Take That/Professional Wrestling

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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"Fans, as Hollywood Hogan walks away and you look at forty thousand plus on hand, if you're even THINKING about changing the channel to our competition, fans, do not, because we understand that Mick Foley, who wrestled here one time as Cactus Jack, is gonna win their World title. Ha! That's gonna put some butts in the seats, heh."
Tony Schiavone, WCW Monday Nitro, 4 January 1999

  • In the waning days of ECW, Cyrus, an executive from "the network", was introduced. His mission? Turn ECW into good, clean family fun, so it could stand proudly alongside the network's other programs, like Rock 'n Bowl and The Dukes of Hazzard reruns. This was a direct response to what Paul Heyman felt was TNN's complete and utter failure to live up to their promises as far as promoting the show and giving them a "hands-off" creative environment.
  • TNA Wrestling has used many, many Take Thats against the WWE, to the point where it became a de facto rule that "if you were a former WWE employee, you must take shots at said company if you want a push".
    • One example, although one WWE deserved; in 2002, WWE was filming a segment for the Royal Rumble in Florida, when a number of TNA wrestlers (including Ron "R-Truth" Killings) came over with cookies and balloons to greet them. Supposedly, WWE turned them away and refused to air the footage of the encounter. Subsequent episodes of Impact (which at this time aired on Fox Sports Net) made mention of this, and one of them featured a series of sketches with fake versions of Vince McMahon & Triple H heading through the Impact Zone to find "the footage." Finally, they find the tape and smash it with a sledgehammer, with Vince exclaiming "this isn't the footage! This is 'the best of D-Ray 3000'!"
    • On a New Year's Day 2007 episode of Raw, Shawn Michaels mentions that he wants to face "one of the greatest wrestlers of our generation, but he's either not here or is probably jerking the curtain someplace else". This is an indirect response to the Voodoo Kin Mafia, though "reliable" news sources are spinning it as a shot on TNA defectee Kurt Angle, especially when said sources were in their "TNA good! WWE bad!" mode, and the fact that both the WWE and Angle were slinging mud at each other at the time.
    • There was a shot taken by Rhino, an "ECW Original" who had been fired by WWE and subsequently hired by TNA; when WWE revived the ECW brand in 2006, Rhino appeared on an episode of TNA Impact and not only denounced the "new ECW", but proceeded to put a duplicate ECW World Championship belt into a barrel and set it on fire.
    • On the 2/25 episode of iMPACT!, there was a bit where Eric Bischoff is sitting at his desk talking to someone on the phone and he says to them "No, we are not using celebrity guest hosts every week. Why would we do that, that's a terrible idea." In fairness, this could be shot to USA network instead of WWE.
    • One match had Brother Ray staple a "ECW fears TNA" sign on Abyss's forehead? So what message does that send to Abyss again?
    • One sketch involved an old man with a funny walk storming through TNA's backstage area and demanding that Lauren tell him where his son-in-law was.
    • Back when rated R superstar Edge was pushing the PG13 rating to the limit and Kurt Angle wanted to have deviant sex with Booker T's wife, TNA was going PG and announcing they had something better than the competition. "SIX" appeal, in reference to their new six sided ring. The commercial also said Triple H had a big ego and a small heart, in case fans were missing the more subtle messages.
    • The whole thing descended to the point of self-parody when B.G. and Kip James rechristened themselves the Voodoo Kin Mafia and "declared war" on the WWE, which involved standing outside a WWE show with a megaphone making fun of the size of Vince's penis, driving to WWE's head office at 3 AM to launch an offensive, and bringing in a "big fat oily naked guy" just because WWE used one in a couple of skits.
      • Voodoo Kin Mafia's initials, VKM, are also the initials of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
    • During the earlier days of Fortune, Kazarian made Take Thats towards the WWE, from referring to the crowd as the "TNA Galaxy" (a shot at the WWE referring to its fans as the "WWE Universe") to shilling Fortune by saying that they weren't "a group full of rookies."
    • Jackie Gayda claiming how the TNA girls were tougher than the WWE's, this was before the knockout division and was questionable considering the source.
      • Turned around where ODB attacking Tara's WWE past was eventually used for heel heat, probably after someone realized how ridiculous it was considering all the other former WWE stars ODB had tolerated until then.
    • Tommy Dreamer complaining about WWE's use of ECW, even though TNA was doing the same thing.
    • Perhaps the ultimate proof of their frequency of take that's towards the WWE is when during a taping of Impact, then-World Heavyweight Champion Mr. Anderson had to redo a promo solely to include shots at the WWE.
    • TNA... Excuse me, Impact Wrestling's entire slogan is that "Wrestling Matters." Except that this is blatantly out of retaliation of WWE's name change[1]. The in-show ads only add fuel to this as Eric Bischoff states that they're "Not afraid of the word 'Wrestling.'"
  • The Miz is moved to RAW, proclaiming that he is awesome and trying to score with chicks, insulting John Cena with arguments echoing the sentiments expressed by his online critics. Cena does not respond to these (or even notice Miz) for about 8 weeks, due to either being involved in other feuds at the time or being physically incapacitated. Leading up to The Bash Cena finally confronts The Miz and tells him they have a main event match, the resulting match is Cena no-selling everything The Miz threw at him then beating him to a fine paste. He then repeated to squash The Miz whenever they had a match ending on Raw leading up to Summerslam where Miz had the help of 10 other wrestlers and Cena still came back, squashed him and pinned him, banning him from Raw. So much work and effort put in by the WWE To say "Fuck off" to Cena-Haters. Take THAT indeed! The Miz would come back a week later, as a slightly more serious wrestler and is their current US champion as well as winning the RAW Money in the Bank contract which effectively guarantees he'll be world champ in less than a year.
  • This was also very common during the Monday Night Wars between the WWF and WCW.
    • The quote at the top of the page is an example of this backfiring terribly. It came just a few minutes prior to the notorious "Finger-Poke of Doom", and WCW's ratings plummeted seconds after it was said, as a massive chunk of the audience changed channels to the WWF. For months afterwards, WWF fans would bring signs to shows that read, "Mick Foley put my butt in this seat!" thus launching their own Take Thats at WCW.
    • The WWF had Gillberg, who was basically a Bizarro version of WCW's biggest star Goldberg. Unlike Goldberg, Gillberg was pale, scrawny, had cheap entrance effects, a very obviously fake chant, had a sh*tty dotted line tattoo that mocked Goldberg's, could only win with outside help, has the catchphrase "Who's First" instead of "Who's Next," and was even slated to have a 173-match losing streak.
    • WWF also had the "Billionaire Ted" skits, a horrible Take That directed towards WCW's owner and perpetual McMahon boogeyman, Ted Turner.
    • One of the dark matches for Wrestlemania XII was the Huckster vs. the Nacho Man with the finish being a double count-out after they knocked each other to the mat in a head-on collison and couldn't get up.
    • How can you forget when Vince Russo mocked Jim Ross with the character of 'Oklahoma'? Basically an Expy of good old JR who wrestled men and women half his size; in a truly tasteless moment, Russo used Oklahoma to mock Ross for having a stroke that paralyzed half of his face.
    • Mick Foley had some good quotes:

I thought about going to WCW but then I realized I wasn't old enough.
(to the Radicals) What's it like to look out there and actually see people in the audience?

    • Halloween Havoc '98 ran longer than scheduled so the PPV feed went out before the end of the title match. Survivor Series 98 had a tournament for the vacant WWF title, with these comments during the final match.

Jim Ross: There is no time limit in this match. We will stay with it until there is a winner.
Jerry Lawler: You're going to get to see all of this pay-per-view!
JR: That's not nice King. Making reference to those less fortunate.
Lawler: It's not nice, but it's accurate.

  • Post-Monday Night Wars, the WWE would take shots at certain former WWE employees who have left the company on bad terms, some examples being Randy Savage, Brock Lesnar, and Kurt Angle.
    • One a recent episode of Smack Down Christian interrupted an Alberto Del Rio segment to challenge Del Rio's claim that he was going to be a big name in the company (this is slightly paraphrased):

Christian: I've seen a guy who said he was "the next big thing." I've seen guys who dressed up like male cheerleaders. And I've seen a guy, who honestly thought he was the boogeyman. And I've outlasted them all.

    • Vince McMahon wouldn't stop at you, either. In 2007, when Hulk Hogan decided to host American Gladiators rather than work with WWE because they wouldn't promote his daughter Brooke's singing career, Vince gave female wrestler Jillian Hall a "teen pop singer" gimmick -- and had her sing so brutally off-key that record producers everywhere were glad she didn't use real songs.
      • And then for the salt on the wound, Jillian's Christmas album, which was A) a joke item B) only sold on iTunes and C) sung with Jillian's ear-abusing voice, outsold Brooke Hogan's retail solo album.
    • In 2005, WWE released "The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior" DVD, which is the ultimate Take That DVD. To be fair, it pretty much describes Warrior in real life, especially after his infamous appearance at a student debate when he said that "queering don't make the world work". Seriously. Recently, he also took shots at Heath Ledger after his death, calling him "Leather Hedger".
    • When Larry Zbyszko sent a cease-and-desist letter to WWE concerning Jericho calling himself a "Living Legend" (Zbyszko claiming he legit won exclusive rights by beating Bruno Sammartino in a match!), not only did WWE refuse to comply (though they did stop selling "Living Legend" shirts), even Vince McMahon started regering to Jericho as "Living Legend".
  • When WWE first started the ECW revival, and it was announced that the show would be on the Sci-Fi Channel, rumors flew among wrestling fans that NBC/Universal higher-ups were going to force WWE to populate the new brand with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror-themed gimmick wrestlers -- exactly the same kind of cartoony nonsense the original ECW stood against. So WWE decided to have a little fun with the idea, starting the first show by introducing a "new ECW 'extremist'" called The Zombie -- who promptly got the snot beaten out of him by resident hardcore hero The Sandman, and was never heard from again. The coming weeks would see similarly Take That-fueled attacks, as The Sandman mercilessly beat a Nacho Libre/"Macho Man" Randy Savage pastiche and a pastor who denounced the new ECW as being too violent and sexual. Of course, despite the fact that the cartoony gimmicks were left out, the new show failed the ECW name in every other way that counted, but that's neither here nor there.
  • Before all that, there was the revival pay-per-view "One Night Stand", which, aside from providing awesome oldskool ECW-style wrestling, was laden with potshots at both WWE and WCW, most of which spewed from the mouth of Paul Heyman:

To Eric Bischoff: "It's not Paul Heyman with his tail between his legs at WCW One Night Stand!"
To Edge: "Hide your wives, it's Edge! ...I have two words for you: MATT FREAKING HARDY!
And to JBL: You wanna shoot, cowboy? The only reason you were champion on Smack Down! for over a year...is Triple H didn't wanna work Tuesdays!

  • And, of course, wrestling is not squeamish about taking potshots at their critics; witness D Generation X, who took their name from a Phil Mushnick column in TV Guide that lambasted wrestling fans, and the Right to Censor, a thinly veiled parody of the Moral Guardians that had targeted the WWF.
  • Thanks to a scheduling conflict at Denver's Pepsi Center between an episode of Raw and an NBA playoff game, the WWE launched several of these against the Denver Nuggets.
    • Raw and ECW commentators slammed their owner, Stan Kroenke, and Carmelo Anthony over the course of two days.
    • Taken to ludicrous extremes in the May 25, 2010 episode of RAW, which featured an elaborate 10-man tag team match that is essentially one long, drawn out Take That at the Denver Nuggets.
    • Because of the schedule snafu on part of the Pepsi Center management, the WWE moved their shows at the last minute to the Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nuggets' opponent in that playoff series. To be fair, the WWE already had the Pepsi Center reserved well in advance, all the way back in August 2008.
  • Jim Cornette's rather epic shoot interviews on Raw, where he simply ranted about whatever was bothering him that day.
  • When Shawn Michaels was scheduled to face off against Hulk Hogan, they were originally scheduled to wrestle two matches, with Hogan winning at Summer Slam and Michaels winning the next Pay-Per-View after that. However, Hogan backed off from the rematch, citing a bad knee, thus meaning HBK would have to take the loss. What followed was a series of Take Thats against Hogan courtesy of The Heartbreak Kid.
    • On an episode of RAW, Michaels referenced an incident during the Monday Night Wars when the WWF finally beat WCW in the ratings caused in large part by Hogan's ego.

"Hulk Hogan, whatcha gonna do when the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels won't lay down for you."

    • During a mock interview "Larry King" asked Michaels, dressed as Hogan, if he likes wrestling. Michaels responds that it's in his heart, and it's also in his knee, brother!.
    • The first episode of RAW after their match, Michaels turned face again, but he still couldn't resist insulting Hogan.

"You can chant his name all you like, unless he wants another payoff, he ain't coming back."

  • The Rise and Fall of WCW
    • Towards the end when they are trying to guess why the company fell they blame three specific people: Vince Russo (who didn't have McMahon to filter his ideas), Kevin Nash (who didn't want anyone to be on top of him), and Jeff Jarrett (who "Broke 6000 guitars and never drew a dime"). Guess what company these three work at?
    • After transforming Jay Lethal into "Black Machismo", Nash tried to do the same with Sonjay Dutt, giving him replicas of his old "Oz" and "Vinnie Vegas" costumes, only for the other X-Division wrestlers to tell him how ridiculous he looked. I guess you can say Nash knows how to laugh at himself.
      • More likely that was intended as a potshot toward Dusty Rhodes who, according to Nash, came up with the Oz gimmick himself because he didn't understand the difference between Oz (The Region,) and the Wizard (The Character.)
  • In what is possibly the greatest Take-That in wrestling history, mostly because it predicted its own existence in a previous Funny Aneurysm Moment. Jeff Hardy feuded with CM Punk on the basis of him being a drug burnout. Punk defeated him in the end, since he was leaving anyway... taking his title, and getting him booted from the WWE. Not long after this feud ended, Jeff Hardy was arrested for drug trafficking. Punk of course, after WWE was supposedly not going to mention the incident, promptly mentioned it, as a massive Take That at Jeff.
  • Speaking of CM Punk, back in his indy days he was one of the founding fathers of the promotion CHIKARA. After he no-showed one of their events, CHIKARA responded with... CP Munk, the straight edge chipmunk! (he's acorn free, he's almond free, and he's better than you). Punk did not take Munk well, at all, and made some really nasty comments about CHIKARA. This inspired CHIKARA not only to make Munk an occasionally recurring character, but to make two more, Colt Cabunny (based on Punk's tag partner Colt Cabana) and Ace Panda (based on Ace Steel, and the incident where WWE lost the rights to the F to the World Wildlife Fund, which spawned jokes about WWE "losing to the pandas"). Neither Steel nor Cabana were offended, and Cabana was actually highly amused by Cabunny. He has since made an appearance for the promotion late in their eighth season. On top of all that the Munk/Cabunny/Panda stable is called "Team WWF".

"[The Superplex] represents everything I can never ever be, first of all it represents being criminally obese, now I don't know who the other guy was."

  • The new Smackdown theme song since the "Decade of Smackdown" contains the phrase "Do you really want to Cross The Line." Intentional? Maybe...
    • The lyric following it, "Go ahead and try to take what's mine" may be a reference to TNA hiring former WWE wrestlers.
  • WWE seems to have launched one against Hulk Hogan for jumping ship to TNA.
    • In the opening video for all WWE programming, they removed the "Hulkamania is running wild" sound byte.
    • WWE also, coincidentally, had a new Hulk Hogan DVD coming out of some of his classic matches. Once Hogan signing with TNA had been announced, the commercials made sure to note that the matches on the DVD featured Hogan "in his prime."
    • Chris Jericho also didn't waste any time delivering a quick mockery of Hogan's "ear to the crowd" gesture on the (supposedly) epic January 4th Monday Night War which is no surprise as he's made it perfectly clear how much he hated everything/everyone involving WCW.
  • On Monday, January 4, 2010 TNA had a three hour special on Spike TV that overlapped with Monday Night Raw on USA. During a break on Raw, inside of a commercial, a Hulk Hogan voiceover basically said, "What the hell are you doing here? Go over to Spike!!" Take That indeed.
  • Certain WWE divas have started using the finishing moves of TNA wrestlers. Candice used Christian's "Unprettier", Michelle McCool uses the "Styles Clash" etc. Might not be a Take That, as there are no trademarks on moves, but when a TNA main eventer's finisher is given to a diva more than once, it becomes suspicious.
    • AJ Styles was apparently cool with it, though he also delivered a slight take that at John Morrison, saying that the guy doesn't have any of his own moves, and that though he's a fine wrestler, he needs to expand his repertoire.
  • There's a very obscure Take That in the wretched WCW/NWO Thunder for the first PlayStation. Eric Bischoff, who was in the game, was given the Figure Four Leglock as a finisher, which is widely used by Ric Flair. Bischoff and Flair completely hated each other. As an added bonus, Flair was in the game as well, but with no special moves of his own. It couldn't have been a coincidence.
  • Batista once criticised the TNA X Division for not "wrestling" in a conventional sense during an interview he gave while injured. AJ Styles' retort? "I think it's funny that someone who takes a back bump and injures himself tells me that I don't know how to wrestle."
  • Eric Bischoff posted a rather scathing blog about how stupid WWE was for going PG and focusing on a younger audience. He goes on and talks about how they were losing viewers because of it (the RAW he brings up still maintained their average overall rating while going up against Monday Night Football), proceeds to bring up the demographic data, and states that "facts hurt". This blows up in his face spectacularly, as the very week he says this, TNA Impact dropped below a 1.0 rating for the first time in several weeks. Facts hurt, eh, Eric?
  • ROH got one in to WWE in one of their trailers for Death before Dishonor VIII how the PPV is not rated PG.
    • They even show a footage of guy getting strangled by a tie in one of the trailers.
  • Given his rivalry with Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels' nickname "The Heartbreak Kid" might qualify.
    • Hmm, probably not as their rivalry didn't really get nasty until 1996-97, and Michaels had used that nickname since 1992, at which time he still worked with and respected Hart. It's more of a Funny Aneurysm Moment.
  • If Tiffany (Real name: Taryn Terrell) is to believed, her real-life husband Drew McIntyre's current angle with Kelly Kelly is one from the WWE towards her, given that the angle was her idea in the first place (but with Tiffany in Kelly's place). Tiffany was released shortly before this angle came to life.
  • A really obscure take that from WWE to TNA has recently occurred. For a while, WWE was very strict about not letting wrestlers out of their contract early (they didn't want wrestlers to jump ship to TNA), which ended up with quite a few wrestlers on the payroll who hadn't been on TV in weeks. However, as of late, wrestlers such as MVP and Kaval have been let out of their contracts when asked, with a few insiders mentioning that WWE isn't concerned enough about TNA at this point to even care anymore.
  • Hogan to his own audience no less in TNA. When revealing the standard four-sided ring to replace TNA's unique six-sided one, the crowd roundly booed him and chanted "WE WANT SIX SIDES!" His response:

Hogan: I got one thing to say about six sides: you had it, and it only got you so far. Now we're takin' ya all the way, Jack! No more eight sides, no more six sides, no more stinkin' playpen rings!

  • TNA has recently been getting a lot of flak for bringing in J-Woww from Jersey Shore for a guest appearance. WWE decided to do them one better and brought in Snooki for a guest appearance. Snooki is arguably the biggest star of Jersey Shore (or at least the most infamous, but positive or negative, the most well-known.) It almost comes across as WWE saying, "Even when it comes to scraping the bottom of the pop-culture barrel, we're still better than you."
    • Then to add even more insult to injury, they booked her in a match at Wrestlemania.
      • Then, to add MORE insult to injury, they revealed that Snooki amazingly didn't suck, performing several flashy moves with better-than-reasonable aplomb. (Thanks in no small part to Trish Stratus, who trained Snooki for the match, and was smart enough to ask Snooki if she had any athletic experience, and incorporated her previous experience as a gymnast into her training.)
  • At TNA Lockdown 2011, Kurt Angle used the RKO in his match against Jeff Jarrett. This is after Angle criticized Orton (and Jack Swagger) on his twitter for using his Angle Slam (and Anklelock). His reason for using the move:

"Orton, I used Your Finish as a sign of Respect. Not to get back at U. Respect!
To Randy Orton, as You said- Imitation is a form of flattery. Know that I did that out of Respect. GOD Bless."

  • The 1987 WWF-produced album "Piledriver" includes the Vince McMahon-sung "Stand Back", which basically is Vince telling off all his competitors with lines like "Stand in my way, I promise you'll lose" and "Along the way, you're gonna see a lot of men drop". The music video for the song tried to make it less obvious by having it consist of Andre the Giant footage, but the real intent was clear.
  1. From "World Wrestling Entertainment" to simply "WWE"