Professional wrestling may be scripted, but it takes great skill for its stars to stay at the top. Certainly, players like Steve Austin and John Cena have remained fan favorites thanks to their dedication and hard work. But, for every wrestler willing to play the game, there are an equal number of stars who’ve imploded in spectacular style. Indeed, whether as a result of drugs, alcohol or just bad attitudes, these former stars watched their careers slip away before their eyes. Be warned: this list isn’t for the faint of heart.
20. Bret Hart
Despite nearly 15 years with WWE and five Heavyweight Championships under his belt, Bret Hart received little respect from his bosses. After a manipulation of events saw him lose his title to Shawn Michaels in 1997, then, the star finally lost his cool and punched Vince McMahon – the CEO of WWE – immediately after the bout. Needless to say, Hart soon jumped ship to WCW; he did, however, return to WWE in 2009.
19. Shawn Michaels
In the ’90s, Michaels was one of wrestling’s most promising newcomers. But he was also suffering from a debilitating drug problem. “I was doing everything I could to kill myself except put a loaded weapon in my hand,” he admitted to TribLIVE in 2013. Following several overdoses, however, Michaels finally sobered up in 2002: a decision helped by his conversion to Christianity.