WWE Monday Night Raw has been on television since 1993, airing live since at least the late 90’s. It’s natural there would be some questionable content somewhere within over 2,000 hours of television, but only in professional wrestling would awful content end up quite this ridiculous.
WWE has gone PG over the last decade, attempting more and more to appeal to children and a mainstream audience in general, meaning most of the items on this list are at least a decade old. However, some segments aired only a few years ago, showing it's possible for a program to be both kid friendly and in poor taste, as long as WWE owner Vince McMahon is writing the show. These aren’t bad matches or times the crowd was merely bored—these are examples of horrific, offensive writing, that often both mocked large portions of the audience and was genuinely degrading to the performers contractually forced to be involved.
10 Triple H Dresses Up Like Kane and Humps a Mannequin in a Coffin
9 Droz Murders Hawk
WWE has been criticized for using performers’ real life addictions and personal problems in storylines, especially considering doing so tends to only make the problems worse for the performer. In 1998, Hawk was member of the Legion of Doom along with Droz, Paul Ellering and Animal. Hawk, who actually suffered from alcoholism and an addiction to painkillers, was regularly shown on television acting drunk or high, eventually climbing up the Titantron in a stupor on November 16th. Droz climbed after him seemingly to help, only to push Hawk off, presumably to his death.
8 CM Punk Mocks An Actual Dead Person
7 "Donald Trump" vs. "Rosie O'Donnell"
Donald Trump is a WWE Hall of Famer. He has also never wrestled in a WWE match. The character “Donald Trump,” however, did wrestle a “match” against “Rosie O’Donnell.” Those last two sentences seem to contradict each other, but that’s wrestling. Before he was insulting minorities on his way to the Presidency, in 2007 the Donald was publicly arguing with Rosie O’Donnell, over the Miss USA Pageant Trump owned at the time.
6 "Diss The Diva"
The WWE Diva Search lasted from 2003-2007. Winners included Christy Hemme, Layla El and Eve Torres. The competing women were put through a series of talent show style contests, the first contest culminating in a final four of Christy Hemme, Carmella DeCesare, Amy Weber and Joy Giovanni. One of the final contests the women were put through was known as the "Diss The Diva" competition, where the contestants would give each other the best insults they could think of.
On August 30, 2004, Stacy Keibler welcomed the four to the ring, and one by one the divas gave their insults. Joy started by telling Carmella too much shit flies out her mouth, and continued, “your gap is so wide you could drive a truck through there.” She went on to call Carmella weak and little before almost slapping her. Amy’s turn went similarly, spending all of five seconds on Joy and Christy before telling Carmella, quote, “having a c*ck in your mouth has nothing to do with wrestling.”
5 The Nowinski-Steiner Debate
Professional wrestling often caters to a patriotic, All-American crowd, and while that can occasionally feel a bit jingoistic to the rest of the world, in at least one example, it made them look like morons. The War in Iraq has always been controversial amongst the American public, especially immediately after it began. Many Americans believed in supporting the troops, but not the war. Vince McMahon felt a bit differently. On April 14, 2003, WWE held a debate between Christopher Nowinski and Scott Steiner on the merits of the Iraq War. Nowinski was the evil heel claiming this war was unjust, and Steiner was the patriotic babyface, rallying on behalf of America.
4 The Melanie Pillman Interview
3 Vince McMahon's Limo Explodes
2 The Chris Benoit Tribute Show
Chris Benoit was a champion in WWE before he shockingly murdered his wife and 7-year-old child and subsequently hanged himself. Unfortunately for WWE, the details surrounding his and his family’s deaths were not made public until over 24 hours after the fact, because if they had known this, they probably wouldn’t have aired a 3-hour long glowing tribute of Benoit on June 25, 2007. Starting with McMahon standing in an empty arena to explain the difference between his character’s fake death a few weeks ago and Benoit’s actual death, no matter what, the segment was fated to show what a horrible idea the fake death was.
1 Vince McMahon Forces Trish Stratus to Strip and Bark Like a Dog
Trish Stratus is a WWE Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest female wrestler in WWE history, but she started as a manager. Quickly, her beauty and charisma caused her to float to the top of the company, becoming the on-screen assistant to Vince McMahon. Trish did something to upset her boss in wrestling fashion, so on March 5, 2001, Trish called McMahon to the ring to beg for his forgiveness. McMahon came to the ring as asked, and immediately demanded Stratus get on all fours and crawl around the ring while barking like a dog. So she did. Unsatisfied despite the roaring crowd, McMahon then made Stratus take her clothes off. Eventually Stratus started crying, leading to McMahon covering her body with his jacket, and the crowd booing.
Pro wrestling is about stories, and good versus evil, and a few months later Trish got her revenge on the evil McMahon. However, countless bad characters have been villainous to countless good characters without blatantly degrading women. Making matters much worse, the live crowd completely misread this segment, cheering the hell out of Vince as he sexually abused Stratus. While McMahon’s actions in the ring that night were unquestionably horrible, the real embarrassing part of it all is the fact the fans in attendance wanted to see it.
Sources: www.wrestlecrap.com; www.cnbc.com; www.dailymotion.com
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