If there’s one thing that wrestling is built on, it’s feats of achievement. Or is it big muscles? Or ridiculous voices? Tiny shorts? Either way, achievements and records are still a huge part of wrestling and barely an episode of Raw or Smackdown goes by without there being at least one mention of a superstar’s past achievements. Chris Jericho was the first ever Undisputed Champion. Dean Ambrose is the longest reigning United States Champion in the history of the WWE. Brock Lesnar beat that guy at WrestleMania – what was his name again? These are just some of the achievements that WWE are proud to mention at every possible moment on their current product, as well as the dozens of legends whose careers are permeated with delightful stats and figures that mark them out as some of wrestling’s finest. But what about the achievements and records that WWE aren’t so happy to brag about? Whether they betray a dark secret about the company or feature a superstar WWE just don’t mention anymore, there are plenty of little trinkets of knowledge that WWE would rather be forgotten about and here are just a few examples. Quick note before we start; some of these are pretty horrible, so, if you’re in a good mood, don’t continue reading. Go and watch that video of Matt Hardy falling off the ropes instead. That’s always a good time.
15 The Biggest Attendance For A WrestleMania Was A Terrible One
Oh, WrestleMania 32, what could have been...
The latest instalment of Vince McMahon’s favourite child (sorry, Shane and Steph) emanated from the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The stadium and its size meant that the event was viewed by a supposed crowd of 101,763 people who don’t like Roman Reigns, breaking the all-time attendance record, not just for a WrestleMania, but for all WWE live events. That’s attendance of people, not just those who hate Roman Reigns, although I guess that was also broken. The crowd in Dallas that day saw some pretty cool moments, I’ll admit. The return of Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Steve Austin to beat the international snot out of The League of Nations. Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch putting on the best women’s match in Mania history. Shane McMahon jumping off Hell In A Cell in front of his traumatised children and Nanny Linda. Good thing he’s rich, because those kids are gonna need a whole lot of therapy. However, despite some solid moments, WrestleMania 32, as a whole, was, well, rubbish.
For a start the booking decisions were all over the place. AJ Styles losing to Chris Jericho, The League of Nations defeating The New Day, Charlotte becoming Women’s Champion, all these decisions were baffling at the time and some still make no sense today. Other decisions such as Baron Corbin winning the battle royal and Zack Ryder becoming IC Champ were made irrelevant almost immediately after Mania, showing that WWE really had no idea what they were doing when they put together their biggest show. However, the biggest kick in the teeth for the fans was the ending to the show. Roman Reigns, who fans had vocally ripped apart for months and months leading up to the show, was given the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, clean, in the main event. Not only did this show a complete and utter lack of understanding between company and fans, but, just, just Roman Reigns. Just, Roman Reigns. I watched that show for 4 hours for Roman Reigns. I could have written a small novel in that time. The next best-attended Mania, WrestleMania III, is fondly remembered to this day as one of the best ever, but, when people look back at this show in thirty years time, they’ll wonder what all those people paid all that money for. I’ll tell you what they paid it for. Not Roman Reigns! 4 hours, people, 4 hours.
14 American Alpha Are The First NXT Tag Team Champions To Win Titles On The Main Roster
I was going to put “the only NXT Tag Team Champions To Win Titles On The Main Roster”, but these lists take a while to write and anything could happen. The Vaudevillains might have their day, yet.
American Alpha, the team of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable, were one of NXT’s hottest acts during their time on the yellow show. Jordan had been a member of the NXT roster since 2012 before (reluctantly) teaming with Chad Gable in 2015. This turned out to be the best move Jordan ever made, as the highly likeable, highly athletic team took the tag division by storm and the two quickly found themselves in the title hunt against The Revival, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson. Jordan and Gable won the NXT Tag Team Championships from The Revival at NXT TakeOver: Dallas in an incredible match, but would lose them back to Dash and Dawson just 68 days later in shocking fashion. The reason for this became clear when AA (the team, not the John Cena move) were drafted to Smackdown following the new brand split, being the only team from NXT to get the call up. The team won the Smackdown Tag Team Championships from The Wyatt Family on the Decmeber 27th, 2016 edition of Smackdown Live and are currently enjoying their first reign as champs. At least, I think they are. Like I said, takes a while to write one of these.
AA (the team, not Arn Anderson) set the record of becoming the first team to capture tag team titles on both NXT and the main roster. The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper technically held the Smackdown Tag Team titles under the Freebird rules and was an NXT Tag Team Champion, but AA (the team, not the battery size) were the first full team to hold both honours. Whilst this is great news for AA (the team, not Alcoholics Anonymous), it exposes a terrible flaw about NXT and its tag team. NXT is supposed to be the training ground for the next generation of top WWE competitors and its tag division should be producing the next generation of legendary tag teams, but just look at the other teams who have held the NXT tag titles. The Ascension, The Vaudevillains, The Lucha Dragons, Blake and Murphy, all of them have not achieved nearly the same levels of success on the main roster as they did in NXT. Hell, Blake and Murphy are still in NXT! NXT is supposed to be the factory that produces WWE’s next big stars, but, looking at its tag division records, I don’t see any signs that that’s the case. Let’s hope this changes with AA (the team, not, umm, dammit, I’ve run out. Just skip to the next bit of the article, already!)
13 The First Ever WrestleMania Cash-In Distracted From Terrible Booking
From one WrestleMania main event that was ruined to one that came so close to being ruined.
WrestleMania 31 was the first WrestleMania I ever saw (yeah, that’s right, I’ve only been a fan for two and a bit years, whatcha gonna do about it, huh?) and I was pretty lucky, because this was a wonderful show. Daniel Bryan’s IC title win, that amazing RKO on Seth Rollins, Rusev on a goddamn tank, this show had some truly amazing moments, but the one most people will recall is the one that ended the show. Seth Rollins cashed in his Money In The Bank contract during the main event between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar for the WWE title, turning it into a Triple Threat match, allowing Rollins to pin Reigns to become world champ for the first time ever. This was the first time the contract had been cashed in at WrestleMania, as well as the first time it had happened during a match, rather than after, all of which made this moment something truly special and truly spectacular. However, like me in a fancy suit, what seemed excellent on the surface was actually masking something deeply disturbing.
You see, in the build up to this match, fans had begun to vocalise their dislike for Roman in the main event picture. It began at the Royal Rumble, when Reigns’ victory was met with hugely negative crowd reactions (even an appearance from The Rock couldn’t save him) and things only escalated when it became more and more clear that Reigns did not fit into the main event picture, especially when he defeated fan favourite Daniel Bryan at Fastlane to secure his place in the main event of Mania. If rumours are to be believed, then the original plan was to have Reigns defeat Brock and win the title, crowning him as the new top face in WWE, but, as we all know, this soon became an obviously bad idea. If this had happened, then the fans would have burned WrestleMania 31 to the ground and WWE realised this; unfortunately, they realised this about an hour before the match started. If some reports are taken as true, then Rollins was only informed he was winning the world title on the night of Mania 31 itself, which seems to confirm the idea that the most defining moment of WrestleMania 31 was a last-ditch effort to cover up WWE’s incompetence in the build up to the show. It was a great moment, there’s no denying that, but when you look a little deeper, the greatest cash-in ever is reduced to nothing more than a panicked cover up. And yes, I am a massive spoilsport.
12 More Women’s Raw Main Events In 2016 Than Ever Before
This, on the surface, sounds great. But, once again, spoilsport.
The women’s division in WWE has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years. The advent of The Four Horsewomen and other wresters such as Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax and Asuka has changed the way in which women have been perceived, not just with the fans, but with WWE, who have started booking them more equally with the men. Not totally equal yet, but baby steps. 2016 saw a number of important moments in women’s wrestling in WWE. Asuka won the NXT Women’s title to begin her reign of dominance, the god-awful Divas Championship was finally replaced with the Women’s Championship and we saw the first ever women’s main event on a main roster Pay-Per-View at Hell in a Cell. Not too bad, right? But, if we look into one of these achievements, we find something that WWE may not be too proud of. And no, I don’t mean Sasha losing in her hometown.
As we all know, Sasha Banks and Charlotte have traded the Women’s title back and forth approximately 53 million times, you’ll know that Sasha only ever won the title on Raw. This happened three times (slightly less than 53 million, but you know what I mean) and this happened twice in the main event of an episode of Raw. This sounds great, right? Women finally getting their spot in the main event of WWE’s flagship show – open the champagne, right? However, WWE might want to wait before patting themselves on the back, because the statistic that 2016 saw twice as many Women’s main events on Raw than every other year combined is truly shocking. Yes, before Sasha and Charlotte, only one women’s match had ever gone on last on Raw – Trish Stratus vs Lita on the 6th December 2004 edition of the show. Whilst this is progress and progress is always good, this exposes the horrific manner in which WWE treated women in the past; only one main event in over a decade of a weekly show is not a promising stat and the fact it took twelve years for this record to be broken is even more unsettling. Hopefully, WWE will now start to give its female athletes more opportunities to shine as the years progress, but let’s not forget just how long it took to get to the stage where women’s wrestling being in the main event wasn’t a novelty anymore. Damn, that got deep. Can we have something fun now, please?
11 Vince McMahon is undefeated as WWE Champion
Umm, not exactly funny, but it’ll do.
Vince McMahon is, in all honesty, a crazy man. A multi-millionaire CEO of one of the largest entertainment brands in the world, McMahon could have spent his life in board meetings, spearheading ad campaigns and relaxing on a massive beach somewhere with his wife and kids. However, what he chose to do instead was spend his life getting beaten up by professional athletes, covering himself in oiling and pretending to be a megalomaniacal freak on weekly TV. Well, I say pretending. Vinnie Mac is truly a one of a kind human being and deserves a lot of respect, however, one thing that even the most hardcore of Vince fans will find hard to forgive is the record he holds regarding the WWE Championship.
Vince McMahon won the WWE title on an episode of Smackdown in 1999. Shane was the guest ref and he had a huge assist from Steve Austin, but, as the history books will tell you, Vince McMahon pinned Triple H to win his first WWE Championship. For the record, that’s the same number of title reigns as Rob Van Dam, Diesel and Eddie Guerrero. Oh boy. What makes matters more interesting is the fact that, the next week on Raw, Vince vacated the title, ending his reign at six days. Since this was Vince’s only title run, this means that Mr. McMahon is one of only two people in history to have never pinned or submitted as the WWE Champion (the other is Andre The Giant, in case you were wondering). Now, I’m not for one minute suggesting that this devalues the belt or makes a mockery of all those who have held it, but for an industry that is quite often seen as a sideshow or as stupid, to have this record held by a man who was in his fifties at the time and isn’t even a real wrestler, well, I’ll let you come to your own conclusions. Still love Vince though; the man got a trash can dropkicked into his face by his own son, how can you not love that?
10 Chyna’s Legacy
There was just too much to pack into a single sentence title here, so I’ll explain. Obviously, otherwise I’d be a terrible writer. Well, a worse writer, anyway.
Chyna, quite simply put, was a phenomenon. The late Joanie Laurer broke down so many barriers between males and females in wrestling that calling her a legend doesn’t even come close to doing her justice. In her time with the WWE, Chyna transitioned from Triple H’s bodyguard, to founding member of DX, to fearsome in-ring competitor, all whilst becoming one of the most popular attractions in one of WWE’s most popular appearances. Chyna’s incredible physique meant that she was often involved in intergender matches, which gave her plenty of opportunities not awarded to other female wrestlers. She is the only woman to ever hold the Intercontinental championship (something she did twice), as well as the first woman to participate in the Royal Rumble match and the only woman to appear in the King of the Ring tournament. These achievements put Chyna head and freakishly-muscly shoulders above her peers at the time, which should make her one of the most celebrate athletes in WWE history, right? Well, if that’s what you think, then think again.
Chyna had a, shall we say, strained relationship with her former employers, right up until the day she died tragically last year. The rumour mill is still persistent and dubious on this subject, but rumours state that Chyna was in a relationship with Triple H whilst he began seeing Stephanie McMahon. Chyna supposedly confronted Triple H and Vince McMahon over this affair, but, of course, the boss sided with Trips and his daughter, leading to Chyna’s rapid fall down the card and eventual release from the company on the absolute worst of terms. Because of this, Chyna is seldom mentioned on WWE TV; many people were surprised when WWE actually acknowledged her death with a video package on Raw, which just goes to show how rocky the relationship between WWE and Chyna was. For a woman who Triple H has publicly denounced on the Stone Cold podcast to hold all these wonderful accolades has to eat up at the company big wigs, which is a damn shame, as Chyna’s career was one of the most impressive of any WWE star, male or female. Let’s hope her passing changes things in WWE, or the world might just forget about one of its wonders for good.
9 Jimmy Snuka Was The First Victim Of The Streak
Ok, ok, I know that Snuka was recently acquitted, but this is still messy.
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was a big name in the world of wrestling in the 80s and 90s. Credited as one of the first popular high-flying wrestlers, Snuka impressed crowds with his crazy leaps and death-defying stunts, including a diving splash from the top of a steel cage in Madison Square Garden that Mick Foley, Bubba Ray Dudley and Tommy Dreamer all cite as the reason they became pro wrestlers. That’s impressive, no denying that. Snuka also became the first ever ECW Champion (back when it was Eastern Championship Wrestling) and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996, but perhaps his most impressive accolade came at WrestleMania VII, when Snuka became the first man in history to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania. This makes Snuka the first victim of Undertaker’s legendary undefeated streak at The Show of Shows, which, although unbeknownst to anyone at the time, was a truly incredible honour. However, as you’ve probably figured out by now, things are not what they seem here.
In May of 1983, Nancy Argentino, girlfriend of Snuka at the time, was found brutally injured in Snuka’s hotel room in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She was taken to a local hospital, but died shortly after as a result of massive brain injuries. The coroners revealed that Argentino had suffered numerous cuts and bruises, in line with domestic abuse, and the immediate conclusion drawn from the body was that Nancy had, indeed, been murdered. Snuka was the only suspect, but the case was left open and Snuka was never charged. This changed, however, in September of 2015, when Snuka, now 32 years older, was formally charged with Argentino’s killing. The story took yet another turn the following year, when the charges were dismissed, not due to new evidence, but rather Snuka’s inability to stand trial due to his declining mental and physical health. Despite never being formally charged, Jimmy Snuka is still one of wrestling’s most controversial figures and the fact that the case was never properly ended only makes it more uncomfortable that Superfly played such a big role in one of WWE’s greatest traditions. Nothing to joke about here, folks, not at all.
8 Hornswoggle Was The Final Cruiserweight Champion
When you start complaining about the current state of the Cruiserweight division, just count yourself lucky that we don’t have to sit through this again.
Dylan Postl worked for WWE between the years 2006 and 2016 as Hornswoggle – well, for the first year the character was called “Little Bastard”. Says a lot really. He began his career as the leprechaun sidekick of Finlay, helping him win matches and generally being massively annoying, but would eventually transition into numerous roles. He was revealed as Mr. McMahon’s illegitimate son in an angle that went about as well as you would expect, he was revealed as the Anonymous Raw General Manager in an angle that went about as well as you would expect and, as you may have figured out from the title of this segment, was the final Cruiserweight Champion, in an angle that, well, you get the picture.
Yes, the championship that began life as the WCW Light Heavyweight title in 1991, the title that was worn by legends such as Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero, the championship that produced some of the greatest technical matches in the history of wrestling was won by the former Little Bastard in a Cruiserweight Open at The Great American Bash 2007. Then, after 65 days of the worst thing ever, Hornswoggle was stripped of the title on the grounds of him being “too small” and the title was retired with no official announcement. Wow, what a glorious ending, eh? Since the current Cruiserweight Championship has a different lineage to the original one, WWE will forever be forced to live with the fact that one of their most prestigious championships was retired around the waist of a leprechaun and there is no dignity in that, none at all. I hate wrestling sometimes.
7 Nikki Bella Breaks The Longest Reigning Divas Champion Record To Get Back At AJ Lee
There are going to be a lot of “getting back” title reigns on this list. This is just the beginning.
AJ Lee was a pretty revolutionary female wrestler. Originally debuting with the WWE in 2011, AJ began to rise to prominence through numerous romantic storylines with top wrestlers like John Cena, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. Her in-ring career took off at Payback 2013 when sheb defeated Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship to begin her record-setting 296 day reign as champion. Throughout the reign, AJ won over the WWE fans with her non-traditional, tomboy style and her criticism of the rest of the women’s division for being too focused on looking good and getting big ratings on their reality show than being good wrestlers, something that echoed the complaints of the WWE Universe. Lee’s impressive reign came to an end the night after WrestleMania 30, when she lost the belt to Paige, but her record was something that many fans believed would never be broken. Then Nikki Bella happened.
Nikki ended AJ’s third reign as Divas Champion at Survivor Series 2014 and would hold the belt for 301 days, breaking AJ’s record by just under a week. When you look at Nikki’s reign, it is not deserving of the length it was allowed; she didn’t defend the title at either WrestleMania or SummerSlam (both events she lost at) and the amount of clean wins she got as champion could probably be counted on one hand. So why did Nikki reign for so long? Well, maybe it’s because her boyfriend is John Cena (that’s right, I went there) or maybe it’s because AJ Lee left the WWE just one week after WrestleMania. Yep, just a few days after her big tag team victory at WrestleMania 31, AJ was gone and you know that this made WWE angrier than the day the XFL went under. Judging by the quality of her title run and the fact that it ended almost immediately after it broke AJ’s record, it’s pretty clear that Nikki’s title reign only happened because AJ Lee retired, but you can bet WWE don’t mention this when they’re bigging up Nikki on Smackdown. Now, if you excuse me, I need to hide myself from John Cena; I don’t think he’ll appreciate what I just said about his girlfriend.
6 The New Day Break The Longest Reigning Tag Team Champions Record To Get Back At Demolition
You know this was the case, you just know it.
The trio of Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods, also known as The New Day, deserve all the praise in the world for what they’ve accomplished in the WWE. When the three men first appeared together, it was as a happy-clappy, clean cut, gospel style group that were bland as hell and annoying as hell. Just when it looked like they were doomed to jobberdom, the three men turned things around and developed themselves into mischievous heels, which allowed them to display their hugely entertaining personalities and eventually win over the WWE fans to become one of the most entertaining and beloved tag teams in recent years in the WWE. Their second reign as WWE Tag Team Champions eclipsed Brian Kendrick and Paul London’s record for the longest WWE Tag Team Championship reign in the Summer of 2016, however, this wasn’t enough for The New Day, as they went after the longest tag team championship reign ever in the WWE; Demolition’s 478 day reign as World Tag Team Champions. This reign was broken in December of 2016, however, like Nikki Bella, The New Day’s reign came to an end less than a week after they broke the record. Sound familiar?
As you may have guessed, the WWE have some beef with Ax and Smash (but not Crush, as far as I’m aware) regarding a lawsuit. Ax and Smash were part of a class action lawsuit against the WWE by a group of former wrestlers, citing the company responsible for a number of head injuries and concussions sustained by the former performers. Rather than handle things maturely and responsible, WWE decided to do all they could to erase Demolition from their history books and had their record-setting title reign erased by a team who were very much in favour of the company. Whilst The New Day more than deserved this honour for the hard work they put in and the connection they established with the WWE Universe, it was clear that this reign should have ended a long time before the record was broken. Whilst we may never know for sure that New Day got this accolade because of Demolition’s legal action, we can pretty much tell that this is exactly what happened. And if you think WWE being petty about title reigns, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
5 Randy Orton Becomes Youngest World Champion To Get Back At Brock Lesnar
Tag Team and Divas Championships might be acceptable when it comes to pettiness, but the world title? That’s a whole other story.
Randy Orton became the youngest World Champion in WWE history when he captured the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam 2004. At just 24 years old, Orton marked himself as one to watch and, after a few stops and starts, he cemented himself as a legend by capturing 11 more world championships across the course of his WWE career, as well as a Royal Rumble match victory, a Money in the Bank briefcase, two WrestleMania main events and the first ever WWE World Heavyweight Championship, when Orton unified the WWE and World Heavyweight titles at TLC 2013. You could say that Orton’s World title win in 2004 was the beginning of this incredible career and it is an achievement WWE announcers still bring up to this day. However, there was one man who may have been responsible for Orton’s record-breaking victory and it wasn’t Randy Orton.
Just two years before Randy’s win, Brock Lesnar defeated The Rock to become WWE Champion for the first time. This is significant because Brock Lesnar was just 25 years old, which, at the time, made him the youngest world champion in WWE history. So, why did WWE break their youngest world champion record twice within two years? Well, it may have something to do with the fact that Brock Lesnar deserted the WWE just four months before Randy won the title. Yes, as you may know, before his return in 2012, Brock Lesnar’s final WWE match was against Goldberg at WrestleMania XX. The match was a disaster with both men fully aware that this would be their final match and refusing to put any real effort into the bout, causing the fans to boo this potential dream match out of the building. The fans weren’t the only ones chuffed off at Lesnar’s departure; WWE had been grooming him as the next top star, pushing him to the moon almost as soon as he debuted, hence his world title victory. Two years later, WWE took their first chance to strike Lesnar’s name from their record books by crowning Orton as world champ, which is more than a little embarrassing for The Viper, who, you could argue, was only awarded the title because he was young and the company wanted to get back at The Beast. Word of warning; don’t bring this up around Randy. I’ve heard he has a temper.
4 CM Punk Is The Longest Reigning WWE Champion Of The Modern Era
What’s this? A title reign record WWE haven’t broken out of spite? I’m in shock.
Cookie Monster Punk had a career about as stop-start as you could possibly get. From his early successes in ECW, to the his less-than-perfect reigns as World Heavyweight Champion to his incredible pipebomb promo and the disappointing Summer of Punk, Punk never really achieved the full momentum he was capable of. However, as most fans will know, this didn’t stop Punk from achieving some pretty incredible. From Survivor Series 20111 to Royal Rumble 2013, CM Punk held the WWE Championship, meaning his reign lasted whopping 434 days. This is the sixth longest WWE Championship reign of all time and was the longest single reign with the championship for 27 years. Despite being quite unimpressive at times, Punk’s reign is a celebrated piece of wrestling history and should have cemented Punk as one of WWE’s finest competitors. But, you know, well, you know.
Yes, as you are all wrestling fans who use the internet, you are all too aware of Punk’s spectacular departure from the company in early 2014. Citing creative differences and his only personal issues with WWE (including a misdiagnosed staph infection that is still the subject of a controversial debate), Punk walked out of the company unannounced the night after the Royal Rumble, throwing the company’s plans for WrestleMania XXX into disarray and souring their relationship beyond repair. Punk has gone unmentioned by the company on TV ever since and Punk has made it his life mission to sling mud at the WWE on podcasts and twitter, so it’s highly unlikely that Punk will be getting a special video package on Raw anytime soon. Having Punk play such a huge role in recent WWE history has definitely come back to haunt the company now and you can bet WWE headquarters are already planning to give someone else a 454-day reign with the WWE title as quickly as possible. Oh god, it’s going to be Reigns, isn’t it?
3 Hulk Hogan Won Back To Back Royal Rumbles
He might be a Real American, but, if you ask the WWE, he isn’t even a real person.
Hulk Hogan is, objectively, one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time. His work in the WWE in the mid-80s to early-90s helped catapult wrestling into the mainstream and he remains one of the most recognisable and significant wrestlers ever. His body of work in the WWE is truly exceptional; six WWE Championships, a 2005 Hall of Fame induction and the main event spot in 8 of the first 9 WrestleManias all helped make Hulkamania a more powerful force than gravity in the early years of The Golden Era of WWE. Hogan also holds the accolade of being the first man in history to win more than one Royal Rumble, as well being the first to win them back to back, an impressive honour that has only been matched by the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and John Cena. So, why would WWE be embarrassed to mention this? I mean, come on, if you don’t know by now, how the hell did you get to this article? I mean, really.
In July of 2015, Hogan’s Legends Contract with WWE was terminated in response to a leaked interview as a part of the ongoing lawsuit between Hogan and the US website, Gawker, who had leaked a sex tape between Hogan and a married woman in 2012. Wow. That’s a hell of a lot to take in. In this interview, Hogan was heard using a series of racial and homophobic slurs, particularly against his daughter, Brooke’s, black boyfriend. WWE immediately severed all ties with the Hulkster, removing his merchandise and profile from their website, even from their Hall of Fame section. Aside from a few slips of the tongue, badly positioned fans and odd clips in videos, Hogan has gone unmentioned on WWE TV (much like CM Punk), so all of his achievements are now blacklisted by the company, with his Royal Rumble record included. Whilst he has been appearing more frequently on Network specials and YouTube videos and Triple H himself has said is he open to the idea of a Hogan return, for the time being, Hulkamania ain’t running wild anymore. Until the company get into financial difficulties and Hogan bails them out with that sweet Gawker dough, of course.
2 Chris Benoit Was One Half of the First WWE Tag Team Champions
From two WWE superstars the company rarely mention to one they will never, ever talk about again.
Separating Chris Benoit, the wrestler, and Chris Benoit, the man, has been an issue for WWE fans and critics alike for the better part of the last decade. In the ring, Benoit was one of the most technically sound performers ever to grace a WWE ring, putting on great matches with the likes of Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and many more. He’s also extremely decorated, winning pretty much ever championship going in the WWE: United States, Intercontinental, World Heavyweight and, as the title suggests, he and Kurt Angle were the first ever WWE Tag Team Champions after winning a tournament in 2002. He also won the 2004 Royal Rumble from the number one spot, only the second ever person to do so, which is a huge deal. Even though you have just as much chance of winning the rumble from number two as you do from number one – you’re in the ring at the same time, I don’t get it. Anyhow, there is no doubt that, objectively speaking, Benoit was one of the greatest pro wrestlers of his generation. Which makes the events of June 22nd 2007 all the more tragic.
On that night, Chris Benoit murdered his wife and young son, before later taking his own life. The incident has been linked to a number of brain injuries Benoit suffered during his wrestling career and his struggles with substances, as well as the sudden passing of his close friend, Eddie Guerrero, just a year and a half earlier. Since the murders, Benoit’s name has been scrubbed from WWE. Whilst you can still find his matches on the Network, a search of his name yields only one result (some random ECW taping) and his name is still the ultimate taboo in WWE. What happened to the Benoit family was truly awful, but, if there is one thing to be taken from this, it’s that, following the incident, WWE stepped up its checks for concussions and other brain-related injuries, hoping to prevent another such incident from happening again and maybe saving lives in doing so. Despite all his amazing accomplishments, Chris Benoit will never escape the legacy of his actions in June 2007 and you can’t really argue with that. All I can hope for is that Nancy and Daniel are at peace and something like this never happens again.
1 Shawn Michaels Wins The Grand Slam Championship In Front Of Bulldog’s Ill Sister
Oh boy, as if things couldn’t get any worse.
To wrap up our list, here’s an act so despicable, you’d think I’d made it up. But I didn’t. I wish I had, but I didn’t. The night was 20th September 1997, I was three months old (yes, I know, you hate me) and WWE were putting on their One Night Only Pay-Per-View in Birmingham, England. The main event of the show might seem a little odd to you at first glance, – Shawn Michaels vs The British Bulldog for the European Championship – but, when you explore the facts a little deeper, it all becomes clear. Not only was the Pay-Per-View being held in Davey Boy’s home country (not his home city – England isn’t all one town, you know) where the Bulldog was nothing short of a national hero, but, if Michaels were to win, he would become the first man ever to win the WWE, World Tag Team, Intercontinental and European Championships across his career, thus becoming WWE’s first ever Grand Slam Champion. Big stakes, right? As it turns out, this is exactly what happened when Michaels defeated Bulldog to claim the title, earning himself a place in wrestling history in the process. A proud moment for Shawn, right? Well, as much as I hate to rain on his parade, grab an umbrella, because there’s a big storm a-coming.
You see, HBK in the 90s was, how shall I put this delicately, a massive asshole. He was a mess of drink, drugs and ego, often using his backstage pull to sway matches his way and make sure he and his friends got the best results, whilst other workers were left out in the cold. On no occasion was this more obvious than One Night Only, when Michaels managed to persuade Vince McMahon to change the planned finish of the match, a Davey Boy victory, to him going over and winning the belt, citing that it would allow for a rematch in Britain later down the line and would give Michaels considerable heat in his feud with Bret Hart (we all know how that turned out). Now, I don’t know just when this decision was made, but my guess is that it happened on the night itself, because, earlier in the show, The Bulldog had dedicated his match later on in the night to his sister – who was battling cancer at the time. Oh. Oh no. That’s, that’s just awful. Bulldog surely must have done this because he thought he was going to win, right? There’s no way you’d dedicate a match to your cancer-stricken sibling if you knew you were going to lose. So, Michaels, knowingly or not, persuaded Vince McMahon to book the Bulldog losing right in front of his sick sister, on the same night Davey Boy dedicated his match to her. That’s cold. That’s almost unforgiveable. You can keep your Grand Slam, Shawn, I’ll have my dignity, thank you very much.
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