With any successful business, there are countless secrets to their success. Look at KFC and their 11 secret herbs and spices or the recipe for Coca-Cola or the ever popular Caramilk secret. The WWE is no different. While a good number of their secrets (as evident by the list of 15 below) have been leaked or just found out over time, there are still plenty that Vince McMahon and his company don't want their fans to be made aware of in order to keep the assumption and vision of the show intact.
Within the list below, there are a variety of facts that range from some of the more obvious to a few of the completely unknown and more scandalous. We all know that wrestling is "fake" and that there are scripted portions to each episode and live show, but to what degree are these details pinpointed? Unfortunately, thanks to the information super highway, the secrets and suspense of wrestling shows have released many of these well protected facts that WWE management have tried their best to keep on the down low. Maybe this whole "reality era" has now started to bite Vince in the butt.
15 15. Refs Do More Than Call The 1-2-3
The third man in the ring is often equally as important as the two (or more) competitors who are slugging it out. Refs are wired up to the production crew backstage in order to help relay information to the wrestlers about the match. When you see Charles Robinson check on your favorite face or heel, he isn't just making sure that they are physically okay, he's often passing on a reminder about the next move that is to take place.
They're also kept in tune with the flow of the match, making sure that it goes smoothly and for the most part keeps with the time in terms of the show. And with regards to Lil' Natch, well, sometimes he's just there to help tell the story and sell the impact of a devastating punch or high impact move.
14 TV Timeout
Vince didn't become rich just off of fans buying tickets and snatching up merchandise. He also understands branding and therefore the need to put a match on pause and allow for advertisers to jump in has unfortunately become a regular occurrence during pretty much every match on Monday and Tuesday nights.
You can almost bet the house on when a wrestler gets thrown outside of the ring that a commercial break is coming up. This means that either the remaining Superstar in the ring plays to the energy of the crowd or will slowly roll to the outside and return to the ring with their foe and go into a slow submission move (that never amounts to anything). Knowing the matches usually come in two parts, it's often hard for fans to become invested during the first half, as they know that any big moves or surprises will come after the show returns from the media break.
13 Love Is Real
Rusev and Lana, John Cena and Nikki Bella, The Miz and Maryse, Hunter and Steph, the list can go on and on pertaining to real-life couples inside of the company. For the longest time, fans were unaware of many of the real-life relationships that their favorite wrestlers were involved in, but with the age of reality TV, it now seems like Vince is producing more of an episode of Days Of Our Lives than he is of a Raw or SmackDown.
What's even worse is when you have a couple on opposite sides of the fence, like Big Cass and Carmella or Jimmy Uso and Naomi. While we all know wrestling is fake, keeping real life love out of the storylines sometimes makes thing a lot more believable.
12 Got The Hookup...Holla If You Hear Me!
When you consider the amount of time that WWE Superstars are on the road, share locker rooms, long car rides and hotel rooms, life can get a little lonely and human instincts and needs take over. And when you take into consideration that many of these individuals possess some of the finest bodies that the weight room (and money) can offer, it's easy to see how eyes can wonder and hormones can get fired up.
Over the years, names like John Cena, Alexa Bliss, Christy Hemme, Nikki Bella, Batista, Lita, Chris Jericho, Edge and Paige are just some of many names that have been rumored to have taken advantage of their position within the company, or in the case of others, some of the names that have used a few "positions" to move up within the company.
11 Can't We All Just Get Along
Just like the needs for personal satisfaction occasionally take over, there can also be times where wrestlers truly don't get along and have to deal with the issues playground style. Various tales of disrespect, botches in the ring and infidelity have led to these testosterone filled individuals slugging it out old school style.
Stories of backstage battles between Chris Jericho and Goldberg or Big Show and The Great Khali (imagine that battle!), Batista and Booker T or the infamous "Plane Ride From Hell" are just a small example of co-workers either straight out not getting along or being caught up in the moment. While the stories are mostly of the male roster, there have been rumors of fights involving Melina, Lita and Victoria (not each other).
10 Scripted Promos
There are very few current members of the WWE roster that can get away from being told what to say and how to say it. Gone are the days in which our favorite Superstars spoke from the heart and now as fans we have to sit through a pre-written spiel that is void of any sort of realism.
Names like John Cena, The Undertaker, Paul Heyman, The Rock and Chris Jericho have earned the rights to speak off the cuff, which makes their promos that much more entertaining. However, we then get stars like Roman Reigns, A.J. Styles, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler who have to memorize lines like your favorite sitcom actors. Where The New Day (who? who? who?) fits in on this remains to be seen.
9 The Streak
They may call Shawn Michaels "Mr. Wrestlemania," which when you consider The Undertaker's record at the Super Bowl of wrestling doesn't really make much sense. Entering WrestleMania XXX and a much anticipated match against Brock Lesnar, many were sure that The Beast would fall to The Deadman. With over 75,000 fans watching live and millions around the world watching forking over $9.99 to tune in on the WWE Network, only three people were aware of the history that was about to be written.
Usually the script is announced to almost everyone involved in the show. However, during the big match, Vince McMahon, Mark Calaway and Lesnar were said to be the only ones who knew that on the evening of April 6th, 2014 history would be made with referee Chad Patton making the record breaking three count.
8 Blood, Sweat and Tears
Ever since Shawn Michaels went to battle against Chris Jericho at the Great American Bash in 2008, for nearly ten years intentional bleeding (blading) has been banned by the WWE, but that hasn't stopped a number of current matches from continuing on with the participants shedding some of the red stuff. More often than not, these recent matches have included Brock Lesnar, who has brought some of the more realistic MMA style fighting to the ring or Roman Reigns, who's Vince's project to take over for John Cena.
Whether it was his match verses Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 31 or his beat down of Randy Orton at SummerSlam, Lesnar's matches have brought back some of "realism" to the matches. As for Reigns, his match with Jericho a short while back brought the red stuff to Raw. While fans understand that not every match needs to see the crimson juice, it's also hard to take matches like the Elimination Chamber or Hell in a Cell seriously without the addition of blood.
7 Canned Crowd
Up until SmackDown went live, the WWE production crew were given the task of enhancing the show before it was put on air on Thursday evenings. Over the course of the two days (it used to be shot on Tuesdays), crowd reaction would be filtered in for those watching in the comfort of their living rooms.
Whether it was a cranked up ovation or muting the boos towards certain wrestlers that the company wanted to get over, the real reaction and what you saw on screen was often not the same. The same can be said for the classic Raw Replay moments, where there appears to be much more enthusiasm for the match than what actually may have taken place. Just a couple months ago, Roman Reigns dropped the US Title to Chris Jericho and when the 1-2-3 was counted, a fan was jumping with joy. Come to the replay one week later and that same fan was made to look like he was in shock and disbelief.
6 Wrestler's Court
Kind of like Fight Club, what happens in Wrestler's Court stays in Wrestler's Court and is never to be spoken of again. Word has it that Dutch Mantell (before he was Zeb Colter) created this forum as a way to hammer out locker room issues before things got out of hand. While some stories are harmless, others have been said to be more serious.
Such reports include one of Miz's habit of leaving a mess during and after eating a piece of fried chicken, which resulted in him being banned from the locker room for half a year and having to change in the public bathrooms. Another more serious tale tells of Chris Jericho and Goldberg during Goldberg's first run with the WWE. Apparently Bill was not the nice guy he currently portrays himself to be and was talking smack about a recent Jericho match. The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla took offense to this and slapped Goldberg in a submission move for an extended period of time. The court result; Goldberg had to man up, say sorry and admit in front of the locker room that Jericho was the better wrestler.
5 Spend Money to Make Money
Sure big names such as John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Big Show and Randy Orton have travel expenses covered, but a lot of the mid and lower card acts have to shell out of their own pockets for expenses, minus flight costs. Sometimes our favorite wrestlers even have to pay for their own ring attire!
There are countless stories of wrestlers sharing car rentals (which doesn't bode well when you see a face and heel wrestler rolling down the highway together) or bunking up together in hotel rooms just to help save a buck. While reports state that the average wrestler on the main roster pulls in roughly $500,000 per year, this gets tainted by the amount of money that they have to spend in order to pull in that annual paycheck.
4 2017 Royal Rumble
This event may make all future Royal Rumble events and certain ring entrances (read: The Undertaker) be cut shorter. During the 2017 PPV, the distance from the backstage area to the ring was quite lengthy, so in order to assist some of the larger men in the contest, namely Bruan Strowman, The Big Show, Mark Henry, Big E and Bray Wyatt, the WWE figured they would save some time once the clock struck and assist these gentlemen in getting to the ring in a suitable amount of time, via a golf cart.
While this was not seen on the PPV feed, fans in the arena were able to catch a view of these Superstars arriving with some fresher legs than some of their opponents who may have had to stretch and hydrate before the extended sprint to the ring.
3 Decline in Ratings
With no real big league competition, the WWE storylines have hit a downward slope and while TNA, ROH and Lucha Underground have their followings, their budget is nowhere near that of McMahon's. Regardless of their decline in viewership, whether it be PPV, television or live events, WWE promotes the fact that the company is continuing to grow and dominate the wrestling scene globally.
Think about it for a minute. Do you really think that Vince would welcome such names as Sting, Goldberg, Brock and continue to reach out to other part-timers like The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold and even The Hulkster if he wasn't in such a drastic despair for viewership. While the WWE isn't going anywhere anytime soon, Vince still has to be concerned that his brand is not pulling in the numbers it once was. Even if he says he's not worried about ratings any longer, we're not buying it.
2 Mo Money, Mo Problems
The WWE continues to try and keep their financial dealings out of the spotlight as much as possible, even though the internet does its damnedest to provide leaks of that information. There are a number of factors that go into determining how much a wrestler makes, including the number of events worked per year, their merchandise sales and even their level of popularity (regardless of being a good or bad guy).
As stated before, an average salary is approximately $500,000 for a full time employee, but did you know that the number gets inflated by names like John Cena, Triple H, Brock Lesnar and others, while the mid to lower card folk like Big E make about $375,000, Charlotte pulls in about $300, 000 and one of the most popular and yet under appreciated stars Cesaro bring in even less.
1 Vince Controls All
Whether it's the roles that Superstars play in and out of the ring or the commentary that announcers broadcast during matches, Vince and Hunter have a say in nearly everything that goes on during each and every broadcast. If Vince wants to build up a certain character, talent is advised to make that person look nearly flawless in the ring. The same can be said on the mic, as if a Superstar is in line for a push, promos are heavily written in favor of the flavor of the day, regardless of what the fans may want.
Before and after wrestlers pass through the curtain and down the stage into the spotlight, Vince has been known to lean heavily on constructive criticism for what he believes will help in the grand scheme of his vision, no matter how blurred it has recently become.