Over the years, the world of professional wrestling, the WWE in particular, has given us some on-screen moments we never thought we’d see. Those particular moments have been enshrined and celebrated by the WWE numerous times as the company is all about “the moments”. In this article however, we capture those very moments but instead, we take a unique look by going behind the scenes and sharing rare photos we never thought we’d see.
The photos on this list have a wide range. We’ve got pictures of long-time foes finally reuniting along with former wrestlers we never expected to see backstage with the WWE. Also, we’ve got some heart-warming pics featuring the likes of Goldberg and Undertaker in photos we never expected to surface. From Vince McMahon to Ronda Rousey, we’ve got it all on this list of photos we thought we’d never see.
Enjoy the article folks and like always, be sure to share it with a friend. Without further ado, here are 15 WWE behind the scenes photos we thought we’d never see. We begin with a rare embrace between marquee stars of the late 90s and Monday Night Wars!
15 Goldberg & The Undertaker Together
Thanks to the WWE Network and their footage from behind-the-scenes, we the fans got access to an encounter many of us thought we’d never witness, particularly following Goldberg’s brutal exit from the WWE which ended on terrible terms. Though, to the credit of both sides, the WWE and Goldberg put their differences in the past and it lead to great results. Particularly Goldberg was a changed man with a new outlook on life dedicating his return to his wife and kid.
This backstage photo was a rare shot of Goldberg and Taker not only meeting backstage, but even embracing one another. Judging by the conversation between the two, it’s rather obvious that Bill had the utmost respect for The Deadman. It was a treat for fans to see both Undertaker and Goldberg on the WrestleMania 33 card.
14 Ronda Rousey Backstage At NXT Event
Ever since her WrestleMania 31 cameo, the rumor mill has buzzed pertaining to a Ronda Rousey WWE match. What also helps is the fact that Rousey grew up as a fan of the entertainment form, something that intensified the rumors that much more.
Something most of us can agree is a photo we never thought we’d see, Rousey was spotted behind the scenes during a live NXT event, meaning things are likely serious between both sides. Now, Ronda herself hasn’t confirmed or denied any of the rumors, making the claim that as a fan, she wouldn’t want to know if she had in fact signed or not. After all, wrestling is all about moments and what better moment than Rousey making her shocking debut unannounced. Judging by the rare photo we thought we’d never see, the possibility seems higher than ever.
13 Brock Gets Emotional
Two things we never thought we’d see in one photo; firstly, Lesnar defeating Taker and ending his epic WrestleMania streak. Secondly, Lesnar showing emotion following a match; when it comes to his WWE career, Brock himself has admitted that like with any other job, he simply clocks in and clocks out. This ordeal was a different animal and one that hit Lesnar as much as anyone else.
Following the biggest victory of his WWE career, Lesnar (alongside Paul Heyman) watched on at the Gorilla Position as Taker was rightfully given a standing ovation as he lay in the middle of the ring with a sense of disbelief. Lesnar also seemed rather shocked, so much so that according to backstage speculation, Brock initially turned down being the one to break the streak, and it actually took some convincing by Undertaker himself for the finish to go as planned.
12 John Cena & Nikki Bella Post-Proposal
Heading into WrestleMania 33, many questioned Cena’s involvement on the biggest show of the year. He spent the bulk of 2016 as a part-time act, and many wondered what was in the works for Cena. The obvious booking most would have thought was John taking on Undertaker in The Deadman’s final WrestleMania bout. However, once again, those plans were brushed aside likely due to timing issues as Cena had other motives this time around for the show.
Following Cena and Nikki’s victory over Miz and Maryse, John grabbed the microphone and after some moving words, he popped the question in front of the ‘Mania faithful. It provided us, the viewers, with an incredible moment and the photo above shows us an image we never thought we’d see as the couple celebrated their love for one another backstage.
11 The New Triple H
If you watched Triple H throughout the bulk of his career, you’d think such a picture was impossible, particularly during the early 2000s and no, we're not talking about his change in appearance (rocking the shaved head nowadays as opposed to his long locks from the past). Back in the day, Triple H was regarded as an egomaniac, constantly putting himself in front of others. In terms of powerful booking, it’s hard to find a wrestler that can top Triple H, especially during his run in the early 2000s.
Nowadays however, that’s all changed. Like the WWE, Triple H has evolved putting talent first and building several relationships with the younger talents behind the scenes. As you see in the photo above, Hunter’s also filled with emotion and pride when it comes to his NXT Superstars, such as Sasha thriving. Again, back in the day, Triple H was immune to any type of emotion. Such pics of the current Triple H from the backstage area are photos we never thought we’d see.
10 Sting & Vince McMahon Backstage At WrestleMania
Here’s a visual 90s wrestling fans thought they’d never see. When the WWE purchased WCW, Sting was unwilling to join the WWE. He pursued his career away from the company joining TNA for another lengthy run outside of McMahon’s empire. According to the Stinger, he had a nagging fear that the WWE would misuse his talents, leading to the unwillingness to work a deal with the company.
Finally, during the 2014 Survivor Series PPV, Sting made his debut that was long overdue. His involvement on the show was linked to a future match against The Game Triple H set for WrestleMania 31. Cameras followed Sting throughout his WrestleMania experience, and shocking footage showed kind words exchanged by both Vince and Sting before his match – a scene many of us thought we’d never see.
9 Goldberg & Chris Jericho Break The Beef
Goldberg’s previous run with the WWE was just as bad off-screen as it was on. Goldberg had several on-going rivalries from his past at the time, one that included past beef with Chris Jericho. Bad blood began between the two after Bill was unwilling to work a program with Jericho back in WCW due to his smaller size. Once Goldberg joined the WWE, Jericho got word that Goldberg was persisting with the trash talk – this lead to an altercation between the two.
As we said earlier, Goldberg returned as a changed man. Heck, we even saw pics of him hugging Triple H, another long-time foe of his. This rare behind the scenes photo shows Bill reconciling with another WWE Superstar in Chris Jericho. It’s an image many thought would not be possible, let alone it taking place prior to a WrestleMania show that both were a huge part of well into their 40s (and Goldberg having recently turned 50).
8 Shawn Michaels Working Behind The Scenes
Looking back at his initial retirement back in the late 90s, we’d laugh back then thinking about HBK in a prominent role for a development brand under the WWE banner. Shawn’s career followed the trajectory as he’d return to the ring in 2002, and it wasn’t just a brief return, he’d add another eight years onto his resume before calling it quits in March of 2010, competing in his final match against The Undertaker.
He stepped away from the business for a little while enjoying family time. Though, like most pro wrestlers, you can’t stay away for too long. Shawn would end up moving his family closer to the Performance Center and he’s now working behind the scenes with NXT. From agent to producer to mentor, Michaels has worn several different hats with Hunter’s baby. You can imagine his role will continue to increase with experience.
7 Shawn & Bret Sharing A Laugh
Speaking of moments featuring HBK we never thought we’d see, we now turn our attention to a reconciliation that seemed impossible. Bret had it out for Shawn since the Montreal Screwjob – HBK blatantly lied to Hart claiming he knew nothing about the Screwjob; the moment lead to years of hostility between the two.
In need of peace in his life, Bret requested he and Shawn make up once and for all. The handshake/hug took place live on Raw, though the moment you see above was even more baffling and a sight we never thought we’d see. Bret greeted Michaels following his final match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI. The two shared an intimate moment together even sharing a laugh. Bret went on the record claiming he was blown away by the match he saw between the two.
6 Sammartino Comes Back Home
When Vince McMahon took over the WWE from his father, things were changing. McMahon was molding the company into an entertainment form and that pissed off some valuable faces, most notably Bruno Sammartino, who left the company on terrible terms despite his tremendous legacy. Bruno would continue to bash the product years later for their edgy content along with claims of enhancement distribution behind the scenes.
After turning down a Hall Of Fame induction numerous times, Bruno finally agreed in 2013 due to the WWE’s better state as a more family-friendly company. The photo above gives us a visual we never thought we’d see featuring Bruno backstage with the company once again, alongside former WWE commentator JBL. Bruno would return to the company once again in 2015, this time inducting the great Larry Zbysko into the WWE Hall Of Fame.
5 Shane & Taker Post WrestleMania
Finding The Undertaker a suitable opponent for WrestleMania became one of the top priorities for the company. With Cena out on the shelf with an untimely injury, the WWE looked for another opponent. One of the last names fans were thinking about was Shane's, who had been gone for seven years up until that point. He made his return in late February and the match was instantly booked for WrestleMania 32.
In many ways, Shane’s return saved the WrestleMania card as it wasn’t the most star-studded show. The night was closed off in dreadful fashion featuring a lengthy bout between Triple H and Roman Reigns. Taker and Shane most definitely stole the show and they celebrated their match at the Gorilla Position with a rare photo many of us thought we’d never see.
4 Ric & Cena Following A Historical Moment
This past Royal Rumble featured an iconic moment as Cena was crowned a 16-time champion, tying Flair’s prestigious mark - a mark many of us thought would go untouched till the end of time. John defeated A.J. Styles in another show-stealing match, although his title run was short-lived, it was a moment that’ll live on forever nonetheless.
Looking back at Cena’s run with the WWE, the historical moment was surely something not many predicted, especially during his initial run as McMahon began to sour on Cena and it almost cost him his job early on. Thanks to a rapper gimmick, Cena was able to express his personality properly and like they say, the rest is history. It remains to be seen if and when Cena breaks the record and claims his 17th World Title.
3 Vince & Taker Before The Streak Ended
We’ve included this iconic photo on several behind the scenes lists and we felt obligated in doing so once again given the significance of the photo, a photo we never thought we’d see especially given the context of it all.
It seemed unthinkable but the plan for WrestleMania XXX saw Taker’s streak finally come to an end. Before he went out, McMahon and his man engaged in a heartwarming embrace. Following the match, things weren’t as loving as Taker was found passed out by the boss himself who demanded help. Undertaker not only ended his streak on the night but he was also rushed to hospital. Showing how much The Deadman means to him, Vince left the event in order to attend to his ailing Superstar. It was one of the first WrestleManias ever that saw Vince leave the backstage area.
2 The Deadman Breaks Character
What’s so incredible about The Undertaker’s run with the company is how much he’s protected his gimmick throughout the years. Seriously speaking, try to recall the amount of tell-all interviews Undertaker agreed to in the last couple of years. Yup, not many, which has made his character that much more legendary.
In this rare behind the scenes shot, we do get access to Taker’s rare candid side. The photo was taken following his WrestleMania 31 bout against Bray Wyatt, avenging his victory from the past. Both participants from the match are rocking smiles in the rare pic we never thought we’d see. Others also include Triple H and Stephanie, along with Taker’s wife Michelle McCool, and the couple’s daughter. Nowadays, it appears as though Taker’s in-ring days are a thing of the past as he enjoys family time.
1 Kurt Angle & Triple H Reunite
We close off the article with a unique behind-the-scenes photo recently taken of Triple H and Kurt Angle reunited. Prior to his return, Angle admitted that the WWE was initially not interested in bringing him back, though Hunter would later call him and told him to get ready because a return seemed likely. Angle waited months and months for the next phone call, and when it finally came, Kurt was announced as an inductee into the WWE Hall Of Fame.
The WWE documented his return in-depth. Making his way inside of the WWE HQ, Angle instantly met Stephanie as the two exchanged pleasantries. He would then share a warm embrace with Triple H, a sight we never thought we'd ever see again. Vince was the last in line to greet Kurt; several of the images from that day were moments we thought were no longer possible but boy, are we ever happy that they took place!