The overwhelming majority of what happens in WWE is scripted and everything goes the way the writers and executives intended. But despite it being scripted, that doesn’t mean that at least some things went off script. That also doesn’t mean that at least some of what is remembered as memorable in WWE, didn’t happen during those unscripted moments. After all, not everything always goes according to plan.
The reactions to some of the things that went off the air in WWE have been mixed; some have been praised, while others have been dealt with a negative reaction. But all have been hugely memorable, because they took the wrestling world and the fans by surprise. Sometimes it’s too hard to tell if a WWE moment was scripted or not, but we can at least discuss the ones that we know for sure went off script.
There are some off air moments on this list that we would definitively expect, like a fight or an argument behind stage, a post show segment, producers and announcers talking off the air, rehearsals, or backstage footage. Some of this footage is released, while others WWE sends to the vault or even the trash can. But because of new technology, we are able to access a lot of moments in WWE that were only seen by live audiences. Here are the top ten off the air WWE moments you weren’t supposed to see:
10. The Announcers Make Fun of CM Punk
During this moment, fans and audiences alike, were chanting the name CM Punk repeatedly, following his retirement. While everybody was chanting his name during a break on a live Raw show, some announcers joked about the chant. Eventually, a video with the announcers joking about the chant surfaced on the internet and spread quickly.
9. Feed From Kevin Dunn’s Headset
Kevin Dunn serves as an executive producer for WWE, so it’s not uncommon to hear him speaking into the microphone or in an announcer’s headset. But one time in 2010, another satellite feed picked up Dunn’s voice in his headset, and what he was saying transferred over to the next night’s episodes of NXT. Even though the audio levels were rather low, they were fairly easy to make out.
8. Mark Henry Is Locked Out Of A Cage
When the technicians who set up the WWE stage forgot to set up a gimmick on a door to come off its hinges, Mark Henry tried everything he could to break the chain and get inside the cage. Due to excellent editing, the TV crew pulled it off to make it look like Henry broke through the cage and engaged the other wrestlers in the ring. But to the live audience, the other wrestlers in the ring had to just stand there patiently, while Henry took his time to break through the cage.
7. Mankind Picks Up The Rock’s Glasses
Mankind and The Rock joined forces on multiple occasions, but perhaps the most memorable moment was when The Rock was cutting a promo and was about deliver some of his famous lines. This whole part was scripted, but what wasn’t scripted was when his sunglasses came off and Mankind picked them up to give them back to him. The entire live audience clapped in applause as The Rock spoke in the third person, “the Rock thanks you for that.”
6. Daniel Puder Almost Breaks Kurt Angle’s Arm
Daniel Puder had Kurt Angle beaten in a match, and Angle was in a position where if he didn’t tap out, his arm would be broken. This was not in the script, but Angle kept fighting and pinned Puder down. Even though Puder’s shoulders were not on the match, the referee still counted to three and gave Angle the match, as was planned.
5. The Undertaker Catches Fire
With his career reaching new heights in 2010, The Undertaker’s entrances had consisted of fireballs being launched from the stage. But in 2010, as he was about to defend the World Heavyweight Championship, one of the fireballs burned The Undertaker, and a second one caught his coat on fire. Immediately, The Undertaker tore the coat off and ran over to the nearest water bottles and started dousing himself with them. It took nearly half an hour before The Undertaker was ready to re-enter the match, but it was still one of the more memorable off script moments in WWE history.
4. Tony Chimel Speaks Bad English
While recording for an Off the Air compilation for WWE, an overdub of earlier lines that Tony Chimel practiced, played over the air on the monitors of the announcers. The practicing lines of Chimel had him speaking very bad English, very many “uhs” and “ums” throughout the dub, not to mention referring to the WWF as the Women’s Championship. This led to many other announcers throwing a lot of jokes at Chimel, and many of them were seen laughing hard for quite some time on the air. However, Chimel’s career had already been on a more downward spiral before that, as WWE has continually had him announce more and more minor events. But after this off the air incident, minor events seem to be the only thing Tony Chimel has been announcing.
3. Triple H and The Rock Rehearse
This video is hard to see, as the camera is zoomed far out on an empty arena…or so it seems. In the video, you can make out the Rock and Triple H rehearsing a one hour long Iron Man Match, just mere hours before the Judgment Day 2000 in Kentucky. When the video of the practice is compared with the actual match that occurred just after, the two are nearly identical in terms of sequencing.
2. The Undertaker Rehearses Killing Bearer
In a video, The Undertaker decided to fight Paul Heyman in a match, rather than give up and lose on purpose. But after The Undertaker did win the match, he pulled a lever on his own accord that released a cement mixer and killed Paul Bearer on screen (of course, this was all scripted. Bearer didn’t really die from the cement). But as it was later revealed on screen, this was only a rehearsal video. It turns out that a stunt double of his was used during the match, but the rehearsal video was released just mere hours before the actual match, therefore ruining the result of the match for fans. However, the whole reaction to the match and video was negative by the fans, but what’s really funny is watching The Undertaker’s largely bored expression throughout the whole video.
1. Vince McMahon Blows Out Quads
At the Royal Rumble Match in 2005, John Cena and Batista were the only two wrestlers still standing, but when they both knocked each other over the ropes, Vince McMahon angrily stepped into the ring in an attempt to restart the match. Somehow though, as McMahon climbed over the ropes to get into the ring, he actually blew out both of his quads, falling into the middle of the ring and not being able to get back up. At first, everybody thought it was a part of the match, but when McMahon called for help and couldn’t get up, people saw that he had actually hurt himself.
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