Follow TV Tropes


Wham Episode / Professional Wrestling

Go To

  • Championship Wrestling from Florida, October 1982. Kevin Sullivan has been working Tweener for months while defending his NWA Florida Heavyweight Title. Meanwhile Jake Roberts has been bragging about how a "Nivek Navillus" had paid him good money to beat up Barry Windham. Sullivan defends the title successfully against Windham. After the match, Sullivan rips Windham's nose guard off, and kicks him in the head. The following week, he shows up with an "X" on his forehead and ranting and raving. Announcer Gordon Solie explains that "Nivek Navillus" is "Kevin Sullivan" spelled backwards. Thus begins his whole epic run as a "Satanic" heel.
  • Advertisement:
  • January 23, 1984, New York City. The Iron Sheik is WWF World Heavyweight Champion, and he's scheduled for a rematch with previous titleholder Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden. Only Backlund couldn't make it - and his replacement turned out to be a rising midcarder named Hulk Hogan. After that, nothing was ever the same.
  • "Black Saturday". In 1984, the then-burgeoning WWF had purchased Georgia Championship Wrestling, a popular yet struggling Southern-style promotion. Vince McMahon appeared in the opening segment of the July 14 edition of World Championship Wrestling, GCW's flagship nationally televised program, to deliver a show that mostly had material that had already run on other WWF programs. Complaints from the GCW fanbase led TBS to give Bill Watts and Ole Anderson's promotions slots on their schedule in tandem with WCW, and the WWF was ultimately forced to sell the TBS timeslot to Jim Crockett, whose promotion would become WCW.
  • The 05/27/96 episode of WCW Monday Nitro featured the shocking return of Scott Hall and the beginning of a landmark storyline in the industry, one that would effectively swing the balance of power towards WCW (legitimizing the company in the eyes of the mainstream public) and kept it there until WWE came back with a vengeance a couple of years later.
    • Of course, the big Wham of the storyline came at Bash at the Beach '96, when Hulk Hogan went Hollywood.
    • The 07/29/96 episode of WCW Monday Nitro opens with the great announcement, tonight we have two title matches: The Giant and Arn Anderson for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and Rey Mysterio Jr. and Eddie Guerrero for the Cruiserweight Title. That alone is awesome, but after the opening match Ric Flair's theme starts and it's Ric Flair and two of the Four Horseman against Sting, Macho Man and Lex Luger. Man, this show is going to be awesome. I mean, seriously SERIOUSLY awesome. In the middle of the match Stinger is getting the crap beaten out of him, and it's looking like it could be comeback time. But then Jimmy Hart runs into the arena screaming "Get back stage!" and we find Scott Hall and Kevin Nash tearing shit up and beating Arn Anderson and Marcus "Buff" Bagwell up with baseball bats. Then Rey Mysterio comes in only to get picked up and thrown into the side of a trailer HEAD FIRST and lies on the concrete motionless. EVERYBODY runs backstage and there is chaos, wrestlers in agony and people screaming for help. Then it hits you: there are going to be no title matches tonight. The nWo have hospitalized the competitors. Everything is ruined and the entire show is thrown into chaos. Bobby Heenan doesn't feel safe and walks out on the commentary team. Before this the nWo were nothing but Hulk Hogan and his buddies talking shit and pulling silly stunts. This episode, shit got real.
    • Advertisement:
    • Uncensored 1997. The nWo win the main event match and what amounts to basically a perpetual "Money in the Bank"-type clause for all WCW titles. The REAL development, however, is Sting ending months of speculation on whose side is he on by kicking the nWo's collective asses, striking the first real blow against the renegade group.
    • WCW Monday Nitro Jan 4th, 1999. FINGER POKE OF DOOM.
  • The 04/13/98 episode of Raw had the company teasing a match between "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Vince McMahon, leading to the creation of their own Wham storyline which not only broke WCW's 84-week-long winning streak in the ratings war and swung the momentum right back in the WWE's favor, but kept it there permanently long after WCW went bust.
  • The 03/26/01 episodes of WCW Monday Nitro and Raw, in which the last Nitro segment ever was a Raw simulcast. Nitro and Raw both opened with Vince McMahon gloating about his purchase of WCW. WCW was known to be in financial turmoil at the time and there were (mostly unsubstantiated) rumors that McMahon was working to purchase it, but the deal was only announced the weekend before the broadcast. The simulcast segment also culminated in a huge (kayfabe) swerve involving Shane McMahon, as if Vince McMahon buying out his bitter rival wasn't huge enough for one night. To say nothing was the same in pro wrestling after this night would be a dreadful understatement.
    • And then a few months later, when ECW showed up...
  • The NXT Riot. The "Holy Shit!" Quotient in WWE went through the roof for the first time in years.
  • The June 27, 2011 episode of Raw may have had one of the most unexpected endings of all time. CM Punk would do a run-in and cost John Cena, whom he was feuding with, a tables match against R-Truth. Afterward, however, Punk would deliver a worked shoot promo that nobody saw coming, pretty much tearing apart Cena, Vince McMahon, his idiotic daughter, his doofus son-in-law, his glad-handing nonsensical yes man, Dwayne, and the entire audience. You can find the entire promo on Punk's page.
  • WrestleMania XXX, April 6, 2014, is the day Brock Lesnar ended The Undertaker's two-decade long undefeated streak. Not to mention Daniel Bryan's WWE World Heavyweight championship win, which many will argue served as WWE's admission that he has taken the place of John Cena (who wrestled essentially a midcard match, not for a top title, for the first time since his Wrestlemania debut ten years ago) as the company's top face.
  • June 2, 2014. The RAW after Payback, after The Shield having defeated Evolution once again. But then come the main event that was going to be Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns. However, Seth Rollins wails on Dean Ambrose and Reigns with a steel chair and sides with Evolution.
  • August 29, 2016. A Fatal Four-Way No DQ Elimination match on Raw to determine the new Universal Champion is held between Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens. and Big Cass. Cass gets eliminated in short order, and when Rollins and Reigns spill to the outside, here comes Triple H, who plants Reigns with a Pedigree and has Rollins eliminate him. Then he turns towards Owens...and then spins around and pedigrees Rollins, giving Owens the Universal Championship and anointing Owens as the new face of RAW.
  • WrestleMania XXXIII: After losing to Roman Reigns, The Undertaker leaves his hat, gloves, and coat folded up in the middle of the ring, a non-verbal announcement of his retirement.
  • September 25, 2017. After three years, The Shield is reunited on RAW.
  • November 5, 2017. At Power Struggle 2017, Kenny Omega is challenged to a match for his IWGP U.S. Heavyweight championship at Wrestle Kingdom 12 by none other than Chris Jericho.
  • January 28, 2018, New Beginning in Sapporo. Kenny Omega is kicked out of the Bullet Club by Cody after losing his IWGP U.S. Heavyweight title to Jay White, shortly afterwards he tearfully embraces his former tag partner and best friend Kota Ibushi.
  • Royal Rumble 2018: At the conclusion of the inaugural Women's Royal Rumble which was won by Asuka, after months of rumors and speculation, Ronda Rousey makes her debut in WWE as a full time wrestler.
  • October 22, 2018: Roman Reigns shocks the wrestling world at the start of RAW when he announces that he is battling leukemia and relinquishes the WWE Universal Championship. The opening segment ends with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in an emotional Shield fistbump, an image that would be shattered at the end of the night as immediately after Ambrose and Rollins regain the Raw Tag Team Championships, Dean turns on Seth and lays him out on the concrete floor.
  • November 13, 2018: Daniel Bryan turns heel for the first time in six years after lowblowing AJ Styles to win the WWE Championship on Smackdown, ending Styles' 371-day reign with the belt.
  • February 25, 2019: Roman Reigns returns for the first time since his cancer diagnosis...and announces it's in remission, to a huge ovation. But that Wham is nothing compared to the one used during Ric Flair's 70th birthday party, with glowing tributes to the man, but when it's time for him to show...we cut backstage to Batista dragging a beaten up, lifeless Flair out of his dressing room, and saying to Triple H, "Do I have your attention now?"
  • The weekend of Wrestle Mania 35. A Changing of the Guard of sorts. Between the previous Friday's NXT Takeover: New York and the event itself, Ten of the company's seventeen active titles changed hands note . Batista, one of the stars of the Ruthless Aggression Era, announced his retirement from in-ring competition, as did modern era legend Kurt Angle. And, significantly, this was the first Wrestle Mania since WM 2000 where neither The Undertaker nor John Cena had a match on the card. Not only did this come off as the swan song for the Ruthless Aggression era, a number of firsts also happened this weekend, all involving well-loved babyfaces.
    • Becky Lynch won the first ever Women's main event at Wrestlemania, and the first woman to hold both women's titles simultaneously since they were instated.
    • Johnny Gargano became the first competitor to win the NXT Triple Crown (NXT Championship, NXT North American Championship, and NXT Tag Team Championship)
    • Kofi Kingston became the first African-born WWE champion.

Example of: