslammed through the top of the Cell. Foley even remarked that the bumps nearly wiped out everything he had done in his career prior, and he was pretty much unable to ever top himself in the eyes of the casual fans (despite having had some of the all-time most brutal hardcore matches ever later on). As a side note, Foley doesn't actually remember the match, due to a concussion he suffered from that headfirst bump. When writing about it in his autobiography, he had to go back and watch the tape to remind him what happened.
  • And speaking of Chris Benoit, the fact that he was an excellent technical wrestler for decades has been completely and utterly overshadowed by his murder of his wife and child and subsequent suicide. Not that it wasn't a horrible situation (it was), but there was more to his life than "he was a wrestler, then he flipped his lid and murdered his wife and son." What's worse is that many people—especially non-wrestling fans—never even heard of him before his death, so his final breakdown is literally the only thing they'll ever know about him.
  • James Hellwig worked for WWE as the Ultimate Warrior and was so adored by fans that he rivaled freaking Hulk Hogan in popularity! So it's too bad that he felt compelled to tarnish that legacy with the horrible angle where he came back for a bizarre feud with Hogan in WCW and uttering a homophobic remark at the University of Connecticut while making the rounds as a political speaker. At some point along the line, he apparently went completely insane; he legally changed his name to "Warrior" and his widow and kids are saddled with "Warrior" as surnames.
  • Most modern fans know The Iron Sheik more for his profanity-laden, hilariously racist, insane shoot promos, and less for the fact that he was an Olympic wrestler, a legit strongman, and the WWF Champion who dropped the belt to one Hulk Hogan and kicked off the phenomenon known as Hulkamania, which subsequently propelled the WWF/WWE into the major player it is today.
  • Matt Hardy will always be fat, even after dropping the weight before heading to TNA. Granted, when explaining why you have weight problems (even if it was something serious such as abdominal muscle tears and digestive problems), it's usually not a good idea to claim you're not fat while stuffing your face full of grapes.
    • Between various DWI arrests, his resulting termination from TNA, and a fake suicide note to advertise yet another "rebirth", many would say his name has been ruined. To his credit, though, he has worked hard to repair his life since then.
    • Matt seems to have completely shaken this reputation off, and replaced it with EVERYTHING from his run as "Broken" Matt Hardy in TNA. From his accent, to dilapidated boats, to crowds chanting "delete" at him even when he's with another promotion. This is due to Matt being possibly the most over wrestler of 2016, in what many people are calling the best work of his career.
  • Erik Watts will always be remembered for being heavily pushed in WCW in the early 90s, around the same time his father Bill Watts was the head of the promotion, despite Erik having subpar wrestling skills, one example being a particular dropkick he did while at Starrcade 1992. Relive the misery here.
    • To a lesser extent, he is also known for being the guy who put Arn Anderson in an STF at a gas station. The angle was widely panned for making both wrestlers look non-threatening.
  • "Dr. D" David Schultz, prior to 1984, was known as a tough, hard-edged, no nonsense wrestler (in fact, his persona was very similar to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's). After 84, he was only known as the guy who punched out John Stossel (then a 20/20 reporter) during a report on the legitimacy of professional wrestling.
  • Regardless of his quality (and the memorability over time) of his matches, Triple H will always be accused of playing politics to hold back wrestlers he perceived as a threat to his position. A typical Smart Mark reaction towards a Triple H victory will be "OMG, TRIPLE H BERRIES HIS OPPONENT, LULZ!" For the record, Triple H is guilty of office politics, but so was every other member of The Kliq, which includes Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels and X Pac, as well as other established stars like Hulk Hogan (whose politics inspired the Kliq's). Popular wrestlers have been out-maneuvered and held down by the more politically minded since the days of Lou Thesz actually; Trips just seems to be the one who can't escape the stigma, likely because he did this during the age of the internet, and he buried way more wrestlers, unlike Michaels, who famously passed the torch to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
    • Triple H (and Kane for that matter) will always be remembered for the one of the worst storylines in professional wrestling history: Katie Vick. Kane's supposed dead girlfriend, it featured a segment where Triple H (in a Kane mask) pretended to have sex with her corpse, in a segment that offended the majority of those watching it. Both Triple H and Kane hated it, but went through with it at Vince McMahon's orders, because he thought it was funny.
    • One particular feud that Triple H will never be able to live down is one against Booker T in 2003, because he made disparaging racist comments about Booker and won the decisive match.
  • Even though he only made one major mistake in announcing for the WWE, Mike Adamle will always be known as the irritating announcer that always botched. His infamous incident of calling Jeff Hardy "Jeff Harvey" at the 2008 Royal Rumble was never forgotten, to the point where he could never escape it. Even though those types of Freudian slips are normal in live broadcasting (and he immediately corrected himself not even a second later to indicate that it was just a slip of the tongue), wrestling fans are known for not even letting one mistake go. More obscurely, he is also remembered for a commentary line he delivered in a Kofi Kingston match; "Jamaican me crazy!" (which he didn't even make up, since it was a pun originally used by a restaurant chain). It seems he has lived it down now that he's been diagnosed with dementia.
  • More infamously, Michael Cole will never truly escape his WrestleMania XV screw up in which he blew the ending to the main event during a segment for WWE Shop. Even though there are other controversies involving Cole (some fair and some overblown), that one incident always seems to be the one screw up that is overblown to the point where people think that Cole always botches on commentary. He's also known for being the guy who was kidnapped by Jon Heidenreich in a segment that, whelther intentionally or not, implied that Cole was raped by Heidenreich (an example that extends to Heidenreich himself).
    • Many WWE fans still have not and may never forgive Cole for what is perhaps the most infamous phase in his long career with the company, when he was an arrogant and obnoxious heel commentator from 2010 to 2012. To those people, those two dark years in his record negates everything else he has done.
    • The fans' hatred of Cole stems from one underlying fact: He replaced Jim Ross, possibly the most recognizable and beloved voice in the wrestling world, with many, many iconic moments linked to his passionate and down-to-earth commentary. It didn't help that Ross clearly had a lot left in the tank when he was replaced, and even Daniel Bryan called Cole a 'poor man's JR'.
    • And that's another reason why fans hated Cole. His greatest rival wasn't another commentator like Jerry Lawler, but Daniel Bryan, the ultimate underdog and perennial fan favorite, whom Cole constantly buried with obnoxious comments, but the crowd loved so much they forced WWE to include him in the main event of Wrestlemania 30.
  • Bruno Sammartino is the longest reigning WWF Champion in the company's history. However, he's also known for his extremely strained relationship with the current wrestling industry and especially Vince McMahon Jr, to the point where, every year, he refuses to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Hardly anyone ever mentions that he has been inducted into plenty of other Hall of Fames or shows up at plenty of other wrestling events, such as Ring of Honor. Apparently there is nothing to professional wrestling beyond WWE. He was finally inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
  • Art Donovan may be an accomplished American football player, but wrestling fans will forever remember him as that guest announcer in the WWF 1994 King of the Ring who didn't know anything about wrestling and constantly asked, "How much does this guy weigh?"
  • Former Chicago Bears star Steve "Mongo" McMichael is far less remembered by American football fans than by pro wrestling fans, due to his widely-criticized run as a wrestler and his not-much-better-received commentary stint in WCW, and for being one of the worst members of The Four Horsemen in history.
  • Sin Cara will always be remembered for his constant botching and a T-shirt that seemed to have a penis on it. This is a case where WWE's annoying tendency to rename and repackage wrestlers ultimately softened the blow (even if their mismanagement played some part in his failure). The names Místico (the wrestler who originally portrayed the character and the one who constantly botched) and Hunico (who initially played an evil version of the character before donning the mantle after Místico was released) are still relatively respected.
  • The Spirit Squad and its leader, Kenny Dykstra. The only member who enjoyed any WWE success following its split up is Nicky, who was repackaged as Dolph Ziggler. He ended up becoming a Triple Crown Champion, one of the WWE's major stars, and an Ensemble Darkhorse to the entire fandom - which is ironic, because the gimmick was originally created to put over Kenny. However, that worked to his disadvantage, and he became forever associated with the gimmick. Even to this day, Kenny Dykstra is still the butt of Spirit Squad jokes. But worse than Dykstra, who at least has people like Paul Heyman talking up how great he is, is Mike Mondo, whose career has spawned something of a hatedom, mostly because of his Spirit Squad involvement. Since Dolph has no allusions to his previous gimmicks, this allows him to avoid this trope.
  • The Miz will always be known as the guy who was a reality star - and, in the words of one WWE fan, a "himbo," seeing as his first major appearance was as the host of the 2006 Diva Search. He started out in The Real World, which showed how much of a fan he was of wrestling.
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. joins Kevin Nash, Edge, and Mark Henry as a wrestler infamous for getting seriously injured quite often (a Don't Try This at Home PSA he made for WWE where he talked about how many surgeries he required on his knee became a soundbite associated with this). His age and his small stature are sometimes taken into account by sympathetic fans.
  • Speaking of Mark Henry, he still gets "Sexual Chocolate" chants, especially when playing a heel, in a reference to his Attitude Era gimmick. This was a gimmick where he was portrayed as having an insatiable sexual appetite, which included antics such as Chyna setting him up with a woman who turned out to be a transvestite, and his kayfabe relationship with then-70-something Mae Young, which eventually had her giving birth to a hand. Despite eventually becoming a world champion and being one of the company's longest-tenured workers, it's still "Sexual Chocolate" that the fans keep bringing up.
  • Speaking of Mae Young, does anyone remember anything she did in her career besides Nausea Fuel skits during the Attitude Era?
  • The Gobbledy Gooker, both for the WWF and its portrayer, Hector Guerrero. They named an award after it.
  • Stacy Keibler and her legs. To hear a lot of people talk, you'd think that was the only body part she had that actually looked good. Even when Keibler was on the second season of Dancing with the Stars - and was arguably the single best performer on the program - host Tom Bergeron couldn't shut up about the legs. Even worse is the widespread perception of Keibler as a Faux Action Girl who couldn't defend herself at all in the ring unless she choked her opponent with her foot (which is illegal if you do it for more than five seconds). While the Foot Choke was one of Keibler's signature moves (even after her Heel–Face Turn), it wasn't her only move—in fact, fans of her Duchess of Dudleyville run will remember that she once had a killer spinning heel kick. And wags who are constantly saying that Keibler "couldn't wrestle" forget that she attended the WCW Power Plant wrestling school (which had an 80 percent dropout rate) and that on those rare occasions when she participated in non-Fanservice matches, she could hold her own and even deliver bodyslams.
    • Stacy brought it on herself, as she has made it no small secret that she had no interest in being a wrestler and was only in the business to launch her acting career. Madusa has said she and Torrie Wilson "did nothing but whine and complain" when she tried to train them at the aforementioned Power Plant. When the two were signed by WWE in 2001, Bruce Prichard said they were "greener than grass" (indicating they didn't learn anything in WCW) and Ivory said they were "uncooperative and unwilling to learn" when she was assigned to train them. That and she was so good at playing the Damsel in Distress made it hard to swallow when WWE tried to show she Took a Level in Badass to set her up for a reign as Women's Champion. Instead, it wound up being Villain Decay on the part of Molly Holly, the woman who had to keep putting her over three weeks in a row. Stacy wisely turned down being champion on the grounds that she wasn't a wrestler, then went back to being a manager and doing fanservice-heavy matches for the rest of her time in WWE.
  • The Divas in general tend to be remembered primarily for posing nude in Playboy if they do so. This is probably why Keibler repeatedly refused to pose - not that it did her much good. Regardless of whether or not they posed for Playboy, they're all remembered as being bad wrestlers who only got into wrestling for the money and fame, were only hired because of their looks and slept with everyone to get to the top. The only ones exempt from this stereotype are Chynanote  Trish Stratus, Lita, Beth Phoenix, Natalya Neidhart, and most female wrestlers who arrived from 2013 onwards.
  • Samoa Joe went undefeated on TNA for over a year. He was the first person to hold more than one TNA championship belt at one time. He held the tag team championships by himself. Oh, he had a career before TNA, where he was the longest running champion of both UPW and Ring of Honor, we could go on, but more than any of that or anything else, the most important fact about Joe's TNA career is that after being a notable aversion of the the Wild Samoan gimmick for a long time, he adopted the "Nation of Violence" gimmick... a "Wild Samoan" gimmick, before being ambushed by ninjas who loaded him into the back of a van and drove off to the apathy of his employers, coworkers and Florida law enforcement.
  • On the February 7, 2011 episode of Raw, R-Truth, before his match with Mason Ryan, shouted out the wrong city ("Green Bay, Wisconsin-WHAT'S UP!")note . The crowd was deathly silent, until Michael Cole led the crowd in chanting "MIL-WAU-KEE!" "MIL-WAU-KEE!" Since that moment, whenever Truth has wrestled in Milwaukee, no matter what storyline or position he's in, he ALWAYS makes sure he knows (and the crowd reminds him) that he's in Milwaukee.
  • Chris Harris may have been a part of TNA's first great tag team, America's Most Wanted, but his career has been dubiously overshadowed by his brief yet memetic stint in ECW as Braden Walker. Walker made a terrible knock-knock joke, wrestled two matches, and disappeared. But fans made ironic tributes to him, such as a WWE Hall of Fame induction and a DVD collection. It went to the point than when he actually made a one-off return to TNA, the crowd greeted him with "Braden Walker" and "Knock knock" chants.
  • Chris Hero is less renowned for wrestling multiple 50 minute matches throughout multiple promotions back to back, living in the gym, less often regarded as the best example of CZW who is not a Garbage Wrestler, but more often mocked as the dude who can't keep his body in shape. Because of a single NXT incident. Not his NXT release (though the story is often twisted to make it sound as if Hero was released for being too fat), just an instance of him being told to get in better shape, which he did. However, after returning to the independent circuit and continuing to be ridiculed for being fat, Hero actually did in fact get fat! And went back to NXT despite that!
  • Terry Taylor may not have been a household name during the late 1980s and 1990s, wrestling primarily in the WWE and WCW. What's he best remembered as? The Red Rooster gimmick, widely considered one of the worst gimmicks while he was wrestling in the WWE (then WWF). The crowd seemed to have made sure he never lived that gimmick down, chanting "Rooster!", no matter where he went.
  • In an unfortunate example, Ella Waldek was part of a tag team match where one of her opponents died. Despite all three living wrestlers being arrested, tried, and found innocent, the fans decided that Waldek was the one to blame and she was greeted by chants of "murderer" for the rest of her career. What doesn't help is that Waldek as wrestler was best known for being half of the NWA World Women's Tag Champions, whose belts no longer exist, being the partner of Mae Young, who became less known for her wrestling career than her pervert WWF gimmick and baby hand angle.
  • In a similar example to the above, José Gonzalez will forever be remembered for the murder of Bruiser Brody. He has never been able to shake it off for the rest of his career, and several angles related to him won the coveted "Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic" award by the Wrestling Observer newsletter.
  • Daniel Bryan's most recognizable trademark is unquestionably his chanting of "YES!" Unfortunately, to non-fans this tends to be the only thing he is known for.
  • Time will tell if Sami Zayn shakes this off, but for most of his NXT career he had to deal with an embarrassing last name; while common in Muslim countries, "Zayn" is in the western world tied to Zayn Malik, an ex-member of One Direction.
  • The Bella Twins will likely forever be known as blackholes who have absolutely no talent and only got their positions by Sleeping Their Way to the Top, even though both become passable late in their careers. Brie might be able to do it, since her husband is Daniel Bryan who has been screwed by management for their personal favorites, despite being by far and away the most popular wrestler the company has had in almost fifteen years. Nikki, not so much, since she dated John Cena, who was been the face of the company for years, even when it was clear that the fans are sick of having him shoved down their throats (though they like Cena the performer well enough). Not helping matters is the fact that the wrestler the fans want to see take Cena's spot in WWE more than anyone else is indeed Bryan, or Nikki's 301 day title reign in which she hardly defended the belt during the latter half of the reign due to an injury.
  • Theodore Long has had a long career in professional wrestling, as a WCW manager, referee, and General Manager of WWE SmackDown and WWECW. Nowadays, he's best remembered for his tendency during his runs as General Manager to book impromptu tag team matches and forcing heels to "go one-on-one with 'Da Undatakah'" (or else SmackDown's then-current World Heavyweight Champion whenever the title was held by a face). Apparently, those are now the only two things he ever does, according to fans.
  • Jerry Lawler's 40+ year career will forever be defined by his stint as the goofy, Dirty Old Man announcer who can't help but talk about divas' "Puppies". On a more serious note, in 1993, he was once arrested after being accused of raping an underage girl. Although he was found innocent after the girl and her family confessed to lying about it in an attempt to become famous, he was mocked about the incident for years, especially by the folks in ECW. This is one of the reasons why Lawler heavily dislikes ECW.
  • Jeff Hardy and his drug problems. Of specific note is the infamous Victory Road 2011 disaster, in which Jeff arrived to a PPV he was main eventing late and stoned out of his mind. Thus, the fans had a main event title match that lasted ninety seconds because Sting had to forcibly pin him to make sure he wouldn't hurt anybody. The fans, unsurprisingly, were not happy. Nor was Sting for that matter. Certainly no one will ever forget how, upon hearing an outraged fan call out "This is bullshit!", a visibly furious Sting turned around and said (on live television and in full view of the cameras) "I agree." Oof. TNA, who was so forgiving of Hardy's problems to the point that he seemed to have Ultimate Job Security, sent him home, and when he came back informed him that this was his last chance. Jeff's managed to stay on the wagon since then, but his career and legacy will forever be marred by this incident. That being said, Jeff still managed to somehow end up being considered the more responsible Hardy brother that year, thanks to his brother's own screw-ups detailed above.
  • Hulk Hogan:
    • Hulkster will always be remembered as a selfish old man who kept down the young talents at any cost. While he has admitted he wants to maintain a higher profile than everyone else (he's earned it, you see), he also jobbed to stars that had great potential like Warrior and Goldberg. Additionally, the haters seems to ignore that Hulk Hogan is also doing good deeds as Bret Hart said. Every rumor is automatically believed, no matter how wild or fallacious, while the good deeds go unacknowledged.
    • When he confused the Silverdome for the Superdome at Wrestlemania XXX.
    • Lying about not using steroids, only to admit (under oath) that he had been using them for 16 years.
    • Contributing heavily to TNA's near-death.
    • It's highly unlikely that his detractors (and black people) will ever let him live down saying the N-word in his sex tape, which finally convinced WWE to fire him, not helped by the fact that homophobic slurs were also discovered afterwards.
  • Goldberg will always be known as a poor man's "Stone Cold" Steve Austin who only got into wrestling solely to make money, only knew two moves, yet squashed everyone without paying his dues, delivering a career-ending superkick to Bret Hart, and getting beaten by Chris Jericho in a Real Life fight.
  • Sting seems to be known for three things these days: being "the dumbest man in wrestling" (since all of his allies inevitably turned on him and he always forgave them, only to be betrayed again), never winning any of his feuds and for having bad hair.
  • Roman Reigns (who due to being considered a poor in-ring worker and terrible talker early on his solo run, was considered undeserving of his main event push) has quite a few of these:
    • Apparently Roman has "lots of rough nights" keeping him away from making promotional interviews. explanation  Thankfully downplayed if not averted, as it never caught on to the point his real life fiancee and daughter will ever hear of it and come away with the resulting Unfortunate Implications about his fidelity.
    • Though, in a much more playful and lighthearted way, Seth Rollins has said he'll occasionally call Roman "Fabio" whenever he's not around. Ambrose also said that, while each member of the Shield has their fangirls and each of them is somebody's type, Roman is the one that seems to be everybody's type. It's mostly kept in the realm of a very intense Mr. Fanservice, but it'll occasional tip over into this.
    • Ever since a certain podcast broke the internet, "making Roman Reigns look really really strong" has become this.
    • When Vince started personally writing Reigns' promos leading up to Royal Rumble 2015, two of the corniest phrases Vince made him say, "Sufferin' succotash, son!" and "You know who didn't have to remind people they were a giant? André the Giant." became endlessly mocked amongst smark fans as a reason why Reigns wasn't ready to be pushed.
    • His first violation of the Wellness Policy seems to be going down this way. Doesn't help that news of his suspension was met with widespread celebration (which was really saying something, as the majority of the IWC was already on cloud nine thanks to Rollins pinning Reigns semi-clean, Ambrose winning the Money in the Bank ladder match and cashing it in on the same night to finally win the title, and the fact that the long-awaited Shield Triple Threat match had finally been booked) and pretty much flushed his entire two year long push down the drain.
  • Cameron is always going to be known as the Diva who cited "Melina vs. Alicia Fox" as her favorite match on Tough Enough, which led to her immediate elimination on the show. To a lesser extent, she is also infamous for attempting to pin someone who was laying face down and being an intolerable bitch on Total Divas.
  • Eva Marie will always (rightfully) be remembered as a terrible wrestler who was apparently only there for money and fame. She was placed on the main roster almost immediately after being signed and received only minimal training. Despite going down to developmental to work on her skills, she hardly improved at all and had zero charisma to make up for it.
  • Seth Rollins is quickly approaching this territory for three major things:
    • The nude photo scandal where it came out that he not only cheated on his fiancée, but was also dating an alleged Nazi sympathizer.
    • Being associated with (and frequently Mis-blamed for) three high-profile superstar injuries — to John Cena, Sting, and Finn Bálor — within the span of 13 months, despite spending six of those months sidelined by a knee injury of his own. It didn't help that Sting's injury retired him from the ring (until his signing with All Elite Wrestling at least), while Bálor's not only cost him months of action but also cost WWE its newly-crowned Universal Champion, derailing storylines in the process. Many fans are criticizing Rollins for being a dangerous worker, even though all of those injuries were accidents and in Sting's case, his age and lengthy career certainly compounded on his injury.
    • 2019 Hell in a Cell's main event went down being seen as one of the worst main events ever with Seth getting the brunt of the backlash after the idiotically-booked finish that sent his already-faltering main event run cross into full-blown X-Pac Heat that saw a quick rematch at Crown Jewel crowning The Fiend as Universal Champion and a Face–Heel Turn as a desperate pair of Author's Saving Throw to try to contain the damage.
      • The referee for the match, Rob Zapada, probably won’t live down stopping the match simply for safety reasons either.
  • Sheamus beating Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 28 in just 18 seconds was obviously designed to be such a moment for Bryan In-Universe, but he overcame that and became one of the company's biggest stars two years later, and it ironically enough became an example for Sheamus instead, in which it is seen as a symbol of his Creator's Pet status.
  • Emma has at least two of these examples: the shoplifting incident where she was fired from WWE only to be rehired hours later, and the infamously delayed and ultimately aborted "Emmalina" gimmick.
  • Despite being a fan favorite in the wrestling community, Alexa Bliss will likely always have the shadow of the disastrous "Bayley: This is Your Life" segment looming over her career (even more so than Bayley herself). It was so badly received that WWE tried to pretend the segment never happened, and it killed a lot of the popularity Bliss previously had.
  • Many fans won't let Rey Mysterio Jr. forget about the time he entered the 2014 Royal Rumble at the #30 slot and ultimately becoming a scapegoat for that year's exclusion of Daniel Bryan from the match.
  • There are a lot of reasons why Bob Holly's reputation deteriorated during the 2000s. Some of them legitimate, many lies, exaggeration or rumor, but they all stem from two incidents involving "Tough Enough" winner Matt Cappotelli. First, Holly decided to take liberties with Cappotelli and beat him into a bloody mess in Ohio Valley Wrestling. Second, during a later match, Cappotelli received a concussion from Holly. Cappotelli was then released from his contract due to health problems and would not work in the pro wrestling business again until WWE cut its ties with OVW. Now Cappotelli's medical issues didn't just stem from Holly's abuse and Holly said the second time was an accident, but this series of events embittered fans who read about it, causing them to look back on Holly's previous interactions with rookies in a different light and assume the worst of him in those following the Cappotelli case. Holly, to his credit, has shown he can be gracious to rookies on the independent circuit, but since most WWE fans seem to refuse to watch anything other than WWE, it's done little to improve his reputation among them.
  • Titus O'Neil had a spectacular botch at the "Greatest Royal Rumble" event in 2018. Entering the match at #39, O'Neil tripped just as he reached the ring area, causing him to fall and slide underneath the ring, disappearing from view momentarily with the ring apron. While O'Neil got into the ring proper and continued the match, the announcers couldn't help Corpsing at what they had just seen. WWE milked this for all it was worth, to great results. The moment even made #1 on ESPN SportsCenter's "Not Top 10" plays of the week, which is very rare for a WWE clip, and fans have come to dub this moment the "Titus Worldslide." Ever since it happened, Titus O'Neil has become defined solely by this one hilarious mistake.
  • Fred Ottman. Is he remembered as the beloved "gentle giant" baby face Tugboat? How about Typhoon of the Natural Disasters monster heel tag team? Nope; he'll always be the Shockmaster, who tripped over in his debut and lost his helmet. (P.S. Does anyone even remember anything Shockmaster did since?)
  • Ron Reis is still synonymous with the Yeti gimmick from WCW. Particularly when he gave Hulk Hogan a bear hug from behind which, uh, did not look the way it was supposed to.
  • Poor Booker T. He’ll always be mentioned for the promo he cut in WCW where he accidentally said the n-word.
    Booker T: "Hulk Hogan, we comin' for you, nigga!"
  • Owen Hart is known for two major things:
    • Ask someone who isn't a hardcore wrestling fan who he is and they're probably only going to remember him, if they recognize him at all, as the guy who fell to his death from a zipline at a WWF event.
    • He is also remembered for breaking "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's neck. It says something that even after his tragic death, one of the most controversial in wrestling, this can be easily the second best-known thing about him, after said death. Made even worse by the fact that, according to Austin, he never apologized; even his brother Bret was baffled at his attitude.
    • On a more lighthearted note, he’s also known for the infamous "kicked your leg outta your leg" line from a promo he made during his feud with Bret.
  • Jackie Gayda, and to a lesser extent Christopher Nowinski, will never live down the infamous "That Jackie Gayda Match", a complete botchfest. Trish Stratus and John "Bradshaw" Layfield, on the other hand, have avoided this reputation thanks to having much more successful careers.
  • Ole Anderson, the powerhouse of The Minnesota Wrecking Crew tag team, the long-time booker of Georgia Championship Wrestling and also one of the founding members of The Four Horsemen, has probably become more well-known for modern fans for his notorious shoot interviews where he expresses his bitter hatred of pretty much everyone in pro wrestling, most notably Ric Flair and Vince McMahon.
  • Similar to Ole is Jim Cornette. Cornette was one of the most prominent managers and bookers of his day, but most people nowadays only think of his shoot interviews, particularly the ones where he curses and insults everyone and everything in wrestling that he doesn't like (especially Vince Russo) with no sugar coating whatsoever. He’s also known for a memetic shocked face he once made.
  • Natalya Neidhart has wrestled for WWE for over a decade, but to many people she’s remembered for the time she had a farting problem.
  • Bobby Lashley had one very short stint in WWE from 2005 to 2008, but he became one of its most prominent players during the period. However, to many people, including non-fans of WWE, he is chiefly remembered for being the man who represented Donald Trump at WrestleMania 23 against the Vince McMahon-backed Umaga. This became more pronounced than ever since Trump ascended to the presidency in 2017. Among wrestling fans, he tends to also be remembered for a rather embarrassing promo he made about Finlay at the beginning of his run in which he called him a "bathturd", and, during his 2018 comeback, a widely panned skit featuring male actors dressed as his sisters.
  • Juan Francisco De Coronado is known for his work in CHIKARA, where he reigned as the CHIKARA Grand Champion for over a year. Unfortunately, he’s also known for a cringeworthy high-pitched scream he made when he was powerbombed by the Bludgeon Brothers on an episode of WWE Smackdown in 2017.
    • He's more well known now for having his career ended by a grooming allegation.
  • Ashley Massaro has two things she can't live down: her terrible wrestling skills (though that was the fault of WWE as Ashley was a big fan of wrestling and genuinely wanted to wrestle) or a scandal in 2008 when she was linked to a high-class escort agency. Even after her tragic suicide in 2019, these events were still discussed, albeit more sympathetically.
  • Paul Burchill was hit with this twice. The first was the pirate gimmick in 2006, which is nowadays remembered more for the fact that Vince McMahon canned the gimmick due to being clueless about its inspiration. Otherwise, he’s known for an incest angle he did with his kayfabe sister Katie Lea.
  • Luther Reigns. He’s had peas before.
  • What's Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake best known for? Being Hulk Hogan's best friend and having several gimmick changes in WCW (Brother Bruti, The Butcher, The Zodiac, The Booty Man, The Disciple, etc.)
  • Marcus Bagwell turning on Scotty Riggs and joining the NWO, with Riggs never winning a major title again, pretty much left Riggs looking like a joke for the rest of his career. (That said, he never embarrassed himself the way Bagwell did in his match with Booker T on the July 2, 2001 WWE Raw, which singlehandedly killed off the chance of WWE keeping WCW alive as a brand.) He only has one PPV win to his name, over Mikey Whipwreck at WCW Spring Stampede 1999 on April 11, 1999, which led to nothing.
  • Marty Jannetty being the original Trope Namer for Breakup Breakout, which was originally called The Jannetty, and being hired and fired by the WWE within a week in 2006 due to his legal troubles preventing him from meeting their travel demands.
  • Lex Luger has two: 1) His WWF run, which led to him essentially becoming Hulk Hogan's Spiritual Successor despite not being up to the task. 2) His relationship with Miss Elizabeth that eventually led to Liz's premature death from drug overdose in 2003.
  • Bart Gunn is solely known for winning the infamous "Brawl For All" shoot-fighting tournament, only to get knocked out by Butterbean in 35 seconds at WrestleMania XV.

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