Cameramen in WWE have a tough job with little glory. When they execute perfectly, the television product we consume comes across as flawless, putting viewers at the best angle for every spot and bump in any given match. Despite being responsible for capturing the product which reaches millions of viewers, fans rarely catch more than a fleeting glimpse of these individuals outside the ring.
But what about the times they’ve become more than the invisible puppeteers who capture the action? Cameramen might not see action in the WWE video game series, but they do see the occasional TV spot. Among the stories that exist, some were staged, some were accidental, and others were outright assault. Regardless of circumstance, here are ten times the cameramen got involved in the action.
10 Titus 2015
Titus O’Neil is considered by many to be a true role model, both as an entertainer and as a man. He is a noted public speaker, receives many honors, and generally seems to possess a very calm demeanor. He also does wonders to help develop other talents.
Given everything we know about Titus, it is all the more surprising to find that in May of 2015, Titus actually assaulted a cameraman on the set of WWE’s “Swerved” series. Apparently there was a prank involved where Titus was shocked with a cattle prod, which led the superstar into a frenzy, resulting in an injury to the cameraman on the set.
9 Brock Attack
On the 5/30/2016 edition of Monday Night Raw, Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins were set to compete against one another in a rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Cleverly, Rollins avoided the confrontation. Unfortunately, The Beast Incarnate didn’t appreciate this.
In his rampage, Lesnar would attack several individuals at ringside. One of these unlucky individuals was an unlucky cameraman unfortunate enough to be standing on the ring apron. While Stephanie McMahon would come out and plead with Lesnar not to attack the man, Lesnar proceeded to drop him with his signature F-5. Upon her exit, he repeated the maneuver before exiting as well.
8 Wrestlemania XXV
2009’s iteration of the biggest wrestling show of the year featured an instant classic between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. Named Match of the Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, this bout was filled with dramatic sequences and plenty of action from the veteran competitors. It also featured a rather stinging hit on a cameraman.
About halfway through the match, HBK was pleading with the referee as The Phenom began to move in the ring. Employing his signature dive over the top rope, Taker launched himself out of the ring toward Michaels. At the last moment, Michaels pushed the referee out of harm’s way, pulling a nearby cameraman in the path of The Deadman. The cameraman sold the spot well, but watching the video makes it seem that Undertaker may have taken the brunt of the damage from his landing.
7 The Lunatic Fringe
On the 5/25/2019 edition of Monday Night Raw, Dean Ambrose is seen in a backstage segment discussing his upcoming championship match with Renee Young. When discussing the signing of their contract for this match, Seth Rollins’ security team approaches Ambrose to heckle him about the match.
After some taunting from the two, Ambrose begins wildly throwing punches. In the scuffle, his back turns to the cameraman who had been recording this interview, and Dean throws a punch his way over his shoulder. Upon knocking the cameraman down, Ambrose is seen trying to get him back up before walking away.
6 The Real Beast
Brock Lesnar is no stranger to this list, and it really isn’t a surprise. Most of Lesnar’s character is based around brutality, and this entry is no exception.
When Lesnar made his entrance into the 2019 Money in the Bank ladder match, it caught many by surprise. Perhaps the most surprised individual in the arena was Ali, moments away from victory, who would see the ladder he stood atop toppled in The Beast’s quests for the briefcase. Take note that we said “perhaps.”
Before Brock makes it to the ring, you will notice that he pushes over a ladder on his way to the ring. This ladder can briefly be seen making contact with two cameramen. While this could have been set up, backstage rumors indicate that the men were actually hit and injured during the entrance.
5 Badd Blood
1997’s In Your House: Badd Blood would feature WWE’s first iteration of the Hell in a Cell match. This match came at the height of a heated rivalry between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels and would feature the debut of Kane with WWE.
In an energetic contest that had come to be expected from two high profile competitors such as Michaels and Taker, there was a fair amount of back and forth at play during the match, as well as plenty of masterful storytelling.
Early on in the match, Shawn stumbled over a cameraman in the area outside the ring. Later, following a momentum swing that saw Taker throw Michaels out of the ring, HBK would attack a cameraman, leaving him laying outside the ring and prompting officials to raise the cell. This would set up the ending for the match and was a masterful use of the environment.
4 Stone Cold Heat
This one is short and sweet and just plain simple. On the 9/6/1998 edition of Sunday Night Heat, Stone Cold is seen in the parking lot talking on his phone. The fact that he is seen implies that someone is holding a camera. Jim Ross makes note of Austin’s attendance, and then Austin kicks the cameraman and continues about his business.
There isn’t much to this one, but it is a reminder that sometimes the simplest things have the most meaning. Austin’s character was still reinforced by this little scene which few will remember.
3 Other Side of the Camera
Remember that time Stone Cold was a cameraman? It was golden.
While this entry doesn’t feature a full-time cameraman, Stone Cold did assume the role on the 9/27/1998 edition of Sunday Night Heat. After waiting for Vince McMahon to enter the steel cage which had been erected around the ring, one of the cameramen closed the door. Austin proceeded to turn around and reveal himself before attacking McMahon.
This action prompted The Undertaker and Kane to the ring, where they attempted to catch Austin before he escaped and exited the arena. He may not have actually been attacked, but he almost was. And that counts.
Sometimes it just isn’t fun being ordered around by everyone.
On the 8/6/2018 edition of Monday Night Raw, Elias was accompanied by his full production crew in the making of his documentary. On this night, his cameraman was featured both in the ring and backstage, accompanying the superstar.
While in the ring, Bobby Lashley would interrupt Elias, prompting the crew to exit the ring. After Lashley dropped the artist, he ordered the cameraman back into the ring to get a few close-ups of Elias’ defeat. At the cameraman’s compliance, the announce team made jokes, including asking the question of who he worked for. That’s cold.
1 Firing Up the Ratings
One thing that isn’t cold is fire.
On the 3/23/1998 edition of Raw, gearing up for his Wrestlemania XIV match against The Undertaker, Kane came to the ring accompanied by Paul Bearer to taunt his opponent and display a show of supernatural strength. During this event, Kane would cause several explosions, culminating in one relatively inappropriate attack.
When left to his own devices, told to do as he pleased, Kane chose to set a member of the production crew on fire. While the announce team referred to this individual as a crew member and he was never seen holding a camera, it seems close enough to count in our book and certainly marks the most heinous visual on this list.