5 – The Future Arrives
This was a quote from Michael Cole after the debut – “Those three men may have affected the long term history of the WWE tonight.” Mr. Cole, you had no idea how right you would be!
It was Day 365 of the historic 434 day WWE Championship run for CM Punk. The odds that Punk would hold on to his title past the 2012 Survivor Series seemed insurmountable as The Best in the World went up against both John Cena and Ryback. But, as I just said, this was day 365 out of 434…so obviously the title reign continued. Uh, spoiler alert, I guess.
The “how” Punk retained the title is the story here though. After hitting both Punk and Cena with the Shell Shock, Ryback was attacked by three unknown men dressed in all black. The trio decimated Ryback capped off with what would be called the Triple Powerbomb on the announce table.
Slowly but surely, Cole recognized the three men, and introduced the rookies from NXT to the WWE Universe – Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns…The Shield.
The three men would spend the next year and a half dominating the entire WWE roster until their breakup in the summer of 2014. Since then, all three men have held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. So, things have been good for The Shield.
4 – “That Car Hit Austin!”
Apparently being driven on your head upside down perfectly vertical can catch up to you at some point. Who knew?
In late 1999, Stone Cold Steve Austin needed to have neck surgery that would require nearly a year of rehab before returning to the ring. So that question came up – how do you remove the biggest star in WWE history from TV for that long?
Someone in that meeting, possibly someone that Austin owed money to, raised their hand and responded with “eh, let’s run his ass over with a car!” And that’s exactly what happened.
The main event was scheduled to be Austin and The Rock challenging Triple H for the WWF Championship. Before the match, The Game lured Austin to the parking lot where a set of headlights kicked on and a car sped up and hit Austin.
This gave us a year-long storyline of who ran over Austin. Turns out it was Rikishi behind the wheel. So that was a bit of a letdown. But then it turned out Rikishi did it for Triple H, which made a lot more sense. So it was ok then.
3 –THE Debut
In the early 90’s, WWF fans were introduced to a number of characters that had absolutely no chance of any kind of long-tern success in the business. A dentist, a garbage man, disgruntled hockey player to name a few. There was one, though, that made it through the 90’s…and the 00’s…and, well, pretty much the rest of sports entertainment history. And it all started at the 1990 Survivor Series.
Ted DiBiase captained a team with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, the Honky Tonk Man, and the ever popular mystery partner. DiBiase grabbed the mic, made the introduction, and everything changed. Walking out with his manager Brother Love (which I still just don’t get) was the man who would become arguably the most respected man in sports entertainment both on camera and behind the scenes – The Undertaker.
The Deadman dominated to opposing team of Dusty Rhodes, Koko B Ware and The Hart Foundation. It was clear to see that this man was something to behold, but no one could have predicted just how successful he would end up being.
26 years later, his presence still sends chills down the spines of his opponents, not to mention the crowd still cheers as loud as they can when they hear that familiar bell toll.
2 – FINALLY!
“OH MY GOD! IT’S STING!!!!!”
What could possibly be considered the greatest call in Michael Cole’s career set the tone perfectly for the magnitude of what the WWE Universe was finally getting to see!
During its heyday, everyone on the top of the WCW roster was or would be a part of the WWE roster – Flair, Goldberg, the nWo, Luger, Booker T, Steiner, Macho Man…I could go on. Everyone crossed over to the other side and the New York based promotion.
Everyone except for one.
Sting built his career in WCW and stayed loyal to the brand throughout the Monday Night Wars. Once Vince bought out his top competition and fans started to see WCW stars slowly trickly onto Raw and SmackDown, you had to figure it would only be a matter of time that the Stinger would show up as well.
It will happen this WrestleMania…ok next WrestleMania…no really, the next WrestleMania…and so on.
Year after year passed and Sting found himself comfortably in TNA for years. Rumors came and rumors went with no Sting.
Then in 2014, Triple H had taken out Dolph Ziggler which would have given Seth Rollins and Team Authority the win in the main event which would mean that The Authority would remain in power. As The Game brought in a new ref to make the final three count. The lights went out and a familiar face was on the big screen. Sting walked out to an enormous response from the crowd and took out Triple H, setting up their match at next year’s WrestleMania.
It took way too long to happen, but it was more than worth the wait!
1 – “Bret Screwed Bret”
Simply mentioning Survivor in any context will quickly bring your mind back to that night in Montreal.
Everyone knows the story about what happened. If you don’t, or you need a refresher, you can check out a recent post about the Montreal Screwjob by clicking HERE.
The events of that night meant so much more than just a wrestling show. It was the catalyst for the sports entertainment world as we know it now. Gone are the days of keeping the business’ secrets more guarded than the President. No more wresters starting bar fights with guys who say they aren’t tough or that wrestling is fake…and getting fined if they didn’t fight.
The curtain was open; we saw backstage issues playout right in front of our eyes. Bret didn’t want to do business so Vince made him do business. How significant of an event this was is still seen today everytime WWE is in Canada. If Vince is on camera, the crowd is very quick to remind him that “YOU SCREWED BRET! YOU SCREWED BRET! YOU SCREWED BRET!”
When Bret finally came back to WWE in 2010, Shawn Michaels said it best – when you think of Bret and Shawn, don’t think about Montreal, think about Anaheim and the time the two future hall of famers gave us wrestling magic in the 60 minute Iron Man Match at WrestleMania 12.
But who are we kidding, we’re always going to think about Montreal!
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