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Most Controversial WWE Wrestlers Ever: Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and more

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The world of WWE has always been as much about charisma and controversy as it is about athletic prowess. Over the years, several wrestlers have stood out not just for their in-ring skills but also for their controversial actions and personas.

This article delves into some of the most talked-about figures in the company’s history, including Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels.

The Nature Boy’s Notoriety: Ric Flair in WWE and Beyond

Ric Flair, known as “The Nature Boy,” is a legend in the wrestling world. His career, spanning over four decades, is marked by unprecedented achievements and controversial moments.

Flair’s flamboyant lifestyle, both in and out of the ring, often blurred the lines between his character and his real life, leading to numerous controversies.

His brash personality, coupled with allegations of misconduct and financial troubles, has kept him in the spotlight for reasons beyond his wrestling accolades.

Shawn Michaels: The Heartbreak Kid’s Rocky Journey

Shawn Michaels, “The Heartbreak Kid,” is another wrestler whose career was as much marked by controversy as it was by success.

Known for his exceptional in-ring skills, Michaels also had a reputation for backstage politics and personal issues, especially during the 1990s.

His involvement in the infamous “Montreal Screwjob” in 1997, where Bret Hart was controversially deprived of the WWE Championship, remains one of the most controversial moments in wrestling history.

Controversy Outside the WWE Ring

The controversies surrounding WWE wrestlers often extend beyond the ring. Issues like substance abuse, legal troubles, and personal scandals have plagued many wrestlers, impacting their careers and personal lives.

These issues not only affect the wrestlers involved but also cast a shadow over the WWE as an organisation, raising questions about the pressures and lifestyle associated with professional wrestling.

The Impact of Controversy on WWE

Controversy in WWE often translates into heightened viewer interest and media coverage.

While some controversies have damaged reputations and careers, others have been instrumental in building the larger-than-life personas that attract fans to the sport.

WWE has, at times, incorporated real-life controversies into its storylines, blurring the lines between reality and entertainment.

Wrestling with Controversy: A Balancing Act

The relationship between WWE and its controversial stars is complex. While controversy can generate interest and elevate a wrestler’s status, it can also lead to serious consequences, including suspensions, releases, and lasting damage to a wrestler’s legacy.

WWE has had to balance between capitalizing on the edginess of its stars and maintaining a responsible public image.


  • Who is considered the most controversial wrestler in WWE history? Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels are often cited among the most controversial, but this is subjective and depends on the criteria used.
  • What was the “Montreal Screwjob”? The “Montreal Screwjob” was a controversial and scripted incident in 1997 where Bret Hart lost the WWF Championship under contentious circumstances.
  • How does WWE handle controversies involving its wrestlers? WWE’s response varies, ranging from ignoring the controversies, using them in storylines, or taking disciplinary actions, depending on the situation.
  • Do controversies affect a wrestler’s legacy? Yes, controversies can both enhance and tarnish a wrestler’s legacy, depending on the nature and handling of the controversy.
  • Has the company ever fired a wrestler due to controversy? Yes, there have been instances where WWE has released wrestlers due to controversies or misconduct.
Written by
Jake Skudder
Jake is an SEO-minded Combat Sports, Gaming and Pro Wrestling writer and successful Editor in Chief. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling and gaming across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy.