Following an internal WWE memo that leaked out a couple years ago detailing words and phrases that were banned by WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, former WWE creative team member Kevin Eck revealed in a new blog post addition terms which WWE banned during his time with the company.
Big Guy: McMahon was not a fan of Ryback referring to himself as such and for a while we were not to use it when writing his promos. However, Ryback was persistent about wanting to use "Big Guy," and his persistence obviously paid off.
Fake: This word should not be used regardless of context. For example, if a heel is clearly faking an injury, say he is "feigning an injury."
Feud: That's a rasslin' term. Use "rivalry."
It will be: Think back to when Teddy Long was SmackDown General Manager. When making matches (often tag matches), Long would always say, "Tonight, it will be [fill in the blanks]. Eventually, that tired phrase was banned.
Major announcement: A cliche. "Announcement" is sufficient.
Non-title match: This has a negative connotation for the audience. For a brief time, the term "Title-free match" was used by ring announcers and commentators, but that just sounded weird. Announcers could say something like "the title is not on the line," but for the most part, if a champion was in action and it was not advertised as a title match, then it was just assumed that it was non-title match.
Return match: Use "rematch" instead. Or is it the other way around? I always got this one mixed up, but I believe "return match" is the preferred term.
Roman Reigns' Samoan heritage: This has obviously changed since I left, but when I was at WWE, Reigns being Samoan was not acknowledged on TV, nor was the fact that he is WWE Hall of Famer Sika's son and The Rock and The Usos' cousin. The thinking was that it could pigeonhole him and also take away some of his mystique.
Royal Rumble: Because this is the name of a pay-per-view as well as a specific match, it could be confusing for the audience, so it's important to be specific about which one we're talking about (this also applies to Elimination Chamber, Money in the Bank, TLC, etc.). For example, "Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble match," and "Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins headlined the Royal Rumble event."
Title is held up: Say the title is in a "state of abeyance" instead.
Triple Threat Matches: Except in rare instances, Triple Threat Matches must be "for something," such as a championship or to determine a No. 1 contender.
Wade Barrett: After he adopted the "bad news" gimmick, he was always "Bad News Barrett" and never "Wade Barrett." Apparently, the same is now true for "King Barrett."
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