Ask any die-hard WWE fan, and you'll find out that most are just as interested in finding out what goes on behind the scenes than the in-ring content. The wrestling business is one like no other, filled with drama. In this article, we’ve got it all for you (pertaining to incidents you won’t believe, obviously). Some of these you’ll laugh at while others will leave you in absolute shock and awe. To give you a sneak peak on what to expect, just imagine the WWE today with Randy Orton or John Cena; believe it or not, both came very close to losing their jobs at one point.
Along with the seriousness and drama, we’ll also take a look at some lighter stories you wouldn’t believe, like for example, did you know that the boss himself Vince McMahon loves toilet humor? We’ll dive deeper into the story in this article. We’ll also touch up on other behind the scenes incidents you never knew about which include Chris Jericho, Carmella, The Rock and Charlotte Flair. Buckle up, because this article is loaded with some juicy real-life stories!
Enjoy the article and like always, be sure to share this article with a friend. Without a doubt, they won’t be disappointed at the array of incidents from this article. Here are 15 behind the scene WWE incidents you won’t believe happened. We begin with the great Sami Zayn. Ring the bell, ref!
15 Zayn Rides His Bike Home In Tears From WWE's Performance Center
Signing a deal with the WWE in 2013, the long time indie star Sami Zayn, reached the pinnacle of his career joining McMahon’s company. He thus moved to Florida in order to live close to the Performance Center.
Zayn learned early on that things were bound to change. His popular El Generico character was to be scrapped as the WWE chose to go another way with his persona. Sami struggled early on with a new name, pitching several Arabic type names along with even sprinkling in some Irish-type names as well. While in promo class that same day, Sami would drop an epic monologue that officially put his past persona to rest. Overcome with emotions that he had to give up his “baby”, Zayn recalls riding his bike home from the Performance Center in tears on the day. It wasn’t the easiest transition for poor Sami!
14 Orton Caught On Tape
Joining OVW in 2001, Randy Orton had the wrestling business running through his veins. The guy was a natural early on and still to this day, various Superstars have made the claim that Orton himself doesn’t even know how good he is in the ring, wrestling a style that’s so effortless.
Well, early on, his lack of effort was a big problem and it almost cost him in a bad way. While attending a class during his OVW days, Cornette recalls a situation which saw Randy bad-mouth the wrestling business (if you can believe it?). What Randy didn’t know was that during the class, a tape recorder was running nearby. During the taping, Randy was caught saying that he was only at the training center with OVW for the $750 bucks a week, claiming he had no desire to be a pro wrestler. After a meeting with the higher-ups and addressing the situation, the issues were resolved and thankfully, Orton would later cement his legacy as a true great in the business.
13 The Genius Of Dwayne Johnson
When it came to cutting a promo back in the late 90s and early 2000s, The Rock was truly in a Universe of his own. He had the gift of gab, but also, he knew how to cut corners with the WWE behind the scenes. What do we mean?
Hurricane (aka Gregory Helms) recalls a story that demonstrated the true genius of The Rock. While working a backstage segment together, The Rock purposely messed up the pre-tapes so the segment could have been shot live. A confused Hurricane asked Rock why he was messing up so much. Rock later unveiled that he did so, so that the segment would air live and get more than 90 seconds (it went almost four minutes live). Yup, Dwayne was truly in a class of his own.
12 Roman’s Words To CM Punk
Nowadays, looking at the behind the scenes of the WWE, it is clear that Roman Reigns has taken the position of locker room leader backstage. One of his first acts of duty saw Reigns not only kick Enzo Amore off a tour bus for being ignorant during a phone call, but he also kicked Enzo out of the WWE locker room. Thus far, current WWE Superstars have nothing but good things to say about Roman backstage.
Reigns himself has admitted he’s taken on the role of a locker room leader numerous times before, particularly during his football days prior to entering the WWE. So the guy knows how to manage a room. He also knew some time ago that he’d be the next in line to lead the WWE locker room. Reigns admitted that he told CM Punk that he’d be the next locker room leader and that he would lead it better than he found it.
11 The Shields Travel Problems
Joey Mercury doesn’t get enough credit for being the brains behind The Shield. A monumental piece of advice given by Mercury was telling the group to stay together at all times whether it be behind the scenes or while travelling; the trio needed to stick together. They did so and took the company by storm dominating the WWE landscape during their run. As you can imagine, things got a little bumpy when the group broke up.
Keeping kayfabe alive, the travel buddies needed to split up. Rollins was usually the driver while Roman was the sleeper and Dean was the guy that rambled in the front seat. With Seth on his own, he recalls seeing Ambrose, Reigns and their new travel buddy Bo Dallas, stranded on the side of the road after the group initially broke up. It was a tough change for everyone, particularly for Dean and Roman.
10 The Brains Behind The Carmella & Ellsworth Story
Sometimes, to make it in the WWE, you need to be hands-on with your character. We’ve heard a number of Superstars make this claim in the past; being complacent just isn’t the answer, especially for a new star.
It seems like the new SmackDown Live member at the time, Carmella, got that memo. She drastically altered her persona to a heel, fighting a viscous style in the ring. She wanted to take things a step further so she was the one to request Ellsworth’s services following his story with A.J. and Dean. James loved the idea and the company ultimately agreed to Carmella’s pitch. It seems like it all worked out with Carmella winning the first ever women’s Money in the Bank contract, in large part thanks to her manager.
9 Shane’s 3:00 AM Call To Vince
Some of you out there might have heard of this story before. Bubba Ray dropped the incident during an interview with TMZ; it even aired during the WWE Network’s Storytime.
While riding with The Dudleys (including Spike), Shane McMahon was pretty intoxicated as the group rode at 3:00 AM. A drunk Shane decided to play a prank on the boys by calling his dad; once Vince answered, Shane immediately gave the phone to Bubba - who was at a loss for words talking to his boss at 3:00 AM. An erratic Spike was also wasted in the backseat. He didn’t believe Vince was on the phone and when was passed the phone and heard Vince’s voice, he shot the phone away in absolute shock. Oh, the power of alcohol folks! For what it’s worth, Vince was said to be laughing throughout the phone call.
8 Dawson Was About To Quit The Business Before Getting Called By WWE
A member of the popular NXT tag team Dash & Dawson, Dawson was a hard worker growing up juggling school, work and pro wrestling altogether. With the WWE not being anywhere near, Dawson took his talents to Japan gaining valuable mileage and checking the experience off his bucket list. Once his time was up, Dawson planned on returning home for good, leaving the wrestling business and marrying his wife while finishing off his degree, and later starting a family.
A miracle would end up taking place as William Regal sent Dawson an email, expressing his desire to have Dawson join the company. A shocked Dawson who didn’t even know he was on WWE’s radar joined the company and like they say, the rest is history. He would end up getting married and starting a family, but with a job as a pro wrestler, his true dream.
7 Jericho’s Botched Shooting Star Press
Breaking into the business, Jericho worked the territories alongside Lance Storm during his earlier days. The pair worked as a tag team. Jericho was a babyface at that point and was still rather green to the business. He had convinced himself that he needed some type of high risk maneuver to get over. Ultimo Dragon convinced Jericho he could have done a Shooting Star Press. Now the difference here, Jericho could hit the move on a diving board into a pool, but in the ring, it’s a totally different scenario.
You know what happens next - Jericho would try the spot the day before his territory show, which was ran by Jim Cornette. Chris landed terribly on his arm, breaking it in the process. He still showed up to the show, fighting the match with one arm the next night. He learned a valuable lesson on the day; you don’t need a Shooting Star to get over!
6 Goldust Really Hit Roddy Piper With A Car
Back in the mid 90s, Dustin wanted something new and something different from his WCW days and out came the Goldust character. The problem with the persona early on is the fact that many of the Superstars were hesitant to work with Dustin based off of how controversial the gimmick was. Ultimately, Roddy stepped up to the plate and it led to a memorable brawl between the two that was a lot more real than you probably thought.
A couple of very real incidents took place during the brawl from WM. For one, Goldust requested Piper hit him hard in the face for real, which resulted in Piper getting the worst end of the situation, breaking his hand on Dustin's head. Things would go from bad to worse. As Goldust drove away, the plan was for Piper to get out of the way. Of course, you know what happens next - not sticking to the script, Piper stayed in the way and flipped off the top of the car. In that moment, Dustin recalls thinking that he had murdered the late legend.
5 The Kevin Owens Singlet Story
In early August of 2014, Kevin Owens officially signed a deal with the WWE, something he and many others thought would never happen given his overall look. The WWE decided to turn the other cheek and give him a shot.
Owens was real nervous early on and it showed during his first appearance behind the scenes. The company requested he show up with his actual in-ring gear and seeing that he was with the WWE, Owens ditched the baseball shorts and t-shirt for the singlet. Enzo Amore (of all people) gave some great advice to Owens telling him to be himself and ditch the awful singlet. Owens obliged and thank goodness he did; just imagine the same ruthless KO rocking such an attire (like the one you see in the picture above). KO ended up taking developmental by storm, but things could have gone a lot differently had he not listened to Enzo.
4 Ric Hardly Spoke To Charlotte About Wrestling Early On In Her Career
Yes, having Ric Flair as your dad is a huge advantage, however Charlotte admitted during the Edge & Christian Podcast that her father wasn’t very hands-on at the beginning. During her FCW days, Charlotte went to the trainers for advice, rarely talking to her father about anything. Charlotte admitted that perhaps her father didn’t take women’s wrestling as serious at the time and maybe, he wasn't sure that Charlotte would pursue the career. We can all agree, Ric takes the women seriously nowadays, looking at the state of the divisions on Raw, SmackDown Live and NXT.
Charlotte recalls the moment when that all changed. During her run with NXT, Ric was present during her first NXT Championship victory. Ric was very emotional seeing his daughter’s monumental victory and from then on, the floodgates had opened between the two when it came to the wrestling business.
3 Vince Loves Toilet Humor
Despite the fact that he ‘s the boss, Vince loves to have a good time backstage and he’s always open to hearing a funny story. Edge recalls a scenario that saw him eat a protein filled meal before entering the car and hitting the road alongside Christian and Hurricane. Some of you know where we’re going with this... Edge let out a little gas in the car and as the vehicle was moving, the smell was so awful that Hurricane himself opened the door and jumped out of the car.
The group had a huge laugh and Edge repeated the story to his boss, who also had a good chuckle. Hurricane remembers Vince calling him over jokingly and telling him that it’s just a little gas ("what’s wrong with you?"). The two shared a laugh and without a doubt, Edge scored some fan points with the boss for the story.
2 Kurt’s Return & What Took Place Behind The Scenes
Kurt Angle’s return was a long time coming and as a matter of fact, it was Kurt that initiated the contact between the two sides. Following his rehab stint, Angle called the WWE with a return in mind, however the company was having none of it turning down Kurt.
The Olympic gold medalist continued on; he would later get a call from Triple H as Hunter made the claim that the WWE wanted him to return, though what he would do was still up in the air. Angle waited for a call back following the discussion; the second call would come a year later as Hunter welcomed Kurt back to take part in the Hall of Fame ceremony.
Visiting the WWE HQ, Angle had an hour long conversation with Triple H. He later met the big boss man and the two shared an emotional hug with Vince not letting go of Kurt, like a long lost son. Angle apologized for his actions in the past and the two continued on like nothing ever took place.
1 John Cena Almost Got Fired
As he revealed on the Edge and Christian Podcast, Cena thanks being at the right place at the right time for saving his career. Things weren’t looking good for John early on, as the boss Vince McMahon wanted ruthless aggression from Cena and when he wasn’t delivering, it appeared as though his days were numbered.
Rapping in the back of a bus during a tour, Stephanie overheard Cena (hence the being at the right place at the right time) and she asked John to spin some freestyle during a special Halloween SmackDown episode. The gig ended up saving Cena’s career as he caught on with the fans using the persona. Cena claims that letting Vince down and not showing the aggression needed almost booked his ticket out of the company. It appears as though Cena was a man of destiny, later becoming the face of the WWE.