**Edited on October 1st 2018**
Order in the court! By popular demand I sentence EWN to a new series of articles highlighting backstage stories surrounding Wrestler’s Court. Needless to say, some of them are hilarious, and others feel like bullying, but still, it’s an interesting topic which may shock some of you. It’s important to take these stories with a pinch of salt, as none of the stories were recorded and were only touched upon during shoot interviews.
So the point behind this piece is to introduce you to Wrestler’s Court, how it came to exist, and who was involved. First off, what is Wrestler’s Court? In the words of the original creator Dutch Mantel, it’s a “kangaroo” court made for the wrestlers to ensure any injustices are ironed out quickly and efficiently. The court is independent from management, and is only attended by the wrestlers. The judge is a highly respected (sometimes former) wrestler who decides the verdict and punishment. There is a prosecutor, and a defense attorney. The original idea was to stamp out any negativity and deal with it in a fun, and sometimes embarrassing (and costly) way for the defendant.
The original creator is Dutch Mantel (AKA Zeb Colter), who conceived the idea after the death of Bruiser Brody; who was stabbed in the lockerroom showers by wrestler José González, and later bled to death in hospital. Mantel felt the wrestlers were on the road and away from family a lot, so to have a platform where animosities could be dealt with in a fun and entertaining manner would not only quell instances of heat, it would keep morale up and maintain a level of respect on the roster. He used it in various independent promotions before introducing it to the World Wrestling Federation after leaving Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1994. You can listen to him talking to Steve Austin about Wrestler’s Court in the video below.
It was around this time (1994-1996) the Kliq formed. Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman, and Triple H were known for influencing booking decisions, and they wrestled each other frequently between 1994-1996. An unknown backstage story til recently (five years ago) highlighted another backstage group called the BSK. The Godwinns stated in a shoot interview they were members of the BSK, which had been kept a secret so they were reluctant to share information about the group.
They eventually caved in and revealed BSK was a backstage group of friends called the “Bone Street Krew”. Unlike the Kliq, the group did not allow their friendship to influence booking, and they were such good friends all the members got tattoos with the initials BSK. It is known the members included Yokozuna, The Undertaker (the two leaders of the group, and really good friends), Paul Bearer, Krush, Savio Vega, Charles Wright (The Godfather), The Godwinns, and Rikishi.
While the backstage groups (and the rest of the roster) had tension with the Kliq initially, a bus trip on a tour of Germany united the groups and other wrestlers on the roster. According to the Godwinns, a “herbal remedy” brought them together. George “The Animal” Steele took a photograph of them all together, which you can see below. It brought the roster together in solidarity, and the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Attitude Era kicked off shortly after.
Wrestler’s Court became a thing in WWF, and the Godwinns stated they were the “unofficial” policemen of the lockerroom. Wrestler’s Court would see judges in The Undertaker (who likely judged more than anyone else), Ron Simmons, and Yokozuna in the beginning. Since then other judges have been used; such as Triple H. The prosecutor position has mostly been played by Bradshaw (JBL). Defense attorneys have included Brian Adams (Krush), Bubba Ray Dudley, Ivory and others. Unlike most courts, the judge and prosecutor could be “bought off”; as long as they received gifts they really liked.
Stories of Wrestler’s Court in WWE has dwindled over the past decade or so. It’s likely the mentality of the roster has changed, and lockerroom leaders like The Undertaker can no longer be there to judge. It’s possible court hearings still happen, but the fans won’t know anything til another shoot interview reveals them. It’s been known to have passed on to other companies like TNA (Mantel worked for TNA and introduced the Knockouts Division) and ROH as well; and some of their stories have been revealed.
This is simply an introduction piece, so I won’t give all the stories away in one go. I’m going to include one example. Sunny was known to have a big ego backstage, and the wrestlers felt bad for Chris Candido as they witnessed her treating him poorly. The Godwinns were known for their “slop bucket”, and on the day of the hearing, one of them placed the bucket in the lockerroom and told everyone to “leave it alone”, knowing full well the guys were going to add their own contents. The exact details of the verdict is difficult to find, but she was asked how she felt about being slopped. A short time later, she was slopped during a match (assuming) with all the added ingredients; which the roster really enjoyed. Oh well, it’s not like she hasn’t done nastier things since then!
And that’s all from me. For those who missed my comment on a recent Matt Hardy news report, I will not be continuing Lingomania as I had trouble with the website the other day. I spent most of the day making the best Lingomania so far, but when I went to submit the piece the site froze up and all my hard work was lost. The Top X List format isn’t reliable enough, and lacks backup support, so I won’t waste anymore time using it.
Instead I have decided to end the Wrestlemania series within the week (Thursday most likely), and when I find the time, I shall bring more Wrestler’s Court stories. Clearly, I am not the source, and if you’re really interested you can google the stories yourself. Otherwise, you can have some patience and wait for me to bring them here along with my own thoughts, and when possible, the shoot interviews where they originated. Thanks for reading, and see you again soon. (Credit to The Joker for suggesting the topic)