The 35 Most Extraordinary Arrests in Wrestling History
It seems like every other week, we're hearing a report of some wrestler being busted with drugs, being intoxicated by them, getting drunk and driving, or getting into some sort of domestic dispute.
From The Hardy Brothers, to Kurt Angle, Alex Riley and Ted DiBiase Jr., professional wrestlers seem like a who's who of guys who have been in the drunk tank in the local county jail.
A lot of this can be traced to the rigors of the road. Getting slammed on unforgiving surfaces dozens of times a day takes its toll on the body, and as such, wrestlers turn to pain pills or alcohol to relieve their suffering and get addicted to them, leading them to headline moments like those of Matt Hardy or Kurt Angle.
However, sometimes, wrestlers take it far beyond the typical DUI or DWI. Some performer's behaviors, whether due to intoxication or not, seem to go into the bizarre and the humorous. At other times, they go into the realm of monstrous and disgusting.
Today, we are going to take a look at wrestlers who either comically found themselves on the wrong side of the law, or have done things so horrible, that the police should lock them away and destroy the key.
Join me, as I count down the 35 most shocking, surprising and non-typical arrests in pro-wrestling history.
35. Matt Morgan
In one of the more amusing arrests on this list, TNA superstar Matt Morgan learned an important lesson about being careful with what you say to others.
On Jan. 16, 2006, Matt Morgan was cut off in traffic while driving in Louisville, Ky.
In anger, he pulled up along side of the woman who cut him off and yelled: "You better be glad I'm not a police officer." and then drove off to head to the gym.
The woman took down his license plate number, called the police and claimed he had pretended to be a police officer. When the police saw him driving to the gym, they pulled him over and arrested him for impersonating a peace officer.
Down at the station, Matt Morgan explained the incident and was later released.
The worst part of the situation? Not only was he cut off, then arrested for an innocuous statement, but then rumors hit the Internet that he had actually pulled behind a random woman on the highway, pretended to be a cop and pulled her over, and that she realized he wasn't a cop and sped off.
You know, the kind of scenario that precedes a rape or a murder.
Talk about having a bad commute.
I hope the workout was worth it.
34. Disco Inferno
Of all the people that appear on this list, the last person that I would expect to be here is Disco Inferno.
Anyone who has watched Glenn Gilberti on television knows that the guy is one of the biggest goofballs the world of professional wrestling has ever produced.
He was the Santino Marella of the 1990's WCW, only he wasn't a fraction as funny.
Nevertheless, in April 2007, Glenn Gilberti was arrested along with 26 others in a gambling sting at Disco associate Dan Tyre's home in the Atlanta area.
Unbelievably, the two had constructed a casino in the basement of the home (complete with waitresses) and were holding regular high-stakes games where you couldn't even sit down at the table without a minimum buy-in of $10,000.
What's most shocking to me, is that Disco Inferno could run a casino where the minimum bet is $10,000. I guess Eric Bischoff really did overpay talent in WCW.
The authorities had been staking out the home for six months before deciding to go in for the bust.
Disco and Dan Tyre were both charged with felony gambling as well as drug possession, as cocaine and Ecstacy were also seized in the raid.
Disco was allowed to go free after posting $10,000 bond. There's no word on when his court date will come up and he'll have to face conviction.
33. Billie Joe Travis
Being arrested for not paying child support is hardly shocking or noteworthy.
Being arrested on the air while performing during a televised wrestling show?
That is shocking and noteworthy.
And that's exactly what happened to Billie Joe Travis.
Billie hadn't been paying his child support to his ex-wife for some time. At the time, however, he was working with the USWA in Memphis, Tenn. His ex-wife, knowing where he was, sent the police after him to arrest him. They arrived to take him into custody at the same time the June 21 show was being filmed in 1997.
Jerry "The King" Lawler, instead of deciding to edit the footage, used it as a part of the program. (You stay classy, Jerry.) This made "BJT" the only wrestler in American history to legitimately be arrested on a wrestling program. (Eat your heart out, Stone Cold.)
Sadly, William Joseph, the man behind the Billie Joe character, a well respected heel in the USWA and indie promotions in the 1980's and 1990's, passed away from a heart attack at the age of 40.
One of the WWF's original premier Divas, Tammy Lynn Sytch was regarded as one of the hottest women the WWF had ever seen during the 1990's. She was a successful manager for "The Bodydonnas" and AOL's most downloaded woman of the year in 1996.
But for all of Sunny's popularity, she had her demons in the drug department as well, and those demons would lead to her having problems with, of all people, her own mother.
In early 1999, during a visit to her mother's house in New Jersey, Sunny began to display strange and erratic behavior. This led to her mother filing a restraining order against her.
Sytch immediately violated that order on Feb. 5, 1999, returning and acting strangely again. The police arrested Sunny and held her in jail for two days before releasing her on her own recognizance.
You know that you have problems when even your mother wants police protection against you. The drug problems that led to this incident eventually got Tammy and her boyfriend, Chris Candido, who also struggled with drug abuse, fired from ECW in 1999.
Tammy would eventually get herself together after Chris passed away on April 28, 2005.
Sunny was recently inducted into the WWE 2011 Hall of Fame and still makes appearances on the Indie circuits.
31. Ric Flair
Most men, when they get busted with cars and alcohol, it's DUI.
But not Ric Flair. Ric Flair is a gigolo. So, he provides the car. But, she's going to be doing the drinking (underaged drinking) and the driving.
So, on March 8, 1996, Richard Fliehr handed over the keys of his car to 20-year-old Collette McCune and let her drive while she was twice over the legal drinking limit. The legal drinking age at the time in Charlotte, N.C., was 21. Ric was arrested for giving alcohol to an underage girl and allowing her to drive.
Not satisfied with one car-related arrest, Flair snapped in November 2005 and choked fellow commuter, Robert Steele, in a road rage incident. This time, Ric was arrested for assault and battery and damage to personal property. Both were misdemeanor charges, so he was let off with a slap on the wrist.
Sadly, Ric might have more days in jail in front of him than he does behind him.
He barely avoided spending 90 days in jail for not paying $35,000 in a business agreement with Highspots.com, an online retailer. While that debt was paid, Ric is still deep in debt to the federal government for $874,000 in back taxes.
If he, at any point in time, fails to meet his obligations to the federal government, he'll be in federal prison.
30. William Regal
Darren Matthews a.k.a. William Regal is not coy when it comes to his struggles with drugs and alcohol.
In a tell-all book, called "Walking a Golden Mile," Regal detailed all of the seedy incidents in his life of substance abuse, that sabotaged his career and hurt his family.
However, of all of the incidents in which he was involved, one point stands out in infamy:
In August 1997, while still employed with WCW, Matthews was on a flight that was returning from Tokyo to the United States that was scheduled to stop in Detroit. While on the flight, Regal got extremely inebriated and while going to the restroom in an attempt to urinate, he had left the door to the lavatory open.
When a stewardess had tapped on his shoulder to instruct him to close the bathroom stall, he turned around and urinated on her. By this time, Regal had blacked out from consuming too much alcohol. When he came to, he was in a jail cell in Anchorage, Alaska, where the plane had made a landing to have him removed from the flight.
Regal was charged with "Urinating on a Flight Attendant" and fined $2,500.
Fortunately, after several years of struggling with drugs and alcohol, Regal was finally able to defeat his demons and is now a commentator on WWE's NXT.
Most fans of Leon White choose to remember his better days in Japan and WCW, where he was a respected top-level wrestler who had won the WCW World Heavyweight Title three times and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship three times.
Few would want to remember the jobber the WWF made him out to be during his time with the promotion from 1996 to 1998. The WWF completely misused him until he asked for his release so he could wrestle in Japan.
But, the WWF wasn't just responsible for mistreating Vader on WWE television, they also tripped him up on Kuwaiti television, as well.
In a horrible case of international miscommunication, Vader was arrested in April 1997 for assaulting the host of Good Morning Kuwait. In what was supposed to be a kayfabe moment, the host of the program asked Vader if wrestling was fake. Vader flipped over the table, grabbed the host by his tie and jerked him around while cursing and asking him if it was fake.
Vader believed it was supposed to be a work, and was doing as he was instructed to do by Gerry Brisco, a backstage booker and one of Vince McMahon's right-hand men at the time.
Apparently, the host wasn't in on the act, and Vader ended up being arrested and convicted of assault and "insulting the host." (Which, apparently is a crime in Kuwait.). Fortunately, he was let off with a $166 fine. I doubt a Kuwaiti jail is a place you want to call your home for any amount of time.
28. Johnny Grunge
Johnny Grunge, as one half of "The Public Enemy" with Rocko Rock was the true definition of an ECW original. He joined ECW in 1995 before they were even "Extreme" and were just "Eastern" Championship Wrestling.
The gimmick that the Dudley's would use by throwing anything that moved through a table? Public Enemy did it first.
The clip you see from time to time when watching old ECW tribute promos where you see some wrestlers getting buried under a pile of steel chairs thrown by the audience? That was Public Enemy.
And WCW decided they wanted them on their roster. So, they hired both Mike Durham (Grunge) and Theodore Petty (Rock). And boy did they ever get some ECW originals.
Within a month, Durham was being arrested for DWI and auto theft.
That doesn't sound too different from anything Matt Hardy and Kurt Angle have done recently, right?
Until you consider the fact that the truck that Grunge stole was a WCW production truck.
WCW hired Public Enemy in the middle of January 1996. And February, the very next month, Grunge got loaded on some intoxicant and stole one of their vans.
Amazingly, WCW decided to keep them around, anyway. The Public Enemy would go on to have a decent mid-card tag team run in WCW before finally being released in 1999.
Sadly, Mike Durham died at the age of 39 on Feb. 16, 2006 from complications due to sleep apnea.
Petty had passed away four years prior at the age of 49 from a heart attack.
27. The Big Show
In a case of taking one's name too seriously, Paul Wight, "The Big Show" decided he would give a Tennessee hotel worker a "Big Show" of her very own.
In December 1998, while still working for World Championship Wrestling, Paul Wight allegedly exposed his genitalia to a hotel worker in Memphis, Tenn. He was arrested on indecent exposure charges. However, due to insufficient evidence, Paul Wight was found not guilty and released.
Only four months after that incident, in March 1999, The Big Show was arrested again for this.
Because of the footage, Paul was found not guilty of the assault charges he was arrested for.
Paul would go on that year to leave WCW and join the WWF.
Where he would end up punching people absolutely nowhere near as hard as that.
26. Jerry Lawler
Everybody knows Jerry. For as much as Jim Ross is known for his legendary color commentary and catchphrases, Jerry "The King" Lawler is known for his (sometimes) comical one-liners and fighting with WWE Superstars on Raw.
But before Jerry was ever a commentator, the man was a legend in the south the likes no one had ever seen. Between 1974 and 1987, Jerry Lawler held the AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship 52 times as its first and last champion. He also held the USWA Unified Heavyweight Championship 28 times. All told, Jerry held an insane 166 titles in his full-time wrestling career.
But while promoters, bookers, fans and everyone in between, seemed to love Jerry Lawler, one little girl didn't.
In 1993, Jerry Lawler was arrested and indicted on charges that he raped and sodomized a 15-year-old girl.
Fortunately for Jerry, the girl later admitted that she had lied about the encounter and Jerry was declared innocent and released. However, he would receive taunting over the incident for years, regardless. Especially in promotions like ECW, where he was absolutely loathed.
Jerry was again arrested on March 16, 1999 when he was given a ticket at the Memphis International Airport. Instead of taking the ticket, Jerry tore the ticket up in the officer's face and ran over their foot with his car. He was indicted on reckless endangerment charges and given a slap on the wrist.
If that were a commoner, they would've been arrested for assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run, destruction of police property (the ticket), resisting arrest and police evasion.
We'd still be in jail, today.
It's good to be king.
25. Buff Bagwell
Marcus Alexander Bagwell, better known as "Buff" Bagwell, was a successful mid-carder in the premier days of the WCW, at the height of the NWO in the late 1990's and turn of the millennium.
One thing Buff is also known for, is his lack of professionalism when the cameras aren't running.
The most extreme example saw Buff Bagwell being arrested for assault at a WCW Thunder taping in May of 2000.
A stagehand by the name of Darrell Miller was trying to exit the arena with carpet from the show, when Buff and a group of wrestlers were clogging the exit. When Darrell asked to get by, Buff Bagwell referred to him with a racially-charged expletive twice and punched him in the neck.
When police arrived they were shown photographs of the injury and given eye-witness testimony of what happened. The police determined that Buff Bagwell was at fault and he was immediately arrested for assault.
He would then be suspended by WCW for a whopping 30 days.
Buff would be one of the wrestlers given a shot by the WWF after WCW fell. He signed immediately after the WCW's collapse in March 2001. He began to wrestle for the company on July 1 and was fired July 9. He literally lasted only eight days backstage.
Bagwell was last seen on the main scene in TNA in 2006 in a handful of appearances. While Buff has declared he would like to work with TNA, they haven't used him in five years.
Younger fans may remember him as "Meng" in WCW and one half of the "Faces of Fear" with The Barbarian in Kevin Sullivan's "Dungeon of Doom."
Older fans may remember him as "King Haku" in the WWF, who feuded with Harley Race and won the tag team titles with Andre The Giant.
But, however you know Tonga Uliuli Fifita, one thing is for certain, the man was a character not to be messed with. A fact fans might not have known, is that Fafita wasn't just a television tough guy, he was the real deal.
A man who Bad News Brown and Bobby Heenan referred to as the toughest man they had ever seen, Fafita was known for his no-nonsense manner if you crossed him.
Two of the more notable altercations he had with wrestlers was when he got into a fight with Jimmy Jack Funk in 1987 and gouged out one of his eyes with his bare hands. The other time was when he grabbed Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake out of the shower, lifted him off of both of his feet and strangled him in the air for complaining about Tonga being too stiff in the ring.
In the world of professional wrestling, that's (kind of) okay, but when you take it to the streets, that's where you get arrested.
On Oct. 25, 1988 in Baltimore, Md., Haku was arrested for a bar fight. Now, if that were just it, it wouldn't be on the list. But, Meng decided to take it a little further than the average bar fighter and bit the man.
On the nose.
And nearly bit it clean off.
My first thought is: "Wow."
My second thought is: "Wait a minute, he bit him in the booger purse. Nastiness."
King Haku would follow up this act the next year in a bar in Rochester, N.Y., in April 1989. This time, Fafita insisted that a girl bow down in servitude to him as king. (Living the gimmick much?) When the girl refused, her boyfriend stepped in. For his troubles, he got his head rammed into another man's head like bowling pins. He was again arrested for assault.
Because of the age of these arrests, I can't locate how his court appearances turned out from 22-23 years ago.
I assume he just stared at the judge until the judge wet himself and decided to release him.
23. Ken Patera
Ken Patera was a huge superstar in the 1970's and 1980's for the American Wrestling Alliance and The World Wrestling Federation.
As a top heel, he feuded with the likes of Hulk Hogan and Bruno Sammartino. During his return to the AWA on the downswing of his career, Ken Patera was one of two wrestlers who visited a McDonald's in Waukesha, Wisc., on April 6, 1984.
It being after hours, they were denied service at the restaurant chain, and allegedly, Ken Patera threw a boulder through one of the windows of the store. Yes, a boulder.
After leaving the scene and returning back to his hotel with the other wrestler, two police officers showed up at Ken's door. An altercation ensued between the two officers and the two wrestlers, and Ken and his friend were arrested.
Ken would end up being sentenced to two years in prison for battery of a peace officer charges.
He would be released after a year and a half on good behavior.
Upon getting out of jail, the WWF brought Patera back to the company and attempted to use the situation to push Ken Patera as a sympathetic face.
It worked for a while, but then Patera ruptured his bicep muscle and killed his momentum. He would be gone from the WWF in 1988, only one year after the WWF brought him back.
22. Mr. Saito
And then there is his friend. The other man involved in the Patera situation was Masanori Saito, or better known as "Mr. Saito."
Mr. Saito wasn't quite the superstar heel that Ken Patera was, but he was a heel of note, having won the WWF Tag Team Titles twice with Mr. Fuji.
After the incident in Wisconsin, Saito was also sentenced to two years in prison and was released after a year and a half.
But where as Patera's career went on a downward trajectory, surprisingly, Mr. Saito's went up.
He began to get noticed in Japan and had a successful end to his career there, having a legendary deserted island match against Antonio Inoki and winning the IWGP Tag Titles twice in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
He then ended up winning his first-ever World Heavyweight Championship when he won the AWA World Heavyweight Championship from Larry Zbyszko in front of 64,000 fans in the Tokyo Dome.
Masanori Saito would retire from wrestling on Feb. 14, 1999 after losing to the NWO's Scott Norton at Nippon Budokan.
21. Juventud Guerrera
In the 1990's, WCW had a comfortable spot for diminutive luchadores on their roster: The bottom.
Generally used as enhancement talent to get bigger wrestlers over, or spot monkeys to keep a crowd hot during the middle portions of a Monday Night Nitro or Thursday Thunder, the career ladder for guys like "The Juice" wasn't going anywhere near the top.
In 2000, when everything was falling apart for WCW, wrestlers on every part of the card were frustrated. And for Eduardo Hernandez, his frustration exploded in a fit of PCP-fueled rage.
Guerrera got high on Phencyclidine on Oct. 8, 2000, while on tour in Brisbane, Australia. The drug, which is known to cause hallucinations, aggression and dissociative dream-like effects, caused Juvie to storm from his room, stark naked, and threaten to murder WCW executives. (Hey, do you think he got to keep his job?)
The police were called in and in a drugged-out stupor, he began to assault three police officers who came to detain him.
Juventud was arrested and charged with two counts of assaulting a police officer, one count of indecent exposure, one count of disorderly conduct, one count of causing bodily harm and one count of possession of a dangerous drug.
Brisbane authorities are nice people, because they let him off with only $1,800 in fines. They were even kind enough to not put the conviction on his record because it would impede his ability to travel internationally and wrestle. (Clearly, the right move here was to be concerned with his cash flow.)
WCW executives, not being nearly as nice, and not giving a crap about his cash flow, fired him immediately. (Brisbane authorities would refer to them as "big meanies," upon learning of their decision.)
He would later go on to wrestle in TNA and the WWE, but couldn't stick to either roster. He landed in AAA and after an incident where someone defecated in his bag, he got into a fight and never worked for the promotion again.
He now wrestles in various independent promotions.
20. Nicole Bass
Some wrestling fans might remember Nicole Bass from the waning days of ECW.
But most will probably remember her for her brief stint in the WWF for a couple of months as Sable's bodyguard and Val Venis' sidekick.
She left the company after accusing Steve Lombardi of sexually harassing her and sued the WWF over the matter. The case was thrown out in 2003. The presiding judge took one look at Nicole and found her story to be "unlikely." (Okay, that part didn't happen.) But the case was thrown out.
Nicole has spent the last couple of years supporting an alternative eating lifestyle, the main dish appears to be "police officer."
On May 30, 2005, Nicole Bass had gotten seriously drunk, due to the fact that she couldn't fill her prescription for Oxycontin to help with the pain she was suffering from pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). She was using alcohol to medicate.
This was a horrible idea, as she then got suicidal and threatened to slit her wrists in front of her husband, Robert Fuchs. Mr. Fuchs decided to call the police to help his ailing wife, and she began to beat him until he went cowering into a corner.
The man was 57 years old at the time, and Nicole was a 40 year old boxer and professional wrestler. He had no chance if he were to face her man-to-man and admitted as such in an interview with The NY Post.
When the police arrived and tried to save Nicole's husband, Nicole ended up biting the police officer's hand. She was arrested and locked up in the Elmhurst Hospital Psychiatric Ward. She was released after 72 hours.
This was the second time she took a bite out of crime...fighters. In 2000, Nicole also bit another police officer's thumb in Little Italy, N.Y., at the Feast of San Gennaro. (The feast is a tribute to the patron saint of Naples.) Nicole pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for her actions.
Currently, Nicole Bass still wrestles on the independent circuit and works as a personal trainer.
If you utilize her as a personal trainer, I would highly suggest you pass on her dietary plan.
19. New Jack
New Jack (real name: Jerome Young) is easily one of the most violent and controversial wrestlers to ever lace up a pair of boots in this generation.
New Jack, an ECW legend during its heyday, is just as well known for jumping off of 40-foot balconies onto tables and using cheese graters to excoriate his opponents, as he is for legitimately beating up people who anger or agitate him in the ring.
But, sometimes, Jerome would take it too far.
In October of 2004, New Jack was wrestling in Jacksonville, Fla., for the Thunder Wrestling Federation against William Jason Lane.
During the match, New Jack seemed to inexplicably pull out a blade and began to stab Lane repeatedly. The police arrived and arrested New Jack for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was held under $40,003 bond. (What's the three dollars for?)
However, Lane agreed to drop the charges against New Jack in agreement for Young training him and taking him on the road with him.
Jerome agreed and as soon as the charges were dropped, he left Florida.
There is an absolutely hilarious New Jack interview on YouTube where he shoots about the incident. Simply search up "New Jack Speaks On Stabbing an Independent Wrestler In Florida" (Warning: NSFW).
This wouldn't be the first time that New Jack crossed the line at a show.
In one of the most infamous incidents in the history of professional wrestling, "The Mass Transit Incident," New Jack and fellow wrestler Mustafa Saed (real name: Jamal Mustafa), brutally beat and bladed 17-year-old Eric Kulas.
Kulas had lied and told ECW promoter, Paul Heyman, that he was 23 and trained by Killer Kowalski and asked to be used at an ECW house show on Nov. 23, 1996, to fill in for Axl Rotten, who was gone due to family issues.
Heyman agreed and during the match, Eric was absolutely massacred. New Jack ended up being arrested on assault and battery with a deadly weapon charges. However, the charges were thrown out once the circumstances surrounding Kulas came to light during the trial.
Amazingly, New Jack got arrested again on January 27, 1996, at a Smoky Mountain Wrestling show after getting into an altercation with a 14-year-old boy and then fighting with police afterwards.
In September 2006, he was almost arrested at the old ECW Arena (New Alhambra) in Philadelphia for being abusive towards a staff person for bringing him 7-Up instead of Sprite. (I would be angry, too.)
Fortunately, the staff worker refused to press charges and police escorted New Jack out of the building.
We can keep going with New Jack for a while, but we've got a lot of ground to cover, so we'll just leave it at:
New Jack is out of his mind.
18. Scott Hall
I don't even know where to begin with Scott Hall. One of the greatest never to hold a World Title, he was legendary in his role as Razor Ramon and industry-changing with the New World Order angle alongside of Hulk Hogan and best friend, Kevin Nash.
Were it not for his inability to get past his addictions to various drugs and alcohol, Hall might have been a multiple time World Champion for both the WCW and WWF/E. Sadly, Hall has been in and out of rehab and jail more times than the people who actually work there.
Hall has been arrested so many times and had so many incidents at this point, that his run-ins with the law could facilitate their own countdown. As such, I will highlight the most outlandish ones.
On July 30, 1998, he was arrested for molesting a 56-year-old woman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and charged with simple battery, disturbing the peace, and public intoxication. He had fondled the woman in a drunken stupor.
On Nov. 22, 2000, he was arrested in Sanford, Fla., for drinking and driving while over three times the legal limit. The legal limit in Florida is .08, Hall was at .26. When they arrested him, he was going to pick up his children while driving the wrong way down a one-way street.
On May 14, 2011, Hall was arrested when he got drunk and began to attack patrons and waitresses as the Hitching Post Bar in Chuluota, Fla. He pushed a patron and then cursed out the bartender. She called a ride for him, but when it arrived, he punched a window out of the car, and then pushed two women around. The police came and Hall resisted arrest. On June 21, he was sentenced to 10 days in the Seminole County Jail.
These arrests don't even include the incidents where he was nearly arrested for rushing the stage at the Iron Sheik roast and attacking comedian Jimmy Graham in Camden, NJ, after an inappropriate joke about Owen Hart.
Or his recent episode on May 8 of this year, at his home. He called his ex-wife, Dana Burgio, while suicidal. She would send EMT's to his house and he would fight with them. He then spit in her face and threatened to punch her when she arrived and she cut him out of her life for the final time.
Scott Hall has become a laughing stock, but it's not even close to funny at this point. It's tragic. Scott Hall needs help and I personally have him in my prayers.
As one of my favorite wrestlers growing up, it pains me to say this, but perhaps the next time Scott finds himself in front of a judge, perhaps that judge should throw the book at him with a lengthy sentence.
Maybe it will be the thing to jolt him out of this before he ends up in the obituaries.
17. Nick Gage
Nick Gage was a Combat Zone Wrestling icon.
He is the ultra-violent hardcore promotion's first ever World Heavyweight Champion, and it's only Triple Crown champion by being the World, Tag-Team and Ultraviolent Underground Champion.
If you are not familiar with CZW, it makes the old ECW look about as hardcore as the current WWE product. They do things in the ring that will get you charged with attempted murder anywhere else. Things like using weed whackers on each other and throwing opponents off of U-haul trucks onto tables covered in glass.
You would think they would get paid more to do things like that, but seeing how they don't draw arenas full of people, I suppose it's not possible.
Which brings us to CZW legend, Nick Gage, or, Nicholas Wilson.
On Dec. 22, 2010, Wilson walked into a PNC Bank in Collingswood, N.J., and handed a robbery note to the teller. He got away with $3,000. But, because banks have cameras, and Gage didn't bother to use a mask, he was wanted the following week, as CZW fans themselves contacted the police and helped them to identify Gage.
Gage was in Atlantic City trying to turn that $3,000 into $3,000,000 (brilliant), when he discovered that the authorities were looking for him. He did the smart thing and turned himself in to the police.
On March 15 of this year, Gage pled guilty to the reduced charge of second degree robbery and was sentenced to five years in prison. But, because he robbed a bank, which is a federal offense, he will be forced to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
He will be free in either 2015 if he is paroled, or 2016 if he isn't.
16. Blackjack Mulligan
Blackjack Mulligan, better known as Robert Jack Windham, is the patriarch of the Windham wrestling family that includes his sons Barry Windham and Kendall Windham, grandsons Husky Harris and Bo Rotunda and son-in-law Mike Rotunda a.k.a. Irwin R. Schyster (IRS).
A Hall of Famer, Blackjack was a dominant force in the NWA promotions in the '60s, '70s and '80s.
However, Blackjack found himself on the wrong side of the law in 1990. Blackjack was arrested by the US Secret Service (You know you're in trouble when they show up) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for counterfeiting. When he was arrested, the authorities had found $500,000 in counterfeit bills in the bust.
He and several attorneys were all hit with federal indictments. But the worst part was, he had also gotten his own son, Kendall Windham, involved with the scheme and drug him down, as well.
Both Robert and Kendall Windham signed plea agreements and were given 24 months in federal prison.
After his prison sentence, Blackjack gave an interview to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway where he confessed that recent real estate law changes by President Ronald Regan left him financially outstretched, as $35 million worth of property he owned at the time were suddenly made ineligible for a tax deduction.
Mulligan thought it would be an easy scheme to counterfeit the money to pay for the new taxes on his properties.
Why he thought that paying the people who print the money with money they didn't print was a good idea?
Well, that, we'll never know.
15. Vincent K. McMahon
Although he wouldn't spend a single day in jail, in 1993, the ring master of the circus that was the WWF, found himself indicted by the federal government on distribution charges for illegal steroids and drugs.
The "Vince McMahon Steroid Trial" is one of the most memorable moments in the history of professional wrestling.
It all started in December 1989, when the FBI began an investigation of Dr. George T. Zahorian III. A doctor who had worked closely with professional wrestlers, especially in the WWF, as one of their staff doctors.
Zahorian had been supplying WWF wrestlers, including Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior and Roddy Piper, steroids illegally, in return for financial gain and access to the wrestlers he was a personal fan of. He allegedly even supplied steroids to Vince McMahon himself.
When the feds closed in to arrest Zahorian, using an undercover informant, he was caught trying to destroy evidence linking his transactions to the WWF.
Zahorian would be sentenced to three years in federal prison for his crimes. After the conclusion of their prosecution on Zahorian, the Government made the move to indict Vince McMahon for operating a steroid distribution ring.
On November 18th, 1993, they charged Vince McMahon with possession of steroids and conspiracy to distribute steroids and looked to lock him away for a sentence of 11 years, fine him $2 million while also seizing the Titan Towers, valued at $9 million.
It looked like Vince McMahon and the WWF was sunk when Kevin Walcholz, who used to wrestle for the promotion as "Nailz,",testified that Vince had encouraged him to use steroids.
However, the prosecution's case fell apart when their star witness Terry Bollea (Hulk Hogan) took to the stand to testify against Vince McMahon. He instead exonerated him by declaring that he had taken steroids, but Vince McMahon had never told him or anyone else to do it, or supplied them with steroids.
Vince was found not guilty of all charges and was free to run the WWF however he saw fit.
Which meant wrestlers were still taking steroids and dying at an early age, up until Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero's deaths changed everything in 2005 and 2007.
For those who feel that a sense of karma needs to be observed, look on the bright side: Linda McMahon will never win any political race she runs because of this very trial. She was caught red-handed informing Pat Patterson to warn Dr. Zahorian about the legal troubles coming his way and to sever all ties with the doctor and destroy any incriminating evidence.
It's known in political circles as the "Tip-Off Memo."
Or, "Political cyanide."
Karma. It's not equal karma, but it's something.
14. La Tigresa
La Tigressa, (Real name: Soldelina Vargas Ortiz) was a popular women's wrestler in Puerto Rico.
Having wrestled for the World Wrestling Council, she was a three-time women's champion in the promotion, with her third reign lasting for five years from April 17th, 1993 to February 25th, 1998.
That reign would have been longer, but she was forced to vacate the championship because she was arrested for smuggling heroin into the Puerto Rico State Penitentiary.
Imagine if Kelly Kelly was arrested tomorrow for boosting 8-balls into San Quentin.
This is what the WWC organization and its fan base had to deal with.
There is no information on how long she was imprisoned, but because Puerto Rico is a part of the United States as an unincorporated territory, there's a good chance they have similar sentencing guidelines.
Since this was her first offense, she could face up to 7 years in prison. Of course, because she was distributing the product through a prison, she could have faced distribution charges that could have gotten her anywhere from 15 years to life in prison.
On the bright side, she at least didn't have to go far to get there.
This is where the article ceases to be funny and starts getting disturbing.
Tazz's arrest was so faded between the line of rumor and reality, that I will provide the old newspaper article from the actual Beaver County Times on September 15th, 1998, here.
It isn't talked about much, and there isn't much information on the incident that floats around the web, but back in 1998, ECW Superstar Tazz, (real name: Peter Senerchia) went to the Moon Beach Tanning Salon, to get a tan. (I personally thought that was his natural skin color. Who would've ever thought someone as hardcore as Tazz would be hitting up tanning salons?)
While there, he inexplicably asked a 15 year old girl who was working at the salon to lift her shirt and show him her breasts. He then exposed his private parts to the girl.
When police arrested Taz, he gave his name as Taz Stone. Which is why there is confusion 13 years later as to whether or not it was really Tazz, currently a TNA broadcast announcer, who was behind these disturbing actions.
Tazz couldn't pay the $10,000 bond and was forced to sit in a jail cell. It's not known the outcome of the arrest, but seeing how he never missed any significant time out of his career in ECW in 1998 or 1999, one must conclude he wasn't given a harsh sentence or was perhaps proven innocent of the charges.
But certainly, it is one of the more bizarre arrests of an ECW wrestler. And considering ECW wrestler histories, that's saying something.
12. Art Barr
Art Barr is best known for his time in AAA in Mexico and for being the close friend of Eddie Guerrero.
Eddie began using the Frog Splash he made so famous as a tribute to his friend after his passing.
Barr and Guerrero were massively successful in AAA in the "La Pareja Del Terror" tag team.
However, before Art found success in AAA, he wrestled for Pacific Northwest Wrestling. In July 1989, after a show they ran in Pendleton, Oregon, Art Barr had a sexual encounter with a 19-year-old girl. The girl would later file rape charges against Barr.
Barr initially denied the charges, saying she consented, but then recanted that story saying that the girl didn't consent to have sex with him, but might have if they moved to another location. He was raping her in a stairwell of the arena.
Barr reached a plea agreement with the district attorney's office and plead guilty to a lesser charge of first-degree sexual abuse. He was sentenced to two years probation, 180 hours of community service and fined $1,000.
Arthur Barr would pass away in November of 1994. Like many within the wrestling industry, he suffered from addiction to drugs and alcohol. It is believed, but not conclusive, that he died from a drug-related heart attack. He was only 28.
11. Bill Armstrong
"Handsome" Bill Armstong is so far under the radar in the world of professional wrestling that I couldn't even find a picture of him for the article. But the crime he is wanted for is so heinous, he couldn't be omitted from this list.
The man behind "Bill Armstrong", (who has no relation to the actual Armstrong wrestling lineage), Gary Dean Mabe, used to work in the Mid-Atlantic independent scene and North Carolina in the 1990's.
On February 13, 1998, he was charged with two counts of statutory rape for the rape and molestation of a 10-year-old girl.
He fled the state in a van taken from the New Dimension Wrestling promotion in North Carolina. There is no further word on whether he was ever captured.
*No picture of Gary Dean Mabe is available.
10. Black Ninja
Not to be confused with "Super Black Ninja" who is actually The Great Muta, "Black Ninja" is the former Puerto Rican wrestler Luis Rios Rodriguez, who used to wrestle for the World Wrestling Council promotion in Puerto Rico.
On November 14th, 1997, Rodriguez was arrested for raping his underage step-daughter.
Not much information is given on what occurred after his arrest, but if he was convicted, the average term for rape in Puerto Rico is 12 years. Add to that the fact that she was a minor, and he could be spending the rest of his life in prison. Deservedly so.
*No picture of Luis Rios Rodriguez is available.
9. Dick Slater
"Dirty" Dick Slater, (Real name: Richard Van Slater), was a popular wrestler in the NWA territories, especially in Georgia, where he was a four-time NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion.
His career spanned through the 1970's to the mid 1990's, before he blew out two vertebrae in his back during a match, ending his career.
On December 27th, 2003, Slater went to the house of ex-girlfriend Theresa Halbert. The couple had just broken up, and Halbert was allowing Slater to come to her house to gather his belongings there. While there, Slater suddenly attacked his ex with a punch to the back of her head. He then took a knife in his possession and stabbed her three times in her back, arm and leg. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
Slater blamed the attack on morphine and oxycontin he had taken the night before, for his back. He said he had no recollection of attacking her. On June 10th, 2004, he was convicted for the crime and sentenced to one-year house arrest, two years probation, ordered to stay away from Halbert and forced to pay her $18,000 in restitution.
Showing why attempted murderers should probably get more than one year of house arrest, Dick Slater was arrested again on January 18th, 2007, for harassing Theresa Halbert again. He had made phone calls and left an envelope full of bank statements at her front door.
He again blamed it on drugs and said he didn't remember doing anything.
Hopefully, the court will make a more intelligent decision on Slater during his next trial, before he ends up actually killing the woman.
And, of course, "not remembering" that he did it.
8. Kerry Von Erich
Kerry Von Erich a.k.a. Kerry Gene Adkisson was a member of the legendary and tragic "Von Erich Family" that saw four of the six Adkisson sons enter the world of pro-wrestling and lose their lives.
Sadly, Kerry Von Erich was one of those sons.
What he did to make this list wasn't so shocking. On April 11th, 1987, Kerry was arrested for possession of cocaine and forging doctor signatures for prescription drugs. Like many others, Kerry struggled with a history of drug abuse and had been arrested several times prior to this arrest, including an arrest in June of 1983 at DFW International airport for possession of marijuana and another controlled substance.
Because of his history with drugs, he was already on a 10-year probation sentence. After his April 1987 arrest, Kerry was in violation of that probation and would be sentenced to a 10-year prison term.
Rather than face this, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest with a magnum revolver and driving off of an embankment simultaneously. He died on February 18th, 1993 at the age of 33.
It isn't the arrest that is shocking and tragic, as much as it was Kerry's reaction to it.
7. Mike Von Erich
Tragically, Kerry Von Erich wasn't the first Von Erich to be pushed to suicide by an arrest.
Michael Brett Adkisson was Kerry's younger brother and the fifth child to be sired by Fritz Von Erich.
He didn't have an aptitude for the sport like his older brothers, Kerry, David and Kevin, and felt forced into being a wrestler because of his heritage.
Things took a turn for the worst when Mike suffered a shoulder injury and had surgery to repair it on August 22nd, 1985. The surgery was botched and led to Mike being afflicted by "Toxic Shock Syndrome". TSS is caused by an infection of either Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes, bacterial toxins that enter the body, that can lead to a coma, or multiple organ failures that lead to death.
While Mike survived the infection, he was never the same. He had lost muscle and body mass, couldn't perform to his usual levels and his speech had become slurred due to the damage done to his brain. To make matters worse, Mike then suffered head trauma in a severe car accident the following year.
All of this led Mike down a path of depression and self-destruction that culminated in his turning to drugs and alcohol as a stress reliever.
On April 11th, 1987, he was arrested in Denton, TX, on possession of a controlled substance and DUI charges.
It would be this arrest (his second, as he was arrested 16 months prior for assaulting an emergency room physician months after his shoulder surgery) that pushed him over the edge.
The following day, April 12th, Mike left a suicide note for his family. Four days later, he was found dead at Lake Dallas, having overdosed on sleeping pills and alcohol. He was only 23.
The tragedy wouldn't end there, as Mike's death would be a key contributor for the suicide of his younger brother Chris Von Erich several years later on September 12th, 1991.
6. Lex Luger
At one point in his life, Lawrence Pfohl (Pronounced: "Foal"), had it all.
Though he had a short-lived run in the WWF at the top of the card, his real success came in WCW, where he was a two-time World Heavyweight Champion and regular main-eventer.
For just as legendary as the New World Order stable had become, men like Lex Luger, Sting and Diamond Dallas Page had become just as popular as their heroic foils.
Because Eric Bischoff would pay exorbitant amounts of monetary compensation to his athletes, Lex Luger had become a millionaire performer.
He was known the world over, highly popular (if not somewhat overrated) and had money to burn.
And then it all came crashing down, suddenly, just two years after the fold of WCW in 2001.
At first, it started like most wrestler's stories who become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Luger first got violent with his girlfriend, the beloved Elizabeth Hulette, who was known in the wrestling world as Ms. Elizabeth. He was arrested on April 19th, 2003 for beating her until she had two bruised eyes, a lump to the head and a busted lip. He was charged with a misdemeanor count of battery and released on $2,500 bond.
Only two days later, he was arrested again on April 21st, 2003 for driving while under the influence, without a license.
Then shockingly, it took a turn for the surreal.
Ms. Elizabeth was found dead in their townhouse in Marietta, Georgia on May 1st, 2003. She had overdosed on a mixture of steroids, hydrocodone, testosterone, alprazolam (a drug used to treat anxiety disorders) and Vodka.
While Ms. Elizabeth's death was ruled accidental, Luger was charged on 14 drug possession counts and was featured on the news around the country.
Luger decided to make a plea deal with the Marietta District Attorney's office and pleaded guilty on February 3rd, 2005. He was sentenced to five-years probation with random drug testing and forced to pay a $1,000 fine.
Even though Luger got off with a slap on the wrist for all of the drugs that he had that contributed to Elizabeth Hulette's death, he left for Canada with Buff Bagwell and Scott Steiner in December 2005. Before he could take flight, he was removed from the plane and arrested for violating the terms of his probation by attempting to leave the country. He would be sentenced to nine weeks imprisonment.
Luger would eventually give his life over to Christ and become a born-again Christian, and successfully break his drug addictions, as he famously interviewed about with prominent Christian wrestler Steve Borden, also known as "Sting", on the 700 Club.
Luger now works with the WWE on crafting and enforcing their Wellness Policy. He also writes for and works with different Christian ministries and helps with various nutrition initiatives.
5. Jose Gonzalez (Invader I)
Even though 23 years have passed, the stabbing death of Frank Donald Goodish a.k.a. Bruiser Brody at the hands of Jose Gonzalez a.k.a. Invader I, is still one of the most shocking and controversial incidents in professional wrestling history.
On July 18th, 1988, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico at the Bayamon Loubriel Stadium, Gonzalez asked Goodish to step into the shower with him so they could discuss some business.
While in the showers, Gonzalez stabbed Bruiser Brody in the abdomen. Brody would die later that night.
Initially, Gonzalez was charged with first-degree murder, but that was reduced to involuntary homicide, as Gonzalez claimed he acted in self-defense. In January 1989, he was acquitted of all counts and went free.
There is much consternation in certain wrestling circles about the trial, as many believe it was not in self defense, and that Gonzalez knowingly murdered Goodish. Claims of corruption in Puerto Rican courts, bias against mainland Americans in Puerto Rico and Gonzalez's own ties with authorities plagued the verdict.
Fellow wrestler Tony Atlas was a witness to the stabbing and gives his own take on it here.
There is also testimony from Dutch Mantell which can be read here.
Gonzalez retired from pro-wrestling on October 14th, 2006 after defeating Savio Vega in a death match for the IWC promotion in Puerto Rico.
4. Hardbody Harrison
"The lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client."
When former WCW Jobber, Norris Harrison, Jr., found police kicking in the door of his Cartersville, Georgia home to arrest him for running a sex slave operation, he should've remembered that age-old legal adage.
On August 18th, 2005, Hardbody Harrison, who is best known for losing in WCW matches on any show that wasn't called "Nitro" during WCW's heyday in the late 1990's, was arrested for keeping eight women locked up as sex slaves.
He would lure them in with the promise of helping them financially and with finding housing. He would then trap them in one of the two homes he was keeping in Cartersville. He would force the women to have sex with clients for money. If they didn't comply, he would brutally beat them and threaten their lives.
He was busted when one of the women approached a police officer on the street and told them what was happening to them.
Hardbody faced multiple counts of forced labor, aggravated sexual abuse, sex trafficking, witness tampering and conspiracy.
Facing possible life in prison, Harrison used the same intelligence that made him a violent pimp of defenseless women, and decided to defend himself in court.
For his brilliance, he got exactly what he deserved: Life in prison.
On a personal note, I can't stand men who do these kinds of things to women, and I am glad he's going to rot behind bars for the rest of his life.
3. Andre Heart
Andre Davis was an independent wrestler from the Ohio area who wrestled under the name of "Andre Heart".
On April 13th, 2011, he was arrested by Cincinnati police for having sex with someone, in spite of the fact that he knew he was HIV positive since 2009, in March of this year.
The following day, two additional women came forth to admit that Andre Davis had also had sexual intercourse with them and did not disclose the fact that he had HIV. Andre has been charged with four counts of felonious assault for having sex with the three women. (One woman twice, thus the four charges).
Even more disturbing is the fact that Andre wrested in promotions like the World Wrestling Coalition and Unstoppable Wrestling Alliance while he had HIV. Some of his matches were bloody, so he was bleeding on wrestlers when he knew he was HIV positive. Wrestlers who had matches with him were encouraged to get HIV screenings.
Thus far, none of the women he had sex with, or men he wrestled against, have come up HIV positive. Prosecutors are looking into adding more charges, and if someone should come up infected, he could face charges as severe as attempted murder, manslaughter or murder, as Ohio is one of 34 states that criminalizes the purposeful passing of HIV to an unknowing victim.
Davis is currently behind bars awaiting trial as he is unable to pay the $100,000 bail that has been set for him.
2. Ion Croitoru
Ion Croitoru may best be remembered as "Johnny K-9", a WWF jobber who wrestled for the promotion for several years in the late 1980's. In independent promotions he wrestled as "Bruiser Bedlam" where he had more success, winning a few heavyweight championships in the ICW and Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
But Ion is much more infamous for what he did outside of the ring, than inside of one.
Ion was the president of the "Satan's Choice" biker gang in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and was arrested in the early 1990's for trafficking cocaine and sentenced to ten months. Right after that, he was arrested again for assault and sentenced to seven months in prison.
Then on December 15th, 1996, Croitoru and his gang blew up a police station in Sudbury, Ontario. I repeat: blew up a police station.
Inexplicably, he was only sentenced to 33 months in prison. Seriously, he blew up a police station and that's all they gave him. An officer got hurt in the bombing, as well. Even more astounding is that he was given bail while awaiting trail for blowing up a police station. And while out, he got arrested for assault, extortion and carrying a concealed weapon. (Shock!)
I'm pressed to believe that Ion had some friends in law enforcement, because he allegedly had a hand in the November 16th, 1998 murders of Fred and Lynn Gilbank, who were both shotgunned to death, execution style. But the police didn't bring charges against Croitoru and his accomplice Andre Gravelle until January 6th, 2005.
The murders were believed to be retaliation for the Gilbanks helping to get two informants into the witness protection program who were going to help the authorities bring down the Gravelle Crime Family, a Canadian mob. They even unearthed that Ion was given a contract to kill a police inspector who was investigating the family.
Though charged with two counts of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, the prosecution failed to build up a strong enough case, even though they took over six years to build it. It was thrown out and Ion actually sued the the prosecutors for $15,000,000 for wrongful imprisonment. The case is still in court.
But wait, there's more...
On May 15th, 2009, Croitoru was arrested along with seven other members of the "United Nations Gang", a multi-ethnic, criminal syndicate that operates out of Vancouver, British Columbia. They were charged with conspiracy to commit murder after planning to kill multiple members of a rival gang.
Then again, on January 24th of this year, this guy, (who probably has given every single wrestler that had ever even looked at him funny, nightmares about sudden murderous reprisals), was charged again with first degree murder for the execution of a man named Johnathan Barber in 2008 in Vancouver.
The results of these charges in court have yet to be decided. But, if history is any indication, they will probably let him off with six months probation, a million dollars and a formal apology for inconveniencing him with the trifles of jail.
The moral of the story?
Criminals, if you want to go on a crime spree?
Go to Canada.
Citizens, if you want to be safe?
You should probably try Afghanistan or Mexico first.
1. Douglas Whitton
By far the most horrendous crime on this list was committed by Douglas Whitton, an independent wrestler from the Mississippi area.
Douglas Whitton had previously been in a substance abuse center for his addiction to alcohol. He checked himself out early and ended up meeting the family of Owen Reeves while at a church. The Christian family took him in out of the kindness of their hearts.
Douglas Whitton would then murder Owen, his wife, 9-year-old son and roommate in a series of actions so barbaric, they don't have any business being written on this website. (The court case can be seen here.)
Whitton was arrested on October 17th, 1997 by police who worked with the girlfriend of one of Whitton's friends, to arrest him shortly after the bodies had been discovered on October 16th, 1997.
Whitton confessed to the police that he may have killed the family while he was blacked out and pleaded innocent to the charges on those grounds.
On February 26th, 1999, Douglas Whitton was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
*No picture of Douglas Whitton is available.