Superstars on their greatest pranks ever
It is a tradition spoken of in the locker rooms of sports-entertainment promotions the world over: The tradition of the “rib,” herein referred to as a “prank” out of respect for — and, let’s be honest, fear of — its perpetrators. According to the unwritten rules of the road, incoming competitors are subject to a series of elaborate, potentially emotionally scarring pranks from the veteran talent, in the hopes that they will one day use the lessons learned to help harden fresh faces when they themselves become tenured Superstars. Rumors of legendary pranks have floated around the Internet for some 20 years, but WWE.com went straight to the source and got the story on some of the greatest pranks ever from those who pulled — and, in some cases, suffered — them.
De plane, de plane
THE PERPETRATOR: Brian Knobbs
THE TARGET: Booker T
THE PRANK: “Honestly, I’ve been around that [pranking] world for a long time; I was a part of that era. But I think due to my street mentality and where I come from, I was never much of a prankster, and I never liked guys to prank me. I’ve never been one of those guys where they would hang my clothes up or take my stuff, because they knew how mad I would get; I’d really want to fight. Other than one person, and that was Brian Knobbs from The Nasty Boys.
I remember we were on tour in Germany and Knobbs had been pranking everybody on the plane flying over. We were friends, I didn’t think he would get me. I also always dressed really nice, and that day I had a nice jacket on with a sweater vest and a shirt with some nice slacks. Anyway, I fell asleep, and when I woke up I had two pieces of cheese inside of my vest that he had stuffed in there, and they had made big round spots on my shirt. You can’t get that out. I realized all of my fingernails were painted red and I had whipped cream stacked up on top of my head like yay high. The road agent was sitting right behind me on the plane. I look behind at him and I go, ‘Man, you need to take care of this. This needs to stop.’ He looks at me, shows me all of his fingers, and all of his fingers were painted red also.” — BOOKER T
THE PERPETRATORS: Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter
THE TARGET: Anyone and everyone
THE PRANK: “Going around now, me and Zeb call it ‘Paparazzi.’ I’ll set someone up and I’ll turn their back to Zeb, come up from behind and scare them. And the whole time there’s a videotape, but they don’t know it. And a couple seconds later we’ll send them a video and when they’re watching, we’ll come up and scare them again. We’ve gotten like six people with it already. Tom Phillips will jump at anything. Renee Young. We really target announcers, it seems like. Rosa Mendes will jump all the time. The pie in the sky would be if I can turn it around and get Zeb at his own game.” — JACK SWAGGER
The Wile E. Coyote
THE PERPETRATOR: Dolph Ziggler
THE TARGET: Big Show
THE PRANK: “Long time ago, in The Spirit Squad, we had a rivalry going with Big Show & Kane. We used a Subway sandwich, a six-inch cold-cut combo, left it in the middle of the ring and used a microphone cord to make a giant loop, almost how you would catch something in a cartoon. Like, you have to catch it in a rope. So we made a giant loop, put the sandwich in the middle trying to catch him, and thought it would be funny if maybe we caught [Big Show], and we’d all go pull the rope and we’d fall down like a ‘Three Stooges’ bit.
Long story short: He grabbed the sandwich, fell for the trick and we caught him. He went, ‘What the hell is going on?’ and then proceeded in that match to beat the living crap out of us. Deservedly so. Big Show refused to tag in Kane and just beat us up the whole time. We deserved it, we had it coming, but we all apologized and had a good laugh about it afterwards. Several outfits were ripped … and a lot of chops were pulsing out of our chests.” — DOLPH ZIGGLER
INTERLUDE: A brief conversation with The Miz
THE MIZ: [Thinking] Greatest prank?
WWE.COM: If you can share it.
THE MIZ: I mean, T.P.’ing houses.
WWE.COM: We mean backstage stuff, not Mischief Night.
THE MIZ: I don’t like pranking.
WWE.COM: Have you ever been pranked?
THE MIZ: Not that I can remember.
WWE.COM: Have you seen any good pranking?
THE MIZ: Not that I can remember.
THE MIZ: No.
THE MIZ: Quit using my catchphrase.
WWE Network: Miz main-events WrestleMania
The Drive and Ditch
THE PERPETRATORS: Kofi Kingston and Hornswoggle
THE TARGET: The Miz (Really.)
THE PRANK: “It was kind of a three-way prank; the initial one was supposed to be on me. It was me, Miz and Hornswoggle in Canada. I’ve traveled with ’Swoggle for years and I refuse to let him drive because his arms are too short, he pulls the seat all the way up to the steering wheel, barely has his toes touch the gas pedal, and if the airbag goes off, he’s dead. And he’s a sporadic driver anyway, so I never, ever, ever let him drive.
Miz thought it would be funny to let him drive. We went to a gas station and I get out of the car, and Miz gets out, ’Swoggle gets out, and as I come out of the gas station, ’Swoggle’s in the car, in the driver’s seat. I’m like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ He’s like, ‘Oh, I’m driving.’ Initially they wanted to get me by having ’Swoggle drive, then I’d get in the back seat and have no choice. But I got out [of the gas station] before Miz, so I jump in the car and immediately we look at each other, we’re across the street from the hotel, and we go, ‘You know what? Let’s leave Miz at the gas station and make him walk.’
WWE Network: Kofi dazzles in 2014 Royal Rumble
We drive away just as Miz is coming out, and we’re driving down the street, and I think ’Swoggle’s going to turn and pick him up, [but] he drives all the way to the hotel. It was about a quarter of a mile away, because we could see Miz walking. We pull into the parking lot and we see Miz walking from the gas station, waiting to cross a highway and this big field full of ice, and finally getting to the car. We got to watch and laugh the entire time.” — KOFI KINGSTON
THE PERPETRATOR: Anyone who is not Seth Rollins
THE TARGET: Seth Rollins
“I’m not much of a prankster and no one seems to prank me, to be honest with you. It doesn’t happen that often. I’ve had the typical ‘people steal my championship and give it to me three seconds before I have to go out.” I couldn’t even tell you how many times that’s happened; it’s ridiculous. The [Money in the Bank] briefcase might be the biggest prank that’s ever been pulled on me, having to carry it around the airport. I don’t mind bringing it to the shows; it’s the airports, because these regular human beings look at me in the airport like I’m some sort of alien walking through the airport with this banged-up, scratched-up briefcase that says ‘Money in the Bank,’ like, ‘What the hell is that?’ So yeah, the briefcase itself is the greatest prank of all.” — SETH ROLLINS
THE PERPETRATOR: Hulk Hogan
THE TARGET: ????
THE PRANK: “Nothing you can print, brother.” — HULK HOGAN