Wrestling was once one of the most guarded sports, with many fans convinced that the show was real and many of the storylines mirrored real life events. Time has moved on since then and with the introduction of the internet, it has become more and more obvious that there is much more to the company than what is on the surface.
Dirt sheets have changed the way many fans look at the company as real-life stories about wrestlers have been revealed and the WWE Universe has finally been able to paint a picture of the company and how many of the backstage officials view their jobs. There have been a number of books written about Vince McMahon over the past few years, but ex-employees or former friends have revealed what the man behind Mr McMahon's on-screen persona is really like.
It is hard to keep secrets in the current wrestling era, which is why the WWE Universe is the most clued in they have ever been. The following list looks at 20 dark truths about the wrestling business that fans of the company should never have found out but shockingly did and they have now somehow changed the way they view WWE forever.
20 WWE Signs Stars From Other Companies To Stop Competition
WWE has begun bringing in a number of faces from the Independent scene over the past few years and seen them join their NXT brand. WWE then decided to hold a UK based show when they found out that there was another company that was hoping to start a promotion that worked with UK talent.
It seems that many of the people that WWE has been signing over the past few years are the ones that they saw as competition if they worked for other promotions. The sad reality of the situation is the fact that WWE has signed these stars like Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson and done nothing with them because they feel better having them on their payroll than they would if they were working for another company.
19 WWE's Top Star Had To Cheat To Win A UFC Match
WWE has pushed Brock Lesnar to the top of their promotion over the past few years, following his win over The Undertaker back at WrestleMania 30 in 2014, before he went on to become the longest reigning WWE World Heavyweight Champion and is now the longest reigning and defending Universal Champion.
Despite being a top star in WWE, Brock has been splitting his time between both WWE and UFC over the past few years, but as part of his last UFC match Brock was revealed to have failed a drug test and was later suspended from UFC because of it. It is unknown where this leaves his victory over Mark Hunt back in the summer of 2016, but Lesnar hasn't returned to perform for the company since this failed drug test.
18 Wrestling Politics
Wrestling may be a sport that seems as though it is based solely on someone's talent in the ring, but it seems that there are many more factors in play here when it comes to WWE legends. Politics is a huge thing backstage in WWE, and it seems that if a superstar ends up on the wrong side of a WWE legend, it can have a huge effect on the star's career. Baron Corbin is a fantastic example of this recently since it came to light that Baron had a backstage argument with John Cena as well as a twitter spat with Dave Meltzer which then saw him unsuccessfully cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase. WWE then decided to scrap his entire planned push because of these two altercations.
17 WWE Isn't A Safe Working Environment For Women
There was once a time when WWE's Women's Division was all about looks rather than talent and WWE would hire women based on what they looked like. This was one of the downfalls in WWE during this era, but it also led to many superstars thinking that these women were just objects.
Sable was one of the first women who walked away from the company and decided to sue them for the harassment she had received while she was part of the show. There was also the first ever female WWE referee Rita Chatterton who was part of the company in the 1980s and after she left she later went on to accuse Vince McMahon of assault. Ashley Massaro recently claimed that she was assaulted while on a tour with WWE and the company told her to keep it quiet.
16 WWE Often Edit's Crowd Reactions
Crowd reactions are everything in WWE in the current era. They decide which superstars are pushed and which ones the company decide to release. Most of the time WWE already knows which stars they want to push to the top of their brands and so if they don't get the reaction that they wanted, the company decides to edit it out.
Of course, this is much harder now that all WWE programming like Raw and SmackDown are presented live, but back when SmackDown was pre-recorded, WWE would edit a lot of the crowds reactions to Roman Reigns in the hope that the WWE Universe would see him being cheered and them follow suit and cheer him at the next show. This is Sneaky WWE, but we are on to you.
15 The Referee Is An Integral Part Of The Show
In any sport, the referee is the person who has been chosen to represent all of the rules and is there to uphold them. This is slightly different in wrestling, since most of the time, referees play a huge part in the show.
The referee has a speaker in his ear where he can talk to the producers who are backstage watching the match. The referee will relay messages to the performers in the ring, if there is something that needs to be shared, like how long is left in a match or when a certain spot is about to happen. The referee has a lot of power in the ring and the WWE stars have to listen to him because he is the only communication between them and the people who are running the show.
14 Not Everything Is A Storyline
WWE scripts their shows in advance, which is widely known. Stephanie McMahon recently revealed that WWE script and plan their shows up to a year in advance and then sometimes small things can change ahead of shows if there is an injury or problem with a certain star and they can't fulfill their duties.
Despite all of this planning ahead of time, sometimes things happen as part of the show that are not supposed to. There will be a promo where it may become quite personal unintentionally or someone will forget their lines, or there could even be a match where the wrong person wins by accident because someone failed to kick out at two. This is much more common than you would think and on live TV anything can happen.
13 Not All Injuries Are Real
The use of Social Media in wrestling over the past few years has increased quite a lot, it seems that the company have finally been able to work out how to manipulate their audience into thinking that something is real.
Over the past few decades, a number of WWE stars have been forced to relinquish Championships due to injury and spend lengthy spells on the sidelines, and it seems that WWE has now reached the point where they know how to fake an injury to help them build up a good storyline. Seth Rollins injury before WrestleMania this year is an example of how WWE can use something that is fresh in the minds of the WWE Universe to build into a non-sanctioned match, even though Rollins was never actually injured to begin with.
12 Wrestlers Sometimes Call The Match In The Ring
Wrestlers have always been known to talk when they're in the ring, most of the time this is covered by trash talking so that fans are none the wiser, but the real reason for this is because there are a number of wrestlers who like to call the match in the ring.
When wrestlers reach the point where they know each other's move set quite well, they will no longer have to plan the match, instead, they will go out to the ring and talk each other through the match as it happens. This is a standard thing for many to wrestling stars to do and happens on a regular basis on the Independent Circuit, but WWE likes to cut the camera angles away from the ring so that fans at home can't see it happening.
11 Wrestlers Are Trained Like Actors
Have you ever wondered why so many wrestlers are able to star in movies when their careers are calming down? This is because all wrestlers are trained in the same way actors are. The wrestlers are put through their paces in promo classes where they will learn how to talk to an audience and how to react when the audience is booing them.
Actors are also given classes when it comes to their character and taught how to adapt while in their character to certain situations that they might find themselves in. It is a lengthy process through WWE's Performance Centre before any stars are able to even make it to TV, which is where even more hard work begins. All WWE stars are also Social Media trained so that they are aware of what they can and can't post online.
10 Vince McMahon Isn't Completely In Charge
Many of the WWE Universe used to think that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon called all the shots in WWE when it comes to storylines. While Vince is the most powerful man backstage in WWE, he isn't the only person who has power.
McMahon has a team of executives backstage who all decide whether or not his ideas will go ahead and be part of the show. McMahon has a number of ideas on a regular basis that never make it to TV because his officials will tell him that they are not very good. This means that all of the storylines that are seen on WWE TV are the ones that made the cut, so it's quite worrying to think that there were worse ideas pitched that didn't make it to TV.
9 Wrestlers Often Pitch Their Own Ideas
WWE has their own creative team that come up with certain ideas for the superstars they are told to create storylines for. Even though there is a huge team of writers behind WWE, the wrestlers themselves are allowed to pitch ideas about their character to McMahon and the creative team, which will then be accepted or declined.
James Ellsworth recently revealed that it was Carmella's idea for him to work with her and help her to become the first ever Miss Money In The Bank. The former NXT star went to Vince McMahon and pitched the idea herself before Vince then approved it and the duo has been able to work together quite successfully for the past year. Carmella isn't the only person who has had her ideas approved over the past few years. A number of stars have pitched ideas to the boss and been given the green light.
8 Many Wrestlers Are Not Friends Backstage
WWE often makes the decision to pair together some superstars on WWE TV because they think their characters will compliment each other, but just because their characters work on-screen, it doesn't mean that they get along in real-life and are ever going to become close friends.
There have been a number of teams over the past few years that work together on screen but hate each other backstage, even though the WWE Universe wouldn't have picked up on this at the time. There have also been a number of stars who have become rivals on WWE TV who can't stand each other either. Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks are a good example of this, but despite not liking each other the two women were able to put together a decent rivalry over the Raw Women's Championship.
7 Money Plays A Huge Part In WWE's Storylines
Money has always played a huge part in the wrestling business, but it has never been as apparent as it is today. Brock Lesnar is a part-time superstar and he earns more money than any of WWE's full-time roster.
This means that when he has the Universal Championship, the company has to decide which shows to book him on since he costs them a lot of money to bring over. Lesnar is a box office attraction and WWE often get their money back when they book The Beast, but it could be the reason why Brock isn't scheduled to be part of any more WWE shows for the rest of 2017. WWE has not been getting the numbers they thought they would at live shows recently and don't have the money to bring Brock back in.
6 WWE Manipulate Camera Angles To Their Advantage
There are a number of cameras that are used as part of WWE's live broadcasts of SmackDown Live and Monday Night Raw. That being said, over the past few weeks WWE hasn't been attracting the best attendances at their shows, which means that they have been forced to manipulate camera angles so that no empty seats are shown.
Many of the WWE Universe picked up on this at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view last week when it was made quite obvious that there were many empty seats on the opposite side of the hard cam. WWE decided to avoid unflattering shots of their audience while the pay-per-view was broadcast worldwide. They would instead keep the camera on the action in the ring at all times with a number of awkward close-up angles.
5 The Commentators Are Not Allowed To Say Certain Things
The commentary team for Raw and SmackDown are the stars that bring the show together on a regular basis, but even they are forced to follow a set of rules. The company writes out scripts for each show in advance and there is a list of what words the commentators are not allowed to say.
These words include calling superstars wrestlers, or women "divas" or even mentioning any other outside promotion. The commentators are much more skilled than the WWE even realize and can get into a lot of trouble with the backstage crew if they say something they weren't supposed to. Corey Graves recently revealed that Enzo Amore cheated on Liv Morgan while he was on commentary which can't have gone down very well with Enzo or the WWE executives.
4 WWE Often Do Things To Spite The WWE Universe
WWE is well aware that the WWE Universe is getting much smarter when it comes to their storylines, so most of the time they are open to giving the WWE Universe what they want. This has happened on a number of occasions, like when WWE allowed Rey Mysterio to become World Champion because it was what the WWE Universe wanted, but the company then used his reign to show that he wasn't ready for the push.
Seth Rollins then became World Champion at WrestleMania 31 in a time when the WWE Universe wanted independent stars to be given a chance. The only issue is, that WWE destroyed his entire reign and made him look like a coward. There is always a method behind everything the company does.
3 WWE Hold People Back If They Don't Meet Their Standards
WWE has an image to uphold and anyone that doesn't meet that image isn't pushed to the heights of the company. It was reported that Daniel Bryan was once told that he would never be World Champion because he was a B plus player.
These thoughts were later echoed on WWE TV as part of their storyline that became the WrestleMania main event. WWE's plan was to have Randy Orton face Batista at WrestleMania and spent months telling the WWE Universe that Bryan wasn't the right star for the spot. Obviously, this didn't work and the company were then forced to put Bryan into the spot he really deserved. There are many rumours about this kind of thing over the past few years, but Bryan's is obviously the most well-known example.
2 There Are Only A Select Few Guys Who Can Go Off Script
WWE veterans have much more respect in the company than many of their newcomers, regardless of how long they have been in the business for. This means that veterans are allowed to improvise their matches while others have to go through their match and have it approved beforehand.
This is also the same for promos. Regardless of how good stars are on the mic, there are only a few WWE stars who are allowed to go off script. The likes of Paul Heyman, John Cena and The Rock are the only stars that are reportedly allowed to do whatever they want in a WWE ring, The Rock proved this when he called former WWE Champion CM Punk a few months ago while he was in the middle of the ring after Raw went off the air.
1 WWE Will Do Anything To Avoid Bad Publicity
WWE is a promotion that is known worldwide, they are well aware that any bad publicity they receive will lead to a negative backlash from the WWE Universe. This means that the company will do anything to avoid this kind of attention, the Hulk Hogan situation is proof of this.
Not only that but when Bill DeMott was known to be abusing many of his trainees down in NXT, the company decided that the best thing to do was to look the other way. The number of things that WWE have covered up over the past few years to avoid bad publicity is astounding, but being a huge company that relies on their fanbase as a regular income, it makes sense for them to be worried about always keeping their fanbase on their side.