10 Times WWE Superstars Went Off Script

It's their way, or the highway...

It doesn't matter what we do in life, we all have a script to follow. We turn up to work, do what we have to do, go home, and then face whatever challenges we have to deal with in our personal lives. Some people like the script they have to follow, some hate it. If we don't do what's in our respective scripts, we won't have jobs and our lives will be very lonely indeed.

In the more traditional sense of script following, WWE Superstars have to follow what is written down for them. Vince McMahon has all of his Superstars at his mercy. He says what they have to do, and if they don't do what he says, they have to face rather severe consequences - unless whatever they do inadvertently furthers the storyline, of course...

Even though he's 72-years-old and has a forehead made from ash after what Kevin Owens did to him, the Chairman is still the be all and end all when it comes to what we see on the company's television shows. Despite the increasing influence of others around him, Vince still has the final say to this day. Get on the wrong side of him at your own risk.

The following Superstars ran that risk with varying results. Here are 10 instances where WWE Superstars went off script AND NO I'm not mentioning the Blue Meanie and JBL because I'd only be insulting your wrestling intellect.

10. Dusty Rhodes Tells Stephanie McMahon To Talk To The Hand


The Rhodes vs. McMahon/Helmsley regime storyline of 2013 is arguably one of the most compelling since the turn of the decade. If WWE's mission was to have us relate to the father Dusty and sons Goldust and Cody, they passed with flying colours. From Cody getting fired, to Big Show reluctantly knocking out Rhodes Senior, you found yourself really caring about the people on the television on a different level for the first time in a long old while.

It felt real, but if reports from around the time are to believed, things actually got real while the cameras were rolling. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter documented how The American Dream upset Stephanie McMahon by going off script live on Raw.

It's a moment that has lived on in infamy. While Triple H and Dusty were nose-to-nose in the ring, the NWA great decided to deviate from what was planned and facepalmed Steph - something the Billion Dollar Princess clearly didn't see coming. Given the fact she immediately swiped his hand away and was reportedly pissed off afterwards suggests the character we see emasculating everyone in sight on television might be way closer to her actual personality than we all thought possible.

Meltzer also reported that Dusty never followed WWE's scripts during this period, sticking to the traditions of the business rather than adapting to the new ways of doing things. He was an admirable bloke, wasn't he? 

9. Ric Flair Tells Natalya To Kill Herself


Really. This is a thing that happened.

Given the standards of the day back in 2016 - notably, a promo Paige cut on Charlotte with reference to Reid Fliehr's death - you may have been forgiven for thinking this line from Ric was planned. However, it wasn't. It really wasn't. It wasn't even close to making it to the script.

During an Ambrose Asylum on SmackDown - yes, this was the era when WWE Superstars seemingly competed for talk shows for some reason - Natalya told The Nature Boy that her uncle Bret could take him on in a fight if needs be. The Queen of Black Harts was comparing the legends because this promo took place days ahead of the Women's Championship match at Payback where Ric and Bret would accompany their respective family members down to the ring.

In repost, Flair 'Flair-d up', telling Nattie that she was out of her mind and that she should kill herself. Needless to say, given that SmackDown was still a taped show when this slip of the tongue happened it was cut from the version that aired.

8. Daniel Puder Almost Breaks Kurt Angle's Arm


Kurt Angle is a very clever wrestler. That is arguably the most redundant sentence you'll ever read on this website.

On the 4 November 2004 episode of SmackDown, Tough Enough contestant Daniel Puder answered Angle's challenge to best him in the ring. Instead of rolling over and making Kurt look like the Wrestling Machine he would later be billed as, Puder took the fight to the WWE Hall of Famer and would end up within a couple of seconds of snapping his arm via a devastating Kimura Lock.

However, instead of letting a potentially humiliating defeat to a rookie take place, Angle pinned Puder's shoulders to the mat (ish) allowing Charles Robinson to hastily count to three.

The pair would end up nose-to-nose after the bell, with Angle berating the upstart who almost robbed him of a lot of his credibility as a master mat-wrestler.

As punishment for going off script, Puder was entered in the 2005 Royal Rumble where Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and celebrated rookie-beater Hardcore Holly gave him a public whipping of sorts. He would be released from the company later that year.

7. Mickie James Simulates Cunnilingus At WrestleMania XXII


Believe it or not, Mickie James was a bonafide stalker in her younger years with Trish Stratus her number one target.

In the midst of her debut storyline back in 2005, James developed an obsession for Stratusfaction, with months of uncomfortable situations for Trish culminating in a Women's Championship match at 'Mania.

Mickie would take the championship from her love, but her victory was marred by controversy. In the later stages of the contest, Mickie grabbed Stratus' crotch and made an inappropriate gesture towards the hard cam. Even though it fit her character perfectly - although those who argue it went just a bit too far are fully justified in doing so as well - Vince McMahon was not happy. He screamed at James for doing what she did when she came back through Gorilla, labelling the incident "crass," and lambasting his new champion for the amount of time it was going to take to edit it out of the show.

Imagine that, Vince McMahon calling something 'crass' in 2005...

6. Shawn Michaels Claims Bret Hart Had Some 'Sunny Days'


"You couldn't go 10 minutes in any situation, if you know what I mean. And even though lately you've had some Sunny Days my friend, you still can't get the job done."

Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels didn't like each other in the 1990s, with this comment arguably being the lowest either stooped in their blood feud while the cameras were rolling.

The Hitman claims in his book that The Heartbreak Kid was drunk during this back and forth on Raw, which if true, may explain why Shawn brought rumour and innuendo from behind the camera and made it part of WWE's weekly serving of entertainment.

If you didn't get the reference from the quote above, Shawn inferred that Bret had been having an affair with WWE's first Diva Sunny here, even though he was married with children at home. This is a rumour that reportedly had been causing a bit of friction in the Hart household, which is why it was a pretty low move by HBK.

Bret would confront Shawn about the comment three weeks later which resulted in a short brawl. I guess the Hart Foundation leader must be considered the winner here, as he reportedly emerged with a handful of Michaels' flowing locks.

This is a moment that was drowning in irony, of course, as it was actually Michaels and Sunny who were hooking up behind the scenes.

5. Shawn Michaels Vs. Hulk Hogan At SummerSlam 2005


If you believe Shawn Michaels was supposed to be flying around with such gusto at SummerSlam 2005 then you are very much mistaken.

It's a simple one, this, as two of the biggest names in the history of the business and their bigger egos and their prowess in politics came together at the self-proclaimed Biggest Party Of The Summer.

The story goes that Shawn and Hulk were scheduled to have two - although Michaels himself claims three - matches together in 2005 with one taking place at SummerSlam, the other at Unforgiven. Shawn was told he was going to have to do the job for Hogan at SummerSlam, with The Hulkster doing the favours a couple of months down the line. The mini-feud was supposed to end as a draw, with two bonafide goats' respective legacies remaining untarnished. Everyone's a winner.

The situation started to turn sour when Hogan insisted Michaels turn heel - HBK envisioned the feud being a face vs. face 'who's the better legend?' affair. This led to Shawn turning on Hogan following a tag match victory over Carlito and Kurt Angle on Raw at the start of July. Not happy at having to become a bad guy in the midst of a very fruitful good guy run, Michaels went and saw that Larry King parody and tore his SummerSlam opponent to shreds. Go and watch this now if you haven't already.

Close to SummerSlam, Hulk revealed that he would be working the match hurt, and probably wouldn't be able to compete in the return bout - although other sources report that he flat out told WWE officials that he wouldn't be losing to The Heartbreak Kid after some of the things that had been said about him on WWE's programming. This meant that Shawn would be losing with no promise of getting a win back. So with this in mind, Michaels decided that he was going to make a mockery of everything Hulk tried on him, flopping around like a confused fish out of water. If you haven't seen the match, please go and watch it now. It takes the art of selling to heights it hasn't reached since.

4. The Rock And The Cosplayers


Remember the summer of 2015 when all of that stuff came out about Hulk Hogan and WWE banished him from their Universe? Well, Rock seemed to have missed all of that, as he featured The Hulkster (ish) prominently live on Raw around six months later when WWE were trying to have you forget about him. Not only that, but Hogan (ish) and Rocky confirmed the quality of weed in Miami was high at the time - no pun intended.

The Great One was in town to officially kick off WrestleMania 32 season but ended up getting distracted by the set of cosplayers in the front row, who rather ironically, were moved to that side of arena and away from the areas visible on the hard cam earlier in the evening because they were distracting the live audience from the action in the ring.

Rock wasn't supposed to do what he did, but he's The Rock, he's going to be the President of the United States in the next few years (maybe), so what's anybody going to do about it?

I guess while we're here we may as well give an honourable mention to Rock calling CM Punk following an episode of Raw in February 2017. Both Vince McMahon and Triple H were angry about the incident, reportedly, given Punk's lack of relationship with the company and ongoing legal battles. But he's The Rock, so what were they going to do about it? 

3. Batista Gets Colour Against Vince's Wishes


Back in 2008, Batista was fined a hell of a lot of money by Vince McMahon after he bled against the boss' orders during a cage match with Chris Jericho on Raw.

WWE were fully launching into the PG era by this point so to keep the sponsors and the children happy, Vince wasn't going to let his main eventers and faces of the company get colour. How potentially barbaric of them, hey?

Due to this match taking place inside a steel cage, The Aminal looked at it from an old-school perspective. Blood and cage matches go together like fish and chips - you see two men inside a barbaric setting, you'd expect to see barbaric results all over their bodies. With that in mind, the proposed finish to the match would see Y2J leather Dave in the head with a pipe before dropping to the ringside area below to win, and when somebody gets hit in the head with a pipe, the old school would say they'd be expected to bleed - so bleed Dave did.

He bled on purpose too, gigging himself before being opened up the hard way to boot.

When the pair came back through the curtain there was a lot of shouting and screaming going on due to the graphic scenes left in the ring after the final bell. Vince McMahon declined the opportunity to discuss what had happened without his blessing, telling the two stars that he'd be dishing out a fitting punishment the following week.

That punishment came in the form of a $100,000 fine for Batista, with McMahon even going as far as contemplating firing one of his premier acts before talking himself out of it because it 'would have been the easy way out.' Jericho, on the other hand, was only fined $5000 - the same penalties dished out to the match's referee Mike Chioda and agent Dean Malenko.

In a wonderful act of generosity, Batista ended up paying all of the fines handed out by Vince.

2. Kevin Owens And Sami Zayn Don't Take Post Match Beating


Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were accused of going into business for themselves on an episode of SmackDown Live in November 2017, resulting in the pair being kicked off WWE's European Tour.

After interrupting a promo involving Shane McMahon and The New Day, Sami Zayn faced off against Kofi Kingston and lost. Following the match, it is reported that both Owens and Zayn were supposed to be on the receiving end of a beat down from the record-breaking Tag Team Champions, but instead, they went into business for themselves and vacated the ringside area.

KO attacked Kofi as planned, but then the pair quickly bailed from the ring which allegedly wasn't on the script. Despite already losing the match and being heels, Owens and Zayn were supposed to take another beating - a booking decision that called the legitimacy of the accusations into question due to how nonsensical it was.

The pair, of course, kept their top billing after the incident - winning a high stakes tag team match against Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton at Clash of Champions with Commissioner McMahon and Daniel Bryan the guest referees and their jobs on the line.

1. The 2005 Royal Rumble Match


Ah yes, the night both of Vince McMahon's quads decided to roll up his leg and take a holiday around his groin area. Good times, good times...

Accidental eliminations in a Royal Rumble match are nothing new, but the 2005 edition of the event produced a finish the likes of which we'll probably never see again.

Back when Batista was the top dog in WWE, with John Cena on the rise and nipping at his heels, the pair found themselves the final two in the Rumble with The Animal booked to win the match. However, this didn't happen as smoothly as all concerned would have hoped as with Cena on his shoulders for a Batista Bomb, Dave stumbled backwards, sending both men tumbling over the top rope.

Unintentional? Yes. The script? Absolutely obliterated!

Good on the referees who acted on their feet. The Raw officials proclaimed their roster member Batista the winner, while the SmackDown refs did the same with their guy, Big Bout Jonathan.

The mishap was settled by a Vince McMahon-shaped beetroot who sat down in the ring in absolute agony, ordering overtime and sudden death to commence. Batista would finally get the win a little while after he was initially supposed to.

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Ross Tweddell

Written by Ross Tweddell

Written and video journalist for Cultaholic Wrestling | twitter: @rossonrasslin | instagram: @rossonrasslin