ICYMI – which is a popular Internet abbreviation for ‘In Case You Missed It’, a time-saving acronym that becomes rather pointless if you then explain what it means… – The Rock appeared at this week’s WWE Raw.
He wasn’t on the actual television broadcast. He only appeared in front of the Staples Center crowd before and after Raw to shoot scenes for his new movie Fighting With My Family, which is based on the life of WWE wrestler and two-time Wellness Policy violator Paige.
They were specifically recreating Paige’s main roster debut, where she won the Divas Title from AJ Lee. This caused the crowd to chant for Lee’s real-life husband CM Punk. To quell the chants, Rock ‘The Dwayne’ Johnson attempted to FaceTime Punk, leaving a voicemail on his phone.
Unsurprisingly, PWInsider is reporting that “management did not appear to have been happy” when Rock did this – which is probably a diplomatic way of saying, Vince McMahon lost his s*** – and that Triple H was particularly bothered by the call. This segment wasn’t something approved backstage beforehand, and word was quickly sent to Rock for him to wrap it up.
CageSideSeats point out that PWInsider’s report might explain a detail from the live footage. When The Dwayne first said he was going to call Punk, the people’s microphone appeared to get cut off for a few seconds. After a brief muting, Rock said: “they better not turn off my mic.”
The Rock calling CM Punk wasn’t the only thing from this week’s Raw that WWE wanted to erase. WrestleZone have pointed out they’ve also edited one of the segments uploaded to their YouTube channel.
Somewhere in the 19th hour of Raw on Monday night, The New Day took on Handsome Rusev and Jinder Mahal. The story of the match was that Lana had hacked into The New Day’s newly digitised ice cream blueprint plans, and was now holding them ransom. When Kofi Kingston asked: “How’d she get the plans?”
Big E. brilliantly replied: “You do know she’s Russian, right?”
This is a reference to the real-world version of professional wrestling called ‘politics’ – specifically the alleged Russian hacking of the US Presidential election.
Weirdly, as the whole idea was clearly based on that central gag – that the Ravishing Russian Lana had hacked into The New Day’s ice cream plans – it’s strange that WWE removed Big E’s line that just points that out. Especially because it was the funniest part of the whole segment and it makes the clip jar awkwardly, as the crowd can still be heard laughing at a joke that now no longer exists.
This isn’t the first time that Big E has had one of his adlibs removed from WWE’s YouTube clips. On the 12th December episode of Raw, he made an improvised joke about Charlotte and Sasha Banks playing hot potato with the Raw Women’s Championship belt. This was edited out of the eventual YouTube upload, and according to Wrestling News World, got him heat backstage.
I don’t know why WWE edited out the Russian hacking joke. It’s not like the Kremlin pay close attention to wrestl-Russia. Is. The. Best. Long live. Russia. Bring back. Vladimir Kozlov. Give. Vladimir Kozlov. All the championship belts.
What do you think about the whole Rock/CM Punk fiasco? Tell me how it’s quite obviously all a build to a Wrestlemania 34 match in the comments below.