Damaging their legacy


Who do you think has caused the most damage to their legacy for their post-wrestling ring antics? CM Punk has to be one of them. He’s gone from fans practically bawling at him quitting wrestling to simply rolling their eyes everytime he talks (Daniel Bryan seems to have replaced him as the ones fans miss the most.) Whenever Bret Hart talks, people respond with a "Oh look, Bret’s whining about something again." Before he made peace with the WWE (and then died) Warrior was definitely in this category. I know he’s still wrestling, but would Kurt Angle fit in here?

​I feel like Chris Benoit did some long-term damage to his brand, in a sense.

  • J. Frizz

    Yeah, Benoit really choked.

  • cultstatus

    And his brain.

  • Starscreamlive

    Nothing tops Benoit. I’m surprised Snuka’s legacy hasn’t been tarnished more than it has recently.

    I’d put Hogan’s recent antics above Punk. Punk is just a whiny, spoiled brat. Hogan has been revealed to be on a whole other level of douchiness

    • Snuka didn’t have the same respect and admiration, though. I’m sure he had a solid fanbase in the early 80s but he’s been meh for decades.

    • RG-Dallas

      What has Hogan done since the misguided racial slurs from 2007?

      • James M. Fabiano

        What came to mind was his reaction to Nick and friend’s car accident.

  • Flair perhaps? His unwillingness to retire, personal and financial problems and always crying has him in Bret Hart company for respected legacies diminished.

    • RG-Dallas

      Is anybody actually retiring anymore? A bunch of guys do conventions and talk about their careers now. Is Flair currently in TV as a manager or a wrestler? Vince will let him manage and stuff, but seriously he is doing more comicons than wrestling. He is still tarnishing his legacy, but only because it is still about him.

      • His in ring career is hopefully over now, but when he it extended into TNA when Vince wouldn’t put him in the ring it was a sign Vince was making the right call. Flair trying to work in his 60s was embarrassing.

    • Jordan

      He was the first name that came to mind for me. He was as revered as any wrestler 15 to 20 years ago and now I think he’s seen as a joke. He definitely hung around too long and the further we get from WCW being a thing the less his actual in-ring legacy means.

      • rxchrisg

        Anyone who sees Ric Flair as a joke is a fucking joke themselves. When you’re at work,does the customer ever say,”Jordan,you’re the best slurpee pourer there’s ever been”? Do they ever tell you it’s their favorite slurpee ever? Ric Flair is the greatest of all time in his chosen artform.

    • Devin Harris

      Funny thing about Flair is that his mainstream stature has grown since all of his fans are adults who can relive him on YouTube

      • MyronB

        True, Ric Flair’s mainstream statue probably grew more during his post-WCW years (2001-2008) than it did during his peak in-ring years (1981-1993). A week or two ago, Flair deadlifting 400 pounds went viral in a big way.

        • Devin Harris

          Some guy for the colts was doing Flair promos to hype his team up. Flair ended up on espn because of it. I think his internet rep and mainstream rep are two wholly different things

    • Phrederic

      I’d say for a famous old wrestler he’s doing pretty well.

      Wrestling fans bitch about him, but ex-fans or borderline-fans love him. And he’s found a second-life as a rap icon.

      • Stan Ford

        This. I think Bret’s done way worse to himself. Ric is still highly respected and his financial problems seem to inspire more pity than anger.

        Bret, on the other hand, has gotten multiple columns and blogs from multiple talent asking him what the fuck his problem is and if there’s anything in life he actually LIKES.

        • Phrederic

          Right.

          Flair is still “oh, he never grew up but he seems chill” does anybody actually, sincerely, with all their heart still like Bret Hart as a person? He seems like an absolutely miserable prick. And as the level of wrestling talent has increased, his role as “best worker EVAR” has really been downgraded.

          I remember when Bret vs. Shawn as best WWE talent was a major conflict…now…I don’t think anybody takes Bret over Shawn.

          Plus, he seems like a total asshole that has nothing good to say about the current talent.

    • LiquidDisc37

      He’s recovered somewhat from his TNA nadir

  • Guy Smiley

    Right. When thousands of people roll their eyes in unison at a live WWE event, it sounds strikingly similar to people chanting “CM Punk”. But it’s not a chant. It’s a collective eye-roll. Because he has done irreparable damage to his legacy. Yeah.

    • Phrederic

      Cause when he comes back we won’t all collectively shit ourselves in joy.

  • Superstar Billy Graham’s probably on the list too, as his opinions always seemed to based on which ones will net him the most attention.

  • Bonzai <3 Felicity S&Moak

    Really? Punk?

    REALLY?

    REALLY?

    Really.

    REALLY?

    • Phrederic

      Smarks bitching about Punk is like that dude who never got over his ex bitching at a bar about how she was fat anyway.

      Like, he turned out to be not very good at MMA…post-WWE, Shamrock wasn’t very good at MMA either.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Benoit’s probably the only thing resembling a real answer here.

    • James M. Fabiano

      And yet, there’s the part of the IWC that doesn’t see or tries not to see it as an issue.

      • Like WWE, I just assume everyone wants to not remember it. Too sad, and not because we can’t brag about Benoit matches.

    • LiquidDisc37

      Another element to Benoit’s death, of course, is that Meltzer et al ignored all the stories about Benoit being a scumbag backstage while he was alive

  • Adam Wright

    CM Punk’s meltdown is still ongoing. He’s still got a active court case against the WWE doctor whom he accused of medical negligence in not treating his growth.

    • rxchrisg

      He’s like 35,this is as tall as he’s gonna get. Leave that poor Doctor alone!!

      • Venusian

        That made me laugh way too much…

  • zahidf

    Punk has always been a dick. I don’t really think he is acting any differently to how he used to!

    • Stan Ford

      This. He’s always been this way. People forgave it when he was still entertaining them, but his actual personality has been this way probably since he was 14.

    • MyronB

      The thing about Punk is that hardcore fans always viewed him as “one of us” but when they realized that he was a dick and really didn’t give a shit about “us” they took it personally.

      • Stan Ford

        Which is hilarious because trolling online wrestling fans was one of his number one hobbies.

  • Aaron

    Chyna

    • NoLookPass

      At first, the Benoit response from Scott feels like he is no-selling the
      question in classic snarky fashion, but it probably is the best answer.
      In terms of people who lived long enough after wrestling to ruin their
      legacy? Chyna.

      Ring ability aside, Chyna was a major Attitude era
      and pop culture figure. I believe she even was considered to play
      Wonder Woman in movies etc. before the comic book movie craze got red
      hot. She went from that to essentially a joke and persona non grata in WWE. It’s sad.

  • Hayden

    Chyna was on top of the world there for a while during her wrestling peak, and then things spiralled out of control in a hurry following her leaving WWE.

    • James M. Fabiano

      Can we vouch for Sunny as well?

      • Hayden

        Yep!

      • I thought Sunny’s legacy was a career shortened due to personal demons.

  • James M. Fabiano

    Ryback….wait, you needed a legacy to begin with.

  • MaffewOfBotchamania

    Punk’s a perfect example of simply having an ego is enough to turn people off someone.

    • rxchrisg

      He still sells shirts on prowrestlingtees.com. He isn’t just a retired wrestler,he actually says wrestling is stupid bullshit,whilst carny peddling his stupid bullshit.

  • Got Luger’d

    Hogan with the recent display of racism.

    • Jordan

      Not just the racism. There is the sex tape, the reality show, Nick’s car crash, his very public divorce and Brooke’s awful singing career. The last ten years have not been kind to Hogan.

      • MyronB

        That reality show was the worst thing Hogan ever did for his public image.

        • RawisStoned

          I thought the first season was fine. Just showed them to be a bit crazy but mostly loving and functional.

      • LiquidDisc37

        That’s why I was delighted he won his case against Gawker. Hulk Hogan shouldn’t spend his final years poor.

  • TPrincess

    I recently listened to Punk’s first “air clearing” session with Colt Cabana after that he didn’t need to say another thing about wrestling or his time in the WWE. I thought that it was good that he got the royalties he deserved and the company really fucked things up and he was probably right about Triple H burying him when he was at his hottest point and he should have main evented Wrestlemania.

    • Curtis Williams

      I don’t think he should of main evented Mania over Rock but that’s just me.

      • TPrincess

        I wouldn’t have minded a Rock-Cena-Punk triple threat.

        • Jesse Ewiak

          I prefer the match that drew the biggest buyrate in history.

          • Fat, Ugly Inner-City Sweathog

            Because it was a good match? I don’t care about their buyrates or financials.

          • Wasn’t that Mania 28 though? You can’t expect the same for the next year when fans already saw it once.

      • spicollidriver

        he probably should have main event a year later *with* The Rock though.

        (instead of Cena/Rock II and Punk/Taker, I would have prefered Rock/Punk and Cena/Taker)

        • Jesse Ewiak

          Good thing you weren’t booking from a business perspective. Plus, it’s not like The Rock was going to job to a skinny fat indy geek like Punk.

        • tannerfamilyfun92

          Cena/Rock is the highest drawing match in wrestling history. Of course you do it again

          • spicollidriver

            I didn’t care for the sequel.

          • tannerfamilyfun92

            Most didn’t. But still made a shitload of money

      • Converge241

        Punk vs a still undefeated Taker, with Punks huge streak being a few months bigger would have been an insane level of suspense. Cent Rock II would have done fine without the title. Ziggler cashes in on Raw to avoid Taker having to defend.

        Con- you kill the super long reign by doing that transition but no one thought Punk could win. With that reign behind him still AND folks not thinking they would make Taker champ.

        Towards the end of that match though people did start to wonder if maybe Punk could win. More folks at that time thought Punk would break the streak than Brock at 30. They had Lesnar lose to Cena and Hunter. Why would he beat Taker right? He had wins over Hunter in the rematch Punk and that kinda match against Big Show. If he had won all of those there would have been some plausibility.

        To circle back I agree he shouldn’t have main vented vs Rock but a true double main event title match would have been close. Of course he wanted to go on last.

        Hey wonder if he had stayed in the Bryan spot vs Hunter at 30 maybe fans would have forced him into the triple threat main event too?

  • Kenola

    Punk is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black when it comes to HHH. He might actually be even more egocentric.

    • TPrincess

      No doubt, probably more egocentric. But he was correct that HHH basically coming out of retirement to go over on him at a secondary PPV to cool him off and then jumping back into retirement was total bullshit.

      • RawisStoned

        He didn’t retire. He faced Nash, like, a month later. Actually he has never retired. Just doesn’t wrestle as much.

        • Stan Ford

          Also, if you want to say the storyline should never have happened, fine, but HHH had to win that match. Punk winning would have made zero sense.

          He beats HHH to prove that HHH shouldn’t be in charge because he’s wrong about what wrestling should be…

          And then HHH remains in charge.

          What? That’s some Shane/Taker/Vince/WM32 shit.

      • Kenola

        Oh he’s not wrong, just not fooling myself that he wouldn’t be doing the same shit in HHHs shoes.

    • Stan Ford

      I forget who said it, but I remember reading (paraphrased): “The reason HHH and Punk hated each other is because looking at each other was like looking in the mirror and only seeing the worst parts of themselves.”

      It always struck a chord with me.

      • Big D Wangston

        Imagine HHH admitting that.
        “Hello, my name is Paul . . . . . . and I am skinny fat.”

        • RawisStoned

          He got pretty bloated there for awhile. His appearance at WM 22 was…not great

      • NoLookPass

        This is true of so many relationships that go sour. People who don’t get along are oddly alike much of the time.

  • JDW

    Most wrestlers damage their legacy through their outside-the-ring antics. We also are very forgiving when the time comes though (e.g., Ultimate Warrior).

  • Flair jumps to mind, but the poster boy for this shit today is Mick Foley. He is absolutely disgracing whatever legacy he had in this new GM role on RAW. he is actively cancerous to the on-screen product and, somehow, comes off even worse than Stephanie.

    • tannerfamilyfun92

      Gets my vote.
      Foley was my favorite wrestler. Now I can’t even stand seeing him on TV

    • LiquidDisc37

      I’m in two minds about Foley. I feel bad he still has to do this shit after a beautiful retirement, especially as it’s a result of him losing out big in the financial crisis. On the other, I used to think he was one of the greatest human beings to walk the earth, now he’s just a joke.

      • Don’t worry, Foley has two minds about everything these days. Sometimes three, four. Depends how many voices he’s hearing at any given time.

  • MyronB

    CM Punk has moved on from pro wrestling, it’s time we move on from CM Punk.

    • Mr. DC

      CM PUNK!
      CM PUNK!
      CM PUNK!
      CM PUNK!
      CM PUNK!

      • Supermark25

        ITS ALL A WORK!

  • zbinks

    Benoit’s not a valid answer to this question, IMO. I would argue that Benoit was technically an active wrestler at the time of his death and never actually lived to have any “post-wrestling antics” to speak of.

    I’m not sure Snuka counts, either. Most of the damage to his legacy stems from an event that occurred while he was an active wrestler.

  • RawisStoned

    My favorite part of the Punk DVD is when he is whining about his family, then is all like “but I don’t want to whine about my family”

  • Empian

    Well it’s obviously Benoit.

    A better question would probably be who has gone away with least damaging their legacy. Shawn? Austin? Or some older guy like Steamboat?

    • Dino Bravo.

      • RawisStoned

        If anything Dino Bravo Sucks guy has helped enhance his legacy.

    • RawisStoned

      Shawn. He went out with a five star match, never came back, shows up every now and then just for the fun of it, and seems very happy in retirement..

      • Empian

        I’d probably give the edge to Shawn as well.

        I loved the way Austin went out (quietly and cleanly to his greatest rival) but he was showing some huge signs of it being the end of the road for him in 2002 and it was more of a last hurrah his match with Rock and even then that match’s quality is more about sheer star power and charisma than in ring greatness.

        Shawn was literally killing it every night and never showed a single sign of his standards slipping (he probably knew he couldn’t keep it up much longer). Very few others can say that.

        • LiquidDisc37

          Rock.

          • Empian

            Wouldn’t argue much with that either.

            The only black mark against Rock was that he wasn’t in the same ring shape during them comeback matches and blew up pretty easily (probably because of the added muscle).

            I wouldn’t say he was ever an A grade in ring guy before but he more than held his own.

            Of course the big argument in favour of Rock was that he put a load of people over – Brock and Goldberg on his way out first time and then Cena second time. As great as Shawn’s retirement angle and last match were he really only put over a guy he had put over the year before anyway and was the same age as him and working a limited schedule.

          • LiquidDisc37

            Rock at his absolute peak in 00/1 was a grade A guy in my book, but agreed. The one drawback of Michaels’ comeback in general was he didn’t put many people over. He was either in top level feuds where his opponent didnt need the win, or dominant in upper midcard feuds. He did make several people look like a million bucks in the ring, but he still went over.

    • LiquidDisc37

      Oh, and Lance Storm

    • Duff Soviet Union

      Austin’s interesting. I can remember being *so* sick of him during the Sheriff Austin era and just never wanting to see him again. He was absolutely ruining any fond memories of him in that era. Then he did actually leave and now he does great work with his podcast and everyone seems to have just agreed that Sheriff Austin never happened. Which is probably for the best.

  • Phrederic

    Punk-senpai, please notice us, we don’t like you now, can you please notice us, notice us please, please, please notice us.

    Grow the fuck up marks.

    He ruined his legacy by what? Bitching about WWE? Being bad at MMA?

  • jig

    Personally, I don’t understand the shit that Punk takes. He had the means to pursue something he was passionate about and had a chance to perform on a large stage. He didn’t do well, but I personally would love a chance to try to hit a major league pitcher, would be willing to train my ass off and would probably strike out in three pitches. Good for him to get the chance.

    To me, the really post-career wrecks are Chyna & Sunny who both had their substance abuse issues and generally have never been quite right since leaving the stage. Chyna was especially hot (wrestling wise) in the late 90s and now is pretty much forgotten for her wrestling contributions.

    I’ll tell you though, if Cena does more reality TV bullshit, he’ll get there in a hurry.

    • Zac Campbell

      Probably throw Missy Hyatt in there too.

      • Supermark25

        I wouldn’t put Missy in that group. She was neither as high or as low as the other two, and she keeps here substances, if there are any, private.

    • Supermark25

      He did do ok though, he should’ve done better, but he didn’t fit the ridiculous way the WWE does business. He choose to walk away and wasn’t scared to call it as he saw it. He’s one of the few to speak up. I don’t understand why he gets so much shit for it.

      • Duff Soviet Union

        Probably because wrestling fans take criticism of the business as a personal criticism of *them*.

    • LiquidDisc37

      Flair is worse than Sunny/Chyna, or was until WWE gave him a legends deal.

    • Converge241

      I love Punk but he bitched about folks who left the business or other part timers walking in (or back in)and getting spots from the guys who were there. So he then takes spots at Marvel Comics and UFC. If he would just say hey if you can’t beat em….but he doesn’t. Wish him nothing but the best but it was very very hypocritical

  • Funkmastabobo

    I’ve never understood why fans believed Punk when he made the claim that he only wanted to wrestle in the main event at Wrestlemania. That he would apparently be delighted being involved in an elimination match with Rock and Cena and taking the first fall early doors. I call bullshit on that.

    He was also mad that he was fired on his wedding day, despite having ignored HHH’s calls beforehand. Are the WWE to have shown the man respect when he chose to walk out on them without saying a word hours before a show that he would have been heavily advertised for?

    I’m a big fan of the on-screen character, but Phil Brooks come across like a spoilt brat.

  • Funkmastabobo

    I’m a big fan of Cornette, but for every year that passes he seems to upset more fans.

  • LiquidDisc37

    Hart’s mutation from smark God to staple target of vitriolic abuse is quite interesting. I remember when I was first reading and posting about wrestling (00/01) online, he was pretty universally beloved. Most took his side on Montreal, felt general sympathy for him and regarded Goldberg ending his career as a crime against humanity. Some of that might stem from heightened adulation in the immediate wake of his retirement (just like the fawning, ubiquitous tributes that are showered over people who’ve just passed), but as someone who stopped following in 02 and returned eight years later, the contrast was really something. Did his book have anything to do with it? I certainly lost any respect I had for him after reading it.

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