The WWE has had its fair share of controversies throughout its many iterations over the years. There are times when these controversies have threatened to destroy the company, as was the case with the steroids trial in the '90s.
However, there were other times when the WWE purposely courted controversy as part of their brand, like what happened during the Attitude Era.
The WWE has brought these problems upon themselves, due to numerous shady business dealings and screwing over the talent in ways that would come back to bite them at a later point.
Many former WWE employees have gone on record concerning the company's poor treatment of both their wrestlers and the fans.
We are here today to look at the darkest behind-the-scenes secrets that the WWE wants to keep quiet-- from the steep price of being a professional wrestler for the WWE to the canceled angle that may have buried the company for good.
Here are the 15 Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Only Wrestling Superfans Know About The WWE!
15 The WWE Divas Were Once Chosen From Magazines
The WWE women's division is at the height of its relevance right now, with the female performers being put on the same level of importance as the male stars on the roster.
It took a long time to get to this point, as the WWE has a long history of hiring women due to their physical appearance over whether they could actually wrestle or whether they had any interest in learning how to wrestle.
There was a long period of time when the WWE's women's division existed only to show off women.
The WWE's hiring process for new female talent used to come from magazines, as the Vice President of Talent Relations was asked hire new talent from bikini magazines. This was how stars like Kelly Kelly were first discovered by the company.
14 Wrestlers Have Blackmailed The Company In Order To Take Part In Matches
The most surprising inductee into the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame is Jeff Jarrett. He has been number one on the WWE's blacklist for a long time. We know this because the first thing Vince McMahon did when he bought WCW was publically fire Jeff Jarrett.
The reason for this has to do with his final match within the company at No Mercy in '99, where he was supposed to lose the Intercontinental Championship belt to Chyna.
Jarrett's contract with the WWF concluded the day before the event, but he wrestled anyway.
It was later alleged by both Chyna and Bob Holly that Jarrett refused to show up to the match unless he was paid three-hundred-thousand dollars, which the WWF paid.
This would explain the animosity towards Jarrett that only recently ended.
13 Vince McMohan Wanted To Use An Angle That Involved His Daughter & Sketchy Family Relationships
The WWE has had its fair share of creepy and inappropriate angles over the years. These mainly happened during the Attitude Era, when the WWF was trying to be controversial in order to shed its previously family-friendly image and find a new audience.
By far the most offensive WWE angle was one that thankfully never made it to air.
Stephanie McMahon has revealed that she had to turn down several angles that focused on romantic relationships with her family members over the years.
Vince had wanted to do an angle where it was revealed that he was the father of Stephanie's baby.
When she turned it down, Vince offered to change things so that it was her brother, Shane, who was the father of the child.
Thankfully, Stephanie turned all of these angles down.
12 They Have Spent Years Lying About Andre The Giant
One of the most famous moments in WWE history happened during the main event of Wrestlemania III when Hulk Hogan faced Andre the Giant.
This match culminated with Hulk Hogan using a scoop slam to drop Andre to the mat, which was followed by Hogan using his leg drop to score the victory.
The rivalry between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant is one of the most famous in WWE history and the moment where Hogan body slammed Andre is considered the most iconic move in the match.
The WWE has claimed on numerous occasions that this was the first time anyone had ever performed a body slam on Andre the Giant.
The WWE has been lying about this moment for years, as numerous wrestlers body slammed Andre in the years leading up to Wrestlemania III... including Hulk Hogan himself, who did it several times during smaller events.
11 The False Support For Gay WWE Stars
The WWE's storylines that have involved gay relationships have usually involved the female talent acting with each other. The few storylines that have involved gay men are the kind that would get the company into a lot of trouble if they tried to do them now, due to how offensive they were considered to be when they first aired.
One of the few openly LGBTQ WWE stars is a wrestler named Darren Young. He publicly came out of the closet in 2013, which was met with acceptance and support from both the fans the WWE.
The WWE's public support of their gay stars only goes so far.
Darren Young has complained publicly about how the WWE blurred his partner's face on Swerved, which is a show on the WWE network.
The WWE also left Darren Young off of their tour of the United Arab Emirates, which Young has claimed was due to the fact that he was gay.
10 The Scripted Adult Material, which happened In Front Of Kids
There have been moments when female wrestlers have had accidental wardrobe malfunctions during a match. The WWE's TV crew is know to cut away when this happens and anything that does make it to air can be edited in future releases.
There has been at least one moment when the WWE planned for such an occasion to happen on one of their live shows.
Stacy Carter (also known as The Kat) won the Four Corners Evening Gown Pool match at the '99 Armageddon event. This culminated in Carter removing her top in front of the live audience before being covered by Sgt. Slaughter.
The WWE had maintained that Stacy Carter was acting of her own volition when she took off her clothing in front of an arena full of families, but she has since revealed that the entire segment was scripted and cleared with both Carter and her husband before it happened.
9 The Heresy Gimmick
Dan Severn is one of the most accomplished athletes in the world. He has held numerous championships in multiple MMA and professional wrestling companies in his lifetime. Severn became famous for his vicious amateur wrestling style, which he used to win matches.
Dan Severn briefly worked for the WWF in the late '90s. You would think that a man as talented as Severn would be a huge star within the company, yet he left the WWF without any notice and has seldom been mentioned by them since.
Dan Severn has since revealed that the reason why he left the WWE was due to the creative team insisting that he come to the ring with "666" written on his forehead, as he would serve as one of the Undertaker's disciples.
When Severn refused, the writers said that they would put him on a losing streak from that point on.
Severn retorted that he would beat anyone who tried that and asked for his release from the company.
8 They Have Spent Years Lying About Attendance
It's not unheard of for sports teams to lie about the attendance at their events. This is done in order to entice high-paying sponsorships, which might be necessary to keep the team afloat. It has become a lot harder to maintain these lies, due to how easy it is to digitally keep track of ticket sales.
The WWE has made an art out of lying about the attendance of their events.
They have no problem sending one of the McMahon's out at the halfway point of the show so that they could spout some nonsense about how many people are the event.
The WWE has been repeatedly caught inflating the numbers at their shows, which included adding twenty-thousand people to the attendance of Wrestlemania 32.
7 The Alternate Names In Germany
The WWE hosts most of their live shows in the United States of America. They also hold international tours which draw in huge audiences, due to how big the company is across the world and how rarely they are able to put on shows in different countries, compared to the ones in America.
The WWE has been forced to use different names for their events in some countries, due to different sensibilities.
The biggest example of this involves the WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event, which involves the use of the special Elimination Chamber cage.
The WWE Elimination Chamber event has had its name changed to WWE No Way Out and WWE No Escape in Germany, as it was felt that the Elimination Chamber name invoked imagery related to the Holocaust.
6 The Crowd Edits
Roman Reigns might be the most polarizing figure in the WWE right now. This is because the WWE keeps trying to push this guy and get fans into him.
This has extended to editing replays and segments in order to make it look like members of the audience were disappointed when he lost a match when they were actually cheering.
These kinds of crowd edits have been going on since the days of the WWF. The most infamous example happened during the 1992 Royal Rumble when Sid Justice snuck up on Hulk Hogan and threw him out of the ring.
This drew a huge cheer from the fans... which prompted the WWF to edit the moment in future releases so that booing sounds were added in. Gorilla Monsoon even recorded new commentary for the segment which condemned Sid's actions.
5 Stephanie's Childhood Modeling Career
The WWE is a family business and being the progeny of Vince McMahon hasn't spared anyone from getting involved in the sketchy aspects of the business.
Shane and Stephanie McMahon have endured some of the most vicious bumps and embarrassing spots in the history of the company, which has earned them a great deal of respect from both the performers and the fans.
One of the earliest roles that Stephanie McMahon held within the WWE also happens to be the creepiest, as she was modeling t-shirts within their 1988 Merchandise Catalogue when she was only 12 years old.
It was made to appear that Stephanie was wearing nothing but a Rockers t-shirt when she was only a kid. The thing that is most demeaning about the photo is the fact that she is wearing a t-shirt with Marty Jannetty's face on it, which no one could ever live down.
4 WWE Wrestlers Don't Receive Health Insurance
Professional wrestling may be about portraying the fake violence as real, but that doesn't mean that the wrestlers don't endure real injuries during a match.
All of the wrestlers who work for the WWE are classed as independent contractors, which means that the company doesn't have to provide them with any kind of health insurance.
The WWE deems it fair to be able to determine every aspect of how the independent contractors under them work, from the grueling schedule to dictating how they can appear in public and on social media.
However, this doesn't stretch to providing them the care that would be required of them, should the wrestlers be hired as full-time employees.
3 The Royalties Lawsuit
The appearance of a new form of home media usually brings lawsuits and union action with it. This is due to companies not paying residuals to actors for the new kind of media as it is not specified in any contracts, as it didn't exist when the contracts were being written.
The popularity of streaming services like Netflix has brought these concerns up once more. The WWE Network recently came under fire from performers who are no longer with the company, who tried to pursue legal action in order to receive royalties from the WWE Network.
Buff Bagwell and Raven both tried to sue the WWE in order to receive money from the WWE Network and their case was crushed, with the two wrestlers abandoning lawsuit.
This seems to have ended any prospect of wrestlers receiving royalties from the WWE Network for the time being.
2 The Jimmy Snuka Cover Up
Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was one of the WWF's biggest stars during the early years of the company's history. Snuka's high-flying style earned him a huge following with the fans and he would go on to have several high profile feuds within the WWF.
The last few years of Jimmy Snuka's life were dominated by controversy, due to allegations that he had ended the life of Nancy Argentino (his then girlfriend) in 1983.
Snuka was proven to be unfit to stand trial due to dementia and he passed away in 2017.
The details of the Nancy Argentino case have involved the WWE, as Snuka had made off-hand comments in interviews suggesting that Vince McMahon may have paid the district attorney to cover the incident up.
Jimmy Snuka wrote about the meeting between Vince and the district attorney in his autobiography and dropped hints concerning a briefcase and how the investigation was dropped shortly after.
1 The Voter Manipulation
Lina McMahon has made two attempts to run for a Senate seat as a member of the Republican party.
She was defeated on both occasions by her opponents in the Democrat party, who had no problem bringing up the controversial angles that Linda had taken part in while working for the WWE while on the campaign trail.
The Secretary of State told local registrars that they could ask voters to remove WWE merchandise before entering polling locations, as it was against the law to promote a candidate while within the proximity of a polling place.
The WWE responded by offering free WWE merchandise to people who visited specific polling places within Connecticut. This led to a letter from the Department of Justice, which forced the WWE to rescind the offer.
Can you think of any other behind the scenes secrets about the WWE? Sound off in the comments!