The WWE has grown into a multi-billion dollar company over the years but it has come at a price, as the product was forced to be changed to a "PG" rating following some rather unfortunate incidents after the turn of the new century. The old WWE which everyone was accustomed to that included some entertaining, brutal violence was gone, and replaced by the child-friendly product which restricted many things everyone loved about the company.
There are many things which are completely banned in the WWE right now as some strict rules were penned after the PG Era kicked in. While some of these rules and banned moves are rather justified because of how they could be harmful to the wrestlers or be offensive to some fans, some of the other banned things in the company are absolutely ridiculous. The commentators, in particular, have to tread very carefully and are banned from saying specific "wrestling terms" during the shows as these banned things are so ridiculous that one wonders why they are not allowed in the first place. Because Vince McMahon, that's why...
20 The Terms "Heels/Faces"
WWE superstars are some of the most popular athletes around the world of wrestling as the company has recruited many amazing wrestlers over the years. Some of them are depicted as good guys aka the "faces", while others are bad guys aka the "heels". But while the terms of faces and heels are recognized by every wrestling fan, WWE doesn't want its commentators to pronounce their employees as faces or heels. Vince probably wants the faces to be given a more "heroic" name and make the heels sound like conniving, "evil" men as WWE would rather call them good guys and bad guys. This shows just how stubborn Vince can get on trying to make his product stand out from anything else with these different terms.
19 The Brainbuster
After the WWE went PG all those years ago, they banned certain moves which could cause brain injuries and concussions which led to much trouble for the company after the turn of the century. The company was criticized for allowing such moves which can cause dangerous, long-term injuries and banned a lot of moves a decade or so back; that included the Brainbuster as well. The Brainbuster is a move most wrestling fans should know, as one lifts up a wrestler and lands him straight on his head. So it's rather obvious why this was one of the first moves to be banned in the WWE as this can cause terrible injuries if gone wrong and hasn't been performed in the company for a long time, much to the safety of the wrestlers.
18 Duelling Chants (Unless You're John Cena)
The matches in WWE normally tend to slow down during the middle part of a long bout and when there are two rather "over" wrestlers fighting it out in the ring, the fans love to be part of the action and often come up with duelling chants. But as it seems, this chant is actually banned for every wrestler apart from the one and only John Cena. It's not surprising that Cena is one of the most polarizing characters in wrestling for over a decade now, so he's given a free pass on initiating these duelling chants ("Let's Go Cena! Cena Sucks!") but nobody else can actually do it. This is actually pretty weird and shows how restricted WWE keeps its superstars trying to spice up matches unless it's someone like John Cena.
The WWE has over the years honored many of its wrestlers in the WWE Hall of Fame, but there are also some individuals who they do not even want to mention anymore. There are some wrestlers who are completely black-listed in the company and that includes a wrestler named Nailz, who portrayed the gimmick of a runaway prisoner back in the early 90s WWE. He feuded with the Big Boss Man in a police officer vs Prisoner match. But then he did the shocking deed of actually trying to choke the life out of the boss Vince McMahon after getting into a fiery row with him. Nailz was immediately fired by McMahon after that terrifying incident and hasn't been mentioned since on WWE TV or anywhere at all and it's understandable of Vince not wanting to mention the person who almost choked him out.
16 The Phrase "Five Star Match"
The WWE's product might've been hindered ever since the PG Era kicked in but there's no doubt whatsoever that the company has recruited many impeccable wrestlers over the past few years and produced some dream matches for the audiences. While most of the matches in WWE are pretty average, the company does produce some really special and exhilarating matches once in a while which fully deserves a five-star rating. But weirdly the phrase "Five Star Match" is actually banned in WWE as the commentators cannot use those words and have to use something else to describe a fantastic match. It's rather stupid to ban those words and doesn't make much sense of restricting the commentators from using that term but this shows just how Vince McMahon probably just isn't that into rating his own product in terms of "stars".
15 The Curb Stomp
There are many moves which have been banned by the WWE in the past few years, but the one which probably stung the most was Seth Rollins' Curb Stomp which was shockingly banned more than a year ago. Rollins' devastating finisher was one of a unique ones in the WWE for many years before he suddenly stopped using it, preferring to use the Pedigree as his finisher instead. Apparently, WWE got tangled in a concussion prevention lawsuit and had to ban the move because of it risking the possibilities of concussions because of how the opponents face landed directly to the mat. Rollins' hasn't been the same ever since losing his curb stomp as he has struggled to find a unique finisher and his unsatisfying face turn didn't help either, as the Architect's greatest weapon was sadly taken away from him.
There may be many things which are banned in a WWE ring, but there are various things which are banned backstage behind the curtains. There is a strict set of rules to follow backstage where the wrestlers try to impress the boss as much as they can but something which Vince McMahon really hates is sneezing. Paul Heyman once spoke about the time he was pitching a story to Vince, who sneezed and zoned out completely. McMahon retorted that he shouldn't have sneezed at all and has banned anyone from sneezing in a WWE arena, which is pretty weird. If someone is feeling even the tiniest hint of a runny nose, they should just stay at home rather than face Vince's wrath!
13 Shooting Star Press
There are quite a lot of risky moves which have been gradually banned by the WWE because of how it can cause awful injuries if not performed correctly. Vince found out the dangers of botching risky moves the hard way at WrestleMania XIX when Brock Lesnar botched the shooting star press. Lesnar was a phenomenal athlete who had performed the move numerous times at Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in the past and went for the move for a grand finish in his match against Kurt Angle but completely botched it, landing straight on his neck and receiving a concussion. While Lesnar would go on to win the match, the Shooting Star Press was banned by WWE afterward and while wrestlers have performed moves resembling it in the WWE, the move itself has hardly been seen since that terrifying incident(minus Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 33, that is).
12 Jeff Jarrett
There are only a few wrestlers who have been completely blacklisted by the WWE as Vince McMahon doesn't really hold grudges unless someone does something absolutely awful to him and Jeff Jarrett did exactly that to become a banned individual in WWE. Jarrett was in the company during the late 90s as a promising mid-carder who also held the Intercontinental Championship but he played Vince when he didn't renew his contract with WWE and saw his contract expire a day before he was scheduled to perform at the No Mercy PPV in 1999. He then blackmailed Vince into paying him $300,000 to perform without a contract and lose the title to Chyna and for this heinous act, he has been completely banned in the WWE. Jarrett never returned to the company in any form and is absolutely loathed by the company for how he played them for his own profit.
11 Chair Shots To The Head
The WWE was one of the most exciting things on TV during the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras because of the brutal violence it depicted among the wrestlers and the fans loved to see these guys beating the hell out of each other. Something which really entertained fans was chair shots and particularly those to the head of the wrestlers. Chair Shots to the Head were brutal and the audience absolutely loved to watch it, but it also proved to be extremely dangerous and gave concussions to a few wrestlers as well. But WWE decided to ban chair shots to the head in 2010 after receiving backlash with chair shots were never being hit to a wrestlers head anymore. The wrestlers hit each other on the back and front of their body nowadays as WWE doesn't advocate chair shots to the head anymore despite it being an extremely exhilarating thing to watch.
10 The Term "Fans"
It's no big secret that Vince McMahon's WWE has become what it is because of the fans and the fans alone, as they are the ones who provide the money and make it tick day in, day out. WWE respects its fans and despite many people having different opinions about what should be done, the company caters to the fans alone. But it's pretty surprising to realize that the company doesn't even want the word "fans" to be uttered by its commentators on live television. Apparently, Vince wants the commentators to say something like "The WWE Universe". It's pretty weird that he doesn't want to utter the word "fans" on TV.
9 Punt Kick
Randy Orton was probably at his best during his legend-killer persona where he "ended" the careers of many legends and was a spectacular heel at the time. Orton also added a new move to his arsenal called "The Punt Kick" where he'd hit a devastating kick right on the head of a recovering victim. This was used many times to "lay out" wrestlers and take them off TV and was later banned because of how dangerous it actually was. Orton stated that the Punt Kick was banned due to WWE's Concussion Awareness program as this reckless kick could give permanent brain injuries to wrestlers. The devastation of the kick was very real and it's because of its dangers that the Punt Kick was banned off WWE and despite Orton teasing it once in a while, it isn't returning anytime soon.
8 Impromptu Promos
The thing which makes the WWE stand out from any other wrestling promotion in the world is how well their wrestlers' promos are delivered and scripted, as some of them can really put a wrestler over with the crowd. All the promos are scripted and written by creative prior to the wrestler "saying his words" on WWE TV but there have been some promos where a wrestler has gone a bit off the books to try to gain attention upon his own character. But Impromptu Promos or "Shoot Promos" are strictly banned in the WWE and could get a wrestler in a load of trouble if they try to pull such a stunt. Brad Maddox was even banned by WWE for going off script and calling an audience "p***ks" during a live event as the WWE definitely doesn't tolerate impromptu promos and has strictly banned them.
7 The Term "Pro Wrestler"
The WWE might be advertizing itself as "Sports Entertainment" for a long time now as it is more intent on entertaining the audience rather than focusing on the Pro Wrestling part of it and Vince doesn't even like his Pro Wrestlers being called as such. Vince has actually banned the commentators from uttering the words Pro Wrestlers and Pro Wrestling to describe the superstars and the product and it's pretty baffling to even discover this. WWE wants its Pro Wrestlers to be rather called as "Superstar", "Star" or "Athletes" and not by their true name of Professional Wrestlers. WWE is way too intent on completely transforming itself into a sports entertainment program and wants its wrestlers to be known as such as well, as these talented Pro Wrestlers have to go through the insult of not even being named as such by the company.
6 The Piledriver
There are many dangerous moves in professional wrestling, but not many of them are as terrifying as the Piledriver which is one of the riskiest moves in wrestling history. The Original Piledriver sees the one receiving it land directly on top of his head and can cause severe concussions and brain injuries. The WWE used to use it back in the days but banned the move in 2000, with only two wrestlers in Undertaker and Kane being allowed to use it. In fact, The Undertaker's "Tombstone Piledriver" is a much safer version of it because he puts his knees to the ground to protect his opponent. The move was last used by CM Punk on John Cena during their match in 2013 but hasn't been used since as it's extremely dangerous and is deservedly banned by not only the WWE but many other Independent promotions as well.
5 The Terms "Straps/Belts"
Something the WWE gives much importance is its championship belts which are awarded to the best wrestlers and often helps to create superstars on its own, but the company is pretty protective about the term of the Championships as well. The words Strap or Belts are strictly banned for the commentators in the WWE as the company values its Championships too much and doesn't want to give it a generic name. The WWE prefers the words Championships/Titles instead of Strap and wants the commentators to focus on what it means(like the accomplishment of goals) and what it represents for the superstars(like Hard work). The Company has a strict policy on how its' championships are presented to the audience and that includes the correct terminology as the commentators are not allowed to mention "strap" on WWE Television as Vince thinks that could deter the value of the titles.
4 Anything Involving Chris Benoit
Nothing has probably rocked the WWE harder than the terrifying news of Chris Benoit's murder-suicide which was discovered more than a decade back. Benoit was one of WWE's biggest stars who was headlining their ECW Brand but went missing before the Vengeance PPV in 2007. It was later discovered that Benoit had taken the lives of his own wife and son before hanging himself in his own home, as it completely rocked the foundations of WWE. Mr. McMahon(who had "died" in a limousine blast a week earlier" broke kayfabe and addressed the situation before the real crime was discovered by everyone. Benoit has completely wiped off WWE records from that point onwards and is strictly banned in the company as his name is never ever mentioned as the company tries to act as if he was never there to begin with and you can't really blame them.
3 Using Championship Titles As Weapons
The Championships in WWE are what make some wrestlers stand out from the rest as the gold around one's waist can automatically increase their reputation in the company and while these titles also make the wrestlers look good, it has also had the history of being used as a weapon. Titles were used as weapons by mostly the heels during the Attitude Era and the Ruthless Aggression Era as striking with the title belt was often enough to lay out a wrestler. But the belts have lost that purpose in the past few years as using the Championship titles as weapons have also been banned by the WWE. The company probably doesn't want to utilize the belts like that anymore as the mischievous tactics of the heels laying down their opponents using the belts has now become a rather forgotten thought in WWE.
2 The Term "Interesting"
We have already seen so many words which are ridiculously banned in the WWE, but it doesn't get any weirder than the word "Interesting" being banned by the company as well. Yes, the word "interesting" is for some reason banned by the WWE as the commentators cannot utter that word to describe anything in the company. While there isn't any particular reason why that specific word is banned from WWE Television, it's quite surprising to discover that the commentators cannot use the word to describe any situations. Maybe it's because Vince McMahon doesn't want anything in his product to get to an "interesting" level and always wants the excitement to be a sky-high, as the ban of the word "Interesting" is itself pretty intriguing and shows how even the more normal words can be banned by Vince.
Something which helped the WWE win the Monday Night Wars and rule as the Number #1 wrestling promotion in the world is how it wasn't afraid of going the long way of showing something brutal and keeping the wrestling violent at special times. Now the wrestling fans just loved the more wrestling matches got brutal and gory and when someone used to bleed, one got even more hooked to the match. Now these WWE wrestlers actually use to blade themselves to bleed profusely with blading being a common thing in wrestling many years back. But when WWE Turned PG in 2008, they put an end to blading and replaced it with blood capsules. Blading was stopped due to the PG rating, and because in some cases wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero and Shawn Michaels cut themselves way too deep and endangered their health, as the dangers of blading made WWE put an end to it.