WWE Network deletes racially controversial match and moments after move to Peacock in US

Mayer Nissim
·2-min read
Photo credit: Ethan Miller - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ethan Miller - Getty Images

From Digital Spy

UPDATE: The edits to the WWE Network described below have now also been actioned on the non-Peacock standalone WWE Network in the UK and elsewhere.

ORIGINAL STORY: While the WWE is firmly PG-13 and attempts to be racially conscious these days, that wasn't always the case.

Controversial moments and matches from the company's past have apparently caused problems as the WWE Network archive moves to NBC Universal's Peacock streaming service.

When the full WWE back catalogue was made available to stream on the WWE Network, pretty much the entire history of the company was made available mainly unedited, though some segments did have a content warning.

In the US, the WWE Network has moved over to Peacock, which appears to be especially concerned about some of the more racially controversial moments from the WWE's past.

Photo credit: John Shearer/WireImage for BWR Public Relations
Photo credit: John Shearer/WireImage for BWR Public Relations

PWInsider.com and others have reported that a full WrestleMania match and another infamous segment have been totally removed from the WWE archive available to Peacock subscribers.

In WrestleMania VI in 1990, Roddy Piper used half-blackface in his match against the African-American Bad News Brown, and gave a controversial promo before the bout where he impersonated his opponent using the "black" side of his face toward the camera.

More recently during a comedy segment at Survivor Series in 2005, a bumbling Vince McMahon used the N-word while speaking to John Cena, prompting Booker T's catchphrase: "Tell me he didn't just say that."

As Peacock continues to transition tens of thousands of hours of WWE footage to its service before a reported mid-summer deadline, it's not yet clear what other content may be edited or removed, or what the precise criteria is for the removal.

The Attitude Era from the late '90s to early '00s especially saw the company pushing the boundaries in a number of ways, and it seems certain that some of this content is sure to be removed, such as Triple H and the rest of D-Generation X using blackface to taunt The Nation of Domination.

In 2003, the WWE bought the assets of ECW, which during its Extreme Championship Wrestling incarnation in the mid-1990s was infamous for its controversial content, which is now available on the WWE Network away from Peacock.

Digital Spy has contacted both the WWE and Peacock for comment.

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