As wrestling fans, we know that there’s so much more to the business than just what we see on-screen. As a matter of fact, nowadays, most fans just visit the dirt sheet websites without even watching the main programs. In the wacky world of sports and entertainment, we have a craving to know exactly what’s going on behind the scenes.
Some things from backstage, the WWE doesn’t really care that we know. However, while keeping the integrity of the business under wraps, there’s a lot the company doesn’t want us knowing about. Like a magic show, the magician that is Vince McMahon never wants to unveil his secrets from behind the curtain.
In this article however, we go backstage and take a look at various rare photos that Vince would rather we didn’t see. From the Gorilla Position to emotional embraces, these are photos we likely weren’t supposed to see but hey, with the WWE documenting a lot these days and with social media as popular ever, we’ve gotten access to such pics. Without further ado, here they are; these are 15 rare behind the curtain photos the WWE doesn’t want you see. Enjoy and like always, be sure to share the article with a friend. Let’s pull back the curtain and get started!
15 The Madness At Gorilla
When it comes to everything behind the scenes, the Gorilla Position is without a doubt the place to be. The higher ups of the company usually station themselves there during a live telecast, and for years Vince McMahon has been at the helm in the position.
In this rare behind the scenes photo however, the cast consists of others, notably Triple H and Stephanie at the helm (as you see in the picture). Others also include Paul Heyman watching from the back along with Scott Armstrong, Joey Mercury and Michael Hayes all rocking the headsets. If that wasn’t enough, even the great HBK is shown entering the room. Michaels himself has admitted that he literally has unlimited access to anything backstage whenever he pleases. When you’re best friends with a guy like Triple H and made the company tons of money, that really isn’t too shocking.
14 Vince Loses His Cool
The Gorilla Position as you saw in the picture above can be one heck of a hectic scene (that’s a lot of hecks). At WrestleMania XXX however, things took a shocking twist leading to Vince’s reaction that you see in the picture above. McMahon demanded help as The UnderTaker literally collapsed once he went through the curtain. Not only was his streak over, but he was also rushed to the hospital following the match.
What ensued was a first for Vince as he left the event in order to attend to The Deadman. Daniel Bryan would end up finishing off the night claiming the WWE Title, though in a rare twist, Vince wasn’t there to congratulate the new champ. It just goes to show how much respect he’s got for Taker.
13 Big Show The Shoe Shiner
The atmosphere backstage can also be bizarre with all those larger-than-life personalities behind the scenes. The new school mindset backstage is a lot less driven towards stress, and more driven towards having a good time and being a looser bunch. This photo from the past is evidence of that, as the two long-time friends Big Show and Charles Robinson share a laugh together after Show lost a bet to Robinson and was forced to shine his shoes.
Big Show and Charles go way back. The two initially met during their WCW days and would meet again following the purchase of WCW as Robinson was one of the few that remained on board with the WWE. The 53 year old is a respected individual backstage and that’s most certainly apparent judging by the pic above. Hey, even CM Punk is laughing!
12 Dean Being Dean
The wacky Dean Ambrose is no prototypical WWE Superstar. We got a glimpse of that during the Stone Cold Podcast as his answers were quite erratic. Love him or hate him, Ambrose has been a workhorse for the WWE in the last couple of years rarely missing a beat and performing on the regular, whether it’s on TV or via the live event loop.
In the picture above, we see a rare shot of Ambrose in his pre-show clothes as he loosens up and has some fun. Being backstage can be rather tedious as performers are asked to attend the backstage area hours before the show. Following the writers giving you your assignment for the night, Superstars are generally on their own after that. If you’re like Dean, you’ve got to find ways to have fun.
11 Brock Smiling
The WWE leads us to believe that Lesnar is as ruthless on-screen as he is off-screen. Well, we have reason to question that as such pics further prove our point that the WWE might be trying a little too hard to keep kayfabe alive with Brock. Whether it’s the picture above of Lesnar smiling alongside his peers, or Brock posing for a friendly picture with his fans back in Saskatchewan, Brock really doesn’t look all that cruel. Maybe he doesn’t really hate people after all?
According to the WWE however, Brock’s involvement during shows is quite limited backstage. Lesnar himself claims he “clocks in and clocks out” following his appearance on a show, making limited dialogue with his colleagues. So what do you guys think, is he really that ruthless, or is it all a work? We’ll say a bit of both.
10 Ziggler Pulls Out The Iron
Yes of course, you can even find an ironing board backstage during a WWE event. One can imagine what the wardrobe of a WWE Superstar goes through in order to get to a show. Bunched up in a suitcase, without a doubt an ironing board is needed from time to time, so we don’t blame Ziggler one bit for this candid backstage picture.
Little do fans know, wrestlers are actually expected to purchase and create their own attire as independent contractors. Now the company does have a seamstress backstage, but usually, that’s only used for modifications or malfunctions of some sort. So basically, creating and executing the attire is all up to you. No wonder Ziggler’s doing some last minute ironing. Luckily for someone like Sasha however, she’s married to the company’s seamstress. So yeah, her attire is likely better than most on the roster.
9 Former WWE Stars Backstage
It happens more than you think, however rarely does the WWE ever bring this up. When in a certain city, numerous former alums from the area at times get a pass to experience the backstage environment and catch up with some old friends. However, the company has been a little stricter with that policy lately as former alum Victoria, claims she wasn't granted access to the backstage area last time she tried. Yikes.
The photo you see above shows various Divas from the early 2000s appearing backstage. Thanks to social media, we were able to hear about this because the WWE certainly did not spill the beans. The likes of Torrie Wilson, Candice Michelle, Christy Hemme and Booker’s wife Sharmell, all attended behind the scenes. For what it’s worth, they all look fantastic and are probably still able to take a bump or two nowadays.
8 Bella Booties & Backstage Map
This candid backstage photo is awesome for two main reasons; for one, it shows a pretty cool map of everything that takes place behind the curtain and second, the bonus, the photo shows a lovely glimpse of the Bella sisters' backsides. We happily accept both features from the photo.
Taking away our eyes from the Bellas' booties, the map features a variety of backstage locations including the pre-tapes, which basically airs the backstage segments beforehand. Sadly, they seem Live but really, they aren’t. Of course, the pyro section of the backstage is no longer existent, as the WWE decided to cut pyro for various reasons such as safety concerns (although the main point in cutting the fireworks was to cut costs).
If you had a choice, which room would you love to eavesdrop in (no, the women’s locker room doesn’t count)?
7 Vince Shares A Laugh With Dean Ambrose
It seems like every time Roman dropped the ball, a Shield member was there to pick it up and run. Back at WrestleMania 31, the company decided it wasn’t Roman’s time, giving the strap to Seth instead as he cashed-in his MITB contract. The same took place at the MITB PPV in 2016 when Roman was forced to drop the championship due to a failed Wellness Exam. Although Rollins initially won, Ambrose later came out and captured his first ever WWE Championship.
It was an emotional moment and one that he got to enjoy with the boss. The hilarious photo features Dean after the match and his title win sitting next to Vince and enjoying a laugh with the boss. It’s a rare moment that shows that not only does Vince have a love for his Superstars, but he also has a tremendous sense of humor.
6 Vince Embraces Rollins
Another embrace by Vince, this one however wasn’t because of a championship victory. The rare photo from behind the scenes took place during Seth’s highly anticipated return following his lengthy injury. Rollins was the man in the company at the time as he seemed untouchable, though thanks to a botched powerbomb, he was sidelined for months, finally returning at the Extreme Rules PPV event.
As you can tell, his return was highly emotional and the WWE even made an entire documentary based on his recovery. Rollins would finally return hitting the Pedigree on Reigns as the crowd went absolutely bananas. You really saw how much the moment meant to Seth. Some Superstars just love the business to the moon, and Seth is one of those dudes.
Whether it’s a title win or an epic comeback, you can expect Vince to show love towards a wrestler behind the curtain.
5 Taker Rocking The DX Attire
Now we’re not entirely sure what it is with Billy Gunn, but something about the dude brings out the lighter side in wrestlers. Not only did he make Lesnar smile in a previous backstage picture, but he also got the great Undertaker to pose in a DX shirt. Those two backstage accomplishments should go down on his WWE.com resume. It’s truly that impressive.
What makes this picture so rare is the obvious fact that Taker has been dedicated to his character’s mystique for years now. Such photos are extremely few and far between, particularly during his Deadman phase. Being friends with Taker for all those years seems to have paid off in the picture as Waltman and Gunn look extremely pleased to witness Taker in the green and black. Now just imagine Taker actually joining DX in real-life. No. Just no.
4 Steph’s Head-Set & Dog
We rave about Triple H’s work behind the scenes, however Stephanie’s no slouch either when it comes to the backstage of the WWE. Her upbringing has been truly remarkable starting off as an accountant and receptionist. In 2002, she’d transition into a role with the creative team and by 2006, she was the Senior Vice-President of the writing team.
Promotions would continue for Steph, becoming the Executive Vice-President and later, her current position as the Chief Branding Officer. She’s come a long way and rarely do fans think about Stephanie with a head-set on, as you see in the picture above (minus the dog, normally). In fact, it was actually Stephanie who encouraged the hiring of Hollywood writers as opposed to “wrestling marks”. It’s a matter of opinion whether Steph’s choice was a good one, but for the most part, fans would agree that it was not at the time and still isn’t.
3 Undertaker Before The Streak Ended
WrestleMania XXX will go down as one of the craziest ‘Manias in WWE history. Not only did Daniel Bryan win the WWE Title, but the epic streak finally came to an end. We’ll truly never forget the silence in the New Orleans stadium following the three count hitting the mat and the bell ringing. It was disbelief for the most part, though looking back, it provided the viewer with one of the greatest WM moments of all-time.
The picture above is a rare shot of The Undertaker just before the streak was about to end. The decision was made at that last minute as it was done to give the show that much more importance since it was the 30th Anniversary. Only a handful of people really knew. Just before Taker stormed the stage he was greeted by Vince with one final emotional hug.
2 Hunter Putting In The Work
Say what you want about Triple H’s past, because what matters is the present and he appears to be a changed man, putting his emphasis on the product and promoting the younger faces of the company down in NXT. New WWE talents have nothing but good things to say when speaking about Hunter which really speaks volume to his work behind the scenes. Not only is he putting on a fantastic display with NXT, but those working for him seem to be happier than ever (just ask Sasha and Bayley).
What a lot of us don’t see is the constant work Hunter’s putting in behind the scenes trying to perfect his craft. This is a rare glimpse of Hunter with the head-set on as William Regal watches on. There’s a reason Hunter’s pegged as the next in line and this picture is only a little snippet that shows us why.
1 Chyna & Her Former Peers
In terms of rare, it doesn’t get any rarer than this candid shot taken during the Attitude Era. The picture features a slew of wrestlers from the past, including Matt Hardy, Hardcore Holly, The Kat, Kane, Triple H and of course, the late great Chyna. Rocking a smile from ear to ear, the Ninth Wonder of the World was in a different place at the time.
Of course, things would slowly come crashing down for Chyna. She was released by the company due to the love triangle and that led to an even worse downfall, leading to drugs and work in the adult industry. She was never mentioned again by the WWE following her release though that finally changed after her tragic passing. The toughest part of it all is knowing Chyna tried several times to contact the WWE in order to put their differences aside. Though, the WWE was unwilling to listen.