For the most part, the very best WWE moments actually do happen on camera. Whether they occur during a live show where nothing escapes the camera’s view or during a taped show where the best stuff gets edited into the final product, WWE goes out of their way to ensure that fans never miss a moment. Not everything that you see during Raw, SmackDown, PPVs, and all other programming is the full story, however. You’re probably aware that there are plenty of moments that occur behind the scenes that fans would love to see, but some people don’t realize that great WWE moments happen when during broadcasts and still never make it to air.
The reasons for these content removals can vary, but more often than not, they come down to there being something about the incident that is deemed unsuitable for air. Maybe the event in question is not friendly to the program’s content rating or breaks kayfabe in some irredeemable way. Whatever the case, there is one thing that all of these incidents have in common. You simply have to know more about them. They are the top 15 off-air moments that WWE doesn’t want you to see.
15 Sable Completely Loses Her Top
If you watched RAW during the Attitude Era, you will no doubt remember those weeks when RAW was postponed or delayed due to an event called the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Fans were always upset to see one of the hottest shows on the air postponed due to a dog show, and reports suggest it wasn’t WWE’s favorite way to do business during that time either. Still, the fact that they couldn’t air RAW live during those weeks did save them at least one time.
In 1998, WWE was recording a delayed episode of RAW. According to live reports, an incident caused Sable to completely lose her top during the show in a manner that WWE would have never been able to censor had the episode aired live. No footage of this moment is believed to exist, so we had to settle for the famous "hands painted on her chest" moment.
14 Hulk Hogan Cuts a Promo like He’s Having A Stroke
Every wrestler flubs a promo. Even the best microphone workers are going to mess up a few words from time to time. Hulk Hogan has always been especially prone to flubs. His energetic, rambling promo style ensures has led to a number of memorable verbal gaffes that have made it on air. One of the best Hogan flubs, however, was never meant to be seen.
During a SmackDown taping, Hogan took to the ring and cut a fairly standard promo about how great he was. Everything was going okay until he made a small verbal flub. Then he made another, and another, and another after that. Soon, Hogan seemed unable to form complete sentences and even referred to himself as “the right gay” for the job. It was a nightmare.
13 The Undertaker Throws a Post-Show Party For a Guy Named Frank
If there’s one thing that the WWE locker room loves to do off-air, it's celebrate birthdays. At least a few times a year, the boys and girls in the back will stay a little late after the show and throw a little party for one of the performers. Just as in real-life, however, some birthday parties are more memorable than others. Consider, for instance, a party that happened after a SmackDown show in 2003 involving The Undertaker, Big Show, Rikishi, and a guy named Frank.
For whatever reason, The Undertaker decided to throw an on-air party for a friend he had on the ring crew named Frank. By the look on Brock Lesnar’s face during this prolonged celebration for the mysterious Frank, it’s a safe bet that only The Undertaker knew that this strange celebration was going to happen.
12 Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan Brawl in 2002
People talk about dream matches in wrestling so often that it’s easy to forget that there are only a few true dream matches in wrestling history. One of the most high-profile dream matches in wrestling history that never occurred was a battle between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan. Many expected this match to occur in 2002, but it just never came to pass. What few fans know, though, is that Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan did come to blows in WWE ring in 2002. It just didn’t happen on-camera.
During a post-show angle on RAW, Steve Austin gave Hulk Hogan a stunner in the middle of the ring. WWE never publicized this moment, and never built on it, but it was accidentally snuck into a mock promo they produced for the Austin/Hogan dream match.
11 The RAW Announce Team Mocks The Fans Chants for CM Punk
While leaked footage from WWE shows can be bad, sometimes leaked audio can be even worse. WWE learned this the hard way shortly after a February 2014 episode of RAW. Before the show actually started, the fans in attendance started chanting 'CM Punk' rather loudly. This was shortly after Punk left WWE without notice, so fans were particularly adamant about seeing him. They were so adamant, in fact, that they seemed to be getting on the nerves of Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler. The announcers began mocking both the CM Punk chants and the fans that participated in them quite severely. Somehow, the audio from this incident leaked out not long after the episode aired. As part of their policy to ignore all things CM Punk related, WWE went out of their way to disown it.
10 CM Punk Dances In The Ring In His Underwear
Speaking of CM Punk, let's dive into an incident that will help remind you just why it is that fans continue to miss the man so very much. Following a 2013 episode of RAW main evented by Randy Orton vs. John Cena that ended in DQ, the wrestlers started saying their goodbyes to the live audience. For some reason, a variety of personalities, including Daniel Bryan and Stephanie McMahon, came to the ring to participate in a spinarooni contest that Booker T had initiated.
This was strange enough, but things got downright bizarre when CM Punk came to the ring wearing nothing but his underwear. He too wanted to do a really awful spinarooni despite the fact that the effort required almost caused him to come right out of his underwear.
9 The Undertaker Is Nearly Killed At Elimination Chamber 2010
The Undertaker is going to appear a few times on this list because he seems to always find himself involved in some of WWE’s most notable off-screen occurrences. This one isn’t actually as off-screen as some of other moments. Actually, you’ve probably heard of the time that The Undertaker was caught on fire while making his way to the ring for the 2010 Elimination Chamber match. However, unless you’ve seen the full video of the incident, you can’t really appreciate how severe the accident was.
'Taker was essentially engulfed in flames for a moment and had to break character to run down the ring and pour water bottles all over himself. WWE trimmed the incident down as best as they could, but fan videos of the accident reveal how bad it was.
8 The Undertaker Forgets He's In A Casket Match
Here’s another incident involving The Undertaker that’s only been loosely referenced by fans, but it’s too good to ignore. Leading up to an episode of RAW held in Portland, OR, WWE advertised that the post-show special would be a casket match between The Big Show and The Undertaker. The Undertaker was also involved in the eight-man tag match that capped off the broadcast portion of the show, which isn’t that unusual.
What was unusual is when The Undertaker went to the back after the match and showed no signs of returning. Big Show made his way to the ring and just kind of stood there for a while looking for direction. Eventually, The Undertaker ran from the back, made a few quick signals to the crew, and choke slammed Big Show into the casket in under 10 seconds.
7 Triple H and Vince McMahon Roll Around in Birthday Cake
Remember how we said that WWE loves birthdays? Well, here’s another one. This is actually a little more bizarre than the birthday The Undertaker threw for Frank, but not necessarily because of what happened. Basically, Triple H’s birthday fell on the same night as RAW one week and everyone decided to have a little shindig after the show. Included in the celebration was Vince McMahon who, at one point during the party, had a little friendly skirmish with Triple H that involved the two getting covered in cake. The strange thing about this party is that it’s one of the few birthday celebrations WWE doesn’t ever show. It’s not entirely clear why that is the case, but it may have something to do with the fact that Vince doesn’t like to be shown in such a manner when possible.
6 Tony Chimel Repeatedly Fails At Reciting A Few Simple Lines
As awful as Hulk Hogan’s promo flub was, at least it is semi-understandable. After all, you try cutting a lengthy promo in front of a live crowd and tell us if you’re able to maintain complete composure. What would be even more bizarre is if someone like a ring announcer repeatedly messed up their relatively simple lines. Yet, that’s exactly what happened to long-time announcer Tony Chimel during a SmackDown taping. Chimel was trying to introduce the participants in a gravy bowl match and messed up his lines. That happens. It's why WWE has a system in place where they just have the announcer record the lines later on and tape over the incorrect reading.
For some reason, Chimel continuously messed up the corrected reading as well. It took several attempts, many of which were highlighted by Michael Cole laughing hysterically at the announcer’s table before Chimel got it right.
5 John Cena and Batista Join DX
Remember when DX reformed several years ago and turned into a grade school act that mostly participated in toilet humor segments? While fans are still split in regards to that particular era of the faction as it felt like a hollow recreation of one of WWE’s greatest factions, it was still a successful comeback. Of course, those who hated the attempted revival may have felt differently about it had one of the new DX’s greatest moments happened on-air.
On an episode of RAW, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Batista, and John Cena shared the ring in order to deliver the classic DX “suck it” promo. Before that, however, the Hall of Fame foursome entered the ring and did the crotch chop/pyro combination to the delight of the fans.
4 The Undertaker Rehearses Burying Paul Bear In Cement
WWE loves to throw The Undertaker into the worst storylines, don’t they? It seems like they feel that the veteran 'Taker is capable of making anything work and continuously test their theory by making him a part of the worst angles you can imagine. One such story involved The Undertaker needing to bury Paul Bearer in cement as part of a match stipulation. It was an incredibly bizarre series of events.
What’s even more bizarre is the behind the scenes footage of The Undertaker and crew rehearsing the stunt. We know that such rehearsals take place, but there’s something so strange about watching this soap opera-style story being rehearsed while everyone dryly reads their lines as part of the walkthrough. It really highlights how awkward the whole thing was.
3 Mark Henry’s Most Impressive Feat of Strength Is Edited Down
Oh man, this is a great one. In case you don’t know, those cages that WWE uses for their steel cage matches are the real deal. Wrestlers know how to work around them, but there’s only so much that the crew can fake before the whole illusion falls apart. One part of the cage that is gimmicked, however, is the locked door. Obviously, a wrestler needs to be able to take this door down if needed. Unfortunately, someone forgot to put a gimmick lock on the cage door during a SmackDown taping one time even though Mark Henry was supposed to be able to tear the lock apart with ease.
Henry struggled in vain to open the door before, remarkably, tearing the very real lock right off the door through brute strength. WWE edited the event down for TV, but footage of the whole thing got leaked soon after.
2 The Rock and Triple H Run Through An Entire Iron Man Match
Wrestlers rehearse matches all of the time. Most of the time, these rehearsals take place at house shows where the performers can essentially work the match they are going to have down the line without having to worry about the broadcast cameras being on them. Sometimes, though, wrestlers will just go over a few spots in the ring before the show itself. When a fan caught The Rock and Triple H doing this before their Ironman Match in 2000, he probably expected to see a few of the major moments that were going to occur during the hour-long encounter. What he got instead was a full preview of the entire match. Yes, for some reason on that night, Triple H and The Rock decided to go through the entirety of their epic encounter before the show started.
1 Brock Lesnar Kisses Kurt Angle
Some people have accused WWE of failing to showcase Brock Lesnar’s personality through his on-screen actions. There have a been a few moments when Lesnar has been allowed to showcase a little humor or an occasional smile, but for the most part, he’s been treated as an absolute monster. Then again, maybe this moment is why WWE is hesitant with letting Lesnar be Lesnar. Shortly after a SmackDown segment between Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar went off-air, the two engaged in a stare down.
This moment was shockingly broken up by Brock Lesnar grabbing Kurt Angle and kissing him on the lips. Angle backed away while the fans let out a massive cheer. Lesnar supposedly did this as a prank on Angle but ended up being pranked himself when Angle returned the favor by grabbing Lesnar’s butt.