Professional wrestling is not just about performers getting inside the ring and tossing each other like rag dolls. It is a very brutal sport, and things could get out of control very easily, and that is the reason there are some standard rules which every performer has to comply with to ensure a fair contest.
As time progressed, the wrestling promotions like WWE started to adjust the rules as per their needs and even went on to the extent of publicly breaking them. The WWE superstars and the referees have broken numerous universal pro-wrestling rules in the past, let's take a look at ten such instances in detail.
10 Use Of Foreign Objects
One of the most basic rules of professional wrestling is to forbid the use of foreign objects in a match unless there is a stipulation allowing it. Both the referees and the superstars are equally responsible for making sure they comply with this rule at all times.
But the rule has been breached multiple times in the WWE for the sake of entertaining the fans. The superstars continue to use foreign objects like steel chairs and kendo sticks during the matches while the referee is distracted to gain the upper hand over their opponents.
9 Not Disqualifying Wrestlers For Attacking Referees
Superstars can face an instant disqualification if they put hands on the referee during a match. The referee is the person responsible for maintaining the order of the matches in pro wrestling, and attacking them is a serious offense that could result in the attacking superstar getting disqualified.
But WWE has acted as if this rule doesn't even exist on multiple occasions. Either the referees allow the match to continue even after getting attacked by the superstars, or they collapse outside the ring leading to another referee coming out to take his place.
8 Attacking Private Parts
Sometimes the superstars set their sights on the wrong jewels and attack their opponents directly on the groin. In normal circumstances, this act is liable for causing an instant disqualification.
Attacking a performer's private parts like low blows or eye rakes are prohibited during a match, but almost all pro-wrestling promotions break this rule without any hesitation.
WWE is no exception, as we have seen them breaking this rule multiple times in the past. The superstars resort to this method while the referee is distracted and gets the advantage over their opponents to pick up the win.
7 Outside Interference
One of the basic duties of a pro-wrestling referee is to make sure the action happens only between the superstars competing inside the ring and not allow any outside interference.
Any interference caused by other superstars or managers will result in the disqualification of the superstar getting aided by the attack. WWE breaks this rule on a weekly basis with their heel tag teams or managers.
We've seen Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson interfering in AJ Styles' matches in the recent weeks to help him get the win over his opponents, and to be honest, this is one of those rules, which will always get broken.
6 Piledrivers Are Banned
Piledrivers are one of the most dangerous moves in pro-wrestling history. If gone wrong, it could cause severe effects to the receiver like broken necks and concussions, and for this reason, all promotions have banned this move for the safety of their performers.
The Undertaker & Kane are the only two superstars in the WWE who are allowed to use the maneuver despite the ban. They make sure the receiver does not get spiked on the head, but still, we saw Goldberg enduring the effects of a botched piledriver from the Undertaker at WWE Super ShowDown last June.
5 The Grace Period After Making A Tag
The basic rule of a tag team match is when a superstar tags in his partner, he should leave the ring, and his partner should step inside. It will count only when the referee sees the superstar making the tag, and the referee would allow a grace period, which is normally 5 seconds, for the superstar tagging out to leave the ring.
But the WWE tag teams never seem to follow this rule, and the superstar tagging out would spend more time than the grace period inside the ring working out a combination move his partner.
4 Closed Fists Are Illegal
There are certain ways in which a WWE superstar is not supposed to attack his opponent, and punching with a closed fist is one of them. The rule has been in force for a long time in pro-wrestling to ensure the safety of the performers.
Closed fists are not illegal when the attacker is in the air, we can take Roman Reigns' Superman Punch, for example. But we have seen this rule getting broken multiple times in the past like Brock Lesnar landing a legitimate closed fist punch on Braun Strowman at Royal Rumble 2018.
3 Corner Beatdowns
If a superstar starts to attack his opponent in the corner of the ring continuously, the referee would then start a five-count and can disqualify the superstar if he does not stop the attack after he finishes the count.
It's been a very long time since a match ended in a DQ under this rule in the WWE. The referees either stop their count after four and pulls the superstars apart themselves or do a very slow count.
Rikishi's Stinkface and Roman Reigns' corner clotheslines would've never been allowed had the WWE followed this rule
2 Holding On To The Corner Rope While Making A Tag
Tag Team matches can get tricky sometimes as some rules are never clear. While some say the palms of the superstars have to touch to make a legal tag, others say any physical contact is enough.
The following rules make it even trickier as the superstar tagging in should be standing with both feet on the ring apron and should hold on either to the corner rope or turnbuckle while making the tag.
Like the other rules, this one also went down the dust, as we have seen superstars tagging in while their partners without holding on to the corner rope or turnbuckle.
We've seen this happen when a superstar tags himself in when his partner is down near the corner. The superstar would reach out to his partner leaning over the top rope with one leg in the air, and without holding on to the corner rope or turnbuckle.
1 Shoulders Have To Be Down While Counting The Pin
We have seen a lot of controversial endings due to the referee counting the pin while the superstar's shoulders are off the mat. The main event of WrestleMania 35 and the United States Championship match at Money In The Bank 2019 ended in this fashion with the losing superstars' shoulders were completely off the mat when the referee counted the pin.
The referee should make sure if the superstar has pinned down his opponent with both shoulders down before going for the three-count. The referees break this rule sometimes by accident and sometimes as per backstage orders.