Virtually every match includes one wrestler countering an opponent's hold into an attack of their own. Sometimes, this may even bring about the end of a match; most often, this is done by reversing their foe's move into a pin (backslide or schoolboy pins are the go-to pins in these situations because of their versatility). Other times, when the stakes are high, one wrestler's finishing move will be immediately transitioned into his opponent's. The possibilities are endless. Here are some common reversal spots.
Here's one of the few law of physics they don't teach you in school: The smaller someone is, the exponentially higher the probability that you will receive a hurricanrana if you attempt to powerbomb them.
On the opposite end of that spectrum: If you're going to leap onto that huge monolith across the ring from you, make damn sure he's on his back, or else he'll catch you in mid-air and make an example of you in order to show off just why he's considered a powerhouse.
High-flyers daring enough to leap from the top rope have a nasty habit of landing right on their opponent's raised knees.
A dramatic and clever reversal into a wrestler's patented submission finisher is the bread-and-butter of every technician with even an ounce of pride in their famous hold. Of all the kinds of reversals, that sort is the most likely to win a match.
During the "Monday Night Wars" between the WWF and WCW, Eric Bischoff would often spoil the outcome of WWF Raw matches on WCW Monday Nitro (Raw was often pre-recorded, while Nitro aired live in the same timeslot). On January 4, 1999, Tony Schiavone gave away a spoiler that Mick Foley was going to win the WWF Championship, and sarcastically said, "Yeah, that'll put butts in seats!" A huge number of viewers proceeded to switch channels to Raw to see Foley win the title. Obviously, this wasn't a death, but it was arguably one of the things that sent WCW on its downward spiral.
Made doubly devastating in that this happened on the same night as the infamous "Fingerpoke of Doom" match, where Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash put months of feuding and a WCW Title match entirely to waste.
For the next year or so afterward, fans going to WWF events would hoist signs saying "Mick Foley put my ass in this seat".
The really painful part for WCW was that at the time Nitro lasted until 11:10 or so in order to fit in with the Turner networks' scheduling, while RAW ended at 11PM. Nitro's last, unopposed segment drew huge ratings...which means that most viewers who switched to RAW switched back to Nitro afterwards and were at least somewhat interested in seeing Nitro's main event; had they not known about Foley's title win, they would have been content to watch Nitro. Well, content until the Fingerpoke happened at least.
As a more mundane example, Honky would at times get hit with his own guitar.
Edge, on two separate occasions, used the Money in the Bank Briefcase (a prize earned in a match that allows the victor to challenge a champion to a title match at any time the briefcase holder desires) to blindside and defeat a champion after they'd just taken an asskicking from someone else. So lo and behold, on the 6/30/08 edition of Raw, he showed up as World Heavyweight Champion to boast that Raw had no world champion and never would, due to his screwing Batista over the prior night. These boasts were interrupted by Batista, who came out and beat him senseless... and then CM Punk, who was at that point the present owner of the briefcase, proceeded to run out with a referee and use his title shot then and there in what has to be the Crowning Moment of Awesome of his WWE career.
CM Punk was the victim of a double-barrelled one as the result of his feud with Raven in Ring of Honor. Punk cut promos talking about how his Straight Edge revolution would destroy the revolution that Raven was a part of (i.e. ECW), and ragging on the "debauched" ECW fans, as well as Raven's history of drug and alcohol problems. After beating Raven in a dog-collar match, Punk decided to sink the boot in by tying Raven to the ropes and forcing beer down his throat... only to be jumped by ECW icon Tommy Dreamer, who proceeded to do just that to Punk. As an epilogue, when Punk made his WWE debut, it was in the revived ECW.
Actually this is true of pretty much any wrestler. If the announcers build up a match as a certain wrestler's "specialty" (e.g. Jeff Hardy in a ladder match, Team 3D in a tables match), said wrestler will lose nine times out of ten.
Any time thumbtacks show up in WWE, more often than not, the person that brought them out is going to be the one that falls into them.
If Mick Foley was the one who brought them out, it is more or less a certainty that he will fall on them.
A frequent spot in WWE matches will have a wrestler attempt to slam his opponent through the announcers' table, only for to be reversed and have the opponent slam the wrestler through. This especially happens to Triple H a lot since his Finishing Move, the Pedigree, leaves him wide open to a back body drop (onto the other announcers' table) or a low blow that sets up the other guy's finisher. For some reason, Triple H keeps trying.
Often happens to Ric Flair as well. His patented Figure-Four Leg Lock is also nearly always countered by the victim flipping themselves and Flair over to reverse the hold's pressure on to Flair. He generally goes to the top rope at least once per match, but the number of times over his decades-spanning career that he's successfully pulled off a top-rope move without being countered, you can count on your fingers. It's gotten to the point where even the commentators have become Genre Savvy about this, with the color man generally screaming at the top of his lungs, "DON'T DO IT, RIC! THIS NEVER WORKS!".
Kurt Angle's successful moonsaults could be counted by using half the fingers you use to count Ric Flair's top rope hits. His form is perfect (Essa Rios is the only one who does it better) but the opponent always seems to just move out of the way. What few he has hit, most have come with his move to TNA. One semi-botched attempt from the top of a cage, and another after putting his opponent onto a ladder.
An old-school spot had the heel wrestler remove the cushion on one of the turnbuckles, exposing the metal ring that hooks the ropes together. Most of the time, he'll be the one to get a face full of metal. (A favorite of George "The Animal" Steele, who would bite off the cushion, which at that time had extra packing insulation, the better to give him the "rabid animal" look)
Smackdown, 2/11/11: Vickie Guerrero tried helping her boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler, win the World Heavyweight Title by setting Edge up in a match where his Finishing Move was banned and she was the ref. It was working perfect...until she decided to try and Spear Edge. Being much smaller than him and never having used the Spear before, all she did was injure her own leg and take herself out of the match, allowing Edge to sneak in a Spear of his own on Ziggler and call in a second guest ref (none other than Clay Matthews of the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers) to win the match.
The WWE RAW Supplemental Draft of 2011: John Cena has been sent to Smackdown and The Miz is happy since Cena won't be fighting him for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship anymore if he beats him at Extreme Rules 2011, especially since John Cena was determined to get the title and hold it until Wrestlemania 28 next year in his match against The Rock. But at the final pick of the night (where it was WWE SmackDown!'s Mark Henry, Christian, and Cena against RAW's Miz, CM Punk, and Alberto Del Rio), Henry turned heel and beat up Cena and Miz pinned him....leaving RAW to be the one who picked up the win. Who did they get? The same man Miz pinned!
Vince McMahon tried to screwCM Punk at Money In The Bank when John Cena locked him in an STF by having the bell rung and declaring Cena the winner. This causes Cena to release the hold and punch out the man Vince sent to have the bell rung, telling Vince he doesn't want to win that way. Cena ends up losing because of this, giving Punk the victory. What's worse is Cena was winning at the time and might have got a legit victory (there was no sign that CM Punk would escape the hold) if Vince hadn't done this, leaving Vince with no one to blame except himself.
A more minor example: In the 2007 Royal Rumble, Sabu had set up a table outside the ring just before entering. A while later, Kane entered... guess who went through that same table?
In 2005 at WrestleMania XXI, the "The Legend-Killer"Randy Orton showed the world just how ballsy he was by attempting to end The Undertaker's legendary 12-0 WrestleMania winning streak with The Undertaker's own Tombstone Piledriver. Orton was immediately punished for his hubris when Undertaker reversed it into his own Tombstone Piledriver to pick up the definite pin fall of the match. Orton had already reversed the Undertaker's Chokeslam into an RKO and only got a two count, so Orton going for the Tombstone was justified even though it didn't end well.
Kane and his brother The Undertaker are very fond of reaching and seizing the throats of any highflying wrestlers that dare to leap off of the top-rope. One of John Cena's strength-affirming spots is a variation on his where he catches a smaller wrestler (or even one larger than he is!) as they come off of the top with a crossbody, rolling backwards with the momentum, then standing up to reveal that he's lifting the other guy up. Heaving them up onto his shoulders into an Attitude Adjustment may follow.
To himself- Paul Roma at WCW SuperBrawl V, February 19, 1995. Roma had been told to make newcomer "Das Wunderkind" Alex Wright look good en route to losing the match. Roma basically sandbagged Wright, no-sold his offense, and went out of his way to make Wright look bad, even kicking out of Wright's schoolboy rollup pin attempt though the ref still counted to three. WCW fired Roma after he got to the back, and he has only been seen in small independents ever since.
At CHIKARA Aniversario 7, May 26, 2007, "Lightning" Mike Quackenbush introduced a submission hold called the "CHIKARA Special" and said that he was going to teach it to all the technicos.note Chris Hero's discovery of the key to escaping it was one of the steps that led to the formation of the BDK at Three Fisted Tales, the 2009 Season Finale, November 22, 2009. At The Thirteenth Hat, January 28, 2012, Quackenbush faced Green Ant, one of his trainees, and lost. Guess how Green Ant won the match?
Sometimes, heels in ECW would throw out open challenges and the worst they would leave with was a bruised ego. After Justin Credible d. Chris Chetti at ECW Ultimate Jeopardy 97, November 8, 1997 (televised on the November 15th show), his manager Jason "The Sexiest Man on Earth" got on the mic and talked about how, out of 30 or so guys in the locker room, he was one of the few who could actually wrestle and that "it sucks" only working as a manager. So, since he was in his "street clothes," he issued an open challenge for a "street fight." Cue "Let Me Clear My Throat" by DJ Kool, and out comes...The Blue Meanie with Super Nova? Jason dismisses Meanie at first, but finally agrees. While it's not much of a match, and even less of a "street fight," (referee John Finnegan blocks Meanie from attacking when Jason ducks his head through the ropes), it qualifies as Jason basically treats Meanie as a joke the whole time...until Meanie comes up with a testicular claw into a schoolboy rollup for the pin! (For an example of how much worse this could have turned out for Jason, see Too Dumb To Live).
This is guaranteed to happen in ladder matches, since one guy will try to use a ladder as a weapon and the other guy will find a way to use it against him.
This happened to Heath Slater on the 1000th episode of Raw in 2011. In the weeks leading up to that show, he was in a storyline where he challenged (and almost always lost to) WWE Legends. At Raw 1000, he then challenged any Legend to a no-countout, no DQ match. Enter Lita, with Slater looking smug and self-confident, until Lita tells Slater she's hired some protection... and the APA makes its entrance. Slater then tried to bail, only to be chased back into the ring by all the Legends he'd faced in the previous weeks. Cue a Twist of Fate from Lita, a Clothesline from Hell by JBL, a Litasault, and Legends celebrating after the pinfall. Punctuated with a DAMN! from Faarooq.