WWE is scripted. WWE superstars partake in storylines with predetermined outcomes. Feuds and angles that make it to WWE TV come from a group of writers. Their job is to pitch compelling ideas that could be turned into entertaining and, at times, controversial segments. WWE is no stranger to controversy, but sometimes the creative come up with a pitch so notorious that even the people responsible for performing them on screen get offended by them. That being said, here are WWE superstars who dragged or outright rejected storylines that were pitched to them.
AJ Lee was arguably the most popular female superstar during her time with the WWE. The former WWE Divas Champion has a history of bipolar disorder. Growing up, AJ saw her mother struggle with said mental health condition and she too herself got caught up with it.
AJ revealed WWE pitched for her to play a deranged gimmick on the main roster as soon as she received her summons. Of course, she rejected the idea because she believed it was offensive and disrespectful to her and her mother.
Mickie James is a veteran of the business. Mickie had her beginnings in WWE that saw her feud with the likes of Trish Stratus, Melina and Lita to name a few. Mickie was also involved in a controversial storyline, the focus of which was her weight, in 2010.
Dubbed the “Piggy James” storyline, the idea was to have Layla and Michelle McCool call out and compare Mickie to a pig. Yes, you read that right. Mickie was deeply offended by the storyline and opened up about it on the Kurt Angle Show.
Randy Orton is one of WWE’s all-time greats. Orton has been with the company for the past two decades and has seen his fair share of controversies. The 14-time world champion himself has been involved in couple of notorious storylines. That being said, the Legend Killer loses his cool when he comes across a storyline involving his family.
Former WWE writer Eric Pankowski revealed that there was a pitch for Orton's opponent to mention his ex-wife Samantha Speno and his daughter as part of a promo. The former World Heavyweight Champion immediately made it clear that he wouldn’t want no mention of his family, current or former, on WWE TV.
Roman Reigns is WWE’s top dog. Reigns hasn’t been pinned in nearly two years. The Undisputed WWE Universal Champion is loyal to the company that gave him his big break, but that doesn’t mean he would allow them to create controversy by bringing his family into storylines.
Back in 2016, Reigns was part of a storyline with Bray Wyatt and the two men were able to blur the line slightly when Wyatt mentioned his daughter, Joelle. The Tribal Chief revealed he was okay with the idea as it didn’t go beyond a certain point.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin took WWE to greater heights during the Attitude Era. Austin’s feud with the boss turned out to be a ratings success for WWE in the Monday Night Wars. Austin was known to drag creative plans that didn’t sit well with him. One such creative direction led to a walkout from the company.
Back in 2002, Brock Lesnar was the hottest commodity coming into WWE. Vince McMahon saw Lesnar as the next breakout star. WWE creative put Lesnar in a KOTR qualifier against Austin on an episode of RAW. Austin, of course, saw issues with the one-off match happening without any proper buildup and famously “took his balls and went home.”
Stephanie McMahon has been with WWE since her childhood. The McMahon daughter joined her father’s company at a very early age. WWE began using her as an on-screen character during Vince’s feud with Austin. She once turned down a storyline due to obvious reasons.
Back in 2005, when Stephanie was pregnant with Triple H's first child, Vince McMahon wanted to turn this into a storyline. The Boss came up with the idea that he would be the father of the child. Stephanie, of course, was having none of that and immediately shot down the idea.