The WWE television shows and PPVs are what we all collectively watch, but the live events are the most underrated facet of business. Live events are also referred to as house shows and are usually not televised. WWE travels all over the world with live events taking place during most weekends. The brand split now has both Raw and SmackDown touring with separate shows. Raw typically has their live events take place from Friday to Sunday with Raw television on Mondays. SmackDown has live events from Saturday to Monday with the television show on Tuesday nights every week.
Live events are more relaxed than television with the only intent being to entertain the fans and provide a good show. The matches feature fun and basic storytelling. Wrestlers claim to have more fun with the freedom to do more of what they want with less control. That doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t guidelines however. A document has recently leaked with the format and rules for a live event. They are meant for the producers and referees to know how to operate the house shows as opposed to television. Various rules and guidelines were revealed in the leak. We’ll look at the top fifteen leaked rules for live events that you likely didn’t realize existed.
15. No Stalling In Opening Match
The first match of a show is meant to set the tone for the night. Live events are supposed to give the fans an exciting experience and the opening match usually features some of the better in-ring talents to kick things off. One of the rules is that the wrestlers are not allowed to stall in the opening match. Stalling is not encouraged at all on the show and is meant to be done minimally.
Heels like Kevin Owens and The Miz are the type of characters to stall in an attempt to get heat and jeers from the live crowd. If they are opening the show for some reason, the agents will likely prevent them from using those stalling tactics. This rule is best for the fans to guarantee they’ll have their show get off to a hot start.
14. Refs Must Remain Credible
One criticism veterans like Big Show and Batista has expressed about WWE in recent years is the new guideline of respecting the referee’s credibility. Heel wrestlers used to be able to get heat by doing things behind the official’s back. Refs pretended to be distracted quite often during a show, but WWE’s change in philosophy meant that has ended.
Live events are no different from television here with the officials having to be treated credibly by the wrestlers in the ring. Talent is not allowed to put the referee in a “compromising position” during matches that would make them look silly. The wrestlers and producers are encouraged to not have the referee play a role in the finish of the match at all when it comes to the live events.
13. No Pile Drivers
The piledriver is officially banned from the WWE. This isn’t just a rule for television purposes, but exists for the live events as well. Wrestlers have more freedom for the live events, but the potential of using the piledriver is one thing taken away from them. The fear of a potential serious neck injury with one simple mistake in executing the move is the rationale behind this.
Kevin Owens used a variation of the move known as the Package Piledriver in Ring of Honor. That maneuver was removed from his move set the day he stepped foot inside a WWE ring. All wrestlers are instructed to avoid using it or even teasing it at any cost. You’ll never see a piledriver at a WWE live event until something drastically changes.
12. Stop Match If Talent Is Hurt Or Bleeding
Wrestlers can be their own worst enemy when it comes to getting hurt. The producers and referees are in charge of making the big call if something goes wrong. They have to keep an eye on the wrestlers to ensure no one gets hurt or starts bleeding and the match must be stopped if there is any blood at all. It is up to the producer and referee’s discretion to stop it for an injury.
Live events are important, but they are not worth sacrificing future television and PPV shows. The company would rather end the match early than risk a serious injury putting someone on the shelf or impacting future plans. Referees have the most difficult job of having to read the action and declare if someone can continue when it comes to potential injury or blood spilling.
11. Ref Must Award Win To Opponent If Talent Is Hurt
The decision of a match ending early could completely change the rest of the show. Referees are instructed to call the match if someone appears to be injured. Not only is the hurt wrestler unable to continue, but the rule indicates the opponent must be awarded the match regardless of the circumstance. Many would believe it’s a no-contest. That isn’t the case with the opponent actually having their hand raised.
This could be potentially tricky when it comes to the title matches. WWE definitely doesn’t want a title change to happen at a live event. Luckily, the title can only change hands via pinfall or submission. There are some instances of a referee stoppage leading to a title change, but live events are easy to get away with that. Most of the time, the wrestler would be able to leave the ring and get counted out.