Behind-the-scenes moments are what make the fans connect with wrestlers on a different level. After all, these larger-than-life personas are simple people just like us with emotions and all. In the last couple of years, WWE continues to up the ante with various network specials that give us exclusive backstage footage. This has caused us to see moments we would have never seen back in the ’80s or 90s.

In this article, we take a look at special moments that went down during the last couple of years. In their own right, each of these intimate moments changed the course of wrestling history. Particularly with the women, some of these behind the scenes photos completely changed wrestling forever. These days, females are doing it better than the men and some of these moments featured have a lot to do with that.

We will take a look at a variety of  images. Here’s to hoping more of these photos take place in the future. Looking at the current landscape, we have no doubt this will come to fruition.

Enjoy, as we take a look at 20 behind-the-scenes photos that completely change wrestling kayfabe. Like always, be sure to share the article with a fellow wrestling fan. Let’s get started!

WWE Top 20 Photos paparazzi and video online | real life

20Shawn Michaels And Bret Hart Reunited

via Twitter

The Montreal Screwjob changed wrestling forever. Suddenly, Vince McMahon completely exposed the business. It also helped launch his character as he became one of the greatest villains during the most booming period of wrestling history.

Bret Hart carried a chip on his shoulder for the longest time. It would take more than a decade for Hart to finally reconcile with Shawn Michaels. During the first RAW of 2010, the two finally shook hands ending their lengthy beef. Finally laying it to rest, the two closed the book on their long-time heated real-life rivalry.

19Triple H, Bayley, And Sasha Banks Hug

via Twitter

TakeOver: Brooklyn. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley. Just thinking about that match brings chills to any wrestling fan’s spine. The match took Women’s wrestling and put it on a pedestal of its own. The match had everything from near-falls to scary bumps to emotions at every corner.

The thunderous sound of the crowd following the Bayley-to-Belly is a moment fans won’t forget. Not only was it a match of the year contender but arguable, the greatest Women’s match ever.

This bout changed Women’s wrestling forever as it proved that the women can do it just as good, if not better than the men. Finn Balor and Kevin Owens did a great job in the main event but it came nowhere near this match. It was so good that Seth Rollins was brought to tears.

18The Undertaker Before The Streak Ended

via Pinterest

We can still feel that eerie silence when the ref hit the mat for the three-count. Suddenly, The Streak was over. This changed wrestling history forever. Although the decision was frowned upon at the time, it helped Brock Lesnar evolve into one of the most dominant performers off all-time. At the very least, ending the streak gave Lesnar lots of momentum.

It will  always be remembered as the most emotional WrestleMania moment ever. Clearly, McMahon felt the same way as he gave The Undertaker a warm embrace prior to the streak ending for good.

17Vince And Sting Finally United

via YouTube

During the fall of WCW, we saw most of the prominent stars joined the company. However, Sting stayed true to his identity. Worried that WWE might squash his persona and allure, he avoided the company for more than a decade.

But he  finally got his WrestleMania moment, one which was long overdue. Sting took on Triple H at WrestleMania 31. Prior to the match, McMahon had some emotional words with Sting, telling the former WCW Champion that he fully deserved the moment. Sting joining WWE for some, was like the official closure to the Monday Night War.

16Number 16

via Pinterest

Arguably the greatest WWE Superstar of all-time, John Cena picked up title win number 16 at the Royal Rumble in another classic match against rival AJ Styles. Of course, this completely changed wrestling for obvious reasons as Cena tied the mark for most title reigns with the legend himself, Ric Flair.

Cena got emotional backstage as he was embraced by The Nature Boy. Without a doubt, he will stand alone at some point winning number 17. That’s likely to take place sooner rather than later.

15Hulk Hogan And The Ultimate Warrior Finally Reconcile

via WordPress

Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate became the most beloved babyfaces in WWE during the early ’90s. However, behind-the-scenes, it wasn’t all love between the two. Warrior grew frustrated with Hogan’s backstage politics and the beef would carry over following Warrior’s WCW run.

Finally, at WrestleMania XXX, the two exchanged words after years and years of lost time. We’re thankful for the timing of how this played out. Sadly, just days later Warrior passed away. At the very least, he was able to squash this beef during his time with us.

14Daniel Bryan’s Retirement

via Twitter

Although it all worked out for Daniel Bryan in the end, it certainly didn’t look that way at one point in time. In one of the most emotional episodes of RAW ever, Bryan called it a career on February 8, 2016. At that point, the retirement announcement changed wrestling for various reasons. For one, it showed that WWE was no longer playing around with concussion injuries – unlike their skeptical past when it came to dealing with head trauma.

The photo above shows an emotional Daniel Bryan falling to his knees after his speech was over. Like always, wife Brie was there to pick him up.

13Bryan Prepares For Emotional Return Speech

via YouTube

Daniel Bryan taught the WWE Universe a valuable lesson, and that’s never give up on your dreams. Despite the retirement announcement, Bryan continued to get opinions behind-the-scenes. After more than two years of various scans and testing, Daniel finally got the green light from WWE doctors.

The photo above is just prior to his return speech on SmackDown Live. The promo was highlighted by Bryan landing some of his signature kicks to both Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. It is still chilling to think about.

12The Phenomenal One Has Arrived

via WWE

Similar to Sting, AJ Styles joining WWE was an unknown for the longest time. However, in late January, Styles finally joined the company. He made his debut at the Royal Rumble, entering the match to a massive pop. It is clear given his legacy in the almost three years that he has been with the company that AJ changed the course of wrestling history. Modern day, he is arguably the greatest WWE performer.

The picture above shows AJ hiding out prior to his Rumble debut. He was kept in a trailer away from other talent. One can only imagine what was going on in his head at that point.

11The New Goldberg

via WWE

Goldberg’s prior run with WWE turned out to be a major letdown. Not only was he failing in the ring but the same held true behind the scenes. He had the reputation of a dude with a massive ego.

A big surprise, Goldberg returned a completely changed man in 2016. He managed to change everyone’s opinions, turning into a humble man both inside and outside of the ring. That is documented especially with the picture above, squashing his past beef with Chris Jericho. In addition, those jeers from the past turned into cheers for the most part during his second run.

10Roman Reigns Finally Wins The Big One

via Imgur

WrestleMania 31 was supposed to be the night that ignited Roman Reigns as “the guy” with WWE. Instead, plans took a drastic turn as Seth Rollins left the show with the championship around his waist. It wasn’t Roman’s time.

Fast forward a year later and Reigns finally got his moment, taking on Triple H in the main event match at WrestleMania 32. Now, the bout wasn’t the most well-received WrestleMania main event, butit was an emotional title victory for Roman given everything he went through. He shared the a moment with his daughter backstage afterwwards.

9Shawn Michaels Joins NXT

via Twitter

In late 2016, Shawn Michaels packed his bags and moved the family to Orlando. It was an emotional moment for fans seeing Shawn Michaels join his best buddy behind-the-scenes with the developmental brand.

Surely, HBK continues to change the wrestling business these days given his impact with NXT. The likes of Johnny Gargano, YTommaso Ciampa and Velveteen Dream continue to thrive, in large part thanks to HBK’s tips on how to tell a story in the ring. Becky Lynch also benefited from Shawn’s words. Since her movie alongside HBK, Lynch has returned hotter than a fire cracker. Shawn’s involvement bodes well for the future.

8The Return Of Kurt Angle

via YouTube

It is hard to believe but Kurt Angle had a falling out with WWE that lasted over a decade. Angle had reached out to the company with no avail for quite some time. However, in early 2017, he was finally brought back for the Hall of Fame. This emotional picture shows Angle’s first moments back as he embraces Triple H and Vince McMahon at the WWE HQ.

Months later, Angle would complete the return when he stepped into a WWE ring for the first time in 11 years. The process was an emotional one to say the least.

7The Chosen One

via Twitter

Entering at number 19, this was the night the Roman Reigns  was officially deemed as the “chosen one,” winning the 2015 Royal Rumble match. Now the reaction itself wasn’t the greatest, especially with WWE’s decision to eliminate Daniel Bryan so early in the match. Given that outcome, the fans took out their frustrations out on The Big Dog.

Nonetheless, it didn’t hinder the moment. Reigns was emotional behind the scenes as he was met by The Rock – a wrestler that knows a thing or two when it comes to being a chosen one by WWE.

6First-Ever Women’s Royal Rumble

via WWE

2018 will be remembered as the year of the Women’s Division. The female WWE stars definitely turned things up a notch with a slew of memorable moments and great matches. The year was highlighted by both the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble and the first ever WWE Women’s only PPV, Evolution – two events that changed the landscape of the business forever.

Prior to the Rumble match, Triple H rallied the troops issuing some emotional words. Clearly, a lot of the women were holding back tears. It is a night wrestling fans won’t forget.

5Ronda Rousey Backstage Post-Debut

via Pinterest

Along with the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match, the night also changed wrestling history for the debut of Ronda Rousey. WWE did a great job keeping this debut a secret. Ronda was kept in a trailer and she entered the arena alongside Triple H completely covered up.

Rousey was clearly emotional about the entire ordeal. Once the show came to an end, Rousey was embraced by the entire roster at the gorilla position. It was clear on that night the females took things to the next level. That would be evident months later as the likes of Ronda Rousey, Asuka and Charlotte put on the best matches of the night at the greatest show of the year, WrestleMania.

4The Hardy Boyz Finally Come Home

via WWE

The Hardy Boyz’ return was long overdue. This one has to be one of the greatest returns in WWE history, given the outrageous pop by the WrestleMania crowd alone. The two capped off the return winning the Raw Tag Team Championship. In truth, that was just the cherry on top.

Both were clearly overcome with emotions prior and after the match. Jeff himself couldn’t even catch his breath for how excited he was, as documented by the WWE 24 cameras. Thankfully, he put the nerves aside, giving us a brilliant piece of nostalgia and performing a breathtaking Swanton Bomb off the top of a ladder.

3Taking NXT To The Next Level

via WWE

Triple H completely changed wrestling with his NXT developmental brand. These days, the brand is an entity on its own. For the pure wrestling fans, NXT is far superior to either of the main shows.

A lot of that has to do with the talent acquired over the years. Arguably the biggest talent signed by Triple H was Shinsuke Nakamura just a couple of years back. The emotional signing showed just how far NXT had come, inking one of the best performers in the entire pro wrestling business at the time. We don’t think he would have signed had WWE kept its outdated FCW territory.

2Shane And Vince Emotional Backstage

via YouTube

Untimely injuries happen a lot in the world of pro wrestling. That was the case a couple of years back when WWE scrambled to find an opponent suitable for The Undertaker. With John Cena nursing an injury WWE needed something big. The answer; Vince’s own son, Shane McMahon.

Shane exceeded expectations putting on a great match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32 (which was arguably the best match of the night). Overcome with emotions and so proud of his son, both Vince and Shane wept after the match. Shane claims this was the first time he felt that his dad was genuinely proud of him.

1The End Of An Era

via Pinterest

Perhaps the greatest WrestleMania matches ever, Shawn Michaels called it a career after a second WrestleMania loss to The Undertaker. In story, Triple H would try to avenge those loses. Hunter and ‘Taker’s heated rivalry came to a close at WrestleMania XXVIII inside a Hell in a Cell with HBK as the special referee.

It was a fantastic match, but the ending was truly the most memorable part. The three left the stage together with Michael Cole uttering the words “the end of an era.” The picture above shows the closeness these men share. All three helped the change the business forever in different and meaningful ways.

WWE Top 20 Photos paparazzi and video online | real life