The live event aspect of the WWE is the most underrated key to the massive promotion’s success. WWE tours all year with very little breaks making their schedule among the most grueling in sports and/or entertainment. As successful as the television shows and PPVs are, the touring all over the world is what puts WWE on a level apart from other brands. They have a presence on television and in the live touring business. Live events are also known as house shows and have been a part of the WWE schedule for a long time. The non-televised shows add a different experience.
Compared to television crowds, there are often more families in attendance at the live events with shows targeted towards that demographic. Faces typically win all the matches unless a heel has to retain a title. The matches are fairly simple with less risky moves and more emphasis on entertainment. Any educated fan can easily decipher the results to each match heading into a house show, but there are certain instances when things get wild.
WWE has seen a select few number of shocking moments happen at house shows over the years. We’ll go through them all with the top fifteen craziest things to occur at a WWE live event.
14 Vince McMahon Stops Match for Being “Too Boring”
The matches at house shows are rarely “match of the year” candidates but the wrestlers are expected to deliver entertaining bouts. Vince McMahon felt he needed to step in during one fateful match at a live event in 2003. Rhyno and Tajiri are typically respected in wrestling circles with reputations of being able to get it done in the ring. They worked a slow match on this specific live event with quite a bit of headlock work.
13 Fan hits Roman Reigns with briefcase
A recent instance of something out of the ordinary taking place at a live event featured a tough night for Roman Reigns. The top face worked the main event against Bray Wyatt in Victoria, B.C. last year, in a street fight with weapons involved. During the match, one of the fans took the stipulation too seriously and broke the rules by throwing a Money in the Bank briefcase into the ring. If that wasn’t bad enough, the briefcase ended up hitting Reigns right in the head.
The match stopped with the referee demanding security escort the fan out of the venue. A fan throwing something at the head of a wrestler is a very dangerous situation and created quite a stir. Reigns took the pain of the hit and the clip went viral.
12 Finn Balor and Bayley Re-enact Dirty Dancing
The addition of NXT live events has added another dimension to the WWE touring schedule. NXT talent is now working a regular schedule. Most of the shows are locally in Florida, but they travel to their fair share of cities. The crowds are smaller than the main roster house shows and more aware. That allows the wrestlers to have fun with the fans and amuse the locker room with antics. One specific pairing always found time to entertain everyone when they were in NXT.
11 Rob Conway: American Hero
Rob Conway is one of the most forgettable performers to ever compete in the WWE. The subpar performer had a few opportunities to shine but always failed to deliver. A random live event in 2005 featured Conway having the night of his life. The match featured William Regal and Tajiri opposing Conway and Sylvain Grenier aka La Resistance. As the anti-American tag team, La Resistance received boos and “USA” chants by the fans in Alabama.
The Undertaker is the last person you want to piss off if you work for the WWE. Everyone in the company respected him as the unofficial gatekeeper making sure everyone stayed in line and showed respect to the business. Chris Masters found out about this the hard way on a live event in Glasgow. The tag match put the team of Masters and Finlay against The Brothers of Destruction, Undertaker and Kane.
10 The Rock Returns to Beat Up Bo Dallas
WWE likes to market their live events under the notion that anything can happen. Most fans know better. A.J. Styles is likely not losing the WWE Championship on a non-televised show. John Cena is not getting pinned by a heel. The show almost never has surprise returns. We put major on emphasis on “almost never” in that statement. The Rock absolutely stunned the crowd at a Boston live event in 2015 when he made his shocking return to the WWE for a promo battle with Bo Dallas.
This was likely Rock in town and wanting to make an appearance as he still loves performing in front of the WWE Universe. Rock cut his usual humorous promos before getting interrupted by the comedic heel. Dallas tried to run down Rock before getting a beat down the fans of Boston treasured.
9 Hardcore Holly Beats Up Rene Dupree
The wrestlers in the WWE always do their best to make it look like you’re watching two people genuinely hurting each other, but the main goal in the job is to protect your opponent. There have been rare occasions of personal issues between wrestlers causing them to lay into each other during a match. That usually involves both men wanting to get stiff. One real fight in the ring featured Hardcore Holly beating the hell out of Renee Dupree.
8 Batista Fights DJ
Batista prefers the old school philosophy of wrestling as opposed to today’s family friendly product. If a fan tries to heckle him, Batista wants to fire back refusing to take crap. The 2014 return of Batista exposed that with the fan base rejecting him. WWE wanted him to be the top face heading into WrestleMania XXX, but they booed him out of the building every week until he turned heel. The boos transferred over to the live events.
7 Finlay Gets Fired for The Miz Interrupting National Anthem
The current hot topic in sports is the reaction to Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players choosing to kneel during the national anthem as a form of protest. WWE did this first, but with less honorable intentions. Finlay worked as an agent in 2011 putting together the matches and stories for the live events. A poor decision saw him have The Miz interrupting the national anthem before the house show to cut a heel promo.
6 Fan Low Blows Randy Orton
A fan entering the ring is often the worst idea possible. Wrestlers usually know how to fight and will protect themselves at all costs. The wrestler can legally hit the fan if the fan rushes the ring with intent for violence. One fan somehow got away from it unscathed when he ran into the ring during a 2013 live event in Cape Town, South Africa. The fan had to be out of his mind as he entered the ring to hit Randy Orton with a low blow.
5 Diesel Wins WWE Championship
We all know how it works. The World Championship will often change hands on PPVs with the occasional television moment. It never happens at live events. The champion always retains by victory or loses via disqualification if he is a heel. One lucky crowd in Madison Square Garden witnessed history in 1994 when Diesel challenged Bob Backlund for the WWE Championship. Everyone expected the dull past-his-prime Backlund to retain and continue his reign on television.
WWE shocked the world with Diesel winning the title in an even more surprising manner. Kevin Nash achieved his highest success with the Diesel character by kicking Backlund and hitting him with the Powerbomb to pick up the victory in a record breaking eight seconds. The New York crowd reacted appropriately for one of the greatest moments in live event history.
4 JBL Does Offensive Salute in Germany
The ascension of JBL in 2004 as a singles heel star was a tough sell considering the majority of his career was spent in lower card tag team work. Bradshaw evolved into the wealthy arrogant villain known as JBL. The investment tips of JBL in real life helped Vince McMahon earn some extra money and it led to a new push for JBL with the brand split creating opportunities.
JBL’s success came from the fans genuinely hating him for the disgusting actions he’d commit on a weekly basis. The powers that be allowed him to push the envelope on television, but one specific live event saw him go way too far.
3 CM Punk Uses Slur
Another wrestler that loved to push the envelope and didn’t mind crossing the line was CM Punk. Fans loved Punk for his rants against WWE management and his outspoken mentality when it came to wrestling promos. That grew old when Punk’s brash personality saw him say things that were not acceptable. A fan started heckling Punk in 2011 and Punk started going back at him. Two of the more memorable insults used by a wrestler were thrown out during this interaction.
Punk told the fan that he had a female body part and then used a gay slur to insult him. Unfortunately for Punk, a fan video caught the entire interaction and went viral online in the following days. To his credit, Punk owned up to his mistake like a man and apologized to the gay community.
2 Chris Jericho Kicks Brazil Flag and Gets Suspended
The old school mentality of Chris Jericho sees him subscribe to the thought process of doing anything to get heat as a heel. Jericho is credited with being one of the best villains in the business and for good reason. However, he once went too far at a live event in Brazil. Jericho kicked the Brazil flag to get heat before his match against CM Punk. Fans reacted with massive boos but the action also got law enforcement to buy into the act.
Jericho was apparently hit with the ultimatum of going to jail or apologizing to the live audience for kicking the flag. As an intelligent human being not wanting to go into a foreign jail, Jericho chose to issue the apologize, stating he and the WWE loved bringing their show to the beautiful country.
1 The Kliq’s Curtain Call
Kayfabe wasn't a thing until 1996 when The Kliq decided to change the wrestling world forever at Madison Square Garden. This was the final night in the WWE for Kevin Nash and Scott Hall before departing to WCW. Hall faced Triple H and Nash faced friend Shawn Michaels at the live event, seeing all members of The Kliq square off. To cement their impact in the WWE as a backstage group, all four men stood tall in the ring together to close the show.
The problem is Michaels and Hall were faces, but Nash and Triple H were heels. The faces and heels were meant to enforce the storylines by acting like they hated each other all times fans were watching. These four men broke the script to have a special moment together in front of the New York City crowd. Many wrestlers and backstage personnel were livid about this decision. Triple H received punishment for a few months and The Kliq were treated with hatred for the moment. Years have passed and the curtain call has become a celebrated cool moment in the history of the WWE, especially WWE live events.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!