Professional wrestling is certainly a unique mixture of sports and entertainment, which is why Vince McMahon came up with the phrase back in 1989. Like many other television programs, there are times when lines can be crossed. It seems that was certainly the case for pro wrestling in the 1990s when the WWE’s Attitude Era competed with World Championship Wrestling in the Monday Night War.
There were more sexual innuendos, more violence and controversial moments that have since been removed for the WWE Network to replay. Especially when the WWE took over the WCW library, along with other wrestling promotions, to help launch the new WWE Network. The WWE has also done the same with moments from the Ruthless Aggression Era that may not have gone as far as the Attitude Era, but they were close enough.
But with live television, mistakes can happen in front of a live crowd and the millions watching at home. The famous YouTube channel Botchamania usually gets plenty of content ideas every week between botched moves in the ring and poor commentary blunders. Beyond the accidental curse word dropped on television and the occasional wardrobe malfunction, quick cutaways are necessary during live wrestling shows.
Sometimes the crew behind the scenes can act on a fly with keeping nudity, foul language or worse off of the cameras. But some things will still get through on the broadcast or later on the internet. The following are 15 pro wrestling moments that required edits either during the live broadcast or on the subsequent replays.
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15 Sid Vicious’ Broken Leg
The WWE has been caught having made a number of edits and cuts from the matches and events that are available to watch through their WWE Network. These changes also include some very gruesome injuries that can be hard to un-watch. This includes the infamous broken leg suffered by Sid Vicious during the WCW Sin pay-per-view in 2001. While it wasn’t shown live more than 16 years ago, it was shown on WCW Nitro the very next night.
Either way, the WWE Network does not show how Sid broke his leg after attempting to perform a big boot after jumping off the second rope. Considering how the WWE wants to have younger viewers watch their content and the WWE Network is meant to provide entertainment for everyone, they don’t want to scar kids with that scene that haunts the memories of now adult fans.
14 Scott Hall and Kevin Nash Attack Fan Charging the Ring
In 1996, the world of professional wrestling was turned upside down. Hulk Hogan had spent many years as the top babyface in all of professional wrestling. He was viewed as an inspiration as the hero who always won and reminded kids to take their vitamins and say their prayers. But during the infamous Bash at the Beach pay-per-view for World Championship Wrestling, Hogan turned heel to form the New World Order.
One fan was not going to take this news without trying to do something about it. Unfortunately, he was met by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. The Outsiders, along with security, got a few shots at the fan. The footage has been edited out of the WWE Network version of the event replay. Despite younger fans needing to learn why not to run into the ring, the WWE probably doesn’t want wrestler-on-fan violence to possibly be used against them.
13 Tank Abbott Pulls Out a Knife
During the final days of the Monday Night War, World Championship Wrestling attempted to bring in mixed martial arts fighter Tank Abbott. He turned out to be a big bust in WCW with a Goldberg feud that never happened and almost being crowned the WCW World Heavyweight Champion by Vince Russo. Abbott had a few memorable moments, but not in a positive kind of way.
In a match with Big Al during a pay-per-view, Abbott would win the match. But it was outside the ring afterwards that caught attention. Abbott grabbed his jacket and pulled out a knife, placing it on Al’s throat and saying that he could kill him. The camera panned away quickly. Tony Schiavone tried to cover it up claiming it was a pair of scissors that Abbott was going to use to cut Big Al’s non-existent beard off.
12 PWG Edits Out Dusty Rhodes Insult
In a little more recent situation, Pro Wrestling Guerilla had to announce that they were editing out a comment that was said during a DVD taping earlier this year. Before a match with Cody Rhodes, Trevor Lee would cut a heel promo before Cody came out for their singles match. Lee then said “F*** Dusty Rhodes.” Usually, PWG isn’t the kind of promotion that shies away from certain curse words. But when curse words are used to get cheat heat that involves a legend who recently passed away, it can be viewed as being done in poor taste.
Rhodes would comment on the situation on his Twitter account, saying that he didn’t communicate his rule of not bringing up his father. While Cody was professional in moving on, it still didn’t need to be said by Lee.
11 TNA Edits Out Tara’s Naked Butt
TNA Wrestling has had its share of moments that needed to be edited or cut from the original broadcast. Back in January 2010, Tara (formerly Victoria in the WWE) was in a match against ODB. The latter would deploy the classic school-boy roll-up pin to get the win over Tara. But part of her pin involved getting a handful of tights, which has been done by the men. However, it led to a cut during the TNA Knockouts match.
Tara’s back-end was shown during the live version of that TNA Impact episode. But her butt was pixelated on the replay. TNA also had a shot of the crowd shown to replace the naked butt moment. It wasn’t the only edit from that same episode, as Hulk Hogan talked about an hour-long chat when he was advertised as just arriving to the arena.
10 Chair Shots to the Head
If you’ve seen clips of classic matches on WWE’s social media pages, it doesn’t take long to begin noticing some changes to the original broadcast. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, one of the most common attacks with a foreign object involved swinging a steel chair onto an opponent’s head. It happened with almost as much regularity as a foul ball going into the crowd at a baseball game. But you won’t see any of those chair shots on the WWE Network on WWE-released DVDs.
Since 2014, the WWE has had the video edited where the video is paused right before the swing as the sound continues through. The sound of the impact is heard and the video picks up shortly after. With all of the attention surrounding concussions and brain injuries in all sports, it makes sense for the WWE to distance themselves from this once-common occurrence in the ring.
9 Kaitlyn’s Wardrobe Malfunction
While AJ Lee was the WWE Divas Champion, her biggest rival was arguably Kaitlyn. The two were familiar with each other from their time in WWE developmental and through NXT before joining the main roster. However, Kaitlyn would join a long list of wardrobe malfunctions that had to be cut from the broadcast. It took place during a 2013 episode of Raw when Lee was in the ring cutting a promo.
Kaitlyn rushed the ring to attack the WWE Divas Champion; wrestling around for a few moments before Big E pulled Lee out of the ring. It was then that one of Kaitlyn’s breasts started to pop out of her top. This led to the camera crew having to cutaway a few times. This has been edited for the WWE Network.
8 Owen Hart Edited Out of PPV
With the WWE Network, fans have a chance to go back and watch just about any pay-per-view in the WWE library. There were some concerns about the Over the Edge 1999 pay-per-view. But with the launch of the WWE Network, the news came out that they were going to include the event, but have portions of the show edited out in respect to Owen Hart. Over the Edge 1999 was the event where Hart fell as he was descending from the rafters and died from injuries after hitting the ring.
It was an ugly scene that played out live on pay-per-view as Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross both looked rattled as they broke the news of his passing. The WWE also faced a lot of criticism from Owen Hart’s family and others for the entire situation and how it played out. It makes sense to still show the rest of the event on the WWE Network. But editing out the Hart death was a good call.
7 Jacqueline Loses Top to Sable
Jacqueline had a few wardrobe malfunctions during her time with the WWE in the Attitude Era. The most famous took place during a United Kingdom pay-per-view called WWE Capital Carnage. Jacqueline was teaming up with Marvelous Marc Mero during an inter-gender tag team match against Sable and Christian. The match ended with Sable getting the pinfall over Jacqueline.
After the match, Jacqueline attacked the referee and actually climbed on his shoulders. Sable would then come from behind and ripped off Jacqueline’s top; exposing her breasts. The shocking thing was that it ran uncensored over in the UK. While it made it to the VHS release in the U.S., it was edited out for the WWE Network replays. Jacqueline also had a subtle slip at the 1998 Fully Loaded pay-per-view.
6 Zack Ryder’s Opponent Has Wardrobe Malfunction
It isn’t just the women who end up having wardrobe malfunctions during live wrestling programs. Unfortunately, Zack Ryder had to deal with his opponent not being able to keep his gear inside of his wrestling gear. During a 2008 match for ECW, Zack Ryder was wrestling a short squash match against local competitor Rory Fargo. About halfway through the minute-long match, Fargo’s tights ripped.
In Ryder’s words, his ring gear exploded. The cameras had to do awkward shots of the match to prevent Fargo’s “gear” from being caught on television. If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s that regardless of how successful you are in pro wrestling, quality ring gear is the most important investment to make. Fargo’s chance to make the most of his opportunity was torn to pieces.
5 Mickie James’ Lick At WrestleMania 22
Mickie James was able to get over with the crowd as the newest heel in the WWE division in 2005. Part of that was how the WWE teased her being a lesbian stalker of Trish Stratus that led to James turning heel against the person she idolized as a young wrestler. That lesbian-theme continued in their match for Stratus’ WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 22.
Fans who were in attendance in Chicago and watching on pay-per-view saw James’ hand grab Stratus below the belt, followed by James licking between a V-sign with the same hand. James would later win the match in a big career moment. But her celebration was short-lived when she went backstage to be yelled at by Vince McMahon who hated the gesture – noting that it had to be edited out for future video releases.
4 Lita’s Slip During Celebration With Edge
There was already a lot of controversy involving Lita after her breakup with Matt Hardy due to an affair with Edge in 2005. Art would imitate real life and Lita was alongside Edge as he rose to the top of the WWE main event picture. When Edge won his first WWE Championship in 2006, he would announce that he and Lita were going to have sex in the middle of the ring on an episode of Raw – which gave a huge boost to the ratings.
This certainly felt like something out of the Attitude Era in the 1990s. Lita and Edge were stripped down to their underwear before going under the covers of the bed. As the cameraman in the ring moved from the foot of the bed to the side, he accidentally caught a topless Lita for less than a second. Both the crowd, and Jerry Lawler on commentary, reacted as the live feed cut away quickly.
3 Mae Young Loses Her Top
There are just some things that cannot be unseen. The Attitude Era had a few of these moments and the most disgusting ones usually involved Mae Young in some way, shape or form. In this case, it was a very naked form with shapes that are sort of hard to describe. During the 2000 Royal Rumble, Young decided she wanted to participate in the Miss Royal Rumble swimsuit competition.
In an effort to giver herself an advantage, Young took off her top and walked around and letting her “puppies” hang out in the middle of the ring. The fans were disgusted and so was Jerry Lawler. The judges picked Young as the “unanimous winner. By the way, this wasn’t just the first Miss Royal Rumble swimsuit contest; it was the only. No one wanted to see her “defend” her title.
2 Muhammad Hassan’s Attack on The Undertaker
Muhammad Hassan might have had a chance to become a top villain in the WWE during his big push in 2005. He was a Arab-American wrestler who would talk about how the rest of the country was prejudice; cutting promos against the country. A classic anti-American gimmick that got over during a time that wasn’t long after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But his push stalled after Hassan had a group of masked men attack The Undertaker.
During a 2005 episode of SmackDown, Hassan had five men in ski masks run down to the ring with one using a steel wire to choke out the Deadman. Unfortunately, days before it was scheduled to air, more than 50 were killed in a bombing in London, England. The segment was cut from broadcasts in the United Kingdom and the network banned Hassan from appearing on SmackDown. He was later written off television after Undertaker gave him a powerbomb through the stage.
1 Trish Stratus Barking Like a Dog
The Attitude Era was certainly one of the most controversial times in WWE history. It was also the focal point of controversy when Linda McMahon was running for the United States Senate. In a 2001 episode of Raw when Vince McMahon publicly humiliated Trish Stratus by making her get on her hands and knees to move around the ring like a dog. McMahon also made her bark like a dog.
Stratus also made a comment about it after her WWE Hall of Fame induction where she said her character was degraded. But it did culminate to her slapping McMahon at WrestleMania X-Seven and moving on to a successful wrestling career. The WWE would begin to start removing these kinds of moments from YouTube and also from the WWE Network in recent years.
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