Wrestling by nature is mostly scripted. From the promos the wrestlers cut to the predetermined outcomes of the matches, most of what the fans see is planned down to the most minute detail. With that being said, there are a number of factors that can lead to an unscripted moment occurring, and endless scenarios to how it can play out. In some cases the actions taken by the performer are commendable, while others are less noble and can be a case of a wrestler going into business for themselves.
Sometimes it might be as simple as the company giving a respected veteran free reign on the mic to speak from the heart. Other times it may be a performer acting in the moment due to an injury suffered by his opponent. And sometimes a wrestler can act out of anger at a certain situation and take it out on his opponent. Of course it should be noted, some of these unscripted moments happen completely by accident, such as a pyro malfunction or a spot not going according to plan in the heat of battle.
With that in mind, here are some of the unscripted moments in Wrestling that the audience may not have picked up on until after the fact, and the ones that brought us to the brink of tears.
20 Missed: Chris Jericho Disqualifies Himself Against Neville
Chris Jericho has had an incredible wrestling career, with an unrivalled ability to constantly reinvent himself on screen. Not only is Chris a supremely talented performer, but he has proven himself to be able to act quickly on his feet should an unforeseen circumstance arise. One such circumstance arose in a match with Neville on Raw in March of 2016. During the match, Neville fractured his ankle and appeared in a lot of discomfort. Acting on his feet, Jericho decided to pin Neville with a roll up in an attempt to end the match quickly so his injured opponent could get seen to. However, referee Chris Robinson was not on the same wavelength, only counting to two and resuming the match in the process. Again acting quickly, Jericho jumped up and shoved the official leaving him no choice but to disqualify Y2J bringing the contest to a close.
19 Crying: Sasha Banks Makes History In Abu Dhabi
Despite only making her debut on the WWE main roster in July 2015, Sasha Banks has already taken part on a selection of history making matches. Alongside Charlotte Flair, she competed in the first ever women's Hell in a Cell match for the women's championship in a match that headlined the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. She competed in the first ever women's Money in the Bank ladder match, the first ever women's Royal Rumble match and recently wrestled the first ever women's match in Abu Dhabi. After the match, Banks gave an emotionally charged backstage where she could not hold back her tears. She was overcome by emotion in the wake of this historic match, eluding to how inspired she was to walk out there and hear "this is hope" chants by the fans.
18 Missed: Kevin Owens And Sami Zayn Bail On The New Day
As 2017 was coming to close, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were involved in an ongoing feud with popular trio The New Day. During the company's tour of the UK, Sami Zayn was defeated in one on one competition by Kofi Kingston on an episode of Smackdown. After the match, Owens attacked Kingston before him and Zayn made a hasty exit. However, it was later that this was not the initial plan and that the pair were meant to be on the receiving end of a beat down at the hands of The New Day. The duo were disciplined for going into business for themselves and subsequently sent home from the UK tour. Due to the level of talent both men possess, luckily their punishment wasn't too severe as within a couple of months both men were challenging AJ Styles for the WWE title at the 2018 Royal Rumble.
17 Crying: Thank You Taker Chants As WM 33 Draws To A Close
With Undertaker's induction into the Hall of Fame a mere formality at this point, the phenom's career will be remembered most for his incomparable winning streak at WrestleMania. After going 21-0 against a who's who of wrestling royalty, the deadman was eventually bested at WrestleMania 30 by the beast incarnate, Brock Lesnar. After picking up a couple more wins at the showcase of the immortals against Bray Wyatt and Shane McMahon, Taker went on to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33. Looking a shadow of the performer he once was, Undertaker was defeated by Reigns in the last bout of the night. After the match, Taker left his hat and coat in the ring, in what appeared to be him symbolically announcing his retirement. Descending underground on a platform, the entire crowd chanted "Thank you Taker" right up until WrestleMania went off the air. It was a fitting yet saddening tribute by fans left wondering if we would ever see the deadman in the squared circle again.
16 Missed: Brock Lesnar Hurts Hardcore Holly
In 2002, Brock Lesnar had arguably the greatest debut year of any superstar in WWE history. Billed as "the next big thing", Lesnar tore through the entire roster and even won the WWE title at SummerSlam against The Rock with Paul Heyman by his side. However, a botched power-bomb attempt on Hardcore Holly the August 12th episode of Smackdown threatened to halt his push as the incident resulted in Holly breaking his neck. Thankfully Holly went on to make a full recovery and even challenged Lesnar for the WWE title at the 2004 Royal Rumble with his neck injury at the epicentre the storyline. Needless to say, Lesnar's push was never affected and Holly has since stated in interviews that the incident was a complete accident.
15 Crying: John Cena Proposes To Nikki Bella
Leading up to WrestleMania 33, John Cena and then girlfriend were embroiled in a feud with The Miz and his wife Maryse. In the build up to their match, Miz and Maryse would cut promos dressed as Cena and Bella mocking them in the process. In particular, they would focus on John Cena's failure to commit to Nikki bt proposing to her. Rumours were floating around in the build up to WrestleMania that Cena might propose. However, the genuine look of shock on Nikki's face after John proposed moments after winning their tag team bout at the showcase of the immortals was a sight to behold. The tears of joy on the face of the new bride to be were a sight to behold, a beautiful way to cap off what will surely go down as one of the best days on record for the power couple.
14 Missed: JBL Goes Wild On Blue Meanie
Within the wrestling industry, John Bradshaw Layfield is considered by many to be somewhat of a bully. Based on the events that occurred at ECW One Night Stand in July 2005, it would appear somewhat difficult to dispute these claims. During an in ring segment with multiple superstars present, JBL started legitimately beating up The Blue Meanie. The attack left the Blue World Order members face all bloodied and was seemingly for no reason whatsoever. In interviews since the incident, Meanie has stated that the attack completely blindsided him and was as a direct result of him sticking up to JBL for behaviour which he regarded as bulling. Seemingly the two have made up since the incident and are friends now.
13 Crying: Seth Rollins Emotional After WrestleMania Win Over Triple H
After carrying the company for a large part of 2015 as WWE champion, a horrific knee injury resulted in Seth Rollins being sidelined for close to 9 months and missing WrestleMania 32. However, the architect returned to the grandest stage of them all at WrestleMania 33 by challenging and defeating his former mentor Triple H. In a backstage interview following the match, a very emotional Rollins gave an impassioned speech about how much it meant to him just to be at WrestleMania, and how there were times where he doubted whether or not he would ever step for in a wrestling ring again. It was a truly touching moment that really showed his passion for the business. Thankfully Seth has shown no signs of ring rust since the injury and is back to performing his usual high octane style inside the squared circle.
12 Missed: Mankind Knocked Out By Steel Chair
The hell in a cell match between The Undertaker and Mankind at the king of the ring pay-per-view in 1998 is regarded as one of the major turning points in the Monday night wars against WCW. The sheer insanity of the bumps taken by Mick Foley catapulted his career to the next level and cemented him as a hardcore icon to the fans. During the match, Undertaker choke-slammed Mankind on top of the cell, with the structure accidentally giving way resulting in Mick crashing to the canvas below. However, one thing that went relatively unnoticed was the steel chair which accompanied Foley on his way down. It was later revealed that upon impact of the chair actually knocked the hardcore legend out for a few moments. Thankfully Mick recovered and was able to finish what is not one of the most iconic matches in WWE history.
11 Crying: Hulk Hogan And Warrior Mend Fences
Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior had one of the more memorable rivalries of the early 90's, with Warrior winning the title from Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania VI. However, behind the scenes there was plenty of bad blood between the pair. The animosity got so bad that the two men in question didn't speak for several years. However, the WWE universe did eventually get to see the two legends make peace. In a conversation caught on camera backstage at WrestleMania, the pair could be seen burying the hatchet on the same weekend as Warrior's Hall of Fame induction. This was a touching moment that many fans never thought they would see, and it came just a few days prior to the untimely death of The Ultimate Warrior.
10 Missed: Gail Kim Eliminates Herself From A Battle Royal
From winning the WWE divas championship in her first match to becoming the inaugral TNA knockouts champion, Gail Kim has had quite the storied career. Many regard as one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time and she was the first ever female to be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. However, in late 2011 after a three year stint with WWE, Gail had grown tired of what she viewed to be a lack of respect shown to her and the entire womens roster by the higher ups. When a Smackdown Battle Royal was announced to determine the number one contender to Kelly Kelly's Divas title was announced, Gail was told to get eliminated as quickly as possible. And she did just that by exiting the ring of her accord less than a minute into the match. In an interview Kim claimed that nobody backstage even noticed which just went to show the lack of consideration the company were showing the division. She asked for her release and returned to TNA shortly after.
9 Crying: The Four Horsewomen Curtain Call
The Four Horsewomen are considered by many to be the driving force behind the modern day womens revolution in WWE. The group comprising of Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and Bayley have earned high praise due to their ability to put on excellent matches inside the squared circle. At NXT Takeover Brooklyn after Bayley beat Sasha Banks to capture the NXT women's title in what was a phenomenal match, Becky and Charlotte joined them in the ring and the four women embraced in the ring. Clearly overcome with emotion, all four women started to cry, realizing that their contributions to womens wrestling would change how females in wrestling would be viewed going forward. It was a really special moment that really cemented all four women's passion for the business.
8 Missed: Daniel Puder And Kurt Angle
Daniel Puder is best known as the season 4 winner of tough enough. Aside from this accomplishment, his run in WWE was underwhelming and largely uneventful. One of the most interesting talking points of his career came on a 2004 episode of Smackdown in an incident involving Kurt Angle. Angle invited any member of the Tough Enough cast to challenge him in a legitimate wrestling mat and Puder, who has a background in MMA, answered the challenge. During the contest, he put a legitimate kimura lock on Kurt Angle. However in doing so, he pinned his own shoulders to the mat resulting in him losing the challenge. Angle appeared furious and got in Puder's face right after the incident. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed before the incident could get out of hand.
7 Crying: Goldberg's Retirement Speech
There is no question that Bill Goldberg has had a career worthy of a place in the Hall of Fame. From his winning streak in WCW to his world title reigns in WCW and WWE, the man has had some incredible accomplishments. And to top it all off, his last run with the company was supremely entertaining. It was capped off by a universal title reign and a match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33 that more than made up for their disappointing bout at WrestleMania 20. The following night on Raw he gave a heartfelt and unscripted retirement promo thanking the fans for their support. There were several moments throughout the promo where it's clear that Bill is holding back the tears. An emotional goodbye was made even more touching when Bill's son joined him in the ring.
6 Missed: Mike Bell And Perry Saturn
A 2001 episode of WWE Metal saw Perry Saturn facing career jobber Mike Bell. With the contest barely underway, Bell attempted to perform a hip toss which resulted in Saturn landing awkwardly. Furious, Saturn jumped up and started legitimately punching his opponent. To make matters worse, he threw Bell out of the ring in such a way that he landed directly on his head. Lastly, he followed this up by viciously driving Bell into the steel steps. Thankfully, Bell managed to escape the incident without suffering any serious injuries. As punishment for the attack, Saturn was saddled with a new gimmick where he became infatuated with a mop. He was eventually released from the company in late 2002.
5 Crying: Kurt Angle And Vince McMahon Reunited
A few years removed from his gold medal winning performance at the 1996 olympics, Kurt Angle joined the WWE and immediately made an impact. Throughout the late 90's and early 2000's Kurt was a revelation as both a heel and a babyface, putting on countless top shelf matches in the process. However, after leaving the company in 2006 and signing for TNA, his relationship with Vince McMahon became rocky for a number of years. Thankfully they reconciled in 2017 Kurt was selected to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Behind the scenes show WWE 24 captured the moment where Kurt and Vince were in the same room for the first time in eleven years. The pair immediately hugged one another and with that, all of their animosity was left in the past and the pair were reunited and on good terms once again.
4 Missed: The Glass Doesn't Crack For Shane McMahon
Born into the wrestling business, Shane McMahon deserves a lot of credit for his part in numerous entertaining matches and segments throughout the years. One such match where Shane O' Mac delivered was against Kurt Angle at the 2001 King of the Ring. In one of the more gruesome spots in the match, Kurt delivered an overhead belly to belly suplex in Shane into the plated glass stage set. However, the glass didn't break like it was supposed to, resulting in Shane taking a nasty fall on top of his head on the concrete floor. Angle did manage to successfully complete the maneuver on the second attempt. Later, Angle attempted to put Shane through a second plate which also failed twice more. Thankfully Shane avoided any serious injuries and was able to complete the match.
3 Crying: Emotional Tribute On SmackDown
Two days removed from the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Heuston Texas was the host of a very special edition of WWE Smackdown. It was one of the first major events held in the aftermath of the attacks, and WWE handled the situation with complete class. Chairman Vince McMahon opened the show offering his condolences to the families of the victims, and continued by saying how going ahead with the event sends a clear message to terrorists that American will not live their lives in fear. During the height of the WCW/ECW invasion angle, WWE and WCW/ECW superstars all stood side by side on the entrance ramp, many holding small American flags. Lastly, Lilian Garcia performed an beautiful and powerful rendition of the US national anthem, bringing a powerful segment during a turbulent time to a close.
2 Missed: Undertaker's Pyro Malfunction
The Undertaker is unquestionably one of the most iconic characters in Wrestling history, and one of the many contributing factors that add to the mystique of the character is his entrance. Between the smoke, music, the outfit and the pyro display The Undertaker's entrance feels special. Well, in 2010 at The Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in St. Louis that same entrance almost left him with severe injurues. As the deadman was making his way to the ring, his coat caught fire from the pyro display and he could be seen running towards the ring and throwing his coat on the ground. It was a far cry from the usual slow, methodical entrances we are used to from him, thankfully he escaped without injury and was able to wrestle the match.
1 Crying: Daniel Bryan Retires From Competition
It's always sad to see a talented performer forced into early retirement due to injury. Without a doubt, the most emotional retirement to happen in a long time was that of Daniel Bryan. Bryan worked tirelessly his entire career to become the best wrestler he could be, resulting in him becoming not only a fan favourite but the most adored wrestler of his generation. Unfortunately due to a series of concussions he was forced to announce retirement on a episode of Monday night Raw in February 2016. The fans chanted his name and sounded out his famous yes chant to open the segment. A teary-eyed Bryan soaked up the atmosphere, thanking the fans for allowing him to live his dream. In addition, he said how grateful he was that wrestling led him to meeting his wife Brie Bella. As the segment drew to a close, Bryan got the crowd to start one more yes chant in his honour. Several fans could be seen crying in the stands during this heart-wrenching segment.