What makes pro wrestling or sports entertainment, whatever you want to call it, so much more unique than any other sport or entertainment form, is not only do we get enjoyment out of what we see on television, but we also love to find out what goes on behind the scenes. Fans thrive for gossip backstage, whether it be news pertaining to a return, future bookings or as we’ll see in this article - rare pictures from the backstage area or outside of the ring.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the rarer backstage photos recently taken featuring the likes of the boss Vince McMahon, Goldberg, The Shield and it’s true, it’s damn true, Kurt Angle. Particularly with Bill and Kurt, we’ll take a look at behind the scenes photos we thought we’d never see. Seriously speaking, could you have imagined a photo of Goldberg and Triple H hugging it out a decade ago? If you said yes, you’re a liar!
From emotional backstage embraces, to wrestlers breaking their gimmicks to even wrestlers just before their entrances, this is a unique look at some of the more rare backstage photos recently taken. Enjoy folks and like always, be sure to share the article with a friend. We begin with an emotional moment featuring Bill Goldberg and the Godfather of the WWE (no, not the actual Godfather 90s gimmick), The Undertaker.
15 The Undertaker & Goldberg Share An Embrace
Goldberg returning to the WWE after his lackluster run with the company seemed like a dream that was unattainable for fans of the Monday Night Wars. However, the company was looking to find a suitable opponent for Brock and in came Goldberg. His return was initially slated as a one-time fight but due to his look and attitude, the contract was extended.
Ultimately, Goldberg won the Universal Title and defended the championship during his final bout at WrestleMania. When the WWE Network gave us a behind the scenes special documenting Goldberg’s behind the scenes experience, a significant embrace took place between Taker and Goldberg. In a shocking revelation, Goldberg told Taker that it was the first time in his professional career that he was actually taking everything in and enjoying the moment. The two shared a warm embrace with Goldberg having nothing but the most respect for one of the most respected WWE Superstars in history, The Undertaker.
14 Vince Not Pleased With Owens
We’ve seen countless pics from behind the scenes featuring Vince McMahon getting emotional with other talent following a match. However, there’s also another side to Vince, one we rarely see and that’s the pissed off Vince McMahon. Unfortunately for Kevin Owens, he got to face the wrath of his boss in this rare behind the scenes photo from WrestleMania 33.
Following his match against Jericho, Owens was feeling too good about the encounter; it also didn’t help that Vince didn’t tell him anything after the match. A little later, Owens asked McMahon if the match was okay, with Vince simply responding, no. That’s definitely not what you want to hear during this biggest show of the year. Also visible in the rare backstage photo are WWE producers Road Dogg and long-time backstage employee Michael Hayes.
13 The Shield Behind The Scenes Before Invading SmackDown
Without a doubt, the return of The Shield has been a welcomed sight by the WWE Universe. Heck, the reunion has even put Roman back in the good graces of the audience for the time being. One of the most unique aspects of the group is without a doubt their entrance, which is unlike anyone else in the company. The trio comes out from the crowd and as you can expect, many fans have gotten rare access to the faction at the concession stands before making their way to the ring.
This photo was actually snapped very recently as The Shield invaded SmackDown Live, hyping up the Survivor Series PPV. Despite the onlookers watching the three get ready, all Shield members looked focused before their music hit. This pic is a rare behind the scenes photo of the group that the company doesn’t really show us all that often.
12 HBK & Bayley At NXT
This photo is quite rare and in truth, one most of us thought we’d never see. However, with HBK taking on a bigger role down in NXT, he’s made quite a few acquaintances developing close relationships with the likes of Johnny Gargano and Roderick Strong.
Posted on his Twitter account, Michaels showcased this behind the scenes photo alongside Bayley. The Raw Superstar attended a live NXT event and it is there where she and HBK took the backstage photo. Residing in the Florida area, Bayley returns to her old stomping grounds more times than not, whether it’s to help out with other talents, or simply get in a workout at the Center’s fitness facility. As for Shawn, he’s currently thriving in his new role, moving closer to the Performance Center in order to be a bigger part of the developmental brand.
11 Cena & Nikki Embrace Behind The Scenes Before SummerSlam
With inconsistent television time, the WWE didn’t have much of a role for John Cena heading into SummerSlam. In fact, his summer schedule wasn’t the most noteworthy of his career taking on Rusev in a PPV flag match prior to his SummerSlam match. As opposed to being a main draw on the four hour event, Cena was relegated to opening the show, taking on Baron Corbin in the first match of the night. Some thought Corbin might have gone over, however that couldn’t have been further from the truth as Baron was defeated in a mere ten-minute match, one of the shortest bouts of the night (not counting Orton defeating Rusev in seconds).
Before the match, WWE.com shared this rare backstage photo of Nikki Bella sharing a warm embrace with her man. Nikki hasn’t been on WWE TV herself for quite some time, though she is due back in the near future.
10 Kurt & Vince Hug It Out A Decade Later
Looking back at 2017, perhaps the top story of the year was the reconciliation between Kurt Angle and the WWE. The company started the year off with a bang in early January announcing Kurt Angle into the WWE Hall of Fame. That was significant on its own, but it also meant that he was finally in the good graces of the company a decade after his bitter departure.
The WWE Network gave us a unique look at Angle’s first day back entering the WWE headquarters back in Stanford. After chatting with Stephanie and Triple H, he made his way to Vince’s office. Without any hesitation, the two immediately hugged and didn’t let go as you see in the photo above. Vince then told the cameras to stop rolling as the two surely enjoyed some emotional and personal time together. Angle got emotional discussing his talk with Vince following the embrace.
9 Strowman Breaks Behind The Scenes
Aside from Roman Reigns, the most heavily pushed WWE Superstar on either roster is one Braun Strowman. Survivor Series was yet again another clear indication on how highly the company thinks of his talent. The big man has subtly turned babyface in the recent weeks and he’s projected for some big things moving forward.
What makes his gimmick that much more noteworthy is the fact that he’s completely the opposite in real-life and quite the funny man, believe it or not. Before his WWE days, he was known for making people laugh with his infectious personality. Judging by his behind the scenes photos from the Performance Center along with such pics like the recent one snapped above, that sentiment holds true into his days as a sports entertainer.
8 A DX Reunion Picture
Oh, the behind the scenes; we love rare photos – especially when they feature old alums that we loved during our younger days. This is an awesome behind the scenes photo snapped at SummerSlam featuring DX stars Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Road Dogg. The three remain prominent figures in the company nowadays. Triple H of course is the brains behind NXT while Road Dogg is a major producer backstage, particularly with SmackDown Live. As for Shawn, not only is he currently working with NXT but he also appears sporadically on WWE television. In this picture, he’s dressed up as Colonel Sanders doing some promotional work for the company.
Shawn’s also slated to return in January, taking part in the Raw Anniversary show. That should be a treat for 90s wrestling fans!
7 Samoa Joe, Kofi & Neville Entering The Building
When we think of the WWE, we immediately associate the company with the visuals that we see inside of the squared circle. However, most wrestlers would agree that the real hard part of the job is going from place to place, constantly on the road. Performing in front of a crowd is usually the easy part for most.
This candid photo taken behind the scenes of WrestleMania 33 shows us the talent arriving to the show in the backstage area. Unlike other professional sports leagues, wrestlers aren’t required to dress in fully decked out suits (though some choose to anyways). We can see Neville in the background; the talent was unfortunately relegated to the pre-show on the night, though to his credit, his bout was arguably the best of the night despite the fact that it didn’t air on the main show.
6 Rivals Turned Acquaintances
Goldberg burned a lot of bridges when leaving the WWE in the early 2000s. His relationship with both Vince and Triple H soured terribly, and things weren't any better with some of his former colleagues either. He and Chris Jericho even got it on behind the scenes due to differences from the past and Goldberg, allegedly still talking smack about Chris while on the WWE roster.
Well, this picture proves that Goldberg mended yet another fence as WWE.com published a rare picture of the two mingling before WrestleMania 33. A decade prior, seeing such a picture seemed unimaginable though this time around, Goldberg had a much cooler head and it led to some great success with both his character and his peers behind the scenes. We’ll have another rare backstage Goldberg photo a little later in the article and it’s another one that many of us thought we’d never see.
5 Brock Before The Madness
When it comes to before-match-rituals, wrestlers have their own distinct methods of getting ready. Some love to have a calm-before-the-storm attitude while relaxing, while others love to get hyped. In the case of Goldberg, perhaps he gets a little too hyped; who can forget the time he cracked his head on the locker room door prior to his entrance and was forced into cutting a promo while blood poured down his bald head? One can only imagine Vince behind the scenes...
Brock is another wrestler who chooses to pump himself up before a match. This is a rare shot of Brock getting a pre-match pump while pressing a prop. Now that’s one way to get pumped up. As for Triple H, he prefers to pour countless amounts of water bottles over his head before making his way to the ring. Wrestlers are weird people folks, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
4 Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins Post Title Victory
As we stated earlier in the article, the return of The Shield has been a welcomed sight by the WWE Universe. With Ambrose and Rollins floundering a little bit as singles acts - a change was needed and that came in the form of a tag team featuring the two. Both Rollins and Ambrose looked reenergized alongside one another and it ultimately led to a Tag Team Title victory at SummerSlam as the pair defeated the current holders of Sheamus and Cesaro.
The photo is a rare shot of the two posted by WWE.com as the duo celebrates their title victory following the epic SummerSlam encounter which was regarded as one of the top matches of the night. It remains to be seen how long the trio will stick together before once again, someone turns on the group.
3 Kurt Angle Before His In-Ring Return
Once again, fans got a unique look at The Shield before their match at the TLC PPV. The match was slated to feature Roman, Seth and Dean, though due to illness, the WWE was forced to reshuffle replacing Reigns with Angle. After more than a decade, a Kurt Angle return was finally coming to fruition and in a sense, it added even more interest to the match.
Prior to the bout, The Shield made their entrance through the crowd and again, fans documented the group before entering the seating area. Kurt was the last to come from the backstage area with Dean and Seth leading the way; one can only imagine what was going through Kurt’s head making his way down those stairs for his first WWE match in a very long time. His emotional return was capped off with a win by the trio.
2 Hunter & Goldberg With An Unlikely Embrace
Thinking of this image back in 2003, we’d be laughing our butts off. Things with Hunter and Goldberg began on a rocky path from the start. Hunter pinned Goldberg at SummerSlam in the Elimination Chamber, a booking decision many did not appreciate, including Goldberg himself. He would end up getting the best of The Game, only to see Hunter have the last laugh by defeating Goldberg at Armageddon. The bad blood spilled over following Bill’s departure.
Once again, the tables turned during Goldberg’s WWE return, this time around, he shared a deep connection with The Game as evidenced by Goldberg’s recent WWE special 24/7 documentary. The two shared some great words with each other along with a pretty lengthy hugging session. In terms of recent rare behind the scenes photos, it simply doesn’t get any better than this one, folks.
1 Good Friends Finally Reunited
The WWE Network once again gave us a special look at the in-depth emotions that went on during Kurt’s WWE return. Perhaps the most heartwarming interaction took place between Shane and Angle - Shane jokingly invited Kurt to step into the ring with him for old time’s sake. After a little bit of playfulness, the two shared a warm embrace while sitting in the ring and shooting the breeze. Angle recalled their barbaric KOTR match, which is still regarded as one of the greatest matches from both their careers.
The two ended the conversation with the warm embrace that you see in the photo above. In terms of the friendliest and most popular McMahons behind the scenes, it doesn’t get any better than Shane who remains one of the most over personalities behind the scenes.