There used to be an old unwritten rule that religion and politics were off limits in conversation. That never really stopped Hollywood from engaging in either and it definitely hasn’t stopped any wrestling promotion from attempting to create a buzz. While it does always catch the attention of fans, seldom is there any amount of good taste behind it. After all, you’re trying to get heat from the crowds - you’re not going to get any having a wholesome religious-based angle.
Thankfully, the WWE doesn’t get too offensive with their Religious-based angles. They seem to know where the line is (at least for this one topic). Decide for yourself, here are 9 Awkward Times Religion Was Used In WWE Storylines.
9 Vince Defeats The Almighty
There was a moment in time during the late nineties and early aughts where Vince as a nefarious evil boss was taking on all of his top employees in the ring. From Austin to Rock to Hogan, and all points in between, the geriatric bodybuilder worked as hard to be decent in the ring as he worked out of it in reality. During his feud with Shawn Michaels, now a Born-Again Christian, the Chairman demanded that he and his spawn, Shane take on ol’ HBK and the Lord himself. At Backlash ‘06, the match was set, and Vince showed that he was even more powerful than God himself.
8 The Undertaker’s Symbol
While everyone else on the roster was getting more realistic with their characters during the Attitude Era, the Phenom got more evil and demonic instead. He acquired Acolytes of his own and kidnapped several wrestlers and brainwashed them to join his Ministry.
The Deadman also abducted both Ryan Shamrock and Stephanie McMahon. He also would strap several superstars to his symbol, which was eerily reminiscent of a cross, a cross that he would also use as late as 2004, to strap up JBL’s lackey Orlando Jordan to.
7 Crucifying The Sandman
ECW was always known as being “not for everyone,” and seldom knowing where the line is, let alone care when one of their wrestlers or the entire promotion crossed it (no pun intended). One fateful night, with brand new Olympic medalist Kurt Angle in attendance, Raven and his goons literally tied the Sandman to an actual cross. Not a Raven symbol that Paul Heyman could have gotten away with, but an actually cross and a barbed wire crown of thorns. The crowd was in such shock that Raven came out as Scott Levy and apologized to the crowd
6 Extremists Assault The Deadman
Not only was the world no longer okay with the cheap heat of the foreign menace, no one was getting behind the Muhammad Hassan character. While it was in poor taste, the idea of an American born Arab trying to show Americans their own ugly sides of stereotyping could have worked. Had it not been for real-life events creeping in.
One night on a pre-tapes Smackdown, Hassan prayed before a group of masked men came out and laid waste to the Undertaker. Unfortunately, the London Bombings of 2005 had happened right around the same time and the technology wasn’t there at the time to edit the show.
5 Brother Love Makes Miracles
The whole Brother Love gimmick is a little awkward when it comes to religion. Bruce Prichard has always stated that his con artist Preacher character was a man of full and preached the gospel of love. On at least one occasion though, the faux-Preacher man handpicked a supposed blond man and healed him, giving him the gift of sight.
4 Goldust Proclaiming “He Will Return”
Certainly, plenty of fans must’ve thought that Goldust was in dire need of religion with some of the more outlandish beings Dustin was doing with the character. After burning one of his Goldust outfits on Raw, Dustin started patrolling the crowds with signs claiming, “He Is Coming” and had vignettes paid by Evangelists Against Television, Movies and Entertainment (anagram that for yourselves). But in the end, Dustin was just referring to the return of Goldust. Why’d the guy even leave in the first place - most likely because Vince Russo didn’t have a real way out of the angle.
3 Reverend D-Von And The Collection Box
During the first WWE Draft, the Dudleys got split up. Bubba kept the Dudley gimmick. But D-Von tried to make it big with a new gimmick for himself. Between the preaching and testifying he did as a Dudley and his roots growing up with preachers in his family, he went for the gusto as a wrestling preacher. He even had his own Deacon (Batista) traversing the arenas, with his own Collection Box. Fans even dumped some of their own cash into it, which must have saved D-Von a couple of bucks on hotels, meals, and rentals.
2 The Higher Power
As the Undertaker was wreaking havoc all over the WWE with his Ministry Of Darkness, he eventually joined forces with Shane McMahon to form the Corporate Ministry. If that wasn’t a powerful enough combination, the Phenom and the rest of this demonic alliance subscribed to the speaking and teachings of a Higher Power.
This spiritual guru of the Undertaker’s was working with him to gain control of the WWE, even helping him abduct Stephanie McMahon and nearly sacrifice her. When it was finally time to reveal who this awesome and almighty force was - the Higher Power revealed himself to be Vince McMahon himself (who else could it have had been?).
1 Jake’s Born Again
Jake Roberts’ mind for the business might be unparalleled. Now that the demons have finally been under control for some time, thanks to DDP, any wrestling promotion would be jackpot lucky to have him as an agent or any other spot in the company. It was something that the WWE once tried in 1996. Not only did he return to the company as a wrestler, he started helping a lot of the boys in the back - most notably Stone Cold. But on screen, using a new snake - Revelations and the Bible thumping Roberts just didn’t feel right, especially when guys like Jerry Lawler would mock Roberts’ newfound sobriety.