Looking at the WWE now, compared to years ago it’s quite obvious that the company has undergone some significant changes to its product both internally and externally. The biggest and most obvious relates to its content on-screen with the WWE now using a PG rating as opposed to its former TV-14 which allowed for edgier content. Today, the company is instead focused on a clean, injury-free WWE, and one that can proudly expand worldwide without any controversial material holding them back any longer unlike the past.
Well, thanks to the history books, we revisit some of those exact moments that the WWE simply wants to sweep under the ring and pretend like it never happened. Whether it be demeaning women through tasteless segments, putting on matches filled with violence and blood, or wrestlers undergoing some brutal in-ring injuries; these are moments that occurred in the ring that the WWE wants you to forget about.
We’ll also include other moments such as fan interactions in the ring and other types of controversies Vince would rather you didn’t see. These are 15 in-ring pictures the WWE doesn’t want you to see. Enjoy the article and let us know which picture you think drives Vince bananas the most!
15. Fan Joins The Shield
The purpose of a stable is without a doubt set on the intent of building new stars. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns had huge potential and the WWE looked to capitalize on it by calling all three of the Superstars up together, forming the stable known as The Shield. The group instantly clicked and what made it all so unique was the fact that each member brought something different to table. The group would go on to dominate the landscape of the WWE and follow that up with individual World Title reigns for all three members.
During their run, an unusual in-ring incident took place that the WWE most certainly wants you to forget about. No, it was not a new member of The Shield, but instead, a fan invading the ring and pretending to be one dressing the same as the other three members. The Superstars looked on confused, although the fan was quickly taken away from the scene. It was a bizarre in-ring incident that the WWE does not want you to see or remember.
14. Orton Gets A Low Blow By Fan
A member of the WWE family since 2002, Orton has climbed up the ranks over the years becoming one of the most prominent names in the entire company. With 12 World Heavyweight Championship reigns under his belt, Orton has certainly done it all at the age of 36.
However, Orton did experience an incident that was a first for his career and something the WWE won’t publicize. During a live event, Randy taunted to the crowd on the top rope and would receive and unexpected low blow. Orton was confused by the situation and proceeded to sell it as a work. However, when Orton saw the security rush the ring, he realized this clearly was not part of the script and instead a fan getting involved. Orton quickly got to his feet following the blow and was pretty irate at the ordeal. Yet another situation of a fan incident the company wants to sweep under the ring and make its universe forget it ever occurred.
13. Brock Overpowering Stephanie
Looking at the WWE product today in comparison to years and years ago, it’s quite obvious that the company has cleaned up its act quite a bit. Today, the WWE is in the midst of a PG era which caters to a younger audience. In addition, the company hopes to receive a greater global reach and added sponsorship deals with the new approach. Years ago, nobody wanted a part of the WWE, but that has changed for the better in the last couple of years.
With that in mind, the program is vastly different. One of the most significant changes pertains to women and their involvement on the show. Men are no longer overpowering the females and the women are now viewed as equals to men. With this logic in mind, the WWE wants you to forget about some in-ring moments including this one which sees Brock Lesnar overpowering a helpless Stephanie McMahon into a corner. Don’t expect to see anything of the sort in the future.
12. The Trish Segment
As we discussed in the previous point, the WWE is a different animal today. Demeaning women is now longer tolerated and the company is now focusing on a broader vision for the WWE more so than ever before.
Rightfully so, the WWE has cleaned up content related to nudity and once again demeaning women. This distasteful segment on Raw featured a bit of both with Vince unleashing his anger on a vulnerable woman, Trish Stratus. During the segment, McMahon ordered Trish to take off her clothes and bark like a dog. At one point, things got too far as Trish was about to remove her top but was stopped by the boss. Without a doubt, this was an in-ring moment the WWE won’t be sharing with its viewers anytime soon and to make matters worse, it features the boss of the company. Thankfully, Trish’s career was not dictated by this angle and she’d move on to greater things becoming one of the greatest in-ring competitors ever in the WWE.
11. The Droz Incident
With an NFL and CFL football background, Droz took his talents onto the WWE stage debuting for the company in 1998. Sadly, his career would take an awful turn for the worst, and it turned into something the WWE does not like to acknowledge.
During a match against D’Lo Brown on the October 5th,1999 edition of SmackDown, Brown accidentally dropped Droz on his neck after he slipped away from his grasp attempting a signature Powerbomb. The botch led to Droz ending up in a quadriplegic state and casted a dark shadow on the WWE and the safety of its product.
Thankfully, Droz is in good spirits today despite the accident and still holds no ill-will towards Brown, blaming his loose choice of wardrobe during the match. Although Droz has kept a cool head, the WWE likely wants you to forget this sad event ever took place.
10. The AJ Botch
This is a part of the business the WWE never sheds a light on, simply because it shouldn’t happen. A.J. Styles recently reminded us all that nobody is immune to a wardrobe malfunction, not even the Phenomenal One himself. During his recent PPV match at the TLC event, Styles sustained a hole on the back of his tights right next to his delicate backside area. The WWE was obviously trying to get around this by filming shots opposing the hole, but it was obvious and the crowd knew it also. Styles, the pro that he is, wasn’t fazed by it and proceeded like nothing even happened. He handled the situation like a pure champion.
9. Live In-Ring “Intimate” Show
The post Attitude-Era was a weird time for the WWE. The direction seemed uncertain but the company still pushed the envelope sexually from time to time. In 2006, they took things a tad too far by transforming the ring into one big bedroom setting. With Edge dominating the upper card scene, he took his championship celebration a step further by engaging Lita in sexual intercourse in the middle of the ring. Although the segment was truly distasteful, it managed to gain a solid viewership rating of 5.2 million. It also catapulted Edge as one of the most watched champions of the 2000s.
Despite the numbers, the segment was truly forgettable and something the WWE does not want you to recall. The angle even saw a botch which exposed one of Lita’s breasts because of a poor job by the cameraman. Given the current climate of the WWE, something of the sorts will never go down again no matter what kind of a viewership it brings in.
8. Eddie Guerrero and JBL Bloodbath
During the original brand split, SmackDown was absolutely thriving as the wrestling brand. JBL and Eddie Guerrero were also locked into one of the greatest rivalries of the 2000s as both performers took their work to another level.
Their 2004 Judgment Day clash however, is the one minor blemish from the feud the WWE probably wants you to forget about. During the NO DQ Match, Eddie cut himself a little too deep and it led to a gushing scar on the top of his forehead. Before you knew it, the entire ring was covered in blood; it was a scary sight and one of the most gruesome matches in WWE history.
Looking at the WWE’s current no blood policy, they surely want to put this match away in the archives for nobody to see. The match represented everything the WWE isn’t today and higher-ups most certainly frown upon such a match.
7. The Holly Botch
Ironically, this incident would bolster Holly into the upper card for the first and only time of his career. However, the WWE does not want you to remember why. The incident took place during a match which featured Brock Lesnar and Holly. During the match, the two botched a Powerbomb which resulted in Holly landing on his neck. The incident led to Holly breaking his neck and missing action for over a year. When he finally returned, he instantly went after Lesnar at the Survivor Series PPV, although his run came to a halt after a final loss against Brock at the Royal Rumble PPV.
Wrestler safety is always a big deal and the WWE wants everyone to believe that the wrestlers performing in the ring are safe workers. However, incidents as such do occur in the ring, but the company would rather they go unnoticed and focus on the good instead. Thankfully in this incident, Holly was able to return, but the consequences could have been far worse.
6. The Joey Mercury Incident
Once again, this is another gruesome injury the company wants its fans and investors to completely forget about. It shouldn’t be much of a shock to see how many wrestlers are suing the company today for injury-related causes. Because of this, the company is safer than ever today and takes big-time precautions especially when it comes to concussion protocol.
That all sounds great, but what about all the past performers? Joey Mercury is one of them who sustained one of the most brutal in-ring injuries you’ll ever see. At the Armageddon PPV, Mercury was struck in the face accidentally with a ladder that bounced and hit him. Mercury broke his nose and orbital bone, along with receiving 30 stitches to cover the brutal gash. Joey was immediately taken out of the match and rushed to hospital.
5. Kharma Breaks Down
The WWE always has an eye for talent, and bringing in Kharma was yet another example of the WWE taking notice of the work from a former Indie wrestler. The company was excited for her debut and big things were projected of the former TNA star.
Her stint ended up being the exact opposite, and probably something the WWE wants you to forget happened altogether. On an episode of Raw, Kharma stormed the ring and was surrounded by all the Divas. Many thought she was going to dismantle the entire roster but instead she broke down and began to cry in the middle of ring, providing one of the more awkward in-ring moments. It was later revealed that Kharma was forced to leave the WWE because of an unplanned pregnancy. She would return briefly during the 2012 Royal Rumble only to leave for good once her contract expired.
4. Botched Shooting Star
Had he botched this in-ring maneuver on any other platform, it would have been overlooked, but to do it on the Grandest Stage of The All is certainly a place where the WWE does not want any type of botch, especially one of this magnitude.
During the main event of WrestleMania XIX, Brock Lesnar took on Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship. The match went as planned till the finish. Trying to give the crowd a “WrestleMania Moment”, Lesnar climbed the top rope and attempted the Shooting Star Press. The outcome was a total failure and it resulted in Brock landing on his head. Not only did the two wrestlers improvise the finish but Lesnar also suffered from a concussion during the entire ordeal after his finishing maneuver. Looking at the prestige of WrestleMania, and the two that were involved, surely the WWE does not want to remind us of this epic failure.
3. The Stone Cold Incident
At the 1997 SummerSlam, a scary in-ring incident took place that could have potentially ended the career of one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all-time. During his match against the late great Owen Hart, Owen botched a Piledriver and it resulted in Austin landing on his neck. The scary scene saw Stone Cold unconscious with a broken neck and undergoing a temporary paralysis. Hart stalled the referee and the audience knowing the danger of what took place, the match would end abruptly with Austin pulling one of the worst roll-ups you’ll ever see, but it’s truly remarkable he even had the strength to do so.
Thankfully, Austin ended up recovering and continued his climb to the very top of the mountain. However, that potentially could have came crashing down had the injury been even more severe. Without a doubt, the WWE wants you to forget about this dangerous moment in Stone Cold’s rise to becoming the industry’s best.
2. Benoit Climbing The Mountain
Before the disturbing details of his death were brought forward, Benoit was the true Cinderella story within the WWE. The WWE praised his work ethic and rewarded him with the championship on the Grandest Stage of Them All defeating both HBK Shawn Michaels and Triple H, on route to winning the title. The scene after the match just proved how invested the WWE truly was with Benoit as confetti began to come down from the rafters of MSG. The emotional moment was capped off by Eddie Guerrero entering the ring and celebrating the win alongside his best buddy. It truly was an in-ring moment we thought we’d see replayed by the WWE forever.
As it turned out, the complete opposite came of the situation. After details were announced of Benoit’s passing, the WWE quickly deleted all Chris Benoit-related information. He literally went from one of the most celebrated wrestlers ever, to someone that was simply deleted from the record books. The picture above is an example of a moment the WWE will never acknowledge and wants no part of. Obviously, they don’t want you to see anything Benoit related.
1. Owen’s Tragic Passing
May 23rd, 1999, the world lost a great man. Owen was truly a joy to be around behind the scenes and he was an absolute pro in the ring. His sudden death truly shocked the wrestling world and it’s labelled as one of the darkest in-ring moments in WWE history.
Dawning his new comedic superhero character gimmick, Owen fell to his death during the Over the Edge PPV. While being lowered into the ring, the harness snapped and led to Owen falling chest first into the turnbuckle and landing in the ring. During the scary scene, the paramedics rushed the ring and brought Owen to the hospital. Sadly, it was all too late and Owen had passed out from internal bleeding due to the velocity of the crash. In terms of in-ring moments, this is without a doubt one of the darkest and most tragic in WWE history. Thankfully, the WWE keeps this moment under wraps and instead constantly reminds us of how great Owen was during his time with us.