For the first time, Money in the Bank didn’t happen in an arena. WWE‘s corporate headquarters played host to both ladder matches (at the same time) at this year’s Pay-Per-View. Twelve superstars fought to the roof of Titan Towers, with Asuka and Otis coming out on top.
While it’s the first match to be promoted at WWE’s office space, it’s far from the first time WWE Headquarters has been part of memorable moments in the company’s history. Here are five times WWE’s office space was part of their TV product.
Monday Night Raw’s new intro in the fall of 1995, just in time for the kickoff of the Monday Night War with WCW, was an elaborate production. All of the ring equipment was placed on the roof using a crane, a helicopter was used for overhead shots (and made it into the opening shot itself), and hundreds of fans were used as extras. There were even Raw Cheerleaders and a giant inflatable Undertaker. The top stars of the era took part in a brawl in the roof ring. Shawn Michaels took center stage, hitting a stunning dive into the ring. Part of the video was re-used a few years later in D-Generation X’s iconic Titan Tron video.
Paul Heyman cutting promos on WWE Television has been commonplace for years. In 1996, it was a different story. Heyman, then ECW’s booker, called into an episode of WWE’s Saturday Morning recap show, LiveWire, posing as “Bruce from Connecticut” (a reference to WWE Creative Team Member and podcaster Bruce Prichard). Heyman accused Vince McMahon of stealing ECW’s ideas and invited WWE fans to check out his promotion.
After a few minutes of Heyman invective against McMahon and WWE, Michael Hayes identified him as “Paul E. from Philadelphia.” Future ECW employee Sunny said she knew his voice sounded familiar. Heyman told everyone to “shut the f’ up” and was promptly hung up on. The whole thing was part of a cross-promotion angle between WWE and ECW. ECW would eventually invade Raw and Jerry Lawler would wrestle on their Hardcore Heaven pay-per-view in response.
At the height of the Attitude Era, WWE ran a tongue in cheek ad during Super Bowl XXXIII. The spot parodied WWE’s many critics. Steve Austin, Sable, the Rock, the Undertaker, and Mankind walking through WWE headquarters and tried to dispel common criticisms of the product at the time (too much sex and violence, primarily) while chaos broke out around them. Vince McMahon’s single line (“Get it?”) really ties the whole thing together.
Of all of the twists and turns of the Steve Austin/Vince McMahon feud, Austin being named CEO of WWE probably wouldn’t crack the top 5. It happened when the feud was running out of steam, after being the most compelling thing on WWE TV for over a year. Stephanie and Linda McMahon naming Austin CEO was a bad omen for the overuse of the extended McMahon family to come. It still led to some fun moments of Austin antagonizing his mortal enemy/boss.
Austin showing up to his first day on the job at WWE HQ shirtless with a vest and jorts (what he thought was casual Friday attire?) is a pretty great visual. In a series of segments that were drenched in beer, Austin held a drinking contest during a board meeting. He fired an executive and replaced him with a mail clerk. He also put some of Vince’s salary toward Mick Foley’s medical bills and all of Shane’s towards the company’s beer budget. Austin finished his first day on the job by redecorating Vince’s office with piles of manure. It wasn’t hijacking a Zamboni (something a WWE accountant pointed out to Austin as a big loss for the company), but it was still classic Attitude Era hi-jinks.
Brock Lesnar’s feud with Triple H came at a point when he was still going 50-50 with his opponents, instead of his recent years of dominance. His record at this point in his second run with the company was 1-2 after losing to “the Game” at WrestleMania 29. Lesnar had to do something to build their rubber match, a steel cage bout at Extreme Rules, and look like a threat again. So, Lesnar and Paul Heyman showed up at WWE Headquarters to wreak havoc at Triple H’s day job.
The footage was shot by Heyman, making it look like a home invasion than an average WWE segment. Heyman spent the entire walk through WWE Headquarters to Triple H’s office riling Lesnar up, pointing out the company’s lack of respect and promotion for him. Once they got to Triple H’s office, Lesnar made himself at home, tossing Triple H’s World Heavyweight Championship over his shoulder and putting his feet up on his desk. Heyman told Lesnar that he’d never hold a world title in WWE as long as Triple H was making decisions, which is ironic in hindsight.
When Lesnar got bored of pretending to be a Chief Operating Officer and World Heavyweight Champion, he started wrecking the place. After destroying a laptop with his bare hands, Lesnar grabbed a decorative sledgehammer from the wall and went to town on the desk and title belt. In a clever, if unnecessary, touch Heyman left his business card (with “I’m a Paul Heyman Guy” on it) in the wreckage. Lesnar would beat Triple H in their Extreme Rules match. It started a run that saw him end the Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania 30, suplex John Cena to the mid-card at SummerSlam, and put a stranglehold on the Universal Championship for years.
WWE's headquarters has been part of their on-screen product more than you might think. We spotlight five memorable moments it's hosted over the years.