5 times WWE RAW Superstars were allowed to break character on live TV

WWE Superstars play a variety of characters throughout their careers, ranging from serious to comical. Gimmicks and speech scripts are planned accordingly.

It is important for them to remain in character throughout their live performances. A superstar breaking his or her character on live TV could be bad for business. However, there have been times when WWE has allowed and even encouraged superstars to break character.

On this list, we will take a look at five such situations.

#5 Stephanie McMahon declares a historic WWE moment – RAW 2017

December 18, 2017, witnessed the most historic announcement in WWE history. Stephanie McMahon declared the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble match, which would take place in Philadelphia over a month later.

The groundbreaking moment came right after a locker-room clearing brawl that stemmed from a six-woman tag team match between Absolution and the team of Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Mickie James. However, once Stephanie announced the match, the entire RAW women’s division broke character.

These names include Asuka, Sasha Banks, Mickie James, Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Alicia Fox, Sonya Deville, Bayley, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose, and Paige. They were bitterly feuding with each other and seeing them together, at just an arm’s distance, was pretty surreal.

Historically, the women’s division hasn’t been given as much importance as the men’s. However, that eventually changed, and now one can even argue that the WWE’s female roster is better.

#4 Michael Cole announces Jerry Lawler’s condition – RAW 2012

WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler suffered a catastrophic incident on September 10, 2012. During a live episode of RAW, he suffered a cardiac arrest and was immediately rushed to the hospital. It all happened following a tag team bout pitting Lawler and Randy Orton against CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler.

King’ returned to the announcer’s seat after the bout. While calling a match, Lawler collapsed on the table and started snoring. Initially, Michael Cole thought it was all part of the act. However, he saw his partner looking “blue” and called for the medics.

Cole was then told in the headset to be “prepared to deliver the news.” A detestable heel at the time, the commentator broke character and delivered the update on Lawler to millions of fans in the WWE Universe. Cole was on the verge of breaking down as he had been working with him for more than 20 years.

According to backstage reports, Lawler was even declared dead for a brief period before EMTs resuscitated him. He recuperated for nine weeks before being back ringside on RAW in November.

#3 A merry Beast Incarnate – RAW 2020

Newer fans have seen Brock Lesnar’s fun side ever since he turned face at SummerSlam 2021. However, he was not always in this role.

Lesnar was one of the most intimidating heels in WWE. He had a serious look combined with an aggressive mindset and brutal moveset. He maintained these three aspects for years.

It would have been out of character for The Beast Incarnate to even giggle alongside another WWE Superstar during that time. However, the opposite was seen in a January 2020 episode of RAW.

R-Truth interrupted Lesnar’s promo. In the hilarious segment, Truth threatened to eliminate Paul Heyman in the upcoming Royal Rumble. He even undeclared himself from the multi-man match after realizing it was Brock Lesnar he was against.

The Beast Incarnate laughed wholeheartedly during the whole segment. He broke character, and fans as well as WWE let it slide. In fact, it was a producer’s idea to allow Truth to try and make Lesnar laugh. It was part of a bet and the company was up for it.

#2 Phil Brooks did not mince words for Paul Levesque – RAW 2011

CM Punk was arguably the most controversial character in WWE’s PG Era. He had a knack for delivering powerful speeches. He later improvised on them and broke character multiple times. A famous example of this was his Pipebomb on RAW in June. However, WWE hadn’t given the go-ahead for the speech.

The Best in the World decided to continue breaking the fourth wall two months later. The incident occurred on an episode of RAW in September 2011. While doing a promo for the Night of Champions premium event, he got into a heated argument with the COO Triple H. Both were set to face each other at the upcoming event in a No Disqualification match.

Punk vented his frustration of losing the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. He blamed the referee, Triple H, for it. Both verbally jibed each other but The Voice of the Voiceless came out on top by breaking kayfabe. Not only did he reveal his real name, Phil Brooks, but also Triple H’s real name, Paul Levesque.

The whole segment was scripted. The company had allowed Punk to improvise in his speech. However, the clash of two personalities was realistically felt by the fans.

#1 Roman Reigns breaks character before leaving – RAW 2018

Roman Reigns was first diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 22. He has had years of remission to get through with it. However, the disease resurfaced.

It returned in 2018 at quite an inopportune time. Reigns had finally won the Universal Championship, after years of struggle, but had to relinquish it due to cancer. However, he didn’t do it before delivering a heartfelt and emotional speech.

In an episode of RAW in October, Reigns broke character by declaring his real name. Anoa’i even spoke about his job and home struggles. The forbidden revelation of being a human under that WWE Superstar exterior made fans emotional. The speech spread awareness about the struggle of a leukemia patient as well as a human in general.

In one of the kindest moves, the live segment was allowed by WWE. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose joined their Shield brother before he departed. Reigns later announced he is in remission in an episode of RAW. The segment occurred in February 2019.

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