Extracting an eyeball, landing onto thumbtacks - 5 most memorable non-PG moments in WWE history
WWE became the biggest wrestling promotion due to its clever business decisions. From beating WCW in Monday Night Wars to switching to a PG setting, their moves have seen them turn the industry into a monopoly.
The latter tactic is of particular interest given how WWE used to be associated with edgy content. Their product operating under PG guidelines appealed to a global audience of all ages, drawing in the kind of revenue that left all their competitors in the dust.
However, that doesn't mean the company has thoroughly binned any non-PG ideas. Over the years, they have flirted with plenty of suggestive content and have delivered many times. On several occasions, they have even gone overboard and produced some truly shocking moments.
In that regard, we look at five of the most memorable non-PG moments in WWE history.
#5. On our list of the most memorable non-PG moments WWE has produced: The Usos mention Xavier Woods' private affairs during a rap battle
During the epic 2017 feud between The New Day and The Usos, they contested a rap battle that is memorable for one iconic line. At the time, videos and pictures of former WWE Superstar Paige were leaked by a hacker online. She was allegedly seen with Xavier Woods being intimate with her.
The rap battle contained some great PG disses, but The Usos decided to raise the spice levels. Addressing Big E, they said something that broke the internet and sent everyone into a frenzy.
"Big E, let's just keep it PG, you know what’s good. Just don’t get all Rated-R like your boy, Xavier Woods."
The company edited this part out in their official video of the rap battle, which suggested they hadn't approved it backstage. It remains one of the most iconic non-PG lines in the product's history and something that is worth revisiting.
#4. The Eye for an Eye match
How WWE approved this match in 2020 is something we will never understand. Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio contested the first-ever Eye For An Eye match at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules. The only way to win was to extract your opponent's eyeball out of its socket. Yes, you read that right.
Rollins won after pressing his opponent's eyeball against the edge of the steel steps at ringside. Parents had to force their kids to look away every time either competitor went for a potential match-winning move. We can only hope this kind of thing never makes its way into the product again.
#3. Randy Orton RKOs Stephanie McMahon and kisses her
When WWE switched to PG settings in 2008, fans expected them to commit to it for at least a couple of years. However, they proceeded to give them a moment so shocking and the complete antithesis of PG principles within a year.
Orton attacking McMahon is the most viewed video on the company's YouTube channel. Fans loved The Viper handcuffing The Game and making him watch as he attacked his wife and then proceeded to peck her on the lips.
The fact that such a non-PG incident was green-lighted so soon into a PG switch remains an iconic decision Vince McMahon and the company took.
#2. Chris Jericho getting slammed onto thumbtacks
WWE has been so committed to PG guidelines that their weapons these days are primarily tables, ladders, chairs and kendo sticks. This is why it was surprising when they allowed Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho to have thumbtacks at their disposal during the now-infamous Asylum Match of 2016.
Ambrose and Jericho waged war in the ring from the opening bell and produced many intense sequences. However, the most memorable moment of the match saw The Lunatic Fringe shove Y2J off his shoulders and onto the thumbtacks he had scattered around.
The sight of said tacks stuck like glue to the latter's back will not go away from our memories anytime soon.
#1. Brock Lesnar bloodies Randy Orton
There have been many moments where WWE has shown crimson to its fans, deliberately or otherwise. Picking one entry was difficult, but we went for Brock Lesnar, leaving Randy Orton a bloody mess at SummerSlam 2016.
Lesnar and Orton competed in the main event of the show and had a solid match. However, the conclusion went in a wild direction when the former unleashed some legitimate and brutal elbow strikes on the latter's head. It caused The Viper to bleed profusely, leaving everyone visibly shaken and confused.
As the 14-time World Champion drowned in a pool of his own blood, the match ended via referee stoppage and The Beast was awarded the victory. The graphic visual of the whole thing was incredibly disturbing, and it remains the most memorable non-PG moment we can remember.