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Hoist By His Own Petard / Professional Wrestling

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Just when a wrestler thinks he has his opponent down, it often turns out he got himself into just the right position for his opponent to finish him off.

  • A common trait among heel champions is when they interfere during a number one contender match and proclaimed that none of the competitors deserve a match against them. This of course bites them in the ass when they are forced to fight both competitors in a triple threat match (or more) instead.
  • 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 laws 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 "Finger Poke 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.
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  • During his epic feud with Steve Austin, Vince McMahon had Austin beaten up at the end of a RAW episode. The next week's show opened with Vince in the ring with "Stooges" Pat Patterson and Jerry Brisco as well as a couple of police officers for protection. Vince boasted to the crowd on how he had "assaulted" Austin the week before. Out came Austin who, using Vince's own words, demanded the officers arrest McMahon for assault. Thus, the owner of the company was handcuffed and dragged out (with Patterson and Brisco also arrested for interfering) by the very cops he brought out for protection.
  • At SummerSlam 1988, Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man was originally supposed to defend the title against Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, but Outlaw Ron Bass had injured Beefcake by using the spurs from his boots on Beefcake's face, so Honky was "without" an opponent. He got on the mic and said, "Get me somebody out here to wrestle, I don't care who it is," with announcers Gorilla Monsoon and "Superstar" Billy Graham going so far as to point out what a potentially dumb thing that is to do. As everyone wondered if there was going to be an opponent, "Unstable" started playing and The Ultimate Warrior ran out and squashed Honky in about 30 seconds to win the title.
    • 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.
  • The Undertaker has a tendency to lose casket or buried alive matches, which are supposed to be his specialty, being a wrestling gravedigger and all. Typically, after a loss he disappears for a while and comes back with a new gimmick.
    • 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.
    • Variant of The Worf Effect.
  • 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 had even gotten to the point where even the commentators had 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 screw CM 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.
    • Randy Orton also fell victim to this at the Breaking Point event in 2009 when he fought John Cena in an "I Quit" match. For the majority of the match, Orton had Cena restrained with handcuffs so he could pick Cena apart until he eventually gave up. Unfortunately for him, Cena managed to take an opportunity to get the key from Orton, unlock one of the cuffs, and cuff himself to Orton to turn the tables. Needless to say, Randy Orton did not win...
  • Got a finisher? Aww, isn't that cute. Let Diamond Dallas Page show just you how many positions he can counter it from using his patented Diamond Cutter.
  • 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.
  • Vader defeated "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan for the WCW United States Heavyweight Title at WCW Starrcade 94 after Duggan collided with his own 2X4.
  • CHIKARA's tag team Los Ice Creams (Ice Cream Jr. & El Hijo del Ice Cream) are well known for their use of sprinklesnote  as weapons against their opponents, though they too have felt the pain.
  • William Regal's penchant for using brass knuckles to knock out opponents came back to bite him on a few occasions:
  • During a Prototype vs. C.W. Anderson match in Ultimate Pro Wrestling in 2001, Anderson brought a chair into the ring. The Prototype lifted him up and crotched Anderson on the top of the chair.
  • 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 tecnicos.note  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.
  • Note to A.J. Lee; if a Diva comes out to sincerely congratulate you while you're holding the title, make sure that they aren't the first and, at the time of your challenge, current NXT Women's Champion before challenging them to a match. Otherwise, you just might lose the title to said Diva.
    • Note to Paige: if that same Diva comes out and tries to do the same exact thing you did, you probably shouldn't challenge her to a match. The same exact thing will happen.
  • At Great American Bash 1989 Paul E Dangerously (Paul Heyman) took on Jim Cornette in a tuxedo match where in order to win you had to strip your opponent down to his underwear. Early in the match Paul got the upper hand by throwing powder in Jim's face, however Jim eventually came back and started to take control of the match. In a last ditch effort, Paul tried to use the powder trick again, only as he attempted to throw it, Jim kicked the powder into Paul's face and that allowed Jim to pull off Paul's pants to win.
  • At Wrestlemania 9, Yokozuna beat Bret Hart for the world championship title due to Mr. Fuji throwing salt in Bret's eyes. After the match, Mr. Fuji challenges Hulk Hogan (who was out there to check on Bret) to a match with Yokozuna. Hogan proceeds to win the match in 22 seconds after Fuji accidentally threw the salt in Yokozuna's face instead of Hogan. So Yokozuna immediately lost the title, all because he just had to call out Hogan right there on the spot and then got defeated by his own weapon of choice.
    • The next year at Wrestlemania 10, Yokozuna lost the title to Bret Hart simply because when he went for the banzai drop, he lost balance off the turnbuckle and fell to the ground as Bret rolled away and Bret then pinned him.
  • Whenever someone in Lucha Underground wedges a steel chair between the ropes of the corner turnbuckle and tries to throw their opponent headfirst into it, they're going into it themselves. Every time, absolutely without exception. The ploy will never work, nobody else will ever end up going through it—even in big multi-person matches with a lot of combatants, it will always be the one who stuck it there.
  • An early TNA match had AJ Styles putting his X-Division title on the line against Low-Ki and Jerry Lynn. The ref was knocked out, after Low-Ki was tossed from the ring, AJ got himself a chair and plastered Lynn with it. To put an exclamation point on top of it, he then went to the top rope for one of his lesser-used signature moves, the spinning drop known as the Spinal Low-Ki crawled back into the ring and covered Lynn. The dazed referee began his count, before AJ hit the Spinal Tap on the pair, which normally would break up the pin...but the ref was still knocked loopy and instead completed the count, giving Low-Ki the win, making AJ get double-hoisted as not only did he knock Lynn so senseless he couldn't kick out, but he used the fact the ref was down to do so, only for the ref's dazed state to cost him the belt.


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