Earn Your Happy Ending: Professional Wrestling
- This is the main format of a standard wrestling match. The face starts out strong but is quickly taken over by the heel, is beaten up and worn down to when the crowd is sure they're done...until they manage to come back and pull off the win.
- Trish Stratus embodied this trope as she was hired by WWE with no wrestling ability and appalling mic skills. Over the years she trained and became one of the most accomplished and talented wrestlers in the company. She was rewarded with a retirement match in her hometown of Toronto against long time rival Lita with the Women's title on the line. She ended the match by making Lita tap out to the Sharpshooter and was given a standing ovation from the crowd as well as the staff at ringside.
- Jeff Hardy also embodied this trope during the second half of 2008. He fought countless times for the WWE title against Triple H; he always came close to beating him, but was never able to. In a promo, Triple H even tried to undermine Hardy's self-esteem by claiming that he'd never win a world title, and that they're in different leagues. To add insult to the injury, Edge took Hardy's place at Survivor Series, winning the WWE championship. However, at the next PPV, Armaggedon, Jeff Hardy defeated both Edge and Triple H in a Triple Threat Match to become WWE champion for the first and, so far, only time.
- This happened to, believe it or not, Zack Ryder. He started off 2011 as just a perennial lower card jobber, but quickly gained popularity through his Z! True Long Island Story web show. As the year progressed, he started to pick up steam and became a contender for the United States Championship, even gaining the support of John Cenanote . The culmination came at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, when Ryder defeated Dolph Ziggler (the current US Champion) to finally capture his first singles title in WWE. Not bad for an Internet sensation.
- Invoked by The Undertaker during his feud with Shawn Michaels in 2009-2010:
Sometimes it is Hell trying to get to Heaven.
- Generally the case for WrestleMania main events, usually involving a face wrestler finally achieving his dream in front of a grand stage. Look no further than Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 12, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at WrestleMania 14 and John Cena and Batista at WrestleMania 21 for some notable examples.