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10 Real Backstage Fights Between Pro Wrestlers
One of the most popular blogs in the history of the Camel Clutch Blog was my piece on in-ring shoots or wrestling screw-jobs. Unfortunately for fans some of the best shoots or fights happened outside of the ring whether they were backstage or at a local bar. Thanks to some good storytellers here is a look back at 10 of the all-time best.
It is always interesting to me to hear or read about the old shoots but some of the better ones went down outside of the ring. It was bound to happen with heightened testosterone, intense tempers, and conflicting personalities. Today I look back at 10 of some of the more interesting and fun outside of the ring shoots and fights between pro wrestlers.
Dan Spivey vs. Adrian Adonis – The first time I heard about this was when I interviewed Dan Spivey for an RF Video Shoot Interview. Dory Funk Jr. later went on to blog about it on his website. As the story goes, Adonis came looking for a fight and challenged Spivey’s toughness. “C’mon Spivey, let’s see how tough you are.” Dory describes it as happening very quickly.
“Adrian took the wrestler’s position and lunged forward for Spivey’s legs. Spivey who is six feet six and has an ungodly reach caught Adrian with a vicious left to his left eye and cheekbone. It splattered like a watermelon and blood went everywhere. Spivey came with one more right to the face and the fight was over before anyone could break it up.” This was the same story Spivey told me as well during the shoot.
Paul Orndorff vs. Vader – This is probably the most well known outside fight after Arn and Sid. I have heard this story from both Orndorff and Vader and while both have different versions, enough people saw it to corroborate the timeline of events. Neither guy liked each other and according to Vader, Orndorff was mad that Vader had missed some photo shoots. Orndorff approached Vader after a photo shoot and started yelling at him, I have heard a story about him calling Vader “fat a$$”. Vader said that Orndorff challenged him to a fight and took some shots at Vader. Vader later went to finish it and got Orndorff on the ground and said he would have done worse if Meng didn’t break it up.
Now another version of this is Vader hit Orndorff and sent him to the floor. Orndorff in flip flops wound up punching Vader, sending him to the floor, and kicking him until he was pulled off. Orndorff told me, “The last thing I remember is that I was kicking him in the face with my flip-flops on and it hurt.”
“The only thing that I am thankful for is that if my body wasn’t hurt and I didn’t have all of that nerve damage on my right, God knows I might be in jail for killing him. I am not taking anything from anybody.”
Billy Robinson vs. Peter Maivia – Two of the toughest men in pro wrestling history once got into it outside of the ring in one of the most famous real pro wrestler fight stories ever. Unfortunately the story has taken several twists over the years but since Maivia is no longer alive, I will go with Billy’s side of the story.
“Peter Maivia was a great guy. I knew him in England, and got him and George Gordienko booked in Japan for that tour. Peter was a little wild when he had a few drinks. We were in the south of Japan and in an area where not too many people spoke English. Peter got impatient and started to act up which was making things worse and nobody was getting served at the bar. I told him to grow up and shut up so that we could all get served, which he did, but Peter being Peter, it played on his mind. On the way back to the hotel Peter for some reason wanted to fight me and started throwing punches. I grabbed him and held him so he couldn’t move. He then tried to bite me in the neck, so I pulled my jaw down so he couldn’t do any real damage, but he bit through cheek. When I saw the blood I got angry and knocked him out… he was unconscious for 25 minutes. I had to go to hospital to get a shot for the bacteria. The next day I found out that George had instigated the whole episode so I went into both their rooms, locked the door and challenged them. Neither wanted to do anything after that. And a couple of days later we were good friends again, As for the eye story, I had an operation on my right eye when I was 11 years old. Peter did not have the ability as a street fighter to get close to my eyes, and the reason I got bitten was because I didn’t want to hurt him. But as you know over the years stories get exaggerated… Reputations are usually made by people who have never been on the mat, or in astreet fight. Like most pro wrestlers/workers they start to believe they know how to wrestle and are really tough. But they never seem to have fought or beat anyone.”
Maivia’s daughter Ata tells a different story, “My dad never talked about it to me,” said Maivia’s daughter, Ata Johnson. “What’s he gonna tell his daughter? ‘Listen, baby, I tried to rip this guy’s eye.’ So no, it was a subject that I’d accidentally catch bits and pieces of, as the boys (like Ray Stevens and Pepper Gomez) would talk about in hush, hush undertones and then kayfabe me if I got too near…. It was a family friend (Gordienko) who I was talking to on the phone. So we’re chit chatting and I’d known that he was in Japan with Dad, so I asked him what happened. He said they were all in a restaurant and Robinson was mocking/making fun of dad’s eating chicken with his fingers. A reference was jokingly made about that being disgusting and savage, and that he should learn to use a fork. George told me that Robinson was a patronizing huge snob, and that he looked down on the foreign boys. My dad was huge on respecting all people. George said that Dad threw Billy threw the restaurant window, glass was everywhere, blood was everywhere, especially all over Billy’s face. George’s story was then interrupted by my dad, who rudely took the phone from me, because George had called to talk to him. And he was hot at me and George.”
Randy Savage vs. Road Warrior Hawk – These two legendary deceased wrestlers actually went two rounds with each other. The first round came backstage at a New Japan show in 1996. Reportedly words were exchanged and Hawk KO’d Savage in the locker room. Three years later the two went another round backstage at a Kid Rock concert. Hawk reportedly saw Savage approaching and extended his hand. Savage in return sucker-punched Hawk. Savage’s girlfriend Stephanie Bellars then reportedly attacked Hawk’s wife. While Hawk reportedly threatened to sue for the attack on his wife, no charges were ever filed.
Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels – The rivalry between these two got very real in July 1997 when tensions erupted and a brawl broke out backstage. The tension reportedly was instigated when Bret Hart ran over in a segment with Shawn on RAW and Shawn didn’t get to rebut. According to reports and interviews with Bret, Bret went to talk to Shawn backstage a few weeks later and Shawn said something like, “you haven’t spoke to me for three weeks and now you want to so no”. Words were exchanged and they reportedly brawled and had to be broken up. The fight ended with Bret holding a clump of Shawn’s hair. Shawn reportedly almost quit over it citing an unsafe workplace yet at the end I think it is pretty clear that Shawn got the final word on this one.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle – How crazy was Eddie Guerrero? He got into a fight with an Olympic gold medalist. JBL actually blogged about this on his Layfield Report site and gives a great background on it. As the story goes, the two had a disagreement in a match and tempers flared. Eddie wound up leg diving Kurt (nuts!) and Kurt quickly handled Eddie. The fight was broken up fast according to JBL. Kurt reportedly had to be held back by John Laurinaitis. JBL says he asked Eddie after the fight, “Why would you leg dive a gold medalist?” Without hesitation and still looking at the door he replies loudly, “Because I’m stupid!”
Dynamite Kid vs. Jacques Rougeau – Jacques Rougeau has told this story several times yet his best recap is in an RF Video. Jacques is just simply awesome when he tells the story as he takes the viewer step by step through the altercation like he is building up an angle. Dynamite also told his side of the story in his book. The gist of it is that the Rougeau brothers came backstage after a match and had their clothes cut up. Jacques blamed Dynamite and in his book Dynamite says he never liked the Rougeaus. Jacques loudly accused the Bulldogs of doing this and in response, Dynamite smacked Jacques across the ear.
Jacques got his revenge at a later television taping. Jacques saw Dynamite coming back from lunch. Jacques sucker-punched Dynamite with a roll of coins in his hand and knocked out some of the Kid’s teeth. The irony here is that the WWF paid to get Dynamite’s teeth fixed unbeknownst to Jacques who also paid the Kid $1800 to get the teeth fixed which Dynamite wound up pocketing.
Sid Vicious vs. Arn Anderson – The granddaddy of them as they would say would have to be the famous scissors fight between Arn and Sid. I have heard both men give their version which are pretty much the same thing. Sid made a remark out with the boys about Flair being an old man. Arn went after Sid with a chair. Arn later threatened Sid with a broken beer bottle. Sid stewed on it and went to Arn’s hotel room to continue the fight. Sid had a chair leg and claims to have thrown it down as he was coming to his senses. Sid then claims that he walked away and Arn opened the door and charged him with scissors. Too Cold Scorpio wound up breaking it up after Sid was stabbed in the stomach. Sid got the scissors and went after Arn and the rest is history. Sid got fired, Arn got a few months off, and fans got one of the most memorable WCW matches in Starrcade history when Ric Flair stepped in (ironically) for Sid and wrestled Vader at the Starrcade pay per view.
Chris Jericho vs. Bill Goldberg – Jericho and Goldberg had a brief feud when both were in WCW. Jericho had heat with Goldberg due to Bill not wanting to finish their program. Jericho talked a little bit about it in an interview I did with him in 1999.
The leftover bitterness spilled into the WWE locker room shortly after Goldberg arrived. Numerous reports indicate that the two had words with Bill insulting Chris. Jericho reportedly took control with some kind of a front facelock and the fight was stopped rather quickly.