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Wham Episode / Professional Wrestling

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  • Championship Wrestling from Florida, October 1982. Kevin Sullivan has been working Tweener for months. Meanwhile Jake Roberts has been bragging about how a "Nivek Navillus" had paid him good money to beat up Barry Windham. Sullivan defeats Windham to win the vacant NWA Florida Heavyweight Title . 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 about "Abudadein" and "Akbar" and, to everyone's eyes, basically turned into Charles Manson. Announcer Gordon Solie explains that "Nivek Navillus" is "Kevin Sullivan" spelled backwards. Thus begins his whole epic run as a "Satanic" heel.
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  • 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 Horsemen 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.
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    • 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.
  • WrestleMania 13. Face Bret Hart and Heel "Stone Cold" Steve Austin make a Face/Heel Double-Turn after the former starts brutally beating the latter. It marked the beginning of Austin's rise as a main event wrestler and the beginning of the last chapter of Hart's WWF career.
  • Survivor Series 1997. The Montreal Screwjob. For many fans of professional wrestling, this was the first point that Kayfabe was irrevocably broken. If nothing else, the screwjob forever changed the careers of everyone involved.
  • 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...
  • WrestleMania X-Seven. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin defeated The Rock for the WWF Title after revealing that he made an alliance with his longtime Arch-Enemy, Mr. McMahon. Cue the Flying Pigs indeed.
  • Ring of Honor's Unscripted: The Prophecy wins all of the belts on ROH with Xavier defeating Low Ki for the World Title, while Christopher Daniels and Donovan Morgan defeating Michael Modest and Bryan Danielson to become the first ever Tag Team Champions. Follow shows too, such as Unscripted II seeing the one night return of CM Punk to save ROH from a talent delaying snowstorm, and Unscripted 3 seeing former jobber Jimmy Jacobs score a clean win over Bryan Danielson with his new End Time Finishing Move.
  • 5/22/2004 - Generation Next: Alex Shelley, Austin Aries, Jack Evans, and Roderick Strong make their Ring of Honor debuts by trashing the fan ballots deciding the best wrestlers before destroying Special K, The Christopher Street Connection, The Ring Crew Express, John Walters, and Jimmy Rave. They also had enough in them to beat Special K in a trios match, and then the team of the Briscoes, Walters, and Rave in an eight-man tag later on.
  • 2/17/2007 - Fifth Year Festival: Philadelphia - Takeshi Morishima unseats Homicide to become the new ROH World Champion less than two months after Homicide's title win at Final Battle 2006.
  • CHIKARA's 2009 Season Finale Three-Fisted Tales, November 22, 2009. CHIKARA Campeones de Parejas The Colony (Fire Ant and Soldier Ant) successfully defend the belts against The Osirian Portal (Amasis and Ophidian). Then the two masked "BDK" members walk to the ring, with the larger man actually pushing down the guardrail. The regular-sized man takes the mic and cuts a promo starting with, "I told you A War Is Coming, and I'm tired of waiting." Various CHIKARA wrestlers walk to the ring to see what is happening, with Mike Quackenbush and Claudio Castagnoli confronting the two men in the ring. The man points to The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple (UltraMantis Black, Delirious and Vökoder) and says, "Send me the man with the real power." The Order walk to the ring, with Mantis handing Vökoder the Eye of Tyr. Mantis tells the two men, "I'm sick of all your video threats. I'm sick of you interfering in my business, and quite frankly I'm sick of you. I don't even know who you are." The larger man removes his mask to reveal a horned mask underneath. His name would later be revealed to be Tursas. Then the regular-sized man removed his mask, causing Mantis' two years of machinations to completely blow up in his face. The man would be revealed to be Ares, Claudio's former Swiss Money Holding tag team partner who had last been seen in CHIKARA in 2006. Quack turned to Claudio, who gave him a European Uppercut. Carpenter Ant attacked The Colony, Vökoder attacked UltraMantis Black, Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze made their way out and just attacked whoever was available, and all seven heels cleaned house. They all stood shoulder-to-shoulder, and Ares instructed Carpenter Ant to remove his mask, revealing Pinkie Sanchez. Then Vökoder removed his mask, revealing Tim Donst, who had appeared earlier on the show as himself. They stood in a V-Formation Team Shot and did a cross pose. Then Tursas took out a remote control and turned out the lights. This was the debut of Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes. Over a matter of minutes, the fans' reactions changed from someone yelling "Get out of the ring!" to someone proclaiming, "Wow, this is one of the greatest things ever."
  • The NXT Riot. The "Holy Shit!" Quotient in WWE went through the roof for the first time in years.
  • April 11, 2011. Edge announces his retirement from pro wrestling due to injuries and relinquishes the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • 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.
  • Lucha Underground: "Eye For An Eye" ramps the personal dramas up to new heights as Catrina openly turns on Mil Muertes and aligns herself with Fenix, Chavo flees the temple altogether after the beating Mil gives him, Mascarita and Pimpinella are beaten so badly by the Crew that they're out of action for the immediate future and Big Ryck has come back to get his revenge on the Crew. It also kicks the greater overarching story arc into high gear as the mysterious Black Lotus finally finds what she's looking for, right before a bag is yanked over her head by an unknown assailant...
  • Lucha Underground "The Hunt Is On..." turns a good portion of Season 1 on its head by revealing that Cortez Castro is an undercover cop planted in the Temple to try to bring down Dario Cueto.
  • 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. It didn't last.
  • 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, marking the latter's first match outside of WWE in nearly twenty years.
  • 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.
  • Lucha Underground "The Moth and the Butterfly": turns out that Aerostar reviving Fenix turned out to be a very bad thing because Fenix's time was up and resurrecting him will now cause the end of everything.
  • 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 WrestleMania 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 WrestleMania since WM 2000 where The Undertaker didn't have 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 finally wins the WWE Championship over eleven years after his debut, becoming the the first African-born WWE champion.
  • The November 12th, 2019 episode of WWE Backstage ends with Renee Young doing a historical moment for WWE, bringing back a person no one expected to return. (cue static, guitar rift) "Look in my eyes, what do you see?". That's right people, after 5 years of chanting, the Best in the World is back.

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