Offscreen Moment Of Awesome / Professional Wrestling
Even in the major promotions with national television deals, it's a given many matches never get recorded, much less received widespread distribution, and some of them are considered to be among the greatest matches in a performer's career. As legendary as the televised Ric Flair-Ricky Steamboat feud was, they both agree their best work together has been lost to time. Randy Orton himself has tried to find recordings of an non televised match he had with Chris Jericho in Japan. Montel Vontavious Porter considers a house show encounter with Shelton Benjamin to be as good as his Wrestlemania match with Chris Benoit. The Big Show once took seven Stone Cold stunners in a live event, where he feels he finally understood what it meant to be The Giant. One of the best reported women's matches in WWE history was at a live event between Trish Stratus and Jillian Hall.
It doesn't happen much in the new Millennium, but in the early 90's it was possible to have titles change hands during a house show. Notable examples include Ric Flair winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Randy Savage in 1992, and a couple years later Diesel winning the same from Bob Backlund. Casual viewers would turn on the television and find that they had a new World Champion. If they were lucky, they would show recorded highlights of the match in question. If they were lucky.
In the case of Diesel/Bob Backlund, the cameras were rolling during their encounter and fans watching the WWF's weekly recap shows did get to see the match - all 8 seconds of it.
In 1996, Tommy Dreamer and Brian Lee would wrestling a falls count anywhere match at an ECW house show that left the arena and ended up stopping traffic.
While it very rarely happens for storyline reasons, this type of situation pops up about once every year or two, typically as a result of one of two reasons: the reigning champion is injured/sick and won't be able to compete properly but can work out one more match (or, alternately, is injured DURING the match), OR they just landed themselves in the frying pan for a Wellness Policy Violation or the like, are about to be "wished good luck on their future endeavors," and are low enough on the totem pole to not even warrant losing their title on television.
There was a joke going around the Obsessed With Wrestling\Online World Of Wrestling sites back in the early 2000s that WWE should stop broadcasting WWE and put Ohio Valley Wrestling on television instead. Several wrestlers that ultimately amounted to little on the main roster had promising developmental runs prior, such as Seven Thorn. Also, someone who did little of note on WWE might have much more time to put on better matches or pick up some wins if they had been jobbing.note Unlike other WWE developmental programs, NXT would have moderately wide distribution in the 2010s but the same joke would still made about it.
In an example that would come back to bite WWE in the ass, The International Wrestling Cartel Champion CM Punk wrestled WWE Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero in a title vs title match that went to a time limit draw to a bonus non title overtime (where Eddy won). WWE had fired Eddy but then rehired him and allowed him to keep this date with the IWC. WWE, however, refused to let the match be taped, only to realize they couldn't show what would be a dream match even to people who only watch their own programming when CM Punk became one of WWE's top draws. Yes, people can still buy tapes of Eddy and Punk's other matches but none of them are quite like this one, and most importantly to WWE, WWE can't make any money off of any of those other tapes!
WWE's developmental territory FCW (later renamed NXT Wrestling) has had a few matches when main stars visit for autograph sessions or unaired matches for the televised shows that haven't been officially released. The first notable match was when CM Punk visited in late 2011 and was harassed by Dean Ambrose (CZW's Jon Moxley), leading to a match later that night. The second was at the August 2012 tapings when Punk ended up wrestling the Kings Of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli; or, as they are known in WWE, Kassius Ohno and Antonio Cesaro) in a tag match while partnered with, ironically enough, Seth Rollins (Former ROH Champion Tyler Black), who would later be one of Ambrose's allies in The Shield.
The whole match is now available on "NXT’s Greatest Matches Vol. 1" DVD and Blu-Ray set.
Then there are those Real Life examples which are even more impressive.
Back in WCW in 1998, Meng was talking backstage with Chris Candido, Tammy Lynn Sytch and Chris Jericho when Eric Bischoff and Greg Gagne, an office suit, approached them. Meng told them that they were interrupting him while he talked with his friends. Bischoff and Gagne apologized to Meng. That's right, MENG got ERIC BISCHOFF, his boss, to apologize to him.
Chris Masters uprooted a tree to save his mother from a burning building.
Perry Saturn once saved a woman who was being raped. He was shot three times in the process, but he still managed to beat both of her attackers. He didn't realize he had been shot until after it was over.