Professional Wrestling is all about the spectacle. Of course, there are certain points that will be really remembered by long-time fans. Five-star matches, one might say.
This page has been divided up by wrestling promotions; the WWE moments have been divided up into several different folders, and most of those folders' contents have been divided up by years/events in as close to chronological order as possible.
It would be ill-advised to link to unofficial WWE videos from YouTube, as WWE is vigilant on its copyright.Individual Wrestlers
Michael Hayes: Me and my brothers have done some thinkin', and we've eliminated it down to three people who it could be: Bruiser Brody, who Kamala ran outta here, and everybody knows we beat Kamala up — Brian Adias, family flunkie — or that nephew of yours, Lance Von Erich. Now, right now, face to face, you tell me which one of them it's gonna be. Fritz von Erich: Mr. Hayes, you're wrong on all three counts. Hayes: Wha...it's not one of them? Fritz: It is not one of them. Hayes: Well, who is it? I wanna know who it is! I demand to know right now! Fritz: Oh, you demand to know right now? Hayes: Yeah, right now! Right now, I wanna know! Fritz: It's gonna be...the next man to bust you between the eyes! [He does so.] Now, just in case there's any further doubt in your mind, I'll see you May the sixth...on Badstreet!
During a Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) show, Kota Ibushi decided to put up his KO-D Openweight Championship (the promotion's top belt) against YOSHIHIKO's Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship. The Heavymetalweight Championship is a pastiche of the WWE's Hardcore Title, defended under 24/7 rules; it's been held by - amongst other people and things - child wrestler President Ramu, a dog, a ladder, and a promotional poster. And for the record, YOSHIHIKO is a blow-up doll. Ibushi proceeded to wrestle YOSHIHIKO for thirty minutes in a fun, smooth, highly entertaining match which apparently attempted to see if Ibushi could prove the old "(wrestler) could carry (inanimate object) to a 5-star match" true. A Crowning Moment Of Awesome and a Crowning Moment of Funny rolled into one, as it's impossible to not mark out for a blow-up doll busting out a backdrop driver or eight Canadian Destroyers in a row...a technique known as YOSHIHKO's ultimate technique: THE ENDLESS INFINITY DESTROYER.
Dragon Gate USA's very first PPV, 2009's "Enter The Dragon", is basically a Crowning Moment in and of itself; considering the card was mainly filled with workers from Japan's Dragon Gate promotion that even a fair amount of smart marks wouldn't be familiar with, the PPV was widely hailed as one of the best wrestling shows of the year by many wrestling writers. When the smark-friendly Wrestling Observer Newsletter says that the entire show is not only worth the purchase price, but an entire repeat viewing, you know you've got gold on your hands.
This promo by Jon Moxley from August 2010, wherein he challenges Bryan Danielson to a match at a Dragon Gate USA show the following month.
What I want is BRYAN DANIELSON'S HEAD! ON A STICK!
In 1995, Mick Foley (in his Cactus Jack persona) went to Japan with Terry Funk to compete in IWA's "King of the Death Match" tournament. Foley's first match was a barbed wire bat and box of thumbtacks match, the second round was a barbed wire board and box of nails match, and the final match featured barbed wire ropes (with extra spools of wire left lying around) and C-4 rigged boards that the wrestlers could be dropped on. Foley would take two C-4 blasts and would still end up defeating the legendary Terry Funk, who is even more famous in Japan, to win the tournament.
"Brutal" Bob Evans went through "Iron Week," in which he wrestled seven 60-minute Iron Man matches in seven days.
After the death of Eddie Guerrero, one event of CZW requested a moment of silence from the fans in attendance as the bell chimed ten times. Then, in the middle of it, one Jerk Ass had the audacity to shout, "Fuck that!" When the bell is finished chiming, everyone - from the wrestlers to the promoters to the rest of the entire audience - is turned against the douchebag and get him thrown out. And There Was Much Rejoicing.
John Cena deserves both a Crowning Moment Of Awesome and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming for the fact that he has granted over 400 wishes (and still counting) for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, more than any other celebrity.
Even more so. In the current 7-11 promotion, John Cena stars on a coffee cup that with each sale gives money to the Make-A-Wish foundation. And he designed it. Even when he's not actively working for them, he's still working for them.
Perry Saturn, a former Army Ranger, once stopped three guys from carjacking and raping a woman by himself, while unarmed. He was later checked over by cops and paramedics at the scene because he felt a bit of pain in his neck when the fight began. It was a bullethole. The man was shot in the neck and still beat the crap out of three would-be rapists.
In July 2000, Bam Bam Bigelow received second degree burns over nearly half his body, requiring him to spend over two months in a hospital to recover. How did he get these burns? He got them rescuing three young children from a house fire near his own home.
Back when kayfabe was still the rule, a young John Stossel - well on his way to being the obnoxious jerkass he later turned out to be - confronted "Dr. D" David Schultz backstage demanding to know if wrestling was fake. Dr. D's response? He cuffed Stossel on the side of the head with the same power that wrestlers would normally be smacking each other, sending Stossel to the ground, and asked him "Did that feel fake?".
Similarly, when promoting the inaugural WrestleMania, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T appeared on a talk show hosted by Richard Belzer (yes, THAT RichardBelzer), who spent the entire time teasing them over the "allegedly" fake nature of wrestling. The entire time, you could see Mr. T struggling to restrain himself. Finally, Belzer goaded Hogan into trying a submission move on him. Hogan reluctantly applied a front chin lock, which caused Belzer to spasm, and drop unconscious (literally, he went limp and Hogan dropped him on the conrete floor) before the show quickly cut to commercial. When they returned, Belzer was gone, but Hogan was still there, shakily trying to explain to the director that he applied the simplest hold he could think of, one that any healthy adult should have been able to handle. This either says a lot about Hogan's technical prowess, or that Richard Belzer has never exercised a day in his life. (Most likely though, Hogan had inadvertently closed Belzer's airway, a not uncommon occurrence when performing the move against A. someone you've never performed it with before and B. Someone without the training to properly sell the move without injury.)
In 1975, a group of wrestlers were involved in a plane crash. Johnny Valentine and Bob Bruggers had their careers ended by the crash (and the pilot of the plane died), while Ric Flair, David Crockett and "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods eventually recovered (Flair's recovery the most astonishing of them all; doctors told him he would never be able to wrestle again, and he was back in the ring in six months). The problem with the situation was that kayfabe was still in effect at this time, and Woods was the only babyface on a plane full of heels; to make matters worse, he was even feuding with Flair and Valentine at the time. Woods used his real name in the hospital and the others tried to hide that he was there, but eventually, the rumor started to spread that he was on the plane. Two weeks later, Woods entered the ring to compete while in excruciating pain, all to "prove" that he wasn't on the plane, saving kayfabe for the time being. Flair later stated that on that day he was the man who saved professional wrestling.
The Undertaker gets a personal off-screen CMoA for his actions after the Montreal Screwjob; after the shit had hit the fan, he pulled Shawn Michaels aside and asked him if he had anything to do with it. After getting several denials, Taker went looking for Vince, hammering on his office door until he answered. Taker then basically threatened Vince by (allegedly) telling him that "if you still want to have a company tomorrow, you'd better apologise to Bret (Hart)". Given how a number of wrestlers (including Bret's brother Owen) were furious at what had happened and were prepared to walk out, possibly to WCW - which might very well have completely destroyed the WWF - not only did Vince try to apologize to Bret, but Taker kept his spot on the card (instead of being buried completely) simply because he was that important to the company.
Six months later, after it became apparent that Michaels was in on it the whole time, he was bitching and complaing up until the very morning of WrestleMania 14 about having to put over Austin. There were rumors that he and Triple H were planning to screw over Austin as they had with Bret, and that Taker took him aside, and threatened to beat him to an unholy pulp if anything were wrong in the main event.
Shawn claims to get on rather well with Austin, working as a tag team before WrestleMania and doing a couple of segments afterwards — I believe his frustration was in regards to his back and addiction to pain pills meaning he could not wrestle any more. Shawn also cites some of the things the WWF was planning (such as draping a Austin 3:16 shirt over his face, despite protest).
To summarize: It is quite possible that the Austin Era was not sabotaged because the Undertaker wouldn't let it be. The Hall of Fame isn't good enough for this man.
In a Kayfabe Commentaries shoot interview, Jim Cornette said that Undertaker silently, calmly taped his fists up and watched the Austin-HBK main event on a backstage monitor to make sure there was no funny business. When Michaels lost, Taker silently and calmly got up, took the tape off and went to have his shower.
Mick Foley claims that his ultimate crowing achievement is his autobiography Have a Nice Day!, which he wrote himself - longhand and for over 750 pages - without the aid of a ghostwriter. The book hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and got tremendous reviews from publications that wouldn't normally have anything to do with wrestling. His other two autobiographies, Foley is Good and The Hardcore Diaries, were also bestsellers and received similar praise.
Foley also appeared on The Daily Show in early 2010, cutting a promo defending a young boy who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance because gay people can't marry. Mick is subtitled "Senior Asskicker".
The entire career of Fray Tormenta counts as one long, extended Crowning Moment Of Awesome. He is a Catholic priest who began moonlighting as a Masked Luchador in order to support the troubled orphanage he worked in. He was just hoping to make some quick cash to help the orphanage through a rough patch; instead, he ended up wrestling for over 20 years, and sinking every single dime into the orphanage, ministering to his fellow wrestlers along the way. One particular moment that stands out was when the local bishop discovered what he was doing, and forbade him from wrestling; he replied to the bishop, "Fine, then. Instead of going to my match on Saturday, I will come to your house, and you will give me the money to keep this orphanage open." The bishop quickly relented. These days, Tormenta is retired from the ring, but still works in that same orphanage (even conducting mass for the surrounding town, in his mask), and one of the children he raised has taken up his mantle in the squared circle.
He's also the inspiration for the character of King from Tekken. Complete with legecy character.
In April 2010, LuFisto suffered a blood clot that would have escalated into a stroke after a match. Two months later she was back performing, defeating Sara Del Rey in her first match back.
One day in the late '80s, an aspiring wrestler gets in talks with WWE to sign a contract. Unfortunately, when visiting Africa, he contracts dysentery and comes close to death. WWE forgets about him as he struggles to recover. When he does, he incorporates martial arts into his training, and soon becomes a master. In 1997, he makes his debut as "The Lethal Weapon" Steve Blackman. The man nearly died of dysentery, yet still managed to become a star (or at least a memorable perfomer) during the glory days of the company. That is pretty awesome.
In the mid-90s, Jushin Liger had a brain tumor that supposedly was going to end his career, and had a good chance of ending his life. He had risky surgery on it. Six months later he was back in the ring.
JBL got another one when he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in September 2012.
On an edition of a Raw talk show, Maria Kanellis got a huge CMOA when one fellow panelist rather ignorantly said that none of the WWE Divas actually wanted to be there and they were just "there to get on TV", which was a popular opinion amongst many fans. Maria's response?
Maria: "That is so horrible...You want to know my honest opinion on it? I mean, do you have any idea how much we would love to stay, we would love to be there, how we would love to do everything we dream about? The only reason a lot of us have left is because we didn't get the opportunities there we wanted or thought we'd earned, or the opportunities we fought for, that's the only reason! All that "you're just a diva"; it sounds so trashy. If you are on the road 250...350...days a year there is no way (it's just for fame)…you obviously want to be there. Sure you get on television, but every weekend (on house shows), you're getting your ass kicked, you're all covered in bruises, I look at Candice Michelle, she was a Go Daddy girl she got there. But she worked hard. I used to look at her legs; from the top to the bottom they were covered in huge bruises from all the different places Beth had grabbed her to put her in position...She worked her tail off to become champion! For you to say that, you have no clue how passionate these women are! I would still be there if I got the opportunities I wanted. We're not actresses on television playing an action star who doesn't really get hit; we were getting hit. I'm no longer there because I spoke up and because I got spoke up that's why I'm sitting here."
Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Roddy Piper, Zack Ryder, and Zach Gowen all beat various forms of cancer (presumably by putting it in a sleeper hold) and continued wrestling.
Former WWE wrestler Chris Masters got one when he rescued his mother from a burning building by uprooting a 10 foot ficus tree in the way of the window. He only suffered cuts to his arms helping to pull his mother from out of the window, no less!
Another former WWE wrestler, Daivari (who you may know as the manager of Muhammad Hassan), once had a heroic moment where a drunk on a train was shouting abuse at those on board, leading another passenger to hit the emergency button to call for the Police (who never showed). When he started threatening a passenger who told him to calm down, Daivari sprung into action, KOing the unruly drunk with a rear-naked chokehold and throwing him out upon reaching the next stop.