10 Wrestling Matches Booked Out Of Spite

Wrestling, cruel? Vince McMahon, vindictive? But he puts smiles on faces, pal!

Goldberg The Fiend

Googling "is spite a powerful motivator" is an eye-opening experience.

From 1000-word thinkpieces to Reddit threads and just about everything in between, there exists a litany of lived experiences of those that have taken this fiercely negative emotion and manifested something broadly positive in their own lives off the back of it.

Vince McMahon is probably not one of those authors, but only because he keeps this particular brand of stubbornness in his default settings. It's every story you've ever heard; from bullying Jim Ross, to losing interest a wrestler because a trusted aide really likes them, to sucking down filet mignon or a "steak wrap" as the rest of his staff go hungry, he's got a mean streak as long as an airport test-passing wrestler's legs.

Spitefulness is fuel to a man in a constant state of idiotic competitiveness with everyone and himself, not least one that's only slept two hours a night for the least 50 years needs. It hasn't hurt him as a promoter either - almost all of the entries in this list are McMahon specials.

He was the man who wanted "Ruthless Aggression" after all...

10. The 2005 Royal Rumble

Goldberg The Fiend
WWE Network

As spitefully funny as it might be remembering the sight of Vince McMahon no-selling a torn quad with his a*se planted on the canvas like a child, this is not the 2005 Royal Rumble's meanest moment.

Not least because it wasn't planned - real spite involves a certain element of pre-meditation, and that was scarily evident when Daniel Puder entered the titular battle royal to take an on-screen "hazing" for some supposed crimes the year prior.

The Tough Enough winner entered the match third, right as competitors #1 & #2 Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit were gleefully beating the sh*t out of each other. Naturally, they paused that conflict to sadistically smash the sh*t out of the newbie, as did entrant #4 Hardcore Holly as a supposedly random drawing exposed itself as anything but.

Puder had infamously caught Kurt Angle out during another borderline-abusive Tough Enough segment the prior summer, and the locker room heavies clearly enjoyed making him pay for this apparent act of disrespect.

The beating was too on the nose for its own good, and the sort of thing that thankfully wouldn't ever happen again.


Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back over 30 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz", Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 50,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett