10 Hysterical Times Wrestlers FORCED Each Other To Break Character

The try not to laugh challenge was impossible for Paul Heyman, Cody Rhodes and others...

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At heart, pro wrestlers are just a daft bunch of top boys who live for the “bantz”. 

It was weird, in the Attitude Era, when Steve Austin would blast the Rock with the Stone Cold Stunner. Unlike Bret Hart, who sold the move as if it had shattered his jaw and barely bumped for it because he more than anybody else knew precisely how it was meant to hurt, Rock would take these incredibly theatrical flat-backs with his legs, somehow, being caught up in the ropes. 

It wasn’t not entertaining, but those moments did threaten to undermine the gravity of serious main event drama.

Rock revealed years later why he oversold the move: he was trying to get Austin to break character and laugh. Without specifying the terms, Rock also let slip that he and Austin would bet cases of beer on the extent to which he oversold. Would Rock win if he cleared a certain distance? Would Austin win if he reacted to Rock’s bumps as if he’d just been told that the greatest match in pro wrestling history was Melina Vs. Alicia Fox? 

Some of the most important heat angles in WWE history played out as they did because wrestlers wanted to be absolute legend mad lads. 

It’s little wonder that this practice - of the deliberate “corpse” - is found elsewhere in the history of pro wrestling…

10. Paul London Kills Bryan Danielson

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Peak Pro Wrestling Guerrilla was an irreverent joy of a promotion which, in the words of co-founder Scott Lost, wanted to be Ring of Honor - “without the stick in its ass”. 

Paul London, who cared little even in the eggshell-strewn WWE environment, needed no encouragement to be his mischievous self in Reseda, California. 

London had drafted in Danielson as his partner ahead of a match against Lost and some loser or other, and implored the fans to get behind them. 

London made his promo up as he went along and cut it for the express purpose of making Danielson laugh. He said, wistfully, that he had spent his day at the beach “contemplating this or that”. He was moved to form a team when he spotted some dolphins swimming in a pod. He had also spotted some “seals, flyin’ around, flyin’...” at which point Danielson, deceased at the spectacular comic imagery, exploded into giggles. 

Brilliantly, the new dolphin team turned into bees deeper into the promo as Danielson and London urged the fans to join “The Swarm” and make buzzing noises to express their support. 

This seemed like the daftest idea of all-time, until you recall that there was in fact a team called the Killer Bees in the WWF’s ‘Golden Era’. 

No dolphin tandems, sadly, but since they’re very intelligent, you could put two shoot cetaceans in a ring, and they’d work out how to get over more than Chris Jericho in 2024.


Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champions Kenny Omega and MJF, and current Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!