wrestling / Columns

Top 7 Wrestling Conspiracy Theories – Stephanie & Savage’s ‘Relationship’, Warrior’s Identity, More

March 7, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Randy Savage Stephanie McMahon

A lot of people I knew were surprised at some peoples’ reaction to Roman Reigns coming back last week on Raw. There were plenty of folks out there that found Reigns’ return from leukemia unrealistic. I feel like this is due to most of us not understanding the realities of the disease. Many feel that getting diagnosed with leukemia is a death sentence, and it can be. So the idea of somebody overcoming the disease and coming back stronger than ever is something that a lot of people can’t compute.

If you go on social media you’ll see it. Or you’ll see people you follow reacting to it, which is typically my experience. The Roman Reigns Truthers are out there. They feel that this whole leukemia thing is a work to get people to actually support the Big Dog. WWE selling the cancer ribbon t-shirts just fuels these folks. Pro wrestling is always a work, so it attracts people that believe that any story that’s told isn’t real.

Here are the Magnificent Seven Wrestling Conspiracy Theories.

7. Daniel Bryan wasn’t cleared by WWE doctors because management didn’t want him to come back & take the spotlight from Roman Reigns

Daniel Bryan spent most of the time between his retirement from wrestling in February 2016 & his return in March 2018 trying to get cleared by doctors in order to get back into the ring. He got cleared by many different doctors, but WWE’s doctors refused. It wasn’t until just before WrestleMania 34 that Dr. Joseph Maroon & WWE’s medical team cleared Bryan to return to the ring.

While all of this was going on, Bryan kept fans updated. He let us know that he had been cleared by pretty much everybody except WWE. Fans wondered why this would be the case, and many of them came to the same conclusion: WWE didn’t want Daniel Bryan back in the ring. WWE was afraid that they would have to push Bryan to the top of the cards, and that Bryan’s popularity would take away from the people they were pushing at the time. Namely, Roman Reigns. Fans remembered how Bryan’s first return from injury in early 2015 went, where he was eliminated from the Royal Rumble in short order, jobbed out to Roman Reigns, then thrown into the Intercontinental Championship scene. Since that didn’t work, the theory went, WWE’s best option was to keep Bryan on the shelf.

The truth was a lot less complicated. WWE didn’t want to clear Daniel Bryan because they were afraid he’d get hurt again. His first return was cut short due to a concussion, and they wanted to avoid any further damage to one of their most popular personalities, who’d had countless concussions over the years and could be looking at long-term brain damage. That seems more of a problem than “He’ll overshadow Roman”.

6. Randy Savage gave Hulk Hogan a black eye prior to WrestleMania IX

WrestleMania IX was a huge event for fans of the Immortal Hulk Hogan. It was his return to the ring for the first time since WrestleMania VIII, where he was scheduled to team with Brutus Beefcake against the evil Money Inc. for the Tag Team Championship. They didn’t win those straps, but Hulk made up for it by defeating Yokozuna for the WWF Championship at the end of the night. And he did it all with a black freaking eye!

So where did Hogan obtain that injury? According to the announcers, Ted DiBiase paid off some goons to attack Hogan the night before the show in an attempt to get him out of the match. According to Hogan, he got it in a jet ski accident. The conspiracy theory? Hulk got that black eye from a man who was relegated to commentary duty at WM IX: Randy Savage. Savage had major problems with Hogan at the time, blaming the Hulkster for the dissolution of his marriage with Elizabeth. Apparently Elizabeth had become chummy with Hulk’s wife Linda, and somehow Hulk & Linda manipulated Elizabeth into ending her marriage with Randy. This allegedly led to Randy punching Hulk for real.

Conspiracy theories involving Hulk Hogan are tough to rule out because Hogan’s relationship with the truth has never been great. The jet ski thing is probably true, but Hogan saying it casts some doubt. With that said, there’s nobody credible out there saying that it was Savage. Matt Borne claimed it was Savage in an interview, but in that same interview Borne claimed that Hogan’s big return match at WrestleMania IX was supposed to be with him as Doink the Clown. So I’d take anything he said there with a million grains of salt.

5. Vince Russo was sent to WCW by the WWF to kill the company

Ah, Vinnie Ru. The mastermind behind WWF Attitude. He had the company humming along through 1998 & 99, up until the part where a two-hour show named SmackDown was added to his workload. Enough was enough, and he took the trip down south to WCW & became their head writer. He proceeded to come up with so many bad ideas that made it onto WCW television that people that worked there honestly believed that Vince McMahon sent him down there to kill the company. Russo was supposedly this creative genius, and he brought nothing but death & destruction to WCW. Surely, there had to be an ulterior motive there, right?

No. Russo was just that ridiculous. His writing style worked for a certain period of time with the right people editing (Vince McMahon) and the right people performing (Steve Austin, The Rock, Mick Foley, so on). To be honest, if you go back and watch Russo’s era of WWF programming now, it’s pretty rough. It seemed great at the time through my teenage eyes but hasn’t aged well at all. The strength of that era was the wrestlers on top. WCW didn’t have any Austins or Rocks to put on top of their cards. They had plenty of older talent that had been on top for years, but their styles couldn’t have clashed more with what Russo presented.

Vince McMahon didn’t need to tell Vince Russo to sink WCW’s ship. Russo was plenty capable of it on his own. And if you need more proof of that, check out his work with TNA.

4. Jim Hellwig died in 1991 & someone took his place as The Ultimate Warrior in 1992

The Ultimate Warrior left the WWF after SummerSlam 1991, and those of us that weren’t backstage insiders had no idea why. We didn’t know about Warrior holding Vince McMahon up for money at that event. All we knew was that he wasn’t back on WWF television until WrestleMania VIII, when he rescued Hulk Hogan from the evil Sid Justice & Papa Shango.

The Ultimate Warrior that feuded with Papa Shango & wore singlets to the ring on occasion didn’t look exactly like the Ultimate Warrior we remembered from his feuds with Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage a couple of years prior. His physique wasn’t as ripped, his hair color had changed…so naturally some people came to the conclusion that the original Ultimate Warrior had died sometime after SummerSlam 1991. The WWF replaced him with another Superstar at WrestleMania VIII, and many people thought that Kerry Von Erich was in fact that Superstar.

There was no basis in reality to any of this. The fact of the matter was that Warrior hadn’t been in gym as religiously as he had been in the past. He’d probably also gone off cycle, so naturally he wouldn’t look as jacked as before. Going back on cycle helped him get fired before Survivor Series 1992, so he really should have stuck with the flesh colored singlets.

3. Chris Benoit didn’t murder his family…Kevin Sullivan did

Chris Benoit was one of my favorite professional wrestlers. Many wrestling fans that were deeper into the Internet side of wrestling fandom felt the same way. None of us wanted to believe that Benoit could murder his son & wife, then take his own life on that dark weekend in June 2007. We didn’t want to think that a man we had supported for so many years, a man that basically got a World title reign because the hardcore fans demanded it, would commit such a vile act.

Some of Benoit’s fans have never accepted it. They’ve become convinced that Benoit was framed & didn’t actually murder himself & his family. Some will even tell you that Kevin Sullivan, Nancy Benoit’s ex-husband and a man that had crossed paths with Chris Benoit on & off-camera, was responsible for the crimes, either doing them himself or hiring hitmen. There’s absolutely no credible evidence behind these allegations.

Some conspiracy theories take root because the truth is too sad to believe.

2. The Montreal Screwjob was a work

November 9, 1997 has gone down in wrestling history as a date of infamy. Bret Hart lost the WWF Championship to Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series in Montreal after Vince McMahon & Earl Hebner directed the timekeeper to ring the bell even though Bret had not submitted to Shawn’s Sharpshooter. Bret spit in Vince’s face at ringside, then punched him backstage. Hart would not return to WWE (with the exception of DVD production & his Hall of Fame induction in 2006) until 2010, when he forgave Michaels & ended up getting revenge on McMahon at WrestleMania XXV.

There’s a good number of people inside the wrestling business that believe the whole thing was a work. Most of the RF Video shoot interviews shot in the years afterwards asked the question, and a lot of the people interviewed thought it was a work. Everybody has their own theory on how Montreal went down. Plenty of intelligent people I know will tell you that Montreal was a work. The main point in their favor: Wrestling With Shadows. A documentary on Bret Hart got to capture the Montreal Screwjob in real time. Makes for an excellent documentary, and it’s still one of the best that I’ve ever seen.

Considering how personally Bret took it for years, I tend to believe it was a shoot. Some will even say that it was a work up until Owen died, then Bret got all bitter about the situation. I just don’t see it. Something fishy definitely went down in Montreal. Will we ever know all the details? Probably not.

1. Randy Savage had an improper relationship with Stephanie McMahon before he left the WWF in 1994

It was one of the biggest mysteries in wrestling during the early part of the 21st century. Why wouldn’t WWE bring back Randy Savage? They brought back Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and almost every other wrestler that went to WCW. Hell, they brought in Eric Bischoff! The Macho Man was the one guy from that era that never came back, even for a Hall of Fame induction. Nobody really knew why, as Savage was certainly one of the icons of the 80s & 90s and if nothing else deserved a HOF induction. Why was his defection to WCW apparently taken more personal than the rest?

The popular theory online was that Savage had sexual relations with an underage Stephanie McMahon. I feel weird even typing that, but it’s a thing that kept popping up for years online. And folks like Dave Meltzer wouldn’t even deny it when asked about it. Bruce Prichard acted like he had never heard of it when asked on his podcast. Triple H called Savage a dinosaur in one of his interviews in the early 2000s, to which Savage responded “I’ll bitch slap you and then take your girl”. WWE even kind of covered this in Macho Man: The Randy Savage Story.

For whatever reason, Vince McMahon refused to do business with Randy Savage until after his death. There’s no real evidence that Savage had a relationship with Stephanie, and I can’t imagine any evidence ever popping up at this point. The fact that many people who could have easily refuted it didn’t makes the conspiracy theory live on.

article topics :

The Magnificent Seven, Steve Cook