The 10 Most Famous and Infamous Backstage Fights in Wrestling History
Spoiler alert: Professional wrestling is predetermined and they aren't actually trying to hurt each other.
There, we got that out of the way.
Unfortunately, things do occasionally get out of hand backstage and real-life animosity leads to physical conflict. When you have competitive athletes, tempers can flare when their "spot" is threatened or when personalities don't mesh.
In any event, these conflicts usually result in great stories that have circulated amongst hardcore fans for years. I've gathered together some of the best and put together a list of some of the most infamous backstage brawls.
Note: Please remember there is no way to actually know how these conflicts happened, so please don't take these stories as complete fact.
10. Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page
This one took place in the good, old WCW when Kimberly Page (Google her, you won't regret it) stirred up some trouble between her husband Diamond Dallas Page and Scott Steiner.
Allegedly, Kimberly found an illegal substance backstage and went running to management, telling them it belonged to recovering user Tammy Lynn Sytch.
Sytch denied the allegation and offered to take a drug test right then and there—which she passed. Scott Steiner got word of what happened and literally chased Kimberly out of the building (she would never appear on WCW TV again).
At the next TV taping, DDP tried to stand up for his wife and got absolutely destroyed by the much bigger (and obviously "enhanced") Steiner. Reportedly, Steiner went for Page's eye and attempted to end his career before it was broken up.
Winner: Scott Steiner
9. Vince McMahon vs. Kurt Angle vs. the Undertaker
You see, triple-threat matches even happen in real life.
According to Kurt Angle's book, Vince McMahon once (jokingly) jumped him backstage and took him down. In typical Vince fashion, he reminded Kurt every chance he got that he was the only one backstage to ever take Angle down.
On a plane ride, Angle decided to get his revenge and took Vince down in the aisle. McMahon then became obsessed with continuing this little feud and attempted to shoot on Angle every chance he got.
During one of the scuffles, their noise woke up a sleeping Undertaker. Taker obviously did not realize McMahon and Angle were just fooling around, so he grabbed Kurt from behind and promptly choked him out.
Winner: The Undertaker
8. Andre the Giant vs. Ultimate Warrior
OK, this one didn't take place backstage but it's still worthy because it involves someone shutting up the Ultimate Warrior.
Towards the end of Andre's career, he was doing a house show tour with the Ultimate Warrior and doing the job for him every night.
According to Bobby Heenan, Andre had a bit of a problem with the Warrior during this tour. There was a spot in the match where Warrior would clothesline Andre and send him into the ropes to be tied up.
Apparently, Warrior was stiffing Andre on the clothesline and the Giant told him to ease up. Warrior, being a known egomaniac and kind of a pain in the back, continued to stiff him a few more times.
One night, Andre had enough and waited for the clothesline spot. When Warrior came running at him like a maniac, Andre simply stuck up his massive fist and caught Warrior right in face, knocking him absolutely senseless.
In the matches after this incident, Warrior apparently barely touched Andre on the clothesline spot.
Winner: Andre the Giant
7. Arn Anderson vs. Disco Inferno
This one is only good because of it's comedic value.
During his WCW days, Arn Anderson was on a plane with the WCW crew heading to a show. Mike Enos was on his cell phone during the flight and Arn told him to hang up. Enos doesn't listen and continues his call, so Arn threatens to beat Enos up if he doesn't turn off his phone.
At that point, Disco Inferno leaps from his seat and raises four fingers in the air while saying "Yeah Arn, take care of him Horseman style!"
Arn Anderson promptly slapped Disco in the face and send him stumbling to the ground.
Winner: Arn Anderson
6. Harley Race vs. Hulk Hogan
In the mid-80s when Race was still with the NWA, Hulk Hogan and the WWF came to the Municipal Auditorium in Race's hometown of Kansas City.
Race decided to prove a point and stormed the locker room, surprising both the Funk brothers and champion Hulk Hogan. He punched Hogan hard in the ribs, sending Hulk falling backwards into a chair.
Hogan, trying to get out of the situation, said "Harley, I thought the first time I saw you in Kansas City, you'd have a great, big gun."
Race calmly replied with "I don't have a great, big one..." and pulled out a .38 caliber handgun, sending Hulk scurrying from the room.
Winner: Harley Race
5. Paul Orndorff vs. Big Van Vader
This one occurred backstage in WCW where Orndorff was working as an agent. Vader arrived late at a TV taping where he was scheduled to do some promo work and Orndorff was yelling at him to hurry up.
There was well-known heat between the two and Vader got into Orndorff's face after getting upset. Orndorff begged Vader to start a fight since Mr. Wonderful was a fairly tough guy with his share of backstage scraps.
Vader hit Orndorff in the chest with an open palm, sending him to the floor. Orndorff (wearing sandals) jumped up and knocked Vader down with a right hand punch to the head. He then kicked Vader in the face until the fight was broken up by other wrestlers.
Vader later claimed that he did not fight back because he was worried about losing his job. That sounds like an excuse to me.
Winner: Paul Orndorff
4. Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior
Ah, another story about someone putting Ultimate Warrior in his place.
During the Rude-Warrior angle in 1989, Rude came backstage after a match and asked Warrior to "lighten up" (stop working so stiffly)...are you sensing a pattern here?
Reportedly, Warrior replied with "I don't have to because I'm the Warrior."
Rude proceeded to knock Warrior on his ass with one punch.
Winner: Rick Rude
Vince McMahon vs. Kevin Wacholz
Older wrestling fans remember Kevin Wacholz (Nailz) as the ex-con brought in to feud with Big Bossman in the early 1990s. Younger fans have no idea who he is and this fight is the reason why.
Walcholz was upset about his payoff from SummerSlam 1992 (the highest attended event in WWE history) and went to Vince to complain. Vince reportedly blew him off, which made Walcholz even more upset.
Walcholz attacked Vince in his office, choking him out and actually causing McMahon to turn blue. Obviously, Walcholz was immediately fired and lost out on his planned main-event push against the Ultimate Warrior.
But the story does not end there.
At the McMahon steroid trial, Walcholz was called as a witness for the prosecution. Walcholz was supposed to help put Vince in jail but contradicted himself so many times that he is possibly the main reason that McMahon was acquitted.
2. Curt Hennig vs. Brock Lesnar
On the infamous "Plane Ride from Hell", future UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar got into a scuffle with the one and only Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig.
The stories of this plane ride are legendary but only one had the entire plane fearing for their safety.
Hennig was reportedly hammered drunk and kept challenging Lesnar to try and take him down. Lesnar was a rookie at the time and wasn't quite sure what to make of it.
Paul Heyman apparently told Lesnar that he had to shut Hennig up or he'd never hear the end of it.
So Lesnar jumped up and plowed Hennig into the plane door, nearly ripping the thing off its hinges and causing everyone on the plane to fear for their lives. The fight was quickly broken up by management and Hennig was fired for his behavior.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
1. Bruiser Brody vs. Invader I
Bruiser Brody was a major star in the wrestling business in the 1980s and one of the few to never spend an extended time in either the NWA or WWF.
Brody had been investing in the WWC promotion in Puerto Rico and Jose Huertas Gonzalez (Invader I) was a friend of WWC's promoter and star, Carlos Colon.
Gonzalez was apparently annoyed by Brody's refusal to job in the promotion (something he was famous for) and allegedly took things into his own hands.
On July 16th, 1988 before a match, Gonzalez told Brody to meet him in the shower to discuss business in private. Wrestlers that night have said they believed Gonzalez was carrying a knife wrapped in a towel.
When Brody ducked to enter the showers, Gonzalez allegedly grabbed Brody by the hair and stabbed him several times in the chest and stomach. Brody was taken to San Juan for medical treatment but died during surgery.
Gonzalez quickly left the building but was arrested later. At his murder trial, he claimed he acted in self-defense and was acquitted. Gonzalez went into retirement claiming his innocence and the Puerto Rican wrestling scene fell into chaos for years.