The WWE Network is supposed to be a comprehensive compendium of everything worthwhile to have happened under the wide umbrella of the WWE Universe and its related properties. The network hasn’t been around long enough for that definition to be entirely accurate, and for the most part, fans accept that it takes time to upload a whole universe to the Internet. This doesn’t mean, however, that fans are entirely happy with what they’ve received so far. The most dedicated fans of professional wrestling have diligently been watching the network since the day it was introduced, and we’ve discovered quite a few of the greatest moments WWE has produced were completely erased from history.
In the interest of fairness, there are plenty of logical reasons why WWE had to make significant edits to portions of their own content in order to stream it online. Music makes far more of an impact on wrestling than casual fans might notice, and each time a song is used for an entrance theme or performance, that means that the person who wrote it deserves some of the money made in streaming it. Parody laws are more lenient, and yet WWE has been getting rid of instances where a superstar decided to rock the mic in a tuneful way, as well.
Audio isn’t the only reason for edits, though, as video copyrights, questionable content, and downright irrelevance have also played a role in rewriting WWE history to pretend significant moments never happened. Granted, it also means quite a few moments that were erased weren’t that important, but that didn’t stop them from being noticed when they were deleted from the show. Keep reading to discover 15 fun, bizarre, and downright ridiculous segments erased from the WWE network.
15. The Oddities And The Insane Clown Posse
For as much flak as they receive in the music industry, The Insane Clown Posse deserves some level of credit for at least taking their time in the wrestling industry as seriously as possible. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope had actually been wrestling since before they were even rapping, mostly in independent promotions they owned, with the scope and span of these companies growing as the ICP started making serious money through their music. They still had the wrestling bug, though, and thus they made their mainstream debuts for ECW in 1997. One year later, WWE asked them to write a new theme song for the Oddities, which they were asked to perform during SummerSlam 1998. The performance went off without a hitch, followed by a handful of more appearances that even included the psycho clowns getting in the ring for a few matches. ICP were such big fans that they were willing to work without contracts and technically for free, instead getting paid through a number of free advertisements WWE was supposed to air during the shows ICP were on. According to the clowns, WWE never came through with their part of the deal, and now none of their time in the company can be found anywhere on the network.
14. New Day Get In An Empire State Of Mind
Certain cities are famous for becoming part of the show whenever WWE comes to town, and New York City is famous for just about everything, including its wrestling fans. There’s no shortage of hometown heroes famous to all New Yorkers, and topping the list for the Brooklyn borough in the modern era sits Jay-Z. It was with all this in mind that New Day promised a special treat for the SummerSlam 2015 crowd, live in Brooklyn, as that treat turned out to be a WWE version of “Empire State Of Mind.” New Day and the audience gradually transitioned the song into their classic “New Day rock” chant, and if you tried to watch the whole thing on the network, that chant is all you’ll see. The song has been entirely removed, despite obviously being a parody. That same night, New Day started their historic tenure as the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions. Understandably, it was to cut out due to being a legally questionable song, even though it was moments like these that were a huge part of what made New Day the breakout stars they all are today.
13. The Sound Of Extreme
Extreme enthusiasts were ecstatic to learn one of the first programs added to the network was ECW Hardcore TV. During the six and a half years Hardcore TV was on the air, the program only received distribution through local and regional networks, meaning millions of potential wrestling fans had no simple method of experiencing ECW at its best. Unfortunately, the ECW on the network isn’t quite the same as ECW when it initially existed. The smaller stations that originally broadcasted Hardcore TV didn’t particularly care about copyright laws, which is how practically every second of ECW was scored with popular alternative rock and metal songs of the era. With musicians actually taking notice now that ECW is owned by WWE, practically every single episode of Hardcore TV is heavily edited with a completely new sound mix in the form available today. Even many of Joey Styles’ narrations were re-recorded since it was easier to simply re-do everything than to painstakingly edit hours of audio. Granted, most fans would probably agree that having ECW readily available in any form is better than nothing.
12. Triple H And Mick Foley Think The Olympics Are Gay
No matter how high he climbs the corporate ladder, the video evidence will always be there to paint Triple H as a racist, offensive jerk, who has no idea where to draw the line. In addition to any number of DX comedy bits that mostly consisted of sophomoric gesturing. This was evident during the September 18, 2000, episode of Raw. The show opened with Stephanie McMahon calling out Kurt Angle to discuss their non-relationship, drawing out the ire of her husband, Triple H, which proceeded to say that he didn’t care about Angle hitting on his wife anymore. He allegedly had overwhelming evidence that Angle was gay. He didn’t use that word, but he did implore Angle to “come out of the closet,” and smiled with approval as the crowd chanted “f*****.” His so-called evidence was footage from the 1996 Olympics, where Kurt won his gold medals, hugged the referee, and cried tears of joy. Mick Foley then came out to make more suggestive gay jokes and agreed with Triple H. The WWE network has erased the majority of the segment, mostly due to the Olympic footage that didn’t belong to them. Hiding the horrible homophobia of their top stars was merely a side effect, although one they probably aren’t too upset about.
11. Kai En Tai And The APA Go To A Karaoke Bar
Everyone loves a wacky tag team made of extreme contrasts, so two contrasting tag teams forming a union must be even better. In the summer of 2000, Kai En Tai and The APA formed a very short-lived friendship based on their shared status as comedic tropes at that point in their careers. On the path to trope status, APA squashed Kai En Tai a number of times, while also sometimes helping them when their services were paid for. Years earlier, Bradshaw and Taka even had a tenuous partnership that may have explained why on the August 24, 2000 episode of SmackDown, the two teams visited a karaoke bar together and sang a bunch of songs, presented in segments without any particular explanation. Taka and Funaki sang “You Give Love A Bad Name,” and Bradshaw gave his take on “Twist And Shout” before their fellow bar patrons furiously engaged them in a fistfight. Karaoke or not, Bon Jovi and The Beatles are expensive enough where there’s no question why this moment was taken out of history. Funny as it may have been, there wasn’t really a point to these segments, so not much was lost in this one.
10. Vince McMahon, Steve Austin, And Kurt Angle Play Guitar
Forget Jeff Jarrett or The Honky Tonk Man, the best guitar players in WWE history were Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, and Vince McMahon. Austin’s 2001 heel turn has plenty to complain about, the biggest problem being that fans still wanted to cheer him regardless of what he did. That said, it wasn’t all bad by any means, and one of the highlights was a running gag that saw Austin and Angle competing for McMahon’s love and affection. One of their battles took the form of dueling sing-alongs, with Austin leading “Kumbaya,” “We Are The Champions,” and “Camptown Ladies” against Kurt Angle’s attempt at “Jimmy Crack Corn.” The next week, McMahon returned the favor by playing a version of the Welcome Back, Kotter theme with the words changed to fit Austin’s name. “Kumbaya,” “Camptown Ladies,” and “Jimmy Crack Corn” are in the public domain, so they survived, but the rest were all cut out for the usual copyright reasons. Without the great comedy moments like this, Austin’s heel turn starts to lose the small touches that made it better than new fans realize.
9. Chris Jericho Asks Candice Michelle About Her Side Job
Vince McMahon loves hiring gorgeous women, and sometimes these gorgeous women can have side jobs where they become wildly famous thanks to their natural appeal. Candice Michelle debuted in WWE during the 2004 Diva Search. Yet, she received even more exposure through a commercial endorsement. Michelle received more exposure than WWE could ever offer when she starred in a commercial for godaddy.com that aired during Super Bowl XXXIX. In the commercial, Michelle experiences a constant barrage of wardrobe malfunctions, and her mishaps proved so popular that she would go on to appear in several more ads for the company. WWE had no choice but to acknowledge her fame, and they did so by having Michelle appear on Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel on February 14, 2005, two weeks after the ad first aired. The two discussed the ad while clips played and Michelle teased the possibility of another malfunction happening live. Before it could, Muhammad Hassan and Daivari interrupted and transitioned into a match. At the time, Go Daddy probably saw this as extra free advertising, and perhaps they still would today. Even so, the question regarding their reaction caused the whole interview to be cut, and is no longer available for viewing.
8. KISS Debut The Demon
WWE loves talking about the various failures of WCW, and yet there’s no mention of one of the lowest rated moments in Nitro history thanks to the players involved. On August 23, 1999, Raw was main evented by Triple H winning his first WWE Championship by defeating Mankind. For reasons the world will never know, Nitro decided to counter this landmark moment with a concert by the ‘70s rock band, KISS, live in Las Vegas. KISS may have once been rock gods, but their time in the sun had long since faded at this point, and time had consistently proven that wrestling fans don’t care about concerts in the middle, or especially end, of their shows. The KISS concert did have one minor wrestling related moment in the debut of The KISS Demon, although his career would be such a footnote to history that the moment seems especially pointless in retrospect. Adding to the confusion, Brian Adams portrayed the Demon for one night only before passing it off to Dale Torbog, almost turning the whole thing into a historical aberration. Needless to say, Raw destroyed Nitro’s rating that night, 5.9 to 2.9.
7. Goldberg Returns To Crush ‘Em With Megadeth
Maybe the worst part of WCW’s KISS mishap was that they did almost the exact thing less than two months earlier, and with a star so huge it should have been a slam dunk. The band was even better from a commercial standpoint, as Megadeth were early ‘90s sensations, decades more relevant than the ‘70s gods of thunder. The idea starts going south when you realize the big comeback was also a total surprise, and it didn’t really make sense. Fans were too confused about the whole thing to get excited. The only thing announced for July 5, 1999, was that Megadeth would perform their new song “Crush ‘Em,” and what fans got was the return of Goldberg after several months of injury. Goldberg didn’t even appear in person, merely screaming “I’m Back” while a picture of his silhouette flashed on the screen. Fans who hoped for Goldberg to come back in dramatic fashion, instead, got a quiet dud. The concert was such a dud it could have been considered the beginning of the long descent Goldberg experienced in WCW after his meteoric rise in the first year of his career.
6. Vince McMahon Interviews La Femme Nikita
WWE loves mainstream media attention of any kind, so long as that attention is related to a successful franchise. Although La Femme Nikita was fairly successful in its day, the show is almost entirely forgotten in this day and age. Based on the 1990 film, Nikita, directed by Luc Besson, the series debuted on the USA network in January of 1997. Because it aired the same night as Raw, the network wanted whatever crossover WWE could muster, and what they received was an interview between Vince McMahon and Nikita herself, Peta Wilson. The conversation was a total bomb, as Wilson didn’t seem entirely enthused about what she was watching, and McMahon wasn’t helping since he didn’t seem to have anything to say. The conversation dragged within a matter of seconds, with McMahon unable to discuss anything except for the overwhelming “sexuality” of the show. According to McMahon, Nikita contained a “certain degree of sex that [he] thinks everyone appreciates,” which earned an awkward smile from Wilson and let McMahon to end the segment. Either no one cared about the show or McMahon seemed weird and uncouth in his interview, the whole thing has been removed entirely without much of a loss.
5. Steve Austin, The Wind Beneath Our Ring
Whether or not fans liked Steve Austin turning heel to lead the Alliance, Austin and the other superstars of WWE consistently gave the role their all, to such a degree that the company felt he was deserving of true appreciation. For this reason, the August 20, 2001, Raw was designated as the Alliance’s Austin Appreciation Night, mostly in honor of his successful WWE Championship defense over Kurt Angle the night before at SummerSlam. Stephanie McMahon and Paul Heyman started the festivities with pleasantries and their usual praise, followed by a video featuring highlights of Austin’s run as a heel. Next, the entire Alliance entered the ring to sing a parody of Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings,” with most of the words the same except for the new title, “Wind Beneath Our Ring.” McMahon was the lead singer for most of the song, passing the microphone to Raven, Justin Credible, and Chavo Guerrero for duets, and Austin answered the performance with heavy appreciation of his own. On the network, everything between the highlight video until Austin thanking the Alliance for the song has been cut, which makes sense, as they might not even have had parody laws on their side this time. In the very least, Kurt Angle’s response to the ordeal has been preserved..
4. WWE Idol
Speaking of singers who couldn’t sing, while Stephanie McMahon and friends had one grand moment of musical togetherness, Jillian Hall made an entire gimmick out of her inability to hold a tune. Hall debuted as the manager of MNM, followed by a stint with WWE Champion, JBL, only to languish with no direction for several years when these high profile partnerships faded away. Two years after getting fired by JBL, Hall attempted to stand out by singing at every possible opportunity, usually belting whatever mainstream song popped into her head whenever she was on screen. Her wailing actually caught the attention of Timbaland, although that relationship faded out as quickly as her pairings with MNM or JBL. She still got another shot to sing songs on August 13, 2007, when Raw presented WWE Idol, also featuring renditions of classics performed by The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Lilian Garcia and Santino Marella. Hall sang “Memories,” Sheik and Volkoff the Soviet National Anthem, Lilian “New York, New York,” and Santino sang “That’s Amore” especially for judge, Maria Kanellis. Somehow Ron Simmons won despite not singing a song, by way of beating up Santino. Practically every song Hall sang is now gone, including the entire WWE Idol segment, all for the obvious reasons.
3. The Rock Concerts
A select few top heels have had the audacity to sing songs, but only the most electrifying man in sports entertainment history has had the courage to hold multiple full-length concerts. The Rock’s concerts weren’t anything like the Megadeth or KISS concerts in that they were original, innovative, directly related to wrestling, and downright hilarious. The first Rock concert took place on March 24, 2003, one week before The Rock’s final encounter with Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIX. Rock sang parodies of “Hound Dog,” “On The Road Again,” and “My Way,” as well as an entirely original song called “Leaving Sacramento.” Less than a month later, a second Rock concert followed on April 21, this time with Goldberg as the target and featuring parodies of “Georgia On My Mind” and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.” A third for John Cena completed the trio in 2012, with one long prolonged parody of “Jailhouse Rock.” All three concerts were absolute masterpieces of crowd work, as the audiences hung on to Rock’s every word as he smoothly moved between parodies, insults, and short original guitar touches. However, in each case, there was enough grey area that WWE cut out every single song, even the original “Leaving Sacramento.”
2. Steve Blackman, Grandmaster Sexay, And The Chains Of Love
Everyone has seen one show or another that makes them think, “wow, they’ll make a show about anything, won’t they?” On the off chance you haven’t, we present Chains Of Love, a predictably short-lived reality dating show where contestants were literally chained to one another for several days until only two were left to hopefully go on to romantic bliss. There were no real losers, as contestants were given thousands of dollars as they were unattached from the chain gang. Although, it was hardly the questionable stakes that made the program ridiculous. The one notable fact about Chains Of Love was that it aired on UPN, the same network that broadcast SmackDown for many years, including the April 26, 2001 episode. During the episode, it was implied that Grandmaster Sexay tricked Steve Blackman into being a contestant on the show, with the twist that instead of the usual sexpots on reality TV, Blackman was attached to four plus-sized women. The ordeal was kind of funny, but it was no huge loss when WWE cut it from the network, either due to how pointless it was and/or some copyright issue with the show.
1. Stone Cold And The Rock Waste Away In Margaritaville
With the nastiness of copyright laws, WWE wants to be careful about parodies and song usage just in case someone comes along and wants a piece of the streaming royalties. Inevitably, some enjoyable moments are going to get lost to ensure they don’t lose any money. The top moment on our list is more than just enjoyable, though, it’s one of the high points of arguably the greatest feud in WWE history. The Rock and Steve Austin’s battles could and do fill just about any wrestling countdown, and this time they do so with a legendary duet sang on November 12, 2001. The Rock invited Austin to the ring the week before Survivor Series 2001 for a chat, and while things eventually turned violent as one would expect, a completely one-of-a-kind battle took place first. Rather than take to fisticuffs, Austin suggested that he and The Rock sing away their pain, beginning to do so with “Delta Dawn” by Tanya Tucker. Rocky snatched the microphone to sing “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers, which Austin appreciated, but not as much as the crowd adored when they performed a duet of “Margaritaville” with key words changed to coincide with their feud. None of the lyrics to the other two songs were altered, making it obvious that none of this could survive, hilarious as it was.