WWE has boasted a clean reputation over the years it’s been on the map, but the sports and entertainment juggernaut has had its share of controversies. Jimmy Snuka murder charge and steroid trial created bad press for WWE. The wrestling promotion has also been accused of protecting superstars with criminal history on numerous occasions. That being said, here are seven WWE superstars with criminal records.
MVP made his WWE debut in 2005 and quickly made a name for himself in the mid-cards. Montel Vontavious Porter feuded with the likes of Rey Mysterio and Kane, winning numerous championships in the process. His first stint with WWE ended in 2010. MVP returned to the promotion full time in 2020. He is currently working as the on-screen manager of Omos.
MVP had a troubled childhood. He joined a street gang at the tender age of 12. This chaotic association left him in juvenile detention for six months after a robbery. He also spent 9.5 years behind bars after the court found him guilty of partaking in armed robberies and kidnappings. Thankfully, MVP turned his life around and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Hardy Boyz are one of the most popular tag teams in the world of pro wrestling. Matt and Jeff Hardy influenced an entire generation of wrestlers and are continuing to give back to the industry. They are currently signed to All Elite Wrestling, where they perform under the ring name the Hardy Brothers.
Despite being fan favorites for the majority of their respective careers, Matt and Jeff gained a notorious reputation with the law due to their recurring drinking problems that led to them getting slapped with DUI on multiple occasions. Matt also has a history of domestic disputes with his wife Reby Hardy.
William Regal is one of the most respected people in the world of professional wrestling. Regal traveled the world and competed for the likes of WCW and WWE before becoming the second-in-command on NXT. Regal was said to be a party animal during his wrestling days that led him to a run-in with the law on multiple occasions.
As Regal recalls in his autobiography, he accidentally urinated on a stewardess during a flight from Japan to the United States. Of course, that didn’t end well for the former WWE European Champion and he woke up in a cell in Anchorage, Alaska. Regal is currently signed to AEW where he mentors the Blackpool Combat Club.
Booker T was already a “five time, five time!!!” WCW champion when he joined WWE in 2001. Booker had memorable feuds with the likes of The Rock, Kurt Angle and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin before turning face in the initial years of the Ruthless Aggression Era.
The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion had his run-in with the law prior to joining wrestling. Booker and his three partners attempted a robbery at a Wendy’s outlet in 1987, two years before he made his pro wrestling debut. He was released on parole after serving 19 months in prison.
Randy Orton celebrated his 20 years in the business last month. WWE’s Apex Predator has seen performers come and go during a career that is nothing short of legendary. He’s currently having the time of his life with friend and fellow RAW Tag Team Champion Riddle.
Orton’s bad behavior and anger issues are well documented. The 14-time world champion was once a part of the Marine Corps, but was let go due to bad conduct in 1999. Orton was discharged for going AWOL on numerous occasions, and for disobeying the orders from a commanding officer.
Brock Lesnar’s accomplishments speak for themselves. Lesnar dominated collegiate wrestling before signing with WWE in 2000. He became the youngest WWE Undisputed Champion after beating The Rock at SummerSlam 2002. Lesnar joined New Japan following his departure from WWE in 2004 and became the IWJP Heavyweight Champion in 2005. He is also a one-time UFC Heavyweight Champion.
His first brush with the authorities came in 2001 when he was arrested on charges of carrying anabolic steroids in Louisville, Kentucky. However, Lesnar was released with a clean slate after cops found that the substance he was carrying was nothing but legal growth hormones. He was also fined $1,725 and handed a six-month hunting suspension for improper tagging of an animal in 2011.
The Rattlesnake may be a role model for others in the ring, but that doesn’t mean he is a model citizen. Austin gained notoriety after he was accused by his former wife, Debra Marshall, of assaulting her in 2002. Police took him into custody a couple of months later and fined him $1,000 along with handing him a 12-month probation as well as 80 hours of community service.
Two years later, Austin’s then-girlfriend Tess Broussard complained to the police about a similar occurrence, but no action was taken this time. Austin had his first match in 19 years when he took on Kevin Owens in the main event of night one of WrestleMania 38. He returned on the second night to deliver a couple of stunners on Vince McMahon, Theory and Pat McAfee.