10 other Superstars in need of Anger Management
At the behest of Raw General Manager AJ Lee, Daniel Bryan was forced to take anger management classes, which were chronicled on this week’s Raw. Imagine the submission specialist’s surprise when in walked his adversary, The Devil’s Favorite Demon Kane, ready to bare his own “Big Red” soul in the group setting.
In the light of such an unusual occurrence, WWE.com showcases 10 other furious past and present competitors who might have benefited for such an initiative.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Without a doubt, The Texas Rattlesnake served as the standard bearer for the Attitude Era with his legendary rebellion against his boss, Mr. McMahon. However, he always tended to do so with one of his stomping boots planted firmly in the realm of his out of control temper.
Defiant and brash, the blue collar warrior of the common man dared anyone and everyone to try his patience. Boss irritating you? “Stone Cold” Stun him! Somebody tries to take away your WWE Title, ram the ring with a Zamboni machine! Superstars mouthing off? Stomp an instant mud hole! Then, have a drink, raise your middle finger and do it all over again.
Austin “losing it” was not only a frequent occurrence; it was an institution — as he used his quick-tempered fury to become one of the greatest Superstars of all time. And while anger management might not have been out of the question, finding someone to suggest such a notion might have proved fairly hazardous to the messengers’ health.
The Viper’s entrance music opens with the telling line, “I hear voices in my head … ” Perhaps never was a tune more appropriately matched with a Superstar. Randy Orton’s ruthless assault on the McMahon Family years ago — attacking Mr. McMahon, Shane McMahon and Stephanie — was only a fraction of what WWE’s Apex Predator has proven that he is capable of when-and-if a disorder he once characterized as his “Intermittent Explosive Disorder” (IED) takes hold.
Orton once indicated that he took anger management classes for the unique ailment. However, if his rage-fused, out-of-the-ring brawls in recent years are any indication — against the likes of Cody Rhodes, Kane and Wade Barrett — perhaps they didn’t quite take.
Yes, Edge had the brains to earn the moniker The Master Manipulator, the controversy to be deemed The Rated-R Superstar and the ability to seize the moment as only The Ultimate Opportunist could. But, there were also times when an irate madness took hold of the 11-time World Champion and all hell would break loose.
Whether he was capturing and brutalizing Paul Bearer, smashing the Anonymous Raw General Manager’s laptop to the ground or viciously attacking Festus without provocation while the target of his rage was in a vegetative state, nobody could touch Edge when he was in a fit of rage. Even something as simple as his finishing maneuver, the Spear, was rarely executed without an intense build up of intense rage in his eyes and body.
Though his need for anger management seems sound, one has to wonder if it would have taken away The Rated Superstar’s “Edge.”
Whether he was hitting Shawn Michaels with a camera, destroying Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake’s “Barber Shop” set or punishing countless adversaries with his rage-fueled assaults — before, during and after a match — Sycho Sid was never afraid to show his angry side.
Although the former WWE Champion was able to use his fury to take on the likes of The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan and Goldberg, perhaps a little anger management tweaking might have allowed him to do it without making so much of a mess.
The man who Hulk Hogan beat to win his first WWE Title and unleash Hulkamania was The Iron Sheik. However, the man who The Iron Sheik beat was Bob Backlund, an extremely technically savvy ring warrior.
Roughly eight years after his manager, Arnold Skaaland, threw in the towel to cost him the WWE Title, Backlund would return to action, possessing the same skill, but with a whole new chip on his shoulder — a combination that would prove extremely dangerous. With something to prove to a whole new generation of Superstars, Backlund would turn volatile out of nowhere, refusing to release his painful Crossface Chickenwing long after the bell. Though he would ultimately reclaim the WWE Title, anger management was probably long overdue.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper
While Roddy Piper is now one of the most respected entertainers in squared circle history, in the height of the golden age of the ’80s, he was just plain “Rowdy.” There was a time when no one wanted to go on “Piper’s Pit,” because Hot Rod was very likely to get upset within the first 10 words spoken by his outmatched guest, thereby igniting a firestorm of screaming that would end with the kilt-wearing Superstar on top.
Just about everybody grabbed the ire of the “Rowdy One.” And when it came time to throw down, the fiery Piper never backed down from a fight. The ultra-controversial Superstar showed his anger in every way possible — whether he was blasting “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka in the head with a coconut, smashing “Captain” Lou Albano with a framed award or furiously taking the fight to everyone from Andre the Giant to the iconic WWE Champion Hulk Hogan. In fact, he stood as the first true adversary of Hulkamania, driving the whole world into an angry frenzy of its own as he served as the explosive catalyst to the inaugural WrestleMania.
Translation: Before he was respected, Roddy Piper could have had his wing in the theoretical hall of anger management.
Brian Pillman was known far and wide as the “Loose Cannon,” as his in-ring antics made folks extremely nervous, whether he was stepping into a WCW, ECW and WWE ring.
His ability to snap in anger was so bare-bones hostile that he even made future WWE Hall of Famers like Arn Anderson approach him cautiously — and they were friends. In fact, his anger issues were so intense that he proved too extreme for ECW — as he was once forcefully removed by security in the Land of the Extreme for one of his tirades. Whether battling the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin or helping to the new–Hart Foundation battle in an epic a United States vs. Canada showdown, the only thing that one could expect from Brian Pillman was the unexpected.
Once dubbed “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” by ABC News, Ken Shamrock might as well have been nicknamed “The World’s Most Volatile Superstar,” given his proclivity for “snapping” at a moment’s notice. Shamrock’s hair-trigger temper caused other Superstars to walk on eggshells around the former mixed-martial artist or, in the case of Chris Jericho during his antagonistic prime, take shelter inside a shark cage. (The plot was foiled when an enraged Shamrock bent the cage bars and pulled Y2J out of the safe haven.)
The instances of Shamrock losing his cool are numerous, though one standout moment came at SummerSlam 1997. After losing to The British Bulldog, Shamrock went out a tear, suplexing a half-dozen WWE officials, including Hall of Famers Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson, and screaming “Get out of my way!” Shamrock was really at his most sedate moments before he’d step into the ring. His pre-match ritual was unchanging: Standing on the top ring step, Shamrock would hit himself in the head, spread his arms wide open and let out a primal scream. What can we say? The man had rage issues.
Mad Dog Vachon
One of the most unorthodox characters in the history of the squared circle, Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon terrorized opponents, officials and fans for four decades and made a lasting mark as a brutal competitor.
From the 1950s on, combatants knew and understood that making “Mad Dog” angry was not a wise career move. In a time long before the dawn of "hardcore wrestling," the notorious grappler was uncommonly cruel and decisively vicious. While he wasn't the biggest man in the ring, Vachon’s fury proved unprecedented, as he used everything that wasn't nailed down to torment his adversaries — gnawing, scratching, scratching, kicking and breaking every rule in sight. The anger of the animalistic battler quickly became the scourge of the canvas and was so destructive that he was eventually banned from competing in several states.
If anyone was not convinced of the ferocious, uncontrollable fury that drove Brock Lesnar’s time in WWE during the first years on the new millennium — in fierce rivalries against the likes of The Undertaker, John Cena and The Rock — then they undoubtedly got the message as a result of the brutality that took place amid his 2012 return.
Cena may have emerged triumphant in his Extreme Rules showdown with the ultra-enraged Superstar, but not until after some of the most brutal carnage that has ever taken place in the ring in recent memory. And as a result of his assault on Triple H, the future of the 13-time World Champion has been left completely uncertain. Maybe Brock and Paul Heyman could be anger management buddies?
Which past Superstar do you think was most in need of anger management? Vote now!