Good day wrestling fans! Today, we’re looking at the 10 most controversial wrestlers of 2019. There may be more choices to pick from, but on this occasion I decided to go with talents most will know, or have at least heard of in passing. Do you think I missed anyone super controversial? If so, please share your choices in the comments with the reasons why they should be mentioned. Thanks!
#1 – Alicia Fox
Alicia Fox Reacts to Reports that She Was Intoxicated at a WWE Live Event, Was She at RAW Last Night? – The first entry includes Alicia Fox’s incident, when Arn Anderson allowed her to work intoxicated at a live event. The fallout saw Arn Anderson fired, which came as a shock to the wrestling world considering his 18-year employment. Fox is a funny character as she’s been on-and-off television for the past decade. And while it seemed like she kept her job by being the consummate professional, the past few years has shown another side. She recently got in to a heated argument with Ronda Rousey’s husband at a hotel, as well as showing up hours late to a show while due a big push.
Fox was offered rehab for her drinking but did not accept the offer. Since then, she’s been seen at WrestleMania Axxess and in a match against Becky Lynch on an episode of Raw. She also appeared on a taping of Main Event, partnering with Tamina in a losing effort to The IIconics. She’s not been booked since, meaning she’s been MIA for four months despite no signs of injury. What she may end up being known for, is being partly responsible for losing Arn Anderson his job. And what happened in the aftermath? Arn showed up at All Out and got The Rock tweeting about his moment. At the least, we can say if she’s not controversial to us fans, she certainly is to WWE management.
#2 – Austin Aries
I’ve watched Aries for years and supported him, even after he thought shoving his crotch in Christy Hemme’s face was a good idea. But what rubbed me the wrong way was how he walked out on Impact Wrestling. Granted, this was at the end of last year and he’s not done anything like it since, but he’s still feeling the fallout from that terrible night. Fans are still tweeting their disgust at the supposed foul man behind the character. It doesn’t take long to see why I included him here when we take a look through his Twitter: @AustinAries
He’s become known as someone who’s “difficult to work with”. The problem is it’s all conjecture being spread by the news, although it may look that way from the outside. In response to some of the criticism shared by fans, MVP stuck up for Aries with this response:
“He has a bad attitude.” Or “He’s difficult to work with.” Two phrases in the professional wrestling business that almost exclusively mean “He calls us on our bullshit.” Or “He won’t allow us to disrespect him.” You speak truth my friend.“
Aries fires back at those fans who believe it’s right to share their disgust of someone they don’t know on a personal level. He also blasted a fake Jim Cornette account, which happened to provoke the real Jim Cornette. With bad blood between them, they have not been shy in sharing their feelings about the other. Before debuting there, MLW was questioned over his signing, as it’s not the first time they’ve taken a chance signing controversial talents. And when he recently returned to the Melrose Ballroom which hosted Bound For Glory? He tweeted from the ring about the moment when he told Don Callis and Impact Wrestling to shove it .. all the while, linking Callis directly to the post. Damn!
Here’s the balcony I told @CyrusOverHuge “There you go, that’s what you wanted, now go fuck yourself.” after carrying @TheTayaValkyrie’s husband in last years @IMPACTWRESTLING #BFG main event. pic.twitter.com/nm1LAd9lsh
— Austin Aries (@AustinAries) July 25, 2019
#3 – Jimmy Uso
Gets arrested for DUI .. wins Tag Team Championship. That’s what most fans will remember Jimmy Uso for in 2019. Somehow he & Jey can break the law, not just once, but several times and not get any kind of punishment. At least not at first .. as it seems The Uso’s have been put on the back burner lately. We did report here on ewrestlingnews that they are due back after being absent since July, seeing as Jimmy was scheduled for a court hearing in August.
We’ll also remember Jimmy for the time when John Cena referenced his mugshots .. only to get arrested again shortly after. I’m not sure what else to say about this, other than I hope it doesn’t become a trend. On a good day, The Uso’s are a pretty entertaining team who can work exciting matches with the right opponents. But if they continue setting a bad example like this? For all the kids who aspire to be like them? Then no, there’s others waiting in the wings who would kill for their spots. How many talents are sitting on the bench collecting checks while doing absolutely nothing? Way too many. The Uso’s should appreciate they are getting used, instead of taking this time of their lives for granted.
#4 – Lacey Evans
Aside from a closeup shot of her booty, it’s not her on-screen character getting the attention. Lately, the biggest thing going against her has been interactions on Twitter going over the top. For some crazy unknown reason, she got in to a Twitter war with Hall of Famer Alundra Blayze, showing blatant disrespect to someone who paved the way for women’s wrestling. And while I wouldn’t say Alundra was completely innocent (she mentioned her family), Lacey responded in a way that implied she’d give up her career to put Alundra in her place if necessary. This feud between past and present is not something WWE wants, nor is it something fans were expecting.
Twitter feuds are understandable when you’re in an on-screen rivalry with another current talent, but to go so far with a Hall of Famer? Not wise. So it makes sense that WWE has shuffled her back in to the deck after the match with Baron Corbin against Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch. If she’s not on Raw? She can usually be found on Main Event winning matches against Dana Brooke. It’ll take time for WWE officials to get over the incident, although I doubt she will ever be buried completely. Vince is high on everything she brings to the table, but she’s still got a long way to go to improve her ring work. She’s often forgetting spots and having to be carried through matches by her counterparts, which is enough for some to question her position on the roster.
[Lacey] “Legends = Yesterday’s nasties.”
[Alundra] “You’ll be lucky to be considered a legend…you failed in the military. You live in a portable trailer, drag your kid and husband around. Your hubby looked at me…gave me a complement and said, ‘Honey, maybe you could be more like Alundra…your yesterday regurgitated garbage.”
[Lacey] “Shootin’ the real shots? I musta got under your wrinkly skin. Bless her heart. I’m typing this 8 years honorably discharged from serving our country while in said trailer, over looking lots of land, and $$ in the bank. As far as my family goes hubby gets it every night & baby is happy.”
[Alundra] Too bad there’s nothing to set that pretty little hat on but a hot air ballon… and those are fake ass pearls geez. Be careful I know who your seamstress is… you may find a bottle of NAIR sprayed in the top of the next bale of hay hat you wear!
[Lacey] 1. My seamstress
@sgovintage 2. Ive trained 5 years military police (swat) while you were busy flipping and flopping in a ring trying to be somebody. Trust me when i tell you…Your drop kicks and promos will only get you so far when threatening me. #BlessHerHeart — I never watched wrestling, dont care what you’ve accomplished, barely know who you are… but I’ve got 2 words for you. @Madusa_rocks #FailedMilitaryMyA$$ #LikeALady
[Alundra] When their comebacks have nothing else relevant to say… The weak collapse and start making disgusting extracurricular sexual remarks. Definitely acting your shoe size now. I know you’re talented, strong and beautiful but don’t ever cave in and revert to Dirt like this.
[Lacey] You are right. I am STRONG, BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED…. you just forgot the classy and dont give a part.
#GoodMorning #YaNasties — I volunteer to rip you out of your retirement home and make you choke on your words. Legend or not..you’re disrespectful, swollen headed nasty that has it coming. Talk about my family again….. I’ll lose this career gladly waving goodbye with your blood on my hands. #Shoot
#5 – Lars Sullivan
The Lars Sullivan news is well-documented. Clearly there was some remorse from Lars when it broke, and that’s why he was slow to debut on the main roster; knowing it could be dragged up again (like in NXT) gave him anxiety attacks. While racist and bigoted comments continue to plague our world, we need to realize that hate can be unlearned. We should be willing to forgive those who see the light. Or not? It’s your life and I won’t tell you how to feel.
All I know from seeing his work since he debuted in NXT, is that I am a fan and whatever he did years ago doesn’t concern me. Not unless it’s criminal and unforgivable. If he still feels any shred of racist thoughts? He won’t make it very far in a company embracing diversity. Only time will tell if Lars is cut out for this. In his last match before being sidelined with an injury, Kalisto showed his feelings by purposely cutting the big man open in their match. I have mixed feelings about this, because while I can understand how upset Kalisto is to have to work with someone he hates, purposely cutting someone’s head in the ring is underhanded and unprofessional. If you did not read the dubious comments already? You can find them at the link below:
#6 – Lio Rush
Despite his exceptional athletic ability, Lio Rush has been marred with reports of being disrespectful by feeling entitled. Refusing to carry other wrestler’s bags is something which drew a mixed reaction from fans, but is a clear cut issue to anyone working in the business. You pay your dues .. even Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock carried others bags in the early days. So there’s a system is in place for a reason, and complying with it shows respect and willingness to be a team player. But due to his own doing, Lio put himself in such a bad place that WWE applied what can only be described as a full-blown burial.
Lio’s so buried they might as well release him and have done. Since then, he’s produced some videos sharing his thoughts, as well as releasing his first single titled “Scenic Lullaby”. No one has anything nice to say .. not Chris Jericho, not Reby Sky, not even Booker T. You know something’s wrong when a guy is so forcefully black balled. I feel like he was bred for success too soon, and I guess the fame went to his head? Had he stayed with Ring of Honor and earned his way through the ranks, he may have learned how to do things respectfully and be humbled. All he can do for the future, is return to the independent scene and earn back any scrap of respect he had. Build on it for the years to come with no expectations or entitlement, because his whole life is ahead of him.
#7 – Matt Riddle
Hey Bro! You know what bro? No bro? Well bro, you might know of this guy called Matt Riddle bro. He literally says bro at the end of every sentence bro, it might be annoying to you bro, or it might be really funny bro. Either way bro, Matt Riddle is known for having a Twitter account bro. And not any old Twitter bro, but one that calls out big names like Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and Chris Jericho bro. Riddle’s got big aspirations bro. Even Paul Heyman complimented him on being so outward and putting The Beast’s name out there bro. Can I stop saying bro now, bro?
Phew, that getting painful. I’m very much a fan of Matt Riddle and can see an incredible amount of potential. Especially as a heel, he’d be one of the most annoying ever. He’s an acquired taste though, in both character and ring style. What makes him controversial? Is he’s not afraid to be honest, despite not having enough information to formulate opinions without looking a complete arse. This was the case with Goldberg and how he reacted to the match with The Undertaker. Initially branding Goldberg the “Worst Wrestler Ever”, he quickly backtracked after finding out he worked the match hurt and collapsed at ringside. Still, it didn’t stop him being disrespectful face-to face. There’s definitely an arrogance which may put people off, and it remains to be seen whether this approach will benefit or hurt his career in the long run.
#8 – Nyla Rose
While I can kinda understand why there’s some heat directed her way, it irks me to see how much of it there is. Many fans grew up watching wrestling with genders divided, so we rarely see intergender matches; which have recently become more commonplace in promotions like Impact Wrestling. But this is a different scenario, where we have a transsexual athlete mixing it up with AEW’s female roster. Due to how built Nyla is, it may make more sense to see her mixing it up with the men. The way she’s built could be seen as an unfair advantage wrestling in the women’s division, but to stress this fact would be insulting to who she is. If Nyla wants to wrestle women and they don’t have an issue with it, then surely there is no problem?
The fact she is challenging for the AEW Women’s Championship is enough for some to hate her by default, because they’ll claim she only has the opportunity due to AEW wanting to be ‘progressive’. Am I the only one who sees how backwards this is? I want to believe that most would be accepting if she became AEW’s first women’s champion. It’s a topic which transcends wrestling, and is not something I want to go in to with any detail; I’m not prepared to argue the subject seriously. It may take time for people to accept Nyla Rose, and whatever happens in her future, I hope one day, she can be accepted as a good wrestler no matter who she faces or what title she challenges for. Nyla wants to prove she’s worthy of being a women’s champion on merit.
“AEW has felt that I am worthy of a chance, all I can ask is that some of the people out there, the fans who might be a little bit tight-minded, just give me a chance to show you what I can do in the ring. That’s all.
#9 – Priscilla Kelly
Tampon girl! Seriously, Priscilla Kelly got a ton of unexpected mainstream attention for a stunt where she used a tampon against her opponent. And it wasn’t like it had been used or anything .. it was a pre-planned spot at an event strictly for adults. Nothing was said about it til Gail Kim found it and raged to the point it went viral. Only then did it become controversial .. and it really highlighted how hypocritical some in the industry can be.
It’s not like Road Dogg and others were completely innocent during The Attitude Era .. Mae Young gave birth to a hand for Christ’s sake. While the incident garnered a lot of negative attention, guys like Joey Ryan, Tommy Dreamer and Tazz came to her defense. She did a job to get over and it worked. A few of those who were initially disgusted, soon backtracked when reminded of the things they had to do to get noticed. Either way, Priscilla Kelly’s working for AEW now, but would that be the case had she not become a topic of controversy? We may never know. Let’s hope she’s able to get over being known as the tampon girl.
#10 – Sasha Banks
From tampon to tantrum girl, we have “The Boss” Sasha Banks. I’m sure we remember the overwhelming number of reports about how she threw a fit after being told she would be losing the women’s tag titles at WrestleMania. Many fans labeled her as ungrateful and unprofessional. Undoubtedly, there was some kind of incident which hurt Sasha’s relationship with management which took months to repair. She’s back on TV now though, and straight in to a feud with Becky Lynch, so it can’t have been that terrible after all? Despite not knowing the facts, some were calling for her to leave a few months ago .. but now she’s getting jeered like the heel we know she can be. Imagine if she hadn’t come back at all? Bayley likely wouldn’t have turned ‘heel’.
What’s more controversial than her disagreeing with creative? Is how she keeps referencing “pro wrestling” and how much of a fan she is. Much like The Revival, she keeps reminding WWE she’ll pack up and go to AEW if they aren’t willing to use her. And you know what? I like that, I think it’s cool how some of the power has been shifted back to the talent. It’s not being petty, it’s being smart. Wrestlers are independent contractors, and if you don’t like how they do business? Let them go so they can make money elsewhere. After all, the wrestlers shouldn’t have to lie down and blindly follow orders in fear of losing their jobs. The Boss is leading the way in how to play WWE at their own game.
I support pro wrestling
— $asha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) September 2, 2019
Wrestling has always provided controversy, and that’s partly why we love it. We like being aware of the incidents as it gives us another dimension to consider. It’s like having a soap opera within a soap opera, and we find that fascinating for some reason; often more so than the shows themselves.
Speaking of which, who do you think is the most controversial wrestler of 2019? I did try to rank them while making this, but it was too difficult to decide. So I’m leaving the answer to you guys .. and as I feel it’s too close to call, it interests me to see who you pick in the end. Again, please let me know if you think I missed anyone out .. except if you’re name dropping Enzo Amore, Roman Reigns, Baron Corbin, or anyone else you think sucks (in general) more than being known for doing anything controversial. And that’s all from me! Thank you for reading.