Those of you who aren't perhaps as well versed as some other more seasoned pro wrestling fans may not be familiar with the term buried. In wrestling when one Superstar buries another it means they beat them, normally pretty resoundingly and unnecessarily, so badly that it has a detrimental affect on the beaten wrestler's career. WWE are notorious for it, as were WCW during their heyday, and usually look to certain Superstars to do it for them. Wrestlers who Vince McMahon can trust and have had long tenures atop the WWE pyramid are normally entrusted with doling out burials. McMahon's son in law Triple H and also John Cena are just two names that spring to mind who are renowned for their number of wrestler burials.
More often than not a resounding, career altering loss will only be referred to as a burial if it is in fact an older more seasoned Superstar defeating some fresher blood. The very nature of professional wrestling means that wrestlers can go on well in to their forties and sometimes even fifties. The right thing to do when a wrestler reaches those lofty heights is to begin winding down, to make way for newer talent. The best way to do that is by graciously losing to these up and comers. Let them make a name for themselves by beating an established name. Sometimes though that simply doesn't happen. The old timer may have too much pride or may not see the promise that the fans see in his or her younger opponent. Here are fifteen times where that has seemingly been the case.
15 John Cena and Rusev
In 2014 The Bulgarian Brute Rusev emerged from NXT and made his main roster debut at that year's Royal Rumble. Even though he didn't make his one on one debut until April a little under three months later the Eastern European went from his the Rumble all the way up to WrestleMania 31 over a year later without being pinned. By that point he had won the United States Championship, great for him, and was embroiled in a feud with John Cena, not so great for him. This unbeaten Bulgarian monster made his way to the ring for his WrestleMania match with Cena in a tank. All very impressive and synonymous with the US champ's size but unfortunately for him the tank was leading him to the slaughter.
14 D-Generation X and The Spirit Squad
The idea of a pro wrestling faction completely made up of male cheerleaders was never one that was likely to catch on. Despite that The Spirit Squad somehow managed to become tag team champions during their short tenure. That high would not last long as their arrival was quickly followed by Triple H and Shawn Michaels reforming D-Generation X. The Squad rapidly became cannon fodder for DX and would lose to them time and time again, including in handicap matches where Spirit Squad had the numbers advantage. The quintet weren't just beaten by DX over and over again but also humiliated. The cheerleaders had both slime and feces dumped on them from great heights by the rejuvenated Attitude Era pairing.
13 Rey Mysterio and Kevin Nash
Before Rey Mysterio joined WWE and defied the odds to become World Heavyweight Champion, he was plying his trade in WCW and being passed over time and time again along with the rest of the cruiserweights. One time in particular very early on in his career where he was particularly passed over was when he crossed paths with Kevin Nash. Nash and Scott Hall had arrived from WWE and they were certainly letting the WCW roster know it. Backstage during an episode of Nitro, Nash launched Mysterio into a wall. Subsequently it led to a mini feud and needless to say, being launched in to a wall was just the beginning for Rey. In the ring the man formerly known as Diesel dominated Mysterio and while in WCW the luchador's full potential wasn't even close to realized.
12 Rob Van Dam and AJ Styles
Rob Van Dam has had a career that's spanned multiple decades. He was one of the top stars in ECW then eventually in WWE he was accepted and became champion. Following his suspension and release from the company though his attitude, and hence career, went down hill. RVD joined the ranks at TNA and the idea was to bring eyes to the product and help elevate young talent. That did not happen. Van Dam didn't have faith in the youngsters at TNA and when he feuded with a young AJ Styles rather than do the job for him, as it were, and continue the now Phenomenal One's momentum, RVD defeated him and took his TNA Championship in the process.
11 Triple H and CM Punk
During the summer of 2011 CM Punk was involved in one of the hottest angles WWE has produced in recent history. He and Cena had chemistry and together brought back a lot of eyeballs to the product. What's forgotten is where all that momentum went. Literally seconds after that feud culminated Punk was inexplicably attacked by Kevin Nash with Alberto Del Rio feeding on the scraps by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. Triple H had clearly brought Nash in to bury Punk, but thanks to health issues The Game ended up having to do the burying himself. He and Punk squared off at Night of Champions a short while later in a terrible and confusing match that saw Triple H getting his hand raised.
10 John Cena and Damien Sandow
WWE has somewhat of a track record when it comes to not seeing the potential in certain Superstars that is often plain to see to almost the entire fan base. One example of that which particularly stands out is Damien Sandow. Now Sandow has moved on and is wrestling with TNA after finally having enough of not getting what he deserved in WWE. There was a point where it looked like he was going to make it before he left though. Sandow feuded with Cody Rhodes and it came to a head when the two entered the Money in the Bank match, and Sandow won. Almost everyone who wins MITB cashes it in and becomes champion, not Sandow. Damien cashed in on Cena and lost, becoming one of only two people to do so.
9 Chris Benoit and Orlando Jordan
Things really did look like they were on the up and up for former WWE Superstar Orlando Jordan in the build up to WrestleMania 21. Jordan faced off against John Cena for the United States Championship, and he won! Granted he had a fair bit of help from Cena's then WWE title rival John Bradshaw Layfield but nevertheless, a US title win over John Cena for someone of Jordan's stature was a very big deal. When it came to losing that prestigious belt though it was far less momentous for the youngster. Chris Benoit was drafted to SmackDown and at SummerSlam of that same year The Rabid Wolverine defeated the champ in an embarrassing 25.5 seconds. It got worse for Orlando. The former champion tried and failed on three separate attempts to win his gold back from Benoit, losing all three bouts in under a minute.
8 The Undertaker and Muhammad Hassan
Not so much nowadays as they've perhaps learned their lesson, but in the past WWE made no qualms about using real life issues to further in house storylines. In the mid 2000s on SmackDown even the hot topic of terrorism appeared to be fair game for Vince McMahon. New Superstar Muhammad Hassan was an Arab-American and his gimmick was that WWE and its fans were mistreating him because they assumed he was a terrorist. Well the poorly thought out character became even more distasteful when he gathered up some big men in ski masks and had them storm the ring. Poor timing on WWE's part as the angle coincided with the London bombings in 2005. Following that Hassan was decimated by The Undertaker and never seen again. One time that a burial was most definitely necessary.
7 Kane and Zack Ryder
No matter what they may say or the brave face they may put on, WWE does not like it when a Superstar gets themselves over. When fans love wrestlers who they haven't told us to love. A fantastic example of that is Zack Ryder. Despite having an innate wrestling ability and great charisma WWE continued to pass over Ryder time and time again. Eventually Zack took matters in to his own hands and got so popular via his own internet series that WWE couldn't ignore him and made him United Staes Champion. Following that they quickly undid all his good work. Kane began repeatedly attacking Ryder, caused injuries that led to him losing his championship and then injured him some more until Zack was once again propping up the card, just where WWE wanted him.
6 Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose
While The Shield were together and before Seth Rollins broke our hearts and betrayed his brothers, it would probably be fair to say that all three members of the iconic faction were more or less equally liked by the fans. Well since the split that has definitely not been the case. Each of the three brethren has been on their own personal journey and none of them have had more ups and downs than Dean. At WrestleMania 32 Ambrose was afforded the opportunity to go one on one with The Beast, Brock Lesnar, but it didn't turn out to be the career propellant that it should have been for Dean. Clearly that match was thrown together when WWE realized they didn't have anyone for Brock at to face at The Show of Shows and that's exactly how it came across when the night arrived. Lesnar showed up, beat Ambrose to a pulp and picked up his pay check.
5 Hulk Hogan and Randy Orton
Randy Orton is now a thirteen time WWE Champion, a pretty extraordinary accomplishment. The lofty heights he's experienced are in no way down to the feud he had with Hulk Hogan in 2006 though. Up until that point Orton had earned the moniker of Legend Killer and was making his way up the WWE ranks. On the flip side Hulk Hogan had returned to WWE and helped elevate younger stars like The Rock and Brock Lesnar in the process. So heading in to his and Randy's match at SummerSlam it seemed clear that it would be The Viper pinning The Hulkster come the end of the night. Well that did not happen. Hogan defeated Orton and the cherry on that terrible cake? He did it clean without any outside interference or underhand tactics.
4 Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown
During the very early days of TNA Jeff Jarrett more or less treated the promotion like his own personal playground. He claimed he wanted to compete with WWE yet he made the same mistakes that caused WCW to fall right from the off. Jeff had the book and consequently made it so that he was the promotion's heavyweight champion. In 2004 with a couple of years under the company's belt, Jarrett had a chance to change that. Jeff was the NWA World Champion and at Final Resolution he booked a three way match between Diamond Dallas Page, Kevin Nash and Monty Brown with the winner getting a title shot later that night. Shockingly the youngster Brown overcame the two veterans and had a chance to make a name for himself over night by becoming champion. Sadly Jarrett didn't see that and successfully defended his title against Monty later that evening.
3 John Cena and Bray Wyatt
Earlier on in this article I covered Rusev's WrestleMania burial by John Cena and how the Bulgarian hasn't really recovered since. Well a year prior to that at WrestleMania XXX Cena performed a very similar burial on Bray Wyatt. The Eater of Worlds talked a good talk about destroying Cena's legacy but thanks to WWE and Big Match John it was just that, talk. Cena defeated Bray and even with his recent WWE Championship run has been seen as more of a talker than a doer. No question Wyatt can create magic on the mic but for some reason in every feud he's in he never seems to finish the rivalry on top. The Undertaker, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton. All have clashed with Bray since he was buried by Cena and all have seemingly emerged from their battles much better than the former WWE champ.
2 Booker T and The Young Bucks
The Young Bucks are perhaps the biggest and most popular act in pro wrestling right now outside of WWE, especially following The Hardy Boyz return to the top table. Why they aren't with WWE baffles a lot of fans, although they do talk quite openly on social media about having no real desire to ever wrestle there. Well there's some back story to that. When Booker T spent some time in TNA his attitude inexplicably changed. He began to look down on younger talent and he brought that attitude back with him upon his return to WWE. The Bucks had a try out and Booker berated them. He even took the rant to Twitter and ever since it would appear that the hosts of the Super kick Party aren't that enamored with working for Vince.
1 Goldberg and Kevin Owens
Between Survivor Series 2016 and WrestleMania 33 we've seen Goldberg come and go. It was a roller coaster ride and while it did a lot of good it also did quite a bit of damage. While The WCW Icon was back he mainly battled Brock Lesnar, fair enough. But at WWE Fast Lane Goldberg found himself with nothing to do so decided to take on Universal Champion Kevin Owens for his title. While many of us stupidly convinced ourselves that maybe KO would give Goldberg a run for his money, that of course did not happen. Bill beat The Prizefighter in short and embarrassing fashion and took the title from him that he had held for over six months. All so that he could lose it a month later and ride off into the sunset.