Top 20 Times Wrestlers Went Off Script

We all know that most things that happen in the world of professional are scripted. Whether it’s the words said in promos, or even the match itself, wrestling is a sport where every move is planned out with an unbelievable accuracy. The planned events are often entertaining, but it’s the memorable moments that happen spontaneously that can become iconic.

Often when a wrestlers goes off script, it is completely improv, with the performer feeding off of the energy of the crowd. In fact, we would venture to say that 99.9% of the unscripted moments are reactionary, with the wrestlers not knowing the impact that their deviation from the plans will have.

Unscripted moments have their negatives and their positives, but in either case they can develop lives of their own way after they occur. For example many of the entrants on this list today are some of the most iconic moments in all of wrestling history. Of those said moments, many of them took wrestling fans by surprise, and influenced the business of professional wrestling thereafter.

Unscripted moments have the unique ability to unite all wrestling fans in a single instant, as casual fans are entertained, and smart fans are actually shocked. Smart fans in particular are always looking for moments that can spark a conversation about whether or not a moment in wrestling is real. Since they are so few and far in between, we have listed the best of the best here for you today.

This list will not include anything morbid or tragic like the untimely death of Owen Hart, it also will not include worked shoots, and planned chaos. So sorry folks, the Brawl for All, and the Bash at the Beach incidents will not be on this list. As always feel free to let us know your opinions in the comments below.

21 Every Ric Flair Promo Ever


20 Daniel Puder is Tough Enough

One of the most infamous shoot incidents in WWE history took place during a Tough Enough segment in 2004. Daniel Puder, who was a contestant on the watered down version of the reality show, got into a shoot wrestling match with Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle.

19 Vince Swayed by People Power


Not every moment that goes off script has to be controversial, sometimes it can all be in good fun. When Vince McMahon returned to the WWE in November of 2012 to fire (storyline) John Laurinaitis, the CEO decided to change the ending to the segment after reading the crowd reaction.

18 Rock ‘n’ Sock

In what was one of the oddest pairings in the history of wrestling, The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection would eventually be one of the most entertaining acts in the WWE. The chemistry between the mismatched stars didn’t start off perfect, and had to be built up over the course of several months.

17 Bob Backlund Backstage


The benefit of having a wrestler who plays a character that is absolutely insane, is that when they mess up, no one notices. That is why when Bob Backlund got confused on camera during a live episode of Raw and asked to do the take over again, no fans were the wiser.

16 Great Antonio vs. Antonio Inoki


This entry is about two Antonios, two tough guys and one very real shoot match. The match took place in Japan in 1977, and featured The Great Antonio no selling to the legendary Antonio Inoki. It’s hard to say where the match was supposed to go, but where it ended up going was infinitely more entertaining.

15 Torn Quads

14 Victory Road



At TNA’s Victory Road pay per view in 2011, Sting took on Jeff Hardy for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The match lasted an abysmal 88 seconds and saw an intoxicated Jeff Hardy stumble his way to the ring before being finished off by Sting.

12 JBL Destroys Blue Meanie


At ECW’s One Night Stand, the show culminated in a brawl that saw the ECW originals ending up on top. Though they may have won the war of the night, some of the ECW soldiers lost their own battles; mainly The Blue Meanie.

11 Pipe Bomb


10 Sunny Days


9 Mickie James  and the “V”


Though the Attitude Era showcased a ton of sexual content, the match that may have pushed the envelope the farthest was when Mickie James took on Trish Stratus at WrestleMania 22. The match featured James grabbing Stratus’ crotch while attempting to escape a bulldog, she then followed it up by licking her fingers.

8 Booker T is Coming for You

7 I Am The Game


After a few years of floating around in the mid-card for as punishment for the Curtain Call, Triple H spilled his guts during a “shoot” interview with Jim Ross. The interview, which aired on an episode of Sunday Night Heat, saw Triple H firmly assert himself as a top talent in the WWE.

6 Vader Answers a Question

5 Stupid Kofi

When Kofi Kingston started feuding with established main event talent Randy Orton, it seemed as if WWE was trying to build another top talent in the company. During one of their matches on Raw however, Kofi forgot how the bout was supposed to end, which upset The Viper.

4 Regal Besmirches Goldberg

via /

In the midst of an undefeated streak in 1998, Bill Goldberg was scheduled to defeat William Regal on an episode of WCW Nitro. While both men have different accounts of the match, the tape doesn’t lie, and what it shows is a very stiff fight.

3 Montreal Screwjob


Well, depending on who you ask the Montreal Screwjob was a scripted moment, but for the sake of this argument we will take the controversial event at face value. In 1997 during the main event of the Survivor Series pay per view, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels would face off in Hart’s last match as a WWE contracted wrestler.

2 Bloody Austin


Steve Austin has a history of great matches at odd numbered WrestleManias, with WrestleMania 13 starting this tradition. The 1997 pay per view would see Bret Hart and Steve Austin face off in a No Disqualification Submission match. The unscripted moment in this match as revealed by Austin on his podcast, was the addition of “color” or blood to the match.

1 Austin 3:16


When Steve Austin won the 1996 King of the Ring, fans witnessed the inception of the Attitude Era. While defeating Jake Roberts was enough to cement Austin as a main event star, it was his post match promo that would launch him into superstardom.

The infamous promo birthed two of wrestling's most quotable phrases. The first catchphrase would be an off the cuff retort to a Jake Roberts biblical promo from earlier in the night, which is why The Rattlesnake used his own verse when saying “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass”. At the end of the same promo Austin would put an exclamation mark on his point by saying “that’s the bottom line, ‘cuz Stone Cold said so”. Neither one of these catchphrases were planned, or scripted, with Austin saying everything in the moment.

Give TheSportster a Thumbs up!

Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?

Get Your Free Access Now!

More in Wrestling

Top 20 Times Wrestlers Went Off Script