Behind the Mask: Wrestling Championship Controversies and Scandals


Under the bright lights and loud crowds, the wrestling ring is a place of glory, pride and competition. But behind the mask of the show, there is a secret world of controversies and scandals that have shaped the history of wrestling championships. From backstage betrayals to sudden title changes, the stories behind the wrestling championships are as wild as the suits themselves. In this article we’re going to get into these untold stories, shine a light on the darker side of wrestling’s biggest titles and how WC Belts can help you find and hold these amazing histories.

The Montreal Screwjob: Betrayal at Its Worst

The Build-Up

The Montreal Screwjob is the most infamous controversy in wrestling history. It happened at the 1997 Survivor Series in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The match was Bret Hart, the WWE Champion, vs Shawn Michaels. What made this so controversial was the behind the scenes manipulation that led to a sudden and unexpected title change.

The Incident

Hart was set to leave WWE for its rival, WCW, and had a contract clause that gave him creative control for his last 30 days. But Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, didn’t want Hart to leave the company as champion. In a move that stunned fans and wrestlers alike, McMahon conspired with Michaels and the referee to end the match early and award the title to Michaels without Hart’s consent.

The Aftermath

The Montreal Screwjob had a lasting impact on the wrestling world. Bret Hart was betrayed and the incident created a rift between him and WWE that lasted for years. This is a prime example of how behind the scenes politics can change the direction of wrestling championships.

Steroid Scandals: A Cloud of Disrepute

The 1990s Steroid Trials

In the early 1990s WWE faced another major scandal about steroids among its wrestlers. The U.S. Federal government accused Vince McMahon of distributing steroids to his wrestlers, which not only put a bad light on WWE but also on its championship titles.

Champions Impacted

Many top stars, including wrestling champions, were involved, casting a shadow over their achievements. The trial and its aftermath led to a major shift in WWE, with stricter wellness policies being put in place. But the stigma of the steroid era still remains, reminding fans of a time when wrestling championships were tainted by performance enhancing drugs.

Title Vacancies: When Champions Fall

Injuries and Personal Issues

There have been many times in wrestling history when wrestling championships had to be vacated due to injuries or personal issues faced by the champions. These sudden vacancies often lead to crazy scenarios, with tournaments or unexpected matches being set up to crown new champions.

Notable Vacancies

One of the biggest was in 2007 when John Cena, the WWE Champion, had to vacate his title due to a torn pectoral muscle. This unexpected twist threw the WWE into chaos, proving that championships are unpredictable.

The Fingerpoke of Doom: A Mockery of Competition

The Incident

January 4, 1999. WCW aired a match that would go down in history as the Fingerpoke of Doom. Kevin Nash was defending his WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Hulk Hogan. Instead of a real fight, Hogan poked Nash in the chest and he fell and Hogan pinned him for the win.

Fan Backlash

The incident was lambasted by fans and analysts as it made a mockery of championships. This is often cited as one of the reasons WCW declined, as it showed a disregard for real competition and storytelling.

WC Belts: Preserving Wrestling’s True Stories

At WC Belts, we understand the importance of keeping the records and integrity of championships. Our job is to create championship belts that not only represent victory but also the stories, good or bad, that have shaped the wrestling world. Whether it’s a custom design for a specific event or a replica, WC Belts is committed to preserving the history of championships.


The world of championships is full of great matches, memorable moments and alas, many controversies and scandals. These stories are often hidden behind the curtain but are important to know the overall picture of professional wrestling. From the Montreal Screwjob to the Fingerpoke of Doom, each incident has left its mark.

At WC Belts, we believe in celebrating the wins and acknowledging the controversies that have defined wrestling championships. By doing so, we make sure the legacy of these titles remains intact for future generations to read and learn from. Join us as we create belts that represent competition and honor, and let’s keep the history of championships alive. What other untold stories from the world of championships interest you the most?

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