Sometimes something is here and then gone in a flash; never to be seen again. This is the shooting star reality of our existence. Life floats by each and every day but we often miss the little things because we are consumed with career and chaos. The simple beauties that come and go that we may never notice because we are constantly preoccupied.
Naturally, not everything that comes and goes is necessarily a bad thing. There is always that one guy/girl who enters your life only to cause complete havoc; a hopeless hack with whom you never should have gotten involved. The day they leave is a grand victory for your psyche as the negative nag has finally fled the scene.
In WWE, things are ever-changing. Ideas and storylines are often scrapped or abruptly ended for no apparent reason. Certain aspects of the product you may have loved are suddenly altered or have disappeared completely. Changing times require changing environments and the WWE is no exception. Nothing will remain the same.
Much of the changes that have taken place in WWE over the past few years are a direct result of the PG rating now placed on the product. While TV-14 would once offer a more sexual and violent program, PG has tamed these situations or has rendered them virtually nonexistent. You can complain all you want but this is the way the product now works. If you really don’t like it, stop watching.
The following article will take a look back at some of the things that have faded into WWE obscurity. Some concepts that we genuinely miss as fans and others that have been put away for the better. Certain levels of insanity have been reached throughout the years in WWE and wee will take a look at some of these rather deranged incidents.
These are the top 15 things you will never see again in WWE:
15. Sammartino Style Title Reigns
In May of 1963, Bruno Sammartino would defeat “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers for the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship (WWE Championship) and establish himself as the new face of the growing promotion.
All told Bruno Sammartino would hold the WWE Championship for a total of 2803 days; a mark that remains to this day and a number that in all likelihood will never be surpassed as the longest WWE Championship reign of the modern era comes in at 434 days (CM Punk) and comes nowhere near the total set by Sammartino.
The industry has changed drastically since the days of Bruno Sammartino; particularity the number of dates Superstars must work where remaining healthy is a constant struggle. Title reigns that mirror those of Sammartino can simply not happen anymore.
14. Pop Culture Takeover
There are two distinct WWE eras that standout as pop culture phenomenons. Firstly, the “Golden Era” of the ’80s where Hulk Hogan suddenly became a household name, a name that could stand up beside the biggest professional sports heroes of the decade.
Secondly, the “Attitude Era” of the ’90s. This was a time of great change and a time when wrestling truly was one of the coolest things in pop culture. The presence of WWE was everywhere (Along with its counterpart WCW).
This just will not happen again with the modern world. People don’t care as much about WWE as the rapid rise of the internet and social media has provided fans with a way of catching up with the show without actually watching. Pop culture is now saturated with “reality” with little space left for WWE.
13. True Hardcore Wrestling
There was once a time when WWE – after borrowing certain styles from ECW – was presenting its audience with a violent and vicious form of hardcore wrestling. In fact, the company would even devote a championship to the crazed style.
Of course, that was then, when WWE catered to a more mature audience. When its prime focus was teenagers and young adults. The new PG guidelines set forth for WWE have seriously changed the way a match plays out.
Stipulation matches continue to exist and the announcers may attempt in vain to make these bouts seem dangerous but they are far from being true hardcore.
12. Abrasive Sexuality
Live sex celebrations. “Hot Lesbian Action.” Pimps using their workers as a means to win matches … These highly sexual angles have all existed at some point within WWE. The sexual content was once in your face and very apparent.
However, the days of degrading the women has finally ceased. Never again will a Diva be forced to strip to her underwear and bark like a dog in the middle of the ring. The outrageous sexual angles are now a thing of the past.
Surely this must upset some male viewers but it’s time to let it go and remember that you are tuning into to a wrestling-based program and not softcore adult entertainment.
11. Excessive Bleeding
The most recent example of the following entry came during The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar Hell in a Cell match where both participants where busted open. When the WWE Doctor entered the ring to attend to Lesnar, the Doc was quickly thrown aside by “The Beast.”
Apparently, Vince McMahon was upset about the amount of blood that was shed during this match, which you can read more about here, as bleeding is no longer acceptable in WWE. Obviously, hard spots have still lead to the unintentional bleeding of Superstars but their wounds are quickly attended.
There is no more room for matches consumed with bloodshed that leaves the canvas of the ring looking like some bad abstract painting.
10. Gay Jokes
In the not-so-distant past, a commonality among promo-cutting consisted of homosexual-related insults; usually insinuating that ones opponent was gay in some manner of speaking. This was all part of WWE and their “pushing the limit” years.
Nowadays the bashing of homosexuality is not welcomed by most social groups. Not that it was acceptable back then but it has been brought to light more prominently in recent years thanks to political and social movements.
Gay jokes will not be seen or heard again in WWE as the company employs those who identify as such and must maintain their level of lowered hatred.
9. Bra and Panties Matches
Prior to what you know as the “Divas Revolution,” two (sometimes more) opposing females with issues to settle would often do so by way of the Bra and Panties match. Unfamiliar? The rules were simple: strip your opponent to her bra and panties to gain victory.
These were not textbook wrestling matches and certainly did not do the female athletes of WWE any justice. Thankfully, the Bar and Panties match is a thing of the past. This stale concept has vanished into the night.
Now, thanks to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, the Divas look like wrestlers again as the future for females in WWE appears bright.
8. Austin/McMahon Type Rivalry
The classic rivalry between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mr. McMahon would change the direction of future feuding in WWE. The inclusion of the vindictive boss character into regular programming was a new and innovative twist.
Over the years, Mr. McMahon has encountered problems with many of his Superstars but nothing quite like his longstanding issues with one Stone Cold Steve Austin; a rivalry that laid the foundation for employer-employee storylines.
Now then, that’s not to say that somebody couldn’t potentially engage in a drawn-out rivalry with Triple H at some point but the impact would not be the same. The intensity level would not compare and the feeling of Austin/McMahon would never be replicated.
7. Wrestlers Descending from Rafters
If you can recall the days of Sting acting like a crow-like-character in WCW then you will recall the times that Sting descended from the rafters into the middle of the ring. This technique helped enhance the newfound character’s role.
In 1999, at the WWE Pay-Per-View, Over the Edge, tragedy would strike while using this same method of entering the ring as Owen Hart, performing as the Blue Blazer, would fall from the rafters to his untimely death.
Such a technique for entering the ring has not been used in WWE since this unfortunate event and will certainly not be used again.
6. Real Life Screwjob
The “screwjob” has been used frequently in all professional wrestling organizations as a way of constituting a title change or a heel turn. It has proven to be an effective storyline that will continue to play out in all of professional wrestling.
However, at Survivor Series 1997, the most infamous “screwjob” of all would transpire when Shawn Michaels challenged Bret Hart for the WWE Championship in Montreal. Hart was leaving WWE and refused to drop the title in Canada. Therefore, Vince McMahon had to screw The Hitman.
Things would never play out like this again as a champion refusing to lose his/her title would simply not be allowed to enter the ring.
5. Mick Foley-Like Spots
Will there ever be another WWE performer as reckless as Mick Foley? No. The main reason behind this is because WWE would never allow another Superstar to do the things that Mick Foley did during his tenure, even if someone was willing.
Mick Foley was not only tossed off the top of Hell in a Cell, the Hardcore Legend was twice put through the top of the structure. These are spots that hopefully you enjoyed while watching the first time around or fondly look back on with the Network because these spots are over.
Certain danger no longer takes place in WWE. There will be no more throwing of human beings from the top of Hell in a Cell.
4. Racially-Charged Groups
The Nation of Domination were a groundbreaking group of militant black men led by an angry and assertive leader known as Faarooq. The Nation of Domination provided WWE fans with a look at the “angry black man” scenario.
Eventually, the name of the group was shortened to The Nation as Faarooq was ousted and The Rock would take over as the charismatic leader. However, prior to their transition into a more cool and cocky faction, the racial tension put forth by The Nation of Domination was intense.
With the way our modern world is working, a group such as The Nation of Domination could serve as a strong wake up call but WWE would never again chose such a route as a racially-charged group would not qualify as PG.
3. Abuse of Women
In the past, the women of WWE were subjected to much psychical involvement with the male talent. The girls would often find themselves the recipients of a Stone Cold Stunner or a Rock Bottom or even the victims of a table breaking.
Once again, this was a very different time for WWE and now the intentional physical abuse of women is no longer used on programming. There may (not very often) be a case of accidentally striking used to enhance a storyline but that is also rare.
The men never needed to be hitting the women in the first place. Now, there is just more common sense used with these situations.
2. Death Angles
The Mr. McMahon death storyline would see the Chairman of the Board enter his limousine before it exploded into flames. This would cause a teary-eyed Stephanie McMahon to cut a passionate daughter-to-father promo/eulogy.
Of course, the angle would coincide with the real life Chris Benoit tragedy which would, for obvious reasons, cause the company to call off the angle completely in the wake of the horrendous and senseless tragedy.
The events of said tragedy have caused WWE to look at certain angles in a different light as attention to these events would not be welcomed by the company.
1. Gun Angles
When WWE made the conscious decision to alter its programming to edgier content they would take an angle to new limits one night in what is now knows as “Pillman’s Got a Gun.” Edgy content had certainly begun with this idea.
Brian Pillman was held up at home but that would not stop Stone Cold Steve Austin from breaking into to his house to serve up a can of Whoop-Ass (Austin and Pillman had been feuding). Upon entry, Pillman would pull out his 9mm handgun in an incident never before produced by WWE. The camera feed was soon lost as “explosions” were said to have been heard.
Of course, Stone Cold Steve Austin would again find himself in a gun-related angle down the road, this time with Mr. McMahon. The end result would see Mr. McMahon piss his pants in the middle of the ring while Austin set off his toy gun with a banner from the barrel reading “Bang 3:16.”
Expect to never again witness a gun-related angle.
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