It’s no secret that WWE has enjoyed pushing the envelope over the years. It was the reason they got ahead in the Attitude Era, showing off T&A with other wild stuff that made them winners for fans. Sure, they had major stars like Steve Austin and The Rock but that adult attitude was also a key reason WWE rose up in that time period. A lot of the stuff is a bit too wild when one looks back and WWE themselves acknowledge how too many times, they crossed a line. From simply bad taste to pushing some very sexual stuff, there were events you’re astounded got on TV in the first place, let alone became hits.
With WWE toning it down nowadays with a more PG-themed presentation, it’s no wonder many of these moments are in the past. Sure, the company can get a bit rougher now and then but nothing like it once was. There are moments that went so wild and crazy that it’s amazing they aired at all. As crazy as WWE may get today, there are some things they will never do again, not just for their own sake but because networks would never allow it. Here are 15 moments of the past in WWE that would never hit TV today and how the business has shifted a lot.
Pregnancies and wrestling never mix well. Somehow, working in a baby just leads to a lot of bad stuff and WWE has seen slews of poor pregnancy ideas over the years. Terri Runnels claimed to be pregnant while with Val Venis but he said it wasn’t his. Terri took a fall leading to her having a “miscarriage” but it turned out she was never pregnant at all.
Lita supposedly got pregnant by Kane only to “lose it” after getting attacked by Snitsky, leading to him punting a baby doll and his “not my fault!” lines.
Then of course, there’s Mae Young giving birth to a hand, one of the most ridiculous moments in WWE history.
It still pops up now and then like AJ Lee and such and shows that putting a baby into wrestling is taking things a little too far and fans never get into it at all.
14 DX antics
Shawn Michaels and Triple H both helped change WWE with their unique attitude, talking openly on backstage issues and other events. It was wild and daring and much of it would never get on the air today. Shawn and Hunter talk of their amazement of how they got away with it and Vince admits he should have brought his foot down a lot more. That included mooning the crowd, wiping their nose with the Canadian flag, making various sexual comments and far more.
The bit where they impersonated the Nation of Domination was funny but try seeing blackface get on the air today...
Their 2006 revival was more of the same, coming onto women a lot, favors for sex and other stuff that came off pretty juvenile despite them being great workers. That’s not to mention how they really broke the lines between what was on screen and what was real, a bit too much for WWE’s liking. So much of DX changed the landscape of the business but also pushed boundaries a bit too much for today’s WWE.
13 Trish and Vince
Before she turned into one of the best female workers of her time, Trish Stratus was merely hot eye candy. A buxom blonde, Trish was soon pulled into a program as Vince’s on-screen mistress. This included disturbing segments of them making out in front of a “comatose” Linda McMahon and Trish showing off while Vince acted a lecherous jerk.
Things went badly for the segment where Vince forced Trish to strip to her underwear in the middle of the ring and crawl on all fours barking. Trish would get her revenge by slapping Vince at 'Mania during his wild street fight with Shane and setting up his humiliating defeat. Yet it’s more than a bit rough watching this great lady reduced to such a sexist storyline and even Vince would balk at it today as being too much.
12 Lita and Edge
It remains one of the greatest cases ever of blurring the lines between real life and the ring. In 2005, word came of Lita cheating on Matt Hardy with Edge and the fans went nuts. WWE used the heat to make Lita a heel and she and Edge began hanging out and acting like a radical couple. When Edge won the WWE title in January of 2006, he proclaimed that he could do what he wanted now and would prove it by having sex with Lita on RAW the next night. They teased it all night before a bed was set up in the ring, Lita stripping under the sheets and alert VCR owners were able to see a flash of her breasts during it.
The whole thing was wildly over the top before Cena interrupted so it’s very unlikely WWE could try it again, as actually showing simulated sex is a bit much even by wrestling terms.
11 Kelly Kelly
She would morph into an actually decent worker and wasn't that bad on the mic but this is still what Kelly Kelly was known for. When you hire a woman who started as a glamour model with nude spreads, it makes sense eventually she would show off on screen. Hired to ECW, Kelly soon did a striptease on air before barely being stopped. That led to it being her regular thing, teasing showing off more and more but it was stopped each time.
Pushing someone as a total exhibitionist may have helped the ratings but one can see how massively sexist and exploitative it was. It was dropped although Kelly remained rather outgoing with her tenure in WWE yet it's very unlikely they’d make a regular character of a stripper in today’s landscape.
10 Mickie and Trish
Already a great worker, Mickie James was brought into WWE in late 2005 with the idea of her being a super-fan of champion Trish Stratus. Things got more heated as it turned out Mickie was basically stalking Trish, complete with a room filled with pictures of the champ. Soon, Mickie kissed Trish and when Trish turned her down, Mickie lashed out at her. This set up the WrestleMania battle where the psycho heel Mickie was cheered on by the Chicago crowd. This included an infamous moment of Trish going for a bulldog but Mickie broke it up by grabbing Trish between the legs and then licking her palm. That was edited from the later video releases and the entire angle had way too many risque factors” to fly today.
9 Val Venis Choppy Choppy
Frankly, mostly anything with Val Venis would be off-limits today as the entire “adult film star turned wrestler” bit would be a tad much for viewers. The highlight would be this infamous 1998 feud as Venis stole the wife of the leader of Kaentai, Mr. Yamaguchi San. In broken English, the man vowed revenge, showing a samurai sword off and slicing a cucumber before telling Venis “I chopee chopee your pee-pee!”
Taka Michinoku would turn on Venis to drag him backstage and the cameras showed him with his pants pulled down (a censor blur over his rear) and Yamaguchi raising his sword before it went black. It turned out Venis somehow escaped with his manhood intact yet from the racial stereotypes to the sheer sexual violence, it’s highly unlikely this would be hitting the airwaves today.
8 The Kat Flashes
To be fair, it wasn’t planned in the first place but it's still a moment you wouldn’t see again. The Kat was getting a decent push in late 1999 as Chyna’s sidekick, dressing up as her and following her around constantly. At Armageddon, she was part of a Four-Women Evening Gown match for the Women’s title, officiated by the Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young.
A wild affair, it ended with the Kat victorious and in her celebration, she ditched her top to flash her breasts at the crowd. It was covered up fast but still an insane moment that went way too far and the Kat was chastised backstage for it. It’s no wonder WWE is careful today to avoid things like that as flashing some skin is okay but going all out is way too far for broadcast.
7 Mark Henry/Sammy
A great guy in many ways, Mark Henry had to put up with a lot of stupid stuff during his time in WWE. A theory is that Vince was tired of paying Henry’s big contract and tried to make him quit but Henry kept sticking around. You can argue how this might be right with this 1999 angle where Henry was turned into a “great lover” wooing Chyna. She refused his advances for a time before finally agreeing but only if Henry was with her friend, Sammy.
Video was shown of them heading to a hotel with Henry eager but then he came out to apologize, saying he and Chyna never did anything. Chyna responded by showing the video where Henry reacted to finding out Sammy was actually a man. Not just the sexual bits but how it treated LGBTs as a joke is something way too far for WWE today and Henry wishes they had avoided it in the first place.
6 Stone Cold/Gun
The 1998 feud between Steve Austin and Vince McMahon was the key to the entire Attitude Era. Fans loved watching as the tough redneck fought back against this wicked boss, loving it was Austin would beat the odds to overcomeVince and humiliate him in the process. In late 1998, McMahon seemed to get the upper hand, costing Austin the WWE title and forcing him to referee a match between Kane and The Undertaker for the belt with Austin fired if he didn’t call it right. Instead, Austin laid out both guys and Vince fired him.
The next night, Austin started to stalk Vince around the arena and then grabbed Vince while brandishing a gun. Dragging Vince into the ring, Austin stalked him more, mocked him, put the gun to his head…and out came a “BANG 3:16” sign. Vince was shown having wet himself before Austin hit him with another Stunner. While funny, it's highly unlikely WWE would allow a gun (even a toy one) to be used in any way today.
5 Katie Vick
On a DVD, Vince McMahon laughs that he still thinks this was a good idea while everyone else cites it as one of the stupidest of all time. For a 2002 feud, Triple H and Kane were going at it, a decent build but leave it to Vince to toss in something nutty. Triple H accused Kane of killing his high school girlfriend, Katie Vick, albeit by accident. This led to the now infamous segment where Triple H dressed in a Kane mask to go to a funeral parlor, make out with a dummy dressed in a cheerleading outfit and exclaim “I screwed your brains out!”
Today, that would be way too much on so many levels, both in its basic content and how far it went with the “screwing” bit. Of course, many fans would love to have it erased to ignore one of the absolute worst vignettes in the history of wrestling.
4 Pillman’s Got a Gun
This is an incident that got totally out of control in so many ways. In the fall of 1996, Steve Austin was taking off as a heel, doing a brutal attack on long-time friend Brian Pillman to “break his leg.” Austin made noises of hunting Pillman down and WWE was at Pillman’s home with a camera crew. Pillman declared he was ready for Austin and brandished a pistol to freak everyone out. Austin was soon there, charging in, Pillman’s wife screaming as Pillman held up the gun and a gunshot as the feed went dark. It was a huge thing, broadcast live and fans honestly called the police, convinced someone had just gotten shot. It nearly got RAW tossed off of USA but ended up also doing great ratings. Today, no way WWE would go so massively far with an act of violence and thus a key event left in the past.
3 Tim White's Suicide Watch
On the first “OMG Moments” DVD, various workers openly laughed “who the hell came up with this?” In 2005, referee Tim White was shown downcast and complaining about his career being over. At a bar, White was shown drinking heavily and then pulling out a gun as a shot was heard off-screen. It turned out he had just shot someone in the foot but still downtrodden. So, for who knows what reason, WWE decided to have a series of weekly videos called (this is true) “Lunchtime Suicide.” In them, White would try various attempts to kill himself only for it to fail (rope for a hanging breaking, downing wrong pills, etc).
To say this was tasteless is to cut it a break; it was totally insane and yet WWE kept on pushing it. It finally ended and is treated with mockery today but no one would even think of trying something due to the harsh outcry and how making fun of suicide isn’t a good thing.
2 Playboy Covers
This won’t happen and not just because of WWE. In what many cite as the end of an era, Playboy magazine ended nude spreads in 2016. It is a huge move as that was what the magazine was best known for, showcasing some famous women in the buff. In 1998, they began a long relationship with WWE with numerous Divas baring it all for the magazine. Sable, Torrie Wilson, Chyna, Christy Hemme, Maria and more were showcased with WWE usually showing off the covers in big ceremonies. They worked them into storylines like Sable and Torrie feuding and Santino trying to stop Maria’s cover from coming out.
Today of course, WWE is moving away from such things and with Playboy ending nude spreads, this is sadly just part of history to leave memories of fun times.
1 Sable’s Palms
Rena Mero truly set the tone for the antics of the Divas that WWE fans would know. With her stunning body, lush blonde hair and great look, she carried terrific heat to get fans going. She was already doing a lot with bikini contests and such. She wasn’t bad in the ring either and elevated the new wave of Divas majorly. For one PPV, she and Jacqueline were set to face off in a bikini contest, which surely favored Sable. Jacqueline showed off first in a nice suit and then Sable undid her robe to show a bikini thong and her breasts covered with painted palms. Jerry Lawler spoke for many fans with his open-mouthed expression watching as he raced to cover her. It was a wild moment that boosted her up majorly and made things sexier but it would never get on the air today, even if on a PPV.