"Goodnight HULKAMANIACS and jabronie marks without a life that don't know it a work when you work a work and work yourself into a shoot, marks".
This actual quote from Hulk Hogan alludes to a curious criticism wrestlers have frequently dealt out. While kayfabe is as dead as a fried chicken at this point, there was a time where the blurring of reality and fiction still worked like a charm on viewers and workers alike. Ultimately a well done angle becomes too well done and folks start to believe there was far more than just a script behind it. Other times, someone rather naughtily goes into business for themselves (or at least appears to) and a match quickly degenerates into something resembling an actual scuffle.
The reverse of this trope, while less talked about, happens far more than one might first expect. Real life events surrounding wrestlers often inspire promoters to run with certain angles. Results have varied from supremely successful to disgustingly distasteful.
Ultimately what was once life beyond work is transformed into a work, all in the name of (hopefully) selling some tickets. This obsession with blending kayfabe and the world behind it over the years has happened far more than most wrestlers past or present would care to admit...
10. The Shockmaster
The Shockmaster's explosive debut for WCW is among the funniest moments in wrestling history. It's a pity then that it was meant to be serious (though how a glittery storm trooper helmet could be anything less than lame is debatable). Built up by Sting as a man ready to shock the world, the former Typhoon stumbled onto the scene at Clash of the Champions XXIV as Davey Boy Smith audibly roared, "He fell flat on his arse! He fell flat on his f-----g arse!"
Realising any chance of making their new star a serious threat was gone, WCW retooled The Shockmaster as an accident-prone oaf. Now without the helmet, he lumbered on as a comedic babyface for the rest of 1993. Haunted by the botch to this day, the real-life Fred Ottman's entire WCW career trajectory was changed that night. While the klutz-persona was mildly over with fans, it was clear WCW had given up whatever their original, grander scale plan for him was.
According to Dusty Rhodes, the sheetrock wall Ottman was meant to burst through had been tampered with by David Crockett. It's a pity no one bothered to warn the big man beforehand...