In the world of pro-wrestling, performers settle grudges in the squared circle where the ultimate victor is declared by pinning his opponent. Sometimes feuds get so intense and heated, that fists do not become the primary weapon. While the association between guns and wrestling typically brings up images of large arms and muscles, in some cases they were actual firearms. In the WWE, there have been moments when firearms were shockingly used to shoot at, scare, and intimidate other Superstars. WWE may not reference these moments often, but they have become ingrained in the history books of pro-wrestling.
The use of these firearms can be found through every era in the WWE. This includes the raging 80s with Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, The Attitude Era with Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, and even in WWE’s current PG-rated era with stars like Randy Orton, John Cena, and Dolph Ziggler. Some of the gun uses were purely for storylines while others mixed real situations with firearms. Relive some of these shocking moments and decide for yourself if the WWE went too far by using guns with their programming.
15. WWE Rifleman Training With Santino
WWE has done work and appearances for several years with United States military forces around the globe. As a part of these appearances, WWE Superstars will often get to fly in helicopter and go through training simulations with the soldiers. During one of these sessions, several wrestlers had the opportunity to go through rifleman training.
Along with Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, and Cesaro, former WWE star Santino Morello stood out like a sore thumb. Known for goofy antics like wearing a cobra sock on his hand, it was quite shocking to see him holding and shooting military guns. Fortunately, he was being trained by some of the best and didn’t walk off with the gun to perform his trademark trumpet dance celebration.
14. The Smoking Gunns Shooting Blanks
Before Bart Gunn was knocked out by Butterbean and Billy Gunn was acting flamboyant with his tag team partner Chuck, both men were part of the tag team duo known as The Smoking Gunns. They were one of the more successful cowboy gimmicks in the WWE and took their roles seriously. Shortly after the tag team debuted in the WWE, the duo would come out carrying handguns and shoot real blanks up into the air. The loud shots and noises naturally frightened children. After receiving multiple complaints from parents, the guns were removed from their gimmick. Fortunately for the team, the guns were quickly replaced by the WWE Tag Team Championship, giving them something else to carry down to the ring each night.
13. Randy Orton’s Massive Gun Collection
Randy Orton is known for his methodical ring skills and the ability to strike out of nowhere, but “The Viper” also has a passion for collecting guns. His gun collection is actually much larger than you would expect. He has an impressive array of handguns, machines, and military weapons. Using his official WWE Twitter account, Orton tweeted out images of his gun collection to the masses.
As a performer that children look up to, it was shocking to see all of those guns on display. Apparently, the higher-ups at the WWE felt the same way as the pictures and tweets were quickly deleted from his account. Orton hasn’t posted any new pictures lately, but you can find random YouTube videos of the WWE star at a shooting range.
12. WWE Performance Center Shooting
The WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida is a state-of-the-art facility where new wrestlers go to train and learn the trade. The center has also been a target for many fans and, unfortunately, stalkers.
Back in August, 2015, a man named Armando Montalvo was allegedly stalking a female wrestler and tried to enter the building with a knife. Police were called to the scene, Montalvo charged at the officers and he was shot one time. Montalvo was taken away by an ambulance and later arrested. The most recent update on the situation came in June, when it was ruled that Montalvo was fit to stand for trial and his pre-trial would begin in late August.
11. Triple H Attacks Kane with a Flamethrower
The towering Kane is known for his Inferno matches where the ring is set on fire, but he never expected to be shot in the face with a real flamethrower.
Back in 1999, Kane was an unstoppable monster that took out opponents left and right. Fed up, D-Generation X leader Triple H took things into his own hands and came up with a clever plan. Dressed up as the face-painted wrestler Goldust, Triple H hid the flamethrower gun beneath his robe. As Kane walked closer, Triple H shot the huge flame right into the face of Kane.
Kane immediately flopped down to the mat, where Triple H continued the beat down and revealed his true identity. The incident eventually led to a match at WrestleMania XV where Kane would win by disqualification. Even after getting burned in the face, Kane continues to use flame pyrotechnics for all his ring entrances.
10. Harley Race Pulls Out a Gun on Hulk Hogan
Back before the WWE was the most dominant force in pro-wrestling, the United States was all about various wrestling territories. During the 1970s and 80s, wrestlers left territories, territories were sold off, and Vince McMahon was scheming to make the WWE empire that we know today.
Two of the biggest wrestlers during that time were Hulk Hogan and Harley Race. Hulk Hogan was at the top of the WWE while Race was atop the NWA. When the WWE started invading NWA territories, Race took it personally; a little too personally.
According to Hogan, Race showed up with a gun at an arena booked for a WWE show. He started attacking ring crew and was eventually looking for Hogan. Race finally found Hogan in the bathroom, but no shots were fired. The two eventually talked things out and Race later joined the WWE as King Harley Race.
9. Clowns, Guns, and The Great Khali
The Doink gimmick seemed doom to fail from the start, but it quickly transformed into a cult character that has made random appearances in recent years. While he never won any titles during his time as a prominent character, fans were always drawn to him… or maybe they were terrified about the idea of an evil clown roaming the arena.
One of his more recent appearances was in 2010 during an eight-man tag match on WWE RAW. When Doink was confronted with the Great Khali, pulled out a small hand gun in the middle of the match. Fans were briefly in shock until Doink pulled the trigger…and water came shooting out. Even though it was a water gun, it looked real at first and was surprising to see during WWE’s PG era.
8. The Undertaker as Dirty Harry
The Undertaker is one of the scariest and most intimidating wrestlers in WWE history. Add a gun to that mix and it will send any opponent running. That’s exactly what happened at WrestleMania 21. The event was all about Hollywood and that meant that the WWE’s biggest stars would appear in fake movie trailers based off classic films.
The Undertaker was cast as Dirty Harry and he may have been more convincing than Eastwood’s original role. Touting the .44 magnum gun, The Undertaker pointed it at an enemy and said the famous “Do I Feel Lucky” monologue. The scene was fun to watch and makes you wonder why The Undertaker didn’t star in more movies. Imagine an Undertaker cameo in 2008’s Gran Torino? That would’ve been amazing.
7. Chyna’s Pyro Gun
Chyna took the WWE by storm when she debuted in 1997. She was a huge wrestler and often competed with men in the ring. After winning the Intercontinental championship, Chyna proved her worth on the WWE roster and was referred to as the “Ninth Wonder of the World.”
Such a unique wrestler deserved a unique entrance. Instead of the traditional fireworks that would go off on the stage, Chyna came out carrying her own pyro gun. The large gun would shoot fireworks straight out and often right towards the crowd. Sometimes the gun would malfunction, creating a lackluster entrance for the Ninth Wonder of the World.
6. Rusev Points a Gun at Dolph Ziggler
The feud between Dolph Ziggler and Rusev extended throughout much of 2015. The WWE even featured a small glimpse of their feud in the WWE Studios movie Countdown. The VOD release takes place behind the scenes of a live WWE event. As Ziggler’s character attempts to locate a kidnapped child, he comes across Rusev. Rusev manages to get his hands on a loaded gun and points it straight at Ziggler. With no other weapons, Ziggler resorts to a superkick to get rid of the gun and take Rusev down. The mix between the movie and their WWE feud felt odd, especially with the involvement of a deadly weapon.
The movie wasn’t reviewed by any critics that we could find, but sports a 5/10 rating on IMDB, with the ratings coming from fans.
5. Tim White’s Shotgun Suicide
One of the more underrated roles in the WWE is the referee. Just ask veteran referee Tim White. White officiated numerous WWE events, including a brutal Hell in a Cell match between Triple H and Chris Jericho. When White got injured in that match, he appeared on WWE programming to showcase his fear of the cell and how it changed his life.
White may have taken things too far when he pulled a shotgun off the wall, walked out of camera sight, and fans heard a blast go off. Luckily, days later, White returned for another segment appearing to be okay, until he attempted to kill himself using different means. The dark humor was a strange point for the WWE. Eventually the segments were removed from TV and released only through WWE.com.
4. John Cena’s WrestleMania 22 Tommy Gun Entrance
The WWE has spent years building up John Cena’s good guy image. He’s the face of the company, holds records with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and sells a lot of merchandise. This is why it was shocking to many fans when Cena came out at WrestleMania 22 with a replica Tommy gun and blasted blanks off in front of thousands of fans.
WrestleMania is the biggest spectacle of the year for pro-wrestling. Along with top-notch feuds, every part of the show is over the top, including Superstar entrances. John Cena was featured in the main event against Triple H. When Triple H entered the arena using a throne and royal ring gear, fans knew Cena would come out with a special entrance of his own.
WrestleMania 22 took place in Chicago, Illinois, allowing Cena to use an old mafia theme. Surrounded by henchmen with guns of their own, Cena marched out in mafia clothing and blasted the Tommy gun to the confusion and delight of fans. Years later, the entrance is rarely shown among highlight packages and the only guns that Cena holds are for action movie roles like 12 Rounds.
3. Kurt Angle Tranquilizes Big Show
Big Show is one of the most dominant Superstars in WWE history. He has won every major title and was victorious at the second Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Many other wrestlers have tried to take the big man down, but no one did it quite like Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle did back in 2004.
After a tag team main event ended in disqualification, Big Show attempted to attack Kurt Angle. With the help of Mark Jindrak and Luther Reigns, Big Show was held down while Kurt Angle carried a tranquilizer gun into the ring. Angle shot him once in the back and the giant went teetering towards the ropes. Moments later he passed out on the mat.
With the tranquilizer dart still hanging from Big Show’s back, Angle proceeded to embarrass him further by cutting his hair and shaving him completely bald. The tranquilizer looked incredibly painful, but Angle may have been onto something as Big Show still sports his chrome dome on WWE programming today.
2. Brian Pillman Shoots at Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin is one of the WWE’s toughest wrestlers of all-time, but even he went running when Brian Pillman pulled a gun on him back in 1996. This was the start of WWE’s infamous “Attitude Era” and every week, the WWE was pushing the content limits on their flagship program, “Monday Night Raw.”
When Pillman wouldn’t come to the arena to face-off with Austin, Stone Cold decided to hunt him down at his house instead. With camera crews all around, Austin stomped up the driveway and beat up Pillman’s friends. Inside the home, Pillman raged and threatened to shoot Austin if he comes in.
Austin then forced his way into the home as Pillman clutched a 9MM handgun and pointed it right at Stone Cold. As viewers sat on the edge of their seats, the feed cut to black and the next shot showed Austin laying motionless. It was intense way to end Raw and had many people wondering if Austin was really shot. It turned out that he wasn’t shot and the gun shots in the segment were only referred to as “explosions” by the announcers.
In the following weeks, Austin, Pillman, and WWE owner Vince McMahon apologized for the segment. It was reported that USA Network was extremely upset with the angle, but this didn’t stop guns from returning to the WWE.
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin Holds Vince McMahon Hostage
Two years after Austin was nearly shot by Brian Pillman, he turned the tables and showed up in a WWE ring with a gun of his own. His target this time was his boss and arch-nemesis Vince McMahon. McMahon and Austin had been feuding for months. McMahon hated his lack of respect for authority and Austin just wanted to stick it to the man.
After filling his car with cement and physically attacking McMahon, Austin took things one step further by holding him hostage in the center of a WWE ring on October 19th, 1998. One week earlier, McMahon had fired Austin and this was Austin’s desperate attempt to get his job back.
On his hands and knees in the center of the ring, McMahon pleaded for his life as Austin taunted him with the gun and pointed it at his head numerous times. McMahon got so distraught that he actually peed his pants in the center of the ring. After that embarrassment, Stone Cold Steve Austin pulled the trigger and an “Austin 3:16” flag popped out of the barrel. It was a fake the whole time. In the end, Austin got his job back, McMahon is left in the ring with soiled pants, and thousands of fans laughed in the arena.
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