In the world of professional wrestling, there have been many kayfabe rivalries that are very notable. However, there are certain rivalries that transcend the wrestling world into real life. For instance, The Richest reported rivalries that go beyond the professional wrestling ring. For instance, Ric Flair and Mick Foley were in a heated real-life rivalry that stemmed from Flair’s disparaging comments on Foley’s popularity based on being a hardcore wrestler. Back in 2004, SunSentinel reported that Flair refused to shake Foley’s hand during an episode of Raw after a heated conversation.
According to Flair, as written in his autobiography, “I don’t care how many thumbtacks Mick Foley has fallen on, how many ladders he’s fallen off of, how many continents he’s supposedly bled on.” He added, “He’ll always be known as a glorified stuntman.” This would come to a head during their worked shoot WWE feud, which led to a match at SummerSlam in 2006.
One of the most popular off-air rivalries come by way of Matt Hardy and Edge. Hardy and WWE Hall of Famer/former WWE Women’s Champion Lita were involved in a very serious relationship. Unfortunately, the relationship went sour when Lita had an outside fling with Edge. This turned into a more serious relationship, which infuriated Hardy. As a result of the boiling animosity between Hardy, Edge, and Lita, Hardy was let go from the WWE to prevent anything dangerous from taking place backstage. This angered the fans, as they rallied for Hardy to return. WWE listened, and a feud commenced an angle that led to a match at SummerSlam in 2005. Interestingly, both Hardy and Edge are married to former pro wrestling stars, Reby Sky and Beth Phoenix, respectively, and Lita is still single.
Recently, pro wrestling legend Brickhouse Brown expressed his real-life feud with WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler. Brown spent most of his wrestling career competing for the Continental Wrestling Association, United States Wrestling Association, and numerous territories for the National Wrestling Alliance. One of his greatest achievements was capturing the Texas Heavyweight Championship from “Iceman” King Parsons in February of 1989 while competing for the World Class Wrestling Association.
During an interview for the GOProWrestling YouTube Channel, Brown expressed his disdain for Lawler and also stated that he is still prevented bookings because of their contentious relationship (h/t WrestlingINC).
“Jerry Lawler is my biggest nemesis. Not only was he my nemesis in wrestling working angles and programs but in real life, and a shoot, he is still my enemy even to this day! Right now there are certain bookings that I can’t be on because he has notified promoters that if you book Brickhouse, I am not going to show up.”
“Jerry Lawler told promoters that I was hard to do business with. [They] put the belt on [me] and [I] left. Which is true. I left with the Continental belt. I sent the belt back C.O.D. because they owed me money. He (Lawler) always made it a point to say I didn’t want to work Jeff Jarrett that night, but not that they owed me $300.00.”
The pro wrestling business can be a very aggressive industry. Ultimately, many competitors are looking for how they can increase their rank in the business, while other people’s opportunities are not very important. As displayed by the interview from Brickhouse Brown, there is still animosity with Lawler from incidents that transpired thirty years ago. Unfortunately, Brown is still experiencing the backlash of it, as it is affecting his booking, and more importantly, his ability to provide for his family as much as he would like. Sadly, there are many other stories similar to this that have happened, and is still happening in the wrestling business.
[Featured Image By WWE]