For over six decades, the WWE has been broadcasting the wacky world of professional wrestling to the entire world. In that time, all the WWE behind-the-scenes stories have earned a reputation as being just as insane as the scripted storylines shot for the cameras. There's certainly no shortage of strange stories about the WWE, whether it's the talent snorting cookies or wrestlers throwing down with Vince McMahon, the company's owner, on a commercial airplane.
As fans of the show already know, part of the WWE's shtick is blurring the line between fantasy and reality in their performances (and in the conversation surrounding those performances). Still, the following WWE secrets were generally not part of any storyline and are believed to be true - even if someone getting a bottle smashed over their head in a bar fight sounds like something better suited to the squared circle.
On May 5, 2002, the entire WWE staff was flying back from England after filming a UK-exclusive pay-per-view event called Insurrextion. Onboard were tour managers, camera operators, seamstresses, WWE's top brass, and a slew of the company's heaviest hitters. In short order, everyone onboard reportedly drank the plane dry and lost their minds.
Though the order of events is a little unclear, PJ Polaco, also known as Justin Credible, said it started with some more-or-less friendly wrestling. Curt Henning, AKA Mr. Perfect, decided to wrestle then-newcomer Brock Lesnar to prove he was a better grappler. Before long, things got real and the two men were slamming into the emergency exit door before being forcibly separated.
According to Sean Waltman, who wrestled as X-Pac at the time, many of the wrestlers on board were consuming illicit substances in the bathroom throughout the flight. Shortly after that, Ric Flair came walking down the plane wearing only a robe. According to statements from flight attendants recorded in a lawsuit related to the incident, Flair "flashed his nakedness" to everyone on board.
To top things off, Waltman claimed producer and former Fabulous Freebird Michael Hayes got so drunk that he tried to relieve himself - while standing in the aisle in front of Linda McMahon, boss Vince McMahon's wife. Hayes later punched wrestler JBL in the head, reopening a cut he was nursing. Later on, Waltman got Hayes back by cutting off his ponytail with a pair of scissors.
Still, Waltman says that the story has become a little overblown throughout the years. In the same interview, Waltman said he's "been on worse f*ckin' commercial flights."
One of the more infamous post-wrestling stories took place in the early '90s at a gentlemen's club. Bret Hart went with tag-team partner Jim Neidhart (of the Hart Foundation), boss Vince McMahon, and the legendary tag team the Legion of Doom, composed of Michael "Hawk" Hegstrand and Joseph "Animal" Laurinaitis.
According to Hart, McMahon was in "full party mode" and Hawk decided he would do LOD's signature finishing move on him: the clothesline. Seeing as how McMahon was the boss, Hawk took it easy on him - which didn't sit well with Neidhart. Neidhart turned to Hart and said the Hart Foundation would've done it for real, which Hart agreed with, thinking Neidhart was joking. But he wasn't. Before long, Neidhart had McMahon in a bear hug and, not wanting to look like a "powderpuff," Hart hit him with the real deal.
Though the two of them went down hard on the concrete, McMahon simply rolled over to Hart and told him that he owed him a drink.
Wrestler Mike William Calaway, more popularly known as the Undertaker, is widely considered to be one of the toughest and most fearsome wrestlers in the business. Despite his reputation as an undead wrestling warlock, there's still one thing the Undertaker reportedly fears more than any other: cucumbers. According to his longtime onscreen manager, Paul Bearer, Calaway "cannot stand cucumbers" in real life, a fact that baffled many of his colleagues.
Although nobody seems to know for sure just how the Undertaker came to hate these green vegetables so much, Bearer speculated that "[Calaway's] mother made him eat them when he didn’t want them, or something." In closing, he simply restated: "He just hates cucumbers."
Undertaker's fear of cucumbers is so well-known among industry insiders that when he was traveling with the WWE, he regularly became the object of all the biggest pranksters in the biz. On Bruce Prichard's Something to Wrestle podcast, the ex-producer said that wrestler Owen Hart once put slices of cucumber in the bottom of Calaway's iced tea to get him to freak out (which he did). Even worse than that was that Hart slipped cucumber slices into his tights to use on the Undertaker during a televised match. With Undertaker in a headlock, Hart pulled some slices out of his tights and put them in his opponent's face. Although Calaway didn't break character, the experience rattled him so much that he wanted to jump out of the ring - but he didn't.
Sean Waltman, X-Pac, has a way of being connected to some of the wildest stories in the business. One of the strangest and grossest stories from Waltman's tenure in the WWE happened on Sable's last night in the company after a pay-per-view event in England.
According to Waltman, Sable had some significant conflict with the other guys in the company because of her cocky attitude. To take her down a few notches, Waltman decided to help pull a prank on her. To do so, Waltman put real excrement in her luggage.
On the podcast The Steve Austin Show, the wrestler said that the whole thing happened right before he went out to wrestle Shane McMahon. Before his music hit, he ran to find a specific cup the wrestlers had planted which was full of poo and "made the deposit" in her bag.
Apparently, Sable became what Waltman called "an international sh*t smuggler" because she made it all the way back through customs in Jacksonville with the package still intact. She was not happy when she discovered the secret surprise and her lawyers started discussing a DNA test to see who had done it. Still, the logistics of collecting samples and actually following the process through to the end to find out who had done it proved to be too much effort at the time.