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WWF ‘The Plane Ride From Hell’ – 16 Years Ago Today

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On May 5, 2002, the WWF Crew was returning from a European Tour and a taping of Insurrextion when a mix of an open bar, lack of sleep and annoyed performers culminated in an incredibly controversial plane-ride from London to New York City that is still talked about (albeit, rarely) today. If you haven’t heard about it, here are 6 things that occurred on the trip.

6. Bradshaw v Michael Hayes

Michael PS Hayes and alcohol is not a good combo. During this trip Hayes got absolutely hammered and was up to no good. According to X-Pac (in shoot interviews) Hayes attempted to urinate on Linda McMahon while he was still conscious, which goes to show you how much Hayes would have had, since he couldn’t recognise a McMahon from a toilet.

Hayes ended up coincidentally sitting next to a sleeping Bradshaw, who was nursing a head wound from blading the night before. Hayes began poking and roughing up the wound to the point where Bradshaw punched out Hayes within one devastating punch. Unfortunately for Hayes, his plane-ride had only just begun.

5. Termination of Scott Hall

Scott Hall was known for his aggressive alcohol and drug problems throughout the years, to the point where he has entered and left rehab on numerous instances.

This problem in fact, got him fired from the WWF, as he was put with enough blame for the entire trip being rowdy.

Hall apparently immediately got drunk upon seeing the open bar and passed out fairly quickly due to the alcohol. His actions and the fact that he was the first to get drunk was the catalyst for the misbehaviour, and for his termination from the company.

4. Goldust serenading Terri

Dustin Runnels had also been drinking that day, and decided to hijack the planes intercom system to sing songs. However, not to the entire plane, but specifically to his ex-wife, Terri Runnels.

He had been separated and then divorced from Terri for three years, and the alcohol may have made him notice the error of his ways, and began serenading his ex-wife.

The love songs did not last long, as Jim Ross settled him down, however the damage was done, Dustin was humiliated and was put in the dog-house by WWF until his contract expired the next year.

3. Ric Flair flashing flight attendants

Ric Flair is a stellar drinker and if there is one wrestler that is renowned for drinking, it’s the Nature Boy. He got so rowdy on the flight that he decided to undress into nothing but his ring robe, and attempt to get lucky by flashing his genitals to the female flight attendants. Classic Flair.

2. X-Pac cutting Michael PS Hayes’ Hair

Michael PS Hayes had garnered himself a lot of heat over the years, essentially burying talent and causing stirs due to him being in a position of power. People seemed to generally dislike him, yet he stayed employed.

On YouTube you can find X-Pac and Justin Credible tell the story of X-Pac cutting Hayes’ hair. After Hayes was knocked out by Bradshaw, X-Pac decided to play a prank on Hayes, who wasn’t very good friends with X-Pac.

While he was unconscious, X-Pac retrieved some scissors and completely cut Hayes’ 2002 ponytail to a massive plane pop. Rumour has it that the following day during Raw, X-Pac taped it onto the wall in the Gorilla Position, much to Hayes’ dismay.

1. Mr. Perfect vs Brock Lesnar

Boys will be boys. With both being from Minnesota, Lesnar and Perfect had established a friendship with each other in Brock’s near-two month stint in the WWF so far. With the rocket already strapped to Brock Lesnar, he needed to be careful not to publicly mess up, seek backstage heat, or embarrass the company that was grooming him as ‘The Next Big Thing’.

Also both being experienced amateur wrestlers, Perfect and Brock decided to have a small tussle to decide who was the better amateur grappler. With Perfect being described as ‘competitive’ and with Brock’s impressive physique, the tumble turned into a fight, that got heated quickly.

At one point, the two men were shoving each other onto the emergency exit door of the plane. At this point, the fight was ripped apart and due to this, Mr. Perfect was terminated from his contract, having only just returned to the company a little over three months earlier.

No blame was put onto Lesnar’s part as he was still given his push, whereas Mr. Perfect passed away within the year.

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