Professional wrestling is a fake sport, but that doesn’t hide the fact that the wrestlers put their bodies on the line day in and day out to entertain the fans. Just like a weekly episodic TV sitcom or drama series, wrestling shows present weekly shows incorporating several storylines moving simultaneously towards their climax. With a history spanning several decades, wrestling has given its fans countless moments to cheer for. There have been some moments over the years that took the cake when it came to providing the shock factor. Here are ten of those wrestling moments that shocked the world.
1. Brock Lesnar breaks The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak
WrestleMania is the Undertaker’s yard. It has defined his career since the very first time he laced up the boots for his match against Jimmy Snuka at WrestleMania 7. A bunch of wins followed this one and around two decades later, the streak had reached an impressive 21-0, with legends such as Shawn Michaels, Triple-H, Ric Flair and Edge falling prey to the Undertaker at the Show of Shows.
Fans at the Superdome at WrestleMania 30 were waiting for the pin which would take the streak to 22-0, but a 3rd F-5 from Brock put Taker down and the pin sealed the deal! 70,000 plus fans inside the stadium as well as millions watching at home were left dumbstruck at what they had just witnessed.
The greatest streak in sports entertainment history had finally died.
2. Hulk Hogan turns Heel
Back in the 80’s, Hulk Hogan was the epitome of a good guy, both inside the ring as well as in the real world. His message for his young fans was to “eat their vitamins and say their prayers” and this good guy image helped the WWE rake in millions of dollars every year.
Hogan joined WCW in the early 90s. It was evident from the PPV buys that his popularity among the fans was fading and this is when WCW did the unthinkable! At the Bash at the Beach 1996 PPV, Hogan turned heel by joining Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, the brand new villains, and formed the New World Order. This association proved to be highly successful as WCW beat WWE in TV ratings for more than 80 weeks straight.
3. Goldberg squashes Brock in 57 seconds
The WWE had invested A LOT in Brock Lesnar since the past 3 years. He killed Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania 30 and mere months later, brutally defeated the poster boy John Cena at the SummerSlam PPV. What followed was a string of matches against top WWE stars with every superstar getting destroyed by the beast.
When Goldberg returned to the WWE after an absence of 12 years, the fans cheered him just like the old days, but knew that he won’t be going over Lesnar in their clash at Survicor Series 2016. The WWE wasn’t going to let him squash their most prized entity at any cost.
But what happened at the PPV is that Goldberg broke Brock’s ribs with two devastating spears, followed by a quick Jackhammer and the pin! The arena erupted as Goldberg had just put an end to two years of pure carnage and destruction.
4. DX invades WCW
During the peak of the Monday Night Wars, WCW and WWE were doing whatever they could to best the competition. WCW even went ahead and started giving out results of WWE Raw before the taped show telecast got telecast on TV.
WWE’s fan favorite faction, DX, took this war a step ahead and invaded a WCW event. Complete with a tank and a microphone to spew out verbal insults at the competition, the DX Army headed straight towards the entrance which led to the arena. The gates were closed shut just before the tank could go in and DX, led by WWE legend, Triple-H, returned back after giving the fans a moment to remember forever.
5. C.M. Punk’s Pipe-bomb
Punk, who had become one of the most popular superstars of the WWE, was on his way out of the company with his contract expiring on July 17th, 2011. He made it a point to speak his heart out on an episode of Raw weeks before his exit.
The promo lasted six minutes and would have gone on further, hadn’t it been for the production team cutting off the mike. Punk took out his frustration by blasting stars like Cena, The Rock and Hulk Hogan. He mentioned the likes of Brock Lesnar and Colt Cabana, who were generally never mentioned on WWE TV. Fans were way into this as the promo progressed further but it got cut off, kicking off Punk’s rise to the top of WWE’S food chain.
6. Undertaker throws Mankind off the 16 ft high Hell in a Cell
Looked back as one of the most famous visuals in WWE history, this picture sent chills down fans’ spines when it was telecast live.
Months of mind games and assaults led to two of the most bizarre and feared competitors facing off inside Hell in a Cell. The fight was so intense, the mighty cell couldn’t hold it for long and both Taker and Mankind climbed to the top of the cell. Fans feared the worst and exactly the same happened, as Taker threw Mankind off the cell on the announce table, as legendary announcer Jim Ross let out these now famous words, “As God is my witness, that man’s broken in half!”
7. The Montreal Screwjob
When Bret Hart got a lucrative multi-million dollar contract from WCW, he decided to leave WWE with his final match being at Survivor Series 1997, in his home country of Canada. Bret wanted to leave the promotion as champion and requested the promoter, Vince McMahon to let him win the bout and he would relinquish the title the next night on Raw, to which Vince agreed.
During the final moments of the match in front of a hot crowd, Shawn Michaels put Bret’s signature move, the sharpshooter on him and the referee, Earl Hebner asked for the bell. The match was finished and Bret Hart was screwed out of the WWE title.
8. Owen Hart falls to his death in front of thousands of fans
At the Over The Edge PPV in 1999, Owen Hart was about to descend down to the ring as the Blue Blazer, which was part of his entrance. Something went horribly wrong and as fans watched in horror, Owen Hart fell from the rafters inside the ring. EMTS rushed to the ring amidst screaming fans.
Minutes later, Jim Ross announced to the live crowd and the fans watching at home that Owen Hart had tragically died. Mainstream media covered the news extensively as a booming career fell short owing to an unfortunate accident.
9. Vince McMahon buys off WCW
There came a time during the late 90s, when Ted Turner’s WCW almost put WWE out of business. WCW’S popularity among the fans forced the WWE to change their product and target the adult demographic instead of children.
The move succeeded and Raw got its viewers back with the passage of time. On the other hand, WCW began running out of ideas and by early 2001, was on the verge of bankruptcy. On the final Raw before WrestleMania 17, McMahon spoke the words that was every WCW fan’s nightmare- “The fate of WCW is in my hands.”
Shocked viewers watched the Raw-Nitro simulcast as WCW died that night, kick starting a new era of WWE’s domination.
10. Sandman crucified on ECW
While WCW and WWE waged wars against each other during the late nineties, a small promotion was raking in fans with their extreme antics on a weekly basis. ECW, run by Paul Heyman, moved eyeballs with its hardcore style of wrestling but on this night, they took it a step too far.
Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle was in attendance and watched in terror as ECW Original, Sandman was crucified by Raven during a segment. Fans left the arena in disgust and letters started pouring in. Heyman had to apologize for the incident and Kurt Angle even threatened the promotion with a lawsuit.