Two things us wrestling fans love about the business is the emotional aspect of it all that tugs at our heart strings and the backstage, behind the scenes news that we desperately crave. This article features a little bit of both as we dive behind the curtain to take a look at some of more emotional incidents that took place away from the camera and behind the scenes.
In terms of emotional moments, we tackle an array of incidents that took place behind the scenes. Whether it be two wrestlers embracing after a match, a wrestler retiring or even something as simple as a young Superstar overcome with joy about being drafted to a show, these moments led to emotional results and some even got us, the viewers, a little choked up. After all, isn’t that the goal of the WWE, to make us feel something? Why do you think Roman entered the Rumble at number 30, to piss us off? No, on the contrary, to make us feel something, to make our hearts beat a little faster; this is the goal and intent of the WWE with every major show they put on. It’s all about creating moments.
So without further ado, take out the tissues and enjoy this list of 15 emotional WWE behind the scenes pictures you need to see. Let us know your favorite behind the scenes moment from this list!
15. Shane & Taker Share A Moment
With over 100,000 strong set to attend WrestleMania 32, the company had big shoes to fill in terms of card power for the show. With John Cena missing the card due to injury and various others unable to perform, the WWE went into scramble mode trying to find replacements.
Vince would end up taking a shot in the dark by asking son Shane, if he had any interest in returning for the event. Shane accepted and returned to a mammoth ovation from a Detroit crowd after going years without appearing on WWE television. His return would set up a match against The Undertaker at Mania which quite frankly saved the card. The two veterans who rarely wrestled put on the match of the night highlighted by Shane’s insane leap of faith of the top of the cell. Following the bout, the two exchanged pleasantries backstage and one can imagine, emotions ran pretty high between the two.
14. Bliss Joins The Main Roster
The story of Alexa Bliss joining the WWE is quite surreal. A fan of the program all her life, Bliss simply went online and applied for a position at the Performance Center. After WWE officials saw her tape she was given a call back and before you know it, Bliss was signed to a WWE developmental deal in May of 2013.
Her unlikely rise to fame would continue after she struck gold working as a heel valet. The gimmick would stick and the company would branch Bliss off on her own in NXT. She became a fantastic worker both in the ring and on the microphone leading to a call up that not even she expected.
During the 2016 WWE Draft, Bliss was selected to SmackDown Live. Cameras showed the emotional Bliss who was overcome with joy. She made her main roster debut on July, 26th, 2016, and is now the face of the division, recently winning the Women’s Championship.
13. Roman & Rocky
It was a night of mixed emotions for Roman Reigns during his Royal Rumble victory inside the Wells Fargo Center. Entering at number 19, Roman dominated the match and picked up the victory after eliminating Rusev to seal the W and a first class ticket to WrestleMania’s main event. Although it all seemed so great, the crowd reaction truly wasn’t. An infuriated fanbase booed the heck out of Roman throughout the match. The displeasures were actually more so towards Bryan getting eliminated early, than Roman actually winning the match.
The Rock would come out to celebrate with Reigns, but not even The Great One could drown the boo birds that night. Filled with emotions, the two shared a nice moment backstage as The Rock embraced Roman at the gorilla position. Reigns would go on to main event the next two WrestleManias, winning last year’s lackluster main event bout against Triple H.
12. Vince Pays Tribute To The Warrior
Ultimate Warrior making up with Vince and the WWE was a welcomed sight for fans as his legacy was finally properly celebrated. On April 5th, 2014, the WWE inducted the legend into the Hall of Fame immortalizing his legacy forever. He would appear on Raw the very next night (his first appearance in 18 years) for the last time ever dropping a chilling promo on how his spirit will live on forever.
Sadly, the very next day, Warrior passed away outside of his Arizona hotel room. The cause of death was deemed a heart attack. He was 54.
Following his tragic passing, McMahon honored the Warrior with a fantastic speech about his legacy. Vince got emotional during the tribute claiming the Warrior’s spirit and legacy will last forever in the hearts and minds of wrestling fans. Shortly after, the company would pay homage to his legacy by introducing the Warrior Award into the Hall of Fame given out to individuals that exhibit strength and perseverance.
11. Sting’s Emotional WrestleMania Debut
Finally, after years and years of speculation, Sting finally appeared on a WWE PPV during the Survivor Series in 2014. The moment was truly surreal for wrestling fans as they looked on in amazement as Sting stood face-to-face with Triple H, an image many fans no longer thought was a possibility.
From that point on, the company grew a program between Sting and Hunter which would peak in a match at WrestleMania 31. Making his first ever WrestleMania debut (and probably last ever), Sting was overcome with emotions of the spectacle. Before the show, Sting just sat in amazement at the glitz and glamour of it all. When it came to showtime, Sting was once again overcome with emotions making his way to the gorilla position. Just before he stepped out to the curtain, Vince thanked and congratulated Sting. He was also given some words of encouragement by Vince’s daughter Stephanie, who pumped the Stinger up before his entrance. In terms of that nostalgic feeling, the match stole the show and despite the outcome of Sting losing, the experience was one fans and Sting will never forget.
10. A.J.’s Debut
Speaking of emotional debuts, this one was another chilling moment as Styles made his unlikely appearance for the first time ever inside a WWE ring during the 2016 Royal Rumble event. Overcome with emotions backstage, the WWE kept Styles away from the public eye as he was held outside of the arena inside of a trailer. One can only imagine all the emotions Styles was going through at that very moment, not being able to see any of the wrestlers and just having to enter the Rumble on the spot.
Filled with emotions, A.J. entered the match early on as the number three entrant for the Rumble. Styles had a great showing lasting almost 30 minutes throughout his first cameo.
Surreal to see how much he’s grown in just one year. This year, Styles took on Cena in a marquee title match at the Rumble event. A.J. is currently regarded as the top talent in the company and a face we’ll be seeing a lot of for years to come.
9. Rock & Cena
A staple of past WrestleManias, the company loves to showcase once-in-a-lifetime battles between certain Superstars. The company went all-in with a feud between John Cena and The Rock building it up a year in advance. At WrestleMania XXVII, Rock turned on Cena starting the feud between the two.
The two icons would feud and main event the show for the next two WrestleMania events. Although it all sounded so great, it was anything but that behind the scenes as the two egos clashed. Cena grew frustrated with creative as he was rarely allowed to fire back. Once he did however, Rocky was infuriated and it almost led to an actual backstage scuffle between the two. Cooler heads prevailed and the WWE stars would end up putting on two stellar main event matches. Overcome with the emotion of their entire feud, the two shared a moment behind the scenes ending their animosity towards one another once and for all.
8. The Moments Before The Streak Ended
Over the years, Vince has held a close bond with various performers but none closer than his connection with The Undertaker. When asked who was his favorite wrestler was, McMahon responded Taker’ for his devotion to such a persona after so many years. Along with his in-ring prowess, Undertaker has also been a terrific locker room leader and someone that helped to end several disputes in the past.
He was known for his iconic WrestleMania streak, so you can just imagine the emotions that were running between both the creator of the streak, Vince McMahon and the Undertaker himself. Vince and Taker shared an emotional hug before he went out and finally lost at WrestleMania XXX, breaking the streak. The decision was made to build Brock Lesnar and although it wasn’t too popular at the time, it certainly proved to be impactful in the upcoming years. It was truly an emotional moment wrestling fans will never forget.
7. Throwback: Vince & Eddie
We add a little throwback moment to the article with an emotional picture taken back in 2004. Before his tragic departure, Eddie Guerrero was one of the most popular WWE Superstars. His in-ring talent was up there with the very best, and the guy was truly filled with tons of charisma to go along with his fantastic persona.
In February of 2004, the WWE finally decided to elevate Guerrero to the very next level. Eddie won the main event title bout defeating Brock Lesnar and earning his first and last ever WWE World Championship. The title win was one of the most emotional moments in WWE history as Eddie realized his dream after a lengthy run in the business.
Backstage the emotions continued as McMahon embraced his new champion. The two shared an emotional moment as Eddie couldn’t wipe the tears and smile off of his face. This is a moment wrestling fans certainly will never forget.
6. Roman Gets Emotional
The new polarizing figure of the WWE, Roman Reigns has certainly seen his fair share of emotional moments both in the ring and backstage. WWE fans are hard on Roman, but you can’t discredit his work rate and in-ring abilities, which are quite strong whether you want to admit it or not. Say what you must about his “chosen one” label, or his promos, but in the ring, the guy can work a match.
Failing at his initial dream of making the NFL, one can only imagine the emotions going through Roman’s head as he sits and looks at his WWE Title. As of this writing, Roman is a three-time WWE Champion and remains a key piece in the future of the company whether fans agree with it or not. This moment captured on photo shows that even Reigns is human as he takes a moment to take it all in, starring into his WWE Championship at the gorilla position.
5. A Debut For The Record Books
It seems like so long ago now, but Paige was at one time on the very top of the wrestling world. She made her debut in dramatic fashion defeating AJ Lee for the Championship on the Raw after WrestleMania XXX. Paige made history becoming the youngest Champion in WWE history at 21, along with holding both the Divas Champion and NXT Women’s Title. Overcome with emotions, Paige was overwhelmed following her victory and that led to an emotional backstage interview following her historical debut victory.
Winning the belt at such a young age, the WWE salivated thinking about her future in the company. Unfortunately, things have taken turns for the worst as of late as Paige has been off WWE TV for various reasons whether it be because of violating the Wellness Policy, or being out with an injury. We hope to see Paige back in her emotionally invested self very soon as she still has quite the future at the tender age of 24.
4. Rollins Wins The Title
In one of the wildest WrestleMania finishes of all-time, Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract during the main event of WrestleMania 31 featuring Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. The moment was truly surreal as Seth cashed in and won the match pinning Roman for the victory. The crowd exploded as Seth’s hand was raised in victory becoming the new WWE Champion. The show closed with Seth celebrating as the new title holder.
The moment was very emotional for Rollins because of a variety of reasons. For one, Seth was apparently losing faith in the company while down in development. Although he was promised big things, Rollins grew frustrated with having to stay down in NXT for such an extended time period. Though, at the end of the day, the sacrifice was all worth it and Seth was crowned Champion. He and his protégée Triple H, shared an emotional moment at the gorilla position following his victory. One can imagine the amount of sleep Rollins got after the victory, flying overnight to work an interview in the morning, while showing up to Raw later that evening.
3. The End Of An Era
One of the most underrated parts pertaining to The Undertaker’s streak was his matches against Triple H. In back-to-back WrestleManias, the two veterans put on some fantastic displays. Trying to avenge Shawn’s retirement loss, Hunter challenged The Undertaker in a no holds barred match at WrestleMania XXVII. The two stole the show that night and put on a five star encounter. After the match, the two embraced in an emotional moment between two legends, as you see in the picture above.
The feud would continue into the next WrestleMania as the two fought in a rematch at WrestleMania XXVIII. This bout however, took place inside a cell and featured HBK Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee. Once again, the legends put on a marvelous display and the match was regarded as the end of an era. The three icons made their way up to the ramp hugging and saluting the crowd in a chilling moment wrestling fans won’t forget.
2. Daniel Bryan Before His Farewell
This moment still has wrestling fans choked up today as the beloved Daniel Bryan was forced to announce his abrupt retirement. The night was February 8th, 2016, as Bryan made his final speech in front of his home state crowd of Seattle, Washington. Due to concussion-related problems that reoccurred throughout his career, Bryan was forced to call it quits.
As one can imagine, the decision to leave wasn’t the easiest. Bryan broke down following the announcement as he dropped to the floor as his wife Brie, looked on. Bryan struggled following the announcement trying to find his place in life outside of being a wrestler. After a couple of months away from the WWE, he was welcomed back with open arms working the Cruiserweight Classic alongside Mauro Ranallo and getting to work his current job as the General Manager of SmackDown Live. Not too shocking that Bryan thrived in the CWC position and continues to thrive as the loveable GM of the Tuesday show.
1. Father & Son Enjoy An Emotional Moment
Shane leaving the WWE in 2009 was no doubt an emotional moment for both he and his dad. Shane left the WWE and would not return for almost seven years away from the company. Surely, the entire process must have been emotional for not only Shane, but for Vince as well.
Not only was Shane back, but he had huge shoes to fill replacing various injured stars and highlighting the WrestleMania event with a match against The Undertaker. Despite the fact that he hadn’t wrestled in forever, Shane put on a fantastic match and one that brought both he and his father to tears. As Shane made his way to the gorilla position, the two embraced in an emotional hug. During an interview with Mick Foley, Shane indicated that it was the first time that he felt that his father was genuinely proud of him.