10 Backstage Fights Between Wrestling Headliners
When they work themselves into a shoot, brother...
In a business laden with ego, insecurity, misunderstandings, competitive fire, and general debauchery, it should come as no shock that the history of professional wrestling is filled with behind-the-scenes scuffles among the talent. The aforementioned ingredients have been known to make for corrosive concoctions in wrestling locker rooms the world over, leaving astonished onlookers with stories to tell for generations to come.
Seemingly no level of wrestler is immune to the occasional locker room brawl, be they main eventers with a target on their back, midcarders with a chip on their shoulder, or underneath talents that don't suffer disrespect lightly. Over the years, all walk of grappler has gotten tangled up in some kind of physical altercation.
For this list, we're going to look at times when the best of the best, in-ring headliners and legends, either came to blows, or were in the midst of a skirmish that nearly crossed into that terrain. There will be no wrestler-vs.-executive stories here (sorry Montreal, your story has been told enough times). As we've noted, a locker room fight can happen at any time between seemingly any two individuals, but it's something quite unique when two it's major stars that are at each other's throats.
10. The Ultimate Warrior Vs. Rick Rude (1990)
Though attitudes toward Warrior lightened after his 2014 passing, the truth is that fewer of his peers had kind things to say about him in the preceding years. Accusations of a poor attitude and inflated ego had been levied against the face-painted muscleman, while his in-ring skills also bore the brunt of heavy criticism. Warrior was certainly no technician, but he was capable of having enjoyable matches with the right opponents. Rick Rude was somebody that had the ability to get Warrior to a certain desirable level between the ropes.
There are several versions of the story, but all point to Rude dishing out a pretty good thumping to the then-WWE Champion. Ric Flair (who would not have been with WWE at the time) claims that Warrior made a flippant remark about Rude not deserving enough for a match with him as champion, while Demolition Smash and Bret Hart have said that Warrior's clunky, overly-stiff work inside the ring irked Rude. In either instance, the story ends with an irate Rude confronting Warrior, and doling out the fists in response to whatever the perceived injustice was.