"Well, that was unexpected..."A regular scourge in the ring: a character so powerful, so unstoppable, that not even the greatest of fighters can overcome his wrath. Be it a Gentle Giant, an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy, or the The Big Guy with a mean streak, this character is an unbeatable scourge that other fighters either dread facing or anticipate fighting in order to gain fame for being the first to beat him. However, they all fail. But nothing lasts forever... Basically, this is a character who is introduced as and/or is famous for being brutally unstoppable, and, for a long time, they continue to be so, until that one hero (or villain) can finally show the world what he's made of by defeating him. These characters appear in varied roles: they can be a Big Bad, The Dragon, or, sometimes, just some seemingly unobtainable goal. Often, such a character will also be either a Jerkass or somewhat intimidating to give the hero even more support for beating him, but not always. This character may also play a role of the Goliath if the one who beats him looks to be totally outmatched at first glance. Said undefeatable may come in the form of an Implacable Man or Hero Killer. Depending on the character, the fighter can still stay as powerful as they were after being beaten, but, occasionally, once beaten, they lose their power and become a regular fighter just like the rest. See Too Powerful to Live, Lord British Postulate, and Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?. Compare The Worf Effect.
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Anime and Manga
- Happens twice in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, once when Simon defeats Lordgenome, and again when Team Dai-Gurren overcomes the Anti-Spiral.
- The East is burning red! Master Asia's first appearance on screen in Mobile Fighter G Gundam involves destroying 3 giant robots with his bare hands by catching and returning artillery shells, picking up the ground one was standing on, and tearing one to pieces with a headband. He is in fact explicitly titled "The Undefeated of the East"
- One Piece fans theorize that this is the reason Captain Whitebeard was rarely characterized as anything but 'the world's strongest man'. Obviously someone's going to rise to his level and beat him in battle, most likely the main character or a future Big Bad. It actually took an entire army, including all three Admirals and five of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, a regretted ambush from one of Whitebeard's allies, and Blackbeard's entire crew to kill him.
- Shown example includes when Luffy defeated Eneru, due to being a Rubber Man which Eneru's lightning powers couldn't directly harm. Up until then, the Skypeians, some of the Shandians, and possibly even Nami believed, from seeing what he could do, he was as he said—literally an invincible god.
- Another example is when the Straw Hat Pirates raided Enies Lobby and defeated CP9, who have never failed a mission, exist only in rumor, and as far as Marines were concerned, were the reason Enies Lobby had never fallen to anyone. In fact, this generation of CP9 were the strongest in its history. More specifically, Monkey D. Luffy defeating Rob Lucci, the strongest individual in CP9's history, who had such a reputation that the Marines leading the Buster Call were more than willing to bet that he would win for sure. Only for him to be put in a coma by Luffy. Even Bartholomew Kuma did not see coming that Lucci would be defeated at all, let alone by Luffy.
- Crocodile definitely counts. He's introduced to us as the first Big Bad of the Grand Line, belonging to the same group as Mihawk (who had curbstomped Zoro a while earlier). Luffy challenges him... and gets almost killed. Crocodile proceedes with his plan, but Luffy turns up again, knowing Crocodile's weakness... and gets almost killed again. In the end the rubber man manages to defeat the sandman - who had fought with a poisoned hook. If it weren't for his extreme luck, Luffy would be deader than dead.
- Which makes the one guy of this type that remains all the more awesome: Mihawk. He is always referred to as "the World's Greatest Swordsman", has never been defeated and used to spar with Shanks until Shanks lost his left arm, after which he didn't see enough of a challenge in him. Just a reminder, Shanks is one of the four guys the entire Marines are supposed to counteract.
- Beating one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea or Four Emperors in general is this trope. The Warlords rely on their reputation just to help cull the pirate population, while the Emperors have been stated to be the four most powerful pirates in the world. Defeating any one of them could throw the balance of the Three Great Powers off-kilter.
- Kazu from Air Gear was already getting some serious badass cred from his fight with Sleipnir, but he finally proves, once and for all, that he's no longer the little bitch who needs Ikki to fight for him when he takes out Nike, a ridiculously powerful Hero Killer who's never lost a fight. Sure, he had help, but he still stood alone for most of the battle.
- In Hajime no Ippo, we have WBA Featherweight Champion Ricardo Martinez, the "living legend", who is just made of this trope. Point. by. point. Eiji Date, the former Japanese champion, local Retired Badass and the only person to defeat Ippo was defeated twice by him.
- Takamura, one of the protagonists, is this trope to all of his opponents. He has the reputation of being unbeatable and his opponents do fear and respect his strength. In fact, Word of God outright says he is the best boxer in the entire series, above even the aforementioned Ricardo.
- Three villains in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z (King Piccolo, Frieza, and Buu) were known to be nearly unstoppable and had been terrorizing the world/galaxy/universe for ages; eventually all three of these were defeated by Goku.
- Frieza in particular was referred to by every character who knew him as the undisputed strongest being in the universe, such that he has (at least by his claim) never had to use anything close to his maximum power to defeat an opponent before he faces the Z-fighters, and even the arrogant Vegeta didn't want to fight him without the power of immortality on his side.
- Broly's unique form of Super Saiyan is apparently the Super Saiyan of legend, which renders Vegeta (usually beyond stubborn) near-catatonic in his presence. It takes the combined efforts of the main cast to defeat him.
- Cell is a unique case of a villain who goes from being a simple minded man-eating monster to the closest thing to a god at that point at the time and he was also stronger than Goku at the time. In fact he is this until Gohan kills him.
- The role is reversed with Beerus, the Big Bad of the 14th movie and the universe's designated God of Destruction. Not even Goku can defeat him, even after he briefly becomes a Super Saiyan God. To top it off, not only is his attendant Whis actually his trainer, but he reveals that the other universes have warriors stronger than him or Goku.
- In Naruto, Gaara had never been injured before his fight with Lee, and Naruto defeated him for the first time. Pain also never lost a battle, even against the leader of the Rain Village, one of the strongest ninja in the world who defeated the three Sannin, until he loses to Naruto.
- In the .hack franchise, just about anything created by Morganna might count: the Dawn Wanderers (aka "Guardians") went undefeated throughout .hack//SIGN, except at the end, where one was taken down by a large team of players (that included one of the most powerful players in the game, bar none). The eight Phases (Skeith in particular) also wreaked havoc throughout The World, being completely unstoppable by way of having infinite Hit Points.
- The backstory also provides another example in The One Sin, a boss monster of the original World so powerful no player could beat it. Doing so is what earned Balmung of the Azure Sky and Orca of the Azure Sea their status as legendary players.
- From A Certain Magical Index, Accelerator. The most powerful esper in Academy City, no one has ever managed to land so much as a single blow on him. Then Touma Kamijou comes along, manages to negate Accelerator's power, and defeats him in combat by punching his lights out. Touma has a tendency to do this to other people as well, all thanks to his power to nullify anything.
- Shizuri Mugino was ranked the fourth most powerful esper in Academy City, then Shiage Hamazura, a guy with no powers at all, tricks her into blowing herself up. All thanks to his ingenuity and determination, he beats her in both rematches as well.
- Lyrical Nanoha
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid has Sieglinde Jeremiah, a tournament veteran who had never been defeated in battle, and whose single loss was due to her not appearing for her match. Einhart gets a shot at breaking her streak and eventually fails.
- Subverted in ViVid Strike!. Rinne Berlinetta was originally set up like this, only for it to be revealed that Vivio has already beaten her in the past. That said, Rinne's only lost was in points and she hadn't been defeated via knockout yet until her second loss to Vivio.
- Sieglinde's invincibility comes up again in the third ViVid Strike! OVA when Victoria finally manages to defeat her. Much like Vivio's first victory over Rinne, it was only by points.
- The Elite Four, as well as several other characters, including the infamous legendary spammer Tobias. While Ash fails to win the match against him, even defeating his Darkrai counts since it's a feat no one else accomplished. The fact he manages to also take out his Latios is icing on the cake.
- The Champions especially so. Not even the Elite Four stand a chance in a battle against a Champion. While it's never finished, Ash's second battle against Diantha remains the sole instance of another trainer actually gaining the upper hand against a Champion.
- In Special A Hikari's goal is to beat her rival/Love Interest, Kei at something. Anything. Unfortunately, Kei's The Ace and is undefeatable at everything. The only person to ever beat him is Big Bad Yahiro, who cheated.
- Lina Inverse and her True Companions are finally called Slayers at the end of Evolution-R, after killing (part of) Ruby-Eye Shabranigdu.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise's protagonists tend to make a habit of this, starting with a duel against Seto Kaiba...
- Yami Yugi's losses could be counted on one hand, and even then they were always the result of the opponent cheating or manipulating the duel is some way until the end of the series when he loses fairly in a duel with Yugi.
- Played with in the manga version of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Judai keeps the habit early on, including a 2-on-1 victory against Manjoume (because the latter refused to work with his spirit card, whereas Judai and Winged Kuriboh are inseperable). Manjoume then returns the favor in the Tournament Arc... only to be defeated by the much more undefeatable Marufuji Ryo.
- Kaito had this attitude during his duel with V in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. (Of course, while V's card, Number 9: Dyson Sphere, was a very powerful card that sure seemed undefeatable, V's claim that it was never defeated had an obvious flaw: he clearly could not have used it more than once or twice in the past, seeing as a duel using a Duel Monster the size of the sun would likely have been witnessed. So his boast that it had "never been defeated" was probably meaningless. Unless one considers the possibility of V using this card in Duels not involving realistic holograms, but seeing how the series treats Duels, Especially ones involving Numbers, as Serious Business with Rule of Cool, it's improbable.)
- Definitely meaningless. In a later duel, Kaito used Number 9 against Tron, and Tron defeated it with a Monster that was not even his strongest card. Clearly, there are far stronger Numbers than Number 9, and V's claim was complete BS.
- Or... Tron was the person who taught V how to fight, considering this was his father who was also a more experienced duelist than he was.
- In High School D×D, Raiser Phenex was supposed to be undefeatable because of his Healing Factor, but Issei defeats him with holy water and a Christian cross, both are devil weaknesses. It helps that Issei has a dragon arm that makes him partially immune against those weaknesses.
- At the start of Initial D, the Akagi Red Suns were undefeated in the world of street racing even as they went around Japan challenging other racing teams on their home turf. This all changed when they challenged Takumi and his Toyota Trueno AE86 in a downhill race on Akina.
- On the flipside, Project D has yet to be defeated legitimately (Takumi got defeated a few times, but most of his defeats are technical).
- Tokyo Ghoul:
- Kishou Arima has such nicknames as "The Undefeated Ghoul Investigator" and "Shinigami". During the finale of the first series, Kaneki finds himself facing off against him. ......and is mercilessly subjected to a Curb-Stomp Battle that leaves him on the verge of death. But in the process of going down, he manages to damage Arima's weapon and even nick him. It seems this impressed Arima enough that the sequel shows he's taken an amnesiac Kaneki as his protege and serves as a Parental Substitute to him.
- In the sequel, the Quinx and Itou Squads find themselves facing Noro, a ghoul infamous for being a nigh-invulnerable horror. They manage to bring the creature down, but at a terrible cost: Shirazu and the majority of Itou Squad are killed in the process, with Kuramoto and Mutsuki both suffering serious injuries.
- The sequel also sees a rematch between Kaneki and Arima. Though initially overwhelmed and fully intending to commit Suicide by Cop, Kaneki eventually regains his will to live and defeats Arima in battle. Afterwards, Arima ponders having remained unchallenged for his entire 18 year career.....and then slashes his own throat, dying in Kaneki's arms while confessing his secrets. As a dying request, he asks Kaneki to take credit for his death and promises the reason will become clear soon.
- Attack on Titan: Eren manages this during the battle with Reiner. At least, until he puts out a Distress Call and Bertolt falls on them.
- In One-Punch Man, Boros had this reputation, having apparently never lost a fight, until he came up against someone even more unbeatable than him.
- It is a common staple of sports themed anime (usually set in high school) to have a team that has dominated the national circuit and is always touted as the team to beat for the protagonist team. Examples are:
- Eyeshield 21 has the perennial Kanto representative the Shinryuuji Naga, who had dominated the Kanto region for the longest time. They, however, pale in comparison to the Teikoku Alexanders, who have won the Christmas Bowl since the establishment of American Football in Japan.
- Saki has Shiraitodai Girls School, the two time champion in high school team mahjong. Its ace player, Teru Miyanaga, is touted as the best individual mahjong player in the high school circuit, and is the sister of the title character.
- Girls und Panzer has Kuromorimine Women's College, which have won the high school sensha-do (tankery) championship for 9 years. Their loss in the year before the storyline was not because of a better team, but because the commander of their flag tank abandoned her position to save a friendly tank that had fallen into a river.
- Champion of the Universe: a Marvel Comics character who goes around the universe challenging people to boxing matches, who was undefeated until The Thing stood up to him. Not that Thing beat him physically; Thing was just too stubborn to stay down after getting knocked out, so the Champion conceded. More recently She-Hulk beat him too.
- Champion of the Universe is considered by many fans to be a subversion (or very bad example) of this as he has pretty much never defeated anyone with a name.
- He has defeated Adam Warlock, Beta Ray Bill, Drax the Destroyer, the Silver Surfer and Gladiator. He handily beat She-Hulk as well; however, she then spent a month working her ass off (in human form) and bulked up impressively...and realized the Infinity Gem he was using could be counted as a "weapon" - and was therefore against the rules - and beat the tar out of him. With the Gem, he is undefeatable. Without it, he's tough, but not impossibly so. Gladiator is quick to note that any of them could have beaten him at that point, to which She-Hulk responds by... saying something outrageously sexist.
- He is apparently defeated for good when Titania, armed with the Gem, picked up a mountain and squashed him under it. He's immortal, but without the Gem, he's not strong enough to free himself.
- Champion of the Universe is considered by many fans to be a subversion (or very bad example) of this as he has pretty much never defeated anyone with a name.
- Manute from Sin City was The Juggernaut of the series. At the end of A Dame To Kill For, Dwight had to resort to shooting Manute several times, kicking him off a roof, and then having Miho pin him to the pavement by shoving swords into his arms. This did not kill him, nor did it even knock him out. It got him out of the way nonetheless. He's killed in a hail of gunfire in the next volume, The Big Fat Kill. In the extended cut of the movie, this was changed to being bisected by Miho.
- This is Squirrel Girl's shtick, since she's a Silver Age hero in a Modern Age setting.
- In The Dark Knight Returns, Batman defeats Superman. An old Batman versus a Superman who hasn't aged a day. It takes missiles, an overpowered supersonics gun, Powered Armor, electrical gauntlets powered by the whole Gotham City, the Bat-Tank, and a kryptonite-tipped arrow, but he actually does it.
- Although, as per usual, Superman really wasn't fighting to kill or seriously injure Batman. Also he recently had a nuke explode on his face, and was still recovering.
- Miracle, which is based on the "Miracle on Ice" hockey game described under Real Life.
- The German film Das Wunder von Bern (2003), based on the 1954 "Miracle of Berne" described under Real Life.
- Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda. So powerful that not even an army of rhinos, the Furious Five, or his own master could stop him. Po defeating him is what finally secures his status as the Dragon Warrior. Even Po wins primarily by chance; Tai Lung heavily favors nerve strikes that even masters find very difficult to counter, and Po is fat enough to be completely immune to them.
- It's specifically mentioned that the only other person who can defeat Tai Lung (Shifu's own teacher, Master Oogway) has just ascended to a higher plane. It's possible that Shifu himself could have defeated Tai Lung using Oogway's technique, but he likely hasn't mastered it yet, and there's still the guilt he has over Tai Lung's Start of Darkness. Basically, Shifu deciding to stay and fight Tai Lung is even stated to be a Delaying Action, while Po and the Furious Five help evacuate the valley.
- No Holds Barred: Zeus (Tom Lister), an ex-con who acts as the muscle of Mr. Brell, the corrupt CEO of a television network who wishes to get rival wrestler Rip () under his command. Expanded upon with a bar fight scene, a fight at a steel plant and on television several times. Eventually, Zeus goes too far and beats up Rip's brother, Randy ... and after Rip has his initial difficulties is able to get the best of him in a fight.
- Played with in Real Steel where Zeus is a robot fighter that has won every match he fought by knockouts on the first round. That changes in the fight against Atom, where the latter gets up after a vicious beating right before the first round ends. Ultimately, Atom is unable to win but so is Zeus and, although he ends up winning by technicality, the audience of the match considers Atom the true winner because he came close to actually knocking out Zeus.
- Luke Skywalker does this in Return of the Jedi when he finally defeats Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel, who had personally defeated and killed countless Jedi who were far more experienced. Vader is completely caught off guard and decides to return to the light side of the Force when Luke then spares his life rather than kill his own father.
- Combined with Serial Escalation in the Rocky series:
- Rocky: Rocky is a nobody boxer given a chance against Apollo Creed, an unstoppable champion who wins every single fight via knockout. Subverted in that Rocky doesn't actually beat Apollo. However...
- Rocky II: Because the Rocky/Apollo fight was so close, a rematch is demanded, only this time Apollo has trained to become even more Undefeatable. This time around Rocky does beat him, but barely.
- Rocky III: Rocky has become complacent as the World Heavyweight Champion, fighting a string of no-hopers arranged by Mickey to keep Rocky from losing his title. Then the monstrous Clubber Lang demands a bout with Rocky, beating him soundly and knocking him off his pedestal until he returns for a successful rematch, courtesy of some training from former rival Apollo Creed.
- Rocky IV: Rocky goes into retirement. The Soviets unveil their steroid-pumped machine of a boxer, Ivan Drago. Not even Apollo Creed can beat him, so Rocky comes out of retirement, flies to Russia, trains by jogging in the snow and chopping trees instead of using fancy machines, beats Drago, and single-handedly ends the Cold War.
- Rocky V: Rocky, unable to fight himself due to old age and a brain injury, goes into retirement, but agrees to train and manage the impetuous, street-fighting Tommy "The Machine" Gunn. However, Gunn's arrogance and bad temper culminates in a streetfight against his former mentor Rocky. Guess what? Rocky beats him, though the original script ended with his death shortly afterwards.
- Rocky Balboa: Rocky is in retirement, but finds his that his life is unfulfilled and he's caught dealing with unsatisfied anger issues. Thus despite being in his 60s, he wants to climb back into the ring and vent some of those bad feelings. He does so just in time to, just like in the first movie, fight to a close loss against the dominating and unbeaten world champion, Mason "The Line" Dixon. In the next film, his retirement finally sticks, and he acts as a mentor to Apollo Creed's son, Adonis.
- Game of Death: The guardians of the pagoda in the original version have exceptional skills and are thought to be undefeatable. Bruce Lee disproves this.
- As mentioned in the page quote, Varan the Undefeatable from the Ciaphas Cain novel Cain's Last Stand, whose reputation largely stemmed from his use of a Warp-derived Compelling Voice to force his opponents to defect to his cause. This being a Ciaphas Cain novel, you get no points for guessing who wins the inevitable confrontation between the two.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Robb Stark never lost a battle in the War of the Five Kings. He still ended up losing the war (and his life) because treacherous allies turn on him and join his enemies. Together, they hatch a plan that becomes the backbreaking and traumatic Red Wedding.
- In Time Scout, Wagers of Sin, Skeeter Jackson steals a small fortune from an undefeated champion of the Roman arena. Guess who Skeeter ends up facing there? Guess who wins?
- In The Excalibur Alternative, there is surprise all around when a hitherto untouchable Federation battle squadron gets utterly Curb Stomped by Avalon Empire forces.
- Parodied in Discworld book Soul Music, where an up-and-coming Barbarian Hero decides to call himself Vincent the Invulnerable, goes into the Mended Drum to announce this, and lasts about twenty seconds. In fact, terminal stupidity of this type is quasi-officially designated as "suicide" by the Watch, suggesting that this happens a lot.
- A folk tale or legend is used by the trainer of Warders in The Wheel of Time, as a warning not to get cocky. He asks his class who the greatest swordsman of all time was. They all respond immediately and in unison. He then asks who handed him his only defeat. They are silent. "A farmer with a quarterstaff!" This particular lesson was delivered after Mat Cauthon, a farmer with a quarterstaff, had just defeated Gawyn and Galad, two of the best students in the group. At the same time. While recovering from an injury.
- In Mistborn: The Original Trilogy the Lord Ruler's most feared enforcers are the Steel Inquisitors, mysterious figures with steel spikes driven through their eyes and protruding from the back of the skulls, and believed to be invincible. That Kelsier manages to kill one, pinning it to a wall by its own eyespikes and decapitating it, goes a long way to convincing people that the Lord Ruler is capable of being defeated at all. The rest of them in the city are killed the easy way, when an infiltrator discovers their Achilles' Heel and uses it to destroy them as they sleep.
- Arra Sails, one of the few women among the Proud Warrior Race Guy vampires in The Saga of Darren Shan, is this in the combat halls of Vampire Mountain. She is defeated by Kurda Smahlt, a peaceful person but an unexpectedly good fighter, because she underestimated.
- Amongst thousands of challengers, Karsa Orlong from Malazan Book of the Fallen is the fist to manage killing the Emperor of a Thousand Deaths who was supposed to be unkillable. Though he had help figuring out what the problem was, and Samar Dev at hand, who had the souls trapped in her knife help transport him to the Warren where he could kill Rhulad before he was revived by his sword again.
Live Action TV
- Walker, Texas Ranger: The fifth-season episode "Warriors," where a criminal steals a genetic healing formula from a scientist (who was perfecting it for the benefit of good), and then uses it to develop a prototype muscleman that couldn't be stopped. Walker and Trivette find out firsthand how brutal this man-mountain is when nothing they do can so much as faze him. Eventually, during a final confrontation where the muscleman has Walker beaten to a pulp, the scientist throws flammable liquid and a blowtorch in his face, and Walker is able to finally kick the stunned muscleman to his doom.
- General Staal of the 10th Sontaran Battle Fleet, known as "Staal the Undefeated", from the Doctor Who two-parter "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky". The Doctor addresses the lack of foresight such a name shows.
The Doctor: That's not a very good nickname. What if you do get defeated? "Staal the Not Quite So Undefeated Any More But Never Mind"?
- T-Minus from BattleBots defeated Hazard...in the quarter finals. For those of you who don't know, Hazard was previously undefeated for 3 tournaments and obliterated almost everything it fought.
- Across the pond on Robot Wars, there was the ultimate house robot, Mr. Psycho. 750kg of heavily-armed, heavily armoured hell on tank treads. Some roboteers mess with the house robots from time to time, but Mr. Psycho was the exception because even attempting to attack him was basically futile. Unfortunately for Mr. Psycho, nobody told Team Firestorm the meaning of "futile".
- Razer, with its huge crushing beak and fearsome design, is one of the most impressive robots to have ever appeared on the show and had a win/loss record to match: 40 victories against 6 losses, four off which were immobilisation by technical issues and one being a controversial judges decision. Razer has, however, been beaten by knockout twice by the same robot: Pussycat. And a third time by Pussycat's successor Kill-E-Crank-E in the 2016 reboot. Well, sorta.
- Theokoles, the Shadow of Death, from Spartacus: Blood and Sand, an undefeated gladiator who once killed one-hundred opponents at once. Oenomaus was the only opponent who survived a match, and that was only because he lasted so long that the crowd called for him to live. Spartacus and Crixus managing to defeat him is considered an in-universe Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- This example works on both sides, as Theokoles's sole reason to accept the fight in the first place was for the glory of beating Crixus, The Undefeated Gaul.
- Lancelot defeats the unbeaten Arthur in Merlin by feigning defeat and then taking him by surprise.
- An important figure in the story of the Japanese hero Minamoto no Yoshitsune's life was the warrior-monk Benkei. His goal was to defeat a thousand warriors, but after 999 victories, his thousanth opponent was Yoshitsune, who bested him. Benkei swore loyalty to Yoshitsune, serving as his retainer and companion for two years, at which point Yoshitsune was betrayed, and committed Seppuku. Benkei died defending him from enemy soldiers while he did so, and was still standing and holding his weapon long after he had actually died from the onslaught of arrows. (Many of his foes actually thought he was a demon from hell., he was such a terror in battle.)
Professional Wrestling and MMA
- This is a common angle in Professional Wrestling, where a wrestler is famous for being unbeatable, and is known as the most powerful wrestler of them all until that one Face can eventually defeat them.
- An old and famous example of this type of gimmick is André the Giant (whose final "beaten" angle closed out his long career), and a few newer wrestler who got their start this way are The Undertaker, Boogeyman, and The Great Khali (who is still relatively unstoppable even after being defeated). An older example would be Haystacks Calhoun, who does have a losing record, far as the recovered records show, against a handful of wrestlers but for the most part had The Gimmick of a traveling baby face enforcer who'd draw some interest to the territory, win some matches and be on his way.
- Nearly every Japanese promotion has one such "undefeatable" wrestler, referred to as the "ace." Aces range in Kayfabe ability from the relatively beatable Manami Toyota of Zenjo or Hiroshi Tanahashi of NJPW to the almost never losing one on one in his home promotion but not always winning there in Tag Team matches or due to time limit draws Rikidozan to the staggering, unbeatable might of NOAH's Kenta Kobashi. All Japan's then NOAH's Mitsuharu Misawa was probably Japan's most consistently unbeatable wrestler - during any given year, Misawa's pinfall losses could be counted on one hand.
- This trope was particularly noticeable in 80s WWF, where every new big bad heel destroyed everyone in his path until they finally got a shot at Hulk Hogan who took them down with his Five Moves of Doom. Hercules Hernandez, King Kong Bundy, and Zeus come to mind, but there were definitely others.
- The Undertaker had a perfect 21-0 winning streak at WrestleMania, and his upcoming Wrestlemania opponents (most recently, CM Punk) would often talk about how they will become legends by ending said streak; JBL once mentioned (prior to losing the opportunity to even face Taker) that ending the streak would be a bigger accomplishment than winning a world title. Then came Wrestlemania XXX, and the streak finally ended at the hands of Brock Lesnar, thus leaving the record at 21-1.
- Even with the loss, defeating the Undertaker was at 'Mania was still considered to be a big deal. 'Taker continued to win two more times at the showcase of the immortals until Wrestlemania XXXIII when he lost to Roman Reigns in what seems to be his retirement match.
- Goldberg was also given one of the biggest streaks in WCW history, starting from his introductory match as a Jobber against Hugh Morrus, going all the way to defeating Hollywood Hogan for the title. His 173 match winning streak note was finally ended by Kevin Nash, with the aid of his newly obtained booking superpowers and a taser by Scott Hall.
- Samoa Joe's twenty one month reign as Ring of Honor Champion where he traveled around in between his obligated ROH dates challenging anyone to try and take to the belt so he could use their defeats to justify calling it a world title. He was eventually toppled by Austin Aries of Generation Next. Joe would later go on a much less dramatic 18 month undefeated streak that nonetheless produced TNA's most financially successful program ever when it was broken by Kurt Angle.
- Nothing could beat Umaga. Not Viscera, not John Cena, not Jeff Hardy, not Kane, not even DeGeneration X. It got to the point his manager, Armando Estrada, began to refer to Umaga as "The Undefeated". It finally took having John Cena using a STFU with the detached ring ropes to defeat him.
- MsChif's best known for her two year reign with both the NWA World Women's and SHIMMER Title belts. Particularly when Madison Eagles beating her for the latter resulted in Eagles being the first woman not working for a major and the first not based in North America to place on top of Pro Wrestling Illustrated's top fifty.
- The Shield were never pinned/submitted in trios matches for seven months until finally bested by Team Hell No and Randy Orton in June 2013, upon which Lilian Garcia announced their first ever clean loss on the microphone.
- Asuka has yet to be defeated in WWE NXT. It's come to the point where her winning streak has now surpassed Goldberg's streak.
- Not at all an unheard story in MMA, although all-around badass Fedor Emelianenko has had the most success at remaining undefeated, with a record of 31-1-1, the loss coming from a controversial stoppage due to a cut on his head and the no-contest from an accidental headbutt.
- Unfortunately, the other side is that in a rematch the former "undefeatable" may show that the loss or draw was actually a fluke, leading to an unfortunate Curb-Stomp Battle. Cases in point: Matt Serra against Georges St-Pierre, Tsuyoshi Kousaka against Fedor (the cut loss), and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (the accidental headbutt no contest).
- Pretty much Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's claim to fame in the modern UFC: after two poor first performances in the company he showed renewed form in knocking down Chuck Liddell and slugging him out in the fist round, then gave the performance of a lifetime against legend-in-the-making UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, only to lose the highly controversial decision that almost everyone except the judges thought was Shogun's. He then goes on to knock out Machida in the first round in their rematch, winning the Light-Heavyweight title.
- Frankie "The Answer" Edgar took the UFC lightweight belt from the previously considered "unbeatable" B.J. Penn at UFC 112. Penn hadn't lost in the lightweight division in eight years, but Edgar managed to upset the champ with a set gameplan; mixing up his offense, and pushing the pace with his speed.
- It eventually happened to aforementioned Fedor Emelianenko after he received his first legitimate loss to Fabricio Werdum. Werdum was understandably excited.
- It happened again the fight after that, with Antonio "bigfoot" Silva dominating him and beating him by TKO.
- Most recently, Chris Weidman knocking out Anderson Silva, who had a 17 fight winning streak, with his last loss being a DQ.
- It happened again in May of 2014: UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao had not lost a professional fight since his very first one in 2005 and had been either Interim or Undisputed Bantamweight Champion since July of 2012. Then came unheralded underdog TJ Dillashaw, who proceeded to not only defeat Barao but thoroughly dominate him through the first four rounds before TK Oing him in the fifth to take the title.
- UFC 193 on November 14, 2015 saw what most fans and experts considered the impossible: The defeat of "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey. 20-1 underdog and former pro boxer Holly Holm would shock the world by dominating Rousey en route to a shocking second round KO, becoming only the second person to win the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship and handing Rousey her first MMA loss.
- UFC 194 just under a month later possibly topped Rousey's loss with the long-awaited Featherweight title unification bout between Jose Aldo and Conor Mc Gregor. The fight had five months of hype behind it, it had an added stipulation that the winner would join Ronda Rousey on the box for the next game, and both men had long, ostentatious entrances. The fight? It lasted thirteen seconds, with Mc Gregor knocking Aldo out with the first punch of the fight.
- Unfortunately for Mc Gregor, it happened to him as well: at UFC 196, he moved up to welterweight for a short-notice, non-title fight against Nate Diaz. Mc Gregor did well enough in the first round but suddenly tired in the second, allowing major underdog Diaz to force him to tap out to a rear naked choke, handing Mc Gregor his first loss in some time and first in the UFC. Earlier, the aforementioned Holly Holm suffered her first pro loss at the hands of another massive underdog: two-time Rousey victim Miesha Tate, who choked Holm out to win the Women's Bantamweight title.
- Luke Rockhold had not lost in the UFC since his debut against a PED-aided Vitor Belfort. Since then, he had gone on a tear, finishing opponent after opponent, including taking the Middleweight belt from the aforementioned Chris Weidman in 2015, prompting many to proclaim him the true successor to Anderson Silva atop the divisional throne.. His first title defense was against short notice replacement Michael "The Count" Bisping, who had been submitted by Rockhold almost two years earlier. The heavy underdog Bisping would exact his revenge by K Oing Rockhold to win the title in the first round.
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk had dominated the Women's Strawweight division with an iron fist, with many experts wondering if she would do what Ronda Rousey couldn't and retire as champion. Few gave her UFC 217 opponent, Rose Namajunas, a chance of pulling off the upset despite Namajunas' skills growing by leaps and bounds during her time in the UFC. But pull it off she did, TK Oing Jedrzejczyk in the very first round to capture the championship.
- Destroy the Godmodder: The godmodder is well defined here, despite being able to take down things like massive battle fleets and Chuck Norris himself with minimal effort, the godmodder has already been defeated once.
- Exalted is all about doing this to the extremely powerful people you don't like. You can even do this to The Unconquered Sun. Unconquered does not mean Unconquerable.
- Changeling: The Lost: Though very, very difficult, it is possible for a Changeling to permanently kill their Keeper in Arcadia. Tricking a True Fae into breaking an oath sworn on their True Name is the most sure-fire way to do this, as their true name is effectively their vow to exist and losing it renders them Deader Than Dead.
- In Street Fighter, this role is filled by Sagat in the first game, The King of Muay Thai (alternatively, the God or Emperor of Muay Thai), who, at the end of the game, is eventually defeated by Ryu, and, afterwards, loses his entire reputation, joins the Big Bad's organization, and, after a little soul searching, does a Heel–Face Turn and focuses on becoming stronger. Storyline-wise, he's still one of the most powerful characters in the game, and he's only lost three times, and each time he technically didn't lose giving his all (the first time, Ryu was consumed by his desire to win, briefly losing himself to Satsui no Hadou and sucker punching Sagat with a Metsu Shoryuken, which is how Sagat has that scar across his chest, and the other two times he either was too distraught to give his all note , or let the opponent win note ).
- Gameplay wise, he has consistently been top tier in every appearance, to the point that many fans have labeled it either a "tradition" or a "running gag" for Capcom.
- Akuma has also only been "defeated" once, by Gouken in his youth. He would later turn up for a rematch in which he killed Gouken (well, not quite), and hasn't outright lost a match since (he has, however, forfeited against people who have potential to get stronger if he leaves them alive, since his honour code won't let him fight people who aren't at their strongest).
- This is a large part of the main plot of the first Mortal Kombat game. Goro had dominated the competition for centuries prior, and was a seemingly unstoppable force, and defeating him was a vital step in paving the way for Shao Kahn's defeat.
- In BlazBlue we have an interesting variation of this trope: How do you beat a supercomputer with three omniscient minds that has manipulated the countless Groundhog Day Loops the world has gone through to its own perfectionistic ends in a game of chess? Believe it or not, Hazama/Terumi Yuuki knew how to cheat his way to victory, and we, the players, are left to ask ourselves: Why him? Why, of all people, him? Why, of all the possible outcomes, did HE, the embodiment of the worst possible outcome, have to win the Continuum Shift? Why? Because he ensured that there was no other possible outcome aside from his victory.
- The Elite Four fill this role in every Pokémon game (as well as the anime), while Red, the protagonist from the first game, fills this role somewhat in the game in which he appeared as a boss.
- Giovanni from the Special Manga fits this trope extremely well, as it is said that no one has ever defeated him in his time as a gym leader. The Elite Four in the Kanto Arc also fit this trope as they are constantly called undefeated more so than in the games. The Legendary Pokemon in the anime and games are constantly implied to be undefeated as well. And then we have Pikachu.
- Giovanni is even stronger in the Pokémon Origins special. How strong is he? In their first battle, his Nidoqueen (not his most powerful Pokemon) trounces Red's Charizard with barely an effort. In the following battle at the gym, Giovanni decides to use his two strongest Pokemon against Red's team made specifically to take on the invincible Ground-type gym leader, and the first one, Rhyhorn takes down four of them before being eliminated in a Double Knockout (said opponents were a Victreebel, a Kabutops, a Snorlax, a Jolteon (taken down by a single electric attack), and an Hitmonlee). Then Charizard, now stronger, faced Rhydon, and managed to scrape a victory.
- Volkner has this reputation as a gym leader. It doesn't translate very well to the anime, though, considering the regional conference typically requires its entrants to defeat the gym leaders to make it in. And that's before he got bored of crushing everyone's dreams and started giving away his badges for free.
- Giovanni from the Special Manga fits this trope extremely well, as it is said that no one has ever defeated him in his time as a gym leader. The Elite Four in the Kanto Arc also fit this trope as they are constantly called undefeated more so than in the games. The Legendary Pokemon in the anime and games are constantly implied to be undefeated as well. And then we have Pikachu.
- Falling somewhere between Video Games and Real Life is the defeat of Kerafyrm the Sleeper in EverQuest. Having never intended gamers to challenge it, the programmers gave Kerafyrm 10 billion HP (for reference, a standard dragon has 100 thousand and gods top out at 2 million). It took almost 200 of the best players in the game over four hours to kill it. On the second try.
- The first try ended at 27% life when Kerafyrm disappeared. Sony reset the entire scenario. According to them, they thought the scenario was bugged because Kerafyrm wasn't supposed to be that close to death ever. Gamers called them out for their repeated lies.
- In the original Knights of the Old Republic, you can rise all the way up in the gladiatorial ladder on Taris, eventually, defeating and killing the undefeated champion who killed every challenger in the last decades, so that nobody dares to challenge him any more.
- The Ravager is the undisputed champion of the arena in Jade Empire... he gets a lot of hype, and it's all freaking justified. The bastard is the second/third hardest fight in the game.
- The Elder Scrolls
- Throughout the series, the main quest Big Bad (as well as the Big Bads of the major expansions) tend to be something along these lines. Morrowind and its to expansions have you killing two outright Physical Godsnote and the aspect of a Daedric Prince. Oblivion and its expansions force you to defeat two Daedric Princes (the main quest one being a Destroyer Deity) and an ancient Sorcerer-King of the Abusive Precursors who is empowered by a third Daedric Prince. Skyrim and its expansions pit you up against the draconic Beast of the Apocalypse (with several characters outright stating that it may not be "right" to stop him given his duty), an ancient Vampire Lord, and your own Evil Counterpart (the First Dragonborn) who serves as the champion of a Daedric Prince.
- In Oblivion's "Imperial Arena" faction questline, you can engage in a series of Gladiator Subquests, working your way up the ranks against stronger and stronger competition. At the end, you must defeat the Gray Prince, the undefeated Grand Champion of the Arena. (However, there is also a sidequest that allows you to kill him without any fight and claim the title, Subverting the trope...)
- The Gear fighting champion Rico in Xenogears.
- In addition, the whole point of the game is to kill God. Well, technically, it's a superpowered war machine that happens to fulfill the typical purposes of 'God' for the planet the game takes place on.... yeah, it's a little confusing. Still, the fact that it's not technically a god doesn't make the task any easier.
- Not a fighting series, but the Ace Attorney series has this with prosecutors with perfect conviction records, at least in the Phoenix Wright era. Combined with the fact some of them were a bit obsessed with getting the defendant guilty, it made winning the client's freedom that much sweeter. Subverted one time, when Godot announces that he's never lost a case... and then reveals that that's because he's never prosecuted a case before.
- From Iji, Annihilator Iosa, who is known as "Iosa the Invincible" for surviving a Planetary Extinction event.
- In Armored Core games, Nineball is known for having held the position of #1 pilot the longest, thus those who can beat him are famed as "Ninebreakers".
- The arena champion from Armored Core 3, Ace, reached his position without suffering a single loss.
- Crawmerax the Invincible from Borderlands. The mission for beating him is called "You. Will. Die." and the achievement earned for putting him down is called "Vincible". Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! keep up the Theme Naming for their raid bosses, including the Invincible Son of Crawmerax the Invincible.
- In Borderlands 2 everyone is really impressed when you go toe-to-toe with Jack's Brute, Wilhelm, and come out not just alive but victorious, possibly solo, given that Wilhelm had previously taken on the four original Vault Hunters and forced them to Run or Die. In cut audio, it turns out he went down so easily because Jack poisoned him as part of a greater plan.
- Mass Effect presents the Reapers as undefeatable. They've spent countless millions of years wiping out all advanced organic life in the galaxy every 50,000 years. Finally, at the end of Mass Effect 3, Commander Shepard ends their reign at great cost. ...we think.
- In Asura's Wrath, the Seven Deities are repeatedly described as undefeatable gods. Well, Asura puts them to the test on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge....and finds them wanting. Shortly afterward, he goes up against Ghoma Vlitra, which is described as a force so powerful it cannot be killed, only subdued temporarily. No prizes for guessing what Asura does to it. Finally, the game's last, DLC-specific chapters, culminate in Asura fighting Chakravatin, who is effectively God, and is so powerful that his supreme fortress is literally larger than entire galaxies and he uses stars and planets as projectiles. Three guesses what happens to that theoretically indestructable asshole.
- In Shin Megami Tensei games, this happens a lot, as you will be seeing yourself defeating many seemingly undefeatable creatures in various myths and religion. Your enemy in this game can range from a simple fairy to out-and-out OMNIPOTENT GODS, and you can win against them, storyline and gameplay-wise. The games go to great lengths to make sure you will be defeated a lot, though, and some games do not permit this.
- BioShock Infinite goes to a great deal of effort to emphasize how invincible Songbird is. Elizabeth refuses to even let Booker fight him, insisting that it would be a completely hopeless fight. In the end, she's right. It's a deconstruction of the standard player expectations when hearing about an invincible enemy. When Elizabeth says "You can't beat Songbird," the game isn't setting up an awesome boss fight, it's setting up the fact that you can't beat Songbird. Elizabeth does eventually kill him in a cutscene though, but only after her Power Limiter has been destroyed and she's basically a Physical God.
- In Emerald City Confidential, Petra defeats Mombi, the resident champion of the wizard arena. Mombi, who is a Sore Loser, calls Petra out after the match for using parlor tricks rather than just magic to win.
- In Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune, you get special titles for defeating a player with a long-enough win streak.
- The final fight in the Punch-Out!! series is about defeating the undefeatable.
- In Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! on the NES did this by making the final opponent Mike Tyson, who was undefeated at the time the game was made.
- In Super Punchout, Nick Bruiser has a 42-0 record. His twin brother Rick is almost undefeated, having lost to Nick.
- Punch-Out!! for the Wii does this for the Final Boss Mr. Sandman. Not only does he have a whooping 31 wins - 0 losses record, but his introduction cutscene shows him knocking out every other boxer in the game like it was nothing.
- Punch-Out!! clone Super KO Boxing 2 takes this Up to 11 by making KO Kid fight the Executioner, a menacing fighter out of Portugal, who has a 1000-0 record. Only one managed to escape his KOing wrath.
- For reference, Executioner single-handedly dwarfs the experience and win record of all 16 boxers in the SNES Super Punch-Out!!
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum, losing to Yugi's friends makes them incredulous that they actually won.
Tea: I won! I can’t believe it! I actually beat Yugi!
Joey: Yugi, I won, but I’m sure it was just luck. A miracle, even.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, Yami Yugi and Kaiba can lose to anyone in the game, leaving their opponents incredulous that they won.
- Five Nights at Freddy's has a meta example. The game's version of Harder Than Hard, 4/20 Mode (accessed by using Custom Night to set all animatronics to their highest difficulty), is extremely brutal to the point where Scott Cawthon, the developer, thought it was flat-out impossible. Then Let's Player BigBug went and beat it. As of now, 27 people have done so and been able to prove it.
- Bun-Bun is like this throughout Sluggy Freelance. The main characters seem confident he can beat just about anyone or anything, including immortal assassins and world-destroying demons. He gets beaten a few times over the comcic's run however.
- Old Man Death in Girl Genius, a Badass Normal human who used to ride with the Blood Knight Jagers and never lost a fight. Due to his reputation, Jagers constantly try to defeat him for his Nice Hat, but never managed to do it even in his old age. He finally lost the hat when Maxim challenged him for it, and even then, Maxim only succeeded by being "sottle", ordering a hat sandwich to go, forcing Old Man Death to prepare the hat and hand it to Maxim lest the old man risk his reputation as the Supreme Chef of his gourmet sandwich shop.
- The Arena Champion in The Order of the Stick, who has a perfect win record and has killed 37 gladiators in a row, including a stone giant with PC Class Levels. Naturally, Roy has to try to beat him in a death match, a chance that he looks forward to when he learns that the Arena Champion is Thog.
- Warhak, the villain from the Grand Finale of Kim Possible, claimed to be 'the most fierce warrior in the galaxy', indicating that he had conquered hundreds of planets with little resistance. He even managed to knock out both Kim and Shego with a single punch. In the end, both he and his battlemate Warmonganote were destroyed by Ron when he called upon his Mystical Monkey Power.
- In season 3 of The Legend of Korra, the four active members of the Red Lotus are described as undefeatable, with no single person having a chance of defeating any of them individually, much less the four of them together. However, Tenzin actually comes close to proving this wrong in his one-on-one battle with their leader Zaheer, as he seems to have the upper hand thanks to his years of experience and mastery bending air outmatching Zaheer's skilled but inexperienced style, but Zaheer's reinforcements show up before the battle is over.
- In the finale, Mako actually does manage to defeat one of them, Ming-Hua, in single combat, through using his lightning to electrocute her, taking advantage of the fact that she was submersed in the water she used for her own bending.
- Tiger Woods was 14-0 in golf's four major championships when he held the lead (by himself or with others) after 54 of 72 regulation holes...but that came to a stunning end when he lost the 2009 PGA Championship with a two stroke 54 hole lead to unheralded Y.E. Yang. And then three months later Tiger crashed into a fire hydrant outside his home in Florida, and the rest has been history.
- Mike Tyson was the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion who was mowing down everyone who came into his path, including previously unbeaten champions like Michael Spinks...in 91 seconds. James "Buster" Douglas was supposed to be just another speed bump to the champ (in fact, the February 1990 fight was held in Tokyo because no American venue would have it). No one told Douglas, though, who proceeded to knock out Tyson in the 10th round and become one of the unlikeliest heavyweight champions in boxing history.
- The Miracle on Ice, where the USA ice hockey team of the 1980 Winter Olympics manage to defeat a Soviet team that was nigh-unbeatable in the world scene for more than a decade. For bonus points, the USA team was made up of collegiate ice hockey players and had been crushed by the Soviets in an earlier exhibition game 10 to 3. "Do you believe in miracles?"
- The "Miracle of Berne" (4 July, 1954) in which the West German team came back from trailing 0-2 against the "Magical Magyars" to win the FIFA World Cup by 3 goals to 2. This ended an undefeated run by the Hungarian football (soccer) team lasting four years and 32 matches, during which they won the Olympic gold medal in 1952, the 1953 European Cup of National Teams (precursor of the UEFA European Championship), became the first continental European team to defeat England in Wembley Stadium (by 6-3) and defeated West Germany by 8-3 in the opening round of the 1954 World Cup.
- Tennis star Rafael Nadal entered the 2009 French Open as the World No. 1 and 4-time defending champion who had never been beaten on French clay ever since his debut at the 2005 French Open, not even by the legendary Roger Federer, and had just set a record streak of 31 wins at the French Open. His fourth-round opponent, Robin Soderling, was all set up to become yet another one of his conquests as the 23rd seed who had never even reached the quarterfinals of a major tournament before and had been steamrolled by Nadal in all of their previous matches. Soderling apparently hadn't read the script, however, as he proceeded to turn in the game of his life and defeat Nadal in one of the biggest upsets in tennis history.
- And it happened to Nadal again at Wimbledon 2014. Back at number 1 in the world and the current French Open and US Open Champion and runner-up at the Australian Open, he played Nick Kyrgios, a 19 year old Australian ranked 145th in the world, in the fourth round. Nadal was defeated in four sets.
- A literal example in the 2007 Super Bowl match between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. The Patriots had an undefeated regular and playoff season. They seem to have the best offense and defense ever assembled in NFL history, or so the many sports commentators kept saying.. Superstar quarterback Tom Brady completed 50 touchdowns throughout the season, running up the score and completely dominating most defenses he faced. The whole country believed they'd be the second team besides the 1972 Miami Dolphins to have an undefeated NFL season, complete with a Super Bowl victory. At the same time, the New York Giants had an up and down season. There were times when the fans demanded that the managers fire coach Tom Coughlin and replace quarterback Eli Manning, whom many football fans regarded as not being as talented as his older brother Peyton Manning. However they fought and clawed their way to the playoffs and the Super Bowl game. During the game, millions who watched were in shock as not only did the Giants stop the Patriots dominating offense, but they were able to only hold them to 14 points, winning the game. Eli finally escaped from his brother's shadow by matching him with a Super Bowl win, and Tom Coughlin had his coaching contract extended. And just to show the win wasn't a fluke, they beat the Patriots again in the Super Bowl at the end of the 2011 season, and Eli Manning surpassed his brother with two Super Bowl wins (until Peyton won his secnd ring at the end of the 2015 season).
- When chess grandmaster Jose Capablanca was defeated by fellow grandmaster Richard Reti in the 1924 grandmaster tournament in New York, it was his first loss under tournament conditions in eight years.
- Capablanca's loss in the World Championship match to Alexander Alekhine was also an example, as he was considered so dominant that no one expected him to lose.
- Vladimir Kramnik defeating Garry Kasparov in the year 2000 was a similar situation.
- Correspondence Grandmaster Arno Nickel managed to win a match against Hydra, the strongest chess computer of the time (this was a computer significantly more advanced and powerful than Deep Blue).
- In a way, the Miami Heat vs the San Antonio Spurs in 2013. Up until that point, the Spurs never lost in the NBA Finals; they never even trailed in a Finals series. They were up 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and were literally 28 seconds away from winning their fifth championship... and then the Heat improbably forced overtime in Game 6, took that game by the slimmest of margins, and proceeded to defeat the Spurs in Game 7, becoming the only team to have beaten the Spurs in the Finals. This is especially poignant since the Spurs proceeded to defeat the heat in the Finals in 2014.
- Rulon Gardner winning the gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling in overtime, against Aleksandr Karelin at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Until that victory, Karelin had been undefeated for 13 years (out of a 18 year-long career), the last 6 years during which he didn't give up a single point to his opponents.
- Happens again with Lebron James, who was the star of the 2013 Miami Heat team, when he went back to the Cleveland Cavaliers and reached the finals in the 2015-16 season. This time he took on the Golden State Warriors in the finals after losing to them the previous year during the 2014-15 season. The Warriors seem like the new superstar team in the West Coast, after the Spurs and the Lakers, to win multiple back to back titles and become a dynasty. The team's roster was stacked with great starter and bench players, with a superstar point guard in Stephen Curry, who's ball handling and shooting skills seemed inhuman. Everything seemed to good as planned with the Warriors taking a dominating 3-0 lead. Everyone was predicting a NBA finals sweep, until Lebron James and his point guard Kyrie Ervin played some of the greatest basketball in NBA history, especially Ervin who while good, wasn't seen at the time as an elite player. They would be the first team in NBA history to win 4 straight games after trailing 0-3 during a championship finals, finally winning the title Lebron James promised the city of Cleveland since he turned pro as a teenager.
- Serena Williams went into the 2015 US Open having won the last four tennis majors and being the overwhelming favorite to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam (i.e. winning all four tennis majors in a single year). Everything seemed to align for her in the semifinals with her opponent being 43th-ranked Roberta Vinci who had a 0-4 record against her and Flavia Pennetta taking out 2nd-seeded Simona Halep in the other semifinal...then Vinci won in one of the biggest sports upsets of all time.