WWE’s infamous “banned words” list has changed quite a few times over the years. On top of words and phrases you’re not allowed to say on cable television, the company had a separate list of words and phrases that the commentary team and wrestlers were told to avoid under Vince McMahon’s leadership. Some were put on the list in order to steer away from violence and keep the product more family-friendly, while others appeared to be based purely on McMahon’s preferences. Dave Meltzer published an updated list in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter back in 2021, then added “non-title” to the list last year when referring to a match where a champion was not actively putting his title on the line in a given match (usually on TV). You can see that list below.
Dave Schilling, a former WWE writer, took to Twitter on Wednesday night to post a thread as he finally watched WrestleMania 35 from 2019. During the thread, he posted an official “banned words” list. You’ll notice some overlap with Meltzer’s list, but other words like, “Hate, Hell, Here we go, Hell, Revenge, Spot, Finish and Stupid” are also banned. It’s unclear what the list looks like now under Paul Levesque’s leadership, though certain terms and references (particularly related to wrestling) have been gradually brought back.
“Becky Two Belts” was an adlib. The word “belt” was not allowed then, so I assumed Becky would get in trouble. Instead, they sold t-shirts. pic.twitter.com/wWLvk8DYHa
— Dave Schilling (@dave_schilling) March 16, 2023
Various wrestlers have discussed Levesque’s leadership style and how it differs from McMahon’s reign. SmackDown’s Karrion Kross talked about it during a recent interview on Out of Character.
“We’ve always loved working for Hunter. He’s the easiest boss that I’ve ever had in terms of being accessible to discuss ideas with,” Kross said. “On the flip side, he may not tell you this, but excellence is expected. He has a high standard for all of his talents to meet. He’s easy to talk to and everyone’s favorite boss, but we all know that he expects us to bring it. That brings out the best version of all of us and is one of the main reasons people like to work with him. When we have a show, he’s out there at ringside with everybody and doing everything. We’re very lucky to have that.”
WWE WrestleMania 39 Card (As of Now)
- Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes
- United States Championship: Austin Theory vs. John Cena
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley
- Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair vs. Asuka
- Brock Lesnar vs. Omos
- Intercontinental Championship: Gunther vs. Drew McIntyre/Sheamus
- Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul
- Becky Lynch, Lita & Trish Stratus vs. Damage CTRL
- Edge vs. Finn Balor (Hell in a Cell)