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10 Times WWE Broke Their Own Rules

As in any other workplace, WWE also has a list of rules and regulations that all of its employees have to follow at all costs. When it comes to the wrestlers, they also have to follow the standard rules of a professional wrestling match, along with any other new rules introduced by the company.

However, we have seen on many occasions of the Superstars going out of their way to violate the rules... and the company itself bending the rules in their favour. This list focuses more on the latter, and with that said, here are ten occasions when WWE broke its own sacred rules.

#10 ~ Wildcard Rule

The sole reason behind a brand split is to allocate unique rosters to the flagship shows of WWE. As we've seen during the first brand extension, the basic rule is that wrestlers assigned to Raw cannot appear on SmackDown and vice versa, and they also had brand-specific Pay-Per-Views at one point in time.

But the Federation went back on that rule, when they introduced the Wildcard Rule back in 2019. It allowed a certain number of wrestlers from other brands to appear on the opposite shows, on any given week.

The new rule didn't set very well with the fans and wrestling pundits, as it moderately contradicted the entire point behind the brand split.

#09 ~ American Villains

One of the unwritten rules in WWE is that there cannot be an American villain in their shows {those who do underhanded antics, while pledging their allegiance to the country}. Even when WWE Hall of Famer Sergeant Slaughter turned Iraqi sympathizer back in 1990, the company played it out as he turned on the country, for its acceptance of the Russian Nikolai Volkoff. He later returned from the Dark Side, by doubling down on his American Pride

The fans have witnessed many storylines with foreign villains going against American heroes, but they went back on this unofficial rule, when "the All-American American" Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, under their Real American gimmicks, repackaged themselves as xenophobic villains.

#08 ~ Wellness Policy

The Federation claims to have a zero-tolerance policy for wrestlers breaking their Wellness Policy and has handed suspensions to even main event superstars like Roman Reigns in the past.

However, the company did turn a blind eye on some occasions, when certain Superstars violated the policy in the past. The list includes Brock Lesnar, when he failed a drug test after his UFC 200 fight against Mark Hunt.

However, WWE didn't take any action against Lesnar, because he didn't fall under the framework of that rule, as he was a part-timer during that time. So there can {and likely will} always be a loophole for Federations rules.

#07 ~ The Outlaw Rule

The Outlaw Rule prohibits tag team partners from pinning each other during multiple-team matches. The rule came into effect when The New Age Outlaws won a WWF Tag Team Championship match in the same fashion... hence, the Federation named the rule in their... honour?

However, the company broke that rule on the September 5th, 2022 episode of Monday Night Raw, when the referee counted the pin after Kofi Kingston tried to cover his partner Xavier Woods during the four-way #1 contender's tag team match.

WWE didn't give any explanation regarding the negation of the rule, but the way the referee immediately went for the pin could mean that the spot was definitely pre-planned... or they simply got caught up in the moment.

#06 ~ No-Blood Policy

WWE announced a no-blood policy in 2008, after an incident of blading involving WWE Hall of Famer "HeartBreak Kid" Shawn Michaels went out of hand. It also coincided with the Federation embracing a PG rating that year, with the company banning any sort of voluntary bleeding from that point onward.

There have been instances of wrestlers bleeding after that, but most of them were accidents. However, it appears that WWE relaxed that rule a bit at SummerSlam 2016, when Brock Lesnar busted Randy Orton open with stiff elbow shots to the forehead, which the fans found out to be a pre-planned spot.

Anybody else noticing a common theme... or Superstar?

#05 ~ The Banned Words

When Vince McMahon was in control of the creative decisions of WWE, he placed some rather bizarre bans on certain terms like "hospital" {now a "local medical facility"}, "belt" {now "championship"}, "Money In The Bank briefcase" {now only referencing the contract}, "blood", "kayfabe", "face" {short for "babyface"}, "heel" {short for "tarheel"}, and even the words "wrestler" {now "Superstar"} and "professional wrestling" {now the much-lauded "Sports Entertainment"}.

The WWE Superstars and the commentary team refrained from using the words during the broadcast throughout Vinnie-Mac's reign as the Head Honcho of the company. But it appears Chief Creative Officer WWE Hall of Famer Triple H has broken that rule to a certain level, after he took over full control of the creative process earlier this year.

After The Game's promotion, we've heard the Superstars and commentators use words like belt, briefcase, wrestlers, and professional wrestling on the shows, which many long-time fans consider a very welcome sign.

#04 ~ Not Mentioning The Competition

It was only during the Monday Night Wars that both the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling mentioned each other during their shows. But that wasn't the case, after WWE purchased WCW... as the Federation never mentioned any of their competitions on their shows, despite the opposite side taking digs at them on a fairly regular basis.

It was an unwritten rule for the wrestlers and broadcast team to follow, as there were no instances of them making direct mentions of other promotions like Impact Wrestling or New Japan Pro Wrestling on the shows. So much so, that Vince McMahon vetoed the use of a Zack Ryder t-shirt that featured the slogan "Take Care, Spike Your Hair" {a popular catchphrase for the former Superstar, who now goes by his real name of Matt Cardona} as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling was broadcast on Spike TV at that point.

However, the Federation allowed that rule to be broken, when Sami Zayn mentioned All Elite Wrestling on Monday Night Raw... and again when the Cerebral Assassin took a dig on them during D-Generation X's WWE Hall of Fame induction. I'd count that as good-natured, though, as one of their number {Billy Gunn} has been gainfully employed by AEW for some time now. Also? Vinnie-Mac was still in charge at that point. Coincidence?

#03 ~ Endorsing Outside Brands

When the wrestlers sign their contracts with the Federation, the company makes it very clear to them that they can't endorse any brands other than the company's official sponsors. It was the case for many years, as the wrestlers never had any separate brand endorsements while they were under contract with WWE.

However, they obviously made an exception to this rule, when Brock Lesnar returned to the company in 2012, as The Beast Incarnate had logos of his own sponsors on his trunks when he stepped into that year's Extreme Rules to compete against John Cena. There was no missing it.

#02 ~ Kevin Owen Versus Roman Reigns {Royal Rumble 2021}

The Head of the Table defended the WWE Universal Championship against the title's second-ever champion, in a Last Man Standing match at the 2021 Royal Rumble. According to the match stipulation, the referee has to start counting the moment a wrestler is laying down. If they stuck to that rule at the event, Owens would've walked out as the new champion.

Kevin handcuffed Reigns to a lighting trellis during the match, which prevented him from getting back on his feet. As Jey Uso interfered on the champion's behalf, Paul Heyman was supposed to uncuff Roman. But The Wiseman struggled to unlock the handcuffs, as the referee was nearing the ten count.

Realizing the situation, the zebra stopped counting and waited till Heyman released his Tribal Chief from the handcuff, which is completely in violation of the match stipulation.

#01 ~ 30-Day Defense Clause

WWE's rules state that the champions have to defend their titles at least once every 30 days, and it goes for all champions in the company. The Federation made sure to adhere to this rule during the earlier eras of the programming... but completely ignored the concept, during Brock Lesnar's World title runs during his second tenure with the company.

It's also the same case with Roman Reigns' current run as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. The rule break became so apparent, when it happened to the world titles, but WWE has been doing the same with the mid-card titles as well, as certain champions rarely defended the tiles during their reign.

Partial Source ~ the Sportster

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