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WWE News: Kharma and the 23 Most Unstable Wrestling Personalities in History

Alfred KonuwaFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2011

WWE News: Kharma and the 23 Most Unstable Wrestling Personalities in History

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    The pro wrestling profession is a known life hazard that has been made infamous for swallowing its subjects whole only to spit them out. 

    Once referred to, almost poignantly, by Jim Ross as "the wrecking lives leader" in sports and entertainment, the pro wrestling industry has both caused and harbored some of the most unstable personalities in entertainment. 

    Sadly, many of pro wrestling's erratic characters have passed on as a result of their unstable behavior giving way to self-destructive behavior. 

    Other incidents of instability, including Kharma's sudden pregnancy during the biggest push of her career, lead to career hindrances for entirely different reasons. 

    Pro wrestling meteoric rise in popularity since its inception is not without its share of colorful personalities. Unfortunately, these colors are often severely distorted.  Sometimes fatally. 

    Big Nasty is a contributor to FightLife Magazine. Follow him on Twitter  @ThisIsNasty.

23. Melina

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    It seems that everywhere Melina goes, trouble follows.  Much of Melina's problems and controversies outside of the ring are a direct result of her own eccentric behavior.
     
    The WWE Diva lightning rod always seems to save the best of her heat-drawing ability for backstage.  Multiple accounts from multiple Divas paint the former Divas Champion as a confrontational drama queen.
     
    Divas who have made no bones of adding Melina to their you-know-what list include Mickie James, Brooke Adams (TNA's Miss Tessmacher) and Lita. 

22. Randy Orton

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    Randy Orton has come a long way from his early days in WWE as a young, promising breakout star in waiting, but once upon a time you couldn't pick up a dirt sheet without coming across Orton's name.
     
    Orton's list of behavioral problems with WWE is longer than Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel's list of NCAA violations. 
     
    The reigning World Champion's embattled past includes substance abuse violations, public marijuana use and accusations of harassment against WWE Divas to name a few. 
     
    Orton has managed to survive such career sabotage based solely on an advantageous combination of heritage and potential—potential which Orton has since lived past.

21. Ric Flair

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    Ric Flair, arguably the greatest in ring performer of all time, is known for his carousing lifestyle. 
     
    Sadly, Flair's stylin' and profilin' seems to have caught up to him as financial troubles and marriage woes have helped define Flair in the second half of his career and life.
     
    Flair's most recent episode almost landed him in jail as he failed to comply with a contractual agreement with a wrestling memorabilia website to sign 300 autographs.  Flair had to pay the website $35,000 and sign the aforementioned autographs to avoid jail time.

20. Matt Hardy

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    Matt Hardy isn't nearly as unstable as his younger brother Jeff, however, he has certainly submitted his share of odd behavior in the past several months.
     
    The bottom fell out, as it pertained to Hardy's psyche, in late 2010 when Hardy went through a messy public divorce with longtime employer WWE.
     
    Hardy submitted a series of bizarre behavior during what appeared to be a meltdown prior to being released (a release he had requested) from WWE.
     
    Hardy is now employed with TNA and seems to have settled down to some degree. His brother, Jeff? Not so much.

19. Sabu

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    You pretty much had to be crazy—or brainwashed—to work for ECW in the mid to late '90s, and Sabu fit the former perfectly.
     
    Sabu's unstable behavior draws a sufficient correlation to the death defying in ring style that made him famous.
     
    Sabu's short-lived run with WWE was ended when he showed up to the building without his gear and in no condition to perform.

18. Chyna

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    Chyna's downfall could be seen as a direct result from being victimized by Triple H—whose affair with Stephanie McMahon while he was with Chyna coincided with his own immortality.
     
    Following her departure from WWE, Chyna was featured in a sex tape with Sean Waltman (formerly X-Pac) and has been featured on Celebrity Rehab.
     
    Chyna received closure of sorts with the wrestling business at TNA's most recent pay-per-view, Sacrifice, where she teamed with Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle to defeat Jeff and Karen Jarrett.

17. New Jack

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    Long story short, New Jack is legit crazy and anybody who agreed to step in a ring with the ECW fan favorite was putting their livelihood on the line.
     
    New Jack was famous for his hardcore style of wrestling, and his name is implicated in ECW's Mass Transit incident, which was one of the most infamous moments in pro wrestling history.

16. Kharma

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    Kharma is the title character of this list for a reason—because she's unstable.
     
    While she was still employed with TNA, the unique super heavyweight anti-Diva once unleashed a physical assault on Bubba the Love Sponge following insensitive remarks the shock jock made about Haiti. 
     
    The latest controversy surrounding Kharma saw her achieve the rare feat of getting pregnant while working a full-time WWE schedule during the push of a lifetime.
     
    Kharma's unstable behavior plays into her monster heel gimmick, but as recent incidents have suggested, the instability is far too real.

15. Sandman

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    When you're hammered and bloody prior to the bell ringing and have been known to fall asleep during matches, you're a shoe-in to make it pretty high on this list.

14. Scott Steiner

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    Scott Steiner's incoherent promos and hot headed behavior have unintentionally entertained us for years. 

    Big Poppa Pump is the poster child for roid rage (allegedly), and his personification of instability has played into the negative stereotype of what a pro wrestler is.

13. Jake "The Snake" Roberts

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    Jake "the Snake" Roberts is a living casualty of pro wrestling.  The popular star of the eighties has had a rough go of it since being gradually phased out of the limelight.

    Roberts has struggled with drug and alcohol use, as was chronicled by the pro wrestling themed documentary "Beyond the Mat," that has all but alienated him from his own family. 

    Poor financial planning has forced the wrestling legend to take independent bookings despite being years removed from his prime.

12. Brian Christopher

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    Lawler's kid has done everything in his power to ensure that the King never wins an award for Father of the Year. 
     
    Christopher, who had a successful run in WWE as one half of the popular "Too Cool" tag team, has struggled with substance abuse that has all but ruined his in-ring career.
     
    His most recent appearance on WWE TV did little to convince the masses that he has made a healthy recovery from his self-destructive lifestyle.

11. Teddy Hart

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    The hard-headed yet talented Hart family member (nephew of Bret and Owen) has burned every bridge imaginable with pro wrestling suitors.
     
    Hart has been described as difficult to work with, and his destructive stubbornness has contributed to a career on the outside looking in.

10. Kerry Von Erich

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    Kerry Von Erich was yet another talented worker with superstar potential whose life was cut short by the negative externalities of wrestling.
     
    Unable to keep his drug use under control, the standout member of the legendary Von Erich family would eventually succumb to his fatal usage of a number of drugs.

    Von Erich committed suicide in 1993.  He is survived by his two daughters, one of whom, Lacey, competed in TNA for a number of months under the Von Erich name. 

9. Jim Cornette

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     If Teddy Hart burns every pro wrestling bridge imaginable, Jim Cornette sends forth the rapture to his bridges. 
     
    Legendary pro wrestling manager Jim Cornette has been involved with every major national wrestling company, and with the exception of ROH (with whom he is currently employed), Cornette has been fired, or has hastily quit, from all. 

    Amicable just isn't a word in Jim Cornette's dictionary.  Shortly after his departure from TNA, Cornette sent an alarming e-mail to longtime friend and former TNA head of talent relations Terry Taylor announcing his intentions to kill Vince Russo.

    Cornette was previously let go from WWE, as lead booker of then developmental territory OVW, after a series of backstage incidents.  One such incident involved Cornette slapping Anthony Carelli (now known as Santino Marella) for not acting scared of the Boogeyman at an OVW event. 

    Cornette's brilliant wrestling mind has kept him employed throughout his legendary career despite being a headcase. 

    Hopefully WWE will be willing to forgive past discretion and one day induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame where he belongs. 

    It wouldn't be surprising, however, if Cornette stayed true to form and told WWE where to shove their Hall of Fame induction. 

8. Road Warrior Hawk

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    Road Warrior Hawk is one half of one of the greatest tag teams of all time.  Throughout his brilliant career, Hawk struggled mightily with substance abuse so much so that his struggles were made public through a breakup storyline with longtime tag team partner Joe "Animal" Laurinaitis. 

    Hawk has since passed despite efforts to conquer his demons, but he will be immortal in pro wrestling lore by virtue of his catchphrase "Ooooh What a Rush!"

7. Macho Man Randy Savage

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    The late great Randy Savage was known for his intensity.  Part of his greatness was due in part to his almost eerie attention to detail.  During his much publicized dream marriage to Miss Elizabeth, Savage was rumored to have secluded her in separate rooms during matches so that nobody else would touch her. 

    Savage's unstable behavior was recently illustrated by Dusty Rhodes, who described Savage's brief run with TNA while reminiscing about the recently deceased legend. 

    "The last words he said to me, five minutes before the PPV, was, 'I can't do this. I don't want people to see me looking like this,'" Rhodes remembered. "Jerry [Jarrett, a TNA company co-owner] called [event producer] Keith Mitchell in, and I said, 'Change the main event. I said to him, 'Randy, just go home. It's okay with me.' That's the last words he said to me."

    Following his wrestling career, Savage seemed to have evolved into one of the more stable wrestling personalities in history. 

    Completely removing himself from the wild pro wrestling environment, Savage went on to enjoy a second marriage and seemed on his way to living happily ever after before tragically passing after a fatal car accident. 


6. The Iron Sheik

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    One cannot say a full sentence about the Iron Sheik without blurting out an adjective related to unstable. 

    The WWE legend has made a career out of his outrageous, anti-everything actions as he has become noticeably embittered towards many aspects of the pro wrestling business. 

    Sheik can be seen making periodically entertaining appearances on the Howard Stern Show, as well as on YouTube hysterically ranting about something.

5. The Ultimate Warrior

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    The artist formerly known as the Ultimate Warrior self-destructed, in WWE's words, while on a sure path toward super stardom. 

    Warrior's unprofessional antics and bizarre behavior, that mirrored his on-screen antics, lead to his rather premature and unceremonious disposal from the wrestling business in its entirety. 

    While with WWE, Warrior reportedly threatened to not participate in the main event unless he was given an undisclosed sum of money.  

    He was fired shortly after. 

    After a failed second and third run with WWE, Warrior took his talents to WCW where he embarrassed himself with his signature wack job promos and bad wrestling. 

    Warrior can now be seen forging some semblance of a political career but still finds the time to shoot on Hulk Hogan decades removed from a once-promising wrestling career.

4. Brian Pillman

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    Brian Pillman was so unstable that it was part of his gimmick. 

    The man once known as "the Loose Canon" became yet another casualty of pro wrestling when he passed away in 1997 from an undetected heart disease that was accelerated by his use of drugs and alcohol. 

    Pillman was known for his up-and-down behavior that often blurred the lines of work and shoot.  Pillman was chock-filled with hall-of-fame potential, and his early death served as a sad indication of what could have been.

3. Scott Hall

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    Stop me if this sounds familiar:  Scott Hall seems to be hanging on by a thread as a history of drug and alcohol abuse has lead to abrupt exits from every national wrestling promotion he has competed for.

    Hall's condition has only worsened over the years as the mega star of the '90s wrestling scene has failed to keep his abuse issues under control long enough to keep his life together. 

    Hall's most recent episode of drug abuse came in the form of a sad, embarrassing appearance with an independent wrestling promotion where Hall literally had to be propped up in order to make his way out to the ring and was obviously in no condition to perform in any way. 

    As Hall's friends and family continue to try to save the troubled star, one can only hope that it's not too little too late.

2. Jeff Hardy

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    Jeff Hardy has not been seen on TV since his controversial main event match with Sting at TNA's Victory Road pay-per-view, where the pay-per-view match had to be cut short as Hardy was in no condition to perform. 

    Hardy has had multiple issues with substance abuse in both TNA and WWE, yet his immense talent has made him one of the biggest babyface names this industry has ever seen.  

    Hardy has no-showed events, showed up late for TV tapings and has been suspended or fired all presumably as a result of substance abuse. 

    Hardy's wrestling future is uncertain, but what is important is that he get his life back together before he becomes another sad statistic of a dangerous profession. 

1. Chris Benoit

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    Chris Benoit's inclusion in this list is a no-brainer as he was single handedly responsible for the biggest tragedy in the history of pro wrestling. 

    Benoit's double-murder suicide rocked the pro wrestling world and was the culmination of Benoit's frighteningly deteriorating mental condition that had gone largely undetected by WWE. 

    Benoit literally lost his mind after a physical ring career where he suffered multiple concussions and bodily harm.  At the time of his death, Benoit's brain was said to be equivalent to that of a 70-year-old man.  A brilliant career will forever be defined by heinous actions from a talented wrestling star who was crying out for help during his final days alive.

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