5 Bizarre Rules Still In The WWE Rulebook
Much like a dusty old medical textbook, or the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Official WWE Rulebook is an archaic text that, while sacred, hasn’t necessarily aged well with the times. In its current form, the WWE Rulebook is an adaptation of rules from the early 20th century, when professional wrestling first got its start on the carnival circuit. Here’s a few rules that stick out:
1. Men Can’t Wear Hats Indoors
Did you ever notice how, when he’s not busy forgetting his urn in hotel rooms, The Undertaker always removes his hat upon stepping into the ring? Or that JBL would place his ten-gallon hat atop the announcers’ table before making headset magic? Or that Scotty 2 Hotty specifically wore hats with no tops to display his frosted tips in a fashion that would make Guy Fieri proud? It’s because they’re gentleman, damn it. Take your hat off.
2. If Your Opponent No-Shows, You Are Legally Allowed to Marry Their Spouse
Yes, believe it or not, even today, if your opponent fails to show up to your scheduled match, you have the right to marry their spouse. This was instated in the early days of wrestling to prevent a talent from taking their check and running. Abuse of this rule occurred during the 2005 rivalry between Edge and Matt Hardy, where in which both men continually tried to prevent the other from making it to their match. It ultimately ended in a stalemate when Matt and Edge realized they were both legally married to Lita, so the rule canceled out. The trio remains in a beautiful polyamorous relationship to this day.
3. No Chewing Gum
Unless your name rhymes with Prawn Schmichaels, spit it out, bucko.
4. Lobotomies Aren’t Just Okay, But Encouraged
One thing that hasn’t changed much in pro wrestling is the politics. Even in the early days of carny-wrestling, the creatives at the top had to worry about talent “going into business for themselves”—an industry phrase for going off-script. Back then, it was believed that the best solution was to “treat” an unruly talent with a lobotomy. In the words of original carny promoter John Tunney, Sr., “Follow the script, or you’ll go from world champ to swirled champ real quick.”
5. The World (Championship) Is Flat
Whether it’s the WWE Universal Championship, the original NWA World Heavyweight Championship, or the belt you made for your backyard Trampoline Wrestling Federation, one thing remains constant: The world (title) is flat. Title after title, belt after belt, they’ve all remained flat. There was, however, some controversy in 2005 when John Cena claimed that the world title can spin on an axis. This, of course, was met with rampant disapproval from the scientific wrestling community.