Professional wrestling is arguably one of the most ridiculous industries in the world. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone reading this article. Over the years there has been so many ridiculous stories to make headlines throughout the wrestling world that several other equally ridiculous stories have flown under the radar.
Simply put, not one person can ever truly know every bizarre fact concerning WWE. Ever since Vince McMahon Jr. took over from his father in 1983, the company has provided the backdrop for some truly hard-to-believe stories. This article takes a look at some of the lesser-known facts that don't get as much attention.
A few noticeable trends became apparent when researching this article. One easy to notice trend is that WWE is very good at covering up stories they don't want to get out. Even in this day and age where every website on the planet claims to have "insider sources" when push comes to shove, Vince McMahon knows how to keep something secret if he has to.
Some of these facts are scandals or backstage drama while others are funny stories you may have never heard before. Regardless of the nature of these facts, these are 20 WWE facts even die-hard fans don't know.
20 SmackDown Was Supposed To Be An All-Women Show
It is not common knowledge and seems to be speculation but in 1999 when WWE debuted SmackDown, there had been talking of it being a show entirely for women. At the time, WWE had seen the value in women performers such as Chyna and Sable. The following year both Trish Stratus and Lita would debut for the promotion as well.
It is not known how close WWE came to making SmackDown an all women's show. Vince Russo was the head writer for the company at the time and his portrayal of women on television focused primarily on gimmick type matches. Granted, those pulled in monster ratings for WWE at the time.
It’s an idea which has been suggested recently as well. Triple H has stated they won't be going that direction, however, as he prefers having both divisions on the same show.
19 Shane McMahon Voiced Kaientai
When Taka Michinoku and Funaki were tearing it up as Kaientai in WWE, a little-known member of the group was actually Shane McMahon.
During the Attitude Era, Kaientai ran a gimmick where their promos were overdubbed in English in the same many martial arts movies are. In 2010, Funaki would reveal the voice overdubbing their commentary belonged to Shane McMahon.
Funaki continued to say they didn't really understand what they were supposed to do when they were told about the gimmick. He said they were told to hold the microphone but don't actually speak. After, Funaki would go on to become SmackDown's self-proclaimed number one announcer. Taka Michinoku is still going strong in NJPW. He's currently a member of Suzuki-Gun.
18 WWE Paid the Young Bucks to Impersonate D-X... Then Sued Them
Before the Young Bucks were running around the independent scene impersonating members of the New World Order and Degeneration-X, WWE was paying them to do the same.
On an episode of ECW in 2008, Matt and Nick Jackson impersonated Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a segment. DX was feuding with John Morrison and The Miz at that time and they brought the Bucks in to impersonate their rivals before laying them out.
In 2008, few people knew who the Young Bucks were. Somewhat ironically, they would eventually begin utilizing many of the hand signatures and moves DX was famous for. Once they arrived in New Japan Pro Wrestling, the Young Bucks couldn't stop crotch-chopping and too-sweeting each other. Last year, WWE served the brothers with a cease and desist order regarding the frequent use of WWE trademarked gestures.
17 Storyline Involving Vince McMahon's Brother
Last year, former WWE writer, Court Bauer, shared an interesting story about an angle that never happened in 2007. Vince McMahon has a little-known brother, Roderick McMahon. In storyline, Vince McMahon had just died. His limo had been blown up and there was to be a funeral on Raw involving his family, including Roderick.
According to Bauer, the plan had been for Vince's real brother to become a character which was entirely the opposite to Vince. The idea was to create a whole other side to the McMahon family.
Unfortunately, after the Chris Benoit incident, the angle of Vince McMahon's death was dropped, meaning the angle with Roderick never started. Why WWE has never gone back to the story in the 11 years since is not known.
16 Sting & The Undertaker Wrestled Before
The big WrestleMania match which everybody wanted to see but never got to was Sting versus The Undertaker. Now both wrestlers are retired and the chances of this match happening are down to none.
They have wrestled before, however, just not at WrestleMania. In fact, the one single's match they had over the years was for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Sting defeated "Mean" Mark Callous (Undertaker's WCW name) in the Greensboro Coliseum in 1990.
The match wasn't televised and was said to be lackluster. WCW never seemed too high on The Undertaker. His match with Sting in 1990 was said to be so bad that he was substituted in the match for Harley Race the following night.
Fans wanted The Undertaker and Sting to wrestle each other at WrestleMania but it never happened. They were both apart of WrestleMania 31 but Sting wrestled Triple H while Taker fought Bray Wyatt.
15 WWE's Longstanding Relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling
Some wrestling fans found it surprising when Vince McMahon allowed Chris Jericho to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling earlier this year. For those who have followed WWE for generations, however, it wasn't as surprising.
In fact, Vince McMahon's relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling dates further back than even his relationship with WWE does.
Vince McMahon famously promoted the Antonio Inoki versus Mohammad Ali match in the United States. Before McMahon ran closed circuit television locations for WrestleMania, he did the same for Inoki versus Ali. New Japan Pro Wrestling, of course, is the promotion started by the legendary Antonio Inoki. Vince has always seen Japan, and NJPW in particular, as operating outside of his jurisdiction. The times may be changing, however. NJPW's decision to begin running events in the United States may have changed the relationship dynamic.
14 John Laurinaitis & The Bella Family
Diehard WWE fans are all too aware of John Laurinaitis' marriage to the mother of the Bella twins. What they might not know, however, is all the crazy familial relationships this marriage creates.
This means the leader of the People Power movement is technically step-father to Daniel Bryan and soon, to John Cena as well. Laurinaitis' brother, Road Warrior Animal, is currently part of a class-action lawsuit against WWE alleging they withheld the long-term impacts of concussions from their employees.
On the other hand, Daniel Bryan is alleging WWE is being too cautious in regards to concussions and allowing him to compete again. So Johnny Ace's brother and step-son are on opposite sides of that issue clearly. That should make for some interesting dinner table conversations. Also, John recruiting the Bella Twins into WWE and then marrying their mother seems awfully creepy.
13 Shane McMahon Almost Purchased The UFC
Shane McMahon had a great idea. Had he followed through with it, he might be a billionaire today. Shane announced his resignation from WWE in October 2009. The next month, it was being reported he was in serious talks to become a major investor in the UFC. It had also been rumored that Shane wanted WWE to begin promoting mixed martial arts as well but the company voted against this direction feeling as though their history with sports entertainment would reduce the credibility any actual athletic competition they organize would have.
Shane felt MMA was the wave of the future but he was voted down. Perhaps this played a role in Shane ultimately deciding to leave the company for a period of eight years.
Nothing ever came of Shane's talks with the UFC. Zuffa ended up selling the company to WME-IMG for $4 billion.
12 WrestleMania II Took Place on a Monday
Weird, right? As strange as it might sound, the second edition of WrestleMania took place on a Monday night.
There are a lot of unanswered questions regarding WrestleMania II, the first of which was why it was held in three different venues. This made sense to Vince McMahon at the time as his main source of revenue was closed circuit television. Vince had made a bunch of money off not only promoting WrestleMania on closed-circuit television but also with the Mohammad Ali versus Antonio Inoki match. He figured why not hold some of the matches live from the bigger markets and sell more tickets.
As for why the event was held on a Monday, Sunday had yet to be established as the designated wrestling pay-per-view day. Perhaps Vince McMahon felt holding the events on a weekday would make it easier to promote events taking place in separate time zones.
11 Vince McMahon Wanted To Fight Dana White on PPV
According to Dana White, Vince McMahon phoned him one day and said the two of them should fight either in the UFC or at WrestleMania.
Despite the obvious financial possibilities from such a bout, White said he shot the fight down immediately. According to the UFC President, Vince McMahon is simply too old to be fighting anybody. White would continue to say he has the utmost respect for Vince, however.
White's comments are from an interview he gave in 2013, though he doesn't mention when exactly Vince contacted him. One has to wonder if the idea Vince had was similar to when Eric Bischoff called him out to fight on a WCW pay-per-view. The wrestling business has been and always will be run by completely ridiculous ideas. The UFC and WWE have had a very cordial relationship in recent years, however.
10 WWE Almost Fired John Cena
WWE just about fired the biggest star they've had since the Attitude Era in 2002 when they almost released John Cena. This was during his rookie year on the main roster. At the time, Cena was working on the SmackDown brand as a rookie trying to showcase his"Ruthless Aggression".
According to an interview he would give years later, the reason Cena wasn't let go was one person lobbying for him backstage who happens to have a lot of power. That person's name is Stephanie McMahon.
Back in 2002, Cena still hadn't developed his rapper gimmick which would help him bust out on SmackDown. He came off as a little inexperienced albeit quite passionate. Over the next 16 years, he'd prove his doubters wrong.
9 Papa Shango Is Based On A Real Voodoo God
It is generally felt that the Papa Shango's voodoo character portrayed by Charles Wright in WWE was a flop. Despite this, many fans fondly remember the character to this day. Even if Papa Shango wasn't successful, the gimmick was certainly memorable.
Many fans don't realize Papa Shango was based on a real God that voodoo practitioners worship. Baron Samedi is a God which voodoo practitioners believe helps lost souls cross over to the afterlife. He is also so said to be a God who loves to drink and smoke cigars.
Samedi is portrayed as having a skull face much like Papa Shango was painted up to resemble. The top hat which Papa Shango wore was also a nod to this voodoo deity.
8 Bob Backlund Wouldn't Job to Hulk Hogan
Arguably the most important World Title change in wrestling history was complicated by the fact that a former champion was unwilling to lose the title to Hulk Hogan. When Vince McMahon Jr. took over the reigns of his father's company, one of the first things he wanted to do was put the title on Hulk Hogan. This was something Hogan's previous employer, the American Wrestling Association, wasn't willing to do.
The rumored reason the AWA wouldn't put their World Title on Hogan was he didn't have a legitimate wrestling background. This was also the reason given by Bob Backland when he said he wouldn't drop the title to Hogan.
Backlund would drop the title to the Iron Sheik, as he has a significant background in amateur wrestling. In fact, the Iron Sheik was a coach for the American wrestling team. So Backland dropped the title to Sheik and then Sheik dropped the title to Hogan.
7 The Wellness Policy Applies to Referees
WWE's wellness policy extends to its referees as well. Referee, Mike Chioda, knows all too well that those in his profession can be suspended under the policy too. He failed a Wellness Policy test in August 2011 and was suspended a month as a result.
WWE also released Billy Gunn in 2015 as a result of a failed drug test. His was from an amateur weight-lifting competition he was taking part in. He had been working in a backstage role for the company at the time. His failed test didn't even have anything to do with WWE but he was fired all the same. He had tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and was banned from powerlifting competitions for a period of four years. Evidently, WWE didn't feel it was a good idea to have him serve as a mentor for younger wrestlers.
6 Los Boricuas Continued On
Remember the faction of Puerto Rican wrestlers ran by Savio Vega in the Attitude Era? While the faction did not last long in WWE, they have left a lasting legacy in Puerto Rico. So much so that they've made numerous reunions over the years and recruited several new members.
Savio Vega left WWE in 1998 and the rest of the Boricuas were gone by 1999. The group opted to reform in 2001 while competing in Puerto Rico's International Wrestling Association.
In 2013, a tribute show for Los Baricuas was organized by Perfect Stars Wrestling in Puerto Rico and included Savio Vega recruiting new members into the faction. In 2014, WWC pushed a group known as "the Caribbean Express" which featured former members of the faction as well. Unfortunately, DOA has not been as well-remembered within the biker community.
5 Vince McMahon Promoted Antonio Inoki vs. Muhammad Ali
Eight years before the first WrestleMania, Vince McMahon promoted the famous Antonio Inoki vs Muhammad Ali match in the United States.
The fight took place in Japan but Vince McMahon sold tickets to arenas in the United States which would show the event on a big screen through closed-circuit television.
The match was a big financial success for McMahon but had a lasting impact for Ali. Over the years, the truth regarding what happened during this bout has never actually come out. Ali's team claimed they signed on for a real fight with Inoki but Inoki's team wanted to change it to a staged contest. Inoki's team claimed Ali wanted no part of a real fight and demanded a staged one. In the end, the fight was scored a draw and the leg kicks Inoki landed on Ali were very real.
4 Vince McMahon Owned a Hockey Team
The idea of Vince McMahon owning a legitimate sports franchise seems ridiculous. However, that Vince McMahon is the former owner of a professional hockey franchise might be even more laughable and downright unbelievable.
Yes, Vince McMahon is the former owner of the Cape Cod Buccaneers of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League. McMahon was already the owner of the Cape Cod Coliseum in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. He was approached about entering a team into the short-lived Atlantic Coast Hockey League in 1981. The league would only last six years and Vince's franchise was out after just one season. When the league voted to end the season early due to financial issues, Vince cut ties with the league and folded the team before the post-season could begin.
3 Why The World BodyBuilding Federation Failed
You might be thinking to yourself "I know why the WBF failed, it's because nobody cares about bodybuilding!"
This is only partially correct. There are enough people in the world who like bodybuilding to make it a successful business venture. Bodybuilding still exists, after all. The reason Vince McMahon's bodybuilding Federation didn't survive was all of the competitors had to get off steroids almost as soon as the Federation began.
At the time the World Bodybuilding Federation was getting up and running, Vince McMahon's federal trial for distributing steroids was lurking ominously in the background. At the WBF's final event the competitors all looked thin and noticeably less built. Shortly after it was over, McMahon disbanded the promotion immediately. Not long after that McMahon was brought to court on charges of distributing steroids. It's pretty clear Vince saw the government was coming after him and quickly distanced himself from anything steroid related.
2 President Jack Tunney's Actual Role
Throughout the 1980s, the figurehead President of WWF was Jack Tunney. This was back when Vince McMahon only portrayed a broadcaster on WWF television and it was not acknowledged that he had any role beyond that. Instead, Jack Tunney was in the role of company President. Tunney would appear on-screen and give official rulings from the WWE offices. In actuality, Tunney was the President of WWF Canada and a regional promoter based out of Toronto that Vince and WWE signed an agreement with.
He had no actual power within the company (aside from promoting shows out of Toronto) and nobody has ever nailed down why exactly he was chosen for the role.
Some theories have suggested that Tunney's no-nonsense way of handling himself was what made WWE see him as a good authority figure. Tunney had no acting or wrestling experience when given the role. He retired in 1995 as WWF closed their Toronto offices.
1 The Ring Boys Scandal
It doesn't get mentioned as much as Vince McMahon's famed steroid trial during the same time period but the WWE ring boys scandal in 1992 is one of the darkest moments in wrestling history. The scandal centered around a wrestler named Terry Garvin and ring announcer, Mel Phillips. Phillips and Garvin were accused of harassing young ring attendants in 1992, though claims against the pair go all the way back to the 70s.
When a young ring attendant took WWE to court in 1992, the two sides reached an out-of-court settlement. Garvin and Phillips were fired from the company and never brought back.
Randy Orton's uncle, Barry Orton, publicly stated that Garvin accosted him as well. According to Barry, Garvin repeatedly offered acts to others as well.