Follow TV Tropes

Following

Series / Dark Side of the Ring

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dsotr_title_card.png
"Why did this happen? How did this happen?"

"In the world of professional wrestling, it's still the only sport where its characters live in two different worlds... where fantasy bleeds into reality."
Advertisement:

Dark Side of the Ring is a television documentary series produced by Vice and Crave that focuses on controversial subjects within the world of professional wrestling. It premiered in April 2019.

The series has covered individual wrestlers, wrestling shows, and the backstage nature of the professional wrestling industry. Namely, about how kayfabe is nothing compared to the backstage politics, drama, and tragedy among the world of professional wrestling.

Narrators for the series include Chris Jericho, Mick Foley, and "Dirty" Dutch Mantell (WWE's Zeb Colter).


Advertisement:

Dark Side of the Ring uses the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

    #-D 
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Atsushi Onita had to be brought back less than a year after his retirement since his successor, ring announcer Shoichi Arai, seemingly had no idea on how to capitalize the initial boom that Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling had as they started to lose their audience.
  • Affectionate Parody: The many interviewees impersonating Randy Savage's voice include Bruce Prichard, Jake Roberts, Linda Bollea, Eric Bischoff, Jimmy Hart, Scott Hall and even his brother, Lanny.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: A large factor in the Plane Ride From Hell. During a seven hour delay, the bored wrestlers not only began indulging in drugs, they drank an entire cart worth of liquor, then another was procured by the flight crew and the wrestlers cleaned out too, then finally, a third one was obtained and that was emptied as well. Needless to say, elevated blood alcohol levels lead to bad behavior, some of which is claimed not to even been remembered by the offenders due to blacking out.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: A supplemental video had "Dirty" Dutch Mantell depicting how he befriended a wrestling (female) bear he had to wrestle with back in east Tennessee. Noticing some of his peers were such pricks that they were poking at the poor locked-up animal in the dead of the summer, Dutch shooed'em since they both were having their match in a couple of hours time, feeling sympathy for her, he passed the bear some cool drinks and treats she consumed promptly and with gusto. They ended-up working their matches like a dream, so by the end of that week, it was booked a battle royal starring Dutch, the bear AND her bullies... and hilarity ensued!
  • All for Nothing:
    • After The Killing of Bruiser Brody the government of Puerto Rico held a brief and poorly handled show-trial that the witnesses didn't even know was happening until after it was over. As a result, his murderer was set free, despite having killed Brody in front of at least a dozen people, two of whom were ready and willing to testify to put him behind bars.
    • Dino Bravo was A Hero to His Hometown, the main protagonist and promoter in Lutte Internationale. When that promotion was bought by WWE, he wound up sinking into the mid-card and then sent to "future endeavors".
    • David Schultz's attempts to protect kayfabe eventually led him to be blackballed from the business, only for Vince McMahon to destroy kayfabe himself a decade later.
    • The "coming out" segment of Chris Kanyon impersonating Boy George, only to be soundly and painfully beaten by The Undertaker at WWE was the beginning of the end for him at the promotion. Later on, his aspirations to be the first openly homosexual wrestler ended up being granted to Orlando Jordan.
    • Two cases on "Blood & Wire: Onita's FMW":
      • With Onita back in his promotion, Arai hired Hiromichi Fuyuki to give the venue a new direction, thus stepping away from the famous Death Matches they were famed for. As Ricky Fuji recalled, a rift between them occurred and a board meeting later, the whole roster asked respectfully Onita to leave.
      • Shell (Arai's daughter) confessed that, after her father sadly committed suicide, his life insurance payout was still not enough to cover his debts, so she and her mother were kicked out of their home and made to pay the Yakuza for years afterwards.
    • In her second stint at WWF, Luna Vachon was almost immediately positioned as a valet, rarely allowing to show her true talents in the ring. Not only was she unable to obtain the highly coveted WWF Women's Championship, but she had to watch it go the the non-wrestler Sable.
    • The whole purpose of XPW was to take some of the most controversial aspects of ECW and go even further with them. Despite its initial success, promoter Rob Black became more concerned with using the federation to settle personal scores, ultimately daring the US Government to take him to trial on obscenity charges for the controversial pornography he was making using XPW funds. Ultimately, the government called his bluff and sent him to federal prison, bankrupting both his wrestling and pornography companies.
    • The Steroid Trials were based upon the assumption Vince McMahon had turned into a drug pusher to his own talent. After a lengthy investigation and untold sums of money spent on bringing Mc Mahon to trial, the prosecution was unable to prove Vince's involvement beyond being a user himself and probably having given some steroids to his closest acquaintances, versus his being a large-scale dealer. Echoing the similar John DeLorean's case, the jury found him not guilty.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Jim Cornette and Vince Russo have no love lost for each other. This is touched upon in the Montreal Screwjob episode, where Cornette says that it's his life goal to outlive Russo so he can piss on Russo's grave. Part of this animosity comes from the fact that Russo came up with the Brawl for All, which caused major injuries to the competitors,note  ruined the integrity of wrestling,note  and sabotaged the WWF career of one competitor before it really began. All to get back at one wrestler Russo didn't like... and who was the only one out of the event without any serious consequence to his career. Cornette, who personifies Serious Business when it comes to wrestling, hates Russo for this (among many other reasons).
    • Bret Hart's Real Life animosity with Shawn Michaels would lead to events that resulted in the Montreal Screwjob. Hart and Michaels had a notoriously rocky relationship backstage, and the Screwjob was the point where they both refused to lose to the other.
    • The Real Life animosity of Invader #1 (a.k.a. José Huerta González) towards Bruiser Brody ultimately leads to the former stabbing the latter.
    • Brittany Pillman still holds anger towards her step-mother Melanie, for her father and she used their wealth to get her sole custody from her mother Rochelle more out of spite than any parenting issue. Melanie gave harsh words to Rochelle on the phone, the last straw that lead to her suicide. Melanie on her part is fully aware of Brittany's anger and knows there is nothing she can do to make it up to her.
    • The list on Ultimate Warrior's case is everything, but short.
      • Jake "The Snake" Roberts maintained a long standing grudge against him for costing to The Snake what could have been his first shot for the WWF Heavyweight Championship.
      • Cornette, Bischoff and Jim Ross expressed unanimously that he was the very worst and most under-developed wrestler they had to deal with in the business. Ross even mockingly said that Hellwig had it all to be a wrestling superstar except for in-mat chops or talent, and that to convey your ideas to him was a complete waste of time.
      • And of course, at the very top, there was Hulk Hogan.
    • On Mr. Vincent Kennedy McMahon's case, it well goes Up to Eleven:
      • Owen Hart's widow and children understandably feel this way about him.
      • One of the strongest cases is that of "Dr. D" David Schultz, who stills seing Vince as an Ungrateful Bastard.
      • Vince and New York Post sports writer Phil Mushnick, who both Vince and his attorney Jerry McDevitt partially blame for the steroid trials thanks to Mushnick publishing a series of articles about steroid abuse in the WWE and demanding the government investigate. For his part, Mushnick maintains he was only reporting the obvious and is incredulous to how poorly the feds handled the case.
      • Journalist John Arizzi is no one who pulls words in to express what he feels were all of Vince's misdoings.
      • Although some cases have been solved as years went by, those of Bret Hart, Ultimate Warrior, Vince Russo and Jim Cornette may count up too.
      • ...and yet again, at the very top, you will find one Hulk Hogan.
    • The very legit and physical backstage altercations between Dynamite Kid and Jacques Rougeau.
    • The XPW episode provided two examples:
      • The bitter rivalry between New Jack and Vic Grimes, the latter of whom botched a fall that resulted in the former losing an eye and suffering permanent brain damage. The pair feuded across two promotions, ending in what could be seen as either a botched stunt or an attempted murder after New Jack shot Grimes with a stun gun and threw him off a scaffold; by Jack's own admission, he was aiming for the concrete floor rather than the ring, which theoretically would've resulted in Grimes' death.
      • The Real Life animosity between Rob Black and Messiah after the latter had an affair with the former's wife. The interviewees in the XPW episode unanimously agree that Black is probably the person who hired the home invaders that cut off Messiah's thumb, although none of them can offer any proof.
  • Archnemesis Dad: New Jack and Jake Roberts' fathers rose up high above as glaring examples of infamy.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Dr. George Zahorian, the WWF and Pennsylvania's Athletic commission's ringside physician who ran a steroids distribution ring within the company, and maybe the whole industry, was merely a urologist, which made him unfit to prescribe anabolics or 'roids except in cases where the patient requires them for infertility.
  • Asshole Victim: Quite a few:
    • Eddy Mansfield warned John Stossel that, if he would go on in his exposé on pro wrestling, and focused on WWF, he should specifically avoid "Dr. D." David Schultz. Stossel not only went ahead with the expose but went out of his way to meet Schultz.
    • Adult perfomer and XPW owner's wife Lizzy Borden grew attached to the promotion's top star William "Messiah" Welch, for he was her shoulder to lean on in times her marriage suffered any kind of setback. This devolved into a fling that would later produce one of the darkest episodes in the promotion's history.
    • Pretty much every wrestler whose career was ruined following the Plane Ride from Hell. Curt Henning- who died within months of his termination- stands out above the rest for nearly killing everyone on board when he almost opened the emergency exit at 30,000 feet altitude.
  • Baby Factory: In The Fabulous Moolah's episode, there are depictions of several forms of abuse suffered by her protegees. However, one case stood above the rest: "Sweet" Georgia Brown, a gifted and, by all accounts, very attractive female performer, who was forced first to alcoholism to then be basically Buddy Lee's Sex Slave. Brown ended up delivering a new baby at the end of each working tour, having to support up to five kids whose fathers were completely unbeknownst to her.
  • Bash Brothers: The Road Warriors, at least before Hawk's hard-partying lifestyle got out of hand.
  • Badass Creed:
    • The words Kevin Von Erich gave to his father at gun point:
    "Dad, you don't need guts to die... you need guts to live!"
    • Herb Abrams' personal motto that's engraved in his grave stone qualifies too:
    "We deal, we cope, we go on."
    • WWE's lawyer Jerry McDevitt has his own in a plate on his office's desk:
    "Its our wits what make us men."
  • Bad Boss:
    • Vince McMahon is accused of being this in several episodes. In one particular case, Jake Roberts remembered how Mc Mahon decided not to give him a promised push because his intended opponent, The Ultimate Warrior, was fired from the company; instead of pairing Roberts with another opponent, Mc Mahon instead decided to reneg, telling him he had "...the worst luck in the world."
    • Said verbatim by Terry Funk in regards to Atsushi Onita, whom Funk accuses of having "Sticky Fingers"note .
    • Rob Black, a very obscene pornographer and XPW promoter-owner, demanded his wrestlers perform increasingly dangerous, unprotected stunts and flew into massive fits of violent rage when defied in any way. When his wife cheated on him with one of his wrestlers, the Messiah, he arranged to have the man's thumbs cut off by a pair of hired goons, and then brushed the entire incident off by filming a bizarre promotional video in which he sees The Messiah ascend into Heaven. He also filmed his female adult performers giving him fellatio under the pretense that it would be used in one of his productions, when in fact he only kept it for his own private viewing. Ultimately, he ruined his own federation and got all of his own wrestlers laid off by needlessly provoking the U.S. government into investigating his porn operations when they previously didn't know or care who he was, leading to his going to federal prison.
  • Bathos:
    • Inverted. B. Brian Blair's epitaph for Herb Abrams should have been funny, but the fact that it's both literally true and that Blair is on the verge of tears when he says it makes the moment weirdly poignant.
    "All I know for sure is Herb died doing what he loved... cocaine and hookers."
    • McMahon's wearing an orthopedic collar during the whole steroid trails verily qualifies.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • As told by Sonny Onoo, Antonio Inoki had to intervene with the North Korean government on behalf of Scott Norton after the latter was arrested for speaking ill of the country during a phone call to his wife in the U.S.
    • Goldust coming to the aid of flight attendant Heidi Doyle during the Plane Ride From Hell, preventing Ric Flair from potentially going further after cornering her in the galley and forcing her to touch his genitals.
    • Mike Awesome witnessed how some Yakuza goons where giving Sabu an awful beating for being sent flying to their reserved area during a FMW match. Mike swept the floor with them, making the save for his mate.
    • According to several journalists covering the event as Wade Keller, John Arezzi and even Dave Meltzer, Hulk Hogan went forth to McMahon's aid during the steroid trials, albeit Vince's opinion on the subject was one diametrically opposed to their own.
  • Big Fun: The way each and every interviewee remembers Herb Abrams, Chris Kanyon and Johnny K-9 in their respective episodes.
  • Binge Montage: Several across the show, but those ones on The Plane Ride from Hell and The Steroid Trials winded-up as Ur-Example.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Owing to the nature of the series, almost every episode qualifies.
    • Bruiser Brody passed away while grasping his son's photograph because he was about to ask Tony Atlas to draw the boy's portrait. Once the news arrived to Japan, his myriad of dueling peers and fans within the country celebrated his life and career in a very emotive ceremony.
    • Kevin Von Erich loses all his brothers and his father within ten years, but learns to accept and make peace with it. He now lives in Hawaii as the patriarch of his own family, with his two wrestler sons carrying the legacy of the Von Erich name with them.
    • In Brawl for All, Bart Gunn's WWF career was destroyed after being squashed by Butterbean, but he had a successful career in Japan afterwards based on him being the one who defeated "Dr. Death" Steve Williams (a highly successful wrestler with the badass cred to prove it). On After Dark, Bart even said that he wouldn't change a thing.
      • Not too long after the event, Darren Drozdov's wrestling career would end tragically via an in-ring accident during his match with D'Lo Brown that left him paralyzed. Today, he lives on with a positive outlook on life, as he is still able to do the things he enjoyed such as hunting despite his handicap, and holds no ill will towards D'Lo at all.
    • In "The Plane Ride from Hell," several wrestlers are fired for their actions and Heid Doyle and another flight attendant are given large cash settlements from WWF. However, the worst offender, Ric Flair, gets away with sexual assault because he's too powerful in the wrestling world, Doyle is stigmatized by the wrestling community, and Doyle herself says she wanted accountability and a change in wrestling culture versus money.
    • Two instances on David Schultz & The Slap Heard Round the World:
      • Schultz's wrestling career was ruined by protecting Kayfabe at all cost against even his better judgement, but he had a successful career as a Bounty Hunter afterwards.
      • Invoked by Eddy Mansfield himself, who stated that after working with John Stossel on his exposé on Pro Wrestling, it ruined his career. But ultimately says that he's in a better place now than he would've been had he still been wrestling, even stating that the aftermath did him a favor.
    • Mike Hegstrand (a.k.a. Road Warrior Hawk) dies of a heart attack at 46, but, prior to that, he finally manages to beat drug and alcohol addiction, finds inner peace after meeting Jesus, and marries the love of his life. Even though his death came so soon after turning his life around, those closest to him were happy that he passed away sober and in a stable place rather than as the result of his addictions, and believe Hegstrand would feel the same way.
    • Owen Hart's family never really got justice over his fatal accident, but despite that, they continue to live their lives nobly to honor his memory. Owen's legacy is also remembered fondly by his colleagues.
    • The Ultimate Warrior dies in his fifties, just like his father and grandfather, thus fulfilling his own prophecy of an early demise; in the final 72 hours of his life, though, he makes amends with many of the people he alienated through his bizarre and destructive behavior, gets inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and makes a final, heartfelt speech that even wins over some of his last remaining enemies.
    • The children of wrestler Grizzly Smith endured a childhood of horrific physical and sexual abuse, the death of their youngest sister and adult lives characterized by spirals into addictions of alcohol and drugs, but each of them gain sobriety and - with the death of their abusive father - hope that they can become as close as siblings should be.
    • Herb Abrams dies relatively young under bizarre circumstances involving cocaine, prostitutes, and the police, and his dreams of challenging Vince Mc Mahon as a promoter are never realized. He goes on to become a legendary figure in wrestling lore, though, and rumors of his having faked his own death begin to swirl to the point that his legacy achieves near mythic status, which his closest friends believe he'd have cherished even more than financial success.
  • Blasphemous Boast:
    • When it seemed Mike Von Erich couldn't make it due a severe toxic shock syndrome contracted after a surgery, as told by his elder brother Kevin and booker/referee David Manning, Gary Holder in his WCCW chaplain capacity slammed a Bible against a table in rage saying:
    "Lord, there is your word.... keep your word!"
  • Blood Knight:
    • How about three promotions centered around whole rosters being this? Puerto Rico's WWC on Brody's episode, Onita's own, FMW and of course, Rob Black's XPW.
      • Respect to Brody, his long standing rivalry with Abdullah the Butcher stood up high on a promotion already infamous for being that violently graphic and brutal.
    • Also Nick Gage and by extension, every performer involved in the subculture of "Death Match Wrestling."
    • Johnny K-9 fancied to end all of his matches getting as much color on himself as possible.
  • Body Horror:
    • Kerry Von Erich forced himself into the ring right after having a pretty serious motorcycle accident, not giving enough time his wounds to heal, ultimately losing his right foot and then pushing himself further into competition.
    • Mick Foley remembered when after taking a fire ball too close at FMW, Megumi Kudo's plastic fabric bodysuit started to melt down over her skin. As he prepared to walk down the aisle, Foley recalls the almost inhuman screams of pain as Kudo was treated.
    • Two cases at the XPW episode:
      • Someone thought to use charcoal-laced fluid instead of lighter fluid for a stunt. The effect wasn't the one expected so they added more and more liquid. By the time Supreme crashed through that table, his clothes were completely soaked in flaming fuel. Supreme ran around the ring screaming in pain just for Kaos to arrive and helped extinguish him, noting nevertheless that his uncle's epidermis was sticking to his arms.
      • After knowing his wife was having an affair with his former top star, Rob Black, though not proven, sent a couple of very unprofessional thugs to Messiah's home for retribution. After several attempts to take down the now seasoned pro wrestler, they successfully amputated his right thumb off with gardening clippers and brutalized him severely. Messiah had to defended himself in applying an arm bar to one of his assailants, effectively breaking the thug's arm and making the already exhausted hitmen run away in fear. Nevertheless, while searching for his missing thumb, Welch passed out due the profuse bleeding.
  • Bookends:
    • The first (two) and last episodes of season two are about the high-profile controversial deaths of renowned Canadian wrestlers.
    • The first (two) and last episodes of Season 3 Part 1 concern wrestlers who changed the industry, but whose careers and lives were ultimately cut short by the damage done to their bodies over time.
    • The first and last episodes of Season 3 Part 2 covers scandals involving WWF's high-profile talents and upper brass (the Plane Ride from Hell and the Steroid Trials).
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Chris Benoit rose to the top as one of the most gifted wrestlers of his generation. He was involved in several of the greatest main event angles in the Attitude Era and one of the most all-around revered performers ever. All of his achievements and accolades ended up becoming mere footnotes in lieu of the events that lead him and his family to their ultimate fate.
    • Jimmy Snuka was Vince McMahon eye's apple in 1983, building a solid, promising career in the promotion among the greatest names of his generation like Bob Backlund and André the Giant. Nevertheless, his crippling addiction to coke took away the best of him. After the events related to Nancy Argentino's death he went spiraling down to smaller territories, never attaining the same levels of popularity again.
    • Wrestler Sam Houston (born Michael Smith) grew up idolizing his father Grizzly Smith, comparing him to Superman. This stopped when the details of his predatory nature emerged after his death.
    • Tom Billington's legacy as one of the greatest performers ever on the squared circle is left on debate due the increasingly volatile behavior he started to show after his injuries took their toll according to Mick Foley, Dave Meltzer, and many others.
    • Luna Vachon revered her adoptive aunt Vivian, considered back in her day as one of the best female wrestlers ever. Along the way, something happened and although she never told the whole story about it, her former husband Gangrel and former co-workers Mad Maxine and Penelope Paradise stated that she confessed to them that Vivian abused her.
  • Came Back Wrong:
    • Mike Von Erich was left a husk of himself after contracting a serious toxic shock syndrome in Israel. Despite the doctors there telling him not to be moved, Mike wanted to be sent back to Dallas, probably thinking that if he wasn't going to make it, at least he would be at home with his dear ones.
    • Jim Hellwig's wife almost says this verbatim in the Warrior episode, claiming "my husband left and Warrior came back." No one has any idea what it was but something happened to Hellwig around the time of Wrestlemania VI to cause him to begin living life as his onscreen persona, even outside the ring and off-camera.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Discussed, due to the nature of the business.
    • The name of The Fabulous Moolah was erased from WWE's good graces after revealing how much she manipulated things behind the scenes to remain on top, and how terribly she was treating her wrestling students.
    • Benoit was Exiled from Continuity. He's mentioned in title reigns on the company's website, but that's all. Jim Ross is of the opinion that Benoit will "never, ever, ever" go into the WWE Hall of Fame regardless of how good of a wrestler he was and comparing his situation with that of Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL player convicted of murder: it doesn't matter how good of an athlete he was, no one in their right mind is going to honor a murderer like that.invoked
    • David Schultz was given one of the greatest Heel pushes in history up to the incident with Stossel. Then McMahon tried to make him sign a document stating that he acted on his own accord, despite telling him to attack the reporter in-character. When Schultz didn't sign, he ended up being blackballed from the whole industry under the threat that WWF would not do business with any promotion signing Dr. D in.
    • XPW in a broader sense. After gaining some notoriety and a waning cult fanbase, a federal investigation led to the eventual closing and seizing of every one of Black's businesses and assets, with Black himself doing time for a huge charge on obscenity, which was the final chapter in his adult film-wrestling promotion.
  • Child by Rape: Jake Roberts was conceived when his father raped the thirteen year old daughter of a girlfriend he was seeing.
  • Chemical Messiah: Steroids amongst late '80s / early 90's wrestlers within American promotions. Its distribution and use was so normal and being a must to to stay in the business that they were even called candies by them as stated by B. Brian Blair, Dave Meltzer and Terry "Warlord" Szopinski.
  • Coming-Out Story: Kanyon, a devoted catholic, was told by a priest as a child that homosexuality was sinful, having to struggle with his own sexuality and choosing a hyper-masculine profession where people like him were often portrayed as Depraved Homosexuals didn't help at all. He finally chose to come out at an independent show in 2006, being fully accepted by wrestling fandom, but his already fractured mental condition led to his tragic ultimate fate.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror:
    • In the Plane Ride From Hell episode, Terri Runnels admits to having endured countless instances of sexual harassment during her career and was taught to simply "not sell it" by not complaining about or reporting it, and Rob Van Dam very casually admits to having witnessed multiple instances of wrestlers drugging women's drinks in order to rape them after they lost consciousness.
    • James Mitchell, as Chris Kanyon's manager had to endure his constant fits of unrestricted anger and frustration, to the point he passed out from actually being strangled by the latter once for the retiring of Mortis due to the new reality-based angles WCW began with.
    • As innovative and incredibly dangerous FMW'S matches were (extended but not limited to: electrified barbed wire for ropes, a floating ring, an exploding one and even setting a whole ring ablaze), its full stable praises Onita's far ahead and creative mind for devising shows so unique.
    • Johnny K-9 grew up in conditions so tough he was left no other option but to get himself into a life of crime.
    • As vividly described by Luna's stepfather Butcher Vachon, one night he woke up after hearing a loud gunshot at the motel he was staying in. Moments later, the venue owner's wife was knocking at his door crying out for help as it was soon known that her husband had just committed suicide. All of this was witnessed by their 4 year old daughter Gertie. Butcher befriended and eventually married that woman, becoming the only father the girl really ever knew.
  • Cool Aunt:
    • Linda Pillman, Brian Pillman's sister, was a surrogate mother to her brother's children who made sure they had a stable roof over their heads and were still in contact with one another. Brittany even mentions that she's the closest thing she has to a mother.
    • Nancy Benoit's sister Sandra loves her nephews dearly and was heartbroken over being cut off from David after the murders. The episode ends with her reuniting with David for the first time in years and the two of them spending time together.
  • Cool House:
    • The Ultimate Warrior built two awesome homes in Arizona, with one he had to leave to his former wife and another one valued in a million bucks.
    • According to James Mitchell, once Chris Kanyon got certain status in the wrestling business, he turned his Jersey home into a beach bar... pool, palm huts, sand and all!
  • Courtroom Episode: The Steroid Trials.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The Puerto Rican promotion WWC is depicted this way in Bruiser Brody's episode. Many interviewees state that its fandom was second to none in rowdiness and bloodthirst. They tended to throw everything at the performers, ranging from trash to feces, even stones, and weren't satisfied if at least one wrestler wasn't rolled out of the ring on a stretcher.
    • The infamous Plane Ride From Hell was an open secret for years, although most of the informtion that got out to the public portrayed it as an out of control but ultimately benign experience akin to a really wild frat party. As a result, the event took on near-mythic proportions, with many fans and even some wrestlers expressing a desire to have been on board. When the episode aired, the airline employees and even some former WWE personnel were able to share their perspective for the first time, revealing that, as opposed to the popular conception of the incident, it was in fact a terrifying eight hour ordeal during which multiple people nearly died and at least one woman was sexually assaulted.
    • Rob Black hopes to make the XPW the darker and edgier version of the already dark and edgy ECW. He briefly succeeds, but the mentality carries over into his porn company, with his darker and edgier videos (including simulated rape and murder) attracting the attention of the federal government.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • Once Gino Hernandez, Herb Abrams and Luna Vachon's addictions to coke got out of control, they started suffering perpetual paranoia, believing they were observed all the time.
      • Gino got himself a gun in order to "defend himself from people wanting to whack him".
      • Herb tended to rip furniture apart out of a fear that someone had planted surveillance devices inside.
      • Luna simply erupted into Penelope Paradise's home one night, running amok with a loaded pistol in her hand.
    • The first episode on Benoit focuses partly on his longtime friend Eddie Guerrero. After he'd been fired from WWE for drug use, Eddie's wife Vickie saw it as a good thing because it might convince him to clean up his act. Vickie recalled Eddie passing out from an overdose at home once, she was so fed up and frustrated with this that ignored him to take their kids to school. On her way out the door, she just prayed:
    "God, if you're going to take him, take him now."
    • After a two day binge on muscle relaxers and blow at the beach back when The Road Warriors had left WWE and made an Australian tour, Animal went to get Hawk for their scheduled match, only to find out that the latter was having a cardiomyopathy and wasn't in any condition to wrestle. That was all Animal could take, so he made up his mind to hit the road on his own.
    • It came to Nick Gage in the form of a foolish bank robbery attempt and two stints in prison for that crime (being the second for failing on his parole).
    • Due to his own bad choices, Johnny K-9 served three stints in prison. In the last one, he plead guilty and served four years because an Innocent Bystander was killed during one of his illegal activities due to a misfired shot during a shoot-out between Johnny's cronies and a rival gang.
  • Deadly Prank: Potentially.
    • Tom Billington and his cousin Davey Boy Smith were possibly the most infamous "ribbers"note  backstage. One of their favorites was to drop sleeping pills on someone else's drinknote  just to pull practical jokes as to defecate on their victim's belongings or turn his hotel room upside-down.
    • Another instance of this was pulled through by Sean Waltman on Michael "P.S." Hayes just to cut off the latter's ponytail in that infamous flight from U.K.
      • Downplayed in Curt Hennig and Brock Lesnar's case. Not the prank per se, but the resulting skirmish took both men to slam each other against an emergency door in a plane on flight.
  • Death by Falling Over: Owen Hart's tragic fate at WWE's Over the Edge '99 on May 23, 1999. His colleagues are still disturbed by it.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: The children of the dead wrestlers covered speak fondly of them.
    • Kevin Von Erich, despite of the events that unfolded themselves later, even named his father (portrayed in Kayfabe as the nastiest performer ever) as the best wrestler he ever saw and the best dad he could ask for.
    • The most notable being David Benoit, who still loves his father despite what the latter did.
    • Dino Bravo's daughter Claudia happily recalls her dad purchasing a new car and promising it to her when she turned 16 and how he remains her hero over two decades after his death.
    • All three of Brian Pillman's children, while acknowledging his flaws, call him a great dad who always provided and sacrificed for his family. Brian Jr. in particular tends to go into Hero Worship.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: On a Smoky Mountain Wrestling TV show, Johnny K-9 (now rebranded as Bruiser Bedlam) had unceremoniously beat the southern legend "Bullet" Bob Armstrong.
  • Dented Iron:
    • In a 1984 Tag Team match, one of Princess Victoria's opponents stumbled and fell seated on her head, breaking her neck and halting her wrestling career for good.
    • The progressive punishment Chris Benoit submitted himself for years to end that turned up in the severe brain damage that most likely caused the fatal events he's now sadly - and infamously - remembered for.
    • New Jack's fall from a twenty-some feet tall scaffold due a botched throw by Vic Grimes resulted on the latter falling seated on Jack's head. The fall alone caused Jack a skull fracture, a broken leg, permanent loss of his right eye's sight, permanent insomnia and 6 months of recovery turned-into just two so Jack could return to generate earnings for himself and his very much required treatments.
    • By 1988, Dynamite Kid's body was already torn to shreds and in one of his last WWF matches, he had to be literally carried down the aisle by Smith just to get into the ring. Billington's "comeback" match in 1996 was a complete flop, as it was painfully obvious he was in no-condition to compete in-ring on regular basis anymore.
    • Atsushi Onita cemented a career as one of Japan's most daring hi-flyers. After finishing a match, he simply couldn't stand, not realizing by then his right knee was completely shattered and a bone was protruding out of his skin. He was told by the medics his career was over, but proving Heart Is an Awesome Power, he changed his wrestling style and was back in the ring less than a year later.
  • Determined Widow: Dr. Martha Hart, the late Owen Hart's widow, relentlessly fights for justice over his death to this very day. She and her children are also adamant on not allowing Owen be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, not wanting him to be celebrated by the same organization that had a huge role to his untimely death.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • The Montreal Screwjob has two examples:
      • After the Montreal Screwjob went down, Jim Cornette didn't think that Bret Hart would go on TV and state that he was screwed out of the title, as that would be exposing the business. But that was exactly what Hart did.
      • Vince McMahon thought he would be seen as someone who did what he had to do by doing a sit-down interview justifying what he did to Bret Hart, but it backfired. To his credit, McMahon used this as an opportunity to become the biggest heel in the WWF.
    • Played for Laughs. New Jack recalled how his Tag Team partner as "The Gangstas" Mustafa Saed used to smoke pencil shavings. Once he got it so bad that ended up fighting against some policemen, getting himself submitted and arrested, to Jack's amusement.
    • Eddy Mansfield decided to work with John Stossel's exposé on wrestling in order to target Ole Anderson (and by proxy NWA) out of revenge for being blacklisted from wrestling. Yet, the thought that Stossel would go after the biggest, most well-known wrestling company never came to his mind.
    • Despite repeated warnings, David Arquette agrees to a death match with Nick Gage. It doesn't go well for him and he admits he should have backed out.
    • Jim Ross by his own admission said that renting a luxury 757 chock-full-o-booze charter for the WWF's roster wasn't the brightest idea they've ever got.
    • After watching a WWC match where the ring ropes were set on fire, Onita had an idea for a tag team match between him and Tarzan Goto against Sabu and the then 66 year old Original Sheik. The match started out as expected, but in due time, the quartet soon realized that the oxygen inside the ring was running short and the heat was so intense that the FMW logo at the canvas' center had stuck to their palms. Realizing the serious danger at hand, Onita had called the match off, leading to the wrestlers escaping out of the ring as soon as possible.
    • After deciding to bomb a strip club, Johnny K-9 left the task to some of his more overzealous followers, who decided to take matters into their own hands and bomb a police station instead.
    • The XPW episode showed this trope on two instances:
      • William "Messiah" Welch denied sleeping with his volatile former boss Rob Black's wife, but, after he parted ways with the promotion, he decided to admit to it in a vulgar promo during a live show while working for a rival company, likely resulting in the violent home invasion he suffered shortly thereafter. Messiah certainly regrets his actions and believes admitting to the affair in such a public and obscene way led to the attack.
      • Black himself agreed to appear on an episode of Nightline, drawing national attention to his pornography empire and its disturbing output (including simulated rape/murder videos and videos in which flat-chested adult actresses portray minors) when he and his organization were on the fringes of society. He later doubled down by challenging the U.S. Government to come after him. They took him up on his offer, bringing him up on federal charges and sending him to prison for one year, resulting in the bankruptcy of both his porn company and the XPW.
    • The U.S. Government thought it would be a proverbial piece of cake to convict Vince McMahon on steroid distribution charges. But they didn't take into consideration:
      • How steroids were legal during the time period in question.
      • Steroids were widely used in all wrestling organizations and not just WWE.
      • The summoned witness wrestlers wouldn't be cooperative (especially Hulk Hogan).
      • The one wrestler who cooperated, Kevin "Nailz" Wacholz, would not only give uncorroborated testimony about being ordered to use steroids by McMahon, he also wrestled in a full prison uniform that hid his physique.
      • Most stunningly of all, not double checking the dates. They accused Vince of giving Hogan steroids in Long Island on a date the WWE weren't in the city.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Chavo Guerrero Jr. reveals in "Benoit: Part One" that this happened to his uncle Eddie. According to Chavo, he found Eddie on his bathroom floor, alive but barely clinging to life. Though Chavo tried to get help, Eddie ultimately passed away in Chavo's arms. Chavo tears up upon recalling it.
    "I haven't been to this place in a long time."
  • Dirty Old Man:
    • Buddy Lee, a former wrestler turned into promoter and The Fabulous Moolah's husband was portrayed as a notorious abuser, pimping out his girl protegees and even extorting them for sexual favours in exchange of better booking, schedules and prestige.
    • Grizzly Smith, to put it mildly. He was a notorious pedophile (son Jake Roberts was conceived when he raped his mother when she was thirteen) who routinely preyed on girls as young as nine, including his daughters Robin and Jo Lynn, and took them on the road with him. It was such an open secret that Jim Cornette heard jokes in the wrestlers' locker room about it.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Butterbean, a dangerous professional boxer, was brought in to bury via brutal beating Bart Gunn as punishment for the latter beating "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and thus ruining the WWF's plan for a potential feud between "Dr. Death" and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. All the worse because it was hardly Bart's fault that he'd won a legit fight they'd themselves booked! If anything it's their own fault (see Nice Job Breaking It, Hero).
    • Cornette views Russo creating Brawl for All simply to see Bradshaw get knocked out for being a braggart and a bully as this, thus considering the injuries the competitors suffered and the many careers the event finished.
    • David Schultz and his supporters believe his stalled push and eventual release for taking Vince's orders too literally and slapping 20/20 reporter John Stossel was this.
    • The awful beating Billington gave to Jacques Rougeau backstage because (in his mind) the latter made him look bad and for never really "earning" the spot given to the latter by WWF's booking team. Ironically, Billington's wife believed that Rougeau making her husband had his well deserved potato in retaliation for the aforementioned event is this.
    • A failed attempt to make a "proof" porn tape with a female sexual worker Kanyon didn't show up to drove James Mitchell to defend himself, pulling out a pistol due to the former physically attacking the latter. The Sinister Minister had to admit on camera that he was willing to shoot Chris if the whole matter went south much further.
    • When a strip club denied service to the "Satan's Choice" members due to a regulation forbidding gangs to wear colors on the premises, Johnny K-9 simply wanted to blow the place up.
    • Extreme & Obscene: Rob Black's XPW showed a few examples:
      • When Luke Hawx raised his hand to protect himself from a chair shot, Rob Black had him during the next show handcuffed and repeatedly hit in the head with a chair by Supreme, all of this without telling Hawx beforehand.
      • Black also almost certainly had Messiah beaten and maimed after the latter slept with his wife.
  • Downer Ending:
    • After fleeing from an overbearing husband to wind-up in a relationship with a married man, Miss Elizabeth died by overdose. Several people theorized that the cause was her addictions spiraling out of control since she was dosing herself at the same level of men three times her size.
    • Bruiser Brody was murdered in the locker room by fellow wrestler Invader #1 during a WWC show in Puerto Rico, who is eventually acquitted of the murder in no small part due to the corruption of the police involved, and has continued to live his life, a bitter pill that Brody's widow, son, peers and fans worldwide had to swallow for years.
      • Tony Atlas, the one wrestler who was willing to come forward and accuse Invader #1, was never contacted to appear in the trial.
      • "Dirty" Dutch Mantell's subpoena to appear in court arrived to him after the verdict had reached the news stands.
    • The deaths of both Gino Hernandez and Dino Bravo remain as cold cases to this day, leaving a family (In Bravo's case) without any closure.
    • Twice on Benoit's two-parter:
    • Jimmy Snuka is deemed unfit to stand trial for the death of Nancy Argentino due to failing physical and mental health, and would be dead less than a year later. And any answers as to exactly what happened to Nancy died with the Fijian performer.
    • Herb Abrams died so far from anyone who loved or cared about him that no one even knows exactly what happened to him, destroyed by a lifetime of bad choices and substance abuse.
    • The high-flying/fast-paced style known as "Hi-Impact" Dynamite Kid pioneered to make up for being a 'small guy' resulted in unfathomable wear and tear on his body. He eventually ended up in a wheelchair in his forties, because doctors couldn't operate on his spine due to the scar tissue that had built up.
    • Chris Kanyon, an innovative, versatile, very well-esteemed performer by fans and a witty, dear friend to his peers who according to Diamond Dallas Page was one of the very few people in the business no one had a bad thing to say and how much he liked to work with him, passed away in 2010, being only 40 years old.
    • Hayabusa, Onita's protegee and FMW's top ace suffered a horrific accident whilst performing his trademark Moonsault, breaking his neck and being left paralyzed. Over time, he regained some of his ability to walk, albeit with the assistance of crutches. Sadly, complications due his condition would end up killing him at the age of 47.
    • Ion William Croitoru, the man known as Johnny K-9, passed away in prison at the age 53 due to a lifetime of bad choices and worse acquaintances.
    • Luna Vachon devoted most of her life to wrestling, spent solid 15 years building herself a strong name and reputation, battled sexism and exploitation in her quest to find in-ring fame and have women's wrestling become just as respected as men's own. After losing the career she loved, which soon led to her becoming a waitress and a tow truck driver later, passed away via an accidental drug overdose at the age of 48.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point:
    • Scott Hall was convinced that the Montreal Screwjob was a work and everyone involved was aware, including Hart. According to Hall, this would never had been on TV any other way.
    • Pillman's son Brian Jr., upon learning of his father's death, believed that it was all a work, especially while observing his family crying and hugging one another. This is justified due to him being four-years-old at the time and seeing his father on television while also doing segments in the home as well, this was all he knew.
    • Tommy Dreamer, when asked about the incident in which Ric Flair drunkenly sexually assaulted an airplane hostess during the "Plane Ride From Hell", brushes it off as a "joke" that Flair did all the time to "entertain the boys", before comparing people having an issue with it to people having an issue with his double ponytail.
  • Dysfunction Junction:
    • The way Moolah's students such as Wendi Richter and Princess Victoria recalled her training camp. Ranging from putting her most advanced students to beat the rookies to a pulp to secretly founding her personal extortion, swindle and even solicitation ring.
    • The children of Grizzly Smith. Youngest brother Richard, who was adopted out by Grizzly as a toddler, considers himself 'the lucky one of the bunch.'
    • What ensued from multiple WWE wrestlers and talent being stuck on an airplane for 7+ hours, at a time when drugging a coworker or a random woman was a scarily common "prank".

    E-H 
  • The End... Or Is It?: In regards of Gino Hernandez's death. The supposed culprit, a man by the name John Royalnote  (formerly a powerful Texan drug dealer now serving 30 years for multiple crimes), stated on a recorded phone call to Gino's mother than he never had a hand on the issue, remembering how he even afforded Hernandez's lavish funeral and how close as friends they always used to be. Some people interviewed during the episode stated that the most likely cause could be that Gino took on a strain of "bad coke"note .
  • Establishing Character Moment: Three in the Brawl for All episode.
    • Jim Cornette is introduced tearing a photo of Vince Russo in half, and throughout the episode, he's wearing a shirt with a picture depicting him pissing on Russo's grave.
    • Vince Russo is introduced starting his podcast stating that he's up to talk about anything other than wrestling. Why? Because he hates wrestling. This establishes his "outsider" status in regards to wrestling in comparison to someone like Jim Cornette.
    • Bart Gunn is introduced talking about an injury he sustained from a bar fight, establishing him as a badass who would go on to win the tournament.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    "I loved the wrestling business all my life, but it's not that important."
    • During the "Plane Ride from Hell," Goldust drunkenly comandeers the plane's intercom to perform an impromptu seranade to his ex-wife, also a passenger on the plane; despite refusing to relinquish the intercom to a flight attendant, he's the sole person to come to her aid when Ric Flair corners and sexually assaults her in the galley, preventing the incident from potentially escalating to full-blown rape.
    • New Jack, who gleefully admits to being a violent, unstable thug who intentionally injures opponents he who wrong him, leaves an angry voice message for Rob Black chastising him for hiring two goons to attack and mutilate Messiah in his home.
  • Evil Pays Better:
    • Dino Bravo, after having developed extravagant tastes during his time in the WWF, found himself unable and unwilling to do any kind of lower paying job after being released from the company. This led him getting involved in an organized crime family as an enforcer and narcotics smuggler in order to maintain his expensive lifestyle.
    • Johnny K-9 actually did some good money as a wrestler, but he was pulling in a small fortune as an organized crime enforcer. His widow claimed that he could easily obtain $20,000 dollars with just a phone call. Lance Storm believes that Johnny's attempts to make it big as a wrestler was a vain attempt to give himself a reason to leave his lucrative criminal life behind him.
    • Dr. George Zahorian and former weight lifting coach Bill Dunn ended up running a steroids ring within the industry. The prosecution was able to press charges against Zahorian for his clients weren't actually his patients.
  • Evil Stepmother:
    • Brian Pillman's daughters Brittany and Dani view his widow Melanie as this. Brittany blames Melanie for her mother Rochelle's suicide, and both women blame her for frittering away their late father's estate on drugs and alcohol, forcing them to live neglected and in poverty. Melanie for her part admitted her failings as a parent, wishing more than once that she could reconcile with her stepdaughters.
      • Brian Jr.'s stepfather was very much this, a violent drug addict punishing him and his older half-sister Brittany by grounding them for several months over minuscule troubles, destroying his Nintendo GameCube out of anger and even training his dogs to attack the children if they disobeyed him.
    • Jake Roberts alleges that his stepmother Marcia would sexually abuse him growing up. Half-sister Robin - Marcia's daughter - places the blame on their father Aurelian 'Grizzly' Smith (who sexually abused Robin before she was ten), saying that if it happened, her mother was coerced or manipulated into doing it by Grizzly for his own sick pleasure.
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin wasn't too excited in having to team up with Brian Pillman as the former had wanted to focus on his own singles career, but after their time together as the Hollywood Blondes tag team, they eventually became close friends.
    • Several instances on "The Double Life of Chris Kanyon", highlighting DDP, executive Rafael Morffi (who was also a friend to him since childhood) and James "The Sinister Minister" Mitchell.
    • Gangrel candidly said that's how he and Luna started their Fire Forged Marriage.
  • Five-Man Band: The Von Erichs, as told by Manning and Cornette:
    • Kevin, as the elder and most athletically gifted of the lot was The Leader.
    • David, a mountain of a man and accomplished technician was The Big Guy.
    • Kerry, the most well-developed and charismatic played The Hero.
    • Mike was more interested in TV production and PR stuff, so he was The Smart Guy.
    • Chris, being the youngest and the funny one was The Heart.
    • ...and poor Lance, pitched as the Sixth Ranger, ended up as The Scrappy.
  • Flanderization:
    • The Montreal Screwjob becoming pretty much the be-all and end-all of Bret Hart's entire career, as if everything he had ever accomplished before that didn't happen or doesn't matter.
    • John Stossel states that even up to this day, despite his long career as a journalist, he is mostly known as the guy David Schultz slapped, even mentioning that it is the second most watched video of him on Youtube.
    • Precisely Fuyuki's "new direction" result in FMW.
    • Luna Vachon was an accomplished professional wreslter who could and did go toe-to-toe with her male colleagues and other female wrestlers in the 80s and early 90s. However, most fans of the Attitude Era only know of her as one of the less remarkable valets who was ordered to lose at WrestleMania XIV to a professional model at a time when the women's "wrestling" division was a glorified bra-and-panty show.
  • Flipping the Bird: Done by Terry Funk in regards of Atsushi Onita, but stating he remembers him fondly.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Tony Atlas mentioned, as they were taking him to the hospital after receiving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Brusier Brody in their match, José Huerta González turned to SD Jones and said:
      "One day I'm gonna kill that man."
    • The Badass Boast provided by Jacques Rougeau unbeknownst after having his satisfaction on Tom Billington:
      "The next time... I'm going to put you on a fuckin´ wheelchair!"
    • James Mitchell recalled that during his last visit to Kanyon, the latter could spend up to six days lying in his bed and after saying good-bye to his friend, the former felt that Chris had already made up his mind into taking his own life. Mitchell's worst fears came to pass for when he tried to contact Chris up to seven times a day, his calls were never returned.
  • Forgiveness:
    • The Ultimate Warrior achieved maybe the most difficult feat during his lifetime at his WWE Hall of Fame inception, by talking things out with all of his past sworn enemies. And yes, that included Hulk Hogan too.
    • 2 Cold Scorpio and Road Warrior Hawk got into a confrontation that escalated to the point where the former had wanted to stab the latter with a makeshift shank. Everything was going to be decided in an elevator at the end of Collision in Korea, but the right words were soon said and both wrestlers ended the dispute with a handshake.
  • For Want of a Nail: A seven hour weather delay led to heavy drinking from the WWE wrestlers waiting to return to the United States from Europe. The flight to Europe went off without incident, and the consensus from the interviewed subjects (Referee Mike Chioda and Justin Credible especially) was that the long wait while stuck on the tarmac was the catalyst for what happened.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Herb Abrams had the UWF Television Championship belt designed with the letters "UWF" placed on both sides of the gold plate so when the belt was focused on camera or folded, the "F" on the left and "U" on the right would be shown. Three guesses what the letters meant and who it was directed towards.
  • Goodbye, Cruel World!:
    • This can be said about three of the Von Erich boys.
      • Mike flipped his car over and was arrested for DUI, the night after he was released from prison left a note and went camping to have a binge on alcohol and sleeping pills.
      • Chris wasn't fit for in-ring competition due his small and frail frame due a medical condition related to asthma. His note was found by Fritz at their ranch after Kevin left Chris in a spot where the latter liked to spend time in the woods. Kevin tried his best but when he got back it was too late, for Chris had put a bullet in his own head.
      • ...and Kerry doing just the same, his painkillers addiction, his wife telling him she wouldn't wait for him to get out of prison, and possibly Survivor Guilt combo led him to shot himself in the heart with his dad's gun, not leaving a note but stating over and over again he admired Chris' guts to take his own life.
    • Chris Benoit apparently left something akin to a suicide note in a Bible before he killed himself, as recounted by the journalist who covered his case, Matthew Randazzo V.
    • Sam Houston (Jake Roberts' brother) attempted to take his own life while he was put in prison after one too many DUI's and Grizzly wasn't there anymore to make the saving. The sole reason he's still among us to tell was because the string he used to hang himself broke.
    • James Mitchell recalled that the last time he saw Kanyon, he was injured because he had throw himself in front of a moving car. Chris would be taking his own life by an antidepressants overdose a few weeks later.
    • Shoichi Arai, due the waning attendance FMW drew by then, started to pay up his stable with money borrowed by loan sharks. With his wife deserting him, a deadline coming soon and not being able to honor his word with the moneylenders, he saw no other choice but to take his own life by hanging from a tree.
  • Government Drug Enforcement: In what McDevitt's case rested. Considering they were on trial for using a drug the same government considered to be safe & legal up to the time the prohibition was set merely a few months ago in and the fact that most of WWF's talent was already using it before they were recruited by the promotion.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • Vince McMahon is often portrayed as having a hand in a lot of the more shady practices of the WWE.
      • Going through with the Montreal Screwjob was Vince's call, even if Jim Cornette offhandedly suggested the idea in a booking meeting.
      • It's implied that the reason that Jimmy Snuka's rumors of killing Nancy Argentino went away was because of a meeting between Snuka, McMahon, and the Allentown police investigating the crime. There's also no transcript or recording of that meeting.
      • Butterbean states that Vince brought him in to squash Bart Gunn as punishment for the latter beating "Dr. Death" Steve Williams in the Brawl for All. Not helping matter is that on After Dark, Bart Gunn would reveal that the rules to Brawl for All were changed to be more in Butterbean's favor.
      • Once "Dr. D" David Schultz was sent to Japan on Vince's suggestion, he was being talked into attacking a local reporter to build up a reputation of being a "loose cannon". All to absolve WWF of any wrongdoing in John Stossel's lawsuit.
      • Vince's booking team had capitalize on Road Warrior Hawk's drug problems and turned it into an angle involving Droz and obviously Animal, who was very dissatisfied with not just the fact, but also with the outcome as well.
      • Owen's family blames his death on Vince's negligence, as the harness that was being used to lower him from the rafters to the ring was not fit for that purpose.
      • After promising Melanie Pillman that he wouldn't bring up drug abuse in his interview with her, he proceeded to do just that. Not to mention the scumminess of having a grieving widow do a live interview on TV less than two days after Brian Pillman had been found dead.
      • The "coming out" angle he gave to Kanyon is seen now as a "Hatchet job" that ended up burying Chris' career in bigger promotions.
      • By 1993, WWE's own Women's Division was almost shut down since their management didn't know what to do with their female talent. That's why Luna Vachon forced herself to stay in the undercard for the rest of her first stint in the promotion, only to then be sent to rehab and being fired herself later on.
      • At least in the eyes of the prosecution, Vince was accused of pushing 'roids to his talent back at the time when the steroid trials begun.
    • Organized crime is featured prominently in several episodes.
      • Gino Hernandez is, barring a completely innocent overdose, theorized by his family to have been killed by one of his drug connections.
      • Dino Bravo gets into the cigarette smuggling business and is likely killed in a hit.
      • A biker gang linked to a powerful Canadian outfit allowed Johnny K-9 to indulge in some of his darker impulses, including bombing a police station and quite possibly being an accessory for two murder charges.
  • Guttural Growler: Even for the 80's standards, you have a solid case on Macho Man, Jake The Snake and Luna.
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: The WCW crew were initially and absolutely thrilled at the massive crowd size the event drew, but it quickly became clear that the attendees were only there because they were made to come by the government and the only time they came alive was when Antonio Inoki, already popular in North Korea, defeated the American Ric Flair.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • The morning after Brody's death, Tony Atlas was called by Savio Vega, who had gathered his belongings from the hotel and told him not go back there as "they're looking" for him, due to the fact that Atlas himself was the only one speaking out.
    • One of the many reasons Dino Bravo was slain by the mob he ended-up working for. According to his widow and his former manager, his connections with that outfit may had came from certain family ties, for one of their bosses was Dino's uncle.
    • A few of Grizzly Smith's children believe that he arranged for their youngest sister Jo Lynn to be kidnapped and murdered.
      • Robin believes that Jo Lynn was about to expose Grizzly for being a pedophile who sexually abused both his daughters and countless other girls, citing the last conversation they had when Jo Lynn asked certain questions.
      • Richard mentions that Grizzly refused to let his surviving children go to the trial of the woman who confessed to the kidnapping, showed no emotion when authorities gave up on the search for Jo Lynn's body, and forbade him from contacting Unsolved Mysteries to help with the case.
  • Heel Realization:
    • New Jack's unrepentant biography is a hell of an example. Dealing with his rough childhood to then being the main protagonist in several of the most controversial angles (and even attempted capital crimes while doing so) in pro wrestling ever.
    • Not long after setting his life back on the track and having a new family of his own, Ultimate Warrior made peace with most of his former peers, admitting his past mistakes.
    • In his final years, Dynamite Kid seemingly have accepted that he alone had been the ultimate architect of his downfall. A life-time of pushing his body to the limit and a combination of substance abuse, malicious bullying, and domestic abuse towards his ex-wife overshadowed any of his accomplishments. According to his daughter Bronwyne, he broke down when she came to visit and apologized for everything he'd put his family through. And a week before he died, as fellow wrestler Scott McGhee recalls, his younger daughter (whom he never met in life) told him that she loved him. Tom's response was a dry "Why?"
    • Onita by his own admission, stating that once the fame and prestige came, he began to behave as an absolute "Big Head".
    • Certainly 'roids peddlers Dr. Zahorian and Bill Dunn at the very beginning of the steroids trials got one of these.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Benoit is presented this way following Guerrero's death. As Chris Jericho puts it, Benoit essentially became a hermit after Eddie died, breaking into random bouts of crying and becoming very withdrawn. And since Benoit already had a reputation for being quiet and stoic, this was seen as particularly discomforting.
    • Owen Hart's colleagues who were present during his fatal accident all recounted the event with obvious traumatic looks (e.g. D'Lo Brown and Jim Ross). While he's not interviewed, you can also see Jerry Lawler have this reaction in the aftermath, looking like he'd seen a ghost.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation:
    • Johnny K-9 was at both ends of this trope:
      • It was THE "Macho Man" Randy Savage who agreed to put the former Jobber, now upcoming SMW top heel over.
      • When Jim Cornette couldn't find a place to put him in due to Executive Meddling, K-9 simply left the promotion with a handshake and a smile, saying he had a great time there.
    • The same thing goes for Luna Vachon as well:
      • Alundra Blayze was willing to put her over by surrendering the Women's Championship to her without WWE's upper brass' blessing. During their match, Luna didn't go for the pin so that Alundra wouldn't loose face or being fired.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Frank Goodish was a complete different character than the man we knew as Bruiser Brody, a responsible Family Man and aspiring entrepreneur. To the point his own son recalled how uncomfortable he used to feel when his dad's fans recounted his matches and career to him.
    • Florida's Thunder Wrestling Federation promoter and former wrestler MWW stated that New Jack was in his heart (if you really get to know him well) a born comedian. Oh, and a great cook too!
    • The reason behind Rikidozan's assassination was that the Yakuza found out that the most revered Japanese wrestler of that generation was in fact North Korean.
    • Johnny K-9, both a feared opponent and a dear friend to his peers was a terrific drummer.
    • All of her problems and quirks aside, Luna Vachon was depicted by everyone who knew her well as the Shrinking Violet archetype.
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: Bischoff stated that during the time where he had interviewed Lex Luger on his podcast, he still had resentment towards him as he held him responsible for Miss Elizabeth's death, believing that he had manipulated and exploited the vulnerable woman with drugs.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Played for Drama. Several cases depicted on the show involved organized crime.
    • The most standing theories point out that Gino Hernandez and Dino Bravo, given their connections, may have ended up involved in deals Gone Horribly Wrong.
    • After funding his own chapter of a biker gang known as "Satan's Choice" in his native Hamilton, Ontario with extortion money that produced him up to $30,000 in a single day, Johnny K-9 decided to bomb a strip club out of spite. One of his associates decided to blow up the police station instead. The resulting investigation led to his capture where he accepted to cooperate via making a deal to serve for 33 months. Once his cronies learned of this, they deemed him as a rat and ordered a contract on both him and his wife.
  • Honorary Uncle: David Benoit describes both Chris Jericho and Chavo Guerrero as such, as the two are the only friends of his late father who looked after him following the 2007 tragedy.
  • Hookers and Blow: What Herb Abrams spent his free time on. His last moments of life were spent naked (or only in his underwear) with two prostitutes and a mountain of cocaine. He even used this trope as a recruiting tool for manager Marty Yesberg, whom he ended up hiring.

    I-L 
  • If I Can't Have You…: Jim Cornette accuses Eddy Mansfield of being a non-romantic example as the reason why he worked with John Stossel. If he wasn't able to be successful in the wrestling business, then no one could be successful. Mansfield responds by saying that in every organization Cornette worked in, the ratings used to plummet.
  • Ignored Epiphany: While working with Stossel, Mansfield was concerned that the reporter was focused on exposing the business while he was trying to save it, but continued to work with him regardless. In hindsight, he says that he should've just left.
  • In Memoriam: XPW's episode was dedicated to the recently deceased Jerome "New Jack" Young.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Vince Russo states that while they might have been able to do something with "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, the fact that he came to the WWF past his prime meant that he probably wouldn't last long in the WWF anyway as his best days were behind him.
    • Jim Cornette states that if the David Schultz slapping John Stossel incident didn't occur, there would've been a conflict between Schultz and Vince McMahon in regards to the direction of the WWF, which would've led to Schultz's departure anyway.
    • Transporting his stuff in a U-Haul, one of Kanyon's cousins tipped a box full of gay porn off, thus revealing that Chris was gay. The whole matter had frightened Kanyon, not wanting to come out in a time that homosexuality was a taboo in the wrestling business, so Chris had to say that it was a Mitchell's "rib" on him so he could save face, with Mitchell agreeing to help cover him up.
  • Irony:
    • Savage's kayfabe marriage to Miss Elizabeth in 1991 came at a time when their real-life marriage was falling apart.
    • It was Abdullah the Butcher, The Rival of Bruiser Brody on numerous matches the one reciving, informing his now widow the situation and comforting her upon her arrival to Puerto Rico.
    • The Godfather, a pimp wrestler, was portrayed by Charles Wright, who has stated that he hates pimps. Admitting nevertheless that it was his favorite gimmick.
    • The Brawl for All contains multiple moments.
      • John "Bradshaw" Layfield, the man who inspired Vince Russo to create the Brawl for All just to see him knocked out, would be the one to have the most success after the event ended compared to the other competitors.
      • The claim that the Brawl for All failed to create new stars when Bart Gunn was arguably that star, but was punished due to being the "wrong guy" who won. The only person apologizing to Gunn for failing to capitalize on his win was Vince Russo himself.
      • Invoked by Droz himself in regards to the match with D'Lo Brown which left him paralyzed as he mentioned that he was supposed to win that match.
    • The reason the "Road Warriors" changed their name to the "Legion of Doom" in the WWF was because The Ultimate Warrior and the "Modern Day Warrior" Kerry Von Erich were already there, but the latter would soon be renamed "The Texas Tornado."
  • It's All About Me:
    • Stated by many interviewees about The Fabulos Moolah.
    Princess Victoria: "She was a great professional wrestler, but she didn't know when to stop."
    • Cornette and Schultz's attitude towards Eddy Mansfield, as they believed that him helping Stossel exposé on wrestling was this more in retaliation to Ole Andreson for being blackballed from the industry than any legit concern for "the boys."
    • The opinion of MANY of the Ultimate Warrior's coworkers who did not have the same attitudes towards money that he did once he reached superstardom.
    Jim Ross: "For Hogan to do what Hogan did for The Ultimate Warrior... is a miracle. He carried The Warrior to immortality in WrestleMania VI, and he did it live what it makes it more astonishing!"
    Jake "The Snake" Roberts: "...so I went to his private dressing room, knocked on the door a couple of times —- ...he got right in my face and said `Listen... I don't care anything about your family, I don't care anything about you...I don't care ANYTHING ABOUT WRESTLING! I just wanna do my shit... here's the deal: you better don't miss a show 'cause if you miss a show you're messing with MY MONEY! ...and if you mess with my money I'm gonna get'cha... end of the story, GET OUT!´ I walked out and I was in shock, for this jackass coming at me like that, just like pissing in my mouth!"
  • It's the Principle of the Thing: John Stossel's motivation for writing his exposé on professional wrestling was that, being a wrestler himself in high school, he couldn't stand seeing people being fooled into believing pro wrestling was real. Stossel's motivation for the lawsuit against WWF was that he felt WWF needed to be taught a lesson in regards to having their wrestlers attack reporters.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Vince Russo in regards to Brawl for All.
    • While he takes most (if not all) of the blame for the event and everything that came as a result, he mentioned that Vince McMahon could've stopped it at anytime, but didn't.
    • While mentioning that they might've been able to do something with "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, the fact that he came to the WWF broken down and past his prime meant that he probably wouldn't last long anyway even if the event never happened.
  • Jerkass to One: While Grizzly Smith was an Abusive Parent, he was especially cruel to Jake compared to his treatment of his siblings. Smith said to Jake on his graduation, "You're gutless, I'm ashamed of you, and you'll never amount to anything." When Jake became a wrestler, Grizzly would even get involved and cancel his bookings.
  • Just a Flesh Wound:
    • Nick Gage's general reaction to severe injuries. In 2009, he cut his right arm so severely that the match was stopped, but he demanded the nurse to tape it up so he could continue. He lost so much blood he legally died. Years later he sliced David Arquette on head and neck. Arquette was particularly angry about the neck wound, but Gage dismisses it as a small cut, ignoring the fact he could have hit the carotid artery.
    • Tom Billington's disposition to compete besides the fact he was on constant and intense pain due a lifetime of stiff bumps is now viewed as a cautionary tale.
    • After being beaten and having his thumb cut off, Messiah incorporated his maiming into his in-ring promos, gloating that he can still open beers and play video games.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Tommy Dreamer defends Ric Flair's behavior during the Plane Ride From Hell by saying his habit of walking around nearly naked was just him "being funny for the boys" and believes that Heidi Doyle was overreacting when Flair cornered her and forced her touch his genitals against her will.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • José Huerta González was never convicted for his murder of Bruiser Brody.
    • Invoked on David Schultz & The Slap Heard Round the World looking at his case compared to Hulk Hogan getting away scot-free with choking out Richard Belzer months later on the latter's show Hot Properties. Though as Cornette noted, The Hulkster could've shot Belzer in the head and still wouldn't be fired as he was the "Golden Child."
    • Invoked in the "Plane Ride from Hell" episode, in which Rob van Dam casually admits that wrestlers would routinely drug women with the medication Halcyon in order to rape them, with zero consequences.
    • Jim Ross admits that Ric Flair was this following the "Plane Ride from Hell," during which a drunken, naked Flair cornered and sexually assaulted a flight attendant by forcing her to touch his penis; though other wrestlers were fired for lesser behavior and Ross seems visibly disturbed, he admits that Flair was a "made man" who suffered zero consequences for his actions.
      • Zig-zagged following the broadcast of the episode, which resulted in Flair's image being pulled from WWE promotional materials.
    • Jacques Rougeau getting away with his revenge by knocking Dynamite Kid out cold. He attained this having Dino Bravo (who was suspected to have ties to The Mafia even then) passing a piece of paper to Billington, implying someone had out a contract on him and knew where he lived. Jacques indeed just made up a fake name, but the news chilled Tom so much that he and his family sold their house, fleeing in fear.
    • Naitch was one of the few people involved to walk away without being punished during the incident. Jim Ross surmised that this was because his was such a big name that he could get away with anything without being brought to task. Consider that it costed Hennig and Hall what it would be their careers' closing for their own misconducts.
    • If Rob Black was behind the brutal assault on Messiah, he certainly qualifies as he was never charged with anything related to the crime. Regardless of his culpability, the goons who carried out the attack definitely qualify; not only were they never charged, they were never identified, despite national attention being brought to the case thanks to it being profiled on America's Most Wanted.
    • Two cases on The Steroid Trials:
      • The whole wrestling business was seen as this up to 1990 when the trials begun, seeing the adverse general public opinion on pro athletes cheating by using certain substances that, for starters, were created with the FDA's blessings with the sole purpose of being athletic enhancers.
      • Downplayed and subverted in Vince's regard by the fact the government had a very weak case and commited several mistakes, so it isn't as egregious as other examples, not in the eyes of journalist John Arezzi, though.
  • Kayfabe: Discussed. Owing to the nature of pro wrestling as being predetermined, wrestlers are expected to keep storylines as consistent as possible, even in real life. However, Dark Side focuses on the real-life backstage politics and drama, which leads to some things spilling over into the ring anyways.
    • The Montreal Screwjob happened because Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels legitimately hated each other, resulting in both men refusing to lose at Survivor Series 1997. This put Vince McMahon between the proverbial rock and a hard place, resulting in McMahon actually screwing Hart out of the title to get the belt off of Hart, since Hart was about to leave for WCW and McMahon didn't want Hart to disrespect the WWF title. Hart even went on news shows after the incident to complain about how he actually got screwed.
    • This would end up working in José Huerta González's favor after he had killed Bruiser Brody. His lawyer was able to use Brody's in-ring persona to convince the jury in court that Brody was a violent, dangerous man and that González killed him in self-defense.
    • Brawl for All got out of control as it did because of backstage politics and motivations. Then, when the "wrong guy" won the whole thing, got punished for it.
    • David Schultz was a firm believer in this, his own Fatal Flaw.
      • His promos were loaded of his gimmick being that rebellious, mistreating his (on-camera) wife and son and even letting a live round go from a loaded rifle on-set, that legitimate policemen contacted McMahon in order to find out Schultz's whereabouts in order to have a word or two with him.
      • When Vince McMahon asked him to confront Stossel, he did so in-character. When Stossel asked him point-blank if wrestling was fake, Schultz responded the way his alter-ego would; by smacking him down... twice.
      • A little time later and in order to draw some Cheap Heat from the audience by attacking Mr. T, Schultz was submitted and arrested by four cops at shotgun point and escorted outside the venue.
      • Right after this he was sent to Japan where he repeated his actions with then another reporter in order to build tension for his matches there.
    • Brian Pillman spent much of his career taking advantage of people's growing awareness to Kayfabe by presenting himself as a loose cannon who was the one person not following the rules some fans had realized were there. This may have worked a little too well, as the second half of his episode has people admit they questioned whether things like him getting into an awful car wreck or even dying were a part of this strategy.
    • Grizzly Smith would use kayfabe to terrorize his children growing up, acting like his opponents were real life enemies relentlessly forcing him to fight. Jake Roberts said he would often cry himself to sleep at night, scared that his father would be killed.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery:
    • Johnny K-9's wife Tracy remembered the time after she was found by one of her husband's associates, with him saying to her face that he was a rat, she stood for her man by simply smacking the guy right in the kisser as payment for the reminder.
    • Not only did Luna Vachon beat Stevie Richards to become the first woman to ever defeat a man in ECW, she did it in a cage match and two years before Chyna won her WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Kissing the Ground: Done by Flair after Collision in Korea. Scott Norton said the first thing Naitch' did as they landed back in Japan was get down on the tarmac - expensive suit and all - and kiss the ground in rapturous gratitude, all while shouting how much he loved Japan. Hilarious, but also understandable considering the ordeal everyone went through whilst in North Korea.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Rob Black didn't know the slightest thing about Hardcore Wrestling aside from it had to be very violent. Notably, he became enraged when Luke Hawx protected himself during a perfectly executed chair shot spot.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again:
    • This was said almost verbatim by Carlos Colon referring to Brody's case on a podcast interview, since he found the whole matter too sad. He and Invader #1 were actually contacted by the show's production crew so they could convey their point of view, but they declined.
    • Rick Martel also declined to participate in the show, but in a 2007 podcast related to Bravo's death, he shared that at the time cigarettes smuggling was so a sweet business for the Quebec mob that even people involved in coke wanted to participate. So he theorized that maybe an arrangement was made with them having Dino participating unbeknownst, it failed somehow so somebody ordered a contract on him.
    • Played for drama. After Benoit's murder-suicide in 2007, he was almost completely erased from WWE history. There was an unspoken rule that WWE personnel were not to talk about him in any way, shape, or form. It certainly didn't help that WWE had aired a tribute to Benoit before learning the facts of how he had died, forcing McMahon to effectively Un-person him in a prepared statement the night after.
    • Invoked by Bart Gunn at the end of the Brawl for All episode. He agreed with Bruce Prichard's statement that the event was the absolute worst idea in the history of the business, before ultimately stating that it should never be done again and it was best left as a memory long forgotten.
    • Played for laughs. While Jim Ross has been a frequent collaborator with the show, talking candidly about some of the most tragic moments in the industry he was witness to, his tone and body language in the Plane Ride From Hell episode lets you know he is just done recounting this story.
      J.R.: (If) I never talk about the fucking Plane Ride from Hell again in my life, I would be very happy.
  • Living Emotional Crutch:
    • Two instances on Benoit two parter:
      • Eddie Guerrero is painted this way for Chris Benoit. After Guerrero's untimely death in 2005, Benoit was never the same. It's generally agreed upon that Eddie's death is a big part of why Benoit committed the murder-suicide of his family in 2007, with Benoit's own journals confirming it. How much Eddie's death factors in when coupled with the multitude of Benoit's injuries, drug abuse, and deaths of other friends is something we'll never really know. However, Eddie's death certainly couldn't have helped.
      • Vickie Guerrero describes Nancy Benoit this way. After Eddie's death, Vickie was understandably an emotional wreck, with Nancy stepping up to take care of things for Vickie. After about a week of this, Vickie describes Nancy almost literally throwing her into a shower, getting Vickie's kids ready, and taking her to lunch in an attempt to get Vickie out of her funk. Vickie clearly appreciates the effort, saying Nancy was her "guardian angel" during that time.
    • James Mitchell was this in spades to Kanyon.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Bruce Prichard was not happy that he was this in regards to the Montreal Screwjob as he asked Vince why he was. Vince told him that it was necessary as he was too close to the wrestlers and that if he knew about the screwjob, all trust from them would've been lost.
    • During the Collison in Korea episode, Eric Bischoff is asked about the conflict between 2 Cold Scorpio and Hawk that occured during the trip, and how Scorpio almost murdered him outright. Bischoff then proceeds to admit that, prior to being asked then and there, he was unaware of this.
  • Long Runner:
    • Abdullah The Butcher was an active in-ring performer for 53 years.
    • Jerry McDevitt has been Vinny Mack's lawyer for over 30 years.
  • Lost in Character:
    • One may say it made a sort of sense in Randy Savage's case dealing on how he restrained Miss Elizabeth's freedom of motion while working together, to the point he locked her backstage so no other man could have any kind of interaction with her.
    • Invoked by D'Lo Brown and The Sandman when they were questioned who they thought Jerome Young really was.
    • The Ultimate Warrior's ex-wife Shari explains that as he reached superstardom, Jim Hellwig left home one day, but the one coming back for good was his wrestling alter-ego.
    • At a certain point when her career was blasting off, Luna Vachon's mental issues and a severe addiction to drugs transformed her into her own wrestling character from that very moment. As declared by the many interviewees during the episode dedicated to her, it was the only thing she aspired to become since she broke into the business.
Advertisement:

    M-P 
  • Mama Bear: Former wrestler Robin Smith gets an unexpected visit from her father Grizzly Smith. With him is a little girl, whom Robin quickly guesses is being groomed just like she was. When Grizzly attempts to leave with the child, Robin tells him in no uncertain terms that the girl is not leaving with him.
  • Manly Tears: Considering the topics covered, expect to see male wrestlers, personalities and even relatives getting really emotional.
    • Jim Cornette has three moments, the first came remembering the uncanny chain of misfortune Kevin Von Erich had to endure from a very young age.
    • The second was remembering the misfortuned accident that left Droz on a wheelchair for life.
    • In the Owen Hart episode, as he recalls hearing that his last words were of trying to save anyone he may have fallen on.
      • Subverted in Jim Ross' case on this same matter (he likely can't cry due to his advanced Bell's Palsy), but confessed Owen's death is possibly the worst moment that ever happened in his lifetime.note 
    • The Hegstrand brothers when recalling a couple of family tragedies, notably the sad passing of their mother at a very young age and that of their famous brother Mike, better known as Road Warrior Hawk.
    • Several interviewees in regards of "Mr. Electricity" Herb Abrams, but noticeably wrestlers B. Brian Blair, Steve "The Wild Thing" Ray and UWF's general manager-close friend Lenny Duge.
    • Each and every interviewee on Chris Kanyon episode ended up shedding some after recalling a happy memory with him or when his ultimately fate came to subject.
    • Lance Storm after recalling the man he knew compared to the choices he made on "Bikers, Bombs & Bedlam: Johnny K9".
    • Atsushi Onita made this part of his ring persona; he would completely break down at the end of every match, as a way of expressing gratitude to his fans.
  • Megaton Punch:
    • The way Stossel sold Dr. D's slaps.
    • The Dynamite Kid was in both ends of the subject:
      • Mick Foley remembered that he received on his second match at WWE a stiff errant clothesline from the Kid that dislocated his jaw.
      • Jacques Rougeau packing a roll of coins to perpetrate his backstage payback on the Kid, he hit the latter so hard that popped him out four teeth.
    • Kanyon's constant tantrums and outbursts for small things given his condition note  made him kick Mitchell's car door open in a single blow once, to then proceed to demolish the rest of the car just with his feet.
  • The Mentor:
    • The reason behind the entire Collision in Korea ordeal, was in a sense, a way for Inoki to pay tribute to his late revered instructor, Rikidozan.
    • Kanyon was this to people like The Young Bucks, Brian Cage, Luke Hawx and even David Arquette.
    • Onita declared Terry Funk is this to him.
  • Miscarriage of Justice:
    • Invader #1 being acquitted of killing Bruiser Brody is one of the worst examples exhibited in the show.
    • Johnny K-9 and one of his cronies were charged with the murder of a lawyer and her husband. They spent 20 months in prision on flimsy charges, and because of that they had to be released. Johnny's pal in fact won a suit for malicious prosecution for a hefty sum afterwards.
    • After the evidences presented during the case within the show, that's the opinion of many interwiewees about McMahon's trial for 'roids distribuiton, when he was at worse "getting high on his own supply."
  • Mistaken for Cheating: The Ultimate Warrior and his first wife met again in a gym and their feelings rekindled, but have to break off contact abruptly for they both had been remarried by then to other people.
  • Muscle Angst: Tier 1 in every case:
    • Despite of their incredible strength and resilience, Chris Benoit and the Dynamite Kid were "small" wrestlers in comparison to the bigger names of their generation, so they were in an eternal struggle to battle injuries while trying to develop mass and compete out-performing their peers, in a league that demised them as "inferior".
    • Most likely one of the main reasons the Ultimate Warrior ended up as he did, he used to be a scrawny, insecure little kid who by the time he reached high-school weighed barely 140 lbs.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Eddy Mansfield's reaction to seeing John Stossel's exposé on wrestling, believing that he was tricked by Stossel. Others such as Jim Cornette and David Schultz are far less than sympathetic towards Mansfield who believed that he did this out of revenge for being blackballed from the industry.
    • Melanie Pillman states that she and Brian Pillman had this reaction when they learned that Brittany's biological mother Rochelle had committed suicide, believing that pursuing sole custody of Brittany (and some very cruel parting words from Melanie to Rochelle the day she killed herself) had pushed her over the edge.
    • Exactly what crossed Bischoff's mind the very moment his assigned military attache reminded him that he was barely the seventh American to set a foot in North Korea since the Kim Dynasty to not either being put in jail or executed.
    • After the episode described in "Conditioned to Accept Horror", this was Kanyon's reaction to what he forced James Mitchell to endure.
  • My Greatest Second Chance:
    • Dino Bravo's promotion was bought by McMahon around '86, he was salvaged as many Quebecker performers and drawn to WWF, but his career was finished when Vince found no place where to accomodate "Canada's Strongest man". Having no other way to sustain the lavish life he accustomed his family to, was what made him make-up his mind to get into a treacherous, risky new line of work.
    • Ultimately subverted with Bart Gunn in regards to a rematch with Butterbean. When the two of them had entered into MMA, Bart noted that he beat an opponent of Butterbean faster than he did, but when he was unable to get enough time to train for the potential rematch, he decided not to go through it.
  • Naked People Are Funny:
    • As stated above, one of Ric Flair's favorite backstage antics involve him walking around wearing nothing but his unfastened robe as he performed "The Helicopter" to the amusement of his fellow wrestlers and to the horror of any strangers who happened to be in the room at the time.
    • As told by Johnny K-9's widow Tracy Edwards, one day he ordered pizza and went to pay up the delivery boy just with his birthday suit on.
  • Neck Lift: When the news Scott D'Amore was paid a few bucks short by the promoter after their match, Johnny K-9's showed that guy his favorite method to collect debts.
  • Never Found the Body: Jo Lynn Smith, youngest sister of Jake Roberts, was kidnapped from her home and to this day, her body has never been recovered.
  • Never My Fault: J.R and Cornette state that Brawl for All failed to create new stars when in reality they just didn't want do anything with the winner due to him being a lower card guy, which (in theory) defeats the purpose of the event in the first place. Ironically, the only person who doesn't have this attitude is Vince Russo, who apologized to Bart Gunn for failing to capitalize on his win.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead:
    • The reason why supporters of The Fabulous Moolah speak up regarding the controversy, stating she's no longer here to defend herself. Even Moolah's critics apply this, as they went out of their way to contain their anger.
    • Said verbatim by Onita in regards of Asai's sad and troubled passing, stating nevertheless that his fate was of his own doing.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Had Michaels not told Hart to his face that he would never put him over just as The Hitman was trying to make amends, the latter would probably not have had an issue putting over The Heart Break Kid, and the Montreal Screwjob could probably have been avoided. And even then, the only issue Hart would have putting Michaels over is that Michaels needed to put him over first.
    • It's arguable that due to the mockery of the idea of him knocking out "Dr. Death" Steve Williams (even to his face) from people such as Bruce Prichard and Pat Patterson, Bart Gunn was extra motivated to defeat him. Gunn himself even described this as "poking the bear".
  • No Holds Barred Beat Down:
    • Tony Atlas depicted how during their match, Bruiser Brody gave such one to Invader #1 that the latter's head ended-up looking like a halloween pumpkin.
    • Two cases on Onita's FMW episode:
      • After refusing to lose against an upcoming rival Onita deemed as unprepared in Dominican Republic, he was the receiving end of a savage round-up by that promotion's stable.
      • That described above by Sabu in hands of no less than Yakuza mooks.
    • The XPW stable suffered a rather horrific one. After pulling a stunt by taking all of his top stars to an ECW event held in Los Angeles (feeling this was an invasion on his "territory"), Rob Black's entourage was taken out of the venue by a literal tide of security guards. All of them were held captive by the ECW crew in a backstage round up for trying to spoil their show.
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • The biggest factor in the death of Owen Hart. When the regular, safe stunt harness took too long to unhook for his Fall-On-His-Face entrance in rehearsal, he was given a different harness, with no backup line. Even worse, the release clip was designed for sail boats, and only required five pounds of pressure to release. Owen's widow Martha demonstrates this by locking and releasing the clip with just her thumb.
    • As declared by XPW's producer Mike Hartsfield, the scaffold build up for the now infamous "Payback" match between New Jack and Vic Grimes not only didn't fit the required regulations, it was devised and achieved by forging the insurance's documents from a previous stunt done by the promotion.
  • No Sympathy:
    • Jim Cornette and David Schultz uphold and maintain this view towards Eddy Mansfield over his role in John Stossel's exposé on wrestling. No matter how much he claimed that he was doing it for the sake of the wrestlers, they were the ones who would've suffered the most as it would've directly affect their livelihood.
    • Tommy Dreamer towards Heidi Doyle, the stewardess Ric Flair sexually assaulted during the "Plane Ride from Hell." After first dismissing Flair's forcing Doyle to touch his penis as a joke, Dreamer goes on to paint her as a hypocite for accepting a monetary settlement from Vince Mc Mahon rather than pressing criminal charges, note , then trivilaizes the entire incident by comparing comparing people's outrage at sexual assault to "outrage" over his own "double ponytail."
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood:
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: Cornette stated that Bret took wrestling business too seriously to the point of his own detriment. This coming from a guy who threatened to kill Russo over making terrible booking decisions (and vowed to piss on his grave), and irates against any hint of wrestling involving comedy.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
    • The Killing of Bruiser Brody by Invader #1. Although the latter's career waned to the point of being almost vanished in general wrestling comunity and fandom's mind, no one will ever forgive nor forget the fact.
    • Several accounts on New Jack's rap sheet, first for vocally supporting (in Kayfabe) O. J. Simpson's actions in front of an all-white audience, then the Mass Transit Incident, then the attempt to drop head-first Vic Grimes from a scaffold... and so on!
    • David Schultz recounts how his career suffered due to not living down the slapping incident, and Vince McMahon essentially forcing Schultz to be blackballed from the wrestling industry.
  • One Steve Limit: The reason why the Road Warriors' name was changed to the Legion of Doom in the WWF was because there was already The Ultimate Warrior and "The Modern-Day Warrior" Kerry Von Erich.note 
  • Outliving One's Offspring:
    • The Von Erich Family episode discusses how Fritz had to deal with losing five of his six sons.
    • Gino Hernandez's surviving mother is shown still grieving for him.
    • After Chris Benoit's Pater Familicide, his father Michael had his brain checked for CTE.
    • Nancy Argentino's parents are wry on the very shady circumstances surrounding her death.
    • Owen Hart is the youngest of the Hart family, and clips of his funeral shows his elderly parents attending.
    • Butcher Vachon survived his also famous step daughter, stating that our duty is to understand our loved ones while they're still here.
  • Overcrank: Several interspersed segments with actors are deliberately played in slow motion. They're also very blurry, with heavy light/dark contrasts in them.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Ultimate Warrior's dad left home when he was around twelve, since the man was cheating on his wife with one of the neighbors, causing him several issues during his life.
    • Granted, Luna Vachon's wrestling career was a full-time matter, having to sacrifice even the few hours left to her in order to spend them with her beloved children so she could have the fame and prestige she craved for in the business.
  • Parental Incest: Robin Smith, sister of Jake Roberts, was sexually abused by their father Grizzly Smith. She also suspected that their youngest sister Jo Lynn was abused in the same way. Jake himself alleges that Grizzly's wife - Robin's mother - would sexually abuse him.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Jim Ross, defensive over Steve Williams being considered the favorite to win the Brawl for All, called Williams:
      "...a fucking 4-time All-American in Wrestling... In Division I!"
      • He does so again in regards to what everyone is thinking about Warrior's "Destrucity:"
      "What the fuck is 'Destrucity?'"
    • When asked what John Stossel would say to David Schultz if he was in front of him.
      "Fuck you, David!"
    • Said by Diamond Dallas Page in regards of Chris Kanyon:
      "I loved to work with the motherfucker!"
    • Tracy Edwards in regards of his late husband, Johnny K-9 as she bursted in tears:
      "He fucked it up, fucked it up big time!"
    • Rob Black did one on a live show, aiming to his own audience:
    "I can do whatever I want 'cause I own this fuckin' place, and you don't!"
  • Present Absence: Many episodes are about the legacies of dead wrestlers.
    • Macho Man and Ms. Liz, for starters. One who will always be remembered as a man who earned legitimately the love of his fans and she as the first true "Wrestling Diva" ever.
    • The Last of the Von Erichs describing in full detail the passing of every member of his family one by one while remembering the good times spended with them is equally a Tear Jerker as a testament of how much The Stoic is this feller.
    • The Fabulous Moolah is no longer here to defend her now-controversial legacy after her abuses were revealed. Even her critics seem hesitant to show their anger in interviews now that Moolah is dead.
    • Both Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit are no longer here to talk about their mentalities in the mid-2000s, with the latter especially leaving a lot of questions as to why he committed the Murder-Suicide of his family and himself.
    • Superfly's legacy is left to debate after the reopening of Nancy's case 30 years later. Now with both gone and after a dismissed trial, the Argentino family's ordeal for justice may never have a clear closure for their hardships.
    • The Road Warriors' episode is told majorly from Animal and their manager Paul Ellering perspectives about their lives with his absent fellow Hawk. It is Harsher in Hindsight now since the former would pass away a few weeks after it was premiered.
    • The Dynamite Kid's history was told without any kind of sugar coating. It was one of a man whose only interest in life was wrestling itself, disregarding of his own general well-being, personal and family life.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • invoked A supplemental video on wrestling manager Jim Cornette paints him this way, showing his attic which is chock full of wrestling memorabilia. Cornette says that "if it's happened since the pioneer days in professional wrestling, I have documentation of it here in this room". Cornette shows off a book of promoter Sam Muchnick's programs, with Cornette calling it his prized possession and saying he'd grab that book first and his wife second if their house was on fire. In "The Last of the Von Erichs," he boasted that over 50 years of his obsessive collecting, hoarding, and research is what makes him qualified to be a Wrestling expert.
    • Each and every Chris Kanyon alumni proudly called themselves like that.

    Q-T 
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • Two cases involved Moolah's alumni:
      • After her career was given a full stop due an in-ring accident, Princes Victoria was contacted by Moolah saying she got an assignment with certain promoter, commmiting her to "be kind" to him so she would get better earnings. Victoria knew she was about to be taken the rough way, so she established separate motel rooms as her only condition. By the time said person irrupted in her room she had to defend herself applying a wristlock to the agressor, effectively submitting him to be taken out.
      • By the time she was 16, Moolah arranged a photo session for Luna Vachon. Once their time was over, the photographer attacked her. Luna also had to defend herself so she could bail out of that place.
    • Grizzly Smith, guilty as charged and by a really long shot.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: No other episode showed a most glaring example of this as "The Last ride of the Road Warriors".
    • Joe Laurinaitis (a.k.a. Animal) was blue, having to get his life together pretty soon since he was married and having a baby on the way when he broke into the business. Barry Darsow and Nikita Koloff stated that he always was the most focused and centered of the couple. His style was more cemented on Power Wrestling.
    • Mike Hegstrand (a.k.a. Hawk) was red, having being a sort of bully and a Boisterous Bruiser from a very young age lead him to a life avocated to party, debauchery... and nothing else. Scott Norton confessed that in Japan Hawk even went to parties with the Yakuza. His style was an explosive combo of Brawling and Hi-fly.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Not outright expressed on the episode but WWF's upper brass forced referee Earl Hebner into taking part in the Montreal Screwjob. Making matters worse, Bret had caught up with him the day before the match and warned him that the brass were going to try and screw him, only for Earl to swear on the lives of his children that he wouldn't allow that to happen, and that because of this Bret had been hoping that Earl would be the referee for the match, feeling safe when he saw that he was.
    • Luna Vachon was instructed by McMahon that if she ever scratched or mauled Sable (who for starters never even wanted to learn how to take a proper bump) during their WrestleMania XIV match, she could kiss her job at the company goodbye. Luna proceeded to perform the work of her life into that match, with almost absolutely no one (save for Owen Hart) giving her the appreciation and support she really earned that night.
      • Right after that, Vince proposed a "beauty pageant" for the WWE female performers to partake into, to which the bookers had envisioned a spot where Luna had to lose her top, but Luna's refusal to do so contributed to her release from the company.
  • Sanity Slippage: Some episodes are full of this:
    • Randy Savage lost it after his marital breakup. By the time Liz left him, he took it out on Hulk Hogan for whatever the reason, even to the point when he had went to Hogan's home and demanded Linda (Hogan's then-wife) to tell him where they were hiding her.
    • Fritz Von Erich pulling a gun on his only surviving son Kevin, accusing him of never having the guts of dying as his other siblings did, this because the family's patriarch ended-up mentally unable to deal with all the heartbreak anymore.
      • Kevin himself confessed he had his own moment of weakness after the episode described above, by heading into a gun shop and taking a loaded shotgun without paying. The shop owner and two other men had talked this out with him and comforted the disturbed wrestler, for they knew the ordeal he went through.
    • After Chavo Guerrero witnessed his uncle's passing, he received a phone call from Benoit. As Chavo described it, Benoit's reaction was a long roaring wail at the top of his lungs. Chris wasn't the same person after that night anymore.
    • New Jack theorized he "flipped the fuck out" when he was around 6, first witnessing his father stabbing his mom five times in front of the whole family and then shooting her in the leg a few months later after she threatened to leave him while carrying Jack in her arms.
    • Per Jim Hellwig's wife, after WrestleMania VI, her husband "left" home forever and began living his in-ring personality on and off camera. From that point on, his life was a down-the-hill rollercoaster: dubious political leanings, highly controversial statements, a terrible comeback, merciless shoots against many members on the industry and so on. He didn't seem to come back to his senses until literally the end of his life, returning to the WWE to make amends with his former enemies and apologize for his bad behavior in the final 72 hours leading up to his fatal heart attack.
    • Dynamite Kid's behavior was progressively deteriorating, typified by an incident in which his then-wife ordered a non-alcoholic drink in a bar, prompting him to take her outside so that they could play chicken against trucks in the opposite lane on their way back home.
    • "The double life of Chris Kanyon" depicts a lot of this. Diagnosed with bi-polar and depressive disorders later in life, the fact he had to be "closeted" for so long and the constant feeling of "being a freak" led him to have constant outbursts of erratic behaviour, sometimes unbeknowst even to him. His then-trainees recalled a time they had to subdue him, rope and all, in order to not let Chris outside to "chase aliens".
  • The Scapegoat:
    • "Dr. D" David Schultz, after the John Stossel's incident, was stranded in several situations that unbeknown to him, shed a very unfavorable light over his career and character, releasing McMahon of any suspicion about his involving all at once.
    • Bart Gunn for winning a legitimate tournment and squashing the upper brass' favorite Steve Williams in their match, to be literally put to rest later on along with the whole Brawl for All concept, demolishing his career in the process.
  • Screwed by the Network: Invoked in the episode about Chris Kanyon. After his in-ring career winded up a part-time job alternating with his segments on the Howard Stern show, Kanyon was told at point blank by John Cena and Ric Flair that his moment passed on, and he may never be re-hired by McMahon. Kanyon's face after Ric Flair, a former coworker and considered one of the best wrestlers in the world, says that he wasn't good enough shows just how crushed he was to hear it. Flair posted on Twitter after the episode that he was pretty much ordered to do it, to "play defense" for the company.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Played for laughs. Cornette remembered how once the Montreal screwjob happened, he ran as fast as he could to the parking lot in hopes none of the involved parties chased him to kick his sorry ass, just to find right in front of his car Earl Hebner's (the match's referee) fleeing from the scene too.
    • In Brawl for All, Dan "The Beast" Severn a legit tough guy and MMA World Heavyweight Champion beated The Godfather badly on his first match, but since he saw the event as a risk to his career and credibility he had no choice but flee from WWF, eliminating himself from competition to never go back again.
  • Season Finale:
  • Sickening "Crunch!":
    • Jim Ross describes the impact of Owen Hart's fatal fall as having a disturbing thud.
    • Darren "Droz" Drozdov describes hearing two loud pops during the botched powerbomb that left him paralyzed.
    • FMW's Hayabusa cracked two of his vertebrae and ended up paralyzed after landing on his head from a botched springboard moonsault attempt.
  • Single-Issue Wonk: Downplayed with Jim Ross in regards to "Dr. Death" Steve Williams. He believes that everyone is blowing everything out of proportion in regards to the perceived favoritism Williams received in the Brawl for All and that everyone should just grow up, especially in regards to him being upset over Bart Gunn knocking out "his boy."
  • Shower of Angst: Taken by Heidi Doyle, one of the flight attendants on the infamous Plane Ride From Hell.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Rob Black was depicted like this in his own episode.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending:
    • The two-part Chris Benoit episodes are overall grim, but it ends with Chris' eldest son David reconnecting with his aunt Sandra (Nancy's sister) thanks to Chris Jericho.
    • Nick Gage got his life together, becoming one of the biggest and most popular names in deathmatch wrestling and has thousands of adoring fans behind him but it all came after the loss of both his parents, technically dying during a deathmatch, falling into drug addiction, homelessness and then his brother killed himself.
    • Owen Hart's episode showed that his family never got legit justice for his death, but they live their lives in a noble and fulfilling way to honor his memory.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Discussed in regards to the Bart Gunn/Butterbean fight at WrestleMania XV. While Gunn may be a talented boxer and Butterbean being Unskilled, but Strong, a professional will always beat an amateur. Butterbean even notes that Bart Gunn trying to box was his own undoing, and admits that had they been in a legitimate street brawl, Gunn would've had a 50/50 shot at winning.
  • Technician Versus Performer:
    • In regard of the long standing rivalry between Abullah and Brody, the former stated that despite his utter brutality, the latter was the real wrestler while his own style is a bit different.
    "I'm not a wrestler, I don't grab holds! I use karate, I use Jiu-Jitsu... I can beat you up any time that I want to beat you up, understand?"
    • Jim Ross uses this analogy to describe the rivalry between Jim Cornette and Vince Russo. He describes Cornette as "the steak": he adores old school style wrestling that focused on technical skills above all else and abhors the gimmicky, "low brow" wrestling and storylines that he feels have overtaken modern wrestling. Russo was "the sizzle": he loves having gimmicky and swerve filled angles and matches and views in-ring performances as nothing but a framing device to support storylines.
    • Road Warrior Animal describing himself and Hawk:
    "We were badasses pretending to be wrestlers, they were wrestlers pretending to be badasses".
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • Bruiser Brody died from at least three stab wounds, one lacerating his liver, another nearly disembowling him.
    • Dino Bravo died by eleven gunshots, seven of them to the head.
  • This Is Unforgivable!:
    • Fritz Von Erich's wife, Doris, would divorce him. Blaming him for the deaths of their sons.
    • Invader #1's murder of Bruiser Brody. The wrestling fandom and comunity's general opinion is that there's no possible way to feel any kind of respect or empathy for a guy who got away with stabbing another to death in a pre-meditated murder arranged to get rid of a problematic employee. The fact he perpetrated it in a room full of eye witnesses, and later laughed and joked about it in front of Brody's friends with his co-conspirators, makes it even worse.
    • Several interviewees express this view towards Chris Benoit over his Pater Familicide:
      • Chavo Guerrero Jr., who is the most sympathetic towards Benoit, still openly condemns him as a murderer.
      • Dean Malenko is a notable case. He looks absolutely devestated when the subject comes up and says he still misses Benoit, but that he can't condone his actions whatsoever.
      • Chris Jericho does an impressive closing for the two-parter, saying that while he also misses Benoit, he'll always hold a grudge against him for having utterly destroyed the two things Benoit prized more than anything in life: his family and his career.
    • Ultimate Warrior's first marriage ended up when his then wife learned that he was cheating on her with multiple women, and even keeping track of his affairs in a day planner. She divorced him.
    • After dragging his wife by the hair in a fit of rage, Dynamite Kid was given a one-way plane ticket back to England. He responded by going down the basement, picking up a loaded shotgun, and saying he'd rather blow her head off. That was the last straw that marriage could stand.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Almost everyone involved in the WCW North Korean excursion. NJPW didn't prepare any of the Western wrestlers or promoters, neglecting to warn them about the country's extreme culture of paranoia, the extent of the totalitarian regime's power over everyday life, or their history of demonizing Americans in their propaganda. Similarly, none of the westerners did any sort of research themselves, and assumed that traveling to North Korea would be the same as wrestling in Japan. While in normal circumstances visitors would've received a State Department briefing, Eric Bischoff's decision to illegally transport the wrestlers to North Korea by way of Japan meant they never received any official warnings or preperations. As a result, Bischoff himself nearly causes an incident when he goes out jogging without his escort (admitting on camera he was concerned his actions might've resulted in said escort's execution), and Scott Norton does cause an incident when he disparages the country on a phone call to his wife, resulting in his being arrested and taken to a military prison from which he was only freed due to Inoki's intervention.

    U-Z 
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Vince McMahon thought he would gain sympathy in his interview with Jim Ross in regards to the Montreal Screwjob, but he came off to the audience as cold and calculating. McMahon instead pulled an Author's Saving Throw by having a larger on-screen presence as a Corrupt Corporate Executive as a result, paving the way for what's known as the Attitude Era.invoked
  • Unknown Rival: Herb Abrams to Vince McMahon. After being snubbed by Vince in regards to possibly working together, Herb vowed to run him out of business. Vince, aside from re-signing André the Giant after his one-time appearance in UWF, doesn't seem to pay him any attention.
  • Un-person:
    • Besides erasing Chris Benoit from their programming, WWE basically tried to pretend that David Benoit didn't exist after the Murder-Suicide. David admits in an interview that he's still mad at WWE for it.
    • Subverted with Jimmy Snuka. He was removed from the WWE Hall of Fame after legal troubles began catching up to him, but after his death in 2017, he was quietly re-added to the Hall.
  • That Man Is Dead: In the episode centered on Grizzly Smith, Jake Roberts (born Aurelian Smith Jr.) says that he 'buried Aurelian' because of the pain of his childhood, and that he hasn't let him out in over fifty years.
  • Unreliable Narrator: James Mitchell namedrops this trope to describe what Chris Kanyon has become after the latter admitted to him that he didn't really get fired from WWE becaue he was gay, but is going to use that in case he has to sue them.
  • The Unsolved Mystery:
    • If Invader #1 will ever face the charges against him or if Atlas and Mantell's testimonies will be ever heard on court in Bruiser Brody's murder case.
    • Was David Von Erich's death really a mere acute enteritis or was it something else? Fritz was as satisfied as he could be (given the circumstances) by the forensic report in Japan so he could give an statement on his TV show. Many people assured that was an overdose in fact, but four decades have passed and it seems highly unlikely that none but the official cause will be the real deal.
    • Who exactly killed (if so) "Gorgeous" Gino Hernandez is left up in the air. It's implied that Gino was Properly Paranoid and killed during a deal over money gone wrong, but there are a lot of unanswered questions.
    • Similarly, the murder of Dino Bravo is unlikely to be solved. Shot more than a dozen times, the case has plenty of questions and few answers. Bravo died in his recliner while watching a hockey game, with no forced entry found. Bravo seemed to know his killer(s) and either wasn't expecting to be killed or was resigned to his fate.
    • Despite all known facts, it's still a baffling conundrum what really happened the last moments in Earth of Nancy Argentino, Herb Abrams and Johnny K-9. So much that a lot of conflicting hypotheses and wacky theories have been drawn up over the years.
    • To this day, very little information is known about the kidnapping and subsequent disappearance of Jo Lynn Smith, Jake Roberts' youngest sister. Her husband's ex-wife confessed to the kidnapping, but maintained she had escaped her captors. The police chief who led the futile search firmly believes her body was incinerated in the cigarette factory she worked in.
    • Did Rob Black pay two men to attack Messiah in retalation for the latter sleeping with the former's wife and bragging about it at a show? While everyone asked about it in the episode, including Messiah, believes this to be the case, it was never proven and no one was ever charged. Black had the motive and means in addition to threatening Messiah, while the attackers went straight for him, not even pretending to be burglars. Strongly circumstantial, but nothing concrete to prove it for certain. On another level, the criminals who commited the act were never charged or even identified and will likely never be.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Jim Cornette suggesting double-crossing Bret Hart was what led to the Montreal Screwjob. Cornette admits, years later, that he's responsible for the death of kayfabe (albeit entirely by accident), despite Cornette being one of its most passionate defenders. Once Cornette saw Shawn Michaels put Bret Hart in the sharpshooter submission hold, Cornette said "Screw This, I'm Outta Here!" and jumped into a car before he saw anything else go down.
    • Brody himself. Several interviewees during his episode stated that, if after a fashion, Brody decided not to play along with you, there was nothing that could make him change his mind. Brody was trying to purchase Gorilla Monsoon's WWC shares, effectively, getting over Colon-Jovica-Huertas Gonzalez's power and influence in the promotion (he was already part of the booking team). As he trusted to Tony Atlas "...you are going to see a lot of changes around here."
      • Huertas Gonzalez on the other hand saw his ever-lovin' crap beaten out of him by Brody on a previous tour, had the possibility of losing his job if Brody purchased Monsoon's shares, and suffered the loss of his 3 year old daughter around the same time. This in absolutely no way justifies his acts, but they could have been the detonating factors of the tragic events that unfolded themselves later.
    • Oddly, and by no means their fault in any way, Sting and WCW management. Owen Hart's descents from the rafters were designed as a comedic jab at Sting's heroic zip line entrances. This is why Owen would be humiliated when he did the stunt, such as being unmasked by Steve Blackman while simultaneously being unable to get his feet on the ground. The night he died, he was supposed to release himself about three feet above the ring and fall flat on his face. To WCW's credit, they always made sure Sting was rigged by professionals and that he was properly trained. As noted above, negligence by WWE management led to Owen's fatal fall.
    • Eddy Mansfield, in a way, unwittingly caused the end of David Schultz's wrestling career when he decided to work with John Stossel's exposé on wrestling. (see Didn't Think This Through).
    • While Jacques Rougeau was able to get his revenge on Dynamite Kid and ensured he would not face retaliation. This would end up driving Kid mad as he was unable to get his revenge, which would lead to the destruction of his marriage.
    • The daring flight attendant Heidi Doyle and her peers, of all people. She suspected and confirmed later to her horror that serving the amount of liquor consumed by the wrestlers that day was a proverbial recipe for disaster.
    • It was Sherri Martel, who made a bond with Luna Vachon, for both women were talented performers downgraded to being valets and the former had immersed the latter unawarely deeper and deeper into harder drugs.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Grizzly Smith. A notorious pedophile who openly brought girls as young as ten years old on the road, but nonetheless made important connections within and without the wrestling industry. Former daughter-in-law Baby Doll (Nickla Byrd) notes that Grizzly not only knew people, but knew things ''about'' people that guaranteed that nobody looked too closely at his predatory activities.
  • Vindicated by History: Invoked by Eddy Mansfield, who stated that Vince McMahon's decision to declare wrestling as Sports Entertainment rather than a sport prove that he was right all along.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Jake Roberts revealed that he wanted to be a wrestler so he could finally get his father's approval and validation. When that never happened, Jake used his volatile emotions from his childhood abuse to create his wrestling persona.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Three instances and all involving Hulk Hogan:
    • The episode about Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth and the supposed involving of Hogan on (according to Randy) their crumbling marriage and subsequent divorce.
    • David Schultz and Hogan were the best of friends until Schultz was fired and Hogan turned his back on him. Lampshaded when Schultz showed an old photo of Hogan with the following words written on the back: "Old friend forgot his name."
    • Although he didn't testify against Vince's best interests during the steroid trials, the fact he was called in by the prosecution left a mark in what it was up to that point an amicable working relationship.
  • Whammy Bid: Subverted. Warlord stated on the steroids trials that he was never a Dr. Zahorian client because he was getting the same products four times cheaper than what costed to get them with the physician.
  • What Could Have Been: Invoked by Jim Cornette and others on a few instances:
    • Pondering David Von Erich as a future NWA World Heavyweight Champion instead of Kerry, if things would be different.
    • In Brian Pillman's episode (part two), who wonder what heights he could have reached if he hadn't gotten into the car accident that derailed his career.
    • Had The Steroid Trials occurred five years before, who knows what could have be of Pillman, Billington or Benoit's careers afterwards?
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Did you know Jake "The Snake" Roberts is actually a self-confessed real-life ophidiophobe? Yeah, he was afraid of snakes himself in real life. This despite the fact that he actually was forced to carry around and had to take care of his various ophidians himself while on the road having absolutely zero control over them.
    "I hated the sons of bitches, I'm terrified of them!"
    • Luna Vachon tended to go pick up her son from school with a snake wrapped around her neck, much to the poor boy's own annoyance.
    Van Hurd: "It almost got me once. Yeah it sucks, but to me that was normal!"
  • Worf Had the Flu: Scott Norton argues that 2 Cold Scorpio only fared as well as he did in his fight against Road Warrior Hawk because Hawk was on medication that produced flu-like symptoms at Collision in Korea.
  • Worth It:
    • Subverted with Vince Russo in regards to Brawl for All. At first, he was satisfied as he got what he (and unwillingly Cornette) wanted (Bradshaw being knocked out), but considering the injuries as well as the current knowledge about concussions, Russo stated that he would never do this again.
    • Nick Gage has suffered through so much pain, loss, and addictions, and yet he will keep wrestling for his thousends of adoring fans.
    • The opinion of 2 Cold Scorpio and Scott Norton when at their last propagandistic visit to the North Korea's founder mausoleum. Muhammad Ali did shadow boxing as he climbed up the stairs to uplift the entourage's already troubled spirits.
    • Most of XPW's former roster wouldn't change a thing about their time there as most of them enjoyed putting on the best shows they could and their time in the promotion led to new career opportunities and long lasting romantic relationships.
    • The The Steroid Trials logical conclusion within the industry was to demote its former top stars and it gave to performers deemed back in the day as merely mid-card fodder a golden ticket to build of a fandom and a big name up for themselves.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Chris Benoit suffocated his then-seven-year-old son by smothering him to death.
    • New Jack remembered how his dad routinely beat him and his mom up for either a few or no reason at all.
    • Grizzly Smith routinely physically abused his children growing up and most heinously molested his two daughters before they were ten years old.
    • All of Johnny K-9's family was constantly abused by his father. His widow recalled that Johnny had told her about a Christmas incident when he was only six years old, in which his father was so drunk that he started to beat up the whole family with a broom.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child:
    • Given their name and influence over the younger fans, Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior always tried their best to never let a single kid down, making them promise to always give their best in school and with their parents.
    • Though there are few confirmed details in the Dino Bravo case, police are convinced the killer(s) waited until his wife and young daughter were out of the house before going through with the murder.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Possibly in regards to John Stossel's lawsuit against WWF over the infamous "Slap heard around the world." It doesn't help that Stossel all but admits the pre-trial doctor's diagnosis that he may be faking his pain for the sake of the lawsuit is true.
    "I held onto my pain, but it gradually did go away when I got paid."
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • The saga of the Von Erich Family is presented as a constant game of "one step forward, two steps back" with success and tragedy. Just when it seems like the Von Erichs are starting to find success and put their tragedies behind them, something else will happen to cause even more heartache.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • Fritz Von Erich's wife divorced him, holding him responsible for the deaths of their children, who were Driven to Suicide.
    • Owen Hart's widow and children openly resent WWE for their negligence that led to his death.
    • Brian Pillman's daughter Brittany openly resents her father's widow Melanie, who she holds responsible for her mother being Driven to Suicide, even calling her evil and the devil.
    • Downplayed. Shell declared that given her father's caring and sweet nature he was taken advantage of by Onita.
  • Your Days Are Numbered:
    • Ultimate Warrior discovered at very young age (due to his grandfather's demise) that every man in his family had few possibilities to get over 60. His worst fears came true the day he found out his father passed away in his mid 50's.
    • Nick Gage believes that he'll die young, but intends to continue wrestling for as long as he can.
    • Hayabusa's condition worsen despite recovering enough fortitude to stand and walk while being assisted by crutches to finally collapsing and dying at home.

Top