5. Zayn and Owens Refuse A Beating
On a recent episode of SmackDown Live on the 7th November 2017, Sami Zayn went one-on-one with Kofi Kingston in a match that ended in an awkward conclusion. The match finish saw Zayn lose after Kingston caught him off-guard with a crossbody pin combination. Even as a heel, Sami Zayn is still booked to lose! I don’t know if Owens was supposed break-up the pin or what but what is clear is that Owens and Zayn were supposed to “feed” for The New Day after their attack on Kofi. In other words, Owens and Zayn (the heels) were supposed to take a beating by The New Day (the babyfaces) in order to make them look strong. However, Owens and Zayn just fled the ring instead. You could argue that Owens and Zayn were just doing their jobs as heels but since they went against a creative directive and conducted business for themselves, consequences followed. Owens and Zayn were sent back home for “unprofessional conduct” and missed the rest of the WWE European tour, a decision that was approved by the Chairman, Vince McMahon. Maybe Vince was still hurt from the headbutt that Owens gave him.
4. Titus O’Neil Grabs Vince McMahon
If you ever make it to the WWE, one thing you should never do is piss of The Chairman and Titus O’Neil did exactly that. Seconds before Monday Night RAW was going off-air after an emotional retirement speech from Daniel Bryan, Titus O’Neil thought it would be a smart idea to jokingly grab Vince McMahon’s arm, saying “ladies first” to allow Stephanie McMahon to exit the stage first. However, Vince McMahon wasn’t amused in the slightest and shoved O’Neil back. I don’t know what Titus O’Neil was thinking but laying your hands on The Chairman is effectively career suicide, well… except if your name is John Cena. I guess you could say that Titus O’Neil finally got a “push” from this. In all seriousness, O’Neil was suspended for 60-days and was even fined around $5000 for his actions. Since the incident, things haven’t been working out too great for O’Neil as far as championship accomplishments but I guess he’s too busy managing Titus Worldwide.
3. Daniel Puder Nearly Breaks Kurt Angle’s Arm
It is well known that Kurt Angle won an Olympic gold medal with a broken freakin’ neck, however, in a segment on SmackDown on the 4th November 2004, Angle nearly ended up with a broken freakin’ arm at the hands of Daniel Puder. During the segment, Angle challenged contestants of the WWE reality show, Tough Enough, to a shoot wrestling match. After Angle defeated one challenger, another one stepped up to the plate, mixed martial artist and season 4 Tough Enough winner, Daniel Puder. The two tussled with one another before Angle brought Puder down, however, in the process, Puder locked Angle in a kimura lock. Most MMA fighters would have tapped at this point but this is Angle we’re talking about, he won a gold medal with a broken freakin’ neck, if I haven’t mentioned that already. Besides, Angle couldn’t tap as that would have tarnished his reputation as an amateur wrestler. Thinking quickly on his feet, referee Jim Korderas quickly awarded Angle a pin-fall victory despite Puder’s shoulders not being fully down, saving Angle from humiliation and a broken arm, of course. As you can imagine, Angle was not too happy about what happened, in fact, he was furious. Although Puder went on to win Tough Enough season 4, he was released from the WWE shortly afterwards but not before he was destroyed in the 2005 Royal Rumble, most likely as punishment for what he did to Angle. Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Hardcore Holly just straight up victimised Puder in the ring and each of them took it in turns to deliver many nasty chops to his chest.
2. Mickie James V Lick
The storyline between Mickie James and Trish Stratus was one to remember as we saw James gradually progress from being Stratus’ biggest fan to an obsessed stalker of Stratus. Their feud eventually culminated in a match at WrestleMania 22 for the WWE Women’s Championship, which James went on to win from Stratus, but not before she made a provocative gesture that got her into a lot of trouble. During the match, James grabbed Stratus’ crotch and then proceeded to make a vulgar gesture by licking her fingers. Following the match, James headed through the curtain backstage to find an irate Vince McMahon, who scolded her for the unscripted gesture she made. Due to the highly sexual nature of the gesture, it was edited out of DVD releases but thanks to the power of the internet, the original, un-edited version is still available for us to enjoy… I mean, watch.
1. “Curtain Call”: The MSG Incident
The MSG “Curtain Call” incident in 1996 forever changed the landscape of professional wrestling in terms of kayfabe, when kayfabe was actually a thing back then. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were set to leave the WWE to go to WWE’s biggest rival at the time, WCW but before they did, they wrestled their last WWE matches at a live event in Madison Square Garden. The closing match of the night saw then WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Shawn Michaels, defeat Kevin Nash in a steel cage match. Immediately after the match, Michaels, Hall, Nash and Triple H group hugged in the ring which was very unusual to see back then; babyfaces and heels embracing one another. With Nash and Hall leaving the WWE and Michaels being the World Champion, Triple H was solely punished and his big push and scheduled King of the Ring 1996 win were taken away from him. But maybe it was a blessing in disguise as instead, the push went to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who went on to win King of the Ring 1996 and delivered the iconic Austin 3:16 promo. The incident certainly did not affect Triple H in the long-term as he went on to become a 14-time World Champion.