On May 5, 2002, WWE wrestlers were returning from their Insurrextion pay-per-view as well as their tour of competing in Europe. What made this a different flight from the rest of them was what happened during the trip and the consequences that led to those actions.
Justin Credible stated there was a great deal of alcohol available on the chartered flight, similar to an "open bar" setting, and Sean "X-Pac" Waltman added that drugs were available as well. The first recorded actions of what would later be called "The Plane Ride From Hell" was from Scott Hall and "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig.
The WWE Plane Ride From Hell
Shaving Cream Incident & Fight Occurs
For Hall, he had a history of battling alcohol addiction, and the liquor cabinet on the plane back to the United States did not help his recovery at all. Hall and Hennig began to spray shaving cream on the passengers.
Former pro wrestler Michael Hayes got on the bad side of JBL, who just had a match earlier at the PPV against X-Pac. JBL, then known as Bradshaw, suffered a gash on his head, and Hayes went up to him while he was resting and hit him in the forehead. This led to JBL punching out Hayes and someone cutting off his ponytail while he was asleep. Hayes was also accused for nearly urinating on Vince McMahon's wife, Linda McMahon, during the flight.
Ric Flair Sexual Harassment Incident
Ric Flair was also involved in the chaos, reportedly dancing with his exposed robe on and nothing else in front of flight attendants. He also went up to the stewardesses and exposed himself, opening his robe and yelling sexually harassing remarks. The lawsuit, filed by flight attendants Taralyn Cappellano and Heidi Doyle, stated that Flair forced their hands on his crotch area, and forcibly detained Doyle from leaving the back galley area.
Both Scott Hall and Goldust reportedly sexually harassed the women as well, which was documented in the 2004 lawsuit. Dustin Rhodes (Goldust) also started serenading his ex-wife Terri Runnels, and had to be calmed down and commanded to stop by Jim Ross, who was head of talent relations at the time. Hall ended up passing out on the plane, and had to be pushed around by a wheelchair after exiting the plane due to being unresponsive.
Brock Lesnar vs. Curt Hennig Shoot Wrestling Incident
One of the most memorable moments of the infamous plane ride was an altercation between WWE superstars Brock Lesnar and Curt Hennig. According to the account of Justin Credible, the two were messing around at first. However, since both are them were competitive, it started to get much more intense.
In fact, it got so intense that Lesnar charged at Hennig and drove him so hard on the side of the plane that it almost opened up the emergency exit. Sean Waltman, however, stated that the door was not going to open, and the story was embellished. It has been reported, however, that Triple H, Fit Finley and Paul Heyman had to separate their wrestling match on the plane.
The "Plane Ride from Hell" Aftermath
As a result of the plane incident, both Scott Hall and Curt Hennig were fired, taking the biggest brunt of the punishment. Scott Hall would eventually rebound his life in 2013 by moving in with DDP and using DDPYoga to help him stay away from his addictions. In 2014, Hall became a WWE Hall of Famer.
Hennig, however, went on to compete for TNA and unfortunately died in 2003 at the age of 44 from acute cocaine intoxication. Despite his tragic death at a young age, WWE inducted Hennig in the Hall of Fame in 2007.
The plane ride was documented in Vice TV's "Dark Side of the Ring" series, and it will forever be a stain on the WWE.
This post was originally published on September 27, 2019.
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