Professional wrestling is a unique mix of stunts, showmanship, soap opera storylines, and big characters. Even the most hardcore fans will admit that pro wrestling can be ridiculous at times.
Wrestling requires a hefty suspension of disbelief, but once you’re past that, there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had and the inherent ridiculousness of the product becomes part of the fun.
While there are still those who look down their nose at “sports entertainment,” WWE fans know that the company can create some genuinely compelling narratives that keep them glued to their televisions.
However, unlike other well established popular TV shows, WWE doesn’t really go in for long-term story telling. There are many reasons for this, but the lack of planning can lead to storylines that never go anywhere and baffling decisions that leave fans confused at best and genuinely angry at worst.
Like any fandom, the internet wrestling community (usually referred to as the IWC) is made up of passionate individuals who want to share their love of sports entertainment.
There are countless sites, YouTube channels, and forums where people get together to discuss the finer points of the product and with that, there must also come memes.
For the purposes of this list, we’re defining memes as shared macros or images that convey a simple idea in an easy to understand format.
With that in mind, here are the 25 Memes That Show The WWE Makes No Sense.
- 1 Roman Reigns calls out “Vince’s boy”
- 2 Cena wins LOL
- 3 The many title reigns of “Vacant”
- 4 Still waiting on that Cena heel turn…
- 5 A memorial for Brains Strowman
- 6 The cycle of WWE fandom
- 7 NXT takes over Wrestlemania
- 8 The champ is here over there
- 9 Cheers for Strowman, jeers for Roman
- 10 The dangers of explaining wrestling to non-fans
- 11 Triple H wins every title ever
- 12 Andre the Giant “trips”
- 13 Referees are made of glass
- 14 We can see John Cena
- 15 Neville goes missing
- 16 WWE stars rightfully laugh at a PPV’s name
- 17 AJ Styles is so good, he reacts to not getting hit
- 18 Vince thinks No Way Jose is Adam Rose
- 19 WWE 2K19 reveals its cover star
- 20 Every day is Rusev Day
Roman Reigns calls out “Vince’s boy”
Yup, we’re already talking about Roman Reigns. Since The Shield, one of the most popular tag teams in recent years, split up, it’s been clear that management have had their sights set on Roman Reigns for the big time.
The trouble is that many fans have rejected Reigns’ rather generic babyface character and have actively booed him, despite the show framing him as a hero who we should all get behind.
In Reigns’ most recent feud with Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, Reigns had a series of promos that criticized Lesnar for being a part-time champion. Reigns isn’t wrong, considering that Lesnar rarely appears on Raw and only defends his title at big PPV shows, but one element stuck out as rather hypocritical.
Reigns called out Lesnar for being “Vince’s boy,” referring to his unique big money deal with the company, but some fans were quick to point out that if anyone is Vince’s favorite, it would be Reigns himself.
This is evident by the massive main event push and protection that Reigns has had for the past four years.
The promos did little to win over any Reigns haters by adding an element of hypocrisy that is usually reserved for heels. Reigns is a talented wrestler capable of putting on great matches, but WWE’s micromanagement of his character, right down to his overly scripted time on the mic, hasn’t done him any favors whatsoever.
Cena wins LOL
There was a time where everybody loved John Cena. His “Doctor of Thuganomics” character became hugely popular with crowds who loved his freestyle rap promos and general attitude.
Cena rose to the top of the company and became the face of the WWE, but not before they sanded down his rough edges.
While Cena remained popular with children, many older fans started getting tired of his good guy schtick.
There was a dark period where WWE was basically The John Cena Show. Nearly every feud that Cena found himself in, he would win, leading to a predictability that removed all the stakes from his rivalries.
A good feud is beneficial for all wrestlers involved, but this was seldom the case in Cena storylines.
Cena would clash with a rival for a few weeks, win, and his opponent would be shunted back down the card, making way for the next wrestler to start the cycle all over again.
As Vince McMahon has always been heavily involved in all facets of WWE’s output, many fans started blaming him being out of touch and callously “feeding” promising wrestlers to Cena, just so Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect could chalk up another win.
In more recent years, Big Match John has become less predictable, losing several key feuds, but many fans still harbor resentment towards him for this period in time.
Fans still mockingly sing along to his entrance music and WWE have been forced to call him “polarizing” to save face.
The many title reigns of “Vacant”
Winning a belt and becoming champion in WWE is seen as a vote of confidence in a wrestler. When a performer wins a championship, it’s normally seen as the end of a storyline and a promise of how things are going to shape up in the weeks and months ahead.
However, there are many factors that go into the decision to have a performer vacate their title/titles. They could be injured or even worse– they could have been forced to retire, forfeiting the belt. We’ve seen it happen countless times.
The way WWE usually get round this is by holding the belt in limbo, leaving it vacant and having the division duke it out to become the number one contender for the title.
In fact, this has happened so often that some fans have started tracking “Vacant”’s title wins and they’re pretty impressive and tell a story in their own right.
For whatever reasons, WWE has had to chop and change champions on the fly many times over the years and if Vacant was a real person, they’d be the most decorated wrestler in the history of the business.
It has to be said that the championships don’t stay vacant for long, but when they do, you can bet that some fans somewhere are noting down another title victory for the all-conquering Vacant.
Still waiting on that Cena heel turn…
If a wrestler is stuck in bland babyface limbo, a heel turn can be just the thing needed to start getting the crowd to react to them again. After all, if people are booing the supposed good guy, why not embrace that and give the crowd something to actually hate and have your hero start acting like a jerk?
It’s also a great opportunity for a wrestler to showcase a different side of their personality as the old adage about villains having more fun is just as true within the squared circle.
During the dark “Cena Wins LOL” days, many fans were clamouring for John Cena to break bad.
There were even times where it seemed that WWE were teasing some kind of heel turn, but to date it has never happened.
As most of the WWE’s top stars have undergone multiple heel/face turns, it’s genuinely odd that John Cena has consistently been a babyface for so long.
It’s worth noting that he was meant to be a heel in his early days with the company, but soon became the smiling, merchandise selling powerhouse we all know.
There have been multiple opportunities that would have been perfect to have Cena switch allegiances, but at this late stage, it seems very unlikely they will ever pull the trigger on this one.
A memorial for Brains Strowman
Good luck explaining this one to your friends who don’t watch wrestling. In the lead up to Wrestlemania 34, the Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman, decided to compete for the Raw Tag Titles.
A battle royal was held to determine who the then champions Sheamus and Cesaro aka The Bar would face at Wrestlemania. Braun won solo and was granted a title shot, providing he could get a tag team partner.
On the final Raw before Wrestlemania, Braun stated that his tag team partner was finally going to be revealed.
Many fans had their own theories as to who his mysterious partner was going to be. Many had their hopes on Elias or an NXT call up being the second man, but all these theories were blown out of the water.
Braun ducked backstage and came out as “Brains Strowman,” his supposedly identical brother, wearing a white shirt and glasses.
Of course, his disguise only seemed to fool commentator Corey Graves, who was apparently shocked when “Brains” removed his shirt and glasses and was revealed to be Braun all along.
It’s a funny bit, but the above mock memorial will always remind us of Braun’s one-time crazy Clark Kent-esque alter ego. Wrestling is the weirdest sometimes.
The cycle of WWE fandom
Any fandom can be a double-edged sword. It’s awesome to share in the highs of a particular comic book/show/video game or movie, but it means that you sometimes have to endure the lows, which can lead to anger and resentment amongst the online community.
You need look no further than the love/hate relationship people have with shows like The Walking Dead and Arrow to see how bad things can get.
WWE has the same problem. While it is capable of exciting rivalries and amazing matches, sometimes management seems to be actively ignoring what fans want.
Roman Reigns’ career has been a particular sore point for many fans who don’t want him to be the company’s top guy. There are plenty of examples of WWE failing to capitalize on a wrestler’s popularity and it can lead to genuine disappointment.
Take the rise of Daniel Bryan, for example. WHile he wasn’t booked to be as high profile as many performers, fans loved him and constantly chanted his name. Despite this, it was clear that WWE didn’t believe in him.
The IWC kept waiting for WWE to pull the trigger and book him in main events, but they resisted at every turn.
Thanks to loud and persistent fan support, Bryan would eventually triumph at Wrestlemania 30, but it definitely wasn’t the original plan.
However, cases like Bryan’s are rare and it can sometimes feel that the WWE simply doesn’t care about what the fans think.
NXT takes over Wrestlemania
One of the more consistent criticisms of WWE is that it simply offers too much content. That may seem like an odd complaint, but if you want to be a dedicated fan, it means watching a minimum of five hours of wrestling to keep up with the storylines (six hours if you include NXT).
Of course, things change when WWE puts on a PPV show, which can mean significantly more time spent watching. With a lot of hours to occupy, it can lead to a lot of filler in between the bits that fans are actually interested in.
This year’s Wrestlemania 34 was a punishing seven hours including the pre-show, which some considered to be way too long.
The previous day’s NXT TakeOver: New Orleans had impressed with its quality over quantity approach, having a much smaller number of matches, but giving them room to breathe.
‘Mania 34 started strongly, but as the show went on, many fans’ enthusiasm had dwindled considerably. This culminated in the main event, Roman Reigns versus Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, which the crowd was very mixed on.
Many fans booed both Reigns and Lesnar to show their disdain for the match and it left a sour taste in many peoples’ mouths.
This has led to many people questioning how the supposedly developmental NXT brand puts on better rated events than the main roster.
The champ is here over there
You’d be hard pressed to find a more popular current WWE wrestler than AJ Styles. His run in the company so far has been great and it’s clear the fans love him.
Styles went in to the 2017 Royal Rumble as WWE Champion, so you’d expect that he’d be in a prominent position on the poster. Not so much, as it turns out.
The final poster had Styles relegated to the back row, which is hardly fitting for the title holder.
There are many who are critical of WWE’s reliance on part-timers. These wrestlers are big names, but don’t usually make appearances on the weekly shows.
The 2017 Royal Rumble poster is dominated by them, with John Cena, Undertaker, Goldberg, and Brock Lesnar taking up the prime spots. He didn’t even get to the second row with Roman Reigns, Charlotte, and Kevin Owens, instead appearing alongside non champions like Dolph Ziggler and The Miz.
Looking at the design, AJ appears to be an afterthought and many fans were disappointed with the decision.
If WWE weren’t doing everything they could to promote their champion, what was the point in giving him the belt in the first place? The question went unanswered, but it has to be said that Styles has enjoyed more prominent places on PPV posters since.
Cheers for Strowman, jeers for Roman
WWE have tried pretty much every trick in the book to get people on board with the Roman Reigns train. In fact, there’s even a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to the mixed reaction he receives.
Like him or not, it’s hard to argue the fact that he hasn’t got the reaction WWE and Vince McMahon had hoped for. One of the classic ways to get people to cheer for a babyface is having them fight a despicable heel.
In 2016, Braun Strowman was dominating anyone who crossed his path. He was a superhumanly strong monster and seemingly no-one could stand in his way. Strowman had an impressive undefeated streak, but soon ran into a Roman-shaped wall.
The pair feuded for several months, costing each other matches and beating each other up. The rivalry had its moments, but it was clear what the plan was – have Roman triumph over Braun to prove how awesome he was and win over the crowd.
However, because fans saw this coming a mile away, they started to cheer Strowman instead.
Braun started getting massive babyface reactions whereas Roman was booed more than ever. Strowman’s streak was broken at Fastlane 2017, which gave the vocal crowds yet another reason to boo the Big Dog.
The dangers of explaining wrestling to non-fans
As wrestling fans, we’ve all had a moment when we’ve tried to talk about wrestling to people who don’t watch. It can be genuinely challenging to explain just what’s so good about it without it coming across as the nonsensical ramblings of a crazy person.
The It’s Always Sunny meme above, featuring Charlie’s conspiracy theory breakdown, perfectly encapsulates the problem.
Try explaining The Undertaker, for example. His backstory is that he’s a zombie dark wizard who is portrayed as having genuine magic powers ranging from teleportation to being able to summon lightning strikes.
Then there’s the Undertaker’s brother, Kane, who was burned as a child when the Undertaker set their childhood house on fire, causing him to wear a mask for most of his career.
More recently, try telling people about Matt Hardy’s broken “condeeshun” and Bray Wyatt’s change of heart after being “deleted” and dunked in the Lake of Reincarnation.
These are all real stories and characters that the WWE have had and there will always be some people who just won’t get it.
It may be socially acceptable to talk about the storylines in things like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things, but bring up wrestling and you’ll probably get more raised eyebrows than a room full of Dwayne Johnsons.
Triple H wins every title ever
In the early 2000s, Triple H was one of the most dominant wrestlers around. Backstage rumors coupled with his win/loss ration fueled the notion that Triple H wasn’t interested in losing and he ended up winning many feuds he should have really lost.
There was even a time around 2002/2003 when it seemed like Hunter was the default World Heavyweight Champion, never losing the belt for very long before reclaiming it a short distance down the road.
Like John Cena, feuding with Triple H didn’t seem to increase the stock of his opponents. Hunter would win and that was it — on to the next challenger.
The HHH character probably saw the above image in his mind’s eye before he went to sleep at night.
Many fans criticized the character and Paul Levesque himself for “burying” talent like Hulk Hogan once did, having enough clout behind the scenes to influence management into him holding on to his titles.
As Triple H has moved to an executive role in charge of talent now, this isn’t a problem any more, but it does stand as a testament to the fact that some wrestlers will get the gold, whether we as fans want them to or not.
Andre the Giant “trips”
WWE have never been shy about championing their history and replaying their various iconic moments over the decades.
Even if you weren’t around for them, younger wrestling fans will be keenly aware of various important landmark moments like Shawn Michaels betraying his tag partner Marty Jannety or the time Stone Cold Steve Austin drove a truck to the ring and hosed down Vince McMahon and co. with beer.
One of the earliest huge moments came at Wrestlemania III when Hulk Hogan showed immense strength and bodyslammed Andre the Giant to retain the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
However, the public scandal involving Hulk Hogan in 2015 forced WWE to cut ties with him. Not only that, but mentions of the Hulkster were scrubbed from their website and his name wasn’t brought up in their shows.
WWE are notorious for re-writing their own history and the meme showing Andre “tripping” at ‘Mania 3 is an exaggerated response to that.
As Hogan is still one of the most famous wrestlers to ever lace up a pair of boots, WWE skirting around mentioning him leaves a sizeable elephant in the room.
With rumors that Hogan is due to return now the Gawker suit has been settled, this could change, but it’s an example of the surgical removal of certain controversial wrestlers from WWE’s history books.
Referees are made of glass
In real terms, the WWE referees play an important role in a match, checking on the competitors’ wellbeing and informing them how much time they have left to go, as well as relaying any orders from backstage.
However, in the constructed reality of the show (known as kayfabe), it’s a completely different story.
In kayfabe, WWE referees are some of the most easily distracted, oblivious, and fragile officials going. Wrestlers have been able to get away with all sorts of shenanigans over the years thanks to awful refereeing.
WWE stars are presented as almost superhuman, so when a mere mortal like an official or a non-wrestler gets involved in the action, it’s usually bad news.
In wrestling, cheating is rife and the basic rule is “if the ref didn’t see it, it didn’t happen.” A common tactic over the years has been to “accidentally” take out the referee, giving the heels free reign to indulge in all sorts of illegal moves like low blows or weapon shots to try and steal victory.
The refs also stay down for a long time, meaning that the heels have plenty of opportunity to turn the match in their favor.
Of course this doesn’t make any logical sense, but it’s just one of those things you have to accept to see the stories play out as intended.
We can see John Cena
As John Cena has broken into the mainstream with numerous movie and television appearances, it seems that some of his gimmick has followed him.
Cena became a living meme with the “Unexpected John Cena” Vines and videos going viral. Another one is Cena’s catchphrase of “You can’t see me,” essentially meaning “you’re not on my level.” However, some fans chose to take the catchphrase literally for comedic effect.
You’ve no doubt seen many variations on the “John Cena is invisible” gag, but the one above comes from Wrestlemania 34 where a WWE official approaches Cena to inform him, after weeks of radio silence, that the Undertaker was backstage ready to fight.
Cena’s frantic run backstage became meme-worthy in its own right, with fans wasting little time in providing their own captions, but it was only a matter of time before we came back to the old classic.
In case you were wondering where the accompanying hand gesture to the phrase came from, Cena has stated that it came from his little brother’s unconventional dance moves.
However, instead of moving his head around his hand, Cena reversed it and waved his hand in front of his face. So there you have it.
Neville goes missing
This one’s going to be tough for fans of The Man That Gravity Forgot. Starting his WWE career in NXT as Adrian Neville, Benjamin Satterley began to wow crowds with his incredibly acrobatic moves and unique fighting style.
He became simply Neville when he moved up to the main roster and after a decent start and some notable matches, he started losing steam.
This wasn’t Neville’s fault, though, with WWE Creative giving him very little to work with, but the choice was finally made to turn the superhero-esque babyface into a bitter heel and have him run amok amongst the Cruiserweight division.
This worked well as Neville’s “King of the Cruiserweights” run was rated highly. Then it just seemed like WWE’s interest in him dried up.
He feuded with Enzo Amore, which many believe led him to walk out on the company, but reports stated that he’d been unhappy with his direction for a while.
Neville reportedly didn’t show for the 9th October, 2017 edition of Raw and hasn’t been heard from since.
Dirtsheets have published conflicting rumors about whether or not Neville is going to be back on TV, with many noting he’s still under contract, but the whole situation seems to be up in the air.
If Neville does finally leave, it’ll be a massive shame and he would go down as one of many unfortunate wrestlers with great promise that have passed through WWE’s doors without the company realizing their potential.
WWE stars rightfully laugh at a PPV’s name
Vince McMahon and the WWE Creative team are often criticized for being behind the times or out of touch. Whether or not you personally think there’s any merit to this is down to you, but WWE is guilty of making some truly head-scratching decisions when it comes to their branding.
Pay-per-view events normally have punchy names like Payback, Backlash, and Summerslam among others. However, Great Balls of Fire, obviously taking its name from the famous song, doesn’t quite fit in that category.
Some thought that Vince and co. were oblivious to the other connotation of the phrase, but according to Kurt Angle, Vince McMahon thought the name was “hilarious” and decided to roll with it.
On the one hand, it is funny to give a strange name a big PPV event but when the commentators and announcers have to constantly say it in the lead up to it, it loses most of its charm.
The name got a negative reception online, and it was dropped after the one and only show.
Even the best jokes become unfunny after endless repetition and considering another isn’t scheduled for this year, it’s probably safe to say that any entertainment value from this one wore out quickly.
AJ Styles is so good, he reacts to not getting hit
We all know the reality of what’s going on inside the ring. Despite appearances, wrestlers aren’t trying to legitimately hurt each other. Due to this, superstars pull their punches and kicks so that they don’t end up doing some actual damage.
Wrestlers intentionally missing their targets looks bad, so most of the time, they have various techniques to hide the fact that that nasty looking kick to the chin actually didn’t hit home, be it a slap on the thigh to make a smack sound or obfuscating camera angles that hide what really happened.
It’s an imperfect system, though, as sometimes the WWE camera work will show up the wrestling for what it is – pretend.
With big moments like a table break, the performers have to have the skill and expertise to avoid hurting their opponent. After all, it takes truckloads of trust to believe that your muscle-bound co-worker won’t squash you like a pancake after jumping off the top rope or a ladder.
In his rivalry with AJ Styles, Shane McMahon took to the top rope and elbow dropped Styles through a table. It was a great moment, slightly sullied by the fact that Shane clearly didn’t hit him.
AJ Styles responded like any wrestler would and reacted like he had been hit, giving us the moment above.
Vince thinks No Way Jose is Adam Rose
In case your memories don’t stretch back that far, there once was a wrestler named Adam Rose. His whole deal was that he liked dancing and partying, always being accompanied to the ring by a gaggle of his friends/partygoers he called his “Rosebuds.”
Adam Rose had a fairly short main roster run before he had a real-life run in with the law and asked for his release after a suspension from the company.
Post Wrestlemania 34, an NXT wrestler with similar personality quirks named No Way Jose was called up to Raw.
His entrance, which was flanked by people in all sorts of wacky party gear, immediately drew comparisons with Adam Rose’s ill-fated gimmick. Not only does the macro highlight the similarities between the two, but it also doubles up as another “Vince is out of touch and doesn’t know what’s going on” meme too.
While No Way Jose was popular in NXT, we’re yet to see if his dancing gimmick and catchy music end up working in what is considered the big leagues.
If history is anything to go by, probably not, but we’re still holding out hope that Jose at least gets a few moments to shine on the WWE’s flagship show.
WWE 2K19 reveals its cover star
Remember those Braun/Brains Strowman shenanigans from earlier? Well, we’re not finished with them. When Wrestlemania 34 finally rolled around, Braun was still without a tag team partner.
Knowing that he had to have one to compete, Braun went into the crowd a picked a seemingly random young fan from the audience to be his tag partner.
It transpired that the young man’s name was Nicholas and fans cheered as he took his place on the ring’s apron.
Braun single-handedly destroyed Sheamus and Cesaro and won the belts, making Nicholas the youngest champion in WWE history. Hilariously, he and Braun relinquished the titles the next night on Raw (chalk up another championship for Vacant) as Nicholas’ prior commitments, namely school , prevented the team from actively defending their titles.
As a tribute to the time when WWE made a 10 year old a tag team champion, fans mocked up an image of Nicholas as the cover star of WWE’s annual game series, joining the ranks of greats like John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Seth Rollins.
Things have returned to reality since then, but with Nicholas’ promise that he’ll come back in the future to reclaim his title, who knows whether he could be a legitimate star in the years to come.
Nicholas is actually referee John Cone’s son, and with his dad’s line of work and his brush with in-ring action, it’s not outside the realms of possibility that he could pursue wrestling as a career.
Every day is Rusev Day
Did you know that your birthday happens to fall on Rusev Day? By sheer coincidence, Christmas, Easter, and Halloween do too. Today is also Rusev Day.
In case you weren’t aware, the Bulgarian Brute, Rusev, and former Vaudevillain Aiden English found themselves with a new burst of popularity after naming their tag team and the neverending holiday “Rusev Day.”
Their pairing was meant to be a one-off joke, but fan reaction convinced management to keep them around. In non-kayfabe interviews, Rusev has credited their success to their unique chemistry and it’s hard to argue with that.
Rusev and English have a unique back and forth, and in wrestling, sometimes that’s all you need to become popular with the crowd.
The “Rusev Day” phrase caught on and now it’s everywhere.
The fan-favourite chant hasn’t gone out of style yet, so we’re imagining this isn’t the last year’s worth of days dedicated to Rusev.
WWE have bought in hard to the phenomenon too, with t-shirts and even a special calendar like the one above, unsurprisingly featuring pictures of Rusev for every month and of course, every day marked as Rusev Day.
You know you’ve made it when the official Wendy’s Twitter references you.