Kayfabe is the wrestling term the industry use to describe scripted events and status quo of the company. Anything seen on TV is kayfabe. The Undertaker is kayfabe "The Deadman" but in real life, he is Mark Calaway.
For The Undertaker to be called Mark Calaway on TV is called breaking kayfabe. Kayfabe is a strict rule the wrestlers follow and breaking such rule often results in punishment. The real life setting is not often used in TV, though that concept is slowly being changed.
One good example of kayfabe is that Kane and The Undertaker are brothers. In real life, they are just employees of the WWE acting out a scripted storyline.
Wrestlers and Announcers try not to break kayfabe but at times, they do.
WCW is notorious with blurring the lines of real life and kayfabe incorporating real life situations to scripted ones. WCW worked with the concept of confusing the fans with worked shoots to gain viewers. After all, when Scott Hall appeared on WCW acting as a WWF wrestler, it worked so well it's a highly important event in wrestling today.
But what about those legitimate broken kayfabes? Through out the history of wrestling, kayfabe is broken countless times.
The following are some of those wonderful moments. So relax, enjoy and stroll down memory lane as we dig through YouTube and deliver to you ten moments where kayfabe was violated. After all, how many times do you get to see wrestlers break kayfabe?
Up first is the most famous of all broken kayfabe that still rings all the way down to the entire foundation of the WWE. The notorious Montreal Screwjob.
We all know the story right? Bret Hart was leaving the WWE to go to WCW but he was then the WWF champion. Vince Mcmahon was afraid that the excellence of execution would carry the belt over to the rival company and throw the belt to a garbage can just like Alundra Blaze did to the Women's belt.
So to solve this problem, Vince scheduled Bret Hart to lose his title defense at Survivor Series against Shawn Michaels. The twist was, only Shawn, the referee (Earl Hebner) and himself knew of this. To make matters worse, Bret once requested that he would not lose on Canadian soil and that he would not be beaten using the sharp shooter which Vince agreed to awhile back.
The story was different here. Bret lost to Shawn by submission in Montreal, Canada and he never tapped out. He was pissed so bad that he proceeded to spit on Vince's face and made WCW signs in the air.
It was truly the best broken kayfabe there ever was.
Bret Hart never returned to the WWE after this event until last year when he hosted RAW as general manager.
This was part of the most exciting pay-per-view of the WWE that only has 30 percent or so WWE superstars on the card. ECW One Night Stand. And this segment is a worked shoot, meaning its planned, but any promo by Paul Heyman is awesome. Some part of his promo also sounds like a shoot, which proves that Paul Heyman is one talented motherf****r.
"And I was gonna take the high road and just say thank you and leave...but I have something to say to you (points at the crusaders) You see, I've waited a long time to say this to you Eric Bischoff. But in case you don't notice, it's not Paul Heyman with his tail between his leg going to a WCW pay-per-view. You are in our house bitch."
I love how Joey Styles and Mick were silent letting Paul run his mouth. It's no secret that Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff hate each other, with Paul bearing a grudge with the way he was treated back in WCW and for luring his top competitors out of ECW and join WCW with money.
"Oh wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Hide your wives, it's Edge. Well Edge, I know that nobody with a written promo has ever said this to you but I have two words for you. Matt freaking Hardy." Addressing the issue of Edge hooking up with Lita, Matt's girlfriend, while Matt was out injured. It was a hot topic back in 2005 fueled by the fact that Matt was released prior to this.
"With that....I almost forgot about you. Mr. Shoot promo himself, bounce check, ECW went out of business. Hey John. On a personal note to all of us just to you, since you wanna shoot cowboy, the only reason you were WWE champion for a year is because Triple H didn't wanna do Tuesdays."
"One more time for old times sakes, right there were the whole world can see us. This ain't WCW. This ain't Monday Night Raw. This ain't Smackdown. This ain't even WWE. This, my friend, is E C f******* W!" God, I love Paul Heyman.
Even announcers break kayfabe. Though this segment, I think, is more leaning towards censorship than kayfabe.
Mean Gene Okerlund was supposed to interview Bobby Heenan and Rick Rude before their match at SummerSlam. Before they can start, the SummerSlam logo behind them dropped and this startled Mean Gene.
He was so startled that he said, "Oh f*** it" and the interview was cut. It's a pretty funny moment.
This moment also happened at One Night Stand. The same event where Paul Heyman did his incredible shoot promo. The ending of the show had Stone Cold Steve Austin calling every ECW wrestlers in the locker room for a drink. Then he invited the crusaders to a brawl.
JBL joined the brawl and targeted Blue Meanie only. He legitimately beat the Meanie up and made him bleed. There were rumors of JBL being a bully in the locker room; hazing wrestlers and I believe Blue Meanie had a serious beef with him awhile back. I think Meanie called him a "Backstage Bully" and JBL didn't like that.
Fast forward a few years later and JBL didn't forget so he deliberately busted Meanie up.
For a tough Texan cowboy, this blind side was just cheap. It turns out Meanie wanted to sue after this but it was later settled. Later on, Blue Meanie was given a contract and had a match with JBL in SmackDown. The ending had Meanie pinning a busted up JBL after a hard chair shot from Steven Richards.
JBL later confessed he was a backstage bully, admitting that he gave The Miz a tough time. Good for him.
This was a match on WCW's Clash of the Champions between Eddie Guerrero and Brian Pillman. Pillman was on his "Loose Cannon" gimmick and that gimmick usually involves Pillman doing unpredictable things to blur the line between kayfabe and reality. Pillman does work shoots to the delight of the people around.
They didn't know he was acting so he was always kept in check. It was a genius and a gold mine for a gimmick.
Back at the match, Eddie was getting the offensive and he drop kicked Pillman out of the ring near the announcer table. Eddie was to follow up the offensive with a top rope attack but Pillman saw that and he suddenly grabbed Bobby Heenan who was commentating the match.
This seriously pissed The Brain and seriously said, "What the f**** are you doing?" being heard by national TV viewers. Heenan later said that he thought it was a fan that grabbed him but I don't know, you decide.
Heenan then walked out of the arena. He was pissed and no one can blame him. The match also stopped and Eddie was seriously arguing with Pillman.
Heenan then cooled off a bit and in the ramp, he turned around then went back to call the rest of match.
This was just an awesome moment because this was a thin line between work and shoot. Amazing.
RIP Brian "Loose Cannon" Pillman.
This was on March 26, 1998, just three days before WrestleMania XIV, D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chyna and Mike Tyson) were in the ring cutting a promo for WrestleMania Weekend.
Shawn was talking on the mic when a fan suddenly threw a battery at him. This was the 90s Shawn Michaels and he was literally a huge A-hole during this time. He once yell angrily at Steve Austin for not letting Triple H pin him in a triple threat match.
To prove he was a d**ck , he once faked a knee injury so he would not job to Bret Hart and he vacated the title then at the Slammys, he was seen jumping while accepting the award. Shawn, of course, changed and became the wrestling legend we all love.
Back at the moment, Shawn was hit with a battery and stopped his sentence. While other heels would use that as heat (I.E. Chris Jericho), Shawn just walked out of the ring.
He was gone for six minutes and the other members of DX was just in the ring completely clueless as to what happened to him. At the back, Michaels and Vince McMahon broke out into an argument, and after Michaels had somewhat cooled down, he returned to the ring and began taunting the crowd, going as far as mooning the audience.
Shawn Michaels at his finest.
The WWE Tough Enough is the broken kayfabe all around. I mean, wrestling is scripted but kayfabe has a strict code of not accepting that scripted nature. No matter what happens, announcers and wrestlers must sell. Scripted or not.
Then comes a TV show that tells the entire world, "Hey, we're training wrestlers how to safely land from an Angle Slam and how to safely do a suplex." Basically telling the whole world how fake and scripted wrestling is.
That's from first glance. Of course, the show came like gangbusters and it sold well to wrestling and non-wrestling fans alike.
The following moment happened at the 2004 Tough Enough Challenge when Kurt Angle issued a challenge for anybody to get in the ring with him. Daniel Puder is a cocky piece of MMA and he accepted Kurt's challenge.
What better way to prove you're tough enough when you lock Kurt Angle in a kimura lock when the script tells you to lay down and take the beating. You can see Kurt Angle was pissed and Daniel just shrugs him.
Well this stunt was sorta like a sign cause Daniel Puder won the 2004 Tough Enough against The Miz and The Miz is now WWE champion. You can put two and two together.
This one happened at Bash at the Beach 2000. It was a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match Jeff Jarrett against Hulk Hogan.
There was huge tension going into this event between Hulk Hogan and Vince Russo. Hogan wanted to be champion but Jeff Jarrett didn't want to job to Hogan so Hogan took the argument to the head creative, Vince Russo.
The following segment Russo claimed a worked shoot but Hogan claims to be legit. I think you can tell where the work shoot ends and the actual kayfabe bashing begins.
My question is, why is Jeff Jarrett champion? I mean, come on. Jeff Jarrett? JR once flat out told him he will never become anything and when JR gives you advice, you should take it.
This next moment is awesome.
This is a match between Bill Goldberg and William Regal. Bill was in his monster gimmick where he beats his opponents in minutes. He spears them, slams them, slams them some more then jack hammers them to the delight of the crowd.
For William Regal, who built a career out of wrestling honing his craft and establishing himself as a wrestling great, this is a problem. I mean I understand the guy. A seasoned veteran jobbing to Bill Goldberg, that can't happen.
This isn't actually the first time a veteran refused to job to a rookie. Steve Austin left WWE because he didn't want to job to Brock Lesnar. Well Lord Regal doesn't have that option so he devised an ingenious plan.
He wanted to prove to WCW officials and the entire world that Goldberg is just a football reject trying to make it big in the wrestling world. He would out wrestle Goldberg to prove that WCW's biggest rising star is just a joke.
Regal was suppose to be squashed by Goldberg but, as you can see in the video, that wasn't happening. All the planned spots were not followed. Regal delivered stiff, which are non-kayfabe shots and very real, strikes to Goldberg that caught Goldberg off-guard.
The funny thing is, Goldberg could wrestle and can go toe-to-toe with Regal. Regal accepted his defeat and after this stunt, he was fired from WCW.
This is also my favorite match that WCW ever had and dare I say, better than anything John Super Cena ever gave us.
This probably started it all.
In the wrestling world, especially during the 90s, heels and faces never get along. Heels sides with heels and faces side with faces. I mean you would never see Hulk Hogan team up with Ted DiDiase during these times unless both of them are faces. That's the mentality of the 90s.
Then the "incident" happened. Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Triple H were friends backstage but seeing as Shawn and Hall were faces and Nash and Triple H were heels, they never showed their friendship on screen.
Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were leaving for WCW and Shawn Michaels wrestled Kevin Nash one last time in Madison Square Garden at a live WWE event. After the match, Scott Hall hugged Michaels. It was all good, a face hugging a face.
Then Triple H and Nash joined the hug. Everyone's brains just exploded. What the hell just happened?
WWF management was outraged and all hell broke loose soon afterwards. Hall and Nash were leaving and Shawn Michaels was champion. Triple H was screwed hard and his career after the incident was buried. Of course, he rose back up and became a WWE legend.
The Incident was rational thinking back then and probably the best kayfabe bashing ever. I love it.
Celebrating Wrestling is my staple article here on Bleacher Report. I actually promised myself to stray to writing these articles for awhile and try other things. Well I did and I will keep making more articles but I am so happy I am making CW articles again. It's fun to re-educate wrestling fans who enjoy watching John Super Cena and his five moves of doom.
I hope you enjoyed reading as I did writing.
To leave you is a video of Micheal Cole calling The Miz a shit magnet.
Comments are greatly appreciated.