This article is a magical formula for WWE fans and pro wrestling admirers in general, as we look at two aspects we love dearly; one, what goes on backstage, and two, moments that make us feel something. After all, as wrestling fans and viewers, that’s what we want from the performers, a feeling of something after watching a match or a segment. A feeling of crickets and nothingness is the death of a pro wrestler.
In this article, we look at the most emotional backstage moments that made us turn away and likely go grab a snack (so nobody saw our true emotions). These are images that took place behind the scenes and in truth, we likely shouldn’t have been able to see most of these emotional and private pictures. From Brock’s reaction backstage when breaking the streak, to Cena’s emotional 16th World Title victory, we have an array of moments in this piece.
Enjoy the article and like always, be sure to share it with a friend. Here are 15 WWE backstage pictures we weren’t supposed to see and brought us to tears. We begin with the aftermath following the sad ending to one of the greatest streaks in pro wrestling history.
15 Brock Watches The WM XXX Aftermath
It’s a moment in WWE and pro wrestling history that’ll go down as one of the most chilling and memorable of all-time. On this very night at WrestleMania XXX, the streak was finally conquered. The silence that filled the arena after the three-count hit the mat was truly surreal and a moment that still gives us goosebumps.
The drama in the ring was one thing, but the backstage atmosphere brought almost everyone to tears, including Brock who was visually taken back looking at Taker in the ring. Things went from bad to worse for Undertaker who was rushed to the hospital following the encounter. Vince McMahon himself left the event and main event match to be with his marquee attraction at the medical facility. Both in the ring and backstage, tears were shed on that unforgettable night.
14 Cena & Nikki Post-WrestleMania
Rocking a silly blonde Mohawk and being recognized as "The Prototype" back in the day, nobody could have possibly predicted what a major Superstar John Cena would become. Nowadays, he’s not only still the face of the WWE after more than a decade of in-ring work, but he’s also an inspiration for millions around the world due to his “never give up” attitude and portrayal of life.
In recent memory, he’s enjoyed a couple of emotional moments, this one however, was very unique and special. Cena proposed to Nikki in front of the masses at WrestleMania 33 providing the audience with quite the emotional moment. The segment was not staged and very real. The two continued the celebration backstage as they shared this intimate moment that tugged at our heartstrings.
13 Throwback – Eddie Guerrero & Vince McMahon
No Way Out was an underrated PPV on the route to WrestleMania back in the day. The event provided us with lots of great moments such as the nWo making their WWE debut and this moment that brought the average wrestling fan to tears.
Back in February of 2004, Eddie Guerrero’s 17-year wrestling journey finally reached its peak as he was crowned with the WWE Championship, something that was unthinkable back in the day due to his smaller size. He defeated Brock Lesnar and the victory was met with a thunderous roar. Backstage, the emotions continued as Vince McMahon embraced Eddie Guerrero for finally accomplishing his dream. Today, the picture holds that much more sentimental value as the brilliant performer tragically passed away a little more than a year later in November of 2005.
12 KO Has A Moment Backstage
He plays the role of a big time ruthless heel on-screen, but off camera, the guy has a massive heart. The story of his journey sold at a furious rate; DVD sales flew as fans wanted to know about the tough journey KO took to the WWE. His ride to the top was filled with lots of downs, and the Canadian even contemplated leaving the business for good at one point in time. With his best friend Sami Zayn in the WWE and Owens still on the outside at the time, he was hurting big time.
KO not only made it to the big leagues but he’d win the NXT Championship and fast-forward to the main roster. His most emotional in-ring moment took place on Raw defeating three other men and being crowned as the Universal Champion. Championships mean a lot to Kevin Owens and this is another emotional picture of KO holding his US Title in a sentimental photo.
11 Taker Embraces His Family
There’s just something about The Undertaker that gets to the average WWE fan. Maybe it’s that we’re so appreciative of his body of work and everything he’s done for the company both internally and externally. His dedication to character is truly mesmerizing; in all likelihood, we’ll never see someone like Taker in the business again.
This sneaky picture shows The Deadman following his WrestleMania 31 match against Bray Wyatt. Everybody in the emotional photo is all smiles including Bray Wyatt, even though he was on the losing end. The backstage photo shows Taker embracing his wife and daughter, two human beings that mean the world to him. Triple H and Stephanie are also spotted in the background sharing a smile during the heartfelt moment. As of now, it seems like Undertaker’s WrestleMania days are done with. What a ride.
10 A.J.’s MSG Debut
It’s truly a crime that at the age of 40, one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet had never competed at the glorious Madison Square Garden venue. Finally, in early July of this year, Styles was set to make his debut at the arena, and his day was filled with emotions as the WWE followed his every move. A.J. himself called it one of the biggest accomplishments of his entire career.
What added to the night is the fact that he was crowned US Champion defeating Kevin Owens at the live event, a rarity nowadays to see a title switch hands at a non-televised event but you can tell how much it also meant to the WWE. A.J.’s enjoying the run of his life at the moment and after nearly two decades in the business, it’s an understatement to say he deserves every bit of it.
9 Vince Tears Up Backstage
WrestleMania is an emotional event for Vince McMahon seeing as though he’s the creator of the global event. Months and months of preparation go into the spectacle and when it’s all said and done, it’s up to the performers to put on a great show and one that’ll create that special “WrestleMania moment”.
For WM 32, that moment was in serious jeopardy when John Cena pulled out of the event due to a long-term injury. In need of a replacement, the WWE went off the grid as Vince’s son Shane, was chosen to return. Shane not only returned but he executed the game plan to perfection, receiving a roaring cheer of approval during his return along with an electrifying moment diving off the top of the cell at the event. After the match, the two embraced one another in an emotional moment; Vince was one proud dad.
8 Roman Shares A Moment With His Family
The rise to the top hasn’t been the smoothest transition for Roman Reigns. After being booked to win the Royal Rumble and main event WM 31, things took a turn for the worst when he was serenaded with boos following his Rumble win. Not even The Rock could have drowned the boos on the night. Roman ended up losing as Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract; it was largely a forgettable night for the Big Dog, even his father who was on hand was said to be irate on the night.
Well, Roman had the last laugh the very next year winning the title in the main event of WM 32 against Triple H. The match wasn’t all that well received but the moment for Roman was certainly worth it, especially backstage when he shared this emotional moment with his lovely wife and daughter.
7 A Bloody Mick Foley & His Family
You’ll never see something like this again in the WWE; turning the clock way back to 1999, Mick Foley endured one of the most brutal matches of his entire career (and that’s quite the statement given his body of work) taking on The Rock at the Royal Rumble in an I Quit Match. The bout was truly hard to watch as Foley ended up being tied up, while The Rock constantly swung a chair at his head. The material was way too much and making matters worse, Mick’s entire family was ringside watching the entire ordeal unfold. They were brought to tears from the horrifying scenes.
This backstage shot was captured by the documentary Beyond the Mat showing an emotional Mick Foley alongside his family who seemed startled from the event, to say the least.
6 The End Of An Era
The Undertaker has obviously taken part in some outstanding WrestleMania matches in the past. Two great bouts that come to mind feature two back-to-back matches against Triple H. You can argue that both veterans had their best ‘Mania performances in the matches. The first took place at WM XXVII in a brutal No Holds Barred Match and the second taking place the year after inside a Hell in a Cell.
The matches were particularly emotional because it signified the end of an era. Following the second bout, Triple H would rarely wrestle, while Taker saw his streak end a couple of years later against Brock Lesnar. We’ll never forget the emotional scene of Taker, HBK and Triple H walking up the ramp and saluting the crowd. One can only imagine what went on behind the curtain. The picture above is a sneak peak at the emotional moment that the two combatants had with another.
5 Daniel Bryan Wins The WWE Title
Booking a babyface to a heroic title victory is nearly impossible nowadays as the fans are very harsh when it comes to a clean-cut fan favorite. However, Daniel was a rare gem and he created a movement that was undeniable, so much so that the WWE was forced into slotting him in the main event of WM XXX.
You truly couldn’t get more over than Daniel during the night as the New Orleans crowd went bonkers for the Superstar. This was the same crowd that went mute following The Undertaker’s first ‘Mania loss, so that says a lot. After the emotional moment of celebrating on the commentary booth as confetti rained all over the arena, Bryan met his wife Brie, for the emotional moment. It looks like the two might be sharing a similar moment in the future as Bryan has stated he will in fact return to the ring.
4 Bret Congratulates Shawn
WrestleMania XXVI was an emotional one as the greatest to ever step foot inside the squared circle, Shawn Michaels fought his final match in the main event of the evening taking on The Undertaker. The match was truly breathtaking to watch, as there was no better exit for the great HBK.
Entering the backstage area overcome with emotions, Michaels was greeted by his peers as they saluted him in a round of applause. After embracing his wife and children, Michaels was stopped by none other than the Hitman, Bret Hart. Seeing the two share a smile was truly a sight to behold and one many thought could never take place. Hart even went a step further saying he was blown away by Shawn and Takers’ performance on the night. What a moment, folks.
3 Taker & Shane Post-WrestleMania Match
A rare picture we likely weren’t supposed to see, this is a shot of Taker and Shane at the gorilla position following their match. In the background, Michelle McCool is spotted along with Shane’s sister, Stephanie. A big part of Shane returning for the match had to do with his respect and admiration for the Deadman; without a doubt that grew to another level following this memorable WM match. The match was the most hyped going into the event and by far the best match on the card, beating out the main event featuring Triple H and Roman by a long shot.
The two would even be spotted sharing a drink with one another; one can imagine the emotions both underwent following the bout that was put together at literally the last minute. Both wrestled at last year’s ‘Mania, suffering defeats against A.J. Styles and Roman Reigns.
2 Bryan Crumbles Backstage
February 8th, 2016 was an emotional day for Daniel Bryan, Brie and the WWE Universe. On this day, Daniel announced his in-ring retirement due to nagging concussion issues. It was a dark day and one nobody could have seen coming. Following his speech that brought many to tears both in the audience and backstage, Bryan left the arena as the fans chanted “Yes”. As he made his way backstage, Daniel crumbled and dropped to the ground overcome with emotions that his career was over. Brie was also emotional in the shot, feeling for her man and all that he went through.
As we said earlier, Bryan is now claiming that he’s returning to the ring. No WWE doctors have cleared Bryan, meaning, he can compete elsewhere once his contract expires. It’ll be interesting to see if the WWE doctors give him the green light or if he’ll end up wrestling elsewhere.
1 John Cena’s 16th Title Win
One of the most polarizing figures in WWE history, love him or hate him, John Cena has forged a path good enough to put him among the elite in pro wrestling history. In early 2017, he cemented his legacy as one of the greatest ever, tying Ric Flair’s prestigious 16-time World Title reign. Both in the ring and away from the cameras, it couldn’t have happened to a better guy.
He defeated A.J. Styles in an epic encounter at the Royal Rumble, a match that stole the show. In a rare visual, the often composed Cena was overcome with emotion following the epic victory. This backstage shot put the icing on the cake as he posed alongside the record holder Ric Flair. When it’s all said and done for John, he’ll rank right up there among the very best ever. Who’s the next in line after John? That remains to be seen.