Over the years, WWE has had huge success with television. They boosted the game with prime-time programming as well as syndicated TV shows while amping up the production values of their shows. While fans may complain about there being too much melodrama and skits, there’s no denying that without WWE’s influence, wrestling television today would look a lot different. Of course, this means there’s a lot that’s happened on TV the company regrets. It’s not just bad angles and characters or the botches. These are moments infamous for being not just terrible but downright horrific to watch today and bad to see even at the time.
Some are just insulting, some are stupid and others…are very, very disturbing. A few have been mentioned in WWE's “what were we thinking?” segments but others are ignored totally as WWE prefers to leave them buried in the past. There are a lot of options but these are the biggest of the bunch. Moments that WWE totally regrets ever got on the air and have even edited out of broadcasts on the Network or home video. Here are 15 moments WWE wants fans to forget were ever broadcast and show how the company has its bad memories.
15 Skin Slips
This is a very large spectrum and it's no surprise WWE tries to ignore it. When you have some amazingly gorgeous women in skimpy outfits, the potential for wardrobe malfunctions is rather large. Thus, it’s probably no surprise that at various points, a Diva has shown off a bit too much than intended. One surprising bit is that in a bikini contest from 1998, Jacquline was censored for her skimpy outfit while Sable’s famed “handprints” are shown. Later, in a UK PPV, Sable pulled Jacquline’s whole top off to show her chest briefly. But that’s hardly the only case ever of a Diva showing off more than planned.
Rosa Mendes flashed her backside. Kaitlyn flashed a nipple in a match on NXT. Brie and Nikki Bella have each slipped a nip in various promos and in-ring antics. Mae Young nearly showed off in an infamous segment too. Lita flashed too during the “on-air sex celebration” in 2006. It’s not just the ladies either; one 2006 segment had William Regal in a towel that failed to cover his privates. In each case, WWE has worked fast to remove those mistakes and edit them in broadcasts but they still remain on the Internet as a reminder of mistakes in outfits.
14 Fan Interference
“Love the show but don’t be the show.” WWE tries to push that a lot and it sometimes works but sometimes doesn’t. The post-Mania “RAW” has become famous for fans hijacking the broadcast with constant chants WWE hates. For years, the company has edited fan reactions to, say, drown out boos for a guy meant to be the face. But some fans take it too far and actually try to get involved with the matches. In 2003, RVD faced Eddie Guerrero in a ladder match when a fan ran in to push Guerrero off the ladder. He was dragged out by security and the moment was edited out of home video releases of the battle.
Sometimes, it’s just jerks who want to get on TV such as a fan running into a Cena-Jeff Hardy battle just to raise his arms up. Sometimes, they pay the price such a fan attacking Chris Jericho in 2001 and Jericho beating him down. A scary incident was in 2015 when a fan was tackled charging at Dean Ambrose with a knife. It’s a reason WWE security has to be on the ball and it's no surprise they edit these moments out to remind fans they belong in the seats, not the ring.
13 Gail Kim’s Walk Out
WWE has famously had issues of folks leaving the company in a huff. No one can forget then Women’s champion Alundra Blayze showing up on “Nitro” to dump the title in a trash can. But one moment that WWE prefers not to broadcast was the exit of Gail Kim. After a decent run in 2003, Kim traveled to TNA and soon became a major star as the leader of the Knockouts division. In 2008, Kim returned to WWE in hopes of using her TNA tenure to boost herself more. However, she was denied the same opportunities and feeling lost in the division. Rather than try to smooth over differences, Kim decided to handle it her own way.
During a RAW Divas battle royal, Melina was the first one tossed over the top rope. Kim then rolled under the bottom rope but it was reported she had been eliminated. Kim literally walked out on the match and the company on the spot. She returned to TNA where she remains one of their top stars. Not surprisingly, WWE doesn’t give Kim much notice today as her exit from the company was a poor one.
12 Hassan’s Attack on Taker
Muhammad Hassan had good potential and of course WWE decided to ignore it all. He was pushed at first as an Arab-American angered over the stereotypes of his people. Naturally, WWE decided to play up every one of those clichés with him in a keffiyeh and praying on his knees. Not helping was his backstage attitude as the guy was a massive jerk who rubbed everyone the wrong way. This led to plenty of bad blood.
In 2005, it looked like Hassan was getting a good push as he faced off against The Undertaker. This led to the segment where Hassan had a bunch of men in masks attack Taker and beat him down in the ring. An Arab leading a bunch of masked guys was already a very uncomfortable sight. But what made it worse was that the segment aired on July 7th, the same night terrorists set off bombs in London. WWE came under massive fire for not cutting the segment off and the backlash led to Hassan soon fired. It’s hard to find any of his stuff today from WWE as even they recognized crossing one nasty line.
2002 was not a good year for WWE creatively. The brand split was still rough and while “SmackDown” was doing well with talent and Paul Heyman’s booking, RAW was just terrible. A key example was when newly appointed GM Eric Bischoff announced that he would be giving fans “hot lesbian action”. Fans had to double-check to make sure Vince Russo wasn’t still booking. That WWE was thinking they could entice fans with something that could be seen on the Internet spoke volumes as to the problem with this entire plan.
Naturally, there was talk over which of the various sexy Divas would be taking part in this “event.” It was made worse by how Jerry Lawler was lusting over what to see and distracting the entire telecast. Finally, we got two strange ladies coming out, doing stripteases and a few kisses. This led to the debut of Three Minute Warning who proceeded to beat up the two women. So WWE tantalized with some cheap lesbian action then ended it with said lesbians getting kicked and slammed. No wonder they prefer to ignore this today.
10 Billy & Chuck
This was going to be a big media event but it totally blew up in WWE’s face. From the start, Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo had been pushed as obviously having homosexual tendencies. They had a stylist Rico, they acted up being fey and took time oiling each other up before bouts. It soon led to them announcing a commitment ceremony on SmackDown that turned into a wild affair. It got major press with the idea of WWE presenting a gay couple in a business infamous for not treating that lifestyle well, although some gay groups protested. Then the segment aired.
As the vows went down, the two men grew more and more uncomfortable. The Godfather offered his “hos” to turn them back straight but they refused. Finally, when the “I Dos” came up, the two protested this was all a publicity stunt and didn’t want to go through with it. This led to the actually shocking moment of the minister pulling off his Scooby-Doo mask to reveal himself as Eric Bischoff. This led to Three Minute Warning entering to beat everyone down. GLADD was not pleased over being conned like this and the entire thing has been an embarrassment for WWE to even mention today.
9 Shane Electrocution
A highlight of the Kane/Daniel Bryan program of 2013 was when they attended an anger management course together. That led to the hysterical bit of Kane matter-of-factly explaining his entire ridiculous backstory. An offhand mention was “the time I electrocuted a man’s testicles” which fans were surprised by as WWE had seemed to have ignored that happened. Kane and Shane McMahon had been having a feud which involved Shane kicking Kane into a flaming dumpster. Naturally, a pissed off Kane wanted revenge and attacked Shane on RAW, tying him to a ring post. He then got out a car battery and attached the cables to Shane’s nether regions. He started to spark it up but before he could go further, Rob Van Dam rushed in to attack Kane and free Shane. Even for the wild year of 2003, this was a crazy antic and one of the wilder sights ever on RAW which hasn’t been mentioned much since.
8 Katie Vick
You knew this was coming. On a DVD, most everyone (including Triple H and Kane) say this was one of the absolute stupidest things ever put on air but Vince still laughs about it, thinking it was funny. Hunter and Kane were feuding in 2003 with Triple H accusing Kane of killing his high school girlfriend Katie Vick. This led to the infamous bit where Hunter put on a Kane mask and wig to go to a funeral parlor and had his way with a dummy in a cheerleading outfit in a coffin. That includes using spaghetti in the dummy’s head to boast “I screwed your brains out!” It became a sensation as it hit for all the wrong reasons as Triple H considers it one of his lowest moments. It’s been mentioned a few times since in joking terms but for the most part, WWE prefers to ignore it happened although fans make sure it lives in infamy on the Internet.
7 Trish Barking
Before she became one of the best female workers of her generation, Trish Stratus was little more than eye candy. She looked hot in her outfits and was pushed for her beauty. That included a bit in 2000 where she became the on-air mistress for Vince while Linda McMahon was recovering from a “stroke.” This led to segments of the two making out in front of Linda in a wheelchair and it was rather disgusting to watch. But it got worse when Vince turned on Trish and forced her to strip to her underwear in the middle of the ring. He then proceeded to make her get on her hands and knees and bark like a dog.
It did pay off at WrestleMania where Trish turned on Vince with a slap but making a woman who would later become one of the company’s biggest stars degrade herself like this was a disgusting move even for Vince.
6 Rosie vs. Donald
Vince McMahon often wants to jump on something that’s mainstream to push WWE more. Sadly, so many of his efforts end up blowing up in his face. Here was a key example as in 2007, Donald Trump (then just the reality show star and billionaire) started one of his usual feuds, this time with Rosie O’Donnell. Never one to ignore a bad idea, Vince decided to announce that the two would settle their differences on RAW. Out came two very bad lookalikes in terrible wigs who proceeded to have a “match” that can generously be called a debacle. The fans loathed it to the point where they actually chanted “TNA!” during the “bout.”
Incredibly, WWE would later try to repeat it with a match between “Hillary Clinton” and “Barack Obama” the next year. In both cases, they were terrible distractions and showcase that WWE should just stick to the real feuds rather than drag a future President into one.
5 Lawler’s Goldust Promo
Jerry Lawler was never known for his kindly demeanor. In his time in Memphis, he crossed the line a lot with insulting promos and wild segments. He kept it up in WWE as the arrogant heel, constantly mocking Bret Hart’s parents and wasn't above cheap heat to get ahead. A key segment was in 1997 when Lawler began feuding with Goldust. At the time, Goldust was in a flux, moving from Dustin Rhodes to his costumed persona, began blaming his dad for his problems and then came the bizarre “Artist Formerly Known as Goldust” character. However, in a wild promo, Lawler crossed the line by openly berating Goldust kissing guys “like a flaming f—g.” Just try to imagine getting that line off today or anything near it as even for “The King” this was a royal mess.
4 Mike Adamle
On a Network segment of “biggest blunders,” Mike Adamle got his entire separate section. He seemed to have promise with experience in broadcasting and a decent look so WWE wanted to use him. But from the moment he called Jeff Hardy “Jeff Harvey,” Adamle was soon mocked as one of the absolute worst broadcasters in wrestling history. His constant botches and terrible lines (“you Jamaican me crazy!” on Kofi Kingston) had fans howling and ripping into him. On that special, Vince admits he thought he could use that heat by making Adamle the GM of RAW. That turned out to be a total joke with “Adamle Originals” that were rather bad to say the least.
He left after a few months and WWE prefers to ignore his entire tenure as poor Adamle just wasn’t cut out for wrestling but provided some nutty fun in his own way.
3 Mickie Grabs Trish
Already a top star from OVW, Mickie James got a push in late 2005 as an obsessive fan of Trish Stratus. It built up complete with Mickie kissing Trish and when Trish rebuffed her, Mickie turned heel. She was shown inside a room filled with Trish pictures and bragging of her “love” for her now turned to hate. This led to the WrestleMania 22 match where, to the surprise of the announcers, the Chicago crowd totally backed the heel Mickie. She played it up with nutty stuff and they ate it up in droves.
This included the truly bizarre and apparently unplanned moment where Trish grabbed Mickie to try her Stratusfaction finisher. Mickie responded by grabbing Trish right between the legs. When Trish let go, Mickie then slowly licked her palm and the implications were pretty clear. Mickie won the match to a huge pop but reruns of the bout have edited that segment out as even for the more Rated-R antics of WWE at the time, that was a bit much.
2 Mr. McMahon “Death”
This was a bad idea at the time but it’s just gotten worse in hindsight. After losing control of the company and walking off, Mr. McMahon entered a limo which promptly exploded. It was a wild bit, many thinking a shot on the non-ending of “The Sopranos” that year. It was a crazy sight but then WWE added to it but acting like Vince was really dead. They did on-air tributes, a police investigation and more and WWE had to put out a release that it was the character who was “dead” not Vince himself. The fans loathed it, even worse when Sherri Martel died for real and her on-air tribute lacked anywhere near the flash and respect Mr. McMahon’s did. It was to go on longer with on-air memorial service but was ended due to a brutal real-life event. That was bad enough but it became even worse thanks to why it ended…
1 Benoit Tribute
When word of Chris Benoit and his family's death broke, the wrestling world was in shock. The initial thoughts were that it was a home invasion or some sort of accident and fans took to social media to praise Benoit’s past. WWE thus canceled all matches on “RAW” which opened with Vince in the ring of an empty arena saying they were calling off the “Mr. McMahon memorial service.” The episode instead became a two-hour tribute to Benoit, showing off some of his best matches and moments with wrestlers doing interviews talking about how wonderful Benoit was and his amazing work.
The problem, of course, was that by the time the show was over, the truth was coming out on how Benoit had killed his wife and son before hanging himself. Thus, WWE had just spent two hours paying tribute to a murderer. The “SmackDown” tribute was set but was instead preceded by a video of Vince saying how things had changed. Right afterward, WWE began their blacklisting Benoit from the records and naturally want to forget they paid such honor to a man who disgraced the business.