The WWE has gone through several phases over the years, including Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, The New Generation, Attitude Era, Ruthless Aggression, PG, and the New Era. While the type of content they created shifted dramatically during these periods, the Attitude Era clearly reigns supreme when it comes to objectionable material. Even during their most extreme years, they still needed to contend with censors who wanted to keep them from crossing too many lines. Considering Vince McMahon is a maverick, the company he runs reflects that spirit, continuously attempting to get away with whatever they can--except when Linda was running for office of course. That is what inspired us to put together this list of some of the WWE’s moments that various censors decided were too intense for their viewers.
In order for a moment to make the ranking phase of this list, it needed to have upset at least one censor who disallowed them to broadcast it. While they may have been able to slip it by some, if any of their fans were precluded from watching it from the powers that be in their market then it could end up here. In short, if the WWE’s American broadcaster allowed it to air but their international broadcaster put the kibosh on it, we considered it. Also, moments that were too intense to be included in re-airings were possible entries. Finally, instances in which the WWE itself has opted to cover up an incident were also up for grabs. Obviously, we will be covering some of the craziest WWE moments, so with that in mind, discretion is advised.
16 Ric Flair Kissing Becky Lynch
There are few figures in the annals of professional wrestling that are more respected than Ric Flair. A sixteen-time World Champion who is the only man to have ever been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame twice, solo and as part of the Four Horsemen, his place in history allows him to run wild. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t feel the pain that is pissing off wrestling fans around the world. One such incident took place during the 2016 Royal Rumble where he was managing his daughter, WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte.
Prone to interfering on his charge’s behalf, he had a history of distracting refs and opponents alike but this time around his tactic of choice seemed to give a lot of people a rather icky feeling. Forcing a kiss on challenger Becky Lynch against her will, this moment of faked sexual assault didn’t sit well with many viewers. On top of that, who wants to see sixty-seven-year-old smacking lips with a twenty-nine-year-old? Picking up on the response the moment elicited, the WWE acted swiftly, removing it from re-airings on the WWE Network. In defence of all involved, it is clear that Ric’s action was the gameplan going in as it was a pivotal moment in the match.
15 The Kat Flashing
Even though the WWE has been the home of many nip slips, fan flashings, and even that crazy Jacqueline defrocking moment, there is only one instance of an employee outright flashing. A former Women’s Champion who was married to commentator Jerry Lawler at the time, she had an extremely annoying voice and next to zero wrestling talent. So, other than her famous husband, why was she ever employed by the WWE? It certainly seems like a major part of the reason why is her willingness to share her body with viewers.
Case in point, the match in which she won her only major championship was a “four corners evening gown match” where you had to strip your opponent’s dress off to win. Not content to just win the title, she opted to take off her dress afterwards before going one step further and removing her bra. Almost instantly covered up by a man who rushed in with a towel, her boobs were still on full display for a brief moment. Edited out of the WWE Network version of the event, now all you’re left with is a pretty awful match, so yeah, we’re rushing to watch that again.
14 Trish Barking
The WWE has recently gone through a so-called women’s wrestling revolution (once known as the Divas Revolution) and although the dark days of the division don’t seem to be far in the past, the company’s lowlight in a lot of people’s eyes was many years ago. Trish Stratus is remembered today as quite possibly the best women’s wrestler ever and the woman who won gold eight times in her career before retiring as champ. Prior to that, however, she joined the WWE as a glorified model with little to no wrestling training who was used as a manager and eye candy.
Involved in an onscreen romance with her far older and hated boss, Vince McMahon, the pair’s characters had stooped to drugging Lina McMahon before flaunting their embraces in front of her. Having previously dumped a bucket of filth on top of Trish, at his daughter’s urging, Vince stood in the middle of the ring as fans presumed Trish would stand up for herself. Instead, she would beg for his forgiveness before he forced her to undress to her undies, get on all fours and bark like a dog. A highly misogynous and shameful moment, at least the English would make the right choice by editing the scene out of their broadcasts.
13 Fans Flashing
During the height of The Attitude Era, things happened on WWE TV that had never been seen before or since. One of the groups that was most responsible for some of the more line blurring moments was perennial fan favorites D-Generation-X. Whether it was peeing on motorcycles, appearing in black face (something that remains remarkably beloved by many considering the racism of it), invading their competitor’s TV tapings, or any number of other hair brained moments, DX could always be relied upon to do something shocking.
What few could have predicted though was the effect that they seemed to have on some of their female fans. On more than one occasion, as this beloved group celebrated entertaining the masses or winning matches in the ring, they were greeted by women in the crowd baring their chests. In fact, group leader Triple H was even known to elicit this action out of them by miming the movement while standing on the second rope. The resulting footage was initially broadcast and then included in a VHS tape that was sold about the group, but the WWE has thought better of it since and edited it out of a DVD rerelease.
12 Mickie James And The Lick
Another part of a WWE pay-per-view that the company edited out of their own accord, this moment was a little more difficult to make people forget. Taking place in the middle of a match at the company’s flagship show, WrestleMania, Mickie James had some improvised and more obscene motions erased from official WWE history. Someone who’d only recently debuted on the main roster, Mickie was portraying a stalker character who was obsessed with then WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus. Starting out teaming with the apple of her eye, before too long, things between the pair became contentious and they were booked in a title match at WrestleMania 22.
A marvelous match between two of the best women’s wrestlers in company history, this should have been a glorious moment in the careers of both. However, Mickie has previously said, “I came back through the curtain and Vince was really mad,” and revealed that Vince felt some of her actions were “crass.” What inspired such a sentiment, you may be asking. Mickie’s decision to put her hand in Trish’s crotch and then suggestively lick it, ending up with her tongue between two fingers in a V shape was certainly controversial and has been consistently censored since.
11 Jacqueline’s Slip
It may be hard to fathom now but long-time wrestling fans would be able to tell you that there was an almost three-year period where the women’s division laid dormant in the WWE. Without a championship to fight toward, after Alundra Blayze threw into a garbage can on WCW Nitro, it took a highly heated feud between two women to inspire its reintroduction. Although, that may bring to mind thoughts of a highly physical and contentious rivalry, the truth of the matter is that this may be the most sexualized women’s feud in company history.
Sable and Jacqueline, with Marc Mero in between them, are better remembered for their bodies than than their bodies of work at the time despite being the first two champs. Competing in a swimsuit competition in the middle of the ring, in front of thousands of fans, the moment where Sable revealed that she was actually topless with handprints on her boobs is referenced most. That is, despite the fact that it was Jackie’s body that was eventually censored on the WWE Network instead. Wearing a tiny bikini, Jacqueline began to dance around with her chest barely covered until one of her breasts became completely uncovered.
The Attitude Era is associated by many with the late nineties but according to agreed upon timelines, it actually extends into 2002. While some may argue against that timeline, the fact that this bargain basement segment was aired in that year proves to us the company was still grasping at straws to shock their audience. Hyping early in the show that they were going to feature “hot lesbian action” later in the night, it was obviously a sad attempt to convince horndog fans to stick around and see the results.
There was an awful piece of television that saw two women get partially undressed and kiss one another; the segment was interrupted by the team of Rosey and Jamal, who proceeded to beat the pair down. Although the skintastic moments were left largely intact, Canada, one of the WWE’s biggest markets, felt the need to censor the moments the partially undressed women were accosted. Judging by the fact that the likelihood of the intended parts of their bodies staying covered as they are splashed by massive men (and the objectionable destruction of women by men) seemed remote, it certainly seems like a good choice to us.
9 Rosa’s Backside
Even if you are a fiercely loyal WWE fan, it may surprise you to find out that Rosa Mendes first appeared on WWE TV a decade ago at this point. That is probably because she has accomplished so little in those years. While she may have been capable of adding a great deal more to the company, the fact that she is best known for her time on Total Divas, her brief time as Beth Phoenix’s intern and managing Primo and Epico says a lot.
Perhaps, that is why the time her butt was exposed to the crowd during a television taping is one of the most notable occasions in her career. While eagle-eyed internet “fans” have contended that she is, in fact wearing a see-through thong under her briefs (which some feel points to the moment being planned), the fact of the matter is that no matter what she is wearing it leaves little to the imagination. Opting to cut to black while she is exposed, instead of the typical editing job, viewers were likely pretty shocked by what they weren’t seeing.
8 Kaitlyn’s Slip
A contestant on and winner of the third season of NXT in its original competition version, Kaitlyn and others like AJ Lee, Natalya, and Beth Phoenix brought real completion to the women’s division. Embroiled in feuds with the likes of Vickie Guerrero, Tamina Snuka, and others over the years, it is the one with real life friend, the aforementioned AJ Lee that was arguably the most entertaining. Resulting in the most enduring moments in her career, it only seems right that it was during this long-running feud that she suffered the moment that earns her a place here.
As AJ was in the midst of giving a promo about her opinion that she was the best women’s wrestler alive, Kaitlyn couldn’t take it any longer and tried to hurt her. Attacking her foe viciously as she scrambled to get away, by the time they were separated and Kaitlyn went to rise up to her feet; her nipple had slipped out of her top. Gone from the footage after it aired live due to WWE censors, her revealing moment was unforgettable to many.
7 Jacqueline Goes Topless
Remember when we were talking about the feud between Sable and Jacqueline earlier? We bet you thought that this duo working together would only result in a single censored moment, didn’t you? We think you’re forgetting how far they let things go in the WWE during the height of The Attitude Era. Furthermore, while Sable was the most popular of the pair and is remembered as one of the most overtly sexual figures in company history, it is Jackie who yet again finds herself in the crosshairs of company censors.
Taking place during a 1998 UK-only pay-per-view called Capital Carnage, Sable and Jacqueline competed in a mixed tag match, teaming with Christian and Marc Mero respectively. As their action came to a conclusion, Christian ran off Marc Mero as Jacqueline took the pinfall at the hands of her hated rival. Arguing with the ref after the fact, she somehow found herself on his shoulders before Sable grabbed at her, pulling off her top entirely. Completely nude from the waist up for a brief moment, her entirely gratuitous chest was welcomed by many viewers before being censored on WWE Network broadcasts.
6 Bella Slip
This should go without saying but the Bella Twins are just that, twins. An extremely attractive pair that started out as cast offs from the Diva Search, they managed to weather several storms in the company and become the faces of the division in many people’s eyes. The stars of the WWE’s so-called reality show, Total Divas, they have spent a huge portion of the last several years living their lives in front of cameras.
That is why, it probably shouldn’t come as a massive surprise to anyone that they’ve both suffered wardrobe malfunctions in front of the camera and as a result, the eyes of millions. With Brie slipping a nip during an in-ring interview segment and Nikki doing the same after finding herself on the outside of the ring during a match, their incidents happened mere weeks apart. Edited out of subsequent international re-airings, they may have been able to keep many from seeing these moments but of course, the internet never forgets.
5 Diss The Diva
A part of the 2004 Diva Search, this segment got out of control very quickly. After the longest standing pro wrestling fixture to come out of the competition’s history, Maria Kanellis, was eliminated, the remaining contestants were told to “diss the diva.” Going one by one, Joy Giovanni, Amy Weber, Carmella DeCesare, and finally Christy Hemme took turns trying to tear each other down verbally. Bleeped out several times during the initial broadcast, several of these clearly unscripted moments got too sexual and extreme for the WWE even back then.
Carmella was clearly the most disliked figure amongst the group and although the shots the other three received were crazy, including critiques of boob jobs, she got it by far the worst. After Joy mimed that she was going to slap her in the face and Amy told her that "having a c*** in your mouth has nothing to do with wrestling", Christy somehow upped the ante, telling her fellow contestant that she is a “c*** sucking gutter s***”; it is safe to say that such comments would never be permitted in modern day WWE.
4 William Regal’s Slip
Although the vast majority of our entries focus on the WWE’s female employees that doesn’t mean that we’ve totally ignored some of the more masculine censored moments. William Regal is one of the most universally respected wrestlers in the world today. A fixture of the industry for several decades, he spent several years working internationally before stateside companies like WCW and WWE took advantage of his services. A former WCW Television Champion, WWE commissioner, Hardcore Champion, European Champion, Intercontinental Champion, Tag Team Champion, and King of the Ring winner, his mantle is full of accolades. That, of course, is to say nothing about his heavy hand in the training of wrestlers like Daniel Bryan and involvement in recruiting several current WWE wrestlers.
With all of those accomplishments under his belt, several fans have forgotten one of the most scandalous moments in his career. Taking place at WWE’s pay-per-view, No Mercy in 2006, Regal was part of a backstage segment where he was seen in a locker room wearing nothing but a towel. In a moment that the WWE edited out of all subsequent airings and the DVD release, William’s towel failed in its task, revealing his privates to the world.
2 Mae Young Goes Topless
Another moment that involved a WWE Hall of Famer, this incident from the 2000 Royal Rumble is pretty hard to forget once you’ve seen it. Involving Mae Young, a woman’s wrestler who was born in 1923, she was just shy of turning seventy-seven at the time but that didn’t stop her from taking part in one of the most shocking storylines. Shown to be in a relationship with Mark Henry, a wrestler who was then known as Sexual Chocolate, she would eventually claim to be carrying her lover’s child.
Despite her advanced age and seemingly monogamous relationship, that didn’t stop her character from being offended that she wasn’t included in the “Miss Rumble 2000” swimsuit contest. Rushing in near the end of the competition that had seen the crowd go wild as Ivory, Terri, Jacqueline, The Kat, and others had barred their flesh, Mae disrobed swiftly. First appearing in her swimsuit, Mae upped the ante by taking down her straps and evidently showing her breasts. Although the principal reaction among fans was one of disgust, the WWE would go onto to claim that she was wearing prosthetics before editing the moment out of WWE Network re-showings.
1 Lita’s Slip
We know that many were likely shocked that The Kat didn’t take our top slot but to those of you, we say this, “Live Sex Celebration”. A long-time hero in the WWE, Lita went from beloved figure to loathed villain when the fact came to light that she had cheated on a long-time boyfriend, Matt Hardy, with one of his good friends, Edge. Resulting in her character hooking up with Edge onscreen, she served as his manager when he won his first world championship at the 2006 New Year’s Revolution event.
Coming out to the ring to have a creepy “Live Sex Celebration” together the very next night on RAW, seeing Lita and Edge making out, undressing and getting under the covers in the ring was awkward. A long and tedious segment, it probably would be remembered as a lowlight in company history if it weren’t for the fact that it was highly rated and people like boobs. You see, Edge revealed he had her bra to the crowd and if you were among the few that thought they’d planted it in the bed and Lita was still covered up, you were wrong. Thanks to a poorly or perfectly timed shot, depending on your point of view, we were given a shot of Lita’s completely bare boob for a short time. Edited out of re-airings and the WWE Network version of the show, it is the hottest moment that censors have stolen away in our view.