Now it’s rather rare but from time to time WWE has to drastically change their plans for a show whenever a real-life problem occurs. Here we are going to discuss 10 real-life moments that change WWE forever. Now, these events have arranged from huge tragedies to adverse weather. The WWE has had different approaches in each specific circumstance but which times were there.
Looks at 10 real-life moments that change WWE forever
10. The Blizzard of 2015
Following the 2015 Royal Rumble pay-per-view fans were extremely angry with the WWE. They booked Roman Reigns to win the Rumble. Fans simply had no desire to see Reigns make the event at Wrestlemania 31. Luckily for WWE, a blizzard hit Hartford Connecticut, and thus forced them to cancel plans to have fans in attendance for Raw. This was to be a major addition to RAW for WWE as it would be in the bill to Wrestlemania 31. Instead of having fans in attendance, they filmed a number of backstage segments involving their top talent. They would even film a showdown between rumble winner Reigns and Brock Lesnar which actually received rather positive reviews. If RAW actually went ahead with fans in attendance they would have without a doubt hijacked the show and they certainly got a lucky escape on this occasion.
9. Stone Cold walks out in 2002
On the road to the 2002 King of the Ring pay-per-view. WWE booked an absolute dream match between Brock Lesnar and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Brock Lesnar was booked to win this match but when Austin heard the creative plans he decided to walk out of the company. Austin had an issue with losing to Lesnar on free television. He believed that a match of this magnitude should have been presented on Pay-Per-View. Following his walkout, Austin wouldn’t appear for the rest of 2002.
WWE Superstars as well as Vince McMahon made a number of personal comments on television regarding Austin’s workout. WWE being without Austin could have seriously impacted the company but luckily they were in the midst of building new talent. They were forced to push talent who they wouldn’t have traditionally pushed in the absence of Austin. Eventually, rekindle his relationship with Vince McMahon and by early 2003 he would be back in the company ahead of Wrestlemania 19 showdown with The Rock.
8. The Bomb Scare
Wrestlemania 7 was headlined by Sergeant Slaughter VS Hulk Hogan for the WWE championship. This was initially planned to take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This was an outdoor stadium that could hold over 100000 people and it was a perfect fit for Wrestlemania. According to WWE and Sergeant Slaughter due to his gimmick being that of an Iraqi sympathizer, there were rumors of a bomb being dropped during Wrestlemania. Thus then the show was moved to the much smaller Los Angeles memorial sports arena. However, in recent years the credibility of this rumor has been put into question. It’s believed that the show was actually moved due to poor ticket sales and not a bomb scare.
7. The 2007 Steroid Scandal
In 2007 11 WWE Superstars were named in the Signature Pharmacy scandal. This scandal was rather severe and it relates to the signature pharmacy distributing steroids and prescription drugs to superstars who didn’t have a legitimate prescription for them. The names involved the likes of Edge, Randy Orton, Booker T, and Mr. Kennedy. All of whom were top talents in the WWE relation to Mr. Kennedy was in the midst of the biggest storyline of his career.
Kennedy was about to be revealed as Mr. McMahon’s illegitimate son which would have been a huge moment for him. This would have finally led to his ascension to the main event seen in WWE. Due to the public scandal, WWE was forced to cancel these major plans, and instead, they oddly decided to have Horns Woggle be revealed as Mr. McMahon’s illegitimate son. All the superstars involved in the scandal with the exception of. Orton was suspended for 30 days and this put WWE without 11 of their full-time superstars for a month and both Raw and Smackdown were seriously impacted as a result.
6. John Cena’s 2007 Injury
By the time October 2007 came around John Cena was certified as being the face of the WWE. Therefore on the first October 2007 edition of Raw where Cena tore his right pectoral muscle. This naturally sent WWE into panic mode Cena was set to defend the title against Randy Orton in the last-man-standing match. Just six days later at the No Mercy pay-per-view but these plans were now up in the air. WWE now faced their top guy being out of action for an extended period and their promoted pay-per-view main event was now canceled.
WWE instead decided to move Triple H into Cena’s spot and would wrestle a total of three times on pay-per-view. This would involve two matches against Orton including one last man standing match and a match against Umaga. All of these matches were for the WWE title. It was a smart move for WWE to give the fans three title matches in the same show. To make up for the absence of Cena luckily in the weeks that followed Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho made their returns to television. So thankfully WWE was able to manage in the absence of their top star.
5. Edge’s Retirement
When edge retired in 2011 nobody saw it coming especially those in WWE following Wrestlemania 27. Edge’s neck was simply too damaged for him to continue wrestling and this meant that he was forced to retire and therefore surrendered the world title. Well, this retirement was like no other traditional retirements are planned in advance with Edge. There was another that WWE was left with a huge hole when Edge departed from the company. He’d been one of their top stars and he was the face of Smackdown and they urgently needed a suitable replacement for him.
The WWE’s idea was for Christian, Edge’s real-life best friend to win the world title Extreme Rules pay-per-view. WWE would then move over Randy Orton to Smackdown in the 2011 draft to become the new top babyface on the blue brand. Thankfully in 2020 Edge would be finally able to return to the ring. He made his return at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view and has been putting on acclaimed performances ever since.
4. CM Punk walks out on the day
After the infamous 2014 Royal Rumble CM Punk met with Vince McMahon and Triple H. In this meeting, Punk would declare that he was going to leave the WWE and nothing else could be said to change his mind. Punk was fed up he was injured and he was sick of the WWE’s creative direction. They sent WWE’s Wrestlemania 30 plans into disarray as Punk was supposed to face Triple H in one of the featured matches.
Punk informed Triple H that he didn’t need to face him and that he could care less about the planned match. Due to Punk’s departure, WWE had to put together a new Wrestlemania match card. Now Triple H would then face Daniel Bryan. Bryan would finally be added to the Wrestlemania main event a spot that fans and Punk believed that Bryan should have already been in.
3. September 11, 2001
Attacks on the day of 9/11 WWE was set to tape Smackdown in Texas however all public gatherings were quiet. WWE canceled due to safety implications Vince McMahon decided to host a live Smackdown broadcast two days later. That Thursday’s edition of Smackdown would act as a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 attack. 12 days after 9/11 WWE was set to present their annual unforgiven pay-per-view due to the mindset of the nation at the time. WWE booked babyface American hero Kurt Angle to defeat Stone Cold Steve Austin in the main event to capture the WWE championship. Now the rain was short-lived but nevertheless, it was the right thing to do and certainly gave fans some much-needed escapism.
2. The Benoit Tragedy
WWE had concrete plans in the places summer of 2007 to make fan-favorite Chris Benoit. The new face of ECW but after the tragedies, WWE was forced to cancel RAW, and instead they would air a tribute to Benoit. This was before the true details of Benoit’s actions had been revealed. Following those details, Benoit was virtually erased from WWE history and this has remained the case for over 14 years.
The major storyline of the summer of 2007 was canceled this was to be the demise of the evil Mr. McMahon character but due to the tragedy, McMahon was needed on WWE television. Benoit was initially booked to win the ECW world title at the Vengeance pay-per-view. Chri Benoit was set to face CM Punk but this was later changed. Benoit would be replaced by Johnny Nitro and the WWE went with an alternative direction with the struggling ECW product.
When the Covid19 pandemic hit the world in 2020 it dramatically changed how every company operated in relation to WWE. Their business model predominantly revolved around live entertainment therefore they were at serious risk of financial loss. At the hands of the outbreak, WWE would drastically change its plans moving forward. As Wrestlemania 36 and all future WWE shows up until summer 2020 will be moved to the performance center in Orlando. Mass testing would be implemented across the roster to ensure that all the talent and WWE staff were safe.
Fans were not allowed for the shows and this was for their and the safety of the WWE superstars too. Unfortunately, they also cut a number of superstars from their roster to save money during this difficult time. WWE received widespread criticism for this move as they didn’t need to cut anyone. As it was still making huge profits but still WWE believed it was the best move to do. Although the pandemic was a difficult time period for all WWE managed to deliver their weekly television shows as well as pay-per-view events. During this time and this was something that was certainly commendable. There you have 10 real-life moments which change WWE forever.