The WWE’s Most Controversial Moments

The WWE's Most Controversial Moments

Recently the WWE came under scrutiny when it aired a segment which many deemed controversial and tawdry. The segment started out with what was supposed to be a wedding between Lana and former WWE champion Bobby Lashley. Right before the two were able to say “I do”, however, Liv Morgan came out and demanded that they not go through with the wedding. She made it known that she had had a relationship with one of the two people in the ring and that she was still in love with them. Naturally, everyone assumed that she was talking about the male, Bobby Lashley. However, she soon made it clear that she was talking about Lana, much to the chagrin of the Internet and the LGBT community. Many people were upset  that this gay storyline was used on a show mainly promoted to children. Even more people accused the WWE of being insensitive for exploiting this gay storyline for television. Forbes reported that this segment, which many assume was meant to give the WWE a ratings bump, “presented the WWE as a cheap, behind-the-times promotion that exploited a woman’s sexual preference for shock value.” 

While I think the segment was in poor taste, when compared to segments the WWE have aired in the past, it is positively tame. Four segments in particular pop out to me as some of the most politically incorrect moments in WWE, as well as television, history.

The WWE has unfortunately been using gay storylines to boost ratings for a long time now. In 2002, the General Manager announced that each week they would be airing a segment known as HLA in order to boost their ratings. HLA simply stood for “Hot Lesbian Action.” These segments consisted of exactly what you would expect. Two women who  were refereed to simply as “The Lesbians” walked to the ring and kissed, while the male fans applauded and the women in the audience shook their heads disapprovingly. Then, to make matters worse, two male superstars came to the ring and beat up the females. This segment was disturbing because of the mild homophobia, the sexist chauvinism, and the male-on-female violence. The fact that this happened on a show meant to showcase legitimate competition is baffling to me. Thankfully nowadays women in the WWE are treated with respect and actually get to wrestle rather than being used primarily as sex objects.

 

 

Another example of the WWE blatantly using sex to boost its ratings was with the “Edge and Lita Live Sex Celebration.” This also was exactly what it sounds like. To celebrate his win over John Cena, Edge brought a bed to the ring and announced that he would have intimate relations with his girlfriend Lita in front of the whole crowd and the whole world watching on television. I won’t go into any detail, but they undressed and did exactly what they said they were going to do for three minutes on live TV! How this happened on national television boggles my mind and rightfully so. The WWE is largely marketed to children, and the fact that this happened on tv is absolutely disturbing. 

 

 

Next we go to one of the most sexist things ever to air on television. This segment featured Trish Stratus along with the owner of the WWE himself Vince McMahon. McMahon demanded that Stratus display her loyalty to her in a public forum in a humiliating fashion. In front of 3 million people watching on live television, McMahon demanded that Stratus get on her hands and knees and bark like a dog, which she did.This segment was uncomfortably offensive at best. In today’s era of “Me Too” and extreme political correctness, it’s a wonder that no one has looked back on this and caused a public outcry or demanded an explanation. 

 

 

 

Speaking of McMahon’s questionable behavior on live TV, another example of impertinence comes to mind. On November 25, 2005, McMahon appeared on Monday Night Raw in a segment with John Cena. McMahon casually strolled up to Cena and said, “What’s good in the hood? Keep it up, my (N-word)!” The camera then cut to the African-American Booker T who was obviously shocked and offended that the caucasian McMahon would use such an offensive term. Once again, I’m shocked that no one has made a bigger deal about this or is even talking about it. Many people have been fired or publicly shamed for saying much less, and for the owner and President of the WWE to be so brazenly offensive on live TV is shockingly derogatory and insensitive.

Thankfully the WWE has been much more tame in recent  years, mostly due to the fact that they are now rated PG and have shareholders and investors to answer to. However, as exemplified in the recent lesbian wedding segment, they still make faux pas from time to time.

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