Top 10 Greatest Unscripted Moments In WWE
VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco
We all know wrestling is 100% real, but sometimes it gets a bit more real. Sometimes wrestlers, like Mickie James, Daniel Puder, John Cena, and Shane McMahon stop following the script. The result is some amazing and unforgettable unscripted moments!
Let's just call these...happy accidents? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Greatest Unscripted Moments in WWE.
For this list, we'll be ranking the moments in WWE programming which went off script, for better or worse, and resulted in some iconic, memorable moments.
We'll be omitting non-televised events, such as the infamous Curtain Call at Madison Square Garden, as this was at a house show. Otherwise, these moments could've occurred on any of the company's network shows, or on one of their pay-per-view events, so long as the incident in question was unplanned and unscripted.
#10: Mickie James Gets Intimate
"WrestleMania XXII" (2006)
It wasn't long after Mickie James first debuted in WWE that she was put into a major storyline feud with the Women's Champion, Trish Stratus. So far so good, right? Well, not so fast. James actually decided to call an audible in her "WrestleMania XXII" match with Stratus, seeking to further push the boundaries of her obsessive, sexual stalker persona. James grabbed Trish by the crotch area, turned to the hard camera, and licked her fingers, which were spread in a "V" shape. The move was cut out of both the DVD and WWE network streams of the match, but one thing's for sure: Mickie James certainly made her mark.
#9: Daniel Puder Shoots on Kurt Angle
"WWE SmackDown! (1999-)
For those unacquainted with pro wrestling lingo, a "shoot" is a term used to define any unscripted or otherwise unplanned wrestling moment, sometimes that means speaking what’s really on their mind or battering their opponents for real. Olympic wrestling veteran Kurt Angle decided to "shoot" on a couple of contestants from WWE's "Tough Enough" reality show with a series of real wrestling bouts...only it didn't exactly turn out like he planned. Angle overcame his first opponent without much trouble, but the second, Daniel Puder, had an MMA background, and wasn't anyone's pushover. Puder caught Angle in a kimura lock, and nearly broke the Olympian's arm before the referees counted a quick three, despite Daniel's shoulders not touching the mat.
#8: Titus World-Slide
"The Greatest Royal Rumble" (2018)
Chalk this one up to being...over-enthusiastic? "The Greatest Royal Rumble" was the company's inaugural event in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with a lot of international eyes fixed firmly on the product. Unfortunately for O'Neil, his entrance into the Rumble was a one giant flub, as the head of Titus Worldwide tripped and slid underneath the ring. Sure, Titus may have tried to save face by claiming it was "all planned" after the fact, but we're not so sure this was really the case. Well, at least it wasn't as awkward as that bit of ringside affection between Titus and his son at Money in the Bank 2016. Crikey.
#7: Shane Through the Glass
"King of the Ring" (2001)
Shane McMahon has done some pretty incredible things out there in the squared circle, a fact which is made more impressive knowing that he's the boss' son. Imagine, then, the feeling of Vince McMahon being backstage during the 2001 "King of the Ring" event, when an incorrectly erected plate of glass refused to break during a match between Shane and Kurt Angle. The sight of Shane falling to the concrete with a thud after hitting the glass was horrible to watch, yet the pair refused to let the spot die, instead going for it again, this time with success. Shane went through the glass as planned, but the damage had already been done.
#6: Cena Ethers Reigns
"Monday Night Raw" (1993-)
These days, most WWE promos are meticulously scripted, leaving many superstars without the sort of wiggle room allowed, for better or worse, to older competitors back in the day. That doesn't mean that certain ad-libs don't make the cut, however, as evidenced by this memorable exchange between John Cena and Roman Reigns on an August 2017 episode of "Monday Night Raw." The pair were engaged in a heated promo, which got the crowd invested until…Roman seemingly forgot his line. In order to save segment, Cena delivered the absolutely savage line "Its called a promo kid, and if you wanna be the Big Dog, you're gonna have to learn how to do it". Needless to say, there’s no recovering from that.
#5: A Royal Mess
"Royal Rumble" (2005)
Royal Rumble matches can be unpredictable, especially when one ends with this sort of mess. The ending to the 2005 "Royal Rumble" not only featured a botched finish-where Batista and John Cena went over the top rope and hit the floor simultaneously-but a fracas where Vince McMahon himself made his way to the ring. Here's where things got interesting, as The Chairman stomped down to ringside, in order to make sense of the finish. Vince attempted to slide under the bottom rope, but accidentally tore both of his quadriceps in the process, leading to the bizarre visual of McMahon sitting in the ring, absolutely livid. It's a surreal series of mishaps, to say the least.
#4: The Rock on Raw
"Monday Night Raw" (1993-)
It's always a good time when The Rock returns to "Monday Night Raw"...isn't it? Maybe not so much for WWE officials, who were reportedly furious when a group of cos-playing fans at ringside were given an impromptu interview segment from The Great One back in 2016. You see, these fans were dressed as various WWE legends, including Hulk Hogan, and this was during a time when the company was trying to distance themselves from Hogan's legal and personal woes. Yet, here was a fan rocking the Hulkster's iconic red and yellow, in full view of the audience at home. It's a stunt only someone of The Rock's status could've pulled off without any repercussions.
#3: The Montreal Screwjob
"Survivor Series" (1997)
It's one of the most infamous unscripted moments in pro wrestling history, an incident which has transcended the industry to become widely known by even casual followers of sports entertainment. Bret "Hit Man" Hart was the World Heavyweight Champion, but wanted to leave WWE for their then-competitors WCW. He was also unwilling to drop the company's highest title to personal rival Shawn Michaels in his home country of Canada. Vince McMahon and others organized behind the scenes to change the match's finish, without Hart's knowledge, leaving him fuming and furious. It's an uncomfortable betrayal to watch, even today, and a grim reminder of pro wrestling's darker side.
#2: Mankind's Second Cell Fall
"King of the Ring" (1998)
Is Mankind vs. The Undertaker at "King of the Ring" 1998 the most re-watched match of all time? Maybe, and it's largely due to this bout's uncompromising violence and shocking climax. Nearly every wrestling fan can recount where they were when they saw Mick Foley take that first, infamous tumble off the cage, onto the Spanish announce table below. It's Mankind's second fall through the cage to the ring below which was even worse, however...because it wasn't planned. Although WWE's prop department reportedly set up the cell ceiling to give way, it wasn't designed to break, which was what happened when Taker choke-slammed Foley to what many felt, was his almost certain death. "Hardcore" indeed.
#1: CM Punk's Pipebomb
"Monday Night Raw" (1993-)
This "Monday Night Raw" moment from 2011 redefined the pro wrestling "promo" spot for years to come, while at the same time turning more eyes onto the product than had been there in YEARS. It was called a "pipebomb," and it certified CM Punk as a pro wrestling superstar. Although WWE had reportedly green lit Punk's microphone time and allowed him to shoot from the hip, the promo itself wasn't run by their desk for approval. As a result, the spot was full of bile, vitriol and resentment, calling out hypocrisies of the business, and acting as a means for the real life Phil Brooks to vent out some frustration. Oh, and it also made for some great television.