WWE ‘Plane Ride From Hell’: What Happened on May 5, 2002?


On May 5, 2002, WWE’s infamous ‘Plane Ride from Hell’ took place, which we looked back on 15 years later.

2002 was a year full of ups and downs for the WWE. Landmark moments took place — both positive and negative — which shaped the company’s history. This includes the court ruling that Vince McMahon’s organization had to censor the use of “WWF” (due to a legal situation with the World Wildlife Fund), the first-ever WWE Draft, Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Randy Orton debuting, and the return of the nWo.

However, perhaps the most infamous moment of 2002 came on Sunday, May 5. It’s an incident that led to multiple WWE stars being fired and impacted the careers of others — the dubbed “Plane Ride From Hell.”

WWE had finished up their Insurrection show, the old pay-per-view that used to emanate from the United Kingdom. So, the talents were taking a plane flight back to the United States for the upcoming events. That seems normal, right?

Well, this ride would be far from the usual. It featured Michael “P.S.” Hayes and JBL fighting, followed up by Sean “X-Pac” Waltman cutting Hayes’ hair. On ProWrestlingStories.com, Waltman broke down what happened, and added these explicit details:

Must Read: All 26 Champions in NXT History, Ranked

"“Hayes almost pissed on Linda McMahon. He was all f—ed up – trying to whip his d–k out [stooped over, tugging at his trouser zip] He doesn’t know it’s Linda – he thinks he’s at the f—in’ bathroom. He’s like… [Hayes’ voice] ‘Wait a minute…wait a minute…’ He just keeps saying ‘Wait a minute’, over and over again. Finally, somebody [led him away]…”"

More from WWE

Then, we turn toward Brock Lesnar vs. Curt Hennig in an impromptu Plane Match. They wrestled around the plane, nearly slamming into the emergency door, which could have opened and turned this incident into something else. Hennig would be fired by WWE after the incident. Lesnar spoke about this in an interview with ESPN in 2016.

Ric Flair allegedly walked around the plane, flashing stewardesses with just his robe on. Two of those airline employees filed a lawsuit against the Nature Boy, which was detailed on Grantland.

Dustin “Goldust” Runnels was on the same plane as his ex-wife Terri. Goldust allegedly got on its public address system and started serenading her. He ended up leaving WWE in 2003.

To cap it off, Scott Hall had been drunk, or as Pro Wrestling Stories notes, “unconscious.” Justin Credible explained what happened in the piece:

"[Later] when we got off the flight I had to get a wheelchair and roll him through customs at JFK. He was non-responsive. I remember Jim Ross sitting in baggage claim with his briefcase just going like this [disdainful shake of the head]. That look of disgust. And I’m like… [shrugs].”"

Hall would be fired from the WWE. This came just three months after he returned with Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan at No Way Out.

Next: 25 Greatest WrestleMania Moments

The “Plane Ride From Hell” will be remembered in its infamy. Hopefully, something like that doesn’t happen again.