Bloopers That Make Us Love WWE Even More
On the day of a WWE event, talent will spend hours before bell time prepping for their segment on the card. Warm ups, rehearsals, and discussions with those involved in a match, such as other wrestlers and agents, transpire to lay out what each participant will do and when. Matches featuring weapons will often have them gimmicked beforehand to ensure the competitor’s safety and they work effectively, such as scoring the inside of a guitar. They are a collaboration between groups of performers and behind-the-scenes staff whose goal is to make a quality product that fans would want to return the next time they’re in town.
Even with all the prep time in the world, things will still go wrong, as is the nature of a live performance. Someone will miss their cue, stammer over their words, or trip for seemingly no reason — all of it potentially being on camera in front of a large crowd. Live feeds may capture these mistakes, with production cutting to a different angle and will likely edit out the mishap in a future cut. Even commentators are inclined to provide their take on the events being presented before them, as some botches are so shocking that they can’t be ignored. While it made some of them look foolish, these superstars were able to dust themselves off and continue with the show to satisfy the fans. Here are 15 bloopers that make us love WWE even more after watching them.
Rey Mysterio’s Botched Pull-Ups
In July 2002, Rey Mysterio made his WWE debut on "SmackDown," where he’d be pushed as one of the brand’s top faces. On a "SmackDown" taping that aired August 8, Mysterio teamed with Edge and John Cena in a six-man tag against Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero. In a promo leading up to the match, Mysterio is seen doing pull-ups on a shelf in the background while Edge and Cena formulate a game plan. Mysterio interjected, telling both men his sights are on Angle.
In an alternate take, Mysterio can be seen doing his pull-ups but the board supporting him ended up breaking while Cena was speaking. A black bag of toiletries spilled on Mysterio’s head while he took the fall on his knees, flopping to the ground in dramatic fashion. The wrestlers, as well as the crew shooting the promo, can be heard erupting with laughter while Mysterio laid on the ground in stitches. Given the promo was shot in a locker room, the shelf likely wasn’t meant to support a human being’s weight, hence why it broke.
Mysterio would go on to score the pinfall victory for his team over Angle. In the 20th anniversary of his first WWE appearance, Mysterio recapped notable moments from his career. After watching the blooper, Mysterio gave a hearty laugh and said "I love this." He followed up with "I played along with it, I took it down … you saw me melt like butter."
Kalisto’s Good Lucha Things Promo
The Lucha Dragons were broken up going into the 2016 Draft and allocated to separate brands, with Sin Cara going to "Raw" and Kalisto to "SmackDown." Interviewer Greg Hamilton caught up with Kalisto, asking him what’s next considering last time he went on his own he became the United States Champion. Kalisto opened the promo promising to "shock the world," paralleling the infamous Shockmaster debut. He called out Baron Corbin looking to seek revenge, going on to work a program with him in the months following. Kalisto closed the promo vowing to "make a Good Lucha Thing" and gave a hearty "Woo-hoo!" before walking off camera. The whole promo made the rarely-interviewed luchador look like a nervous wreck going into his singles push.
The special is currently unavailable for American viewers, not being ported in the Network’s jump to Peacock in 2021. However, WWE released a follow-up featuring testimonies from the roster and Kalisto having his "redemption interview."
The promo has become a notable meme in the wrestling community, being included in the opening to "Botchamania." Kalisto, now working the indies under his old moniker Samuray Del Sol, has released a shirt referencing the promo done in the style of the old-school "SmackDown" logo.
Matt Hardy’s Fall on Superstars
Matt Hardy took Justin Gabriel under his wing after the two were paired on season one of "NXT." On an episode of "Superstars" broadcast on April 15, 2010, Hardy was accompanied by Gabriel to take on fellow "NXT" mentor Carlito with rookie Michael Tarver in his corner. While doing his signature V1 pose, Hardy fell over the ropes and landed to the floor ringside. Matt Striker can be heard chuckling over commentary, saying "Everywhere we go, the WWE universe comes alive for Matt Hardy and Justin Gabriel!" Hardy would win the match following a Twist of Fate. The mistake has been edited out of the cut available on YouTube, with Hardy still sporting the same huge grin of embarrassment.
Years after the incident, Hardy explained on Twitter that Gabriel "unknowingly threw my balance off when he surprised me & climbed on the ropes … I did show my agility & land on my feet."
While at Ringside Fest 2018, Hardy told Sam Roberts that the fall "sent me ass over tea kettle … I just remember thinking, what was that?" (h/t eWrestling). Hardy described at as one of his funniest moments with its removal from the replay even funnier.
On an episode of "Are You Serious?" featuring the blooper, Josh Matthews chimed "Ironically this video was a metaphor for Matt Hardy’s career."
After the Hardys reunited in AEW, The Young Bucks impersonated them on a May 2022 episode of "Rampage" with Matt Jackson mocking the fall.
Vince McMahon’s Torn Quads
The 2005 Royal Rumble was intended to close out with Batista last eliminating John Cena to earn a championship match at WrestleMania 21. While Batista positioned Cena for a powerbomb, both fell over the ropes and hit the floor in a photo finish tie.
Ringside officials proclaimed their brand’s representative as the winner, causing much confusion over who truly won. A red-faced Mr. McMahon emerged from backstage, hurling expletives and tossing his coat to the ground. Sprinting to the ring and sliding under the ropes, McMahon attempted to stand but collapsed from having torn both of his quads. While sitting in immense pain of his fresh injury, McMahon confided with referees and called for the match to be restarted. After a brief struggle, Batista threw Cena out of the ring to win the Rumble.
On "Grilling JR" (h/t 411Mania), Jim Ross described his disbelief upon finding McMahon sat on the floor backstage and realizing the severity of the injury. Upon rewatching the footage in an interview with Kayfabe Commentaries, Dave Finlay commented "That was a serious injury… I was there, that was horrible."
Entrant number 17 Rene Dupree revealed on "Cafe de Rene" McMahon showed up to work the next day in a pair of "Forrest Gump"-esque leg braces, saying "his ego is insane."
In an interview on "The Pat McAfee Show," McMahon discussed his medical history and called the severing of both his quads a "unique" injury that requires "talent."
Mandy Rose’s WrestleMania Slip
The first show featuring live crowds after the COVID-19 global lockdown, night one of WrestleMania 37 suffered a rain delay before bell time. The set turned slick from the Floridian humidity. The second contest was a tag team turmoil match to determine the challengers for the Women’s Tag Team Championship the following evening.
The third team to enter the match, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke walked down the ramp. The moisture resulted in Rose slipping during their entrance, with the crowd cheering on as she carried herself back up. Corey Graves gasped over commentary with Michael Cole emphasizing the slipperiness of the arena due to the rainfall. The Riott Squad knocked off Rose and Brooke, with Natalya and Tamina ultimately winning the gauntlet. The fall has been edited out of the replay available on Peacock.
Brooke was unaware of the accident, thinking the pop was coming from the crowd still being fresh. She told "Ring the Belle" almost a year after the fact that the entrance was "epic." She would also say "I thought they were loving us … but it was something that is unforgettable, right?" (h/t Post Wrestling).
After the match, Rose tweeted "Leave it to me to find new ways to trend worldwide" (h/t Sportskeeda).
In the opening match for night two, Randy Orton mocked Rose’s accident by "struggling" to maintain balance during his entrance.
Mean Gene Drops the F-Bomb
"Mean" Gene Okerlund was well-regarded for his straight-shooting interview style. Contrasting to the shouty cartoon characters he interviewed, Okerlund was always focused on getting his scoop.
On the second ever SummerSlam, "Ravishing" Rick Rude was set to defend his Intercontinental Championship against the Ultimate Warrior. When the show cut to backstage, the cameras focused on Rude’s championship and panned out to reveal himself, Okerlund, and Bobby Heenan. While Okerlund began to challenge Rude with a question, a piece of the set behind the three fell to the surprise of Okerlund. Fans watching at home heard "Gentleman, as you know the Ultimate Warrior — F**k it!" before the show abruptly cut to the arena. Okerlund lambasted the laborers who assembled the set, saying they aren’t worth the cost of hiring them. A shocked Jesse Ventura reacted with "I dunno what happened to that Gene Okerlund but someone’s chasing him down!" The version of the show available on the WWE Network has the segment replaced with a proper interview.
In an RF Video Shoot (h/t Rantsylvania), Okerlund revealed that he didn’t get any heat for the f-bomb as the production truck had played the wrong tape. Ventura, on the other hand, was hounded by Vince McMahon to cover for Okerlund’s language but ended up dragging him through the mud.
The incident was parodied at the end of the 2014 Summerslam Retro Report, with Okerlund calling out "Not again!"
Chris Jericho Slips on Whiskey
In January 2012, Chris Jericho and CM Punk began their feud over the WWE Championship. In the months leading to the WrestleMania 28 bout, Jericho accused Punk of being a half-rate mimic and tortured the champion over his family history of addiction.
The night after retaining against Jericho at WrestleMania 28, Punk defended the title against Mark Henry to a count-out loss. After Henry laid Punk out ringside, Jericho appeared from the crowd. Jericho called out Punk’s straight-edge lifestyle, saying he’d be the reason Punk would fall into drinking. After producing a bottle of whiskey, Jericho doused Punk in liquor and told him to "Drink it up." Jericho went for a kick but slipped on the soaked ground, which was caught on camera. The crowd gasped in shock but Jericho began hammering Punk with punches and continued his promo. Jericho threw another bottle over the back of Punk’s head, which broke a millisecond before making contact.
In his third book, 2014’s "The Best In The World: At What I Have No Idea" Jericho described the spill as "the worst thing that could’ve happened at the worst time." He compared the botch to Jason Voorhees slipping on a banana peel, sucking the air out of the arena and wasting the anticipation built to this moment. In his eyes, Jericho had "botched the angle big-time," and the bottle prematurely breaking was the cherry on top. He would pin the blame on his "Stupid pointed dress boots."
Sid Wants to Start Over
Across the three major American wrestling companies, Sid Eudy’s look made him a standout and a believable world championship contender on any roster in the 1990s.
At the inaugural "In Your House" Sid, with Ted DiBiase in his corner, challenged WWF Champion Diesel in the main event. During a backstage segment for the pre-broadcast countdown, Jim Ross interviewed Sid and DiBiase. Ross asked DiBiase of his "obsession" with capturing the WWF Championship, prompting DiBiase to explain his reasons for pursuing the title. While they stood in the forefront, the intimidating Sid is seen standing behind them. As the camera zoomed into Sid’s glaring face, Ross turned the interview to Sid asking him how he’ll address the skeptics who doubt he can beat Diesel. Stammering over his first few words, Sid dropped character to ask for a redo. Being told by Ross "It’s live, pal," Sid comes back into the promo and finishes it off saying that the skeptics will get their answer later on. While Ross brought the show back to Todd Pettingil, Sid can be seen grimacing from the error.
On the "Something to Wrestle" podcast, ex-WWE producer Bruce Prichard claims he was behind the camera during the interview. Prichard commended Ross’ handling of the botch and called it "one of the funniest bloopers" to revisit. WWE’s YouTube channel listed the segment as number 10 of the all-time greatest "Mic Mishaps."
Hulk Hogan’s Silverdome Promo
Headlining eight WrestleManias including the first, Hulk Hogan and the Show of Shows are immensely intertwined with each other. Hogan’s popularity in the 1980s was unrivaled, and bouts such as his WWF Championship match against Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III brought in record-breaking profits.
Returning to WrestleMania for the first time in nine years, Hogan hosted the 30th outing. Hyping fans up for the night ahead of them in an opening promo, Hogan referred to the venue of the event as the "Silverdome" when they were actually standing in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Pontiac Superdome was an actual arena in Michigan, the site of where Hogan body slammed Andre years earlier. The announcers corrected Hogan for the fans at home, with those in attendance correcting him by chanting the arena’s name. Hogan would call the arena by its real name until Steve Austin and later The Rock interjected, mocking the Hulkster’s flub for the rest of the introduction.
In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Hogan revealed that he had been talking about Andre to hype up the memorial battle royal in his name later in the card. Crossing through the curtain and caught up in the emotions of reminiscing over an old friend, Hogan didn’t know what he had said until the second time around. In regards to Austin and Rock’s dogpiling over his mixup, he would say "They were too much, I didn’t know how bad they were gonna beat me up."
Shawn Michaels Gets Stuck to the Entranceway
Making a comeback after four-year sabbatical due to a back injury, Shawn Michaels quickly became a fixture of the World Heavyweight Championship picture on "Raw." During the Gold Rush tournament in May 2005, Michaels defeated Shelton Benjamin in the openers and was set to face Edge in the semi-finals.
Michaels made his entrance in a leather and chain vest, one of many flamboyant getups he donned over the years. While on his knees praising God, a piece of Michaels’ outfit got stuck to the grid of the entrance ramp. After attempting to stand, Michael realized he was stuck and plopped to the ground spread out like a starfish. Wrangling himself out of the vest, Michaels sheepishly smiled and slid into the ring. Over commentary, Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross can be heard reacting with Ross saying Michaels is keeping up a "great spirit."
In the years following Michaels would seemingly abandon this style in favor of cut-off t-shirts, leather vests, and Stetsons. Fan polls deemed Michaels as having the sixth greatest fashion sense for an episode of "WWE Countdown," where he described his outfits over the years including the infamous wardrobe malfunction. Michaels recalled his headspace during the moment, saying "So I’m stuck … it’s on live TV … I just stood up and just krrrt — ripped out of that."
Randy Orton Tosses Samir Singh
Going into Backlash 2017, Randy Orton was on his ninth reign with the WWE Championship looking to continue his dominance on "SmackDown Live." The newly-drafted Jinder Mahal won a six-pack challenge to become number one contender, aligning with the repackaged Singh Brothers.
While Orton would seemingly make quick-work of Mahal, who was a midcard heel until this point, the numbers advantage gave Mahal glimpses for an upset. Towards the end of the match, Orton put the Singh Brothers out of commission with belly-to-back suplexes onto the announce tables. Orton almost flipped over Samir Singh, who landed at a high angle on his neck. Realizing what he had just done, Orton winced at the cameras before finishing the contest.
On "Talk is Jericho," (h/t Sportskeeda) Singh revealed the spot was rehearsed from a safer height but went all-out for the camera against the advice of Shawn Michaels, saying "I’m alive and that’s what counts."
In June 2020, the WWE Network’s Twitter page posted the video with the brothers responding with "We had 10 missed calls from our Father on this day. True story."
The Singhs continued to take nasty bumps as Mahal’s henchmen until their June 2021 releases (h/t Essentially Sports). On Twitter, Orton reacted with "Respect was earned long before those tables came into play," wishing the brothers luck and looking forward to meeting again.
Big E Hits AJ Lee
After unsuccessfully challenging Team Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Championships alongside Dolph Zigger and AJ Lee at WrestleMania 29, Big E Langston took on Daniel Bryan on the post-Mania "Raw."
Making his entrance with Lee and Ziggler in tow, Langston performed a few stretches to psych himself up as he usually did. While doing these stretches, Big E can be seen striking Lee in the chest at full force. Realizing he made contact with AJ, Big E would later describe on the Rappler podcast "expecting to turn around, see this tiny woman on the ground in a pool of blood," (h/t SEScoops). She stepped back from the force, but made eye contact with Langston affirming that she was okay.
Pro Wrestling Unlimited released footage of Lee recalling the moment at a press conference, describing Big E as a "gentle giant" who was "on the verge of tears," when they reached the back. Looking to milk the moment like "a really good friend," Lee texted Big E throughout the week claiming she suffered a broken sternum and was unable to perform basic tasks. Big E described Lee as "very tough," and the two had a laugh about the accident after settling down.
Four years following the incident, Lee and Big E had a playful exchange on Twitter regarding Lee’s "shattered sternum."
Vince McMahon’s Botched Stunner
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Vince McMahon have feuded for the better part of a quarter-century. Austin first performed the Stunner on the Chairman during an episode of "Raw" in September 1997, with the two executing the spot likely hundreds of times since.
After returning to in-ring competition on night one of WrestleMania 38, Austin made a surprise run-in on McMahon and his protégé Austin Theory the next night. Having just beaten Pat McAfee, the two heels were celebrating when Theory attempted to strike Austin but was met with a Stunner. Austin offered McMahon an ice-cold beverage, with McMahon obliging until he was kicked in the gut. McMahon’s knees gave out, with his head being too low for Austin to properly secure a facelock. Falling onto the ring ropes, McMahon bounced back into Austin and managed to get in position. Taking the finisher by awkwardly landing on his toes and knees while Austin spat a mist of IPA, McMahon was left laid out. Raising a pair of middle fingers, Austin is shown laughing and celebrating with the crowd of fellow Texans.
Wrestling Inc covered the reactions of several industry figures following the segment. Renee Paquette described the scene as "incredible" with several laughing emojis.
LA Knight Corrects the Announcer
Upon being promoted to the main roster, LA Knight was repackaged as Max Dupri and paired with Maximum Male Models in May 2022. After a few months with the group, Dupri abandoned the male model gimmick and reassumed the Knight moniker.
While making his entrance on the October 14th episode of "SmackDown," ring announcer Samantha Irvin announced Knight as being from "Hagersville, Maryland" leading into his match with man.soor. Knight would go over his former stablemate, establishing himself as a heel in a post-match promo.
On the "SmackDown" that aired November 4th, Knight faced Ricochet with Irvin correctly announcing Knight as being from Hagerstown. Knight took a mic and dished out insults to the crowd, calling them "incels." He chastised Irvin as a "Pop Tart announcer" who couldn’t get his hometown right. He blamed the mistake on her falling under the influence of his "undeniable kavorka" and getting lost in his "baby blues." Running down Irvin and calling out Ricochet as a "gymnastic jerk," Knight was caught off guard with a dive to begin the match. Michael Cole defended Irvin over commentary, telling Knight "she’s pretty damn good," and calling him a "loudmouth." Knight would go on to win the match.
On the day the interaction aired, Irvin posted a tweet reading "#PopTart" with a link to her performance of Lizzo’s "Good as Hell" on the FOX game show "I Can See Your Voice."
In April 2018, WWE held the Greatest Royal Rumble as the first event in a 10-year deal with the Saudi Arabian government. Headlining the card was a 50-man Royal Rumble, the first of its kind.
Entering the match at number 39, Titus O’Neil ran down the ramp and tripped to the point where all but his boots were under the ring. The commentary team can be heard laughing in shock at what they just witnessed, with Corey Graves going on to say "I completely fell apart," in an interview with Sam Roberts. Express reported that Vince McMahon (who suspended O’Neil the previous year for "unprofessional conduct," (h/t PWInsider) laughed hysterically from the gorilla position and demanded several replays. Once O’Neil was eliminated by Rumble winner Braun Strowman, McMahon allegedly shook his hand backstage.
Cameras captured the reactions of Rumble several participants with Big E perplexed that an ex-college football player could fall so ungraciously, saying "He’s still alive, that man is still alive. He’s fortunate." Big E compared the fall to a similar incident Titus had in NXT where he tripped carrying a keg during a ringside obstacle course.
The fall went viral, subject to numerous memes with WWE’s YouTube page uploading footage from multiple angles. Cathy Kelley covered the social media storm, with fans and fellow wrestlers sharing a laugh and praising Titus. The WWE Shop would release a shirt commemorating the fall. The spot was parodied on the following "Raw" and in the 2019 Royal Rumble.