WWE proudly boasts several hours of live weekly television, and far be it from us to deny them the impressiveness of that feat. We’ve complained about some of the stuff WWE has aired on their programming, but there’s no question it takes a serious effort to produce anything live, let alone hours of potentially dangerous entertainment. Whether the product is good or bad, airing it live creates dozens of potentially show stopping problems that WWE has masterfully avoided for several decades. Usually.
On a few occasions, WWE’s dedication to being the most cutting edge live form of sports entertainment has worked to their detriment. In entertainment, airing a show live means there’s no second takes, which means every mistake, technical difficulty, forgotten line, miscued performer, and whatever other unexpected problem arises will be broadcast for the entire world to see. These moments all happen in WWE, but the nature of live television also luckily means that they can immediately move on and focus about the next segment, hoping that fans forget the mistake. Such is our duty to point out those mistakes anyway, so keep reading if you want to learn about 15 moments from the WWE Blooper Reel that Vince McMahon wants you to forget.
15. Kane’s Pyro Fail
Kane is one of the longest tenured superstars in WWE history, perhaps only surpassed by his onscreen brother, The Undertaker. A big part of Kane’s success has been his mystique and demonic “powers,” including an almost magical control over fire. While fans might have found it goofy when Kane shot electricity out of his hands and burned a cameraman, but as it would turn out, things like that look even more embarrassing when the technical aspect of the stunt fails. For almost 20 years Kane has walked out to the ring, raised his arms, and forcefully brought them back down, causing fire to shoot from the turnbuckles of the ring. It doesn’t always work, and it always looks pathetic if it doesn’t. To give credit where credit is due, WWE has a pretty great track record with this, and the pyro has only failed them a handful of times, but that doesn’t make those few times any less ridiculous.
14. The Undertaker’s Pyro Blows Up In His Face
Similar to Kane, The Undertaker is a wrestler who excels thanks to his mystique and the aura that has always surrounded his uniquely macabre and terrifying character. However, his pyrotechnic mishap portrayed another side of how things can go wrong, and it nearly ended The Undertaker’s career when it happened. During his entrance at Elimination Chamber 2010, the Dead Man’s pyro went off at the wrong time, literally blowing up in his face and setting him and his jacket on fire. Taker ran to the ring and ripped off his entrance gear, and amazingly managed to wrestle a lengthy match while suffering third-degree burns. Once he recovered from his burns and made his return, the fire was gone from his entrance.
13. Owen Hart Confuses Human Anatomy
One of the most legendary feuds in the history of WWE was the family rivalry between Bret and Owen Hart. Bret was unquestionably the more successful brother, with five WWE World Championship reigns over Owen’s zero. However, in early 1994, it seemed like it was Owen’s turn to shine, and according to Owen, Bret was being “too damn selfish,” so he turned on him at the 1994 Royal Rumble. While the selfish line was a great explanation, Owen made one of the most famous flubs in history right after saying it, telling Bret said selfishness was why Owen “kicked his leg out of his leg.” Owen’s face showed he immediately realized how stupid he just sounded, but luckily the feud was salvaged through sheer force of will, and produced some of the greatest matches of the early 90s.
12. Jeremy Piven Clearly Doesn’t Watch Wrestling
As a multi-time Emmy winner and occasional major film star, Jeremy Piven was one of the highest profile celebrities to appear on Raw during the Guest Host era. He appeared in 2009 only a few weeks before SummerSlam, which has been the second biggest event of the year for WWE since 1988. Piven referred to the huge show as Summer Fest. John Cena immediately corrected him and the faux pas wasn’t made a focus on television, but fans have since pointed at the incident as one of the early warning signs the guest host era wasn’t going to work. WWE is always desperate for celebrity and mainstream involvement, and that’s great when the talent is a fan or at least can remember their lines. As Piven’s early example showed, sometimes they don’t quite bother doing the research for the role, and the results are embarrassing for pretty much everyone involved.
11. Mike Adamle Doesn’t Know Anybody’s Name
Mike Adamle has got to be one of the most curious hires in WWE history. He was a former NFL football player, but his days on the field were well behind him by the time he started appearing on Raw, and he was by then best known for his time hosting American Gladiators. He was signed by WWE in 2008, first as an interviewer, but he soon became an announcer and general onscreen character. His time in the wrestling industry is mostly remembered for the fact he couldn’t remember anybody’s names, including top WWE star Jeff Hardy, who he called “Jeff Harvey” in his debut segment. Adamle couldn’t even say the name of the company correctly, mumbling through way too many letters every time he attempted to do so. Somehow he lasted several years, even becoming the General Manager of Raw for a brief spell.
10. Randy Orton Doesn’t Know His Lines
Randy Orton is one of the top stars in WWE today, but he also has a reputation as a hotheaded bully who easily loses his temper. This has resulted in him yelling at Kofi Kingston during a live show with little provocation, but we’re going to focus on mistakes The Viper himself made for our list. Being a textbook representation of the modern era of WWE, Orton rarely creates any part of his own promos, instead sticking directly to the script given to him by WWE writers…as long as he can remember it. In 2013, Orton was in the ring during a long speaking segment with Sheamus, and he very clearly forgot his lines. Orton stops talking mid-sentence and wanders around the ring aimlessly before finally giving up, getting caught on camera asking Sheamus, “What’s my line?” three times in a row. The look of disappointment given by Sheamus says it all, and the camera quickly switches to an angle that hid Sheamus answering him. Most embarrassing of all has to be the fact the only remaining part of the promo was a tepid challenge to The Big Show.
9. John Laurinaitis Doesn’t Know What His Job Is
In the real world, John Laurinaitis was the Vice President of Talent Operations for WWE for over a decade. Onscreen, he played a variety of roles, alluding to but never naming his actual position, and eventually landing on calling him the General Manager of Raw. We admit it might’ve been a little confusing having a real title and a fake one, but in part because of this, Laurinaitis seemingly couldn’t get it straight what his fake title was, and regularly mumbled through a mishmash of Executive Presidential words in his attempt at figuring it out. During his time onscreen as one of the highest-ranking figures in WWE, he also regularly messed up wrestlers names, proving that the man most directly in charge of WWE talent doesn’t have the best grasp on who that talent even is. In probably his most embarrassing moment, Laurinaitis seemed to forget his own name, referring to himself as Daddy before quickly mumbling Johnny.
8. Lilian Garcia Keeps Messing Up Her One Job
While it’s embarrassing any time a wrestler forgets their lines or makes a weird turn of phrase, sometimes it feels like we’re being too hard on them. It’s live television after all, and everyone makes mistakes. However, Lilian Garcia has one job—to say people’s names and read one or two very simple facts about them. It doesn’t happen often, but on a few occasions that has proven too much for her. She once called Chris Benoit “Chris Jericho,” and in another instance, Zack Ryder somehow became “Jack Swagger.” Possibly more hurtful to the show than her mixing up names is the fact she’s also screwed up more than a few title reigns, getting the names of belts wrong and even claiming wrestlers were still champions after they lost their titles. Commentary usually covers for her, but as one of the longest tenured female employees in WWE history, it’s amazing she still has trouble with her job.
7. The Gimmick Match From Hell
There have been dozens of matches in WWE history so terrible that the company wished everybody would simply forget about it, but rarely has the mere concept of a match been so idiotic even daring say its name brings up giggles from the wrestling faithful. After The Big Boss Man fed Al Snow his pet dog, the two did battle in the first and no doubt only “Kennel From Hell” match at Unforgiven 1999. The match saw the ring surrounded by a steel cage, which was in turn surrounded by the Hell in a Cell structure. In between the two were allegedly vicious dogs. While some dogs indeed are dangerous creatures, those chosen for the match were the exact opposite of vicious, which is to say, horny. The dogs paid no attention to the competitors, with a few instead choosing to hump each other and merely make a huge mess around the ring.
6. Andre The Giant Surrenders The Wubabubaba To Ted DiBiase
Andre the Giant was the first ever WWE Hall of Famer, and even without that accolade anyone who has even heard of the sport of wrestling probably recognizes him as one of the greatest superstars in history. Despite this, he held the WWE World Championship just once, and his reign literally lasted only a couple of seconds. With the help of shady officiating from Earl Hebner, Andre defeated Hulk Hogan for the title at The Main Event in 1988, and immediately got on the microphone. He starts off strong, saying he’s not surprised and he told everybody he was going to win, but the promo goes off the rails fast when he calls his new title the World Tag Team Championship. Right after that, he says he surrenders something to Ted DiBiase. He meant to refer to the World Championship again, but it’s hard to put his heavily accented mumbles into words. The moment remained one of the most historic in wrestling up to that time, but Andre’s quick promo is usually glossed over, since none of the important words were correct or even made any sense.
5. Vince McMahon Tears Both Of His Quadriceps By Walking
For the most part, we kept anything that resulted in a serious injury of this list, because a wrestling botch is different from a blooper. If a wrestler is slightly out of place for a move, things can quickly go wrong and they can end up badly hurt, paralyzed, or even dead, so it’s in bad taste to consider such a thing in a list of goofy mistakes. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and if a person nearly cripples himself by gingerly walking, it bears mention as a goof. Vince McMahon is the personification of authority in the wrestling industry. After the ending to the Royal Rumble match was botched in 2005, he angrily ran down the entrance ramp, slid into the ring, and sat down like a frustrated child because he had just torn both of his quadriceps muscles on his way in. It was the weakest the occasional billionaire CEO had ever looked, and the only excuse he could muster was that he walked too fast.
4. The Miz Reads His Wrist
The Miz is a former reality TV star who became a wrestler as a fulfillment of a lifelong dream, so one would expect he’s a natural in front of the camera. There’s no doubt he eventually turned into a major superstar, and a great deal of his success did indeed come as a result of his work on the microphone, but early on in his time at WWE, things weren’t so smooth. He debuted on Raw in 2006 to host the Diva Search competition, and in his opening promo explaining the voting process, The Miz blatantly forgot his lines. The fans started booing as he nervously laughed, and things only got worse when he very obviously read the phone number’s voting line off of his wrist. Amazingly, Vince McMahon actually wasn’t upset in the slightest, and Miz would get a lot better at reading his lines before moving up the card.
3. Hulk Hogan Can’t Get His Words Right
The jury is still out on whether or not WWE will forgive Hulk Hogan for making racist statements a few years back, but there’s at least one Hogan promo that’s sure to be forgotten forever regardless of how history ultimately views The Hulkster. Hogan was one of the most charismatic superstars in professional wrestling history, which means that even if people didn’t always understand what he was talking about, he was incredibly confident and in control every time he picked up a microphone. There was at least one instance where this absolutely wasn’t the case, and Hogan couldn’t seem to get two words out without stumbling over himself. On SmackDown in 2003, Hogan was undergoing a feud with Vince McMahon, and he attempted to tell Vince he was wrong for thinking he was “just the right guy at the right time.” The simple phrase completely destroys the Hulkster, and it takes him about four tries before he can get it right, and he makes matters worse by calling attention to his mistakes every time he tried to repeat himself.
2. Mean Gene Gives Up
Gene Okerlund is a WWE Hall of Fame interviewer, and arguably the most famous in wrestling history. However, thanks to the Internet, it’s possible his most watched interview was one that lasted less than five seconds long at the second annual SummerSlam in 1989. Early on in the show, the commentary team of Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura sent it to Gene, who was with Bobby Heenan and Rick Rude. Okerlund got about half of a sentence out of his mouth before a piece of the set fell down behind them, and Okerlund screamed “F*** it!” into the microphone. That kind of language definitely wouldn’t fly in the PG era, and even at the time it was shocking to hear the clean cut Okerlund let loose. The set falling down didn’t look very professional, either.
1. Sid Forgets The Show Is Live
Sid Vicious was one of the most intense superstars in WWE history, but more than a few stories about him have presented him as a bit of a goofball when the cameras turn off. Sid’s aloof personality became part of WWE history during a pre-show interview from one of the first In Your House Pay-Per-Views. Jim Ross asks Sid how he’s going to fare challenging Diesel for the WWE World Championship; Sid mumbles a response, and almost immediately asks if they can start over. JR doesn’t miss a beat in telling Sid, “We’re live, pal.” Sid’s microphone mishaps aren’t relegated exclusively to WWE, as in WCW he once threatened The Outsiders by telling them he had “half the brains” they did.