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Sports entertainment is a bizarre industry... both in the ring and behind the scenes! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Craziest WWE Backstage Stories."
For this list, we'll be ranking the most shocking, surprising or unbelievable stories which allegedly took place behind the curtain or on the road for WWE superstars and staff. We realize that some of these incidents are being relayed second hand, with the truth sometimes lurking in between one person's story and the other, but at the same time, we just can't resist dishing on a little bit of the dirt!
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10: Bret Screws the Boss
Most WWE fans are well versed with what happened between Bret "Hit Man" Hart and the company during the Montreal Screwjob incident. Perhaps less well known is what reportedly went on back stage after the show was over. Hart didn't immediately leave the venue, instead heading back to the locker room to pack up his gear. The Molston Center backstage area was a mass of confusion and heated tempers, and this only got worse when Vince McMahon attempted to speak with Hart in the latter's dressing room. Words were exchanged and punches were thrown, leaving McMahon with a black eye and sprained ankle for his trouble.
9: Owen Gets One Over on Ahmed Johnson
Owen Hart was one of the WWE's most beloved icons, an incredible talent who was taken from us far too soon. Some may not realize, though, that Owen's usually serious onscreen persona belied the heart of prankster, as the "King of Harts" was well known backstage for his propensity for practical jokes. One such incident was concocted alongside his brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith of the British Bulldogs, against fellow superstar Ahmed Johnson. They called Johnson, pretending to be with The Tonight Show, inviting him on to be a guest. Johnson reportedly fell hook, line and sinker for the gag, only to be left hanging when the limo he thought was coming for him never arrived.
8: Jericho vs. Goldberg
If there's one thing about Chris Jericho we love, it's the man's absolute fearlessness in the face of danger. Sure, the pro wrestling great is a show-stopper inside the ring, but Jericho's toughness doesn't stop there, as he's also been known to stand toe-to-toe with The Boys backstage. Case in point? The time Jericho reportedly mixed it up with Bill Goldberg back stage during a taping of Monday Night Raw. Chris mainly downplayed the incident when relaying it during an appearance on The Bubba the Love Sponge Show, saying that he put Goldberg in a front face lock after Bill badmouthed Jericho's performance during that night's main event. Now, boys... can't we all just get along?
7: Don't Mess with The Dead Man
The Undertaker often had the final word when it comes to deciding any back stage WWE argument, often serving as judge and jury for what became known as "Wrestler's Court." The Dead Man commands respect, with his word-or threats-having just a bit more weight than the average curtain-jerker. An example of this sentiment reportedly occurred backstage at WrestleMania XIV, when The Undertaker was "making it known" that Shawn Michaels should drop his title to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin that night, without any shenanigans similar to that of the "Montreal Screwjob." Although Shawn states that Big Evil never said these things to his face, we're glad neither men had to find out the hard way.
6: Nobody Likes The Miz
Today, Mike "The Miz" Mizanin is a fixture in WWE, a decent in-ring performer with tremendous skill on the mic. This wasn't always the case, however, with The Miz actually enduring a ton of hazing and backstage heat during his early years with the company. The other superstars reportedly didn't take too kindly to Mizanin's reality show background, seeing his presence as an insult to the hard work they had put in traveling and scrounging in the territories. Was this Miz's fault? No, but that didn't stop superstars such as Chris Benoit from taking their frustration out on him, reportedly banishing Miz from the locker room, and making him change outside.
5: Kofi Wrestles... Vince?
Sure, many of us may daydream about fighting our bosses during a particularly bad day at work, but we don't actually go through with it. Not so with WWE superstar Kofi Kingston, who was goaded into confronting Vince McMahon after an alcohol-fueled plane ride. Chris Jericho detailed a story in his book, Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea, about convincing Kingston to stand up to McMahon after Vince reportedly told Kofi "maybe you'll get over one of these days." The result was a verbal stand-off and a quick tussle in the airplane, much to the alleged delight of Vince, who seemed to love the physical distraction. Wrestling is weird.
5: JBL and Justin Roberts
The details behind John Bradshaw Layfield's bad boy (and sometimes bullying) behavior behind the scenes has been well documented over the years, such as the stories of JBL sneaking behind new talent in the shower to soap them up, A more troubling accusation was laid at Bradshaw by former WWE announcer Justin Roberts, who claimed in his book, "Best Seat in the House," that JBL organized the theft of his passport during a trip to the U.K. This resulted in Roberts being forced to have new paperwork drawn up at the U.S. embassy, flying back alone and somehow meeting the crew at their scheduled Smackdown taping in Arizona. Doesn't sound like much fun to us.
3: The Revenge of Joey Styles
We have more JBL shenanigans here with the next story on our list, this time dealing with yet another broadcast commentator, the voice of ECW, Joey Styles. It was reportedly on another trip for the company—this time to Iraq—when Bradshaw pushed the industry veteran Styles just a little too far. Witnesses stated that relentless hazing by JBL eventually led to a physical confrontation between the pair, which was eventually separated, but not before Styles socked Bradshaw in the eye with a punch. What was that old saying about something being "best served cold?"
2: The Coach Gets "Arrested"
It's one of Vince McMahon's most well known ribs, so much so that it was even retold on the company's animated network series WWE Story Time. WWE backstage interviewer and commentator Jonathan Coachman was talked into running a ten-dollar football pool, only for local police to show up to arrest him for gambling and haul him out, handcuffed, in front of fans and staff alike. The "Coach" was actually driven off in a squad car before being brought back to face Vince and his co-workers, in hysterics over the whole thing. So, is this funny or just mean? You decide.
1: The Plane Ride from Hell
There probably isn't enough room here to properly go over every bit of bad behavior on the WWE's infamous "Plane Ride from Hell," but we're gonna try. Basically, a plane trip back from the U.K. (again) got out of hand (big surprise) when a lot of alcohol was involved (of course). There was drunken singing, drunken brawling, drug use, hair being cut, inappropriate nudity, and sexual harassment. The aftermath was a slew of firings and, not to mention the massive black eye on the WWE's public reputation, with the incident going down as one of the industry's most infamous moments.