- Professional wrestling may be scripted, but it is still full of unpredictable real-life moments that catch both fans and promoters off-guard.
- Examples of these moments include the Montreal Screwjob in 1997 and the Victory Road 2011 PPV match where Jeff Hardy appeared under the influence.
- One overlooked surreal moment was William Regal’s drunk appearance during a match with Goldust in 1998, showcasing his struggle with alcohol abuse.
Even though professional wrestling is a scripted form of entertainment, there has been a long list of surreal real-life moments airing on professional wrestling programming. From the Montreal Screwjob in 1997 to the events that occurred during the TNA Victory Road 2011 PPV, every once in a while, one should expect something unusual to happen that wasn’t supposed to. One of the more surreal moments on Monday Night Raw that doesn’t get talked about that much was the William Regal vs. Goldust match on a November 1998 episode of Raw Is War, where William Regal appeared drunk during the pre-match promo and the match itself.
Controversial Real-Life Moments In Professional Wrestling
Professional wrestling may be scripted and meant for entertainment, but the genre can sometimes be very unpredictable, considering what goes on in the ring and behind the curtains. You can cite many real-life events occurring on live TV when watching wrestling, events that even the promoters didn’t see coming.
For instance, practically every wrestling fan is familiar with the Montreal Screwjob at the Survivor Series 1997 PPV, when Shawn Michaels defeated a departing Bret Hart for the WWE Championship after Earl Hebner unexpectedly called for the bell. One could go even further back to 1985 in what was billed as the Original Screwjob involving Wendi Richter and controversial WWE Hall of Famer The Fabulous Moolah, where a masked Fabulous Moolah defeated Ritcher for the Women’s Championship, as Richter was unaware she was facing Fabulous Moolah.
Even as professional wrestling has evolved in recent years, real-life moments continue catching fans off-guard, whether it’s WWE, AEW, or any other promotion. For instance, many remember the infamous Sting vs. Jeff Hardy World Heavyweight Championship match at the Victory Road 2011 PPV for IMPACT Wrestling, only for the match to last less than a minute due to Hardy being under the influence. However, it’s also worth looking at real-life moments that aren’t discussed much, even though these events were unusual. For instance, this moment revolved around William Regal’s first WWE run in 1998 when he appeared drunk during a November 1998 episode of Raw Is War, one of the worst moments of his in-ring career.
Currently the Vice President of Global Talent Development in WWE, many have cited William Regal as one of the most underrated talents to ever wrestle for WWE. Someone who wrestled for over a decade and achieved championship success throughout his WWE run, Regal is best known for his in-ring skills while also having somewhat of a comedic side to his personality.
When Regal returned to WWE in 2000, not only did he showcase that very comedic personality, especially when he was the on-screen commissioner in 2001, but he won many championships. William Regal’s championship wins include being a multiple-time Intercontinental and European Champion and winning the 2008 King of the Ring.
Despite how talented Regal is, he never got pushed to a level that some felt he deserved. However, due to his history of alcohol and substance abuse, it’s understandable, considering that Regal himself has admitted that he had a difficult time staying out of trouble.
One of the earliest examples of William Regal’s alcohol abuse was during his first WWE run in 1998 when he appeared drunk during a match with Goldust on a November 1998 episode of Raw Is War. Making his WWE debut in June 1998 as Stephen Regal and taking the “Real Man’s Man” gimmick soon after, Regal arguably had one of his worst matches that year when he faced Goldust in a match that lasted only a few minutes.
One should’ve expected that Regal wasn’t going to be 100 percent in that match due to the pre-match promo he gave where he was calling out his opponent while stumbling over his words, only for Goldust to come out. The William Regal vs. Goldust match ended in a No Contest with Kane interfering, delivering his Chokeslam finisher to Goldust, Regal, and one of the WWE officials. And even though it featured Goldust’s former valet, Marlena, coming out at ringside, the match was mostly forgettable.
Less than a year after the match, William Regal was released in April 1999 after he checked himself into rehab earlier that year. But all of that didn’t stop William Regal from achieving legendary status, considering what he’s accomplished throughout his in-ring while being sober for a long time in recent years.