In an attempt to become a more family friendly product and to improve WWE’s image during Linda McMahon’s political campaigns, WWE officially changed to a PG rating in July of 2008. After the rating switch, chairshots to the head, swearing, sexual themes, and blood were no longer appropriate for WWE’s shows going forward. Over the next eight years, WWE has managed to make their product more palatable to outside companies including a number of charities and even ESPN.
Although WWE has been able to keep to their PG rating, there have been a number of times where things have crept back into the adult realm, sometimes planned and sometimes unintentionally. To make a feud more intense cursing has been added into the mix, and it’s been by the most unlikely members of WWE. Even though it rarely happens, blood still seeps into matches from time to time, once so badly between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels that WWE decided after the match to ban blood going forward.
Sexy pins, smoking, and plenty of wardrobe malfunctions have made their way onto TV and thanks to this collection they are all tied up in one neat list. It’s the best non-PG moments of the PG era!
15 Brie And Nikki Show The Twins
Miz TV was promoting the upcoming Total Divas premiere and the entire cast was nice enough to dress up and appear alongside Miz. As the segment finished up the camera went to pan the women, and Brie’s dress had slipped just a bit exposing her to the fans. Brie had no idea at the time what happened, but she immediately apologized on Twitter for the incident, saying the humidity in the arena was a factor, causing the tape to no longer do its job.
Since twins do everything together, it wasn't much long after when Nikki had a malfunction of her own. While Brie was feuding with Stephanie McMahon, Steph decided to send out a bunch of women to beat up on Brie’s sister. After Eva Marie, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, and Cameron finished up, they rolled Nikki out of the ring. Apparently, Nikki’s top had loosened during the fight because when she went to grab her head, again the fans got an eyeful.
14 Chris Jericho: Wife Puncher
Just as WWE was going from TV-14 to PG, Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels were in the middle of one of the most intense feuds fans had seen in a long time. Between the awesome promos and vicious matches, it was a great way to close out the TV-14 era. In this segment, Michaels (with his wife, Rebecca, by his side) was looking to walk away from the ring due to an “injury” Jericho caused in their previous match. After some back and forth, Michaels went to walk away and as he did Jericho lunged with a punch, Michaels ducked and Jericho popped Rebecca right in the mouth.
To be clear, men on women violence is incredibly rare in the WWE, you can count on one hand the number of times it’s occurred in the PG era with CM Punk wrestling Beth Phoenix during a Royal Rumble match and when Reigns speared Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania. The most we see these days women getting accidentally bumped off the apron. The crowd went absolutely ballistic once Jericho did this, one fan yelled “Oh, I bet you feel like a real big man, don’t you?!” The image was made worse because Jericho mistakenly connected and ended up giving Rebecca a legit fat lip.
13 AJ Lee's Wardrobe Malfunction
This was a malfunction that the cameras didn’t cut away from in fact they kept the camera firmly on AJ. After AJ pinned Natalya the already tiny shirt rolled up on her, revealing her black bra to the WWE Universe. You’re probably wondering what she’s doing in the picture, well, AJ felt like being a kitty cat for a few seconds, ignoring what happened to her shirt until she got up.
After her husband CM Punk’s rough exit from WWE, AJ retired soon after from wrestling in April of 2015 to focus on helping rescue animals, write a biography, and spend more time with her husband. With three Diva Championships under her belt, AJ was the most popular woman in the division during her time with the company. At only 29, there’s still a possibility AJ could give wrestling another go, maybe go team up with Punk (once he gets tired of actually getting beat up in a fight) in a promotion outside of the WWE.
12 Dropping The “B” Word
For the most part, cursing has disappeared from WWE TV, but every once in awhile a feud will get the okay to drop “B****” in pretty much every segment. One of the most notorious came from Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon when both women used it at a fever pace. During one promo Steph plainly said, “At SummerSlam, I’m going to make you my b****.”
Not to be outdone, Brie was watching a show from the front row and let Steph know “You’re such a b****!” and said it once again barely a minute later. The second one caused Stephanie to slap Brie in the face and then give her the Scott Hall “Spooky Fingers.” That was a fun feud. Today, Brie is on hiatus as she looks to start a family with Daniel Bryan, while Stephanie is the current Commissioner on Raw, working alongside Mick Foley.
11 Anytime The Rock Shows Up
The Rock is from the Attitude Era, and that was a time when pretty much anything was allowed, including Rock talking about “pies” and “strudels.” Anyways, whenever he comes back today, Rock usually stretches that PG rating to its limit, particularly during feuds with John Cena. Calling him a “Kung pao b*****” and that “You will always go down as Rock’s b*****.”
The lines are basically limitless as Rock attempted to get the most insane hashtags going on Twitter, always the businessman. Last time we saw him was at WrestleMania 32 when he had an impromptu match against Erick Rowan, defeating him in seven seconds which set the record for the fastest WrestleMania match ever. The rest of the Wyatt Family came down to take out Rock and amazingly, John Cena appeared to help his former foe fight off the family. Most recently, Forbes named Rock as the highest paid actor in 2016 making $64.5 million, not too shabby from a guy who used to get “Die! Rocky! Die!” chants.
10 Vince McMahon Dropping F-Bombs
Thanks to a stupid amount of injuries, Vince McMahon was forced to bring in his son to help save WrestleMania 32. In doing so, he put Shane up against The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match, which (of course) Shane jumped off of by the end of the match. The story was basically that Vince was challenging and punishing Shane by booking this match. If Shane won, he would get control of Raw, if Undertaker lost, he would be banned from WrestleMania going forward.
During an in-ring promo before the match, Vince and Shane squared off in a battle of words. At one point, Vince basically growled Shane was going to get a “F****** beating” at WrestleMania, which didn't get censored on the live airing. The previous month, Vince came out to referee a match, and decided to flip the bird to some fans. Even though he blocked it with his other hand, the camera was to his side and caught it clearly. It’s Vince’s company and he’ll do what he wants!
9 Every Maryse Pin Attempt
How you see Maryse now on WWE TV is basically how she was back around 2008, a snobby villain who only cared about herself. Working to the top of the division, Maryse was able to win the Divas Championship on two occasions. Although she was vicious during her matches, for some reason when it came time to win the match, she would always pin her opponent in about the most sexual way possible.
Today, you see Paige do this from time to time, a slow slinking motion up their fallen opponent, laying completely over them in a way that probably wasn’t taught at any reputable wrestling school. Nonetheless, it got a huge pop from the crowd every time she went for that final pin. Today, Maryse has solidified her role as manager and wife of The Miz, doing everything she can so he will continue on as WWE’s Intercontinental Champion.
8 Ashes To Ashes
Fans were pumped when CM Punk decided to take on The Undertaker at WrestleMania, hoping he would finally end The Deadman’s streak. The feud didn’t quite have that initial spark though, causing the feud to have a false start. Out of nowhere Paul Bearer passed away, which ended up giving this feud the much needed gas to get the fire going.
With the family’s approval, Punk was able to include Bearer in the feud by having his manager, Paul Heyman (dressed as Bearer) appear as Undertaker walked down the ramp. Taker began pummeling the druids, thinking one of them was Punk, Punk was indeed hiding under one of those clokes and attacked Taker from behind. He then grabbed the urn that was filled with Paul’s “ashes” and dumped the entire thing over The Undertaker. A pretty cringe-worthy scene, even the family said it was tough to actually watch that happen, even though they gave approval.
7 Kaitlyn Showin’ Off
Thanks to starting up in WWE around the same time, AJ Lee and Kaitlyn grew to be best friends forever, both feuding and teaming up together through their respective careers. During one of their feuds Kaitlyn had enough AJ and the two began fighting in the ring, the two rolled around on the mat, with AJ quickly retreating, thanks in part to Big E’s help. As she attempted to hold onto AJ, she was dragged along the mat, popping up quickly she realized her chest was out and adjustments needed to be made, stat.
Although she was never really great at any aspect of wrestling, fans still cheered Kaitlyn on and her popularity was high enough to get her the Divas Championship on one occasion. Retiring in January of 2014, she decided to focus on her home life and new fitness clothing line, Celestial Bodiez. Staying in ridiculous good shape, Kaitlyn still shows up on wrestling sites because she posts a selfie basically every single day.
6 A Double Wardrobe Malfunction
Even though a good chunk of Aksana’s WWE career was spent as a manager, there was a point in time where they decided to get her in the ring. It didn’t really work out as her moveset was pretty basic along with a very sloppy work style, just ask Naomi’s broken orbital bone. Anyways, while working a 12-woman tag match on Raw, Aksana attempted to get away from Brie Bella and tag out of the match.
While crawling away, Brie got a hold of Aksana’s cat-suit and yanked her back, in the process of doing that she showed off a whole lot of side-boob and upper butt to the camera. Not the most egregious of the wardrobe malfunctions, but censors cut to black for a second, just in case. Aksana was released in June of 2014 partly due to all of the upcoming talent in NXT (Charlotte, Sasha Banks, etc), so WWE had to make room.
5 Smoking On TV
Even though it seen less these days, smoking on TV shows happens from time to time, not really a big deal, but when R-Truth decided to light up on Raw, it was both weird and controversial. Working along John Morrison, R-Truth finally decided he had enough and tuned heel, beating up his former partner. From someone who totally wasn’t a plant, he grabbed a pack of cigarettes and lit one up. Some of the crowd was confused, some laughed, and some booed at what they were witnessing.
After a few puffs, Truth strolled over to Morrison and blew a big whiff of smoke right in his face, laughed, took one more puff, and flicked the cig at Morrison before walking off. In a later airing of this show in England, the R-Truth smoking bit was edited out. At 44, Truth is still kicking around the halls of the WWE, currently teaming up with Goldust on Raw.
4 The Nexus Debut
One of the best debuts in recent memory has to be The Nexus, which was made up of all the contestants from the first season of NXT, back when it was more a competition show. With John Cena going against CM Punk, from the ramp walked Wade Barrett, and then from the crowd came every member of The Nexus. They instantly destroyed Punk and Gallows (with Serena running to the back) leaving only Cena in the middle of the ring.
What followed was one of the most destructive debuts fans had ever seen, with not only Cena getting putting down, but the ref, the ring announcer, the time keeper, commentary, heck, even the ring got completely torn apart. The really bad part came when Daniel Bryan decided to choke Justin Roberts while on the floor with his own tie. While in itself that was not a big deal, but WWE had banned that kind of choking due to the Chris Benoit murders. WWE was so serious about this they actually fired Bryan shortly afterwards, he was brought back after about two months.
3 Orton’s Middle Finger Salute
Randy Orton and Seth Rollins were members of the incredibly strong Authority stable that was headed up by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. While things went smoothly for awhile, Orton began to pull away from the group, Triple H and Stephanie tried to keep him happy, but he began to have troubles with Seth Rollins.
During a 2-on-1 match, Orton teamed up with Rollins to take out Roman Reigns. Towards the end of the match Rollins went for a much needed tag and in response Orton gave him a stoic double middle finger gesture. The camera went to Orton right as he did the gesture and quickly moved down to hide those dastardly fingers. Rollins was so taken aback he just shook his head no and when he finally turned around, Reigns speared him for the one-two-three. Being a made man, Orton didn’t receive much backlash backstage, probably just a slap on the wrist outta nowhere.
2 Brock Busts Randy Orton Open
To be clear, the brutal ending to their match was planned, Brock was supposed to make it look like he really crushed Orton to stop the match. The plan was to throw elbows to end things, and maybe get a little blood, but not cut Orton open to the point where he needed ten staples and a (reported) concussion. His injuries were so bad they he wasn’t cleared for his next match against Bray Wyatt at Backlash.
With WWE not wanting blood in their matches, this was not a good look as Orton’s blood poured out of his head and onto the mat. The referee quickly called the match and trainers were out to check on Orton’s condition. To make things worse, it looks like WWE potentially ignored Orton’s concussion, which isn’t a great idea with it being the reason Daniel Bryan isn’t wrestling and with multiple concussion lawsuits at their door.
1 The Last (Bloody) Straw
Earlier we talked about Jericho popping HBK’s wife in the face, well, just before that occurred these two went to war at the Great American Bash. This entry is a bit of a cheat as this PPV was the last TV-14 rated PPV, two days later WWE officially changed their shows to PG. At any rate, Michaels and Jericho begged Vince to allow some color (blood) in the match, and he begrudgingly accepted, saying they could do just a little.
With an elbow to his eye, Michaels bladed himself, only he didn’t go for a little blood, he went for a lot. Making a much bigger cut his face soon turned into a crimson mask, that helped make the match even more brutal looking. Both Jericho and Michaels attributed this match as one of the big reasons blood was banned, obviously Vince wasn’t happy and made the changes soon after. One last hurrah for the TV-14 era, will it ever return? Don’t hold your breath.
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