With the exception of a few planned backstage segments, when it comes to pro wrestling, almost everything fans get to see is what goes on in the ring. Whether the product is good or bad the WWE attempts to plan every single detail, sometimes to the point of over-producing its brand. That’s where behind-the-scene pictures are important because they give more of a realistic glimpse of what wrestlers, managers, and even owners do on a day-to-day basis.
The following group of pictures shows touching moments and interesting combination of wrestlers that may not have ever been seen together on-screen, as well as veterans hanging out with newer members of the roster or family members just relaxing backstage. This collection of pictures spans over four decades of WWE superstars that have come and gone over the years, seriously, just wait until you see what Shawn Michaels and Scott Hall looked like in the 1980s!
In this list wrestlers are captured in a more candid atmosphere showing the good times when they aren’t in the squared circle. Okay, enough with the hype, let’s get right to 20 more incredible pictures that happened behind the curtain!
20. Two Big Mouths
If given the opportunity, can you imagine the promo battles these two could have? The Rock has always been considered one of the best talkers ever in pro wrestling, even today, his style is a touch dated, but fans still erupt when he appears and hang on his every word (and extremely long dramatic pause).
Kevin Owens just gets pro wrestling and knows exactly how to get reactions from not only fans, but other wrestlers with his slimy and evil intentions to be the best. The back and forth banter between these two would be absolutely fantastic to watch and the match would be just as good.
19. Zubaz Pants For The Win
The story behind this funny picture is actually pretty interesting; first, the Zubaz pants are kind of a joke at what wrestlers wore back in the 90s, and Cena wanted to pick up morale during their final stretch in Japan. Apparently, the entire locker room was burnt out so he and CM Punk wore those around to get a laugh out of the other wrestlers.
Both Punk and Cena are wearing jackets from Ribera Steakhouse; this has significance because it’s a favorite location for wrestlers to go to during their Japan tour. Those that have a jacket simply meant they did a tour over there, giving it importance since not every wrestler gets the chance to work the far east.
18. The Warrior Spirit
For such a turbulent relationship these two had over the years, it’s nice to see they ended on a high note before Ultimate Warrior’s untimely passing. Before his induction into the Hall of Fame, WWE did everything they could to keep his history down and even put it in a negative light thanks to the DVD they put out The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior.
As the years went by, they were able to work things out by producing a new (more positive) DVD about Warrior, he finally received a Hall of Fame induction, and also made an appearance the next night on Raw. This picture was taken during that WrestleMania weekend, Warrior passed away on the Wednesday after.
17. Brotherly Love
This is a great picture with Bret smirking at his brother Owen, who’s throwing up the peace sign to the photographer. These two always had a great chemistry with each other entertaining the fans whether they were working together or against each other in a match.
One of their more memorable matches was at WrestleMania X when they started the show with the greatest opening match ever putting on a twenty-minute classic that many have ranked as one of the great matches ever in WrestleMania history. Sidenote: Bret is rocking an ICO Pro shirt who seemed to be the only sponsor WWE had in the mid-90s…Vince and his undying love for bodybuilding.
16. Is Finn A Heyman Guy?
For most of Finn Balor’s career he has traveled the world wrestling with some of the finest wrestlers outside of the WWE; well in 2014 WWE took notice and brought him into the fold to become one of their bigger stars. Somewhere along the way Paul Heyman decided to snap a picture with Balor, causing fans to freak out that the two many pair up.
Heyman may be an advocate for Brock Lesnar, but he always has his eyes on other wrestlers that he could build up. Unfortunately, nothing came out of this picture, but it was fun to gossip for a bit about what these two could do together. Currently, Heyman is still directing Brock Lesnar, while Balor is the NXT champion and is looking to make a move to the main roster in the near future.
15. Three Legends
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and Jim Ross all just, well, chilling backstage! Looks like Steve is talking about someone in the distance, JR is paying attention, and Bret isn’t at all as he smiles for the camera.
Austin and Hart’s most memorable match comes from WrestleMania XIII when they were embroiled in a submission match that saw Austin get busted open from mid-way through. The big ending came when Hart locked Austin in the Sharpshooter, blood poured down Austin’s face, wrought with pain he ended up passing out, giving Bret the win. It’s one of those all-time clips that WWE still uses to this very day.
14. Evolution Is A Mystery
Seven years after the original group disbanded, Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista banded together to initially take down Daniel Bryan, who was able to defeat all of them at WrestleMania XXX. The trio attempted an attack the next night, but The Shield came out to stop them from decimating Bryan.
Evolution obviously didn’t appreciate their involvement and were forced to focus their attention on Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns. At Extreme Rules (2014) The Shield was able to take out Evolution, and then do it again at Payback in a No Holds Barred Elimination Match. Both were excellent matches, but Batista wasn’t happy about the losses and ended up leaving the WWE (in reality, he had to go promote Guardians of the Galaxy), this led to Triple H’s “Plan B” when he got Seth Rollins to turn on his brothers, the evil traitor!
13. Shawn And Scott: 80s Edition
If you check the vault, back in the 1980s Scott Hall was a sight to see, he was not only in great shape, but towered over most of his opponents. Back then not everyone lived in weight rooms, so Scott just had a look that really stood out, particularly during his time with AWA.
Shawn on the other hand looked like a goofball, especially with that hair. He was still only a few years into the business at this point, working his way up the tag division eventually teaming with Marty Jannetty. Their work in the AWA helped get them a spot in the WWE and the rest is history for Shawn!
12. The Rotundas
Here is Bray Wyatt, Bo Dallas, and their sister Mika Rotunda (a female version of Bo), who isn’t in the WWE, although has had rumors of joining in the past. This whole family is invested in pro wrestling though as Bray’s Grandpa was Blackjack Mulligan, his dad was IRS, and his uncles were Barry & Kendall Windham.
Currently, Bray is the leader of the Wyatt Family, who just recently turned face and look to be taking on the League of Nations (Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, and Rusev). Bo Dallas is in his own stable known as the Social Outcast, which includes Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, and Adam Rose.
11. Championship Shot
Every once in awhile WWE will go perfect with their choice of champions, this was one of those times. The fact that CM Punk and Daniel were both champions at the same time was absolutely mind-blowing considering they were considered just “indie guys” prior to their ascension to the top of the WWE.
Same goes for Zack Ryder who had one of those self-made stories by going on YouTube and building his brand, which was long before WWE had such a strong presence in social media. Beth Phoenix, Kofi Kingson, and Evan Bourne were all fantastic in the ring, and Cody Rhodes was probably at his peak playing an old-school comic villain while also bringing back the white strap Intercontinental title.
10. The New Champion
Two days before WrestleMania 32 kicked off NXT Takeover: Dallas took place which included Bayley going up against the always dangerous, Asuka. Even though Bayley gave her a tough fight, Asuka was just too much submitting her after fifteen minutes.
Here is Asuka backstage checking out her new hardware with a bunch of other wrestlers behind her watching on. They are looking off to the side and going by real-life buddy Carmella’s reaction, they are probably looking at Bayley. This was not punishment for Bayley, but rather the opposite as she will be going to the main roster in the near future.
9. Uncle Bret
Natalya was the first woman to be train in the famous Hart family dungeon, so if you’re wondering how tough she is, she’s really tough. In terms of inspirations she has cited her Grandfather, Stu, and her Uncle Bret as the reason why she got into pro wrestling.
At 33, Natalya is considered the leader of the women’s locker room and the gatekeeper for anyone moving up through NXT. Basically, a wrestler has to be able to work a quality match against Natalya to get a thumbs up to move ahead, since Nattie is one of the more technically sound wrestlers if the other wrestler can’t work with her, she probably needs more training.
8. Stardust And Eden
Before he turned to Stardust, Cody Rhodes was a two-time Intercontinental champion, one of which he held for 236 days. During that time he played a fantastic old-school villain gimmick, talking very slow and diabolical, which was made even better when he had to wear a face mask thanks to a broken nose.
In this picture, he’s backstage with ring announcer (and his wife) Eden, deciding to hoist her up on his shoulder while she was holding the IC title. Aside from when they honor Dusty Rhodes or are at events like the Hall of Fame, WWE has not acknowledged them as husband and wife in any storylines.
7. Just Two Guys
Obviously, there’s no way to know what these two are talking about, but would love to be a fly on the wall for the conversation between Mick Foley and CM Punk. Amazingly, these two only crossed paths once (sort of) in the 2008 Royal Rumble, Punk came into the match and was eliminated before Foley came in at a later number.
They did have multiple promo segments together when WWE was building up a Team Punk vs. Team Foley elimination match for Survivor Series back in 2012. Eventually, Punk was removed from the match in favor of another, so ultimately, the two never bumped heads after that.
6. On The Road
If it’s assumed everyone here is working for WWE at the time, this picture is circa 2008 and it includes The Great Khali, Maria, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, R-Truth, and Carlito. As of right now, only R-Truth is still working for the WWE, while everyone else is working elsewhere. Jeff, Matt, and Maria all currently wrestle for Total Nonstop Wrestling (TNA) with Matt just recently winning (and losing) their world title.
The Great Khali went back to India to start up his own wrestling school (Continental Wrestling Entertainment) and they put on wrestling shows from time to time. Carlito has found success in smaller indy promotions after failing WWE’s Wellness Program back in 2010 and refusing to go to a rehabilitation center for a painkillers addiction.
5. The Rhodes Family
Here is a wonderful shot of Dusty Rhodes talking to his two sons (Goldust and Cody Rhodes) as they prepared for an upcoming segment. Dusty wasn’t just a great pro wrestler, but a promoter, a booker, and a mentor to the next generation of wrestlers.
When he passed away it was amazing how many people he influenced, literally everyone who worked at WWE’s Performance Center had something to say about him and how he tweaked their characters for the better. Dusty Rhodes is a true pro wrestling genius that should be revered for years to come, there won’t be another like him.
4. Regal Gentlemen
On the right is William Regal, one of the greatest wrestling minds on the planet and WWE’s prominent talent scout who is bringing in some of the best wrestlers around the world for the upcoming Global Cruiserweight Series.
Here he is with Kenta Kobashi, who is one of Japan’s greatest wrestlers having an amazing career that lasted twenty-five years. Along the way, he scooped up a number of titles and “match of the year” awards, most U.S. fans will remember him best from his hard-hitting match against Samoa Joe in Ring of Honor back in 2005. If you want to see some amazing wrestling check out his matches against fellow Japanese legend, Mitsuharu Misawa.
3. Family Matters
On the left is Rikishi and on the right is Yokozuna, they are cousins from the famous Anoaʻi family. Yokozuna worked for the WWE from 1992 until 1996 because he was physically unable to pass state tests to clear him for matches. He even dropped around 100 pounds, but couldn’t pass the tests, so WWE had to let him go.
Rikishi was able to have a very long career with the company working from 1992 all the way until 2004, when he was also released because of weight issues. During his time with WWE he had multiple gimmicks; The Headshrinkers, The Sultan, a friendly gangster, and finally going as Rikishi, which is how most fans remember him today.
2. Meeting With The Boss
Typically, before (and after) an NXT show, Triple H will gather everyone for a meeting, to pep them up, give reminders, and give shout outs to those who put on a fantastic match. NXT is Triple H’s baby, he is basically Vince in this promotion, in fact, Vince hardly pays attention to NXT which is mind blowing when you really think about it.
In this photo, directly next to Triple H is Drake Wuertz (ref), Adam Pierce (trainer/producer), peaking just behind Adam is one of NXT’s newest wrestlers Shinsuke Nakamura (check out his NXT match with Sami Zayn) with road agent Funaki by his side.
1. An Eclectic Group
In this final photo is funny mix of wrestlers both new and old, from left to right is Curtis Axel (Mr. Perfect’s son), Diamond Dallas Page, Bray Wyatt, Mark Henry, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Axel has been floundering in the WWE since his initial push and is now in the heel stable, The Social Outcasts.
Mark Henry is on his last legs with the company, most likely retiring in the next year or two. DDP is still doing the yoga thing and most recently showed up in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32. Jake has his life back on track with his health in order he continues to make appearances all over the country.