Ever since becoming a publicly traded company and ushering in the "PG era," the WWE has been very conscious about the image they put out on television. One of the major criticisms of the current era is that the talent are "not allowed to be themselves" and have to "stick to the script," even when a more personal reaction would seem appropriate. While it's understandable that these guidelines would apply to weekly television shows like RAW and Smackdown, as well as the Pay Per View, a recent finding by The Mirror shows that the non-televised Live shows may be under even tighter regulations.
A document left behind (or swiped) at the WWE Live show from December 10-11th gives us insight into exactly how much the new era is micromanaged.
Let us first thank Jamie for forgetting to look after his papers and wish him the best on all his future endeavors.
Here are some rules that stood out.
No Yeah/Boo Stuff, except for John Cena
He gets to come to work in jorts, date Nikki Bella and be the only one to do the yeah/boo stuff at a house show? No fair!
No low blows
Ric Flair would have never survived in the modern era.
Assuming the Undertaker's tombstone would be an exception here, but I doubt we'll be seeing him at a house show anytime soon. Piledrivers used to be a staple of WWE matches in the 80s and 90s, but were eliminated after Owen Hart broke Stone Cold Steve Austin's neck at SummerSlam 1997.
No belt shots
You would think this was about preventing concussions, but most superstars are safe enough to avoid that in a belt shot. Allegedly, belts are to be kept out of physical danger on a non-televised show to prevent damage. Anyone whose ever tried to buy a replica belt knows those things aren't cheap.
Referees are not part of the entertainment
This is especially bad news for the masses of fans who routinely go to house shows just to witness the craft and artistry of Charles Robinson or Chad Patton.
Do not allow injured talent to "suck it up."
Really good to see the WWE putting so much emphasis into the safety of their talent. That match I mentioned where Stone Cold broke his neck, yet still finished the match ... thankfully, that wouldn't be allowed at a house show.
Stick To The Script
The leaked memo revealed that there should be 'no impromptu talent promos' and that all promos must be approved by a producer or Michael Hayes ahead of time.
Apparently WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens did not see this one when he yelled at a 7 year old this past weekend.
Now that you've had a peak behind the curtain, do you feel the WWE is keeping their superstars on too tight of a leash?
MORE WRESTLING: Booker T Running For Mayor / 5 Title Reigns Longer Than The New Day / Roman Reigns Wrestlemania 33 Opponent / Bray Wyatt Responds To Matt Hardy / Did Shane McMahon Try To Take Over WWE Creative? / Sami Zayn Should Have Been Traded