Truly surreal to think that we still discuss the 90s today. Events that took place nearly two decades ago are still being talked about by the masses. The company was a different animal both on and off-screen back in the day.
Comparing the atmospheres, the WWE was truly a circus in the 90s. The talent was just thinking about their next boozing destination following a show. It wasn’t till the likes of Edge and Christian that the mentality started to change as Superstars slowly transitioned away from the party life, and started to put more of an emphasis on getting a good night’s rest and focusing on their health and well being. Today, that mentality has carried over as the company has strict policies which have changed the dynamic from what it was in the 90s.
In this article, we celebrate that time frame with some rare pictures that took place during that wacky era we still glorify today. Pictures range from photos at local nightclubs to wrestlers enjoying a laugh backstage at a show. So without further ado, let’s dive right in. These are 20 rare WWE must see behind the scenes pics from the 90s. Be sure to share the link with a buddy and let us know your favorite pictures from the list. Enjoy!
20. Taker, Virgil, Backlund, Hacksaw & The Godfather
This early throwback took place at the start of the 90s as some legendary faces pose for the picture. Virgil, Duggan and Backlund were with the WWE since the 80s, while The Godfather who portrayed the role of Papa Shango and a new Undertaker, made their names be known in the 90s. Godfather struck fear into the hearts of children with the eerie character portrayal in 1992, while ‘Taker began to compete in the upper card title scene right around 1991. Do the math, that’s more than 25 years at the top of the card. Expected to once again highlight WrestleMania this year with a match against Roman Reigns, it’s absolutely incredible to see the Deadman still at the forefront at the age of 51.
As for the rest, Backlund remains employed by the WWE, while Hacksaw and Virgil continue to live off their pro wrestling fame away from the big company. It appears that The Godfather is the only person in the photo out of the business.
19. The Boys Getting Their Drink On
Big men that were seriously underrated sum up Yokozuna and Bam Bam Bigelow back in the 90s. Although many believed Yoko was actually Japanese, he wasn’t, as he was instead a part of the prestigious Anoa’i family. He was a big fellow that was able to move inside of the ring providing the WWE with excellent heel work for years and years. He would finally leave the company in the mid 90s only to resume on the indie circuit in ’99. Sadly, he passed away shortly after from a heart attack. He was only 34.
As for the other big fellow in the picture, Bam Bam was similar to Yokozuna in the sense that he was big and imposing, but could work with the best of them. He was insanely agile for a big fellow and his legacy was regarded as being one of the most underrated of his time. The picture shows the two big men having a good time while sipping on some drinks. We hope the others in the photo didn’t attempt to go toe-to-toe with the big men in consuming alcohol. Another notable face you’ll recognize in the picture is of a young Chris Benoit.
18. Ted DiBiase, Virgil & Donald Trump
Who would have thought that Ted DiBiase was shaking the hand of a future President? He’s now leading the United States, but he was also a big fan of sports and entertainment as he befriended Vince McMahon. The two shared a special bond throughout the years and that was made public when Vince, along with his entire family, visited the White House and posed for a picture alongside President Trump. A truly surreal moment for the McMahon family.
As for the other two, both grew to popularity with the WWE working alongside each other. Virgil is still thirsty for fame, attending various conventions. DiBiase also attends conventions but at a lighter pace compared to his counterpart. There was a bit of heat between the two a couple of years back as Virgil would lie to promoters about Ted showing up with him. Virgil would agree on the booth but would constantly show up alone telling the convention officials that DiBiase couldn’t make it which infuriated them. Once this was made public, Ted snapped and it caused some heat between the two alums. Oh, Virgil!
17. Shawn & Haku Getting Gold Tips
Before he rose to fame as HBK, Shawn was making it in the WWE as a Tag Team wrestler. As you see in the picture above, Michaels is rocking his Rockers uniform as he learns a lesson in golf from the great Bobby Heenan. Another face you’ll likely recognize is that of Haku, according to various stories, Fifita was one of the most feared backstage presences in WWE history. The dude got into fights on the regular, destroying people at local bars following shows. Heck, we can do a separate article on some of the most wild Haku stories ever, what do you guys think about that?
Obviously, the career trajectories of the two were different. HBK was just starting out and would grow into the face of the company by 1996. As for Haku, he would join WCW in 1994 and stay on board till the end. He returned to the WWE briefly but would depart for good in 2002.
16. An Awesome Candid Shot Of The Brothers
In terms of top pictures on this list, this particular photo is right up there as one of the very best. This is an amazing candid shot of the Hart Brothers as they pose for the picture behind the scenes. You’ll find it almost impossible to think of a pair of brothers that did it better than these guys.
Bret was the first to thrive as he began to enjoy a big mid-card push in 1991 winning the IC Championship. He trail-blazed a fantastic legacy winning two-IC Titles, two Tag Team Titles and a five-time WWE World Championship reign.
Brother Owen got his boost a little later as he was pushed to the forefront in 1993, feuding with his sibling. In terms of accomplishments, he was no slouch either winning the Tag Title four-times along with runs with the European and IC Championships. Had he not fell to his shocking death, many believe Owen had the potential to be a future World Champion.
15. Vader, Michaels & Boy Meets World
If you were a 90s kid, this photo pretty much sums up your childhood. The picture features pivotal 90s wrestling stars HBK Shawn Michaels and Vader, along with some other 90s fan favorites. The two kids you see in the picture come from the show Boy Meets World, which was a huge hit as a show on TGIF throughout the 90s. Fan favorites Shawn and Corey both extend their hand at the same time, eager to meet The Showstopper himself who was oozing with popularity back in the day.
Vader would appear on the hit show. Even back in the 90s, Vince and the WWE were obsessed with exposing the WWE in mainstream entertainment, and this was a perfect opportunity for the company to do so. Vader’s cameo was quite enjoyable and still available to watch online if you want to get a little nostalgia running through your veins.
14. The BSK Hanging Out
Back in the 90s, the backstage atmosphere was an entirely different animal. Today, professionalism is at an all-time high but back in the day, the backstage area was a circus-like atmosphere. A weird element of the 90s climate behind the scenes was the fact that wrestlers hung out in groups. Of course, there was The Kliq, but there also was the BSK, Bone Street Crew. Led by The Undertaker, the group would spend time together backstage and go out following the shows side by side at bars, clubs or wherever else they would end up. The crew was made up of ‘Taker, Yokozuna, Brian Adams, Savio Vega, The Godwins, The Godfather, Rikishi and even the late great manager, Paul Bearer.
13. Airport Group Picture
This is a mouth-watering picture for fans of both the 80s and 90s, featuring wrestling stars from both decades. The photo features a plethora of names including Roddy Piper, Yokozuna, a barely recognizable Scott Steiner, Jim Duggan, Mr. Fuji, The Godfather, Bam Bam Bigelow, Tito Santana, Owen Hart, Rikishi, Brutus the Barber Beefcake, Bastion Booger, Jimmy Hart and of course the Hulkster himself, Hulk Hogan.
Love him or hate him, Hulk would end up rocking the 90s and dictating the climate of the decade. He led the WWE to huge success and would continue that streak with WCW redefining the business via his leadership of the nWo. His heel change shifted the climate of the 90s into an edgy program as all of a sudden, the heels became the cool wrestlers to cheer on, something that wasn’t the norm in the early portion of the 90s.
12. Triple H After The Montreal Screwjob
What made The Montreal Screwjob that much more surreal was the fact that a camera crew was following the backstage events at the time. Bret was recording footage for his documentary, which led to some amazing behind the scenes from the fallout of the situation. A backstage shot shows Triple H who looks on innocently. Little did anybody know that The Game had a huge hand in what would go down.
After all the dust settled, it was revealed that Triple H was actually at the helm of the idea. Hunter uttered the line, “if he doesn’t want to do business, we’ll do it for him”. That caused the WWE to change their minds completely, leading to the events of the Screwjob. To this day, Hunter and Bret maintain a rocky relationship as The Hitman has bashed Triple H on several instances, claiming he was overrated and couldn’t even lace his boots.
11. Vince After The Punch
Let’s give Vince some credit, he stood by his actions and faced Bret Hart like a man backstage. The outcome was pretty terrible, but you have to respect Vince for going with it. Shane, Vince’s son, recalled the situation claiming he saw his dad get sacked to the ground by Bret after The Hitman nailed the WWE’s chairman with a vicious shot to the face. McMahon buckled to the ground from the velocity of the shot.
This rare photo shows the impact of the punch. Many fans saw the outcome the following night as Vince uttered the memorable “Bret screwed Bret” line, but this picture is much more revealing as to the impact the shot actually had. Vince dawned a terrible black eye for the next couple of weeks.
Ultimately, the incident sparked McMahon’s dominant heel tirade as he became a crucial part of the show for years. Had it not been for the incident, you wonder if the Vince character would have ever been born.
10. Chyna Having Some Fun Backstage
A trailblazer in the world of pro wrestling, Chyna excelled with the WWE during the 90s. Although Vince was reluctant to hire her, the decision certainly paid off as she became one of the company’s biggest attractions. Along with that, she got along with the talent, as well as forming a great bond with Vince. By ’99, she was at the peak of her career winning the Intercontinental Championship, something that was unthinkable and still is today.
Sadly, as you all know, things would come crashing down for Chyna. She was faxed a termination letter after it was revealed that Hunter and Stephanie were dating behind the scenes. She never recovered from the incidents turning to drugs and alcohol in order to heal her wounds. She was pretty much blacklisted by the WWE for years due to her behavior and she sadly passed away in April of 2016, rocking the wrestling world. We hope to see her in the HoF sooner rather than later.
9. A Young Dwayne & Shaq
He started off as a young dude with a terrible gimmick but would transition into one of the most charismatic Superstars in WWE history. By 1998, The Rock was leading the company into the future as he led The Corporation as the heel champion. He had great mainstream popularity and that would translate with some small gigs early on. One of his first was appearing on That ‘70s Show in a minor cameo. Just think how far he’s come since that point turning into a box office monster nowadays.
As for Shaq, his WWE involvement began as early as the 90s as you see in the picture above. He was rumored to be facing Big Show at this year’s ‘Mania event, but it seems like the match is now off as there are no signs of Shaq competing. Some fans would argue, it’s better that way.
On a side note, props to The Rock for that epic ring attire as he rocked the black on black in so many infamous matches. Who can forget his bouts with Mick Foley while rocking that 90s gear?!
8. The 90s Crew
When you think of the WWE during the mid 90s, the people you see in the photo above is generally what you think of. The picture features the core of the era with the likes of HBK, Mar Mero, Goldust, Stone Cold, Owen Hart, Triple H, Sable, Terri Runnels, Jim Ross, Sunny and Bret The Hitman Hart.
Some would argue this was pre-Attitude Era, however, these individuals helped to pave the way into that time frame. Hunter and Austin would run with the ball, but the likes of HBK and Bret were crucial in shaping the company into that direction. Many fans believe that the Attitude Era began after the Montreal Screwjob, while others believe it was officially born following HBK’s passing of the torch to Steve Austin after their 1998 bout at WrestleMania XIV. No matter what you believe, there’s no doubting the contributions of the individuals featured in this rare gem of a picture.
7. Sunny & Bret
If you take a look at the previous picture, you’ll notice Sunny and Bret Hart sitting together. That was no coincidence as the two were quite close during their runs in the WWE. So much so that the likes of HBK believed the two were hooking up backstage which led to his infamous “Sunny days” comments. Although it was believed that they were an item, Sunny admitted that two were nothing more than just really good friends. Sunny has been pretty direct with her history between the sheets and Bret not once made that list.
What the WWE fails to mention is the animosity that it created between Shawn and Bret. According to Sunny, HBK was worried that she was hooking up with The Hitman, which only added to the feud between the two. But of course, the WWE will never admit to that, claiming their problems were ego related.
6. Taker & The APA
We’ve featured several Undertaker pictures in this article and there’s a reason for it. ‘Taker was regarded as the Godfather of the behind the scenes back in the 90s. Whenever someone had a problem or something needed to be resolved, it was dealt with by the Deadman. For that, Undertaker has earned the respect of his boss and peers throughout the years.
In the picture, the Deadman poses with a legendary Tag Team, the APA. JBL remains in the business today and was another 90s wrestler that had quite the impact on the backstage proceedings. JBL instead, had a negative backstage legacy providing Vince with the role of a bully backstage. He was meant to single out the weak, pulling an array of pranks on the younger wrestlers. Although he’s out of the ring today, many claim that he hasn’t changed his ways, still being a bit of an a**hole from time to time.
5. WWE & WCW Wrestlers Pose For A Rare Picture
In one of the rarest picture you’ll ever see, this shot features both WWE and WCW Superstars. What makes this photo so special is the fact that everything was so secretive back in the day, especially during the 90s. Can you imagine the impact such a picture would have had back in the day if released? Thankfully, due to the lack of technology or social media, the WWE didn’t have to deal with that problem. But, as technology grew, the business began to get exposed more and more.
Today, it’s almost impossible to keep anything a secret. We see the lives of Superstars unfold via social media while storylines are leaked months before. This is something that was unheard of back in the 90s, but nothing but a norm today. Just to put things into perspective, most wrestling fans could have predicted the entire WrestleMania card by early January thanks to various media platforms reporting on the possible card.
4. Hunter & Chyna
We touched base on it earlier; Vince wasn’t all that on board with the signing of Chyna, but it was actually Triple H and HBK that helped her signing. She was trained by Killer Kowalski, the same trainer that took on Triple H. After rumors swirled about Chyna possibly signing with WCW, Shane McMahon quickly pulled the trigger bringing in the Ninth Wonder of the World.
The idea was perfect as Chyna quickly joined forces with Triple H, the two paved the way for the Attitude Era side by side. They would both move on to bigger and better things as Chyna ran solo growing in popularity, while Hunter was no slouch either competing for the WWE Championship.
3. Shawn & Razor
This epic must-see picture features a behind the scenes shot of a young Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon. Of course, the two were magic together and they revolutionized the business back in ’94 putting on a groundbreaking ladder match at WrestleMania X, which took place in front of 18,000 strong at Madison Square Garden.
The bout helped to change the WWE’s perception on what worked. The small sized men stole the show on the night as the Hart brothers performed in a classic technical bout while Michaels and Razon turned the company on its head in the second to last match on the card.
Two years later, HBK was the face of the company while Razor would depart for greener pastures joining WCW and redefining the business with his groundbreaking role as a member of the New World Order. They came a long way from the two kids you see in the rare photo above.
2. The Harts & Run DMC
In one of the rarest photos you’ll see on this list, Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart pose alongside Run DMC (who was a pretty big deal back in the day). Bret and Jim had quite the relationship early on, forming an outstanding Tag Team duo as the Hart Foundation. The two won the tag straps multiple times and were considered amongst the very best the business had to offer at the time.
Of course, Bret would move on to great things becoming the face of the company in the mid 90s. His career however would suffer once he left the company, finding limited success with WCW. Nonetheless, his legacy is still celebrated today as one of the very best in history.
As for Jim, he would also flip flop from the WWE to WCW on multiple occasions. He was regarded as another influential performer and one that was insanely underrated. At the age of 62, he’s happily retired today but can be found on the occasional episode of Total Divas, alongside his daughter Natalya.
1. A Party Picture For The Ages
It truly doesn’t get any better than this when it comes to 90s behind the scenes pictures. The photo shows The Kliq in all their glory alongside the likes of Pat Patterson, Paul Bearer, The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin. This iconic picture sums up the atmosphere of the mid 90s.
Today, things are drastically different. Following a show, Superstars are focused on getting to their next destination while getting a good night’s rest and waking up early for a workout. In the 90s, the focus was on boozing as soon as possible following a show, while still waking up at some point the following day for a workout, which was usually driven by enhancements. Although it wasn’t the right way to go morally, it created one hell of a legacy at a time period that is still celebrated to this very day for its reckless nature. We’ll never forget the state of pro wrestling in the 90s!
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