Everything that happens on WWE TV is part of a storyline, this means that all aspects of the show are planned out weeks in advance so that they make sense as part of an on-going story. Despite this meticulous planning, sometimes wrestlers can go off script and decide to add their own insults if they are part of a storyline with someone they don't like.
There are also times when WWE asks their superstars to get personal in storylines to allow the feud to reach a new level so that the WWE Universe can really get invested in the animosity between fighters. This has become more and more common over the past few years, with promos being the obvious place where many WWE superstars decide to add in their own lines that they know will bait a reaction.
Over the past few decades, there have been a number of times where storylines on WWE TV were able to reach a new level of personal because of either a promo or something that a wrestler did in the ring, this list looks at 15 of this occasions and why they were considered so personal.
15 CM Punk Brings Up Jeff Hardy's Substance Abuse Issues
Jeff Hardy was one one of the most popular stars on WWE's roster, he was known as the Charismatic Enigma and one of the biggest risk takers when it came to some of the craziest spots on WWE TV.
That being said, it became quite well-known that Jeff struggled with substance abuse. He had failed WWE's Wellness Policy tests a number of times and had become addicted to painkillers among other things while he was still part of the company. His feud with CM Punk reached a new level of personal back in 2009 when he brought his problems into their storyline ensuring that he mentioned his experience with prescription medication. Hardy looked awkward throughout the promo and it comes as no surprise that he was gone from the company a few weeks later.
14 Paige Uses Charlotte's Brother In A Promo
Paige certainly knows how to make her feuds personal. Back in 2015 when she was feuding with Charlotte over the Divas Championship, she knew the perfect thing to say to The Queen to ensure she got the reaction she craved. When Paige mentioned Charlotte's dead brother Reid, it came as a much bigger shock to Ric Flair who was standing at ringside because it was later revealed that WWE didn't ask Ric permission to use his deceased son in the storyline at all. WWE realized they had made a mistake and quickly ended the feud before making the decision to never mention it again. The feud didn't need to become as personal as it did and the WWE Universe all reacted negatively to the fact that the company would stoop to this level just to get the WWE Universe interested in a Women's match.
13 Bray Wyatt Mentions Dean Ambrose's Father
Dean Ambrose is one of WE's craziest superstars, but during his feud with Bray Wyatt a few years ago, the Lunatic Fringe finally met his match. Wyatt made the feud personal when he decided to bring Ambrose's estranged father into the storyline when he cut a promo on the former WWE Champion back in 2014.
It has become well-known over the past few years that Ambrose and his father had a less than perfect relationship while he was growing up. Bray slipped a comment about Ambrose receiving postcards from his father from prison into his promo and it seemed as though Ambrose was not aware that this was going to happen. He didn't look too impressed that the feud had reached this level of personal. Ambrose is a very private man, so it is unlikely that he would ever have allowed WWE to use something like this willingly.
12 AJ Lee Tells The Women's Division What She Thinks Of Them
Back in 2013, the WWE Women's Division was going nowhere. Total Divas had taken over all of the storylines in the company and many of the women who were included in the show were receiving pushes that they didn't deserve.
AJ Lee was the Divas Champion at the time and it finally reached the point where she had something to say. AJ laid all of the problems in the women's division out during a promo to all of the women that were included in Total Divas on an episode of Raw. It became one of the most famous female promo's in WWE history because someone finally stepped up and told the truth, the shocking part is the fact that it took WWE two more years to do something about it.
11 Cesaro Wasn't Happy About Being Drafted To Raw
Vince McMahon once commented that if Cesaro was better on the mic then he would have been pushed to the top of WWE, but he felt that he didn't connect with the WWE Universe. After being drafted to Monday Night Raw as part of the WWE Draft in the summer of 2016, Cesaro proved that he had mic skills in the best possible way.
Cesaro wasn't drafted until the sixth round and was understandably annoyed about this, in a backstage promo that he cut following the draft he called out WWE for caring more about their drama backstage than their actual wrestlers before stating that he wanted to be on SmackDown Live and not on Raw. Luckily, Cesaro has gone on to find his feet on the Raw roster, but he thought that WWE had a personal vendetta against him and that was why he was drafted so late.
10 John Cena And The Rock
John Cena was the face of WWE back in 2011 and The Rock took some sort of offence to the fact that Cena had been able to climb through the WWE ranks to the point where he was just as big a star as he once was.
The Rock returned to WWE back in 2011 and the duo embarked on a feud that was said to have gotten very personal at many points because Cena and The Rock genuinely didn't like each other at the time. The duo later faced each other at WrestleMania twice before it was revealed that they had finally developed a certain amount of respect for one another. This after months of calling each other out for their insecurities, with John Cena making a point of calling The People's Champion a part-timer.
9 Daniel Bryan And The Miz
No two superstars in WWE over the past few years have ever had the amount of heat surrounding them like Daniel Bryan and The Miz. Talking Smack allowed the duo to vent a lot of their problems on a regular basis, but there were times when their promos became all too real.
Bryan called The Miz a coward in one of his promos before Miz responded by pointing out that Daniel was the one who couldn't step back in the ring and face him which perhaps makes him a bigger coward. This was when Daniel claimed that he would fight Miz outside of WWE before storming out because he was overcome with emotion. Bryan is still upset about the fact that WWE refused to clear him to wrestle and The Miz just reminded him of that throughout their time together in WWE.
8 Matt Hardy And Edge
It's hard to not make things personal with someone when you find out that they are the reason your relationship is over, but Matt Hardy and Edge somehow found a way to get through an entire storyline without killing each other, even after Matt Hardy attacked Edge numerous times.
Lita cheated on Matt Hardy with Edge and then to make matters worse this was then made public knowledge and Matt was fired from the company because he couldn't remain professional. Luckily WWE decided to rehire him and turn the entire real-life problem into a personal WWE storyline, which definitely got WWE the ratings that they craved. It obviously had a huge effect on Matt Hardy's mentality though, having to work with two people who had betrayed him on a daily basis.
7 Chris Jericho Talks About CM Punk's Past
After CM Punk delivered a number of truths to Jeff Hardy about his drug addiction back in 2009, WWE decided that it was time for the Straight Edge Superstar to get a taste of his own medicine. Back in 2013, Chris Jericho cut a promo on Punk where he pointed out the fact that Punk was a Straight Edge superstar because his father was an alcoholic and that was why Punk stayed away from alcohol: he was scared that one day he would become his father. It is well-known that Punk didn't have a great upbringing and ended up living with his best friend for a lot of his childhood, so for Jericho to take this feud to this level it meant that he opened the gates for a deeply personal feud with the former WWE Champion.
6 Randy Orton's Comments About Eddie Guerrero
When Eddie Guerrero passed away back in 2005, it came as a huge shock to many of the WWE Universe and some of his best friends in WWE. Rey Mysterio won The Royal Rumble the following year after he dedicated his match to his late friend and Randy Orton needed a way to get under Mysterio's skin.
Randy stated that he didn't know why Rey was always pointing up to the sky when he talked about Eddie, because: "Eddie ain't in heaven, Eddie's down there, in Hell." The WWE Universe was in disbelief that WWE would allow a superstar to say something like that months after Eddie's sudden death. The comment did give the feud the personal touch that it was lacking, but many of the WWE Universe thought it was in bad taste.
5 Big Cass Tells Seth Rollins "Size Does Matter"
Seth Rollins was part of one of the biggest WWE scandals of the modern era back in 2015 when personal photos were leaked online by his fiancee in response to the image that his Twitter profile shared of NXT superstar Zahra Schreiber. Ever since these images were leaked, Rollins has been the butt of a number of jokes when it comes to his "package" and one that WWE managed to get away with was back in the summer of 2016. Big Cass had been added to the Universal Championship fatal four-way match and as part of the promo to build up the match, Big Cass told Rollins that no matter what he had been telling himself over the past few years, size does matter. The look on Rollins' face said it all as the WWE Universe reacted to the less than PG joke.
4 Paige Implies That The Bella Twins Slept Their Way To The Top
Paige has never been one to shy away from controversy, so when her best friend AJ Lee left the company back in 2015, the torch was passed over the Paige when it came to delivering pipebombs. While Paige's pipebomb didn't have quite the same kind of impact as her friend's a few years earlier, Paige did manage to rub a number of people up the wrong way throughout. One of the biggest things that the WWE Universe took from the promo was that Paige implied that there was a "real" reason why The Bella Twins were where they are. It was later revealed that Paige was in hot water for this comment backstage since she was never supposed to say it. Paige really knows hot to go off script and make things personal, doesn't she?
3 John Cena Tells Off Roman Reigns
One of the best rivalries of 2017 so far saw John Cena switch over to Monday Night Raw so that he could step up to Roman Reigns after weeks of the two stars exchanging insults on Twitter. Reigns and Cena had some of the most heated and personally exhausting promos that have ever been broadcast on WWE TV ahead of their match at No Mercy, but one of the best comments that Cena made was when he congratulated Reigns on cutting a half decent promo before quipping that it had only taken him five years. Reigns obviously had no comeback for something that the WWE Universe had been saying to "The Big Dog" for the past few years, which is why many fans assumed that Cena had once again gone off script to make his point.
2 Shawn Michaels Accuses Bret Hart Of Having "Sunny Days"
One of the most famous WWE promos of all time took place back in 1997 when Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were in the middle of an incredible feud. It wasn't as well-known back then, but it is now known that Shawn and Sunny were participating in some extracurricular activities at the time of this promo and in order to take some of the heat away from himself, Michaels made a comment about Bret Hart having "Sunny Days." Everyone in attendance knew what this was code for and so did Bret's wife, and the duo ended up separating because of this, because most of the world believed that something was going on between Bret and Sunny. This caused a huge rift between Shawn and Bret, which nicely brings us on to the final entry on the list.
1 The Montreal Screwjob
The most famous screwjob in history is about as personal as WWE has ever allowed itself to go. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart met in the main event of the 1997 Survivor Series with the WWE Championship on the line. Bret was ready to leave and go to WCW and contract stipulations meant that WWE couldn't force Bret to drop the title. WWE knew that they couldn't allow him to take the Championship to WCW with him after what Alundra Blayze did with the Women's Championship, so they had to do something.
Michaels won the match after the referee rang the bell when he put Bret in the sharpshooter, but Bret never tapped. There have been many theories about this written over the past few years stating that on theory was that it was a work so Vince McMahon could become the bad guy needed for his role in the feud with Steve Austin, but no matter what story you believe, this scenario became so personal that Bret didn't speak to anyone in WWE for more than a decade following the incident almost twenty years ago.