For several years on end, wrestlers have entertained us countless times. While the majority know that wrestling is indeed fake, we just can't help but scream and shout whenever our favorite wrestlers take to the ring. It's not only their death-defying and electrifying moves that wow us, it's the characters they embody. Like in a soap opera or in any other TV show or movie, characters are what keeps wrestling alive.
For as long as we can remember, WWE has been the reigning brand in professional wrestling. Throughout the years, we've seen countless characters come to life. Andre The Giant, The Rock, Mick Foley's array of personas including Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack, and much more. The actors behind these personas are truly some people to look up to just because they do their job so well and we always get our money's worth.
It's not always that wrestlers maintain their characters on-air. Some wrestling fans might've noticed that their favorite wrestlers might've forgotten who they were on the show at some point. Here are 15 WWE wrestlers who broke character LIVE!
15 CM Punk's Pipe Bomb
CM Punk was one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster before he left. He was real, tough and his attitude was just perfect for WWE's Attitude Era. On June 27, 2011, CM Punk dropped a huge pipe bomb that shocked the entire WWE universe. Despite having a good career in the WWE, that 2011 infamous pipe bomb remains to be CM Punk's best moment.
In his last moments with the WWE, CM Punk decided to out his frustrations with management. He talked about backstage politics and a ton of other controversial topics. He even attacked John Cena, Brock Lesnar, The Rock and his fans during the rant. Many argue that the pipe bomb was actually scripted but with CM Punk exposing so many trade secrets of the company, many believe that he drifted away from the script at one point. It was one of the most controversial moments of the decade and CM Punk deserved the respect of fans for standing up to the company. Sucks that his mic was cut off mid-rant though.
14 Michael Cole Ruins Heel Persona For Jerry "The King Lawler"
The most hated wrestling personalities don't always have to be in the ring. Michael Cole who's a commentator is a good example of this. Everyone hated Cole despite being a commentator only. We all know that it's just a role but Cole as a heel just got on the nerves of everyone else. Cole's run as a heel commentator ended back in Sept. 2012. It just had to because fans saw what Cole was really like.
A year after beating Jerry "The King" Lawler at WrestleMania 27, Cole was still a bad guy. During a Sept. 2012 episode of RAW, Lawler suffered a heart attack while in the middle of the show. He had to be rushed to the hospital. An obviously worried and shocked Cole had to battle his emotions while breaking the news to fans. Throughout the show, Cole was giving words of encouragement for his partner and thus ending his heel streak.
13 Mean Gene Drops An F-Bomb
Wrestling and acting require a great deal of effort from both parties to successfully pull off a promo. Sometimes, wrestlers get a bit too carried away and drop a few curse words here and there. Despite the themes, wrestling is still PG and cursing is a big no-no. We're all familiar with how Booker T dropped the N-word on live TV but perhaps the most famous cuss came from Mean Gene Okerlund.
Mean Gene was set to interview then-Intercontinental Champion Rick Rude in the backstage. It just so happens that the stage wasn't too sturdy and the Summerslam sign dropped behind Okerlund. He was obviously frustrated with the interruption and Okerlund forgot that they were on the air when he dropped what seems to be the most famous F-bomb in WWE history. It was an F-bomb for the ages as up to this day, Mean Gene is often poked fun for the time he broke character.
12 Randy Orton Loses Bad Guy Persona For Shane McMahon's Kids
To make wrestling look as real as possible, wrestlers have to sell their moves and hits pretty well. Adults still understand that the harm is put at a minimum during matches but kids on the other hand, still see it as very painful and worrying, especially if it's their dad on the receiving end of a brutal attack that looks rather painful and damaging. In one match, Shane McMahon sold a move pretty well but got injured in the process.
The match was during the 2016 Survivor Series 5-on5 match between RAW and Smackdown. After getting speared by Roman Reigns, McMahon had to be escorted out by doctors. Randy Orton, whose persona was a bad guy and a member of the Wyatt Family back then went down to assure McMahon's kids who were in attendance that their father was going to be alright.
11 The Undertaker Kneels To Ric Flair
When it comes to looking cool and simply awesome, no other wrestler can pull the deed off better than The Undertaker. For years, fans have quivered in fear when the lights dim and the dead man begins walking towards the ring and most of the time, it's hard to see any emotion from The Undertaker. In one very rare occasion, The Undertaker kneeled down to someone else aside from Paul Bearer.
After losing to Shawn Michaels in an emotional career-ending match back at WrestleMania 24, Ric Flair had to retire and the Nature Boy's stint on the ring was no more. Many wrestlers and superstars went down to commemorate Flair's amazing career and among them was The Undertaker. He went down the ring and kneeled in front of the Nature Boy to show respect and gratitude. While this may look normal, it's not like The Undertaker to kneel in front of anyone.
10 Chris Jericho Protects Neville From Further Harm
Despite what everyone else believes, wrestling is still dangerous and there's always a good chance of fighters getting injured while performing live. In the occasion that this happens, wrestlers will have to improvise to find a way to end the match quickly. Prolonging the match could lead to more serious repercussions with the injured wrestler. Back in 2016, we got to see just how far wrestlers are going to go to protect others from harm.
During an exhibition match with veteran Chris Jericho, up and coming wrestler Neville seemingly injured his ankle mid-fight. Jericho notices Neville's injury a few moments later and tries to end the match quickly. Veteran referee Charles Robinson didn't end the match because Neville's shoulders were up. Jericho got pissed and got into a scuffle with Robinson saying "he's (Neville) hurt!" Robinson ended up disqualifying Jericho but after the match, their scuffle continued. Luckily, there was no bad blood between the two parties.
9 Triple H's Sudden Injury Recovery To Hug His BFF
When it comes to wrestling and bromance, fans may always first think of Triple H and Shawn Michaels. These two go way back and it's always fun seeing them up to their crazy antics and pranks for the rest of the roster. That's why it sad HBK's career ended after a Career VS. Streak match against the Undertaker back at WrestleMania 26. The night after HBK's last WrestleMania outing, Triple H took to the stage to commemorate his friend.
During the speech, Triple H was viciously attacked by Sheamus with a pipe. It was made to look like Triple H suffered an injury and he wasn't expected to appear later on in the night. When it was Michael's turn in the ring to give his speech, Triple H suddenly appeared injury-free to give his BFF a hug.
8 Triple H And Stephanie McMahon Console A Fan
If he's not up to his crazy antics as part of DX, Triple H spends his time antagonizing other wrestlers on the roster instead. He's one of the best and well-played out villains in WWE history and fans couldn't have it any other way. Despite what he shows in the ring, Triple H is actually a good guy and as shown in a January 2015 episode of RAW, he's willing to break character for his young fans.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were causing havoc as The Authority and Triple H was as bad as he could be. He shouted at an 8-year-old fan who was shouting his name. The kid was upset and he began crying. Triple H and Stephanie consoled the kid. Triple H even pressed his head against the young fan to say that he was just messing around. After the show, the kid was taken backstage to meet with Triple H to show that wrestlers aren't these big bad meanies.
7 Kofi Kingston Loses His Jamaican Heritage
A common gimmick for wrestlers is for them to have a certain nationality for their personas. Sheamus, for instance, is proud of his Celtic descent and former WWE superstar Finlay is billed for his Irish origins. Not all wrestlers are from the nationality that their characters carry through. As seen from Kofi Kingston's cringe-worthy mistake back in a 2009 episode of RAW, some wrestlers forget where their characters are from, from time to time.
An argument was boiling inside the RAW roster about who was going to represent Team RAW in the match against Team Smackdown in an event. Kingston tried to calm the roster down but he forgot to do so with a Jamaican accent. With the cat out of the bag, Triple H decided to use the opportunity and said: "aren't you supposed to be Jamaican?"
6 Daniel Puder Tries To Submit Kurt Angle
Real fighters transitioning into wrestling entertainment isn't new nowadays and even back then, there were some professional fighters who'd try out their acting chops in wrestling. Kurt Angle, for example, is an Olympic wrestler before he transitioned into wrestling entertainment. Speaking of Angle, he once got in a scuffle against a real MMA fighter in the ring.
In 2004, undefeated MMA fighter Daniel Puder decided to join Tough Enough which was a venue for aspiring wrestlers. Part of the challenge was to take on Angle. The script was simple. Puder quickly loses via pinfall. However, the MMA fighter decides he was having none of it and he tried to make Angle tap with a dangerous submission hold. Angle's an Olympic wrestler so he easily turned the submission into a pinfall victory. Angle was obviously not happy with Puder breaking away from the script so they had a bit of an argument after the bout.
5 Jim Ross And Jerry "The King" Lawler Updates The Audience About Owen Hart's Passing
Though it's not fully real, wrestling is still a dangerous venture and wrestlers are always at risk of getting hurt while on the job. Back in 1999's Over The Edge pay-per-view, the world got to see just how horrible things could go in wrestling. In a stunt as the Blue Blazer, Owen Hart was intended to drop down from the rafters. However, instead of a safe landing, Hart fell from a high place and struck his head on the ring. The TV audience didn't get to see it but Hart was escorted out by doctors.
Jerry Lawler gave updates about Hart's condition throughout the night. The worst news came from Jim Ross when he announced that Hart had passed away because of the injury he sustained in the accident. The commentators weren't expecting to have to announce Hart's passing and they really had to break character to break the news to the rest of the world.
4 CM Punk Punches A Fan
CM Punk is known for a lot of things and one of those is the fact that he actually isn't that nice in the ring... and in real life. Numerous reports claim that this wrestler isn't too fond of fans even when outside the ring and if there's one wrestler who won't give you an autograph, it's probably CM Punk. His notorious attitude is well-known around the WWE universe but in one occasion, he took his not-so-calm demeanor too far.
In an Oct. 2012 episode of RAW, CM Punk entered the crowd during the show's final moments. As expected, fans were eager to touch the wrestler even for a bit and as expected, CM Punk didn't like it. CM Punk was already shooing away the fans but when he had enough, he turned around and punched a fan. The footage reveals that he actually hit the wrong guy. While CM Punk's character is a heel, fans are not intended to be hurt during the show so what he did was way over the line.
3 Randy Orton Gets Pissed At Kofi Kingston
For a match to work, both wrestlers NEED to execute their moves perfectly. They have to be on cue to make everything look as real as possible. However, wrestlers are still human and they do make mistakes from time to time. When this happens, it's easy to see the frustration on the faces of those involved. Randy Orton wasn't too happy with Kofi Kingston when he botched and missed a cue for an RKO.
In 2009, the writers set up a feud between the up and coming Kingston and the veteran Randy Orton. Near the finish of a match, Kingston apparently missed a cue for an RKO and Orton had to physically move Kingston to get in cue for the finish. After executing the move, Orton was seen shouting "stupid" at Kingston. Aside from the verbal show of frustration, it was obvious that Orton was a little too rough with Kingston for the rest of the fight.
2 The Montreal Screwjob
Perhaps the most popular moment when a wrestler broke character is with the infamous Montreal Screwjob. Back in the 90s, wrestlers were shifting companies like crazy. Bret Hart made the decision to move on from WWE to WCW. The problem was that The Hitman was still the WWE Champion then. Even worst, his last outing was in Canada, his hometown, and Hart didn't want to lose his belt there.
Hart was pitted against the up and coming Shawn Michaels in the 1997 Survivor Series and the belt was on the line. Hart knew that he was going to win the match but Vince McMahon, the management, and referee Earl Hebner had something else in mind.
When HBK managed to secure Hart's signature submission on him, Hebner suddenly called for the bell even though Hart didn't tap. Outraged, Hart began rampaging through the ring. He even spat in the face of McMahon. Michaels said he had no idea of the plan of McMahon but interviews released years after the match reveal that he was in on the Montreal Screwjob as well.
1 Shawn Michaels Walks Out During A Promo
The wrestling crowd is a great crowd and they really do support their favorite wrestlers when given the chance. However, the crowd can get a little too rowdy from time to time though and they end up hurting wrestlers in the ring. During a promo for WrestleMania 15, Shawn Michaels; while being accompanied by DX members seemingly got more than what he bargained for in the audience.
One rude fan decided to throw a battery into the ring. The battery hit HBK right on the head and he was obviously upset about it. HBK didn't attack the fan but he did walk out of the ring and into the backstage while the promo was still ongoing. Unbeknownst to everyone else, walking out of a promo is taboo for wrestlers and they aren't allowed to do it regardless of what happens.